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President Bush's Air National Guard Duty Under Scrutiny

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Sept. 10, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: First, our top story tonight. Documents used by CBS News are coming under heavy scrutiny tonight, with some people claiming that "60 Minutes" may have been the victim of a hoax.

The memos in question were allegedly written by Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian and appear to indicate that George W. Bush did not meet some of his Air National Guard requirements. But Colonel Killian's widow and her son are questioning the legitimacy of the documents.

Joining us now on the phone, in a HANNITY & COLMES exclusive, is Jerry Killian's, Gary Killian, who also served with his father in the National Guard.

Gary, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it very much.

GARY KILLIAN, SON OF JERRY KILLIAN: You're welcome, Alan. Nice to see you.

COLMES: Let me ask you about — on those documents that we're all talking about, four of them are on the CBS site. Is that your father's signature?

KILLIAN: Well, one of the documents was a close approximation. I mean, it was signed his full name, which if he had signed anything, he would have signed it that way. And it seems similar to his signature.

COLMES: You're not sure it is. But I mean, it could be his signature?

KILLIAN: Could be.

COLMES: Go ahead.

KILLIAN: There were other things with the documents that called the documents into question.

COLMES: Right. Now do you believe that all four documents are fake?

KILLIAN: I believe that, yes.

COLMES: All four of them?

KILLIAN: Right.

COLMES: Even the ones that have his signature just saying that George W. Bush has to report for a physical?

KILLIAN: Even that.

COLMES: Some of his associates, your father's associates — CBS, for example, this evening did a report and quoted a guy who worked with him named Robert Strong.

Do you know who this man is and why he is saying that these documents would represent the thinking of your father at that time?

KILLIAN: I don't know Mr. Strong.

COLMES: And they indicate — CBS has indicated that a number of associates of your father have said, yes, it's not different than what your dad was saying and how he thought?

KILLIAN: I can't — I can't speak to that, because I don't know who these people are. I can certainly name names, other people that worked in the same office that would have had occasion to know how he felt. Obviously, I knew how he felt.

COLMES: Is it your contention also that, in addition to — you think they're all forged or fake, do you think the substance of what they say is inaccurate?

KILLIAN: Absolutely, because that's not at all the way my father felt about then-Lieutenant Bush.

He felt that Bush was an exemplary officer. He conformed to Air Force appearance standards involving, you know, the way he handled himself — uniform, dress, haircut. He was a more than capable pilot, consistently rated in near the top of the squadron.

COLMES: And who do you think if it is — if these are forgeries, who do you think would be behind it?

KILLIAN: Well, you're not the first person to ask me that, but I couldn't begin to speculate.

COLMES: I mean, you must have some idea. Who would have a motive to do that, and do you have any thoughts about that?

KILLIAN: I — I don't. I mean, I honestly have no idea who would — who would have done it. We don't — we, the family, have spoken, and we know these memos didn't come from anybody within our group. And we don't know where the memos actually came from.

COLMES: I don't think CBS's claim that the documents came from your family or people within your group, have they?

KILLIAN: No, I don't think they have. I don't know that they've said where they came from, have they?

COLMES: I don't know that they have. They've not revealed their sources, and we'll get into that debate later tonight, whether they should or should not.

KILLIAN: Right.

COLMES: Did you talk to your father much about George W. Bush? And you served there. Did you know George W. Bush?

KILLIAN: Not on a great many occasions, but we spoke a few times about it. We spoke once over dinner in San Antonio and the subject came up and — because, you know, he was a bit more well known now.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Gary, Sean Hannity here. Thanks for coming on the program. We appreciate you being here.

KILLIAN: You're welcome, Sean.

HANNITY: Your father liked George Bush. Your step mom even went as far as to say that he thought he was an excellent aviator, an excellent person, happy to have served with him, and have him serve under him. Is that true?

KILLIAN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Yes. And now, you told this to a CBS producer for this piece prior to the "60 Minutes" piece airing. Is that correct, sir?

KILLIAN: That's right, Sean. In fact, even gave her other names of folks that he flew with, including his primary instructor and a fellow that he flew with and actually roomed with.

In fact, Sean, as you know, I sent you an e-mail to that effect.

HANNITY: Yes, and "60 Minutes" excluded both you and your step mom, told them specifically about what your father had said to both of you about George W. Bush, the good words you had to say that you relayed to "60 Minutes" about what your father had said about him.

KILLIAN: That's true.

HANNITY: They ignored what you said, correct?

KILLIAN: That's true. And apparently, they ignored testimony from other officers within the unit that knew him and flew with him.

HANNITY: Now, this is — this is an amazing development here, because CBS issued a statement and what they said tonight, they interviewed people familiar with you and your father and had worked with them, and that supported their documents, Gary.

But they interviewed you and your mother, and both of you told them the documents were likely not to have been written by your father and that clearly they ignored that and they ignored what your father directly told both of you about him.

KILLIAN: That's a fact.

HANNITY: That is an amazing development here. Now, what about these other people that you also advised "60 Minutes" that they could — they could go to? They had favorable accounts about your father's service — about George Bush's service?

KILLIAN: The people I spoke to at "60 Minutes?"

HANNITY: Yes, sir.

KILLIAN: OK. I spoke to a Mary Maddox (ph), who works out of their Dallas office.

HANNITY: But in other words, you recommended other people that would have confirmed your father's account, which was George Bush served honorably?

KILLIAN: That's correct.

HANNITY: And they ignored those — they ignored those accounts, as well?

KILLIAN: That's right. I named a couple of other officers specifically. Maurice Eudell, who was Bush's primary instructor and there to basically watch over him as he progressed as a pilot, as well as a — a Major Dean Rome (ph), who was somebody that often flew with Lieutenant Bush. And in fact, they shared an apartment together.

HANNITY: Has Dan Rather called you since this time? Has anybody tried to get corroboration from you since this time?

KILLIAN: No.

HANNITY: And what about your mother or your sister?

KILLIAN: Well, I think they were all contacted by "60 Minutes" prior to the release of the documents. I don't believe that anybody has been contacted or re-contacted since.

HANNITY: Did you see this — Dan Rather's piece tonight?

KILLIAN: No.

HANNITY: All right. But you.

KILLIAN: Sorry to say.

HANNITY: All right, but you've read it here.

Do you think that this was an effort by "60 Minutes" and CBS - now, based on your firsthand knowledge of speaking with this producer, do you think this was an effort that they were trying to engage in to use your father's name to smear George W. Bush?

KILLIAN: Sean, I'd rather just give it the benefit of the doubt and say they didn't do their homework.

HANNITY: Seems that if they didn't include your statement or your mother's statements — your step mom's statements.

KILLIAN: Right.

HANNITY: . and they purposely ignored the people that you knew that would corroborate your father's good feelings for George W. Bush, seems like they were setting up the president, to me.

KILLIAN: Well.

HANNITY: I'm guessing here.

KILLIAN: I guess you can draw that conclusion. I'd rather be generous and say that somebody didn't do their homework.

HANNITY: All right. Well, we appreciate you being with us, Gary.

COLMES: Gary, thanks very much. Appreciate your time tonight. Thank you for coming on.

KILLIAN: Thank you for having me on the show.

COLMES: Thank you very much.

Coming up next, Ben Barnes' daughter is also taking exception to some of the things her father has said about President Bush. I spoke to her. We'll show you that exclusive interview coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: I had a chance to speak exclusively with the daughter of former lieutenant governor Ben Barnes, Amy.

(BEGIN AUDIOTAPE)

HANNITY: Well, you saw the "60 Minutes" piece, I assume.

AMY BARNES, DAUGHTER OF BEN BARNES: Yes, I did.

HANNITY: You said that you thought your dad was an opportunist, who was lying about President Bush's Guards record.

BARNES: Yes. And lying, I don't know if that's just the right word to use. But I think — I think he was definitely using it for his own purposes to further Kerry.

HANNITY: What do you mean by that?

BARNES: Well, I don't — see, he told me in 2000, like I said on the interview yesterday, he told me in 2000 that he did not help Bush get into the National Guard, because I asked him during the election of 2000 when this first came out and he said no.

And then in 2004, just about three months ago, he told me that he did and that he — in fact, he was writing a book and kind of an autobiographical book.

And that's how the book was going to open up, with him walking through the Vietnam memorial and kind of the same thing he said in the "60 Minutes" piece how, with regret and sad that he had the power to — to not send people to Vietnam.

HANNITY: And all this — because, I mean, that is what he's saying now, that he's basically on record saying he's ashamed he got the president into the Texas Air National Guard.

BARNES: Right.

HANNITY: But this is, again, the very thing he denied doing just four years ago, which, once again brings CBS' credibility into play here, which is, you know, why didn't they put out the conflicting statements of him and challenge him?

And frankly, once they saw he changed his position, why did they deem him credible if they didn't just want to do a hit piece on the president?

BARNES: Right.

HANNITY: Now you love your father very much. I mean, we should say that for the record.

BARNES: Oh, yes, I do.

HANNITY: But you see him doing this for a political reason and for a book he's writing?

BARNES: He is — he's a politician. I mean, he is one of the — I think he is one of the greatest politicians ever. And I don't mean that in — in a demeaning way. I mean, that's just what he was born to do. I mean, he's — he's a brilliant politician.

HANNITY: Yes.

BARNES: And I think that, you know, he knew the right time to do things like this, much as, you know, Bill Clinton does and all that, who's another brilliant politician.

HANNITY: Yes. There's a lot of them out there, I guess you could say.

All right. Let me ask you this. You're basically — let me ask — first of all, what has been the reaction of your father to this first interview from yesterday?

BARNES: He's not happy with me. Let's put it mildly.

HANNITY: He called you?

BARNES: Yes. He's — he's not happy at all.

HANNITY: And what did he say when he called you?

BARNES: That, you know, that I shouldn't have done it; I didn't know what — what I had done and that this was going to be a very, you know, very big thing for him. And it was going to be a very bad thing.

HANNITY: Well, let me ask you this. And then I'm going to let you go. I almost feel bad, and I sense the — the pressure you're under. I really do. Because — and I mean this sincerely, Amy. I mean, this is your father.

BARNES: Yes.

HANNITY: You have information that contradicts what he said publicly that could hurt a president of the United States in a very close election.

BARNES: Yes.

HANNITY: And you've gone forward and you've told the truth for no other reason is that you think the truth needs to be told.

BARNES: Right.

HANNITY: And then he's called you and he's mad at you, and this is your dad, whether you have disagreements with him or not.

BARNES: Right.

HANNITY: That's a very tough position to be in.

BARNES: Yes, it is.

HANNITY: Yes. And you — and basically, you just want to say he's contradicted himself, and you'll let everyone else determine whether or not this was a conscious lie.

BARNES: Right. Right. Yes, I mean, really, that's — I don't believe that that's for me to determine. I mean, like you said, I think everyone can, you know, make up their own mind on that. And I wasn't part of the conversation that he had with — in regards to that National Guard. All I can say is what, you know, what he's told me personally.

HANNITY: Yes. But I think the word — what you said yesterday is that he lied.

BARNES: Right.

HANNITY: And I think that — you're just — that word is so stinging and so harsh.

BARNES: Yes.

HANNITY: But if somebody says one thing to you then and now says something completely different and is so politically motivated — and I'm not putting words in your mouth — isn't that really what it is?

BARNES: Yes, that's true.

HANNITY: Yes. But it's hard to say it about your dad.

BARNES: Yes. You're right. It is.

(END AUDIOTAPE)

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