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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Sarah Ferguson; Interview With Richard Shelby; Interview With George Mitchell

Aired November 16, 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, she lost loved ones and her charity's offices when the Twin Towers fell. But she says she found something, too.

In an exclusive interview, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, tells her incredible story about the day that changed America and her forever.

Then, the aviation security bill could soon become law. Will it make the skies safe? In Washington, senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and Terrorism and a member of the Select Intelligence Committee. And with her, Senator Richard Lugar, member of the Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence Committees. And also in D.C., the vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Richard Shelby. And here in New York, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

And later, the mens and boys choir of St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, New York will lift our spirits with an extraordinary song.

They are all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll begin with our senators, starting with Senator Feinstein in Washington. The FBI, today, has conducted further tests for anthrax on the letter sent to Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, almost identical to the anthrax-tainted letter sent to Daschle and NBC News anchor Brokaw. The letter, postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, October 9. The FBI says, Senator Feinstein, the results of the first round of testing on the Leahy letter come back presumptive positive for anthrax -- any comment?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), TERRORISM SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, it's not surprising. I think some of us have been suspecting that there is probably additional letters in the impounded mail. And they may yield clues because, now, the FBI knows what to look for. They know postmark, they know general envelope type, they know handwriting, they know area. So, hopefully, they will be able to learn something from this letter. And there may be they -- there may well be other letters as well.

KING: Senator Mitchell, what do you make of what's happening to all of your former compatriots? GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, it is a very serious situation, of course. It's difficult for them to operate with the office buildings closed. I think they have done a very good job and I commend all the leaders and the members of Congress for the way they have handled themselves in this crisis.

KING: Senator Lugar, do you agree with Senator Feinstein, that maybe we are going to even hear more?

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Yes, I think that is probable. I think the story, as I understand it, is that the letter to Senator Leahy was found, of course, several hundred miles away from Washington. This mail was swept up on the day that the Daschle letter occurred, taken out there. And I hope that that's where all these letters are.

I know Senator Feinstein's office and mine as they swept through, found some anthrax spores. But they are supposed to be at a level that would not be unhealthy. Obviously, we are not going to be back in those offices until they have swabbed the offices, and that may be another couple of weeks. But, no way of knowing exactly what was in the mail in any of our offices that day. We are just grateful that it's out there and being irradiated out in Ohio, I guess.

KING: Senator Shelby, do you accept the presumption made earlier this week that -- or late last week -- that this might well be an American wacko?

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), VICE CHAIRMAN, SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think it could be. I don't know if it is a presumption there. A lot of the tendencies of the evidence tend to support that.

I wouldn't rule out anything. But there are a lot of parallels there. I think as you look into more mail, as Dianne said, we could find more letters addressed to people in the Senate, perhaps somewhere else. We hope not. But the more information the FBI has, the better chance they have to break this case.

KING: Senator Mitchell, do you think they are going to follow through and get this done on the aviation security bill, now that they have come to a compromise and the president will sign it?

MITCHELL: Yes, I think they will.

Obviously it is a compromise, two very strongly held positions. But the important thing is to get the process going. And at the major airports, most of the airports in fact, they will be federal employees. I think it's a good thing.

KING: Did you ever have a similar bill when you were Senate majority leader?

MITCHELL: Not like this, no. We had a lot of controversial matters, but nothing like the current situation.

KING: Senator Lugar, you see any problems in the voting? LUGAR: No. I mean, the bill passed.

FEINSTEIN: We voted.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: I mean, is it going to sweep -- I mean, in voting right through, complete to the president, signed, sealed, delivered.

LUGAR: That happened today by unanimous consent on the Senate floor without roll call votes, in my understanding, has occurred by a lopsided vote in the House of Representatives. So, it's headed toward the president, who has said he will sign it. And that's good news before the holiday begins.

KING: Do you like the compromise, Senator Shelby?

SHELBY: I think it's part of politics. All of us voted 100 to zero, as I recall, for a bill. The House had a different bill. There was a compromise -- sum of both. I believe it's something we needed and we needed it now before the Thanksgiving travel set in. And I believe the president is going to sign it, if he hadn't already.

KING: When I meant ready, Senator Feinstein, there is no question that the president will sign it, is there?

FEINSTEIN: I think there is no question. I -- you know, I've been listening to some people debunk the bill, but I really don't. I think it is a pretty good bill. I think it will get the job done. It will take some time to transition it in. But, essentially, it provides -- see, we have loopholes.

One of the things that I have learned in hearings we have been holding is different airports do different things. And that is a mistake. You've got to have a standard for security all across this country. And this bill, I think, is a very substantial beginning to that end.

KING: Senator Lugar, what do you think about stun guns in the cockpits on United Airlines?

LUGAR: Well, I think that is still debatable. I wish before there were too many procedures like that adopted, although we are sympathetic to the pilots, that we had a better public debate, better understanding because there are liabilities involved with this that are very substantial, including damage to the aircraft and unintended consequences to the lives of the passengers.

KING: Apparently though, Senator Shelby, United is going to go ahead and do it.

SHELBY: Well, if you are going to arm somebody -- I myself own a plane -- basically, if I was flying -- although there are probably unintended consequences with any type of gun, including a stun gun. I believe I would rather have someone, an air marshal, armed with that than the other because, you know, you are flying at high pressure altitudes and there could be a more dangerous thing to happen to you the other way.

KING: Senator Mitchell, though, don't you think passengers might feel more comfortable knowing that the pilot is protected?

MITCHELL: I'm a regular passenger. I fly every week and I think it is a mistake.

KING: Because?

MITCHELL: I think that Senator Shelby and Lugar are right, that you could have armed air marshals pilots got enough to do, and they -- there could be unintended consequences wish there were more deliberation on this before they took the step of arming the pilots. And as I've said, I fly all the time, including on United. And I'll tell you, the next time I'm on a United plane, I won't feel more secure knowing that the pilot has got a gun.

KING: You won't.

MITCHELL: No.

KING: Let's turn to international things and go to Senator Feinstein. Extraordinary Defense Department photo released today, Senator Feinstein, shows United States special forces on horseback -- there, we are showing it now. What do you make of this?

FEINSTEIN: I guess -- are those our people?

KING: Yes.

FEINSTEIN: I guess they are. Well, that is...

KING: It looks like Roy Rogers and the crew coming into town.

FEINSTEIN: It goes a little bit back to the Civil War, but, of course this is a different territory.

I think the war is going very well, although I think it is just the tip of the iceberg. I think we have a lot of things to worry about, to be concerned about, and to be united about. And one of those things is, of course, whether the bin Laden forces have either chemical or nuclear weapons. And that is a very deep concern I think to all of us. We don't know whether they do or they don't, but the possibility is there. And, as your -- CNN has been putting forward the last two nights, there is some good documentary evidence being placed on television that indicates that, for a period of years, this is where that network has been going. And that is a very serious concern.

KING: Senator Lugar, should we go under the assumption they do have them?

LUGAR: Not necessarily. But I think Senator Feinstein has really gotten to the bottom line of the war. And the facts are there are two objectives, one of which is to root out the cells, wherever they may be, in Afghanistan obviously, but other countries too. The second is, while we're doing that, to keep the cells away from weapons of mass destruction. And if there ever comes a combination of these two, whatever country it occurs, why there in big trouble. And that has got to be our guidepost now. The second part of it means securing the materials and the weapons of mass destruction where they are. We know where they are in the United States and Russia. And I'm hopeful the president and President Putin discuss this is a whole lot, ways we can cooperate.

But, breadth we can cooperate also and trying to get a new regime for Iraq and Iran and Syria and Libya and various places as well as our new friends in India and Pakistan. A lot of discussion about how secure those weapons are and those are right in the area of the bin Laden people now.

KING: We'll get the thoughts of Senator -- former Senator Mitchell and Senator Shelby as well when we come back.

And still to come: Fergie. Tomorrow night, the I-man; Monday night, the president of American Airlines, Donald Carty. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We intend to make life very difficult for them. And we intend to create environment where they have less money than they have now. And we intend to try to keep gathering intelligence and arresting people and interrogating people to get more information that will make their life still harder. And we intend to try to make the life of the countries that harbor them harder. And that is what's been happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, what's your read on the war to this minute?

SHELBY: I believe we are doing very, very well, especially this week, I think we will continue that, what happens in Kandahar in the next few days, even hours, I think is very, very important. But this is not the end of it. No matter what, but it is a heck of a beginning, Larry. It's a strong message and what we've got to do is win the war there, on the ground. And then we've got to do what we can to put a coalition together with our allies, and help build a nation for our Afghanistan, and if we don't we are going to have a repeat of this in the years to come.

KING: Senator Mitchell, what's your read from kind of outside the Senate?

MITCHELL: I think the president and his team deserve credit for the manner in which this has been organized and executed. I think it is obviously gone well from our standpoint, although there have been some difficulties and set-backs. I think Senator Shelby is quite right, once the fighting ends in Afghanistan, that doesn't mean the end of the process, we are going to have to participate, not exclusively, obviously with our allies, with the United Nations and others in trying to organize a -- help them organize their own society in a way that will preclude this from reoccurring.

KING: Are you surprised that at the apparent, all agreements going on here between Republicans and Democrats? In the main, very few people are critical of anything.

MITCHELL: Well, the fact of the matter is that we haven't experienced anything like this in recent years. Secondly, the American people clearly are not in it, and the Congress represents the American people. And in this respect, I think they are acting in the right way and in way that people expect them to act. Now there shouldn't be and there hasn't been a complete elimination of debate. There will be debate, disagreement, discussion and compromise.

And obviously over time, other issues will emerge, but I think that in this respect the Congress has conducted itself very well, deserves a lot of credit, because they have reflected what the American people feel and want.

KING: Let's take a call for our Senators. Stanton, Delaware -- hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, how are you?

KING: Hello, fine.

CALLER: This is for anyone on the panel, my husband works for an airline, and I haven't heard anybody question the fact that the mail goes, he actually loads lots of mail on the airplanes that I guess goes throughout the United States, and I was wondering has anybody considered that might be a problem some point?

KING: Senator Feinstein.

FEINSTEIN: Well, I think, of course that mail is contained in mail sacks. The answer ....

KING: Which we presume are safe?

FEINSTEIN: The -- which we presume are safe -- but, the answer to your question is: I don't know. And it's a good question. And I'm certainly going to ask and find out, but I would presume that those mail sacks are closely enough woven that there is no meaningful ability for anthrax to permeate through it, but I will find out.

KING: Senator Lugar, is it definite that we, the United States, will be involved in, and Pakistan involved in the new government in Afghanistan?

LUGAR: Well, the United States hopes not to be involved directly. KING: I mean in -- in the setting it up.

LUGAR: Well we are already in very much involved, we have an ambassador, Mr. Dobbins has gone over to Afghanistan to represent our interests along with the U.N. and what have you. My hope, Larry, would be that there would be a pretty broad based coalition of people, who are involved. I saw the foreign minister of Slovenia today, and he said they are prepared to send some Slovenians over there -- not to take full responsibility, but to participate.

I think that is a good idea to have some Europeans, some Americans, some Asians in the protection for the NGOs, the humanitarian people that have got to bring, 50,000 metric tons of wheat that's coming through Uzbekistan into the northern part of the country and the other food. That now is possible in a way that was not before this last week or so. So we've got great possibilities if we keep the peace, that means some policing, and that means, at least, I believe, an international force to try to keep order in the streets, while the food is being distributed.

KING: Senator Shelby, the threat made the other day by one of the Taliban leaders about major retaliation, and America being in big trouble, do you take that seriously?

SHELBY: I think you have to take any threat seriously. I don't know exactly what he meant, a lot of people thought he was alluding to some type of nuclear device, and you don't discount it. You weigh it, you measure it and you put the right people on alert, where you can. But I don't believe, myself, but I don't know that Osama bin Laden and his group -- I don't believe they have nuclear weapons. But they could have some type of nuclear device and you can't just rule the weapon itself out.

KING: Shamokin, Pennsylvania -- hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: For anyone on the panel, I'm curious with the three year opt-out built into the new security bill: what precautions or checks and balances are in place to prevent the airlines from going back to square one at the end of three year opt-out?

KING: Senator Feinstein.

FEINSTEIN: Well, let me give you one example, San Francisco International Airport. San Francisco International has made some changes, they have increased the pay, they are now paying about 13 dollars an hour, their attrition rate has dropped, they believe they have a greatly improved system. Now, actually, this airport did not favor the federalizing, consequently there will be three years, the system will be reviewed, it can be measured against the federal injection of screeners, and evaluated and the standardization of the processing. At the end of three years, San Francisco International would have the ability to opt-out of the system, if it chose to do so. KING: Is it a requirement do you think, Senator Mitchell, that bin Laden be taken? Is it -- must that process occur either killed or taken?

MITCHELL: I don't think anyone would view this operation as complete, short of that. It seems to me that the minimum requirement is the displacement of the Taliban, and that seems now to be well on the way and perhaps nearly complete. The breakup of the al Qaeda networks, that's in the process, and, finally, bin Laden himself -- and not just him I think his top leadership. I think it would be very difficult to call this a successful operation without achieving that.

KING: Do you agree Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: Yes, I think that is in fact the beginning. I think that the terrorists in the Philippines, that we know of, we are now working on that problem. There are clearly terrorists in the Middle East, and we have named some of those organizations, as very culpable. People have said one thing at a time, and I agree -- but that means that first thing, then the second and then the third this is a progressive situation, rooting out these cells, financed all sorts of ways all over the world.

KING: Back domestically, and to Senator Shelby: former Speaker Newt Gingrich testified before a House Subcommittee today that a national I.D. card system is a dead-end, won't happen. He has grave concerns about civil liberties. Do you?

SHELBY: I think we ought to be careful with an I.D. card. And the implications of it, I don't know if it is dead, because it will be debated and there will be people to introduce it. And that's part of the system, but let's be careful before we bring an I.D. card to all Americans.

KING: Sound unconstitutional to you, Senator Mitchell?

MITCHELL: I don't know about unconstitutional, but I think the country is not ready for it yet. Time and circumstances may change. Throughout our history, our definition of rights has been -- has evolved based upon technology. As new technologies emerge, we have a new definition of rights. The Congress just passed a law -- for example -- which the administration requested, which extended the right to wiretap from instruments to individuals, that was a reflection of changes in technology.

I don't know that the ID card itself will -- it is now acceptable to American people, but I think we have to keep changing our views as technology evolves.

KING: We'll be back with more of our senators and more of your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

As we go to break, we are showing you some pictures of ground forces in action in Afghanistan. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's reintroduce our panel. In Washington Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Subcommittee on Technology and Terrorism; Senator Richard Lugar, member of Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence Committees, Republican, of course, of Indiana. Senator Feinstein -- Democrat of California; Senator Richard Shelby, vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, a Republican of Alabama. And here in New York, the former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

Senator Feinstein, the National Guard sworn in today to patrol the Capitol. What do you make of that?

FEINSTEIN: Well, all of us have been very concerned because I think what is evident to some of us -- excuse me -- is that the plane that went down in Pennsylvania was headed either to the White House or to the Capitol. And, of course, the United States Capitol and the White House remain as sort of the paramount symbols of the American democracy. And therefore they remain as prime signature targets.

And so, I believe very strongly that it is the right thing to do everything we can, to protect these institutions. Now, if you take down the buildings, it is not going take down the spirit or the belief in democracy. That is going to endure. We are all committed to it and it will endure.

But, nonetheless, what these terrorists aim to do is in any way, shape that they can, is to destroy us as Americans. And that was the economic signature of the World Trade Centers, the military signature of the Pentagon and then the political signature. So, I think protecting the Capitol, protecting the White House, protecting the symbols of our democracy is a very important and constructive thing to do.

KING: Take a call -- Torrington, Connecticut -- hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Hello.

CALLER: Now that -- I just want to know -- now that bin Laden's right-hand man there is presumed dead, I was wondering, is it going to be harder to catch bin Laden now or easier?

KING: Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: I don't think it makes a difference except that the man they were talking about presumably was responsible for security of bin Laden and the leadership.

But, it would seem to me that bin Laden either is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) effect an escape, and has escaped, or he is holed out someplace and not moving. At this stage, with the encircling that is occurring, including Americans on the ground, blocking roadways and what have you, if he is going to make a move it has got to be the decisive one. And until that point, we are unlikely to see him and therefore the demise of this gentleman, I suppose at this point in the war, is less important.

KING: Senator Shelby, Ramadan is under way, late word tonight that the U.S. military accidentally hit a mosque. Do you have any concerns about continued action in this holiday period?

SHELBY: Well, I think we have to continue the fight. Throughout the history of the Muslim world, the Muslim nations fought each other during Ramadan. They didn't stop. There's big, big issues there.

But, I believe we would never hit a mosque or something near it intentionally. I'm sure this was an accident or something that happened. And we said we are sorry about that, or something to that effect. But the war must continue, Ramadan or no Ramadan.

KING: It certainly has to have effect though, Senator Mitchell...

SHELBY: Well, it will have an effect on some -- on the people there. Sure, they will stir that up. But, we have said that we -- it was not intentional, it was not intentional. But we shouldn't stop the bombing.

KING: Senator?

MITCHELL: Well there, of course, are many unfortunate consequences in a war. There have been civilian deaths, a Red Cross facility struck and now this. And it will be used against us.

But I share the view that it is not feasible, and we shouldn't even consider further, stopping. The fact is this, I think, is very near the end we should pursue it vigorously.

On the question about bin Laden: There is no doubt in my mind that he will be located. I felt from the very beginning that the outcome in the war itself was inevitable. There is such a huge imbalance of power and the United States, having committed its full power and prestige, would not, could not conceivably accept any other result. And so, I think it just a matter of time until this phase is wrapped up.

KING: Senator Feinstein?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I agree with that. There is no question about the American commitment. And there is no question that we cannot change that commitment. Having said that, I mean, my concern is that he got to Jalalabad and then gets over the Khyber Pass into Pakistan and particularly, Peshawar, which would be easier for him to meld into and then out of the country.

But, I think most of the things that I have heard about indicate that most authorities think he is still somewhere in Afghanistan. And, as the weather gets colder, the heat sensor technology of the United States should be helpful in determining small group movements. And so, I hope that before the month is out, that he will be in custody.

KING: We had today, Senator Lugar, a security breach in Hartsfield Airport. Somebody got through all the security, started running around. I don't think they ever did catch him. They closed the airport for three hours. What do you make of all of this?

LUGAR: Well, I make of it the fact that there is a rule now. And if somebody runs right through security and is out there loose, that stops the music.

My understanding of the reports said there were about 10,000 people inconvenienced. They had to go out of the airport on the pavement and were delayed for quite a while. But the interviews with these people were almost universally that they are glad the system works, that people are alert. And they may not have found the guy, and he certainly inconvenienced a lot of people, but we are taking it seriously. And I think the American people want it that way.

KING: And apparently, Senator Shelby, the wire service was reporting there was someone running late for a flight to Memphis.

SHELBY: Well, I think that was a ridiculous reason to run through security. But I believe that our security will get better, technologically, and also with the people and the personnel that we train and hire.

I want to say one thing, Larry, fast about Osama bin Laden. I believe he will be apprehended or destroyed. But we should never, never think that's the end. That could just be the beginning of a long war against his followers. If we -- the war goes as it looks like it's going to, to a conclusion fast, we should wait then and be alert for a reprisal against us by somebody.

KING: A long war, Senator Shelby, where?

SHELBY: I don't know where. You're talking about referring to where his people are? This is going to go on a long time. We have to destroy his supporters, the survivors of his organization because Osama bin Laden by himself is not the end. It's the beginning.

KING: Do you agree with that Senator Feinstein?

FEINSTEIN: Yes, I do. We know that he's got a big organization. We know that he's trained upwards of 10,000 people, perhaps more. We know that these people are spread across the country, that they're in discreet groups, that they have set up a kind of protocol. We know that these people are haters, which comes as a real surprise to me.

I only wish they could read that one page of the New York Times in the B Section which is the anecdotal stories of the men and women killed in the World Trade Center. I don't know how any terrorist can do what they do and read those stories of wonderful, innocent people just killed with no concern for them at all.

And I would really hope that the Muslim world reads those anecdotes as well, and is really willing, the leadership of other Arab countries, to stand up and say, "we will not countenance this. We will not tolerate it. We will fight against it until we've destroyed it" because in that way, we can succeed.

KING: That may be the best newspaper section going.

LUGAR: It is.

FEINSTEIN: I think so too.

LUGAR: The "New York Times" deserves a lot of credit for doing that. But, let me say, Larry, first that clearly this is going to continue to root out these networks which the President said operate in 60 countries.

But I think it must be a broader approach as well, that the Muslim world is not monolithic. They're many countries. They're varied. They have different cultural, historical heritages. We could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy if we assume they have civility and regard them all and treat them all as one.

What they mostly do have in common is the absence of democracy, rapidly growing populations, stagnant economies, widespread poverty, and a resort to fundamentalism.

Our approach must be broader. It must include the continued rooting out of the networks, but we have to deal with these other realities as well, and we also should be, as the administration is doing, seeking to bring about a resolution of the conflict, the resumption of negotiations in the Middle East.

KING: Senator Lugar, does Iraq come up on the board here?

LUGAR: Yes. At what time and what week, I suppose is the question. But Iraq uniquely has offered no sympathy to the United States, has offered no cooperation, as a matter of fact has done precisely the opposite although lying pretty low perhaps during the most recent days.

But at some point, in my judgment we have to come, and by we I mean the coalitions we erect, and say that we want first of all, access for the U.N. inspectors to the weapons of mass destruction. Back where we were.

We really need to know what they've got there because we'd like to secure it in behalf of the rest of the world. That's not an option for Iraq to use whatever they have just at their own will.

They may resist that and if so, we're probably going to have a conflict, and so we need to begin lining up our friends, either for us or against us because we're going to go down that road unless the Iraqis are much more cooperative than they've been this far.

KING: Today, Senator Shelby, Director Mueller of the FBI told reporters at FBI Headquarters "we believe there are persons in the United States who have affiliations with or are supporters of certain terrorist groups." He declined to say whether they have direct links to bin Laden. What do you make of that?

SHELBY: He's just telling the American people the truth. We've been briefed on things like this. We have reason to believe that there are a lot of cells and potential terrorists in this country. Where they are and when they will act, I'm not sure.

The FBI's digging into it. They've got a lot of information on this. The more information they have will probably thwart more attacks in different areas of this country.

KING: What do you think, Senator Mitchell?

MITCHELL: Larry, you've got 280 million people in this country, several million of them here illegally, and so at any given time there are in this country thousands of criminals of every kind, murderers, rapists, arsonists and terrorists.

This is a very large, diverse, open country and at any given time that's bound to be the case.

KING: Very conservative William Sapphire, Senator Feinstein, took an article saying that the President was wrong to declare that thing about the military action if bin Laden is caught in a military court and he said that suspending all rules of law in this country, you agree?

FEINSTEIN: I have been giving this considerable thought. There are a number of my colleagues that disagree with the President that do not believe that a military tribunal is appropriate.

I think what we really have to look at is the national interest and what exists in this country that can strike us and hit us, and what kind of a civilian trial if it's in this country or in another country might really create, and I'm not talking about a minor skirmish. I'm talking about a major event, and there are a lot of unknowns here. Hopefully they will become clearer.

But this is a man who declared war and admits it against the United States, and struck and did the United States as much carnage as has ever been done on our shores.

Now whether he's entitled to a civilian trial, I have some concern about that because I think that will carry with it some other difficulties for our people.

KING: We'll be right back with more of our senators on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Senator Lugar, what's your read on this relationship between the President and President Putin?

LUGAR: I think both Presidents have made it a point to get along with each other. As a matter of fact, they've made a judgment. It's in their nation's interest for that relationship to be as cordial and friendly from the very beginning when they met in Slovenia to the present time at Crawford.

Now, it remains to be seen how productive that will be. As a matter of fact, most historians would say in recent times, say the last 20 years, almost all American Presidents have tried to have a very friendly relationship with their Russian counterpart, sometimes with less than sanguine results.

But in this particular case, President Putin has tried out for size a reliance on China. It didn't work. He tried the newly independent states, bringing those back in. That didn't seem to work very well either. He tried to separate the United States from Europe. That didn't seem to work.

So the new President is trying something else, namely an extraordinary friendly expression and at least it seems to be making some headway in putting aside a lot of quarrels that people thought would be deal breakers by this point.

KING: We all remember Senator Mitchell, Reagan and Gorbachev, Clinton and Yeltsin. Is this just a continuation?

MITCHELL: It seems to be even more personal with these two Presidents.

KING: Yes, it does, doesn't it?

MITCHELL: It does seem, and I think as Dick Lugar said, I think it's a good thing. I don't think either of them is going to significantly alter his view of his own national interest as a result of getting along well.

But it does, the relationship with Russia is one thing that could be a dramatic change to the good as the result of September 11th. You remember Tony Blair said, "the kaleidoscope has been shaken and we watch as the pieces come together in new ways."

And out of evil can come good, and this may be one of them, not the personal issue itself. That began before, but a change in the dynamics and the policies of the United States and Russia.

KING: Senator Shelby, are you surprised at the relationship?

SHELBY: No, I think it's good that they're friendly with each other, maybe a little more than friendly. But, as we all know, substantive decisions have not been made yet.

A lot of them will be deferred, but I believe the Bush-Putin relationship is off to a good start and let's hope it leads to a good understanding and the dynamic change in Russia.

KING: Are you going to make that unanimous Senator Feinstein?

FEINSTEIN: Yes, I'm going to make it unanimous as a matter of fact. And initially, when President Bush said you know, I can see into his heart, I kind of didn't think too much of that comment. But as things have developed, I think the world is much better off if these two Presidents can get along.

If they can get to know each other, if they can establish an element of trust, if they can begin to discuss public policy, many of us in the senate are very concerned on the ballistic missile shield, on the need, if it causes the abrogation of the ABM Treaty, and I think their discussions, while not conclusive at this stage, they can talk to one another.

They can talk frankly and I think the world will be a better place if you can have this kind of relationship and dialog among the world's great leaders.

KING: Hartford, Wisconsin, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Hello.

CALLER: I'm wondering what the panel thinks about the airline security and why they think that the government handling this agency would be any more efficient than any other of the government agencies.

KING: Senator Lugar, a dismayer of government agencies?

LUGAR: Well, the reasoning is that there needs to be a much greater training, uniformity in terms of the standards, and by that I mean people that have sufficient education, are American citizens, are paid well enough so this is not a substitute for a fast-food job. There are a lot of deficiencies in the current situation.

We've been probably fairly lucky thus far, things have not gone worse than they have gone, but I think now the Congress, the airlines, the public want quality and they want to have certainty, and that's just not the personnel.

It's the examination of these bags and the thought that this is going to work for every one of us with greater safety.

KING: Senator Shelby, he was here last night. What do you make thus far of the job Governor Ridge is doing?

SHELBY: I believe Governor Ridge is off to a good start. He has a very difficult job, a very tough challenge ahead of him.

As we all know, he's had experience in the Congress. He's governor of his state. He has the trust of the President, and I believe he's going to do well, but he's going to need all of our help and understanding in the years ahead.

KING: There's a bill in the Senate. I want Senator Mitchell's thought about it. It calls for $3.2 billion to prevent, detect and treat terror related health threats. It calls for stockpiling of vaccines, bipartisanly supported by Kennedy and Frist. Do you think it's going to pass?

MITCHELL: You'll have to ask my colleagues. They're better informed.

KING: No, I want an outside look.

MITCHELL: Well, for an outside look. I think something like it should pass. I don't know about the amount. I don't know the details of it, but I think it should pass.

Can I make one comment on the earlier question? You said a government agency dismayer. I disagree with the premise of the question. The Defense Department are government employees and our soldiers over there. The FBI's a government agency.

The notion that because they're government agency, they're somehow inferior I think is incorrect. Policemen all over the country and firemen are employees of governments.

The fact is we entrust certain critical responsibilities to government, and I think it makes a great deal of sense in terms of the airline security to do that, to upgrade it for the reasons Senator Lugar suggested.

KING: Senator Feinstein, is that bill as offered going to pass?

FEINSTEIN: I think it will pass, whether exactly as it's written right now or not I don't know. But we've become acutely aware. You know, you have for example, almost 40 deadly pathogens in 22,000 different labs in the United States.

You have the ability in the United States now to have individuals get botulism, bubonic plague, Ebola virus, anthrax. This is a mistake.

I was very pleased Secretary Thompson called me, because I have a bill that would change a lot of that. Senator Kyle and our subcommittee has been working to that end, and he said how much he was supportive of it.

I mean I feel very strongly that we have been very lax when it comes to the handling of deadly materials in this country, and we've always taken the optimistic note that well, nothing is really going to go wrong.

We had a warning when someone stole the letterhead from a university and bought plague in a mail order house. That shouldn't be happening in this world today.

So the bioterrorism bill begins to root this out. It also provides for anecdotes. It also provides smallpox vaccinations for some 300 million people just in case. Now it's expensive, but does one want to prepare for just in case? I think so.

KING: New Straitsville, Ohio -- hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question is for Senator Lugar.

KING: Yes. CALLER: Senator Lugar, why are you and Mr. Shelby, you agree -- let's see Senator Lugar disagrees with the nuclear arms that bin Laden has and then Senator Shelby says "I think we should worry about it." Why are both parties are in disagreement?

SENATOR LUGAR: Well, there's no disagreement at all on that issue. I think both of us and Senator Feinstein and Senator Mitchell are very much alarmed that anybody might have their hands on it.

I tried to make the point that the whole point of this war is to keep the hands of terrorist off of those weapons. My point is that thus far, we frankly do not know the possession or the degree of possession of anyone of these materials in the bin Laden-al Qaeda business.

But believe me, everybody in our government's trying to find out, plus all the intelligence agencies we now have liaison with, people on the ground who are searching houses, and have found all of these materials, written materials describing nuclear weapons and how you make them and the devices.

This is very serious and that's why this is a topical situation this evening.

KING: What do you make, Senator Feinstein, of Laura Bush, first First Lady ever to deliver the Presidential radio address tomorrow to talk about the criticism about the way women are handled, were treated in Afghanistan?

FEINSTEIN: I think it's just great. I'm delighted that she's taken this up. I think she'll get the attention that the issue deserves.

The women of the Senate, and this is a bipartisan effort, all of us believe very strongly that the new coalition government in Afghanistan should include women.

The women of Afghanistan really should be the greatest allies we have. They have been put upon and shoved and pushed and rooted out of any legitimate role in that society, and it is a huge human tragedy.

I am just delighted that the First Lady is going to speak about it, become an advocate for change, and I think she will be invaluable in providing a level of leadership that is really significant.

KING: What do you think of it, Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: I agree entirely with my colleague, and I would just make the point that this is a time or rejoicing in Afghanistan. Women going back to school, for example, allowed out on the streets to take their children to health clinics and things that we would believe are absolutely the basis of any humane society.

I think Dianne is absolutely right. Half of the people of Afghanistan have a new life because of the war that we're fighting. Our purpose is to get al Qaeda and bin Laden, but as an incidence of this war, a lot of good things are happening and should happen and should be institutionalized.

KING: Senator Mitchell?

MITCHELL: Well, let's be clear. There are plenty of women who have been leaders of Muslim countries.

The largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia. A woman is the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh is a woman and she defeated another woman who preceded her in the election. The former Ambassador of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, is a woman. So there's nothing inconsistent with Islam and women holding leadership roles.

KING: We thank you all very much, Senators, and we appreciate your being with us. Senators Feinstein, Lugar and Shelby and former Senator George Mitchell.

And we're going to spend some moments with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: She was stuck in traffic in California -- we are certainly going to reschedule her -- but we want to spend some moments with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She has two charity events coming in New York in December with proceeds going to worthy charities. We will talk about that the next time she appears.

But, tell us what happened to your offices at the World Trade Center?

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: Well, Larry, our offices were on the 101st floor with -- and Howard Lutnick had very kindly, for many years now, had given us an office there.

And we were at "Good Morning America" and we watched the airplane go into the Cantor Fitzgerald offices. And, well, we were on our way down to the World Trade Center later on that day and it was just like, well, you can imagine.

KING: What went through you when you saw the planes hit?

FERGUSON: A total disbelief. I thought that air traffic control couldn't have got it so wrong. I absolutely could not believe that it could have been terrorism. I just -- it was such a clear, blue, sunny day. I just couldn't understand. And then, suddenly, it dawned on me.

KING: Did you lose friends?

FERGUSON: Well, we had lots of acquaintances that we used to work with and they were friends. And, of course, Howard's brother died. And we were -- it's all part of the family. Chances for Children was part of the Cantor Fitzgerald family. So, you know, it is just been a very, very difficult time.

KING: Tell us about that -- the little red doll. FERGUSON: This little red doll.

KING: That little red doll which survived it.

FERGUSON: She did. She came up from the rubble.

And what happened was she used to sit in the window at the Chances for Children office on the 101st floor. And, of course, when the disaster happened, somehow, she was found by a fireman. And he put her in his helmet and carried her out. And, for me, because she the sign of the charity for me, it was, you know, now let's go on, let's really fight through and let's beat terrorism by getting on with our daily lives and proving that we are not going to be beaten by it.

KING: Yes.

We'll spend some more moments with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. And, again, we'll reschedule her so we can go into this at greater depth. And we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We'll air the mens and boys choir of St. Agnes Cathedral to close the show on another evening.

We have just a few moments left with Sarah Ferguson. And she'll be rebooked and we'll let you know Monday what date she will be back. How has this energized you?

FERGUSON: Well, Larry, what I believe is that we have -- the way we can really help people is by leading and showing that we, you know -- every one said to me, "You are not going to go back to America after this." And, of course, the first thing I said was yes because I am American.

You know, thanks to the American people, they have given me my life back. They've certainly given my girls their mother back. And I always want every opportunity to thank them for that because they have embraced me. So, you know, the most important thing I can do now is really spend more and more time over here, showing it's OK, we can get on with our regular lives and they are not going to beat us.

KING: Are you going to reopen your foundation offices somewhere else?

FERGUSON: Larry, the foundation is already up and running. We raised close to $100,000 for the 9/11 fund which we started. And, now, we are concentrating on the forgotten children of America, neglected children on the streets, HIV-AIDS children. And Chances for Children is up and running and it's -- we are really going to, you know, kick some shins.

KING: And the -- well, we're running close on time, but the feeling back in your -- the country of England has been tremendous for the United States, has it not? FERGUSON: Well, Larry, it's never been stronger. I think it is a very good solidarity, it is very exciting. And I think that the country really is like the United States.

KING: Thank you, Sarah. We'll see you again soon. Sorry about all the traffic. We'll rearrange it.

FERGUSON: I'm so sorry, Larry. Please have me back.

KING: It's OK, we certainly will. We'll book it and let's let the folks know on Monday.

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

We'll tell you about the weekend and Monday right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night, the I-Man is our special guest on LARRY KING WEEKEND. And we're back in L.A. Monday night with Donald Carty, the president and chief operating officer of American Airlines.

It's New York time and that means NEWSNIGHT and that means Aaron Brown next, in fact, now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


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