tv Fox 5 News at 11 FOX May 1, 2011 11:00pm-11:15pm EDT
soldiers are over there it's a mission where any kind of victory is just not definable and not approachable. >> you know what, jack, i agree with you. >> there we go. we're making progress here and i hope obama will continue to follow his policy of enjoining our troops in afghanistan. >> let me ask you both the same question. if the president were to come to you and i really do want both of you to answer this, how would i present this to the american people, jack, first you, then alan. >> well, presenting -- >> presenting the news that, you know, osama bin laden is dead. >> i think i would present it probably just as he will present it. it's an accomplishment. i would make it a bye partisan and frankly give -- bipartisan and frankly give credit to the previous administration and try to strip the announcement of any politics or partisanship. i think i would give credit to president bush. and say this has been a 10 year
struggle, everyone has worked hard. this is not an occasion for politics and i think he should stress that and i think he probably will. the other thing is i think we don't want to be overly joyous because while americans might be feeling joy in their hearts about this, you don't -- going back to al lab's point, we don't want -- alan's point, we don't want to make him a martyr. so i think it's very important the president of the united states does not show joyous exuberance at the death of osama bin laden bin. >> we want to remind everybody we're starting the top of the hour here. it's 11:00. at this point we would usually go into the news edge, but we're going to continue our coverage. once again it's been reported by multiple news agencies and confirmed by fox news that al qaeda mastermind osama bin laden bin is dead and the united states has his body. >> president obama is expected to speak any moment. we're really waiting for that to happen from the east room of
the white house. as soon as he does take that floor, you can hear him talk about the death of osama bin laden bin. joining us. alan lictman and jack burkeman in our newsroom talking about the latest breaking news situation. i believe we left it off with alan and a question you asked. >> jack just answered the question how would you present this if you were the president. basically what he's saying is bipartisan, don't forget to thank the previous administration, but don't make this political. alan, what's your take? >> he's right on. you want to keep this 1,000 miles away from partisan politics. you don't want to gloat and you certainly don't want to overstate the case here because the danger of international terrorism is still very real whether osama bin laden bin is
alive or not. my study of history shows that the american people are smart and shrewd. they recognize and they understand significant events around the world. you don't have to pound it into them and you certainly never want to put it into a partisan context. all of our great accomplishments in foreign policy and winning of world war ii, the camp david accords, the test ban treaty have all been recognized in a bipartisan way as aiding the security of the country, promoting our ideals around the world. >> does the obama administration now turn to the capture of other masterminds who are on the list? is that what they do or do you continue to focus on the middle east and afghanistan making sure the troop withdrawal happens as you plan? what thousand do you think the administration ought -- now do you think the administration ought to do to continue? >> i'm sure the administration will go after the other masterminds. i'm sure obama will continue
with a heavy focus on afghanistan and other parts of the mideast. i think one of the things the administration will have to pivot, dhs and department of homeland security, one of the challenges for the administration in the coming days, all of the resources are focused on tornadoes, fema. they'll have to do a pivot and dhs will have to get ready and raise dhs to the highest alert level because as alan was saying, you really in the next week or two have a high risk of terrorist incompetent incidents in this country. al qaeda will be looking. there will be extremists looking for their opportunity.i so they'll have to pivot and turn on a dime. >> let me circle back to something we spoke about earlier which is why the obama administration and his national security team really are putting the pressure on the cia
to try to get osama bin laden bin now more than ever. this has to do with what could happen there in that region when we pull our troops out. >> that's right. while we're in the phase of pulling troops out of afghanistan the last thing in the world this country needs, the last thing in the world this administration wants is the return of osama bin laden bin and making it look like, you know, another vietnam mistake that we spent blood and treasure only to get right back to where we were when we started and having accomplished very little or nothing. you never underestimate the symbolic importance of this but also in a real and practical sense as we're moving into a withdrawal from afghanistan that both yak and i support to make sure that osama bin laden bin -- jack and i support to make sure that osama bin laden did not return and set up shop there. john f. kennedy once asked what are you doing as a priority and
he said we're doing everything we can as fast as we can. i think they'll be doing everything they can as fast as they can to go after other leaders and indeed to secure the country this the period of extreme -- in the period of extreme high danger after the death of osama bin laden bin. >> i know you and jack did not support not troops in afghanistan -- >> we support the troops, but we don't support the war. there's a big difference. >> basically the reason he doesn't alan is i don't want to say far left, but pretty far down the left continuum. i'm frankly pretty far down the right continuum. far left and far right in this country unite on that. they don't support in the center, republicans and democrats in the center do support the war is basically how it breaks down. i do think the next few months will be one of the most important periods for u.s. policy in the mideast ever because i think going back to where we started with this, all of these uprisings, we don't know how they'll be characterized. again, are they going to be
arab nationalist uprisings and how does this incident play into that? that's one of the most important foreign policy questions for the united states in the last 50 years. we have so much on the table right now. if this works well for the united states, if the administration plays its cards right and handles this right, we could have democratic governments in the mideast, most of which are aligned with the u.s. we won't need dictators anymore. we could bring democratic governments to power which would be aligned with the u.s. that would be a wonderful thing for the future of the united states and the world. on the other hand, it's possible that you would wind up with crazy islamic regimes, that somehow they'll say well, osama is done. he's or martyr. now we have to unite in islamic brotherhood. that's very dangerous in the united states. so much at stake and on the table now.
>> alan, do you believe as jack does the terror threat level of the united states may have to be elevated? we may all have to be watching more closely in wake of death of osama bin laden bin, that if he really does become this martyr figure and it does sort of motivate some of these crazy people to try to create harm here? >> i think that's right. i think not much we can do about that among some fa nat cal followers he will be -- fanatical followers he will be seen as a martyr. we'll want to blame his death upon american assassins and this is going to be a period of great danger. i also agree with jack this is a period of extraordinary upheaval in the middle east. it reminds me a bit of the period at the very end of the 1980s, the great upheaval that led to the end of the soviet empire and liberation of eastern europe. george h.w. bush deserves a lot of credit,
you know. communism ended. the satellite states were liberated without really anyone firing any shots to keep communism in place or the united states doing military intervention. that should be the model for obama, got to be the model. >> to alan's point, bush 41 played that very well. he handled the german reunification. he handled east europe well such that all of those developments and new countries and new democratic regimes ended up to be very favorable for the united states. all of that worked out very well for american foreign policy. the middle east is an even bigger challenge. obama has to play this right. >> we're getting a two minute warning. the president will be coming to the east room momentarily to speak to the nation. let me take this question to you. do you think there is a scenario in which al qaeda could unravel with the death of osama bin laden? >> oh, yeah, absolutely. i think that's what we're
hoping for. frankly, i think al qaeda really is already unraveled. i mean much of this, like i say, 90% of this was done in the first few months after 9/11. the most essential part of it was shutting down their bank accounts, taking away their financial capacity. that was done a long time ago. since then we've been working diligently in a bipartisan way both administrations on really the last 10%. i don't want to be overly optimistic. there's a chance that this could be over, dead and gone, but we hope. >> do you buy that, alan? >> i hope so, too but let's not forget the term al qaeda is a very loose one. there are lots of other whatever their names may be smaller deadly fringe groups that also want to do us harm and he we should not be overly optimistic, but perhaps -- and we should not be overly optimistic, but perhaps this combination of these national revolts across the leaderships
of the middle east, some positive developments in iraq, the end of that terrible terrorist osama bin laden may be a signal that fundamental change is rolling across this part of the world that has suffered so much over so many decades, but again i would caution all of our policymakers not to overly try to control this. that's a mistake the british made and we've made at times in the middle east. a lot of this is going to be out of our hands and dependent upon the ordinary people in the middle east, believe it or not. >> so again we've been listening into our democratic and republican strategists jack burkeman and alan lichtman talk about the death of osama bin laden bin. the president is expected to speak any minute now from the east room of the white house to address this matter. how much more time do we have? can i get a queue on that? >> i'm not getting the queue we
were told. it's just any moment. again it will be the east room of the white house, the president tay to being about this multiple reports saying osama bin laden bin -- to talk about this, multiple reports saying osama bin laden bin's bold was found in pakistan. let me ask if we had found him alive and had him incarcerated, what would we do with him? >> we're americans. we gave trials to the nazis. we would have to find a way to deal with some kind of process. i don't think even for a person as evil as adolf hitler i don't think america could have looked in the mirror and said we're going to shoot a prisoner and have no process. i don't think america would have done that. i don't think they would have done that with osama and i really think i'm 95% certain this factor is what caused it to be so long to get osama, because i think both president bush and president obama were very wary of taking him alive.
it would have been a practical nightmare, a foreign policy nightmare. >> could you imagine the security nightmare alone. >> absolutely. >> i have to disagree fundamentally. i think thank goodness we had the nuremberg trials and the whole world could see the horrors of what the nazis perpetrated on the jews. thank god we had the eichmann trials. i think bringing home the horrors of osama bin laden would have given relief we were murderers. >> but it would have been complicated, very complicated. >> does any one of you see anyone stepping up to may the same organizational role that bin -- play the same organizational role that osama bin laden bin played with al qaeda? >> i don't. this was a larger than life figure. this was almost like someone a grandeur in the islamic consciousness in the eye of the
ayatollah homeni, maybe in the end much greater. if i were a betting man, i'd probably lay three and four that this real deals a kind of death blow at least in the short term to international terrorism. >> but al qaeda is not over because of his death. >> i don't think so either. i think al qaeda is hurt, as i said. individuals do make a difference and he's important, but absolutely al qaeda and all these other groups, let's not forget this is not some monolith, this is not defeating japan and germany. this is not an organized army. these are groups that form and reform all over the islam world. >> while osama bin laden bin is the marquee name we don't know who is behind him and we don't really know how much control he had with the day to day planning with al qaeda, correct? >> you're right. part of the