CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Tommy Thompson, Jeffrey Koplan, Joe Biden, and General George Joulwan (Ret.)
Aired October 30, 2001 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, President Bush goes to the ball game under very tight security. He's trying to strike fear out, but for a lot of Americans it's still high alert and high anxiety.
Joining us from Atlanta, the secretary of health and human services, Tommy Thompson, and with him the director of the CDC, Dr. Jeffrey Koplan.
In Washington, Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Also in D.C., the chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Congressman Porter Goss, and Senator Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information.
From Dublin, Ireland, the former NATO supreme allied commander, retired General George Joulwan.
Plus extraordinary photos of life on the lines in northern Afghanistan. We'll talk with "TIME" magazine's Anthony Suau, who took these powerful images.
And then Clint Black just back from a USO tour in the Middle East and ready to perform his new song. "America."
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin in Atlanta with Secretary Tommy Thompson of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tommy Thompson, you should understand we're old friends and likes to be called Tommy. So don't get angry if I don't say Mr. Secretary.
The attorney general issued a warning yesterday. Do you have any idea at all, Tommy, if this involved anthrax?
TOMMY THOMPSON, HHS SECRETARY: We have no inside information, no intelligence at this point in time that it's going to be a chemical or a biological. All we know is that there's a lot of chatter out there about something's going to happen, but we don't know what it is and when it's going to be.
And all we're trying to do is make sure that the American public understands that we are getting prepared for any eventuality and that they -- they should go on and lead their normal lives.
KING: And Dr. Koplan, why -- a lot of the public seems confused about mixed messages. On one hand, people say the mail is safe, then the next day we hear the mail isn't safe. How do we deal with that?
DR. JEFFREY KOPLAN, DIRECTOR, CDC: The mail is largely safe, but the risk isn't zero risk. There has been obviously some contamination of the mail in several cities in the United States. And there seems to be some passage of letters in some directions that are contaminated.
But there are millions of pieces of mail that pass through these facilities every day, and virtually all of them are completely safe. I think all of us are getting our mail, looking at it with some level of vigilance, looking to see if there's something unusual in our mail, and if there isn't, that's that. I think that's the main precaution I guess I would say for folks to take, is just to look with some care at the mail you receive.
KING: Secretary Thompson, as we discussed last week, you are in a job in which you have no -- there's nothing you can go on. Your predecessors never had to deal with this. And the public fears appear to grow. How do you handle that?
THOMPSON: Well, Larry, what we've got to do is we've just got to be very candid with the American public. We've got to tell them that -- that there are problems out there and that we are dealing with those problems, and that there are some risks. But the main thing for Americans to understand is that this is something that we can handle, and we have enough medicines, enough personnel to handle just about any situation that comes. And that the American public should feel safe with that, and they should go on dealing with their normal business, whether it be working for somebody, running their own business, visiting their family, going out to eat, flying in an airplane. They should continue to do so. America is safe.
KING: Doctor, is this home-grown or international? Congressman Mike Pence says that investigators told him there were two grams of anthrax in Daschle's envelope, and Senator Daschle will be with us here tomorrow night by the way. That's nearly a teaspoon. A teaspoon pure anthrax could sicken about 2 million people. So how concerned should we be?
KOPLAN: Well, for one, we're still talking about 16 cases of disease total. We are very concerned about those cases, and we want to make sure there are as few or no more. But those 16 cases have occurred in four sites around the United States, and that is the current extent.
We are very concerned that there not be more. We're doing investigations in all those sites. We're placing our highest priority on this investigation.
But it remains circumscribed. It's something -- it's a disease and a health threat that bothers all of us, but it remains limited to those four sites. KING: But Doctor, you said last week, it was virtually impossible for it to be carried on a piece of mail just on the outside of a piece of mail, and then last week you said -- and then today you said it was a possibility.
KOPLAN: I said last week that inhalation anthrax is hard to imagine coming from the external portion of a letter, and I still think that that is difficult. But the mail can be contaminated, we've learned. And we learn something new every day in this investigation.
This whole problem has only been going on, this attack, we've had three weeks of experience with it. And every day and every two days we learn something new about it and apply that information to protect the public's health.
Last week, we learned that the types of spores in these letters are small enough in size to potentially pass through an envelope. That's a new piece of information. We've applied it from that point on.
KING: Tommy, I guess we learn -- you know, hindsight is easy. If we could go back, what would we handle differently?
THOMPSON: I don't know if we would have handled anything differently, because this is so new, Larry. We're learning every day about how to deal with this particular problem, and we are trying to do the best job we possibly can and we're working extremely hard. We're purchasing the necessary medicines. We've got the medical personnel in place to do the job, if in fact they're called upon to do it. And we want to make sure that the American public understands that.
We want to make sure that they understand anthrax is not contagious. There's no sense to go out and buy Cipro and other antibiotics. The government has enough to supply the needs of the American public.
No. 3, don't buy a gas mask because you don't need one.
And these are the kinds of things that we're still telling the American public. Air traffic is safe. Do your normal businesses. And we will try and do everything we possibly can to prevent this anthrax from spreading.
KING: What about, Doctor, smallpox? There's a lot of concern about that. Do you think down the road we're going to have to inoculate -- do a vaccination for every American?
KOPLAN: Well, the Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of expanding the amount of smallpox vaccine we have available. I think the decision will be made over time. But at least we will have enough -- and we have a fair number of doses available right now -- to protect us in the event of an attack using smallpox.
Using smallpox would be a very unwise decision for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) criminal intent. We would end up protecting ourselves quite well in this country, yet it would likely spread to the developing world. And the poorest, least defensible people would be the ones that would suffer the most from this.
KING: Tommy, do you see the day of inoculating everyone?
THOMPSON: No, I don't think so, Larry. Most people that I've talked to -- and I want everybody to understand. I have the best scientists and researchers in the world working for me in the department. And most of those individuals have indicated that we should purchase 300 million doses so every man, woman and child in America has a dose of vaccine for smallpox with their name on it so they don't have to be worried about it, but that the mandatory inoculation is not the way to go, because the side effects -- there will be a couple of people that will die for every million doses of vaccine that's given. Several individuals will have some kind of mental retardation or brain swelling that will cause some problems. And there are other side effects.
So if, in fact, smallpox comes, we would quarantine an area. We would inoculate the first responders, and then we would go in and inoculate the general public. And in smallpox, that's one vaccine that works after you have actually been caught up with the illness, up to four days.
KING: So you're -- so you're assuring Americans if, God forbid, it comes, you're ready for its coming?
THOMPSON: Absolutely. We have 15.4 million doses of vaccine right now in hand, and we're in the process of purchasing an additional 300 million doses. And the companies that we are dealing with right now have promised me that they will be able to start manufacturing smallpox vaccine by the end of November of this year or the first part of December, and we should have it all in stock within a couple of months.
KING: Doctor, help us. Is doxycycline better than Cipro for anthrax?
KOPLAN: No. They're equally good for anthrax. It's the kind of thing you could take either one. Some people may have experience with one medication or the other and find that they prefer one or they have adverse reactions to one or the other. Both of them are powerful, useful medications when needed. Both of them have side effects that all of us would like to avoid if we don't need them. That's why it's all the more important to determine, if you need it, take it. If you don't need it, don't take it.
KING: We'll take a break, come back, include some phone calls. We'll be right back with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Jeffrey Koplan.
I'm Larry King. Tom Daschle in an extended interview tomorrow tonight. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: What terrorists try to do is instill such uncertainty, such fear, such hesitation that you don't do things that you normally do. And all we are saying with the general alert is: Continue to live your lives, continue to be America -- but be aware, be alert, be on guard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back. Let's take a call for Secretary Thompson and Dr. Koplan. Trenton, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Good evening, Larry.
CALLER: Hi, I have a question and I would like to direct it to probably Dr. Jeffrey Koplan.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Isn't it possible that anthrax was around long before this period, that we just never checked for it, that these would have been passed on as normal deaths or normal sickness?
KOPLAN: Anthrax has been around for ages. But it is usually found in soil, among animal hides and it has been associated with certain professions and certainly earlier eras in the 18th century: Woolsorter's and cattle herders were the people that got anthrax. You would not expect and you don't find anthrax spores in buildings, on people's desks, or in individuals noses, where we have isolated it from.
So these cases are unusual cases, and they are cases that were done purposefully and with criminal intent.
KING: Sorry I didn't hear the end of your answer.
Halloween, tomorrow night, Secretary Thompson. Worried about children trick-or-treating?
THOMPSON: I'm always worried about children trick-or-treating but I am not more worried because of what's going on right now. It is just that something -- you know -- can always happen when children are out trick-or-treating and walking out in the streets and going door- to-door.
All I'm asking people to do is be very careful. Go with their children. Watch what they receive, and check it out and be vigilant with their activities. But do not be so afraid that you do not allow your children to enjoy Halloween.
KING: Doctor, how about safety of the food system overall? KOPLAN: I think we have a terrifically safe food system. The Food and Drug Administration does a good job of inspections. We have a good surveillance system out there to monitor for food-borne illness, so it is an area that we better have vigilance on like everything else we have, but we have a very safe food system.
KING: Tommy, is there a danger when officials like yourself, and the good doctor show too much optimism?
THOMPSON: Sure. There is the possibility that people will not believe us, but I want people to understand, Larry, that we have been reviewing all of the sensitive intelligence that is coming in from overseas and around the United States, that we have been working tremendously long hours, at CDC and at the department to get prepared.
We have lots of doctors. We have over 7,000 medical professionals that can be called up in a short period of time. We have over 400 tons of medical supplies strategically located. Now I want people to feel comfortable, that we are there on the job, ready to protect them if, in fact, there is a further outbreak.
But there is always problems, and we want people to be vigilant and that is what the president wants, and that is what I want.
KING: Rochester, Indiana, hello.
CALLER: Hello. My question is for the doctor. I have a 5-year old daughter, and last week she had a sore throat. What do you do in the case of a child who is five years old who knows what anthrax is, she was scared she had anthrax. What would you say to a child who you wouldn't even believe would know what that was?
KOPLAN: Well, it shows what a word and a disease that was very obscure to all of us just a couple weeks ago, has now become common in our discussions, and even in children's knowledge.
I would certainly reassure her immediately and say -- explain to her that it is a rare disease, that it is only in couple of locations. And tell her that there are lots of reasons to have a sore throat and she will have sore throats again in her life and they are due to lots of other bugs, viruses, bacteria, and that either they will go away very easily on their own, or they are easily treated.
KING: Tommy, do we have any idea who is doing this? Any leads?
THOMPSON: No, we don't, Larry, and that is -- that is too bad, because we would like to be able to find the individual, or individuals, that are doing this and put this nightmare behind us.
But the FBI is working extremely hard as we are, in the Department of Health and Human Services, to make sure that people's lives are protected. And hopefully we will be able to break this case soon, and get this thing behind us. But right now we don't know who is doing it, we don't know if it is from internationally or if it is domestic, or if it is one person or several persons. KING: Dr., I'm told that NBC is reporting anthrax was found at a postal maintenance facility in Indianapolis. Do you have any knowledge of that? And if so, any comment?
KOPLAN: I don't and we haven't confirmed it. I mean -- it may be an early report of something. Every day we have calls from every state. We have reports to be investigated. We assist many of the states, or postal operations in investigating suspects, and at this point we haven't found other sites. But we are vigilant and on the lookout we will investigate every one every these.
KING: Secretary Thompson, have you heard about this Indianapolis thing?
THOMPSON: I have not, Larry, but that doesn't mean that there has not been some kind of rumor or some kind of discovery. All we know is that as soon as something happens, they notify the department. We have a situation room that we have a 24-hour hotline, seven days a week. And so far nothing has come in, anyway within the last -- couple hours and it seems strange to me that I haven't heard of it, if it is really true.
KING: If true, Tommy, this would be the first case now kind of west of New Jersey, right?
THOMPSON: That is correct.
KING: Yes. Let's take another call, Valliant, Oklahoma, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. My question is for Dr. Koplan.
CALLER: Is it possible that mail going through one of the sorters in Washington or New Jersey could carry the anthrax virus to anywhere in U.S.? KOPLAN: It is theoretically possible. There have been sorters that have anthrax spores on them. They are in the process of being cleaned, but if some mail passed through earlier, it is possible that some spores clung to that mail and then moved through the system.
But is there a tendency for the spores to fall off, as just in a physical phenomenon, as they move along. And so at each step of the way there should be less and less spores, if any, on those contaminated pieces of mail.
Again, keep in mind that many millions of pieces of mail go through those systems and so any one piece having even a couple of spores on it is unlikely, but it is possible.
KING: Tommy, the government says it has the stockpiles of antibiotics and medical supplies, but a "New York Times" article said only about 15 percent of the national pharmaceutical stockpile is actually in the hands of the government. Much of it is in the hands of manufacturers and could be available, but two to three days -- true? THOMPSON: Well, we have two systems. We have 400 tons in Push Packages, 50 tons to a lot in eight 8 strategic locations. Then the second backup system is our vendor marketing inventory, in which we have purchased the drugs, but there is still in the control and handled and supervised by the pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers. And we are able to deliver both from the vendor marketing inventory as well as from our Push package into New York within seven hours, the day that September 11.
So, I think we can move very rapidly as we have indicated, both in New York, and in Washington, and in Florida, Larry.
KING: Doctor, do you have a worst-case scenario? What brings out the most fear in you?
KOPLAN: I think it's easy to come up with these worst-case scenarios, and that's the stuff of many novels that have been written over the last 20 years. But that's not where we're at. Where we're at is getting prepared for a range of possibilities. And one can always try to come up with a scenario that overwhelms those possibilities.
But what we have is a cadre of trained, talented staff both in the national level, and in state and local health departments that are not only prepared to do this stuff, but in the last three weeks have demonstrated a high level of performance in Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, and are prepared to do it any other place this crops up.
KING: Tommy, how much -- I guess this is almost -- how much longer does this go on?
THOMPSON: Well, hopefully...
KING: Is there an end?
THOMPSON: I hope there's an end, and I hope that the FBI is going to crack this case soon and that they'll be able to arrest the individuals or individuals behind it, and that we will be able to say that this nightmare is finally completed in the United States.
But until that happens, we have to stay vigilant. We have to make sure that we examine our mail in a very -- a very strenuous manner. And we have to get prepared if in fact more anthrax cases come to bear, and we're doing that. And we also have got to make sure that we continue to tell the American public to continue to lead their normal lives but be vigilant.
KING: Thank you, both, very much. We'll be calling on you again. We really appreciate it.
THOMPSON: Thank you, Larry.
KING: From Atlanta, Tommy Thompson, secretary of health and human services, and Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senator Joe Biden is next. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our commitment to freedom has always made us a target of tyranny and intolerance. Anyone who sets out to destroy freedom must eventually attack America, because we're freedom's home. And we must always be freedom's home and freedom's defender.
We must never flinch in the face of adversity. And we won't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He joins us from Washington.
Do you think that was a good idea for President Bush to go to the World Series tonight?
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I think it's a great idea, quite frankly. I think that he's doing exactly what he should do. He's visible, he's leading. He is out in the one place that most people would be theoretically the most afraid to go, where there's large crowds. I think it's the exact right thing to do.
KING: Last week in an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations, you wondered how long the unquestioning period of unabashed support for the president's policy will continue and seemed to say that the bombing ought to stop. Last night, John McCain told us that you told him you were taken out of context. Do you want to clarify?
BIDEN: That's true, Larry. Larry, I was asked a question, was the president aware that the longer the bombing went on, the more criticism he would get? And I said he's absolutely aware of that. I talked with him about that in the Oval Office. He hopes, I hope, everybody hopes we can stop the bombing as soon as possible.
But the fact of the matter is that as General -- to paraphrase General Patton: No SOB ever won a war by dying for his country; he wins a war by having the other guy die for his country.
And so what the president is doing is making a very tough decision, and that is at what point do you -- do you stop the bombing and put folks on the ground. And I think we're second-guessing him too much now, quite frankly. This is awful early in the game to be second-guessing him.
KING: But Speaker Hastert said about you that "The last thing our country needs right now is Senator Joe Biden calling our armed forces a high-tech bully, and his comments are completely irresponsible." How do you respond to that? BIDEN: Well, I respond by saying I did not call our forces high- tech bullies. If he had read the whole sentence, I said, "We are being called high-tech bullies and bombing indiscriminately," and I ended the sentence, as Colin Powell said in a public hearing, he said, "And you ended it by saying, 'And that is not true.'"
I'm a little disappointed that Speaker Hastert would do that. I called Speaker Hastert twice and asked him to call me. He wouldn't take my calls, which, quite frankly, kind of surprised me. I thought -- that's not -- anyway, I'm just a little surprised.
KING: So you were quoting others as saying that, not you as feeling that?
BIDEN: I was quoting others. Larry, you've had on your program a report of people in the region saying that we, the United States of America, are high-tech bullies, afraid to come down on the ground, afraid to fight. There has been all kinds of discussions on your program and every other program about whether or not the coalition and the Muslim world will break up if we continue to bomb. We've been all worried about whether or not, if you start bringing children out who -- that are part of the collateral damage with lost legs or severed skulls, or et cetera, that that would be used as propaganda against us.
But the truth of the matter is the president has to do what is necessary in order to win this war, and the use of bombing, we are doing it discriminately. We are going more out of the way than any country has in the history of mankind, since bombing has begun, to make sure there isn't collateral damage. We've made some mistakes, but very, very few.
And the fact of the matter is that we are beginning to take a toll. We've eliminated their ability to do anything in terms of our control of the air. We are now moving on concentrations of ground forces and equipment. We are actually even moving into targeting some of these caves that are essentially underground command posts in some cases.
And so, I think the president is moving along, and again, I'm reminded of the war -- the irony is, you remember, you had me on your program, Larry. I was the guy calling for the bombing in Kosovo, if you remember.
BIDEN: I was the first one to call for that bombing. And so...
KING: So, so -- you're saying that that report last week is either completely out of context, because you're reasoning now is different than that was reported last week.
BIDEN: It's absolutely out of context, and only one person reported that. There were a number of national reporters there. You didn't read that in any newspaper. You didn't read that anywhere after I made that speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. I don't think the reporter who reported it intentionally misrepresented what I had to say. I think he just did not view it in the context of the question that was asked me.
We are doing the right thing: The president has to preserve American lives in order to be able to best win this war.
KING: Do you agree with Senator McCain that you continue to do it through Ramadan? You just -- you do it until you finish?
BIDEN: Absolutely. I think you do it until you -- you do it as long as it's efficacious, as long as you're meeting your objective. And the objective now is to provide the opportunity for these regional towns, like there's two in question, that we allow the circumstance to exist for the Northern Alliance to take control so we can have the possibility of controlling northern Afghanistan as we go into the winter.
KING: Your thoughts on the Ashcroft statement yesterday about threats?
BIDEN: You and I have had this conversation before, when the first time such an alert came out. Again, I'm not going to second- guess it. It makes it difficult for people to know what to do. It's a hard call. Do you, when you have a credible threat that is generic, do you tell the folks that? I think reasonable people can differ on whether or not you should tell folks that, because one of the purposes, as our new homeland defense commander, the former governor of Pennsylvania, said, is to get us to stop doing what we ordinarily do, to affect the commerce and intercourse of this country, and to do damage to our economy.
And I worry a little bit that when this threat is generic in the sense that it could be a worldwide possibility, whether or not we do more harm than good. But I'm not the one making that call and I respect the decision of the attorney general, and I guess assume the president, to decide that that is what people should be told.
KING: Always good having you with us, Joe, especially when you clear things up so succinctly.
BIDEN: Thank you very much for having me. It is always a pleasure to be on with you.
KING: Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
When we come back, Congressman Porter Goss, Republican of Florida, chairman of Select Intelligence, and senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, ranking member of the judiciary subcommittee on technology, terrorism, and government information. You are watching LARRY KING LIVE. Senator Tom Daschle tomorrow night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RIDGE: We think it is very important since September 11 for America to remain on the highest possible alert. When we get this kind of information, to put it in the public view, so they understand that again we are getting some intelligence which suggests that we may again be the focus of an attack or attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, both in Washington, Congressman Porter Goss, Republican of Florida, chairman of Select Intelligence Committee. By the way he was a former CIA clandestine services officer. Good job: A spy who came out of the cold!
And in Washington, Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, ranking member of the subcommittee on technology, terrorism, and government and a member of the Select Intelligence Committee.
Right in your bailiwick, Congressman Goss, are we getting good information in this campaign overseas? Is our intelligence good?
REP. PORTER GOSS (R-FL), CHAIRMAN, SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Larry, our intelligence is terrific. There is just not enough of it. We need more specificity if it. We need to be able to cover more bases. We need resources. But I'll tell you, we have a lot of men and women out there doing hard work and doing it well. I just wish we had more of them.
KING: Senator Kyl do you concur?
SEN. JOHN KYL (R-AZ), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I would be perhaps a little bit more critical about the amount of intelligence, as well as the quality of intelligence that we've gotten. I'm concerned that we haven't had enough people on the ground. After the Afghanis kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan, I think we should have paid more attention to keeping people there participating in a society to help us out when time would come later. And now, 10 years later it has come.
But obviously you have to deal with the information that you have. And on that basis, I agree with Congressman Goss, we would like to have a lot more.
KING: Congressman Goss, any thoughts on the remarks of Senator Biden about him being misinterpreted and his thoughts on the continuance of the bombing?
GOSS: No, I think Senator Biden speaks very well for himself as we have just witnessed. And I think that the question of what's going on there needs to be run by the government in charge of our country which is I think being done very well at this point by President Bush and his people.
I think that if there is an expectation that somehow or other this is all going to go away, if we catch bin Laden or we bomb the right place, I think we are missing the mark. We don't want to become fixated on just Afghanistan or bin Laden. Granted they are big problems and we have got to get to them deal with them. But this is an international network of terrorism that we want to get at all the way and root out.
It like a cancer: You've got to get it all or it comes back and it gets you.
KING: Senator Kyl, what are thoughts on the attorney general's warning?
KYL: It was perfectly appropriate. Stop and ask yourself what had happened if had the information and didn't provide it to the American people and then there was some kind of terrorist attack? Later people would have found out that we had information, and would have asked why didn't you tell the American people what you knew?
We don't always provide information because we want people to act on it. Sometimes we provide information simply because we have it and the American government doesn't withhold information from the American people.
So I think the attorney general was perfectly right in saying look, here is what we have. There is not a lot of it. It doesn't tell us where or when or how, but we are worried about it. And we just want you to know that.
KING: The anthrax concept, Congressman Goss, do you think that -- No. 1. Do you think the public's worries grow rather than diminish? And does this affect the administration's domestic standing?
GOSS: Well, I think the -- you have had some good medical people on here tonight that have gotten into this very well. The fact of the matter is we just simply don't know yet where there is coming from, we don't know the extent of it. And we've got a problem, Larry, that we've got to address in this country.
This is a country where we do not have an intelligence agency that goes out and spies on Americans. We are very proud of that. We do all our espionage overseas. And we are a very proud country about being a free open and democratic society, protecting civil rights and human rights to a very great degree and extent, not done anywhere else. And that is a wonderful thing.
But sooner or later we have to recognize there has got to be some way to investigate people who want to do harm to Americans, whether at home or abroad who happen to be in the United States, whether they are Americans or not. We have to overhaul some of our laws and change some of our investigative practices, I believe we can do it without violating any of our freedoms, or giving away any of our rights. But we've got to focus on that debate.
KING: Senator Kyl, how about the increased attention we are giving now to immigration?
KYL: I think it is perfectly appropriate. Remember this is the first time, really, since the war of 1812 that foreigners have come into the United States and directly attacked Americans on our own soil here. And that means that we've got to get more serious about how we deal with those foreigners, whether they come here legally or try to come in here illegally. A lot of times they come legally and then overstay, or do something improper while they are here.
All of the 19 people who we know were involved in the attacks were foreigners. I believe we will find that they all actually came here legally. But one way or another some of them were out of status. Others we had information on that had the people who granted the visa known about, probably wouldn't have granted the visa.
That is why we have to begin to pull all of this information together in a central computer network, that all of the people will have access to who grant entry into the United States to these people, or will grant a visa. That way they least know whether or not there is a problem with any of people that they are permitting to come into the county.
KING: Congressman Goss, are you confident we'll find out where this anthrax is coming from?
GOSS: I think in time we will. I think President Bush has got it exactly right. We have wonderful capabilities in this country and appointing a guy like Governor Tom Ridge to coordinate them all and bring them to focus to bear on the problem is very, very important. I think it is well on its way now. But let's not stop at just the anthrax, or the trade towers or the other tragedies that have happened to us. Let's look at what else can happen.
We cannot possibly defend against everything that you or I or anybody else could imagine could go wrong -- any vulnerability we have in a free open society. You've got to have an aggressive offense. You've got go out and stop this before it starts. Otherwise, we end up with a great FEMA organization of people who can clean up after the tragedy. The whole point of this is to stop the tragedy and make sure we don't have the same kind of suffering and grief that we have seen in New York, and in the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
KING: Senator Kyl, are you optimistic overall?
KYL: I am. By the way, let me just say, I think Porter Goss just got it exactly right a moment ago. The object here is not to have to deal with the aftermath of an attack, but to be able to prevent it. And that means going to the base of support and preventing countries who support these terrorists and who fund them from continuing to be able to do that.
That is not going to be easy. It is not going to be short in terms of the operational success. I am optimistic in the long run, because the United States is a very strong country with great values a great economic system that will keep us strong economically. And I believe that the president has the support of the American people, and that is why I'm optimistic that in the long run, we'll be able to succeed. But in the end, it will be to turn literally the hearts and minds of people abroad, who don't like us right now, and to prevent the young people in those countries from being educated to hate us and be recruitable into some terrorist organization in the future.
KING: Thank you both very much, Congressman Porter Goss, and Senator Jon Kyl, both in Washington. When me come back we are going to go all the way to Dublin, Ireland to talk with general George Joulwan, the United States Army Retired former NATO supreme allied commander. Don't go away.
KING: Joining us now from Dublin, Ireland is General George Joulwan. He has been in Germany and in Brussels.
General, we thank you very much, as always.
News reports and editorials out of Europe indicate there is support for bombing, but concerns about their continuance. What do you hear?
RET. GEN. GEORGE JOULWAN, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, I'm hearing the same thing.
But let me say that there is overwhelming support for the United States and sympathy for United States in what has occurred in September. There is concern about the bombing. But I could tell you, even in Germany, there is even support for sending German troops, if need be, to Afghanistan.
So we have seen a big shift in Europe in really trying to provide not just moral, but also substantial support for the U.S. effort.
KING: What's your assessment of the campaign to this minute?
JOULWAN: Well, I think we are at a very important stage. I think we have talked before on the last couple of shows about the bombing. It has really allowed freedom of movement in the air. Now, we are trying to see the support for the Northern Alliance. We have got U.S. troops on the ground advising and supporting the Northern Alliance.
And I think we are going to see an attempt to try take one of these three northern towns -- it will probably be Mazar-e-Sharif -- hopefully before the winter sets in and before Ramadan.
KING: Now, what about ground action? Secretary Rumsfeld said we have a modest number of ground troops in the country. They are all there for liaison purposes. But it's true we don't have anything like the ground forces we had in World War II or in Korea. What's the ground story?
JOULWAN: Well, I think you have to remember, if we wanted to put a large-scale ground force in there -- say, the III Corps from Fort Hood -- that is going to take an enormous effort. What the ground effort appears to be, to me, is advice and support to the opposition, the Northern Alliance, in particular. And that is the special forces teams that we have on the ground. And they are very, very good. I have used them in the Balkans. They can provide intelligence, eyes on the ground, laser beams to get our air strikes much more accurate, and can support the Northern Alliance with intelligence and information.
KING: What is your assessment of the Northern Alliance's military viability?
JOULWAN: I think we need to be clear on that, Larry. It is mixed.
This is not a well-trained, well-organized, well-equipped force. And -- in my opinion, at least -- we have to be very careful on how much we expect from it. I think what one has to develop is this sense of trust and confidence with the special forces advisers that are on the ground with the Northern Alliance commanders and troops.
But we have to be very careful of what they can accomplish on the ground. It is going take a lot of effort and a lot of support, particularly from the air, by the United States to make them successful. But I think they truly can -- if we limit the objective, they truly can take an objective like Mazar-e-Sharif before the winter.
KING: Do you agree with Senator McCain -- he appeared on this program last night -- that you can't fight in half-measures and you just go at it; you don't think about Ramadan or anything; you go to win?
JOULWAN: Well, certainly, I agree. But let me also tell you, as a former commander, that in the back of my mind would be the what-ifs. It is great to say that. But if, in the middle of November, you get a what-if from the National Command Authority that gives you another direction, you better have a plan B. And what else can you do, what other options?
And I'm sure they are being discussed. I know these commanders. And they are thinking ahead for alternatives if someone says: Can you scale back? Can have you another option? We don't want to put all our cards on the table now. But if I were the commander, I would be doing the alternatives as well. If it doesn't happen, you press on.
KING: When you do get home, General?
JOULWAN: I hope to be home tomorrow, Larry. And it is top of the morning here in Ireland.
KING: And we will call on you again. We thank you very much for the time, as always.
JOULWAN: Thank you, Larry.
KING: One of our great guests and top experts: General George Joulwan, the former NATO supreme allied commander.
When we come back, we are going to talk to a photographer who has taken some extraordinary pictures that will be in next week's issue of "TIME" magazine. And he will followed by one of the great performers, Clint Black, who is just back from a USO tour. And he's going to do our musical ending.
Don't go away.
KING: Joining us now from Khoja Bahauddin in Afghanistan is "TIME" magazine photographer Anthony Suau. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner. He's got a new photo essay: "Life on the Lines." It's going to appear all in next week's issue of "TIME" magazine.
How long have you been taking pictures in Afghanistan, Anthony?
ANTHONY SUAU, "TIME" PHOTOGRAPHER: I have been here about two weeks but I was here about 15 years ago with Mujahedin in Jalalabad fighting the Soviet Union.
KING: And we are going to be showing these pictures to our audience, pictures of children, and -- what a -- tell me what it is like to photograph in that area.
SUAU: What's interesting about being a still photographer in any place, is that unlike a television, you can move very quickly as an individual and in and out situations and become very intimate with people and the images can be very intimate. So you have a chance to talk to people, to hear their point of views on the subject and hear -- its very interesting to listen to the military, the refugees, just the people who live their daily lives here, as well as the NGOs and listen to what they have to say about the situation here firsthand.
KING: And I might say that you brilliantly captured not only the area, but the drama of the people. What can you tell us about these people?
SUAU: Well, the people here are a little bit frustrated with the situation. There has been very little military activity from the American side. They have been waiting for it for -- since the beginning of the air campaign. And they are expecting that the Americans come. There has been two incidents where they have, in fact, bombed the front lines here. One was yesterday.
And, up until now, basically, they have been very frustrated. And I think that that is a little bit dangerous, because they are becoming a little bit angry and wondering where is the Americans, why don't they want work with us. We want to work with them, we want to fight with them and it is beginning to go a little bit beyond frustration, although the recent bombings, they were very excited by them. They are hoping to see more and to see more American influence coming into the region and helping and working with them to move the situation forward.
KING: Thank you, Anthony. These are some of the best pictures I have ever seen, and they will be shown in next week's issue of "TIME" magazine. The photo essay is "Life on the Lines." And we thank the photographer, the Pulitzer Prize winner, Anthony Suau for joining us from Afghanistan.
Joining us now here in Los Angeles is the terrific entertainer, country singer, Clint Black. His new album is "Greatest Hits 2." It will be in stores November 20. That hat was -- you got that hat where?
CLINT BLACK, COUNTRY SINGER: Picked it up in Kosovo.
KING: What were you doing in Kosovo, Clint?
BLACK: In Kosovo, I was fighting a war. I was entertaining some of the troops there. And...
KING: With the USO, right?
BLACK: Yes, it is -- there is some footage now. This is in Tuzla. And we hit six countries, did four shows in three days. The craziest schedule I have ever had in my life. And I'm going to do it again as soon as I'm able. As soon as I can go. You ought go with me. Larry.
KING: I'll tell you what we are going to do, "Entertainment Tonight" followed you on the recent USO activities. What we are going to do is the next time you are there, entertaining and the like, we'll have cameras there.
BLACK: You go with me. That would be great to have you along.
KING: The wife is going to sing, but you'll go. I will watch, you go. All right. What's it like entertaining troops?
BLACK: Their the best -- Bob Hope said it -- they are the best audience you will ever play for. They are a tough crowd, they have guns and grenade launchers, but it is the best. I -- you know, you are entertaining real American heroes, people who, in times of peace or war, they are standing there ready to fight for our families and our safety.
KING: We are going to be following Clint the next time he goes. He also opened the Country Freedom Concert October 21 in Nashville.
Now the song you are going to sing tonight is titled "America." You wrote this song after September 11?
BLACK: I did. I had a show in Dallas that we postponed. And when it finally came back around I felt like I needed some way to begin the show that would say, you know, I'm -- I can't go on just as business as usual and I know the audience can't, so I wrote this song, and...
KING: And by the way, our love to Lisa Hartman, your beautiful wife and the beautiful little girl at home, Lilly Pearl.
Here is the first time he is singing it. It has not been recorded yet. He wrote it and it will close our proceedings here tonight -- Clint Black and "America."
(CLINT BLACK SINGS "AMERICA")
KING: To learn more about upcoming guests, you can log onto our Web site, it is CNN.com/larryking.
Tomorrow night, Senator Tom Daschle for a major appearance on this program. We hope you look forward to checking in with us. We always look forward to checking into this special report, hosted by my man Aaron Brown.
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