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Fox Hannity & Colmes - Interview

Location: Washington, DC


HEADLINE: Lindsey Graham Pushes for Prosecution of Human Shields

GUESTS: Lindsey Graham

BYLINE: Sean Hannity; Alan Colmes


But first, are the Americans who went over to Baghdad to act as human shields, are they more than just protesters, are they traitors? South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is pushing for the human shields to be prosecuted under federal law for "participating in a program designed to weaken the power of the United States."

Senator Graham joins us now from Washington. Senator, by the way, you did a great job on "Meet the Press" this weekend.


HANNITY: Let me—you have written this letter to Attorney General Ashcroft. Tell us what you're working on here.

GRAHAM: Well, I guess what got me going on this is I read a "TIME" magazine article last week where a lot of the troops over in the field have dubbed this Operation Desert Just Us and the joke is, "just us." And I want to let the troops know that a lot of us in America support what they're doing.

And the two young men you had on before, they have a right to say or do anything they want to do. I will fight for that to my death. But when someone leaves our country and goes to a foreign land with the express purpose of undermining an impending military engagement, where our troops are at risk, then I think you no longer have constitutional protection. You're into that area of the Constitution that prohibits you from doing that.

HANNITY: Well let's talk about that. Because, if somebody goes over there, they're trying to really impede the military efforts of this country. So it's no longer a protest by definition. You're saying this is, what, treason? And we also have a trading with the enemy act. Under the law, where do we come down?

GRAHAM: Right. Well, you know you have the John Walker Lindh case, where they had several federal statues. In World War II, you had Tokyo Rose, an American who gave aid and comfort to the enemy. If you go into Iraq in a humanitarian fashion, that's one thing. But if your goal is to become an impediment to a military operation by the United States, then I think you've crossed the line for protesting to in violation of the law.

And I think people who go need to understand that. Because I don't want any pilots or military folks having to lose their lives because people are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

HANNITY: Well, we have Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines the act of treason. "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or adhering to their enemies, giving aid and comfort."

GRAHAM: Right. And whether or not it's technically treason, I don't know. But there are statues out there that prevent you from aiding enemy combatants. And if we do go to war with Iraq, and that will be up to the president, the day that we declare hostilities, then anybody who wants to impede our operations, an American citizen, I think has run afoul of federal law.

HANNITY: Well they should be prepared to die. Should our military take any steps—because obviously, they will be going to military targets. And we even learned from the British human shields that high tailed (ph) it back home because Saddam was putting them right in harm's way if they die, they have nobody to blame but themselves.

GRAHAM: Well I don't want anybody to die. But we're at war. And we're not going to diplomatically disarm Saddam. I'm convinced of that.

And he's not a victim. A human shield treats him as a victim. The victim is his own people. The victim is the Israeli public.

When he pays $25,000 to a suicide bomber, he's creating upheaval in the Middle East. In 2002, Zaqawi, one of the chief operation officers of al Qaeda, went to a Baghdad hospital, Sean, and had his leg amputated. Instead of helping us fight terrorism, he's giving health care to terrorism.

COLMES: By the way, we don't know that there's an operation link between al Qaeda and Saddam. But I haven't bought that argument. He may have spent time.

And that proof—but I want to get back to the human shields. I think the weakest link has been Saddam and al Qaeda. I don't think that case has been made. But I think these shields are nuts. And I think they're dumb, and I think they are a very bad example of those who are against this war.

And they shouldn't be doing this. However, that being said, Senator, I don't believe they should be tried for treason. I don't think their goal is to hurt America. I don't think their anti-American. Do you? Don't you think they might love their country?

GRAHAM: Well, you know expressing differences with me or policy is fine. But when you travel to a foreign land, Alan, and your purpose is to impede military action—a human shield, as I understand it, is going to a nuclear power plant or hospital to make it more difficult for us to achieve a military victory.

If that's your goal, it's to aid the Iraqi government in a time of war, then you've crossed the line. If your goal is to...

COLMES: But what if their goal is not to aid the Iraqi government but to prevent the United States government from doing something they think is unprincipled and wrong? If you want to get into their mindset and say what the goal is...

GRAHAM: You can't do that. You can't, as a citizen, take up hostilities against your government by aiding the enemy. And when you go over there to prevent us from doing what our country has deemed appropriate through the president, commander in chief, then you're taking sides against us.

COLMES: But don't you have to look at what their intent is? And if you're going to use the phrase "aid and comfort," couldn't you say that anybody who's against the war, who is loudly protesting against what the president is doing, could be giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

GRAHAM: No, sir. What I'm talking about is when military hostilities begin. And they haven't yet. But people who put themselves in a position to impede that military operation—it's one thing for Jane Fonda to go visit north Vietnam. It's another thing for her to engage in activity that would hurt our ability to be militarily successful.

COLMES: Senator, if there's a war and I get on television at night here on HANNITY & COLMES and say, I'm against this war. I wish it weren't happening, it's a mistake, I'm against this policy, am I giving aid and comfort?

GRAHAM: In my opinion, you're being an American. In my opinion, you're expressing yourself. If you go to Baghdad, Sean, and you cooperate with the Iraqi government, they assign you a target to guard, and you go out there and put yourself near that target, then you're helping the enemy.

COLMES: By the way, it's Alan.

GRAHAM: Alan, I'm sorry.

COLMES: But let me ask you this, Senator. What should the punishment be?

GRAHAM: Well, I don't know, and I don't know what statutes might be involved. But here's what I'm trying to say. I worry about our troops listening to programs that are all over the airwaves thinking that they're being isolated, not being supported. And I know how they must feel when they see their own citizens going to Baghdad and making their job harder.

Here's what I want us to do. Put these people on notice that you've left your constitutional rights to protest behind, and you're violating the war. I think that's fair for everybody.

HANNITY: All right, Senator. Always good to see you. I think you're doing the right thing here. And I'm glad you're out there standing up for it. And do you like being called Senator now, by the way?

GRAHAM: It's a pretty good career. It's a long time...

HANNITY: You've got six years, you don't have to worry about re- election. Anyway, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

GRAHAM: Thank you, guys.

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