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Special Report

Shooting of U.S. Airmen: Act of Terror?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," March 3, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y., HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY CHAIRMAN: It was an assault on military personnel by a person carrying a heavy duty weapon, an automatic weapon, shouting jihadist chants. I mean if that isn't a terrorist act, I don't know what is.

REPORTER: Even if it's somebody acting alone that's not a terrorist attack?

P.J. CROWLEY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: For example, was the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords a terrorist attack?

REPORTER: The secretary herself called it a terrorist act.

P.J. CROWLEY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: You have to look at the evidence and look at the motivation, and then you make a judgment and that is a process as far as I know that is ongoing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Talking about the shooting in Frankfurt, Germany. German officials now saying that Arid Uka has confessed to the shooting at the Frankfurt airport that left two U.S. airmen dead, two others wounded. This is the back and forth about what is being said about that shooter and perhaps why. We're back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well unfortunately the State Department spokesman had a bad day here. You never ask a rhetorical question if the answer is not the one you want. Was Jared Loughner a terrorist? No. He was a paranoid psychotic without a political motive.

Was the guy in Germany a terrorist? All the evidence says yes. This is a guy who shouted by the word of many witnesses repeatedly, "Allah hu Akbar," which is the jihadist cry, as he shot the Americans and as he was being taken away. Now, and he was recently radicalized, he's a Muslim, either born or emigrated out of Kosovo, and now he has confessed. Clearly this was a jihadist attack.

And the fact that when the president came out and spoke yesterday about this, he talked about it as if it was a bus accident, it was a tragedy. It is incomprehensible why he can not even say out loud that this could have been a jihadist attack, a part of the war on terror. This was an attack on the American military abroad, an attack on our country, an act of war by a terrorist enemy. And if a president can't speak about that, what does it say to moderate Muslims around the world who are against the jihadist, and here a president of the United States who won't speak the truth about it? It's demoralizing.

ERIN BILLINGS, ROLL CALL: Erin?

BILLINGS: Well, I mean, look, I think the administration is attempting to not be alarmist here, but maybe they are overcompensating. Even if this individual, this -- I guess we call him a suspect at this point, isn't part of a larger terror network, he still was, you know, radicalized. He still is, ya know, committing an act of terror.

So I think the administration is overcompensating. I think they are trying not to sound alarmist, but in this case, I think, maybe they are going too far the other way.

BAIER: Jonah, this is what the president said after the Fort Hood attacks. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: This morning I met with FBI Director Mueller and the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what caused one individual to turn his gun on fellow servicemen and women. We don't know all the answers yet. I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Those are the different cases here. We saw with the Christmas Day Bomber as well.

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Yes. There are two ways of looking at this. One is, I think, Obama is sort of lackluster and Ruth Marcus from the Washington Post called it the "Where's Waldo Presidency," because he just seems to be keeping his head down on a number of fronts. And I think that -- that fits into that as well.

But the other problem is that we have this narrative that Charles was ya know bringing up that goes way back that they are always minimizing these terrorist attacks from clearly, from jihadist extremists. And that is what makes the P.J. Crowley statement about Giffords so painful to listen to. Because as we all recall, look if he hadn't yelled Allah hu Akbar, at this moment there would be ten Democrats in the House saying that it was Sarah Palin's congressional map that caused this guy to do this shooting. I mean, those guys went absolutely crazy saying that you could immediately blame Tea Partiers for the Giffords shooting.

And yet time and again when we have actual evidence that says that this is part of a larger, existential struggle with Islamic extremism, from the White House on down these guys say it is somehow inappropriate to bring up that inconvenient fact. It is a very strange thing.

BAIER: Charles, last word. Is it possible this president has in him something, a speech about radical Islam or the threat about these radicalized elements, as lone wolf as they may be in each instance, is it possible he has that?

KRAUTHAMMER: No. I think not. I think he does think that to even speak about it in terms of the Islam, even radical Islam, is to make it a civilizational struggle, is to make it an attack on a religion and is to exacerbate the war that we are in. I think he is completely wrong. I don't understand how man of his intelligence believes that. But I think he does. And I think we will never hear a speech on jihadism out of him.

BAIER: That's it for panel, but stay tuned for some fashionable testimony.

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