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Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: Israel, Palestinians at U.N.

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 26, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN HARRISON, SOLYNDRA CEO: I hope to have an opportunity to assist this committee's inquiry in the future. On the advice of my attorney, I must respectfully decline to answer any questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Not answering any questions on Capitol Hill. Every week viewers vote in our Your Choice Online Friday Lightning Round poll, and this week race to the finish, but the Solyndra investigation won with 44 percent of the vote. That is what you saw. The CEO up there and top officials taking the fifth. We'll start there. Back with the panel. What about this, where does it go? Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, the Fifth Amendment is one of the glories of our constitution. But unfortunately, when you take it you look guilty. It's simply, it's something that you can't avoid. I think the implications here of some criminal wrong doing are only strengthened when you see people who refuse to answer questions.

I don't think anybody has demonstrated criminality here, but I think it's really gonna hurt the administration, especially if the inquiry gets wider and it is about all of the money that has been thrown at these enterprises, which are insolvent. Is there any political favoritism or not? I'm sure they will find something.

BAIER: Chuck?

CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, this one is sort of a hat trick for Republicans because they win if there is political favoritism; they win if the companies go bankrupt; and they win if -- even if the companies succeed because the only way they succeed is by diverting jobs from somewhere else into these.

BAIER: Although the taxpayers lose, half a billion dollars --

LANE: Yes. Right. Republicans, I'm just talking politically, the taxpayers lose either way, and that is the point I was coming to is that nifty report Fox had about Darrell Issa plumping for one of these programs in his district. The truth of the matter is, Republicans and Democrats across the board have used this kind of subsidy to prop up companies in the name of alternative energy, medical technology, whatever. The economics of it are fundamentally flawed and they lead to things like this.

BAIER: Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: That is true, I don't understand why given the fact that these executives presided over a failed company that has cost the taxpayers, you said, half a billion dollars, Democrats would ever want to align themselves in public with these folks, these Solyndra people. And by the way, promised that they would testify earlier this year. Not clear why they changed their mind. Charles is absolutely right, they look guilty as everybody does who invokes the Fifth Amendment.

And yet you saw Henry Waxman get up there and say in public, Congressman Waxman from California, that it was is somehow unconstitutional to press them for answers when they had invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege. You saw other members, Democratic members saying stop being mean to the Solyndra guys. Why would you say that on television if you are a Democrat?

BAIER: Next topic, the United Nations, the efforts by the Palestinian Authority to get statehood came to a head today with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and also the Israeli prime minister speaking at the U.N. general assembly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT: This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existences. Enough. Enough. Enough.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I extend my hand to the Palestinian people with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Where is this headed, Tucker?

CARLSON: I don't know where it's headed. I mean it's clear - I mean some outlines are obvious. Abbas is clearly weakened probably forever after this. They're not going to get it, it's going to be vetoed and he's going to look ridiculous. Does that strengthen other elements? I don't know. Charles would know.

Here's one thing that I find fascinating, however. Watching the president get up there and argue against this bid for statehood. Whether you agree with that or not, it's about 180 degrees from where you would have imagined he would wind up when he was running for president. It was very clear to anyone who was watching, that he was, you know, the guy who was going to change Israel policy from the American perspective. And to see him wind up here, I wonder how many on the left felt sick to their stomachs as they watched the president give that speech.

BAIER: Charles?

LANE: The picture here I think is a very troubling one that has to do with the re-emergence of anti-Israel sentiment in the Arab world since the Arab Spring, and most especially, the shifting policy of Turkey in the region. The prime minister of Turkey now campaigning in the same U.N. meeting against Israel in very harsh terms. They used to get along very well.

And I think that climate is facilitating what Abbas is trying to do here, it is facilitating a certain kind of confidence the Palestinians have that they don't need to play the American game anymore, that they might have support in the region.

KRAUTHAMMER: The issue is not Palestinian statehood. It's whether there is statehood with peace or without peace. Everybody in America, there is a consensus in America, there is a consensus in Israel about a Palestinian state. The Israelis have offered a Palestinian state with incredibly generous terms and been rejected.

The statement of the Israeli prime minister today is absolutely incorrect. Israel seeks peace with a Palestinian state, and the Palestinians seek a state without peace. That is the point of the U.N. bid. The statehood within peace neglect negotiations has been America's policy for at least 18 years, and this is a rejection of that, a tearing up of Oslo, and undermining of a whole peace negotiations.

BAIER: Last topic, down the road, quickly, about the continuing resolution and a possible other standoff here and a government shutdown. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Republicans have to be quite weary. Regardless of who really is responsible if there is a shutdown or even brinksmanship, the Republicans will get the blame as happened in the debt ceiling negotiations. So I would tread carefully. You don't want to get hammered on that issue gratuitously.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: Green jobs are right in the middle of this, aren't they? The alternative vehicle funding program. I think it was a little too clever by half when the Republicans went after that. That was too provocative and it stiffened the Democrats fine.

BAIER: Tucker?

CARLSON: But that doesn't change the fundamental question in this debate, which is should we or should we not pay for disaster relief when we offer it to the states. I think Republicans should revert to first principles and remind the public that there is actually, a real argument at the core here. Do we have to actually pay for the stuff or not? And that has been lost.

BAIER: Speaking of green jobs, we have a special 9:00 p.m. eastern on Sunday, working on it for a long time. You should tune in. That is it for the panel, but stay tuned to see an interesting start to our morning this morning.

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