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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Controversial comments from John Brennan's past are now raising concerns about his commitment to the country's national security. Now back in 2009, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA who currently serves as the White House's top counter-terror advisor refused to admit that we are even fighting a war on terrorism. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEB. 12, 2010)
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA NOMINEE: We are not wage ago war against terrorism because terrorism is about a tactic that will never be defeated any more than the tactic of war will. Rather, such thinking is a recipe for endless conflicts. We are not at war against terror because terror is a state of mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Good grief. That's not all. Just a few months later, he said this about Jihad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CSIS, AUG. 6, 2009)
BRENNAN: Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against Jihadist. Describing terrorists in this way using a legitimate term, Jihad, this means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle to a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: So with these comments and more will the Senate really confirm a CIA director that calls Jihad a legitimate tenet of Islam?
Joining me now with some answers, Senator James Risch and Senator Mike Lee. Gentlemen, welcome to the program.
Senator Mike Lee, Jihad a legitimate tenet of Islam. We're not fighting a war on terrorism? He's going to be our next CIA director?
SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE MEMBER: These are hardly mainstream beliefs Sean, and hardly something that we would come to expect of our nation's top intelligence officer. And so, this is a very significant concern and with good reason.
HANNITY: All right. What do you think, Senator Risch?
SEN. JAMES RISCH, R-IDAHO, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, you know, it's a little philosophical for me, I'd rather see somebody who was actually interested in killing terrorists and keep him out of America and out of our way.
HANNITY: All right. We now have I guess, the new Obama Miranda rights, which are, you know, you have the right to remain silent anything you say can be used against you and oh, Obama has the right to kill you.
Let's go back and look at Brennan on water-boarding and compared it to where we now stand with this new memo on using drones to kill American citizens. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: We all have seen how our fight against terrorists sometimes led us to stray from our ideals as a nation. Tactics such as waterboarding were not in keeping with our values as Americans. And these practices have been rightly terminated and should not and will not happen again. I believe President Obama is absolutely correct, such practices not only fail to advance our counterterrorism efforts, they actually set back our efforts. They're a recruitment bonanza for terrorists, increase the determination of our enemies, and decrease the willingness of other nations to cooperate with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Would it be, Senator Lee, would it be a recruitment bonanza for terrorists and an increase in the determination of our enemies, if you use drone strikes and kill people?
LEE: Yes. That's the great irony of this all this, is on the one hand, you have this administration sending the signal, oh, no, water boarding can't happen, and then at the same time we're told, by the way, the U.S. government reserves the right to kill an American citizen based on a finding that they present an imminent threat to American National Security. And oh, by the way, we're' reinventing, redefining the term imminent so that it means something other than an imminent threat.
HANNITY: Well, they don't define what imminent is, they don't define what recently is, so it's indiscriminant, they can basically decide and manipulate it any way they want. Senator Risch, what the White House is saying that these drone strikes against American citizens without any real criteria is legal, ethical and wise, but not water boarding which by the way we only used against three people.
RISCH: Well, you know, Sean, we're at the incipient stages of a new way of fighting war. They're going to be fought by using drones and as a result of that, legal questions come up. I think probably everyone gets very squeamish when you talk about somebody in the executive branch being able to put United States citizen on a kill list.
Having said that, sitting on the intelligence committee, we do review most of the strikes. So far, they've been accurate. They've done a good job at it. But having said that, I just can't fathom what would happen if a Republican president had done what the Obama administration has done as far as the drone program is concerned.
HANNITY: I mean, that's a good point. I mean, Senator Lee, I mean, here Obama with no real criteria is going to be the judge, juror and executioner and he's going to allow for the assassination of American citizens, there's no other term, we can't assassinate foreign leaders but these are the same people that complained bitterly and eviscerated George W. Bush.
Now, my conclusion, Senator, is that all of these Democrats not only owe Bush an apology, but they have politicized war. I'm not against drone strikes, but we've got to have a criteria. I'm not against enhanced interrogations, they're the ones that are inconsistent here. Your reaction.
LEE: Yes. Well, you're exactly right, if the Fifth Amendment's due process clause means anything, it ought to mean that before the U.S. government can snuff out the life of an American citizen, there ought to be some definable standard against which that citizen is judged and against, which that citizen will be determined to be an imminent threat against the U.S. government.
But this is a standard-less determination as it's been laid out by this memorandum, that's been leaked from the Department of Justice and it's very troubling. And to add insult to injury to that, Sean, we have a situation in which the Department of Justice won't give us full access to their full legal analysis. So we don't really know what the standard is, but what little we know about the standard suggests that it's no real meaningful standard at all.
HANNITY: All right. Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us, I appreciate your insight.
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