RUSH: I’m sitting here reading this Obama interview, and I am in stunned disbelief. Nobody can be this ignorant. Scary ignorant. From high atop the EIB Building in Midtown Manhattan, one of the most frequently visited tourist attractions in all of Manhattan, I am Rush Limbaugh, behind the Golden EIB Microphone. Great to have you with us. Here’s the phone number, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address is ElRushbo@eibnet.com. It’s a Q&A with Barack Obama December 20th in the Boston Globe, Charlie Savage wrote the story. Try this one. This is number five. ‘Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?’ Obama’s answer: ‘No. I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.’ Memo to Obama: It is not the Bush administration’s position. The Supreme Court held in 2004 — this is the famous case, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. The president has the power to detain American citizens without charges as enemy combatants. Now, I just have to think here — I don’t know what to think. He’s either ignorant or he’s saying something far more dangerous. If he is saying that he’s not bound by the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the law, liberals would have a stroke if Bush claimed the kind of authority that Obama is claiming in this — and ignorance.
Liberals are out there going bonkers every day over how stupid Bush is. This Obama interview is just scary. Let’s see. Find another one here. He gets it wrong on who ratifies treaties and who consents to them. He says the president doesn’t have the authority to abolish treaties. And the president does! Bush abolished the ABM Treaty shortly after taking office because Bush said it’s irrelevant. The Soviets are gone. I’m getting rid of this. The liberals went nuts, but they couldn’t stop him because the president does have the authority to get rid of treaties. Obama says here that the president does not have the authority to undermine Congress, the Senate here, which ratifies treaties. The Senate doesn’t ratify, they consent to them. The president makes treaties, negotiates them, comes up with them. When’s the last time you saw Gorbachev meeting with some senator at Reykjavik or anywhere else? Gorbachev met with Reagan, for crying out loud.
This interview sets McCain up. There’s a sitting duck out there. There’s a sitting duck for McCain if he wants to exploit this. Andy McCarthy posted an article today, National Review Online, discussing the announcement that military prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five others who are complicit in the 9/11 attacks. This is the 9/11 Six, and the article raises the issue of what kind of enforcement paradigm we’re going to have. Do we go back to the September 10th approach of treating foreign jihadists as if they were ordinary criminal defendants entitled to all the rights and privileges of the civilian justice system, or should we treat the enemy as a war criminal in a conflict in which it’s vital that we protect the intelligence we depend on to save American lives? In other words, are we going to go back to the Jamie Gorelick Clinton days where we’re going to treat these enemy combatants as just civilians in court and we’re going to hear testimony and we’re going to divulge intelligence secrets of what it took to nail them, or are we going to treat them as enemy combatants, military tribunals and this kind of thing?
As McCarthy wrote today, it’s a real opportunity for Senator McCain to separate himself from Obama and Clinton. We still have the military commission option because Congress passed the Military Commissions Act in 2006, and McCain voted for that. Obama and Clinton voted against it. Now, the next commander-in-chief will surely have an opportunity to end military commissions in order that the terrorists held at Gitmo, including the 9/11 Six, be transferred to the civilian justice system. What do our three plausible candidates think should be done with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? This is a gift, and McCain should grab it, but he probably won’t, because he wants to shut down Gitmo. He believes Gitmo is bad. He believes that torture happens in Gitmo. But McCarthy is right. This is a golden opportunity for McCain to put into play and demonstrate his vast experience at national security and protecting the country, because Obama and Clinton both want the 9/11 Six and future terrorists like this to be brought home here, put in the civilian justice system, and tried the same as we would try a bank robber, in time of war.
Now, McCain gave an interview to Der Spiegel, a German magazine. This is more from Andy McCarthy, who filled me in on this. Here is what McCain had to say about the Club Gitmo enemy combatants. Here’s the question from Der Spiegel: ‘America has lost a lot of friends because President George W. Bush angered, indeed outraged, them. He allowed human rights to be violated at Guantanamo Bay, and he dismissed the joint effort to combat global warming. Under a President McCain, could we expect a change of course?’ McCain’s answer: ‘Yes. I would announce that we are not ever going to torture anyone held in American custody. I would announce that we were closing Guantanamo Bay and moving those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and I would announce a commitment to addressing climate change and my dedication to a global agreement — but it has to include India and China.’
Folks, if you’re wondering why so many of us on this side of the aisle are disappointed, it’s because this answer is depressing. It’s disappointing. We haven’t violated human rights at Club Gitmo. We have not violated human rights. Senator McCain accepts the premise, not only, by the way, accepts the premise, he takes the opportunity to grandstand on torture. He intimates that President Bush has presided over a torture regime. This answer is somewhat akin to Jack Kemp’s answer in the debate with Algore back in 1996. Kemp was Bob Dole’s vice presidential running mate and Algore says, (paraphrasing) ‘By the way, Jack, I want to point out you’re good on civil rights. You’re not a racist like the rest of your party,’ and Jack said, ‘Thank you.’ I’m sitting there watching the television, ‘What the hell was that?’ McCain’s basically done the same thing here. Der Spiegel says, ‘The world hates your country, and the world hates your president, President Bush because of torture and human rights violations and global warming.’ McCain says, ‘Absolutely right, but I’m not going to do any of that, that Bush has done that, people hate us for.’