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CNN "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" - Transcript


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Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says there is no question that Dr. Afridi is being punished for assisting the U.S. He is now calling for decisive retaliation against Pakistan. I spoke to him early.


COOPER: Congressman, you said the fact that Pakistan has sentenced Dr. Afridi of 33 years in prison. You say it is decisive prove Pakistan see themselves at war with the U.S.?

REPRESENTATIVE DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: That's correct. Pakistan would not be charging one of its citizens for treason for helping us bring to justice the man who murdered 3,000 of our citizens unless Pakistan was on the side of the man who murdered 3,000 of our citizens, and that speaks for itself.

COOPER: This was a so-called tribal court, which is a different system than the official national court in Pakistan. It was a local tribal council that said he had this link to this terrorist group. Do you read anything into that, that maybe that's a sign that there is some wiggle room for negotiation?

ROHRABACHER: No. I think we should quit looking for signs of some minuscule message being sent by somebody in the government of Pakistan to us and take a look at what is right in front of our face. And that is that the Pakistani government has been using the billions of dollars that they have received from us in aid to do us harm.

Let's quit trying to bend over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to people who have proven time and again that they don't like us. They are our enemy and they're doing things to kill our people.

COOPER: So you believe the Pakistan government knew Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad?

ROHRABACHER: I think anybody who has any real serious doubts that the Pakistani government wasn't giving safe haven to Osama Bin Laden all of these years, that that person is living in never never land. That government is acting like our enemy and we shouldn't give them anymore money or anymore support.

COOPER: The U.S. has given Pakistan around $20 billion in military, economic aid to Pakistan since 9/11. You've been calling to cut off all of that aid.

Whether we are happy with the relationship with Pakistan or not, don't we need that relationship based on what's happening in Afghanistan?

Pakistan right now is preventing us from resupplying troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan. Don't we need some sort of leverage over Pakistan?

ROHRABACHER: Pakistan is the main instigator of the problems we're trying to solve in Afghanistan. They've been arming the terrorist groups. They were the country that created the Taliban.

No, we should not be trying to find reasons of how we could work with Pakistan. We should find out how we can cut off our relationship without a hateful country.

Let's try to find a new strategic relationship perhaps with India that would give us the type of leverage in South Asia to play a positive force.

COOPER: So you're not concerned about losing any kind of leverage over Pakistan over their nuclear weapons, over what goes on, over support of the troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan?

ROHRABACHER: I don't think that we have any leverage on Pakistan. I think they've been playing a game and a wicked and evil game at that that has cost American lives.

COOPER: And as for this Dr. Afridi, do you think the U.S. should make some sort of deal to get him out?

ROHRABACHER: I think we should try our very best to free Dr. Afridi. He risked his life. He put himself in harm's way and we are abandoning him. We can't even get a resolution on the floor of Congress.

We can't get our president to lay down the law to Pakistan that you're not going to treat this person who is a hero to the United States in such a manner because if you do this to Dr. Afridi, you are doing it to the people of the United States.

COOPER: Congressman Rohrabacher, I appreciate your time. Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE)


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