J. Kelly McCann, CEO of Crucible Security

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 26, 2001.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, the president talking tough, and so is this next guy. Do you remember this guy? It was when our Rick Leventhal was training with what you might call a finishing school for the U.S. special ops forces. That guy is J. Kelly McCann, as tough a guy as any opponent could meet. I'm delighted he's not here in the studio, in fact, because he frankly scares me.

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But this guy is the real McCoy, a former top Marine, who says that it's time to get tough and get real. Mr. McCann, good to have you.


CAVUTO: Let me raise a couple of quick issues with you. John McCain wrote an interesting column in The Wall Street Journal today, effectively saying we're not being tough enough, that our tentative military strikes, our willingness to try desperately to seek a coalition among the Middle Eastern nations sends a message that, you know, we're good people, but we're almost too good. What do you make of that?

MCCANN: I agree. I think that there's three battlefields, Afghanistan, the global one that would be waged like a Cold War, and then the one here at home, which has really not been addressed effectively yet. I think you need to prosecute all of them simultaneously to off balance and destabilize. And I think there's a little bit of time lost right now between State and DOD, you know, doing their respective roles correctly. But we're losing momentum. Weather's coming. It's time to move, something.

CAVUTO: All right now. Obviously, the action is in the ground forces there. We don't know exactly how many we've got there. But we know now they're seeking out, trying to find Taliban leaders, and maybe even Usama bin Laden himself. Gut call, do you think we'll ever find bin Laden?

MCCANN: I've been very cautious to vilify bin Laden alone, because there are other major players that are very rarely mentioned, Mumias, Zawahiri. These fellows are also part of the problem.

The chance of finding one man amidst that kind of haystack — and I've said it before, he may be dead — we may never be able to verify that he's dead. He could live on as a legend forever.

So attacking the network makes a lot more sense.

CAVUTO: You know very well about morale, both for those in the service and those outside the service, looking for morale. If we never get this guy, Kelly, would that be a net negative?

MCCANN: It would not a net negative if the gain is we crush the network. In other words, what we're trying to prevent is further actions against us as Americans, both here domestically and abroad. So if we're able to lever the global campaign, and the effect, the net is that we avoid some serious injuries to Americans, we win.

If we, however, sit and spin, and expend a lot of time, money and energy, and lose morale trying to do something that's very, very difficult, we might.

CAVUTO: All right. You advise a lot of corporations, CEOs, that sort of thing. How so?

MCCANN: Well, basically, previously, we were always called in to as kind of really expertise to take a look at existing security systems and make sure that those CEOs were spending their money correctly, or smartly, if you will.

We just went over to the Middle East where an American employee was killed. They brought us in to do basic security and vulnerability assessments, and then also to help them understand better how to, as expatriates, be safe overseas.

Since 9/11, we've been called in to do a lot of other things. Usual security, pre-9/11, is usually staffed by former law enforcement officers whose body of knowledge is developed from either crime intervention — as it's occurring, someone goes there because they bring a police officer there — or post-crime investigation. Suddenly, we have to develop an expertise that will allow people to see patterns of behavior that are consistent with being considered for target value. And that's not been in the common body of knowledge found in security companies before 9/11.

In our case, it's a little bit different, because we do a lot of international operations, and that's always been our expertise.

So there has to be a shift. I'll give you one analogy. A security guard that goes around and has to punch a clock. The exact thing that you don't want to do is be predictable or anything like that. Because you're trying to manage a poorly trained and almost illiterate guard force, and make sure they're out on the job, you create a vulnerability to an attacker, because he can establish a pattern.

So a lot of these firms have got to totally rethinking the way they do business, and the answer, by the way, is not high technology. It's changing corporate behavior.

CAVUTO: But you know, it's funny, I talk to a lot of these CEOs all the time, Kelly, and one of them related something interesting to me a couple of days ago. He said, "Neil, I have a bullseye on me when I travel abroad, so I'm not going to travel as much."

These are recognizable financial chieftains of the United States who are leery of traveling precisely because of some of these issues you raise. What do you tell them?

MCCANN: (A) We protect some of those gentleman. (B) The other thing is that they've got to understand the net effect on their bottom line — and remember, I'm a business man as well — is to not travel and to have that lower profile and show your work force that you're exercising that kind of caution is not leading from the front.

You can't lead from behind. So if you're going to say, go back to work, you know, everything is safe, we're doing all right, then you've got to demonstrate that through proper leadership.

CAVUTO: Well, they're going back to work, but in the United States. You know what I'm saying?

So I'm wondering how you can assure some of your clients that, look, you travel to some of these risky areas, we've got you covered.

MCCANN: How we handle that is basically we'll go in, we'll do an advance. We'll basically facilitate so that he doesn't encounter a lot of the administrative things he might. Unpredictability, make sure routes change frequently. Time of departure, change frequently.

Unpredictability is an attacker's enemy. So if they — itinerary control, things like that, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Kelly, thank you very much. And again, I'm glad you're there and I'm here. Appreciate it.

MCCANN: Thanks so much.

CAVUTO: Kelly McCann.

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