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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With John McCain

Aired October 29, 2001 - 21:00   ET



JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The administration has concluded, based on information developed, that there may be additional terrorist attacks within the United States and against the United States' interests over the next week.


KING: Tonight, for the second time this month, police around the country are told to be on high alert. Can Americans be scared and safe in Washington?

Senator Richard Lugar, senior member, Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence committees; Congressman Christopher Shays, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security; Congresswoman Jane Harman, ranking member of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee.

In New York, the state director of public security, James Kallstrom, former assistant director of the FBI.

Back in D.C., Senator John McCain, member of Armed Services Committee, a decorated veteran. He says the United States must kill its enemies as quickly as it can, as ruthlessly as it must.

We'll also talk with "New York Times" senior writer Judith Miller, co-author of the bestselling book "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War." She's joined by one of her co-authors, Stephen Engelberg, investigative editor for "The New York Times."

Plus from Nashville, Diamond Rio sings of love and loss with "One More Day." They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Before we talk with Senator McCain, anybody who may have just tuned in, American Airlines Boeing 757, en route from New York to Dallas, diverted to Dulles International. There you see a live shot of Dulles International on this Monday night.

Passengers were evacuated after a threatening note was found on the plane. Flight 785 took off from New York's La Guardia Airport, 141 aboard, a crew of eight. The plane landed. The passengers evacuated safely via emergency chutes. Officials shut the west side of the airport. An airport official said that a fair amount of law enforcement has surrounded the plane.

We begin with Senator John McCain. We asked the senator his reaction to Attorney General Ashcroft's threat today, issued late this afternoon.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I appreciate the fact that they want to alert the American people, but I do believe that it would be helpful if we had some specificity. I think Americans are on the alert now. I think they're very guarded and very alert to anything that they think might be untoward or suspicious. And so I think I'd like to have some specificity speaking, I think, for my constituents.

KING: In other words, what do we do with the warning?

MCCAIN: Yes. In other words, what should we be on the lookout for? If we are supposed to be on alert, what are we supposed to be alerted to?

I appreciate the fact that they have all of our law enforcement people all over the country on full and complete alert, and I'm comforted by that. But I'm not exactly sure what Americans are being warned against.

KING: So are you saying that you would tell the public, if you were in that position, if the threat were a building here, you would tell them this is the threat?

MCCAIN: I would try to be specific, but I also understand, and I know most Americans are aware of the fact that they don't want to betray the sources of their information, because that's a critical aspect of this whole war to combat terrorism.

KING: Then why say anything?

MCCAIN: It's a tough call. I don't know, to tell you the truth.

KING: Were senators briefed?

MCCAIN: No. I was not. But again, I think that we should be warned, and particularly are those who are in law enforcement and military, et cetera. But I would, if at all possible, we would -- I would like to have some more specificity associated with this warning, so that we would not be in fear of the unknown, which is probably one of the greatest problems that we face in this war on terror.

KING: Senator;, did you think there would be the reaction there has been to your piece in "The Wall Street Journal"?

MCCAIN: It was a lot more than I thought it would be.

KING: In essence, you were saying -- put it in your own words and then we'll get some specifics.

MCCAIN: I'm saying that we are in a battle for the survival of United States of America. We have identified the enemy, and we have to do whatever is necessary to eradicate that enemy as quickly as possible, using whatever means, reasonable means necessary to do so.

I say "reasonable" because I don't contemplate the use of weapons of mass destruction.

But that means that issues such as whether Ramadan is coming, the status of our coalition, civilian casualties -- as tragic as they are -- and other issues are all secondary to our mission, which is to seek out and destroy the enemy wherever they are.

KING: And you say: "We cannot fight this war from the air alone. We cannot fight it without casualties. We cannot fight it without risking damage to humanitarian and political interests. So be it." In other words, for want of a better term, gung-ho.

MCCAIN: For want of a better term, we can't allow our primary mission to be impacted significantly by these other issues, as important as they may be by themselves, because if we allow this enemy to succeed, and indeed survive in the case of Mr. bin Laden, then we will be placing the future of the United States of America in jeopardy. And so, let's do what's necessary, including ground forces, if necessary, in certain respects, and -- and do it as quickly as possible.

KING: Have you heard, senator, from the White House or the Defense Department about your piece?

MCCAIN: I have not, but I did watch Secretary Rumsfeld over the weekend on several talk shows, and he didn't seem to be in disagreement.

KING: You also -- do you take into account -- would you if you were president take into account the feelings of Pakistan?

MCCAIN: I certainly would. But I also would take into account the fact that if we fail, the chances of General Musharraf staying in power are extremely dim. And the quicker we succeed and the quicker we prevail, the more solid that regime will be and the better opportunity we will have to keep our coalition together.

I think one of the reasons why some of our friends in the area are nervous is because they're not positive that we're in there to stay, that we're in it to the end.

KING: As the president of Pakistan told this show last week, you people leave...

MCCAIN: And he's got a point. After the Persian Gulf War, there was a perception on the part of many leaders in that part of the world that we made a significant mistake by leaving Saddam Hussein in power, and he now to, in the view of every objective observer, continues his efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction.

KING: How do you see, senator, ground troops in this war? Do you perceive them doing what? MCCAIN: You know, I'm -- as you mentioned at the beginning of the show, I'm an old pilot. But I don't pretend to have the knowledge and expertise that the Pentagon has and other military experts have. But I believe that you would have to have some troops on the ground so that you could stage operations out of -- out of certain areas in Afghanistan in order to eradicate these terrorist cells. I don't think that you can do the job by air power alone. And I think history authenticates that.

KING: So do you see this as commandos cave by cave?

MCCAIN: I think that good intelligence is our first requirement, which has not been that good in the past. And then I think it requires operations from both air and on the ground to isolate and eradicate these various organizations. And I recognize full well, as everyone does that's ever been there, that the winters are harsh, the terrain is hostile, and the people are very hard to find. But that doesn't mean that we don't carry out the job, and that's why I say it may take some ground operations as well.

KING: And wars have been definable. We know when an enemy surrenders a war is over.

MCCAIN: Um-hmm.

KING: How in your view does this war end?

MCCAIN: We have Mr. bin Laden taken care of, when the terrorist cells are eradicated in Afghanistan, there is a government of some kind of coalition, of some kind of minimal viability in Afghanistan. And then we have to consider the other states that harbor terrorists and are a threat to our survival. And of course, the next step is Iraq, and we have to address that issue.

KING: And I'll get to that. What part do we or the U.N. play in that new state in Afghanistan?

MCCAIN: I think it would be an ideal role for the United Nations. I think they're very good at peacekeeping, not very good at peacemaking. And I think our participation and help would be important. But I also think our allies, both in and from without the region, who also have vital national security interests at stake, could take up that burden to a large degree.

KING: The president talked about patience today. We'll ask Senator McCain about that word and how he would apply it to this event. And also about Iraq and other things.

Senator John McCain is with us, lots of great guests tonight. Don't go away.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people are very patient and they appreciate the efforts of the government and they appreciate the efforts of the military. They understand better than most, better than the world that this is going take a long period of time, and they are prepared for this.




KING: We are back with Senator John McCain of Arizona. The president said today, the necessity of patience. Do you advocate patience?

MCCAIN: Oh, I think the president is exactly right, and I think he's doing a great job leading the country and maintaining the support of the people. I think that what he is saying, which was not necessarily what some others in the administration were saying -- and he's been saying it consistently -- is that it's going to require patience, we're in for the long haul.

But we also have to, as quickly as possible, exert maximum amount of force, in my view, including, by the way, dramatically escalating the air attacks, particularly on the Taliban lines that are facing the Northern Alliance.

KING: So you would disagree with Senator Biden's idea of reducing that air effect?

MCCAIN: I hadn't heard Senator Biden's views, but I'd...

KING: Well, he expressed concerns about the possible fallout from a lengthy air campaign, saying it would reinforce stereotypes about the United States as a high-tech bully.

MCCAIN: Well, I talked to Joe about that. He said that he was -- those remarks were taken out of context. But I -- but setting that aside, the harder we hit them with maximum force the shorter this whole campaign is going to be, in my view. And as the president has so eloquently stated, the more we convince our adversaries that we're in it for the long haul, then the shorter this conflict can be, because again there's this question of our staying power. And I'm convinced the American people will stay for a long, long time in this conflict and support the president.

KING: How about Iraq?

MCCAIN: Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction as quickly as he can. The Czech government has revealed meetings, contacts between Iraqi intelligence and Mohamed Atta. The evidence is very clear.

I think that the timing is a question of -- of a strategy, but I also believe that Saddam Hussein, in his present state, poses a threat to the security of the United States of America. So we will have to act, I think. But that decision is made, I believe, after we take care of this particular situation we are facing now.

KING: Do you envision taking it to Iraq?

MCCAIN: I envision doing what is necessary to eliminate threats wherever they exist. The president stated time and time again those countries that harbor terrorists will be held responsible. Iraq has done a lot more than that, and I think they'll be held responsible.

KING: So you -- are we talking semantics, or you would take it to them?

MCCAIN: I would -- I would, quote, "take it to them" if there was the continued perception, which I believe there will be, at the time, at the proper time where they pose a threat to United States national security. But again, I think we ought to take care of one problem at a time.

KING: All right. You were an aviator. Where do you stand on this aviation concept of should it be federalized or should it be federal rules with private handling it?

MCCAIN: The flight attendants and the pilots and all those associated with aviation believe that it's a law enforcement function. We don't -- we don't contract out the FBI or the Boarder Patrol or any other law enforcement function of government. We need to do that.

The fact that some people seem to be worried about these people being members of unions, I don't understand that argument. We're talking about a national security issue. Americans do not have confidence yet in flying on airliners. We need to give them that confidence by passing this legislation, and I hope we will do it soon.

KING: And I think Andy Card said that he would, the president would sign even the Senate version.

MCCAIN: Which, by the way, was 100 to nothing. It's been described as a Democrat bill. The vote was 100 to nothing in the United States Senate.

I hope that the House will move, and I hope we will get an agreement. And obviously, my preference is that the top 140 airports in America have federal employees. But the point is that it's time to act.

KING: And what about anthrax and the Senate and office buildings and leaving town? Where are we today?

MCCAIN: I think our agencies of government are doing everything that they can to track this down and address the issue. I think Tom Ridge is very well-placed to speak on this issue to the American people when we need one voice. And I think we're going to get it with Tom Ridge there. And I know it's a terrible challenge. I -- I don't have the scientific knowledge or expertise to make a judgment on how serious this is. But I'm sure we will prevail over this one as well. KING: We have a reversal here. I was at -- I was in Washington yesterday at the Redskin game. And a military official said to me, we have something weird going on, Senator McCain. We have servicemen overseas writing home worried about the people at home.

MCCAIN: Well, that -- that shows the gravity of this threat to America. They are trying to frighten us. They are trying to shake our resolve. And they are trying to destroy the things that we believe in. And that's why this conflict is so important, and that's why we have to do whatever is necessary to bring it to an end as quickly as possible.

KING: There never will be a total victory over terrorism, will there? I mean, there will always be terrorism somewhere somehow.

MCCAIN: Sure. There will always be. Just like there was the Oklahoma City bombing and other acts of domestic terror.

But there's a great difference between the fact that we may be exposed to acts of terror, and countries who harbor, finance, provide training, and an environment for these people to be able to develop, coordinate, and carry out attacks of terrorism on the United States of America. Wherever they are, if they're rooted out and if they're on the run, they're going to be dramatically reduced in their effectiveness and their ability to inflect -- inflict these acts of terror upon the people of this country.

KING: And one other thing on Ramadan. You say: "We must reject appeals to suspend military operations to accommodate the religious practices of affected populations." In other words, you can never consider that in war? War is hell -- period?

MCCAIN: The last time I know I was Christmas of 1914, the Germans and British came out of the trenches and fraternized.

Look, the Egyptians attacked. There was an attack on Israel during Ramadan. The Iranians and the Iraqis fought through several Ramadans. The fact is that the Koran doesn't explicitly prohibit it. So I don't think it's an issue anymore than fighting on Christmas is, something we'd rather not do, but something that certainly should not be an overriding factor.

KING: Always good talking with you. Thank you so much, senator.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, a great decorated hero and a member of the Armed Services Committee.

More senators, more guests coming. Lots of big guests coming this week. We'll be telling you about that, too. We'll be right back.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASHCROFT: If people take these warnings seriously, they go about their lives, but they participate with patience in the additional steps that are taken by law enforcement authorities, they are very likely participating in the prevention of terrorism and in the disruption of terrorism.



KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, all in Washington, Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, member of Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence; Congressman Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, chairman of National Security, Veterans Affairs, International Relations Subcommittee. Tomorrow, the Government Reform Committee -- he's a member -- holds an oversight hearing on the safety of postal workers and the U.S. mail. And Congresswoman Jane Harman, Democrat of California, ranking member of the new House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. They held an open hearing on domestic preparedness and emergency response to terrorist attacks today in New York City.

We start with Senator Lugar. What do you make of what Attorney General Ashcroft had to say today about terror threats and informing agencies to deal with it?

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: Well, I presume that Attorney General Ashcroft felt that by the time a briefing or even faxes were sent to 18,000 law enforcement officers, this would be intercepted by most news organizations, and it was best simply to inform the American people that there is a serious threat. Likewise, I suppose to give the public an indication that if they're inconvenienced further by law enforcement or security people, whoever they may be, that this is the reason.

I think that's about all you can say about it. I would agree with Senator McCain it would have been useful to have more specifics. I presume the reason there were not specifics is that this would have violated intelligence sources and methods, and given away more than we needed to give away.

KING: You were not briefed, Senator Lugar, on it.

LUGAR: My office was told that the secretary was going or the attorney general was going to do what he was going to do. So I was prepared to listen, and did with most Americans.

REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: Congressman Shays, what did you think?

SHAYS: I think both senators have covered it well. I just want you to know, I'm on the alert, I'm ready. I can't any more ready than I am.

KING: To do what?

SHAYS: That's the whole point. You know, I'm just alert, and so are the American people. So it's almost like...

KING: So you look both ways when you leave your house? What alert means?

SHAYS: Well, it means -- it means I don't park to the car in front of me as tightly in case I have to get out. It means I notice who comes on airplanes. It means a lot of things. And it means I'm careful how I open my mail. I'm doing everything I can do.

KING: Congresswoman Harman, what did you make of the alert today by the attorney general and the FBI director?

REP. JANE HARMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think it was a mistake. Rudy Giuliani this morning told us to go about and live our normal lives, and then all of a sudden we hear there's something else coming, that's going to make people dive under their mattresses again. I think it's very important that the administration speak with one voice. I think that should be Tom Ridge. The message should be reassuring, and we should get specific information about what we're supposed to do.

Everyone is already on alert. It makes no sense except for a bureaucratic cover-your-posterior reason to do this.

KING: Senator Lugar, the New York mayor was also asking police around the country to -- they must be informed by federal, FBI and other officials, to share intelligence with local police and government officials. That should be mandatory. Do you agree?

LUGAR: Well, certain intelligence should be shared. Once again, it's a matter of degree. And I would say that as much as can be shared ought to be. For the same reason we have all been discussing this evening, the American people ought to be cut in on as much as possible, because we're in this together.

KING: And Congressman Shays, tomorrow your subcommittee is going to hold a hearing on information sharing between federal and local law enforcement officials. What are your views?

SHAYS: Well, first, let me just say Senator Lugar makes the point that I just want to emphasize. We have tremendous ability to do investigative work with our local law enforcement agencies and we aren't doing it. And the bill that we just recently passed that was signed into law requires the FBI to share information with INS and the State Department, which they weren't do doing. But they need to take advantage of the incredible ability to get information on the local level, and they need to do it right away.


KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

SHAYS: I was just going to say, in terms of our hearing tomorrow, we -- the postmaster is going to be there. He's going to tell us what they're doing. We're going to hear from all four of the major unions in the post office facilities to give them a chance to express their concerns.

They have a lot of frustration. They deserve to be heard. And we do -- we need to listen to them.

KING: Tomorrow night, Congresswoman Harman, on this program, together, Secretary Thompson of Health and Human Services and Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, the head of the Centers for Disease Control, will appear. And there have some who are saying that we're sort of up in the air on this, that the facts haven't been forthcoming, that somebody said that Secretary Thompson doesn't have any medical background, he's in a tough position. What's your thought on how well we're handling this domestic problem?

HARMAN: Well, I was at the CDC last week. About 10 of us went down there. It's the most talented group of people in the shabbiest facilities you've ever seen, and they're working as fast as they can to get on top of this. But they were hampered last week when they never received the actual letter delivered to Senator Daschle, so they didn't know the exact level of sophistication of the anthrax it contained.

I think there are too many voices, too many messages. Tom Ridge needs statutory authority. He needs to be the voice delivering the administration's message on homeland security.

KING: Senator Lugar, he's going to be, isn't he -- Senator Lugar, isn't he going to be? He's going to have three press conferences a week?

LUGAR: That's the plan, but I agree with Congresswoman Harman that this needs to happen very soon. And three a week may not be enough.

We don't know day by day how much interpretations require, but there must be one voice. And even more importantly, whether briefing or not, he needs to have the authority to try to bring together all these disparate agencies.

All well and good to talk about intelligence getting to local police officers and sheriffs, but that's not going to happen in America without a very strong political push, with the president standing right behind Tom Ridge, and perhaps, as some have suggested, legislative authority, budget authority, ability to crack heads, to finally make something of what otherwise is going to be a very disparate system.

SHAYS: Larry, can...

KING: Congressman Shays, you were going -- yeah, go ahead, Chris.

SHAYS: He needs to do what the three commissions have said. We need to assess the terrorist threat, we need a strategy, and we need to ultimately reorganize. But the key for me right now is to develop the assessment of the threat and the strategy. And I care less about him speaking to the public. I want him to catch up. He's on a high learning curve.

I think it's important that he get the other government agency people to speak with the same basic message, but I don't think he has to be the only one we hear from.

KING: Let's take a call. Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for the panel is, with the impending danger that Mr. Ashcroft has actually told the nation, what advice would you have for parents and teachers, the children for impending danger, and maybe try to explain to them the situation and maybe calm fears, but yet actually educate them for the future?

KING: Yeah, Congresswoman Harman, what would you say? Kids are going to go trick-or-treating tomorrow night all over America.

HARMAN: Well, reassure your kids that they're going to be safe and then watch them carefully. I think trick-or-treating is fine as long as you go to a neighborhood you are familiar with, parents are there, and they watch for signs of trouble.

I think as we've all told our kids over the years, don't eat any candy that isn't sealed, and it's the same message. Again, I think we should be out. I think we should live our lives as Americans, but be watchful and vigilant.

KING: Senator Lugar, are you -- we know Congressman Shays is. Are you watchful and vigilant?

LUGAR: I certainly am, every day. Each one of us is, and we will have to continue to be for a long time.

I think it's very important we discuss these incidents, and the world with our children and our grandchildren as I've been doing. And I'm sure that's true of most members of Congress. That's a very human dimension with grandchildren and children scattered over the country and others who are worried about us...

KING: Talk about it.

LUGAR: Back here -- read about the Hart Building, for example. I'm right in the middle of the Hart Building, right in the same corridor with Senator Daschle and ventilation and so forth.

Now, we had a pretty good briefing today. I learned much more again about anthrax, about the way they're going to fumigate that building. In fact, I might finally have an office November 13th.

KING: Let me get a break. I'll pick right up with you, Dick.

By the way, Senator Daschle will be with us on Wednesday night.

When we come back, James Kallstrom will join us. We're going to keep our panel. We'll come back to them. But we're going to spend some moments with the director of the recently created New York State Office of Public Security, former assistant director of the FBI, James Kallstrom will be with us.

As we go to break, the latest edition of TIME magazine out today has an exclusive photo essay on how President Bush is rallying his team in these troubled times. The photographer is Brooks Kraft. Here's a look.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, James Kallstrom, director -- and by the way, our panel will be back with us in a little while. Director of the recently created New York State Office of Public Security, former FBI assistant director in charge. He was, among many other things, he led the FBI's investigation into TWA 800 back in July of '96, where his face was a daily figure on American television.

Why did you take this job?

JAMES KALLSTROM, DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE PUBLIC SECURITY: Well, like many, I'm sure, that sat on the couch and watched this horrendous thing unfold, had this gnawing feeling in your heart that you had to do something and use the skills that were amassed over the last couple of decades. So when the governor called me, which I didn't expect to get a call, but when he did, it was -- it was nice that he would give me the chance to contribute.

KING: Do you have clout, Jim?

KALLSTROM: Oh, big-time clout. He's pretty much given me a pretty broad look at the entire state, all the operations.

I can tell you, the state of New York is well-positioned and we're looking to make it even better-positioned. The point of getting good relevant information down to the cops on the street, the sheriffs on the street, the people that are driving around 24 hours a day, walking beats, and that know the communities, Larry, that's the key to this, and we're working overtime to make that happen.

KING: Did you hear from the attorney general today -- I'm sure you heard his statement -- had you heard prior what these warnings were about?

KALLSTROM: Yes, we did hear prior. We had a conference call with Governor Ridge, and we discussed the entire matter, and I discussed it with Governor Pataki and the law enforcements leadership here in New York state.

KING: Do you think Senator McCain was right when he said you should be specific and tell us what the threats entailed?

KALLSTROM: Well, I understand what he's saying, but you know, we have to play it -- I understand what the congresswoman is saying also. I don't know where I come down on the type of broad threat, but I can tell you, having worked in that business for a long, long time, there are things that you know that if you disclose in any specificity those sources would dry up or that information be irrelevant. So it is a tightrope that you walk, Larry. You know, why they decided to come out with these broad, general threats, I guess you'd have to ask them.

KING: Well, let's take an example of what could happen tomorrow night. There's a report that President Bush is planning to attend tomorrow night's World Series game at Yankee Stadium; at Madison Square Garden, maybe 6 miles from the stadium, Michael Jordan returns to the NBA tomorrow night at a sold-out event at Madison Square Garden. Is tomorrow night a troublesome night for you?

KALLSTROM: It's another night in New York. I mean, New York does those things, and they do it does better than anybody else here in the city and in the state. We're concerned about those events, obviously, but I can tell you that every crucial step will be taken. And we're confident that we're all going to have a good time in New York tomorrow.

KING: So but you are -- are you not concerned?

KALLSTROM: Absolutely we're concerned. We'd be stupid not to be, Larry. But let's not forget, you know, this is the greatest country in the world. We're the good guys. We have nothing, nothing to fear, nothing to be ashamed of. They did this to us. They're the bad guys. We're the good guys. We'll think out of the box. We'll get these people, believe me. Everybody is supermotivated, like I've never seen.

And we are going to do all right here. And everybody should enjoy our way of life and our society, and this great city and this great state and this great country. And I can tell you that law enforcement and all those that support law enforcement are energized, and we will see this through.

We have to have a long view here. And we can't let every bump in the road or every bit of collateral damage, you know, get us off this path and this 24-hour news cycle. You know, we start seeing some collateral damage -- we have to look beyond that.

KING: Now, you were in the Bureau, and Mayor Giuliani testifying today -- and Congresswoman Harman was there asking questions -- said that the Bureau and other federal agencies should share a lot more information with local agencies. Now, you've left the Bureau and you're a state agency. Should they share more?

KALLSTROM: I think absolutely, that we should share not maybe the raw intelligence. That's not as critical. But we need to put in the minds and the eyes and the brains of law enforcement, the people on the street, the relevant facts.

If there's terrorists in the United States right now, somebody is looking at them, Larry. Police officers are seeing them come and go from places they live, where they eat, where they go to restaurants, whatever they do. We have to think ahead, think out of the box, think what those clues will be. After the fact, after 9-11, it was sort of unbelievable that they sort of lived the way they did in this country. And we could have wrapped them up in five minutes if we had a few clues. So what are those clues now? That's what we're trying to figure out. And we will figure it out.

KING: And we will be calling on you again. But one other thing for this time, why are you so optimistic?

KALLSTROM: Well, I'm an optimistic person, but I look at the people that are around me. I look at all of us that are in this business that give our life for public safety and national security, and I've never seen people as energized, Larry. And if the country can hang together and all the politicians can hang together, we will see this through. We'll be a stronger nation for it. And we will be just -- not -- a better nation than we were. So I'm a very confident.

KING: Thanks for being with us. We're going to call on you again. James Kallstrom, outstanding official, former assistant director of the FBI and now the head of the New York state office of public security. He's their director.

Now back to our panel. Senator Lugar, what did you make of what James Kallstrom had to say in general?

LUGAR: Well, I'm pleased that he's on the job. And it's obvious that he's just gotten there -- he's had a lot of experience. But at the same time, we're back to the same questions you were asking earlier. How specific, how do you coordinate with the locals? How do you get information to the American people?

And the question tomorrow night was a very difficult question, and we wish him every success.

KING: And it's also Halloween.

LUGAR: Exactly.

KING: Yeah, Congressman Shays, what did you make of generally -- Kallstrom, of course, is one of the veterans of police work.

SHAYS: He's a superb appointment, and what better way to get the FBI kind of involved in local activity than to have him in New York City. And he's right. This -- this day you mentioned, day tomorrow, is like a typical day in New York. Lots of great things happen in that wonderful city.

KING: And Congresswoman Harman?

HARMAN: Well, this issue of FBI failing to share information with local law enforcement was the topic this morning at our hearing in New York. Following the hearing, actually at 2:30 this afternoon, FBI Director Bob Mueller in Toronto for a police chiefs meeting announced that he would increase cooperation.

The point, however, is that in New York City there are 40,000 police in the NYPD. There are only 11,000 FBI agents nationwide. Just by the numbers, you've got to have local law enforcement know what's up, otherwise they can't protect New Yorkers and visitors who are at Yankees Stadium or any place in New York.

KING: Some other -- other items, Senator Lugar. What do you make about new concepts of restrictions on immigrants, Arab nationalists and others?

LUGAR: I'm certain we're going to revisit immigration in a big way. Now, the question is how much the American people are prepared to pay for this. In essence, 400,000 persons might be tracked around the United States as to why they came in, why they overstayed. Likewise, the problem of students, most of them here very legitimately, and at the behest of our own universities. They pay full tuition. They're very important.

Yet at the same time, one of the basic themes the president talked about today were the overstaying or the fraudulent stays of hijackers that came as students. These are very tough and expensive issues, and we've got to tackle them along with a whole lot of other things simultaneously.

KING: We'll take a call. Fairfield, California, hello.



CALLER: My question is about the anthrax.

KING: Yeah.

CALLER: The Daschle and Brokaw letters -- it closed down the Capitol, and now the mail, the postal services, they're like thousands of people on the Cipro or whatever. What about the mail that went to the hundreds of homes, the -- people that received mail from these post offices?

KING: I believe today in New Jersey, Congressman Shays -- you're the expert in this area -- someone not identified, not with the Post Office, not with the media has been affected with anthrax. So does she have a good question?

SHAYS: Well, it's a very important question. And the post office is going to be looking for ways to protect mail. They're going to potentially irradiate the mail, make sure that bacteria isn't sustainable.

I mean, we're going to be looking at a lot of things we didn't even think a few weeks ago we would ever have to consider. But there's tremendous ingenuity in this country, and you're going to have entrepreneurs who are going to be able to come and say, we have something that can meet your need. It will just take us a little time.

KING: So you are -- of course, you've been pessimistic in some areas. In this area, you're optimistic?

SHAYS: Oh, I have been -- I haven't been pessimistic about our solutions. I'm just pessimistic that people won't realize this is a war and that we're in a race with the terrorists. If they know we're in a race with the terrorists and know why we have to fight this war, they'll know why our resources need to be spent to deal with all the problems we're going to be facing. And as long as they know that, I'm very, very hopeful.

KING: What did you make of the hearings today, Congressman Harman?

HARMAN: I thought they were terrific. We had 10 members of Congress, Mayor Giuliani, and his lead, first responder group -- police, fire, health and so forth. And then we had three governors from Georgia, Oklahoma and Florida -- Jeb Bush was there. And they were talking about terrorist incidents in their state and how they dealt with it. The Olympics in '96, and obviously the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing, and the anthrax scare in Florida.

They're competent. We had the sheriff of Los Angeles County -- your new home, Larry -- Lee Baca talking about how well-prepared L.A. is. Those are the successes.

The problem is, what about other parts of the country where they're not up to that level? If one part of the country isn't safe, we're all not safe. The, you know, the -- it's only -- we're only as strong as our weakest link, and that's the challenge. And that is why, again, I feel so strongly that we need a coordinated homeland security program. We need budget authority for Tom Ridge. We need one voice speaking for our entire government.

The war at home is just as deadly, and perhaps more deadly, than the war we're fighting abroad.

KING: And one quick question for Senator Lugar before we thank you. Senator, since you're on Foreign Relations, we're now in the fourth week in Afghanistan. What do you make of that operation?

LUGAR: I think the operation is going well. I think that people are impatient and they want success right away. I have confidence that the military people in fact are setting the stage to defeat Osama bin Laden, and in fact, our most basic problem will be probably to hold together some government in Afghanistan after we have expelled the Taliban, and likewise, in Pakistan, next door.

Now beyond that, John McCain said earlier tonight, we have some other cells in other places. And we're going to think ahead how we maintain the coalition, how we maintain the same spirit that we have out in Afghanistan.

KING: Thank you all, Senator Richard Lugar, Congressman Christopher Shays and Congresswoman Jane Harman. Coming next, Steven Engelberg and Judith Miller, two of the three that wrote the runaway bestseller "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War."

As we go to break, more pictures from the new issue of "TIME" magazine.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, return visit for Judith Miller, senior writer of "The New York Times," recipient of an anthrax scare letter. Did not have anthrax, however. She's coauthor of "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War." Along with her, one of the three authors, Stephen Engelberg, investigative editor of "The New York Times," and considered, of course, another expert in this growing field. "Germs" is the book they co-wrote. William Broad is the other writer.

It's No. 1 on "The New York Times" nonfiction bestseller weeks -- for the weeks of October 28 and November 4th. We congratulate them on that.

And Judith, what did you make of the Ashcroft warning today?

JUDITH MILLER, CO-AUTHOR, "GERMS": I was a little mystified and a little worried. I share Senator McCain's feeling about it.

I think that it's one thing to tell Americans to go out and shop and lead normal lives, but I think it's kind of hard to do that if at the same time every week they're also saying, you know, be afraid, be very afraid, there's something out there, we can't tell you what it is.

So I'm not really certain what purpose it serves to issue a warning like that.

KING: Do you have a laryngitis, Judith?

MILLER: I'm afraid, Larry, I do. I've been trying to keep quiet all day so that I can talk to you tonight.

KING: You're coming through. It's just I'm concerned.

You're all right, though?

MILLER: I'm fine. We know what it's not. Let me put it that way.

KING: People get anthrax scares and have a soar throat or something, you worry.

MILLER: I know. This is just ordinary laryngitis.

KING: Stephen, what did you make of the Ashcroft-Mueller hearing?

STEPHEN ENGELBERG, CO-AUTHOR, "GERMS": Well, I mean, I'm with Judy.

KING: Not hearing. Mini press conference.

ENGELBERG: I'm with Judy. I think that our government would do well to stop saying over and over again, be afraid. I mean, I think that the only thing you can conclude from this is that they want to tell us, should anything happen, well, we've been warned.

And I understand that we in the press have a habit of beating up on them, you know, if they don't come forward with all possible intelligence. But the fact of the matter is, if I were Osama bin Laden and I were trying to execute a sort of psychological operation against the United States, I would these kinds of undifferentiated constant warnings of threats.

It just doesn't help an American. What's the appropriate thing to do at this point? What do you do when you hear one of these threat warnings?

KING: Judith, where are we now? What do we know that we didn't know weeks ago?

MILLER: Well, we do know, Larry, that the spores in the Daschle letter were very pure and were able to float through the air. They formed an aerosol, a deadly one for at least three people.

We also know -- and this we didn't know before -- that somehow, through the bundling process of the post office, anthrax could escape a sealed letter. I mean, the fact of the matter is I think we know now that we don't know as much as we thought we knew about anthrax. And it highlights the lack of research that's been done in this field.

We also know today that there is not, and tonight, the additive in the anthrax, that General Parker today said that there was silica. And that's a different additive altogether.

KING: Meaning? So, that means?

MILLER: Well, it means that -- one of the things it means is that this is an additive that was used in the American weapons program a long time ago. That doesn't mean that it's an American who did it or that it's anyone from an American program. It's simply another clue that one day may help us pin down this source of anthrax. But we still don't know that source. We're still all speculating.

KING: Stephen, you recently wrote that this bioterrorism attack has plunged the public health establishment into unexplored territory. Does that give you great concern?

ENGELBERG: Yes, it does. I mean, if you look at the kinds of things we were sort of studying in the book, we looked at these massive bioterrorism events: infectious diseases spreading through whole cities, crop dusters spraying germs. As far as I know, no government scenario ever examined the threat from a letter because it was considered too small. And yet, look what's happened.

Our public health laboratories are strained to the breaking point. We've had all kinds of confusion from public officials about how to handle this. You know, if we're lucky and this is as bad as it gets, I think we've had an extremely valuable and important wake-up call, and it's really exposed the vulnerability what we're going to have to address in the coming years.

KING: Judith, what's your biggest worry right now tonight?

MILLER: Tonight...

KING: Other than laryngitis.

MILLER: Other than I may not have any voice by the end of the program. I guess I worry all the time about whether or not Americans are being frightened unduly. I think that the kind of preparations that are under way are basically the right ones. I could quarrel with whether or not I think Cipro is the right drug to be prescribing. I don't.

But in general, I think Americans have to be confident, and when you listen to Jim Kallstrom talk, and Senator Lugar, Jane Harman, Christopher Shays, these are some of the people who've really been fighting this battle for some time, trying to alert Americans. And now, the government is alerted.

So I'm not worried. I don't go to bed at night wondering whether or not America or New York is going to be attacked. I worry that people will forget that recovery, real biodefense is a long-term proposition and an expensive one. And I'm worried that attention will flag.

KING: Take care of yourself, Judy. Thank you, Stephen.

MILLER: Thank you.

KING: "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War." Judith Miller and Stephen Engelberg co-authors.

When we come back, an extraordinary musical experience. We end every show with one. We're going to hear from Diamond Rio. Don't go away.


KING: We now welcome, joining us from Nashville, the band. They are Diamond Rio. Marty Roe is the lead singer. They took part in a national benefit for the victims of October -- on September 21. They did it on October 21st. They're in for the annual charity tournament. They're going to do a big benefit concert in New Jersey on December 14. And they're going to sing their great song, "One More Day." It's up for both single and song of the year.

How did you come -- we've only got a quick amount of time here, Marty? How did you come to write this?

MARTY ROE, DIAMOND RIO: To do the song? We recorded the song basically when we first heard of it. It's true. The lyric is about -- I think we all get kind of caught up in the hustle and bustle of day- to-day life, and this is kind of about stripping away all of that and getting back to what really matters.

KING: It's a great number.

ROE: Thank you.

KING: Let's hear it. From Nashville, here they are to close it out, Diamond Rio and "One More Day."