Bin Laden's Burial at Sea 'Sensitivity Run Amok'?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 3, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Questions and criticisms surrounding Bin Laden's controversial burial at sea continue to emerge. Now, according to officials after being taken to an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea, Bin Laden was given an Islamic ceremony that lasted about 45 minutes.

Now today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney provided a narrative of these controversial events.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, the burial of Bin Laden was done in performance with Islamic precepts and practices. The deceased body was washed and placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag, a military officer read prepared a religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up and the deceased body eased into the sea.


HANNITY: Now, reports indicate, there is video of the burial and that it may be made public. But what critics are most angry about isn't the lack of visual proof but rather the ceremony itself.

Now, my next guest calls that a case of sensitivity gone too far.

Joining me now with reaction, South Carolina, republican Senator Lindsey Graham. He's also a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee. Senator, welcome back to the program.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: I agree with you. Sensitivity -- 45 minutes? He's body cleaned, put in a shroud? It's translated into Arabic? I don't see that the victims of 9/11 had their consideration from this evil murderer. Why would we do this?

GRAHAM: Beats me. I don't think he was a good Muslim. I don't he was a good human being. But here's my concern, the president made the right call by sending troops on the ground. Go in and get the guy. You could have bomb him from there. But we could never proved we got him, right?


GRAHAM: So, the president did the bold thing to send in the SEALs to make sure that we actually get the guy. We want to prove to the world, we were successful. Release the photos, I know it's a bit controversial but you had the president of Pakistan today suggest, why don't you release the photos? So, I think we have to release the photos and rather than dumping him in the ocean within four, five hours, we should have kept the body in my view and have some independent testing, have a Scotland yard person or some, you know, ally come in and do their own DNA testing, so we could prove to the world, we got the right guy.


GRAHAM: That's what I was wanting to do. I'm more worried about our National Security than religious sensitivity when it comes to Bin Laden.

HANNITY: I agree with you. I think that maybe deeper grand in the end that they dumped his body because there are already a ton of conspiracy theories in the Muslim world. There are ton of doubters, the Taliban is saying, there's no proof of his death. And, you know, experts are questioning, even the DNA identification and they won't release the pictures immediately which is people going to say, well, now they're altered.

GRAHAM: Right. That's unsustainable. The president was right to think about proving to the world we got him.

HANNITY: I agree. That was a gutsy call.

GRAHAM: Right. But continue that dull process, if you do get him, then make sure that you can prove to the world beyond the doubt that he is dead. And one way to do that is whole of the body, the ultimate evidence, this is a historic event, and have people say, you know, I'm not part of the American government, I was there, I can conduct my own test, I saw the body myself, and I validate what the United States government are saying.

There's no doubt he's dead but it would have been a continuation of a good idea. And the reason we didn't do it apparently is we're worried about a 24 hour burial, we are at war with people who are not good Muslims. These are not good Muslims.

HANNITY: I agree. He killed Muslims. I mean.

GRAHAM: Yes, he's killed Muslims and he's killed anybody else.

HANNITY: I have no doubt this was Usama Bin Laden. I don't have any doubt.

GRAHAM: He is deader than a door nail.


GRAHAM: But people will suggest that's not him.

HANNITY: Exactly. Cindy Sheehan said so the other day!

GRAHAM: And we have a chance to say not.

HANNITY: Cindy Sheehan said so the other day!

Now we're going to have the birthers and the deathers. Where is Donald Trump? He's going to be asking for the death certificate.

GRAHAM: And you can have somebody look at the body independent of us, somebody we trusted, to verify what we did. And, you know, the operation was a great success in the future if you are listening out there to the administration, put our national security interests ahead of anything else.

HANNITY: This is sensitivity run amok, and I think there's a belief on the left that we can placate, people that want to kill us.

All right. Here's an area of disagreement though I have with you. You said this is no time to celebrate. Waterboarding which apparently Leon Panetta is now saying and others are saying and the timeline seems to show, contributed to all the intelligence that led to what happened on Sunday night. Why would you be against that?

GRAHAM: Well, I've been a military lawyer for 30 years. I just believe that technique doesn't serve our nation well. I believe in enhanced interrogation techniques that should be classified. My beef with President Obama is that within two days of taking office, he outlawed the CIA from using an enhanced interrogation techniques and the detainee treatment that I helped write. The only techniques available to us are the army field manual, they're online. I don't believe waterboarding takes us down the right road but you should have classified enhanced interrogation techniques available to CIA, the CIA does not interrogate terror suspects since Obama's been in office. That would come back to bite us.

HANNITY: But that's the point. And this is what I was discussing with Secretary Rumsfeld. Without the interrogation techniques, the black sites enhanced interrogation, we would not have this success, so in my view, President Bush deserves as much credit and I give the president credit for being gutsy.

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

HANNITY: For what happened Sunday.

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

HANNITY: But liberals can't seem to do that. They don't want to -- and this is the one time, it's not George Bush's fault. It's shocking.

GRAHAM: Well, no. Let me tell you, here's my view for what we should do. We should have classified techniques available to CIA that are beyond the army field manual that will get good evidence within our values and enemy should never know what is coming their way. When you take the CIA out of interrogation business, you are putting our nation at risk for no higher purpose.

HANNITY: Remember, President Obama was telling our sworn enemies about our interrogation techniques, as administration officials --

GRAHAM: Why did you put it online? Why did you advertise to the enemy, here's what we're going to do? And nothing else.


GRAHAM: It makes no sense.

HANNITY: And they were giving Miranda warnings to enemy combatants. I got to run. Unbelievable.

GRAHAM: Thanks for having me.

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