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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Still No Word on Jill Carroll; Interview with Michael Chertoff; Daniel Pearl's Father Speaks Out
Aired January 20, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, as her parents and the rest of the world await word on the fate of Jill Carroll, the American journalist held hostage in Iraq for two weeks now, we'll talk with the father of Daniel Pearl, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter abducted and murdered in Pakistan in 2002 and two journalists who survived being kidnapped in Iraq two years ago.
Plus, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff after Osama bin Laden's latest threats on that new audio tape how safe are we? It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
A couple of quick reminders, Monday night former President George Herbert Walker Bush will be our special guest, along with Reverend Robert Schuler and his son Robert Schuler, who will take over that ministry on Sunday. You'll see them both along with President Bush on Monday night.
We'll meet Judea Pearl in a moment, the father of the late Daniel Pearl; first check in with Michael Holmes in Baghdad. Michael is our CNN International Anchor and Correspondent. Any update on Jill Carroll?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's been a long night here, Larry. It's a cold and rainy Saturday morning here just pre- dawn. Everybody, of course, has been waiting to hear something, anything about Jill but nothing so far.
What I can tell you, Larry, is that throughout the night and still going on now there has been a lot of behind the scenes activities. Discussions are going on among local religious political leaders. We understand perhaps diplomats as well.
One thing that perhaps is of some comfort in past situations like this, Larry, there are deadlines and there are deadlines. They are routinely extended. They're fairly or have been flexible in the past and that's the great hope here right now -- Larry.
KING: Thank you, Michael Holmes. We'll be checking back with you later.
We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Judea Pearl. He is the father of the late Daniel Pearl. Daniel was "The Wall Street" journal reporter who was abducted and murdered in Pakistan in early 2002. He is president of the board of directors of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, www.danielpearl.org.
I guess no one understands what the Carrolls are going through better than you. What was it like for you?
JUDEA PEARL, FATHER OF DANIEL PEARL: Of course it was a great concern and we cling to every straw that we can think of. In our case, we had two straws going on for us. The first was that no one has ever done it to a journalist before. He was the first journalist to be abducted.
And the second was that we strongly believed that he will charm his abductors. It didn't work out but his demeanor and his experience gave us very good reason to believe that eventually he would prevail.
KING: How long was he held before he was killed?
PEARL: About six to seven days.
KING: Did you expect the government to help?
PEARL: I hoped but I didn't see any way that it could help because his location was unknown and there was no communication whatsoever with the abductors.
KING: Do you think the fact that he was Jewish led to his death?
PEARL: I think it played a role in it because if you look at the video, the murder video, it turned out that the murderers selected only sentences that are connected with his Jewish-ness and his connection to Israel, so apparently it played a role. And they entitled it the spy Jew.
KING: Has "The Wall Street Journal" stayed in pretty much contact with you?
PEARL: Oh, yes.
KING: They've been very good.
PEARL: They've been very good to us.
KING: And how is your daughter-in-law?
PEARL: Oh, doing fine and Adam is over three and a half years old now and he has the same disposition as Danny. I call him Mr. Purpose.
KING: Do you ever, Judea, ever get over something like this?
PEARL: Well you never get over it but we are driven by a very clear mission, so it keeps us going.
KING: And that is?
PEARL: Our mission is to fight the (INAUDIBLE) that took Danny's life and we do it in his style using journalism, music and dialog. These are the three vocations that he excelled in that he became a symbol of.
KING: He was proud of being a reporter right?
PEARL: Oh, yes.
KING: He loved it.
PEARL: He was so -- yes he was proud, enjoyed the work, enjoyed doing hard work and he saw a mission in that work of bringing people together.
KING: Now, Jill Carroll's been held a lot longer, right?
KING: Are you hopeful?
PEARL: I'm very hopeful for her because she has good sign going for her.
KING: Which is?
PEARL: Which is that they are talking and their demands are (INAUDIBLE). The demand that they put in the case of Danny were totally unrealistic so they -- we knew that they're not after gains but they're after a symbolic act of some sort.
KING: She can also speak Arabic, does that help her?
PEARL: She can. I think it will definitely.
KING: So, you are hopeful that there's a, would you say a good chance that she makes it?
PEARL: It's a good chance and I hope she's released unharmed in the next few hours and she joins our campaign, our coalition of the decent I call it.
KING: Coalition of the what?
PEARL: Coalition of the decent.
KING: Of the decent.
PEARL: Yes. We have to fight together.
KING: Are you bitter? Are you bitter?
PEARL: I'm not bitter because I'm a soldier. A soldier is not bitter because his mission is purpose driven and I truly believe that we have a chance her to make a dent in making the world a better place because of all the energy and goodwill the tragedy evoked.
KING: Judea Pearl will remain with us. Our panel will assemble. We'll meet all of them in just a moment.
At the bottom of the hour, Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security will join us as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM CARROLL, JILL CARROLL'S FATHER: I want to speak directly to the men holding my daughter Jill because they may also be fathers like me. She does not have the ability to free anyone. She is a reporter and an innocent person. Do not sacrifice an innocent soul. Instead, use Jill's ability as a reporter to be your voice to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's meet our panel and we will later take phone calls. Judea Pearl remains with us, the father of the late Daniel Pearl.
In New York is Garen, documentary journalist who was abducted in Iraq in August of 2004, released after ten days in captivity. He and his partner Marie Helene Carlton are co-authors of "American Hostage, a Memoir of a Journalist kidnapped in Iraq and a Remarkable Battle to win his Release." There you see the cover and he knows Jill Carroll.
In Washington is Natasha Tynes, a good friend and former journalistic colleague of Jill. Jill was part of her wedding and has stayed in her home in Amman, Jordan. Her blog at www.natashatynes.com includes commentary about Jill and this kidnapping ordeal.
In Jerusalem is Stephen Farrell, the Mid East Bureau Chief of "Times of London." He was abducted near the Iraqi city of Fallujah in April of 2004, set free after he managed to convince his captors that he was a genuine journalist. He, as well, knows Jill Carroll.
And Lara Logan is joining us in New York. She is the CBS News correspondent, contributing correspondent for "60 Minutes," has reported extensively from Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed was in Iraq last month for the national election. She is not, however, acquainted with Jill Carroll.
Michah, tell us your story. How were you taken?
MICHAH GAREN, JOURNALIST, KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ: Well, I was working in Nasiriyah for about five months in the summer of 2004 and it was my last weekend of filming. And, as luck would have it, I was trying to film B-roll in a marketplace and a man noticed my camera and as soon as they noticed that, you know, they realized that you're a foreigner.
And I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and they took me at gunpoint, a number of people, threw me in the back of a car and then I was taken first to the Sadr (ph) office and then driven out into the marshes blindfolded for ten days.
KING: Did you think you had bought the bullet?
GAREN: Yes, there were times actually, you know. Most of the time I figured it was 50/50 but five days into it when they made a video execution threat unannounced they just blindfolded me, led me into a building and I found myself on my knees in front of a small video camera with about a dozen men with guns. I was fairly convinced that that was it.
KING: Should we be encouraged, Michah that Jill is a journalist and speaks Arabic?
GAREN: Absolutely. I mean the fact that she's a journalist makes a very big difference, the fact that she can speak Arabic means that she can represent herself to her captors and connect with them and these are very important things.
You know the fact that she is a journalist, she has so many friends now who are out there pleading on her behalf and I'm incredibly encouraged to see the number of Muslim voices that have come out in the past two days and I think it's a good sign.
KING: You know her well right?
GAREN: Yes, we were actually staying in the same hotel for the five months that I was out there.
KING: Natasha, who's a good friend and former journalistic colleague of Jill, the longer this goes on are you more hopeful?
NATASHA TYNES, JOURNALIST, FRIEND OF JILL CARROLL: Yes, at this point I believe no news is good news and the fact that many Muslim and Arab organizations now they are condemning this and are asking for her quick release and all of them are saying this is wrong and she's a journalist and she's innocent and these are all good signs. And, the efforts are still ongoing as we speak, so these are all good signs so I'm hopeful.
KING: Stephen Farrell, who was abducted near the Iraqi city of Fallujah in April of 2004, he's Mid East bureau chief for the "Times of London," did you think that you had bought it?
STEPHEN FARRELL, "TIMES OF LONDON": Yes, absolutely. I was sure. I was sure I had. When they dragged us out of a car and pulled us into a taxi with Kalashnikovs at your head and knives at your throat, head butting you trying to blindfold you, you really do think your time has come.
KING: What were they asking for?
FARRELL: Well, they weren't asking for anything. We were taken by a group of effectively bandits, road bandits who just seemed to want to -- I don't know what they wanted. They just -- we didn't fit in and they certainly took our money.
But after that we were handed on to another group and they were -- they described themselves as the resistance or the mujahaddin and they were much more calmer and rational and spelled out their demands or at least spelled out their conditions, which were if you're a journalist you're OK. If you're not, you're not, and we managed thankfully to convince them we were and were just hoping that although it's a slightly longer time scale, obviously, that Jill manages to do the same.
KING: Lara Logan, you've had a lot of experience in the region. What do you make, what do you think, who do you think this group is?
LARA LOGAN, CBS NEWS: Well, it's obviously very difficult for anyone to say because the name that was posted on the al Qaeda website is probably just made up. It's a kind of operational name, the same way the American military would give an operation a name when they go and move into an area. That's what the kidnappers do.
If it's not a group that anybody recognizes, then most likely it doesn't exist and it's only the people who are talking to the kidnappers who really know what's going on. They're the only ones who have any idea whether it makes a difference that Jill's a woman, that she speaks Arabic, that she's a journalist.
I mean we hope that these are mitigating factors but the fact that Margaret Hassan was an aid worker and was Irish and had worked with the Iraqi people for decades helping them that didn't help her in the end. So, it really isn't possible for anyone to speculate on that.
KING: So, therefore, you have to say you're in the dark on this?
LOGAN: You're definitely in the dark and there are people who are trying to make contact with the kidnappers. For all we know contact has already been made and it's only people who are in touch with them who are getting a real sense of who these people are and what they want.
But when it isn't overtly political, you know, you'll have seen in the past when al Qaeda take hostages they're the first people to stand up and say and claim responsibility. You know it's political.
You know who they are and you know what they want, which is to incite terror. And, it's very clear from the outset what their aims are. When it's a group like this, it's highly likely that the motive here in money.
KING: Judea, do you think it's negotiable?
PEARL: I am very happy to hear that so many groups are coming, voicing condemnations and speaking on her behalf but I think they're missing, what we're missing is coordinated effort against not this case but against the general phenomena of abducting journalists. And, I would like to propose two important acts that need to be taken.
One, the media and the press should put their act together and not let these decisions, namely what to broadcast, what terrorist produced material to broadcast and when to broadcast it, not to leave it to the whims of individual networks.
KING: Who should decide it then? PEARL: It should be decided by a collective board or...
PEARL: No, no not, absolutely not sensors but there is a code of ethics that hasn't been established yet and could be established by the journalists themselves...
KING: To decide what is...
PEARL: ...(INAUDIBLE) agreement in the same manner that we currently do not broadcast rape scenes or instruction manuals for building bombs.
KING: Got you.
KING: Let me get a break and we'll ask the journalists' thoughts on that. Should there be some sort of code of ethics as to what is reported in matters like this? We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADNAN AL-DULAIMI, LEADER, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE (through translator): In the name of God, in the name of religion, in the name of mercy and all that is good in Iraq, I appeal to you to release this journalist who came to cover our events and defend our rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was the Sunni politician that Jill Carroll had gone to interview the day she was taken.
Let's get the panelists' thoughts on Judea Pearl's idea of some sort of review board and what is released and can Al-Jazeera just put something on and everyone follows suit? Michael Holmes, what do you think?
HOLMES: I think that's an interesting idea, Larry. I mean I don't think it's any secret that here in Baghdad after Jill was taken it's a fairly close-knit journalistic community, as you can imagine, there was really at the request of her employer a blackout.
We didn't report it for several days because there is that key period after a kidnapping where there are tips, there are clues and security issues are followed up and there was a sort of joint effort to keep it quiet for a few days. In terms of a review board, yes, it would have to be a collective thing but in kidnapping cases those first few days or really first few hours are key -- Larry.
KING: Yes. Michah, what do you think? GAREN: Well, I do think that you need to have accepted practices and standards and this is nothing new. You know in the journalistic world you do things like backgrounders all the time. In other words, that's where you meet with somebody and you talk and you agree beforehand that this is not for publication. This is information to inform a situation.
And I think, you know, that understanding of what information should be publishable and what shouldn't I think easily extends into this type of situation.
KING: Natasha, what do you think?
TYNES: Well, I would like to say something which is that lots of Arab organizations, as well as Muslim organizations, when they condemned this, they condemned the kidnapping of journalists in general.
So, I'd just like to tell Mr. Pearl that what he requested has already been done a number of times and actually even Al-Jazeera after they showed the video they said that Al-Jazeera condemned the kidnapping of journalists in general.
Plus, regarding the code of ethics, a number of organizations, I think -- I know for sure that Al-Jazeera has its own code of ethics and it's not missing and so I mean the concept of code of ethics among the Arab media exists.
KING: Want to comment Judea?
PEARL: Yes, regarding the condemnation, I think most condemnations are secularly phrased and in retrospect I believe that the only kind of condemnation that will work in this case would be religiously based, namely we have to cast the condemnation in religious vocabulary.
KING: Lara Logan, what do you think?
LOGAN: I think casting anything in religious vocabulary is extremely dangerous because what you are talking about affects people in Christian countries and in Muslim countries and you bring all that baggage into it when you try and affect the language that way.
Getting different media organizations to agree on a code of ethics that everybody was comfortable with would be very difficult. You get into the realm of now are you going to sign up to this? Is it going to be a legal document or just an understanding?
If it's only an understanding how do you enforce it? It's going to be a legal document. How do you enforce it? And, are you getting into the realm now of restricting press freedom? Who decides and who makes those kind of rules?
I mean there is definitely a very valid and worthwhile argument and idea in what Judea is saying because publicity does play a role in these kidnappings and in the hostage takings and nobody wants to see that continuing.
So, if journalists can help to affect that then that is worthwhile but it can never come at the expense of journalistic freedom and integrity and that's something that I think journalists guard religiously, for lack of a better word.
But, at the same time, you know, where do you draw the line on these things? There are lots of things in which hostage, you know, publicity plays a role and are you not going to report murders? Are you not going to report battles? How much information do we withhold? How do you decide that?
PEARL: I would like to comment on the religious condemnation part. I meant to request from the Muslim clerics of authority and credentials, to issue a fatwa, specific fatwa against the offenders and specifically against this crime of abducting innocent people, fatwa. That has not been done.
KING: What do you think Stephen Farrell?
FARRELL: I'm afraid I have to say that I think if the west started getting into the game of asking Muslim clerics to issue fatwas then it would put the clerics in a very difficult situation and it would kind of invalidate the fatwa if they did it because they would look like they're doing it at the behest of the west.
I think -- I agree completely with Lara. You're in very dangerous ground indeed when you get into religion in these circumstances. I also -- it's a valid discussion point, no question about that.
But personally as someone who's been there, the important thing is I think is to treat each individual case individually, to buy time, to extend a timeline as long as you can because while there's time there's hope.
To cut down anything, any timeline because of some code arbitrarily imposed from somewhere else by people who in this case aren't in Baghdad, don't know the circumstances on the ground, I'd really think that's actually a bad idea.
I mean there are things going on. Michael Holmes is absolutely right. This is something we talked about in Baghdad in the immediate aftermath of the kidnapping, something I've been in meetings with Jill Carroll in over the last two months. What do you do in the event of a kidnap?
We discuss it on a weekly basis in meetings, on an hourly basis by e-mails and things are going on. There are lines of contact open to these kidnappers if they want to they can talk to the "Christian Science Monitor." There's many people they can talk to.
KING: Natasha, you wanted to say something. TYNES: Yes. Basically, I disagree. With the fact in the Middle East religion works so I mean you cannot apply the rules that you have in the west and apply it to the Middle East. So, yes you have to have some sort of religious statements to condemn this.
But, at the same time, this has been condemned in a religious manner and many clerics, Muslim clerics said this is against Islam and this is -- and this has happened, so the fact that this has not been condemned I disagree with it because it has.
KING: All right, what we're going to do is take a break.
And when we come back we'll talk with Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security on the latest threats and the threat from Osama bin Laden.
And then we'll return with this panel and include phone calls for this panel as Jill Carroll remains still abducted with no word out of Iraq.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. On Monday night, President George Herbert Walker Bush live. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY BETH CARROLL, MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST JILL CARROLL: We talked about even the eventuality of her being kidnapped and that gives me some comfort now to know some of the things that she knew and had talked with about other people, vis-a-vis kidnapping.
And also I told her frankly how I felt if she was kidnapped what I would be thinking and supporting her and knowing that she was doing what she loved and what she thought was very important to do and that that would give me and her family comfort at this time and it does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Michael Chertoff. He is the secretary for homeland security. He joins us from our studios in Washington.
Why, Mr. Secretary, the decision not to boost the threat level after this latest Osama missive?
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, we don't simply react, Larry, to a particular public statement, which is really in essence propaganda. We're constantly monitoring the intelligence, the threat information, and we adjust our security posture based on that analysis, not singling out any particular public statement.
KING: But because of his reputation, personality and background, doesn't that give you pause?
CHERTOFF: Well, sure, we certainly carefully analyze the statement. We look at not only what is said, but we examine it to see if there are perhaps hidden signals or codes. But we always want to evaluate it in the context of the total amount of information that we have.
One thing we did do when this statement came out is we contacted local authorities, and we said, review your intelligence information, review the information we've given you over the last year, check your vulnerabilities and make appropriate adjustments in your security.
KING: Does it cause you, Mr. Secretary, to get overly concerned about the Super Bowl? That's the next big major event.
CHERTOFF: Well, we actually look at all events that are major public events as potential security situations. And we tailor a security plan to each one of these events using not only state and local authorities but federal authorities. And that includes coverage of the air space, as well as monitoring on the ground and even in bodies of water nearby. So we do that as a matter of course whether or not there's a public statement.
KING: Do you jump if the phone rings at 3:00 a.m.?
CHERTOFF: Well, I certainly do jump if it rings at 3:00 a.m. And it has happened.
KING: How secure are we since 9/11?
CHERTOFF: Well, we're certainly much more secure than we were on September 10th. That doesn't mean to say we don't have further to go. We're constantly reviewing a whole range of our infrastructure, our ports, our transportation systems to elevate the level of security. We try to do it in a way that doesn't interfere with our ability to go about our daily lives.
We're working now, for example, with Congress on legislation involving chemical plant security. We're looking at some steps in enhancing rail security and port security. But we have accomplished a lot in the last four years.
KING: What did you know about the NSA eavesdropping issue before "The Times" broke it?
CHERTOFF: I mean, this is a classified program. And, of course, there's very little one can say about it, except what the former head of the NSA has revealed.
What I can tell you is that, in general, programs that are involved with intercepting information or communications between people who are al Qaeda connected and others, are a critical tool in defending this country. That is in effect what is our radar against an attack from overseas.
So all of these tools used together are one of the reasons, I think, that we've avoided having a successful attack on American soil since September 11th.
KING: Have we scuttled any?
CHERTOFF: Well, we have. We have disrupted attacks. Sometimes we disrupt cells before they become operational. But, you know, one of the things to be careful about is not to wait until a cell is actually about to commence an operation to take the cell down.
If you look at what happened in London, it seems as if the people who were involved in that July 7th bombing, up until a couple of weeks before the bombing, seemed to be sympathizers by people who were just ordinary citizens, and they quickly became operational.
So we have to anticipate the enemy's moves. We can't wait until the last moment.
KING: Have we overcome the problems of Katrina?
CHERTOFF: Well, we've certainly made some progress. We've got a lot more trailers down there. We've got people starting to flow back into New Orleans, starting to rebuild in Mississippi.
But, you know, Larry, this was by any measure the most cataclysmic natural disaster certainly in the last century in the United States. The number of people who had to migrate out and be evacuated was approximately one and a half to two million. That is a huge evacuation, bigger than the dust bowl in the 1930's.
And I think coping with this has been an enormous strain. And the consequences are going to be felt for months to come.
KING: What have we learned from it?
CHERTOFF: Well, we have learned some important lessons about how to increase our planning and preparedness, making sure that state and local governments are working with the federal government to have good plans.
Right now, we have our officials out working with 75 municipalities all across the country, looking at their evacuation plans, looking at their other emergency plans, setting standards and capabilities that we think these plans ought to have. And this is putting us on a path, as the president directed, to getting our general level of preparedness much better.
KING: Karl Rove said today that Republicans have a post 9-11 world view and that security will be a central issue in the 2006 campaigns. Are you removed from that?
CHERTOFF: Well, I'm removed from politics. But, of course, the issue of security is first and foremost on my plate here as homeland security secretary. And there's no question for the foreseeable future, security is going to be an important future of American life.
What we have to do is find a way to construct a solid security system, but one that also allows us to enjoy our prosperity and our freedom.
KING: Can we, in all honesty -- a couple other things -- expect something to happen?
CHERTOFF: You know, just knowing how determined the enemy is, and understanding how difficult the task is of stopping every plot, you know, we have to basically bat 1,000. They only have to succeed once.
I have to say that, you know, common sense says we should brace ourselves for an attack. On the other hand, we certainly are -- our aspiration is to avert attacks. We've been successful up to now, and we're going to continue to pursue that ideal.
KING: You were formidable in the judicial branch. What surprised you about this job?
CHERTOFF: Well, of course, the reach of the job. The sheer number of different challenges you have everything from natural disasters to terrorism to challenges at the border, which are obviously of great concern to Americans.
What has been a very pleasant surprise, though, is how dedicated the 180,000 men and women of this department are to protecting Americans. People are working very hard day and night in this department to do everything they can to make Americans safer, and that's certainly something I take pride in. And I think it's something all Americans should be pleased about.
KING: And put together in a short period of time.
CHERTOFF: Put together in a short period of time, and of course, like any new startup organization, particularly one that had 22 legacies, it's going to take us a while to get all the problems ironed out. But I think we have made a lot of progress in the three years we've been in business.
KING: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Always good to see you.
CHERTOFF: Good to see you, Larry.
KING: Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security.
Back with more of our discussion on Jill Carroll and your phone calls about the hostage in Iraq. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back.
Let's quickly reintroduce our panel. Judea Pearl is the father of the late Daniel Pearl, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter who was abducted and murdered.
Michah Garen is the documentary journalist and co-author of the book, "American Hostage: A Memoir of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq and the Remarkable Battle to Win his Release."
Natasha Tynes is a good friend and former journalistic colleague of Jill Carroll, was part of her wedding. Jill was part of her wedding.
Steven Farrell is the mideast bureau chief of the "Times of London." He was abducted near the Iraqi city of Fallujah in April of 2004.
And Lara Logan is the CBS News correspondent -- contributing correspondent for "60 Minutes" and has reported extensively from the region.
And Michael Holmes is CNN International anchor and correspondent. Now we go to your calls. Ft. Mills, South Carolina, hello.
CALLER: Hello, good evening, Larry. Several of your panelists seem very optimistic regarding Jill Carroll's release because of her skills, and because she is an innocent journalist caught in this struggle. I would be interested to hear what your panelists' sense is today in the Middle East than on September 11 when 3,000 innocent Americans died.
KING: All right. Do you want to take that, Michah?
GAREN: Yes. I'm not sure exactly what your question is, what you're referring to.
KING: Has 9/11 changed the region?
GAREN: Well, it absolutely has. But it's changed it really in terms of our approach, what we've done in the region. And America moving into the region has completely transformed how we are perceived internationally. So, for instance, when I was first in Iraq in June of 2003, you see people's perceptions of American, American foreign policy, change radically.
At first it was a very welcome reception, and then six months later it just began to fall apart, and now, you know, with the abductions that are going on, I think, you know, just what we're seeing is a disintegration of what we're used to America standing for, you know, in terms of the world perception.
KING: Stephen Farrell, what do you think?
FARRELL: In the simplest possible terms, yes, of course it's changed. We've got 150,000-plus soldiers in Iraq, which probably wouldn't have happened if 9/11 hadn't happened.
The Americans were in Saudi before. They had a presence in the Middle East. But as far as your average Palestinian, Iraqi, Iranian, whatever on the street is concerned, the American presence is much closer, much more tangible. And it's now being fought on the ground. So yes, it's completely changed the dynamic.
KING: Baltimore, Maryland, hello.
CALLER: Hello. The video of Jill Carroll that was released has no audio, but couldn't an expert in lip reading decipher what she is saying? It might give us a clue as to who her captors are. KING: Lara?
LOGAN: It might give us a clue, and that may be possible. I'm not an expert in lip reading, so I'm not really in a position to say.
I mean, I've always found that that was a very curious element of this, because previous hostage videos, you've always been able to hear what the hostages are saying, or most of the time. In fact, that's part of the whole point of the video.
I just interviewed Roy Hallums, who's an American hostage that was held for 10 months before he was rescued. And that's one of the things he talked to me about. When the video was made, when his video was made, he said it was clearly scripted by the insurgents in advance, by his kidnappers.
They knew exactly what they wanted him to say, and they told him, "We want you to look desperate. We want you to look beaten up, like you're pleading for your life. So we're going to beat you to make this video."
And that was a terrible experience for him. And he said one of the hardest things was knowing that his family was going to see that video. And surely Jill Carroll, she knows the same thing.
As a woman, it was obvious in her video that she hasn't been beaten. Clearly she's under stress in this situation. But I'm sure at the moment, her family are taking some comfort from the fact that in the video she at least looked unharmed, if a little tired.
KING: Natasha, I understand you have some e-mails?
TYNES: Yes, I have some e-mails from Jill that we exchanged. Basically the e-mails that I want to share with you is just to show that Jill was extremely careful when she went to Iraq. And that she's not a reckless person, and she was extremely careful and she knew what she was doing.
I sent her an e-mail entitled in Arabic (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE), which means "take care," and she replied to me, telling me, and this is, I'm quoting, "Don't worry, I'm super careful out here and always in hejab," which means the veil.
And there's another one, which she was telling me about how much she liked it in Baghdad. And she says, "I just love it here so much. I can't bear to leave. It doesn't seem as bad as I expected either. I wear my hejab and nobody even looks at me."
KING: We'll be taking a break and come back with more calls. First check with Anderson Cooper who will host "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. And he's still in New Orleans. What's on the deck for tonight, Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot on the deck tonight, Larry. We're broadcasting live from the French Quarter tonight, which believe it or not is as close as you can get to normal in this city. Still the challenges facing the people in New Orleans And the Gulf simply won't go away.
Tonight an exclusive conversation with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Earlier this week he called New Orleans a chocolate city. He said God wants it to be a chocolate city and said that God was punishing America for numerous things.
We're going to have an exclusive conversation with him, hear what he has to say about the chocolate city today. Also, we'll have the latest on the mine incident in West Virginia near the border with Kentucky. The latest on the search for two missing miners. Larry?
KING: Thanks, Anderson. Anderson Cooper hosting "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. And we'll be back with more calls on the Jill Carroll mystery. Don't go away.
KING: Michael Holmes, you've covered things on both sides of the pond. What's it like to go from Iraq, let's say, to a police chase in Atlanta?
HOLMES: It's very different, Larry. I do spend about a third of the year covering stories like this and a third of -- and three-thirds of the year back in Atlanta. You know, the hardest thing is not so much coming here, it's going home.
I was talking to a colleague just the other day and we were talking about how when you get back, you spend a week or two just driving on the freeways in Atlanta, looking at cars next to you, studying drivers, being very aware of your surroundings. And then all of the sudden you realize you're back in Atlanta and you don't have to do that so much.
KING: Thanks very much for your outstanding reporting, Michael Holmes, CNN International anchor and correspondent. Let's take another call for our panel. Warren, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Hello, can you hear me?
KING: Yes, sure.
CALLER: I have one question, Larry, that's been bothering me ever since this started -- Jill Carroll. We have over 100,000 soldiers in Iraq, all heavily armed. Why in heaven's name was this young lady walking the streets of Baghdad without security? If you can answer this for me, I think I'll sleep better at night.
KING: Lara, why do you think?
LOGAN: You know, that's a very difficult question for anyone who's not in Jill Carroll's shoes to answer, because it comes down to a personal decision that every journalist has to make. And Jill Carroll wore the hejab, clearly her aim was to blend in with the Iraqi people. She clearly had close friendships with Iraqi people and she probably though, although I'm guessing here, since I don't Jill, but she probably thought that in doing that, she was less noticeable. She didn't stand out as much. And, therefore, she would be less of a target.
But I think for anyone to try to judge Jill from a distance and say she should have had security, she shouldn't have, I really don't think that's fair in this kind of situation.
Jill was obviously very smart. She was careful, as we've heard Natasha say, and she did her absolute best. Sometimes you just can't help it in these situations. You can be a target of opportunity, and it's really not fair to judge.
KING: Judea, why did Daniel go where he went? He was going to meet some people right?
PEARL: He was going to interview Jailani, whom he thought to be connected with a group. Turns out that the connection was doubtful. And, of course, he never met Jailani.
KING: Do you understand why, Stephen Farrell, why Jill, with all the protection available to her, not use it?
FARRELL: Yes, this is a very difficult decision for any journalist to take. But essentially the thinking is this. If you go out in Iraq with guns and with body armor, you look like one of the 150,000 American soldiers or the tens of -- I don't know how many thousands there are private security guards.
It's very difficult for Iraqis to tell the difference between sort of a tall white person with flack jacket and gun, who is a journalist doing their job, and a private security guard or a soldier.
I mean certainly when we were in Fallujah last month covering the election, the first thing we did when we got in--we had to wear the flack jackets to the streets. But the first thing we did we got them off. We got rid of everything.
I was speaking to one Iraqi building site worker last month, his own staff won't wear helmets on the job, won't wear their own safety helmets on the job, because people see helmets they think American troops. And we're talking about safety helmets in a building site. So that's the sort of reason why people tend to not.
KING: Michah, you share that view?
GAREN: Well, yes, there are a number of reasons. And, you know, part of it is just purely economics. The cost of real security in Iraq is extremely expensive. You know, it could be $1,000 a day to hire a car with say, three or four guards. And a lot of the smaller newspapers just, you know, or independent journalists simply don't have the money.
It's also, as Lara was saying, it's a question of choice in terms of what is maybe more secure. If you're going out and trying to get a story, and you're on the ground and you're trying to meet with people, just the perception of having anything, you know, one bodyguard even or having a flack jacket could put you in much more jeopardy. So, you know, it's a number of different reasons. And, you know, in my case, you know, we went around on the ground, we blended in. I dressed in local clothing.
And the reason is you really want to get the story. You really want to get to talk to people and get them to trust you and open up to you. And much of the time, you know, if you're wearing a helmet, if you have people with guns, it just doesn't work.
KING: We'll be right back with more moments, more phone calls right after this. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY BETH CARROLL, MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST JILL CARROLL: Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter, who loves Iraq and its people, will not create justice. To her captors, I say that Jill's welfare depends upon you. And so we call upon you to ensure that Jill is returned safely home to her family, who needs her and loves her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Port Richie, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hi, good evening, Larry.
CALLER: My question is to the two journalists that were held hostage. Can they tell us how they were treated? And I would also like to say to Mr. Pearl, we're very sorry for your loss, sir.
KING: All right. Michah, what was the worst thing about captivity? How were you treated?
GAREN: Well, for me the worst part was when they made this video execution threat. And I just had no idea of whether or not I was going to be killed. On a day-to-day basis they fed me on a regular basis three times a day. So you could say it was more or less respectful on a day-to-day basis.
But as soon as I knew that they were threatening to kill me in 48 hours, it's a terrifying thing. It's a form of mental torture, actually.
KING: What was worse for you Stephen?
FARRELL: Well, the first few minutes were the worst. Like I said, I was sort of being head butted, and I had a knife to my throat and a gun to my head. So that was not good.
After that, it was ten hours of mind games. I mean, there were two of us. And at various stages they sort of sidled up to me in English, sort of whisper things to me about my colleague which was obviously clearly an attempt to divide us, to split us up.
First of all, they'd say we believe you then they'd say we don't, yes, we do, no, we don't. There were moments of humor. Sort of absurd chaotic humor in the middle of all of that. But the mood just went up and down. The unpredictability was the hardest thing.
KING: San Francisco, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Why isn't Jill's mother appeal directly to all Muslim women to rise up in a women's protest? Let them wear white on their heads tomorrow. Let them let the light in. I mean, why are...
KING: All right. That's a good question, Natasha?
TYNES: Sorry, what was the question again?
KING: Why doesn't Jill's mother appeal to all Muslim women?
TYNES: Well, Jill's mother appeared -- she appeared on CNN, and she appeared to everyone. And she asked for the release of her daughter. And when she did that, she's appearing, I guess, for all mothers alike, regardless of their religion.
And this is the message that everyone should convey, that she is a mother and she has a daughter, and every mother wants the best for her daughter regardless of the religion. That's what I believe.
KING: And the father went on Al Jazeera, right?
TYNES: Yes, that's true. And personally, I think that was really an excellent move. And he talked about his daughter, and he said she's innocent.
And I think both of them sent the message clearly everywhere across the Arab world, inside the Arab world and outside the Arab world. And that was really important what they did. And I really support them.
KING: So, Judea, despite the loss of your son, it's important that they keep the faith?
PEARL: Absolutely. I think they have to cling to every strobe because one of those strobes is going to turn out to be a way to the release.
KING: But you had that same belief, right?
PEARL: Absolutely. My belief turned in a different direction. I believe that humanity will prevail.
KING: You still believe that?
KING: I'm amazed at your optimism about your fellow man.
PEARL: Well, I look at the historical dimension, and I think we are making two steps ahead and one step backward.
KING: Thanks to all our panel for joining us.
Over the weekend on tomorrow night we will repeat our interview with Eric Menendez direct from San Quentin. And Sharon Rocha will be with us on Sunday night, whose daughter was killed, as you know, by Scott Peterson.
And then on Monday night, George Herbert Walker Bush, the former President of the United States, will join us. Plus, the Schuller's, Dr. Robert Schuller and his son, also named Robert Schuller, who takes over that esteemed church on Sunday.
Speaking of esteemed, we turn our attention to New Orleans where the esteemed journalist Anderson Cooper will host "AC 360" from one of my favorite cities that looks like--from the way it looks behind you, it's coming back.
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