Does releasing Taliban fighters help or hurt US cause?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And this a Fox News alert. U.S. officials are confirming tonight that the CIA thwarted an Al Qaeda plot to bomb a U.S. bound jet to mark the one year anniversary of Usama bin Laden's death. Now according to the FBI, the device designed to carry out the attack was ceased abroad and never presented a threat to public safety. But authorities are considering the plot a more advanced version of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a plane on Christmas of 2009. Now, the device did not contain any metal and early reports indicate that Ibrahim al-Asiri is the Saudi bomb-maker who could be the engineer of this device.

And tonight, Fox News has learned that this operation is ongoing and that other countries were in fact involved. A source also told Fox News that there is a second threat stream that is out in the Middle East involving surgically implanted body bombs.

Now, the White House has confirmed and the president was briefed about the foiled plot in April. And this news comes on the heels of a very disturbing news report from the Washington Post that revealed that the Obama White House is secretly releasing high level Taliban detainees from Gitmo in order to appease the Afghan government at the negotiating table. Now, these are the same Taliban members who harbored Al Qaeda in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 attacks.

The president spoke about the U.S. government sit-downs with these terrorists last week and Afghanistan.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In coordination with the Afghan government, my administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban. We've made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with Al Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban from foot soldiers to leaders have indicated an interest in reconciliation. The path to peace is now set before them.


HANNITY: Now, as terrorists return to the battlefield thanks to the Obama administration, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee is warning about the growing strength of the Taliban. Watch this.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: President Karzai believes that the Taliban will not come back. I'm not so sure. The Taliban has a shadow system of governors in many provinces. They've gone up north, they've gone to the east, attacks are up.

I think we both say what we found is the Taliban is stronger.


HANNITY: Joining me now with reaction, Pam Geller and also with us is from the America Together Foundation Michael Ghouse.

Michael, you know, you and I have been at odds on a lot of things here. I was right about the Muslim Brotherhood, I was right about them taking power, even the presidential candidates, the top candidates, teir candidates in the Muslim Brotherhood have all said that they want to destroy, not only Israel but be at war with the United States and support Al Qaeda.

You said that wasn't going to happen. Obama said, that wasn't going to happen. But we are negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood, we are giving them taxpayer dollars. In this case, we're releasing the enemies that we caught on the battlefield, thinking, what? That somehow, they are going to be nice to us? Do you think the Taliban is going to be nice to America because we're releasing their enemy combatants back to them?

MIKE GHOUSE, AMERICA TOGETHER FOUNDATION: Sean, confrontation will never yield results. We're almost done fighting and colliding with each other, we'll never find peace. We have an advantage. We have an advantage. We can keep a tight leash on them.


HANNITY: Doesn't sound tight to me. It sounds pretty loose. They are getting released by the American government. That sounds, you know, like a, you know, get-out-of-jail-free card.

GHOUSE: We still have the power over them. We can annihilate them any time they want. But what we need to give them a chance to make peace and work with us.

HANNITY: Give them a chance? Give the terrorists a chance?

GHOUSE: Of course.

HANNITY: And you think the terrorists, those committed to the jihad and holy war and wanted to kill Americans and kept women in bondage in Afghanistan, do you believe that they're going to be all of a sudden be nice because we set them free.

PAMELA GELLER, "STOP THE ISLAMIZATION OF AMERICA": You can avoid reality but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. He has basically declared the War on Terror over.

HANNITY: Two weeks ago.

GELLER: Two weeks ago. And frankly, he is not just declared it over. He switched sides. The very idea that we've been releasing Jihadists for years is not an act of appeasement, an act of surrender. There is absolutely no proof in any way, shape or form that they are going to make peace. Why should they make peace?


GELLER: We cannot end a war that we did not start.

HANNITY: All right. This is what I want to ask Michael. Michael, why are the American taxpayers have to give a terrorist group, and you agree the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, $1.5 billion. Why do we give -- when the first attack they committed, they say, Israel is their enemy. The second act is to cut off energy supplies to Israel, and the third is they are going to impose Sharia law and then after that, they're going to begin a war with Israel. Why do we give them a penny? Explain to me why?

GHOUSE: We're not giving money to the Brotherhood or Egypt, we're giving money to keep peace with Israel.

HANNITY: Excuse me, we're giving them $1.5 billion, Michael.

GHOUSE: For the purpose of keeping peace with Israel, not for any other reason.

HANNITY: We're giving the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization in this case, and then with the Taliban, we're saying please be nice to us, we're going release the terrorists back to you and we're not going to tell the American people until after we do it.

GHOUSE: The chances of dealing with them, we have much better chance of getting peace by not dealing with them...

HANNITY: Peace. By releasing the terrorist and giving them money to buy bombs and kill us. We're going to give them the money that killed us in one case. And we're going to release their leaders in another case so they can kill us. That makes sense to you?

GHOUSE: Sean, we have a chance. We have zero chance if we don't deal with them.

HANNITY: Chance with what? How about the chances, is that they get the death penalty like every other terrorist. How about we kill them? They are trying to kill Americans.

GHOUSE: We can always kill them. We have done that. We have eliminated many of them.


HANNITY: We can't kill them, we release them.

GHOUSE: Well, Al-Quso, we just killed him, (INAUDIBL) today.

HANNITY: No, we're releasing them. You can't kill them when they are free.

GHOUSE: Sean, the Taliban --

GELLER: The Obama administration has no plans...

GHOUSE: Taliban is different from Al Qaeda.

GELLER: The Obama administration -- Michael, Michael.

GHOUSE: Pamela.

GELLER: The Obama administration has no plans. The Obama administration has to no plan, no focus, no strategy in Afghanistan. It is an absolute rout. We have turned over the country over to the Taliban.

What is the strategy? The strategy is to put the word moderate in front of whatever monster ideology, whether it's the moderate Taliban. That is like saying a chased prostitute, the moderate Muslim Brotherhood. You can't make monsters into moderates, there is no such thing. They have done nothing. When Obama went to campaign in Kabul, there were setting off homicide bombs before he came and after he came.

So what proof do you have? I mean, just you saying it, Michael, we wish all the Muslims were like you Michael, but you are anecdotal. You can't look me into the eye and say that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed or any of the Taliban are in any way moderate or not good Muslims or not knowledgeable and devout. They are. They may be extreme, but they are extreme in their piety.

HANNITY: Michael, I'll give you the last word.

GHOUSE: They are the extremists the Taliban, but they are different than Al Qaeda. I think we are helping Karzai -- Karzai is our man, we are helping him negotiate with the Taliban to find peace and --

GELLER: Close to 70 percent of the casualties in the war were under the Obama administration and most of them were by Taliban and not Al Qaeda. Killed our soldiers.

HANNITY: We got to go. Thank you both for being with us. Appreciate it.

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