GUESTS: Wayne Madsen, Mark Foley
BYLINE: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
[BODY: THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.]
COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes. [...snip...]
But first, is it possible that the Bush administration knew about the terrorist attacks on September 11 before they happened and failed to warn anybody? Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney thinks so -- in an interview with a Berkeley radio station, accused the Bush administration of deliberately covering it up so they could make money off what she called America's new war.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11. Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, delivered one such warning -- those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately before September 11. What did this administration know and when did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else knew? And why did they not warn the innocent people of New York?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COLMES: Joining us tonight is Florida Congressman Mark Foley and Wayne Madsen, an investigative journalist who has worked with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for three years.
Now, before I defend Cynthia McKinney's right to say what she said, Mr. Madsen, would you agree that to suggest that the United States or anybody in this country knew or -- in the government had advance knowledge of this is preposterous?
WAYNE MADSEN, FRIEND OF REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: I don't think so.
I think what the congresswoman is asking is that, with the worst intelligence failure in the history of the United States, why cannot we have in this country a full independent congressional investigation of who knew what when. How was all this intelligence...
COLMES: I agree there should be.
COLMES: But she went further than that. She accused the Bush administration, if not Bush himself, of knowing in advance, because he or his father would benefit because of The Carlyle Group, which we'll get to in a moment. She accused him of having advance knowledge of this. Do you concur?
MADSEN: Well, you know who else is calling for an investigation in the financial
COLMES: But I'm not talking about an investigation. I'm talking about the accusation that the president -- forget the investigation for the moment. I want to talk about an accusation that President Bush had advance knowledge. Do you agree with that?
MADSEN: Judicial Watch is asking for the same investigation of
COLMES: I didn't say investigation, sir.
With all due respect, my question had to do with whether you concur that President Bush had advance knowledge of what happened on September 11. Do not use the word investigation, I beg of you, in your answer.
MADSEN: I won't use it. All I'll say is, let the facts come out. And that's all Congresswoman McKinney is asking for at this point in time.
COLMES: Well, that's not all she's asking for. I would disagree that that's all she's saying.
Congressman Foley, welcome to the program. I think she should have the right to say what she wants to say, even if we think it may be a little out there. Charlie Norwood has asked for a boycott of Cynthia McKinney until anti-war statements are retracted. The Southeastern Legal Foundation wants congressional sanctions for what she said. I think that's going too far.
Should she be punished for saying something, ludicrous though it is? Should she be punished for that?
REP. MARK FOLEY (R), FLORIDA: Well, Alan, I think we all have a responsibility as members of the United States Congress to use our words judiciously.
And I think what she's done here is absolutely crossed the line. There's a difference between trying to determine what the CIA knew before September 11, where there may have been warning signs. We should be looking at all of these things. I don't disagree that we need to investigate things prior to and after. But the allegation that somehow Mr. Bush and his associates knew about this and did nothing, simply so a Carlyle Group in Washington could profit by these acts, is simply ludicrous. It's insulting. It is asinine.
HANNITY: Congressman Foley, welcome back to the program. Sean Hannity here.
FOLEY: Thanks, Sean.
HANNITY: By the way, it was good to see you in your home territory last weekend in Palm Beach.
FOLEY: Thanks, Sean.
HANNITY: Good to meet your mom, by the way, very nice lady.
Look, it's more than this. This country is at war right now against terror. This president has been doing everything he can to fight this battle. Without any evidence whatsoever, she makes this reckless and irresponsible comment.
What should Congress do in this case? She's one of 435 people that is supposed to lead this country in a responsible way. What should Congress do?
FOLEY: Well, we really have to look at what she's done on the record.
I did not disagree that Barbara Lee -- when we had the vote on the war itself, she had a right to say what she did. She had a right to vote the way she did. But now we've gone past a right of defending your party, or at least your values and your views, to making an outrageous attack, which is both libelous and slanderous, against some credible companies and people. So either put up the facts or retract your statement.
HANNITY: You're right.
Well, Mr. Madsen, I'll go to you here. And I expect a direct answer to a very simple question. What evidence do you have that our president was, in any way, had any knowledge of these attacks? Do you have any evidence at all?
MADSEN: Sean, the evidence is out there. It was --
HANNITY: Wait a minute.
MADSEN: One place reported Salman Rushdie had been warned two weeks before September 11 not to fly. It was your paper, Mr. Murdoch's paper, "The Times of London."
HANNITY: What evidence, sir, do you have that links our president to that knowledge? Do you have any direct evidence, yes or no?
MADSEN: There is ample evidence out there reported in the media about advance knowledge of what happened on September 11. [...snip...]
Mr. Madsen, look, I don't want you to tell me evidence is out there. This charge is against the president of the United States of America at a time we're at war in a conflict. You're making a charge that he has knowledge, prior knowledge of the September 11 attack. And I ask you, sir, specifically, what evidence do you have?
MADSEN: There was a warning that the congresswoman referred to from President Putin before the attack. ..
HANNITY: A warning to who?
MADSEN: ... warnings from French intelligence, Israeli, to the United States, FBI and to the CIA. And I find it strange that, here we suffered the worst intelligence failure in the country's history and George Tenet is still director of the CIA. Can you imagine if they were airliners that crashed into buildings in downtown Tokyo?
HANNITY: That's a different issue, Mr. Madsen.
But, Mr. Madsen, an intelligence link or survey or something that came in does not represent -- in any court of law, sir, does not represent...
MADSEN: Why does...
HANNITY: Hang on -- enough evidence to convict -- see, this is what's going on here.
Congressman, I'll throw it to you. This is just an irresponsible, irrational political assault on the president while we're at war. That's what's so offensive here to me.
FOLEY: It really is.
And she may have been speaking to a Berkeley crowd. And she may have thought she was talking to the right audience. But, again, our statements are weighed. The people that listen to our voices may respond and say, "They have credible evidence." So, all of the sudden, in the national media, Cynthia McKinney is making allegations that our president somehow is sitting there
HANNITY: She's saying he's a traitor that sold us out and sold us out for money. And I asked Mr. Madsen 40 times tonight, give me evidence -- no direct evidence, no answer to a direct question.
And this is a level of irresponsible -- it's almost on the verge, it's become so predictable. Social Security -- "Republicans have a secret plan to destroy it after the election."
FOLEY: Well, in "The Washington Post" today, Cynthia says she has no evidence. However, if they would investigate, maybe some evidence would be turned up. So it's like, what is she saying?
MADSEN: Why is the Bush administration against an investigation?
HANNITY: Mr. Madsen, you're a journalist, sir. Would you even print this on this flimsy amount of evidence that you have here?
MADSEN: I've read the work of many journalists: "The Times of London," the BBC, "Der Spiegel" in Germany. They have all been reporting the same thing about advance knowledge. Is everybody crazy? Are all these journalists not allowed to express their opinion?
COLMES: Cynthia McKinney did not say that she didn't believe the president had knowledge. She said she's not aware of any evidence showing the president personally profited from attacks. She didn't distance herself from the knowledge aspect of what she said. But I'm going to move aside, because we're not going to agree on this. I think she was absolutely wrong to say it.
But, Congressman Foley, the idea of investigating whether what happened between the FBI, the CIA, the INS, a lack of communication, looking at relationships between the oil industry and current policies, between the defense industry and current policies, there is where I think she had a point. And shouldn't that be investigated? Shouldn't we see why we had private energy meetings, what the relationship is between these energy executives and the vice president and Halliburton and the Carlyle Group? Doesn't that make sense?
FOLEY: Well, no, Alan, now you're trying to make an assumption that somehow all of that ties together. I will agree...
COLMES: No, I'm saying investigate it.
FOLEY: If Cynthia McKinney had asked for an investigation -- and all of us want to get to the facts -- of what was known prior to, who was given information, where did this lead us, and what shall we learn from it in the future, I would be standing beside Cynthia McKinney saying: "Let's go. Let's proceed."
COLMES: So, you'd be willing to investigate the INS, the CIA, willing to investigate the oil companies, their relationship to this administration, the oil people in this administration, and what their relationship is to these companies? You would stand behind that?
FOLEY: I have no problem with any investigation, but let's not make a comparison between people who have been killed and people who are profiting from their death. I think this is the outrageous part of it. I will look at those situations, but I will not accept Cynthia McKinney's bald-faced lies and the kind of reprehensible statements she's made.
COLMES: I agree with that. But the investigation aspect of it I think is something -- maybe she has a point on that one.
I know you want to respond, Wayne. Go ahead.
MADSEN: Well, it's typical. Attack the messenger.
I mean, isn't it funny? The Republicans, when Bill Clinton was president, they dragged him into every possible conspiracy theory, except for linking him to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. I mean, now we see the same people saying Cynthia McKinney has no right to her opinion. She's out there. I think it's nonsense.
FOLEY: Wayne, let me just say this. When they said that President Clinton launched the war simply to take away the Monica Lewinsky story, I absolutely refuted that and said that was absolutely wrong and unnecessary. I have not let false statements stand, whether they were Democratically directed or Republican directed. I think, in this particular instance, she has a fiduciary, as a member of Congress, to tell the facts and not lie.
HANNITY: Absolutely. Good line.
MADSEN: I think the Congress has a responsibility to investigate.
HANNITY: Congressman Foley -- we're going to give you the last word. Thank you for being with us, Mr. Madsen. Appreciate your time tonight.
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