November 18, 2010
LARRY KING: From Apalachicola, Florida! Hello!
CALLER: Hello, Larry. I’d like to ask the sheik . . .
LARRY KING: Do we call you “Sheik”? What’s the protocol here? And who the heck gives out those titles? Is there a guy?
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Oh, no, Larry. There is no guy, per se. It’s an honorific. Something my followers have decided to call me.
LARRY KING: Like a Kentucky colonel! Wonderful! Common ground!
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Yes, yes. Well.
LARRY KING: So what should our caller call you?
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Well, truthfully, she should not be calling me anything. She shouldn’t be speaking to me. She shouldn’t be using a telephone, she shouldn’t be audible through her burqa, she shouldn’t be watching television, she should be stoned to death for her lewd and promiscuous behavior, and her husband should be stoned to death for whoremongering.
LARRY KING: Fair enough! From Cleveland, Ohio, hello!
CALLER: Hey, Lar. Hi, Sheik. I just wanted to know if your guest has had second thoughts about his hatred of the United States, ever since his trial in New York was dismissed due to that chain-of-evidence thing?
LARRY KING: Good question! So, second thoughts? We don’t look so bad, sorta kinda?
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: That’s an excellent question. Obviously, hey, look, I’m on a book tour, hanging out with Larry King — love your show Larry –
LARRY KING: Thanks! Tomorrow night! Ryan Seacrest talks to the reunited cast of Saved by the Bell!
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Yes, well. As I was saying, of course, here I am traveling across America, using her roads and bridges and airports and critical infrastructure installations, as I talk to people about my book and my struggle, so, yes, I’ve had a chance to rethink some of my past views about this country. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say, truthfully, that some of my past statements may have been a bit “out there,” as the kids say. And some of them were taken out of context by a media that just loves controversy.
LARRY KING: “All Americans should be flayed alive, fed to dogs, then the dogs flayed alive, then the whole stinking, rotting mess should be burned in a pillar of purifying flame.” That’s what you said? Tough stuff!
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Look, would I choose other words today? Of course. But that was from my opening statement at my trial, which was a very stressful time for me and my family, and I didn’t know, at that juncture, that the chain of custody for the evidence collected against me was so murky. I don’t want to rehash the trial over and over again, but, you know, there were illegal wiretaps and lots and lots of irregularities and the Constitution is quite clear. I have a right to a fair trial. All Americans do.
LARRY KING: But you’re not American.
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: What is this, Larry? Gotcha? You brought me on here to play “Gotcha”?
LARRY KING: The book is A Softer Jihad — My Life and Journey and the author is Khalid Sheik Mohammed! From Salinas, California, hello!
CALLER: Hi Larry. I was wondering if the sheik is thinking about moving here to this country permanently?
LARRY KING: What about it? I could see you in a South Beach, in a Laguna? I want to say, maybe, a Sea Island condo? Something tasteful and a little removed?
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: You know, Larry, I’m trying to put this delicately, but I also want to be honest. There’s a lot about this wonderful land that I truly love. I love your wide open spaces and your Chik-fil-A. I love your rules about proper evidence labeling and where the judge’s signature must go for a legally admissible wiretap consent.
LARRY KING: The American exception! The right wingers love it!
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: But, Larry, I have to tell the truth here. This country is just a very hard place to live in, as a Muslim. There’s always this backlash against us, hovering there, waiting to come down. I mean, you’d be amazed — they say they don’t profile, they say it’s all random, but when I try to board a plane, they always — always, Larry! — pull me aside for a thorough search. Other people just sail through, but because I’m a Muslim and I’m Sheik Khalid Mohammed, the quote-unquote mastermind of 9/11, I get totally, totally hassled.
LARRY KING: But just so I get this: You still want to kill all Americans, right?
SHEIK KHALID MOHAMMED: Well, yes, of course. I’m still me. But right now, I’m just trying to make people aware of my new book.
LARRY KING: And a great book it is! This weekend! John Madden talks about his colonoscopy!