Published January 14, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The Obama administration is sick and tired of your criticism over the way they've handled the detention of the Christmas Day bomber so they have dispatched deputy national security adviser John Brennan to silence the crowds.
Now in a USA Today column titled, "We Need No Lectures," Brennan proclaims, quote, "It is naive to think that transferring Abdulmutallab to military custody would have caused an outpouring of information. There is little difference between military and civilian custody other than an interrogator with a uniform."
He went on to charge that, quote, "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear mongering only serve the goals of Al Qaeda."
Now he may not need lectures but he sure does need a dose of common sense. These outrageous comments come on the heels of Brennan's appearance on "Meet the Press" over the weekend. There he claimed to have briefed four top Republicans on the all the proceedings surrounding the detention of the Christmas Day bomber.
Now all four have since repudiated his statement. And Representative Pete Hoekstra, one of the accused, said, quote, "The guy has completely blown his credibility with Congress. He has dug this administration into a hole on terrorism. I can understand why he's fighting back because they've made a series of missteps."
Now those missteps can be seen in a speech that Brennan gave in August of last year. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, AUG. 6, 2009: The president does not describe this as a war on terrorism. Likewise, the president does not describe this as a global war. Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against jihadists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right. It's precisely that sort of thinking that has gotten us into this current mess.
And joining me now with analysis is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Mayor, let's go to the one statement before we get to that comment. The one statement that he makes in the USA Today piece where he says politically motivated criticism, unfounded fear mongering only serve the goals of Al Qaeda.
How are we to interpret that?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I guess we don't interpret that. We should just keep quiet and just let him continue to mishandle national security which he's done a pretty good job of.
I mean, the reality is, that column makes no sense at all. I don't know where he's coming from. He says that there's no difference if you give Miranda warnings. I guess this guy has never been involved in an interrogation of someone.
Generally, my experience is, and I've been involved in law enforcement all my life, when you tell someone that they can have a lawyer and they can keep silent, most of them keep silent. I mean that's — I don't — I don't understand why he doesn't see a difference. I mean, you may agree or disagree with regard to the legality of it, the constitutionality of it, but it makes no sense to say that when you tell someone you can have a lawyer and you can remain silent, that at least a goodly portion of them are going to shut up.
HANNITY: All right —
GIULIANI: Which is exactly what happened with this guy, right? He was talking for 30 or 40 minutes. Somebody decided that they should give him Miranda warnings and he stopped talking. And he talked to his lawyer. And now apparently five weeks later he started talking again.
But that's a heck of a big interruption in an interrogation. What you would have wanted was for that guy to talk as long as he wanted to talk and get every bit of information out of him because it would be a lot more timely if you got it back then than if you get it now.
HANNITY: But —
GIULIANI: That's not political, that's just common sense. That's — this is from somebody who has been involved in law enforcement, you know, since I'm 24 years old.
HANNITY: I would argue, Mr. Mayor, it's even worse than that. Because the 50 minutes that he did talk, we do know a little bit of what he said. He — we know that he trained with other terrorists or wannabe terrorists and that one of the things that he said was, "others are coming."
So in other words, we've been told by the government in the last week that we're going to be attacked by July. He's telling us others are coming. We stop interrogating him. I want to know who the others are. I don't think I'm that — unique in wanting to know that.
GIULIANI: No, you're not. And this is — and again, if you — a criticism based on the fact that you should not cut off a terrorist in the middle of his talking is not politically inspired. It's common sense inspired. It's inspired by a desire to keep this country safe.
The reality is that you want to talk to him. You want to get as much information out as possible, you want to get as quickly as possible. Because even in the timeframe that we've had now from the first time that he was questioned to now, plenty time for the people in Yemen to move to other places.
Plenty of time for people to disappear. I mean you want that information as quickly as you can get it. And you never know what leads you lost as a result of the irresponsible decision to cut off the questions.
HANNITY: In fairness, though, that clip we showed in the introduction of the segment, really does describe the mindset of the president. This is where we got into man-caused disasters and overseas contingency operations.
What Brennan said was the president does not describe this as a War on Terror. Likewise the president does not describe this as a global war nor does the president see this challenge as a fight against jihadists.
So the reality is they don't really believe this. And their recent conversion, I would argue, is false. Do you think it's politically motivated?
GIULIANI: Well, I don't know if it is or it isn't. I'd like to know if some of the mishandling didn't occur because a lot of them were on vacation at the time when this happen. And looked like nobody was coming back from vacation. So I think it was Mr. Brennan who told his underling that it'd be OK if he went on vacation in the middle of all this.
HANNITY: All right. What do you — go ahead.
GIULIANI: In an emergency, I've always found the best thing to do is to have everybody sitting down, everybody in a room. Everybody looking eye- to-eye with each other. And you get better decision-making. And you get everybody below you to see the urgency of it than if you take a more nonchalant attitude that it's perfectly OK to go on vacation.
HANNITY: I'd be shocked to learn that Brennan went out on his own rouge here and did this on his own. I've got to imagine that the president knew that he was going to do this. It's got to be part of some political strategic plan, right? That I don't think he's going to go rogue here.
GIULIANI: You know what I found —
HANNITY: And say something as controversial.
HANNITY: Go ahead.
GIULIANI: You know what I found really strange, though? He puts this article in the USA Today. It's a major attack on Republicans that might be criticizing the president. What I think they're doing it in good conscience because they're worried about national security, and this is the same day in which the president is calling for bipartisan cooperation and a more civil tone.
I mean to accuse people who are questioning the way Brennan has handled national security of aiding Al Qaeda is a very serious and vicious charge.
HANNITY: Well, I —
GIULIANI: And to make that on the same day that you're looking for bipartisan cooperation from Republican members of Congress who are the target really of Brennan's criticism, I don't get it. Maybe one side of the administration isn't talking to the other side of the administration.
HANNITY: Well, I've got to imagine, though, that if he's going to make such a public attack and accuse people of aiding and abetting Al Qaeda which ostensibly is what he's doing here, I got to imagine that the president knew or the president would take him into his office and say, we don't believe that, apologize. You know, where does he stand?
GIULIANI: It certainly sent a very contradictory message for a president seeking bipartisan cooperation.
GIULIANI: To be trying to shutdown the Republican opposition who really are in good faith raising these questions about national security. There is nothing politically partisan about saying it does not make sense. And I will say this over and over again. It makes no sense to cut off a terrorist who is talking.
You do not go in and interrupt him with Miranda warnings, lawyering him up. If he's in the middle of talking you let him talk until — until he stops.
Until he stops on his own.
HANNITY: Why do I think you —
GIULIANI: Not when you stop him.
HANNITY: Why do I think you stopped from saying something that you were going to regret.
HANNITY: All right, Mayor Giuliani, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
GIULIANI: Good to see you, too, Sean.
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