Are Al Qaeda Terrorists Entitled to Health Care?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 28, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Rafiq Sabir is a 51 year-old Columbia University educated doctor from Boca Raton, Florida. But tonight this American citizen is awaiting trial for conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda representatives and operatives in Saudi Arabia. Now defense attorneys for the Florida physician claim that the only support that he pledged was the medical assistance that his profession requires him to provide. So, should American doctors really be offering their services to Al Qaeda members? Is this simply a case of ethics or is there something more sinister involved? Joining us now is Dr. Sabir's attorney, Edward Wilford. Welcome aboard.


HANNITY: Why don't you explain your case?

WILFORD: Yes, it's really a question of constitutional import that is really impacting upon our society today and it goes to the very fundamental basic principles of constitutional jurisprudence. The basic question is whether or not the executive branch has overstepped its bounds and the legislative branch has overstepped its bounds in creating a statute that is on its face unconstitutional as applied to Dr. Sabir.

HANNITY: All right, let me ask you a question. These are our sworn enemies. These are the people that want to kill other Americans, these are people that want to destroy us. Why would you go out of your way in any capacity to say you want to help them? Because you have to understand that the way people are going to interpret that is this is nuts.

WILFORD: Well first of all you're making an assumption that's not accurate. There has been no trial to establish that Dr. Sabir actually said he was going to provide medical assistance to any one. But the statute as it applies to him has to be interpreted within the constitutional context.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Did he take a pledge to support Al Qaeda?

WILFORD: Excuse me?

COLMES: Did he take a pledge to support Al Qaeda?

WILFORD: That remains to be seen.

COLMES: You're his attorney, do you know the answer to that question?

WILFORD: That remains to be seen. That's a judgment call —

COLMES: Are you deciding not to answer the question now, but do you know the answer?

WILFORD: I'm telling you that a jury will decide that question.

COLMES: As a doctor he has the Hippocratic Oath...

WILFORD: The government is asserting that that's something that was said. A jury will determine the context in which that was said, and what was meant by (INAUDIBLE).

COLMES: As a doctor, he should help anybody who needs help. But one of the charges, the Daily News in New York is that reporting he wanted to start a terrorist training camp to help in his words, "brothers wage jihad on the United States."

WILFORD: That's absolutely incorrect and The Daily News and other media outlets have been incorrect in what they've been reporting.

COLMES: So where is that coming from?

WILFORD: Who knows? Who knows? I'm not responsible for what rumors are spread through the media. But I will tell you this, I will tell you this. That when we go to trial, a jury will have to decide before then, whether or not the statute as it applies to Dr. Sabir is constitutional. I will check it out.

COLMES: Did he swear (INAUDIBLE) to Bin Laden?

WILFORD: That I don't know.

COLMES: As his attorney, you don't know the answer to that question?

WILFORD: I'm telling you that that is a question that has to be determined by a jury. The government says that occurred, but we're talking about here is not whether or not he swore fealty to Bin Laden but we're talking about is whether or not a medical physician has the ability to provide treatment to anybody anywhere in the world.

COLMES: Did he offer any kind of aid besides medical aid to a terrorist group?

WILFORD: None whatsoever. And the question that we have to deal with is, in a constitutional context, if someone asks you to provide medical assistance to them —

HANNITY: All right, we got to run. If he did offer to support and help Bin Laden would that bother you to help him?

WILFORD: It wouldn't bother me at all, because I'm sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States.

HANNITY: No, Bin Laden?

WILFORD: I'm sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States.

HANNITY: You wouldn't care if he pledged allegiance to Bin Laden our sworn enemy, that doesn't bother you?

WILFORD: It doesn't bother me in the context of bothering me to stop me from doing my job the same way that it shouldn't stop a doctor from being able to do his job.

I'm sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States and that's what I'll do. Everyone's entitled to —

HANNITY: I'd pick my clients a little more carefully. We have to run.

WILFORD: That's your choice, I don't have that choice.

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