terminal output

if i do the terminal command ls -l (i think) it gives me all the file permissions. how do load only the file permissions into a variable?

Either parse the result in subsequent AppleScript commands:

set listing to do shell script "ls -l"
set thelines to (paragraphs of listing)
repeat with eachline in thelines
	set word1 to first word of eachline
end repeat

Or pipe the ls output into another shell command that will do it for you:

do shell script "ls -l | awk '{print $1}'"