This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now we learned today that President Obama's own director of National Intelligence thinks that the previous administration's interrogation techniques saved lives, but still the White House is considering prosecuting those who kept us safe, and they haven't released the documents that prove just how effective they were. And today when they were asked about it, they dismissed the question.
And that is our headline tonight in an America that seems to be getting more dangerous each and every day, thanks to this administration, The Pre-9/11 Mentality, because that is the direction they're taking all of us, back to a time when fighting terrorism was waving a toothless subpoena in the air.
Now on this very show on Monday night, you saw Vice President Cheney say that the White House should release the memos detailing what we learned from the interrogations that Democrats like to dismiss as torture.
And earlier today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was asked about this on Capitol Hill. Now take a look at this response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It won't surprise you that I don't consider him a particularly reliable source.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: So Madame Secretary, you don't believe Mr. Cheney? Well, what about your own National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, who also says the interrogations resulted in vital information despite administration attempts to scrub his opinion from the public release.
Now we have seen this before. The last Democratic administration did not do enough to keep us safe, and we all can remember those results. Now, this president is taking us back in time exposing us to the very same dangers that left us vulnerable before September 11.
Now this president who bowed at the feet of the Saudi king, well, that's the same country which has trained so many of the terrorists that kill and want to kill Americans. This president who smiles and shakes hands with a ruthless dictator who stands against every democratic freedom that our nation was built on.
This president who sits by like a little school boy while the one-time Sandinista communist leader turned mainstream fanatic lectures about the evils of imperialist Americans.
This president who wants to have tea with a man what denies the Holocaust ever happened and who was hell bent on turning his nation into the next nuclear power.
Now we have read this story before. In fact, it was published in 2004, and many Americans were shocked by what was inside. It said they were at war with us. We were not at war with them.
Clearly this president has not done his homework, and it is putting each and every American at risk.
And joining me tonight is the author of "How I Got to Be Whoever It Is I Am," television personality, the one and only Charles Grodin.
Good to see you.
CHARLES GRODIN, AUTHOR OF "HOW I GOT TO BE WHOEVER IT IS I AM": You know, I — somebody called and said you wanted to talk about torture. This is torture, to be on with you because you're so against everything I stand for.
What do you think I stand for?
HANNITY: Well, I'm going to ask you.
GRODIN: You have no idea.
HANNITY: I do — I know you.
GRODIN: What do you stand for?
HANNITY: You want to find O.J. Simpson and waterboard him. That's what I think you're for.
GRODIN: Well, I think.
HANNITY: You were on national TV for a year going insane.
GRODIN: I think we should waterboard you because you give up the secrets because I believe that you have secrets that threaten the security of America.
HANNITY: Let me ask you a serious question. I know you can mess around all you want. Here we discover that these enhanced interrogation techniques — that they save lives, that we saved an American city, Los Angeles. You have a lot of friends, you've been in a lot of movies, I've seen your movies. And it saved lives.
Are you against that? Do you think that's a good thing?
GRODIN: The enhanced interrogation?
HANNITY: That's correct.
GRODIN: Do you have any children?
HANNITY: I have two children.
GRODIN: How old are they?
HANNITY: 10 and 7.
GRODIN: OK. So I have a 21-year-old.
GRODIN: Let's say they capture him. They can't because he won’t join. But what does that mean, enhanced interrogation?
HANNITY: It means waterboarding.
HANNITY: It means maybe putting him in a box with insects, maybe sleep deprivation.
GRODIN: A box with insects. How many times have you been in a box with insects?
HANNITY: Not that often. But that's the point. I — I'm not Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. I didn't kill 3,000 Americans.
GRODIN: Well, you have to understand. If you want to do that, and I'm not saying you shouldn't.
GRODIN: But you have to understand they're going to do it to our kids.
HANNITY: No, no. They already — they already chopped off Daniel Pearl's head.
GRODIN: They did.
HANNITY: They already drove planes into a building.
GRODIN: I'm not against anything as long as we know who we're doing this to, and sometimes too often we're doing it to people that we suspect of doing it. The smartest person I know on this subject is Jonathan Alder who's a senior editor...
HANNITY: He's a left-wing zealot.
GRODIN: This is torture right here. Waterboard this guy. Waterboard this guy and tell me what he thinks after that. I — you know, they do it to us, we should do it to them. You know, anything is OK. But you have to know what you're doing. You have to know what you're doing. Are you wearing makeup?
HANNITY: Wait a minute. They killed 3,000 Americans. They chopped off Daniel Pearl's head. I want a serious answer to this. Liberals don't want to do this even though the evidence is out there.
George Tenet appointed by Bill Clinton, not a conservative, said that we got more information from these interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed including knowledge that they were about to have another hit in Los Angeles that we got from the FBI, the CIA and the NSA combined.
Don't you — you don't want to live through 9/11 again. Is it really so bad to dunk a terrorist's head in water and make him talk? Tell me what's wrong with that.
GRODIN: Are we on television right now?
HANNITY: Right now.
GRODIN: If we know what we're doing.
HANNITY: Explain that.
GRODIN: If we know. You don't want just do this. You know I was on Mike Huckabee the other day. He's a very dear, close friend of yours, and he said something in the green room that should apply — you should think about this because this is how I feel.
I know I don't know, but, Sean, you don't know you don't know. People smarter than us don't know. In other words every expert you can quote on your point of view, there are other experts that say the opposite, so I don't think we're in a position — I know you're a friend Ann Coulter could tell you the truth.
HANNITY: I can tell you what we do know. We do know certain things. We do know that the CIA director, the National Intelligence director, we do know that the people that read the intelligence — I interviewed Dick Cheney on Monday — the people that know that the interrogations worked.
I'll read from the Wall Street Journal. The interrogation.
GRODIN: The Wall Street Journal?
HANNITY: The interrogation of Khalid — by the way, this is coming from the memos that they released. "The interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed literally gave us the information about an East Asian operative plan to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles and also led to the arrest of Humbali and the discovery of a terrorist cell right here in America."
So that's what our own government.
GRODIN: I think that would be great. I would be all for that.
HANNITY: So you're with me?
GRODIN: I'm with you. I would do that. I just don't know that it's true. If it's true, I agree with you.
HANNITY: That's what the document said.
GRODIN: On the other hand, there are people that say it's not true.
HANNITY: Nobody says that. Who?
GRODIN: If it's true.
HANNITY: Nobody says that.
GRODIN: If it's true, there are people on both sides of this issue of torture...
HANNITY: But the people that are against it, they just think that America is going down the wrong road, and I don't think they understand that America is at war. I don't think they — they seem to have forgotten we lost 3,000 Americans, and when — and we'll get into this when we get back, but would you — hold the answer.
Would you sit through a 50-minute diatribe of Daniel Ortega? Would you accept a book from Hugo Chavez? And would you meet with the Castro brothers? I'll ask you those three questions when we get back.
Smile. Relax. Is that makeup you have on?
We're going to have more with Charles Grodin coming up.
HANNITY: And welcome back. We continue now with Charles Grodin, author of the brand new book, "How I Got to be Whoever It is that I Think that I Am."
GRODIN: No, I didn't say "I think." I — "whoever it is I am." You said "I think."
HANNITY: Yes. You see, you're passionate about things, but you're joking a little bit, but I want to ask you some serious questions. Just a couple of them and then you can — we'll talk about your book.
Daniel Ortega, would you bow before — I want to start here. Would you bow before the Saudi king like Barack Obama?
HANNITY: OK. Would you want a dialogue with Ahmadinejad who denies the Holocaust?
GRODIN: I will talk to anybody. Look, I'm talking to you.
HANNITY: All right. I'm not Ahmadinejad. I don't deny the Holocaust.
GRODIN: No. I think you have to talk to your enemies. You have to.
HANNITY: What would you say.
GRODIN: I know. I'm here.
HANNITY: All right. What would you say to Ahmadinejad who denies the Holocaust and says he wants to wipe Israel off the map? What would you say to him?
GRODIN: I would say — give him proof that there was a Holocaust and I would make the case for Israel, but I would talk to him.
HANNITY: Do you think he really would be open to the idea? Do you think that you'd have to give him proof that the Holocaust occurred, the images, the footage, the pictures, the personal stories, there are people still alive that lived through that?
GRODIN: The one-on-one that I have with people changes their opinion. This isn't — a lot of people give it, but I'll look them right in the eye. I met with the Attorney General Eric Holder, who probably wouldn't even meet to you, with all due respect.
HANNITY: He wouldn't talk to me.
GRODIN: He wouldn't even talk to you.
HANNITY: Now, come on, Holder. Come on.
GRODIN: And I met with him for an hour, and he listened to me, and he nodded and he smiled, does it mean anything? It's like you, you're nodding, you're smiling, you've got way more makeup on than I do. I don't think that's fair.
GRODIN: You think that's fair?
HANNITY: Holder was on once with me. But let me say this. Would you meet — you hated O.J. Simpson. You — people watched you because they thought you were going to lose it one night because you were so angry. Would you meet with him?
GRODIN: No. What am I meeting with him for? He's in prison.
HANNITY: You just got done said that you'd meet with anybody?
GRODIN: Yes. But he's not the head of a country. I'll meet with people who are trying to attack America to try to persuade them against that point of view.
HANNITY: So you think you can convince Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust occurred?
GRODIN: I don't know, but I would meet with him.
HANNITY: You will try.
GRODIN: Look, I'm meeting with you.
HANNITY: But I'm not — I don't deny the Holocaust occurred which is a historical truth.
GRODIN: Yes, but you have — what are you — you consider yourself a — you're an ultra liberal, right?
HANNITY: No, I'm.
GRODIN: Wait a minute. What was I told? The pre-interview said he's a liberal.
HANNITY: All right. Next question. Hugo Chavez. You're president of the United States, would you accept an anti-American book by Hugo Chavez?
GRODIN: You mean if he handed it to me?
GRODIN: Yes, I'd take the book.
HANNITY: I'd take a look at — I would put it down and say take it.
GRODIN: I'd hand him my book.
HANNITY: Next question. Would you sit through a 50-minute diatribe by a communist brutal, thug, murdering dictator like Daniel Ortega? Would you sit through an anti-American diatribe?
GRODIN: You mean one-on-one?
HANNITY: Yes — no, as Obama sat there this week as Ortega was slamming America?
GRODIN: You mean in a room with him?
GRODIN: Yes, I'd listen to anybody. I'm listening to you. I mean you are — I mean it's unbelievable. I mean — how much mascara do you have on right now between us?
HANNITY: None. Zero. Zero.
GRODIN: Because I asked for it, and they said we've given it all to Sean.
HANNITY: I don't put — I don't have mascara on.
GRODIN: Yes, I believe in talking to everyone. That's why I keep coming with you. And then Alan — wait a minute. Where's Alan? Where's Alan? Wait a minute. Where's the other point of view? I thought — I usually get help from Alan here.
HANNITY: You need him tonight.
GRODIN: I'm Alan. Are you dating Ann Coulter?
HANNITY: No. I'm happily — I've been married 17 years.
GRODIN: Yes. But do you have Ann Coulter on your show?
GRODIN: And you're fond of her.
HANNITY: I like her a lot.
GRODIN: She's a wonderful person.
HANNITY: Very articulate, smart. Iconoclastic. Funny.
GRODIN: Smart. Nothing — iconoclastic and funny. That's what you're saying?
GRODIN: You're a very generous person. I can see that about you now.
HANNITY: Well, you should hear what I say about you when you're not here. I mean.
GRODIN: Well, I know Ann Coulter. That's a very — you're a very generous guy.
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you — I'm never going to.
GRODIN: Well, you're for torture, right?
HANNITY: I am for enhanced interrogation.
GRODIN: You don't believe it's torture. Have you ever been waterboarded?
HANNITY: No, but Ollie North has and I've talked to him about it.
GRODIN: And how — would you consent to be waterboarded?
GRODIN: So we could get the truth out of you?
HANNITY: Yes. Sure.
GRODIN: We can waterboard you?
GRODIN: Are you busy on Sunday?
HANNITY: I'll do it for charity. I'll let you do it.
GRODIN: I wouldn't do it.
HANNITY: I'll do it for the troops' families.
GRODIN: I wouldn't do it. I'll hand you a towel when you come out of the shower.
HANNITY: When I come out of the shower?
All right, tell me a little bit. You've had a great career. You do have passionate liberal views, I can see you're a little more inclined to the humorous side tonight. But I want to ask you...
GRODIN: You know, I.
HANNITY: You've had a great.
GRODIN: Everybody says passionate liberal views. I have more conservative views.
HANNITY: What are they?
GRODIN: ... that you would be stunned.
GRODIN: I'm against the estate tax.
HANNITY: Good for you.
GRODIN: I think.
HANNITY: Because you're rich.
GRODIN: I think we should check — yes. I think we should check on what everybody's reading, taking out of the library, looking at...
HANNITY: Are you serious?
GRODIN: Yes, yes. Because I'm not looking at a computer trying to find out how to make a bomb. You can look up anything about me. You want to listen in on my phone calls. You can do that. Is that liberal?
HANNITY: No, no. That's actually — but most liberals don't support that. You see.
GRODIN: I know. I know.
HANNITY: I think Barack Obama — I'm going to tell you what. I think Barack Obama, his policies as we're going down this road, and I want to say this very clearly, embracing dictators, by not responding with Kim Jong-il, meeting with Ahmadinejad, not taking a tougher stance.
GRODIN: Are you reading this off a prompter?
HANNITY: No. I'm reading — I'm looking right at my self. Look right there. There's no prompter.
GRODIN: You've memorized all this, right?
HANNITY: I am saying that he — this pre 9/11 mentality, he's going to get Americans killed. He is showing weakness.
GRODIN: And how do you...
HANNITY: ... and he is showing appeasement to the world.
GRODIN: How do you feel about the war in Iraq?
HANNITY: I thought it was the right thing to do.
GRODIN: Right thing to do.
HANNITY: We won the war. The surge...
GRODIN: You thought it was good that we bombed Iraq and...
GRODIN: And then we killed all these millions — hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq who were shock and awe on to kill us. That's a good idea?
HANNITY: I would rather that we live in a world...
GRODIN: If you weren't a Jewish man like myself, I would have a problem with you.
HANNITY: Can I tell you something? I would rather live in a world without fascism, without Nazism, with totalitarianism.
GRODIN: You want to live in a world without fascism?
HANNITY: That's correct.
GRODIN: You're not a fascist?
GRODIN: Oh come on, Sean.
HANNITY: I'll accept your apologies. I'll accept your apologies.
GRODIN: Come on. You have.
HANNITY: You're calling me a fascist?
GRODIN: Your book. What's the name of your book?
HANNITY: Did you read it?
GRODIN: No. Come on.
GRODIN: You've had — you read a book a week, but down below you say fascism, liberalism, right next to each other. Same line.
HANNITY: No. I didn't say fascism.
GRODIN: You did. You said fascism and liberalism in the same line.
HANNITY: It's a number 1 best seller. Yes, but I'm saying.
GRODIN: You know your audience.
HANNITY: If you would have read the book you might have learned something because what I said in the book that to win the war against despots and dictators we've got to first beat back liberal appeasement mentality like Barack Obama's.
GRODIN: That's a fascist mentality.
HANNITY: No, it's not.
GRODIN: That's a fascist...
HANNITY: No, it's mentality that keeps us safe.
GRODIN: Look up the word fascist. What branch of the military did you serve in?
HANNITY: I've got to run. Nice to see you.
GRODIN: What branch of the military did you serve? See this?
HANNITY: Very nice to see you.
GRODIN: I have served in...
HANNITY: My father served in World War II so I can say whatever I want.
GRODIN: I am an eight-year veteran of the military.
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