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The Federal Document Clearing House provided November 14, 2002 this partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes.

SEAN HANNITY/CO-HOST: Finally tonight, is privacy about to take a back seat to national security? The Pentagon's Information Awareness Office is proposing a new computer database that would keep track of the electronic transactions of all of us, everyday people.

Former national security adviser, Admiral John Poindexter, runs the project. And the hope is to catch terrorists by monitoring things like credit card accounts, travel reservations. But would too many innocent people be caught in the dragnet?

We're joined by retired Marine Colonel, Ed Badolato.

Colonel, I want to get into what I think we ought be concerned about first. But we're talking about every purchase you make on a credit card, every magazine you buy, every prescription you get, every website you visit on your computer, e-mail message you receive, ATM action, every time you get on a commercial airliner, or toll, wherever -- this -- do you support this?

ED BADOLATO, USMC COLONEL: Yes, I do. If we're going to be effective against terrorism, we're going to have to do this sort of data mining to find out who the bad guys are, what the bad transactions are, what they're planning. If we had had this before 9/11...

HANNITY: Yes.

BADOLATO: ...there wouldn't have been a 9/11.

HANNITY: Well, I worry about like FBI files in the hands of bar bouncers, like when we have immoral presidents like Bill Clinton.

But here's the problem we have right now. We don't enforce our immigration laws. We ought to do that first. We ought to, for example, pay special attention and scrutiny from people that come from nations that are -- you know, have been attributed terror. We don't have the courage to do that. But yet, we're going to go after every American first. And I think our priorities are skewed here. And I think we ought to do that first.

BADOLATO: Well, a lot of people are putting this in the argument of going against Americans. We're not trying to do anything against Americans. We're trying to catch terrorists. This is how it's got to be explained. First things first.

COLMES: Mr. Badolato, thanks for bringing Sean and me together on this issue.

HANNITY: Oh, boy.

COLMES: William Saffire had a great piece in "The New York Times" today. He's a civil libertarian of the highest order. You probably read it. And I urge people to really get a look at this.

This is from John Poindexter, as William Saffire points out, the man who brought us the Iran-contra scandal, whose idea it was to sell missiles to Iran to pay for random -- a ransom for hostages, and then give the illicit proceeds to illegally support the Contras in Nicaragua. And now he's at it again. What would have happened on September 11 would not have happened if we had, as Sean pointed out, immigration laws, visa laws enforced, not data mining to look at every transaction of every American, sir.

BADOLATO: Well, one of the things we have to understand is that technology is a lynchpin that's going to get us through this challenge of terrorism. We have to use our technology. This is where we're strong. This is where we can overcome the problems. We've got to break this code to figure out what can happen, not ex post facto, but before it happens. And this is why we're trying to but this program together.

HANNITY: All right, we're going to continue this on the other side of the break. And remember, you can log on to Foxnews.com and you can become an Alan Colmes fan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.

Colonel Badolato, the case has not been made that this is what caused September 11. I have not heard you prove that data mining like this will do it. This is the administration that brought us the TIPS program. They wanted us to spy on each other. This is the most secretive administration ever.

There's a pattern of behavior here which I find alarming. And Americans who value their privacy need to be alarmed about it as well, and they are alarmed about it. Where is the proof that this would stop a

terrorist attack, look at every transaction we as law-abiding citizens make? Where's that proof?

BADOLATO: The proof will be in the fact that we can track illegal activities, Communists, terrorists, organized-type activities, plans for attacks, build up, various record files on these operations, and stop them before they start.

COLMES: Isn't the issue people who are illegally coming into this country, people who violate their visas, people who the INS don't adequately detain, and/or send back, isn't that what we saw happen on

September 11? What does that have to do with looking at personal e-mails, transactions, Internet transactions, books we take out of the library? It's an incredible overreaching of presidential, governmental authority.

BADOLATO: A lot of that we're doing already. The FBI has the authority and is reading e-mails. The FBI has the authority and is looking at personal mail and activities of that nature when they get a court order saying this somehow has a potential terrorist connection. What we want to do is a larger scale.

HANNITY: Yes, well first of all, just to answer Alan's point, you know, remember, the corrupt Clinton administration had private files in the hands of bar bouncers. And I have no doubt in my mind that they used those illegally, but that's a different issue for a different day.

There are many things a federal government can do before considering this data thing. And while the left has resisted strong immigration laws and deportation of illegal immigrants, that's number one.

Don't you think we ought to do those things first before we talk about the invasion into people's freedoms this way?

BADOLATO: We are going to do those things first. And I think we are because of the fact...

HANNITY: We're not.

BADOLATO: ...that this activity we're talking about from Admiral Poindexter is so technically challenging, that it's not going to happen overnight.

HANNITY: Well, but it's like a -- it's a big brother nightmare.

BADOLATO: It's going to take a long period of time.

HANNITY: I contend, if we did it right, and we controlled our borders, and we checked people coming in from other countries, if we really did these things, beefed up our intelligence community, we wouldn't need to do this to the American people. We wouldn't need to do it.

BADOLATO: Sean, you have over a million illegals in this country right now.

HANNITY: Find them.

BADOLATO: How do you think we're going to find them?

HANNITY: You don't think...

BADOLATO: How do you think we're going to find them?

HANNITY: But see, but we're not even making an effort to find them. And then Democrats, like Dick Gephardt, are offering amnesty again.

BADOLATO: Of course. This system of being able to profile and look at what is going on electronically and so forth, is not meant to be used against ordinary citizens.

HANNITY: But it might be if Bill Clinton gets back in office or Hillary gets into office.

BADOLATO: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HANNITY: Isn't that a danger?

COLMES: He can't back in office.

HANNITY: If Hillary gets back in office? I think it is. I don't want my private information in her hands.

COLMES: By the way, there was never any proof that those files were used illegally.

HANNITY: Sorry, I believe...

COLMES: Well, there's been no proof of that.

HANNITY: Sue me.

COLMES: Thank -- could I?

HANNITY: Sure.

COLMES: Thank you, sir, thank you for being with us. That's all the time we have left for tonight. Remember, for news all day, stay with the Fox News channel. This is the network America trusts for fair and balanced news. Join us tomorrow night, 9:00 Eastern, for more HANNITY & COLMES. Thank you for watching us and have a great night.

 

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