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Airline Executives Respond to Terrorist Attacks; Guests Discuss Future of America

Aired September 19, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, with the military on the move, the economy in trouble, the president prepares for an extraordinary speech. He says he owes Americans an explanation and they are going to get it! Joining us from Washington, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Also in Washington, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. Plus, Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick. His firm devastated in the World Trade Center attack.

Those guests and a lot more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Here are the latest headlines and latest developments. The United States deploys dozens U.S. warplanes to forward bases in the Persian Gulf region. Overseas military deployment named "Operation Infinite Justice." American Airlines plans to lay off 20,000 at least. Sources say United Airlines is cutting its workforce by 20 percent.

The president addresses Congress tomorrow night. That address will air right at this time. We will be on with a full edition of LARRY KING LIVE and guests following the address. We begin with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton from our bureau in Washington. What do you expect tomorrow night?

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, Larry, I'm pleased that the president will be coming up to address not just the joint session of Congress, but the entire country. We have been through a terrible week as a nation. We are still evaluating and taking stock of the impact of these horrific attacks on our people, on our land.

And I think it is important for the country to stay united, and for the president to lead us where we are going both abroad and at home. So it is a good decision. I'm looking forward to being there and continuing to support him.

KING: You were the wife of a governor when last we deployed forces going overseas in the Gulf and the MIDDLE EAST and the like. Do you remember your thoughts then and your position now?

CLINTON: You know, Larry, I remember it very clearly because I supported then President Bush. I thought it was the right decision to make for a lot of reasons we don't need to rehash. But I was very strong in my support. Now I'm obviously in a very different position.

I support this President Bush in taking the steps that are necessary to defend our country and to seek out and bring to justice those who have committed these terrorist acts and networks that support and supply them.

KING: Do you know if your husband plus former Presidents Ford, Carter and Bush Senior have been brought into an up to date on all of this?

CLINTON: Well, I can't speak for any other of the former presidents, but I know that my husband has been called, and has been given briefings, which I think is very important because we want not only to have a united front, but to really utilize the talents and the experiences of every single and every single American and obviously that includes our former presidents.

But you know, I have spent most of the last week in New York, at ground zero or as Cardinal Egan memorably said, "ground hero." And what I'm struck by is that we have had tremendous leadership from not only all levels of government, the president, in New York the governor and the mayor who have done a superb job.

We have had leadership from business executives, like the guest you will have later this evening, who has been a real tower of strength and example. And we have also had the kind of leadership that comes in the midst of a crisis, when all hell is breaking loose as it was on Tuesday.

And men and women who are firefighters, and police officers, emergency personnel, you know, instead of running from the disaster, ran toward it. And I think that there is a lot that America and I know New York can be very proud of, right now. And that should give us the kind of courage, and strength to face the future together.

KING: A lot of the nation had opinions about New York. Not many of them often favorable. And you were new to New York, got to live there, got elected as its senator. Did anything about the way New Yorkers responded surprise you?

CLINTON: No. But you know, you are a native. You know the people of New York. You know that spirit, that indomitable "in your face, we are going to do it" spirit. But you also know something that I knew, and I think the world has seen, now, and that is you are not going to find any people anywhere who are more generous of spirit, more giving, more helpful to one another, more compassionate.

We have seen all of that on display in the wake of these tragedies, and I'm so proud, because it is isn't only the people who have been on the front line, and they deserve the thanks of every free person and every one who cares about humanity. But the way New Yorkers in general have conducted themselves. I mean, we have seen this extraordinary drop in crime. It already had been driven down, well it is even lower than it was before the terrible Tuesday occurred. I know that just today, for example, we are working to pass a commemorative stamp, "9-11 Heroes." It will be a stamp Senator Schumer and in the Senate and my colleagues Congressman Ackerman and Fossella in the House hope to get passed soon because it will give people all over the world a chance to, you know, buy a stamp depicting our heroes, and the money will go to a special fund set up and administered by our emergency agency, FEMA.

And it will be used to help defray the costs and the needs of the thousands of people who have been affected by this tragedy. You know, we have orphans and widows, and bereft people who are going to need our help for a long time to come.

KING: Do you have, Senator, any concerns about General Ashcroft's proposed legislation as it might deal with civil liberties of Americans? We remember back in World War II, and the internment of 150,000 Japanese, which the Supreme Court upheld and now we look at aghast.

CLINTON: Well I spoke with General Ashcroft yesterday. I know that there is a lot of work going on between the Justice Department, other government agencies, members of Congress. Clearly, we want to have the tools to combat terrorism effectively.

I will give you just one example. You know we have changed the way we communicate. We used to only permit the wiretaping of phones that were, we knew, in one place. Well we are mobile now. You pick up your cell phone you move. We need to change the way we try to get the information we need.

But I also believe, and I think everyone believes, that we don't want to lose what is important and essential about who we are as nation. We want to do what we are called upon to do within the Constitution. And I have every reason to believe that, you know, those concerns are being worked out even as we speak.

KING: Finally Senator, our lives will never be the same. Do you think often about the future and the like? Or are you just now solely in the present?

CLINTON: You know, Larry, everything changed a week ago Tuesday. It obviously changed in the most terrible and dramatic way for thousands of people and their families. But it changed for all of us. And I think a lot about the future, even while my days are filled with working to do everything I can to help in the present to try to bring the support and assistance that our city and state and country need.

But as I look to the future, I know there is reason for many Americans to be concerned. But I would hope that we would face this challenge with the same resolve that we have faced every other challenge in our history.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Wasn't that what Franklin Roosevelt reminded us, and we'll have to be more vigilant, we'll have to be alert. We have to be prudent in the steps we take, but you know, I am fundamentally a very optimistic and confident American. And I believe we will get through this. And we will be the stronger for it.

KING: One other quick thing: If legislation is proposed that could possibly keep Rudy Giuliani in office, extending that term limits, would you be for it?

CLINTON: You know, everyone -- everyone in the world, I think, agrees that he has done a superb job. And not just where one would have expected it in his determination and courage, but his compassion, his caring and concern have really shown a bright light for a lot of people in this darkness.

But I also think it is important to recognize that in a democracy, no matter how superb a person is, no matter how great a job he is doing, we have to believe in our democracy, in the rule of law. Elections are absolutely essential to how we conduct our affairs, and our country. And I would be concerned that we would upend that respect for the rule of law.

I do hope and anticipate that the mayor will work every minute of the remaining days in his term, and then be given the kind of responsibility that will enable him to keep working for the city he loves and be, frankly, enlisted the war against terrorism.

KING: Not a bad idea. Thank you, Senator. Always good seeing you.

CLINTON: Thank you so much, Larry.

KING: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York. When we come back, her majesty, Queen Noor of Jordan, the wife of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

I'm Larry King. Don't go away.


KING: We invited Queen Noor to appear on this program to talk about these troubled times from the respective of Arab-Americans and Muslims. We are not here to discuss international politics. Your Majesty, what's been your reaction to this?

H.M. QUEEN NOOR OF JORDAN: Oh, my reaction has, I think, been the reaction of not only everyone here in the United States, but people around the world of Arab-Americans, of Arabs of Muslims, of all citizens of the world -- horror, grief, and a determination to try to contribute in whatever way each and every one of us can to the end of such acts of evil.

KING: You are a convert to Islam. What can you tell us about your religion that these attacks may belie that we may not know.

NOOR: Well, these attacks are completely contradictory to the teachings of our religion, of God and of the prophet Mohammad. In a fact the prophet Mohammad instructed Muslims never to hurt in any way civilians, or citizens, who were not fighting them, to not hurt the women, children, the elderly. It is very specific in those instructions. So these acts are completely antithetical to the basic tenets of Islam, which are the basic tenets of Judaism and Christianity as well. These are three religions worshiping the same God, the tolerance and compassion, the sanctity of life, and most importantly, revering peace and the responsibility of man to contribute to peaceful relations among his fellow men.

KING: How then, do you explain the hatred, obvious in these people, the ability to go against their own faith, as you have just pointed out? Why?

NOOR: I think it is terribly important to distinguish between fanaticism, the extremism, that -- borne from often a completely, a complete disillusionment or, rather, illusions about one's responsibilities. I think every faith has seen its black moments of extremism and fanaticism.

I was very, very encouraged by President Bush visiting the mosque the other day, by statements made by leading figures in this administration, by other heads of state such as Tony Blair, by comments by Mayor Giuliani, right after the crisis, making a it clear distinction between Arab and Muslim culture, and faith, and the fanaticism of extremists whose actions are completely in contradiction with the teachings of our faith, and every faith.

KING: Do you understand the anger of those of us who have been stricken by this?

NOOR: Oh, yes. The anger and the frustration is felt by people around the world. I have been so struck by that. Not only is it felt by Americans, it is felt by Europeans, by Arabs by Muslims, by Africans, by people all over the world. And the grief is shared. The sense of shock and I believe as time passes, that sense of determination as well, and that realization that we have to work together to solve this problem, to end the terrorism, to hold accountable those responsible, and to ensure that this can never happen again.

I also am struck by the emotions, and the strength, if you will, of solidarity of even, if you will, a loving spirit that is felt by people not only in the United States, but in so many other parts of the world to their surprise, often, the collective grief and shock, and concern and care for one another, I think is something, a strength, that we need to sustain and to build upon into the future as we face this crisis, and other crises in the world.

KING: How do you advise people about explaining this to children?

NOOR: I think that one of the programs that I'm very much involved with is education for peace. It is a basic tenet of U.N. operations now. There are programs that bring young people together from different backgrounds. But also programs that emphasize the importance of tolerance, of compassion, of ways to resolve conflict and disagreements peacefully. So it is terribly important that we that we promote and strengthen such courses in the curricula of schools around the world, again, not just in one community. This outrage, this horror, is an international outrage, and horror. And it is, again, our best strength and best ability to confront it will be, in unity working together, cooperating, men and women, and young people, of all backgrounds, of all nationalities, coming together, as I think is possible today in light of what has happened to ensure that we collectively can make the difference, that young people will not grow up in an atmosphere of despair and hatred, and a feeling they have nothing to lose, but in fact will feel themselves a part of a world in which they can make a contribution, and a world that cares about them, and their prospects for the future.

KING: Thank you your majesty. It is always good to see you, hopefully next time under better circumstances.

NOOR: I hope and pray as well, Larry. Thank you very much for focusing on this humanitarian aspect of the tragedy of these last days.

KING: A great lady, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, widow of the late King Hussein of Jordan. When we come back -- I'm going to advise you to please stay tuned. Just don't go away.


KING: Hundreds of business were devastated by the attack on the World Trade Center. One that got the worst was Cantor Fitzgerald, one of the Wall Street top bond brokerage firms. Earlier this afternoon I had a very emotional conversation with Cantor Fitzgerald's chairman and CEO, Howard Lutnick. We began by asking Howard how many people he lost.


HOWARD LUTNICK, CHAIRMAN & CEO, CANTOR FITZGERALD: It's over 17,000. I just can't -- actually can't look at the number. I can't get an exact number because I don't want to.

KING: Now, tell us, you were supposed to be at work, but what happened?

LUTNICK: It was my -- my 5-year-old had his first day of kindergarten, so I had dropped him off at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Kindergarten, and it was his first day of big-boy school. And then I went -- so I was a little late getting down to the office.

KING: Where were you when all this hit?

LUTNICK: Just leaving the -- just leaving the school. And...

KING: How did you hear about it?

LUTNICK: Just my phone rang, and they said, you know, the building was hit by a plane, and I was thinking it was sort of like a -- a small, like a Piper Cub or something like that. So I got in the car and started driving down the left side trying to get there as fast as I could. And I could see the smoke from downtown, and I was -- I just had to get there.

KING: You had to know with the height of the building and everything that your firm was in a lot of trouble, right?

LUTNICK: Yeah, I don't like smoke from the -- smoke from the World Trade Center, so I just had to -- I had to get down there as fast as I could to see if I could find out what was going on and to make sure my people were getting out. So I was scared to death on the way there, but I had to get there.

KING: Your brother was in the building?

LUTNICK: My brother was in the building.

KING: He works for Cantor Fitzgerald?

LUTNICK: He does, on the 104th floor.

KING: How are you dealing with this, Howard?

LUTNICK: Not too well. Not too well.

KING: Have you had -- have you had grief counseling for the employer? How have you set this up? What is this past week, what have you been doing?

LUTNICK: Well, you know, Tuesday, I just -- I don't know what happened Tuesday. I think the day just went by. I just was trying to find people who were alive.

Wed -- you know, we got some calls from people who said anything we can do to help you. And then one of my friends from high schools, Arthur Bacall (ph), who works with The Pierre, called and left a message. And at about 5:00 in the morning I was talking to my wife and she said: Why don't we, why don't we get a hotel somewhere so everyone who, everyone who has a victim can come, and we can, we can all sort of be together?

And so The Pierre was unbelievable. They gave us -- well, they gave us the hotel for -- for all of our family members to come. And it was -- well, I mean, it was nice to be together, but it was the saddest thing ever.

KING: When you got to the building, did you go in at all? Did you try to reach people?

LUTNICK: I stood at the -- I stood at the door and I was yelling at people to get out, sort of standing with the policemen and some firemen, just standing there yelling at people to get out. And I grabbed them as they walked by and said, "What floor are you on, what floor are you on?" And -- because I wanted to go up the building.

So when I first got there, I was yelling at people in the 50s, and the last person before -- before I heard that noise was -- was someone who said they came down from 91. And they -- so I almost got there, but then I heard that noise, and the noise was the No. 2 World Trade Center collapsing. It sounded like a -- it sounded like a jet engine right over my head. Then I just -- I went running and the smoke knocked me over.

KING: I understand that your brother phoned your sister?

LUTNICK: Yeah, he called my sister, and he said that -- he said he was stuck on -- he was trapped on 103 and he wasn't going to make it, and the smoke was coming in and things were bad. And he called her and said goodbye, that he loved her, and for her to tell me that he loved me. And...

KING: Oh my god. This was a very young staff, too, right? Cantor Fitzgerald was known as a lot of young people.

LUTNICK: A lot of young people, early 30s, and a lot of babies. More than -- I think more than 1,500 children on that staff. So a lot, a lot of kids. A lot, a lot of kids.

KING: Have you explained it to your son?

LUTNICK: I told him -- my wife has a brother named Gary, too. So he always had two Uncle Garys. I told him that he only had -- he only has one Uncle Gary. The other Uncle Gary got hurt at work and he -- he can't come -- he can't come over anymore.


KING: Howard, I know how difficult this is and I appreciate you giving of your time. Your image was one of a hard-bitten, as I understand it, tough financial guy. Wall Street respected you a great deal. Is that -- are you different? Are you changed?

LUTNICK: As much as it can be.

KING: You'll never be the same.

LUTNICK: I will never be the same. I mean, every -- every person who came to work for me in New York, every one of them was in the...


... every single one was there. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) anymore. You can't find them, one of them. Every one. Every one.


KING: A lot were on conference calls when the plane hit, right? There were a lot of phone conversations. Cantor Fitzgerald was a very busy phone place, not...

LUTNICK: Yeah. A lot of people, a lot of phones, a lot of talking. And a lot of... KING: Where are you set up now?

LUTNICK: We have -- well, we have a small office at 299 Park Avenue, and we have -- UBS Warburg helped us out, gave us some space, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in New Jersey as well. And then -- and then, you know, the balance of our staff is in our Rochelle Park, New Jersey disaster site, which was, you know, a big giant building near the AT&T complex out there.

KING: And are you working every day? Is the firm functioning?

LUTNICK: Well, the firm is open in the U.S. We've opened with two businesses, our U.S. equities business and our U.S. government securities business. You know, I -- I get up at 6 o'clock in the morning. I talk on the phone with -- pretty much with ladies who've lost their husbands, and they have young kids and they just want to talk, or they want to ask what's going and how we're going to help them and how am I going to take care of them like I said I would. And I do that until about 9 or 10 o'clock, and then I, generally at 10:00 some funerals or wakes, and try to talk business in the interim period, go to funerals, go to wakes, talk to people all night long, and go to bed at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, generally knowing I can call, you know, some of these women at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning because they're not asleep. I'm not asleep and they're not asleep.

KING: Does your firm -- how is your firm going to deal with all of these families and the like? Can Americans help you in any way?

LUTNICK: Well, I'll tell you how we decided to deal with it. My partners and I, we talked about it and we decided that what we're going to do is we're going to give 25 percent of the profits of the company to the families of the victims to try to take care of them so they stay part of our family and that we can try to take care of them with our company, because you see they call me and they say: How come you can't pay my salary? Why can't you pay my husband's salary? Other companies pay their salary -- why can't you? But you see I lost...


... I lost everybody in the company, so I can't pay their salary.


They -- they think we're doing something wrong. I can't pay their salaries.


I don't have any money to pay their salaries.

KING: Can America help at all? Can people help, Howard?

LUTNICK: Well, I guess, you know, we're -- the victims, all the families, they're going to stay in the Cantor family and they're going to stay our partners. And so everything that we do, they're going to get 25 percent of whatever we do. So we do business with banks, we do business with broker dealers, and we...

KING: So every dollar you make they get a quarter.

LUTNICK: They get a quarter. So I mean, you know, if every money manager and pension fund just gives us a little bit of business then maybe we'll survive.

KING: Howard, I know how difficult this has been. I thank you. You have the condolences of all of the CNN family and everybody in the world.

LUTNICK: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Hang tough, Howard.

LUTNICK: Thanks.

KING: God bless. You'll be saying Kadish a long time.



KING: That's Howard Lutnick. He's the chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald.

The address of the Cantor Fitzgerald relief fund is 101 Park Avenue, 45th floor, New York, New York, 10178. And the phone number, if you want information is 1-800-466-0500.

Senator Joe Biden, Congressman Dick Armey, next. Don't go away.


KING: We will be on tomorrow following the president's speech, no matter where it ends, for a full hour of LARRY KING LIVE. We welcome to this program from Dover, Delaware, Senator Joseph Biden Democrat Delaware, chairman, Foreign Relations Committee. And in Washington: Congressman Dick Armey Republican of Texas, House majority leader. Let's start with Congressman Armey. Dick, what do you say to someone like Howard Lutnick?

What -- what does a country do? What do we do? How do we react?

REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: Well the country will respond. You know, I mean, you can see that all over the country. Now we are a kind and generous people, we are a caring people. This is a horrible, horrible loss he and all those families and so forth. There will be a response that will flow out to this man, those employees, their families.

But it's, quite frankly, what we must do all over with everything. We have got to rebuild, reconstruct, resource ourselves to settle this business. Make sure it never happens again. And then we will find a way to reconstruct lives.

KING: Senator, do we have the wherewithal financially and emotionally to do this?

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: We have it financially now, and we will have it. Emotionally, it is kind of tough right now, Larry. But I'm confident that, look, you and I understand, I mean, how can I say this -- a lot of us, unfortunately, have gotten that phone call.

And I know from experience getting a similar phone call, relating to my family, that in a different circumstance, that you feel like your chest is like a black hole and every part of your being is being sucked into it. And there is nothing we can do right now for all those people emotionally, other than believe it or not, let them know we all we understand and we care.

I used to think, Larry, that all these old wives tales about, like for example, wakes and sitting Shivah, I thought they were barbaric customs when I was a young kid. And when I was on the other end of that, I realized how much strength and solace that an individual who suffered a severe and tragic loss gets from knowing other people are thinking about them.

And so, and the nation is doing that and you are helping that happen.

KING: Congressman Armey, what do you expect from your president tomorrow night?

ARMEY: I think the president of United States has a chance, he knows what must be done. He is getting a clearer idea of what will happen in terms of field of operations. But he also has a clearer understanding what needs to be done by reconstruction of opportunities, lives, just get this economy back up on its feet.

We can do a lot of repair. There are some things that will never be fixed, there will be pain that will last through lifetimes. But we can, in fact, get the economy, get the nation back up on its feet. We can in fact deal with these people, and guarantee that it won't happen again. And I think the president is going to talk to us, somewhat in chapter and verse terms with -- without revealing any secrets that will tip off our hand about how we are putting this resolve to work in a plan of action.

KING: Senator, do we have -- the they have -- all of us -- they keep telling us, Condoleezza Rice today, have patience. This isn't going to happen tomorrow and it is going to be a long haul.

BIDEN: Yes, we have patience, Larry. Look, I don't think there has -- there has never been a generation of Americans faced with the tragedy that have not risen to the occasion. And people intuitively understand that this not an invasion of our homeland in the sense in a we can send out a million or 100,000 or 500,000 troops and solve it.

I think the president is going about this right away, Larry. He has been very measured. He has -- the rhetoric has been measured. We are talking -- he is explaining to people now, as Colin Powell did today, that this is not a war in a conventional sense as we know it. I'm here at a great university, Delaware State University, and the students want to know does this mean the draft is coming back?

I'm trying to explain to them what is what the secretary did so well today, in saying that this is, in a sense, an unconventional war we are going to fight. And it is going to take us time, but they are building these coalitions, Larry, and as I said to you on an earlier show that you were kind enough to have me on, I really truly believe that these guys so far crossed the line that they galvanized the world into understanding this is chaos and terrorism versus nation states and order.

And so we have a lot of unholy allies now. There is a lot of people, everyone from China to North Korea talking about changing their ways. I mean so, there is a great opportunity here. I think the people will have the patience. I have no doubt about this generation of kids that are coming up. And I think we will handle this. We will be better for it, but, God, those poor families, their lives, are never going to be the same. KING: Congressman Armey, the world will never be the same, right? This is going to be -- we are going to have to rethink our thoughts.

ARMEY: Yes, it is. But I think one of the things we have all focused on is how does America spend its energy? How do we deploy the heroes of this country, you know. We are not a nation that looks for revenge. We are not looking to get even with somebody. But we are a nation that is committed to securing the liberty, safety, the opportunity to have a dignified free life.

And, in winning that victory, to where they will know, you can maybe put a dent in freedom but you cannot end it. And freedom will come back stronger and healthier, and happier for more people because we will reunite one another on these commonplace issues. I think that the victory is already under way.

BIDEN: Larry, if you don't mind my saying, I agree with Dick, and I think Dick, I hope he would agree with me about what I am about to say, who would have thought that Arafat and Sharon, it would take something like this to move them along the way of a genuine cease-fire and the prospect that the -- that there is the beginning of a process again?

Who would have thought that Pakistan would have responded the way they did? So, Larry, we can build out of this, if we are smart, and I think the president is being smart. If we take care of first things first, and I think we can make it better, Larry, not worse, better. Up to now, these nations have been able to play around with terrorists as if they were pawns in this geopolitical game. That is over. That is -- that is done.

KING: OK. Thank you both very much. You want to add something quickly, Dick? Do you agree?

ARMEY: We paid a terrible cost. Some people paid a horrible, horrible cost. And we are not going to let it get squandered on things little. It is going to be big victories for all of the he world. KING: Congressman Dick Armey and Senator Joe Biden, they will be in the audience tomorrow night as will all America. Right back with Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, United States Army Retired, deputy chief of staff for intelligence.

And Judith Miller, author of "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War." And then top airline executives are going to be with us too, don't go away.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will do what we need to do to achieve the first objective of a long campaign. And the first objective is to bring is to bring people to justice who we feel like committed this particular set of atrocities and to hold the organization accountable and to hold those who harbor them accountable. That is the first objective of a very long campaign.



KING: As you know, we are in deployment and joining us in now ion Washington, Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, United States Army Retired. She was deputy chief of staff for intelligence, and author of "Generally Speaking: A Memoir By First Woman Promoted To 3 Star General In The United States Army."

And in New York a return with Judith Miller, senior writer at "The New York Times," expert on terrorism in the Middle East, has covered bin Laden, and is author of the new book, "Germs: Biological weapons and America's Secret War."

General Kennedy, what do you expect out of this movement today, all these planes and the like and getting ready for something?

LT. GEN. CLAUDIA KENNEDY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, I think one thing that will happen is that is that it will give Americans a sense that we are strong, that we are united, and that we are taking action.

KING: Judith, what are you looking for here? Is this imminent, or is this preparedness?

JUDITH MILLER, "NEW YORK TIMES": I think it has to be preparedness, because the administration has made clear that it is also working on building the coalition, which will be very important in sustaining the kind of campaign that he hopes to conduct against terrorism.

KING: General, these troops are, I think the average age is about, those going off today in the Navy ships who are about 20 years old. Are they prepared for this?

KENNEDY: Well, they are. You know our Navy and our Air Force Marine Corps and Army do a wonderful job of preparing their young service people to do tough, hard sustained work. KING: Judith, this is the kind of enemy, like none other, in that, who is it, where is it? It is not a nation state, is it?

MILLER: Absolutely. It is not a nation state and that terrain, as we have talked about before, Larry, is extraordinarily difficult and challenging. We already know from American intelligence, that the camps are already empty, so the notion of, as it has been said by U.S. officials, using a $20 million missile against a $10 tent raises some questions, and in the minds of allies and supporters of this action, as to what we -- who we are going to hit and where we might be going with this.

KING: General, the Pentagon is has already telling us there is going to be a lockdown on information. Do you favor that?

KENNEDY: I think that is good idea. You know, Larry, that I think all Americans value military success and part of that success will be built on having very strict, very airtight operational security.

KING: Judith, your book, and we have discussed it a few nights here, "Germs: Biological Weapons America Secret War," I will use the word again, is that, in your opinion, imminent?

MILLER: Well, I think it is something the United States should think about, now. It is the case, at the moment, that we don't think Osama bin Laden has this kind of weapon.

KING: Think or know? You don't think?

MILLER: It is hard to know exactly, in an organization like that, Larry, look at how many times he surprised us. So people who say they know where he is, or they know what he is thinking, they know his military capabilities, I would be suspicious.

What American intelligence believes, at least in terms of what I have been able to find out, is that he is experimenting with biological and with chemical agents. We know, from court testimony in New York that he has tried very hard, since the mid 1990's to obtain chemical and nuclear components. And we know from what we have seen in New York last week, and Washington, that this man will not stop until he achieves his objective, unless he is stopped.

KING: General, with the terrain like it is in Afghanistan, do you expect to see a lot of -- if there is troops on the ground -- it will be rangers and commando type operations?

KENNEDY: I would think, Larry, that we will make very good use of our special operations units. And those are the rangers and the special forces, and of course, the Air Force and Navy contribute as well. They have a large capability as well as the Army does.

These are going to be very important to us because they have the ability to operate deep behind enemy lines. They are able to operate in a chemical biological and nuclear environment. They are able to do very well during night operations. So these give us capabilities that exceed those of conventional force.

KING: Do you think we are patient enough, Judith, to wait all this out?

MILLER: I certainly hope so. I believe the administration officials that I have talked to certainly understand that precipitous action could harm the goal of fighting this campaign against terror. And once again, you know, a military strike is only a part of a war against terrorism. I remain concerned here at home, and in Europe, and in the Middle East, at the networks, the affiliated groups, the money that moves freely by couriers through bank accounts, that is that he real war.

KING: Your next visit we are going to spend a lot of time talking about that. We thank Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy and Judith Miller of "The New York Times." When we come back Robert Crandall, Steve Kroft, Robert Branson, Mary Schiavo of the airline industry and their role in all of this. First these words.


KING: We are closing in on time limits here. Joining us from Dallas is Robert Crandall, former chairman and CEO of American Airlines. In New York is Steve Kroft, co-editor of CBS's "60 Minutes." In London is Robert Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways. And in Columbus, Ohio, Mary Schiavo, aviation security expert,

Robert, should we be afraid to fly tomorrow?

ROBERT CRANDALL, FMR. CHRMN., AMERICAN AIRLINES: No. I wouldn't be afraid to fly tomorrow, Larry. I think it will take a little more time to check in than you would like, but I think you will find the system safe.

KING: And you like to be called Bob. I'm sorry for saying "Robert". CRANDALL: Not a problem.

KING: Steve Kroft, you had a chilling segment called how secure is your airport that you ran on "60 Minutes." Would you would fly freely tomorrow?

STEVE KROFT, CBS, "60 MINUTES": I think tomorrow would probably be one of the safest days of the year to fly. Whether it will be safe two months from now, that is another question.

KING: Richard Branson in London. You're directly involved because you are still involved with running a company. Should people fear flying? RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS: I think on international flights it is completely safe. As far as the domestic situation in America is concerned, I just don't know. But, international flights I think are secure.

KING: Mary Schiavo in Columbus, our former inspector general, what do you think?

MARY SCHIAVO, AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: Well, I would agree with Bob, that it is safer today than it was eight days ago. But the question is, is it safe enough? And I think the American people and the FAA can't tell us that it is. The FAA has already voted with their feet. Some FAA employees have even taken to renting a bus to get home after the airlines went back up.

KING: Steve, were you shocked at what you learned?

KROFT: Absolutely shocked, not that the security system was bad. But that so many studies had been done and the problem was known. I mean we are not -- we are talking about 4 major tests that I know of by different agencies which showed that it was more likely could you get through security than you would be stopped by security.

KING: We will have more with Crandall, Kroft, Branson, Schiavo on LARRY KING LIVE right after this.


KING: Richard Branson in London. Is security better in England?

BRANSON: It is. I think that the British government, because of the terrorism act of 1972 imposed very, very strict security on our airports. I would say that El Al and British Airports about the strictest in the world.

KING: Bob Crandall, should the government be running the security and not -- by government should it be police agencies?

CRANDALL: Yes it should, Larry. I would put it frankly in the Defense Department. Make it a police function of the federal government, and tighten it to the point where we have a world class security system to go along with a world class aviation system.

KING: Mary what do you make of that?

SCHIAVO: I have to agree with Mr. Crandall on that one. It absolutely should be a law enforcement function. It has to be federalized because you can't have a piecemeal system. I would put it in the Coast Guard rather than Defense Department because in piece time they are civilian and in wartime they're military and they already protect ports.

KING: Steve?

KROFT: I don't care who does it. Somebody needs to do it though. And, I think to get airlines back up and running, I think people are going to have to be persuaded. I think that you can say it is fine, but we had 19 people hijack 4 airplanes the other day and turn them into weapons of mass destruction. I think it can happen again and we have to make sure that it doesn't.

KING: Sorry for the limited time. I'm going to ask all four of you to come back in one of the few nights ahead because I want to really deal in this in-depth with Robert Crandall, Steve Kroft, Richard Branson, Mary Schiavo. We will be right back with more, but first, watch this special montage set to Paul Simon's "America." We'll be right back.


KING: We have a correct number for the Cantor Fitzgerald Foundation, it is 800 446-0500, that is 800 446-0500, the Cantor Fitzgerald Foundation. Don't forget, we will be on tomorrow night after President Bush addresses the nation. That's it for LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's check in with Aaron Brown in New York, the host of the "SPECIAL REPORT WITH AARON BROWN." In the line of fire. Aaron will be following this show every night. I am sure you didn't count on in beginning this way. What has this been like for you, by the way?



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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