Thursday, June 19, 2003

Stereo can provide. At the gym last night, one of the televisions was set to "Fox News" (Lord knows why), and there was some debate about the Bush administration's exaggeration of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction." I thought this was so ridiculous that I had to share the transcript (Being a reporter and having access to these things rules). It's a bit long, but bear with it. The best part is at the end (emphasis added):

Interview With J.C. Watts, Juanita Millender-McDonald
Sean Hannity; Alan Colmes
Fox News: Hannity & Colmes
(c) Copyright Federal Document Clearing House. All Rights Reserved.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Let's get right to our first guest tonight. Joining us from Washington is California congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald and from Norman, Oklahoma, former Congressman J.C. Watts. Good to see you both with us.
COLMES: Another U.S. soldier killed, Congressman Watts, one wounded yesterday in Baghdad. Did we announce the end of hostilities too soon?
WATTS: Well, Alan, that's -- I don't think we did. I think those are -- you know, we may see some of those incidents happen but I think for the most part, over the last week, I think we have gotten more aggressive, I think, in trying to take charge of those situations and kind of take care of some of those radicals who are still loyalists to Saddam Hussein. But any time you lose an American life, I think we all should be concerned. But I do think, as we have seen in the last week, the administration and administration over in Iraq has said -- General Franks and the gang has said that they're going to get more aggressive in trying to weed out these Saddam loyalists.
COLMES: Congresswoman Millender-McDonald, it didn't seem like we were ready for this. We didn't anticipate it. We're seeing continuous -- it's like a guerrilla war that's going on now. We were kind of sold a Bill of goods, everything was great, it was pretty much over. People would be settling back into their normal lives. It's not at all what's happening, is it?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: That is not all that's happening. And I think we did stop this war too soon. We have had upwards of 45 casualties since the president declared the war was over. That was much too soon, because we put our military forces in harm's way even more so. And so I think the president was trying to declare this war over because he had said to the American people that this war would be over in short order. And so he was trying to stick by his guns on that. But by doing that, our military forces and our soldiers have been killed.
COLMES: Congressman Watts, the administration -- Go ahead, sir.
WATTS: Alan, just let me add, I never recalled the president or the secretary of defense or secretary of the state or anyone else in the administration saying that the war was over.
COLMES: But they said hostilities had pretty much ceased is what they did say. They didn't declare victory.
WATTS: "Our." Said our hostilities or our aggression toward the Iraqi regime. They never said that they would stop looking or that we would -- I don't know how you're going to continue to look for weapons of mass destruction and not, you know, understand that we're not going to have some hostilities executed against us.
COLMES: But we thought we'd find those weapons of mass destruction by now. By the way, the Bush administration is getting awfully defensive, isn't it, about the reasons for this war? It seems every day they're getting more aggressive in trying to defend the stated core reasons they gave for going in, in the first place.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: Well, that's because they have over-exaggerated this war. They spoke to the American people to get that support by saying that Saddam Hussein had these weapons of mass destruction and that it was a threat to the United States. Given the 9/11, Americans wanted anything to happen that would not be a threat -- a further threat to us. And so of course, that was the argument that was raised by this administration. In doing so, he is now trying to defend himself by saying that we should take time, we need time on our hands because Baghdad is such a large place. We knew that going into this war.
COLMES: Congressman Watts, if it turns out intelligence was manipulated, if we find it out, that it was manipulated for the purpose of promoting this war, what should be the consequences for that?
WATTS: Well, I think the American people will hold the administration responsible if the intelligence was manipulated to justify the war. But it was not. And I think we need to make that clear. I find it ironic that the same people today who are saying we want evidence today, we want proof right now, those same people were saying give the U.N. inspectors more time.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: That is correct.
WATTS: Give them more time to find weapons of mass destruction.
WATTS: Let me say one other thing -- we have to understand, the American people, they are very supportive of what happened in Iraq because they understand that we got rid of the number one weapon of mass destruction...
HANNITY: Saddam Hussein.
WATTS: ... and that was Saddam Hussein and his regime.

HANNITY: J.C., good to see you, congresswoman, good to see you.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: Thank you very much.
HANNITY: I know you're a smart woman, so I'm going to give you a quiz. Just for fun, just to start out the show and have a little fun. Considering you said that the president over-exaggerated his statements, I am going to give you some statements and I am going to see if you can guess who said them.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: Hannity, I said he either over-exaggerated or he manipulated the intelligence. It's one or the other.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Who said the following: "We know that Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons?" Who said the following also: "Saddam has a large and growing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons." Who said: "We know he continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear devices?" And who said: "Most elements of the program are larger and more advanced than they were before the Cold War -- the Gulf War?" Can you guess who said those four things?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: It's a possibility that the Clinton administration said that at one time.
HANNITY: No, no. John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry. And Hillary herself said, "I voted for the Iraqi resolution in large measure based on the intelligence" she was privy to as first lady.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: All right. But Hannity...
HANNITY: Did they exaggerate?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: But they did not go to the American people to try to gain support.
HANNITY: Did they exaggerate like you said the president exaggerated? Are you going to say the same thing?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: It was on everyone's part who took part in declaring that this war should be waged. I was not one of those. Because I thought that the inspectors should have been given time to go in and try to find these weapons of mass destruction.
HANNITY: J.C., you point out, rightly so, the U.N. knew, the Clinton administration laid out the case in '98, no Democrat that is now attacking this president very early after the war, by the way. We still have a lot of inspecting to do, that they're doing it and it's for clearly partisan, political reasons, to -- excuse me, Juanita. Excuse me. Right, J.C.? This is what it's about.
WATTS: Sean, it does make you do what Arsenio Hall would do in his monologue when they say, "Things that make you go hmm." You know, and Sean, also, I want to throw in here, you had 15 countries that voted unanimously, saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Fifteen countries unanimously. Now where are the weapons of mass destruction? Did he sell them off? Did he get rid of them? I mean, they agreed.


HANNITY: The United Nations in '98 said they had them.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: This is why we want the U.N. inspectors to go in and try to find them. This is why you should have given the U.N. inspectors time to look for those while they were there.
WATTS: But, Juanita you all were saying then, let's give the inspectors more time...
WATTS: ... and now you're saying with the Bush administration, we want them yesterday.
HANNITY: That's right.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: No, we're not saying that, J.C. We're simply saying...
HANNITY: Yes, you are.
HANNITY: You accused the president of exaggerating.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: We have lost all of these lives on the premise that there was weapons of mass destruction. We have not found those.
HANNITY: Do you think the president lied, Juanita? Do you think the president lied, congresswoman?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: You're not going to put words in my mouth.
HANNITY: You think he did? That's a question. That's not words in your mouth.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: You're saying that the intelligence...
HANNITY: Do you think he did, yes or no? Do you think he lied?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: I was going to say maybe what was given to the president was skewed or there was an exaggeration of the intelligence.
HANNITY: Here's my point. Bill Clinton said the same thing in '98, the U.N. said the same thing when they laid out the exact weapons they had. Did they also lie? And why didn't you ask for an investigation into their, quote, "exaggeration"?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: Well, I was not privy to any input then. I am now. I am saying that there was an over-exaggeration of the intelligence.
HANNITY: Should we investigate Bill Clinton? Should we investigate whether Bill Clinton lied?
COLMES: We've got to take a break. Bill Clinton was not calling for an all-out war and regime change.
HANNITY: No, he just bombed the living daylights out of them.
COLMES: He did not call for regime change.
HANNITY: Now we get back to our debate. All right. Congresswoman, I'm going to give it one more shot. This is what I want to say to you. We know that the night that your beloved Bill Clinton bombed Iraq that he cited Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear weapons program and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Now you just said in the last segment that George Bush exaggerated. We ought to investigate these things. I want to know if you are fair and balanced, if you want the same investigation into Bill Clinton's claims of whether or not they existed when he made those claims to the American people? Because none of you liberals did that at that time but you're doing it to this president. So I've got to believe it's politically motivated.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: What I want now, Hannity, is that this administration, who came to the American people saying that we must go to war because there were weapons of mass destruction...
HANNITY: What about Bill Clinton, will you demand the same of him?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: He's no longer in office.

HANNITY: But we can still investigate if he exaggerated, so you care so much about the issue, should we do it for him?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: I do care about the issue because I care about those who have been killed at the hands of these rogues.
HANNITY: Why not investigate Bill Clinton...
HANNITY: ... when he bombed Iraq?
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: We're talking now about this present administration. We're not going to go back in history to try and claim who did what.
HANNITY: My fears have been confirmed that there is a double standard.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: It is not a double standard.
HANNITY: This is politically motivated. That the people that were on the wrong side of destroying the dictator, who filled the mass graves, don't want to be accountable for their wrong decision and they want to turn it around into a political issue and demand of this president what they never demanded of their own president, correct?
WATTS: Well, and Sean, let me remind you that Slobodan Milosevic, also, you know, he didn't have weapons of mass destruction and we went after him.
COLMES: That wasn't the argument used, Congressman. You're mixing apples and oranges here.
WATTS: I'm just giving you another instance of a double standard.
COLMES: But that wasn't the argument used to go after Milosevic.
WATTS: Alan, but consider this. There's over 600 sites over there and we've probably inspected 150 to 200 of them. So I still believe they're going to find weapons of mass destruction. But I think...
COLMES: Well, you know, we might. We might. But...
WATTS: I think the American people are delighted that we have gotten that dictator, that brutal dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein and his regime out of power.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: J.C., the American people are concerned now about this war being waged here.
WATTS: The great majority of the American people are supportive of what happened and you all are assuming that you're going to have a political issue because we're not going to find weapons of mass destruction.
COLMES: Congresswoman Watts, would you acknowledge that Bill Clinton -- just hold on a second. J.C., Bill Clinton had a very different...
WATTS: ... structure when Saddam Hussein...
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: You know what, you're manipulating now. You're manipulating this whole issue here.
WATTS: No, I'm saying that we've got rid of one weapon of mass destruction and we're going to find more and we'll deal with that.
COLMES: Get Congresswoman Millender-McDonald in here.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: No, but that was not the reason we went to the war.
COLMES: Hold on, J.C. Congresswoman, Bill Clinton, let's be very clear here. Bill Clinton did not go in and do regime change. He didn't use the excuse of weapons of mass destruction...
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: That is correct.
COLMES: ... to put American lives at risk to the extent that George W. Bush did. He didn't go in and make Iraq a protector of the United States, protectorate, that is, and put in U.S.-led government...
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: That is correct.
COLMES: ... and change the government. So to compare what Bill Clinton did to what George W. Bush did with American lives and Iraqi civilian lives, by the way, who were lost in the thousands, is not at all analogous.
MILLENDER-MCDONALD: That is correct, very much so. And at this point we're talking about our present president, the sitting president, who came to the American people asking them for support. And this was presented on the premise of weapons of mass destruction. So now the American people are asking, "Where are they? Where are the weapons?"
HANNITY: The point is Bill Clinton used the premise to bomb Iraq. Those were his arguments. J.C., you get the last word. Go ahead.
WATTS: Sean, just to let me make one point. Alan and Juanita, you guys are saying that the Clinton administration didn't deal with the regime. That's the problem.
COLMES: That's not what we said. That's not what I said.
WATTS: You're saying that they didn't go in and change regimes and, you know, send American people over there to administer that. The problem that we found with the previous administration, they kept kicking the can down the road.
HANNITY: That's a good point. J.C., we've got to run.
WATTS: This administration said, "We're going to deal with it."

No comments: