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Hannity

White House Missing the Mark on Libya, Middle East

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 24, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Muammar Qaddafi is now blaming the chaos in his country on Usama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the latest target of Qaddafi's efforts now trying to convince people in his country to help stop this rebellion.

But even the violent crackdowns, which have left thousands dead, have not succeeded in suppressing this uprising. Now protesters have now moved in on the capital city of Tripoli where it's now been reported that Qaddafi has hired mercenary forces to protect his crumbling regime.

At this point, it is anybody's guess as to how long he can maintain his grip on power. It's Iran that may be benefiting from all this chaos. Now according to The New York Times Iran has, quote, "already benefited from the ouster or undermining of Arab leaders who are strong adversaries and has begun to project growing influence."

As the administration fumbles its response to the crisis it may not to go back to the basics when it comes to Libya. Now yesterday the White House Twitter feed announced that the president would address the situation in Libya and they misspelled the name of that country.

Joining me now with analysis -- what confidence -- Lt. Colonel Oliver North who was involved in the planning of America's 1986 airstrikes against Libya and who had a hit put on him by Colonel Qaddafi himself.

Well, first of all, we came within an inch of taking -- Reagan came that close to taking him out.

OLIVER NORTH, "WAR STORIES" HOST: Pretty close. And again, we all acknowledge we have an executive order that forbids the assassination of foreign leaders. As I wrote in my book, if a bomb just happened to hit where he was, no one was going to be sorry about it that is still the case today and it is going to be his own people who finish him off. He has no place to hide. This brutal despot who has killed thousands and thousands over the years, tried to kill my family. This is a man who is -- and quite frankly, you and I both have enormous admiration for George W. Bush.

But how the administration could acknowledge this government and set up a program with this guy to have military to military contacts beyond me, but they did. This man is now going to go at the end of a gun either his own or one of his people.

HANNITY: All right, so -- I want to go back here to your involvement. You helped plan this attack that landed right on his house, by accident.

NORTH: The predicate is, of course, he orchestrated a bombing in Berlin that killed 27 Americans.

HANNITY: This disco tech in Berlin.

NORTH: And we lost 27 Americans, 50 folks, Germans and Americans and allies wounded in it.

HANNITY: And Reagan responded.

NORTH: In the aftermath, we planned carefully how we would respond. The president directed that it would be attack on the terrorist training centers and command and control nodes, that's exactly what it was. It just happened that Qaddafi was at one of those sites.

The bomb missed his shelter, wherever it was. He says it was a tent that he was in it. I don't believe it. He also claims that his daughter was killed and there were photographs taken. It wasn't his daughter.

Nonetheless, this guy has managed to survive, not just the United States, but dozens of others. I would make the point that we lost two airmen in that attack because the French wouldn't let us over fly France to attack him.

HANNITY: And we had the Pan Am incident -- Lockerbie.

NORTH: In '88.

HANNITY: All right, but now -- how did you know it was him that ordered the hit on you?

NORTH: Well, without going beyond what I can say, we have intelligence means to know -- he was communicating with various people like the People's Committee for Libyan Students in McLean, Virginia, where they ordered hit, as an anniversary.

They wanted it to happen -- they wanted to take out -- I was on a list of people that had been targeted. They wanted it on the anniversary of our raid a year later. Thankfully, the FBI alerted us and got us out of town.

HANNITY: If you look at Chancellor Merkel, if you look at Prime Minister Cameron, if you look at President Sarkozy, they all had much stronger statements about all of this as the Washington Post -- they named him as you say, you know, why was President Obama the last to speak up on Libya, and frankly the weakest?

NORTH: Well, this has been a weak response right from the get go. This administration from the beginning and people forget this didn't begin in Tunisia, it actually began in Lebanon. Prime minister of Lebanon comes and begs for American support because Hezbollah is about to take over.

There are riots in the streets. He could have stood up at that point on principle and said we believe in the human rights of people to assemble freely, to exchange information. He didn't do it. He didn't do it in Tunisia until --

HANNITY: -- in Iran in 2009.

NORTH: He's never done it in Iran. I mean, if you think about what transpires in Iran, he's never done it, and Iran has been pointed out by many the ones who are going to benefit the most from this.

HANNITY: All right, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Morocco, what -- look, there are those that are arguing that this is, you know, a peaceful democratic uprising in the Middle East, there going to be forever changed.

Here's my question, I'm not as confident as everybody else because public opinion polls for example in Egypt, shows support for Sharia law. And that apostates should be killed and people that steal should have their arms cut off. And women and men should be segregated in the workplace.

NORTH: Here's what apparently they don't understand at the White House is democracy is not based on an election. Democracy is a process that occurs when institutions and rule of law and a constitution that the people can abide by and you have court systems that work.

None of that exists in any of these countries. What you've got is the fomenting of this rebellion now taking place throughout the Middle East, in places that are very important us to. There's no principle behind it.

Sometimes Obama says the right things. Sometimes he says nothing. Sometimes he lets people like the students in Tehran be bludgeoned to death on the streets and says not a word. You can't choose where democracy is going to break out.

HANNITY: Why are you -- first of all, we know what his future is. You don't think Qaddafi makes it?

NORTH: I give Qaddafi at the most two weeks. This is a man who said, very strange speech you just put on the screen, he wants to be a martyr. There are many people who are going to oblige him. I personally hope it is a very painful experience.

HANNITY: All right, I'll concur with you. All right, so then what's the future for him? What is the future for North Africa? What is the future for the Middle East? My guess is that we risk more extremism --

NORTH: Much more. There are very few options left to this administration because decisions made by the Obama administration to take carriers offline and ships offline. We have no ability to respond in any way militarily.

We have no carriers in the Mediterranean today for the first time in 31 years. You have no American carriers in the Mediterranean, no battle groups and you have Iranian ships. Because this administration has made bad decisions all the way along line. It's not a good formula, Sean. The good news is at the end of the day, Muammar Qaddafi is a dead man.

HANNITY: Well, I hope and pray you are right. Colonel, we are glad he was not successful.

NORTH: I wouldn't be here.

HANNITY: You wouldn't be here. Good to see you my friend, appreciate you.

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