Fox News
April 02, 2014

Too early to rule out terrorism in Fort Hood attack?

Guests: K.T. McFarland, Jonathan Gilliam, Jana Winter

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 2, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We welcome into the studio, our panel is with us tonight, and K.T. McFarland, Fox News military analyst, Jonathan Gilliam, a former FBI special agent and former Navy SEAL, and also with us, Jana Winter, who is a Foxnews.com reporter. Guys, good to see you.

K.T., we've been through this once before. I noticed some of the coverage tonight -- almost immediately, people go, It is not terrorism. And I'm, like -- I'm not saying it is. I'm saying we don't know. Why do people -- there is this obsession, after the last incident, where it was terrorism, to say it's something that it's not. It infuriates me. And the reporting that says at this point, it's not, is too early to tell, isn't it?

K.T. MCFARLAND, FOX NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is way too early to tell. And the people who are making those assumptions and conclusions -- what's the takeaway from that? You turn, "Oh well, I guess it's not terrorism, I'm not going to worry about it." That becomes the narrative, even if later it's found out to be untrue.

We don't know, so we should -- but let's talk about what we do know. We have American men and women coming back from combat, many, many tours. Our service chiefs have warned about this for years. We are not giving them the adequate treatment that they have (ph). They're coming back with massive post-traumatic stress syndrome. They've had suicide attempts...

HANNITY: Well, wait a minute. This is something...

MCFARLAND: ... all this stuff!

HANNITY: I have met many of these men and women that have been overseas fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are some 250,000 of them that are suffering real trauma...

MCFARLAND: Right.

HANNITY: ... from PTSD.

MCFARLAND: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Now, these people are suffering. Are they getting the care that they need? And at the end of the day, are we really turning our backs on these guys?

MCFARLAND: It's one percent of the population, and what have you seen the president do, and this administration...

HANNITY: Well, he went to a fund-raiser tonight.

MCFARLAND: Well, but they're cutting back benefit after benefit after benefit, the benefits that our men and women in uniform have earned. Those are getting cut back. Who's not getting cut back? Civilian employees, bureaucrats. They don't get their pensions cut. They don't get their benefits reduced.

And here we have men and women who go and fight and die and bleed for us, and we don't -- not only do we not take care of them when they come home, but we're looking at them as now," Oh, what's wrong with these people?" We're not providing the mental health issues that they have. You know, the number of people who've contemplated suicide...

HANNITY: Yes.

MCFARLAND: ... veterans who are coming back...

HANNITY: It's frightening.

MCFARLAND: It's something like 50 percent have in the last year thought about suicide!

HANNITY: All right, we're awaiting that news conference at Fort Hood. We are told it should be in about seven minutes from right now. When that happens, we'll bring it to you live.

Jonathan, you know, you think of the special bond. You're a former Navy SEAL. You're a former FBI special agent. There is a bond that is inexplicable, one you cannot explain to people, among military personnel. And this has now happened twice in Fort Hood. It's got to be devastating for this community.

JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI AGENT: It is. And I'll tell you, Sean, going right along with what K.T. was saying -- I'll tell you what's really devastating is the fact that these men and women are charged with carrying weapons overseas. They're charged with taking another person's life in accordance to what our country is fighting for. Yet when they come back, they take those weapons away from them. They don't trust them with those weapons.

I've seen National Guard individuals, soldiers in an airport or doing security after a major event that happened somewhere, and they don't even have any ammunition in their magazines. Why are they not trusted?

HANNITY: Well, there -- that's a great question. Answer your own question. Why do you think that would be?

GILLIAM: Well, I think it goes to the same nonsense as saying that we know that this is not a terrorist or this is a common shooter or a soldier-on- soldier shooting when we don't actually know it. I mean, there has to be more common sense. We need to stop acting like amateurs when it comes to how we deal with the military and these bases.

HANNITY: Look, we're being told certain things about the shooter, but it's really too early to tell. I mean, that's the bottom line. And I don't want to speculate on the program, but I do think that those that have rushed to a conclusion and tell us it is definitively not something -- I think they have done us a disservice.

And I also think, going back to the Hasan incident, is that I think we made a mistake by misidentifying what that incident was about. If it's terrorism, let's call it what it is. It was not an incident of workplace violence. This guy was screaming "Allah-u Akbar" before he was firing those bullets and all of those people killed and injured.

Reaction, Jana?

JANA WINTER, FOXNEWS.COM: Well, first, I was the one who's been reporting all night about the not terrorism-related. To be clear, my information that we reported on FoxNews.com was from an official source who said, currently, this is the preliminary information that we're sending out. So at least my people aren't saying there's nothing relating to terrorism, there never will be. It was the initial, here's what headquarters is saying as it happened.

HANNITY: But isn't it...

WINTER: I think sometime between now and whenever, we'll know a lot more, but...

HANNITY: I certainly am not questioning your reporting in any way, shape, matter or form. I actually was talking about another network specifically. But the reality is, there is this knee-jerk reaction to tell people almost immediately it's not that, when our first instance, I believe, should be to suspect the worst, no? K.T.?

MCFARLAND: I was in New York September 11...

HANNITY: Me, too.

MCFARLAND: ... and every time I hear any -- a squad cars going, my first reaction is that. Any time you hear any kind of -- your first reaction is that. And so the idea that we're all going to be so politically correct that we're not going to jump to any negative conclusions -- we should just have no conclusions and then find out...

HANNITY: One of the things the 9/11 commission report did remind us, that there are a group of people. They are at war with us.

MCFARLAND: Absolutely!

HANNITY: Leading up to 9/11, we were not at war with them. I didn't agree with a lot of the 9/11 commission report, but that part I agreed with. It seems as that distance grows from 9/11, we seem to be forgetting that. And there was an unwillingness early on with the administration -- man-caused disasters...

MCFARLAND: Right.

HANNITY: ... overseas contingency operation, workplace violence in the case of Fort Hood. Seems that there is a reluctance, a mysterious reluctance, resistance to say that this might be terrorism!

GILLIAM: Sean, you go on Twitter after this Malaysian flight, and you see people saying this could have happened. They could have taken the plane and it could have been terrorism. The American public -- we're ready for this. The American public is confident enough, they're mature enough to be told this could be terrorism.

HANNITY: Yes.

GILLIAM: And the only reason I can even fathom is that people don't want to overreact and say it's terrorism because they are afraid that it's going to hurt their career.

HANNITY: Yes, by the way, I'm looking now -- it looks like people are moving over closer to the microphones here. We expect that press conference to take place in about three minutes from right now. You can see a little more activity, at least on the outskirts of that.

Jana, let's talk about what you are reporting and those that are telling you that, in fact, this could have been over a dispute.

WINTER: I think the most important thing right now -- and I -- the last time something happened like this at Fort Hood, I was getting on a plane or landing in Killeen right now or Austin and then a drive. I think when I got on that flight, Nidal Hasan had been killed. This many people -- I mean, the details changed. It's still on lockdown. And I think that...

HANNITY: What are they telling you now?

WINTER: ... we don't really know what is going on.

HANNITY: I think we all agree there's consensus here on that, but you do have sources. And they're telling you?

WINTER: That it looks like it was some sort of personal...

HANNITY: Dispute?

WINTER: Yes. Yes. I mean, there's obviously a large number of people who were injured. So I -- I mean, I'm not going to speculate on what kind of situation that could possibly be. But I think, certainly, there are a lot of questions that are not answered right now.

HANNITY: Let's go to the issue of access to guns on a base. I don't think, as Ted was saying, that every person on a base should have access to a weapon, but certainly, men and women in uniform -- they can't have access to a weapon on a base, but yet we give them that in the field, when they're out there fighting wars for us. Does that seem like that makes sense?

MCFARLAND: Well, it certainly doesn't make sense if you think of what would have happened, for example, if somebody did have a weapon. An authorized person had a weapon, something like this went down, they could have reacted very quickly, and maybe fewer people would have died.

GILLIAM: If people are coming onto a secure base, it's better for them to know this person has a weapon than to just check an ID and let them go through, and they may have a weapon in their car and you never know it.

MCFARLAND: Yes.

GILLIAM: You know, that's -- that's the thing -- a lot of these policies that they come up with, they're just -- they don't make sense. Just like Joe Biden when he said, you know, a woman should take a shotgun and go out and shoot in the air -- not even a month later, a gentleman goes into the Navy Yard and shoots a number of people and kills them with a shotgun.

HANNITY: By the way, if you go to YouTube and you Google women with shotguns, you have one woman after another firing a shotgun and falling back and...

(CROSSTALK)

MCFARLAND: ... recoil.

HANNITY: Right. Meanwhile, if they used an AR-15, there is very little recoil. And I thought that advice by the vice president was just naive. Now, we don't know the answer, but certainly, there's got to be more security on bases like this, and certainly, some type of plan designed, devised so that when an incident like this happens, there's got to be rapid response, right?

WINTER: I can't imagine, just based on the people I spoke with, the witnesses, the civilian and military who responded, who saved the lives of many, many wounded...

HANNITY: All right...

WINTER: They -- I can't imagine that they did not do everything possible. I think that there's no other place that is prepared for this.

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