RNC: In Case You Missed It: 'I Think It's A Lie To Say
The President Lied'
| That is what John
McCain said in response to Bob Schieffer's question on
Face the Nation yesterday, "Do you believe it is
unpatriotic to criticize the administration's Iraq
President Bush responded forthrightly in his speech on
Veterans Day last week. He spoke at great length of the
murderous ideology of "Islamic radicalism"
instead of just unspecified terrorism. ... Toward the end,
he addressed the Democrats' charges:
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my
decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply
irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war
began. [Applause.] Some Democrats and antiwar critics are
now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled
the American people about why we went to war. These
critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate
investigation found no evidence of political pressure to
change the intelligence community's judgments related to
Iraq's weapons programs. ..."
Of course, the Democrats are squawking. McCain and Bush
are daring to call their charge--that Bush deliberately
lied about intelligence--for the Big Lie that it is. The
Democrats still argue that there needs to be an
investigation of whether the administration lied about
prewar intelligence. But, as the White House points out,
the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Silberman-Robb
commission, and Lord Butler in Britain have conducted such
investigations and have found no manipulation of
Go back, if we must, to 2002 and 2003. What we knew then
was that (a) Saddam Hussein's regime had developed weapons
of mass destruction--chemical and biological weapons and
the beginnings of a nuclear weapons program--in the past,
(b) that regime had used such weapons against its own
people, and (c) that regime had refused over a long time
to cooperate with the U.N. inspection program. Even apart
from the intelligence reports indicating that WMD programs
were continuing, it would have been grossly irresponsible
for any U.S. government to have assumed that they had
stopped. What kind of intelligence could we have obtained,
in those circumstances, that would have convinced us that
they had stopped? The failure of U.N. inspectors to find
WMD programs? But they could easily be hidden, and the
actions of regime operatives suggested they were hiding
something. Statements by top-level defectors or regime
members that the programs were not ongoing? Any
intelligence analyst would have to assume that these might
be disinformation. Statements by Saddam himself? Come on.
The Democrats are trying to relitigate the prewar
intelligence issue in the hopes of delegitimizing this
administration. But in delegitimizing the administration,
they also tend to delegitimize the efforts of the U.S.
government, including military personnel, in Iraq and
generally in the war against Islamic terrorism. To the
extent they delegitimize the United States, they are
hurting the cause of freedom for mi llions of people. I do
not say the Democrats are being unpatriotic, a word they
seem fixated on. So far as I am aware, no responsible
Republican has charged that they are unpatriotic; John
McCain refused Bob Schieffer's invitation to do so. But I
do say this: The Democrats who are peddling the Big Lie of
"Bush lied" are doing so either (a) deliberately
to injure the cause of the United States and of freedom in
the world or, as I think, (b) with reckless disregard of
whether they injure the cause of the United States and of
freedom in the world. What they are doing may suit their
political needs, but it hurts our country. ...
Eating Dick Cheney?
Sinking ships must loose big lips
The vice president supports
torture. He hides out in bunkers. He conspires
with big oil to deceive the Congress. His chief of staff has been indicted
for covering up that office's role in outing a CIA officer to the
media as political revenge. He bought
sci-fi Iraq intelligence from whoever was selling. He obstructed
a Senate Intelligence investigation of pre-war intelligence.
So naturally, deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove is
trotting him out to give a speech accusing Democrats and war critics
(now two thirds of the population of the United States) of being
"irresponsible" "opportunists". Repeatedly.
"The suggestion that's been made by some U.S. senators that
the president of the United States or any member of this
administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war
intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges
ever aired in this city,” Cheney told
the ultra-conservative Frontiers of Freedom Institute in the speech
But despite the newest assault on their patriotism, Democrats may
find that Cheney is the best thing that ever happened to them. After
all, Cheney’s recent ratings (36 percent approval, 56 percent
disapproval according to one
recent poll) are so low, and he is so closely associated with such
key issues bothering voters--high gas prices, the perception that big
oil companies are gouging consumers, the Iraq war, and the sense that
the White House is not honest--that Dems might want Cheney to speak
more and Republicans prefer he beeline for the nearest bunker.
Only in Cheney's Anbar province--his home state of Wyoming and the
neighboring Utah--does his approval rating break
50 percent, and in almost three dozen states, it's in the twenties and
thirties. And not just in the liberal blue coasts. He’s in the
twenties and thirties in such solidly red bastions as Kansas, the
Dakotas, Montana, Alaska, as well as in prominent swing states like
Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. After governors’ races
earlier this month that delivered Democratic key victories in
bellwether swing state Virginia and in New Jersey, Cheney may be the
closest thing to free advertising the Democrats have. As moderate
Republican representative Tom Davis of purple northern Virginia told
the Washington Post Thursday, "I think the vice president and the
president both right now probably are not helpful in a lot of marginal
Davis appears to be on the money, and then some. Citizens told
pollsters they are more inclined to vote for the candidate running
against the guy Bush campaigns for, by a margin of 56 percent
to 34 percent. Cheney’s extremely low marks on personal integrity
and honesty suggest he only amplifies that alienation.
All of which, coupled with the indictment
Libby in the Plame leak case, has contributed the growing strength
and aggressiveness of Senate Democrats, demonstrated by Senate
minority leader Harry Reid's dramatic
move to take the Senate into closed session earlier this month to
demand the Senate Intelligence committee jumpstart a long-stalled
investigation into the administration's use of pre-war Iraq
intelligence--a probe Cheney's office in particular is reported to
have been dragging its feet on cooperating with.
Of course, Cheney has always been somewhat of a rock star among the
ultra-conservative Republican base and a more polarizing figure to
independents and moderates, and his being trotted out now is not
designed to win over moderates but to shore up the sagging morale of
the extremist base.
So it’s worth noting that the political threat coming at the
White House and Cheney of late is not just from the Democrats on the
left, but from inside the GOP, and in particular from the figure of
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a 2008 presidential hopeful. And what issue
is McCain most out front on now, including on the cover
of the current issue of Newsweek? Torture, and the fact that Cheney
wants the CIA exempted from a measure proposed by McCain himself that
would issue guidelines for the treatment of detainees. An amendment to
a defense bill, it passed 90 to 10 in the Senate, and its fate is
being decided now in conference between the Senate and the House.
But with 68 percent of the public expressing the sense that the
country is headed in the wrong direction, not just Democrats and
independents but plenty of Republicans are feeling crappy about the
state of the nation under this presidency. If you’re one of that 68
percent, who’s going to appeal to you? The war hero McCain talking
about how torture hurts this country's image and the important work
it's trying to do in Iraq? Or the guys trying to advocate for the
torture exemption and whining about the war critics and sounding
defensive and suspect about the Fitzgerald investigation and the
Senate intelligence investigation?
In a fundamental way, if the last rationale the Bush administration
can stand on for being in Iraq is that the U.S. is doing something
noble by bringing democracy to the Middle East, then being so visibly
for torture just kills them. It just collapses the entire narrative.
Most people just can't hold that contradiction in their heads.
Especially with a patriotic war hero on TV explaining why torture is
bad for U.S. national security and prestige, and for U.S. troops who
might be captured by the enemy, like he was. Especially when that
figure has none of the Katrina/Fitzgerald/Rove/Miers/torture/Iraq/Cheney/Rumsfeld
baggage that Bush does, and when they think to themselves, wouldn't it
be great if this guy was commander in chief, instead of these guys?
Frankly, politics being politics, it seems it's only a matter of time
before plenty of the Republican elite and its publications abandon
this sinking ship, its failed Iraq non-strategy and its troubled
ethics, and exude open enthusiasm for a more hopeful, positive
Which could explain what’s eating Dick Cheney.
Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff
Monday, Nov. 14,
2005 3:04 p.m. EST
the story behind the story...
Clarification on McCain Quote
On Friday November 11, NewsMax reported in a story headlined "McCain:
Send 10,000 More Troops to Iraq” that Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
said, "The path forward in Iraq,” must defeat the insurgency and
keep faith with our troops, rather than be driven by the politics of the
Republican base or rigid adherence to President Bush’s aimless
NewsMax indicated Sen. McCain made these remarks in a speech to the
American Enterprise Institute.
The quote attributed to Sen. McCain was published in error. Sen. McCain
never made such a comment.
The quote should have been attributed to Senator John Kerry (D-MA),
as reported by the New York Times on Friday November 11.
Kerry said those words on the Senate floor soon after McCain’s
speech calling for increased troops in Iraq and criticizing a previous
Kerry proposal to reduce the level of American troops in Iraq by 20,000
in coming months.
NewsMax apologies for the error and duly notes the correction.
Zionists Clinton and McCain Proud Supporters of Israel
Genevieve Cora Fraser*
I am sorry to report that the heir presumptive to the Democratic '08
Presidential Campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton is a disgrace to humanity.
Though the much publicized photo of her yukking it up at the May
AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) convention with the
international war criminal, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon frankly
turned my stomach, I was willing to cut her some slack if her domestic
policies were sound. But no, Hillary has sunk to the slimiest
recesses of the bottom of the barrel. Her black Zionist roots are
showing despite her golden tresses.
According to Associated Press writer Rachael Hoag, Clinton is reported
to have said during her recent visit to Israel that she "supports
the separation barrier Israel is building along the edges of the West
Bank, and that the onus is on the Palestinian Authority to fight
terrorism." So much for victim's rights! Perhaps Hillary needs to
live under occupation for a couple of months and see what its like for a
trip to the grocery store be playing Russian Roulette with your life.
Clinton's remarks are particularly egregious at a time when long-time
South African Anti-Apartheid leaders such as such Ronnie Kasri (who is
Jewish) are speaking out. Though the suffering of the Arabs in
Israel & Palestine parallels in some instances the suffering of
blacks in South Africa under apartheid, conditions now present in
Palestine far exceed it, some say.
the ever-popular, former POW John McCain is earning much deserved credit
for attacking the torture-for-some-prisoners-of-war policy both promoted
and denied by the Bush administration with an "Anti-Torture"
campaign. But to illustrate the soundness of his anti-torture
proposal, McCain advises that we turn to Israel as a stellar example of
"The state of Israel, no stranger to terrorist attacks, has faced
this dilemma, and in 1999 the Israeli Supreme Court declared cruel,
inhumane and degrading treatment illegal," according to McCain.
"'A democratic, freedom-loving society,' the court wrote, 'does not
accept that investigators use any means for the purpose of uncovering
truth. The rules pertaining to investigators are important to a
democratic state. They reflect its character.'"
Citizen McCain also deserves a Zionist gold star on his forehead for
Pollyanna support of Israel, despite UN and non-governmental agency
reports, both inside and outside of Israel, that document wide-spread
Palestinian prisoner and citizen torture and abuse. The
frightening prospect is he too may be headed for a serious presidential
bid. Of course, in his case the "apple don't fall far from
the tree," as the saying goes. One has only to type "US
Liberty" and "Admiral McCain" into a Google search to
uncover the role the Senator's father played in exonerating Israel from
their attack on the American ship, the US Liberty, during the
On June 8, 1967, the US Liberty was in international waters 13 miles off
the Sinai Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean when Israel launched a
ferocious attack. Over 820 shell holes were counted in the ship's
superstructure and hull. Thirty-four men were killed and one
hundred seventy two wounded. I am sure that the Admiral's son is
well aware that at that time Israel was in the process of occupying
Palestine. Since then, every man, women and child in Palestine
lives and dies under the brutish, torture chamber dictates of a very
un-just Israel, despite the so-called freedom-loving nature of this
Zionist dominated society.
But despite regressive, anti-Arab policies of too many American
politicians, their Israeli-Zionist counterparts and Neo-Conservative
surrogates, light may be seen at the end of the tunnel. For the first
time since its bloody inception 57 years ago, an Arab Jew of North
African descent, Amir Peretz has been elected to a top leadership
position in Israel and there is a possibility he may one day be Prime
At a recent rally at the Rabin Memorial, Peretz's speech was delivered
as a direct address to the assassinated Rabin. "Ten years
ago, on that fateful night, you have said that violence undermines the
foundations of democracy - not knowing that a violent death awaited you
just around the corner. Ten years on, and the violence is still very
much with us, Yitzchak. The country is full of violence. We have not
succeeded in isolating it. It has spread beyond the areas of
confrontation with the Palestinians, it has become rooted among
"If we had left the Territories, stopped the violence which issues
from there at its source, we would have also overcome the violence in
our midst," Peretz stated.
"I am the child who came to Israel fifty years ago, at the age of
four. I am the child who grew up in the time of the Fedayyun
(cross-border infiltrators of the 1950's) and nowadays lives with his
family under the shadow of the Qasam rockets. The children of my
hometown Sderot have their sleep troubled by the fear of the Qasams,
while their contemporaries in Gaza wake up with the sonic booms and the
anti-terrorist preventive acts" Petetz continued.
"I have a dream, Yitzchak. I dream that one day the no-man's-land
between Sderot and Beit Hanun will flourish. I dream of factories going
up there, and recreation areas, and playgrounds where our children and
the Palestinian children will play together and build a common future.
When this dream comes true I could go to your grave, face you and say:
Rest in peace, Yitzchak. You have earned your final, undisturbed rest.
You were murdered, yet you won!"
Yes, Peretz's election offers hope despite American support for his
political rivals, Sharon and Peres. Meanwhile the UN Quartet
Special Envoy for the Gaza Disengagement, James Wolfensohn, warns of the
danger that the Gaza Strip could turn into a giant prison. The truth is
Gaza and the West Bank and East Jerusalem ARE giant prisons if you
happen to be a Palestinian. End the occupation and there will be
peace. The onus is on Israel, Hillary. It is their boot that is on
the throat of Palestine.
Cora Fraser is a poet, playwright and journalist as well as a
long-standing environmental and human rights activist.
What McCain Dubbed John Kerry's "Path to Disaster" in Iraq
is now Bush Administration Policy
Posted by Suzanne Nossel
I have for sometime believed that the Bush Administration would
follow the Orwellian approach of claiming to be fully committed to the
Iraq mission, while looking for any possible way to begin to draw down
troops (the decent
interval being the apparent preferred option right now).
The evidence is now beginning to come in. At the end of
October John Kerry announced
a plan for gradual withdrawal from Iraq based on benchmarks,
starting with 20,000 troops who would come home right after the December
elections. On November 10 in a major
speech, John McCain said the following:
"Senator Kerry’s call for the
withdrawal of 20,000 American troops by year’s end represents, I
believe, a major step on the road to disaster."
According to the New
York Times, Donald Rumsfeld said this morning that:
Mr. Rumsfeld said that there were plans to draw down the
current level of 159,000 troops in Iraq to about 137,000 or 138,000
after the elections. "We're bulked up right now because of the
elections coming up Dec. 15," he said.
A simple misunderstanding caused by McCain's unawareness
that there would be a special infusion of extra troops right before the
election who were not needed to stay on? No way. For
Rumsfeld to say, during
the deadliest 3-day period in Iraq since the invasion, that we are
planning to pull out 20,000 troops a month from now is flat out
inconsistent with Bush's professed policy of staying the course despite
They vehemently deny it (that is when they're not admitting
it) but the Administration is making plans to pull back.
It's starting to look like the route out of Iraq may involve just as
much misrepresentation and subterfuge as we had on the way in.
20, 2005 09:49 PM | in Iraq
|Where we are
November 25, 2005
WASHINGTON — If the question already is or ever becomes,
"Who lost Iraq?" the answer is not Jack Murtha.
Nor Howard Dean. Nor John McCain. Nor Eric Shinseki. Nor even that
pair of Euro-calculators, Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder.
George W. Bush will have had to manage that, with a little help
from Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza
Rice and a cast of go-along supporters.
And if Iraq happens to be "won" (just try defining that
in relation to our current Babylonian bamboozlement), then as
Brent Scowcroft has asked, "At what cost?"
So is it no-win? Sort of looks like it. This is not a reflection
on anyone's military sacrifice or on anyone's (including my own)
gullibility regarding weapons of mass destruction.
This is an assessment of the best-case scenario of what we can see
about a year down the road, even if Dec. 15 elections in Iraq are
modestly successful and a government creaks along under a
problematic constitution and holds things together short of an
all-out civil war.
The worst-case scenario is a civil war that draws in Iran, Syria
and Turkey. Then we'd find that U.S. efforts, by removing Saddam
Hussein (as satisfying as that may have been), have only
accentuated the geopolitical power vacuum that was a principal
reason that George H.W. Bush (and Scowcroft) opted not to hound
retreating Iraqis up the Highway of Death in 1991.
And who would most recently have set the stage for Iraq to be a
nasty little terrorist breeding ground? Well, let's just say he'll
be spending his Thanksgiving holiday in McLennan County in Texas.
The question of medium-range scenarios is at the heart of the
debate ignited last week by a speech by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa.
If you have not read it in its entirety, do so. It's on Murtha's
House Web site at http://www.house.gov/murtha.
In tone and preparation, the speech is, if anything, restrained.
What's interesting — and little done in the wake of various
mischaracterizations of Murtha's speech — is to compare his
proposal to what the White House plans. At least as manifested by
the apparent intent of Central Command, Bush seems to have in mind
the beginning of a significant drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq
This is the signal the White House is sending to calm political
allies looking ahead to the 2006 midterm elections. "We're
going to be on our way out of Iraq," Grover Norquist,
president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Tuesday when asked how
the war will figure in 2006 voting.
Once the pullout begins, the only difference between Murtha and
Bush is pace, positioning and the old troop-level argument.
On that point, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,
among others, continues to contend that there have never been
enough boots on the ground. That's the sort of observation
that got Gen. John Shenseki fired, so no wonder the remaining
brass doesn't clamor publicly for more personnel.
Murtha, a decorated (including two Purple Hearts) Marine from the
Vietnam era, probably has contacts throughout (repeat, throughout)
the nation's military establishment that are as good as any in
For his efforts, Murtha was initially vilified in the crudest
manner. Republicans, anxious for what they thought would be a
quick political kill, ran to the House floor with a jack-leg
version of Murtha's proposal.
Republicans' performance on a procedural point played so poorly
that by the time of the real debate on the leadership's phony
immediate-withdrawal resolution, the GOP allowed only more
seasoned members near microphones on the floor.
If you didn't get the full picture, you could listen to President
Bush in China, bringing up on his own that "people should
feel comfortable about expressing their opinions about Iraq."
Maybe any discomfort stemmed from his earlier agreement with
Cheney that war critics were "reprehensible."
In doing his own one-man version Monday of a good cop-bad cop
routine on critics of the Iraqi operation, Cheney seemed to be
competing for the most ludicrous non-sequitur award.
Try this gem from his speech at the American Enterprise Institute:
"Some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam
Hussein we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a
fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on Sept. 11, 2001, and the
terrorists hit us anyway."
Nor were there in Iraq, on Sept. 11, 2001, significant, if any,
elements of the group responsible for the attacks on the United
States. Now, unfortunately, there are plenty.
By the vice president's reasoning, and using the motivational
background of the Sept. 11 hijackers as a guide, the United States
should have been carpet bombing hateful madrassas in Saudi Arabia
about 15 years ago.
Now that would be a good, nonreprehensible point to debate.
Cragg Hines is a columnist for The Houston Chronicle based in
Immigration reform to be considered in February
Nov 28 2005
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to schedule debate on
immigration reform in January. Hotline
on Call has all the details.
According to sources, Republican Senators are finally taking
immigration as an issue seriously. In an off the record gathering, the
caucus has been exposed to reliable polling and an extensive briefing
from a respected conservative pollster that shows that the issue is
tremendously important to the conservative base.
Yes, it is an issue of national security, Republican Senators were
told, but the bigger issue is that of jobs. Rank and file voters are
concerned about American jobs being taken by illegal aliens. This issue,
combined with the national security issue, has made immigration a
"must act" issue for the GOP.
Malkin liveblogs the President's immigration speech.
UPDATE: The full text of the President's speech is
in the extended section.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Please be seated. Thank you for
the warm welcome. It is such a pleasure to be back in Arizona, and it's
great to be here in Tucson. The last time I was here I think there was
probably about a 50-degree temperature differential. (Laughter.) It's an
honor to stand here with the men and women of Davis-Monthan Air Force
Base. (Applause.) As well, to be here with the men and women of the
Customs and Border Protection Agency, and the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Agency, as well. (Applause.)
Securing our border is essential to securing the homeland. And
I want to thank all of those who are working around the clock to defend
our border, to enforce our laws, and to uphold the values of the United
States of America. America is grateful to those who are on the front
lines of enforcing the border. (Applause.)
I appreciate so very much the Governor joining us today.
Governor, thank you for being here. I'm honored you are here. I
appreciate Senator John McCain joining us today.
Senator. (Applause.) As well as Senator John Kyl. (Applause.) I
appreciate three members of the congressional delegation from Arizona --
Congressman Shadegg, Flake and Franks -- for joining us, as well.
(Applause.) Two members of my Cabinet are here with us, the Attorney
General of the United States, Al Gonzales -- (applause) -- and the
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Mike Chertoff.
I want to thank the United States Attorney from the District of
Arizona, Paul Charlton, for joining us today. I appreciate David
Aguilar, who is the Chief of the Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection of the Department of Homeland Security; Mike Nicely, who is
the Chief Patrol Agent, Tucson Sector; Ron Colburn, Chief Patrol Agent,
Yuma Sector; Martin Vaughan, Director of Air Operations. But most of
all, I want to thank those who wear the uniform for doing such a fine
job. Thank you all. (Applause.) Finally, I want to thank General Schmidt
for welcoming me today. He's the Commander of the 12th Air Force, U.S.
Southern Command, based right here at this base. (Applause.)
I have a solemn duty, and so do the members of the United
States Congress, to protect our nation, our Constitution, and our laws.
Our border and immigration security officers devote themselves to those
same missions every single day.
America has always been a compassionate nation that values the
newcomer and takes great pride in our immigrant heritage; yet we're also
a nation built on the rule of law, and those who enter the country
illegally violate the law. The American people should not have to choose
between a welcoming society and a lawful society. We can have both at
the same time. And to keep the promise of America, we will enforce the
laws of our country. (Applause.)
As a former governor, I know that enforcing the law and the
border is especially important to the communities along the border.
Illegal immigration puts pressure on our schools and hospitals -- I
understand that. I understand it strains the resources needed for law
enforcement and emergency services. And the vicious human strugglers --
smugglers and gangs that bring illegal immigrants across the border also
bring crime to our neighborhoods and danger to the highways. Illegal
immigration is a serious challenge. And our responsibility is clear: We
are going to protect the border. (Applause.)
Since I've taken office we've increased funding for border
security by 60 percent. Our border agents have used that funding to
apprehend and send home more than 4.5 million people coming into our
country illegally, including more than 350,000 with criminal records.
Our Customs and Border Protection agents can be proud of the work that
you're doing. You're taking control of this border. And we have more
work to do, and that's what I want to talk to you about today. We're
going to build on the progress we have made.
We have a comprehensive strategy to reform our immigration
system. We're going to secure the border by catching those who enter
illegally, and hardening the border to prevent illegal crossings. We're
going to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws within our
country. And together with Congress, we're going to create a temporary
worker program that will take pressure off the border, bring workers
from out of the shadows, and reject amnesty. (Applause.)
Our strategy for comprehensive immigration reforms begins by
securing the border. Now, let me talk to you about a three-part plan.
The first part of the plan is to promptly return every illegal entrant
we catch at the border, with no exceptions. More than 85 percent of the
illegal immigrants we catch are from Mexico, and most of them are
escorted back across the border within 24 hours.
To prevent them from trying to cross again, we've launched an
interesting program, an innovative approach called interior
repatriation. Under this program, many Mexicans caught at the border
illegally are flown back to Mexico and then bused to their hometowns in
the interior part of the country. By returning these illegal immigrants
to their home towns far from the border, we make it more difficult for
them to attempt to cross again. Interior repatriation is showing promise
in breaking the cycle of illegal immigration.
In a pilot program focused on the west Arizona desert, nearly
35,000 illegal immigrants were returned to Mexico through interior
repatriation. Last year only about 8 percent of them were caught trying
to cross the border again, a much lower rate than we find among illegal
immigrants who are escorted directly across the border.
We're going to expand interior repatriation. We want to make it
clear that when people violate immigration laws, they're going to be
sent home, and they need to stay at home. (Applause.)
We face a different set of challenges with non-Mexicans that we
-- who we catch crossing the border illegally. When non-Mexican illegal
immigrants are apprehended, they are initially detained. The problem is
that our detention facilities don't have enough beds. And so, about four
of every five non-Mexican illegal immigrants we catch are released in
society and asked to return for a court date. When the date arrives,
about 75 percent of those released don't show up to the court. As a
result, last year, only 30,000 of the 160,000 non-Mexicans caught coming
across our southwest border were sent home.
This practice of catch and release has been the government's
policy for decades. It is an unwise policy and we're going to end it.
(Applause.) To help end catch and release, we need to increase the
capacity in our detention facilities. Last month at the White House I
signed legislation supported by the members of the Arizona delegation
that will increase the number of beds in our detention facilities. We're
also working to process illegal immigrants through the system more
quickly, so we can return them home faster and free up bed space for
One of the most effective tools we have in this effort is a
process called expedited removal. Under expedited removal, non-Mexicans
are detained and placed into streamlined proceedings. It allows us to
deport them at an average of 32 days, almost three times faster than
usual. In other words, we're cutting through the bureaucracy. Last year
we used expedited removal to deport more than 20,000 non-Mexicans caught
entering this country illegally between Tucson and Laredo. This program
is so successful that the Secretary has expanded it all up and down the
border. This is a straightforward idea. It says, when an illegal
immigrant knows they'll be caught and sent home, they're less likely to
come to the country. That's the message we're trying to send with
We're also pursuing other common-sense steps to accelerate the
deportation process. We're pressing foreign governments to take their
citizens back promptly. We're streamlining the paperwork and we're
increasing the number of flights carrying illegal immigrants home. We
recently tested the effectiveness of these steps with Brazilian illegal
immigrants caught along the Rio Grande Valley of the Texas border. The
effort was called Operation Texas Hold 'Em. (Laughter.) It delivered
impressive results. Thanks to our actions, Brazilian illegal immigration
dropped by 90 percent in the Rio Grande Valley, and by 60 -- 50 percent
across the border as a whole.
With all these steps, we're delivering justice more
effectively, and we're changing the policy from catch and release to the
policy of catch and return.
The second part of our plan is to strengthen border -- to
strengthen border enforcement is to correct weak and unnecessary
provisions in our immigration laws. Under current law, the federal
government is required to release people caught crossing our border
illegally if their home countries do not take them back in a set period
of time. That law doesn't work when it comes time to enforcing the
border and it needs to be changed. Those we we're forced to release have
included murderers, rapists, child molesters, and other violent
criminals. This undermines our border security. It undermines the work
these good folks are doing. And the United States Congress needs to pass
legislation to end these senseless rules. (Applause.)
We need to address the cycle of endless litigation that clogs
our immigration courts and delays justice for immigrants. Some federal
courts are now burdened with more than six times as many immigration
appeals as they had just a few years ago. A panel of the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared that illegal immigrants have
a right to relitigate before an immigration court as many times as they
want. This decision obviously would encourage illegal immigrants who
have been deported to sneak back into the country and to re-argue their
case. Congress needs to put an end to this cycle of needless litigation
and deliver reforms necessary to help us secure this border. (Applause.)
The third part of our plan to strengthen border enforcement is
to stop people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
And we're increasing manpower. We're increasing technology and
infrastructure across this border. We're integrating these resources in
ways we have never done before.
Since 2001, we've hired 1,900 new Border Patrol agents. I just
signed a bill last month that will enable us to add another thousand
Border Patrol agents. When we complete these hires, we will have
enlarged the Border Patrol by about 3,000 agents from 9,500 the year I
took office to 12,500 next year. This is an increase of more than 30
percent, and most of the new agents will be assigned right here in the
state of Arizona. (Applause.)
And to help the agents, we're deploying technologies. Listen,
technology can help an individual agent have broader reach and more
effectiveness. When agents can take advantage of cutting-edge equipment
like overhead surveillance drones and infrared cameras, they can do a
better job for all of us.
In Tucson, agents on the ground are directing unmanned aerial
technology in the sky, and they're acting rapidly on illegal immigration
or illegal activities they may see from the drones. In the months since
these unmanned flights began, agents have intercepted a lot of drugs on
the border that otherwise -- and people -- that otherwise might have
made it through.
The legislation I signed last month provides $139 million to
further upgrade the technology and bring a more unified, systematic
approach to border enforcement. Again, I want to thank the members of
the Congress. (Applause.)
In some places, the most effective way to secure the border is
to construct physical barriers to entry. The legislation I signed last
month includes $70 million to install and improve protective
infrastructure across this border. In rural areas, we're funding the
construction of new patrol roads to give our agents better access to the
border, and new vehicle barriers to keep illegal immigrants from driving
across the border.
In urban areas, we're expanding fencing to shut down access to
human smuggling corridors. Secretary Chertoff recently used authority
granted by the Congress to order the completion of a 14-mile barrier
near San Diego that had been held up because of lawsuits. By overcoming
endless litigation to finish this vital project we're helping our border
agents do their job, and making people who live close to the border more
Our actions to integrate manpower, technology and
infrastructure are getting results. And one of the best examples of
success is the Arizona Border Control Initiative, which the government
launched in 2004. In the first year of this initiative -- now, listen to
this, listen how hard these people are working here -- agents in Arizona
apprehended nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants, a 42-percent increase
over the previous year. We've captured a half-million pounds of
marijuana, prosecuted more than 400 people suspected of human smuggling,
and seized more than $7 million in cash. You've got some good folks here
working hard to do their job, and I appreciate it very much. (Applause.)
As we work to secure the border, comprehensive immigration
reform also requires us to improve enforcement of our laws in the
interior of the country. Catching and deporting illegal immigrants along
the border is only part of the responsibility. America's immigration
laws apply across all of America, and we will enforce those laws
throughout our land. Better interior enforcement begins with better work
site enforcement. American businesses have an obligation to abide by the
law, and our government has the responsibility to help them do so.
Enforcing our immigration laws in the interior of the country
requires a sustained commitment of resources. Since I took office, we've
increased funding for immigration enforcement by 44 percent. We've
increased the number of immigration and customs investigators by 14
percent since 2001. And those good folks who are working hard, too. Last
year, the -- this year, federal agents completed what they called
Operation Rollback. It's the largest work site enforcement case in
American history. This operation resulted in the arrest of hundreds of
illegal immigrants, criminal convictions against a dozen employers, and
a multi-million dollar payment from one of America's largest
Our skilled immigration security officers are also going
against some of the most dangerous people in our society -- smugglers,
terrorists, gang members and human traffickers. In Arizona, we have
prosecuted more than 2,300 smugglers bringing drugs, guns and illegal
immigrants across the border. As a part of Operation Community Shield,
federal agents have arrested nearly 1,400 gang members who were here
illegally, including hundreds of members of the violent Latin American
gangs like MS-13.
Since the Department of Homeland Security was created, agents
have apprehended nearly 27,000 illegal immigrant fugitives. Thanks to
our determined personnel, society is safer. But we've got more work to
do. The legislation I signed last month more than doubled the resources
dedicated to interior enforcement. We understand that border security
and interior enforcement go hand in hand. (Applause.) We will increase
the number of immigration enforcement agents and criminal investigators.
We're confronting the problem of document fraud, as well. When
illegal workers try to pass off sophisticated forgeries as employment
documents, even the most diligent businesses find it difficult to tell
what's real and what's fake. Business owners shouldn't have to act like
detectives to verify the legal status of their workers. So my
administration has expanded a program called Basic Pilot. This program
gives businesses access to an automated system that rapidly screens the
employment eligibility of new hire against federal records. Basic Pilot
was available in only six states fives years ago; now this program is
available nationwide. We'll continue to work to stop document fraud, to
make it easier for America's businesses to comply with our immigration
As we enforce our immigration laws, comprehensive immigration
reform also requires us to improve those laws by creating a new
temporary worker program. This program would create a legal way to match
willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs
that Americans will not do. Workers would be able to register for legal
status for a fixed period of time, and then be required to go home. This
program would help meet the demands of a growing economy, and it would
allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the
This plan would also help us relieve pressure on the border. By
creating a legal channel for those who enter America to do an honest
day's labor, we would reduce the number of workers trying to sneak
across the border. This would free up law enforcement officials to focus
on criminals, drug dealers, terrorists and others that mean to harm us.
Our plan would create a tamper-proof identification card for the
temporary legal worker, which, of course, would improve work site
Listen, there's a lot of opinions on this proposal -- I
understand that. But people in this debate must recognize that we will
not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create
a temporary worker program. The program that I proposed would not create
an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn't provide for amnesty -- I
oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage
others to break the law and keep pressure on our border. (Applause.)
A temporary worker program, by contrast, would decrease
pressure on the border. I support the number of -- increasing the number
of annual green cards that can lead to citizenship. But for the sake of
justice and for the sake of border security, I'm not going to sign an
immigration bill that includes amnesty. (Applause.)
I look forward to continue working with the United States
Congress on comprehensive immigration reform. In the House of
Representatives, your Arizona congressmen are building strong support
for border enforcement among their colleagues. Judiciary Committee
Chairman Sensenbrenner and Homeland Security Chairman King are moving
bills that include tough provisions to help secure this border. The
House plans to vote on this legislation soon; I urge them to pass a good
The Senate is continuing to work on border legislation, as
well. This legislation improves border security and toughens interior
enforcement and creates a temporary worker program. Senators McCain and
Kyl have taken the lead. It's two good men taking the lead, by the way.
I'm confident something is going to get done that people of Arizona will
like, with these two Senators in the lead. (Applause.)
Majority Leader Frist and Judiciary Committee Chairman Specter
said they're going to take action in early 2006. See, we have a chance
to move beyond the old and tired choices of the immigration debate, and
come together on a strategy to enforce our laws, secure our country, and
uphold our deepest values.
We make good progress, but you know like I know, there's a lot
more to be done. And we've got to continue to work together to get that
done, and I'm optimistic that Congress will rise to the occasion. By
passing comprehensive immigration reform, we will add to this country's
security, to our prosperity, and to justice.
Our nation has been strengthened by generations of immigrants
who became Americans through patience and hard work and assimilation. In
this new century, we must continue to welcome immigrants, and to set
high standards for those who follow the laws to become a part of our
country. Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to
learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic
responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the
English language. (Applause.) We will continue to pursue policies that
encourage ownership, excellence in education, and give all our citizens
a chance to realize the American Dream.
I appreciate once again being here with the Border and
Immigration Security officers who have volunteered for a difficult and
urgent assignment. I appreciate their courage. By defending our border,
you're defending our liberty, and our citizens, and our way of life. I'm
proud to stand with you today, and the American people stand with you,
as well. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless our
Copyright 2006 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved.
McCain Taps Former Bush Political Director
an eye toward the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Sen.
John McCain of Arizona has hired one of President
Bush's top re-election advisers to help run his
political action committee.
Terry Nelson, political director of the Bush-Cheney
campaign in 2004, will be senior adviser to Straight
Talk America, according to several official familiar
with the hiring. They spoke on condition of anonymity
so as not to pre-empt an announcement by McCain's
McCain is using the PAC to raise money and organize
his travel on behalf of Republicans running in
November's midterm elections.
The PAC is also a launching pad for what most
Republicans consider to be a likely presidential race
by McCain. Nelson's hiring puts him in position to
play a major role should McCain seek the White House
The Arizona senator ran in 2000, upsetting Bush in
New Hampshire but losing the nomination in a bitter
two-way race. The Bush and McCain camps eventually
came to terms and McCain campaigned vigorously on
Bush's behalf in the 2004 re-election campaign.
McCain is courting Bush's supporters, major
fundraisers and advisers. Mark McKinnon, the
president's chief media strategist, has signaled his
willingness to help McCain unless Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice or Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gets in the
Both Rice and the president's brother have said
they will not run.
While some of Bush's former aides may line behind
McCain's potential GOP presidential rivals, Nelson's
hiring may help McCain cast himself as the early
front-runner and potential heir of Bush's political
Nelson, a soft-spoken Iowa native, is
well-respected Republican consultant who served as
deputy chief of staff and director of political
operations at the Republican National Committee from
January 2002 until he joined Bush's re-election
In 2004, Nelson helped put together Bush's
well-oiled grass roots operations. Nelson was
political director for the House Republican campaign
committee during the 2000 election cycle.
Senators Vote to Restrict Free Speech for Citizen Activists
Statement by LobbySense in Response to Markup of S. 2128 The
Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act
To: National Desk
Contact: Audrey Mullen, 703-548-1160
FAIRFAX, Va., Mar. 2 /Christian
Wire Service/ -- "Today the Senate Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs Committee passed onerous disclosure
rules on America's grassroots activists that infringe on several
First Amendment protections including freedom of speech,
assembly and the ability of citizens to petition the
government," stated Kerri Houston, National Spokesperson
for The LobbySense Coalition.
"These restrictions are part of a Lobby Reform bill that
should be targeted at Congress, not at groups that bring the
people's message to Congress."
The original author of the language,
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Committee Chair Susan Collins
(R-ME) backed away from the grassroots constraints in the bill,
but the Lieberman (D-CT) and Levin (D-MI) amendment to regulate
grassroots activities passed 10-6.
All seven committee Democrats voted for it (Lieberman, Levin,
Akaka (HI), Carper (DE), Dayton (MN), Lautenberg (NJ), and Pryor
(AR); as did Republicans Stevens (AK), Voinovich (OH), and
Chafee (RI). Voting "no" were Republicans Coleman
(MN), Coburn (OK), Bennett (UT), Domenici (NM), and Warner (VA),
in addition to Collins.
"What is extraordinary is that Senator Ted Stevens of
Alaska not only voted for these disclosure and mobilization
restrictions, but embraced them. It seems odd that Senator
Stevens wants to slap duct tape on the very free-market economic
and environmental organizations that have stood behind the
policy issue most important to him - America's need for prudent
and environmentally sound drilling in ANWR. These
"grassroots" include many of our coalition partners as
well as the Inupiat and other Alaskan citizen activists in his
home state who have gone to the mat for him on this issue,"
stated Jason Wright, LobbySense Executive Director.
"The bill will proceed to the floor for a vote next
week, and the 50-plus members of the LobbySense coalition will
continue to be active and vocal against these restrictions. We
will encourage Congress to focus instead on real solutions to
actual problems -- increased transparency for Congress, enhanced
and enforced criminal statues for lawbreakers, and restraints on
the spending that caused the corruption in the first place,'
The complete Amendment and a summary is available at www.LobbySense.com
12 November 2006 19:42
McCain moves closer to bid for White House
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Published: 13 November 2006
John McCain, the Arizona Republican widely seen as
a front-runner for his party's presidential
nomination in 2008, has moved closer to a White
House run, saying he was setting up an exploratory
committee, and that he would take a final decision
early in 2007.
"I am going to sit down with my family over the
holidays and make that decision," the four-term
senator, who unsuccessfully ran against George
Bush in 2000, told NBC's Meet the Press yesterday.
He did not say exactly when the committee - a
legally required precursor of a White House bid -
would be formally established. But he noted that
it was "part of the process". Whatever happens, he
added, "the important thing is that we will be
With his reputation as a maverick and
blunt-spoken teller of truth to power, Mr McCain
has a proven appeal to independents and many
Democrats. He has also of late moved to shore up
support among the Christian right, a constituency
vital to success in the primaries - as he learnt
to his cost six years ago.
Every sign thus far is that he plans to run.
There are, however, significant question marks
about a McCain candidacy. One is his advocacy of
yet more troops being sent to Iraq, at a moment
when the war has never been less popular. The
other is his age. If elected, Mr McCain, who is a
former prisoner of war in Vietnam, would be 72
when sworn in in January 2009, making him the
oldest incoming president ever. He also has a
history of melanoma skin cancer, meaning that his
health would be a matter of intense scrutiny.
On the Republican side, after the defeat and
political self-destruction of the once-fancied
Senator George Allen of Virginia at last week's
midterm election, the Arizona senator's most
dangerous rival may be Mitt Romney, the outgoing
governor of Massachusetts, who is showing every
sign of a presidential bid.
Other possibilities include the former mayor of
New York Rudolph Giuliani, and the outgoing Senate
majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee - and
conceivably even Mr Giuliani's successor as mayor,
The Democratic contest also
became slightly clearer yesterday. Joe Biden,
senator for Delaware, confirmed on ABC's This Week
programme that he planned to run in 2008, but did
not say when he would take a final decision. In
the meantime, Mr Biden is expected to become
chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations
Committee when the new Democrat-controlled Senate
convenes in January. He advocates a loose federal
structure for Iraq. But another senator, the
liberal Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, who has
been a strong opponent of the Iraq war from the
beginning, ruled himself out of the race - as did
Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat poised to take
over as chairman of the Senate Armed Services
Committee. "I value my marriage too much for
that," he joked.
The favourite - albeit undeclared - remains
Hillary Clinton, flush with money after her
untaxing re-election to the Senate from New York
last week, and with a powerful organisation
already in place.
But a threat has emerged in the person of
Barack Obama, the wildly popular first-term
senator from Illinois, who has been promoting a
political memoir, The Audacity of Hope, that in
part resembles a campaign manifesto. Mr Obama,
born of a Kenyan father and Kansan mother,
recently admitted that he was mulling a bid. A
decision could come soon, he indicated. Other
senators who might join the 2008 contest are the
defeated 2004 nominee John Kerry, and Evan Bayh,
the conservative Democrat from Indiana. All but
certain to run is John Edwards, Mr Kerry's running
mate four years ago.
McCain Calls for Common Sense in GOP
By LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
Thursday, November 16, 2006; 9:19 PM
Sen. John McCain
, casting himself as the embodiment of the
Republican Party's future in the vein of Ronald Reagan, said
Thursday the GOP has lost its way and must return to
"Though we suffered a tough
defeat last week, we will recover if we learn our lesson well
and once again offer Americans enlightened, effective and
principled leadership," the Arizona Republican said in a speech
that laid out his vision for the party's path forward _ and
could set the tone for a potential presidential campaign.
The same day he launched a committee to explore whether to
run in 2008, McCain invoked the legacy of Reagan, who won the
presidency four years after leading the rebirth of a dispirited
GOP following the Republican defeat in the 1976 presidential
"We can do it again if we lead and inspire as he did," the
four-term senator told party loyalists. His remarks came a week
after a sobering election in which Republicans lost control of
Congress and suffered losses at all levels of government.
A maverick who has sought to mend a rocky relationship with
the GOP base, McCain delivered his take on the current and
future state of the party in a hotel conference room before more
than 100 members of GOPAC, a conservative organization that
helps elect Republicans. Earlier, McCain touched on some of the
same themes before another conservative cornerstone _ the
Federalist Society. He received standing ovations and hearty
Fifteen months before the first 2008 presidential nominating
contests, McCain is positioning himself as the GOP
standard-bearer while President Bush takes on lame-duck status
and dispirited Republicans search for a road to recovery.
Although the president was not mentioned, McCain's speech
amounted to a criticism of the party under the leadership of
Bush, whose popularity is at a low point amid chaos in Iraq and
increasing federal spending at home.
"We lost our principles and our majority. And there is no way
to recover our majority without recovering our principles
first," McCain told both audiences as he reflected on the 2006
No doubt mindful that the next GOP presidential nominee could
end up carrying the burden of a Bush legacy, McCain contrasted
the current state of the party with what he called common-sense
conservatism. In doing so, he laid out a choice for Republicans:
more of the same or a return to Reagan's ideals.
"Americans had elected us to change government, and they
rejected us because they believed government had changed us," he
said in a speech in which he cited Reagan, Abraham Lincoln and
Teddy Roosevelt. "We must spend the next two years reacquainting
the public and ourselves with the reason we came to office in
the first place: to serve a cause greater than our
After a dozen years of GOP rule on Capitol Hill, McCain said
voters felt Republicans cared more about protecting their
incumbency than they did about staying true to core conservative
principles such as limited government, fiscal discipline, a
strong defense, low taxes, free trade and family values. He
urged a return to those tenets.
"Do the right thing, and the politics will take care of
itself," McCain said.
McCain filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission
that will allow him to raise money and travel the country while
weighing a bid. The committee's Web site _
went online a day earlier.
Still, McCain says he will wait until after the Christmas
holiday to decide whether to make a second bid for the White
House. He lost to Bush in a contentious race in 2000, when the
senator was the underdog. This time, McCain is widely considered
the one to beat in a crowded field of potential candidates.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has filed paperwork
to test the waters for the GOP nomination, and
Rep. Duncan Hunter of California has launched a long-shot
McCain's other would-be rivals include Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Senate Majority Leader
Bill Frist of Tennessee and New York Gov. George Pataki.
McCain: Homosexuality not a
'defect' or 'sin'
Published: Monday November 20, 2006
an interview on Sunday, Senator John McCain (Az-Rep)
said that homosexuality was not a "defect" or a "sin,"
but emphasized that he didn't think same sex marriage
should be legal.
The possible 2008 GOP presidential contender
drew the line at civil unions for gay and lesbians,
but said that he thought they should have the right to
enter into legal agreements.
"I do not believe gay marriage should be
legal," McCain repeated. "I do not believe gay
marriage should be legal."
"But I do believe that people ought to be able
to enter into contracts, exchange powers of attorney,
other ways that people [who] have relationships can
enter into," McCain continued.
McCain also said that while he didn't "believe
we should discriminate against anyone in the
workplace," he didn't "think we need specific laws
that would apply necessarily to people who are gay."
McCain has been criticized by many for
"flip-flopping" on issues related to gay rights and
"In 1999, the 'moderate' version of John
McCain said that overturning Roe v. Wade would be
dangerous for women and he would not support it, even
in 'the long term,'" the liberal blog
noted. "This morning on ABC, McCain now
aggressively courting the likes of Jerry Falwell
expressed his unequivocal support for overturning Roe
Excerpts from McCain's interview on ABC's
Excerpts from transcript
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Good
morning everyone. Proving that it's never too early
for presidential politics, both Rudi Giuliani and John
McCain set up exploratory campaign candidates this
week. And we're joined this morning here in the studio
by Senator McCain. Welcome back.
SEN. MCCAIN: Thanks George.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're in South
Carolina or Michigan talking to a county chairman,
when he asks why should I support you over Rudi
Giuliani? What do you say?
SEN. MCCAIN: My record. My record of being a
conservative Republican of knowledge on national
security and defense issues, my advocacy for less
government is best government. And I think people
should be judged on their record, but also their
vision for the future of the country.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Giuliani describes
himself as both pro-choice and pro-gay rights. Do you
think someone with those positions can get the
Republican nomination and effectively lead the
SEN. MCCAIN: I don't know. I know that he's an
American hero. I know that Americans will never forget
the magnificent job he did following 9/11, and I think
that he would be favorably looked on by a lot of
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you're not
pro-choice. You're pro- life. Are you pro-gay rights?
SEN. MCCAIN: In the respect that I believe
that the don't ask, don't tell policy is working in
the military. I don't know how you view that. I do not
believe that marriage between -- I believe in the
sanctity and unique role of a marriage between man and
woman. But I certainly don't believe in discriminating
against any American.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But on that don't ask,
don't tell policy, the military now classifies
homosexuals. They classify homosexuality as a defect.
Do you agree with that?
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I don't think they do that.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It actually is. Yes, they
do right now.
SEN. MCCAIN: I don't think it's a "defect",
but I do believe the don't ask, don't tell policy has
been very effective. We've got the best military we've
ever had in our all-volunteer force. So I think the
policy is working.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you believe that
marriage should be reserved between a man and a woman.
SEN. MCCAIN: Yes.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You voted for an
initiative in Arizona that went beyond that and
actually denied any government benefits to civil
unions or domestic partnerships. Are you against civil
unions for gay couples?
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I'm not. I -- but the -- that
initiative I think was misinterpreted. I think that
initiative did allow for people to join in legal
agreements such as power of attorney and others. I
think there was a -- I think that there was a
difference of opinion on the interpretation of that
constitutional amendment in Arizona.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're for civil
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I am for ability of two
people -- I do not believe gay marriage should be
legal. I do not believe gay marriage should be legal. But I do believe that people ought to be able
to enter into contracts, exchange powers of attorney,
other ways that people have relationships can enter
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You threw your support
behind Trent Lott this week to be Republican Whip. Do
-- he has said that homosexuality is a sin. Is that
what you think?
SEN. MCCAIN: I have never heard Trent Lott
state that. But no, that's not what I --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not your position?
SEN. MCCAIN: No.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question on
abortion. You're for --
SEN. MCCAIN: I just want to point out again; I
believe that gay marriage should not be legal. Okay?
But I don't believe that we should discriminate
against any American because that's not the nature of
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that extend then --
you should have -- do you believe then that there
should be a law that bans discrimination against gays
and lesbians in the workplace?
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I don't believe we should
discriminate against anyone in the workplace, but I
don't think we need specific laws that would apply
necessarily to people who are gay.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask one question
about abortion; then I want to turn to Iraq. You're
for a constitutional amendment banning abortion with
some exceptions for life and rape and incest.
SEN. MCCAIN: Rape, incest, and the life of the
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: So was President Bush. Yet
that hasn't advanced in the six years he's been in
office. What are you going to do to advance a
constitutional amendment that President Bush hasn't
SEN. MCCAIN: I don't think a constitutional
amendment is probably going to take place. But I do
believe that it's very likely or possible that a
Supreme Court should -- could overturn Roe v. Wade,
which would then return these decisions to the states,
which I support that.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And you'd be for that?
SEN. MCCAIN: Yes, because I'm a federalist,
just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage
should be decided by the states. So do I believe that
we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade returned
to the states. And I don't believe the Supreme Court
should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe
The Rise and (Possible Fall) of John
While few Republicans would claim that anything good
came out of the 2006 Election, one key party member
managed to gain quite a bit: Senator John McCain.
Just three days after the Republicans lost control
of Congress, McCain announced the creation of a 2008
Election “exploratory committee”--bank account and
all. While the Senator from Arizona has long
appeared interested in a 2008 bid, the committee is
his most serious step yet. Then, on November 11th,
Senator McCain stood before the Federalist Society
and GOPAC (a key Republican political committee) to
offer his interpretation of the recent election
results. America had not embraced the Democrats, he
said, but, rather, rejected the Republicans; the GOP
had been complacent, financially reckless,
power--hungry, overly partisan, and even “uncivil.”
He then called for “common sense conservatism.” But
McCain was not simply reflecting on current events.
Rather, by diagnosing the Republicans’ illnesses,
Sen. McCain had implicitly offered himself as the
In the span of just a few weeks, the
“maverick” senator has charged to the forefront of
the 2008 Republican contenders. But what can we
really make of McCain’s chances to capture the 2008
Republican nomination? His popularity at this
nascent stage is undeniable: 29% of Americans,
according to a recent Pew Reasearch poll, want
McCain to be the Republican nominee in 2008. He
maintains the advantage over such big names as
former-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, Newt Gingrich, and
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. But the timing
and scope of the poll does not tell the whole story.
McCain occupies a vulnerable moderate position
that fully pleases neither Republicans nor
Democrats. Most importantly, Senator McCain has not
won the hearts of the very conservative branch of
the Republican Party. His position on campaign
finance reform, immigration, judicial nominations
and some social issues – not to mention his positive
relationship with much of the “elite liberal media”
such as The New York Times and The Daily Show-- has
made McCain a tough sell to many staunch
conservatives. Recently, though, he has tried to
remedy this situation by highlighting some of his
conservative positions. McCain no doubt learned from
2000 that he must court the Right in order to win.
He does not, for instance, support gay marriage
(only a form of civil union), nor the abolition of
the “don’t ask don’t tell” military policy. In May,
he even addressed Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty
University, reaching out to the very evangelical
Christians that snubbed him in 2000 (His talk at
Liberty, one of the most conservative universities
in America, later prompted hostility at his speech
to the New School, one of the nation’s most liberal
universities). Moreover, he has also grown closer to
President Bush, becoming a vocal advocate of the war
in Iraq. McCain even helped Bush campaign in the
last Presidential election.
Despite this steady drift to the Right, McCain’s
main support still comes from independent and
moderate voters. In 2000, his
iconoclastically-titled bus, “The Straight Talk
Express” seemed to strike a chord with the American
people (or at least the American media). But much
has changed in just eight years. Can he win over
conservatives while maintaining his moderate base?
That will ultimately be the question in the 2008
Election. Many moderate voters, for instance, likely
approve of his role in “The Gang of 14” to create a
moderate solution to the potentially messy judicial
stand-off in 2005. On the other hand, many
conservatives most likely do not look back fondly on
his judicial compromise. Senator McCain has also
called for the deployment of even more troops in
Iraq in hopes of providing stability in that nation.
While this agenda may please Bush supporters, will
it appeal to an Iraq-wary America? Perhaps McCain’s
more moderate and pragmatic brand of conservatism
will ring true to voters tired from eight years of
lofty moral rhetoric and epic abstract struggles. In
the end, however, by trying to please everybody,
McCain may end up pleasing nobody.
Finally, McCain’s personal life will become
campaign fodder if he chooses to run. On the
positive side, McCain’s status as war hero is widely
admired. His five and a half year internment in
Vietnam creates authoritativeness on defense issues
that other politicians cannot compete with.
Nonetheless, the Arizonan Senator has a few
potential personal issues. Foremost among these
problems is his age. McCain will turn 72 in 2008,
making him the oldest Presidential candidate ever.
Additionally, his history of melanoma seems to mark
a poor state of health. Can we take the risk of a
premature death in office? Additionally, McCain’s
role in the Keating Five cannot be easily forgotten.
Much speculation and criticism will no doubt arise
concerning McCain’s improper acceptance of money in
exchange for legal leniency during the late 1980’s
(Ironically--or conveniently--the McCain-Feingold
Act of 2002 was the first major campaign finance
reform act following the Keating Five scandal). All
these issues will be dragged out and hotly debated
if McCain chooses to run.
So, in the aftermath of a massive Republican
defeat, Senator McCain has managed to emerge from
the rubble unscathed. Indeed, McCain has even
emerged invigorated and emboldened. He has used the
opportunity to define new goals and priorities for
his weakened party. But will they stick? Has McCain
become the new torch-bearer for the Republicans? Can
he win over the hearts of the entire conservative
spectrum? How much momentum can he maintain for the
next year? There is no doubt that his new 2008
Election “exploratory committee” is asking these
very same questions as we speak.
McCain rails Iran in speech at Yeshiva
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 11, 2006
Paying a visit to the home turf of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, potential rivals in the 2008 presidential race,
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told a Jewish audience yesterday that
Israel and the world are threatened by a "possibly deranged and surely
dangerous regime" in Iran.
McCain, who has urged President George W. Bush to increase the size of
U.S. forces in Iraq, said that despite the "many serious mistakes we have
made" and the continuing violence, the United States cannot simply "wash
our hands of a messy situation."
As the world's "chief state sponsor of international terrorism," Iran
defines itself by its hostility to the Jewish state and its chief ally,
the United States, McCain said in a speech at Yeshiva University.
He said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a
"myth," urged that Israel be "wiped off the map" and defied international
demands and incentives to end a drive to gain nuclear weapons capability.
"It is simply tragic that millennia of proud Persian history have
culminated in a government that today cannot be counted among the world's
most civilized nations," McCain said.
The former Vietnam prisoner of war, who tried and failed to gain the GOP
presidential nomination in 2000, is considered the probable front-runner
for his party's nomination. His stiffest challenge could come first from
Giuliani in a Republican primary, while Clinton has unofficially made
clear her interest in leading the Democratic ticket.
As McCain spoke in New York, another 2008 Democratic potential, Sen.
Barack Obama, sparked a frenzy during his initial visit to New Hampshire,
but said he still hasn't decided whether to run and questioned whether all
the hype was just part of his "15 minutes of fame." The Illinois senator
said he is still "running things through the traps" as he considers
whether to join a field of Democrats that's expected to include several
more experienced political hands
Is Lethal Injection For Internet Freedom
Exploits fear of sexual predators and basic misunderstanding of
Internet to attack blogs critical of the warmongering agenda he fronts
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, December 15, 2006
Republican Senator John McCain has introduced legislation that
would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and
videos posted by visitors on comment boards, effectively nixing the
open exchange of ideas on the Internet, providing a lethal injection
for unrestrained opinion, and acting as the latest attack tool to
chill freedom of speech on the world wide web.
McCain's proposal, called the "Stop the Online Exploitation of
Our Children Act," encourages informants to shop website owners to
the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who then
pass the information on to the relevant police authorities.
Comment boards for specific articles are extremely popular and
also notoriously hard to moderate. Popular articles often receive
comments that run into the thousands over the course of time. In
many cases, individuals hostile to the writer's argument
deliberately leave obscene comments and images simply to sully the
reputation of the website owners. Therefore under the terms of this
bill, right-wing extremists from a website like Free Republic could
effectively terminate a liberal leaning website like Raw Story by
the act of posting a single photograph of a naked child. This
precedent could be the kiss of death for blogs as we know them and
its reverberations would negatively impact the entire Internet.
Under the banner of saving the children from sexual predators,
McCain is obviously on a mission to stamp out the influence of the
burgeoning blogosphere and its increasing hostility to the
warmongering agenda that he fronts for.
"This constitutionally dubious proposal is being made apparently
mostly based on fear or political considerations rather than on the
facts," warns Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the Electronic
Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.
McCain has publicly expressed his distaste for blogs in the past
and this is why any protestation that he is simply aiming to
"protect the children" with this legislation falls on deaf ears.
In a May 2006 speech at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University,
attacked the blogosphere as a refuge of those only infatuated
with self-expression. He was trying to minimize the importance of
the last true outpost of freedom of speech, the Internet, and
portray it as nothing more than a swap shop for egos and hyperbole.
So if the blogosphere is nothing more than a bulletin board for
self-important know it alls, what possible threat could that be to
young children? Where is the evidence that kids are being victimized
by people who post comments on blogs?
There is no evidence but that doesn't really matter when you
consider that a sizable portion of Congress critters who will be
voting on this legislation if it comes to pass,
don't even know what the Internet itself is (it's not a big truck),
never mind how it's used. And then a sizable majority of the
remaining House members probably hate the blogosphere as much as
McCain, because it has replaced the lapdog mainstream media in
acting as the 4th estate in muckraker reporting, anti-war protest,
and holding public officials to task.
In reality, sexual predators have always confined their grooming
to live chat rooms, or in the case of Republican pervert Mark Foley,
instant messaging and PDA's. Pedophiles are never going to leave a
record of their sordid advances on message boards because in most
cases, their IP address and location can be obtained immediately
from the server log. And as
reported by C Net, "Studies by the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children show the online sexual solicitation of minors
has dropped in the past five years, despite the growth of
McCain's proposed bill is just another step in greasing the skids
for Internet 2, a tightly controlled, regulated and privileged world
wide web where government approval will be required just to run a
In recent months, a chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the
Internet and lead it down this path has spewed forth from numerous
- The White House's own recently de-classified strategy for
"winning the war on terror"
targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for
terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.
- The Pentagon recently announced its effort to
infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.
- In a speech last month,
Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web
as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people
living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and
potentially violent skills." Chertoff pledged to dispatch Homeland
Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the
apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a
- In an interview with Fox News last month, Bush senior
slammed Internet bloggers for creating an "adversarial and ugly
- A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry
Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to
criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright
infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and
their argument is supported by the U.S. government.
- The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential
future British Prime Minister John Reid,
has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use the Internet to
Friday, July 13, 2007
McCain says campaign is 'fine' but having 'difficult
CONCORD, N.H. – Senator John McCain says he takes all
responsibility for the troubles his presidential campaign
has encountered, but that there are “no excuses” and he
feels confident that he can come back.
“I am confident we will be fine, but these are difficult
times,” said McCain during an hour long interview on New
Hampshire Public Radio this morning. “I can spend the next
hour giving you excuses, but there is no excuse. I am
confident that I can do what I do best, which are town hall
meetings and meeting people face to face.”
McCain is making his first campaign appearance today
since four of his top aides left the campaign and his
campaign bank account balance diminishes to the range of
some of the bottom-tier candidates in the race.
McCain Loses Two Iowa Strategists
By MIKE GLOVER 07.12.07, 1:06 PM ET
|Two veteran Republican strategists
are abandoning John McCain's campaign in Iowa, dealing another blow
to his struggling presidential bid.
Ed Failor Jr., said
Thursday that he and Karen Slifka plan to notify McCain by letter.
Both are GOP operatives with deep ties in Iowa, which holds the
first-in-the-nation caucuses, and national politics.
"As much as I like Senator McCain, it's not a team I'm willing
to stay involved with any longer," Failor said.
Failor ran the field operation for President Bush's campaign
in the state in 2004, assembling a deep campaign organization that
energized social and religious conservatives. Bush narrowly won the
state, the first time since 1984 that a Republican had prevailed in
Iowa in the general election.
Failor also works for Iowans for Tax Relief, a conservative
group that runs the state's largest political action committee.
Slifka came to the McCain campaign from her role as a
strategist for the Republican National Committee.
Both had close ties to Terry Nelson, who served as McCain's
campaign manager until his departure this week.
Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:10:57 PM
Subject: McCain Loses It and
Flees After 9/11 Truth Questions
Senator Refuses Demands for a New Investigation, Claims
Information" About 9/11 and Leaves Event Irritated and
Thursday July 19, 2007
Republican presidential candidate John McCain was
overwhelmed by reporters from WeAreChange. org and
9/11 truth during a campaign stop.
McCain, who wrote the forward to Popular Mechanics'
Myths, repeatedly told reporters, "I do not support a
investigation" and stated that he believes the "9/11
Commission did a
But other reporters continued to hammer the complicit
further questions and demands for a new 9/11
frustrated that he could not simply brush off 9/11
retreated to his SUV where he entertained questions from
mainstream media only.
Staff members attempted to take away a bullhorn and
media from the site, but backed off at warnings not to
reporters or stifle the first amendment.
Reporters cited hundreds of witnesses, including police
firefighters and former janitor William Rodriguez, who
hearing bombs go off in the lower levels of the WTC
that contradict the basic findings of the 9/11
McCain flatly told reporters that he did not support a
investigation and claimed to have "additional
information, " stating
that he did not believe there was a cover-up.
If such settling "additional information" indeed exists,
has an obligation to share it-- though the mere fact
that he has
withheld information about 9/11 from the public seems to
point to a cover-up.
Reporters also asked McCain about links with Ed Failor
of Iowans for
Tax Relief who hosted the recent televised forum for
presidential candidates and expressly left out
Congressman Ron Paul.
John McCain admitted that Ed Failor was a paid staff
for his campaign.
McCain wrote in Debunking 9/11 Myths, "Blaming some
our government for the horrific attacks of September 11
memories of all those lost on that day."
Yet when reporters emphasized the fact that it is family
9/11 victims who want a new investigation, McCain merely
http://www.prisonpl anet.com/ articles/ july2007/
That was the second reminder that, although CUFI
calls itself a "single-issue" organization, it comes wrapped in a
Christian nationalist package. Its activists clapped and screamed when
Hagee said John McCain "has a 24-year track record of being pro-life."
The attendees had other opportunities to express the powerful
emotions underlying their activism during Sen. McCain's speech, and
when Hagee took the stage to introduce him before the Talking Points
Hagee was greeted with a spontaneous standing ovation.
Before introducing McCain, Hagee read a statement
"authorized" by CUFI's board deploring President Bush's Middle
East peace initiative, announced on Monday. He read: "It is
unfortunate that the President used the word "occupation" a term
that is often used by Israel's enemies." The statement also
admonished: "while many people of good will thought that trading
land for peace would work, every concession by Israel has lead to
In previous statements and interviews, Hagee has argued that
the Bible demands that Israel maintain possession of all the
territories it has seized in war.
The Forward reports that CUFI does not lobby on
Israeli-Palestinian peace-making, since its position is at odds
with the current position of Israel's lobby AIPAC.
In introducing McCain, Hagee said: "it has been my privilege to
talk with McCain on several occasions...and I can tell you that he
is solidly pro-Israel." That brought screams and applause from the
John McCain speaks to Christians United For Israel
Arizona Sen. John McCain once shunned the religious
right as "intolerant." These days, though, on the heels of a
dismal fundraising quarter, McCain appears to be swinging into
campaign overdrive in his quest for the Republican presidential
nomination. His name did not appear in the CUFI program and he was
shoe-horned into a Talking Points briefing.
A swarm of reporters that is following McCain around
waiting for his campaign to implode crowded into the room.
McCain hit all the right notes for the CUFI audience.
They applauded his support for the war in Iraq, which he described
as "mismanaged" -- and which is sinking his campaign.
As he began, he said with the merest hint of a smile
that it was "hard doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan."
McCain told the CUFI activists that Israel has never
been so needful of their help and prayers. "God bless you for your
In closing, McCain, evidently assuming his audience
was exclusively Christian, made a religious statement. It came at
the end of a story he told about his time as a prisoner of war in
He described how a guard once secretly loosened a
rope holding him in a doubled-over position, then, at the end of
his guard shift, tightened it again. Some months later, on
Christmas day, McCain said, the guard approached him and quietly
drew a cross in the dirt with his foot. (The audience sighed
From this, McCain said, he drew the lesson: "No
matter how difficult the times are, and these are difficult times
... there's always someone who's going to come along and draw a
cross on the ground."
audio clip of anecdote is
From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
McCain was interrupted no less than nine times while
his supporters chanted for him ("Mac is Back," "USA," and "Michigan," to
point out a few). To the delight of his supporters, McCain talked about
his comeback status. "I'm past the age that I can claim the noun kid no
matter what adjective precedes it, but tonight we sure showed them what
a comeback looks like," McCain said at the Nashua Crowne Plaza, where he
delivered his victory speech in 2000.
"When the pundits declared us finished, I told them, 'I'm going to New
Hampshire, where the voters don't let you make their decision for
them,'" McCain continued after a "Mac is Back" chant. "And when they
asked, 'How are you going to do it? You're down in the polls. You don't
have the money.' I answered, 'I'm going to New Hampshire, and I'm going
to tell people the truth.'"
Before McCain approached the podium to speak, his campaign played "Hail
to the Chief," although he entered to the theme from "Rocky." After
basking in the glow of the his win, McCain got down to business --
telling voters exactly how he would act as their President.
"My friends, I didn't go to
Washington to go along to get along or to play it safe to serve my own
interests. I went there to serve my country," he said to loud applause
and cheering. "And that, my friends, is just what I intend to do if I am
so privileged to be elected your President."
Before concluding his speech, McCain told his supporters he plans to win
again next week. "So, my friends, we celebrate one victory tonight and
leave for Michigan tomorrow to win another." McCain left the speech to
the song "Johnny Be Good."
After McCain finished speaking, a man wearing a boot on his head and a
Chris Dodd sticker on his shirt went to the podium. Although we could
not hear what he was saying, he was engaging the crowd. We are not sure
how he got into the rally or what he was trying to accomplish.
McCain compiles list of running mates
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Sen. John McCain has begun "getting together a list
of names" to choose a vice presidential running mate and
said Wednesday he hopes to announce his choice before the
Republican convention in early September.
"I'd like to get it done as early as possible. I'm aware
of enhanced importance of this issue given my age," said the
Arizona senator, 71.
McCain wrapped up the
Republican presidential nomination a month ago.
McCain told reporters his search for a running mate would take
weeks if not months. At the prompting of aides, he said it was at an
"embryonic stage" and added, "it's every name imaginable," about 20 in all.
He said his campaign had asked unnamed individuals to lead the
effort, but had not heard back from them.
He said he wants to move quickly to make sure that there are
no problems when he unveils his choice. He cited 1988, when
George H.W. Bush named then-Sen.
Dan Quayle to be his running mate.
"Quayle had not been briefed and prepared for some of the
questions" that he would have to field, McCain said, without assigning any
blame to Quayle himself.
Bush did not name Quayle until he reached his convention city
in an effort to achieve the greatest element of surprise.
Speaking with reporters on his campaign bus, McCain did not
offer any details of his search for a running mate.
"We just started this process of getting together a list of
names and having them looked at," he said.
"If I had a personal preference I'd like to do it before the
convention to avoid some of the mistakes that I've seen made in the past as
you get into a time crunch and maybe sometimes don't make the announcement
right or maybe they have not examined every single candidate."
McCain has given no hint of his thinking on a running mate,
although he frequently speaks warmly of his former rivals for the nomination,
particularly former Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney, who traveled with the nominee-in-waiting last week. Among
the other possible choices are several governors:
Florida's Charlie Crist
Mississippi's Haley Barbour
South Carolina's Mark Sanford
Utah's Jon Huntsman Jr
It's also possible that McCain could take a
non-traditional route by looking to the business sector. For
instance, he holds Frederick Smith, the head of
FedEx, in high regard and frequently praises him.
Another name that's been floated is
Rob Portman of
Ohio, a forer congressman who was one of
President Bush's budget directors.
McCain made his comments on his way to the U.S.
Naval Academy, where he graduated, to deliver the third in a string of
speeches in a weeklong tour designed to reintroduce him to a wide, general
election audience and remind them of his long military history.
First he stopped at Chick & Ruth's Delly where crab omelets
are on the menu and local and state politicians have gathered down the street
Maryland Statehouse for decades of breakfasts and shop talk. An
American flag hangs over the counter with its five stools, and for nearly two
decades, all business has come to a halt for a few seconds as the Pledge of
Allegiance is recited.
In his speech on a wind-swept outdoor pavilion overlooking the
naval academy football stadium, the one-time
Vietnam prisoner of war issued a challenge.
"If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If
you are disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work
to correct them," he said.
He said he hopes more Americans will enlist in the military or
run for office.
"But there are many public causes where your service can make
our country a stronger, better one than we inherited. Wherever there is a
hungry child, a great cause exists. ... Wherever there is suffering, a great
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