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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Special Edition: Remembering 9/11

Aired September 11, 2004 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, September 11, 2004. Three years ago today America learned just how vulnerable it was to cold, calculating evil.
How much safer are we now, and how much still needs to be done? We'll ask Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. And then former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, his extraordinary leadership after 9/11 made his America's mayor. And then later, veteran CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer, the host of "Face the Nation"; Senator Jon Kyl, chairman of the terrorism subcommittee; Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking minority member of the terrorism subcommittee; Representative Chris Shays, chairman of the House National Security subcommittee; and Representative Jane Harman, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.

All next on a special September 11 edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin in New York with Secretary Tom Ridge, the director of homeland security. Three years ago today he was governor of Pennsylvania.

Tom, where were you that morning?

TOM RIDGE, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Larry, I was at home in Erie, Pennsylvania, visiting my mother, who at the time was in the hospital.

KING: How did you learn of what was going on?

RIDGE: I remember vividly walking up the driveway. One of the Pennsylvania state policemen told me about the first incident, moved into the house and called my emergency management folks to see what they learned.

The second plane hit, and I was watching the broadcast when one of the reporters on television talked about an explosion on the other side of the Pentagon. And then later that day, I ended up in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where incidentally today we celebrated the heroes and the heroines of that particular day, as well.

KING: What was it like for you today?

RIDGE: Larry, you know, if you -- America's getting to know the moms and the dads and the spouses of these extraordinary people. And you begin to better understand why they brought some steely resolve, understanding their fate, and the notion that they were not going to die in vain.

And as painful as it must be for all these people, the fact that they can think of their spouses, think of their sons and daughters as heroes and heroines, and they certainly were, because they obviously avoided a tragedy -- a much greater tragedy than the one that occurred. The plane was heading to Washington, D.C.

KING: They knew they were going to die, didn't they?

RIDGE: You know, I talked to one proud mother. It's a sad day of remembrance for her, but her son -- son or daughter said to her, "Mom, I love you, but I have to go now. We're going to rush the cockpit."

So you think about that, you close your eyes and imagine your son or daughter, husband or wife being in that position. It's a compelling story. It's a story of great heroism.

KING: September is National Preparedness Month. Are we prepared?

RIDGE: We are getting more and better prepared every day. The preparedness month is really an effort, again, to answer the question that a lot of Americans have asked us, "What could we do to help?"

And we say to them, quite simply, have a communication plan with your family. Have a little kit on the side and stay informed, just like a lot of people are preparing, unfortunately, for the third hurricane down in Florida. People prepare for hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

On the broader stage, the broader context, Larry, we are certainly better, safer and much stronger than we were because of the integration of people and technology at our seaports, airports, borders and the like.

KING: Have we stopped some things we don't know about that don't make headlines nor that you don't tell the public?

RIDGE: Intuitively, I must tell you that we have. We know from the interrogation of individuals that when we ramped up our awareness or vigilance, and we've added in additional security measures, that at least causes them to pull back and postpone.

And every day we can buy, every day that we can get through where nothing happens, as the entire country takes on the mission of getting safer and stronger, we add one more level of protection or security.

So we're quite confident that one of these days we'll be able to demonstrate that added vigilance and more security, not just by the federal government, Larry, but there's some great folks out there at the state and local level in the private sector that had this as their mission and their mandate, as well.

A lot of people think homeland security is just our cabinet agency, but actually it's the integration of a country, and it's the mission and the mandate of an entire nation.

KING: What do you think of the idea that the mission and one super -- super body covering all of these agencies?

RIDGE: Larry, I think the president has embraced it. He certainly thinks it's a good idea. And the 9/11 Commission certainly thought it was a good idea. Actually, it's a natural follow-on in many instances in some of the things we've already done.

Right after 9/11, the president instructed that we have a single place where all the analysts could go and everybody could have eyes on information collected by everybody. We can -- one place where we consolidate all the watch lists and all the names of terrorists and potential terrorists.

And we've got one place where we evaluate all shipping containers coming in. We take a look at the manifests. We evaluate, do a background check of -- a name check on all foreign passengers coming in.

So the extent that we are going to build on the -- these initiatives and the National Counterterrorism Center and then give a single individual the responsibility to oversee the budgets within the intelligence community. If we do it right -- the devil's always in the details -- when we do it right, it could be a significant addition to the many, many reforms that already occurred since 9/11.

KING: Do we learn from events like happened in Spain and in Russia?

RIDGE: Unfortunately, when the horror of those kinds of tragedies befall other countries and other innocents, we do learn. The -- the international community, tragically, has discovered that the threat of global terrorism, while it may be primarily directed at the United States, is not something from which they are immune. And there's been enormous collaboration.

And frankly, when we learn lessons that can be applied in the United States, quite often in conjunction with the FBI, we take those lessons and we make sure that the people who could use that information and use that knowledge have it available to them, in order to prevent or detect a similar kind of attack.

KING: You do not, then, fear complacency?

RIDGE: I do not. As a matter of fact, Larry, I think, among the security professionals and law enforcement professionals around this country, it is every bit as high and as sustained as it was the few months after 9/11.

And I could argue that with the infusion of $8 billion, that had been appropriated, then used for training and equipment with them getting more and more information, because from side to side at the federal level and from top to bottom, from the federal down to the state to the local, we're sharing more information.

I think the intensity and the commitment to getting it done and then sustaining it...

KING: Wow.

RIDGE: ... is as good as it's ever been.

KING: Thanks, Mr. Secretary Ridge. Always great seeing you.

RIDGE: Thank you very, very much.

KING: Secretary Tom Ridge, the Department of Homeland Security.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani's next. Don't go away.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We are approaching a couple minutes after 9, and as promised, all the lights in the Empire State Building have been darkened to commemorate this date and this particular hour.

Joining us is Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of the city of New York. And before we talk about that day, a look at the mayor in action on 9/11 and the days that followed. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor, what's the situation right now?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: The situation is that two airplanes have attacked, apparently -- what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GIULIANI: All right. Let's go north, then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that basically what happened, two airplanes?

GIULIANI: True. Come with us. Come with us. Let's talk a little later, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

GIULIANI: I know New Yorkers have a strong spirit. We can absorb anything and we can overcome anything. We've been handed, probably, one of the most difficult things in our history.

And these terrorist cowards are not going to be allowed to break our spirit. In fact, they made a very big mistake. They made the United States of America much, much stronger than it was last Monday.

I feel terrible for the people that we've lost, some of whom I talked to just 15 minutes before we lost them. And the city is going to survive. We're going to get through it. It's going to be a very, very difficult time. I don't think we yet know the pain that we're going to feel when we find out who we've lost.

But the thing we have to focus on now is getting the city through this, and surviving and being stronger for it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Was today a tough day for you, Rudy?

GIULIANI: Yes, it was. It was more difficult, even, than I thought it would be. Somehow, it's even more difficult, remembering now and seeing all the people, particularly all the people at Ground Zero. You know, I've gotten to know so many of them, been to so many of the funerals and memorial services, to see them in such pain.

And then you kind of relive, when you go down there, where you were, where you last saw someone, where I shook hands with Father Judge or Pete Ganci, you know, right before they died.

And so it kind of all -- it comes back to you.

KING: Where did your confidence come from?

GIULIANI: Maybe my father. Or my mother or, you know, growing up in New York, growing up in the streets of Brooklyn or who knows? Who knows where it comes from? Maybe from God. I don't know.

You really had no choice but to be confident. I mean, there was no -- your back is up against the wall, so you have a choice of either shriveling up or -- or just fighting back. And it seemed to me that a much better course, you know, for New York was to fight back.

KING: Is it good to do what we did today? Is it good to remember?

GIULIANI: Yes, sure it is. Absolutely. You have to remember, it's enormously valuable and important.

KING: But painful.

GIULIANI: Very, very painful. Very difficult. Very painful for -- for the families of -- of the people who were lost. But also, in a way, it helps them. Because it says to them that the person they've lost, the loved one that they've lost, is remembered.

And something positive will come from this, which is that we won't go back to the days in which, maybe, we weren't paying enough attention to terrorism or we weren't taking it as seriously as we should be taking it.

And for me it was even maybe a little bit more difficult because I just came back from Russia, and I was there for the last four days, watching a kind of very similar thing happen to the Russian people, in dealing particularly with the killing of all those -- you know, all those children, which was devastating.

KING: Does this then tell you this could happen anywhere, any time, to anyone?

GIULIANI: Sure. Absolutely. I mean, I think we realized that on September 11 and the days after that. But now, it's been proven to be the case. There have been attacks in Bali, Madrid and Beslan. Every place is vulnerable.

And the fact is that that should -- that should get us together. I mean, that should -- that should create the sense that we're not going to -- we're not going to appease terrorism any longer, like we had before September 11.

KING: Is it possible to say, with full knowledge, that we're safer now?

GIULIANI: Well, sure we're safer now. I mean, you know, we're much safer now than we were before September 11, 2001. That doesn't mean we're safe. That doesn't mean that there isn't a tremendous amount more that has to be done.

But you'd have to -- I mean, all you'd have to do is go in an American airport today or go into a building in New York, in which the security is significantly greater than it was on September 11, or have some understanding of what the joint terrorism task force and, you know, the information they're receiving.

Right before the Republican convention, there was an arrest here in New York of people who had plans to -- to do damage to the subways. There's a -- there's a focus on intelligence and a gathering of intelligence and a focus on security that didn't exist before.

Now, is there a tremendous amount more that has to be done? Absolutely. Of course, there is. And even after we do all that, we're going to be vulnerable, because we're such a big country that, you know, we're always going to have to deal and live with this risk.

KING: So the way of the world is always means always, right?

GIULIANI: Always means always, and it also -- you know, you're vulnerable at so many different points. And the terrorists that we're dealing with look for the places that we haven't anticipated and the places that we haven't thought about to -- to take advantage of us and to attack us.

So, I mean, the best -- the best way to deal with this is to be relentlessly prepared for all the things that you can think of. And then if the unthinkable happens again, we'll at least be able to -- to deal with it more effectively.

I -- I think we should be putting, you know, a lot more emphasis on biological and chemical attacks. That's part of the discussions I had with the Russian government. I mean, that's an area in which we don't have as much experience.

Our police departments and fire departments and emergency services all throughout the country have at least a basic level of preparedness for physical attack. But we don't have that same level of preparedness for biological, chemical or possibly maybe the worst of all, you know, the dirty bombs that -- that are conceivable now.

KING: Are biological and chemical easier to get in?

GIULIANI: Sure. They're easier to get in and as we saw with the anthrax attacks in October of 2001, which weren't -- there were not a significant number of attacks, but they kind of -- kind of pushed our resources pretty far.

And it's an area in which there's less knowledge, less preparation, less experience on a day-to-day basis. And it's something that I think we, you know -- not only we but I'm talking about all the countries, you know, Russia and France and England and all the places that are vulnerable have to -- have to...

KING: Now...

GIULIANI: ... be prepared for it.

KING: We get a break. We'll come back and spend a couple more moments with Mayor Giuliani, take a couple phone calls, as well. And then our panel will assemble. This is a special Saturday night live edition of LARRY KING LIVE, the third anniversary of 9/11. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Rudy Giuliani. There are powerful lights. You see them, I think, inspired by the Twin Towers. They're projected upward, to remain on through the night. The memorial lights were first seen six months after the attack, with a plan to light them each year for the anniversary. An excellent idea.

Let's take a few calls for Mayor Giuliani. Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Hi, there.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I have a question. The world -- and a comment. First of all, the world was definitely with New York and America after September 11. Now, Tom Ridge spoke about innocent -- innocent life being taken.

And in Iraq, we've had maybe up to 11,000 innocent civilians, including many women and children, killed. Should they not be remembered in some fashion?

KING: Mayor?

GIULIANI: Well, I mean, the fact is that whenever that happens as a result of war, it's a terrible and tragic thing, and they should be remembered.

But the purpose of that was to remove a horrific dictator who had killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, used weapons of mass destruction. And the people of Iraq are much better off without him in power. And would you propose putting him back in power?

I mean, the reality is that that had to be done if you wanted to destabilize world terrorism. It's totally unrealistic to think that you can end global terrorism and not remove Saddam Hussein.

He was a -- one of the primary pillars of support for global terrorism. He was sitting on top of billions of dollars that could be used to support global terrorist movements. He had Abu Nadal, who was in Iraq. And he was slaughtering his own people.

So it was a terrible price to pay, but in the long run, one that will mean that far many more Iraqi lives will be saved as a result of it.

KING: Elwood City, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you, Larry?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I have one question, Mr. Giuliani.

GIULIANI: Sure.

CALLER: Are you going to run? I'm a flaming liberal. You are the only Republican I would ever vote for.

KING: Well, don't catch fire.

Are you going to run for higher office?

GIULIANI: That -- it's not something I'm thinking about now. It's not something I would even want to contemplate on a night like this. You know, this is not a night for politics.

KING: No.

GIULIANI: At all. But thank you. Thank you for the -- I'm complimented by it.

KING: Flaming endorsement.

GIULIANI: Right, the flaming endorsement. I guess I'm used to it, coming from New York, which is a city that has many flaming liberals.

KING: I've heard.

Birmingham, Alabama, hello.

CALLER: Mayor Giuliani, I'd like to ask what the final death toll was from the World Trade Centers, how many were positively identified? And are there any remains that are not yet identified?

GIULIANI: There are some. The -- there are some that are -- that are not positively identified yet. It's a very small number. I don't know. I don't know the exact -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't be able to tell you. And I don't want to hesitate a guess on what the exact number is.

But it's a very small number that have not been positively identified. There are still some identifications that are taking place through DNA analysis.

And -- and the death toll turned out to be, you know, somewhat under 3,000. When I was first notified of it, which would have been about one hour after the -- the building came down, I was told that over 12,000 people had died at the World Trade Center.

KING: Wow.

GIULIANI: That was the calculation of the Port Authority, based on the number of people that were in the building and the number of people they estimated could be -- could be taken out by the fire department, the police department or the rescue workers.

And one of the reasons I'm so proud of the New York City Fire Department and police department and rescue workers is they saved, you know, 10,000, 12,000 more lives than anyone thought they'd be capable of.

KING: Yes. The total is, we're told, 2,749. There would have been more if it were after 9 a.m., right? More people would have come to work?

GIULIANI: Very interesting, Larry, you know, yes. I mean, as a New Yorker, you understand that. And I've always understood that. New York is a late arriving city.

KING: Yes.

GIULIANI: Some other cities start earlier, you know, like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

KING: Right.

GIULIANI: But New York is a city that starts between 9 and 10, maybe even 10:15. And then works very late at night.

KING: Right.

GIULIANI: So yes, it would have been -- it would have been a little bit more if it were later.

But really, the key to it were the firefighters and the police officers standing their ground and walking into the fire while people were walking out. And therefore creating a somewhat calmer evacuation than would have been the case if the firefighters and the police officers had thought about themselves and run out.

KING: Only have about a minute left. I don't want to get too political, but Vice President Cheney said we might get hit again if -- if Kerry is elected. Then he amended that to say -- you don't want to say if anyone is elected we could still get hit again.

Any thoughts on that statement?

GIULIANI: My -- you know, everyone knows that I'm a very big supporter of the president and the vice president. But I actually don't think tonight's a night for politics.

The thing I remember about September 11 was that in the days after that, there were no Republicans and Democrats.

KING: Yes.

GIULIANI: And we came together. And we're going to have to do that after this election, no matter how it comes out. I hope and pray it's the president, but you know, American elections, the electorate decides and then we've got to get together.

KING: And one other thing. What do you make of what they're going to build there?

GIULIANI: You know, nothing would ever satisfy me, Larry. I know...

KING: I know why.

GIULIANI: ... I'm too emotional about it, and I lost too many people. I held them and shook hands with them, you know, and then lost them.

I'm sure it will be beautiful, but you know. I hope they preserve the bedrock. I mean, there were a lot of families there holding signs up today, saying, "Preserve the bedrock." It was really important for those families to be able to go down there and touch the ground which, you know, for most of them is all that's left of their loved ones.

KING: We couldn't agree with you more. Thanks, Mayor.

GIULIANI: You're welcome.

KING: Thank you for joining us on this night.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City.

When we come back, an outstanding panel to discuss all of this, right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alan Beaven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deora Bodley.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marion Britton.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's meet our panel to discuss 9/11. In Washington it's Bob Schieffer the anchor and moderator of "Face the Nation," "New York Times" best selling author, soon to be released book "Face the Nation, My Favorite stories from the first 50 years;" in Phoenix it's Senator Jon Kyl, chairman of the judiciary sub-committee on terrorism, technology, and Homeland Security; in Washington Senator Dianne Feinstein, democrat of California ranking minority member of that committee; in Stanford, Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays member of the select committee on Homeland Security; and New York is Congresswoman Jane Harman, ranking member of the permanent select committee on intelligence.

Bob Schieffer, from what we've heard so far tonight, should we be optimistic listening to Tom Ridge and Rudy Giuliani? * BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST, "FACE THE NATION": Well, I thought Rudy Giuliani make a very true statement. He said, he believed we're safer, but we're not safe. I think that pretty much sums it up in a sentence, but I think there's a long way to go here. We're deeply involved in a war that's not going very well. The threat of terrorism is still out there. I think we just after to remain vigilant.

KING: Senator Kyl, is it ever going -- is the war on terrorism logically ever going to end?

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: I think it will end, perhaps like the Cold War ended. If we persevere, if we can demonstrate to the terrorists that we're willing to fight this fight more effectively and longer than they are, and if we're able to change a lot of hearts and minds, particularly, among young people around the world, who might be recruits into that effort. If we're able to do those things, over time the threat will dissipate, we will be able to prevail, and that we'll be safe once again. But, it is a long hard struggle and events like today are important to remind us of why we can't let up.

KING: Senator Feinstein, what's your assessment of security today in this country?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I thing it's better, there's no question. I thing our borders are safer, can somebody get through that wants to do us harm? Yes, but it's much more difficult, or transportation, air is much safer, seaports are still questionable, we have a lot of work to do to see that first responders can communicate, not only among themselves, but also with state, with FEMA, with Department of Justice, with chemical plants, more security at nuclear plants. But, I think the most important thing is really beginning to solve a problem that's been at the root or it, and that's the Israeli/Palestinian situation. And I think the United States needs to be a very aggressive broker there, and we haven't been. We've kind of stepped back and let the situation emerge. And that issue is the seminal one in the Muslim world and it has to be faces.

FEINSTEIN: Let me -- one other quick point. I would hope that the dominate silent, but moderate Muslim community would begin to step up to the plate and begin to counter some of the terrible things that are happening in the world, because...

KING: OK...

Because this is not their faith, and they need to say that and they need to decry the hostage incidence, the bombings, the suicide bombings, the terror that's taking place.

KING: Chris Shays?

REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: We're safer today than we were before September 11, we just don't feel safe, Larry, because we had a false sense of security before September 11. We've made tremendous progress. The Patriot Act is a tool that enables us to detect and prevent terrorist attacks. We're confronting what we needed to do and confront Saddam and end the sanctions. I think there are two issues, it was dealing the sanctions in Iran and Saddam and also dealing, obviously, with the Palestinian question, which we have a better opportunity to deal with.

KING: And Congresswoman Harman, your state of the state.

REP. JANE HARMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Yeah. Larry, being in New York today, where most of our kids live is very emotional. We down at the ground zero site this morning and I saw those beam of light, but -- up into the heavens. I am resolute, but I think we've missed a lot of opportunities and I hope those 9/11 families will push like heck to get Congress to act this fall on implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations. If we fail to do that, this election should be a referendum on that failure.

KING: Bob Schieffer, I don't think anyone has a finger on what Congress does and doesn't do, than you. What do you think of McCain/Lieberman, the bill that was introduced that would enact virtually all of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. What's going to happen?

SCHIEFFER: I appreciate what you said, your remark about my having a good finger on what's going to happen here, but I'm not sure what's going to happen. I'm not one of those who believes that we have to enact this immediately. I think it needs to be thought through. I'm very wary of legislation that is passed in haste. I think it is more important, I hate to use this cliche, to get it right and to -- than to just get it done quickly. I think the recommendations are excellent, but I hope the Congress will take its time and think through each and every one of them. I don't think it's clear yet exactly what the Congress is going to do. It may enact part of this during this session of Congress, whether it will do the whole thing, I don't know. But if it doesn't that is not the end of the world.

KING: OK, let's get the thoughts on two people who will vote. Senator Kyl, how will you go with this?

KYL: Well first of all, I think it's important to note that the 9/11 commissioners themselves, described their recommendations, not as legislation, but as ideas and in some cases they have alternatives or options. So, it's incorrect to view their recommendations as a single specific product. As a result of that, the committee, the primary committee of jurisdiction, the senators Collins and Lieberman share is going to be -- already has held many hearings and is trying to work on a bill that will try to embody the essence of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. But there will be some differences, and the commission itself has acknowledged that there need to be, and that Congress needs to work its will knowing what it knows to make modifications in both houses and then send a bill to the president.

I think it will be done this fall, because of, primarily, the political considerations, even though I agree with Bob Schieffer, that we really need to be careful that we get it right.

KING: Dianne Feinstein, what do you think?

FEINSTEIN: We'll I'm in the Schieffer school, and I sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee and my friend Jane Harman, of course, is ranking on the House Intelligence Committee and she's very knowledgeable. But, I tried to work this bill for now, two years. And every time -- every week I learn something new. And it's not easy to do, and we have one chance to do it and we better do it right. And just the budget language is difficult, because the money is drawn from 15 different departments from many different places and 80 percent of it comes from the Department of Defense. Now how do you write the bill language which encompasses this? And how do you also provide a direct line from the secretary of defense to the defense related agencies. I think it's something that really takes some consideration.

KING: I understand that...

FEINSTEIN: Let me make one other point -- you know, we had a hearing in intelligence and the two 9/11 chairs, Governor Kean, Congressman Hamilton spoke, and one of the things that they changed was that the director of national intelligence should not be in the office of the president. So, you've got to think, you know, where do you place it. Should this be a term appointment? Should it be a pleasure appointment? These -- every one of these moves has repercussions and we should get it right.

KING: We understand that Congressman Shays is in, we'll get his thoughts in a moment. He'll introduce companion legislation to McCain/Lieberman. We'll ask him about that and get the thoughts of the panel when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Congressman Chris Shays, are you going to introduce the companion legislation to the Lieberman/McCain.

SHAYS: The Lieberman/McCain bill was introduced on Friday, it's 50/30. It was introduced by Caroline Maloney, myself, Jane Harman, and a whole host of other republicans and democrats. The senators worked long and hard, their staffs did, during the whole month of August. We had hearings. But what I'd love to point out to you, Larry, is that we've already had three commissions before this last commission, the 9/11 Commission, the Hart/Rudman Commission, the Gilmore Commission, the Bremer Commission, they all said we had a terrorist threat, we needed an assessment of the threat, a strategy to deal with it, and reorganize our government.

And we didn't act because the status quo is just too strong and while I know what Bob Schieffer is saying, I'm more on Jane Harman's side of the equation. We need to push these recommendations. I think these recommendations are almost sacred. They have -- they are well thought out. And while we might have differences in certain parts of it, finally, let me just say, the president has already implemented 36 of the 41 recommendations, in part of in total, or he has at least agreed to them, and there's only five recommendations that he still is wrestling with. So, the White House has been a strong supporter, I think, of the commission's report.

KING: Jane.

HARMAN: Well, obviously I agree with what Chris said, but let me make two points. First of all, we're operating now on a 1947 business model. That's when we organized our intelligence community to fight the communist threat which ended in 1989. We're 15 years late already, and I do think we know precisely how to change things and I hope that this White House, which is now engaged, will stay engaged and will help develop a consensus bill in both houses and get it passed. It won't pass if the White House doesn't do it.

And one more point, Larry. In four days, the 10 year ban on assault weapons will lapse. Senator Feinstein played a major role in getting congress to adopt that ban. The White House says it will sign an extinction, but it isn't pushing Congress to act. It is just critical that we extend that ban on assault weapons.

KING: Senator Kyl, will it be extended?

KYL: Larry, I don't know. I, frankly, don't want to get into politics tonight. This is a day to remember the victims of September 11 and to try to look forward in how we can ensure that the sacrifices that the fire and the police officers made and our armed forces are now making are not in vein, that we as citizens do what we can do to ensure that we have victory in this war against the terrorists and that means persevering. And I really don't want to get into a political...

KING: All right. Well, fair enough...

KYL: But, I would like to say, what Chris Shays said about the president looking very aggressively to try to get something done, is true. And I think it's not just the Congress here, but the president who's acting on these recommendations, as well.

KING: Bob Schieffer a CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll showed 77 percent of the public said they had not permanently changed the way they live because of 9/11, as opposed to after Pearl Harbor when everything changed. Does that surprise you?

SCHIEFFER: Yes and no. I mean, there was a great change in this country after 9/11, Larry. I can remember driving up to the capitol the day after it happened and I remember there was suddenly there was no road rage. People were honking at each other, letting you in and out of the lanes. I remember in the week after that, when Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, the majority leader and the minority leader in the Senate, came out to announce that they would support a $40 billion appropriation bill. I will never forget, they always hold those news conferences. That day Trent Lott had his arm around Tom Daschle. There was a spirit, there was a coming together like I have never seen in this country since before the assassination of John Kennedy when the country went off on this cynical thing that it got into in all of those years of Vietnam. There was a great spirit and a great coming together after that. I'm no sure that we still have that spirit.

I think some of that has some how melted away for whatever reasons. I wish we could again see it like it was after that day, because I think in those days -- and I still believe we are a stronger county today than we were before 9/11. But, I'm sorry to say some of that spirit of togetherness, which I think is the real strength of this country, does seem to have sort of melted away.

KING: Agree, Dianne Feinstein?

FEINSTEIN: Oh, the country's very polarized right now. And I think politics has entered the picture with a big "P" and I think that's really too bad. You can't really discuss issues -- I mean, I think you kind of heard a classic thing between Jane Harman and Jon Kyl on the assault weapons legislation. You know, you have two-thirds to three-quarter of the people of the nation that support it and want it extended, and yet the president won't move and yet we're not supposed to be critical of that and yet 1201, in a day, this is going to expire and that guns will once again come back into gun shops and all over this nation, that shouldn't be there. So, I mean, I think that's a major question in terms of domestic safety.

I think too, that a lot things are not being discussed that should be because of hits that are going back and forth between the two sides. One of those things, for example, is a huge deficit and what to do about it. A good conversation on the economy and how to move it along, what should our posture be in terms of the rest of the world and national security? Does preemption work?

I mean, we need to have some sane discussions on major policy issues, and instead what you see...

KING: But...

FEINSTEIN: And 527 ad versus 527 ad and this is not good.

KING: But, Chris Shays, isn't she asking, then, for a change in American politics?

SHAYS: Well, I mean, my presidential years are my least favorite years because it's so partisan and nobody wants the other side to have an advantage. Almost every three years we just don't do anything. I just want to say, because of it was brought up. We do need pass the assault weapon ban. I think it would be an outrage to allow these weapons to be resold. And I do request that the president ask Congress to act.

KING: Jon, do you wish to comment or do you still want to reserve comment?

KYL: Well, your question was, "Is it going to be done," and I just simply don't know the answer to that question, but I certain second what all of my colleagues have said about the civil discourse in our country today, and Chris Shays' put his finger on it. It's probably because there's a lot at stake in the presidential election and everybody's elbowing for -- to make their point of view known. But, it has poisoned the will, it has made it very difficult for Congress to work together and get anything done. I can't wait for the election to be over and just hope that the feelings won't be so bitter that when when we comeback can get back together and try to work together...

And Larry...

KING: Yeah.

HARMAN: We can put a -- we can't put our country on hold for the next 54 days. The terrorists, at least according to all the intelligence I see, are trying to attack us in a major way in America before the election. They're not going to check our party registration before they blow us up. It's important that we pull tighter now and on this day, the silent witness of those 9/11 families should move all of us to pull together again. Those of us on this show are all good friends, would that we could come back to Congress Monday night, and start to move on these 9/11 Commission recommendations and improve them. Congress should add value. I support that.

KING: Well said.

Thank you, Bob Schieffer of CBS News, we look forward to the publication of your book on "Face the Nation."

Senator Jon Kyl, a republican of Arizona; Senator Dianne Feinstein, democrat of California; Congressman Chris Shays, a republican of Connecticut; and Congresswoman Jane Harman, democrat of California, we thank them all, we thank Tom Ridge and Mayor Giuliani earlier.

We have a very special close to tonight's commemorative program, so don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're going to close this very special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, a look at 9/11 three years ago, with a very special guest, Carol Welsman, the acclaimed Canadian recording artist who's fifth CD, "The Language of Love" has just been released in the United States and she's going sing "This Lullaby," which you wrote, right?

CAROL WELSMAN, RECORDING ARTIST: Yes.

KING: Do you write a lot of your own songs?

WELSMAN: I do, I co-write, actually with and Italian, Musumarra, is his name.

KING: You described yourself as, what? Jazz, you do jazz classics. You take classic songs and jazz them up.

WELSMAN: I do. I like to take pop songs and jazz them, as well, and give them a bit of my own signature, if I can.

KING: And sing in four languages?

WELSMAN: I try that too.

KING: Do you have concert ties all over? Do you tour the world?

WELSMAN: I do. I was in Japan this year, and Brazil and Italy and happy to be in Los Angeles.

KING: Quick, what -- tell me a little bit about "This Lullaby."

"This Lullaby" is a very special song to me and thought it was very appropriate for this day and the exciting thing is that Celine Dion has recorded it and it will be released on new album in the fall.

KING: Oh. Good friends. I look forward to that. All right, we close it out tonight with Carol Welsman and her own composition, "This Lullaby." Enjoy.

(MUSIC)

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