Fox News
October 09, 2012

The return of Al Qaeda

Guests: Bob Woodward, author

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 9, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": Now ever since Usama Bin Laden's death, President Obama and his liberal allies, they have been out there spiking the football and downplaying the threat that Al Qaeda and Islamic extremists still pose.

But on this program, we are going to give you the very plain, the very simple truth. The terrorist threat, in my view is far more dangerous than ever before. Don't just take our word for it.

CBS foreign correspondent, Lara Logan, is now sounding the alarm. Last week, the veteran Middle East reporter slammed the Obama administration and said it is, quote, "a major lie that the Taliban has been weakened."

And when speaking about the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and two Navy seals and one other American, she did not mince words either. Logan said that she hopes the president will quote, "let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it."

A point I've made a number of times. Joining me with the reaction, the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Price of Politics," Bob Woodward. You know, the president sent a message to Al Qaeda, Bob. This is what he said. It's short, but let me play it for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Today, Al Qaeda's on its heels and Osama Bin Laden is no more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Is that a good thing to say?

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR: Well, it's true, Osama Bin Laden is dead, but to say Al Qaeda is back on its heels is just not a wise thing for the leader to say because that is an aggravation to Al Qaeda.

You know, they still are planning things. Now, I think it is true they are on their heels, but they're still very dangerous. It is an incredibly dangerous world. You have Lara Logan, who's an on-the-ground reporter --

HANNITY: A good one.

WOODWARD: Yes, and a very determined one. Saying, this is what I see, danger. Now, go if go to the intelligence professionals who play a key role in putting Al Qaeda on its heels, when they hear the president say something like that, they gasp because that is an incentive for Al Qaeda.

We have done some spectacular things in the intelligence gathering world. So we know lots of things that are going on. We have disruption tactics. And when the president says something like that, you know, it -- the people who actually do it in the National Security Agency or the CIA are going to say, we've a source or we've a bug someplace.

And the people who really know that business come in each morning with their fingers crossed, hoping they have not lost that source because those sources go away overnight.

And so to stir that pot, the best thing to do in the intelligence is to sit back and say, we're doing our job. We're still worried. The professionals are still worried and, yes, they got bin Laden

HANNITY: You know I joked with you the last time you are on the program and I said any president who sits down with you has to be out of his mind. I meant it as a compliment because you are relentless.

You really expose in your book how detached the president is, as it relates to the budget deal and the deficit. He has a lack of relationships. You're best known for Watergate.

Here we have a situation in Benghazi, which is a known hot bed for terrorist training. We have an ambassador writing in his diary that he felt his life was in jeopardy. We now know that he requested additional security and it was denied.

We know that the Libyan president said it was a terror attack from the very beginning. The White House went out there with this line that this was spontaneous with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. It had nothing to do with America and the anniversary of 9/11.

It was all based on a movie trailer. All of these stories unraveling. I would think, as a reporter, I'm not a reporter, you are known to be a great reporter. This would be a gold mine. Why are your colleagues in the media ignoring it?

WOODWARD: Well, actually, some very strong stories have been done -- in my newspaper The Washington Post -- they have. There is more to be done. Clearly there is a disconnect and -- I just want to correct one thing about what I say in the book about Obama.

I don't say he was totally detached. I say he was not attached enough. He did not make the effort to take this problem of fiscal cliff and the financial house in order, over the finish line.

And so we are in the mess we are because there was not sufficient leadership on his part and also on the part of the Republicans --

HANNITY: Can I ask you – I'm not trying to interrupt you. But I believe that they purposefully lied. The evidence seems incontrovertible to me.

WOODWARD: I haven't seen – there's not evidence of that. For 40 years, I have covered it too many of these things, where sometimes there is a cover up, sometimes there are people lying, at all kinds of levels.

You have to get in there and get the details. But I do agree with you that this should be examined in depth by somebody neutral in the media -- the congressional committee should be looking at this.

I mean, this is why we have the intelligence committees in the House and the Senate. This is made for them to examine. They should.

HANNITY: All right, first of all, congratulations again on the book and --

WOODWARD: Thank you.

HANNITY: Another New York Times bestseller. Appreciate you being with us. Bob Woodward, thank you.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

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