This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from April 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This photograph shows the top of the reactor vessel in the reactor hall before concrete was poured around the vertical control rod and refueling tubes. Note the similar arrangement of vertical tube openings in the top of the Syrian reactor on the left and North Korea's Pyongyang plutonium production reactor on the right.


BRIT HUME, HOST: That is a small excerpt from some materials that the CIA briefed to the press, and, more importantly, I suppose, to members of Congress today, which produced — well, here is a sample of some of the reactions we got.


GARY ACKERMAN, (D) HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: It re-proves the point that North Korea is a dangerous place, and that North Koreans are one of the most difficult of peoples with whom we tried from time to time to deal.

PETER HOEKSTRA, (R) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The full intelligence committee needed to be debriefed. It happened today. It happened eight months later than what it should have been.


BRIT HUME, HOST: Well, there was a lot of reaction on Capitol Hill, but most of it to this information strongly suggest that the facility boxed by the Israelis back in, what, September, was, indeed, a nuclear reactor, and the very kind of facility that could be used to create a nuclear weapon.

There is a lot of reaction, and we will discuss it right now with our panelists, Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call, Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, and the syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, FOX News contributors all.

First of all, the significance of these revelations — Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, it's very important because it means that the North Koreans are doing stuff which we had suspected but is really quite serious.

Syria is a player. It's an active supporter of terrorism. It has links with Hezbollah. If it had a nuke, it would be extremely dangerous. The Israelis acted the way they acted in 1981 when Saddam almost had his hands on nuclear weapons.

The question today is why did they wait more than half-a-year to tell us? Congress is up in arms over this, and its whining over nothing.

The reasons are obvious. At the time, we did not want a Syrian reaction. Honor plays a big role in behavior in the Middle East, and it's the Syrians who have been exposed to a successful attack. It was humiliating, and the Israelis wanted it really quiet.

So if you talk about it half-a-year later, there is not going to be a Syrian reaction.

HUME: There is a Syrian reaction of sorts out there. There is a statement out, calling this a campaign of false allegations that the current administration continually launches against Syria, and so on — paper statement.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's a paper statement, but it is not thousands of Hezbollah missiles.

And, secondly, we were in a stage in negotiations with Pyongyang in which they were dismantling or at least allowing inspection of their own reactor, and we didn't want a disruption of that.

I think, ultimately, the disclosure had to be made. It was made today in congress. And after half a year, it will have less of a negative impact.

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: I agree with that. One of the most remarkable things about that attack is the incredible silence everywhere, the U.S., Israel —

HUME: Syria said nothing.

LIASSON: Syria said nothing. At the time, the Israelis said to Syria we're going to do this and we're not going to say anything about it. We're going to spare you the humiliation even though you're going to get your plants obliterated.

I think that right now it's coming out of the least dangerous time, at least to provoke a reaction from Syria. I agree with Charles on that. And, also, it might give the U.S. more leverage as they negotiate with North Korea, because now they have the goods on them.

MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: That's what the administration is saying, that the Chinese are now aware that they've got to put even added pressure for verification on the North Koreans.

HUME: In regard to what?

KONDRACKE: The North Koreans have not been fessing up to what they have produced so far.

HUME: In North Korea, apart from what they were doing in Syria, right?

KONDRACKE: Yes. So there are two things. There is what they produced, and there is also their proliferation activities. And what the administration is saying is that now we can all six, but especially the Chinese and the United States, can put added pressure for verification on the North Koreans as part of these negotiations.

But I think the most interesting thing about all of this is the implications for Iran. We knew about this Israeli raid before it took place, presumably gave it a green light.

HUME: We being the United States government.

KONDRACKE: Yes. I confirmed that today.

So this is an existential threat that Israel saw in Syria developing a nuclear weapon. Iran is much further down the road to developing and nuclear weapon and is also an existential threat.

And I know that Israelis have said that this is the year of decision, because next year, there will be a new president. If it is a Democrat, there will be extended negotiations, and being able to do something militarily would be off the table.

So I talked to Middle East experts who are close to the Israelis who say it is 50/50 whether the Israelis come to the United States this year and say we're going to hit Iran.

HUME: What do you think, Charles?

LIASSON: There is much begging potential consequences for hitting Iran than hitting Syria.

HUME: That's true. What do you Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm not sure. I'm not sure Israel has the physical capacity to actually have a successful attack. If it does —

HUME: Because what the Iranians have is not some simple above ground facility that can be even be attacked.

KRAUTHAMMER: It is not one spot, it is hundreds of spots. It's underground, and it will require not one day of strikes but a week or two of strikes. And I don't know if Israel has the physical capacity to actually do that successfully.

HUME: When we come back, why do election results for Barack Obama differ, at times quite a bit, from what voters say they have done at the polls? How straightforward are some white voters about their racial views? We'll be right back.


HUME: Let's look at some polls and what they may tell us about the state of the Democratic race.

First of all, this is what the exit poll finally showed of how the race in Pennsylvania is going to turn out — four points for Hillary Clinton. And this is what the actual final total was — from a four-point lead to nearly a 10-point lead, a big difference.

Let's look on the question of whether race was a factor in Pennsylvania. This is from the exit polls as well — 13 percent of white voters said it was a factor, and 75 percent of those who said it was a factor voted for Hillary Clinton.

So how did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do with white voters? Hillary Clinton won 63 percent of Pennsylvania white voters.

Looking back to Ohio, how did she do there? 64/34.

It hasn't always been thus in this race. If you go back to Wisconsin, look at Wisconsin's white voters and how they voted. Well, we don't see it there on the screen, but I can tell you that they voted 54-45 for Barack Obama. Barack Obama actually won the white vote.

Something has happened in this race and it raises some intriguing questions about — obviously it's interesting whether white voters are telling the pollsters the truth about who they're going to vote for and whether there is now resistance to Barack Obama on the issue of race that wasn't there before.

What do you think, Mara?

LIASSON: Here's what I think — number one, on the polls, these polls tend to over-sample Obama supporters.

HUME: How do we know that?

LIASSON: Here is what pollsters will say about that — the people who are not voting for him because of race don't talk to the exit pollsters when they're approached when they come out of the polls.

HUME: How do they know that?

LIASSON: Because — this is the theory that pollsters have.

HUME: This is the theory?


HUME: But there is no hard evidence of this?

LIASSON: No, there's no hard evidence because these people aren't talking to you. But there is a feeling that people don't like to say they are voting against someone because of race, number one. And a lot of people who might be voting for that reason don't want to talk to the pollsters at all.

And there has been a tendency in a lot of these exit polls to over-sample the Obama vote. In other words, he doesn't do as well as the exit polls. And that could be one reason.

HUME: Is that's because people are lying or because they won't talk?

LIASSON: I think it's both.

One other thing — Harold Ford when he ran in Tennessee polled exactly how he came out. There was no so-called "Bradley effect," Tom Bradley, for lying to pollsters about voting for a black man.

HUME: Tom Bradley was a candidate for governor of California. Election day polls showed he was going to win, and he lost.

LIASSON: But one more thing about Obama and white voters — Wisconsin was the time when Hillary Clinton's campaign was flat on its back after Super Tuesday. They were out of money and had no campaign in Wisconsin. It is also a more progressive political culture.

In the lunch bucket Democratic swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania he does have a problem with white working class voters. He hasn't come up with a message for them. Partially it's race, but it is also that he hasn't found a way to connect with them.

LIASSON: Right. I agree with all of that.

If you look at the final run of exit polls, it was pretty close, actually. It was only one point off.

HUME: Mort, that had been subjected to a lot of weighting. In other words, the numbers had been manipulated —

KONDRACKE: To make it come out like the results? You mean they started from —

HUME: No. They started to computer massage them with some raw vote numbers.

KONDRACKE: OK. But, actually, Obama's pre-election polls showed that Obama got about — he was expected to get about 42 percent of the vote. He got 44. Hillary Clinton was under-polled, but it could be because a lot of undecided voters who hadn't made up their minds or weren't saying what they had done went to Hillary Clinton, so she got more then she polled.

HUME: Let's get down to brass tacks.

KONDRACKE: But is there a racial problem for Barack Obama? Yes, there is. There certainly is, because some people admit it. They are not lying about it.

HUME: We asked Michael Steele, who, of course, is a Republican but who ran in a Democratic state for Senator from Maryland, African- American guy, the other night on the air, about what he thought the factor was. Are there a significant number of people in America who simply will not vote for a black man or black woman?

And he said he thought so, and he discounted his base to the tune of 20 percent he said. That is a Republican base, maybe more conservative, maybe more adverse to an African-American, I don't know. Charles, tell us your thoughts.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, that is obviously so. There is a finite number of voters who will not support a black candidate.

But it is not everyone who lies to a pollster. If you are worried about Obama because he is new, untested, culturally looks down on you, you may still not want to tell the pollster if you're a Democrat and politically correct that you're going to oppose the first serious African- American candidate in history.

So it's not that you are opposing him on grounds of race, but you don't want to admit that you're going to vote against him, and that, I think, accounts for a large number and a large part of that discrepancy.

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