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tv   In the Arena  CNN  May 2, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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priority. bin laden has gone deep underground. i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. >> good evening. i'm eliot spitzer. welcome to the program. i have a rare opportunity tonight. cnn often comes to you live from ground zero, but what we almost never get to do is go inside where the buildings once stood, to stand on what so many have called hallowed ground. thousands of people died right here and now their killer, osama bin laden is dead. is it justice? i'll leave that question to some hero firefighters. we'll talk to them in a minute. but first, we want to show you what happened to what used to be
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the trade center. over here is tower two. it was hit by flight 175. and over here is the new 9/11 memorial that will open on september 11 of this year. the names of every one of the victims of 9/11 in new york, washington and pennsylvania will be inscribed there. tonight we're going to explore all aspects of the story. here's some of what we're doing on the program. a man who went on the hunt for osama bin laden. >> he's probably going to end up dead pretty quickly. he says bin laden's death is a good career move. for bin laden. then edie hill with someone who knew osama bin laden, not as a monster, but as a man. >> what was he like as a younger man? >> the saudi journalist who covered bin laden says the man he knew died a long time ago. and president obama, he pulled off what nobody in a decade could do. the lonely decision a president has to make. he talks about it this hour. stay tuned.
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now for the reason we're here. we don't like to overuse the awful footage of what happened here in 2001, but tonight in this place, it seems appropriate to remember. take a look. >> oh, my god! >> it never gets any less powerful or awful, especially for the people who are here. four firefighters who lived to tell about that day tell me about it now. we're here with the highe esest ranking member to survivor the
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attack. george was badly injured in the collapse of the north tower. he's now retired. and kenny has been a police officer and a firefighter. he's a president of the new york city firefighter brotherhood foundation. gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. thank you needless to say for your bravery, your heroism. every one of you stand for all you belief in. george, as you see this site, it brings back memories. take us back to 9/11. what happened? where were you? >> the ten house, the only fire house to be destroyed on 9/11. i was here when it initially happened. i thank you, chief. and my memoir is being sold at
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barnes & noble.com so i hope you don't mind me hawking my book. >> the proceeds go where? >> the firefighters burn center, elliot. >> you all have amazing stories to tell. is this justice? bin laden is now dead, he was killed. is this justice? do you feel there's vindication? >> it's definitely justice. justice delayed a bit. i wish he would have died nine years ago. actually 14 years ago before it happened. but it's definitely justice. i think of the 3,000 people that died because of him. so it's definitely justice that he's not with us anymore. >> when you look at this site, trees now blooming. those trees have leaves. does it make you feel like the city and the nation is coming back. >> it's a tremendous sign that life is blooming here again after so much destruction. when i go back nine years ago
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and think of what this place looked like. it was worse than a war zone. it was terrible. >> i was here, my office was one block away. what was there for months and years afterwards with us rubble. >> did you ever lose confidence that it was going to be justice? that we would somehow do what needed to be done? >> well, oddly enough, i just finished a book the other day peter bergen, the osama bin laden i know, i just finished it a few days ago. and as i closed the book, i was thinking about that. this is almost ten years, where is this guy? >> and now we have an answer. >> i wake up two days later and i find out he's gone. >> and deservedly so. your answer, is this justice? >> well, he tried to kill me. he's dead and i'm still here. so i guess that's justice. >> kenny, should we be in
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afghanistan? should we be fighting in afghanistan? in pakistan, what do you think? >> let's be honest, it's the fight in afghanistan and eventually yesterday into pakistan that led us to where we are, which is the death of osama bin laden. the question is, should we have been there before? absolutely, yes. do we need to remain in pakistan in i guess that's the question we're going to have to ask ourselves now. >> let me ask you the tough question, should we? >> yes, i don't think the job is done. and i look back on the navy s.e.a.l.s carried out at tremendous operation yesterday with lieutenant michael murphy from out where i live in long island, embedded in the mountains of afghanistan years ago. and all but one survived. there was a job that started
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back then. and that job still needs to continue now. >> you want to continue that job until we defeat al qaeda, until it's gone altogether? >> i think to a man we both know that it's probably never going to be defeated forever. but we need to maintain a presence. we need to show that what happened yesterday, we're going to continue to work at it. >> i see you shaking your head. >> we definitely need to be there. we have to fight this global war on terrorism. i mean, just because bin laden is gone, that doesn't mean al qaeda is gone, that doesn't mean terrorism stops. we have to fight this like we said nine years ago, wherever terrorism is. and we have to fight by their rules, not our rules. it's not a geneva convention type of fight we're doing anymore. >> when you heard this, what did you scream out? >> i was with my daughter tara and my wife anne. she's a senior nurse at the fire department. we let loose with a happy glee. but speaking as a vietnam
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veteran, the country still needs to be vigilant. and just a word to the infantry men of this country, we are the backbone and soul of thf country, and this is proven through this process of eliminating osama bin laden. >> mickey is this a holy site to you? we're turning it into a park, a memorial. is this always going to be a holy site? you walk here, and your heart beats faster? >> i live in the area, i'm ten minutes, i'm here all the time. so for me, it's my neighborhood. but when i entered this site just now, i felt oh, i'm back. i'm back. i spent a lot of time here. not only was i here for 9/11. for the nine months that followed, i spent a lot of time -- >> helping the clean-up snp. >> yeah, i was involved in the recovery and the -- >> is it amazing, you think back to that clean-up. it was rubble piled almost to the sky. and now what we see is life.
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what does it make you think? >> 50 i kn >> i know when i came out, i was on top of the rubble. >> we were in the rubble. then we were on top of the rubble. >> so you guys were on the same floor, is that right? >> we were together, yes. >> tell me what happened. >> up there in the tower. >> oh, you mean when the building fell down? >> well, when it first fell down, i was completely buried. i was completely covered up. i was curled new a little ball. and there was -- i had no sight. it was total silence. after the building fell, it was a complete silence. i had no sensation. i wasn't sure if i was alive. i thought i might be dead. having no experience being dead, you don't know what it's like. >> i felt the same way. >> we weren't feeling anything. >> we were in the same stairwell and the same thing, i describe it the same way. the noise, the shaking was tremendous, you know, we heard it 30 minutes earlier when the south tower went down, then we
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heard it again even louder because it's our building. and the south tower took ten seconds, our building took eight. that noise was so intense for eight seconds. and then in a split second, utter silence and blackness. so i thought i was dead also. >> yeah. my office is one block away. i was looking out the window when the south tower went down, about 100 feet from here. maybe 200 feet. and you're right. complete black. all you saw was like the sky had closed up on us. and there was in noise like you can't imagine and then silence. it was eerie. it was devastating. you were here in '93, the first bombing of the trade center as well. >> in '93, i was a newly promoted chief. and i was down here, one of the initial chiefs on the scene. and i was actually in charge of the evacuation of the north tower. >> right. >> and i knew the problems we had in '93 evacuating the building, how long it took. and i think actually that, you know, in a weird sort of way, that kind of helped september 11 because i knew the tremendous
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problems we had evacuating the building in '93. and september 11, we were able to do it so much faster. and get thousands of people out. >> a lot of lives were saved because of that hard work. >> micky, is this closure? is there ever closure to this sort of event? >> well, this is closure in part. it's one chapter is now behind us. but this is probably going to go on till the end of my life. >> how about you, closure? >> how about you? no, you're shaking your head. >> no, it doesn't close. it's like you said, you hope that you look back on this, the work that goes on. new life. but i don't think that anybody that was here could ever find closure. it's with us till the day we die. that will be -- that will be my closure, really. i mean, i -- there's time i can't let it go. believe me, i wishic. there's just -- the littlest thing. maybe even a nice day in september.
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a song. crazy stuff brings it back to us. and as often as we like to think we put it behind us, we haven't. and to a man, to be honest, no, there's no closure. >> elliott, what about you? >> it's infused in my personality and who i am. the men and women who lost their lives are probably the real hero, but they're with us everywhere we go. >> do you sense there's a new unity in the country? the unity we had ten years ago on 9 swl/11, do you think that' coming back now, capturing bin laden has brought that back? >> i think we saw it last night, the spontaneous celebration, the spontaneous -- throughout the country, washington, d.c., here, all over. i just hope it lagssts. after september 11, it lasted a year, two years, then we lost it. i hope it lasts at least that long, if not longer, becauses we need that in this country. >> you're right. there are issues we need to deal
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with, common purpose. they did it with purpose and reason. >> help gal vvanize the country. >> it's because of the heroism you showed on this site ten years ago. thank you for your service. edie hill with more on what she has tonight. >> that's wonderful. that really is why people are so strong. terrific. thanks for bringing that to us. coming up, we are going to talk to a man who knew bin laden before he developed his hatred of the west. why did he change? we get his unique perspective and blunt language. elliott? >> thank you. we'll be right back with a man who took part in the hunt for osama bin laden. don't go away. ♪
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we're getting new details on how enemy number one was captured and gunned down in pakistan. cnn learned it took two dozen commandos and four helicopters too take him down in the compound where hehood never actually been seen. finally, a tip came through from a currier who was broken who told us where, in fact, he was. it took two shots to take down bin laden, one to the head and one to the chest. in the situation room where the president was located last night, tense indeed as they were getting real time information and based upon that information they had to make the tough decision would they, in fact, open to the world that we had, in fact, taken and killed osama bin laden. finally, it was the president himself to made that fateful decision, not one he wanted to getening wrote, needless to say. he said we've got enough, we've got hit, let's go. and later on in the evening, we heard that wonderful news that, in fact, osama bin laden, in fact, was dead. and, in fact, as we have learned
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since then, he was buried at sea within the 24 hours required by islamic law. the hunt for fwin bin laden consumed intelligence for years. robert was the cia's chief officer in pakistan during 9/11 and headed the cia's counterterrorism center. he's with us from washington, d.c. with us from washington is lawrence wright, who devoted years researching al qaeda and bin laden for his pulitzer prize winning book, "al qaeda and the road to 9/11." thank you both for joining us. richard, let me begin with you. there's a serious dispute going on. was bin laden actually being saved? was he being hidden by our supposed allies in pakistan? the pakistani intelligence agency, the isi, people are saying must have known where he was in a compound literally on the outskirts of islamabad, the
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capital of the nation. do you believe that they, in of the, knew where h efs? . >> is that addressed to me? >> yes, indeed it is. >> yes. no, of course, we don't know. and i strongly doubt that they were active parties to the conspiracy. i mean, if you put yourself in the position of bin laden and those who were charged with protecting him, would you trust the pakistanipakistanis? there were a large number of al qaeda elements, including a significant number of al qaeda leaders who have been either killed or captured directly through the cooperation of the pakistanis. i can't believe for a moment that bin laden or those close to him would have brought the pakistanis into their confidence. however, if they independently determined for themselves that he was hiding there, it's conceivable they might have
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simply decided to let a sleeping dog lie. >> lawrence, let me turn to you. what does his capture and his being killed mean for al qaeda? is this the end of al qaeda? will they be able to survive without him? >> well, al qaeda could not end without him being killed or captured. so at least we've gotten that far. certainly the organization will endu endure, at least for a while. the number two guy will take over. he's proven to be a terrible manager. his own terror group in egypt he ran into the ground. he's not charismatic. he's anti-charismatic. there will probably be a struggle for succession within al qaeda. there will be tremendous centrifugal force ops ts on the qaeda affiliates that are really basically nationalist in their
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goals, not internationalist in the way that bin laden had been. without bin laden as a figure head and an inspirational figure, those affiliates may likely break off and begin to follow their more natural pursuits. >> well, lawrence, let me stay with you and ask you this question. is what is happening in north africa and the middle east a fundamental repudiation of al qaeda? in other words, is the ideology that bin laden was trying to disseminate, is it being repudiated by the islamic world as we watch these revolutions that speak to freedom sweep north africa? >> yes. you know, the main trend in thf revolution is modernist, reformist, anti-corruption. it is not a jihad. it is not a -- it is not a turning towards violence either. in libya, that is different. but in tunisia, in egypt, in
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syria, what you see are people who are struggling to be free and a part of the modern world. and they're not following al qaeda's violent, jihadist ideology. so there was a tremendous repudiation. it's not to say that chaos may not ensue in some of these regions, such as in libya and in yemen and that al qaeda will exploit that chaos and use it for its own ends. >> given that reality, do you think it's going to get harder and harder as, in fact, this revolution of freedom, which is not an islamist revolution as best we can tell sweeps along the islamic world, will it get harder to add new members? >> that's certainly the ho especially. in the broad scheme of things, i think that's actually quite likely. this is working on a number of different levels. you have recognized religious leaders, people whom we would
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consider to be extremists who have overtly rejected bin laden and his doctrine. they have rejected his organization. we may see a slight spike in sympathy for bin laden in the immediate aftermath of his death. but fundamentally, his support in the region has gagner down. he and his organization has been left behind. they're not even part of the conversation. it's not as though those who are responsible for the spring have rejected bin laden. they're not even thinking about bin laden or al qaeda. the expectation is that young people, as they look for a way to address the key issues in their lives are not going to be looking for terrorist solutions. >> lawrence, i want to quote to
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you something you said. a brilliant book, you said towards the end of it, that bin laden's strategy was to lure america into the same trap the soviets had fallen into, afghanistan. are we now mired in afghanistan even though we have arguably defeated the ideology of al qaeda? >> yes, we are. it was a trap we fell into. he provoked us in order to go into afghanistan. it was proper we should have gone in to try to topple the taliban and get bin laden. we failed to get bin laden in that effort. but effort to try to recreate that culture has led us into a mistaken stance. there are only two outcomes in
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afghanistan. one that we withdraw and the taliban recapture much of that territory and create ach haven. while still trying to help the government stabilize and create an army and police force, i think that is the proper stance for us now afghanistan. >> all right, thanks so much for joining us. up next, will the death of osama bin laden bring unity to washington? we'll bring you the latest comments from president obama. stay with us. [ male announcer ] at quicken loans, we're a mortgage company with one very simple philosophy: every client, every time, no exceptions, no excuses. maybe that's why j.d. power and associates ranked us "highest in customer satisfaction
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just moments ago, proemt spoke at a dinner before congressional leaders at the white house and spoke about the killing of osama bin laden. let's take a listen. >> last night as americans learned the united states had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of osama bin laden, we -- [ applause ] i think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. we were reminded again that
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there's a pride in what this nation stands for. and what we can achieve that runs far deerp than party, far deeper than politics. i want to again recognize the heroes that carried out this incredible mission. as well as all the military and counterterrorism professionals who made the mission impossible. i also want to thank members of congress from both parties who have given extraordinary support to our military and specialist. without your support, they could not do what you do. i know the unity we felt on 9/11 has frayed a little bit over the years. i have no illusions about the difficulties, the detates that will have to be engaged in in the weeks and months to come. but i also know there have been several moments like this during
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the cows of this year that have brought us together as an american family. whether it was the tragedy in tucson or most recently, our unified response to the terrible storms that have taken place in the south. last night was one of those moments. tonight, it's my fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront some of the many challenges we all face. to all of those here tonight, we're joyful that you could join us. and please have a little bit of fun. all right? >> there are bag pipes in the background, spontaneous, or maybe not so spontaneous celebrations here. bag pipes, traditional celebration for the police
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department. maybe that's who it is .the you you saw, the president speaking about the unity the nation felt. the president spoke about the need for unity. will it last? >> well, elliot, it taupes up a fresh hope and fresh chapter in washington, but we've gone through several chapters before as the president said. that shattered or disappeared over time. polarization has deepened as you well know. i think the big test, the most important one is here at home. will congress get together on the debt ceilings. they could have been extraordinary contentious.
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i think this gives the president fresh stature, new stature. and it's changed the atmospherics that perhaps we can get through this debt crisis in a much more unified way that no one would have imagined yesterday. >> you know, david, i want to pick up on something you said. it fundamentally changes the way the president will be viewed by the public. as of this moment, a lot of emotions and a lot of perspectives, people agreed with, but no tangible results. now he has proops the single most important result the public wants to see. does that change the way the republican party and the entire public will view him and hence the way this conversation will play out as this conversation goes forward? >> elliot, i think it's not only going to change the way americans view him in the near term, but the way he's viewed
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overseas. is he tough enough? would he pull the trigger? and he's now proven that he is tough enough on that. and i do think it's going to help in the short term here at home. whatever anyone says about his foreign policy, the vow had taken hold it was a weak foreign policy. but this is going to help him overseas. and here at home, there's going to be a sense that, you know, you may disagree with him on x, y or z, but when a republican stands up in new hampshire now or iowa and says this guy doesn't have what it takes to run a foreign policy, the retort is going to be instantaneous. oh, yeah? obama got osama. where was your guy? i think that retort is going to be very powerful for a while to come. >> i think that's exactly right. let's talk about libya for just a moment, which has been dominating the news cycles for the past several weeks, of course. in libya at a minimum, this
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gives the president several additional weeks if not months to deal with what is clearly a thorny problem. an area where, as you said, the critique had been a bit of indecision, a lack of will power. now people will say give him time. the noose that he has said is around the neck of gadhafi, in fact, is tightening. so let him play his cards the way he has been. this president shows patience and strategy. so i think in that context as well, probably it strengthens his hand. that point is well taken. my first reaction when he went on television last night was we got gadhafi. it never occurred to me that we got bin laden. you have to think this has to be for gadhafi, wow, these guys mean business. think if we got gadhafi here in the next week or two. i think there would be a storm over that, but president obama could ride that storm out right now. so gadhafi is in a more vulnerable position. but i do agree with you.
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i think it does give the president time and stature to -- stature is very, very important for foreign policy for a president. it gives him the stature both at home and abroad. he has more time in libya. he can do now -- i think he can set his own timetable in afghanistan and iraq much more easily than he could before. when there's going to be a push coming from democrats and others saying we got bin laden, why don't we come home from afghanistan, he can say no, it's in our national interest to do x, y and z and he can push back. i want to come back, elliott. i talked to a senior official there. they're very upbeat about the fact that this whole operation has sent a very clear message, especially to the arab world where there was so doubt, especially in saudi arabia, united arab em rat elsewhere. in has sentd a message that the united states will be persistent temperature. that it will do what it says and
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the united states has a capacity and reach to carry out what it says it's going to do. those are very important messages to strengthen us and can help us as the gulf states were worried, do we have what it takes to stand up against iran? this will help the president and his team. the fact that they can carry this out flawlessly and they met week after week after week, 24 interagency meetings altogether, many of which were presided over by the president. not a single leak or sbim mags of what's going on. that's absolutely remarkable in today's modern washington. i think that's -- i think this team, some of whose members are not very well known to the public, but not only the secretary of state, secretary of defense. leon panetta has come out of 24 with the tia, tom dunnon has
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come out of this extraordinarily well, too. >> that's exactly right. what's been demonstrated is will power, discipline, staying power, patience and determination. all the factors critically important, not only overseas. enormous statue boost for the president. will it carry over into the debate over the debt ceiling which is going to be very contentious in the weeks ahead. >> and i do think that's the immediate test. i do think this -- this is good for three to six months. what you can't say from this is -- i think it's way to early to say is this is going to re-elect president obama. we've seen a lot of commentary on the block sites. it's important to remember the precautionary note of president george h.w. bush. saddam went into kuwait. and bush along with baker organized this massive alliance, sent in 500,000 troops and kicked saddam the hell out of
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kuwait, did it masterfully. and then in his third year in office, his approval rating spiked up to 89%. but the economy was clouz zi and the year and a half that followed, he went down 60% in the polls and he lost re-election. it's way too early. this economy is a big, big question on that. >> foreign policy gives you an immediate boost, it's the economy in the long run. we'll be right back. [ robin ] my name is robin.
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bin laden has been for years now, a symbol of all we fear as a country, a man out to destroy us and our way of life. but right now, i have a rare opportunity to talk to someone who knew osama bin laden, who knew him not as a terrorist, but as a man. joining us from saudi arabia is a journalist who knew bin laden in afghanistan as he fought against the soviets. he joins us from riyadh, soud rainbow yeah. it's intere -- saudi arabia. he's killed in a mansion surrounded by women and children, as he's sending people off on a mission to give themselves up, their lives up for a cause. when you knew him, did you ever
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see him perform an act of kindness? >> oh, he was just one in the crowds, endangering himself just like any other soldiers. but at that time, he was mainstream, following the guideline of proper islamic jihad. you don't kill innocent people, you don't commit jihad. bin laden did a damaging sect to islam. two important things, the indis-christmas nit killing of innocent people, a big taboo, a big mistake in islam. and the other thing, suicide attacks. suicide attacks is killing us the muse limbs, damaging us the muslims. and i just don't understand how he could tolerate sitting in his house in islamabad and hear about a young muslim entering a
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mosque and blowing up himself. that's totally absurd in islam. it's totally absurd by killing the innocent muslims and killing yourself.. it's just -- i would never imagine sitting with osama bin laden in 1985 or up to '95 that he will allow or justify something as ugly and horrific as that. >> when you spoke with him, did he ever express his desire to bring down the west, kill americans, werner, nonbelievers, infidels, did you get that sense from him? >> no, at that time in afghanistan his aim was to establish a just islamic state in afghanistan. which will be a model, a success story for other countries to follow. and the same thing he had envisioned for syria in 1982.
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that was the drive of the islamic movement in the 1980s to achieve that islamic state. but of course, they have failed to do so. and they are succeeding now days to -- into creating the diverse democratic state, which islam will play a role but not be the only decisive role there. >> it's hard to separate who the man is and what the myth is. one of the cnn correspondents who interviewed bin laden many years ago talked about his vanity, ironically, and that after the interview, he insisted on being able to look at the shot the that ha shots that had been taken of him and edit out the ones that were unflattering. did you get that sense? what was his personality like?
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>> very humble. did not like to be center of attention. did not like to be photographed. the first frach ever taken for osama bin laden for a news was taken by me. but no, he wasn't center at all. >> he certainly has changed a lot since you knew him as a younger man and the terrorist he became. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. . >> and when we come back, the ground zero imam who has been at the center of a great deal of controversy. don't go away. e moy ♪ ♪ounow i ve it too soy ♪ndbrinity y ♪ ♪ounow i ve it too
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>> in the wake of killing of osama bin laden, americans staged patriotic celebrations across the country. how do muslims feel about this reaction, especially like this one from last night's mets-ph mets-philmets-phil
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lees game right after the news broke? >> usa! usa! usa! usa! >> in case you couldn't hear it, they were chanting usa, usa, usa. and that occurred around the nation. on the other hand, the few muslim demonstrations we've seen appeared to be more defiant than celebratory. as ceo of the cordoba initiative, feisal abdul rauf tries to connect the muslim world and the west. welcome, imam rauf thank you for joini ining us. let me ask a direct question. is it possible to rebuild a frayed relationship between the islamic world and the united states? >> it's an absolute must. and there's no question that the
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muslim world and america has shared enormous interests. the united states has enormous interests in the muslim world and the muslim world has enormous interests in the relationship with america. in my travel and meetings with heads of government in the muslim world, with heads of business organizations, with think tanks and with common folk, the general consensus is that no one can afford to have a bad relationship with america. it is my hope and clear understanding that what happened with the death of bin laden and what we're seeing in much of the arab world, we're seeing the end of a chapter of terrorism. whether terrorism is conducted by nonstate actors by organizations aheaded and founded like osama bin laden, or those who are terrorizing their own populations, the arab world -- >> imam, let me interrupt you for a question.
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i have to tell you, what the american public saw after 9/11 was celebration after the arab world and the fact that the air rob world killed thousands here in the united states. anticipate now that bin laden has been captured and killed, there seems to be silence in the islamic world. there really isn't even statements or support. very limited expressions of support for what the united states is doing. am i misreading this? >> i think there's concern. i mean, death is a serious thing. but the general understanding, bin laden aez al qaeda have killed more muslims than they've killed americans. it's not to make light of what he's done here in 9/11. we have been the major victims of the acts of al qaeda, whether it's in iraq, in afghanistan, in pakistan. your saudi guest earlier pointed out that it is fundamentally koranic law to hurt anybody who is innocent of a particular crime.
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and the bombings of the innocent people in mosques in pashwar, the suicide bombings of many people, we have been the major victims of this. so there's a great sense of relief among the muslim community globally that this has happened. there's, of course, great anxiety and great concern, because we're seeing a lot of upheavals in the arab world today. and the arab world wants -- all that they want is personal security and they want economic well being. this is what most people want today. and therefore, the idea of building communities is where the direction of the future that needs to go. >> imam, what you're saying is exactly what was said earlier in the show, and we had this conversation, which is why the revolutions crossing north africa and the middle east seem to be a complete rejection of what osama bin laden stood for. but having said that, there does not seem to have been any substantial outpouring of support for what the united
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states has just done, ridding the world of a horrendous terrorist. why are you seeing this dichotomy? >> i think there's great anxiety in the muslim world. you know, i'm from -- my parents were from egypt and i'm concerned about what's happening in egypt. i'm concerned that, you know, what our founding fathers in america call it the tyranny of the majority may occur in egypt. we need to engage and applaud the obama administration, not only the focus on getting and bringing bin laden to justice, but also in how it's engaging in the arab world to make sure that the aspirations of a common folk, having good governance, towards having democracy, by which you mean a government that's for the people and serves the people. >> let me interrupt you for just one moment. we're going to continue this conversation in just a minute. stay with us. we'll be right back. ♪
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>> we're back with imam feisal abdul rauf. what have has been the reaction to what is happening in the united states over the death of osama bin laden? >> the overwhelming feeling is relief. the feeling is that the emotion is understandable. america needed a healing, and a closure after the impact, the traumatic impact of 9/11. and that we need to have a more important discourse on how to heal the relationship between america and the muslim world, both domestically and internationally.
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and there's a great hope that the discourse will now move towards a discourse of healing, which is very much needed between america and the muslim world. >> you have been a voice of moderation. you say you want a coming together. where are you finding support within the islamic world? where are the nodes of support where you can see here are the people, the organizes, the countries that have been most outspoken? >> well, well, i've spoken to the heads of goths in southeast asia, indonesia, malaysia. i've been contact with leaders in turkey, saudi arabia recently.
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