This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 28, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes."
In a Yale University classroom, it's not uncommon to be seated next to a high school valedictorian, a presidential merit scholar, or a young musical prodigy. Few students would expect to be seated next to a former Taliban official.
One member of the freshman class, 27-year-old Sayyid Rahmatullah Hashemi, served as a diplomat for the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Today, he studies political science among America's best and brightest.
Joining us now is Wall Street Journal's John Fund, who recently wrote a column about Hashemi.
It's interesting, John, it's OK to — it's not OK, I guess, to some people to have a former Taliban official at Yale, but it's OK to sell our ports to a company that's only one of three countries to recognize the Taliban, right?
JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Look, Mr. Rahmatullah visited me and the other Wall Street Journal editors a few months before 9/11 at our offices right across from the World Trade Center. It was a meeting I'll never forget, because I really felt I was in the presence of evil.
And Mr. Rahmatullah basically was apologizing for his government. He was saying the government was justified in destroying archeological treasures, for brutalizing women, keeping them downtrodden, harboring Usama bin Laden as a terrorist.
I have to tell you, this is a man who is a high official in the government that harbored the terrorists that murdered 3,000 Americans. I don't easily forget that, and I don't think we should presume he's telling the truth, no matter what he says now.
COLMES: What did you say to him back then?
FUND: We were dumbstruck that someone who was so cultured and so fluent in English would possibly say these things with such passion and conviction. He really believed what he said.
COLMES: You know, it's amazing. We are detaining people at Gitmo, allegedly, according to our own Justice Department, many of whom have nothing to do with 9/11, and yet this guy is sitting at Yale. How do you explain that?
FUND: You know, there are thousands of people in your audience, Alan, who have bright kids who probably would love to go to Yale. There are many Afghan women who were brutalized and downtrodden by the Taliban in Afghanistan who probably would love to transfer to go to Yale. Instead, we put this guy at the head of the line?
I'm not saying he should go to jail. I'm saying we shouldn't reward him with a perch at Yale.
HANNITY: John, it's a great piece. I really was shocked and stunned, as I've now been able to read more about this guy. Tell us about that day when you walked him out of the Wall Street Journal and that editorial meeting you were a part of.
FUND: Well, we were stunned that this fellow was apologizing for what is effectively a fascist, misogynistic government. But we walked out, we were polite. And then he stopped at a window. And he stopped, and he wouldn't leave. He kept looking up and looking up at the World Trade Center.
And we chatted for a minute. And I don't recall specifically what he said, but I did recall that incident a few months later, when I was standing, covered with dust and debris, having barely escaped with my life, staring at the hole where 3,000 Americans had died and the towers had collapsed.
HANNITY: Now, I want to talk about — and you mention this in the piece, a Salon.com author, Carina Chocano, I think, is her proper pronunciation?
HANNITY: And she talks about and quotes this guy when he responded. She apparently appeared, you write, at a number of speeches that he had given. And in one particular case, the woman chastised him for the treatment of the Taliban of women. And his response was, "Well, you've imprisoned women. It's an honor. Let me tell you something. I'm really sorry for your husband. He might have a very difficult time with you."
FUND: Yes. Now...
HANNITY: And I want to know why a college university would embrace this man. Why is Yale embracing him?
Look, Mr. Rahmatullah explained to The New York Times that he might have been a little softer, perhaps, if he had to do it over again in his speeches for the Taliban, a little bit, he said. I'm sorry. He was apologizing for a fascist regime.
He now says he was associated with the Taliban. I know he's lying, because his business card said he was the deputy foreign secretary for the Taliban. That's not being associated with the dictatorship — that's being part of it.
HANNITY: I want to know though — you got to see him up close and personal, John Fund. I want to know whether the president of Yale will meet with you and listen to what he said, talk to this woman who listened to his speeches, listen to the apologies that he made for this horrendous government, and why they will not take a moral stand of courage and throw him out of that school, because that's what ought to happen here?
FUND: Look, I am astonished that there are two groups of people who don't want to talk about this, Yale University and the State Department. The State Department granted him the student visa, and Yale University admitted him in front of everyone else who's deserving of a place there.
COLMES: All right, John, thank you for being with us tonight.
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