This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from September 25, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to those international responsibilities, including specifically revealing all nuclear-related activities.
NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (via translator): If by December there is not and in depth change by the Iranian leaders, sanctions will have to be taken.
GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Confronted by the serial deception of many years, the international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: Well, there you have the three leaders this morning as they revealed that Iran has been concealing a nuclear facility, and their statements about it. Let's bring in our panel, Jeff Birnbaum, managing editor digital of The Washington Times, Juan Williams, news analyst for National Public Radio, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Before we get into the details of the deception, gentlemen, I thought it was interesting the contrast among the three leaders here and their statements. What did you make of it, Charles?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, you get the leader of the British saying we have to draw a line in the sand, Sarkozy saying there is a deadline in December, we got to act, and our president says, "I feel a growing concern that perhaps these guys are not adhering to international agreements."
Look, the president stance on this has been fatuous since day one. Look what happened yesterday at the Security Council. He introduced a resolution at the council in which they declared a goal of abolishing all nukes forever without naming any countries. And Sarkozy is at the meeting, who said to Obama publicly in the meeting, "We live in the real world, not the virtual world," and he said that President Obama says we want to live in a world without nuclear weapons. Sarkozy then said "Yet, as we speak, there are two nations that are doing the exact opposite." The French are serious about this and the British are as well. But we have the power, and it looks as if we are postponing, as we are in Afghanistan, making a tough decision on this.
JUAN WILLIAMS, NEWS ANALYST, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: We should postpone in making a tough decision.
We have done here is to build an international alliance and we've done so successfully. Today's conference, when you saw the British and the French come together, was at the prompting of President Obama.
This facility in Iraq has been known about since the Bush administration according to senior U.S. officials. Nobody is disputing that. And so what you see was people were waiting, in the language we read about, waiting for a slam dunk, waiting for them to get to the point where it was obvious. Iran has revealed the existence of this site to the IAEA just recently, in the last week or so. But this is totally duplicitous. They are clearly across the line. And what you see in terms of Brown saying you can't wait, and Sarkozy — Sarkozy saying you can't wait and Brown saying there is a line in the sand, it seems to me is the language of people who are finally stepping up to the plate. The United States has been at the forefront and always been positioned by Iran as the bad guy, the evil hard hand here. The part that really amused me about today's press conference, Jim, was that Ahmadinejad immediately said that Sarkozy, Brown, they're just not important.
ANGLE: Jeff, if I can, let's hear what Ahmadinejad said about the various statements from the three leaders today. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT, (via translator): It seems to me that that what was a really big mistake. Now, when the IAEA report finally comes out, I'm sure they'll definitely feel sorry about their move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: It doesn't sound that apologetic about this, or even embarrassed that they were called out on this.
JEFF BIRNBAUM, MANAGING EDITOR DIGITAL, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": That he was caught. He was caught.
And I think that the United States deserves a lot of credit for setting this up just the way it did, just a specter of the three world leaders standing up there, saying — I guess there are nuanced differences about how they said it — they all said Iran, we have caught you. You must change or else. Now, the "or else" is not exactly clear, but it was timed so perfectly that next Wednesday is when they're going to be meeting, they and others will be meeting with Iran. Iran will be called on the table. If Iran doesn't act, then something else will happen. And what I thought was notable about President Obama's statements at the press conference you showed and the one later at his news conference is that he did not take military action off the table. So there is Israel, in the background, perhaps ready to act if diplomacy and sanctions fail.
KRAUTHAMMER: You look at that Iranian response. It's contemptuous. Yes he is called out, and laughs it off, because he knows that all of this is charade. For three years he has watched how the United States and others have done absolutely nothing.
And with Obama, in particular, you're right. What we saw was a spectacle. But this isn't spectacle. This is the real world. This is guy who is going to have nukes. Spectacle or not, the show doesn't matter. This was a trump card. If we had this for three years, you play it today and you announce on the day that this is a violation so clear and so obvious that it's intended to be a nuclear weapons program, that we will impose sanctions on such and such a day or else, and not say airily well, we're going to engage and see what happens.
WILLIAMS: Give him a chance to talk. And one quick thing here is you saw the Russian President Medvedev said today this a clear violation. What a tremendous step now to get the Russians.
BIRNBAUM: And the Chinese.
KRAUTHAMMER: But they have been saying that about Iran and Korea all the time, and they do nothing. You imagine that a statement of condemnation means nothing.
WILLIAMS: I do. Medvedev has never gone to the point of saying this was a clear violation. He has always been in the camp of saying allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear capabilities. They say it's for peaceful reasons. We have no reason to suspect otherwise.
Here he is suddenly saying it is a clear violation. That's a change, Charles.
KRAUTHAMMER: That's a word, not an action.
BIRNBAUM: The action is being set up so that there is a world consensus behind whatever action is about to be taken. That is exactly what President Obama said he wanted, and he has set it up in a very methodical way.
KRAUTHAMMER: We have had a world consensus on Iran for three years, and Iran has been developing its nuclear weapons unmolested with contempt for the world reaction.
Unless there is action, and there is no evidence of any action whatsoever, this is a farce.
Alleged political indoctrination in U.S. schools, uncovered terrorist plots, and defiant dictators. We got a packed Friday lightning round, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHILDREN: President Obama Barack Hussein Obama, he said that all must lend a hand to make this country strong again. Mmm, mmm, mm! Barack Hussein Obama. He said we must be clear today, equal work means equal pay. Mmm, mmm, mm!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: OK, we're back with our panel. There are schoolchildren in New Jersey chanting the president's name in little diddies and then, as you heard, at the end going mmm mmm mmm. Charles, there is something a little odd about this. In other places this might be referred to as the cult of the personality.
KRAUTHAMMER: I found it rather charming. The tape I want to see is of the White House staff singing that every morning, and why not? After all, if you heard Obama at the U.N., the theme of his speech to the General Assembly is I am the redeemer. I come to cleanse America of its sins. Why should he not be worshiped?
ANGLE: Juan, what do you make of this?
WILLIAMS: As I understand it, the explanation is this was part of a black history month exercise, and the kids were also doing things to celebrate Valentine's Day, Groundhog's Day, and the like. But this is over the line. You can't have this. This is the president of the United States. We don't have kings and idols here. We have presidents, and they are democratically elected, they are real human beings. And you do not want to create the impression of indoctrination for children. So this is clearly wrong. It is very different, I might add, Jim, than what took place couple of weeks when people were upset about the president standing up at the start of school and speaking to school children. I think that was totally legitimate.
ANGLE: It would be very odd, even if you can imagine the most popular of American presidents, past presidents, it would just be odd for any president.
BIRNBAUM: It is really un-American, basically, to worship a president. It's perfectly OK to worship a president, I mean, the office of the presidency, and certainly it is an excellent idea to be patriotic.
But a number of people are so excited to have gotten their candidate into the White House that they've confused patriotism with the person, and that has got to stop.
WILLIAMS: When I was a little boy, though, we used to have Abe Lincoln celebrations and people would dress up like Abe Lincoln and I remember George Washington chopping down the cherry tree. But Mr. Obama would have to be in the past tense.
ANGLE: All right, let's look at another issue here. Law enforcement has thwarted four plots around the country just in the last week or so, the most bizarre and most recent was to blow up a 60-story skyscraper in downtown Dallas with a car bomb in the garage, much like what happened in Oklahoma City — Charles?
KRAUTHAMMER: This is stage two of Al Qaeda's attack on the U.S. It tried with outside agents on 9/11, 19 of them. It succeeded. We responded extremely successfully, and we are hardened, hard to get in. Al Qaeda out there is scattered.
Stage two is using Americans or illegal immigrants, people who get in and out easily and who are hidden sleepers. And that's going to be really difficult and dangerous. And this is a herald of that new stage.
ANGLE: It also suggests, Juan, that law enforcement is on top of these things, since they were able to penetrate these plots. It also suggests that some of the things done under the Patriot Act and other actions are actually working.
WILLIAMS: And you'll notice that the Obama administration is this week on Capitol Hill pretty much saying, well, maybe we should just reauthorize that Patriot Act to the great angst of liberals around the country who think is this the guy we elected? How can that be?
BIRNBAUM: I feel a tremendous amount of relief that we're able to all across the country find these people who are about to try to blow us up, and then I also feel very anxious that there are all these people trying to blow us up.
If these are the ones that we found, just guess how many other sleeper cells there are elsewhere, and it makes for a very insecure security that we have.
ANGLE: Yes, it is simultaneously disturbing and reassuring that it didn't happen.
Now, Muammar Gadhafi, we talked about a few minutes ago, goes to the U.N., supposed to do a the 15-minute speech, and talks for 90 minutes, comes out looking like and sounding like he has been on a two-week bender, and gives this lengthy speech that is so long that his interpreter wears out in the middle of it and shouts out in Arabic "I can't take anymore!"
KRAUTHAMMER: I'm imagining where the interpreter is now, in a sanatorium in recovery with a thorazine spray trying to calm him.
Listening to it, and I watched a lot of it, it was utterly hilarious. The interpreter — there were these long stretches where Gadhafi would speak, and the guy was so either incredulous or uncomprehending that there was silence. It was uninterpretable in any language. Then he would give out a word or two and then he would give up. This will supply us with a month's worth of kickers at the end of the show.
ANGLE: You will see one of them today — Juan?
WILLIAMS: It's not the time. I mean, all these world leaders go over time. But it's the fact that he seemed so unhinged. The swine flu thing, I mean, you know, the paranoid conspiracies, and the man is a world leader. It really makes you take a step back.
ANGLE: He might have to sleep in a bed instead of on the ground in a tent, and so that maybe threw him off. What do you think, Jeff?
BIRNBAUM: I think that he has been around camels way too much and for too long, and that he's the world's longest running ruler of any country.
So if you have spent 40 years in which nobody can say no to you, I guess that you would give a speech like this. I just can't even imagine. I can't even get through an hour in which someone doesn't tell me no, basically. But that's what this guy had.
KRAUTHAMMER: In Libya, I think the schoolchildren at the beginning of the day chant Muammar Gadhafi, our leader, mmm, mmm, mmm.
KRAUTHAMMER: We got to get the interpreter to put it into Arabic.
WILLIAMS: Charles, you're in charge of leading the group!
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