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CNN Larry King Live
Larry King Interviews Bob Dole, Max Cleland
Aired November 20, 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.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Bob Dole one-on-one about lessons learned in times of war. He will take your calls. And then, the brotherhood of arms: Firsthand stories of frontline fighting.
In Atlanta Senator Max Cleland. He lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam. In West Palm Beach, Alexander Haig, former U.S. Army general and former secretary of state. In Dallas, former Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady, who survived six days in enemy territory after being shot down over Bosnia.
And in London, and in shadows because a lot of terrorists want to see him dead, a former member of Britain's elite Special Air Service, and best setting author Andy McNab. Plus a touching song from Kathie Lee Gifford. They are all next on LARRY KING LIVE!
We begin with former United States Senator Bob Dole, a presidential candidate, a vice presidential candidate, a two-time Purple Heart winner. He always wears one of those Purple Hearts on his lapel, and it is and it is always good to have him with us, and he was the founder and got behind, of course, the World War II Memorial, which is now being planned and built, and decorated and disabled as well in World War II.
What, Senator Dole, I don't know if I have ever asked you it this way, what was the toughest part then, in World War II, about going to war?
BOB DOLE, FMR. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, I think we were all very young. We kind of forget that when we look back on it 30, 40, 60 years, in my case. And I think the toughest part was just, you never, I'd never ridden on a bus, never had been on an airplane, never been more than 200 miles from home, and suddenly we were, we were, enlisting to serve in the United States Army. So, it was quite a break with what we were used to.
KING: And when you were in action, as boys will be seeing action again, in Afghanistan, boys have seen action, and women have seen action, are there down times? Is it always a sense of being on edge?
DOLE: I don't recall it that way. I think it -- you know, you are always, at least we were in the mountains of Italy and we were always having, you know, fire come in on us. But there were times when you could you kind of relax, and we spent a lot of time, and I spent a lot of time in replacement depot in Italy, pretty far from any gunfire, so but I think obviously, when you are planning an attack, or when they are trying to disrupt what you are doing, it is pretty stressful and you are all scared. If people say they are not scared, they haven't been there.
KING: You are scared?
DOLE: You are scared, yes.
KING: Do you know what else is going on? Do you know, when you are in Italy, what's going on in the Pacific?
DOLE: No. In fact, I used to joke about General Mark Clark, who was the fifth Army commander, I was his second lieutenant and I assumed there were 10,000 of us in Italy. But he never asked me any direction on, you know, what we ought to be doing in the war. In fact, we didn't know anything about it except for that little piece we were responsible for in my platoon. And that might have been a 10 mile square or 10 acres or whatever.
KING: And it has been a lot of years since people have seen direct military action. Is this a different kind of -- it is certainly a different war -- different kind of fighting man today? What's different today?
DOLE: I think the difference, today, you know, they have dubbed us the Greatest Generation. But I think this generation is going to demonstrate they are just as great if not greater. They are smarter, they have had more training, they know more about what's going on around the world, they have the technology, they have the smart weapons, they have been trained probably, even more than we were, because we were, in my case, I was a 90 day wonder.
You go to Officer Candidates School for 90 days and make your second Lieutenant and they ship you off somewhere. So I think they are well prepared, certainly well equipped. Their morale is very high, but it is a different kind of war, because, we knew on April 14, the day I was wounded, that morning we pushed off and we knew we were going to be going through German lines. We knew what to expect.
Now, I'm not certain. They are hidden in caves. It almost takes you back to the stone age.
KING: That is a different kind of fight. That is Ranger kind of fighting, isn't it?
DOLE: That is Ranger. That is -- in fact, my division was the Tenth Mountain Division. There are a thousand Tenth Mountain Division fellows now in Uzbekistan. And I assume they will be called upon, and maybe some now in Afghanistan, I'm not certain.
KING: Do you expect, Senator, to see a lot more ground action in the days and months ahead?
DOLE: I think so. I think it is going to take ground action to ferret out these people. I don't think even these big bombs can demolish some of these caves or penetrate these caves to the extent where they could drive them out or kill them. But, I think it is going to take some ground action. We have been very fortunate so far, no American casualties. We have had some accidental deaths, but no direct no casualties from direct fighting.
KING: How about those who are saying, this is a piece of cake, this is men against the boys?
DOLE: Well, you know, I don't think it is a piece of cake. We have had the Russians there. This poor country has been at war for 20 some years. I feel for the Afghan people. And what's happened there, you have these Arab terrorists who sort of have taken over that country.
I think the Afghans now would be willing to surrender and try to work out some government -- coalition government -- and maybe, finally, get on with their lives. But I'm not certain some of the Arab terrorists are willing to let that happen, like bin Laden and others.
KING: Do you think they are going to go on to Iraq?
DOLE: I don't know what they do next. I think you can go to the Philippines. I think what you do is start making house calls. You call up somebody and say, is this Saddam Hussein? This is George Bush, you know, we just finished with Afghanistan. You are on our list if you have any ideas.
I think that they will have a lot of cooperation from some of these countries if they start making house calls, and reminding people that they are dealing, not just with the United States, but a very powerful coalition.
KING: You mean threaten?
DOLE: Threaten. Persuade. Cajole. Negotiate, if necessary. But I don't believe we can say, and I'm afraid this could happen in some areas, that if we are successful in Afghanistan, and even if bin Laden is captured or found to be killed or whatever, I think a lot of people say, well, it is over, we have achieved our goal, we have captured or killed bin Laden.
And obviously that is not the case. I think Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, the president himself, have made this point time and time again. And I hope the resolve is, I think the resolve is so far so good. We'll see what happens in three or four months.
KING: How is the president doing, in your estimation?
DOLE: I think he is doing very well. I mean, it is a tough job. He has to focus most of his time on what's happening, not only in Afghanistan, but around the world, keep the coalition together, work with members of Congress, and so far, the cooperation has been excellent. I applaud my Republican and Democratic colleagues, particularly when it comes to efforts on the war on terrorism. They are all doing good job. KING: Do you, as Bob Dole, miss the heat of the battle, either the -- do you miss being in the Senate on days like this?
DOLE: I think so. I think we all miss what we used to do when we are out of it for a while if we liked what we were doing, and I did. I enjoyed the Senate. I enjoyed the give and take. You enjoy being in the eye of the storm. But, you know, life goes on, and somebody else takes your place and they do an excellent job.
And my view is that they have -- I think President Bush has done it just about right. There will be some differences, there should be differences. We shouldn't say -- expect the president to say, I'm going to do this, and everybody to lockstep fall in line. There will be differences. And we can't end partisanship altogether. But when it comes to the war on terrorism, there has been no partisanship.
KING: How long does this go on? They are asking us be patient. You know and American patience is what, a day and a half. How are we doing in that department and how long?
DOLE: Well we like instant gratification. We like to have it happen yesterday. We want to move on. We are very busy in our lives. And but that is the point that I think I can't answer. I hope if I were sitting here a year from now, and we were still in this -- still trying to put out the -- you know, find the last cell, or whatever, the American people would still be supporting President Bush 85 percent. I'm not certain that will be the case.
KING: We are going to take a break. When we come back we'll take calls for Bob Dole. We're also going to show you something that a lot of people around the world are going to start seeing starting tomorrow. We are going to show it to you first, tonight, and as we go to break, here are some photos of Senator Dole, right after his experiences in and around World War II.
KING: Senator, you are a veteran of the Ad Wars. What do you think of that?
DOLE: I think it is a pretty good ad. And I think people are doing more of everything. I think they are -- I think you can be back to normal and still be cautious, and still be alert. I mean it is like walking and chewing gum at the same time. I mean, I think we have to be a little more alert and a little more cautious. It doesn't mean we have to hide in our homes. If we hide in our homes and don't go outside, then they win. If we carry on with our lives, as we should, we win.
KING: But they say, be normal. At the same time they announce that they are canceling public holiday tours of the White House. That is not normal.
DOLE: I think, you know, I think that has got to be an exception. If you want the No. 1 target in America, it would probably be the White House. And No. 2, might be the U.S. Capital. It has closed its public tours and has been since September 11. And so everything is sort of tightened down, particularly these very, very important places like the White House, and the Capitol.
I think would take another look at the lighting of the Christmas tree. Maybe there is some way they can work that out, so that more public can be invited there. But again the president will be there, and it would make a very, very good target for some fanatic. So I think it is, you know, it is tough because I know that D.C. suffered loss of jobs. Hotels are not as busy as they were. And it seems that it is sort of a mixed message here, but I can understand the reason for having no White House tours, no Capitol tours. Maybe if you were living somewhere else, it is a little more difficult.
KING: What are your feeling now about your fellow Senators, now they've got the Russell Building involved in anthrax, the Hart already. What are your thoughts on that regard?
DOLE: Well, I think that they have to be very careful. It is not because they are Senators, or because they are members of Congress. They have constituents coming into these buildings. They have all the staff people there, thousands of staff people, and they have got to be very, cautious and alert to what happens. I think, so far, that Senator Lott, Senator Daschle, Congressman Gephardt, and Congressman Hastert have done it about right.
They can't expose other people, and they just have to wait it out and see what happens. I think what Congress should do, if I could give them a little free advice, would be to come back here and pass a stimulus package, a real stimulus package. Maybe let President Bush set the priorities and then go home for the holidays. By the time they come back in January, maybe those buildings can be reopened.
KING: Interesting thought. Let's get a call in for Senator Dole. Kalkaska, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Senator Dole, pleasure talking to you.
DOLE: Thank you.
CALLER: I had a question. My question is, having gone through World War II, is there anything that you would do different than President Bush is doing concerning the war against terrorism?
DOLE: Well, again, as we discussed it is a different kind of war. And he has all this vast information that I don't have, and didn't have in World War II. I mean, if we look back on it 20, 30 years later, we see the big picture. When I was there the picture wasn't very big, it was just what was in front of me.
But, I think he has a great team. If you asked a headhunter, all these experts who go out and hire people, to find me a secretary of state, give me three top names, Colin Powell would have been on everybody's list. And the same with the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, I think, once you understood his background. And you go up and down the line: Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney. He's got these very powerful -- Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, you have this great team, and I think that is important.
President Roosevelt, World War II, did a great job. I think President Bush is doing a great job.
KING: He had a pretty good team in World War II, didn't he? George Marshall and Eisenhower and that crew, wasn't that bad.
DOLE: Fantastic. And they were all just outstanding men. Those were the heavyweights.
KING: Do you think, Senator, that men that -- there are a lot of great people we never hear about because events don't happen?
DOLE: And you know, you never know until you are tested. We throw this word "great" around like -- everything -- and it is not really -- if we focused on what we mean by greatness and great, it would it be used very sparingly. But there are a lot of young men, young women, others that don't have to be in uniform, who risk lives maybe today or maybe tomorrow, to save another human being.
That, in my view, is an act of greatness. There is a true hero, and we mix up, celebrities with heroes. Michael Jordan is a great basketball player. He's not a hero, I mean he doesn't risk his life, or Mark McGwire, or Sammy Sosa, whatever, but they are great people, and they do a lot of things that others can't do.
KING: You are a hero and we are going to have some heroes on following you.
DOLE: You are going to have some great people on following me. I think if I had been a hero it has been, probably post the war where I hope I have been an inspiration to people with disabilities. But I'm almost ashamed to talk about mine when you have got a fellow like Max Cleland coming on later, who really understands what disabilities are all about.
KING: Albany, New York, for Bob Dole. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Mr. Dole, it is an honor to speak to you.
DOLE: Thank you.
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: I was wondering if you could tell me, what would it have to take for this to turn into a World War?
DOLE: The one we are fighting now?
CALLER: ... declared a world war?
KING: Could it? DOLE: Well it could. I mean, you know, we haven't declared war. They declared war on us. They killed about 5,000 innocent Americans, not only Americans, but people from 75 or 78 other countries. So they have declared war on us, and I think we have, there could be an official declaration of war. Obviously we can't go into 60 some countries and start a war within each one of those countries looking for terrorists. It is going to go take a long time. It is going to take a strategy that I don't think is probably yet totally developed.
KING: But the Middle East could start it, couldn't it? And in that regard, what did you think of Secretary Powell's speech yesterday?
DOLE: I think engagement is good, and I think the fact that we are getting engaged, we have sent special envoys there, General Zinni (ph) , and Deputy Secretary Burns.
But again, I think what Secretary Powell said was sort of an honest assessment. The Palestinians have got to stop the terrorism, or whatever they call it. And the Israelis have got to stop building settlements. I think both have to back off and say, this is an opportunity for peace. And if this war on terrorism should end and we still don't have peace in the Mid East, it is going to be even more difficult.
I agree with President Bush. We shouldn't rush over there, call him into Camp David, unless they are really willing to sit down in a give-and-take session, and finally come to terms.
KING: And those actions would have to be simultaneous, right?
DOLE: It has got to be -- yes. It is almost like the circular letter. You know, you have got to both raise your hands at the same time, or both -- has to be simultaneous.
KING: We will take a break and come back with some more moments with Bob Dole and then our panel. As we go to break, photos of the Greatest Generation in action.
KING: We're back with a great American, former senator Bob Dole. Speaking of that, that generation that you fought with, they're, frankly, dying off. We discussed that a lot when you were raising funds.
KING: Does that mean that we lose their leadership, their teaching, their experiences as these young men train?
DOLE: I think it does in one sense. There's a lot of oral history being taken and, Larry, we've gotten to the point that we have gone from 16 and a half million down to about 5 million. We can tell about any war story we want and nobody is around to correct us anymore after that point. But I think we have -- there is this -- I think there is this latent patriotism out there that's just coming to the surface. And the World War II generation is around to help bring that about. And not only the men themselves or the women themselves, but their children and grandchildren. And so I think it is -- there's nobody supporting this generation more than our generation. The World War II generation.
KING: Do you know, on an average, how many die each day?
DOLE: About 1,200.
KING: Fort Myers, Florida for Bob Dole -- hello.
CALLER: Yes, sir, I wanted to ask Mr. Dole who does he think is behind the anthrax. Is that international or terrorism?
KING: Any thoughts on that?
DOLE: My own thoughts is it's domestic. Some -- it is either some nut on the right or the left. But I think it is domestic.
I mean, it just -- it seems to me had this been organized by terrorists who were able to fly a plane into the Twin Towers, not once, but twice, and crash a plane into the Pentagon and almost reach the Capitol with another plane -- that fortunately was saved by heroes on Flight 93 and landed in Pennsylvania -- I think they would have done a much more thorough job and much more extensive damage. So I think it is domestic. That's my own view.
KING: Senator McCain and Bayh are urging an increase and expansion of national service programs -- everybody doing something -- do you favor that?
DOLE: I think it is a good idea. It seems to me that we live in greatest country on the face of the earth. We ought to count our blessings every day.
I ask audiences sometime: Do you ever thought where you would be had we not won World War II, what you would be doing, who would you be doing it for, how long you could sit, how long could you talk, where you could go, whether or not you could travel? We take all these basic freedoms for granted that we are really close to -- you know -- there was no certainty we were going to win World War II. And there have been other great conflicts since that are almost forgotten, the Korean War -- the forgotten war -- the Vietnam, the Gulf crisis, Somalia, Haiti. I mean all these men and women who participated are -- you know -- they are the backbone of America. And they preserved our liberty and freedom. And for that, particularly two days before Thanksgiving, we ought to be very grateful.
KING: Brook Park, Ohio for senator Dole -- hello.
KING: Hi, go ahead. CALLER: I always wanted to know -- I wanted to ask Senator Dole what he really thinks about the Iraqi capability of nuclear power as far as Iraq goes? Do they really have that much?
DOLE: I'm not certain about that. I think they may have chemical or biological weapons. I'm not certain about nuclear weapons.
But, again, no one -- I don't trust Saddam Hussein. I have met with Saddam Hussein with four other senators several years ago. We were trying to get him to ease off on Israel and try to help the peace process. But, he is not somebody you can trust. But I can't answer that question. I think biological -- No, excuse me.
KING: Biological, you're almost certain?
DOLE: I think they have that, yes, sure.
KING: Your wife is going to run for the Senate.
DOLE: She's running now, right.
KING: Are you going to campaign for her?
DOLE: Yes, when she has a big lead where I can go down there and not cause a lot of damage, but...
KING: Does she talk to you at all about current controversies about the Red Cross?
DOLE: Not really. I mean, she has been in North Carolina all the time and I have been traveling a lot myself since this all happened.
But, obviously, the Red Cross is a great organization. And I think some mistakes were made. They have been corrected. And my view is -- I remember when they gave us -- came to the frontlines and served us doughnuts in World War II. That was my first experience with the Red Cross and I think it is one of America's great organizations.
KING: You and former president Clinton were rivals in '96, but not when this happened. And you joined forces to raise money for guaranteed scholarships for the children of survivors of Twin Towers and the Pentagon. How is that going?
DOLE: We are up to about $37 million. Our goal is at least $100 million. And these scholarships will be available for not just Americans, but for, you know -- there are 60, 70 countries who lost lives now. If those people had children, they will be eligible for scholarships in their countries.
So it -- we are going to raise $100 million. I think it's even going to take more than that. But it is another indication of -- bipartisanship or nonpartisanship or I think -- better just plain old Americanism. We understand there is a problem. If we can help, we want to help.
KING: Bob, there was no question about public resolve in World War II.
KING: You go around the country. You speak a lot. How do you gauge today's resolve when there is no Hitler, there is no Tojo, there is no specific country you are at war with?
DOLE: I think it is almost the equal because, at this time, we were attacked. I mean, there were 5,000 innocent Americans, mostly Americans, who were killed. And so for the first time, Pearl Harbor -- but that was a military installation in World War II and you could understand if the enemies is going to attack, they attack a military installation -- but here, in a was the -- except for the Pentagon, which houses military people -- but the Twin Towers and the airplanes filled with civilians. I think that is why the feeling is so strong and that is why I believe we are going to have the patience to see this through.
KING: You think we will ever have to revive the draft?
DOLE: I don't know. I think, you know, we are demonstrating we can do more with less, certainly, much, much less than we did in World War II and even less than we did in the Gulf crisis.
We've got better technology, we've got better guided weapons and we've got a better system. And we've got better training, in most cases. I don't see any need for it right now. But I think if we need to do it, the president is perfectly willing to do that, he'd have the support of Congress.
KING: Senator Dole, it is an honor having you on this program. I think you hold the record for being...
DOLE: I don't know about that.
KING: ... on the most, I think you are the guest with the most appearances. But it's always great having you, your wisdom and your humor. And we appreciate all you have done for your country.
DOLE: Thank you very much, Larry. And it's a great country.
KING: Bob Dole.
When we come back, Senator Max Cleland, General Alexander Haig, Scott O'Grady and Andy McNab in London. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. George Will, George Mitchell, among the guests tomorrow night.
Now let's meet our panel, heroes all: In Washington, Senator Max Cleland, Democrat of Georgia, member of Armed Services. Senator Cleland has been wounded -- oh, I'm sorry, he's in Atlanta, not Washington -- wounded in a grenade explosion in Vietnam, cost him both legs and his right arm. He was awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars.
In West Palm Beach is General Alexander Haig, U.S. Army retired, was secretary of state, more than 30 years in the military, decorated including the distinguished Service Cross for Heroism Combat Duty in Vietnam.
In Dallas is Scott O'Grady, former U.S. Air Force pilot, shot over Bosnia in '95 while entering a no -- NATO no-fly zone, rescued six days later.
And in London, Andy McNab -- We have Andy in shadows. He's wanted by terrorist groups. Highly decorated former member of the famed SAS, that Britain's elite special air service, best-selling author as well. He wrote the fiction thriller "Firewall" and his autobiography "Immediate Action."
Let's start with Senator Cleland. You saw the worst ravages of war. How well equipped is today's man and woman, the men and women fighting over there now?
SEN. MAX CLELAND (D-GA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Much superior, Larry. In so many ways, we are now focused on special operations both in terms of training, equipment, and the mission that we are after here, in terms of killing or capturing bin Laden and his terrorist cadre.
We are so much better focused, better equipped, better trained for these special operations than we were, I think, in the Vietnam war in my generation.
KING: General Haig, what's your read on the people doing this and what they face?
RETIRED GENERAL ALEXANDER HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think, all of our armed forces -- Army, Navy, Air and Marines and Coast Guard as well -- are superbly trained and equipped today.
And what's happened, Larry, is that we have begun to substitute firepower and precision firepower, air delivered, ground delivered, rocket delivered, for what I call manpower and blood. And this has been increasingly the case since Vietnam. We did it in Vietnam, to a large extent too, although, we weren't conducting the war properly.
KING: Scott O'Grady, from your viewpoint, what's the biggest issues the Air Force face now as opposed to when you were flying?
SCOTT O'GRADY, FORMER AIR FORCE PILOT: Well, I think that military is highly trained. But I will say though, over the last eight years, our military has gone through a downsizing and the American people need to realize that sometimes we don't have the most up to date equipment.
And even though we are well trained and well equipped right now, we could be better equipped and we need to be able to support our men and women that are fighting over in Afghanistan right now. And around the world, we need to support our military and make sure that our soldiers get the best equipment possible.
KING: And, Andy McNab in London, you have been in this business a while, especially as a former member of the SAS. What's the biggest problem from the standpoint of caves in Afghanistan that these troops face?
ANDY MCNAB, FORMER SPECIAL AIR SERVICE MEMBER: I think it's actually getting in there, Larry, actually getting real time information where the targets are and physically getting in there.
And we sort of got an inverted pyramid at the moment where we've got all the technology, all the sophistication, actually now boiling down to the point where we are getting people carrying assault rifles and what they are carrying on their backs. To physically get in there -- and it will be if it comes to that -- it will be pretty tough and pretty grim because it will be hand-to-hand fighting.
KING: Senator Cleland, what are your expectations in that regard? Are we going to see men on the ground? Are we are going to see body bags?
CLELAND: Well, God knows, I hope of not body bags. But I think men on the ground that have been there since a few days after September 11 especially the CIA and special operations, it wouldn't surprise me if we had to put in some more Rangers or some more special operations forces. We have to make sure that we win this. And we have to do whatever it takes to win because we can't afford to lose and the mistakes are too high.
KING: General Haig, what's your read on the opposition?
HAIG: Well, the opposition, is not as courageous and fanatical as it was described. Of course, the foreign troops that are in there are fighting for their lives and they are fighting for a deal that will give them survival.
The others are ready to settle now. Now bin Laden's people are something else again, of course, because they are more fanatical and they've been more brainwashed the longer they've trained.
Incidentally, I want to underline what the major said. We have expended too much of our military capability over the last eight years, where we have been hyperactive, where we have begun to wear out equipment, where we reduced the size of our forces to the point today that we are relying in too much of a degree on our reserves and this is very difficult because these people have jobs at home and they have to worry about their lives as well.
So, I think we are short of manpower and we have to regenerate our equipment. It is 10 to 20 years old. It hasn't been modernized over an extended period where we thought, in a new world order, which is not the new world order at all. It's the same, dirty old world we have always known. KING: Scott O'Grady, there a lot of people, most people, have not served in the military, watching now. You know that action goes away and, as we discussed with Senator Dole, World War II dying off -- what kept you going? What motivated you to fly planes, to face danger?
O'GRADY: Well, you join the military because you believe in serving your country. You believe in defending the freedom that we have here as Americans and making this world a more peaceful place.
When you are in the military, you have a code of conduct that you are morally binded to, that you have the honor of your family and your country to uphold. And, you know, you don't join the military for glory or fame.
KING: Why did you like, Andy, dealing with things like -- you were in an elite service -- the equivalent, I guess, the American side of Green Berets and the like, like going into danger -- why?
MCNAB: It was a mixture of being proud of the profession and wanting to be in an organization that was at the peak of that profession. But I certainly agree with Senator Dole when he said that, you know, people who say they weren't scared when these things happened, they weren't there. And if they were there, they are liars.
Everybody, certainly myself, everybody is scared. And if you are not, you are mentally deficient and you shouldn't be doing this work. But I think that it is getting into these situations, is that it boils down to you have got a responsibility to yourself to stay alive. And then all of a sudden just that small group of people around you and everything focuses on that. And you just get through it.
And then, afterwards, you think about it and you think, "Well, that was scary. I don't want that to happen again." But you learn that because of -- you just want to be good at this job. And you'll end up in a situation again.
KING: Senator Cleland, is there anyway of knowing how you will react in particular situations when you go into fighting?
CLELAND: No, there is no way to know except to do it.
I will agree with Senator Dole, Mr. Mcnab and all the panel as to, you know, when you go into combat, you know, I was scared to death. And, it is overcoming your fear, that your training helps. But ultimately you got to reach down into your soul and just say, "I got to do this." And when you say that, amazingly enough, you go ahead and do it. So, you never know how you are going to perform, but you just pray that you will perform well when the time comes.
KING: Are leaders nervous too, General Haig?
HAIG: Well, anyone that says they are not nervous in battle is either a very strange fellow or is lying. Of course you are nervous.
But I think we've got to give -- tip our hats to our service academies because, in my instance and in the instance of the academy graduates, they have spent a lifetime preparing for battle. And so their real concern is that they won't carry out their responsibilities for the welfare of the men they command. And this is a kind of fear, too, but it has a different flavor to it. So, it's very important we keep these academies functioning and producing the kind of leaders they have over the years.
KING: We will be right back with this distinguished panel.
As we go to break, here are some shots, photos, of Senator Cleland in Vietnam.
KING: The video you are seeing now is Scott O'Grady after his rescue. He was shot down over Bosnia in June of '95, helping enforce NATO's no-fly zone. He was rescued six days later, and that is Scott coming home.
He is one of our panel now. All four of these people, highly decorated.
You consider yourself a hero, Scott?
SCOTT O'GRADY, FMR. U.S. AIR FORCE PILOT: No. Actually, Larry, I talk to a lot of people around the country now, and when I talked to people about what a real hero is, it is somebody that helps somebody else. Just as Senator Bob Dole talked about, it is not the movie stars the rock stars, and the sports stars. That is entertainment.
It is the individuals that we saw on the 11th of September, the individual average citizen that came to the aid of their fellow American in time need. That is who the true heroes are in society.
KING: Is there such a thing, Andy McNab, as a natural military man, people, men or women, born for it?
ANDY MCNAB, FMR. AIR SERVICE MEMBER: You know, I don't think so. I think it comes down to an aptitude, as opposed to just being a natural. You join the military and you discover that through experience, training and knowledge, that you can actually get through these huge events. Certainly would involve in combat. And I'm sure that anyone who has done that sits down afterwards over a cup of coffee and slightly shaken and thinking, why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? But momentum keeps you going and you carry on.
KING: It seems obvious, Senator Cleland, but you lost an arm and two legs in a war that most people now say was ill fought. Do you feel you lost it in vain?
SENATOR MAX CLELAND (D-GA), DECORATED VIETNAM VETERAN: No. I don't think so. I think with General Haig and some others, it was ill fought. If we had it to do over again, we would certainly do it differently. I think we have learned a lot of lessons that we have applied, No. 1, in Desert Storm, and certainly now in Afghanistan. And that is heartening to me. It is heartening to me to see that we are indeed focused on an objective, an objective that we can attain, and that objective, in this case, is to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his terrorist cadre and restore the Taliban. That clear objective enables us to pursue that objective in a very fast manner, with all the assets we possess. That is what military action is all about. In so many ways, I -- my spine tingles to think of what I might be doing there if I were young enough to be there.
In one way I am glad I'm not, but in another way I am kind of jealous a little bit of the action that they are in. I liked Mr. McNab's comment, that you know do you these actions, and after a while you wonder why you do them, then you go back and do them again.
KING: When you are in war, Al Haig, are you -- do you personalize the enemy? Do you demonize the enemy, in a sense?
GEN. ALEXANDER HAIG (RET.), DECORATED VIETNAM WAR VETERAN: Well there is a certain amount of that. And the more you are exposed to them, if they are the kind of heinous enemy that we have seen with these terrorists, why, there is going to be some demonization.
But, in general, I think you try to maintain an attitude that they are doing a job, and you are doing a job, and you have to maintain the correctness of the rules of law. And when you step over that line it is always wrong and especially with American forces who have been raised in an entirely different culture.
KING: Scott, is -- do war experiences teach you, does any advantage to it in civilian life?
O'GRADY: Say that again, Larry.
KING: Any advantages to having served in combat, or being shot down, that you use later in civilian life? Can you bring the two together?
O'GRADY: Definitely. I mean, I take my military experience, and difficulties I have had in life, and especially with being shot down over Bosnia, where I went through a life-threatening ordeal, and I look at it, any type of difficulty we go through as a person, with family, our relationships, our work, or as a country now, that we are under in a war against terrorism since 11th of September, we can become stronger and smarter and better for having gone through that difficulty.
And I truly believe that we are going to come out and be a better country in the end, and a lot of good will come out of this evil.
KING: When terrible things happen, like the disaster in Mogadishu, in Somalia, Andy McNab, I remember talking with Michael Durant, who had that terrible torture that he went through there, what does that do to the resolve of people observing that? Does it get you down on war? There, we are looking at Michael Durant now.
MCNAB: It is, for me personally, because I was captured during the Gulf War, to the northwest of Baghdad on a covert operation, for me personally, I found that, obviously surviving, I found it an enlightening experience, and very much what Scott was saying. I sort of, when I come back, and after the war.
MCNAB: I was released through the Red Cross. I -- I, you know, I -- to me, doesn't get me down, because I sort of went through that capture, and the experience itself was a personal one. I think certainly seeing the sights we say during the Mogadishu operation, it is one of anger, it is one of anger, where you see these people helpless, and naturally you want to go in and do something about it.
KING: Senator Cleland, where were you on the morning of -- of that horrible morning of September 11?
CLELAND: Believe it or not, I was meeting with the new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in my office at the very moment that the Pentagon was hit. And -- shortly after the World Trade Center was hit -- and he and I now look at one another with a sense of awe that I'm glad he was not -- and he is glad that he wasn't walking around the Pentagon, where he could have gotten killed and he was instead in my office, meeting with me as a member of the Armed Services Committee.
That was a very scary moment. I will say that seeing the Pentagon on fire, and seeing that the Capitol was right in front of my eyes and probably was next, give me that cold chill that I had in the Tet Offensive in '68 in Vietnam, where I didn't know where the next rocket was going to hit. I didn't know where it was going to land and that I might be next.
Just for a moment I had a flashback of my war experience. But after that I worked through that, and we made it through that day. But I had a flashback on that moment when I saw the Pentagon on fire.
KING: General Haig, where were you and what was it like for you?
HAIG: Well, I was in my office in downtown Washington, in the Madison Building on 15th street. And, for me, it was a nightmare come true. You know, it is important when these things subside, after this is over, and it is going to be successful, we sit back ask how we got into this.
It took a long period of time, almost 20 years, for terrorism to become the mortal threat that it is today. And that is because it was not tended properly from the outset. And having been a victim of it myself in 1979, when the KGB and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tried to blow me out of my automobile, I had a very real feeling about that, and it was the first speech I gave as secretary of state in 1981.
And I said we should replace our preoccupation with human rights, with a preoccupation to combat international terrorism. And that was like, throwing water on duck's back, because we had to wait for this horror to rally. But with every ill wind blows some good, and I think America is unified today in a way I haven't seen it since World War II, certainly not in Korea, where nobody really cared, and very little in Vietnam.
KING: Where were you, Scott, and how did you react?
O'GRADY: Actually, I was going into the dentist's office and I heard on the radio that a plane hit the World Trade Center and I couldn't really believe that it happened, and then the story just continually unfolded, and the evil that was so present on that day of this great terrorist act that killed so many innocent lives, and it was just very sad. I mean for days I would find myself in tears.
But now, it has been so overwhelming and joyful to see how there are so many good people that live here in America, that have been, now united together, in I know we are a very diverse country, we are united in a cause to fight this evil.
On the 8th of this month I had the privilege of seeing the president just for a short, brief period after his speech in Atlanta, and I'm so proud of him, and he has really risen to the occasion and he is going to lead our country in this war against terrorism and we will defeat it.
KING: Thank you all very much. We are out of time. Andy, we will get your thoughts on where you were that day the next time you are with us. You have been with us frequently. Senator Max Cleland, General Alexander Haig, Scott O'Grady, and in London, Andy McNab.
We close our shows on musical notes. We have a very special one tonight with Kathie Lee Gifford and she will be with us right after these words.
KING: We end each night on a musical note and joining us now from New York is one my favorite people, the extraordinarily talented Kathie Lee Gifford. He longtime assistant, Taryn McHale (ph) lost her husband in the World Trade Center. Her husband Thomas worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. She was pregnant, has given birth since, right, Kathie?
KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, ENTERTAINER: Yes, blessedly, on October 18 he was born.
KING: And you formed a fund to aid Karen (sic) and her son.
GIFFORD: Yes, you know, without having a daily talk show now, you wonder, what can I do, how I can help. And Frank and I immediately thought of starting a fund for the baby. Nobody knew at that point what the outpouring would be for the victims and the families, so we just started in on that right off the bat.
KING: And the song you are going to sing tonight, to close it out, is titled, "Little Baby." Any quick history of this song?
GIFFORD: Yes. You know, Larry, from our house in Connecticut, we have always been able to see the skyline of New York City, and I wrote these lyrics the day of the attacks knowing that Taryn was at our office in New York and that Tom was in that building, and that their little baby would never know their daddy in the way that all of us have been blessed to know him, and my friend, David Friedman, supplied the beautiful melody a few weeks later. We sang this at Tom's memorial.
KING: Here is Kathie Lee Gifford, her own composition, we close it out with "Little Baby."
GIFFORD: Thank you,
(MUSIC, KATHIE LEE GIFFORD SINGS "LITTLE BABY")
KING: Hope you enjoyed LARRY KING LIVE tonight. Tomorrow night among the guests, former Senator George Mitchell, and the columnist and broadcaster, George Will, will be with us. NEWSNIGHT is next. Aaron Brown has the night of and his replacement is not too hard to take. She is one of my favorite people, here in New York is Willow Bay.
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