This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 26, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a patriotic citizen who served two combat tours in Iraq, I feel like this war is simply just not working out anymore and soldiers are dying there every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was a clip from last night's "60 Minutes" in which several active United States soldiers openly expressed their opinion that U.S. troops should come home from Iraq, but the piece came under immediate scrutiny from critics, who claimed that CBS is making too much of the opinions of just a handful of soldiers who comprise one tenth of one percent of all U.S. armed forces worldwide and one percent of all troops serving in Iraq.
As we told you on Friday night Sean is working on a piece about this story for his weekend edition of "Hannity's America". So if you're an active duty soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, you can e-mail us your thoughts about this story at Military Times", shows that more people disagree in the military with the president's handling in Iraq than actually agree with it. So why is it off the mark to represent that as "60 Minutes" did?
OLIVER NORTH, HOST, "WAR STORIES": Well, first of all, I'm not here to attack those who serve or sign petitions or even go on television. I've held Marines in my arms who've died defending their right to do so.
But I do point out to you, Alan, that in eight trips to Iraq and two to Afghanistan, I have now interviewed thousands of troops, many on this show. And not one of them said, even when provoked by you, Alan, not one of them said get out before the job is done.
COLMES: What do you expect them to say?
NORTH: Well, none of them ever said that to you, did they?
COLMES: Why is that the "Army Times" or the "Military Times", as they now call it, 35 percent of the military people polled at the end of last year said they approved of the president's handling; 42 percent said they disapprove. You're generally not going to get rank and file to speak up against their commander in chief.
NORTH: First of all — first of all, you and CBS are misrepresenting what the "Military Times" poll showed.
COLMES: That's exactly what it says.
NORTH: Over 50 percent of those asked said they thought the number of troops in Iraq was appropriate or increasing...
COLMES: That wasn't the question I was talking about.
NORTH: Alan, there are a whole bunch of questions in that and the other poll that CBS lied about the other night. CBS, by the way, has a despicable history of broadcasts that denigrate the U.S. military and make the unusual appear to be the common place. And I give you Lee Li (ph) as the exact example.
COLMES: Colonel North, are you suggesting because CBS does a story on dissent among the troops about a war policy that that somehow dishonors the troops when they are representing at least half and in some cases the majority of how people feel about this war, including those serving in the military?
NORTH: Alan, first of all, in your own introduction you said that they've got about 1,400 petitioners, which is less than one tenth of one percent of all the 1.4 million people now serving in the armed forces.
And there is a long history of this kind of dissent, if you will, in democracies. World War I, in 1917 in Verdun, the French Army mutinied.
In World War II, America first and the German-American Fund (ph), encouraged draft resisters.
In the Korean War, the Socialists International encouraged people to become conscientious objectors.
And of course, your good friend John Kerry is one of the organizers of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. So this is a long history of this.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Colonel, it's Sean here. One of the things that this piece showed, was that they had already drawn their conclusion before they did the piece here. And my experience, having been to Iraq, interviewed the guys, like yours — you've been there a lot more than me — and having guys call my radio show and the e-mails that I get from these guys, is just the opposite in an overwhelming fashion.
So they — this was a hit piece, a propaganda piece. They already drew their conclusion; isn't that the truth?
NORTH: Absolutely. You know, I was watching that piece, and I thought, you know, last Friday was the 62nd anniversary of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. It's a darn good thing there were no petitions on Iwo Jima. Troops fighting words have always wanted to go home. At least they should.
And when CBS represents this as something bigger than it really is, it strikes me that's very disingenuous.
HANNITY: Was it any...
NORTH: One of those guys on that show said he didn't volunteer to carry out missions that are illogical and immoral. And nobody ever asked which missions? What's immoral? In other words, the question never gets asked by Laura Logan or anybody else in the show.
HANNITY: Was it any different from the way they handled the Nicaraguan freedom fighters? Was it any different from the way, you know, when Reagan, the Mujahideen? Was it any different from any other military hit piece they've done over the years?
Because you were there in the middle of all that. And it was almost, like, on a weekly basis, I recall at this time.
NORTH: In fact, Sean, if you look at the list of sponsors in this appeal for redress, the military families who speak out Cindy Sheehan, the Iraq War Vets Against the War, part of the Vets for Peace movement of 1985, aimed directly at Ronald Reagan's advance of American foreign policy.
And if you look at the kinds of people that they've got backing this thing, you know Fenton Communications. It's a public relations firm for a pantheon of left-wing groups.
HANNITY: All right. But now we also have to factor in something else here. And that is the John Kerrys of the world that's calling them terrorists, terrorizing women and children in the dark of night. The Murthas of the world, you know, killing innocent civilians in cold blood.
A no confidence, nonbinding, meaningless, superfluous resolution that has been debated for weeks. And effort to defund the war in a stealth fashion, because they don't have the courage to deal with the constitutional authority and have a straight up or down vote on defunding it.
This has got to — considering this has gone on for years, this has had to have an impact on the morale of troops. And I've got to put some of the blame squarely on the people in Congress that won't give them the support, that won't back them up, that don't believe that they can win.
How big a factor has that been on their psyche?
NORTH: Well, look it — there's always been political dissent in every war we've ever fought. I mean, it's in the American Revolution. The problem has been that the media has been force feeding this, simply by the self-censorship of not putting out any good news and focusing only on the negative.
And it gives ammunition to the Murthas, the Dick Durbins, the John Kerrys of the world to do what they're doing in Congress right now.
COLMES: By the way, one of the soldiers last night said he's not a liberal, not a member of any liberal group. Most of the people he served with are not liberals. This is not a liberal-conservative thing. That's exactly what was said last night.
NORTH: Alan, if you look at the people who are backing this organization, the sponsors of it and the organization behind it doing its public relations, how you can say it's anything but liberal.
COLMES: Look at the soldiers who responded, look at the soldiers who responded to the military poll we were just talking about.
HANNITY: Only one of 140,000, Colonel. One of 140,000. This was a hit piece.
COLMES: What about the Military Times poll? It's not a hit piece if you're going to actually represent most people in the military.
HANNITY: The network that forges documents, go ahead.
NORTH: Alan, let "60 Minutes" do a story on Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall, an Army helicopter pilot awarded the Medal of Honor.
COLMES: Maybe they will and maybe they should. But that's a different issue.
NORTH: ... Valley in 1965.
COLMES: We've got to run. Thank you very much. And we want to present both sides of this story.
NORTH: ... in Iraq to e-mail us at Iraq@FOXNews.com.
COLMES: In fact, that's correct. If you are active duty, reserve or National Guard, and think we need to stay in Iraq until Victory is achieved, if you're serving our country and think that we should stay until the job is done, you can e-mail us: VictoryInIraq@FOXNews.com. We'll have a full explosive report one week from Sunday in an all new "Hannity's America".
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