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CNN "Larry King Live" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

L. KING: Brenda Thurman, Debbie Bussolari and Mary Ann Gallich, thank you so much.

Let's now go to Washington. Two distinguished members of the United States House of Representatives, both from New York.

Congressman Peter King, ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

And Congressman Charles Rangel.

Peter, I want to read a quote and to check that -- did you say this?

You said: "I hope that Attorney General Holder did discuss this with him -- did discuss with the intelligence community if they believe they got enough from him, how much more did they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he's an American citizen, but still."

What did you mean by an American citizen, but still?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Well, if a person is an American citizen, you're less likely not to give him his Miranda rights. However, there are Supreme Court cases that say if you are an American citizen, you don't have to be given your Miranda rights. That's the point I was making. Even though he was a citizen, they still could withhold the rights.

And the -- the point I'm making is I thought the mistake that was made at Christmas time with the Christmas bombing was they gave him his Miranda rights almost immediately.

And I believe that the attorney general should consult with the director of National Intelligence, the head of the CIA, and all -- really, even overseas allies to see if there's any information that we feel we have to get.

Now, they did not give him his Miranda rights, I understand, for almost eight or nine hours. They used the exception un -- under the law. And they have now given him his rights.

L. KING: Yes.

P. KING: But I understand he's waived them. He's waived his rights and he's continued to talk.

L. KING: So, Charlie, are you surprised that they're getting all this information?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: No. But I am surprised that -- that Peter is saying that the attorney general should check with a Congressional committee before the arresting officers decide whether or not this is a case that Miranda should be given or not given. You know, each case folds on the judgment that has to be made at the time by the arresting officer. And just because it's a hideous crime doesn't mean that -- if a person is entitled to Miranda, he's entitled to it. If you don't give it to him, you blow the whole case.

P. KING: Well, he doesn't have to be given rights because he can be tried in a military tribunal where you don't have to have your military -- your Miranda rights. And I was saying not check with Congress, but check with the CIA, check with the director of the National Intelligence because he is (INAUDIBLE)...

RANGEL: When do you do all this checking?

And -- and -- and under what circumstances would this guy be tried in a military court?

He wasn't an (INAUDIBLE). He was an American citizen.

P. KING: No, but he was carrying out a terrorist act on behalf of a foreign entity. And that's...

RANGEL: And so the military comes in?

He was arrested by the FBI and New York...

P. KING: But he can still...

RANGEL: -- City police.

P. KING: -- he can still be considered an enemy combatant, just as Abdulmutallab could have been considered an enemy combatant on -- on Christmas Day.

RANGEL: An enemy combatant in...

P. KING: An enemy combatant.

RANGEL: -- in Times Square?

P. KING: Sure. Just like -- just like the Nazi saboteurs who came onto Long Island were executed as enemy combatants. If he is engaged as a...

RANGEL: This is an American citizen, Pete, if we're talking about the same thing.

P. KING: There are a number of Supreme Court decisions and a person who is working for a foreign power can be declared an enemy combatant and does not have to have the Miranda warnings and...

L. KING: But isn't...

(CROSSTALK)

L. KING: -- isn't there a danger, Peter, that if you don't Mirandize, you could wind up winning the war -- winning a pyrrhic victory and having it thrown out by the courts?

P. KING: Well, if he's -- no, because a military tribunal is a valid trial for an ab -- an enemy combatant. But the point I'm making is, this person could have such knowledge, such information, such intelligence. Remember, he's been, as far as we know, in a foreign terrorist training camp. He could tell us where that camp is. He could tell us who the instructors are. He could tell us are there any other Americans at that camp.

L. KING: Apparently, he is, right?

P. KING: Well, he may be. We don't know. That's what we've been told. And if he is...

RANGEL: Well, they said he waived it, so the question is moot.

P. KING: Well, except that the attorney general did wait. Unlike Christmas, he waited nine or 10 hours. They questioned him for nine or 10 hours before they gave him his Miranda rights. They claimed the national security exception, which I think was the right thing to do.

L. KING: All right. I want to ask -- I want to ask both congressmen what they make about the whole security picture, what they make of this, how much danger their state and city is in.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Around the world and here at home, there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda. They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life. But once again, an attempted attack has been failed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

L. KING: We're back.

Congressman Rangel, aren't you impressed with the way the city handled this?

RANGEL: Always. My city always makes me very proud. And I do hope that the president and the federal authorities recognize that New York City is a target. People come there, they don't let fear or anything stop them from -- from going about their work. They will not be terrorized by terrorists. And -- and I felt even more proud of the vendor who said, if you see something, say something.

L. KING: Peter, are you surprised there haven't been more of this?

P. KING: Yes, because -- and this is one thing Charlie and I agree on completely. New York City is the number one terrorist target in the entire country. The NYPD -- and I'm proud to say my father was a member of the NYPD years ago -- under Ray Kelly, they are doing a phenomenal job. But we have a thousand police officers in New York City working on counter-terrorism. The average city has two or three. But this is extremely expensive. And we have tunnels. We have bridges. We have roadways. We have a subway system. We have ports. We have icons. We have Wall Street. We have so many churches and synagogues. We have Times Square. And yet we don't get the federal support.

And I'm not making this a partisan issue. I could be critical of both administrations.

But one pressing issue right now is, we actually saw Saturday night, the real fear is an attack will be launched from the outer boroughs or the suburbs or New Jersey or Connecticut into the city. And Christian Kelly (ph) wants to set up a -- a secure the cities program, which would have a set of radiation detectors on all the entrance ways into the city.

And this year, the administration has cut off all funding for that. Last year, that happened, too. And Charlie was one of those who supported restoring the funding. We're trying to do it now.

But I really wish the administration -- this is true of both parties -- the administration would stop looking at this in a strictly accounting way and realize that if there's an attack on New York, there will be terrible loss of life, but, also, it will have a devastating effect on the economy. So even from a dollars and cents point of view, it makes -- it makes sense to put these programs in place in New York City. RANGEL: Well, I tell you one thing, New York pays for the security of other countries around the world. And normally I say the writers of the Constitution knew exactly what they were doing. But when they gave every state two senators, that screwed up the whole thing.

KING: All right. Charlie, how did a guy on a no-fly zone list get on a plane?

RANGEL: You ask? I've been asking that. This is the second time to my knowledge that this has happened. The young Nigerian was on no fly, and he got on the plane. So let me say this, Larry, you're trying to be as positive as I can. Whatever went wrong, I hope they get their acts together and correct it. We learn every day.

And the good thing about this is that nobody was hurt in either case. But that's the question. And someone ought to come up with the answer and see that it doesn't happen again.

KING: Congressman King, you and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, are contacting other lawmakers and you're urging them to include 20 million dollars in a fiscal appropriations bill for the continuation of the Securing the Cities Initiative. What does that money do?

P. KING: Larry, this is a program which Commissioner Kelly started about five, six years ago. And it sets up radiation detectors on all the roads, tunnels, bridges leading into Manhattan from the suburbs and the tri-state area, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. There is about 70 police and fire departments involved.

It's a very effective program. And yet, this year, the president, as I said, has cut off funding for it. And Senator Gillibrand and I, as well as Congressman Rangel, Senator Schumer, we are working in a bipartisan way to have that money resourced. It's absolutely essential.

And again, Manhattan -- New York City is the target, but Manhattan is the epicenter of New York. And that's for the rest of the world, when they think of new York, they think of Manhattan. Just like they thought of the World Trade Center, now they think of Times Square and other landmarks around the city. I don't want to give anybody ideas. But there are so many landmarks which are known all over the world.

So this is essential. I don't know why the president took this money out in the first place. It's needed. It's absolutely essential. And there is a bipartisan effort in New York to restore that funding.

KING: Charlie, you agree?

RANGEL: There is no question about it. We've shown the expertise, but you need resources. Given the resources, we can provide the model for the rest of the country. But there is no institute for New Yorkers' spirit. And I think that makes me proud that it's business as usual. People are going around, enjoying the city and enjoying our great country.

KING: At that hearing today, at that press conference, Eric Holder, the HHS Secretary Napolitano, representatives of the FBI, NYPD were present. What do you make of the absence of the intelligence community, Charlie?

RANGEL: I guess they're so intelligent, they didn't show up. But quite frankly, I did not follow Pete when he was saying that all of these committees who worked so well together -- how they do it, I don't know, and I don't really want to know. All I know is that the system has worked. It continues to work after that terrible tragedy of 911.

There has been a few incidents and even those, we have foreclosed the ability of these people to hurt us. I don't care who shows up at the press conference. All I want to do is make certain that the security works. And God has been good to us. It has been working.

KING: Congressman King, Holder says New York City is still under consideration as a trial venue for Khalid Shaikh Mohammad. What do you think of that?

P. KING: I think it's absolutely wrong. This trial does not belong in New York. I don't believe it belongs in a civilian court, anyway, but it certainly doesn't belong in New York.

This would devastate Lower Manhattan. It would turn Lower Manhattan into an armed camp you. You talk to the business people down there, you talk to the residents there -- this is Democrat and Republican. You go into Lower Manhattan -- I've testified before the New York City council. They're all 100 percent against it.

This was the wrong thing. Attorney General Holder decided to have this trial there without ever speak once to the police commissioner of New York, the head of the Federal Protective Service. He had no idea what the logistical consequences were. The head of the Federal Protective Service testified before the Homeland Security Committee, and he said that they could not provide perimeter security for more than two weeks of a trial. This trial could go on for two years.

Commissioner Kelly would have to have -- again, it would be virtually an armed camp in Lower Manhattan. To me, it was one of the worst ideas ever. Why the attorney general continues to persist in this, the president apparently has told people he wants it out of New York. I've spoken to people --

KING: I'm pressed on time. So next time Charlie is on, we'll give him a chance to respond. Thank you both very much.

RANGEL: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Congressman Pete King, Congressman Charlie Rangel.

P. KING: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Our next guests might know as much about terrorism as anyone. We'll get their take on the arrest of Faisal Shahzad next.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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