Sign in to comment!

Hannity

Rep. Murtha Turns Up the Heat in the Battle Over Iraq

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 17, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: First, our top story. The battle over Iraq in our nation's capital turned up another notch today. Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania has now called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, saying that they can not accomplish anything else militarily.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I believe and I have concluded the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress. Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Joining us now is the host of "Morning in America," FOX News contributor, Bill Bennett, and also former supreme allied commander of NATO, also a FOX News contributor, General Wesley Clark, is with us.

You know, General, I've got to tell you something, I have had it with members of your party undermining our troops, undermining our commander-in- chief while we are at war, calling the commander-in-chief a liar, saying that he hyped, saying that he misled. They have done all of this without any evidence or proof.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think there's a lot of proof out there, Sean.

HANNITY: No there's — you're calling the...

CLARK: And I'll be happy to talk about all of that.

HANNITY: You want to call the — wait a minute.

CLARK: ...on this show.

HANNITY: You want to call the president a liar?

CLARK: I want to stop all the name-calling.

HANNITY: You want to call him a liar?

CLARK: ...by you and everybody else, Sean. I think it's time to get down to facts on this. I think there's been quite enough name-calling done.

HANNITY: Well, do — you calling the president a liar?

CLARK: I told you. Let's get to the facts. Let's stop the labeling, stop the adjectives, stop the guilt by association and go to the facts. Here are the facts. Saddam Hussein was not part of what happened to this country on 9/11. Fact number two. Saddam Hussein did not have nuclear weapons. And Dick Cheney and the administration made a strong case that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 and that Saddam was about to get a nuclear weapon. Now, that's the hype. That was.

HANNITY: And so did John Kerry, and so did Hillary Clinton, and so did Bill Clinton.

CLARK: I don't think any of those people.

HANNITY: Hey, wait a second, let me finish a sentence, General, please.

CLARK: ...made that case.

HANNITY: You also said you probably would have voted for the resolution yourself.

CLARK: Not that resolution.

HANNITY: But I am going to tell, I want to join me.

CLARK: Just a minute, no, no, let's get out...

HANNITY: You sat right here. I have the quote right here: "On balance, I would have voted for it."

CLARK: No, that's not the right quote.

HANNITY: Boston Globe, 9/19, 2003.

CLARK: It is the resolution that Carl Levin submitted, that's a resolution that said that he could go to the United Nations and come back to the Congress and get permission. In fact.

HANNITY: That's not what you're quoted in the paper as saying.

CLARK: Well, there's a lot of quotes in the paper. Let me just tell you what I testified. I said, don't give George Bush a blank check. We knew George Bush was going to want to go to war, regardless of what the U.N. did.

HANNITY: Let me be honest, I want to ask you a question.

CLARK: So I want to get past the name-calling and let's get to the evidence in front of the American people.

HANNITY: The problem, sir, and I'm going to be as respectful as I can — the name-calling and the attacks against the president and commander- in-chief, the call of him being called a liar is coming from members of your party. But I want you to join me tonight.

CLARK: I don't think anybody — I didn't hear anybody call him a liar.

HANNITY: General, let me finish, please. I want you join me tonight, I want the Republicans to go into Washington tomorrow and I want you to call on the Democrats and Republicans, let's have an up or down vote right now. Do the Republicans and Democrats — put them on record, do they agree with John Murtha or not? Do they want a withdrawal or not? With all we know now, let's put these senators and congressmen on notice tonight and let's get them on the record. Will you join me in calling for that?

CLARK: Sean, you've done a great job as a broadcaster. But I'll tell you something, I think the American people are tired of partisanship. What they want is leadership and some statesmanship.

HANNITY: Will you join me tonight? I want a vote.

CLARK: They don't want partisanship, they want the facts. And here are the facts. This country went to a war it didn't have to fight. And now we're there.

HANNITY: Tell that to Hillary and John Kerry, who you voted for.

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK: We went to a war we didn't have to fight. We went there because the intelligence was cherry-picked and given to the Congress, and the American people were fed hyped-up information.

ALAN COLMES, HOST: General Clark and Dr. Bennett, it's Alan, good to have you both back on the show. Dr. Bennett, let me go to you at this point. I keep hearing from the administration Democrats saw the same intelligence. It's absolutely untrue. Senator after senator says it's not true. It's not the same intel. They also relied on intel from the Iraqi National Congress and Ahmed Chalabi, it turned out to be a fraud.

Lawmakers also didn't see the main document concerning Iraq and WMDs. The October 2002, National Intelligence Estimate, until three days before the vote. It is not accurate to say Democrats had the same intelligence the administration had.

BILL BENNETT, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: They had about as much intelligence as they wanted. We know a lot of them did not take advantage of the opportunities to look at more intelligence. But I saw Senator Feingold the other night. He's not someone I usually quote, but he said he went over to the Pentagon. He went to the CIA. He went several times. He investigated the evidence. He decided not to support the war.

Many, many more Democrats who saw the intelligence decided to support the war. And what Sean said is absolutely right. If General Clark wants the quotes, here they are. Senator Rockefeller said there's unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.

COLMES: Different intelligence.

BENNETT: Senator John Edwards, we remember Senator John Edwards, used the phrase "an imminent threat." All of the intelligence agencies of the world believed it. If you talk to the secretary of defense in Great Britain, they still are standing by their story about weapons of mass destruction.

COLMES: But when it's different intelligence Dr. Bennett.

BENNETT: So the whole world was agreed on that. But there were many, many good reasons. The question now is, what do we do? And I'll tell you, the Democrats.

COLMES: There was different intelligence. But it's not accurate, it's not fair to compare what the administration knew and what these Democrats said based on different information. For example, the Pentagon created a special unit that created a different pre-war report, one that was not shared with Congress, that alleged that Iraq was in league with al Qaeda. A version of the report briefed to Rumsfeld and top White House officials, disparaged the CIA for finding there was no cooperation between Iraq and al Qaeda.

BENNETT: You're reading of some left wing blog's talking points.

COLMES: That's not a left wing blog. That's Knight-Ridder, that's not a left wing blog.

BENNETT: The same intelligence.

CLARK: Alan, I think the key issue here, if I could just interject.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Let Dr. Bennett finish, General Clark, and then we'll give you a chance to respond.

BENNETT: ...my chance to talk.

COLMES: Go ahead.

BENNETT: In any case, here, Feingold saw the same intelligence and decided to vote against, all the other Democrats saw the intelligence and decided to support the war.

COLMES: It's not the same intelligence, Dr. Bennett, that's the issue.

BENNETT: What's going on now — it's as much — they looked at different intelligence because some of them did their homework and some didn't. But let me point this out. What the Democrats are doing now is very dangerous, just exactly what it is that they want to do? That's the question. Sean put it right. Are they with Murtha or not?

Fred Hiatt, the editor of The Washington Post, put it this way, very well, he said the Democrats smell blood, they think they have Bush on the defensive, and right now he is on the defensive. Are they saying that it is worth it, a political victory, it is worth it to lose Iraq, to pull our troops back to give this victory to Zarqawi. Is that what the Democrats.

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK: Alan, I'll tell you who's with John Murtha, and it's the American public, 57 percent of the American public.

HANNITY: No, they're not.

CLARK: ...in the latest poll say that it's a mistake to be in Iraq. And what you're getting from.

BENNETT: We do not govern by opinion polls. We govern.

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK: I'm glad to hear you say that. And we shouldn't be governing by partisanship the way that this administration wants to do it.

HANNITY: Tell that to your party.

CLARK: I think what we need to do is lay out the facts to the American people. What's missing here is a little bit of leadership and a little bit of statesmanship.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2005 FOX News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.