Magazine December 7, 2009, Issue

The Long View

Transcript: Larry King Live!

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!

 

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Rise of an Epithet

To “teabag” or not to “teabag”: That is not the most pressing question of these times, but it is a question to consider. Routinely, conservative protesters in the “tea party” ...
Politics & Policy

Steele Trap?

‘Michael is new. He’s had a learning curve.” Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina Republican party, rendered that judgment about Michael Steele, the chairman of the national party, last ...
Politics & Policy

Overloaded and Sinking

In June 2005, after months of fierce debate over Social Security reform, the chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA) issued a sobering prediction. “Long before Social Security goes bankrupt,” ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Jihad, Inc.

As we struggle to come to terms with the Fort Hood massacre, the first thing to do — if we want to prevent such terrorism from becoming a regular event ...
Politics & Policy

Energy Tea

For conservatives, the populist question is front and center once again.  It began last year with divergent reactions among conservative elites to John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running ...
Politics & Policy

Conserving Liberalism?

That conservatism rejects much of contemporary liberalism is clear enough. Yet many conservatives speak favorably of “liberal democracy” and its defense. Indeed, they sometimes seem to speak this way more ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Mobility Agenda

Back in the heady days of July 2007 — shortly after the White House celebrated National Homeownership Month, and before the term “subprime mortgage” became ubiquitous in our political discourse ...
Politics & Policy

Revolutionary Road

  When Arthur Laffer left Stanford University in 1967, he was on a swiftly rising professional trajectory. He finished his dissertation and received his Ph.D. in 1972, but, between 1969 and ...
Politics & Policy

Secret Service

The period since the collapse of the Soviet Union has not been kind to the dozens of Americans accused of collaboration with Soviet intelligence during the 1930s and 1940s. Each ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

  THE LATE JANE AUSTEN’S NIECE EVENTUALLY DESTROYS THE MANUSCRIPT OF HER OWN NOVEL   The paper cringes in the heat; The ashes flake off sheet by sheet. The oldest child in her worn dress Is ...
Happy Warrior

Gray Mountain State

  As longtime readers know, the Demographic Deathwatch is not a novelty dance craze but a recurring feature of this column. But it’s not just for Europe, Russia, China, and Japan ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Editorial Audit In the “Week” section of the November 23 issue, the paragraph about the new-homebuyers credit is quite misleading. If one looks at the testimony of IRS Deputy Commissioner for ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Apparently he confused the emperor of Japan with Andy Stern. ‐ Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, arrived on the scene with the force of a three-megaton explosion. It’s not a ...
The Long View

The Long View

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 ...

Most Popular

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

Jason Isbell’s Alt-Alt-Country Masterpiece

There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

Jason Isbell’s Alt-Alt-Country Masterpiece

There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

LOST, Ten Years Later: A Defense

A  man in a suit opens his eyes in the middle of a jungle. He doesn’t know how he got there. He is hurt but not seriously injured, though definitely disoriented. Out of nowhere, a yellow Labrador pops out of the dense foliage, then disappears back into it. The man gets up. He runs through the trees around him, ... Read More

LOST, Ten Years Later: A Defense

A  man in a suit opens his eyes in the middle of a jungle. He doesn’t know how he got there. He is hurt but not seriously injured, though definitely disoriented. Out of nowhere, a yellow Labrador pops out of the dense foliage, then disappears back into it. The man gets up. He runs through the trees around him, ... Read More