Bhutto Assassinated

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," December 27, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, "BIG STORY" CO-HOST: NAUERT: We have new reaction tonight on the assassination of one of the world's most influential people, the leader of Pakistan's opposition party, Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister of the country. Just over two months ago, our sister network, Sky News spoke with Bhutto about that first assassination attempt that took place in October and that when she returned to Pakistan from exile. And here's what she had to say about the warnings that her life was still at risk.


BENAZIR BHUTTO, DECEASED FORMER PAKISTAN P.M.: I do not believe that any true Muslim will make an attack on me, because Islam forbids attacks on women, and Muslims know that if they attack a woman, they will burn in hell, so, I don't believe that any true Muslim will make an attack on me.


GIBSON: Haunting stuff. Our next guest helped tried to help broker a peaceful resolution to the state of emergency in Pakistan just last month. Civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson spoke with both, Benazir Bhutto and President Pervez Musharraf then. The reverend and Rainbow-Push Coalition founder is with us now. So, Reverend Jackson, when you spoke to Benazir Bhutto about the situation in Pakistan, about Musharraf's imposition of martial law, and about the dangers she faced, what did she say about any of that?

REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Well, first, let me say, it's a sad day you know, for Pakistan and it's a sad day for people who care around the world. It is a dangerous day for the world and a real blow to democracy. She felt far more threaten by the Musharraf government as she did by Taliban or Al Qaeda. She felt that as she mentioned it, about that Taliban and Al Qaeda was a pretext to clandestine -- to control by fear. So, her focus really was on the government. And when I talked with her, she was determined at that time to proceed with running, because she thought she could not coalesce with Musharraf. He was at that time was in Saudi Arabia and I asked to meet with him to see if he would agree to release the persons who are locked up in mass arrest. He said, he would do that, but within a few days, he did do that, well of course, I was going to meet with him and with her but then when Sharif came from the Saudi Arabia, as I read the paper, Saudi Arabia made made the picture, you know, a bit cloudy. But I think that she felt more threatened by the government as she did by Al Qaeda or the Taliban because of the extremist element.

NAUERT: Why did Bhutto believe that democracy would work in that country at that time?

JACKSON: Well, I mean, she sees it works in India next door, bigger than 100 million people, she believed it will work if given -- if the elections are open, free and fair, she felt democracy would work, but she thought, the general and president was kind of hybrid democracy, and that would not work. And the people in fact are facing arbitrarily a states of emergency where you lock up scholars and, doctors and lawyers and lock up the newspaper. That un-Democratic act threatens it. So, without that kind of action, she felt democracy would work if people could speak, not just the leadership at the top down?

GIBSON: Reverend Jackson, she did an interview with Gail Sheehy that was going to appear in "Parade Magazine" in about a week. What she said was, "I am the person the terrorists fear most." That sounds as though she identified her clear enemy as Al Qaeda's sympathizers, Taliban sympathizers in the army, in the secret service, not Musharraf.

JACKSON: Well, she felt that he had a kinship with them. I mean, whether you believe it or I believe or not, she believes that they got a kind of pass through this administration, that big as the dollars went from America to Pakistan, it didn't go into building Democratic institutions. It went into building a military and its corrupt allies. And so, the day were, just two days ago, we were facing the fact that several (b)illion dollars have been sent to Pakistan, that packages never got to the people. It went to the government and to the military. And so, she feels that democracy would be the biggest threat to the tyranny of the Taliban and al Qaeda. That's what she felt.

NAUERT: Reverend Jackson, just shifting to politics for a second, you're behind Barack Obama. In light of what has happened today, do you still think that Barack Obama is the right person to shepherd our country through the War on Terror?

JACKSON: Well, I think that all the candidates must now show their -- their grit and their true worth of patriotism. He is as capable as in the rest of them on dealing with this issue. Of course, I think what's missed is not just that in my judgment. I think we must not under-estimate the danger (INAUDIBLE) in the cost of Pakistan. In that place, Al Qaeda is in the hills. Taliban is in the hills. The drug trade is coming through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the mountains. They have their nuclear weapons is there. The guy who gave the military nuclear weapons to North Korea and Iran is there. It is a dangerous place, and so, whoever leads must now step-up and show and give American people the sense of confidence that they can lead.

NAUERT: And you're right, a dangerous place indeed. Thank you very much, Reverend Jackson.

JACKSON: Thank you.

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