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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With James Sensenbrenner; Interview With Julian Epstein; Interview With Nancy Grace

Aired November 30, 2001 - 22:00   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, CNN HOST: Tonight Afghanistan update: U.S. marines on the move around Kandahar and problems with post-Taliban government talks. CNN's Christiane Amanpour is on the scene in Kabul.

Then, Attorney General John Ashcroft slams critics of his anti- terrorism tactics, saying they assume the worst about their own government.

Here to debate Osama bin Laden's legal fate is Congressman James Sensenbrenner, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; former prosecutor turned court TV anchor Nancy Grace; the former chief minority counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, Julian Epstein; and criminal defense attorney, Ron Kuby.

Then, remembering George Harrison, the former Beatle has left the world a legacy of song and caring spirit.

Plus, young Billy Gilman will sing "Gods Alive and Well." they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Christiane Amanpour will be with us throughout the program tonight. But we are going to spend the first segment with her for an update on the latest from Afghanistan. What can you tell us with more U.S. ground troops moving in, Christiane? .

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the battlefront it's hard to exactly discern what the U.S. troops are doing. There is a small pool of journalists with the marines, down in the Kandahar area. And what appears to be going on, according to the journalists down there, is that they are not engaging at this precise moment with Taliban forces, or any others down there. But they are prepared to if the orders come, in the meantime they are preparing their forward position and dealing with all the kinds of things troops deal with when they land in a different country, be prepared for either battle or put pressure on the troops that they are trying to defeat, essentially.

Meantime, the ground forces, there, appear to be the anti-Taliban Pashtun tribal forces, down there. And we are told from officials here in Kabul that they are moving in around the Kandahar district from all different sides. And they are also potentially in negotiations with some Taliban elements over a surrender. As you know, the United States is saying that they would reject any deal that offers an amnesty to Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader and any of the Taliban hierarchy. So that's what we know from the battlefront.

On the diplomatic front, we have just interviewed Dr. Abdullah who is the Northern Alliance foreign minister. And he made very clear that yes there are some differences of opinion in Bonn, at the talks, but he said, that there would be an agreement and an agreement would be concluded, it may not happen as early as Saturday, a U.N. wants, it may take a few more days, he said, but it would come.

KING: Are they confident in that end, because, James Dobbins, the U.S. special representative, says it's too early to call it an impasse, but it's certainly not a togetherness.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's exactly what we are hearing here. There are differences over certain issues, and I think what's the big hold up is trying to approve a list of names, of potential cabinet ministers, if you like. They -- what they're doing in Bonn is hammering out both a future interim cabinet for decision-making purposes, and also sort of a ground -- grand supreme council. And there a lot of names being put forward to hold positions in those two bodies. And that seems to be the stumbling block from the Northern Alliance, but we are being told by key officials here that, come what may, they will come to an agreement even if it means bypassing some reservations in their own delegation.

KING: And we are also learning...

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: ... about -- we are also learning, Christiane, about private relief groups warning of a looming crisis, concerns about lawlessness and banditry, it could keep emergency food from reaching people who need it. Have you heard the same?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, we know from firsthand experience that there is a very insecure situation on many of the roads around the areas, around Kabul and other such places. There have been eight convoys held up and the robber -- the drivers robbed, or the aid hasn't been stolen, we are told. But yes, there is a situation that is fairly insecure. It's not that chaos and anarchy that some people have been reporting, but there are some bandits on the road.

And, obviously, aid organizations want to have a multinational peacekeeping force, a la Bosnia -- if you remember UNPRFOR (ph) was there to guard the transportation of humanitarian supplies. They want a force to be able to protect them. And that is one the issues on the table in Bonn.

KING: Any late word, as we seem to ask every night, on Osama bin Laden?

AMANPOUR: No.

KING: Straight out, just a straight no. Do you keep hearing rumors about him and his whereabouts, by the way? AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean the same as you do, and all sorts of different sources have different ideas and information about what might be the reality. But to be very honest, we don't know. We don't know.

KING: All right, Christiane Amanpour stays with us she'll be with us as the panel assembles. We are going to talk about the proposals about, from the president about military tribunals for people who are apprehended and charged with crimes, people who are not citizens of the United States. Secretary of -- rather the attorney general had something to say about that today, saying that they don't -- people who are critics don't trust their government. We'll have a spirited debate, and we'll get Christiane Amanpour's views as well, from across the Atlantic.

This is LARRY KING LIVE, we will be right back. We'll meet the panel. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: There's continuing controversy in the United States over the president's proposal about military tribunals. To discuss that Christiane Amanpour remains with us in Kabul, Afghanistan; in Washington is Congressman James Sensenbrenner, he is Republican of Wisconsin and chair of the House Judiciary Committee; in New York it's Nancy Grace, former prosecutor and anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV; in Washington it's Julian Epstein, the former chief minority counsel of the House Judiciary Committee; and in New York is Ron Kuby, criminal defense attorney who's been active, by the way, in defending people caught up in the Muslim conspiracy trials, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. And he was on Court TV's documentary last night, called "The System: Osama bin Laden on Trial."

Just a quick update, the president defends these actions, as saying the enemy is declared war on us, and we must not let foreign enemies use forums of liberty, to destroy liberty. Presidential Council Alberto Gonzales writing in "The New York Times," says the order covers only foreign enemy war criminals. "New York Times" columnist Anthony Lewis says the Bush order covers all non-citizens, and there are about 20 million in the United States. And it's not directed only at master minds, or those who participate in the act of terrorism.

Congressman Sensenbrenner, where do you stand?

REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R-WI), JUDICIARY CMTE. CHAIRMAN: I think the president is right. We ought to have at least the option of military tribunals, and the executive order is only limited to non- U.S. citizens violating the laws of war. So I think Mr. Lewis and "The New York Times" is overstating the case. Non-U.S. citizens violating laws of war who are in the United States would be subject to the tribunals. But not necessarily every non-citizen would be subject to the tribunals.

KING: And that decision would be made by the president himself? SENSENBRENNER: That's correct. And I think the president sent a message by signing the executive order, himself, rather than having the attorney general announce it.

KING: And Julian Epstein what's the rub to you?

JULIAN EPSTEIN, FRMR. CHIEF MIN. COUNSEL, HOUSE JUDICIARY CMTE.: Well, there is a number of rubs. I would just respectfully disagree with my old chairman, Mr. Sensenbrenner, in terms of who is covered by this. I think it is covered by anyone the president wants to deem as covered, it's not just the al Qaeda terrorists. The plain language of the order says anybody, who does anything as far harboring someone who is connected to an undefined term of terrorism.

The terrorism conduct isn't defined anywhere within the executive order, so I think the breadth of it is startling. And again, if you go back to Supreme Court precedent, World War II and the Civil War precedent, I think one of the reasons the Supreme Court, one of the continual threads the Supreme Court has issued is that these military tribunals really need to be confined to combatants.

Secondly, I think that it's on very, very shaky ground without constitutional authorization. Chairman Sensenbrenner, I think, has been one of the most effective chairmen ever of the House Judiciary Committee. When they passed the Patriot Act, the authority that the president sought to get so that he could investigate and prosecute these crimes, Chairman Sensenbrenner was able to get through the committee those provisions on a 36 to nothing vote.

It seems to me to be wholly unreasonable to expect that this Congress could -- would not stand shoulder to shoulder with the president in fashioning the appropriate safeguards if you do want to use military tribunals.

KING: Nancy, what's wrong with the idea of having Congress come in and sign off on it?

NANCY GRACE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, traditionally, Congress does not have to approve or second-guess what the president does as commander-in-chief. He has those powers under the constitution. These powers have been exercised throughout history, dating all the way back to George Washington, who ordered the first military tribunal for a British spy that collaborated with Benedict Arnold. There is a very long history of this in our country, and of course it is burning Congress up. They can't get their fingers in the pie.

Long story short, he is the commander-in-chief, he is our president, he has his power, and he is exercising it.

KING: And Ron Kuby, what problem do you see with it?

RON KUBY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, probably the most frightening thing is the way the tribunals themselves can be conducted. The president not only decides who gets tried before these tribunals, his authority there is absolute. There is no appeal. The tribunals themselves dispense with all of the truth-seeking safeguards that we have in the constitutional system.

GRACE: Not true.

KUBY: There is no right to cross-examination, no right to subpoena witnesses, no right to choose your own defense lawyer. Most importantly, there is no right to a fair and impartial jury.

Instead, you have a jury really drawn from subordinate officers to the commander-in-chief.

GRACE: No.

KUBY: To give that much power...

KING: I'm trying -- Nancy, please try not to interrupt, and we will get everybody in order, because when we interrupt, especially by satellite, it's hard to keep up with who's talking.

GRACE: I'm sorry.

KING: Ron, I'm sorry, go ahead.

KUBY: To give that much power in a military tribunal, there has to be some sort of demonstration of overwhelming necessity, and there isn't any here. This country has done an incredible job of prosecuting international terrorists, including al Qaeda terrorists, right here in New York City, protecting classified information, protecting juries, and yet getting convictions.

KING: All right. Now, Christiane, in Kabul, is there talk about this when you talk to diplomats and others overseas? Is there a -- a stream of thought there?

AMANPOUR: No. Look, we are a long way away from a notion of a fair hearing here in Afghanistan, and it's simply not something that is being discussed out here.

First of all in Afghanistan, there is no diplomatic representation. There has been no country that has recognized the Taliban for the last five years, except for Pakistan, and even they don't anymore. So there is no diplomatic presence here that we can talk to. Gradually, people are beginning to come back.

But the notion of even capturing Osama bin Laden alive and bringing him to justice is simply not on people's radar screens out here.

KING: Congressman Sensenbrenner, what's wrong with Ron Kuby's point of you can keep things that are -- that require a military information secret, you can have public trials -- they have had public trials. Why resort to a tribunal?

SENSENBRENNER: Well, Mr. Kuby, with all due respect, is omitting a couple of really important things. I think the conclusive argument in favor of military tribunals is the fact that the prosecution would have to reveal much intelligence information in order to convince the jury to convict the defendant.

In one of the trials of one of the people accused of bombing our embassies in Africa, the information came out that our intelligence agents were intercepting Osama bin Laden's conversations on satellite telephones. After that came out, we weren't able to hear from Osama until September 11. So, having a public trial means that those parts of terrorism networks, including what's left of al Qaeda, should bin Laden or his upper echelon be captured, we would not be able to get at them and to get rid of this scourge on our earth.

KING: Would it be different, Julian, if war were declared?

EPSTEIN: It would help a great deal. and if you would bring Congress in it would help a great deal. And this is the essence. Let me try to go at it a different way, if I could, Larry.

If you agree with the White House legal proposition as it stands today that absent Congress, absent any other branch of government, it has the unilateral authority at times of crisis to essentially suspend the legal system as we know it to the extent that it wants to -- because, remember, tribunals, according to the Supreme Court, can apply to U.S. civilians as well. Then what is terrorism today could be the drug war tomorrow. There is nothing -- if you accept that legal position, then you have to accept the legal position that the president could say tomorrow that the drug war is just as bad, and therefore I am going to suspend the legal system as I know it because this situation is such a grave threat to the United States. And that is the beginnings of a police state.

And secondly, and importantly -- and Chairman Sensenbrenner, as a member of the Judiciary Committee for many years can attest to this -- the Judiciary Committee has given this president authorities that are working right now against terrorists. For example, under the FISA statute, as I said the other night on the program, prosecutors can keep national security information secret. For example, under the same statute, a prosecutor can get warrants, to eavesdrop as to whether domestic cells or foreign terrorist cells without obtaining a warrant based on probable cause.

These authorities have been in place, they have been used, we have convicted terrorists in the United States courts many times. There is no reason why I think we have to begin crossing the Rubicon into what I think is accurately called a police state, and many conservatives are making that point as well.

KING: And Nancy, what's wrong with using all these things if it's protected? What's wrong with it? What's wrong if Congress does the edict? Why is that bad?

GRACE: Nothing. Nothing is wrong with Congress doing the edict, and nothing is wrong with what President Bush has done. And I think we are getting very, very far afield when we start comparing the attack on America, the attack that claimed 4,000 lives in cold blood, to the illicit use of marijuana and cocaine behind closed doors...

EPSTEIN: You're missing the point, Nancy. GRACE: No, I'm not missing the point.

EPSTEIN: You are, you're missing the point.

GRACE: This is an extraordinary time, and normal measures do not apply to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

EPSTEIN: But you're really missing the point, if I may.

GRACE: No. You are missing the point!

(CROSSTALK)

KING: ... yes, you can, but I got to get a break first. We'll come right back with our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The United States and its citizens are at war with terror. Our response has been to wage a deliberate campaign, and arrest and detention of violators and suspected terrorists in order to protect American lives. We are removing suspected terrorists who violate the law from our streets, we have refocused our institutional priorities and resources, we are forging new relationships of cooperation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK, Julian, where is Nancy wrong?

EPSTEIN: Well, just to bring the viewers up to date in terms of what we were disagreeing on, I said that if you accept the proposition that the president has the authority unilaterally, without any congressional involvement whatsoever, to suspend laws today, in the name of terrorism which is, we all agree, a grave threat, then you agree with the basic proposition that the president has the unilateral authority, absent any congressional declaration of war, absent any congressional involvement, to determine under what circumstances the laws of this country can be suspended. Remember, these tribunals can be applied to civilians as well. Now where that is wrong, Nancy?

GRACE: Well, first of all, President Bush has not suspended the law. He is exercising the law.

EPSTEIN: I'm not talking about what he has done. I'm talking about the consistency of your legal position.

GRACE: What may happen in the future? Number one, nothing has been done unconstitutionally. In fact, I would like to point out that not one single constitutional challenge has been filed as of tonight at 9:00 p.m.

EPSTEIN: That means nothing, Nancy. They will be filed, but this doesn't mean anything.

GRACE: Believe you me, Julian, with all the civil libertarians attorneys in this country, if there were a constitutional infraction, a legitimate one, believe me they would be lining up at the court house to file a lawsuit you.

EPSTEIN: Nancy, can you explain this? You didn't answer the previous point that I made about what you are stating the legal position of the White House is because, as I said, I think that if you accept it, you accept a lot of other things. But secondly, you continue to say this is not constitutional. In the 1942 case...

GRACE: No, I say it is constitutional.

EPSTEIN: That it is constitutional rather. In the 1942 case, the Queran (ph) case, the Supreme Court specifically says, and it hasn't been overturned since, that it is unresolved whether the president unilaterally has this authority. So where do you get off saying that this is constitutional?

GRACE: Without congressional approval -- in other words, Julian, the Supreme Court did not reach the issue as to whether or not the president could declare this tribunal without congressional approval. They left that question unsaid.

(CROSSTALK)

EPSTEIN: They said it was unnecessary because Congress had done it.

GRACE: That is right, Julian. They did not outlaw it. Thank you.

KUBY: It probably should be noted that this is the same Supreme Court which also authorized the internment of the Japanese during World War II and also authorized legalized segregation. So I don't know if we should necessarily look to that court for guidance one way or the other.

But I think that we ignore the importance of a trial when we talk about the need to protect intelligence information. And there are procedures in place in American law. The Classified Information Procedures Act protects intelligence information from public disclosure. But the reason that we have trials is because of the moral authority of a public and fair trial.

The reason the Israelis didn't execute Eichmann when they certainly could have, the reason we tried Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg was to awaken the conscience of the world to the atrocities that had been committed. And that is not something that can be accomplished by some drumhead tribunal in some naval base.

KING: You know, Congressman, isn't secrecy something that it's basically anti-American?

SENSENBRENNER: Sure it is basically anti-American, but there are some things that have got to be done in secret. And I'd like to know how you would be able to find a judge, prosecutors and jurors in a public trial of somebody like Osama bin Laden who would not fear for their lives and fear for their families for being kidnapped and being held for ransom in exchange for bin Laden getting out of the dock.

Now very often, jurors decide a case based upon fear for themselves and fear for their families' safety, particularly in criminal trials with crimes of violence. And, I don't think that the interest of justice would be served in having a defense bar turn a public trial of Osama bin Laden in to something like the O.J. case.

EPSTEIN: Larry, can I comment about secrecy.

KING: Yes.

EPSTEIN: Because as somebody who has been, you know, defending, I think, some of the civil libertarians tonight, I think secrecy is a good idea in many of these trials because I don't think we want these courts to be mechanisms whereby we can telegraph national security information to al Qaeda, to other terrorists. So I think there is some basis for secrecy.

However, as was just pointed out, under the CIPA statute which was just cited, you can go in -- which Congress was involved in -- you can go in and suppress information that is important to the national security, only you have a judge...

KING: But you still have a public trial?

EPSTEIN: You can have a public trial or you can close off part of the trial, but you have a judge making that determination rather than the president being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, everything else.

KING: Christiane, is there any understanding in Afghanistan about Western justice? Is that generally understood or are we talking apples and oranges when you talk about it out there?

AMANPOUR: Well, there is no experience with Western justice. And as you know, well certainly under the Taliban, it was all Islamic justice. And they even suggested bringing Osama bin Laden to justice in an Islamic court, the Sharia court. That, of course, was rejected and, in fact, most people in the United States -- the officials who are trying to negotiate or get Osama bin Laden to justice -- were not -- they did not believe the Taliban would ever hand him over.

But in terms of how he might be dealt with if he was brought in alive, if he was ever found, in many of the countries in this region against whom he has issued many, many threats, particularly Saudi Arabia, as you can imagine there is no tradition of the kind of justice that the United States has or the Western democratic world has. Here there would probably be, you know, secret and summary trials and a swift trip to either the firing squad or the scaffolding. So it's a different mentality altogether.

KING: Would the coalition, Christiane, be affected if Osama bin Laden were brought back to the United States for a trial?

AMANPOUR: Well, I think that as we mentioned sort of last night, I think that many people in -- who are looking at this and are trying to figure out what may or may not happen, are concerned about the possibility of creating -- whatever you like -- a focus for other terrorists acts.

On the other hand, people have said quite rightly that other terrorist suspects and masterminds have been put on trial in the United States and successfully prosecuted, convicted in some cases, and imprisoned. And there have not been those kinds of reprisal attacks in the rest of the world here. So it is hard, I think, for people to really know exactly what is the best way to go.

KING: Let's take a call from Staten Island, New York -- hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, how are you?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: My husband is a fireman, so I was directly affected by what happened on 9/11. And as an American citizen who is a taxpayer, I was wondering who pays for the military tribunal? And I would just like to say that I do trust in my president to do the right thing.

KING: Who pays, Congressman?

SENSENBRENNER: Taxpayers pay for it, but the taxpayers pay for criminal trials in the courts. I guess I can say that if bin Laden was brought to trial in a New York state court, it might be just the taxpayers of New York state that would pay rather than all of us in the country.

KING: Ron, once a criminal lawyer told me that if the facts are on his side, he would rather have a military tribunal because they learn to put extraneous things out. They are taught to be disciplined, the jury in a military tribunal.

If that is true, couldn't, in a sense, Osama bin Laden get a fairer trial in a military tribunal than he would in a public court harangue in a New York state with crowds and mobs outside? And a jury would be hard to find.

KUBY: We have to draw a distinction between military courts and military tribunals. I've practiced before military courts. I've tried many court-martials. Those proceedings can be very fair indeed. But the type of court that's organized under the uniform code of military justice, with its procedural protections, with its appeals to civilian courts, none of those protections exist within the context of the military tribunal that's been set up.

KING: All right. In a military tribunal, what rights does the accused have?

KUBY: The only right the accused has, according to the executive order, is the right to a fair trial. And the people who decide what is fair is the members of the tribunal and the president. There is no appeal to the Supreme Court, to an outside court. There is no guarantee of the right of cross-examination, the right to confront witnesses, the right to have witnesses identified. None of those protections exist in the executive order.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: And, Julian, how do you react, Julian, to General Ashcroft's statement that the complaints are saying you don't think your country will be fair?

EPSTEIN: You know, I just don't think that is particularly helpful. I heard somebody from the civil libertarian organization in the "New York Times" today make what I thought was a very scathing attack against the administration, that they were somehow the enemies of the Constitution.

I think that comment by that individual from the civil liberties organization was highly irresponsible. I don't think it's useful for us to start getting into ad hominem attacks. I mean, I think what we are talking about are very, very important principles: How do you deal with such massive criminality in this time of what is essentially war? Do you have to, in order to be tough -- and look, all of us want to be as tough on these terrorists as the next person. There is not the slightest bit of sympathy from people who believe that we ought to use the constitutional process. The real question is: In our desire to get swift and real justice here, do we have to wreck those things that are so precious to us that make this country so good? And I think we are better than that. I don't think we have to resort -- we have to cross this kind of rubicon into what I think is the beginnings of a police state.

KING: And what, Nancy, is wrong with that response?

GRACE: There is absolutely nothing wrong with that response in normal peacetime. Our court system is set up for peacetime. We are at war. We have been attacked.

And I respect the caller's question as to who will pay for this. A trial in a normal setting will cost millions and millions of dollars. And any defense attorney worth his or her salt will delay, delay, delay. Justice will not be received for years.

Under the military tribunal, there will be a defense attorney for the defendant. A record will be kept and sent to be reviewed by the secretary of defense and the president. This is by far more liberty ever granted to other war criminals. We're in a whole different ball game now. This is war.

KING: I got to get a break. We'll come right back with more of our panel on this issue. This is LARRY KING LIVE.

By the way, among our guests next week will be Dan Rather from Kabul and Don Rumsfeld. This is LARRY KING LIVE in Los Angeles. We'll be back with guests and more calls after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have interviewed groups of individuals we think might be ideally and specially situated in a way to help us avoid the additional carnage of a subsequent attack. And we have never forgotten that this attack was not an attack merely on America. We have understood 86 nations lost lives in the September 11 terrorist attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHCROFT: Our efforts have been deliberate. They've been coordinated. They've been carefully crafted to not only protect America, but to respect the Constitution and the rights enshrined therein. Still there have been a few voices who have criticized. Some have sought to condemn us with faulty facts or without facts at all. Others have simply rushed to judgment, almost eagerly assuming the worst of their government before they've had a chance to understand it at its best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let me reintroduce panel. In Kabul, Afghanistan is Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent; in Washington is Congressman James Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and chair of House Judiciary; in New York is Nancy Grace, former prosecutor, anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV; in Washington, Julian Epstein, former chief minority counsel of the House Judiciary Committee; and in New York is Ron Kuby, the very well-known criminal defense attorney.

Let's take another call. Jupiter, Florida hello.

CALLER: Yes, regarding the military tribunal. Has the panel heard the expression all is fair in love and war, meaning you unique and drastic situations merit unique and drastic measures?

KING: How do you respond to that, Ron?

KUBY: Well, I think that that it's a fine slogan, but it's not at all clear to me what the drastic need is here for these tribunals. We can protect classified information. We certainly can protect judges and juries. And I know many federal judges who would more than have the courage to sit in these trials. And jurors do their job in the face of intimidation every day.

It's almost, these tribunals are a radical solution in search of a problem. The courts in this country have put over a million people in prison, who are in prison right now, whether they be al Qaeda terrorists or drug dealers. These courts honed over 200 years of constitutional struggle. It's the greatest justice system that's ever been devised. And I don't think we need to scrap it or shortchange ourselves out of fear. KING: Erie, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Yes, sir. I would like -- you mentioned security, and I'd like to ask what kind of security would it take to bring somebody like an Omar and Osama bin Laden into this country?

KING: Well, let's ask that of Christiane. What would it be like over there, do you think, to get Osama bin Laden out of there, back to here?

AMANPOUR: Well, it's just -- I mean these are fantastical questions. And it's really hard to get my mind around this thought. First of all, we don't know where they are. We understand from the military and from experts here on the ground people have been fighting for a long time, that they could potentially be in very, very heavily fortified difficult to reach tunnels and caves.

And the notion that they're going to be found and somehow led away into a car, and put on to a helicopter and taken somewhere and brought, is just difficult to get my head around at the moment. And I think that it would take a huge amount of military security to accomplish this fact at this precise time.

KING: Christiane, would Noriega be an example?

AMANPOUR: I think the question -- well, probably, but I think this is even more difficult, frankly. But I think the question is more -- was more directed for your U.S. guests because I thought the question was about security in the United States.

KING: I thought about first over there and then when they get here. OK, Congressman, well said. What happens when they get here, if we get them here? What would that be like? How are you going to handle that?

SENSENBRENNER: Well, I think you'd have to have most of the Army surrounding the courthouse with the mob outside, you know, crying for justice. And how you draw an impartial jury remains to be seen, but I would imagine the first motion of defense bar would make is to complain that the special forces squad that went into the cave to pick up Omar and bin Laden didn't have a search warrant and didn't read them their Miranda rights as they were being dragged out kicking and screaming.

These are the kinds of problems that you have if you have a regular, ordinary criminal trial. Now what the President has done is he said that military tribunals are an option. We use military tribunals effectively to try German and Japanese war criminals at the end of World War II.

The trials were fair. There were some that were acquitted. There were some that were sentenced to death. But we didn't have justice delayed, being justice denied, and defense lawyers making motion after motion after motion to try to prevent justice from being administered.

KING: Well said. Julian, what would a trial be like?

EPSTEIN: Well, I -- you know, just to respond to what Congressman Sensenbrenner did -- has just said. If we would use the same procedures in terms of the involvement of the Congress and the proper constriction of how far the military tribunals would go, the same way we did in 1942, I'd have far less of a problem using them against Osama bin Laden.

If they were to come here, I imagine, Larry, and I think our military has done a brilliant job. I've supported President Bush in every aspect of the military operation whatsoever. I think if they came, if there was to be a trial say in New York, it would happen the same way, the other I think 15 terrorists have been tried, including the ones that bombed the World Trade Center in '93. And I think you'd get successful prosecutions. And I think the criminals would have the worst fate awaiting for them.

KING: Nancy, you think it would be the same if it were Osama bin Laden in New York, as it was at the previous trials?

GRACE: No, I do not. And I think we're so far afield. And it concerns me, Larry, when I hear the question, what's the drastic problem? I would point everybody's direction to the end of this island where 4,000 people lost their lives, people that lost lives in the air, like my friend Barbara Olson. That is what is drastic.

And ask yourselves, would we have wanted to try Hitler here? Would we have wanted to try Mussolini here if we had the opportunity? Military war crimes and civilian courts do not mix.

KING: Christiane, you wanted to say something?

AMANPOUR: Look, I have had a little bit of few minutes to gather my wits about me. And I would just like to point to something that is actually going on in the ground in another part of the world.

In the Balkans, for instance, there are many indicted war criminals, who remain at large and many who have either surrendered or who have been captured and brought to the Hague. That is one example to look at. It's by no means clear that it would be the same sort of situation here.

But you know, there are many people in the U.S. military, who believe that the two most notorious criminals at large in the Balkans could be brought to justice, and indeed should be captured right now, as a clear sign of what the United States military can do. And these people who have already been arrested have been taken to the Hague, are in jail cells there and will go on trial. So this one kind of example of perhaps, what's being discussed right now.

KING: Congressman, do you think the government wants bin Laden brought back to trial or do you think they want him killed?

SENSENBRENNER: Well, the President has said he wants him dead or alive. I prefer to have him caught dead simply because that way, we would not have to face how to administer justice to him. But for every bin Laden, there are probably 100 or 1,000 other people, who are involved in terroristic acts that violate the laws of war. And they would be subject to a military tribunal, under the executive order that the President signed.

KING: We'll be right back. I've got to take a break there, congressman.

SENSENBRENNER: It's more than bin Laden.

KING: Well said. We'll be right back and get some final thoughts from each of our panelists. This not the last time we will cover this topic. And then a tribute to George Harrison. Then a very special close tonight. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: About 30 seconds each for a little summation here. Christiane, from your viewpoint over there, what do you make of all of this?

AMANPOUR: Well, there are certainly many people here who do not believe that Osama bin Laden will be taken alive because they don't believe he will allow himself to be taken alive. But having said what I said about the Balkans, perhaps many commentators and military people who I've talked to, think that the United States could make a demonstration of what it is able to do, and send a strong message to the Muslim world if it picks up Radko and Radovan Karadzic, people who were indicted for genocide against hundreds of thousands of people in the Muslim part of Bosnia.

KING: Well said, Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent in Kabul.

In Washington, Congressman Sensenbrenner, where do you think it's all going to go?

SENSENBRENNER: Well, contrary to a lot of the heated reactions, military tribunals are within our legal tradition. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt all used them in times war. They are, I grant you, an unusual measure, but these are unusual times. And it was an act of war that killed 4,000 people in the World Trade Center and about 400 people in the Pentagon and on the plane that crashed into it.

KING: Julian, 30 seconds.

EPSTEIN: Brilliant military operation by the Bush administration. President Bush has done miraculously on this. I would just hope that they would use that same brilliance when it comes to the law. I think the military tribunals are very questionable constitutionally. Congress should be brought into it. The scope should be narrowed. And we should be beginning to develop, an interim judicial process in Afghanistan, because I think some of the Afghanistan people are going to want to have something to say when it comes to justice for these terrorists. KING: Nancy Grace?

GRACE: Well, this is not law school. This not some case study. This is a war to the tune of 4,000 American lives. They're still pulling out bodies as we speak from under the World Trade Center. The country is almost unanimously supporting Bush's moves, what he is advancing. And in my opinion, defense attorneys here and civil libertarians are more interested in their client's safety than our country's safety.

KING: And Ron Kuby, finally your ball.

KUBY: Yes, for over two centuries, we've had heroic judges and heroic juries sit in judgment. We've had aggressive defense lawyers defending people's rights, trying to prevent the government from making error. And we've had courageous prosecutors who have stood up to all kinds of threats, including criminals, far more fierce than Osama bin Laden. And to cast all of that aside, in fear of a man who right now is hiding in a cave, communicating with a Radio Shack walkie-talkie as the U.S. military closes in on him...

KING: We're out of time.

KUBY: Terrible thing.

KING: Thanks, Ron. And thanks, too, to our panel.

Music lovers around the world are mourning the loss of former Beatle George Harrison. He died yesterday in L.A. after a brave battle against cancer. He was 58.

Some called him the quiet Beatle. He sometimes described himself as the economy class member of the Fabulous Four. Among the many people remembering this gifted musician and deeply spiritual man, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL MCCARTNEY, BEATLES: Devastated obviously, like everyone else. He had a long battle with his cancer, but I saw him a few weeks ago. And he was full of fun like he always was. He's such a brave lad.

(SINGING)

To me, he's just my little baby brother. We grew up together and I knew him in my hometown of Liverpool. And we just had so many beautiful times together that that's what I'm going to remember.

(SINGING)

Lovely guy. He was full of humor, as I say, even though I saw him last time and he was obviously very unwell. He was still cracking jokes like he always was.

(SINGING)

He'll be sorely missed. He was a beautiful man. And the world will miss him

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This statement released this afternoon by Bob Dylan. "George was a giant, a great, great soul with all of the humanity, all of the wit and humor, all of the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and a compassion for people. He inspired love. He had the strength of 100 men. He was like the sun, the flowers, and the moon. We'll miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him." From Bob Dylan.

From all of us, our condolences. Half of the Fabulous Four are gone.

When we come back, the incredible young Billy Gilman with a terrific song to close it out. Don't go away many.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We always close things out on a musical note of hopefully set our heights soaring. Joining us is the incredible 13-year-old country music sensation Billy Gilman. He joins us in New York. His newest album is "Dare to Dream." George Harrison was not your generation at all, Billy. Any thoughts on him?

BILLY GILMAN, SINGER: It's just amazing, because you know how there is only two Beatles left, you know. And my grandfather Bumpy Gilman is actually fighting the same disease that he had. And so, I know how it feels.

KING: You were in New York on September 11, right? For what? The Michael Jackson tribute concert?

GILMAN: Yes, it was so much fun. I just had a blast. It was great. And of course, all good things must come to end. And it did that day. And when we found out, we just had to get out of the city because being with family, I mean, that's what counts right now, you know?

KING: Billy, in your case, we hope your voice doesn't change. You're at that age.

GILMAN: I know it.

KING: Billy Gilman. The song he's going to sing, written by Bruce Roberts, one of the more talented men in the world of music. The song is "God's Alive and Well." It's from Billy's latest album, "Dare to Dream." Here is the young sensation coming to us from our New York bureau to close things out. Billy Gilman and "God's Alive and Well."

Billy?

(MUSIC, BILLY GILMAN, "GOD'S ALIVE AND WELL") (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let me give you a rundown of some upcoming programs.

Tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND, a panel of religious leaders will be with us in a fascinating discussion. Sunday night on the second edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND, Vaclav Havel, the president of the Czech Republic, will be aboard. So will Colin Powell and John McCain.

Monday night, Dan Rather will be a special guest from his new slot in Kabul, Afghanistan. And next Wednesday night, the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, will join us.

We hope that you have a great weekend. Next, wishing him a great weekend as well, the anchor of NEWSNIGHT, in New York, here's Aaron Brown.

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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