The things they said

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The Independent Online

"The entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated in a terrorist attack." Kay Burley, Sky News presenter

"The entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated in a terrorist attack"
Kay Burley, Sky News presenter

"We calculated the number of casualties who could be killed. I was the most optimistic due to my experience in this field"
Osama bin Laden, captured on a video found in Afghanistan

"I know we are going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it"
Thomas Burnett, a passenger on the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania on 11 September

"This is worse than Pearl Harbor - we don't know for sure who the enemy is"
Lewis Eisenberg, chairman, New York port authority, which ran the World Trade Centre

"This will be a monumental struggle between good and evil. But good will prevail"
George Bush US President

"I order you to obey your commanders, and not to run hither and thither."
Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's leader, ordering troops to resist the US, whatever the consequences

"People should go about their daily lives to do the things that people did before 11 September"
Tony Blair Prime Minister

"While we will try to find every snake in the swamp, the strategy is to drain the swamp"
Paul Wolfowitz,US deputy defence secretary

"The prison regime is good for a writer"
Mary Archer on Jeffrey's life in jail

"You're just like that shrivelled old hag, Lady Thatcher"
Kenneth Clarke puts Iain Duncan Smith at his ease on television

"I passed a local cinema and it turned out that you were expecting me after all. The billboards read, 'The Mummy Returns'"
Lady Thatcher to a Tory rally in Plymouth

"A small, balding ex-communist, Celtic-supporting Catholic Unionist. Therefore everyone seems to hate me"
Dr John Reid, Northern Ireland secretary

"When the day of judgement comes and God asks me to give an account of my life, I can offer him 50 million words"
Tony Benn on keeping a diary

"It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors' expenses?"
Jo Moore: memo from the special adviserto Stephen Byers, Transport Secretary, sent an hour after the attack on the World Trade Centre

"I've always been able to lie with conviction"
Max Clifford, professional publicist

"There are only six stories in the world, and those stories are in the Bible and the soaps"
The Rev John Saxbee,Bishop of Lincoln

"I am Al Gore and I used to be the next president of the United States"
Al Gore,the former Vice-President addressing students in Milan

"I was elected by a bunch of fat, stupid, ugly old ladies who watch soap operas, play bingo, read tabloids and do not know about the metric system"
Tom Alciere, Republican, after his election to the New Hampshire legislature

"Studied carefully, anthrax is less serious than a cold"
Fidel Castro in the wake of the US anthrax scare

"The Cold War is over. The world has become much more complicated"
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia

"I was speaking and he was looking at one of the walls, admiring the frescoes. He was not listening to me"
The Pope on Bill Clinton's official visit to Rome

"Don't repeat the terrible mistakes of 1938. Don't try to placate the Arabs at our expense"
Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister tries to discourage US support for a Palestinian state

"I consider this tribunal a false tribunal and the indictment a false indictment"
Slobodan Milosevic, former Serbian president, on trial in The Hague

"Because you have little minds, you cannot get what you expect"
Arap Moi,Kenya's president addresses a conference of East African women

"We tried to raise money from the market. To put it bluntly, we failed"
Stelios Haji-Ioannou after bailing out his EasyEverything internet café chain

"It is more important to be right than quick"
Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, warning against over-hasty reactions to the downturn

"It was as if some virus induced hallucinations in which the values of stocks in certain sectors became decoupled from the values of the businesses that underlay them"
Warren Buffett, on the stocks

"I've done the best I can and the salary is my salary"
Lord George Simpson, former chief executive of Marconi

"I had to be careful out there because of my father's condition. I was afraid his heart might explode"
Goran Ivanisevicon the pressure of winning the Wimbledon singles title

"At times like this football, and sport generally, doesn't seem to matter that much any more"
Ryan Giggs,of Manchester United, after Champions' League games were postponed in the wake of 11 September

"We struggled, we suffered. In the last minute Beckham hit his marvellous free kick and the tickets for the World Cup were ready"
Sven Goran Eriksson,England's football coach, on the injury-time free kick against Greece

"This must not happen again. People should not be allowed to behave like this"
Nasser Hussain,England cricket captain, on the Indian authorities, following the row over the Test match referee Mike Denness

"I'm going to wait until there's enough spare skin to make a handbag and matching gloves"
Pam Ferris, actor, on the Hollywood trend for having plastic surgery

"This is the stuff our childhood fantasies come from - courtliness, civility and honour"
Steven Spielberg, US director,on getting a British knighthood

"I tell audiences how they can distinguish me from Muslim terrorists. They have bigger moustaches than I do"
Shazia Mirza, Muslim stand-up comic

"I am like a garden. My brain has been mulched and manured, things have grown and I am more complicated"
Jonathan Miller,polymath, on growing old

"It's very slow. My favourite position is called The Plumber. You stay in all day and nobody comes"
Sir John Mortimer,the 78-year-old author, on the joys ofTantric sex

"Everyone's doing it - record executives, bankers, milkmen. I thought, 'This is very uncool', so I stopped"
Sir Paul McCartney on giving up cocaine

"Melvyn Bragg is to the arts what those parasitic birds are to the rhino - irritating but ultimately not significant"
Sir John Drummond,former controller of BBC Radio 3

"I want my ashes fed to my cat. That way, I will live forever inside him when I die"
Drew Barrymore, actress

"The hippies wanted peace and love. We wanted Ferraris, blondes and switchblades"
Alice cooper,rock musician

"America is one long conspiracy to make you feel happy"
John Updike, US author