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Hannity

Rudy Giuliani Defends Islamic Radicalization Hearings

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Controversy erupted on Capitol Hill yesterday during the House Homeland Security Committee hearings on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans.

And one of the most talked about moments of the day came when Congressman Keith Ellison told a story about a Muslim-American NYPD cadet who died on 9/11. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KEITH ELLISON, D-MINN.: Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try to help others on 9/11. After the tragedy, some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. Some people spread false rumors and speculated he was in league with the attackers because he was a Muslim. But it was only when his remains were identified, that these lies were exposed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: However, the facts do not support Mr. Ellison's story because as the National Review points out, Hamdani, who was pictured here behind his mother was singled out and honored in name of the Patriot Act, which was passed even before his remains were found.

So what is really driving the left's hysteria? Over all this, here with analysis former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, thanks for being with us.

Before we get to that issue, Peter King and the hearings, you have a lot of experience as it relates to we are watching this terrible tragedy and catastrophe unfold in Japan this evening. You have a lot of background and experience as it relates to nuclear power plants and I wanted to get your thoughts on and you've been to Japan many times as well.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: This is obviously a terrible tragedy and something that is of dimensions that we might not yet be able to realize. The only good news if there is good news, Japan is state-of- the-art prepared for dealing with radiation.

Obviously, radiation is of great sensitivity in Japan because of what happened. They are one of the first countries to really develop tremendous security systems around their sensitive facilities. They have buildings in Tokyo that are earthquake-proof. They have a lot of regiments for dealing with radiation even if small amounts escape. That doesn't minimize that it could do a lot of damage. But, they are well prepared for it. If it had to happen in a country that wasn't prepared, this could be an even worse disaster.

HANNITY: What do you make, Mr. Mayor, because I know you specifically dealt with the area of the situation pretty much just like this and as I understand, you even advised on such an issue. What do we make of levels that are eight times above normal as the ministry is saying, evidence of a possible leak and their decision to release these vapors into the air?

GIULIANI:Well, actually, probably a good idea. I don't know the exact situation they are facing. It sounds frightening when you say release the vapors in the air if you release them in the air and you are careful about it, they are going to dissipate over a period of time.

The worst situation with radiation escaping is if you are downwind from it. You could virtually be on one side and not affected by the radiation. If you're on the other side and you're downwind from it, you are going to be affected. What they are probably doing is they're probably trying to dissipate it by getting it into the wind basically and have small amounts blow away so it doesn't become a huge amount. I'm guessing that's what they are doing.

HANNITY: If it is eight times above normal is that the possibility then, Mr. Mayor, of a radioactive leak?

GIULIANI:Yes, sure. That's dangerous. It has to be dealt with. The only good news is, I think they know how to deal with it. Let's just hope there are no further earthquakes or disturbances that make it worse than that. Right now, it seems to me they have a regiment to deal with it. Let's hope it remains that way.

HANNITY: OK, Mr. Mayor, let me move on to the issue of Congressman Peter King. People have been comparing him to McCarthy and a witch-hunt. We just played the words of Keith Ellison about Hamdani who in fact's name was actually inserted into the Patriot Act. What is your reaction?

GIULIANI: Oh my gosh, I know that situation very well, the gentleman about which he is speaking was honored as a great hero. There was never question raised about his religion. I was the person I think who first said the evening of September 11 that we shouldn't hold this against the Arab community, the Muslim community.

We should focus on the individuals and that groups that were involved and not participate in group blame. I think Pete King performed a great service for this country and I think we should all thank him. I wish that hearing had been held three years ago. Maybe there wouldn't have been an attack like the one at Fort Hood if we had a hearing like this. Maybe the people who made the decisions to move the major along would have not made those decisions. If they hadn't been so frightened they would be put under the scrutiny Pete King was put under because he raised a legitimate question. I talked to Pete, you know, several times before the hearings about it.

HANNITY: Why do you think there's this fear? Pete has been very clear on this program. I've interviewed him many times about these hearings, saying this is not against the Muslim community, this is against the radicalization, radical Islamists that want to bring harm to our country. It seems there's a great fear or unwillingness to look at the reality that does exist out there. Why do you think that is Mr. Mayor?

GIULIANI: I have to believe that it is political. We have enough ability to think in a complex way to understand when you say Islamic extremist you are not talking about Islam, you are not talking about Muslims in general. It is a small group, but it's a very dangerous small group.

It is a small group that beyond its numbers can do catastrophic things. September 11 is only one example with the possibility of nuclear material now these people can do far worse damage so homegrown Islamic terrorism is something that is a cause of concern.

It reminds me, and I told this to Pete, it reminds me of when I was pursuing the mafia as U.S. attorney. I got attacked by Italian-American groups for using the word mafia. They said to me I was using a word that was not allowed to be used by the Justice Department because it smeared all Italians. I said to heck with that. It doesn't smear all Italians. It smears Italians who are part of mafia and if you have a problem with that you better come over to the other side.

The reality is I think it helped. It helps to face these things rather than to hide them.

HANNITY: All right, Mr. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us tonight. We appreciate it.

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