The Murder of Daniel Pearl

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, February 21, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. We're glad you're with us. I'm Sean Hannity.

Coming up tonight, is your SUV bad for the environment? Car companies may have to stop making them. We'll tell you why. We'll debate it. The great Mark Levin is here.

And later, we'll also bring you the president when he speaks live within the next hour from China. We'll go it. And that's all coming up.

But, first, the sad news tonight that missing "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl is dead. Thirty-eight-year-old Pearl was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Pakistan on January 23rd.

His wife, by the way, is now seven months pregnant. She repeatedly begged his captors for his return.

Today, the U.S. State Department said that they have a videotape that apparently shows Pearl's execution.

Joining us now with more, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera. Our war correspondent. This -- you told the story on this show about how 9/11 changed your life and how angry you were and how classmates of your daughter -- how 13 of them lost their fathers. This equally is as -- it makes me as mad.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I have a couple of things to say, Sean.

Number one, I would have been surprised if he was alive. Once they stopped the proof of life very shortly after the kidnapping, you knew -- A -- and they made those absurd demands -- release all the Pakistani nationals in Guantanamo -- and never made a cash demand, never had any kind of practical backing to what they were after. It was clear that these were amateurs who wanted to inflict as much pain as possible.

And when you saw the way the other eight journalists had been killed, it is absolutely as barbaric -- the first three were skinned -- shot and skinned. The next four were shot and then stoned. And then the fifth one, the Swede, was shot in the face in a robbery. It was just obvious.

There is such hatred of the West and of journalists. The whole notion that we could be treated as neutral was absurd to begin with.

HANNITY: The reports I heard from some sources of mine -- and I'm not going to go into details because they'll be coming out in the days to come. I don't want to now for the family's sake -- is just absolutely hideously brutal and grotesque.

You know, you and I had some political disagreements over the president, and you said this is a non-ideological time, and I thought that was a great way to define what had happened since 9/11, and I remember people either calling my radio show and writing in, and they'd say, "Well -- but you disagreed with Geraldo on that," and I said, "But he's with us on this."

And not only that, I don't think a lot of people understood why you would go into these areas where you're getting fired at. It seems now that the rules have changed...

RIVERA: They have changed.


HANNITY: ... and...

RIVERA: They have changed pretty dramatically.

HANNITY: ... because traditionally, journalists weren't targeted, and I would not -- not that I had to defend you, but I don't see -- the guy is right there in the middle of all this action.

RIVERA: We should be infuriated. This man was murdered. They tortured him. You allude to this videotape. We were specifically targeted.

You have to understand that this army, the Taliban/al Qaeda army was not destroyed. It was defeated. It was dispersed. Now you have roving bands of brigands, heavily armed, with such hatred for the West that they care only to inflict pain. They don't even know how to accomplish these political goals.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: You know, the -- to amplify the point that -- they didn't have legitimate demands. There's nothing accomplished here. It wasn't as if they really had a real political point to make or advanced political agenda. It's senseless, and that's where -- that's why there's so much anger here.

RIVERA: This is September 11 again. These are the same people basically showing the depth of their hatred, showing why we have to close ranks.

Sean reminds us that this is a time where ideology has to take second place. It is absolutely true. And the reason is the venom, this absolute venom coupled with anarchy. They have no realistic goal.

COLMES: Directed at us as Americans...

RIVERA: Directed at us...

COLMES: ... because we are Americans, because we're free.

RIVERA: ... as westerners, as Americans, as journalists very specifically.

COLMES: You're going away again. You're going to the West Bank.

RIVERA: Right.

COLMES: Do you have more trepidation now?

RIVERA: Oh, you know, I don't know, but I do know this. Any reporter -- God bless Daniel Pearl and his poor wife and his child. But any reporter who now believes that you can flash a press card and that is any offer of sanctuary is being naive to the point of being dangerous. We are and will be considered combatants by the worst elements on the Islamic fringe.

COLMES: You made a lifestyle change here, to really change your life, and made a very big decision to say you want to be in the middle of things. Do you have any second thoughts now about this decision you made?

RIVERA: Well, you know, it's -- I've lived such a long life. I don't fear...

COLMES: You're not that old.

RIVERA: ... for myself. I'm old enough that I don't worry about my physical safety. I worry about my brother, Craig, who's 11 years younger than I am, who has very young children.

My mom worries about the two of us like many of these families in World War II in the same vessel, et cetera. We worry about that.

But what we have vowed is that, at the point of contact with the kidnapper, with whoever it is, that's where the fight has to take place.


RIVERA: You can't expect ransom. You can't expect negotiation. You have to fight for your life because they want to kill you.

COLMES: Do we have a situation now where journalists are now more part of the story than they had been previously in these kinds of conflicts?

RIVERA: Well, count how many casualties we suffered amongst our own forces. Compare that to now the ninth journalist killed.

You know, these are punks. These are barbaric, blood-sucking punks. These sons of bitches would rather kill someone who is unarmed than to go face to face with a marine, you know, or a special...


COLMES: ... killing civilians on 9/11.

RIVERA: Absolutely. If you can do that, if you can cut a stewardess's throat with a carpet cutter and then take an airplane and drive it right into the midst where you know men, women, and children are,

you know, going about their daily activities, then you know they would -- they would stoop to any appalling, any abysmal death to make a point.

And what point do they make here? Only that they are barbaric, in the president's words.

COLMES: I guess we also think, well, how much did Musharraf know what kind of society we're dealing with in Pakistan. Of course, he's decrying it. He said he's going after the perpetrators.

But, you know, does this hurt our relationship or should it hurt our relationship with Pakistan?

RIVERA: All I know is that President Musharraf now has a chance to make history. He has to now take this direction -- this positive direction he has now been moving this country and dramatically emphasize and escalate a fight against terrorists who care as much for Pakistan as they do for the

United States.

They don't really give a damn about Pakistan. They care only about this warped ideology that has mixed this perversion of a wonderful religion in with their own -- their own personal lack of ethics.

HANNITY: All right. We're going to get back to this. But you're going to join us a little bit later. We're going to get back into this and -- whether or not reporters ought to be armed out in the field. We'll get into that. It's a controversy. We'll ask Geraldo a little bit later on.

We are, as we speak, awaiting the president. He's in China, and he will be speaking. When he does -- it will happen within the next 40, 45 minutes -- we will bring it to you live here on HANNITY & COLMES.

And coming up next, "Newsweek" -- our own reporter, Eleanor Cliff, is going to be here. She'll comment on Daniel Pearl.

Later, is the sport-utility vehicle headed for extinction? We'll check in with Mark Levin straight ahead.

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