Andrew Card on New Bin Laden Tape
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," September 7, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: This is another FOX News alert: Usama bin Laden has released his first videotape in almost three years to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. In the message, Bin Laden criticizes U.S. policy in Iraq, but also criticizes the Congress and the new Democratic majority for not ending the war. The terrorist leader criticizes the U.S. for backing Shiites over Sunnis in Iraq and even blames America for global warming.
And just a few minutes ago, President Bush responded to this new terrorist manifesto while on a visit to Australia. Let's take a look:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The tape is a reminder about the dangerous world in which we live, and it is a reminder that we must work together to protect our peoples against these extremists who murder the innocent in order to achieve their political objectives. If Al Qaeda bothers to mention Iraq, it's because they want to achieve their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out and to develop a safe haven. And the reason they want a safe haven is to launch attacks against America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining us now is President Bush's former White House chief of staff, Andy Card.
Andy, welcome back to the program. Good to see you.
ANDREW CARD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Good to be with you. Thank you very much for having me.
HANNITY: Let me first ask your general reaction to the tape. And, number two, do you think there's a timing issue here? September 11th and, of course, General Petraeus' report.
CARD: Well, first of all, I think it's outrageous that he is putting a tape out in the anniversary of September 11th. Secondly, he's taunting America again, and he's calling for us to take action that is obscene. And I can't believe that there are people in Congress that will actually follow the direction of a sworn enemy of this country rather than take the direction of the person sworn to defend the country, the president of the United States.
But I think that his action is really one where we have to take it seriously. I don't think that we should view all of his threats with great credibility. Let the analysts at the CIA and the FBI take a look at it to find out what might be credible, but we should definitely take it seriously.
HANNITY: You know something, Andy? One thing that really struck me in the tape — you know, we've had to battle fascism, and Nazism, and communism, and totalitarianism, and I view this as modern-day Nazism. And he really reveals the twisted ideology that he supports there. Did that strike you, as well?
CARD: Well, that's what we've seen from Usama bin Laden before. He rambles all over the place. He's got a warped sense of responsibility for the people that he claims to love and lead. He wants to send young men and women — innocents — into situations where they're going to die. He's a sworn enemy of this country. He's a sworn enemy of democracy.
I thought it was interesting that, in this tape, he also goes after democracy. He basically says people don't have the ability to govern themselves.
HANNITY: Well, let me ask you about that. One of the things that also struck me is he — is the language specifically that he used. He seemed to adopt the very same language that is being used by the hard left in this country, as he describes what's going on in Iraq as a civil war. He actually used the term "neo-cons." He talks about global warming. He demonizes capitalism and corporations in this whole thing.
I mean, very, very specific language. It seems to be coming from somebody who is keenly aware of the world situation and the battle and the conflict in America over this war, and even admonishing the Democratic Party for not ending the war.
CARD: Well, I believe that, first of all, his organization is a good organization. They are very able. And he has lost the ability to have real command and control over the War on Terror, but he is the one championing the War on Terror. He is calling people to arms, to fight the United States, to fight the interests that are common in the United States, and that we look to bring to the rest of the world. We're helping the world get more democracy. And he really is — he's a desperate man, and he is a dangerous man. And the president was right to say he's dangerous.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Why are we surprised by any of this? Andy, welcome back to the show. By the way, he also said you can't really rule with separation of church and state and that religion should be a very important part of what governments do. So, actually, he's also using some of the language of the extreme right, not just the extreme left.
But, you know, counterterrorism experts believe that this shows that Al Qaeda has regrouped. Why were they allowed to regroup? Why is he now doing this? And was it a mistake for George W. Bush to stay a few years ago, "I just don't think that much about Bin Laden"?
CARD: Well, the United States government does think about Bin Laden, but we are also interested in winning the War on Terror. So we're not disproportionately focused on Usama bin Laden, one person.
Yes, he has been the rallying call for all of the bad things that have happened. And he was the mastermind, not necessarily of the deeds that took place on September 11th, but he gave permission to those people to plan the attack and to carry it out. And he praised those people who did carry it out in a very sick way.
But, no, we have to get Usama bin Laden. But it's even more important for us to win the war on terror. And the battles in Iraq are part of the war on terror.
COLMES: But in March of 2002, in March of 2002, the president says, "I'm not concerned about him." Was he wrong? Should we be concerned about him?
CARD: Well, the president is concerned about Usama bin Laden, but he's not going to be preoccupied with Usama bin Laden. He's concerned about winning the war on terror. He's concerned about protecting the United States and our interests, and that's really what he's doing.
And he knows that the War on Terror is real, and it's taking place all around the world, and in venues that we don't even talk about very much. But it's very important that we win the battles in the war on terror in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
COLMES: I mean, he's in Pakistan or on the Pakistani border. They're regrouping. Al Qaeda and the regrouped Taliban are back in force. And isn't this an example of how we misdirected the war on terror in Iraq, put our efforts, put our resources there? This is really where the problem is. And we haven't focused on it to the extent we should have.
CARD: I think you've got it all wrong.
COLMES: I'm sure you do.
CARD: He has not regrouped the way you're suggesting. I think that he is still a man — he's afraid to come out. This is the first time we've seen him in three years.
COLMES: Al Qaeda has regrouped. The Taliban has regrouped.
CARD: Segments of their organization continue to be a threat, but we are definitely winning the war on terror. We're defeating them in places where they're looking to be successful. We know they want to attack the United States again, and we have to be very vigilant to make sure they don't do it.
COLMES: When you say "winning the War on Terror," counterterrorism experts say Al Qaeda has regrouped, the Taliban has regrouped, Iraq, we're in the middle of a civil war. What is the evidence we're winning the War on Terror?
CARD: I think there's lots of evidence that we're winning the war on terror. We haven't won it yet. It may be a battle that will go on for generations, but it's very important that we continue to be on the offensive.
Remember, we cannot let our guard down; they want to attack us. The president has said he does not want to have to fight the war on terror in the United States. We want to fight it over there so that they don't attack the United States.
HANNITY: All right, and maybe if we had taken them when the Sudan offered him on a silver platter...
COLMES: There was no silver platter.
HANNITY: ... we'd be in better shape today. Andy, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
CARD: Thank you very much.
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