Crisis of confidence: Obama's mixed messages on ISIS

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Our current commander-in-chief and members of his administration are clearly in way over their heads. And the example that best proves this point is their ignorance when it comes to terrorists who want to kill innocent Americans. Now, for years, we were assured that we no longer had to worry about this threat. Here's what I mean.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I'm not talking about al Qaeda's grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.

OBAMA: Usama bin Laden is no longer a threat to our country.

We've put al Qaeda on the path to defeat.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!

OBAMA: We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al Qaeda's core leadership has been decimated.


HANNITY: Now, unfortunately, some Americans actually believed all that. But when we all started to learn more about a group called ISIS and the threat that they pose, not just in the Middle East but around the world -- well, President Obama was asked about this seemingly new terror network back in January. And he told The New Yorker, quote, "Well, the analogy that we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, that if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, well, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant."

However, the rise of ISIS continued, and as a result, the rhetoric of our commander-in-chief -- well, that started to evolve a lot.


OBAMA: I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet.

OBAMA: If we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.

OBAMA: Our objective is clear, we will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.


HANNITY: And that's exactly why we put together tonight's distinguished audience as we cover all the week's hot topics, from ISIS to the Oklahoma beheading to the Secret Service scandal, Ebola and much more.

And with that, we bring in our panel. How could the president be so wrong about ISIS? John, you follow, you write, you're a great author.  How? How do you -- how can you possibly be that wrong?

JOHN PODHORETZ, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, he was that wrong because he wanted to be that wrong. It is the axiom of this administration that it has been a stalwart warrior against terrorism and that the murder of Usama bin Laden put paid -- excuse me, the killing of Usama bin Laden put paid to al Qaeda. And so 2012 was spent with that argument.

And once that argument is made for a year, it's not as though the White House can simply turn around and say, Gee, sorry. I know we said that during the election, but you know what? We were kind of wrong, and we didn't really mean it, and in fact, we're really in a lot of trouble now.

So they had to hew to the narrative line that they created. And they hewed to it and hewed to it until heads started to lopped off, literally.

HANNITY: Monica Crowley, after he attacked the intelligence agency, something he's pretty well known to do, Tamara, which is blame somebody else but himself -- he said, Well, got it wrong on ISIS. Now we find out he didn't read his presidential daily briefings! Now we find out the president knew about ISIS in granular detail if he would have read them.  He also was warned with perfection, pinpoint accuracy everything that would happen if he left Iraq too early.

How could he be this wrong and how could he be that out of touch?

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Barack Obama ran and won as an anti-war leftist, and he has remained stubbornly committed to that ideology. That's why he spent the last six years of his presidency miniaturizing and minimizing the Islamic terror threat, and frankly, threats of all manner and of all nature, because he doesn't want to have to deal with it!

This also explains why he has pressed forward with the gutting of the military. It's all part of a leftist ideology. He has persistently tried to deny the threat, deflect attention away from it, so he could continue his fundamental transformation here at home, until he could no longer do it anymore. John pointed to the beheadings of the two Americans. Once that generated enough outrage among the American people, then he had to act!

HANNITY: In the lead-up to an election!

CROWLEY: But understand his heart is not in this fight!

HANNITY: I agree with you 100 percent. Let me go to Tamara. Tamara, you defend the administration a lot. This goes back -- let's remember, they were called "overseas contingency operations," "man-caused disasters."  We were told the official position of the government of the United States and this administration today is that what happened at Ft. Hood is an example of workplace violence.

They're saying they're not sure, but the initial narrative was that's probably workplace violence in Oklahoma. You add to that ISIS is not Islamic. The president was asked last Sunday if we were at war with ISIS, he said we're not at war with ISIS.

Why can't this president get simple, basic things about radical Islamists right? Why?

TAMARA HOLDER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the first thing is Monica's incorrect in saying that it's a leftist ideology. There are people on the left, like myself, who do not agree with this president, think that he is lazy in his leadership and lazy in his policy and he does not listen to the intelligence that is coming to him. So to blame an entire group of people is irresponsible...

HANNITY: But they're fighting back. Isn't it interesting that, all of a sudden, that the intelligence community, all these leaks, no, he was warned about ISIS repeatedly...

HOLDER: Correct.

HANNITY: ... was warned about the ramifications of pulling out of Iraq repeatedly.

HOLDER: So that's not a leftist ideology, and that's -- that has to do with the president...

HANNITY: Talking about the president's leftist ideology, which I don't think anybody here except you might deny.

HOLDER: It's not -- no, it has nothing to do with him being a leftist. It has to do with him being a poor leader...


HOLDER: A poor leader. That's what it is.

FIELDS: ... and Leon Panetta described that in his book, and that's his philosophy, and he wanted to stay true to that campaign promise...


FIELDS: No. No, but it's saying that he wanted to abandon Iraq because that is his ideology! That is part of the left-wing ideology!


HANNITY: All right, let me go to Bo. Bo, I want to ask you a specific quote (ph). One month ago, Obama said about the Syrian opposition -- he said, It's a fantasy that won't happen. These are doctors and pharmacists who couldn't possibly aid our efforts. That's now become the core of his -- of his -- of his Syrian foreign policy.

BO DIETL, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, let's not simplify this.  We're dealing with barbarians. Every day, I get videos from the great Navy SEAL friends that I have. They send me videos of these hundreds of beheadings, putting people's heads on poles. We're dealing with barbarians!

Now to use the social media now to influx into the United States of America and get more people to join up. This is the World War 3 beginning!  These people that are out there are barbarians, Sean! People have to realize what is going on.

And the only way to defeat them -- what we should do is, if they don't want to put our boots on the ground, we have a lot of heroes, a lot of Navy SEALs, a lot of people over in England. They should put together a mercenary force. 10,000 real soldiers could wipe them out! They wouldn't be like the Iraq...


HANNITY: You would go for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would absolutely go. If they said, You want to go today (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: You would go.


HANNITY: You want to fight ISIS...


HANNITY: You want -- because you view it as a clear, present danger to America.

DIETL: I wish I could run!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Obama's not going to do anything about it...

DIETL: I'll go with you!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I'd be happy to.

DIETL: I wish I could run! I'd go with him. I'll tell you right now...


HANNITY: We'll just put you in a tank, Bo.


DIETL: Listen to me! Listen to me! You got heroes over in England.  You got SAS guys. You got guys over there. These are not going to be like the Iraqians (sic) that stand there with their hands tied behind their back, get shot in the back of the head and get their heads sawed off! You got real military guys! They want to have a fight, I put my Navy SEALs and my guys in America -- get them over there! They'll show them a fight!

HANNITY: I put your whole detective squad against them because I know (INAUDIBLE) private investigator.

Let me turn to the Muslim side of this question because the president has come under fire, Mike Ghouse, repeatedly for saying the Islamic State is not Islamic. Yes, it is Islamic! We have Boko Haram. We have the Islamic Jihad. We have ISIS. We have al Qaeda. We have Hezbollah. We have Hamas -- all in the name of your religion, which I know bothers you.  This is happening in the name of Islam!

MIKE GHOUSE, AMERICA TOGETHER FOUNDATION: There are two Islams out there. One is the pristine Islam, which a majority of Muslims follow. And the other one is mangled-up Islam. When the ISIL guys quote Quran and other things, it is not in the Quran. That was quoted in other books by the scholars in the past. And they are rightfully quoting it. It is not in the Quran, but it is in the Islamic...

HANNITY: I -- I -- listen...

GHOUSE: Sean, let me finish it!

HANNITY: Listen, I am not a Quran expert...

GHOUSE: It is...

HANNITY: But wait a minute! The Quran...

GHOUSE: It isn't Islamic (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: The Quran talks a lot about infidels. It talks about holy war, about jihad. It talks about, Take neither Christians nor Jews for your friends. A rigid interpretation is how they justify what they're doing, correct?

GHOUSE: Absolutely correct, and...

HANNITY: OK. So in other words, they read it verbatim. It talks about jihad, Take neither Christians nor Jews for your friends, and that justifies killing in the name of Allah!

GHOUSE: Actually, they do not read that way, but they have been conditioned to read that way. These scholars from...

HANNITY: I have read the Quran!

GHOUSE: I agree. From the 10th and 11th century scholars, Muslim scholars, they have misinterpreted the whole thing, including the one that said, Don't take friends for Jews and Christian Christians. These are all the misinterpretation, but Muslim scholars...

HANNITY: Jihad, infidels. You're an imam. Imam Siddeeq is with us.

GHOUSE: It is not in the Quran, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is the majority of what we see in the media today all anti-Christian, anti-Jew? Why isn't there not a bigger cry from the Muslim community? You say...

HANNITY: Convert or die!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... it's the majority of them.



GHOUSE: I'm glad you mentioned that. If you'll Google it, there are millions of Muslims all over the world have condemned ISIS. I was the first one to condemn on September 5. I wrote to President Obama...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just millions? There's over a billion Muslims in the world.


HANNITY: Your voice is -- I find moderate Muslims that have their religion being hijacked -- their voices are almost mute! There is a fear because what happens? They're labeled an apostate. You have had fatwas called on you, have you not?

GHOUSE: Well, I did. I did. And I have death threats. I can't care but...

HANNITY: That's because you come on my show because...


HANNITY: All right, let's go to the imam. Give you a quick chance.  This is happening in the name of your religion! I asked you once if Hezbollah is a terrorist group, you wouldn't give me a definitive answer!  In their charter, it says obliterate the state of Israel!


HANNITY: Hamas, sorry.

SIDDEEQ: OK. That's all right. We'll start off right.


SIDDEEQ: Well, first of all...

HANNITY: Will you condemn them now?

SIDDEEQ: Will I condemn Hamas? No, I will not condemn Hamas. I wouldn't care if a thousand people disagree. First of all, there's two sides...

HANNITY: Hamas's charter says to obliterate Jews and obliterate the...

SIDDEEQ: They need to change the charter.

HANNITY: ... state of Israel!

SIDDEEQ: Need to change the charter. But let's get to the issue...

HANNITY: Change the charter? What about...


FIELDS: Are you going to condemn them?

SIDDEEQ: OK, are we going to talk or are we going to scream?


HANNITY: ... get your statement out.

SIDDEEQ: OK. First of all, what I would say is this. First of all, anybody who has an ounce of sense knows that the tag that was given to these people, barbarians -- that's perfectly accurate. So don't -- but you can't substitute barbarians with Islam. They may take on the idea of Islam, but both -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam, it's like a (INAUDIBLE) We invite everybody in. And if we actually -- but let's be fair, Sean.  Let's be fair. Just let me just finish one thought!

PODHORETZ: Judaism does not invite everybody.

SIDDEEQ: OK, well, maybe not, but Christianity and Islam does.

PODHORETZ: Yes, you do.

SIDDEEQ: And so -- but the point I'm making is we can't scrutinize who comes through the door. But I'm saying you can't, just because every time someone goes bananas...


HANNITY: In the mosque...


HANNITY: No, no! Hold on! In the mosque, Michelle -- let Michelle.  In the mosque in Oklahoma, we're told that they had back room meetings.  This was the "convert or die" position.

FIELDS: I'm sorry, if someone comes to the door and says that they want to kill anyone who's non-Muslim, which is what this guy -- the Oklahoma guy put on Facebook, yes, I would stop them at the door and say, You are not allowed in here. You would let someone like that in?

TODD STARNES, FOX NEWS RADIO: Oh, please. Let's be real.

FIELDS: You just said you'd let anyone in!

SIDDEEQ: Please, let's be real, though.


STARNES: Let's be real, sir. A grandmother was beheaded in the United States of America, sir! A grandmother was beheaded in the United States of America!

SIDDEEQ: Do I get a chance to talk? Do I get a chance to respond?


HANNITY: One at a -- go ahead.

SIDDEEQ: OK, first of all, this man, if he was a Muslim for three years, what was he before that? And do we indict what he was before that because of the fact that he went bananas?

HANNITY: He spoke in Arabic! He asked for a Muslim lawyer!

SIDDEEQ: OK, he spoke -- what about the man who just killed his six children? I mean, are we going to...

HANNITY: Let's stay focused here.

JOE TACOPINA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That was a violent criminal.  Hold on. He was a violent criminal before he did this. Let's not make the fact that he found religion as an excuse...

HANNITY: All over his Facebook page was full of radical Islam!

TACOPINA: I know, but he's a crazy person! That's not -- that's not -- don't forget he went postal!


TACOPINA: He went back to his...

HANNITY: Hold on. Hold on.

TACOPINA: He went back to his employer who fired him and killed someone there.

HANNITY: All over his...

TACOPINA: That has nothing to do with Islam or the Quran.


HANNITY: All over his Facebook is influence of radical Islam!

TACOPINA: So anyone who's a Christian who kills someone, we hold Christians indicted for that, right?


HANNITY: Give me the -- give me the...

TACOPINA: Come on.

HANNITY: Give me the ISIS comparison in the Christian community.

TACOPINA: Give you the what?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ku Klux Klan. How about that?


TACOPINA: How Klan? There you go.


PODHORETZ: I'll give you the Jewish comparison.

HANNITY: What is it?

PODHORETZ: In the 1960s there was a radical right-wing Jewish group called the Jewish Defense League, and mainstream Jews attacked it. When Baruch Goldstein killed 28 Arabs in 1995, mainstream Judaism went after him worse. So -- worse than anybody else. So that is the model.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a mass murder. That's not a religion.  Here's the thing...


PODHORETZ: That's what I'm saying.

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