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Reaction to Death of Osama bin Laden
Aired May 2, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go now.
The killing of Osama bin Laden. We are a different country now than we were just 24 hours ago. Why does it take something like this to bring us together?
Why are we celebrating? Do we feel safer?
I`ll take a look into our behavior and what it says about us as victims, as survivors, as Americans. What are we really thinking about?
Let`s get started.
Well, it took the better part of a decade, but the U.S. did get their man. And it may be a crude form of justice, but I have got to admit, it feels kind of good. It does feel kind of good. And it`s a symbolic phenomenon, it`s a symbolic event, but it is cutting off the head of a snake. It really is, and it does mean something rather profound to those of us that have been living under the shadow of 9/11.
And it`s interesting. I would ask each of you to just examine the story I`m about to tell you and see if this has meaning to you.
I heard about it last night from my wife. And she sort of texted me. And I said, "Oh, wow, that`s really great."
And then I got a parking ticket. And I thought my son parking next to me got a parking ticket, too, so I texted him, "Hey, you`re going to get a ticket. It`s my fault. Give it to me." And, "Oh, by the way, did you hear that they got bin Laden?"
And my kids -- I have triplets, they`re 18 years old -- and my two sons reacted with this huge, incredible reaction, like, oh my God, this is unbelievable. And I thought, wow, you -- make sure you talk to your kids at home.
They have been living with this most of their life. My kids were 8 years old when this happened, and bin Laden has been a shadow hanging over their lives their entire conscious existence. And to have that end is a really big deal for them.
It`s symbolic, yes, but it`s a big deal. We are not the same. We didn`t ask for this scar to be brought upon us. We didn`t ask for this. It came to us.
And I think what we`re seeing here finally is that we can really finish it. It`s not over. Don`t gloat. Don`t get cocky. But I think this is at least a sign that we can finish this if we put our mind to it.
It feels very different than when I was an adolescent. I remember I was in college looking at "The Boston Globe," a picture of some helicopters that crashed in the Iranian desert after a failed attempt to get the hostages back. And that felt awful as a young adult, to be that incompetent.
At least we are competent. We say what we`re going to do, and we follow through on it and we do it.
Here`s how news of Osama bin Laden`s demise played out on TV just 24 hours ago.
JOHN KING, HOST, "JOHN KING USA": CNN is told by several sources now that the president of the United States will announce in just moments that the United States has the body of Osama bin Laden.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Bin Laden is dead.
GEORGE STEPHANPOULOS, ABC NEWS: We are on the air right now because we have learned that Osama bin Laden has been killed.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: Osama bin Laden is dead as a result of a U.S. military action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Osama bin Laden has been killed. His body is in U.S. hands.
KING: Those four words, "Justice has been done," I think will echo around the country and around the world tonight.
BLITZER: This is one of those moments in history all of us will always, always remember.
OBAMA: We can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
PINSKY: And there you go, an historic moment.
Joining us are Kaj Larsen, a CNN correspondent who covered the war in Afghanistan. We also have Charles G. Wolf. His wife, Katherine, died at the World Trade Center in the attacks on September 11th.
Charlie, tell us about your wife and what happened to her on that day.
CHARLES G. WOLF, WIFE DIED IN WORLD TRADE CENTER: Well, she was in the World Trade Center. She was on the 97th floor of tower one. And the plane flew right over our apartment five seconds before it plowed directly into her office. And she was disintegrated, vaporized in less than half a second.
PINSKY: She may have actually been one of the lucky ones in that building. The people that my heart goes out for are the ones that were above where the planes hit.
How do you react to Osama bin Laden`s death?
WOLF: Well, last night a friend of mine from Atlanta, interestingly enough, called me and said, "Hey, you know the guy that killed your wife, they got him." And I was -- I was really -- I said, "Wow, that`s wonderful news."
And then I quickly got another call from one of the networks, and they asked me to come up to talk. And I got -- and the first person I actually got to talk to about with it was the taxi driver.
And he was like, "What?" He didn`t -- he hadn`t heard about it. And it turns out that his brother was in the building -- or his brother-in-law was in the building and gotten out with a lot of blood on him and so forth. But he was all excited.
And then I called my dad and told him and, you know, it -- for two hours my body just tingled. I was really, really pleased that this happened.
PINSKY: Good. Charlie, if it makes just one person who lost someone that happy, this was a good thing. I`m sorry to say it, to be so brutal about it, but that`s the fact.
And, you know, I don`t know what to say to people that lost someone in that building. I`m angry and I`m sad. And God bless you. I`m glad there`s some closure today for you.
WOLF: Thank you.
PINSKY: Thanks, Charlie.
PINSKY: Now, I have got with me Kaj Larsen.
Now, a couple things I want to do with you. You`re all over the world, so you have a sense of how the world is reacting to this. I want to get a little bit of that. And then I want to find out what went down in the compound last night. I saw a Twitter feed coming from a neighbor that told me almost more than anything else.
So, first, the reaction around the world. What do you think the world`s reaction is?
KAJ LARSEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I think the global reaction, as you can imagine, is mixed and is varied. I think the general sentiment, especially among our allies, people who have been involved in the prosecution of the global war on terror, is that this is, as you said at the top, a very significant moment.
LARSEN: Absolutely. Absolutely. And even if not, strategically and tactically important.
LARSEN: Absolutely, Osama bin Laden will not be able to conduct, oversee or inspire operations in the same way.
PINSKY: And if somebody else fills his shoes, we will get him. That`s what this is saying.
All right. So, tell me about the operation.
It was last night. They dropped in out of helicopters, they blasted - - this compound had 20-foot walls, no doors or windows, or something to the akin of that. Guys dropped out of the sky.
Tell me more. I`m trying to get my head around it.
LARSEN: So, you have to understand that the Navy SEAL teams who persecuted this action are the very best in the world at what we call direct action missions, which then involve a CQC, or a close quarters combat component. And what this mission did is it essentially followed this mantra of special operations which is, on a mission, you use speed, surprise and violence of action.
Speed: the helicopters came in. The time on target was less than 40 minutes. Unbelievable.
Surprise: they came in stealthily, unknown, even an era where a next door neighbor could be twittering the helicopters coming in.
And then, violence of action, you saw the end result, what we call tactical resolution.
PINSKY: They go in through one side. They obviously can`t go multiple sides. They`ll shoot at each other.
PINSKY: They just blow down a wall and just go in.
LARSEN: Right, absolutely. And obviously we don`t want to get into the specifics of tactics, but because of what you`re indicating, the potential for blue-on-blue fire, these are coordinated, well-rehearsed, almost like a dance kind of operations, where they attack from one direction and they blow through the building after a hard entry in order to get inside, despite the fortifications you described earlier.
PINSKY: And because it was so -- a well-orchestrated dance, will we ever know who the actual soldier was that fired the bullet?
LARSEN: It`s unlikely, especially if that operator wants to continue to engage in Special Operations. For the time being, he certainly will remain anonymous.
You know, in the Special Operations community, we have a mantra. It`s called the "quiet professional." They don`t essentially talk a lot about what they do. They infiltrate, they get into the target site, they execute their mission, and they go home and only talk about it in the platoon hut, vice to the rest of the world.
PINSKY: They probably feel pretty good about it, those 20 guys.
LARSEN: I think this is a great day for the SEAL community. And I think it`s a great day for the nation as well.
PINSKY: Well, Kaj, thank you very much for joining me. I appreciate it.
LARSEN: Thank you.
PINSKY: I`d like to hear more about this. Maybe we`ll get you up on the Internet or a little piece afterwards, we can put it up on the Internet, because so many details about that are just -- everyone I know wants to know more about that.
And Charlie, thank you for joining us. I mean, our heart goes out to you. And I hope this gives you some form of closure. And it sounds like you`re feeling pretty good after finding out about it. So God bless you.
WOLF: I don`t know that closure is a good thing, because in order to get closure, you`d have to forget about the whole thing. I mean, I drew a line in the sand and said they may have gotten my wife, but they`re not getting the rest of my life. And I did that about a few days after 9/11.
But what this does is -- I`m happy that it happened, because nothing is going to bring her back. But I`m happy this happened. It feels like justice has been done.
I`m glad that we did it and not one of the other countries that`s been helping us, but we`re the ones that got him. That feels really good, because they sucker-punched us, and now we got them. I couldn`t help but think that as we -- as we dumped his body into the depths of the ocean, so did God dump his soul into the depths of hell.
PINSKY: Well said, Charlie. Thank you.
Coming up, one of the first firefighters to arrive at Ground Zero on September 11th, he reacts to Osama bin Laden`s death. This is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): A firefighter who risked his life running in the jagged rubble, he is still suffering the after-effects today. And a woman who nearly lost her life in the burning towers.
Their stories of survival and celebration, next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was standing next to One World Trade Center, and then all of a sudden, I heard rumbling and we all started running away from it. The glass, like, blew out and threw me onto the sidewalk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Complete darkness. We just had to crawl our way out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just went boom! It was like a bomb went off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police officer told everybody to form a human chain, and we held on to each other. And he flashed the light and he directed us to building five. And we went out building five.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: God, it is just so hard to watch those images again.
America was attacked in many ways on September 11th. The devastating effects, physical and psychological, are being felt still now, almost a decade later.
Former New York city fire chief Thomas Von Essen is with us by phone. He was the New York city fire commissioner when the attacks occurred.
We`re also joined by Leslie Haskins, who was in Tower One. She has, as anyone would, going through something like that, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
And I`ve got Kenny Spect, a former firefighter. He was one of the first responders at the World Trade Center, and he actually developed cancer from working at Ground Zero.
Kenny, take us through that day, if you would.
KENNY SPECHT, FMR. NYC FIREFIGHTER: Well, Doc, good evening. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
As far as my experience on September 11th, I responded to the scene after both World Trade Center towers had collapsed, but before Seven World Trade Center had collapsed. So I had witnessed the fall of Seven World Trade Center. I stayed until about 3:00 in the afternoon on September 12th, and I stayed down at the site both in between working back at my fire house in Corona Queens and down at the site until probably mid-November.
PINSKY: What did you see when you first got there? I mean, we`ve heard so many stories. What was yours?
SPECHT: You could probably compare it to as close to the end of civilization as humanly possible. I do remember the first night, the night of September 11th, seeing people`s names etched in the thick dust that was on the windows of buildings, American flags that still flew that were put up on these buildings earlier that morning.
People just thinking, of course, it was going to be another beautiful day in September. And these flags that were never taken back in, that flew until 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, I remember seeing these dust-laden flags, these names of people written in the windows of buildings that would probably never be occupied again. It really was a sad sight. A sad sight for so long, too.
PINSKY: And Kenny, we`re really getting everyone`s reaction. And as any of our viewers can see, everyone has a very different sort of reaction to hearing that Osama bin Laden has been killed.
What is your reaction?
SPECHT: It`s a tangible victory. I mean, it`s real. You can feel it. We`ve waited 10 years.
The wait to see the demise of the principal plotter of September 11th, the attack on the USS Cole, multiple embassy attacks, the wait is over. And I think that this country deserves the victorious celebrations that are occurring right now.
But we`re going to have to get back to work, Dr. Drew. We`re going to have to remain vigilant. We`re always going to have to remain cautious.
We can have this day, and it`s important, because a lot of people have waited for this day. It really is truly, truly the end of an absolutely deplorable person. But there are many people that are ready, willing and able to take this deplorable person`s place, and we need to remain aware and vigilant that these people are still out there.
It`s a good victory, because the main financial person behind all of these attacks is gone. Osama bin Laden, he had the money. We have to see now whether the money continues to flow into these Islamic terrorists.
SPECHT: But it is, it`s a tangible victory, and we really should enjoy it for now. But we need to remain vigilant.
PINSKY: Thank you, Kenny.
And Leslie, you were actually in Tower One when the planes hit. How do you react to this?
LESLIE HASKINS, SURVIVED 9/11 ATTACK ON TOWER 1: I think, Dr. Drew, I`m still stunned, honestly. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I remember standing in front of that window and watching the debris and the bodies fall outside the window, trying to wrap my mind around one second, in one minute being OK, and the next minute watching everything I knew fall down around me. So I`m back there again.
It -- this brings back all those memories, and they just come flooding to my mind. And I`m still trying to figure out what to do with this, honestly. How should I feel about this? Sure, there`s a sense of relief, I guess, in a sense that he`s gone, but that`s quickly sobering when I remember that there`s so many more out there.
PINSKY: Yes. You`re so right, Leslie. And it is a -- it`s a mind- bending event. But I do think that today, symbolically, we can feel good about it today.
Let`s enjoy it. Let`s feel good about it.
Thomas, do you agree with me on this? You lost over 300 friends and colleagues that day. Do you agree?
THOMAS VON ESSEN, FMR. NYC FIRE COMMISSIONER: Yes, I do. And I see the difficulty in celebrating too much. You see people jumping up and down in the streets. I`m sure that`s not how Leslie feels, and the firefighters, the families.
They don`t feel like that, but they do feel like maybe it`s another little piece of this thing that`s a little less painful. I mean, it`s such a big scar, and it`s so itchy and so irritating, and yet it`s a little less raw than it was 10 years ago. And I`m really glad that the part of it I like the best is the fact he`s out there already eaten by some fish out in the sea, that we don`t have to go through a trial that takes years and years and a system that`s just too good for these guys.
PINSKY: Yes, I think you`re right. I think we can --
VON ESSEN: It`s too fair, it`s too generous. That`s what he deserved.
PINSKY: -- put it to rest. We can put it to rest. And let`s -- by the way, let`s never forget. Let`s never forget about your colleagues that served.
Leslie, we will think of you.
And Kenny, thank you so much for your service.
Now, we come back --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Tonight, one day since news broke that Osama bin Laden is dead, Americans across the globe are celebrating the death of a man known as the United States` number one enemy.
When we come back, I`m "On Call." Has justice finally been served?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention all cadets. Osama bin Laden is dead. We got him.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: USA! USA! USA! USA!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just the most out-of-body experience to feel such -- so involved in history. This is just such a historic moment for our country right now. It`s just -- I mean, it`s so surreal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Who doesn`t have something to say about the death of Osama bin Laden? It`s like everyone knows exactly where they were when they heard about this.
Here`s what some of you think. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not over. I mean, if you listen to the news and what`s going on, a lot of the military people have said it`s time to really step up our game. And that`s what we`re doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, obviously, glad that it happened, glad they got him. And I`m proud of the way they did it. I think they did it the right way.
They didn`t tell anybody. They didn`t tell the other countries, kept it a secret. Buried his body at sea so there`s no place for the martyrs to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m just very proud of the brave young men and women right now in Afghanistan and all over the world that are putting their lives in harm`s way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes, it was done professionally and we can feel good about it. The head of the snake has been cut off. But let`s not gloat. Let`s be careful. We need to stay vigilant.
And many of you have called in to comment as well. So let`s get right to it.
We`ve got Roberta from California.
What`s up, Roberta?
ROBERTA, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
Just as yesterday will be seared in my memory just like 9/11 when it happened, it was such a day of jubilation that our troops stuck with it, and the president made the right call.
PINSKY: Betsy in North Carolina, what do you think about this?
BETSY, NORTH CAROLINA: Hi. I don`t think that it`s right people are celebrating his death. Celebrate our military, celebrate America for standing tall. Don`t celebrate the fall of someone.
I did not like it when the terrorists celebrated killing Americans. I don`t like it when we do the same thing.
PINSKY: And Toni in Texas, you have something to say as well?
TONI, TEXAS: Yes. I think it`s a sigh of relief that he`s gone, but you have to take it from their perspective. He was a leader of many people, and it`s a matter of time before they retaliate. How would we feel if somebody assassinated our president? We`d be angry and revengeful.
PINSKY: And Bryn in California.
BRYN, CALIFORNIA: Hi. I`m having mixed feelings over the way Americans are reacting over bin Laden`s death. Yes, I`m happy that our country has some sort of closure, but it kind of reminded me how some extremist groups celebrated in the streets when they kill an American or Americans.
PINSKY: I think everyone has a very good point here. And I have got to say, I`ve had to apologize for myself about feeling good about this.
Hammurabi`s law is not the most evolved form of human justice. An eye for an eye is not the most of all forms. We should feel a little conflicted about someone being killed because of something they did unto us. That`s a very primitive way to handle this.
On the other hand, this was done professionally, it creates closure for some people, and it is something that had to be done.
Mark J. asked from Facebook, "What is the best way to explain to children about this event?"
All right, Mark. Well, the deal is, keep the conversation on their terms. Every child`s age has a different capacity to process this kind of information.
Just understand they want to know that their family is going to be OK, that you`re OK, and that they`re going to be OK, but that there are things in the at work here that they need to begin to understand. But don`t scare them, and keep the conversation on their level.
Just keep asking questions. Do you understand? Is this enough information? Would you like more?
I really appreciate all these comments. They`re -- frankly, that`s more of what I want on this show. I want to bring people here to talk about this.
This has been a big day in American history, and we should be here discussing it. And feel free to share all aspects of this. I feel ambivalent, but I have got to admit, I do feel happy about this.
When we come back --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Unimaginable devastation. We are talking to a man whose pregnant wife was murdered by Osama bin Laden. Now he says Osama`s death is a gift to future generations.
And she became the face of American grief when her fiance was killed on 9/11. Rachel Uchitel is here to tell us how this tragedy changed her life forever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): The wound was historic. The emasculated Manhattan skyline blackened with smoke. Flames that consumed thousands of lives. When the fires were out, a tsunami of grief. Confusion and agony followed. Ten years later, the watermark of that wave is still visible, branded on the hearts of survivors and those who lost loved ones. Tonight, the nation pulls together once more, in celebration, but also in remembrance.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): So, today, we are talking to people whose lives were changed by 9/11 and getting their reactions now that Osama Bin Laden is dead. And I`m just thinking back for myself back to 9/11, and I think the reason that I feel good today about Osama Bin Laden`s death is I was so damn angry on 9/11. Weren`t the rest of you angry? It was a helpless feeling. I was angry.
And I hate to be, as I said, primitive in the sense of justice that we`re delivering, it`s an eye for an eye, but it`s something. We have to do something, and we have to -- I remember hearing Henry Kissinger on that day saying, well, we knew these people are out there. Now, we`re going to go get them, and we have. And it`s taken us ten years, taken what it take, and I feel better about it.
For families and friends, 9/11 was a shattering day. A day they will never forget. Here to talk about how tragedy changed them forever are Rachel Chitel, her fiance, Andy, was killed in the World Trade Center. And Rachel, I think you`re the closest person to me that was deeply affected by that day, and Jack Grandcolas. His wife, Lauren, was pregnant when she died on flight 93. That`s the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. So, Rachel, we will start you. Tell us how that day changed your life.
RACHEL UCHITEL, FIANCE DIED ON 9/11 ATTACKS: Well, I mean, my life was never going to be the same after 9/11. You know, I had just gotten back from a three-week vacation with Andy, my fiance. We had gotten back the night before, and we went into work early, both of us. And, we, you know, had a nice conversation that morning on the phone, and I got another chance to talk to him after the plane, the first plane had hit.
It had hit the tower across from his. So, he had a bird`s-eye views of what was happening, And I was working at Bloomberg News at the time. So, I was covering it for news. And, everything he would say to me, I would say to my reporter, and we had, you know, clear view of what was going on in there, and he had told me people were getting pushed out of the windows, and he didn`t seem scared.
He didn`t seem threatened by anything, and he didn`t seem like he wanted to go. He wanted to stay right there and watch what was happening. And I spoke to him a second time and right as I went to hang up the phone, the second plane hit his building, and I never spoke to him again.
PINSKY: And Rachel, just so we get a sense of how sick this loss is, I mean, he was UCLA swimming captain, he was a bond trader, he had a group of bright, brilliant colleagues. They all died that day, did they not?
UCHITEL: Yes. All of them. I mean, I think a few guys got out. The second the first plane hit a couple guys said, you know what, I`m out of here and left, but everybody else -- everybody else perished that day. And it was the greatest group of guys ever. And you know, he was an all- American guy. He was just -- he really was the greatest guy. And, it makes me believe that song "Only the Good Die Young."
PINSKY: And having worked with you, I know -- I know how deeply this all affected you. Do you have any feelings today now that Osama Bin Laden is dead? Did you react to that?
UCHITEL: Yes. You know, I`m grateful. I`m grateful that people followed through and caught this guy. You know, I think for a couple of years now, I feel like this has been sort of in the backdrop, and people have sort of forgotten about catching this guy. And I`m grateful to the United States. I`m grateful to our president. I`m, you know, honored to be an American.
I really am. And I`m actually really grateful that the last thing that Osama Bin Laden saw was an American holding a gun at his head, and he knew the Americans have come in. They`ve got me, it`s over. And I`m really glad --
PINSKY: Wow, Rachel, very interesting, very dramatic. Thank you. And now, Jack, your wife was one of the really the heroes on flight 93. How do you react to Osama Bin Laden`s death?
JACK GRANDCOLAS, PREGNANT WIFE DIED IN 9/11 ATTACKS: Well, I`m, you know, it`s been pretty surreal. You know, I`ve tried to temper how I feel and measure what I`m feeling. Obviously, I`m a little uneasy about the celebrations, but I understand where it comes from. I just think that this is more a symbolic day for the future of the world and for maybe the beginning of the end of terrorism.
PINSKY: And can you tell us a little bit about your wife and where she was going at day and how your life changed on that day?
GRANDCOLAS: Yes. Lauren had been back to New Jersey To attend her grandmother`s funeral, and she was also three months pregnant with our first child and wanted to kind of finish the week by staying a few extra days to break the news to the family and kind of cheer them up with some good news. So, she actually got to the airport early that morning which was rare. She never did that. And she`d called and left me a message back in California that she was on an earlier flight. The second message that she left me was from the flight, and it struck me because she was very, very calm and full of love.
She wanted to make sure that I didn`t worry, said there was just a little problem and that she loved me and to know that. So, I think today is significant in memory of a lot of people who lost loved ones, not only on September 11th, but across the world to terrorist attacks. It has a devastating effect. I`m sure Rachel understands that. And, I hope that it`s a symbol for everyone around the globe that hatred must be conquered by love.
PINSKY: Well, Jack, thank you. And Rachel, thank you as well. And Rachel kind of leaves us with a really interesting image of an American being the last thing that Osama Bin Laden have thought about before he was shot. And when I hear these stories, when I -- Rachel is somebody I know very closely. Jack, now, these stories are stirring. I get so angry. I hope -- you know, I have nothing else to share, but that outrage and the fact is, I feel good about what happened here.
I know it`s a primitive kind of reaction to react this way, but I do. And for those of us that out there share this with me, I feel embarrassed about it. I feel ambivalent about it, but I feel good about it. At least my anger, which I understand is very primitive, boy, it really gets stirred when I hear about that day and just the sick amount of loss. Another thing I want to point out to people, there was a Twitter feed last night that got some of the first news out about the attack on the compound.
Guys handle was at really virtual, and if you watch that feed, you can really see what it looked like from the ground. He actually has footage up there on his Twitter feed, video of the compound on the next day. It`s interesting how social media is, again, one of the first at the scene, the neighbor is twittering about helicopters over their house. What an unusual event. Check that out.
And when we come back, it`s the biggest victory against terrorism in a decade, but even with Bin Laden dead, al Qaeda and global terror live on. Should we fear a global backlash? I`m talking to a terrorism analyst about the risk of retaliation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a bittersweet day. It`s good to see an evil person receive justice, but it`s very bitter to realize that so many good people met a brutal and needless death at the hands of this monster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want Bin Laden dead?
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want him -- I want justice. And there`s an old poster out west, as I recall, that said "wanted dead or alive."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Terrorism is specifically designed to have lasting emotional effects. Lord knows it`s had it. I`d like to address this. Can we ever get past the tragedy? Back with us and staying with us is Rachel Uchitel. Thanks, Rachel, for staying with me. Her Fiance was killed on 9/11. Ken Robinson is a military analyst. We`re going to be speaking to him in just a minute, and I have Fran Furman, she`s a social worker, director of Counseling Services at Tuesday`s Children. Fran, how do you counsel those who have been suffering for years on end with this trauma?
FRAN FURMAN, DIR. OF COUNSELING SERVES, TUESDAY`S CHILDREN: Well, it`s important to normalize their feelings, to let them know that whatever their reactions are, whether they`re sad, depressed, angry, anxious, fearful, that these are normal reactions to an abnormal, traumatic event, and to let them know that with counseling and support that they can -- that it`s not always important what happens to us, but what we do with it. What we make out of it.
The meaning that we make out of our lives. And that it`s not a weakness to get counseling and get help. That we really see it as a strength. And that people are not born with resilience, but that people can develop resilience to deal with these traumatic effects.
PINSKY: My understanding is that you found that people who`ve been traumatized by the event, who have lost somebody to the event or fearful now with the death of Osama Bin Laden, that their trauma is going to be forgotten or left behind. Is that true?
FURMAN: Absolutely. What we hear from our 9/11 families, and Tuesday`s Children has worked with almost 6,000 family members and first responders, is that even before the death of Bin Laden, our families were saying to us with the 9/11 anniversary coming, approaching us very soon, that as soon as the anniversary is open, over, they will be forgotten. Their loss will be forgotten. That people will expect them to move on, have closure, accept it, forget about it. And that is --
PINSKY: Boy, I don`t see, listen, if any of your patients are listening or watching, Rachel, bear me up with this, I can`t imagine that we`re going to, any of us, Americans, are going to be able to forget this, but did you have similar feelings to what she`s talking about here?
UCHITEL: Yes, absolutely. You know, it was really interesting. After September 11th, I got so much support. So, that was sort of the cake walk, but after, you know, a year into it when the anniversary, the first anniversary came upon us, it was really difficult for me to go into work and to, you know, watch -- I was in the newsroom at the time, so watching everybody reliving it, and they had really moved on, and I hadn`t.
And I felt forgotten, and I really had a breakdown. So, that was really difficult for me, for the first couple of years afterwards. And to watch Andy`s friends get married and move on and have kids and -- you know, still, I`ll see some of them on the street, and it stops me dead in my tracks because I notice the empty space next to me or the empty chair at dinner when I`m meeting up with them. It`s awful, you know?
PINSKY: Yes. Rachel, thank you for sharing this. And Fran, thank you for those notes. I challenge my viewers not to forget about this, to think about that. These are -- these are very -- this profound history we`ve all lived through, and there are people like Rachel who had an immediate experience, but let`s keep that top of mind. Let`s not forget about them.
Now, I know another thing that you guys at home are worried about as am I, as are my kids, which is, what`s next? So, I actually have a military, a terror analyst. He`s a former military intelligence officer, Ken Robinson, with me. Ken, what does all this mean for the war on terror?
KEN ROBINSON VIA SKYPE, TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, the war on terror is not over. Osama Bin Laden was a proponent of an ideology. He was like a venture capitalist, and he lit a fuse, but the group that is out there that is threatening the west and this idea, this Salafist, Wahhabist, jihadist idea lives very strong, and it is morphed into what we kind of call a leaderless resistance.
It doesn`t require a formal structure. It enables these people on their own in each region do what they will and what they`re able to do to fight and confront the west.
PINSKY: Let me just say, you`re freaking me out. You must be freaking out everyone at home. So, should we expect retaliation? What do we do to stay safe?
ROBINSON: Well, America has demonstrated its resolve. As in your previous guest said, within the military and special operations community, no one forgets a single name. For over 25 years, we hunted Imad Fayez Mughniyah, who was a, before Bin Laden, was the world`s worst terrorist, and that man never once had one day when he could feel safe and Bin Laden didn`t either.
Within the community, there`s never anyone that forgets. But, yes, it is dangerous times. Yes, they will reach out and try to attack symbolic targets. There will be a retaliation for his assassination, but that`s, unfortunately, part of terror. Terrorism is theater.
PINSKY: Well, so, again, I`m trying to think about my own family and people at home with families. What do we do? What should we expect?
ROBINSON: I think the thing that`s important for Americans to do is not celebrate this as much as remain vigilant. Societies that remain vigilant and work on resiliency can sustain this type of an event. You see terrorist acts in the past and in Europe. For decades, we`ve seen horrible events that happen in natural disasters. Americans can be very resilient about this.
They don`t have to live their live in fear, but we must accept the fact that part of human condition is this terrorist group, and they`re trying to marginalize it to the edges, but it still has reach, and it will still act. And we simply have to continue to try to change the idea. You can`t kill an idea. You can only change it.
PINSKY: And how do we do that? I`m trying to answer that, again, for people at home watching that aren`t military personnel and just trying to live our lives like normal Americans. What can we do?
ROBINSON: I think one of the most important things we do as a country is change some of our policies. One of the most important ones is we must liberate women around the world. Because anywhere where you have women treated as property, anywhere where women don`t have any say in their reproductive rights, you have terrorist recruitment and retention at a very high level, and you have a lot of hopelessness. Wherever you find hopelessness, you find willing recruits.
So, one of the biggest things we can do is simply educate, liberate, help women find their way in a society in the 21st century. The other thing we must do is we must separate ourselves from religious hate. We must separate ourselves from demonizing a religion over the acts of these individuals who fail themselves in the religion of Islam. They are not representative of Islam. They have failed themselves in that for their own ideology, wanting to take people back to the 12th century.
PINSKY: Excuse me, Rachel, let me go back to you. Do you fear retaliation?
UCHITEL: Honestly, I don`t fear it. I expect it. You know, I think something from September 11th is that we didn`t have sort of the creativity to even come up with the idea that they did, to take over our airplanes, and, you know, basically attack ourselves. And so, I, you know, I worry that we still are not, you know, using our minds as much and logic to think how they might think and come after us, but I do expect a retaliation.
PINSKY: I certainly think we`re all more vigilant than we`ve ever been. And I hope that in our jubilance, we don`t let go of our vigilance. And let`s take to be (ph) and celebrate this. I think it`s a good thing, but we`ve got to redouble our efforts. We have to remember, as Ken Robinson is pointing out to us, that this is something that is not going away just because of a leader having been eliminated. Rachel, thank you. Fran, thank you. Ken, thank you so much for joining me here. It`s been an excellent panel.
Up next, HLN`s Jane Velez-Mitchell, she is at ground zero, and she`s going to join me with her thoughts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I think we can all agree, this is a good day for America. Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done. The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
PINSKY (voice-over): Hunted for nearly a decade, U.S. forces target and take out Osama Bin Laden. Can our nation finally begin to heal?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Hey, Dr. Drew. We`ve got a great show tonight. We`ll talk about the terrific work the navy S.E.A.L.S did in finding and killing Bin Laden. Also, whether travel will be safer or less safe now that al Qaeda`s leader is out of the picture. Tune in.
PINSKY (on-camera): And now, Jane Velez-Mitchell, she is the host of HLN`s "Issues." She is at ground zero. Jane, what have people there told you about why they`re flocking to the site?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST OF HLN`S "ISSUES": Well, it`s a sense of optimism and patriotism, Dr. Drew. It`s like America got its mojo back, and take a look at this. I bought this for a couple of bucks. They`re selling like hot cakes here at ground zero. People flocking. I talked to one woman who got the word last night in Pennsylvania and drove here without sleeping with her daughter to be part of this celebration. Another woman, the woman who was selling these flags, found out last night and came straight down to ground zero.
So, people are really celebrating. I think there`s a sense of depression lifted. To put it in program terms, Dr. Drew, they say resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We have been walking around with a resentment against Bin Laden and al Qaeda for ten years. And as a result, we have been in a very depressed state. We have been filled with resentment, and it has been poisonous to us.
This has been the terrible decade, a decade of terrorism and war and a recession that rivaled the great depression. And now, I feel a psychic shift. I think we are going to have a major turning point here as a nation, and this opens a new chapter, and it`s going to be a lot brighter. You can almost feel it here at ground zero. The air is electric.
PINSKY: And Jane, you`re kind of a New Yorker, aren`t you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Born and raised.
PINSKY: Yes. And how do you personally feel about this? I`m embarrassed, I must tell you, that I feel good about this. It seems like a very primitive kind of a feeling, but I have to admit, I feel good about it. Do you? And what are your personal feelings about this?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And I shared your ambivalence. I felt really euphoric when I got the news last night. And there was almost a sense of one never wants to celebrate any death, but this man has been put in that dubious club of Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini. He was, by general acknowledgement in the west, evil, and therefore, there was a sense that justice is done. And a cloud has been lifted from us.
And I did feel ambivalent because I don`t believe in celebrating death at all. I believe in peaceful, nonviolence, but we are confronted with somebody who believed in violence, who carried it out and who continued to threaten us on a daily basis and impact our lives any time you go to the airport. You are reminded of Bin Laden. And now, we`re released from that.
PINSKY: Thank you, Jane. I agree with you. And we`ll be watching you down there.
And I want to sort of share with my viewers. When I hear the stories about 9/11 and when I think back to that time, I`m afraid I`m actually going to spill my coffee, because I get so -- I get so angry I almost can`t contain myself. It`s a feeling of helplessness and rage, and I know it`s primitive, and I -- but I -- I hear about the loss and the suffering. We have to do something, and we have done something.
We`ve shown that we are competent, we do it professionally, and we will continue to do it. We have to let our jubilance remain, transfer our jubilance to vigilance. Thank you for watching. We will see you tomorrow.