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CNN Larry King Live
Interview With Mark Miller, Colin Soloway; Interview With Joseph Biden; Stories of Relatives of Heroes of United Flight 93
Aired December 07, 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, a new twist in the saga of American Taliban fighter John Walker. He was interrogated by CIA officer Mike Spann in an Afghan prison hours before Spann was killed. We will talk with the "Newsweek" correspondent in Mazar-e Sharif who broke the story and with "Newsweek's" chief of correspondents, Mark Miller next.
Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee talks about Afghanistan's future and America's role in it. Then, September 11 stories of heroism and heartbreak from United Flight 93. We will talk with Lisa Beamer, whose husband, Todd, has been called a 9/11 hero; Lyz Glick, her husband, Jeremy, has been saluted as a hero too. He phoned her as the terror unfolded; Lorne Lyles -- his wife, Ceecee, was an attendant on Flight 93. She called him too; Alice Hoglan, she had a chance to talk to her son, Mark Bingham, before she lost him; Sandy Dahl, her husband, Jason, was the captain of Flight 93; Kimi Beaven, her husband, Alan, was another who died on United Flight 93; and Gerald Bingham, Mark Bingham's dad.
And later, Melissa Etheridge sings, appropriately, "Heal Me."
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
An extraordinary story is going to break in "Newsweek" magazine, out in most places this coming Monday. It is the finding of an extraordinary tape between the late Mike Spann of the CIA and young Mr. Walker, the fellow American who was captured along with others in the Taliban.
Joining us by phone is Colin Soloway, the "Newsweek" special correspondent. He is in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. And in New York is Mark Miller, the chief of correspondents for "Newsweek".
Colin, if you can hear me all right, how did you come upon this?
COLIN SOLOWAY, "NEWSWEEK": It was, I was quite lucky, actually. Someone approached me actually trying to get a hold of someone else to say that there was a tape that they wanted them to see. And when the other person did get in touch with him, these were all people that we knew each other, I was allowed to watch the tape along with them as they were doing negotiations on sort of how the tape was going to be distributed.
So I was able to sit in and watch on a TV and a VCR running off a generator in the middle of the night and trying to, you know, get down a rough transcript of what I could see.
KING: And this tape, of course, not available to us. The tape we have been showing is the tape that CNN had taken earlier of John Walker. What did you think, Colin, when you heard it?
SOLOWAY: Well, when I saw this tape, I mean, you know, John Walker had -- John Walker Lind (ph) actually is his full name -- he had told me that he had seen the CIA agent and he described him quite accurately. But he hadn't mentioned that he in fact was then pulled out and interrogated by them or they had attempted to interrogate him. So this was really fascinating, watching them together, sitting there, watching the sort of techniques that they were trying on him, not very successfully, I might add. And you know, and also just seeing what was going on in that prison, you know, a couple -- an hour or two before the uprising started and Mike Spann was killed.
KING: Incredible, here -- let's show you some excerpts -- I will read them -- from the tape. Mike Spann is talking. And he says to Walker, "What's your name? Hey!" And Spann snaps his fingers twice in front of Walker's face and Walker is unresponsive. And Spann says, "Who brought you here? Wake up! Who brought you here? How did you get here? Hello." Still no response. One of those, Mark Miller, incredible stories of war, right?
MARK MILLER, "NEWSWEEK": Right, absolutely.
And we were just fortunate enough to have Colin in a position to find both John Walker last week, when he was being taken away from the fort after the uprising was put down and then to come across this tape.
KING: And then on another part of the tape, Spann and another colleague, Dave -- Colin, do we know who Dave is?
SOLOWAY: Dave is the only name that he is known by. He is known by sort of a native name, Zaud (ph), you could say a version of David. And also, his nickname by the local soldiers who have known quite well because he's seems to have been around for quite a well, he is nicknamed "Haji Baba". But, you know, he is still a serving agent. And even if we knew his last name, I don't think we would reveal it. I think he has been exposed, you know, quite a enough at this point.
KING: Obviously. Now, Dave, on the tape, says to Mike Spann, the late CIA agent, "The problem is he has got to decide if he wants to live or die. If he wants to die, he is going to die here or if he is going to -- and then we have the f-word deleted -- spend the rest of his short -- f-word deleted again -- life in prison. It's his decision, man. We can only help the guys who want to help us. We can only get the Red Cross to help so many guys."
There is no response from Mike to that, Colin?
SOLOWAY: No, none at all. You could see they were sort of playing the good cop/bad cop with him. Mike Spann was saying, you know, hey look we just want to, you know, we just want to find out your story. We just want to talk to you. It is OK. And then, you know, they are standing only three or four feet away from him. And, you know, Dave is talking about him in the third person. So it's pretty clear they're trying to throw a scare into him. But he still at that point hadn't responded.
KING: And as Spann tries to appeal to Walker's sense of justice, Spann says to Walker, "Do you know the people here you are working with are terrorists. They killed other Muslims. There are several hundred Muslims killed in the bombing in New York City. Is that what the Koran teaches? I don't think so. Are you going to talk to us?"
Walker does not respond. And then Dave comes in again says to Spann, "This guy got his chance. He got his chance." Does Walker speak at all, Mark?
MILLER: No, I don't believe he does. And that is consistent with what we are hearing about his interrogation in captivity after the uprising was put down and now that he is in U.S. captivity. I don't believe he is cooperating to any serious degree more than he did in this situation.
KING: Colin, we had his father on earlier. What was he like to talk to, Mr. Walker?
SOLOWAY: You know, given the circumstances that he had experienced over the six days previous, you know, being shot, being in a basement for six days with bombs going off, diesel fuel poured in and set a light, and then flooded overnight, watching his comrades die around him, he was remarkably lucid, I have to say. He was very articulate, very well-spoken. He was able to put together, you know, very complex ideas. He tried to give me a very complicated explanation, or a relatively complicated explanation on why he couldn't give me an answer to whether he supported the September 11 attacks.
You know, he was -- but as at same time, he was clear he was in really deep mental shock. It was sort of like if you look at the survivors of disasters, sort of like, you could say after the Trade Center disaster or guys who come out of combat. You know, they can talk and they are articulate, but, you know, at the same time, you look in their eyes and you see they are some place else altogether.
MILLER: I mean, we should point out, Larry, that when Colin pressed about September 11, he did say, you know, the short answer is yes, I did support what happened there.
KING: All right. Now supporting it is one thing. Do you think there is -- this would just be an opinion -- Mark, first you and then Colin, but there is a case against him?
MILLER: I think it is going to be difficult to make a specific case against him, particularly on something like treason, which, you know, has very specific things that have to be met, burdens that have to be met. The tape clearly places him in a closer proximity to the agent who was then murdered, and that I think could be an important factor against John Walker. But so far, you know, the government says it is studying several options, but they don't quite know what to do with him. And I think there is some disagreement within the administration about what to do with him.
KING: Colin, what do you think?
SOLOWAY: Well, you know, I'm with Mark. It is very difficult to say right now. He did, you know, later that day after I saw him, later that day when he was in the hospital, he actually was filmed by a CNN cameraman. And he did say then that he has gone and trained, that he had been sent by the Taliban to train with al Qaeda or with al Qaeda groups in Afghanistan and that he had fought in Kashmir with Muslim separatist groups, and then that he had come back to Afghanistan to fight.
But, you know, that being said, it is not entirely clear where that is necessarily a crime in the United States of America, whether, you know, whether he knew even that the Americans were fighting then. So, you know, it's going to be very difficult, I think, to prove any specific criminal action directly -- directed at the United States of America.
KING: Mark Miller, late this afternoon, I spoke to the father -- the father's lawyer. He's hired a lawyer. And the lawyer said they are trying to get the military to tell him to let him talk to them or where they can reach him. And they won't tell him. They won't give him any answer. Do we know where he is?
MILLER: Well, the parents do say that they haven't been told specifically where he is or what his condition is. I believe, actually, Colin has some information about that though that the Pentagon says that they have told the family, generally, that he is doing fine and doing OK. We believe he is still in Afghanistan, although they are considering taking him out of the country.
KING: Colin, the lawyer says they won't let him contact him. Is that what you -- do you know where he is?
SOLOWAY: Well, to the best of my knowledge, he is here in Mazar- e Sharif or nearby. I spoke with the U.S. Army spokesman here in Mazar-e Sharif, the public affairs officer. And he said, all I can is that he is that he is under our protection. But, you know, he indicated that he was if he -- you know, that he was here in Mazar-e Sharif.
I think one of the reasons, and they said that one of the reasons why they are not giving his exact location, is I think just to be -- just to be safe just in case someone might, you know, try and target them or might try and try something on that. I think the possibility of that is extremely unlikely, but the Army is very, very cautious about attracting attention to itself in such a way that might invite some sort of terrorist reprisal.
KING: Good work guys. This will all be in "Newsweek" on Monday. Mark Miller, chief of correspondents at our New York bureau, and on the phone from Mazar-e Sharif is Colin Soloway, "Newsweek" special correspondent.
When we come back, Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. We'll get his thoughts on the war and on this case too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WALKER, AMERICAN TALIBAN FIGHTER: I was a student in Pakistan studying Islam. And I came into contact with many people who were connected with Taliban. I lived in the region, in the northwest frontier province. The people there in general have a great love for the Taliban. So I started to read some of their literature of the scholars and the history of the movement. And this -- my heart became attached to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: In a little while, we'll talk with relatives of some of those incredible heroes on Flight 93. But right now, we are joined by Senator Joseph Biden from the Senate gallery. He is a Democrat, of course, of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, also a member of Judiciary. What are your thoughts on this John Walker thing?
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: It's a tough call, Larry. I mean, one of the things that I -- and I happened to see that tape that you were referring to, and it seems pretty clear to me that whether or not he knew that he was fighting Americans and/or against our interests at the time he was being questioned, he sure knows now, and it surprises me he is not prepared to cooperate more at this moment and helping us know about how they organized, what's going on, if he has been in the caves, and so on.
And the Justice Department is going have a tough call. I mean, I heard one of the reporters say, what do they try him on? Well, they can try him on treason, arguably, but, you know, that's a case that a jury may not buy. You have to have two witnesses under the constitution for the same treasonous act, and the definition the United States shall -- treason against United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or acting on the behalf of the enemies, et cetera. And so, you could make a case that treason would fit, but, you know, it's going to be a tough call for the Justice Department to make.
KING: What's your assessment of the situation in Afghanistan now? Kandahar is -- the surrender is going on, but not as easily as we might have thought.
BIDEN: Well, Larry, I think -- I think we have done a pretty good job. The thing that I was most amazed at and pleased with is what happened in Bonn, where this new government, or this new interim government is ready to move in place. But you've got this guy Dostum who is up in Mazar who says, wait a minute, I'm not sure you can count me in on this, I wasn't part of this. And you got the former president sitting in Kabul who is saying, I don't know.
And so I think, Larry, the most important thing to be done is to get a multi-national security force in there on the ground, securing the areas, and particularly Mazar, so we can get food aid in there, and we can stop the starvation going in the winter, and have a security force in Kabul so that this new government, made up of what appear to be warring factions, can actually sit down.
KING: Do you think that's going to happen?
BIDEN: Well, I think it has to happen. I know the military and General Franks is understandably worried about bringing in French, Germans, Brits, or Turks to help us, because we don't want anyone interfering with our ability to go after al Qaeda and bin Laden and Tora Bora, or wherever he may be. But I would argue that we could walk and chew gum at the same time. We could bring in the security force, because the two places we have to nail down are -- in terms of security, so everyone shows up in this new government -- is Kabul, and the place we have to nail down where the greatest lack of aid exists to get to people who are starving is Mazar, and so I -- my bet is you will see that happen sooner than later.
KING: Do we have to capture or kill Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden?
BIDEN: Well, I think we -- yes. But there is a question mark here. Do we have to do it in the near term? We have to resolve that whether it takes a day, a week, a year, 10 years or 20 years, we will hunt them until we find them. I think that has to be done.
Now, do we have to have them both dead or in captivity before we can begin to help with other nations, begin to rebuild Afghanistan? No. But I think in terms of our naked commitment that we made, yes, we have to follow through no matter how long it takes.
KING: And are we going to be involved in this thing for a long, long time, in the setting up of the new government involved in Afghanistan?
BIDEN: Absolutely, Larry. I mean, the president has made it clear that he understands that, he has made it clear -- for example, he has already called a conference -- or the secretary of state has -- in the State Department about donor nations, who's willing to commit for the long haul. The World Bank is talking about a minimum of somewhere between $10 billion and $15 billion. We are talking about additional food aid. The president has already committed $320 million for that.
The president said nothing works unless there is all parties in a single government, because what he realizes -- and I have spoken to him about this, it's been three weeks or more, but I don't think he changed his mind -- is that if we leave a vacuum there, if we drain the swamp and walk away, then you have the six surrounding nations all again deciding who their surrogate interests are, and that war will start all over again. It will be chaos again.
KING: Now, what about expansion? Do you see us going to Iraq?
BIDEN: I think that eventually we go to Iraq, but my view, Larry, is the question is how we go to Iraq. Do we go to Iraq unilaterally without having built a case against Saddam, either having have been involved in 9-11 or having violated tighter sanctions that we -- that we designed that tighten the noose on him?
And I think the latter enhances our prospects much greater than the former. If we move unilaterally, we may very well find we have trouble keeping everybody with us even in Afghanistan. And so, the president has some very tough calls to make.
But let me put it this way, Larry. This is a changed world, and I can't picture things getting better if five years from now you still have Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. And so for me, it's figures how do you get rid of him, and over the near term, meaning the next year or so, and it's going to -- I think it's wiser to do it the way we did this, building a coalition to do it, than it is to unilaterally just make, you know, pivot (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Baghdad.
KING: Didn't the United States appropriate some $98 million for use in Iraq to try to muster some support?
KING: ... and that has never been spent.
BIDEN: Well, the reason why -- if you remember, the Republicans used to criticize Clinton for not spending, and yet this administration hasn't spent it, because they found out the same thing.
KING: Which is?
BIDEN: And that is, who do you give it to? Number one. And if and when you give it, you imply that we will be there when they get in trouble. And so, neither administration has been prepared to say yet to the disparate Afghan group that is in trouble getting together -- the Shias in the south and the Kurds in the north and disparate groups in between who have fought one another, by the way -- one of the things we -- we don't want another Bay of Pigs kind of operation, where we build them up, we give them money, we get them moving, and then we are not ready to go in full force behind them if they get nailed down.
But I think that is all being reconsidered now, and there is a lot of discussion about how much utility they would be in an effort to topple Saddam.
KING: Always good seeing you, senator, we look forward to many, many visits.
BIDEN: Thanks an awful lot, you're a good guy.
KING: Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, chairman of Foreign Relations, member of the Judiciary, at the Senate gallery, where they are still voting and in session tonight. We come back, we will devote the rest of the program, leading up to Melissa Etheridge, who is going to close things for us tonight, to seven people who lost six heroic lives on United Flight 93 that went down in Pennsylvania. We will meet them all, talk to each of them, and collectively, after this.
KING: You all know the dramatic story of United Flight 93. It left Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco, and left six minutes before the American Airlines plane that went into the Pentagon left, that left from New York. Hijacked by four men shortly after take-off. In the time between the hijacking and the plane's final fatal plunge into Pennsylvania, passengers made cell phone calls to loved ones on the ground, and evidence strongly suggests that many passengers stormed the hijackers and prevented them from flying the plane, and literally took it into the ground.
Let's meet our guests, relatives of these heroes. In New York is Lyz Glick, she lost her husband Jeremy on Flight 93. In Fort Myers is Lorne Lyles, he lost his wife Ceecee, a flight attendant on that flight. In San Francisco is Alice Hoglan, she lost her son Mark. Mark had called from a cell phone a little less than a half hour before it went down, we'll get her story. The now very familiar Lisa Beamer is in New York, she lost her husband Todd on Flight 93. She's expecting another child next month. in Littleton, Colorado is Sandy Dahl, she lost her husband Captain John Dahl, the captain of that airplane. Kimi Beaven is in San Francisco, she lost her husband Allan, spoke with him just before the flight took off. And in Orlando is Gerald Bingham, he lost his son Mark as well, and he found out from his ex-wife Alice about the call from the plane.
Let's start with Lyz Glick. What happened, Lyz? How did you hear from Jeremy?
LYZ GLIC, HUSBAND JEREMY ONE OF FLIGHT 93 PASSENGERS: He had called me that morning after the flight had taken off. I think the plane had been in the air for about 40 minutes. I was already aware what was going on with the World Trade Center, but really hadn't made the connection, you know, that one of these planes could have been Jeremy's. And then, as I said, we had gotten a call around I guess it must have been around 9:35.
KING: And what did he say?
GLICK: He told me that there were some bad men on board. He described them to me, he told me they were wearing red headbands, and that they had what they claimed to be a bomb.
From there, our conversation took a more personal note. I think he sensed a panic in my voice, and, you know, we just started repeating "I love you, I love you, I love you" to one another. And both of us were able to pull it together, and then we made a, you know, he made a plan. He was asking me questions, what was happening in New York, were they crashing planes into the World Trade Center. And I told him, yes, they were. And then, he asked me, you know, should he attack the terrorists. And at that point, seeing what I had seen, I told him to go ahead and do it. He had been talking with some of the other passengers and conferring with them as well.
KING: Was anyone with you, were you alone?
GLICK: I was actually at my parents's house with my daughter. We had a daughter that was only 12 weeks old at the time. That all this happened, and Jeremy was traveling for a business trip, so I had gone up to my family's.
KING: Did he talk to your parents too?
GLICK: He talked to them briefly when they answered the phone, he said "put Lyz on," and they immediately handed the phone to me.
KING: How did the conversation end, Lyz? What happened when you hung up?
GLICK: He told me, "I love you, hold on to the line, and I will be right back." And at that point, I just couldn't bear to listen anymore, so my dad was standing next to me, and I handed the phone to him. And he took it from there.
KING: And what did he hear?
GLICK: He had heard a series of screams, and then there was nothing for a few minutes, and then he had heard a series of more screams. And then, nothing.
KING: Did you pretty much know then, Lyz?
GLICK: My mind wasn't going there. I was hoping, you know, I was thinking, how could this happen? We are in a happy time in our life, we just had a baby, so I was praying and hoping, you know, really beyond hope from what I was seeing unravel with my own eyes.
KING: How are you doing now, by the way?
GLICK: I'm doing -- I'm doing surprisingly well. I draw strength from the conversation that I had with him on a daily basis, and I think if he could be so strong in those last moments, then I can be strong as I go forward.
KING: OK. You stay right with, Lyz, we are going to come back to everybody. Lorne Lyles is in Fort Myers. He lost his wife Ceecee, a flight attendant. She is -- Ceecee was a former cop, right?
LORNE LYLES, WIFE CEECEE WAS FLIGHT 93 ATTENDANT: Yes, she was.
KING: And how -- what happened on your call? She called you, what happened, Lorne?
LYLES: I got the call probably about two minutes to 10:00, and when I got the call I was in a sleep, because I work from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. So I had just gotten...
KING: You didn't know about the World Trade Center or the Pentagon?
LYLES: No, I did not. I had no idea that was going on. My TV was...
KING: So what did she say to you?
LYLES: She just -- when I answered the phone, I said hello -- I looked at the caller ID and seeing that it was her, so I said -- I answered the phone like I normally do, I said, "hello, babe, how are you doing?" And she just said, "babe," -- because that's what we call each other -- she said, "my plane has been hijacked, I'm just calling to let you know that I love you, and -- tell the kids that I love them."
And I thought that she was joking, I thought that it was, you know, you know, the plane was delayed and she was just -- even though she never joked about that before, you know, something like when somebody say that, you just hope that they are joking, and that is what I guess when I said that I was hoping she was joking, but she wasn't.
KING: But you didn't know anything about death or anything. You must thought she was going to land somewhere, right?
LYLES: I thought that it was just like what we see on TV, hijacking, take the plane someplace, make demands, hostage negotiations. That's what I thought.
KING: So, that was a quick conversation, right?
LYLES: No. Our conversation actually lasted for about two minutes, and we were just -- she was just telling me that she loved me, tell the kids, and then we said a prayer. And then, she said that they were -- she said that OK, it's getting ready to happen, and then she said, "they're forcing their way into the cockpit." She was, you know, detailing what was happening, and then she started screaming. Then, she started talking to me, telling me that she loved me, then she started screaming again. Then we got disconnected.
KING: Did you then turn on to other channels, did you know then about the World Trade Center and the rest?
LYLES: No. It never crossed my mind to turn on the TV, because I didn't think that nobody on TV knew what was going on.
KING: So what did you do?
LYLES: I called the -- United Airlines, and they confirmed that the flight was hijacked. So then I called my police department, then they came over to assist me.
KING: We will come back to you, Lorne. All right, Alice, you lost your son Mark on the flight. He called -- what -- he called you from a plane as well?
ALICE HOGLAN, SON MARK DIED ON FLIGHT 93: Yes, he did. The call came in at 6:44 a.m., which would have been 9:44 Eastern time, and we spoke for maybe three or four minutes. He actually talked to three people. He was able to tell Kathy, his aunt, my brother Vaughn's (ph) wife, "I want to tell you guys that I love you in case I don't see you again." And then, Kathy said to him, well, "we love you too, Mark, talk to your mom." And I came on the phone, and Mark -- I heard Mark's voice and he said: "Mom, this is Mark Bingham." And I could tell from that that he was a little agitated. And he said, "I want to let you know that I love you."
He didn't say in case I don't see you again, to me. Mark was forever trying to shield me from things. And so, I don't think I got the full story from him. It was wonderful that Lyz Glick and her dad and Dina Burnett were able to give their loved ones the information they needed to make a plan and take action.
KING: Did you know about the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?
HOGLAN: Not until we were disconnected. We're three hours earlier. There are new babies in the house. We didn't know anything about it. But after the call from Mark came in, we turned on the TV. Then it all became clear that what Mark was involved in was just part of a big, ugly mosaic of terror.
And my brother Vaughn said, "Get Mark back on the phone and tell him that it's a suicide mission and that he needs do what he can." So I called back, left a message on his cell phone. He -- I told him, "Mark, you need to do what you can do."
He didn't need to hear that message. He had already made a decision. I'm so glad to hear that they took a vote. They calmly decided what they were going to do. And the passengers worked together. And that means a great deal to me.
It's very interesting to hear Lorne's story about how Cici called him more or less right as the passengers went into their act. So it was really a horrific story. We'd like to hear the cockpit voice recording.
KING: You haven't yet?
HOGLAN: Not yet. Not yet.
KING: Do you think they will eventually let you all hear it?
HOGLAN: I have great hope that they will. Dina Burnett has requested it formally. I've requested it informally. Other family members have said that they would like to hear it. Kimi Beaven has said that it's the most important record we have of how our loved ones spent their last half hour. So -- and I agree with that wholeheartedly.
KING: And you called your ex-husband Gerald to tell him? HOGLAN: He called me sometime later. And I really felt terrible having to be the one to tell him.
KING: Boy. I gather all of you know each other?
HOGLAN: We're trying to get to know each other. I'm putting together a bit of a newsletter.
KING: Oh, really. The best known lady up to this point is Lisa Beamer. She's at our studios in New York.
You learned -- in New Jersey rather, you learned all about it, Lisa, from a cell operator, right?
LISA BEAMER, LOST HUSBAND ON FLIGHT 93: Right. Todd had made a phone call from the plane to a GTE air phone operator. And that's what I found out about the Saturday following the 11th.
KING: He couldn't contact you direct?
BEAMER: I think he made a conscious decision not to contact me directly. I was here by myself with the boys and certainly couldn't do anything to help him. And I think, initially, he thought his plane was being hijacked in a traditional sort of hijacking where they were going to take the plane down.
And from what we know of the voicebox recorder so far, the terrorists did tell the passengers that everybody needs to remain calm and they're going to take the plane to an airport and make some demands. And initially when Todd called the operator, he was simply calling to report that information and make sure that the ground was prepared for what might be demanded from the airplane.
KING: Was Todd the one that said "let's roll?"
BEAMER: He was.
KING: We'll come right back with you, right back with -- and meet our other members of the panel, as well. And then we'll have general discussion among all of them. And we'll include some phone calls as well. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. A couple more for Lisa Beamer. We're keeping our entire panel together. And there will be questions for everyone.
Do you feel a close tie to that operator who called you to tell you the story, Lisa?
BEAMER: I do. Obviously, the first time I talked to her was very emotional, as you know, I knew she was the last person that I could talk to who could relay what happened to Todd in those last few minutes. And it's certainly a bonding you never expect to have. But we've kept in touch since September 11. And I think we will continue to do that. KING: And do all of you -- are all of you in touch with each other, Lisa?
BEAMER: Yes, we've had opportunities to meet at the crash site and at the White House. And now Mark's mother, Alice, has put together some e-mail correspondence. So I think, you know, like I said, we have a bond that is unusual, but will be valuable to us in the days ahead.
KING: And to go share the rest of your lives?
BEAMER: Yes, and especially our children, too.
KING: Yes, you're right.
Sandy Dahl is in Littleton, Colorado. Her husband, Captain John Dahl, was the captain of flight 93. Is it right -- well, I have written John. Your husband's name is Jason?
SANDY DAHL, HUSBAND JASON WAS CAPTAIN OF FLIGHT 93: It's Jason.
KING: OK, they wrote John. I'll change to it Jason. So we want to be completely correct.
KING: Sandy, is it right that he wasn't supposed to fly that day?
DAHL: No, it isn't right. He was supposed to fly that day.
KING: Oh, he was?
DAHL: Yes, he called me to trade him into the trip from London, and so he would have more time off after the trip for our anniversary.
KING: Now naturally obviously did not hear from him during the flight?
DAHL: No, no he was busy trying to keep a hold of his airplane, I'm sure.
KING: Now did you know before anything about your husband, did you know about the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?
DAHL: Yes, I had just turned the television on when I woke up. And I was hearing all about it. But nothing about United, it was all American at that time.
KING: Did you have any fears for your husband at that time?
DAHL: Yes. Anybody in the sky, I'm a flight attendant myself, and I have lots of friends and loved ones out there. And I was afraid for everyone.
KING: How did hear about United 93? DAHL: It came on the news. And the night before, he'd called and asked me to look up his flight number for him on the computer. So I remembered the flight number. And that's how I heard.
KING: You remember your first reaction?
DAHL: I just fell down on the floor, right then just, I was destroyed and still hoping that maybe it was a crash-landing and not a crash.
KING: Did you meet via flying?
DAHL: Yes, we did, yes, flight to Spokane.
KING: Flight to Spokane. Do you have children?
DAHL: Yes, we do. We have two children by my first marriage, and one child by his first marriage.
KING: And are they with you?
DAHL: My children are grown and out of the house. And Matthew went to live with his mother full-time.
KING: How are things going for you?
DAHL: As well as I can get along without him. We just did everything together. And it's just hard, but a strong person. And I feel like he's here with me, anyway.
KING: Do you want to hear the flight recorder, too?
DAHL: Yes, I do, but in a private setting, not on the news.
Kimi Beaven is in San Francisco. She lost her husband, Alan Beaven, on the flight. What were his circumstances? What was he going to San Francisco for, Kimi?
KIMI BEAVEN, HUSBAND ALAN DIED ON FLIGHT 93: He was going back to try a clean water act case. He was an environmental attorney. And we were spending -- we spent the summer in New York, the day before the flight was -- our 8th wedding anniversary. And he was flying back to spend the week settling or litigating his final clean water act case in California.
KING: Did you speak with him before he got on the plane?
BEAVEN: Yes. He called at 7:00 from the airport to say he had checked in, and he loved us, and he was hoping to be back by the weekend.
KING: All right, did you know about the Trade Center and the Pentagon? BEAVEN: I did. My brother called me moments after the first Trade Center was hit. So I was following it on the news. And initially, they were saying it was commuter plane. And then, when they said it was an American flight, I started getting scared. And I called United right away. And the person I spoke with said United flight 93 is fine. So I went and I actually found out about the crash on CNN.
KING: So a CNN report tells you that a United flight -- does it identify the flight number?
BEAVEN: Yes, it said it's confirmed that United flight 93 has crashed in Pennsylvania. And I didn't know his flight number, but they said the time that it departed from Newark. And I knew that it was his plane.
KING: What did you do?
BEAVEN: I -- at first I just -- I was just reeling with shock and disbelief. It was so unimaginable. So I just -- I don't know, it was overwhelming.
KING: Every indication was that he was involved in the overthrow, too, wasn't he?
BEAVEN: Yes, I believe that completely, yes.
KING: That's the reports we're getting. All these people were heroes.
BEAVEN: Yes, they were.
KING: And Gerald Bingham, now you lost your son, Mark. We already spoke with your ex-wife Alice. Gerald is in Orlando. You called Alice to inquire about flight 93? Was that why you were calling her?
GERALD BINGHAM, SON MARK DIED ON FLIGHT 93: No, sir. No. We -- I had been trying to get a hold of -- I was watching everything unfold on TV.
BINGHAM: And I didn't know where his office was that he just opened up in New York. So I was just trying to get a hold of him, just to, you know, make sure that -- I had no idea about flight 93.
KING: So you didn't know he was flying that day?
BINGHAM: No, I didn't.
KING: So you just called your ex-wife to find out where to get in touch with Mark? And how...
BINGHAM: Well, we started, yeah, just started worrying. And then my wife got off work. And she said, you know, she said something's not right because she hasn't been able to get a hold -- nothing on the cell phone or anything at that time. It was about 11:30.
KING: How did your ex-wife tell you?
BINGHAM: It wasn't easy. I know it wasn't. She said that he was on that plane on that flight 93, which I knew then had crashed into Pennsylvania. And...
KING: My God.
BINGHAM: It was devastating.
We'll take a break and come right back and have questions for all of our guests. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Tom Cruise is with us on Sunday night. Don't go away.
KING: Before we take a call, Lyz Glick in New York, have you heard anything about medals for the passengers and the like?
GLICK: Just in the beginning, maybe a week or two after everything had happened, I had heard some talk. I was actually sent a petition to sign on-line, but since then I haven't received any news from that from our congressman or government, no.
KING: Lorne, has United taken good care of you?
LYLES: Have United taken good care of me? That's a very difficult question. At the beginning, yes. But ever since the memorial service, which we had on the 22nd of September, I really haven't heard from United Airlines.
KING: The caller is from Milwaukee. Hello. Milwaukee, are you there? Hello?
KING: Go ahead. What's your question?
CALLER: I would like to ask your panel if they feel that having spoken to their relatives, husbands, friends, before they perished, did they derive a lot of comfort from that?
KING: Alice, are you glad you spoke to your son?
HOGLAN: It made all the difference in the world to me. Hearing from Mark's lips made it more bearable.
KING: Lorne, are you glad you spoke to Cici?
LYLES: Yes, I am. That -- our last conversation helped me, it helps me through my days, because my days are very rough. So it helps me a lot.
KING: Lyz, you glad you spoke to Jeremy?
GLICK: I'm very glad that I spoke with him. And I know his last moments weren't filled with panic and terror. And you know, I also know how he wants me to continue my life. He had told me that when we had spoke. So it gives me a lot of comfort.
KING: Houston, Texas, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Thanks for taking my call. I'm interested to know if the overwhelming support that we see around the country is comforting to the people with small children, or if it's so much that the children sort of need a break it from all, if it's helpful or not?
KING: Let's go to those who have small children. Lisa, how are your children dealing with it?
BEAMER: My children don't really know about the big picture here. They certainly know that daddy's gone. And they know how it happened as far as a plane crash, but they don't know the terrorist piece of it.
But I think in the future when they're old enough to know that, and know how the people associated with September 11 have been -- just overwhelmingly been taken care of and the compassion of the American people and the patriotism and everything that's come out of this, I think it might make it easier for them.
KING: Kimi, do you have small children?
BEAVEN: Yes, I do. I have a five-year old daughter. And in the same situation as Lisa, that she doesn't know a thing about terrorism and hasn't really been exposed to a lot of the publicity side of it. But I think for most of us, the support of family, friends, and the nation has meant a lot.
KING: Sandy, how has United Airlines been to you as the wife of a captain?
DAHL: United Airlines has been marvelous to me. And I have a lot of support from fellow pilots and fellow flight attendants. They've been very nice.
KING: Have you been financially helped, Lyz Glick in New York, have you been financially helped yet?
GLICK: By United?
GLICK: Yes, in the beginning, we did receive a compensation I do believe. All families received a small amount to help with funeral costs. But since then, I haven't heard anything else from them.
KING: Has anybody heard? Gerald, have you heard anything with regard to your son and United?
BINGHAM: No, sir, I haven't, not since the memorial.
KING: Alice, have you heard from the airlines since the memorial?
HOGLAN: Well, like Lyz Glick, we received the small stipend as well. And -- but United has been very generous with us, dealing with the memorial costs, and funeral costs, things like that. I imagine that now that we are over the initial stage, we'll probably have to get into the issue of costs and compensation for the loss of our loved ones's lives.
KING: Well, the going on, is that the hardest thing, Lisa? I know your faith is the thing that drives you, right?
BEAMER: Right. It makes it easy to keep the big picture, eternal perspective, but it doesn't mean that some days aren't hard. And little children certainly help get you up in the morning, and get you motivated to put the Christmas tree up, and do all the things that we would normally be doing this time of year. So that's certainly been a helpful piece as well.
KING: Gerald, do you think of your own son every day?
BINGHAM: Yes, sir, absolutely. Not a day goes by, it's on my mind all the time. And we really miss him and we really love him.
KING: Yes. And we thank you all, relatives of heroes, Lyz Glick, Lorne Lyles, Alice Hoglan, Lisa Beamer, Sandy Dahl, Kimi Beaven, and Gerald Bingham.
Melissa Etheridge will close things off with an appropriate song titled "Heal Me." And before Melissa sings, we're going to show you a scene tonight at ground zero. They lit a Christmas tree. We'll be right back.
KING: Joining us in Los Angeles is Melissa Etheridge, the two- time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter. Her latest album is "Skin." From that album, she's going to sing the song "Heal Me." She took part in the October 20 concert for New York City.
That must've been something, huh?
MELISSA ETHERIDGE, SINGER, SONGWRITER: It was really, really amazing to be part of something that really wasn't about the artists. It was about the audience. It was about the firefighters and the heroes, and giving to them, and doing something for them.
KING: Yes. What an appropriate song, especially with the show we did tonight. Here is the terrific Melissa Etheridge in Los Angeles from the album "Skin", "Heal Me."
(MELISSA ETHERIDGE SINGS "HEAL ME") (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND, we'll repeat interviews earlier this week with Dan Rather and Don Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense. And on Sunday night, if I do say so myself, a really fascinating look in the life and times of Tom Cruise for the full hour.
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