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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Former President Bill Clinton; Latest on Virginia Tech Gunman
Aired April 19, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, William Jefferson Clinton...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, exclusive -- former President Bill Clinton.
His first TV interview since Hillary Clinton launched her campaign for president. His thoughts on the Virginia Tech tragedy; on Barack Obama and his wife's other rivals; on what he would do if he does find himself back in the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER READ, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: For the love of god and our children, please stop replaying and replaying the audio and video that you're playing. It's a second assault on us. It's a second assault on our children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: From anguish to outrage -- did the media play into the killer's hands by airing the Virginia Tech killer's manifesto?
We'll ask a friend of one of the first students killed, a brother of one of the wounded and a eyewitness survivor of Monday's rampage. And they'll tell us how important it's to remember the victims of this atrocity.
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
LARRY KING, HOST: We welcome Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States.
He's been on this program many times.
And a great pleasure to welcome him back.
B. CLINTON: Thank you, Larry.
KING: We're honored to have you. B. CLINTON: I'm glad to be here.
KING: Thank you so much.
Obviously we have to deal, first things first, this is a Columbine anniversary. It's an anniversary of Waco. Tomorrow is an anniversary of Oklahoma City. And then the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
What does a president, what does a leader say, do, think at a time like that?
B. CLINTON: Well, I think first you have to try to give voice to the pain and the suffering and do honor to the lives of the people who were lost. The most important thing you can do right after it happens is to just be there to reassure people and listen and then help people go on.
Then, you know, after some times passes, you have to analyze what happened and see if you can do anything to minimize the chances of it happening again.
KING: Is comforting hard?
B. CLINTON: Well, I think what's hard about it, for me, is when you think people perished unjustly or unfairly, especially when they're younger. You know, the older I get, the harder it's for me to see a young person die.
I think it's -- I think it's because, you know, you and I, when -- we've already had good lives. So whatever happens to us, we're going to end up ahead.
And I think that's the most painful thing, is -- I read the profiles yesterday in the, our local paper, of all of these young people at Virginia Tech. And it just -- you know, I could hardly breathe. You know, there were so many bright, good, fine kids, and also the younger staff members. And that was really difficult.
KING: And now we have come to know, through his own tape, the killer.
B. CLINTON: Yes.
KING: There are lots of questions today.
One, should we be showing him? NBC has pulled back a little.
What do you think?
B. CLINTON: I don't really -- I think that's something the media will have to decide on its own. I don't think we ought to do anything to glorify this young man, but I do think we ought to try to understand, number one, as nearly as we can, exactly what was wrong with him. And number two, since there were people who knew what was wrong, whether we need a change in law or policy that might have somehow either brought him some support or taken him out of the ordinary population before this occurred.
You know, each of these things you mentioned -- in Waco, in Oklahoma City, in Columbine -- there are things that you can say, well, if they had been done differently maybe you would have had a different result. And actually they were all quite different.
In this case, the issue here wasn't really the gun laws, for example. He cleared the Brady bill checks. But he had been identified as being profoundly troubled and having violent tendencies, at least, either toward himself or others as early as 2005.
So I think we really -- without recrimination, because nobody tried to have this happen, there ought to be some serious attempt to see whether there was some breakdown in the way the law works and the way the mental health systems works, to see if we can make some positive changes to avert this in the future.
KING: Would you change any gun laws?
B. CLINTON: Well, based on this case, I don't think that you can make that case, because he...
KING: He got a gun in a half hour.
B. CLINTON: He got a gun in a half hour, but he passed the background check. And, you know, one of the things that you might argue -- I like the three-day waiting period. But in order to get this -- the Brady Bill passed -- and then get it extended, we had to agree to allow that waiting period to be waived if you could do an automatic background check.
And, you know, that wasn't really the problem here. The problem was that if he had been committed, if it was clear that he was unstable, then he would not have -- if there was something in his record, he would not have passed the background check.
So we have to go back, I think, in this case, to the mental health care record. It's not like Columbine where you -- we needed to close the gun show loophole, which the voters of Colorado voted to do, 70 to 30 -- to do the background checks at the gun show, as well as other sale points.
It's not like Oklahoma City, where we needed, I think, to, you know, have taggants in chemicals that could be made into bombs so we could track them. There are lots of things -- all these cases are different.
This case gives us the obligation to look at how our mental health system works.
KING: Some of the bases we will cover tonight.
The Supreme Court has said partial-birth abortion is wrong. The woman will not be blamed, but the doctor can get up to two years.
B. CLINTON: Well, you know, I vetoed that bill twice. And I think it's a great victory for the political strategy of the anti- abortion movement. But I do not believe it's a pro-life decision.
B. CLINTON: I do not. Not a pro-life decision, because, let me remind you, when I vetoed that bill, I had standing in the White House with me an Evangelical Christian who had had the procedure who was pro-life, an Orthodox Jew who had had the provision who was pro-life, and another Christian who had been pro-choice.
All three women and their husbands and physicians -- but two of the three who had had the provision were pro-life. They did it because their children were -- I mean, their unborn children were severely hydrocephalic. They were certain to die either before, during or immediately after childbirth. And the doctors told them that if they did not reduce the size of these babies' heads -- which were swollen very high, very large -- that delivering them, even by cesarean section, might so damage the women that they might not be able to bear other children.
And they told me that they would otherwise never want to use this procedure, that no one would want to do this unless there was some medical necessity for it.
But it sounded gruesome. You could use -- you can label it and no one ever knew the facts. It was a perfect political strategy.
Who can be for partial-birth abortion?
It's a great line.
But the truth is, the doctors who did it and the women who agreed to have it -- as I said, I talked to two of them who were pro-life, anti-abortion. They did it because they thought it was a pro-life position. They thought it was the only way they could go on and have further children.
KING: So you don't see "Roe v. Wade" in danger?
B. CLINTON: No, I do think it's in danger. But all I'm saying is I don't believe that this was a victory for the pro-life forces. I think -- you know, I think abortion is a difficult decision. I agree with the "Roe v. Wade" decision because I don't think we ought to criminalize this. I think it's somewhat hypocritical, frankly, to make the doctors criminals and leave the mothers off.
KING: It's two parts to the crime.
B. CLINTON: You can't go around saying, well, this is killing and then you have an essential accomplice here, the mother. The mother can't do this -- I mean, the doc can't do it without the mother. But we're not going to charge them, we're only going to charge the doctor.
So they know how hard this is. This is -- but as a political strategy for the anti-abortion movement, it's a great triumph. And they do -- they have put "Roe vote. Wade" at risk. I just don't agree with the decision. And I don't think it's pro-life.
I think that the -- I vetoed those bills because I thought that if they passed it would make it harder for women with problem pregnancies to have other children.
KING: When we come back, President Clinton on his wife's chances in the election, Barack Obama and what if he did become America's first gentleman?
That's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: This is your first of media appearance since Senator Hillary Clinton has officially announced.
B. CLINTON: Yes.
KING: And now you are in the running.
So first and foremost, what do you make of the Senator Obama threat?
B. CLINTON: Well, I think, first of all, there are -- the good news about this primary, for me as a Democrat who has been following this for 40 years now, is that nobody has to vote against anybody.
I mean, you've got a big field of people. If you look at the three that aren't doing well in the polls now -- Governor Richardson, Senator Biden, Senator Dodd -- these people have rendered extraordinary service to our country and they are devoted public servants. They're highly intelligent. They're gifted people and they deserve to be seriously listened to.
And then you've got -- and you've Senator Edwards doing well. You've got Senator Obama doing well. You've got the prospect that Vice President Gore might run.
We've got a good field. No one has to vote against anybody. And that means that people are free to vote for the person who is most likely to be the best president.
KING: Are you surprised at where Senator Obama has come from?
B. CLINTON: No.
B. CLINTON: No. Not knowing what I know about the way the media culture works and the way the press coverage has been. He's a very gifted man, politically. And I'm not sorry that -- surprised that John Edwards is doing as well as he is.
I just -- I get how this process works. But I don't think that money is the only thing. We'll just have to see how this plays out. I remember 30 years ago -- more than 30 years ago now, when John Connally raised $10 million, which was probably what, $50 million, $60 million in today's terms, and got one delegate.
So it's a long, long thing. The thing that bothers me about this process is it's awfully early. It's starting a little early and it's hard for people to maintain the mental and emotional discipline necessary to sustain this long fight.
KING: Are you concerned for your wife?
B. CLINTON: No. No, I'm really proud of her. I think that -- you know, I believe she would be the best president by a good long stretch, for all kinds of obvious reasons -- or at least they're obvious to me.
But she also genuinely loves her job in the Senate. You know, she's not -- some people who run for president can't wait to get out of the Senate or out of whatever other job she's got. She loves it. She's still doing it. She's still going to her committee meetings, going to Upstate New York and trying to run for president, as well.
So for her personally, she's going to fine regardless. I think it would be best for the country if she were elected president. But if voters make another choice, she's a great senator and she loves her job and we'll have a good life.
KING: Well, it could be an awkward situation. OK, she's president. You are very gifted. She comes to you, asks you to serve -- secretary of state, something.
B. CLINTON: Well, I believe -- I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal for me to be secretary of state. I think after...
KING: Since Kennedy appointed Robert Kennedy?
B. CLINTON: Since Kennedy appointed Robert Kennedy, at some point after President Kennedy was killed, I think the Congress made it illegal for the president to name a member of his or her immediate family to a cabinet position.
KING: How about another position?
B. CLINTON: So let's put that to the side.
I think, in general, former presidents should do whatever the current president asks them to do, if they can do it in good conscience, anybody.
If President Bush asked me to do something, if I can do it in good conscience, I would do it. You know, his father and I did the Katrina work, the tsunami work. And I have done two or three other things for him.
You know, I love her very much. And I think she would be a great president. And all presidents need help. They need all the help they can get. And we're going to have a lot of challenges. So if she asked me to do something, whatever it was, I would probably do it.
But I -- I hope I won't have to give up the work I do now entirely. I'd like to continue my foundation work around the world. But I want to be there for her. She -- if the American people select her, I'm going to do everything I can to be there for her.
KING: Is there something you'd like?
B. CLINTON: No. I'd like to be whatever turns out to be most needed by her. That's the most important thing. When you get to be president, the rest of us who support someone who gets elected president, we should just do whatever we're needed to do.
KING: And if asked, you'd do it?
B. CLINTON: Absolutely.
KING: Because it's your president.
Iraq is going to be a major issue in 2008.
Has -- your wife has had some difficulty with it. For, against, pull out, not pull out.
Is that going to hurt her?
B. CLINTON: Well, I think her position on what we do from here on has been clear. She's had some difficulty because of the insistence of some people in characterizing the vote on the Iraq War Resolution back in 2002, saying that everybody who voted for that voted for the war. And that's factually inaccurate.
Let me remind you that that resolution was written by Senator Carl Levin, Senator Lugar and Senator Chuck Hagel, the primary Republican opponent of the war.
And if you read the resolution, it says that the president is authorized to attack Saddam Hussein if the diplomatic efforts, that is, the inspections, fail.
He couldn't make a finding that they had failed. They were succeeding. And before the people voted on that, the president said these inspections were the last chance to avoid war.
So it's simply not true that a vote for that resolution was a vote for this war.
Plus which Alberto Gonzales gave an opinion saying he didn't need any help from the Congress. He could go to war against Saddam whenever he wanted.
This resolution was an attempt to confine the use of force to a circumstance in which he failed -- the inspections.
And I think the reason she hasn't apologized is she believes that some future president -- even if it's not her -- some future president may need coercive inspections. The U.N. may need it in the future. You may need to tell someone if you fail these inspections over nuclear weapons, then you're subject to military action.
So -- but I think the real relevant thing is what do we do now?
And I basically agree with what she says. We should take down substantial numbers of forces this year, get them out of direct combat, but not bring everybody home because we don't want to abandon the Kurds. We don't want to cause unnecessary tension between the Kurds and the Turks. And we have to have a presence in the region to try to deal with unforeseen difficulties, like new terrorist operations rising up in the Sunni section that might want to attack not just the Shiites in Iraq, but other people in the Middle East, and even in the United States.
So I think she's got a pretty good handle on this.
KING: But it's not going away, obviously.
B. CLINTON: It's not going away. And I -- look, I've got -- I have no problem with this being a subject of debate in this election. It should be. And I think that people should make an attempt to learn the real differences in the positions of the candidates. But we ought to be fair to them.
KING: Up next, the attorney general was under fire today on Capitol Hill.
Should he stay, should he go?
When we come back, President Clinton will give us his thoughts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: I am Hillary Clinton and I am running for president. And I am...
B. CLINTON: If she got elected, she would be fabulous. She would be magnificent. And I know she would be great for America.
I give you the person who, for 35 years, I have always that would be the best America can offer. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
My guest is America's 42nd president, Bill Clinton.
Today, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a very contentious hearing.
I asked President Clinton, should the attorney general keep his job?
B. CLINTON: I think he ought to resign. I noticed several of our prominent leaders in both -- at least the Democrats, including Hillary, have asked him to resign.
I think that, you know, he obviously loves the president and he has tried to serve him faithfully. Sometimes the worst thing you can do for a president is to tell them what they want to hear. And, you know, I always -- I told people when I was president that no one would ever be fired, demoted or exiled for telling me something I didn't want to hear. If all I needed was what I wanted to hear, I could govern by computer. You need people that give you the whole deal.
But I think he's been loyal to President Bush. And I understand why President Bush is reluctant to let him go. I don't think he ought to force the president to fire him. I think he ought to -- he's a long and good run here.
And if what I saw coming out of Senator Specter today and others is right, and there is a lot of opposition to him in the Congress, and these cases raise real troubling questions -- these U.S. attorney firings -- the best thing he could do for this president that he serves so loyally is to step aside.
KING: Back to politics, what -- which Republican candidate, of those thus far announced, do you fear the most?
B. CLINTON: I don't know yet, because I don't know how this race will play out between now and the nomination.
For example, right now, Mayor Giuliani is doing the best, as you would expect. And doing the best with independents, as you would expect, because the campaign hasn't really begun in the minds of many people.
So he's sort of frozen in time in a very good way for himself on 9/11 where, by comparison to others he looked very good. I mean, he had served well.
But all the other issues that might be brought into play are only now beginning to creep into the public consciousness. I noticed these late surveys, they seem to be tightening up.
I still think Senator McCain is a very durable character. He's a very admirable man. He paid a great price to serve this country.
And whether I agree or disagree with him on everything, you've got to respect him.
I think that Governor Romney raised a lot of money and has done some important things in his life.
And then, again, I feel with the Republicans, it's like the Democrats, a lot of their candidates that aren't doing as well in the polls have specific things that really recommend them to people.
So I cannot tell you now who would be the strongest. I don't know.
KING: We have a CNN/Opinion Research poll. Sixty percent of those surveyed think that you would have a positive effect on the administration. Only 30 percent thought negative. And a new poll just in about the notion of Chelsea taking on traditional duties of the first lady if your mom is elected as president. Overwhelming, 63 percent said that's a bad idea.
Is it a bad idea?
B. CLINTON: I think so. I can tell you that if Chelsea had been called, she'd be one of those 63 percent.
B. CLINTON: You know, she -- I'm very proud of our daughter, and Hillary is. And she's very supportive of her mother. But she's got her own life to live. She works. She does her own range of other activities. She cares a lot about politics and she wants her mom to win.
But she's got a life to live. And we don't want to interrupt that. And she -- there is no way she should stop doing what she's doing and try to assume that role.
I think, you know, we'll figure out what to do about the traditional social responsibilities of the White House. If the American people choose Hillary, we'll figure out how to discharge them.
KING: You're not surprised, though, that 60 percent want you to be involved?
B. B. CLINTON: No, because I've had a lot of experience and I can help her. And we learned a lot from -- not only from our successes, but from the things we tried and didn't succeed in. And that's why I said I will do whatever I can, as much as I can. I'm flattered and gratified and I'll do what I can to help.
But she'll be the president. She'll make the decisions. But if I can help, I will.
KING: When we come back, President Clinton on what he thinks could be the most rewarding thing he's ever done, right after this on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: The Global Initiative, which I'm proud to attend every year, how's it going?
B. CLINTON: It's going great. We're already picking up new commitments. We had our midterm meeting today. And now we've had 570 commitments affecting 100 countries in the last two years. A hundred of them have been totally completed. Now all of the others are in the various process of being implemented.
And you know it's making a huge difference. We had kids from the Middle East today, a Jordanian Muslim young man meet with an American Jewish girl. They had met together in Jordan. They talked about their common experience and how together they were promoting reconciliation.
We had a young woman who lost both her parents to AIDS in South Africa and had herself been abused, who was in a program funded by something called the Ubuntu Fund to lift her up and give her educational and economic opportunities and she promised to help 10 other people do the same thing.
So we have things like that that we announced today, just so people could see everybody is still keeping their commitments and we're going toward the next year. I'm really excited about it. This is the most rewarding thing, in some ways, I've ever done. Just seeing all these people, wonderful people, come up out of nowhere and ...
KING: You bring them all together.
B. CLINTON: I try to do that, yes.
KING: All right, a few other things. Someone once proposed some years back that we don't make proper use of former presidents. They have no power. We send them out to dry. Maybe they should have a seat in the Senate, maybe not a voting seat, but a vocal seat. Should we make better use?
B. CLINTON: Well, it's easy to say yes, but let me just point out, first of all, it depends upon what the former president is willing to do. I mean like right now we are fortunate that Jimmy Carter and George Bush and I are all in pretty good health and we are oriented toward doing this and we get asked to and have several opportunities to serve.
If you gave us an institutional responsibility to show up at the Senate ...
KING: You don't have to show up, but a seat, you can speak out.
B. CLINTON: ...yes, that might be a good thing to do, but I think the most important thing is that when you leave the White House, you should feel obliged to give something back for what you have been given. And what more could any American be given than the opportunity to serve as president?
And so you know what I think is based on your age and your capacity and your interests when you get out of office you should just try to give something back and you should do it in a disciplined way. And I think that we're changing the culture.
And I used former presidents quite frequently when I was president, and President Bush has asked me to do several things along with his father. Maybe we should institutionalize that. I know Hillary has said that she would like to not only have my services, but she would expect to ask all the former presidents to do things for America, and I think we ought to do that.
KING: Will the Global Initiative keep going on? I mean let's say your wife is elected and you get...
B. CLINTON: Absolutely.
KING: ...duties. You'll still keep ...
B. CLINTON: Absolutely. I want to do this for at least a decade, and then I want to say to the American people, OK, we did this -- and people all over the world. We did this for a decade. Here's how much money we raised, here's how much time was spent. Here are the specific things that were done and the consequences.
I really keep score. We're very rigorous about keeping score, about whether people keep their commitment and what the consequence is of it.
And if that happens, and I think within a decade, given the dramatic advances in, like, Internet communications, we will have a global network of citizen public servants that will go on and keep growing and growing and growing, whatever happens to me and whatever I do. I just hope I can sustain this for a decade.
KING: One other thing, you mentioned you were in good health. You obviously look in good health. How are you?
B. CLINTON: As far as I know I'm fine.
KING: You have the regular checkups?
B. CLINTON: Oh yes. And I am working as hard as I ever have, maybe harder. I just finished a five-day speaking tour, working on my childhood obesity and anti-diabetes initiatives and my foundation work for the Clinton Global Initiative, and health care and other things out West. And I flew back overnight from Oregon and I'm working today.
KING: How much are you going to campaign?
B. CLINTON: I am going to do whatever I am asked to do, whatever I can. I don't think it's helpful, really, for me to be out there too much now. I try to do some of Hillary's fundraising here in New York because they will accept me and it's...
KING: But when it gets really going?
B. CLINTON: When it gets going I'll do what I am asked to do. I think it will be better, though, now for her to be out there. I want people to know her. I want her to get -- and starting one of these campaigns, I don't care how many times you've been through it, takes a while to get your sea legs, get the rhythm, get the resonance of where the people are, and then I'll go out and do whatever I can.
It's fun for me but I just want to make sure everybody knows I'm helping her. You know that's what I -- just got to -- she's doing fine. I just want to help her if I can.
KING: You still love her, don't you?
B. CLINTON: Very much.
KING: Thanks. Thank you.
B. CLINTON: Thanks.
KING: President Bill Clinton.
Up next, the media backlash over the Virginia Tech massacre. Victims family and friends speak out when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
KING: Welcome back, now let's turn our attention to the massacre of last Monday. This, by the way, is the new issue of "Time" magazine, a special issue devoted to all this with a good title, "Trying to Make Sense of a Massacre".
Joining us in Blacksburg, Virginia, Patrick Strollo whose 19- year-old sister, Hillary, was seriously wounded; in Blacksburg, Virginia is Vic Kasoff, the Virginia Tech student resident adviser whose great friend, Ryan Clark, was killed during the first shooting incident. And at Virginia Beach, a return visit with Trey Perkins, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre. He was in the German class in Norris Hall, among those killed was the instructor of that class, Christopher Bishop.
Patrick, how is your sister, Hillary, doing?
PATRICK STROLLO, SISTER SERIOUSLY WOUNDED IN MONDAY'S MASSACRE: Yes, Larry, she's doing very well. She's in great spirits right now. She was able to walk around the ICU today and she also stood up and hung out the window to see the marching band play for her today and started a chant.
KING: And some more good news by the way, Patrick and Vic and Trey, three more victims from Monday's shooting were released from the hospital today, so things are looking better.
Vic, things didn't work out for Ryan. What was he like?
VIC KASOFF, FRIEND RYAN CLARK MURDERED IN 1ST SHOOTING AT VIRGINIA TECH DORM: He was just a big ball of energy, you know. You could always look forward to, you know, seeing him on campus, getting a high five from him. He was able to make a joke out of almost every situation and you know when appropriate. And it was just -- he boosted your spirits.
KING: Now, Vic, what do you think of this controversy now stemming over the networks showing the shooter?
KASOFF: I feel like people have the option to see who it was. You know he sent the package out for a reason and people have the option of seeing it. If they don't want to see who it was and you know what he decided to do, then they have the option of either turning the TV off or not looking it up.
KING: Trey Perkins, you shared with us the events of the other night and now you're home with your family. How's everybody doing?
TREY PERKINS, SURVIVOR OF MONDAY'S MASSACRE: We're all doing very well. It's great to have my family and be with them to just get support from all of my family and friends.
KING: Going back to school?
PERKINS: Yes, I'll be returning to class on Monday.
KING: What did you think of the showing of the shooter?
PERKINS: I was disappointed. Fortunately, my parents saw it first and told me about it and so I didn't have to see any of the videos. I've seen some of the photos. And I just can't describe to you the pain that it causes and the feelings that I have. And so I just can't imagine what the families of people who lost their lives, what they must be going through when they see these pictures. And it really hurts me that they have to go through that.
KING: I understand. There's no plus in it for you, right, Trey?
PERKINS: Not at all, it's all pain.
KING: What about you, Patrick? What was your reaction?
STROLLO: You know it's one of those things I thought was actually inevitable. I mean whenever there's a demand for something, the media will put it out to get the ratings. I wish my sister and all the families who lost someone and all those injured didn't have to see it, but it's one of those things that's out there and they're going to have to see it. And the sad thing is that Cho lives on. So you know they'll just have to have that image of him with a gun in their memories forever.
KING: Vic Kasoff, what is Camp Big Heart?
KASOFF: Excuse me.
KING: What is Camp Big Heart?
KASOFF: I don't know what you're talking about, I'm sorry.
KING: I'm told that it's a camp for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities where Ryan worked.
KASOFF: I couldn't tell you too much information about it. Ryan and I never talked about Camp Big Heart personally. KING: OK. And despite the fact that your friend was killed, you don't have as much objection as our other two guests to the showing of the shooter?
KASOFF: Well, like he said, you know it was going to be inevitable that, you know, people wanted to see who did it. And the fact that it's out there and people have the option, then it's going to be up on the news everywhere, but fortunately people have the decision whether or not to turn the TV on or not. You know the people who are in the room unfortunately had to see it first hand and we have to see it on TV. So if you don't want to see it again, then you don't have to turn the TV on.
KING: Trey, it's going to take a long while for this to pass, isn't it?
PERKINS: I don't think I'll ever get over it. And I don't think the families who lost loved ones will ever get over it. But we have to go on and it'll take some time, but the healing will start to happen.
KING: Thank you, all, Patrick Strollo, Vic Kasoff, and Trey Perkins.
Up next, a criminal profiler and a psychologist on the best and the worst that could come from broadcasting the killer's video manifesto. It's right after this on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARRETT EVANS, SHOOTING VICTIM: He walked to the door real fast, didn't saying anything, all he did was bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. And I saw Satan at work and I saw God at work at same time. I mean...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How so?
EVANS: Evil, an evil spirit was going through that boy, that shooter. I knew it. I felt it.
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KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, is Pat Brown, the famed criminal profiler, founder and CEO of The Sexual Homicide Exchange, SHE, it's called, and the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. Here in New York is Dr. Michael Welner, M.D., chairman of the Forensic Panel, associate professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, developer of the depravity scale, a research that aims to establish society standard of what makes a crime depraved; and also here in New York, Dr. Susan Lipkins, a psychologist, an expert on hazing. She specializes in issues of violence and conflict in colleges and high schools. I want the opinions of all of our guests. Pat, what do you make of the showing of the shooter?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, there's the good and the bad. I think the good part is that it has shown the public how this is a tip of an iceberg. When you see a psychopath out in real life, you're just getting a little bit of his personality. But if you see, for example, some of his creepy writings, there's a lot more creepy writings someplace else and a lot more creepy thinking. If he shows some stalking behaviors a couple of times, you can guess that there's going to be maybe 100 other incidents he's actually done this. And so, you do not know what's lying below that surface, so you really want to be careful.
The bad part of this, I think, is that this televising of this event is like a super bowl for mass murders. It is like OK, this is the best thing we can do. Look at -- you know how many people watch the super bowl, maybe more people are watching this. So you can bet that there's going to be copycats ifs in the future that say I want my own super bowl.
KING: Pat Brown, is it harmful to the parents and relatives of those who died? Not you, Pat, I'm sorry, Dr. Welner, and then we'll around Robin here, harmful.
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, CHAIRMAN, THE FORENSIC PANEL: Well, from a standpoint of not just a forensic psychiatrist but a clinician in disaster medicine, parents ask themselves what was the last thing my child saw? And when they have to open up the Internet and see a picture of a gun pointing at them, that's traumatic, Larry. That's traumatic and there has to be a sense of responsibility. And I would appeal to the major websites, the major news websites, that it's not just about the videos, it's also the images.
There are images available about Cho. The images of him holding weapons, they need to be removed and need to be removed now. And the American public needs to communicate with these news organizations to ask this because it's traumatic to the families and it's inspiring to the disaffected who will latch on to this and see this as an inspiration. It's not going to happen tomorrow. The people we need to worry about will be hatching plans and we'll worry about it next April 20.
KING: Dr. Lipkins, how does it help us?
DR. SUSAN LIPKINS, PSYCHOLOGIST: I don't think it does. I think it desensitizes us and we lose contact with the humanness of it and you really have to look at the positives of this. Can we pull together and find the goodness in being together? I think that all the kids are doing well in the hospital -- as we pull together in Katrina and we have to learn our lesson. We have to wake up America and see that we need to focus on the bigger issue, which is mental health in the country.
KING: Pat Brown, apparently police investigators say this manifesto material has turned out to be of little value to them. What do you think? BROWN: Well, I'm not surprised because it's very much similar to pretty much what every psychopath says. This guy is not all that much different. He's just expressing his bitterness, his anger and how he just wants to do everybody in. What does that tell us? Nothing, pretty much, nothing, just I wanted to kill people.
KING: Dr. Welner, off the top, you haven't examined him nor did you.
WELNER: No, but let me share some experience with you. I examined Ronald Taylor who was a mass shooter in Pittsburgh. And I found his manifesto very illuminating because he was rational when he wrote it. And it gave me an insight into the significance of his racism and how it had nothing to do with psychosis.
On the other hand, I've worked on cases where -- you know, I've read these plays. We've all read these plays and as a forensic psychologist, I've read plays written that are drama, that are comedy and that are psychotic. And you read them and say I've seen this genre before. And so when you -- there is something to reading that if it's so irrational, Larry, you can't derive ideas from it because you know these ideas are so influx because a person is so disturbed.
KING: Is there a way, Dr. Lipkins, to find them and put them away?
LIPKINS: I don't think there is a way. I think we need to fast track those kinds of students who are really in pain and that 1 percent of the population is schizophrenic as I think that this young boy was. And we don't have a way of fast tracking and communicating all the systems on campus. We have to lock at our campuses and make them safe.
KING: Quickly, what's schizophrenia?
LIPKINS: Schizophrenic is a psychotic disorder in which -- it's a thought disorder and you hallucinate, you have delusions. And I think all of his writing and all of the indications are something like that.
KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more of our outstanding panel. Don't go away.
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KIM YANG-SOON, GREAT AUNT OF CHO SEUNG-HUI (through translator): In Korea, he was very quiet. When they went to the United States, they told me it was autism. From the beginning, he wouldn't answer me. Cho doesn't talk. Normally sons and mothers talk. There was none of that for them. He was very cold.
Every time I called and asked how he was, she would say she was worried about him. She said she couldn't deal with him. She didn't know what to do. Cho's father and grandfather worried about that. Who would have known he would cause such trouble, the idiot.
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KING: Dr. Welner, any way to institutionalize, find them and get them out of society.
WELNER: You can institutionalize people but you can't keep them there unless they're an ongoing risk. I think a more appropriate way is to look at this as a homeland security issue. If there are people who are identified who are at higher risk, there's no reason that the countries intelligence services cannot work within the Constitution utilizing forensic nurses or forensic social workers to just keep people connected. But as intelligence services can vary gracefully do, watch when guns are purchased and other kinds of markers happen.
KING: We're going to do a whole show next week. We're going to have you all back on, all of this, concept of what to do about it, the mental aspect.
Pat Brown, how come -- if I come running up to you and say there was a mass shooting at a school somewhere, there's two things you know: it was in the a black person and it did not happen in Harlem or in an area where there are very much poor people. It always seems to be in an affluent area. It's Columbine or Virginia Tech. Why?
BROWN: Well, I want to explain quickly something about the difference between a psychotic and psychopath to answer that. A psychotic doesn't understand reality. A psychopath knows what reality is and hates it. So in each culture, where you have psychopaths, they want to get back at society. And so, each culture has its own way of getting back. I think when you're talking about a very urban area, getting back may be part of a gang, being out in the rural areas, then you got what we see more like here.
And if you go overseas, where you've got political issues, then you say, "Hey being a suicide bomb is the thing to do." But it's your vengeance and your anger toward society. But everybody has their own fantasy that they grew up with.
KING: Dr. Lipkins, how come it's never a woman?
LIPKINS: I don't know. You know that's a good question. But I think that we shouldn't argue about his diagnosis. We should really try to take mental health out of the closet and start to discuss it in a reasonable way and realize that our children are in pain and we need to fix the system.
KING: We don't do that?
LIPKINS: No, we don't. We have a broken mental health system. I'll guarantee you that. And we have students across the country in high school and college who are in pain and don't have enough services.
KING: That seems idiotic.
LIPKINS: It does.
KING: I mean don't the counselors see it?
LIPKINS: There are not enough counselors. They're overwhelmed. More and more kids are going to college with preexisting emotional disturbances. They're medicated for depression and anxiety. Everybody has sleep disorders.
KING: In my son's elementary school, a public school in California, if the counselor or anybody sees any kid act in any way that might be aggressive, a little out of way, they call you in.
WELNER: Well, that's a school issue. And campuses haven't had to deal with this in the same way high schools have.
I want to touch on Dr. Lipkins' point and also Pat Brown's quickly. First of all, in my professional opinion, with the endowments that schools have, millions and hundreds of millions of dollars, they can finance adequate school mental health services.
And as for the women question, the problem with our society is that male role models focus around the destructive power. There's nothing about femininity that relates to destruction, but when you have Rambo, and the progeny of Arnold, then you guns and masculinity and identity.
In my professional opinion, having worked on black mass homicides, black mass shooters, and I've survived four mass shooters who've survived and worked on other cases when they have not, it is a crime of a person who has failed but who had high expectations of themselves. As we see the African-American community in this country improve with higher expectations...
KING: Are we going to see it?
WELNER: I don't know that we will. But my point is it's an issue of people who failed but who had higher expectations for themselves. And as we see an improvement in society...
KING: We're going to have some disagreement. We're going to have all of our guests back next week and stand tough. There's Pat Brown, the criminal profiler; Dr. Michael Welner, and Dr. Susan Lipkins. We thank you all.
And earlier, we thank our gang and guys from Virginia Tech and of course, Bill Clinton.
Thanks very much for joining us.
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