This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 2, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: America's hunt for Usama bin Laden which lasted nearly 10 years came to an end last night at this compound just 35 miles outside of Islamabad, Pakistan.
Now, there the al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind was shot in the head after a team of brave U.S. Navy SEALs raided this compound. And earlier today, American military officials aboard the USS Vinson buried his body at sea.
Now, this was a momentous day for America but there is no question that this event has special meaning for the families of bin Laden's many, many victims -- from the innocent men and women who perished in the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the 17 American servicemen brutally murdered aboard the USS Cole to the thousands of civilians slaughtered by al Qaeda in New York City, Washington, D.C. and a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
And joining me now with reaction to the death of the world's most wanted terrorist, this former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani with its so much to rally, New York City in the wake of 9/11 attacks. Mr. Mayor, it's a great day for the country.
FORMER MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: It is, it really is a great day for America and there's a sense of vindication and a sense of satisfaction that is very hard to describe.
HANNITY: It really is. I mean --
GIULIANI: This s a man who deserved to die. You can't say that about too many people. But this is a man who really deserved to die. And even though it doesn't bring our loved ones back, there is a sense of fulfillment that justice has been done.
HANNITY: I think one of the greatest things in all of this is, you know, and President Bush said this, and you said this, we will find you, we will hunt you down, we will never give up and we will get you eventually.
GIULIANI: Right. And I think you know, sometimes when it takes this long, you understand it better, it reminds me of these murderers that sometimes take 20 and 30 years and police officers don't give up or catching the Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice.
HANNITY: Right. Well, one of the things that's come up in all of this is the whole issue of intelligence. And we debated rendition, we debated interrogation techniques and by all indications, what we know now, and there's going to be a lot more coming out in the days to come, so we don't have the full picture yet, is that, that this guy, they were able to track this guy down because he was a protégé of KSM, they had a nickname for him back in 2007. Then they got his real name, and because he was a courier that bin Laden trusted and intelligence is what did this.
GIULIANI: Well, intelligence is the key to keeping us safe. I mean, that's the thing that has been improved tremendously since September 11. I mean, that is the area in which this country is safer because our intelligence techniques are much better. And unfortunately, you do need these intensive interrogation techniques to get information out of some of these people.
GIULIANI: And the information isn't all accurate but a lot of it is and we can't give that up. And the other thing that we can't have happen -- you know, I had a mixed feeling about the elation last night, you know, the celebrations in Washington and celebrations in New York. I can understand the emotion and I sort of appreciated the fact that people haven't forgotten. But I thought this is not the time yet to celebrate. We're still in the middle of this. We have it one -- this is not like winning the second World War.
HANNITY: And I don't know that we will ever get to the point. Are we able going to get to the point where.
HANNITY: You think that we have won the war on terror?
GIULIANI: We'll going to defeat ultimately Islamic extremist terrorism.
GIULIANI: And this will be one of the milestones on the way to it. We can't discount what a big symbol he was. And what a tremendous rally in cry he was. And you take somebody like that out, this is like taking out a Hitler or Stalin. And Zawahiri, it's not him, and we're going to probably catch pretty darn soon.
HANNITY: Well, I would hope so. What is interesting about this and I know George Bush, President Bush 43 spent the better part of his presidency looking for him and trying to find him. If it turns out that in fact it was, you know, enhanced interrogation techniques or rendition either in Poland or Romania was something that I've heard -- all right, so if it was interrogation techniques because we always had the means to get bin Laden.
HANNITY: In other words, we knew where he was.
HANNITY: But we needed the intelligence to confirm that. Does this now bring this debate back to the forefront? And by the way, and I give President Obama a lot of credit here. Because I thought it was a gutsy choice.
GIULIANI: It was.
HANNITY: A gutsy choice, not to drop a 2,000-pound bomb but to send these guys in, so we can confirm that it's him.
GIULIANI: When you consider everything that could have gone wrong and how President Obama would look today if it did, it took a lot of courage to do that and I do admire that. And I think it was a good day the last two days for both President Obama and President Bush. Because I think President Bush set in motion all of the things that led to this. And then President Obama picked up on it and carried it out. And I give both of them a tremendous amount of credit for this.
HANNITY: And I do too. And this is a good day for this country and we're going to talk to Todd Beamer's dad who's going to be on the program. And Debra Burlingame is going to be on the program tonight. And General Tommy Franks is on tonight.
But as I look at this, would President Obama not now realize that without the intelligence, he wouldn't have had the ability to make this decision, I would hope that it might change his mind.
GIULIANI: Maybe it will. And the reality is he also at that very last minute when he's made the decision had to know that intelligence is 50/50. I mean, you never know.
HANNITY: You never know.
GIULIANI: They were going in there to get Usama bin Laden but who knows if it wasn't somebody that just looked like him or was like him. The better your intelligence, the more accurate your decision making and the safer we are. And the reality is, and I was glad to hear the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say this. This is not the end, we are in the middle of this, and we can't let down our guard. We shouldn't be leaving Afghanistan as a result of this. We shouldn't be leaving Iraq, we should remain there to get the job done.
HANNITY: I agree but this is where I find myself a little conflicted here because this is almost the opposite of what candidate Obama said he would do. And maybe for the first time he's grown in office.
GIULIANI: He did say one thing as a candidate, I remember because I was running --
HANNITY: About going into Pakistan.
GIULIANI: About going into Pakistan, Afghanistan, putting emphasis on that. So, he did carry that out. And look, a lot of the techniques that the Bush administration used, they are continuing to use.
GIULIANI: Maybe they are not acknowledging it but they're continuing to use it.