January 4, 2010

From CNN's State of the Union, Sen. Jim DeMint saying we need to "take the politics out of" the debate over how to respond to the attempted Christmas terrorist attack, while playing politics with the attempted Christmas terrorist attack. While Gloria Borger did at least ask a follow up question on how the President has down-played the risk of terror, which he did a terrible job of stumbling through answering, but here are the questions I wish these reporters were asking instead. Why do you think torturing someone is one, acceptable, and two reliable, since people will just tell you what you want to hear to make the torture stop. And for Clair McCaskill, why do you think dropping more bombs on poor people's heads is going to help end terrorism. It's pathetic that endless war and torture have just become an acceptable part of our political dialog with the politicians and the Villagers, instead of something to be horrified by.

DEMINT: Gloria, if we -- if we had treated this Christmas Day bomber as a terrorist, he would have immediately been interrogated military-style, rather given -- rather than given the rights of an American and lawyers. We probably lost valuable information.

It does come down to a decision of whether or not this is an act of war, an agent of terror, or just a criminal act. So there's some real implications of the direction that's being taken now. I agree with Senator McCaskill. We need to take the politics out of this. But there's no question that the president has down-played the risk of terror since he took office. He is investigating the CIA, rather than build them up.

BORGER: How has he -- Senator DeMint, how -- how has he down- played the risk of terror?

DEMINT: Well, it begins with not even being willing to use the word.

BORGER: Well, aside from the semantics, aside from that.

DEMINT: Aside from the semantics, he's been completely distracted by other things, as has already been -- been mentioned, and he is not focused on building security and intelligence apparatus of our country.

The last administration, President Bush made a huge mistake by sending the Yemenis back. The core leadership of Al Qaeda now is made up of those folks who were at the Gitmo prison. We can't make that mistake again.

So it's not just about this administration. It's about losing our focus on security. And I'm -- I'm afraid politics and political correctness has -- has become front and center of this debate.

MCCASKILL: You know, that's just not true. This president has focused like a laser on how to keep this country safe. His commitment his Afghanistan, even though there are those in his party that were -- that were very critical of a position he took, he took the time and the energy to determine that us ramping up in Afghanistan should have been done a long time ago. That's a -- a breeding ground for terrorists. This is a president that is taking strong action and is building up our intelligence community.

BORGER: Senator DeMint, Senator McCaskill, thanks for being with us this morning.

DEMINT: Thank you, Gloria.

MCCASKILL: Thank you. Happy New Year.

DEMINT: Happy New Year, Claire.

BORGER: You, too.

MCCASKILL: Thanks, Jim.

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