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CNN Larry King Live
Panel Discusses Terrorist Attacks
Aired September 18, 2001 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KING: Tonight, one week after the unthinkable, where does America stand and where does it go from here? Joining us, the Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. We'll also hear from Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. Plus the former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. And then flight attendant Ceecee Lyles called her husband from the hijacked jet that crashed in Pennsylvania.
Lorne Lyles, her husband, will share her story with us from Florida. And Todd Beamerw has been called one of the heroes of United Flight 93. His wife Lisa remembers a brave and much loved man. And they are all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. First some headlines. Mayor Giuliani has warned that a very small chance exists of anyone being found alive at ground zero. The mayor will be with us in a little while. Bush and aides mark the passage of what he called a horrible week with a moment of silence today outside the White House. And Wall Street posts a modest drop after the Dow's biggest one-day point drop in history.
We begin with the Kingdom of Jordan and we go to Amman, a vitally important part of proposed international coalition. Earlier today, I was privileged to speak with their majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. I began by asking the king for his reaction to Israel's decision to halt its military operations.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ABDULLAH, KING OF JORDAN: I think that is very positive news, because obviously, one of the key elements in bringing stability to this area will be solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And we have seen the increase of violence over the past several months, especially increase in the past week or so. I think both sides realize the calamity that happened in the United States has changed the world, once and for all. And I believe we are at the threshold of seeing both sides sitting down, once and for all, and hopefully coming to a peaceful agreement.
KING: In other words, out of tragedy might come hope?
ABDULLAH: Sir, unfortunately, sometimes it does take tragedy to bring about hope. And I believe that there is tremendous hope all over the world now that after the horrible, tragic incidents that we saw in the United States that out of that, out of the ashes, will come hope for all of us in the world. And in particular here in the Middle East.
KING: You met with President Mubarak yesterday. He was our guest last night on this program. What came of that meeting?
ABDULLAH: We had a very good meeting this afternoon, again, in trying to coordinate what support we can give to the international community. And what we need to do to really be able to tackle the problem of international terrorism and at the same time trying to give our support to the Israelis and the Palestinians to be able to get to the peace table as quickly as possible.
KING: To the first lady, Queen Rania. What has been reaction of the Jordanian people to these attacks?
RANIA, QUEEN OF JORDAN: People here have been initially very shocked, and they just couldn't believe what happened. And I think a week later now the sorrow and the grief is beginning to set in, as I'm sure it is with all the American people and the families of the victims. And really our hearts go out to all of the victims and their families, who are going through a very difficult time. And I just want to tell them that you know, at times like this, the only thing that one can do is pray to God, the one God that we all believe in, the God that will give us strength to go forward with our lives and pick up the pieces. I hope.
KING: You have three children. You wrote a children's book about your father -- late father in law. What do you say to children at a time like this?
RANIA: It is so difficult to really -- to explain this kind of thing to children. My son, Hussein, passed by the living room when I was watching CNN, seeing some of the images. He saw some of the pictures of the destruction, and he was asking me, "Mum, what's going on? Is there a war?" And I said I said "Yes, there is kind of a war going on." He said, "Well, who did this?" I said we don't know. He asked me, "Are there some people stuck in there, and are there mothers out there looking for them?" I said, "Yes, they are."
And then he asked me a very difficult question. He said, "Why did they do this?" And I find it very difficult to answer that question. I think that that is one question we all have to ask ourselves. I think the last few days we have been talking about what we can do to increase security and intelligence cooperation, but the one question we really have to ask ourselves is why are there people in this world with this hatred and anger that leads them to such disregard for human life, and for them to be so misguided in their fanaticism. I think that is a question that we all have to answer.
KING: King Abdullah, where does you and your country stand in this question of the United States building a coalition again? I know the clerics yesterday said that the Muslims should not participate in an antiterror coalition. What's your view?
ABDULLAH: Well, I think that the Arab world is -- Islamic world, the international community, is fully behind an international platform to put an end to the scourge of international terrorism. So you will get full support from everybody. Obviously, I think there are concerns on how we should go about that.
ABDULLAH: Not only in our part of the world, but also in Europe. Again, we are waiting for the United States to formulate its policy so that we can see how best to support combating terrorism. As you know, Larry, this is not just a military option, it is that of the political, diplomatic, economic and intelligence. And each country with its capabilities will try and do as much as they can. So I think you will get the full support from everybody in this part of the world. But we need to know what it is going to take and how we can help.
KING: Have you heard anything definitive from President Bush?
ABDULLAH: I had a very good conversation with the president. Again, we were very taken by his leadership and the strength of the American people to this very, very difficult crisis. Again, I was very, very heartened and moved by his support to Arab-Americans and those of the Islamic faith, that the United States is one country, one people, and that really that you are the beacon and the hope for many of us around the world. And again, also, we discussed the difficulties of the region and how we can end the conflicts, which will be the quickest way of taking away platforms for radical organizations that use crisis and conflict to try and drum support for their somewhat narrow-minded causes.
KING: What -- what, Your Majesty, is your view of Bin laden? There have been reports that his organization has cells throughout Syria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iraq, the West Bank, Gaza -- but not in Jordan. How do you account for that?
ABDULLAH: We have obviously felt Osama Bin Laden in Jordan as well. Actually last year, during the millennium celebrations, there was an attempt to create massive damage and loss of life in our hotels, but uncovering that cell actually led to the ability of the North American intelligence services because of the information that we had.
We managed to intercept several cases or attempts that were going to be perpetrated in the United States during the millennium celebrations, which would have cost thousands of lives in North America and in Europe. So the battle with Osama Bin Laden has been going on for quite a while. And as the weeks continue, I think you will find out we will be able to talk more about what Osama Bin Laden was trying to do against the normal Jordanian citizen. And some of the things he was up to were quite horrific indeed.
KING: Just so we get this straight. You took actions last year that prevented what would have been attacks against North America?
ABDULLAH: Yes, sir. I think the operation that we took down in Jordan allowed us the ability to uncover a series of operations in Europe and in the United States, and in Canada, which immediately, obviously, we coordinated with those countries' agencies. We managed in teamwork to be able to intercept those operations.
ABDULLAH: We did good. We saved a lot of lives.
KING: Boy, that is great to hear. It was also reported that -- I think it was in June of last year -- that 10 people were arrested in Amman who had grenades and machine guns, were going to take action against the U.S. Embassy? Is that true?
ABDULLAH: I don't think it was specific to the American embassy but we caught several groups that were in Jordan trying to do series of operations, and obviously they are all interlinked. And again, some of these operations are ongoing, so as we go through the next couple of weeks, as we wrap up a lot of these operations, then Jordan can talk more about what Osama Bin Laden, his organizations were trying to do not only in Jordan, in the Middle East, but in Europe, and North America as well.
KING: Do you think Bin Laden is involved in this?
ABDULLAH: Well, the indications from all of us point to the organizations that come under the umbrella of Osama Bin Laden. So directly or indirectly, I think his name will surface as being responsible for the horrific incidents as we have seen in the United States.
KING: Mr. Mubarak warned yesterday about taking instinctive action. Maybe too much, too soon, to wait and have patience. Do you share that view?
ABDULLAH: I do. And I think, again, the American administration does. As you have noticed, we have gone almost a week, and American policy is still being formulated. In other words, the American administration is taking its time to make sure they understand fully who is behind these crimes and then to be able to develop a strategy that we can all work with. I think that is a very mature approach from the United States.
Obviously, I think that what we are saying is we are having a go at international terrorism. There are countries that have been supporting terrorism. I think after the 11th of September, that is changed. And I think the word goes out to all those countries that have some affiliation with terrorist organizations to say, "Gentlemen, what's happened in the past has happened. Today's a new day. You have to make up your mind. Are you with us?
Are you against us? And if you have supported terrorism in the past, we are going to give you the chance to right the wrongs right away. If not, then you are going to have to deal with us in another way."
KING: Madam First Lady, the United States has seen something happen a week ago it had never seen on its direct soil before. You live in a region where terrorism is commonplace. How do you -- how do you adjust to that? You know, we are trying to. How do you?
RANIA: Well, I think you never adjust to it. And I don't think anyone should adjust to it. I think it is our right to live safely, and first, to feel that our children can grow up in a safe and secure environment. I don't think it is fair for anybody to have to adjust to this kind of fear. And we shouldn't live in this kind of fear. And I think with incidents of last week have taught us that we all have to get together, work together, cooperate and prevent these kinds of acts of evil from terrorizing our lives. So I really don't think anybody should accept these kinds of evil acts.
KING: Finally, Your Majesty are you -- we asked this of President Mubarak last evening. Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
ABDULLAH: Oh, sir, I'm very optimistic. This is a battle that has been going on for a long time. We in this part of the world have been in the trenches fighting this type of evil for many, decades. And I think that the awful incidents that happened in Washington and New York is a wake-up call to the rest of the world to once and for all come together to be able to combat international terrorism.
And I'm optimistic because -- the heinous crimes we saw in United States have struck into the hearts and souls of all of us around the world. And I think there is enough anger out there to say once and for all we want to put a stop to this. I'm optimistic that for the first time, we will really be able to take the fight to the -- evil people that have been perpetrating these crimes across the world and say that enough is enough. KING: One other thing. You were flying to the United States last Tuesday morning, correct? You were in the air when this happened?
ABDULLAH: We were near the coast of Nova Scotia when the first calls came through. And honestly, Larry, in the first five minutes we really couldn't understand the extent of the tragedy that was unfolding. We were told a bomb had gone off in New York.
Bombs go off all the time. I don't think the images were easy to translate across a telephone. It wasn't until we got to -- really back into England to refuel on our way back home where we saw first images on television -- that the real shock set in on how horrible it -- to what extent these crimes were. And I mean, really you have to be able to see the images to understand the extent of the violence that was perpetrated on innocent people in the United States.
KING: Did your own security ask you to go back?
ABDULLAH: No. We -- we actually were I felt that, you know, in times of crisis, friends need be with friends. And my initial instinct was to continue to the United States to be with our friends, to show solidarity and support. But then it obviously dawned as we began to understand the extent of the damage, that who would be interested. I had a lecture in Houston. We were meeting with the IT community in Los Angeles. The American people had their minds on the tragedy that was unfolding. For us to have been there would have been very insensitive. Obviously, the administration and the government had their hands full. It was probably easier just to get out of everybody's hair, come back here. We are waiting to come back to United States, I think, in very near future.
KING: We hope to see you. Thank you both very much. His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan and Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. Tomorrow night Queen Noor will be one of our quests. We will take a break and when we come back, the Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are no beaches to storm. There are no islands to conquer. There are no battle lines to be drawn. It is a war that is going to take a -- an international effort. It is going to take all of us to gather the necessary intelligence, the necessary information, to be able to find the location of terrorists, to work with governments to smoke them out of their safe houses, to get them moving, and then have the courage to bring them to justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now welcome to "LARRY KING LIVE" from our studios in New York, an old friend. And these are the toughest circumstances we have ever been together. The Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, easily the best known and I think, arguably, the most popular mayor in America today. Rudy, before we start into anything, where were you last Tuesday morning when this happened?
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: When I first found out about it, I was just finishing a breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. I was notified that there was a -- that something had struck the World Trade Center. And the first notification was that it was a twin engine plane. So we rushed down -- we rushed down to the trade center, and on the way down we found out that it was large plane. And while we were going down, the second plane hit. And maybe about three minutes before we got there, and I realized at that point that it was a terrorist attack when the second plane hit.
KING: In all off all wildest imaginations, your dreams of protection, the areas you take in place to prevent something, this -- you could never have fathomed this.
GIULIANI: No. You really can't. I mean -- we -- we would go through, you know, I go back to the era like you do of nuclear disaster and preparations for it. And I was in the Ford administration and in the Reagan administration, so I know a lot of the federal preparedness for that kind of thing. So sure, you know, you thought about it like in an intellectual way. Or -- but you once you see it actually happen, when I have time I reflect on it and I look at the devastation. And just minute ago when I was walking in here, I said to someone, "I cannot believe that somebody actually did this to New York City, that they did this to our city. How could they attack two buildings, and -- we have five to six thousand people missing. That is one of the largest military attacks in history.
KING: You just spoke to the relatives of firefighters. What do you say? How do you handle that?
GIULIANI: I don't know how you handle it. We had -- we have 332 firefighters missing, and EMS workers. And we had them all together at the Hilton Hotel with the governor and the fire commissioner and the remaining high command of the fire department, because we lost our number two and number three ranking fire officers.
And you just -- you just try and offer them as much help as you can. As much practical help as you can. Trying to you know, locate their loved ones, trying to help them with benefits that they are going to need. Letting them know that their children are not going to be unprotected, that there is a whole fire department, city and country that is ready to at least lend the financial support that is necessary make sure that these kids have the future they would have had if their father had made it.
KING: You said today that hope is just about gone. Is it a question of being honest at this point, that to offer little hope would be wrong?
GIULIANI: It would be wrong. It -- it is a question of being honest. And we have consulted with experts to try to express this in the most sensitive way, and then get people ready for what inevitably is going to be the case for the overwhelming majority of people. There is -- there is no longer any hope that -- the fire department tells me, and I have to rely on them -- that we are going recover large numbers of people.
There is some hope that we can recover some isolated situations where -- you know, there have been situations in which people have lived for 10 days and 11 and 12 days. But we don't have any specific reason to say that except that we are just not going to give up. I mean, we are going to keep looking for people until we are told that that is totally out of the question. It is not totally out of the question. It is just very remote at this point.
KING: The world loves New York tonight. What does New York need the most? What do you need from people?
GIULIANI: We are getting it. There is absolutely nothing that we need that we are not getting. I spoke to the president's chief of staff today. I told him that, and spoke to a whole delegation of senators and Congressmen. We are getting everything that we need. There isn't a thing that we ask for that we are not getting, and there are things that we are getting that we haven't asked for. We have search-and-rescue teams here from Los Angeles, from Chicago, from Indianapolis, from Tampa from -- from all over the country.
And they are good. They are enormously effective and they are relieving our firefighters, and this is -- and New Yorkers have the feeling, and not just the feeling, the reality -- that we are one nation, we are absolutely together, the entire country is helping us, the amount of money that we have been able to raise so far for the families of the firefighters, and the police officers, and ems workers that we have lost, I haven't even been able to count it. I mean, it is staggering.
I was able to go stand in front of all of these -- many of them -- many of them, you know women with children, who -- their first concern, obviously, is recovering their husband. But then somewhere in the back of their minds is the fear that -- of just practical things you are going to need in life. At least I can tell them that we can take care of. That is because of the generosity of Americans.
KING: And politics is -- we see you hugging Hillary Clinton, and the governor...
GIULIANI: No politics. There are no -- this is about being American. This is not politics. It isn't Democrat, Republican, all those ideologies that we have and little fights that we have.
And America was attacked. There is, you know -- we are all together, we all need each other, we need to rely on each other, we need to help each other, and we need to fight back and make sure that we prevail. I think our goal now has to be, as we work our way out of this, that we do everything that we can do to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again. That we take away the resources from our enemies to make them incapable of doing this in the future.
KING: There is a movement in -- I know you have term limits, and there is a scheduled election for people to succeed you. But a lot of people are saying four more years. If that could happen, if they could change the law, would you stay?
GIULIANI: I don't -- I don't know. I don't know. I really have not had a chance to think about that. I don't know what the right -- I honestly have not had time to -- I talked to -- talked to people about that today. I don't know what right thing to do is. I do not know. I don't know -- I don't know the answer to that. I think.
KING: Let's say hypothetically, we know each other long enough. If someone said, "Rudy, we can do this. We can legally make this happen." Would you want to stay?
GIULIANI: I don't I don't know. I don't know the right answer to that at this point. It really hasn't been the thing that's been on my mind until yesterday, when it was presented to me. And -- I think we should get further out from event, see where we are, and then consider that. See.
KING: We'll take a break. We'll be back with more moments with Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Then we'll be meeting the former governor and the former Senate majority leader. You are watching LARRY KING LIVE. By the way, a reminder. Tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m., Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was with us the other night on Sunday, will be here on CNN with Paula Zahn and John King. We'll be right back.
KING: Last night David Letterman returned to television after a hiatus. He had something to say about Rudy Giuliani. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE NIGHT" HOST: Rudolph Giuliani is the personification of courage. And -- (APPLAUSE) -- he is an amazing man, and far, far better than we could have hope for. To run the city in the midst of this obscene chaos and attack and also demonstrate human dignity, my God! Who can do that? That is pretty short list.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You realize there, Mayor, that Letterman was expressing the thoughts of millions of people, not just New Yorkers last night. How do you feel when you hear something like that?
GIULIANI: I feel humbled by it, and the reality is I'm just reflecting the way most New Yorkers in my position would act. Larry, you are a New Yorker and you know what they are like, right?
KING: I do.
GIULIANI: I'm just reflecting -- I'm just reflecting the way they are. I can't tell you how proud I am of the way they handled themselves last Tuesday. I mean, when -- they were attacked unlike any other civilian population in America has ever been attacked, and they conducted themselves with great bravery and great dignity. We didn't have a situation in which people were trampling each other. They evacuated. They ran.
Appropriately, when they had to, to get away from danger, so we could preserve as many people as possible. But weren't trampling each other, they weren't taking advantage of each other, they were helping each other.
These are extremely strong people. And I just reflect them. And it is not just New Yorkers. I think I just reflect what Americans are like. I think this would have been same case if it had happened in any other American city or suburban area or rural area. So I'm just a reflection of a lot of other people. I'm just -- I just happen to be here. This my job, and I'll do it.
KING: We just learned that President Bush signed into law late this afternoon a $40 billion package to rebuild after last week's terrorist attack. Also put his signature to the Congressional resolution authorizing him to use military force against those responsible. Do you think you are going to get everything you need from the government?
GIULIANI: There is no question of that. President Bush was on the phone with us within two hours of this happening, he has been in constant contact with us, our senators, Senator Schumer, Senator Clinton, the dean of our congressional delegation Charlie Rangel, those are three Democrats, the president is a Republican, Governor Pataki is a Republican, like I am.
Everybody is together here, we will get everything we need to rebuild to fight back, and we are there for the president in any way we can help him in this effort to defend America. When he came to New York the other day, he was with the governor and I, and we were down at the site, and when we rode past thousands and thousands of people, these are people working on the rescue effort, he could see that New Yorkers are united behind him in an effort to make sure that, you know, we defend ourselves and end this is in the right way. So he has the support of everyone. .
KING: Rudy, do you go there every day?
GIULIANI: Yeah, I was there today for a couple hours to show -- to show Senator Inuoye and Senator Stevens and Senator Jeffords and some of the other senators who are going to be very, very necessary to the long term recovery effort.
Seeing it firsthand is enormously effective. And then I took the secretary general there because, both Governor Pataki and I thought it was important and we discussed this with the White House, that the secretary general see it, so that maybe, just maybe, he could send a message to those countries that are somewhat neutral about this, and somewhat neutral about terrorism, that this is -- this endangers everyone.
All decent countries have to support us and be with us. Otherwise they are going to be subjected to something like this in future.
KING: Churchill once said, our finest hour. You have shown that Churchillian (ph) effect here. I salute you and I thank you for...
GIULIANI: Larry, New Yorkers have. They have shown their finest hour.
KING: Mayor Giuliani, who doesn't think he has been a hero during this past week, but a lot of people think he has been the man who has held New York together, who has shown New Yorkers tow how to grieve and how to get on with their lives.
As we go to a break before we meet Governor Cuomo and Senator Mitchell, here is a small sample of what the mayor has said and done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: The situation is that right now that two airplanes have apparently the apparently -- what -- let's get-go north, then. I feel terrible for the people that we lost, some of whom I talked to just 15 minutes before we lost them. And the city is going to survive, we are going to get through it.
The numbers that we are working on are in the thousands.
Thank you very much for your help, thank you.
The people of the city, their spirit is tremendous. And I said that yesterday, and I will say it again. This city is the greatest city in the world. It has the greatest people, and a bunch cowardly terrorists can't make us fearful.
Today was a very -- very solemn and difficult day in New York City, with the three funerals that we had.
You are all my heroes. You have been from the time I was a little boy, and from the day I became the mayor of New York City.
A hope is still there that we might be able to save some lives. But the reality is that in the last several days we haven't found anyone.
They tried to destroy us, they tried to destroy our economy, they took an attack right at the financial capital of America and the world. And we are back.
We are all one, the city the state the country, and these terrorist cowards are not going to be allowed to break our spirit. In fact they made a very big mistake!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Two distinguished Americans join us now, Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, been with us many times, including the night that the Trade Center was hit the first time, back many years ago. And Senator George Mitchell the former Senate majority leader who is the chairman of the Sharm El-Sheikh fact-finding committee, giving recommendations to President Bush about resolving Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Governor Cuomo, do you think that as some are saying, Israel is somehow is involved in this? Israel is going to get blamed for this?
MARIO CUOMO, FMR. GOVERNOR, NEW YORK: Well, I have been, I have been pleasantly surprised that that hasn't happened. I don't think there is any question that bin Laden and people like him, people associated with him, number the Israelis and the Jewish people generally along with Christians, atheists, and others who disagree with him, as enemies.
And I'm sure that the current problem that Israel is having in that so many people are trying to help resolve, including particularly Senator Mitchell, that that is an aggravating circumstance. But, no. Israel is certainly not the cause here. If there were no Israel, if there was no problem with Palestine, we would still have a problem with bin Laden.
KING: Senator Mitchell, are you encouraged by the apparent cease-fire now in the Middle East?
GEORGE MITCHELL, FMR. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I am, Larry. Of course, there is reason to be cautious about it. There have been several cease-fires before and they haven't held. But I think as King Abdullah said earlier on your show, there is reason to hope that now the circumstances are so dramatically changed.
And it is in everyone's interest to try now to move away from violence, and hopefully to accept the recommendations of our commission, to have an immediate and unconditional cessation of violence, a series of mutual confidence building measures by each side, and then a resumption of meaningful negotiation.
KING: Governor, what's your reaction to how the administration is dealing with this?
CUOMO: Well, it is interesting. I think the president has done well. I think the president's people have done well, but they are coming at it with a kind of two track communication policy. The president speaks in blunted terms, in large terms, and I think appeals a little bit more to the anger of the people.
I think he appeals to it appropriately. But says things like we'll take him dead or alive and then following the president is the second track, that deals a little bit more intellectually with it, a little bit more analytically, Colin Powell, Cheney, specifying shaving it back to reasonableness.
The president sounds bellicose and powerful, and the United States has that mood to some extent, but then Colin Powell reminds you that this is going to be a long, nuanced complicated struggle. It will last many years. It is not something you can do with a powerful stroke using your military might.
So it is two track. The president doing his job, which is very effective politically, particularly, and Colin Powell, and Cheney, particularly Colin Powell, doing I think the more thoughtful and reasonable approach.
KING: Senator Mitchell, if we accept that, are both tracks kind of correct?
MITCHELL: Well, yes, of course, Larry. In a situation like this, there have to be a number of messages conveyed. But I think the administration's approach overall has been appropriate and largely effective.
The real challenge will come, of course, once the plans are devised, and this international and multiple effort -- which, as Secretary Powell has said on many occasions, must involve not just military action, but diplomatic, legal, economic, financial, and a whole range of other ways -- can be put together and implemented. It'll be a complex undertaking, but I think the administration is approaching it in the correct way.
KING: Governor, I know you've studied a lot of human behavior. Do you know why people resort to this? What kind of mind would go into doing this?
CUOMO: That's what they asked about Hitler -- madness, you know, zealotry. These are people who are made more dangerous because they're, apparently, utterly sincere, utterly convinced that their way of life, which happens to be not Islam -- this is not Islam. This is a distortion of Islam. These are radical Islamists (ph) who believe, for example, in taking innocent life almost casually to meet their ends.
There's a very interesting analysis of Bin Laden and his particular group, which some people say amounts to maybe a million of the billion Muslims, by a professor from the University of Chicago, who says most of this came out of the battle with the -- in Afghanistan, in which Bin Laden was an ally of ours, and where he saw life being chewed up casually by the Soviets and where people were sacrificing their lives. He's a zealot. He believes that we are evil in the West.
He would like to see a Jihad in retaliation to the old crusades, which he believes were unfair to Islam. He would like to start it in the East and move West. What he wants in his madness is to see a war between the entire West and his types of Muslims in the East.
KING: Well explained. Senator Mitchell, quickly, is this solvable, when you have a mind like that?
MITCHELL: There is no conflict that can't be solved. I believe that firmly. There are people in the world -- present, past, and will be in the future -- who are evil and who must be dealt with in decisive ways. That is clearly the case here. People talk about grievances, and there are many grievances around the world. But no grievance justifies the kind of atrocity that has been taken here.
And, therefore, I think there has to be decisive action, not willy-nilly, not just lashing out blindly, but in a careful, coordinated way that deals as effectively as possible across the full range of actions, military, diplomatic, and other, to deal with this threat.
KING: We salute both of you, and we'll be calling on you again. Mario Cuomo and George Mitchell. We have two dramatic stories to tell you, and we'll get to them right after this. I'm Larry King. Queen Nora tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Two incredible stories. The first, we go to Fort Pierce, Florida. Lorne Lyles is with us. His wife, Ceecee, was a flight attendant -- there you see her picture right behind him -- on United Airlines Flight 93, the one that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers attacked the hijackers.
There's the lovely late Ceecee. Lorne, you're a police officer, right, Lorne?
LORNE LYLES: Yes, I am, in Fort Myers, Florida.
KING: And she called you from the plane? Is that what happened?
LYLES: Yes, she did.
KING: Tell me what she said.
LYLES: When I -- you know, when I look at the caller ID, I always answer the phone by saying, "Hello, babe, how are you doing?" So when I said, "Hello, babe, how are you doing," she said, "Babe," she said, "my plane has been hijacked," and she said, "they forced their way into the cockpit."
And then she went on to say that, you know -- how much she loved me. She just called to tell me that she loved me, and she wanted to kids to know, and for me to tell the kids that she loved them all.
KING: Now, had you already known about what happened at the World Trade Center?
LYLES: No, I did not. I had just worked the previous night shift. I work from 9:00 at night until 7:00 in the morning. And I was asleep (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: What did you do right after she hung up, Lorne?
LYLES: I called my mother-in-law, and I called United Airlines.
KING: And what did they tell you?
LYLES: United Airlines confirmed that the flight had been hijacked.
KING: Did you then turn on the TV at all or the radio to learn what had happened with the other flights?
LYLES: No, I did not. I then called my department, Fort Myers Police Department, and I continued talking to my mother-in-law on the phone.
KING: And the thoughts going through your mind, then, not knowing about the other things, was what, that this would be a kind of previous hijacking -- they're going to take them to some other country or something?
LYLES: I didn't know what to think, because my last words with my wife was her screaming, so I didn't know what to think.
KING: How did you find out what happened?
LYLES: The police department sent over a victim advocate along with one of the lieutenants of roll (ph) patrol, and they came over, and then that's when they turned on the TV, and then that's when I was aware of what was going on. I knew her flight number, and then later, about an hour or so, it was confirmed that her flight had went down.
KING: You have children and she had children from previous marriages. How are they all dealing with this, Lorne?
LYLES: The six-year-old -- I don't think he really understands. When he talks about her, he cries, but after that, he goes to playing. The nine-year-old and the 11-year-old took it rather hard, and the 16- year-old, he took it hard at first, but he's now dealing and he's coping with it right now.
KING: And one other thing. How are you doing?
LYLES: I'm right along with the 16-year-old. I'm trying to cope right now. With the Lord's help and the prayers of all the people, I've been just fine.
KING: Thank you, Lorne. Lorne Lyles. His wife, Cee Cee, a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93.
Joining us now in New York, another incredible story, Lisa Beamer. Her husband, the late Todd Beamer, one of the heroes of United Flight 93, the same one that Ceecee was a flight attendant on -- there you see a picture of Todd. Todd Beamer -- well, you tell us, Lisa.
Todd Beamer called -- he tried to call you. He couldn't get through, so he called whom?
LISA BEAMER: I'm not aware that he did try to call me, but I do know that he called the GTE airphone operator around 9:45 in the morning and started reporting to her what was going on in the plane, including that there were hijackers, and they had taken over the cockpit and possibly killed the crew.
He was in the back of the plane with 27 others, and he was sitting next to a flight attendant, perhaps Mrs. Lyles, I'm not sure. But the plane began to fly erratically, and he was aware that this was a situation that was not a normal hijacking situation, and he informed the operator that he knew he was not going to make it out of this.
His next response was to ask her to say the Lord's Prayer with him, and then he asked Jesus to help him. And once he got that guidance, he asked her to contact me -- gave her my name and phone number and my children's names -- and to tell us how much he loved us.
And then once he had all that business squared away, he did what Todd would normally do, and he took some action, and what he did was he told the operator that he and some other people on the flight were deciding to jump on the hijacker with the bomb strapped around his waist. And the last thing the operator heard Todd say at 10:00 a.m., 15 minutes into the call, was, "Are you ready? Let's roll."
And after that, she heard some screams and some commotion. She stayed on the line for 10 more minutes until the flight went down, but she did not hear back from anyone in particular and did not know what happened after that.
KING: We'll continue with Lisa in just a moment. Let's take a break. We'll be right back with the remainder of this story. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Lisa Beamer. The operator from GTE who called you and told you about this -- her name is also Lisa, Lisa Jefferson.
KING: You've never met her, have you?
BEAMER: No, I haven't. I did speak to her on the phone on Saturday morning. I got this information that the call had been made on Friday night, and I was able to speak to Lisa and get all the details on Saturday morning.
KING: Were you surprised at anything that Todd did?
BEAMER: No. I had had three days of not really knowing what Todd did for sure, and a lot of people asked me what I thought he did, and certainly I thought he definitely took action. He was a man of action and a man of thought, and he would think through decisions before he made them, and he would seek wise counsel.
I think he sought wise counsel, certainly in calling on Jesus and saying the Lord's Prayer and getting his heart right, and I think he also used Lisa in that decision making process. She was a rock when I talked to her, and I think she was a rock for Todd. And after he sought that wise counsel, he was ready to take action. And that was the way he lived his life, based on faith and action, and that's the way he ended his life as well.
KING: She had to be amazing, that woman, because they don't tape those calls, so there's no tape of this. She did write up a report, which I know you have. But what a story to hang on like that and then to be able to talk to you. How did you feel when she was talking to you?
BEAMER: I was obviously very emotional making the phone call, and I didn't know her, obviously, so I didn't know what sort of person she was. I thought we might not even be able to get through the conversation. But she had a very soft spoken voice, but a voice that was very firm and confident, and a voice that certainly helped me maintain my composure during that call, and I thanked her so much for the comfort that she must have given to Todd as the last person that he talked to.
It's certainly the comfort she gave to me as she conveyed his last message to me. It was a gift that I cannot -- I had no idea I'd be receiving, and it's the best one I've ever gotten. KING: You're not surprised, then, at the prayer, either?
BEAMER: Not at all. Todd, like I said, was a man of faith. He knew this life was not all there is, and this life was just here to prepare him for his eternity in Heaven with God and with Jesus. And Todd made sure every day that he did his best. He wasn't perfect, and neither am I. But he did his best to make sure that he was living a life that was pleasing to God and that would help him know God better, and he acted on that all the way to the end, and I'm so proud.
KING: You have two sons. David is three, Drew is one, and you're expecting a third child in January.
BEAMER: That's correct. And people sometimes look at me, I think, and wonder, is she in shock, is she, you know, unrealistic about what the situation is, and they don't see me all the other times when I'm, you know, breaking down and losing my composure.
But, certainly, the faith that I have is like Todd's, and it's helping me understand the bigger picture here and that God's justice will ultimately prevail and that we have more to look forward to than just what we see here around us on Earth.
KING: I admire your faith and your courage. You've given a lot of people a lot of hope here tonight. You're an extraordinary lady, Lisa, and we wish you luck, and we hope to see you again soon. I know you got to meet Mayor Giuliani. I bet that was (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BEAMER: I did, I did. I appreciate that, yeah. He's a guy of courage, too.
KING: He sure is. Lisa Beamer, what a story. Tomorrow night, Queen Nora. We leave you tonight with images from the past week -- seven shattering days that changed us all. The song is the national anthem, and the singer is my wife, Shawn.
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