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Hannity

Taking Action Against the Yale Taliban

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 4, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Outraged family members of 9/11 victims are still awaiting an explanation from Yale University President Richard Levin as to why the university has enrolled this former Taliban official as a student at the college.

Joining us now, Katherine Bailey, who lost her husband on United Flight 175 when it hit the World Trade Center tower, and her sister, Margaret Pothier, whose daughter graduated from Yale last year.

I welcome you both. And of course, our hearts are with you and your loss — your family loss.

And I got to tell you something. You know, Katherine, I've been supportive of him being there — we can debate that — but I understand you should have a better explanation from the school. The president, as I understand it, in fact, I think he sent it to you Margaret, what, a 144-word canned statement. Right?

MARGARET POTHIER, SISTER LOST HUSBAND ON 9/11: That's correct, Alan. He did.

COLMES: What did he say?

POTHIER: Basically said, thank you for your reply. The State Department let Mr. Hashemi into the country, which I would say parenthetically did not compel Yale University in any way to take him on as a student. And it was mush, really it was mush. It meant nothing. It was twaddle.

COLMES: Yes. You know, his detractors have been all over the media. I've invited Mr. President Levin on. I've invited Rahmatullah on. Katherine, they don't want to seem to want come front and forward and defend themselves. I wish they would, but so far they haven't.

You deserve a better explanation as to why he's there, even though I support him being there. But you ought to have an explanation.

KATHERINE BAILEY, LOST HUSBAND ON 9/11: Oh, I absolutely believe we need an explanation. I am so amazed that Yale would bring in a member of the Taliban, given the fact that the Taliban, among other things, harbored Al Qaeda, supported Usama bin Laden in his efforts, and as a result of that, murdered nearly 3,000 people on 9/11.

I find this a disgrace, and I find this arrogant. And I find these people totally out of touch.

COLMES: Well, Margaret, I'd rather see him in Yale than in a madrasa someplace, but isn't there also an issue with the Homeland Security Department, which allowed him into the country and felt it was OK that he be here?

POTHIER: There's no question about that. And where that F-1 visa came from is still a matter of great concern to me, Alan. And don't think I'm not going to pursue that. Because someone allowed this to happen, and it shouldn't have happened. This man is an enemy of our country. Make no mistake about it.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: First of all, Alan would like to see him at Yale. I'd like to see him in jail. He was an apologist for one of the most brutal regimes in modern history, an apologist for bin Laden. And the fact that Yale is doing this, Katherine, is an insult.

You lost your husband. I can't imagine what that was like on 9/11.

BAILEY: Well, obviously, it was devastating. It was devastating for all of us. And it was devastating for the country, but particularly for those who had a personal loss.

HANNITY: Yes.

BAILEY: And I find the response of the Yale group insensitive and uncaring.

HANNITY: I thought liberals used to care about human rights, about women's rights. Look at the brutal treatment of women under the Taliban.

BAILEY: That's right.

HANNITY: Look what happened to women that sought medical attention or sought to go to work or to school or even do something as simple as put nail polish on. It's inexcusable to me how liberals can make excuses for this. Margaret, you agree with that, I'm sure?

POTHIER: I agree entirely. And as I said in one of my letters to President Levin, the admissions committee and he seem to be devoid of knowledge about the Taliban and what they stood for. I would also say, Sean, where is the women's movement on this?

HANNITY: Yes.

POTHIER: I've dealt with many women in this country who are making an effort to reach out to the Afghan women who were so poorly treated under the Taliban, in the burkas, could not leave the house without a male escort, certainly no nail polish, no educational opportunities, none. And here's a man now at Yale.

HANNITY: Yes.

POTHIER: And let me say that Yale is a venerable institution with a superb legacy. It is not Yale that I'm talking about.

HANNITY: It is...

POTHIER: It is the individuals who allowed this to happen.

HANNITY: All right. Now, you've written the president of Yale. You've gotten a form letter back. You've pledged not to contribute to them anymore. What else can you do, and what else do you want other people to do regarding this matter? Because he's still there. And they're going to decide whether or not he gets to go full-time. My inclination is they probably will allow it. What do you want people to do?

POTHIER: I would agree with you, Sean, and that's a private institution. And I fully respect their right to do whatever they want with their private institution.

However, I would say I would like to see a major donor come forward, because money is at the bottom of all of it.

HANNITY: It's a great point.

POTHIER: If a major donor came forward and said, "I stand up for my country."

HANNITY: Good for you. Good point.

POTHIER: I will not support this, there would be a change, a sea change, very quickly.

COLMES: Thank you both. I would like to encourage President Levin to come on with me and get his side out so we can understand what the thinking is.

I thank you both very much for being with us tonight.

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