Obama administration sending the wrong message to Syria?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 28, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Tonight, we are monitoring late breaking developments out of both Washington and Damascus as we are now one day closer to a potential showdown with Syria.

Now, just a few hours ago, President Obama sat down for an interview with "PBS NewsHour" and stated that he has not yet made a decision on Syria. Let's watch.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Again, I have not made a decision. But I think it is important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal that, in fact, it better not do it again.

And that doesn't solve all the problems inside of Syria. And you know, it doesn't obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria. And we hope that in fact, ultimately, a political transition can take place inside of Syria. And we are prepared to work with anybody -- the Russians and others -- to try to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict.

But we want the Assad regime to understand that by using chemical weapons on a large scale against their own people, against women, against infants, against children, that you are not only breaking international norms and standards of decency, but you are also creating a situation where U.S. national interests are affected. And that needs to stop.


HANNITY: Now, this news comes as the Obama administration is accusing Syria of, quote, "hiding behind Russia."

Now, according to the Kremlin, the presidents of both Russia and Iran spoke by phone today. And afterwards they announced their opposition to a military strike in response to last week's chemical weapons attack.

And earlier, our own State Department responded. Let's take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We have consistently said that we support U.N. Security Council action. Instead, what we see not just today, not just last week, but over the course of many months is the Russians at every move doing things to fail to hold the Syrian regime accountable. They have had three resolutions vetoed, as I've said. They blocked many other statements condemning the Syrian regime.

So, we do not believe that the Syrian regime should be able to hide behind the fact that the Russians continue to block action on Syria at the U.N.


HANNITY: Now, also tonight House Speaker John Boehner has sent a letter to the White House calling on the president to personally make the case to both the Congress and the American people before carrying out any strike. And breaking just a short time ago, Fox News can, in fact, confirm that the White House will brief key Senate and House members on Syrian intelligence, that will happen tomorrow in Washington.

Officials were also expected to lay out plans for possible military action against the Assad regime. And head of that meeting, I think it is important that lawmakers ask some very tough questions of this president.

For example, both Iran and Syria say that they will attack Israel if the U.S. launches a military attack. Now, if that happens, how will the administration respond? Will they help our closest ally in the region?

And finally, what is the end game if Assad's regime is toppled? Is there a possibility that Al-Qaeda related elements may, in fact, take charge of that country?

Now, remember, President George W. Bush was hounded by the press over these very same questions. And if he had to answer them, also so should Barack Obama.

Here in studio with reaction is the host of "War Stories," Fox News Channel's own Colonel Oliver North. By the way, his brand new book out in paperback today.



NORTH: It is a must read for Barack Obama since he's not going to read Barbara Tuchman's "Guns of August" about how a great power stumbled into war.


NORTH: He needs to read this one. It's about a president who forgets about 9/11. Guess what we got coming up just three weeks away.

HANNITY: My concern here is -- first of all, this has been going on for 30 months, Colonel.


HANNITY: Hundred thousand killed. Over 100,000.

NORTH: Over 100,000 dead. Over 250,000 wounded, 2.3 million people in refugee camps along the Turkish, Syrian border, Turkish-Kurdistanian border. And now even flowing into Iraq of all places.

It's an unmitigated disaster that's quite frankly, the consequence of this administration's naive approach that all you need is an election in a country that's never had democratic traditions, no institutions, and this so-called Arab Spring. Every single country that's experienced this from Tunisia in the west all the way to Syria in the east, the people are worse off than they were before. And that includes Egypt, the most populous Arab country. It's a disaster.

HANNITY: They have telegraphed that this is going to be brief and limited. And they have even given the locations of the targets. Colonel, what is the point of that?

NORTH: Well, Wall Street Journal today has an op-ed about all the informations that has been given out, various people have asked, informed sources, all anonymous. Look, this outfit leaks so bad they have to be wearing Pampers. It is the worst example I have ever seen of this kind of prior leak.

Well, look, I was sent in 1985, I was sent to explain how we captured the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro after the fact. I was done anonymously. I did it was Newsweek. By the way, they are gone. But I was sent to do that. But it was after the fact. How did we manage to capture them?

What this administration has done is telegraphed every single punch. Obama is famous for shooting from the lip. They have been talking about this now for four days. There is no history, Sean, in the use of cruise missiles without a follow up of any success whatsoever. So, Clinton did it and they're going to do it again, it won't have any effect.

HANNITY: Is this just a therapeutic bombing so Obama can check off, well, OK, I drew a red line in the sand. And now I have to prove that I'm tough?

NORTH: Again, shooting from the lip. He's the one that ad-libbed it. He got off prompter, right? And he ad-libbed those words. And now, he's going to punish Assad because he violated that red line. Finally. It's been going on for over a year, Sean. Look at it, this administration --

HANNITY: Thirty months.

NORTH: This administration --

HANNITY: Since the red line.

NORTH: Since the red line comment. And the game changer and all that stuff. That was a year ago. And they've since, this is now the third time that we know of that they have used chemical weapons against their own people.

This president has not got a strategy. If there is no follow up, there's not going to be any outcome except greater jeopardy for the American people. That's not what happened, when we bombed Qaddafi, he killed Americans and it shut him down for over a year. Now, this guy has got allies like Russia, he's got allies like Iran. They are capable of doing things to us that could be very injurious, not just Israel.

HANNITY: But both Iran and Syria have both said, if we fire those cruise missiles, their retaliation will not be immediately against us, it will be against Israel. Israel has now called up their reserves. Don't we owe it to them to take a deep breath?

NORTH: I wrote yesterday that there are four things that this administration must do. Number one, immediately increase the security at every U.S. embassy in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan in Africa. 9/11 is an anniversary -- they forget about it last year with Benghazi, they'll never forget about it again. And it's just around the corner.

Number two, they have got to inform Israel well in advance. Israel has not only called up their reserves. They have also issued gas masks to all their people.

They have gone to post offices all over Israel to pick them up.

Number three, there ought to be an immediate finding delivered to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that says, I am directing the CIA, risk averse as it is, (INAUDIBLE), to hire contractors who will go into the camps in Jordan, not in Turkey where they are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and recruit, train and field a covert action force of freedom fighters. Real freedom fighters.

Not the ones that are being sent by Erdogan who is a Muslim Brotherhood protege and not the ones that are being sent to Iraq using roads and air bases built with American blood and treasure. The end result of what this administration is done ever since the withdraw from Iraq is a disaster for people of that part of the world and for us.

HANNITY: All right. So, the more secular pro-American opposition forces in this 30-month period have pretty much evaporated.

Here's the problem I have -- tell me where I'm wrong -- that I don't see any good possible outcome here. Because either Assad stays in power and he will continue doing what he's doing with no fear of repercussions. Or isn't the more likely successor to him radical Islamists with Al Qaeda ties? Aren't they the strongest opposition forces right now?

NORTH: As it is right now, yes. Because what we did is, we jobbed it out Erdogan. The Turkish government -- NATO ally -- is now being run by the Muslim Brotherhood. What Erdogan has done is he is allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to take over the so-called free Syrian army. There are still opponents who are secularist who on our side. They are armed, trained and fielded. We can help them. It's not going to be over in a minute. The worst possible outcome is, you end up with another radical Islamic regime out there and that's the most likely outcome today given what this administration has done.

HANNITY: In other words, this will do more harm than good. Is there any possible good outcome here? If the president lobs these missiles, limited, two days probably, they have all telegraphed it, is there any good possible outcome from that?

NORTH: No. It's not a strategy. Look at it, you have to ask yourself, if they have justified this based on the fact that the Syrians have and abused chemical weapons, what happens next time when we've learned that the Iranians have a nuclear weapon? Are they going to fire more cruise missiles at Tehran?

This is a cycle that has been started by this administration for one purpose only, to give validity to what Barack Obama said before. Cruise missiles are good for one thing, Sean. They're good for setting the pace for shock and awe for a real campaign that's going to continue. Number two, making a weak president feel powerful. That's what Bill Clinton did. That's what Barack Obama is doing.

HANNITY: It's pretty frightening. All right. Colonel, by the way. Good book. And "Heroes Proved."

NORTH: "Heroes Proved."

HANNITY: Out in paperback.

NORTH: He won't read Barbara Tuchman. He ought to read this.

HANNITY: All right. You're one of those heroes. Safe home.

NORTH: Thank you. I appreciate it.

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