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GLENN: I want to start with something that came out of the International Herald Tribune and I'm interested on why this is coming out today but it's been out actually a couple of days now. The United States military since 2004 has used broad secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al-Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan, and elsewhere according to senior American officials. These military raids typically carried out by special operation forces were authorized by classified order that secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of George W. Bush. The secret order gave military new authority to attack Al-Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States. If you are a longtime listener of this program, you know that one of my mantras was a phrase that fascinated me back in the 1990s when I first read it and I was just beginning my recovery from alcoholism and in that first year I decided to find out who I really was. And I decided to find out what I believed in and I realized, you know, when you lay down on the floor in the fetal position and you only have death or life in front of you, it is when suicide looks like an actual realistic option to you, you realize, well, if that's not it, I can't go back to living the way I was because that wasn't working; so what is it. And you really start to do some soul searching because you don't care what the answer is anymore because you know if you don't have the answer, it's suicide, literally. And coming from a family where two suicides have happened, it kind of takes on a new meaning and a new urgency. So as I started to pick myself up, I decided to read as much as I could and know what I believed. I really didn't believe in very much at the time. Everything I believed in, I believed in because of other people. And I started to read philosophy and everything else and Immanuel Kant as a philosopher and everything else as the Milky Way as a collection of suns. He said there are things that I believe that I shall never say but I shall never say those things that I do not believe. I was fascinated by that. I don't know how many times I read it. I bet I only read it maybe two, three times. It bothered me for a long time and I kept going back to it and reading it and going, wow, what kind of world did he live in where he would have to say something like that: There are many things that I believe that I shall never say. Wow. I believe that for me at least, I'm living in those days. There are many things that I believe that I shall never say but I shall never say the things that I do not believe. I will not sell my soul, but I will protect my family and I will say what I can. So sometimes, sometimes you have to listen carefully to some people because they can't tell you everything they believe, and I think this is an art that Americans have never had to engage in. It is a -- it's code language that we've never, ever had to even think about. And I think all the time those with ears will hear, those are eyes will see.
We live in different times. When I was very, very upset and it was almost three years ago maybe, I was very upset at President Bush. I was upset about the border, I was upset about the way the war was being handled and I was very outspoken about it. And as you know, I was invited to the White House and we had quite a conversation and it was a conversation that I could not tell you. I wasn't allowed to bring a piece of paper or a pen or a recording device or telephone, anything. I could not walk into the Oval Office with anything and I could never repeat any of the words that he said. I could tell you impressions if you remember listening to that show the next day. I said my impression is, the impression that the President gave me was, but I couldn't quote. Well, since it's out now in the open I can tell you that this is just the surface that was shared with me. This secret special forces squads that are going in and looking for Osama, the squads that are going in and looking for Al-Qaeda and killing them, I knew they were happening because he told me. And the numbers are staggering. The numbers of enemies that we have killed are staggering. I mean, sucked the air out of the room. And I remember sitting there and thinking why, why wouldn't we say this? This is exactly what people need to know. They need to know that we're to the fooling around. They need to know that we're doing the things that we have to do. They need to know that we're still going into the caves. They need to know that we're in Pakistan. And for reasons that I still will not share, honorable reasons and international reasons, we're not revealing everything, nor should we, if we believe our government is just, if we believe -- this is why it is so important that we believe in our institutions. Men will fail us, but our institutions were divinely inspired with checks and balances. We must believe in our institutions, not in people per se. People will fail us and they will go away or they will go into prison or they will be voted out, but our institutions are solid if we trust that our institutions and the people that are guiding, people collectively that are guiding, the people who are voting are good, decent, God-fearing people. We will make mistakes but we will correct them.
This was shared to me at the same time George Bush said, doesn't matter who gets in the office to replace me; they will make many of the same decisions, the critical decisions I believe, he said, they will make the same ones because when they get the briefings that I get every day, they will see we have very few options left. This is why I found it interesting the other day when everybody was looking at President George Bush and said, "Oh, look how gracious he was," as he brought in Barack Obama. "Oh, I wonder how tense that was." It wasn't a tense meeting. I wasn't there. It was only the two of them, but I believe it wasn't intense. I believe it might have been intense on Barack Obama's side because he may have went, holy cow, but it wasn't a tense meeting because they are rivals and the rivalry that goes on between the Republicans and the Democrats. It was tense, I'm guessing, because of the download of knowledge, because of the situation.
When I sat in that room with him, I realized the burden anyone -- and this why I said when it comes to Barack Obama, I will not sell out my values. I didn't sell out my values with George W. Bush. When I thought he was wrong, I said he was wrong. When I thought he was wrong and he was pushing in one direction, I was pulling in the other. I'm not a Republican. I'm an American and so are you. And so is he. And so is Barack Obama. And we should expect the push and pull. It's what makes us better, E Pluribus Unum, from many one, from many different opinions, but one. And there's one President and he's passing the torch to the other. And I can't imagine sitting in that room seeing George W. Bush say to me and saying it with conviction and saying it with full knowledge that he will be. He said, "I'm prepared to be the most hated President for the next 50 years but I truly believe that after 50 years people will see what I did was push the course because we were on the verge of annihilation. We had to change course." And he said, "Others will come to understand that." I wonder if that's true, and we'll watch Barack Obama now on what he does. When he gets the briefings every day that the President gets, will he believe in them. Does he believe in our troops. Will he have the honor that President Bush has had with our troops? I don't mean that as a slam. I just think there are different kinds of people. I think there are a lot of people that support our troops but they don't see them necessarily in the same way. They see them as a necessary but not all that favorable kind of thing. I see them as amazing people that give me hope. I see them as amazing leaders. I see them as people that understand the Constitution, understand what's going on, may not agree with the President all the time but have honor and will follow the orders, not orders that break the Constitution but will follow the orders because they have honor. Amazing people, and I hope he views them the same way and I hope he protects them in the same way. One of the reasons why you haven't known about this is for their protection because there are unscrupulous people in our own country that will do and say whatever they want, do and say whatever they have to, to be able to destroy others so they can grab power.