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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  September 13, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, bedo for you. ♪ [music] ♪ issue one. 9/11/09. >> we've gone for eight years without another attack. now, how do you explain that? >> friday marked the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which took the lives of 2,973 persons. in shanksville, pennsylvania, 40 deaths. at the pentagon in arlington, virginia, 184 deaths.
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at the world trade center in new york, 2,749 deaths. in the eight years since that gruesome day, there has been no repetition on u.s. soil of this kind of terrorist attack. former vice president dick cheney gives his reasoning for why this is so. >> the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of american lives and ng further attacks against the united states. >> the bush administration personnel did use such enhanced techniques, including water boarding to gather invaluable intelligence, says dick cheney. from 9 disp 11, khalid sheikh mohammed and abu, who endured 266 walter boardings in one month. president obama has outlawed such e.i.t.s. >> first, i ban the use of so- called enhanced interrogation techniques.
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i know some have argued that brutal methods like water boarding were necessary to keep us safe. i could not disagree more. >> former vice president cheney is not persuaded and doubts president obama's understanding about what's at stake. >> i have serious doubts, especially about the extent of which he understands and ised t done to defend the nation. >> question, attorney general eric holden recently began a criminal probe of cia interrogators of terrorist suspects and the techniques they used in their interrogations. will this probe of the cia make the s. more vulnerable to terrorist attacks? pat buchanan? >> we will lose invaluable assets. mr. cheney is exactly right, john. the terrorists, one of the things revealed was a huge bomb plot against camps just like the marines in the barracks at the airport and beirut.
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that's one of the things he gave up. he gave up a sleeper cell guy in ohio who's now in prison for 20 years. he gave up all kinds. he gave his battle order and all their plans up, and he did it because of some brutal and nasty methods, no doubt about it. it's undeniable, but cheney is right. to go after these guys down the line who were doing their duty, had no criminal motivation other than to protect you and me, it seems to be unjust. it seems to be outrageous, foolish. obama could have done the same thing with the report. these were the techniques used. we don't want them anymore, we don't think they are honorable. but to go after these guys is outrageous. >> eleanor? >> khalid shaikh mohammed did give up those bits of information you cited, but according to the cia memos that the vice president wanted released, there's no evidence that he revealed this information after he was water boarded. and in fact, the evidence points the other way that the
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information came out earlier in the process when the process of trust was established. you do have a former fbi interrogator who walk add way from the case with zubaida because he had established trust and they started water boarding and weren't getting information. and khalid muhammad also said some of the things he said he made up in order to stop the pain. so i think that's no evidence here that the techniques work. the prosecutions that are going forward, the rule of law does matter, and they were contract agents that went beyond even the very, i would say, outlandish techniques that were approved by the cheney administration. we might as well call it for what it is. i think that america has reclaimed some of the moral ground that it lost. we do stand for something better. we do stand for the geneva convention. >> water boarding does not work?
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>> "the washington post" just had a story two weeks ago that the water boarding inflicted on khalid shaikh mohammed provided direct actionable intelligence that prevented imminent attacks and after he was water boarded and subjected to some of the other e.i.t.s, khalid shaikh mohammed started giving the cia now considered the villain under the obama administration tutorials on the inner workings of al qaeda, the leadership, how they operate, where they were getting their financing. look, cheney is right. the bush team had a 100% perfect track record in keeping this country safe after the attacks of 9/11. it is absurd, reckless and irresponsible in the extreme for his successor to go after and potentially prosecute the very men who did those things that kept us safe. we should be offering these men who did this gratitude, thanks, and respect. we should not be hanging prosecutions over their head. >> we're talking eric holder, who is the attorney general
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conducting an investigation of cia interrogators who in our belief several on this panel and of many others believe yielded data that prevented anything from happening similar to that in the last eight years. >> right. >> what about it? do you think eric holder should be -- >> i think it's outrageous. it's double jeopardy. all of these cases were investigated by the u.s. attorney from virginia. they were cleared of everything. this was no criminal intent they stated in any of these things which is right. so i think to go after the good guys because they were roughing up the bad guys is the appropriate thing to do. this isn't to say that the president doesn't have a right as a matter of policy to say i don't want to do that anymore. but to go after it, it's demoralizing to the cia and will affect our ability to go after these guys. these people went out there at great personal risk all around the world trying to gather kind of intelligence and now will be subject to double jeopardy.
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i think it's totally wrong. >> mort, i think we all commend you on the daily news coverage of this gruesome weekend. every year on this day, we are all new yorkers. i think we all share your view. what a day that was. >> it was a terrible day, and i'm sure everybody will remember that for as long as they live. the president did write that article for the daily news, and that is, i think, an absolutely perfect way to capture it. on this day, everybody feels what happened -- >> a question now. if there were another attack, god forbid, what would happen to obama's political career? >> well, i think there will be a huge reaction from the public. there is something called the ticking bomb theory. when you have a terrorist who knows that there is a bomb that's about to go off, you are in almost every country in the world allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques. you need to get this information.
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we were doing this all denovo. now go after these guys i think is terrible. >> is obama stopping the eavesdropping? i don't think he has. >> some of the things obama stopped. >> has he stopped predators from [ all talking at once ] >> renditions are limited because we have exposed where the cia under the obama administration. >> the "washington post" did it. >> what? >> "the washington post" exposed all these countriesp. >> does that cumulative limit our power -- >> john, here's what we've got, john. we have cia guys on the borderline. they get these opinions from these lawyers and make sure they got 'em. some of them go too far, they are trying to save us. and here they are five, six, seven years later being called disgraceful, having to get lawyers. >> are they killed in the
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field? >> yes. >> the whole -- [ all talking at once ] >> ron panetta the director of the cia and four other directors opposed this tooth and nail. they know what they have to deal with and how difficult it is to motivate these people living in the shadows, protecting us. under these circumstances -- >> double jeopardy. >> this is not -- >> this is -- [ all talking at once ] >> this is the attorney general following the rule of law. >> that's not the case. if obama had said, i don't want to you pursue this, once you say to the attorney general you have to look at it, then it becomes a legal matter. it's a policy matter. >> if he said to the attorney general i don't want to you look at this i don't want to you prosecute this, that would be an unnecessary and possibly illegal interference. >> it's national security. he's president of the united states. >> excuse me, but you don't get to fiddle around with the fbi. president nixon did. president nixon did.
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[ all talking at once ] >> let her -- >> and there is a belief that the fact that we are no longer water board condoned torture that we're closing guantanamo that we are closing down these recruiting recruiting tools that are used saying america's not what she claims to be. so i think this is important in setting a tone, and you also don't want your own people treated this way. john mccain is the most eloquent person -- >> you don't think it's unrealistic? >> john mccain is the most eloquent on torture having been submitted to it and he does not believe in it. [ all talking at once ] >> nobody is buying this good cop/bad cop routine of obama i don't want to go down the road of prosecuting but my attorney general is demanding it. he could easily have refused this and he refused to do it. also, we are under the process of catapulting the united states back to september 10th where acts of international terror against us are treated
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as criminal justice problems and not as acts of war. we know what that led to, 3,000 dead americans in the street eight years ago this weekend. do we really want to go down that path again? >> john, if the president of the united states -- [ all talking at once ] >> if the president of the united states wanted this stopped, he has every right as commander in chief protecting the national interest in saying, i don't want this prosecution or investigation to go forward. here's what i want done and if he tells the american people that, the american people will support it. >> he is looking at -- >> excuse me, he is looking at hired guns hired by the cia who went way out of bounds. >> it's already there. [ all talking at once ] >> it is not going nearly as far as most people -- >> all right. we've got to get going here. >> would like him to go. it is a moderate approach. >> oh, my god. >> exit question. does the bush/cheney team and its tough counterterrorist policies like eavesdropping,
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water boarding, renditions, preemptive assassinations with predator drones, do these policies deserve the credit for the fact that there have been no terrorist attacks on u.s. soil in the last eight years? >> every one of us would have predicted another attack after 9/11 that we were going to be hit again and again and again. we weren't. you've got to give bush and cheney credit for that. >> i'll give them credit, but i don't think there's any evidence that these enhanced interrogation techniques are what yielded the information that kept us safe. secondly, they do serve as a recruiting tool that are a ticking time bomb in interprets of creating more terrorists for the future. >> recruiting tool? we were hit on 9/11 before we started doing any of these things. look, fighting al qaeda a shadowy terrorist enemy that targets civilians is not a walk this the park. the things we did to these guys to save american lives happens every day at an american
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fraternity, for frying out loud. we're not talking about brutality here. we're talking about things that saved american lives and politically, by the way, this is a total loser for the obama administration because huge majorities of the american people think that we should do whatever is necessary to protect us. >> if you think we're going to persuade people willing to fly airplanes into buildings and persuade them to tell us everything we're going to be doing, that's naive. therefore -- >> eleanor has a point. [ all talking at once ] >> you have to admit this. look, abu ghraib was disgraceful and some of the techniques when they come out there, a lot of the arab guys i'm sure say look what they're doing to us. i'm sure it is a recruiting tool, i don't deny that. the thing is on balance, you have to say those guys protected us. >> which techniques? abu ghraib? which techniques? >> look, abu ghraibs was individuals down there at midnight doing idiotic stuff
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that disgraced this country. those pictures inflamed the middle east. that's why obama rightly would not show the pictures. obama would not show the pictures of all those what was being done, and he did the right thing there because it would have inflamed folks. >> he did reveal the rendition. >> "the washington post" did. why did obama say i don't want those pictures out there? he knows, eleanor's right on that point. >> if obama looks soft on this matter, he would definitely be out of office in 2012. >> if we get hit or something like that and it looks like people had information and we didn't do these things, he's got a problem. >> i think i said 1012. >> 2010. pat, i looked at you and i thought 1012. the answer to my question is yes, they deserve the credit. when we come back, the summer of shove. when planning for retirement these days,
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issue two, summer of shove. >> the time for gaves has passed. now's the time to deliver on health care. >> in an address to a joint session of congress on wednesday night, president obama had one dominant purpose in mind, to get a health insurance reform bill out of congress by the end of this year. mr. obama also used his bullied pulpit to sell the idea of a government-run nonprofit insurance provider, which he calls the public option. but he indicated that it could be reformulated. >> it's worth noting that a strong majority of americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort i proposed tonight, but its impact shouldn't be exaggerated by the left or the right or the media. it is only one part of my plan.
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and shouldn't be used as a handy excuse for the usual washington ideological battles. >> question. what's the significance of obama's hard focus on the public option in his address before both chambers of congress. eleanor? >> actually, i didn't think it was much of a hard focus pip thought he finnessed it well. the democrats who voted for him were demoralized. a lot of the focus has been on whether this public option would survive. i think he really made the case do progressive democrats that insurance reforms are important enough that if they don't get the public option, they'll have to suck it up, support are the reforms. he got cheers from progressives, and i think he gave enough to the so-called blue dogs, the conservatives that he rallied his base. that's what it's about. they've got the numbers on capitol hill, they can cling together. the game is all about max baucus, chairman of the senate finance committee who will finally unveil his bill next week, and i think it will
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mirror closely to what the president talked about, probably with this co-op member owned nonprofit component which will be the substitute for the public ochtion. >> not government run? >> no member koap ops. >> let's go back to what she how important is the public option? >> the public option, the public option is only a means to that end. we should remain open to other ultimate goal. >> you got that? you see that dance away? >> i certainly did. i certainly did. >> john, look, obama did exactly the right thing. he's got to do. look, the liberals are not gonna kill this guy's health care simply because they don't have a public option and he he's telling them look, we've got to get what we can get. i thought had he an outstanding speech. the question comes down to these blue dogs. a lot of those guys are going home and their seats are in peril if they vote for this. he's got to get rid of the
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public option. it's going to be a very, very tough thing to pull it all together. he's got to get everybody on board. >> let's clarify one thing. okay, president obama, a question for you, sir. what pays public option? >> i've insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rethe premiums it collects. >> did he leave something out? because the paying for the premiums is dependent upon the people paying on government subsidies. so the government sends in a subsidy and they pay for the premium. >> so what are you saying, was he disingenuous? yes, of course. when we talk about government option, the word public is there for a reason because the public will foot the bill for this. $1 trillion plus over ten year is probably understated. the cbo stated this will add $220 billion out to the federal
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deficit over the next ten years. again that's probably a low ball estimate. he did not answer how to pay for this. >> have you followed this whole issue of the insurance? do you think obama's speaking with a forked tongue, that he goes in both directions? >> i don't think any more than any other politician to sell a program. shall we say he emphasizes what he thinks is persuasive. one thing that's flawed is when he talks about it being revenue neutral. we've got to cut the costs of our health care program because it's destroying the fiscal health of this country. as monika says, nobody knows how big the costs are gonna be. we're in an era of genetics and, you know, neurology and whole series of advanced medicine. it's a huge addition. >> what's the point? >> the point is we've got to find out what this is gonna do to the cost structure. >> the cost, the cost.
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>> it will dry the economy of this country. >> are you not in favor of the advances being made? >> i'm totally in favor. >> let me give you an example. legal costs. >> all other costs of moral disorder within the ranks of the insurance industry. do you believe that? >> yes, i do. >> i think that is the case. >> you think that the excess that he's talking. >> we don't call it greed, we call it self-interest. it's perfectly appropriate. >> you think it's excessive? you agree with him? >> i do. >> you think he can make up the deficit in his own man by attacking the waste and mismanagement? >> i think there is a lot of it there because amongst other things just take medical tort liability which costs -- >> you don't think he's making a whipping boy out of the insurance industry and fundamentally undeserved? >> of course he is. >> are we going to have a -- [ all talking at once ] >> it's not about we should be
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attacking -- [ all talking at once ] >> as soon as you start going down those costs, we're going to cut the costs of medicare, you are right down the road to "the death panels" because you are cutting off care. you're cutting off prescriptions. you're cutting off procedures. >> right back with per diction. hardest talk. "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by mississippi development authority. b@ visit when planning for retirement these days,
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fourth prediction. will obama get his health care bill by year's end? >> he'll get something. >> yes, he will get something. >> he'll get something. >> he will get something. don't forget to follow us on twitter. bye-bye. b@
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