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Mansoor Ijaz discusses the Clinton administration's failure to deal with Osama bin Laden
CNBC Business Center, CNBC News Transcripts | December 6, 2001 | ANCHOR: SUE HERERA

Posted on 05/17/2002 10:03:52 PM PDT by Wallaby

Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Mansoor Ijaz discusses the Clinton administration's failure to deal with Osama bin Laden and what Islamic Americans need to do in the current environment

CNBC News Transcripts
Business Center (6:00 PM ET) – CNBC
December 6, 2001 Thursday

SUE HERERA, co-anchor:

Counterterrorism expert Mansoor Ijaz joins us now. He is chairman of Crescent Investment Management. He negotiated several offers from Sudan in 1996 and 1997 for the release of counterterrorism data that could have yielded al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists and then last year received an extradition order for bin Laden from Sudan.

They always said actions speak louder than words, and I have not yet been able to figure out which actions they were talking about, because when I brought them an opportunity to act, they didn't do anything.

Mansoor, it's always a pleasure to have you with us. Welcome back.

Mr. MANSOOR IJAZ (Crescent Investment Management): Thank you.

HERERA: In one of your pieces that you wrote in the Los Angeles Times, you basically say that Mr. Clinton's failure to grasp the opportunities to unravel increasingly organized extremists represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history. You were involved in some of those negotiations. Is your claim that they politicized the intelligence, or why do you think that it all fell apart and we're in this situation we're in now?

Mr. IJAZ: Well, I think there's no question anymore, after September 11th, that when we look back at the history of how we got here, that the Clinton administration did politicize intelligence. We have to keep in mind that the Sudan was an easy target for them. The reason is because if you look at the geography, to the north of the Sudan, you had Egypt; to the east of Sudan, you had Eritrea; to the south of Sudan, you had Ethiopia and Uganda. Egypt had a bone to pick because they wanted the three terrorists that had su--supposedly tried to assassinate their president at one point.

HERERA: Right.

Mr. IJAZ: And they wanted water rights, more water from the Nile River that flows all the way through the Sudan. Eritrea wanted to have Port Sudan as a port on the Red Sea that would be able to transmit the oil coming from the southern part of the Sudan. Uganda and Ethiopia were involved in funneling arms into the SPLA, which is this guerrilla group fighting in the south.

So there was no question that there was a lot of politicizing of the intelligence, and this is why I asked the Clinton administration over and over again, 'Why are we not sending our own people in there on the ground so that we get our own data, not relying on our neighbors to find out what's going on?'

HERERA: And what did they say? What did those administration officials tell you?

Mr. IJAZ: They always said actions speak louder than words, and I have not yet been able to figure out which actions they were talking about, because when I brought them an opportunity to act, they didn't do anything.

HERERA: Yeah. So you mentioned water and you mentioned oil, which are two things in many parts of the world that are key to survival. What role do you think oil, in particular, played in the scenario that you just laid out and in the scenario that we're--we find ourselves in now?

Mr. IJAZ: Yeah. Sudan's oil is very much like Saudi Arabia's oil; it's a very low-cost oil to get out of the ground. There was no question that there was a hot amount of interest to try and get that oil out, which meant the south wanted to hang on to it. It--it sort of propagated the civil war conflict in the Sudan, which gave Christian right-wing groups around the world an opportunity to fund the civil war and fuel it, while all this hotbed of terrorist activity that was going on in the Sudan kept on going.

And what I was trying to get the Clinton administration to understand was that the Sudanese had come to the conclusion themselves that whatever was going on there from '91 to '95 or '96 was no longer in their interests either because it had gone overboard. And when they pushed bin Laden out, they didn't just take all of those guys with them; they left it right there.

HERERA: Now we have the new prime minister. We have a situation where the--the situation is obviously fluid, given what's going on in Kandahar and in Afghanistan.

Mr. IJAZ: Yes.

HERERA: To--handicap the situation that you see now and where you--how you see the United States progressing.

Mr. IJAZ: The problem with the deal on Kandahar is the following. Mullah Omar is trying to stay free. That's the deal that he cut with the local tribesmen.

HERERA: Right.

Mr. IJAZ: That's not an acceptable solution for the United States. Then in the north, the new government that's coming in, the Northern Alliance, has the defense ministry and foreign ministry. And because they have these two key portfolios, it is very unclear whether the Northern Alliance will allow the government to fully function as a broad-based representative government in Afghanistan.

If that doesn't happen, then you have the possibility of a squeeze play between India and Afghanistan on either side of Pakistan, where the generals in Pakistan come to the conclusion that the Northern Alliance is not being straight with them; the Indians want to go to war with them anyway over Kashmir, and you have a real possibility that something could go wrong in Pakistan. And I think our defense planners are not paying attention to this possibility.

HERERA: Domestically, here at home, there's been a lot of controversy over the issue of profiling, with the attorney general...

Mr. IJAZ: Yes.

HERERA: ...under fire on some sides and being praised on others.

Mr. IJAZ: Yes.

HERERA: How do you think that's going to play out?

Mr. IJAZ: You know, as an American of the Islamic faith, I can only tell you that it is--it's sad to see that what--what is happening right now is happening. But we, as Americans of the Islamic faith, have an enormous and very special responsibility right now to police our own communities. We have to remember what America gave to us. We have to stand up and stand up for America's rights, the right that we have to ensure our liberty and our freedom. And that means that anyone who is out there that is under arrest or--they have to understand that what happened on September 11th was not an ordinary event. They have to understand that, whether we like it or not--I could even be picked up. And if I was picked up and put in a jail somewhere, I'd sit there as long as it took to go through the due process, because the time has come for us to be Americans first. This is a country in which there's separation of church and state, and we'd better learn that and we'd better understand what that means.

HERERA: On that note, Mansoor Ijaz. Mansoor, it's pleasure to have you with us.

Mr. IJAZ: Thank you. Appreciate it.

HERERA: Thanks so much.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: binladen; clinton
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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U.S. botched chances to capture bin Laden
By Mansoor Ijaz
The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
December 9, 2001, Sunday
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.

I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities. From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.

Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center.

The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening.

As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counterterrorism policies fueled the rise of bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster.

Realizing the growing problem with bin Laden, Bashir sent key intelligence officials to the United States in February 1996.

The Sudanese offered to arrest bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia or, barring that, to "baby-sit" him -- monitoring all his activities and associates.

But Saudi officials didn't want their home-grown terrorist back where he might plot to overthrow them.

In May 1996, the Sudanese capitulated to U.S. pressure and asked bin Laden to leave, despite their feeling that he could be monitored better in Sudan than elsewhere.

Bin Laden left for Afghanistan, taking with him Ayman Zawahiri, considered by the United States to be the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks; Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who traveled frequently to Germany to obtain electronic equipment for al-Qaida; Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden's personal secretary and roving emissary, now serving a life sentence in the United States for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya; and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saif Adel, also accused of carrying out the embassy attacks. Some of these men are now among the FBI's 22 most-wanted terrorists.

The two men who allegedly piloted the planes into the twin towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, prayed in the same Hamburg, Germany, mosque as did Salim and Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian trader who managed Salim's bank accounts and whose assets are frozen.

Important data on each had been compiled by the Sudanese.

But U.S. authorities repeatedly turned the data away, first in February 1996; then again that August, when at my suggestion Sudan's religious ideologue, Hassan Turabi, wrote directly to Clinton; then again in April 1997, when I persuaded Bashir to invite the FBI to come to Sudan and view the data; and finally in February 1998, when Sudan's intelligence chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi, wrote directly to the FBI.

Gutbi had shown me some of Sudan's data during a three-hour meeting in Khartoum in October 1996. When I returned to Washington, I told Berger and his specialist for East Africa, Susan Rice, about the data available. They said they'd get back to me. They never did. Neither did they respond when Bashir made the offer directly. I believe they never had any intention to engage Muslim countries -- ally or not. Radical Islam, for the administration, was a convenient national security threat. And that was not the end of it. In July 2000 -- three months before the deadly attack on the destroyer Cole in Yemen -- I brought the White House another plausible offer to deal with bin Laden, by then known to be involved in the embassy bombings.

A senior counterterrorism official from one of the United States' closest Arab allies -- an ally whose name I am not free to divulge -- approached me with the proposal after telling me he was fed up with the antics and arrogance of U.S. counterterrorism officials.

The offer, which would have brought bin Laden to the Arab country as the first step of an extradition process that would eventually deliver him to the United States, required only that Clinton make a state visit there to personally request bin Laden's extradition. But senior Clinton officials sabotaged the offer, letting it get caught up in internal politics within the ruling family -- Clintonian diplomacy at its best.

Clinton's failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger's assessments of their potential to directly threaten the United States, represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history.

1 posted on 05/17/2002 10:03:52 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: Wallaby
Hannity and Colmes
2 posted on 05/17/2002 10:07:56 PM PDT by let freedom sing
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To: Wallaby
I've hear Mansoor talk about this before, not realizing he was a political supporter of clinton, which should give this more weight as if it needed it. Mansoor is very knowledgable and good to listen to.
3 posted on 05/17/2002 10:30:26 PM PDT by blackbart1
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To: doug from upland; aristeides; mattdono; Howlin; Snow Bunny; TwoStep; Dog; backhoe; OldFriend
4 posted on 05/17/2002 10:54:42 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Wallaby, dirt
Very good find, as usual.

(just checked your sign on date... you're older than dirt!)

5 posted on 05/18/2002 12:02:40 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Wallaby
The Clinton administration failed to deal with Bin Laden .

The Bush administration failed to deal with Bin Laden early enough.

There is guilt enough for everyone.

The survivors of the murdered Americans will watch closely and sue each side.

More power to them!

6 posted on 05/18/2002 12:25:33 AM PDT by Betty Jo
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To: StarFan; JohnHuang2
Wow, Mansoor Ijaz made it onto CNBC with this info? I thought only FoxNews was giving him air time. Perhaps there's hope?
7 posted on 05/18/2002 12:28:31 AM PDT by nutmeg
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To: nutmeg
Thanks for the heads up...will give this one a mega ping..
8 posted on 05/18/2002 12:32:39 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: AuntB;nunya bidness;GrandmaC;Washington_minuteman;buffyt;Grampa Dave;Jolly Rodgers;blackie...

9 posted on 05/18/2002 12:33:06 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: Wallaby
Many Thanks for the post.
10 posted on 05/18/2002 12:33:43 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: Wallaby;JohnHuang2
They have to understand that, whether we like it or not--I could even be picked up. And if I was picked up and put in a jail somewhere, I'd sit there as long as it took to go through the due process, because the time has come for us to be Americans first.

Bump and good morning to you too.

11 posted on 05/18/2002 12:44:12 AM PDT by swheats
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To: JohnHuang2;Wallaby;SAMWolf;4TheFlag;HiJinx;68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub;
Thank you for the Ping John.

Wallaby ths is excellent , thank you for the thread.

12 posted on 05/18/2002 12:55:31 AM PDT by Snow Bunny
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To: Snow Bunny
Thanks for the ping
13 posted on 05/18/2002 12:57:55 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: swheats
14 posted on 05/18/2002 12:59:09 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: Snow Bunny
You're welcome, my friend -- and Good morning to ya =^)
15 posted on 05/18/2002 12:59:36 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: Libloather;all
A little later in the morning ( when I presume more citizens will be online ) I am going to send this story and a pile of others out using a mass email... anyone else so inclined, here's how to do it:

Go here:

Ignorance Making You Ill? Cure It!

for links, tools, & instructions about how to contact a pile of different people, and how to send a link to this story right here ( or anywhere else ) to a "mass email" using Outlook Express.

Do be advised that since I increased my volume of mass emails to letters to editors I have gotten return volleys of virus attacks- my ISP filters them out before the get to my PC, but if yours does not, take appropriate precautions to guard your PC.

I take this as a positive- my emails are simply links with no editorial content; so the other side must fear & loath the information even reaching the public.

16 posted on 05/18/2002 2:13:50 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: blackbart1
The question about Monsoor is what the heck was a man whose main credential was that he was a campaign contributor doing negotiating for the President of the United States, in the matter of Bin Laden?

Where did this man come from, why did he have such access to classified information, and what was his relationship to Clinton.

He has helped put this calamity in the proper framework but how did this happen?

17 posted on 05/18/2002 5:10:52 AM PDT by OldFriend
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To: OldFriend
In an administration in which Jesse Jackson was sent as an emissary to negotiate for hostage release, it doesn't surprise me that this guy was tapped. Remember, the thing that qualified you as a participant in the Clinton Administration was either money or the ability to deliver votes. Securitiy issues were way down the list.
18 posted on 05/18/2002 5:32:00 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: OldFriend
The question about Monsoor is what the heck was a man whose main credential was that he was a campaign contributor doing negotiating for the President of the United States, in the matter of Bin Laden?

My guess is that clinton wanted a healthy sum of money to take Bin Laden off their hands.

19 posted on 05/18/2002 6:25:40 AM PDT by Vinnie
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To: JohnHuang2;Snow Bunny;backhoe;VOA;Registered;aristeides;Betty Jo;let freedom sing; Ken H; blackbart1
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Interview With Mansoor Ijaz, Charlie Rangel
Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
May 17, 2002 Friday

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: All right. Welcome to HANNITY &
COLMES. We're glad you're with us. I'm Sean Hannity.
Coming up tonight, is the university that is considered to be the birthplace of free speech -- are they now limiting free speech, and why is one professor warning conservatives not to take his class? And is faith the key to finding peace in the Middle East? We'll be joined tonight by the Reverend Pat Robertson.
Plus country music superstar Sara Evans will join us.
SARA EVANS, COUNTRY SINGER: ... gave me / Because it's all I waited for / And I could not ask for more...
HANNITY: Also Sara's husband, Craig. He is making a run for Congress. He's going to be here tonight.
And do you know which member of Congress once tied the knot with another superstar, Elizabeth Taylor? That's our HANNITY &
COLMES question of the day.
But, first, our top story on this Friday. President Bush responded today to criticism over how he handled warning signs of the September 11th attacks on the U.S.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people.
HANNITY: He also said he had no clear indication that terrorists would hijack passenger planes and deliberately crash them. Did the president do enough with the information that he got?
We're joined tonight by New York Congressman Charlie Rangel and foreign affairs expert, Fox News contributor Mansoor Ijaz. So, for the record, you're a Democrat.

…at that time, the political apparatus was blocking our FBI and our intelligence operatives from going on.
HANNITY: Donated heavily to the Democratic Party. IJAZ: And still do.
HANNITY: OK. I'm going to put up on the screen, if I can, "Los Angeles Times", December 5th, 2001, and -- these are your words, and we'll put them up there.
"President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Usama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year. I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities."
The reason I bring this up is because this is all about politics and this tactic of the Democrats to demonize a good president here. This wouldn't even be because you're saying Bush -- Clinton had a chance to get him.
IJAZ: He did, and I think the thing that we have to be very clear about -- and let's compare apples to apples, if we can for just a minute.
In the months leading up to the August, 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, there were several opportunities in which the Sudanese intelligence chief wrote directly to the director of the FBI's East Africa division and then later to Director Freeh as well, offering to share data with them to help them understand exactly what was going on at that time.
That is precisely similar to what we have today. The difference was that, at that time, the political apparatus was blocking our FBI and our intelligence operatives from going on.
HANNITY: So Bill Clinton and his administration -- they were offered multiple times Usama bin Laden on a silver placet, and they didn't take it.
IJAZ: The FBI...
HANNITY: And you negotiated it.
IJAZ: The FBI is on the record as having said that, when we went and tried to look at the data, the State Department blocked us over and over and over again from making those trips.
HANNITY: Charlie Rangel, I want to tell you something. I think Democrats hit a low when they had a radio ad in Missouri in 1998 that said, "If you elect a Republican, another black church is going to burn." The NAACP ad was bad. When Democrats scare old people over Social Security and say Republicans have a plan to take it away from them, it's awful.
This is a low for the Democratic Party, to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 for political purposes, and the evidence that this is political is that they're not saying a word about what this man negotiated with Sudan, to have Usama handed over. They'd be calling for investigations into that.
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: You're such an exciting television personality.
RANGEL: You can put so many words together that one would forget the question.
HANNITY: ... Charlie. This is serious.
RANGEL: I was so...
HANNITY: This is...
RANGEL: Listen...
HANNITY: This is really a new low for the Democratic Party.
RANGEL: I was so intrigued by listening to this distinguished gentleman because I was confused as to what really happened when the president was...
HANNITY: Democrats are often confused.
RANGEL: Thank you.
HANNITY: Not you usually, but...
RANGEL: It's all right.
Hey, the president is vacationing at his ranch. He gets these reports that something terrible could happen, and it does happen, and we've been trying to figure out in the Congress what went wrong so that we can prevent it from happening, and I get on your show and find out it was Clinton's fault. That was Clinton's fault.
HANNITY: He negotiated it.
COLMES: You know what's really amazing?
RANGEL: ... asked him, "Did you negotiate it?"
COLMES: Mansoor, you know what's truly amazing?
RANGEL: Holy mackerel.
COLMES: Because -- this is happening on Bush's watch, Clinton is no longer president, I hate to inform you, and no one is pointing a finger at George Bush and saying...
HANNITY: Yes, they are.
COLMES: Hold on a second.
HANNITY: Read the quotes.
COLMES: Hold on a second.
Nobody is pointing a finger at George Bush and saying he purposely did nothing and knew. What they're saying is that maybe he didn't connect the dots properly.
Let me show you what happened at a meeting with Dick Clark, the chief counterterrorism expert of the United States. This was in July, and he spoke to the FAA and the FBI and a number of top officials who were there, and here is what he said.
He said, "Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon," and that was during the summer, and Condoleezza Rice mentioned al Qaeda, and George Tenet urged 20 friendly foreign intelligence services to arrest a list of known al Qaeda people back in July.
There were all these indications. Why wasn't this all put together?
IJAZ: The problem with what you're saying, Alan, is that you're laying it out as if it is, in fact, already connected together. We can do that very easily in hindsight.
COLMES: Somebody should have connected it.
IJAZ: In hindsight, it's very easy to do that. At that time -- Dick Clark's a very smart guy, and he's worked very hard on counterterrorism issues for a long time. The problem with what you're saying is the following.
When we talk about what the Clinton administration did or did not do, you have to delineate what the FBI and CIA as intelligence apparatus of the United States were tasked to do and what the political apparatus blocked them from doing.
COLMES: I'm not talking about the Clinton administration.
IJAZ: No, I know.
COLMES: I'm talking about the Bush administration.
IJAZ: When you talk about the Bush administration, the difference is that the FBI and the CIA had the same task. They provided the information, but somebody within the framework was not able to piece it all together in time.
HANNITY: Well, it...
IJAZ: It's not a matter that they didn't try. It was in time.
COLMES: Charlie, you...
RANGEL: You know what's sad about this whole thing? And no one can afford to be partisan. We only have one president. We've been attacked by a foreign force, and really, whatever differences we've had politically, we have put those behind.
The sad thing is when a president of the United States has to say what President Bush had said, "Believe me, had I known, I would have done something." That pains me because there's nobody in this country that doesn't believe that he would have done something had he known. COLMES: Absolutely.
HANNITY: But the Democratic attacks are saying just the opposite, Charlie.
RANGEL: Let me tell you we have Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate that are saying exactly this. "We've got to find out why the president was not better informed." And we have to do it. We have to do it...
HANNITY: I agree with you.
RANGEL: ... to prevent this from happening again.
HANNITY: I -- that's sensible, but... RANGEL: Nobody...
HANNITY: ... the Democrats that have been attacking him for two days were not saying that.
RANGEL: Nobody -- the only thing I saw was a New York newspaper, which was a silly paper that had a silly headline, "The President Knew," but no one believes that the president knew, and no Democrat or Republican can say that he knew we were going to be attacked and did nothing.
HANNITY: We're going to take a break. We're going to come back. We'll continue with this debate in just a moment.
And then, does the politics of Palestinian resistance -- does that sound like a class that you'd like to take? Well, you can't if you're a conservative. Oh, really? Free speech on a college campus.

And can there ever be peace in the holy land? The Reverend Pat Robertson will join us.
And then later on, Sara Evans, straight ahead.
COLMES: Still ahead tonight, why is a course on the Middle East raising concerns at U.C. Berkeley? We'll bring you that story in just a few minutes.
And the Reverend Pat Robertson tells us what he thinks it will take to bring peace to the Middle East.
We continue now with Congressman Charlie Rangel and Mansoor
Ijaz. Look, Cynthia McKinney asked, you know, what did the government know. We -- Dick Gephardt said, you know, we want to ask some questions. We want to know what was known. We want to get the answers.
That's what Democrats are saying, and they get raked over the coals simply for saying we want to ask some questions, as if you don't have in a democracy the right to either dissent, to ask questions of the government.
Since when is the government always right, and since when should Democrats be demonized simply for asking salient questions which should be asked in any democracy?
IJAZ: I'm a Democrat, and I've been asking those questions for the last seven months since September 11th happened, and I've been going out there and saying there is a very simple reason why we have to find out what happened and see to it that it never happens again, and that is -- And Congressman Gephardt in that sense is complicit in all of this because three -- two years ago when he had an opportunity to appoint an American of the Islamic faith, Palestinian origin, to a counterterrorism commission -- of Iraqi origin, what did he do? He had him removed from the commission. This is the kind of stuff that should not go on in this country. America...
COLMES: Let's not get sidetracked here.
IJAZ: No. Just give me one sentence.
RANGEL: No, let him go on. I want to know how these...
RANGEL: This is the only guy that's making sense.
IJAZ: American Muslims have been trying to help this country for a long time...
COLMES: I agree.
IJAZ: ... understand what is going on in the radical Islamic world.
COLMES: Absolutely.
IJAZ: We have to do that. Until we get that done, I'm telling you there is no way that this country has the capacity to understand these people.
COLMES: What I'm trying to do is avoid this political game, Democrats pointing at Bush, Republicans pointing at Clinton. That's an evil game, especially in light of the fact...
IJAZ: Agreed.
COLMES: ... that we should come together now after September 11th and in a unified manner go after who the enemy actually is, which is not Republicans and Democrats.
RANGEL: I think really the Republicans have moved forward. Shelby is a Republican. Goss is a Republican. We all agree that we shouldn't make this a partisan issue.
But, my fellow Democrat, I think it's really a stretch if you're going to have me to understand that this tragic, horrific event that took place on 9/11 -- that the responsibility should be at the feet of Richard Gephardt and former President Bill Clinton. I mean, that is a stretch...
IJAZ: The issue there...
RANGEL: ... and I don't know why you omitted Hillary because...
IJAZ: With due respect, the issue that I'm raising is a very simple, and that is, if you are going to tackle these problems, you have to find a way to preemptively strike. These are people who are hell bent on destroying our way of life. The only way you can hit them is to hit them before they get...
HANNITY: Hey, Mansoor...
RANGEL: Let me ask this.
IJAZ: That's the problem.
RANGEL: Bush did not understand this when he took office. He didn't understand it when he was on the ranch. He didn't understand it when the FBI gave him the information. I mean, OK. The...
HANNITY: There was no specific threat, Charlie. No specific threat.
IJAZ: Hang on a second.
RANGEL: But I'm saying that, if Clinton knew and it's the same FBI and CIA, Bush understood nothing when he got there to the ranch?
IJAZ: No, no.
HANNITY: I don't see where this...
IJAZ: Congressman, if I may say one thing about that, and that is that I have worked with this White House's national security team as much as I did with the previous administration. These people...
RANGEL: What's your job when you work with these people? IJAZ: Just as a private citizen...
IJAZ: Just as a private citizen trying to understand what's going on to protect our national security, and I can tell you... (CROSSTALK)
RANGEL: How many any other private citizens do we have doing this type of thing?
IJAZ: I don't know, but I hope -- I think we need a lot more.
HANNITY: All right. I'm going to -- I want to move this on. Where politics is involved here is we've had all these demands. What did the president know? When did he know it? We've heard it from just about every Democrat that's been on a TV show. RANGEL: You've heard it from Republicans as well!
HANNITY: Wait. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait.
Where the hypocrisy is and where the evidence of politics is involved and the root cause of all this is here you say you had an offer from Sudan, you negotiated it on behalf of the administration, to take Usama bin Laden, and not one of these Democrats has asked you or brought you before a committee, have they?
IJAZ: No, they have not.
HANNITY: No. And that's the hypocrisy. Now I want to put up for our audience one other thing.
RANGEL: This is fantastic.
HANNITY: There's been...
RANGEL: You know, I'd like to know who your witnesses are because we can resolve a whole lot of problems.
HANNITY: The thing is -- Charlie...
RANGEL: What...
HANNITY: That doesn't bother you, Charlie?
RANGEL: It bothered me that he was negotiating for our government, I'll tell you that. Oh, I'm sorry.
HANNITY: Now I want to get into this issue because there's been these claims that the vice -- that the administration didn't disclose this before, and I'm going to take you back to September 15th, four days after the September 11th attacks. It was on "Meet the Press." Dick Cheney was the guest, and I want to show you this exchange.
Dick Cheney said, "Certainly, we were surprised in the sense that there had been information coming in that a big operation was planned, but that's sort of a trend that you see all the time in these kinds of reports." He admitted it then.
Russert, "No specific report." "No specific threat involving a domestic operation or involving what happened, obviously, so, clearly, we were surprised." That is consistent -- wholly consistent with every -- the big news that came out this week.
RANGEL: How did the president know so fast based on that scanty information that it was Usama bin Laden? He said it just like that, that it was Usama bin Laden responsible for this.
HANNITY: You answer your question, Charlie. Are you insinuating he knew but didn't say anything?
RANGEL: No, I am insinuating -- I am stating the fact that he had all of this mishmash information and no one took the time to say, "He's a new president. He's new to international politics," and they should have spelled it out.
HANNITY: You know -- you know what's outrageous here?
RANGEL: The FBI, the CIA were not talking with each other.
HANNITY: The Democrats are exploiting a tragedy for political gain. I mean, I know they play the race card. I know they scare old people.
Don't you draw the line here?
RANGEL: You know, just because the president did not respond the way we all would have liked him to -- it's not just Democrats that are asking the question. If the terrorists are going to win, you know what happens? It freezes...
HANNITY: This is for politics.
RANGEL: How -- what's for politics? The president already said...
HANNITY: They don't want to hurt the president's approval rating.
RANGEL: That's the only president we have...
COLMES: We've got to go.
RANGEL: ... and, believe me, what...
COLMES: We've got to go.
RANGEL: ... the president is doing he's doing to himself.
COLMES: All right, Mansoor. Congressman. Thank you both very much.
Coming up, meet the Berkeley graduate instructor who encouraged conservatives to not take his class.
RANGEL: I don't want to leave. I don't want to just walk away.
COLMES: They want to stay and argue...
RANGEL: We're going to continue this debate in the green room.
COLMES: Later, the Reverend Pat Robertson will join us to discuss the Middle East.
We'll continue on HANNITY & COLMES.

20 posted on 05/18/2002 7:37:11 AM PDT by Wallaby
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