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Highlights of Interviews Since September 11

Aired December 30, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, unspeakable horror, unimaginable devastation. Looking back at the events that shocked the world, and plunged the nation into war. It's next on a special LARRY KING LIVE: 2001, year in review.

Thanks for joining us. While the calendar doesn't show it, the events of September 11 really divided 2001 into two parts. Tonight, in the first of two LARRY KING LIVE "Year in Review" specials, we're going to look back at the events of that horrible day and everything that's happened since. And we begin with some amazing stories from the victims of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This just in, you're looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there, that is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I walked from my office, which is quarter- mile away, and it was desolate. It was a nuclear bomb had gone off, and there were ashes like in the street, like about a foot to six inches of ashes, if you can imagine that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, I saw the debris coming out, and then you saw bodies -- it was definitely bodies the way they were -- it was something you can never, ever imagine. It's like being in movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard "boom," and then debris started to fall on us, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) started to fall on us, and sparks. We were all on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm down here for the long term, Larry. I'm going to find my daughter, no matter what it takes, no matter what I have to do. There's only one thing in my life right now, and that's to bring her home.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.


KING: Fifty-eight minutes after New York was hit, the nation's capital sustained a deadly blow. Terrorists smashed American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon. Charles Burlingame was the pilot of that flight.


DEBRA BURLINGAME, BROTHER WAS FLIGHT 77 PILOT: I didn't know what he was saying, he was screaming, and then I caught him -- I caught the word "Chic. It's Chic." And there's no words to describe. You know, you hear crime victims' families being told, this is a murder scene, this is a mass murder, and it's just -- it's incomprehensible.


KING: Barbara Olson was a passenger on flight 77. She's the wife of Solicitor General Ted Olson. She was a frequent guest on this show. Before she went to the airport on September 11, Barbara left Ted something very special. He found it that night.


TED OLSON, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: It was a note that Barbara had written to me on the pillow, saying: "I love you. When you read this, I will be thinking of you, and I will be back on -- I will be back Friday." There were a few more words than that, but I just -- that was -- that was A, extraordinary special, very much like Barbara, and I'm grateful that she did that.


KING: Army Major Kip Taylor was killed in the attack on the Pentagon. His wife Nancy was eight months pregnant at the time. When President Bush visited the Pentagon on September 17, he sheared a few moments with her.


NANCY TAYLOR, HUSBAND KILLED AT PENTAGON: I showed him this picture of Kip. I pulled it out of my purse. I took a few steps toward him, and I said: "President Bush, this is my husband, Kip Taylor, who was at the Pentagon last Tuesday, and had not been found." And he spent two minutes with me, consoling me. He immediately became engaged in consoling me. He embraced me, kissed me several times on the head, and he comforted me.

We talked about Kip, who he was, what I was going through, and he said the most important thing for me to do was to bring a healthy baby into the world.


KING: And she did. Nancy Taylor recently gave birth to her son, Luke Taylor.

Kelli Lee was also very pregnant on September 11. Her husband Danny was on one of the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center. He was heading home to witness the birth of his child.


KELLI LEE, HUSBAND KILLED ON FLIGHT 11: Everyone was afraid I was going to give birth on Tuesday, and I didn't want her to have the same birthday as her dad's.

KING: Oh, the same -- you didn't want it to be...

LEE: The same day.

KING: September 11.

LEE: Right.


LEE: Oh, sure. You want her?

KING: I've held some people in this...


KING: Boy, is she pretty. Hey look, this is Allison. Allison Lee.


KING: United Flight 93 was on its way to Washington when it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. No one knows the target, but the mission seemed clear: Death and destruction. The courage shown by passengers in that flight defies description. Todd Beamer tried to call home before the heroes decided to roll.


LISA BEAMER, HUSBAND WAS FLIGHT 93 HERO: He informed the operator that he knew he was not going to make it out of this. His next response was to ask her to say the Lord's prayer with him, and then he asked Jesus to help him. And once he got that guidance, he asked her to contact me, gave her my name and phone number, and my children's names, and to tell us how much he loved us.

And then, once he had all that business squared away, he did what Todd would normally do, and he took some action. And what he did was he told the operator that he and some other people on the flight were deciding to jump on the hijacker with the bomb strapped around his waste, and the last thing operator heard Todd say at 10:00 a.m., 15 minutes into the call, was: "Are you ready? Let's roll."


KING: Lisa Beamer has become a symbol for the courage of those passengers, and she's borne the title well.

While United Flight 93 was heading to Washington, the World Trade Center was a raging inferno. As the building burned, some of those trapped inside managed to call home. Here's Kenneth Van Auken. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNETH VAN AUKEN: I love you. Up in the World Trade Center. The building was hit by something. I don't know if I'm going to get out, but I love you very much. I hope I'll see you later. Bye.

KING: Lorie, what must it be like to hear that.

LORIE VAN AUKEN, LOST HUSBAND AT WTC: It was just horrible. It was really just horrible. I could hear the terror in his voice, and he was trying to sound like he was calm for us, but you could hear the chaos in the background and the terror in his voice.

KING: You have children, Lora?

L. VAN AUKEN: I do. I have two children. My son is 14, Matthew, and my daughter is 12. Her name is Sarah.

KING: How are they handling this?

L. VAN AUKEN: Oh, Sarah is a mess. She's -- goes in waves with hysterical crying and back and forth. And Matthew is in some denial, I think, but you know, he's obviously beginning to see that, you know, his dad has not contacted us yet.


KING: Kenneth Van Auken was an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald. So were about 700 others who died when the Twin Towers collapsed. The company's CEO, Howard Lutnick, known for being a tough businessman, was devastated.


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

HOWARD LUTNICK, CEO, CANTOR FITZGERALD: Well, I'll tell you how we've 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 salaries, why can't you?" But you see, I lost -- I lost everybody in the company, so...

KING: How are you going to pay...

LUTNICK: I can't pay their salary. They think we're doing something wrong. I can't pay their salaries. I don't have any money to pay their salaries.


KING: I have been in this business almost 45 years, and I have never seen anything like ground zero.


COMM. THOMAS VON ESSEN, NY FIRE DEPARTMENT: Get a shot. This is what gave us so much hope in the beginning. We thought maybe -- see, we had hope that maybe in these kind of -- in those kind of spots, we'd find somebody, you know? But as time goes by, the guys have been -- the guys go down, they crawl around into all these things. They look in, they try and find them the best they can, but it's just, you know -- you see the weight of the steel and the debris and the amount of heat that was down there. We don't believe we're going to find anybody anymore.



JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There may be more political upheaval in South America soon. In office only one week, Argentina's interim president, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, has resigned saying there's a lack of support from his party. This comes amid more public unrest over the country's continuing economic crisis. Today, some 5,000 people took to the streets of Buenos Aires with sticks and stones. At least a dozen police officers were reportedly injured when the protests turned violent.


KING: A new class of heroes emerge from the rubble of September 11th. Firefighters, policemen and soldiers have come to symbolize what America's all about. But their newfound status came at a high price.


JAMES GRILLO, FIREFIGHTER, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: It was a terror, sheer terror. Bodies were falling out of the sky. They were jumping off the 105th floor, and they were landing all over the street and the sidewalk. There was fear in everybody's eyes.

KING: You also saw people jumping out of buildings, right?

GRILLO: Yes. They were jumping out from everywhere from the 70th floor above. It was horrible.

KING: And what were you doing?

GRILLO: I was trying to avoid looking up and watching it, Mr. King. It was horrible. I saw dozens of people jumping.

KING: And how did you get hurt, James?

GRILLO: I was -- my assignment with Ladder 24, the company I'm assigned to, we were supposed to go into building number two, the south tower, and make our way into tower number one, the north tower. And we were caught in the collapse in the lobby of tower one two, the south tower.

KING: And after something like this, James, do you ever think of maybe not being a fireman anymore?

GRILLO: I'll be a fireman at least for another 20 years. I will always be a fireman. No, Mr. King, I will always be a fireman here in New York City protecting the people of New York and my friends.


KING: NYPD officer Victor Laguer and partner, James Leahy, were on patrol and they saw a plane hit the World Trade Center. They rushed to the scene. Once there, Officer Leahy decided to help some firemen carry oxygen canisters up the stairs. Officer Laguer stayed to help in the lobby.


KING: Do you consider yourself lucky?

OFFICER VICTOR LAGUER, NEW YORK POLICE: I consider it to be a miracle for myself tonight, be talking to you right now.

KING: And what about James? You haven't heard from him at all? Is he obviously presumed gone, or do you have some hope?

LAGUER: I have hope for him. He's a very strong man. He's a very determined man. He's very courageous. He's truly a hero. He could have stayed with me to help, but he chose a harder route. He went with the FD, and he didn't have no fire protection. He had no mask, and yet he wanted to go and help these individuals up there.


KING: It's unbelievable that New York firefighters Jay Jonas and Bill Butler are still alive. Watch this.


KING: Jay, you were trapped in a stairwell.


KING: When did it collapse?

JONAS: We were in the stairway in the north tower, which was the first tower that got hit, which is the second tower that collapsed.

KING: Were you real close by when it happened? You got there that quick?

JONAS: Yeah, my firehouse -- my old firehouse is in Chinatown roughly 20 blocks away. We're on Canal Street.

KING: Did you think you'd bought it?

JONAS: Yeah.

KING: What saved you?

JONAS: We don't know. We don't know. I'm sure a group of engineers could probably write their thesis on what saved us.

KING: You were there the same time, Bill?


KING: What were you thinking?

BUTLER: We were all just waiting to die when it began.

KING: Do you think it's kind of a miracle that you're here?

BUTLER: Oh, most definitely, most definitely. Some of our brothers that were in the same stairwell with us, they're now missing. We passed them or they passed us in the stairwell.


KING: With all the emotions September 11th stirred up, it was hard to know how to act. One great role model, Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


KING: Is it OK to laugh?

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: Of course, it's OK to laugh and cry. Got to do both. You know, I've lost some very, very close friends, people that I admire or love. I saw some of them shortly before they died. But you got to laugh. I mean, that's what life is all about. You have to -- the reason they died was to protect people and let them live. Now those people should go ahead and live, not go shrivel up somewhere. And you don't want to give the terrorists that advantage. Why let them affect our lives? Land of the free and home of the brave? Isn't that what it says? Land of the free, home of the brave. So let's be brave. Let's get out there and do the things that we're supposed to do.

KING: They didn't deserve to die.

GIULIANI: These people didn't die so that we would let terrorists control our lives. That isn't the reason they died.

QUESTION: Mayor, what's the situation right now?

GIULIANI: The situation right is two airplanes have attacked apparently -- what?


GIULIANI: Why? All right, well, then let's go north then.

QUESTION: Do you know what happened to the airplanes? GIULIANI: Come with us. Come with us.

I don't think we yet know the pain that we're going to feel when we find out who we've lost, but the thing we have to focus on now is getting the city through this and surviving and be stronger for it.

Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life. And then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism.

Very often in the past three months plus, people will ask me: Where do I get my energy? Where does it come from? Well, it's really simple. It comes from you.




GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country.

The nation must understand this is now the focus of my administration.

And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."


I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging the struggle for freedom and security for the American people. We will no doubt face new challenges, but we have our marching orders.

My fellow Americans, let's roll.



KING: We have made a lot of news on this show since September 11th, and we've had some great interviews with the top folks in the Bush administration. We begin with the president's closest adviser.


KING: Now nobody knows a husband better than a wife, but has anything about the president during this surprised you?

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, not really, because I knew what he was like already. And I think that... KING: But you never saw him under this kind of pressure.

BUSH: No, of course, not, of course, not. But I've seen him under other personal pressure, and he's very focused and he's very disciplined, and I think the American people are seeing that now. He's very resolved. He's very compassionate. He really does empathize. I mean, all of us, every American can grieve with the families who directly lost someone in this. We can grieve for that, and we can also grieve for a loss of innocence that we had as a country, the feeling that we always thought that we weren't really vulnerable. It's all of those things I think we all grieve for together.



JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is my belief that we remain in a situation where there is a significant threat of additional terrorist activity in the United States.

KING: The other day, when you talked about fear of another attack, do you think maybe you set people off a little?

ASHCROFT: Well, I certainly didn't intend to, but I think it would be misleading if we were to suggest that there was no real possibility that we would have a reoccurrence. I mean, before September the 11th, we didn't have a very keen sense of awareness about what might happen, but it happened. And we can't define the risk by saying that it's one thing and that becomes the risk. We have to understand that we probably haven't apprehended all the people that were associated with the network that perpetrated these acts of war, and that there well may be plans for additional activity.



TOM RIDGE, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: ... the duties of the office...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On which I'm about to enter.

RIDGE: On which I'm about to enter.


RIDGE: So help me God.

KING: Governor, do you, frankly, have enough clout?

RIDGE: Well, I've got...

KING: Can you say this happens now?

RIDGE: Yes. The president made it very clear at the first cabinet meeting, and basically you asked the first question about cabinet status. Well, I'm not a member of the cabinet, but I'm sitting in the cabinet meetings. I'm not a member of the National Security Council. When appropriate, I sit in those meetings. I do work with the president on the Homeland Security Council. And he made it clear at the first meeting of the cabinet, he made it very clear in the first meeting at the Homeland Security Council we've got one war -- one war, two battle fronts: Afghanistan and the United States. It's our highest priority right now.



JOHN WALKER: And I came in as a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of many people who were connected with Taliban.


KING: Earlier this month, American John Walker was captured in Afghanistan. He was fighting for the Taliban. What should the United States do with this 20-year-old? We asked Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld.


KING: You think he might be brought to trial?

DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I'm trying to think precisely what I should say, to be honest with you, because I don't want to...

KING: That's why I like you, Don.


RUMSFELD: I don't want to -- I mean, what we know at this moment is there is a person who says he's an American and probably is, who was fighting with the al Qaeda forces against Afghanistan opposition forces and against U.S. forces that were with those people. He was found in a prison having been captured. And there was an uprising in the prison, and they killed an American.

KING: You're building a case.

RUMSFELD: I didn't build a case, he did.



BUSH: I mean, Saddam Hussein agreed to allow inspectors in this country. And in order to prove to the world that he's not developing weapons of mass destruction, he ought to let the inspectors back in. Yes.

QUESTION: If he does not do that, sir, what will be the consequences? If he does not do that, what will be the consequences?

BUSH: That's up for him -- he'll find out.


COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: That's an excellent answer: He'll find out.

KING: What does that mean?

POWELL: Well, the president didn't say what it meant today, so I'm not going to pre-judge what it might mean. But we have been pressing Iraq for the last several years since 1998 when they threw the inspectors out to let the inspectors back in.

KING: But a term like, "He'll find out," is threatening, isn't it? I mean, "He'll find out" ain't, "I'm going to send you a postage stamp."

POWELL: Well, I think he should see it as a very sober, chilling message. He'll find out. There are many, many options available to the international community and to the president.




BUSH: The name of today's military operation is Enduring Freedom. We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.


KING: The events of 9-11 plunged the United States into the first war of the 21st century. We recently got a report card from its chief diplomatic and military architects.


RUMSFELD: I think what the public is seeing is what is happening. I think that they can -- the American people can feel that it's a tough job, it's a dirty job, it's going to take time. There isn't any army we can go out and defeat. There's no navy we can sink. There's no air force we can shoot out of the sky. It is a very complicated process where we have to apply pressure. It is a complicated, long, difficult, messy, dirty job.



KING: You're a military man and now you're our chief diplomat. So this question is military. How's the war going? POWELL: Well, the war's going pretty well, I think. In fact, better than pretty well. I think it's going darn well right now. I think that we started off with a good political and diplomatic strategy of bringing the coalition together. And then the Pentagon put together a very strong military plan that we all participated in watching it being shaped and putting our advice forward. And that plan unfolded in a very, very sensible and effective way. Sometimes you don't see exactly what's happening.


KING: Someone who's seen it all before is Senator John McCain. If being a naval aviator and POW in Vietnam didn't toughen him up enough, now he's in the U.S. Senate. We asked him and other prominent veterans to tell us what it's like to go to war.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think we ought to understand that there is no greater thing in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself. And there is no greater epitome of that than risking one's very life in the service of one's country and its cause. And that's why these young men and women are so incredibly brave, and it's also why sometimes we pick the young ones.

But I think it's also important to understand that as they are flying in combat or Marines are on the ground or special forces are carrying our dangerous missions, yes, they're afraid, they're afraid. Anyone who's not afraid is crazy. But they control that fear and they channel it into the most efficient fighting men and women in the history of this world. So we can be exceedingly proud of them wherever they are serving their country. And the next time you see one of them, the nicest thing and the best thing you can do is walk up to one of them and say, "Thanks for serving."

BOB DOLE, DECORATED WWII VETERAN: 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 kind of relax, and we spent a lot of time in -- I spent a lot of time in a replacement depot in Italy pretty far from any gunfire so -- but I think, obviously, when you're planning an attack or when they're trying to disrupt what you're doing, it's pretty stressful and you're all scared. If people say they aren't scared, they haven't been there.

KING: Senator Cleland, is there any way of knowing how you'll react in particular situations when you go into fighting?

SEN. MAX CLELAND (D-GA), DECORATED VIETNAM VETERAN: No, there's no way to know except to do it. You know, when you go into combat, you know, I was scared to death. And it's overcoming your fear that your training helps. But ultimately, you've 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're going to perform, but you just pray that you'll perform well when the time comes.


KING: A couple of women who performed well under some tough circumstances are Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry. They're the American aid workers who were held for over a hundred days by the Taliban. Here's how they were rescued.


HEATHER MERCER, FREED AMERICAN AID WORKER: Well, our government had arranged once we were released from the prison in Gaznee (ph). We made contact with them, and they let us know that they were going to come in that evening to take us out.

KING: What were those moments like, Dana, waiting?

DAYNA CURRY, FREED AMERICAN AID WORKER: Well, I think we were all just really so excited that this might be the day that we get to go home.

KING: Is it true, Dayna, that you set fire to a scarf or some clothes to guide the choppers in?

CURRY: Well, Heather's the one that started it, and we started adding our scarves as well to make a fire so the helicopter could see it better.


KING: John Walker, that American Taliban fighter captured in Afghanistan, may not fair as well as Heather and Dayna. Here's Walker's father, Frank Lindh. This was his first network interview.


KING: What are your expectations the government's going to do?

FRANK LINDH, JOHN WALKER'S FATHER: I don't know, Larry. I did -- I spoke with an attorney today. I have hired the attorney to represent John. I hope the government recognizes that John does deserve to have representation. But John's a good boy. I don't know of any information, any suggestion of any information indicating that he's done anything wrong. And therefore, I hope that John can be debriefed by the government and then come on home.

KING: There's no indication thusfar that he was doing anything militarily with the Taliban.

LINDH: Larry, I know only what I've seen on CNN and online. It does indicate in those reports -- this is hard for me to reconcile with the John that I know, but he was carrying an AK-47 according to one story. So he appears to have been a combatant with the Taliban.


KING: From the war in Afghanistan to the war in America, homeland defense when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back. Homeland security became a huge concern after the events of September 11th. Four planes were involved in the attacks. They took off from airports in the United States. All commercial air traffic in the United States was grounded for two days. We wondered if it was safe to fly again.


MARY SCHIAVO, AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: Not only was there a total breakdown, this never should have happened, the government has known about these weaknesses, has discussed these weaknesses. I participated in some of these discussions within the government literally in the early '90s clear up to '96. This was a known weakness and an accepted risk. The only people kept in the dark were the American public.

ROBERT CRANDALL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN AIRLINES: We've known for a long time that there are problems with the security system, and it's a shame we didn't fix them before. And I hope we will fix them now.

KING: Why not?

CRANDALL: Well, for a whole variety of reasons, but I think perhaps the first and foremost one is that we have to recognize that aviation security is a governmental responsibility.

KING: Are you saying unquestioning in your mind, you fly a Delta plane tomorrow, you're safe?

LEO MULLIN, CEO, DELTA AIRLINES: I do. I feel so safe on Delta, between Monday and Sunday this coming week, I will fly six times on Delta. And I think it's normal to feel apprehension when you get on the first time. I did. I looked around and I felt somewhat different. It's like riding a bicycle after 25 years. After you did it for the next few minutes, you felt really good about it.

DONALD CARTY, CHMN & CEO, AMERICAN AIRLINES: I was obviously traumatized by all this. Just...

KING: Shocked a little? Delayed ...

CARTY: ... shocked. And the decisions that we were forced to make subsequently - not only did all these bad things happen to our people in America, but then, we found that the financial consequences of what happened at September 11th meant we were going to have to downsize the company. We were going to have to furlough a huge number of people just to save the rest of the company. And it was really just one piece of bad news after the other.


KING: Another threat to homeland security manifested itself in a hideous way. Letters containing anthrax were sent to prominent journalists and politicians around the country.

One of them went to CBS news anchor Dan Rather, and his assistant contracted skin anthrax.


Have you been tested?


KING: Do you want to be? Do you think you should be tested?

RATHER: No, I - this is a hour-by-hour, day-by-day decision. I have no symptoms. I've had no difficulty whatsoever.

Talked to these city doctors for the city health department and to my own private physician, and I'm comfortable up to and including now with not being tested.

If any symptoms develop, if I have any reason to think that there's a need to be tested, why certainly I will do so.

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR, "GERMS": Out came this powder, a little bit on my face, on my hands and on my clothes.

And even that, Larry, did not alarm me. It's disconcerting, but it didn't alarm me until I got a call, just then, from someone who informed me about what had happened at NBC.


KING: Fortunately, the substance in Judith's letter was not anthrax. Senator Tom Daschle's office was not so lucky.


SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, Larry, it's been horrific. I don't know how you begin to describe what has happened over the last couple of weeks.

I think the good news is that my staff is doing well. They're healthy. They're not infected.

We got this under control almost immediately, but it's been a nightmare. You can't describe it in any other way than that.

I think, because it was handled so well, we've been able to get through it in reasonably good shape. But it's not something that I hope we ever have to repeat again.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, we're here to report that Mr. Stevens passed away at four o'clock this afternoon. (END VIDEO CLIP)


DASCHLE: At about 10:15 this morning, a member of my staff opened an envelope and it became clear from the very beginning that the envelope contained a suspicious substance.



RATHER: We also pride ourselves on being classy, and class never runs scared.



THOMAS MORRIS, JR.: I don't know if I have been, but I suspect that I might have been exposed to anthrax.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two postal workers who work in the Brentwood mail facility that have expired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're very sad to confirm that Kathy Nguyen, a 61-year-old employee of Manhattan Eye and Ear and Throat Hospital died early this morning of inhalation anthrax disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 94-year-old woman from Oxford, Connecticut has inhaled anthrax, was picked up in Griffin Hospital on Friday ...




TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: It is hard even to contemplate the utter carnage and terror which has engulfed so many innocent people.



PRES. JACQUES CHIRAC, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): It is with enormous emotion that France has just learned of these monstrous attacks -- there is no other word -- that have struck the United States of America.


YASSER ARAFAT, PRES. PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: God help them. God help them. God help them.



ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It is most difficult hour, all the Israelis stand as one with the American people.


KING: Welcome back. When world leaders want to talk, this is where they come. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak joined us less than a week after the 9-11 attacks. His country has battled terrorism for decades.


HOSNI MUBARAK, PRESIDENT, EGYPT: I took very tough measures by law, not violating the law. Then after that it took some time. Then I asked for an international conference.

So many countries said, oh, Mubarak is saying that because he has some terroristic groups working there. But I think this is not going to go here or there.

I said several times, it is an international phenomenon. It is much more dangerous than the war.



KING: If it were shown to you, Mr. Ambassador, that bin Laden was involved in the recent attacks in the United States, would your government turn him over?

MULLAHA ABDUL SALAM ZAEEF, TALIBAN AMBASSADOR TO PAKISTAN: If Osama bin Laden is involved in this action, we need something which is the evidence, which is the proof on Osama bin Laden to talk on this option.



KING: Doctor, does the Taliban control bin Laden, or does bin Laden control the Taliban?

DR. ABDULLLAH ABDULLAH, TALIBAN OPPOSITION OFFICIAL: They both supported each other. They both served the interests of each other. For example, Osama's people were fighting against us in Afghanistan to get rid of us, to get rid of resistance in Afghanistan, so Afghanistan would be - the Afghan territory would be in their control.


KING: Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan has met Osama bin Laden. In hindsight, the circumstances of that encounter are pretty ironic.


PRINCE BANDAR BIN SULTAN, SAUDI ARABIA: In the mid-'80s, if you remember, we and the United -- Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets.

He came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, he said, the Communists.

KING: What did you make of him when you met him?

BIN SULTAN: I was not impressed, to be honest with you.

KING: Not impressed.

BIN SULTAN: No. He was - I thought he was simple and a very quiet guy.


KING: The U.S. scored a huge victory in the war against terror before it launched the first sortie. Pakistan's decision to join the coalition alienated the Taliban, and gave the Americans a strategic boost.

But it didn't come without consequences at home for President Pervez Musharraf.


Was it a difficult decision for you, Mr. President, to support the international anti-terror campaign?

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PRESIDENT, PAKISTAN: Yes, it was, I'll have to admit, because of the domestic sentiment and, as opposed to the requirements of action in Afghanistan against terrorists.

But we took a very considered opinion and I know that the vast majority if the country is supporting whatever decision I took, therefore, although it was a difficult decision, but we took the right decision.


KING: More than 70 British citizens lost their lives in the World Trade Center collapse. Once again, the United States and United Kingdom chose to heed the call to arms together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND: If they could have killed not 6,000 innocent people but 60,000 or even 600,000 they would. And therefore, when people ask us why we are pursuing this action in Afghanistan and this action against terrorism, I say just go back to what happened on the 11th of September. Remember how we felt, remember what we thought about it, remember the grief and agony of people and them realize that these people would do it again and worse if they could. And therefore we have no alternative but to take the action we are doing and see it through to the end.





KING: Welcome back. We have had some prominent members from the fourth estate on since September 11. A lot of them have joined us live from Afghanistan.


Why, Dan? Why are you there?

DAN RATHER, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Well, because there is a war on. Americans are involved in the war. It is one of the most important stories of our time. One of the -- perhaps the most important story of the early part of the 21st century. I think it is important to walk the ground. It is very hard to be credible on something as important as war and stay in a windowless room on the west side of Manhattan or somewhere in Midtown. I couldn't be in any other place, Larry.



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The key issue right now is how the handover of power is going to go. The leader of the new interim government is here now. He is living temporarily in the compound of Mullah Omar, which we got a look at earlier today -- today your time, and it was quite eyebrow-raising, if you like, because he was living a lot more comfortably and a lot more plushly than the Taliban would have had us to believe.



BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Within the next two hours we will find out whether or not the gun barrels of the Eastern Alliance -- that's an old Russian-made T-55 tank behind me -- whether these guns are going to open up in anger again against as Qaeda if they do not agree to lay down their weapons and surrender to the Afghan allies of the United States led coalition.


KING: Saira Shaw's amazing documentary "Beneath the Veal" was a disturbing look at life under the Taliban. For the sequel she went back to Afghanistan after September 11.

What would have been a rough trip under the best of circumstances became a death-defying journey.


SAIRA SHAW, REPORTER, "UNHOLY WAR": We went along the smuggler's routes. We started off our journey looking in a vehicle looking out for Pakistan border guards. We sort of came across smugglers on the way. But then things got very rapidly worse. We had to abandon our vehicle, go by foot. Our guides got lost very early on. It was very cold and they made the silly decision that we all should walk across a river because we missed a bridge over a river and we all ended up getting soaking wet.

And then after that we had to climb to a very high altitude, about the height of Everest base camp, and because we were wet, I was with director/cameraman James Miller, and he and I got soaking wet and our clothes froze to us, and we both got hypothermia.

KING: Saira, you...


SHAW: I can't talk very well because it is very high. We are about 5,000 meters and it is very cold. We've been out all night, our plans have gone horrible wrong. Our guide missed -- I can't talk -- missed the bridge -- I just can't talk.



KING: Times like these call for someone to put things in perspective. For that we turn to two journalistic legends.


BARBARA WALTERS, REPORTER: I really do feel differently about my life. I do treasure...

KING: How?

WALTERS: Because of -- I eat more. I do, I eat the cooking. I have the mashed potatoes.

KING: Figuring, what the hell?

WALTERS: Ahh please! At this point I am going to worry about it? You know. And I just cherish, every day, everyone -- I mean, I look at you and I think of how many programs we've done, and how long we've known each other and I feel much more sentimental about everybody.



WALTER CRONKITE, FMR. "CBS EVENING NEWS" ANCHOR: Pearl Harbor, of course was a great shock to us, but it immediately plunged us into World War II, where we'd rather expected that some day we would be going. This was the catalyst that did it. We were shocked at the loss of our ships and of course at the loss of the great number of our military people, but they were military people. It was an organized attack by a foreign government.

This thing is quite different from that. The great toll of live taken in the civilian population, innocent people who had no thought, no concept that anything like this was about to occur, and them of course the bravery of the firemen and the police and the rescue workers, it has been a great, of course, national event that has gripped all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our thinking.


KING: The terrorist attacks were truly a cataclysmic event. The loss of life is still unimaginable. The impact on the country unthinkable. Tomorrow night, when we celebrate the new year, the champagne won't be as sweet, the celebration not nearly as joyous because on September 11, 2001, we saw evil of the worst kind. I'm Larry King. Good night.





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