Is Saudi Arabia our Enemy?

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, June 4, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.

Coming up tonight, could racial profiling have stopped the September 11th attacks before they happened? Some people think so. We'll debate it.

And is there any reason why a priest who's molested a child should be able to keep his job? A new proposal might let that happen. We'll tell you all about it.

First, as the war on terror continues in Afghanistan and talk continues to swirl that Iraq may be the next target, is one of our allies, Saudi Arabia, working to undermine U.S. policy and security?

Joining us now from "U.S. News & World Report" and a Fox News contributor Michael Barone whose recent column is called "Our Enemies: The Saudis."

Want to -- care to elaborate a little bit, Michael, on that? Should they be our enemy?

MICHAEL BARONE, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Well -- well, I think they are effectively acting as our enemies in many important respects. Fifteen of the 19 September 11th hijackers were Saudis. A very large percentage of the detainees at Guantanamo are Saudis.

We know that Usama bin Laden is a Saudi. We know that Saudis provided funding and support for Usama bin Laden's terrorist network. We know they did that before September 11th. We do not know that they have stopped doing that now.

COLMES: You know that an attorney would say that's all circumstantial and, indeed, Usama bin Laden was a defected Saudi, and Adel al-Jubeir, the special assistant to the Saudi ambassador, suggests that, you know, Usama has 60 countries represented in al Qaeda.

He chose the Saudis to help carry out this attack to help drive a wedge between the Saudis and the United States, and this doesn't necessarily represent all those in al Qaeda who hate the United States.

This was a calculated effort to drive a wedge between us.

BARONE: Well, circumstantial evidence is sometimes frowned on in courts of law when you're trying to determine whether you're going to deprive a civilian of his liberty in a civil society.

We rely on circumstantial evidence all the time to make decisions in foreign policy, and particularly when the safety of Americans is at stake, as it is against this war on terror. We are told that Usama bin Laden is a dissident Saudi, that the Saudis disowned him.

We know, however, that he's received lots of money from the Saudis, and the Saudis have not provided us with clear information that those money supplies and flows have stopped. They have resisted, it appears, cooperation with us in the financial war against terrorism.

They are one of the few countries that even refuses to give us the air -- the names of air passengers on the passenger manifest on airlines coming to us. So the spokesman for the Saudi government can spin a line that says that -- you know, that somehow Usama is trying to be bad.

I would remind you also that the Saudis -- the Saudi ambassador in the United States, Prince Bandar, a very able and intelligent person, secured the removal of the bin Laden family entirely. They flew them out on a private jet of the United States within hours of September 11th attacks.

We are told that they're all not connected with Usama bin Laden. We're told. How do we know that's true? Would it have been nice if we had been able to question them and so forth? Have they been made available to us since they have left the United States?

I think those are important questions.


BARONE: I don't think -- I think the evidence appears very strong that the Saudis have not fully cooperated with us, that they have not rolled up the supporters of terrorism in their own country as we would like them to do, that they have not stopped the financial statements, and, of course, they have financed and staged a telethon for suicide bombers and terrorist attacks in the Middle East.

HANNITY: Hey, Michael, let me tell you something.


HANNITY: I -- first of all, it was very courageous of you to print this, and I read this thing, and I said Michael Barone is absolutely right, and there's not enough people out there saying it.

You even say later in your piece it may not be prudent tonight speak the truth out loud that the Saudis are our enemies. Now that's a hard thing to say, but you lay out the case, and this indictment is stinging in this case, Michael.

BARONE: There is...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

BARONE: There's one thing that I think is particularly important. I've talked now about -- heretofore about links of the Saudis to the terrorist attacks and to terrorist organizations.

There's another important thing that they're doing that works very much against American interests and the interests of decent, civilized people everywhere, and that's the promotion of this Wahabist brand of


Unlike most forms of Islam, it prescribes a totalitarian society. It says that the only decent society you can live in is the kind of society that runs by the sorts of rules in Saudi Arabia where there is no freedom of religion, where there is no freedom of speech, where there is no respect for women, where there is the seven non-negotiable demands of human liberty that George W. Bush talked about...

HANNITY: Hey, Michael...

BARONE: ... all of which I think are endorsed in this country by Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives alike. We all agree on these things.


BARONE: None of them is honored in Saudi Arabia, and they are spreading this form of totalitarian religion and hatred in the United States, in Muslim countries, in Asia, in Muslim communities in Europe by financing and subsidizing clerics...

HANNITY: Hey, Mike...

BARONE: ... that are spreading this poison.

HANNITY: Well, we haven't even yet mentioned that they're supporting the families of these homicide bombers, that, you know, they have...


HANNITY: ... state-run media that is as anti-Semitic as any we've ever heard. They would have jacked up the price...

BARONE: And anti-American.

HANNITY: They would have jacked up the price of oil if it weren't for Russia and Mexico, and our gas prices would be through the roof today, and, you know, we're a country -- and I think in many ways saved their monarchy from being destroyed back in 1991 because I think they would have been a target also of Saddam Hussein in the future.

BARONE: Well, the argument that the Saudi regime is our friend, that the Saudis are our friends, has rested on a number of claims in the past. They're anti-communist. Well, that doesn't really matter anymore. The argument has been made that they have provided us with bases on their territory. Indeed, they have, but there's a lot of...

COLMES: Michael, we...


BARONE: ... we're moving our troops out.

COLMES: We're just out of time. I'm sorry. We have to take a break.


COLMES: Thank you very much for being with us.

After the break, are we shackling our cops with racial sensitivity, or should they be trusted to use racial profiling? We'll debate that later.

Is the Catholic church trying to protect some of their corrupt clergy with a new, clever policy? We'll debate that on HANNITY & COLMES.




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