Comparing Hitler to an American President

This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, January 5, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

MICHAEL WOLFF, GUEST CO-HOST: I'm Michael Wolff, filling in for Alan Colmes.

An ad that appeared on the Web site has many Republicans outraged tonight. The ad morphs a picture of Adolf Hitler (search) into one of President Bush (search). declined an invitation to appear on the show, but their spokesman said that they would never consider running such an ad and that the ad was submitted on the Website as part of a contest.

But how bad is it?

We're joined by Wayne Madsen, co-author of the book America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.

America's Nightmare, you clearly don't like George Bush, so whom would you compare him to?

WAYNE MADSEN, AMERICA'S NIGHTMARE AUTHOR: Well, I mean, you know, the problem with President Bush is, we see this steady erosion of civil liberties in this country.

WOLFF: But just tell me who would you'd compare him to? Who do you think?

MADSEN: Well, I've written, making comparisons between Bush and Hitler, because if you look at the early days of Hitler's rise in Germany, if people could have stopped him before he trashed the entire German constitution and seized dictatorial to powers, he could have been stopped.

And I think people that are often -- we're using the terminology slippery slope. They're very worried about where our civil liberties are going. My God. The other day the FBI put out a terrorist alert saying that if anybody was caught with an almanac they should be called into...

WOLFF: But you don't see a legitimate distinction between Adolf Hitler and George Bush?

MADSEN: Well, look, if you look at some of the policies, preemptive warfare, we know that Hitler did that against Poland. He did it against France; he did it against the Soviet Union. Trashing the United Nations, that's what Hitler did to the League of Nations.

WOLFF: So you don't. It seems to be that you don't see a meaningful distinction. Let me ask you about another...

MADSEN: I see some similarities.

WOLFF: Another distinction here. In 2002 the Republican National Committee (search) funded a couple of attack ads in the Senate campaign. And you had the Democratic senators, Max Cleland and Tom Daschle morphed into -- does anybody want to guess, Usama bin Laden.

What's the difference?

MADSEN: Well, I tell you, you know, the Republicans are asking for an apology from the folks. Myself as a veteran of the Navy and every other veteran I know would like to see the Republicans apologize to Max Cleland, an individual who left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam, for that kind of attack ad.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Wayne, you know something? That's not what you -- you have made comparisons, by your own admission, of this president and Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler, the embodiment of human evil, who slaughtered millions of fellow human beings.

And you make a comparison and you use the term slippery slope. It is your contention that George Bush could potentially become an Adolf Hitler of our time?

MADSEN: Well, you know, look. If you see what's going on with our -- you know, I'll ask you one question. Does any American feel freer now than they felt four years ago?

HANNITY: Wayne...

MADSEN: And I think answer would be uniformly no. We don't feel freer.

HANNITY: We were attacked and he's trying to prevent a future attack. But that wasn't my question. You used the term slippery slope. In your comparison you talk about Hitler and Bush being similar. I'm saying do you think George Bush is capable of the atrocities of Adolf Hitler?

MADSEN: That's why I'm not going to make the general comparison...

HANNITY: Do you think it's possible?

MADSEN: ... that one is like the other. But some of the policies, some of the policies are certainly alike.

You know, if you ask people in the United Nations, you know, what they think about George Bush, they'll tell you the same thing. They will say, we haven't seen an international organization trashed like this since the League of Nations.

HANNITY: But you know something? That organization has been known and it's been well chronicled, their anti-Semitism, their anti-Americanism. And when you put Libya in charge of human rights commission at the United Nations, you know that that is a failed body, and when you fail to enforce your resolutions.

That's not the point here. The point here is, you know, you guys on the left are going so far over the cliff. You're making comparisons to the president and Adolf Hitler.

Even Howard Dean is coming up with conspiracy theories, that the president knew about 9-11, Ted Kennedy saying he concocted this war in Texas. Dennis Kucinich suggesting we're targeting civilians for slaughter. Right on down the line.

You guys are not convincing the American people that you have a plan that will deal with the fact that this nation was attacked. We were hit; we were slammed; and this president is doing something about it.

Don't you see how you're alienating the majority of the American people with your rhetoric?

MADSEN: I don't think so. The way to combat terrorism isn't to take the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and shred it like Mr. Hitler did after the Reichstag fire.

HANNITY: You're silly. You're silly.

WOLFF: Thanks, Wayne.

MADSEN: I don't think so. I don't think so at all.

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