This is a rush transcript from "The Five," August 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Twenty embassies across the globe are closed this weekend due to terror chatter. Well, not really across the globe, in certain parts of the globe. Let me put it this way, if you're in a place Christians are welcome, you're OK.
So they're closed for fear of attack, which makes me wonder what movie is responsible for this? "Sharknado"? "Smurfs 2"? The upcoming musical version of "Magic Mike"?
But the closings just don't raise questions, they also raise the dead. I thought Al Qaeda was deceased. Now, I realize they're the Paul McCartney of terror groups, their death was a hoax.
So, if Al Qaeda is no longer serious threat, then what constitutes a serious one, this? These? Or this?
If Al Qaeda was no longer a threat, then Anthony Weiner was no longer a perv.
Look, I'm not making light of this, I never thought Al Qaeda was dead and I wish Valerie Jarrett, I mean President Obama, had been right the first time. The threat is alive and well, which sensible people knew all along.
The scary parts aren't really the threats, but that officials say our response to the threat is a lesson learned from Benghazi. The lesson is:
close up shop because we can't protect you. That's no lesson. Either you bolster security or get the hell out of those hell holes. But you don't close up shop because sooner or later, the sign in that door will go from closed to open and evil will return and it won't be there asking for directions.
So, Kimberly, feeling delightful in green. They're going to be closed until next Saturday. At some point, they have to reopen. Then, what do you do?
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Well, then, people really feel insecure about the ability for the United States to protect them since we do, as you say, close up shop, close for business until we decide we can figure something out or the chatter stops. That's when you're at the most vulnerable, as soon as we've opened back up again, that's when you're going to get hit. And there's been a little bit of activity in terms of predator strikes, et cetera, but no major casualties from that of any of the known leaders.
Hopefully from all of this chatter, which has been quite expensive, we develop some other target lists, getting some more information and some people need to be taken out, probably immediately.
GUTFELD: Jessie, what do you make of -- the intel community thinks that they disclose too much information.
JESSIE WATTERS, CO-HOST: Right.
GUTFELD: Do you think that's true?
WATTERS: I do. I think when you announce that the intelligence came from Yemen and that it was specifically targeted for a specific period of time.
And this goes back to a lot of other things the administration has leaked. You remember the Stuxnet virus with the Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear program and leaked also about the bin Laden raid. I don't know why the administration is saying all these specific things because now, all the resources that we have and all the people we gathered the intelligence from in these dangerous countries, why would they ever cooperate with us anymore?
GUILFOYLE: No, they wouldn't.
GUTFELD: Well, he makes a good point, Bob. Should President Obama be impeached?
BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Well, you know, I am drafting an article for myself over the weekend.
First of all, let me make a few comments. NSA picked up some chatter.
BECKEL: It's about time NSA got back to the business they're supposed to be in.
Secondly, Al Qaeda has made a point for years now not to use cell phones and other communications. Now, Dana made a point before the show maybe they're desperate. My guess is some of it may be just to throw us off.
The third thing is, if we hadn't closed embassies and something happened --
GUTFELD: Happened, true.
BECKEL: -- you all would be all over us --
BECKEL: And the last thing I will say, embassies have been closed the last 75 years --
BECKEL: -- as various circumstances dictated. This may be more than most closures, but it goes to Teddy Roosevelt when they closed some. I would not consider this to be something, a American weakness.
BECKEL: And also the Yemens were the ones that tip us off, not this rogue (INAUDIBLE), our research here, is clearly upset, and a right winger.
GUILFOYLE: Yes, but Yemen is like the "Star Wars" bar scene is where all of the freaks, the AQAP hang out, all of them. That's the deal.
GUTFELD: Let me ask you, Dana -- critics of the NSA would say, well, this is really convenient for this to happen while the programs are under fire and Snowden is embarrassing us, now we can come say, look at all this stuff we've uncovered.
PERINO: The problem -- I'm uncomfortable talking about intelligent things because in a previous life, I would say, we're not commenting on this. Now, we have so much more information in the public.
David Sanger of "The New York Times" wrote a piece I think it was yesterday, which he talked about how there's too much classified information in the government. I think he is probably right.
But something like this, where you're talking specifically about sources and methods, how people are communicating with one another, terrorists are communicating with one another, to me it does seem overbroad, right? However, the threats to Benghazi -- to our Libyan embassy was very specific. Remember, Ambassador Chris Stevens sends a letter specifically saying we have a threat assessment on this embassy.
That was a specific thing.
Like, I'm fine if people learn lessons, that's OK. I'm comfortable talking about sources and methods. I do think this is not a partisan issue.
Complacency is America's biggest enemy and Al Qaeda knows that. So if we have to be vigilant -- our vigilance doesn't stop after a month.
Interesting thing from a foreign policy aspect, is President Obama responsible for Al Qaeda's morphing and evolution?
WATTERS: I don't know about that.
PERINO: Maybe he's not. Maybe he's not.
WATTERS: I don't know. One of the reasons for the increased chatter here is a lot of these prisoners have escaped from where we have been holding them and we have been releasing them.
GUILFOYLE: And releasing them.
WATTERS: Right. So you have the Abu Ghraib prison break the other day, Morsy in Egypt just released about a thousand the other day. In Afghanistan we have a program where we pay militants to leave the battlefield, they get to keep their guns, they just have to sign all the dotted line, say, I am going to reintegrate into the community.
GUTFELD: They should do that for Chicago.
WATTERS: They should.
GUTFELD: It might work.
You know, Sundays, everybody knows I love to watch the Sunday shows, I sit and record them just for this show.
Here is a montage of people talking about this terror threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the threat to blow up an embassy, a consulate or something else?
GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: That part of it is unspecified, but the intent seems clear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the intent is to what?
DEMPSEY: The intent was to attack western not just U.S. interests.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This is an effort to terrorize us, to drive us out of the Mideast. And if we ever take the bait, and try to come home and try to create fortress America, you'll have another 9/11.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX), CHAIR, HOUSE HOMELAND AND SECURITY CMTE:
This is probably one of the most specific, credible threats I have seen perhaps since 9/11.
REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It is a wakeup call. Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
GUTFELD: Bob, you just went oh --
WATTERS: You're going to be OK?
BECKEL: I'll have to take (INAUDIBLE) sores.
But the truth is the Al Qaeda that orchestrated 9/11 has been decimated. It has now been -- its name inherited by a number of different terrorist groups, and so, in fact, it is alive and well, if you want to call it, but it's not the same Al Qaeda.
And by the way, releasing prisoners from Guantanamo and other places went back from Bush administration into Obama administration. We have done it for perfectly legitimate reasons. There was overcrowding down there, they need to get them out, some of them did get back into the game. But most of them did not.
WATTERS: Well, I think 30 percent recidivism. That's a lot.
GUTFELD: And also, what's the problem with overcrowding? I get it if you're living with the family, but you're prisoners! Overcrowding is not --
WATTERS: In a tropical paradise, right, and you get to play soccer.
BECKEL: The soccer field is good, by the way.
But it's -- some of those people, by the way, have provided and continue to provide as I understand U.S. intelligence overseas when they went back home.
GUTFELD: KG, you have a problem with Bob?
GUILFOYLE: I do. I love you, Bob, but I have to take issue every time when you say Al Qaeda has been decimated -- they're not, they shape shift and they just change their name and it's the same roster.
The current leadership of AQAP is all former ex-Gitmo detainees that are now smarter, better, more cash in the pocket, and are now fostering new attacks. They have strong connections to al-Zawahri and Pakistan. This is the new face of terror and they're boulder and stronger.
So, to say we decimated puts us at operational disadvantage, because that's not an accurate statement.
BECKEL: Let me say, George Bush kept a picture of people with the cards, right, he got rid of virtually the entire top leadership of Al Qaeda with the exception of Usama bin Laden, who was eventually caught. There's one left --
GUILFOYLE: Now, we agree, bring Bush back.
PERINO: Why are we making this -- I don't see this as partisan. The most dangerous --
PERINO: We keep talking about the two presidents, this is America, and if complacency is our biggest enemy, then we should all work together and say look, do you trust the government or not. Skepticism, healthy in a democracy, and every single bit of skepticism they got today for the administration was the same as the Bush administration used to do.
I think that's probably a good thing.
GUTFELD: By the way, isn't decimate means you destroy everything but 1/10 of 1 percent or 10 percent, decimate?
WATTERS: I think maybe, not sure about the technical definition.
GUTFELD: Can you get back to me while we roll the tape where they talk about Al Qaeda being decimated?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There should be no doubt today America is stronger and Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.
We decimated Al Qaeda's leadership.
Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: We decimated Al Qaeda central. We have eliminated Osama bin Laden.
OBAMA: Al Qaeda is much weaker than it was when I came into office.
BIDEN: Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.
OBAMA: The war in Afghanistan is coming to a close, Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, Osama bin Laden is dead.
Today, the core of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
GUILFOYLE: Not true.
BECKEL: If you notice, he said Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the run and he is exactly right.
PERINO: Do you think that's what Americans, that's the message they were trying to deliver from the White House to America during the 2012 election that they were being specific about Al Qaeda in Pakistan? That's not what they meant at all, that's why they're in -- I support them, but when you start watering down the global war on terror for political reasons --
BECKEL: It's not the question of watering it down.
PERINO: It's going to come back to hurt you.
BECKEL: The question, is Al Qaeda left in Afghanistan? No. In Pakistan? No.
GUTFELD: But all of that stuff was the reason why they played down Benghazi before the election. All this stuff, it was alive, it was well, and it is coming back. They covered it up.
GUILFOYLE: No, there's no more terror. I mean, they have tentacles, now they have different names and different factions and they're still bold and they're still operating and strong enough to the point we consider it a credible threat that we are shutting down embassies.
And, by the way, if I was in an embassy, I'd say shut it down because I know no one is going to help me if I'm stuck there and getting attack for seven hours, even though you could get help there to get me out.
WATTERS: Right. I mean, you can play word games, it's decimated, it's not -- they tried to sell they were decimated before the election. They're obviously not. They said the war on terror was over, it's not, obviously, because we're closing a record amount of embassies.
I mean, Susan Rice, where is she? Is she on the Sunday shows? Are we blaming the video?
WATTERS: Because the last time I heard about Susan Rice she was holding these meetings with I think John Kerry who was on his yacht the last time in Egypt and James Clapper, director of national intelligence, who, you know, lied to Congress last time he was on the Hill. I think the big speech he gave three months ago when he said technically the war on terror is over.
BECKEL: Technically, he didn't say that.
WATTERS: Look it up. Look it up, bob. I think we'll have the tape for you when we come back.
GUILFOYLE: You're hoping.
BECKEL: Technically. Is that the word?
WATTERS: No, if you read between the lines, which I know you can do, Bob, which I know you can do. He did say essentially the war on terror was over as we know it, and it's not.
GUTFELD: Dana, now, what is the lesson? Because they say -- sources say that officials have learned lessons from Benghazi. Is the lesson close the door?
PERINO: I don't know specifically what that lesson is. I do from a macro political standpoint. I think it is that it is key for the president of the United States to have to rally the nation when you are at war, and war is tiring. And America is tired of being at war.
When people think about that, it is specific to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I understand that piece of it. But the president has to rally and remind people that the vigilance is so important.
On the NSA program in particular, if the communication between these two terrorists that led us to information that said we had to shut something down, does that not mean that the NSA program is worth something? And could someone in the administration besides General Alexander have to go out and try to defend it? We're all trying to defend the president's use of a program that's very important and he won't even help us defend him.
GUILFOYLE: Acknowledge it. Acknowledge it's important.
BECKEL: Acknowledge it is incredibly important, did its job, intercepted overseas people who are terror threats to the United States. That's entirely different than intercepting --
PERINO: How do you know?
PERINO: How do you know that communication between the two phones didn't come through the United States? And that's the only way you know that --
PERINO: You see what I mean? They could be using the lone terrorist in Boston, Tsarnaev, who communicated back and forth. We don't know, the NSA program is collecting lots of different numbers to try to find out what's going on.
BECKEL: Peter King said, if we can believe Peter King --
PERINO: Peter King has top secret, who gets briefed --
BECKEL: I know.
PERINO: How would you have more information than he does?
BECKEL: I am not suggesting that, he suggested it was chatter within the peninsula. It was not chatter between the United States.
PERINO: How do you know?
BECKEL: That's what he said.
PERINO: How do you know that he is wrong?
BECKEL: I am not saying he is wrong, he said it, I'll give him that.
GUTFELD: Goes to the same line, you can't find needles unless you have a haystack. You need to have the grid in order to connect the dots.
PERINO: And you have to employ a lot of people to be looking for those needles, and it's expensive, but it is the most important thing to do to protect ourselves.
BECKEL: Can I ask you a question? How long do we have to keep this war on terror going?
PERINO: Well, the thing is it's not the war. It's specifically to Zawahiri. It is a mindset from the Muslim world, a certain set of the Muslim war, jihadists that declared war on us. It could be a lifetime.
GUTFELD: I would rather have war on terror than war on drugs. We been doing the war on drugs forever and it failed. So, if we're going to fail --
BECKEL: I can guarantee you it failed.
GUILFOYLE: The minute you say it is over, is the minute you lose.
GUTFELD: The attacks were scheduled Sunday for the night of power, first verses of the Koran were revealed to Muhammad, which some militants used to encourage to kill infidels. I just thought we should know that.
PERINO: What's it like in the set of "The Smurfs 2", when you --
GUTFELD: I was as stunt man, or stunt Smurf, and I got to meet a lot of the Smurfs, they like to party. What am I talking about?
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