This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, September 19, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome to the Fox News Channel's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks on America. We start here ground zero. Rick Leventhal is standing by.
Rick, last couple of days, Sean and I were down close to where you are. Has anything changed as of today?
RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Well, no good news coming out of here, no survivors found in the last 7 1/2 days and little hope, at this point, that any will be found in the days ahead. Many of the searchers are now wearing "recovery" badges, which means they are focused on finding bodies and body parts.
We can show you building number seven behind me, which collapsed Tuesday evening, and it is still smoking. They're still putting water on that and on other areas of the World Trade Center towers collapse.
At this point, 233 dead have been recovered, 170 of them identified. Officially, 5,422 are missing, including 311 firefighters, 23 police officers with the NYPD and 37 Port Authority police officers.
They are continuing their search through the rubble, continuing to hope to find survivors -- still officially a search and rescue and recovery operation. And they have found some voids in the rubble in there, some areas, pockets where, theoretically, people might survive. But apparently, the heat in there is just so intense that they don't think that anyone could have survived if they were trapped in there. And indeed, all they are finding at this point are bodies and body parts, not just here but also at the landfill, where they are bringing the rubble and debris. There they are going through the debris with rakes and with machinery and by hand, and they have found some 1,200 body parts at that location, as well.
They have now removed some 60,000 tons of debris from this location in roughly 4,500 truckloads. But that leaves about 1.2 million tons of wreckage still to remove, and much of it very difficult to remove because it's in the form of large steel beams that have to be cut through with torches before the pieces can be pulled out.
Once this is designated solely a recovery effort, they will be able to move the debris much more quickly with the large cranes that you can see on site here. That hasn't happened yet. We expect that that designation will come in the next few days.
COLMES: Thank you very much, Rick.
You know, President Bush will address a joint session of Congress and the nation tomorrow might. What will the president say?
Joining us now from Washington is former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Speaker, before we get to that question, there is a piece of breaking news. Jim Angle's reporting that a senior official with knowledge of what the U.S. does and does not know says there is nothing to firm -- nothing firm to suggest that any state can be identified as sponsoring the kind of terrorism we saw on September 11th. They will not identify -- or there's nothing to link any particular state, at this point.
What does that tell us? It may -- this is going to be more difficult than we thought?
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, let me say, first of all, I think it tells us that they're asking the wrong question. If we get involved in a criminal justice process of trying to track down a secret organization whose members are clearly prepared to die, and then trying to follow all the trails to get a jury-quality evidence that proves that somebody did something, we'll never get anywhere.
It is an objective fact that some countries have been maintaining camps for terrorism. It is an objective fact that some countries have been aiding and supporting terrorism. It's an objective fact that terrorists have had headquarters in a variety of countries. And it's an objective fact that some countries have been providing money and other countries have been laundering that money for terrorism.
Now, if we want to go after the structure of international terrorism, we have over 10 years of evidence already sitting in our intelligence files and we know pretty well who those countries are. They are Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iran, to some extent. We know that some of the money, a good bit of the money for the Taliban and for bin Laden's organization comes out of Saudi Arabia. We know that it is laundered through a number of banks, and we know those countries.
I mean, I think it is exactly wrong to try to get to some kind of judicial discovery of, you know, how we're going to track down this incident. There was a terrorist bombing of an American ship in Yemen.
There was a terrorist bombing of barracks in Saudi Arabia. There were terrorists bombings of American embassies in Africa. I think we can find, as a general pattern, where the terrorists are from, what they are doing, and that's why it's important to deal with this as a war, not as a criminal justice problem.
In war, reasonable intelligence is good enough. In the criminal justice system, you have to have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Those are two totally different standards, and I think if the administration is seriously asking for a criminal justice standard a nd is trying to go after only the perpetrators -- which, by the way, is the opposite of what the president said, opposite of what the secretary of state and secretary of defense has said -- they have said, we're going after terrorism in its international form. We're not merely going after the perpetrators of September 11th.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Well, the president also said, Mr. Speaker -- by the way, welcome back to the program -- that he would make no distinction between the that are involved in committing these acts of terrorism and those that harbor these terrorists and assist them in any way, shape, matter or form. You mentioned a number of countries. I was writing them down -- Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya, to some extent Iran. Does that mean potentially we go to war with all of these states, that they're potential targets, all of them?
GINGRICH: Well, I think that it means that we -- we have to make a real decision as a country, which we've not really made yet. We've been in a state of shock. We've been in a state of anger. We've used very strong words, but the question is, do we really mean those words?
HANNITY: What's the answer to that? And how massive could that be? I mean...
GINGRICH: First of all, you don't -- you don't have to be stupid about it. You don't have to go out and say, "Let's send Americans to every one of those countries." You know that there are millions of Afghans who dislike the Taliban. Two million of them are refugees right now...
GINGRICH: ... in Pakistan. You know that there are many Iraqis who hate Saddam Hussein, who's been a ruthless, brutal dictator.
GINGRICH: You know Sudan has been in a civil war for 20 years. There are a number of places where American power, working with the people of a country to liberate it from its dictatorship, could, in a matter of months, change the entire scene internationally.
HANNITY: Well, and...
GINGRICH: That's a starting point.
HANNITY: And I -- and I agree with that. And right now, the administration is about coalition building, not only with our NATO allies, but they have nations like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan coming on board. We're even reading reports that Iran potentially could be offering some type of logistical support in a military effort, of all things. But I mean, there's a lot of countries here. Those that -- if there is no distinction and we have the evidence that they've been harboring or supporting or offering financial assistance to these terrorist groups, then they should be a target.
GINGRICH: Look, in the Second World War, when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, we ended up fighting Italy, Japan and Germany simultaneously. We didn't say let's pick two out of three or one out of three. We ended up fighting all three simultaneously because that was the objective situation.
GINGRICH: Now, I don't want us to use American troops anywhere that we can find local allies who will get the job done. I don't want us to necessarily change any government that's willing to change its behavior. So I think you have today to Syria, for example -- they currently house 10 terrorist groups in Damascus. Well, we would like them to not house those terrorist groups.
Syria is approaching us about joining the coalition. There are two simple tests. Kick out the 10 groups that are currently housed in Damascus and help people clean up the Hezbollah terrorists who are in southern Lebanon. And in fact, at that point, Syria's a perfectly good candidate. Iran is sending a lot of very positive signals. We ought to encourage those positive signals. Iraq, by contrast, is sending negative signals. Sudan is sending very confused signals. I think the Sudanese government is very frightened because it knows it's very weak.
The Taliban thinks that they're so isolated from the world that they can stand up to us. I think, frankly, there are an awful lot of people in -- those two million refugees in those camps in northern Pakistan -- there are an awful lot of young men who'd like to liberate their country.
COLMES: All right, we are going to take a quick break right there. Stay with us. More with Speaker Gingrich as our coverage continues right after this break. Stay with us on HANNITY & COLMES.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll do what we need to do to achieve the first objective of a long campaign. And the first objective is to bring -- is to bring people to justice who we feel like committed this particular set of atrocities and to hold the organization accountable and to hold those who harbor them accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES -- welcome back to Fox News Channel's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks on the United States. We continue with the former Speaker of the House. Newt Gingrich is with us tonight.
Mr. Speaker, you know, war veterans -- when the mujahideen was battling the former Soviet Union, they had enormous difficulties, in large part because of the difficult terrain, Afghanistan's mountains. They have predicted -- one particular Afghan war veteran with the ex-Soviet Union said if America gets into a battle such as this, they'll be fighting a war unlike any they've ever experienced.
GINGRICH: Look, in 1915, a British general surrendered to the Ottoman Turks at Qat (ph), which is in Iraq. That battle had no resemblance to the battle that was fought 76 years later in exactly the same neighborhood by the American Army. I would urge the American military to look at a combination of the transformational technologies that Secretary Rumsfeld and President Bush have been talking about, with local Afghan warriors.
As I said a little while ago, when you have two million refugees from Afghanistan, you know the Taliban has a lot of enemies.
GINGRICH: And I suspect -- there's a civil war already going on in the northern part of Afghanistan, and my guess is that American precision weapons working with Afghan infantry trained and paid for by the United States...
GINGRICH: ... would, in fact, eliminate the Taliban in a matter of a year or so.
HANNITY: And certainly, our support of mujahideen, the Stinger missiles back at the time, certainly was helpful in their effort against the former Soviet Union.
GINGRICH: Oh, it was decisive. I don't think anyone believes...
HANNITY: It was decisive. Absolutely.
GINGRICH: ... that they could have defeated the -- but this is a different setting from two standpoints. We're not trying to oppress the people of Afghanistan. If anything, I would argue that it is the Taliban, which is relentlessly hostile to women, which is a remarkably reactionary regime...
HANNITY: Yeah, but we're going to have Pat Buchanan on here, and he's going to argue, "Well, is this America's fight?" And I -- and we'll -- we'll ask you that question in a second.
But I got to ask you a political question. The president's going to address a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. What does he need to tell the American people? Because I'm getting the feeling from you and my instincts are telling me this is not going to be over in a short period of time. This will be a protracted affair. There will be loss of U.S. military life -- lives will be lost. What should he tell the American people? What should he prepare them for?
GINGRICH: I think the president should just calmly, in his straightforward, practical way, tell them the truth. The truth is, we could get hit again and we probably will. The truth is, we have mortal
enemies who hate our way of life, who hate us. They are not Muslims. They are not Arabs. They are individuals who are fanatics, who represent a particular willingness to kill anybody who gets in their way. The truth is, getting rid of them is a complicated, hard job that will take a long time.
Remember, in the Second World War, from December the 7th, 1941, when we were surprised at Pearl Harbor, we did not win a single victory until June the 4th, at the battle of Midway. For six solid months, the American people got bad news. But we knew we were in a war.
Well, my point would be, you know, if thousands of Americans dying in New York and Washington, dying with American airlines used as flying bombs -- if that doesn't convince you we're in a war, what is it going to take? And if we're in a war, our job, as Americans, is to rally behind the commander-in-chief, launch a campaign plan to win, and then do whatever it takes.
COLMES: Mr. Gingrich, you know, the president has said that al-Qaeda, the -- I guess that's Usama bin Laden's group, which is really spread out, is in more than 60 countries. And sure, if -- even if we could go in and get the Taliban in a short period of time, we have aide-ranging network, so that when you talk about a war -- and if we are really going to go after not just those cells but any country that harbors them -- I don't know how one can accomplish that, given how widespread this is and the number of countries involved.
GINGRICH: Alan, if there are people who hate us, who just proved they're willing to kill 5,000 Americans, who are in 60 countries, and we don't go get them, they're going to come to one country, the United States. This is not -- this is not a war of aggression. We didn't go looking for this fight. But you know right there -- you've been down and looked at the site. You know in your home city that we had almost -- we had 5,000 people, most of them but not all of them Americans, killed by these very people.
Now, my point's simple. If we don't root them out, they're going to come back. And they are going to get smarter, and this is going to be a small incident. This is not the worst thing they could do.
COLMES: I agree with you. I agree that it needed to be rooted. I just -- you -- when we talk about countries that harbor them, that gives the image of going to war with 60 countries.
COLMES: And I...
GINGRICH: Most of those countries...
COLMES: I want to be very clear about this.
GINGRICH: Yeah. Most of those countries don't harbor them. There's a difference. If you say, look, there are cells in the United States, we're certainly not harboring them. There may be cells in Germany. They're certainly not harboring them. My guess is, of those 60 countries, probably 55 or 57 are going to be eager to coordinate intelligence and coordinate police activities and hunt these people down.
Now, the other three are the ones I'm talking about. It's a very small list. Most of them, I believe, will cave if they think we're serious. I don't think Sudan's going to fight us. I don't think Syria's going to stand up to us. I think Iraq may because Saddam Hussein clearly is an irrational, dangerous person, but the average Iraqi doesn't like Saddam Hussein. That's why he has a secret police. I think the Taliban may, but I don't believe the average Afghan has any interest in being in a fight with the United States. And I think that Iran increasingly sees itself being on the side of civilization against the Taliban, which is, frankly, a threat to the Iranian government.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, always good to see you. Thank you for your insight. Appreciate you being with us.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
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