RUSH: Victor in Wisconsin Rapids, yes, hi, how are you.
CALLER: Yes, sir. This is regarding the ban on waterboarding.
RUSH: The ban on waterboarding, yes.
CALLER: When McCain was going through that ‘waterboarding is torture’ and the reporter asked him, ‘Well, what if there were a nuclear bomb?’ And he says that under no circumstances would we torture anybody because it would diminish us in the eyes of the world. Well, if you don’t waterboard the person, all you have left is ‘please.’ And if they don’t say anything, the reason they plant it there was to kill a lot of people. So saying please is not going to get ’em to say anything and all they gotta do is keep their mouth shut, the bomb goes off, and then scores of people would die.
RUSH: Yeah. See, but this is one of the things about Senator McCain that troubles me, and it goes beyond the obvious conclusion here that if you’re not going to do what you can in the nuclear ticking time bomb situation, if you’re not going to cast it all aside to save your own country, you know, fine. The question I have is, why does Senator McCain want to sound like the liberals on this? I mean, here’s a guy who’s promoting his national security foreign policy military expertise and experience and yet offered the ticking time bomb scenario, he says there’s no way we shall ever torture anybody to get what we want because it would diminish us in the rest of the world. Well, so would a nuclear bomb diminish us and kill a bunch of us, by the way. I don’t understand the desire to sound like liberals, and that’s exactly what was going on at the time the question was asked. The liberals in Congress and the Senate of course were doing everything they could to neuter the Bush administration’s efforts to protect the country in any number of ways, FISA courts, foreign intelligence surveillance, all of these things, and especially in the face of the fact that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was actually broken with waterboarding and it was from that that we learned exactly all the details about 9/11, who planned it, masterminded, it was him, and how it was executed. It worked. And it worked inside, what, 90 seconds or 30 seconds?
CALLER: Yeah, something like that.
RUSH: Yeah, and it stopped other attacks also. We learned from him other attacks. So in the face of it working, Senator McCain felt it more valuable to him or advantageous to sound like liberal Democrats at that time. Now, there could be any number of reasons. There could have been legislation pending in the Senate that he needed liberal support on. The way these guys in the Senate trade back and forth, they’re not leaders, they’re not managers, they’ve not done administrative things, and, of course, the idea of principle often takes a backseat to compromise to get things done. On so many issues like this, Senator McCain has made it a point before he said it differently or changed his mind or flip-flopped to sound like liberal Democrats on certain issues, issue after issue. This is what I don’t understand and it’s what really frustrates me because I’m not an elected official, and my job is not moving legislation forward and so forth. But what I don’t understand is why people like us in elective office do not view the liberals the way we do, and that is they are to be defeated. Clearly liberals in the House and Senate look at Republicans as to be defeated and destroyed. I’m talking now in a political sense, and we do not react that way.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with reacting and viewing them that way. War is war. Political war is political war. The idea is to win elections and defeat these guys. So going out and trying to sound like them for whatever reason, just boggles the mind. I think this is one of the things, one of the many factors that led to Republican loss of the House and Senate in 2006. I mean throw Macaca in there and the Foley incident and the earmarks and all that, but clearly a lot of Republican voters thought that Republicans were not governing as conservatives, the way they had promised when they campaigned. That’s the thing I don’t get, this desire, this eagerness to not only sound like liberals but repeat verbatim their talking points. Okay, you want to oppose waterboarding, fine. Remember, President Bush did this, and this was I think before he was elected in the campaign of 2000. He was selling this compassionate conservative business, and the notion of balancing the budget came up, and he said, ‘We’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.’ I said, ‘Whoa ho-ho-ho, wait a minute! That’s the kind of stuff that Tom Daschle has been saying, and Tom Foley and Tip O’Neill and Fort Worthless Jim Wright.’ Why do we have to adopt their language? Who we trying to get votes from here? This boils down to my big problem. I’m all for getting Democrats to vote for us, folks. I’m all for weakening the Democrat Party, but not by being like ’em to get their votes. I don’t want Democrats and liberals come into our party as Democrats and liberals! You talk about fracturing a party, that’s what will be the case if we do it. If we win by bringing liberals and Democrats in as liberals and Democrats, well, kiss it good-bye.
RUSH: All right, about this torture business, we had a caller in the last hour talking about McCain and waterboarding. You probably heard the conversation. The senator said basically in a ticking time bomb situation he wouldn’t even resort to torture, which I don’t think waterboarding is, but we’ll get to that in a minute. He said he wouldn’t resort to torture even in a ticking time bomb situation with a nuclear blast ready to go off, the terrorist knowing where it is, because he wouldn’t want to diminish us, have us lose face in the rest of the world. Aside from the erroneous substance of that, why this compulsion to sound like liberals? But do you know, this whole business of torture is so overblown, and so is the ticking time bomb point. It’s the bombs we don’t know about that have the chance to find out about. We would still have the twin towers and the Pentagon, or that section of the Pentagon that’s been rebuilt, but we would still have the twin towers if we had gotten everything we knew out of Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, but instead we wouldn’t even look in the guy’s laptop, much less interrogate him. We never even got to the point of torture with Moussaoui. We were all hung up on civil rights and so forth.
When it comes to the question on torture, you know what McCain could have said is, ‘Look, I know what torture is, and turning down the air-conditioning a little bit or playing rock ‘n’ roll music, and even putting underwear on the top of these guys’ heads is not torture. And it’s offensive that anybody would say it is.’ McCain knows what torture is, and he knows that what we were doing is not torture. But he was obsessed with sounding like libs at this point, and President Bush has done that. Earlier in his campaign for 2000, it puzzles me as to why this happens. But he chose liberal praise here over the option of protecting the country in the ticking time bomb situation. This from Court TV: ‘Following his arrest, authorities searched Moussaoui’s home and found two knives, a manual for a Boeing 747; fighting gloves and shin guards and the name ‘Ahad Sabet’ — one of the many aliases Bin al-Shibh goes by — written in a notebook. But while they seized his laptop, they needed a warrant to view the information stored on the computer’s hard drive. The warrant was denied based on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a civil liberties statute.’ If we’d have found out what was on this guy’s laptop when we had this guy, when was it, in August, that we had Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker? So we’re not even talking about torture in terms of protecting the country.
It’s a misguided debate, but this whole torture argument was being launched by the Democrats to handcuff our efforts in the war on terror, and there was Senator McCain echoing that lingo, and whether it’s Senator McCain or any other Republican, I just don’t understand it unless there’s some reason to help or to assist Democrats in hand-tying President Bush, which is doubly difficult to understand, that a Republican with Senator McCain’s foreign policy expertise and his history and experience would join. So it’s a giant question mark for me.