A unrelated, yet classic, GOMP of a caller. (GOMP stands for Get Off My Phone)
GLENN: I also want to talk to you a little bit about President Obama and his new Gitmo ruling, which is insane. I mean, he needs a blue ribbon panel now on Gitmo on what are we going to do with the people. Shouldn't you have had that idea done? You've been campaigning on it for two years. Shouldn't you have had that answer so we didn't have to have this period of, "Okay, well, we're going to figure that out in the next twelve months."
The other thing is he stopped torture. Well, what is torture? That's the real question. And he's decided he needs a blue ribbon panel on torture. Well, again shouldn't you have that figured out before you issued the executive order? Apparently not.
Let's go to Mike in Melbourne. Hello, Mike. Mike, go ahead, please.
CALLER: Hey, Glenn. This is Mike. I was just calling. Listen, I believe you on everything and I understand exactly where you're coming from on the federal government as far as they cannot micromanage this economy into shape, they cannot do any -- they're corrupt and they can't do anything better than the private citizen can do. So when you say that you agree with torture or what not and that you --
GLENN: I never said that, but go ahead.
CALLER: Well, that's the impression I got.
CALLER: I don't believe that they have the responsibility or the knowledge that they for sure have the right person to commit that torture on somebody. Also, the PATRIOT Act is being used against American citizens. The LA Times had an article about a woman on an airplane, had a problem with her child is now being charged with terrorism. So when you give the federal government --
GLENN: Hold on just a second. Hold on. I'm look that story up. Stu, look up the story in the LA Times against a woman and her child flying on the airlines. Let's see what that was all about. You are exactly right, that you don't give the government more power than you want them to have. The PATRIOT Act, the PATRIOT Act just by name alone should have been a warning sign. In the PATRIOT Act there are things that we I believe need to allow the federal government to do for a limited time only and in a very limited scope and I was satisfied by the Sunset provision in the PATRIOT Act. However I'm growing more and more leery of that and that's not because of the Obama administration. That is because of my view on the government and how out of control they are in the last couple of years where I don't -- I no longer trust the government. I think there are -- I think there are a lot of good people in government that are in there fighting, but I also believe with an emergency and an awful lot of power, unscrupulous people can use them in unscrupulous ways. With that being said let me ask you, Mike, what is torture? Because when you say, you know, it's unfair for you to say you're for torture. I'm not for torture. I'm not for pulling anybody's fingernails out or anything like that. So let's define torture. What is torture?
CALLER: To me, let's say -- first of all, I'm all behind the military and all that.
GLENN: I understand. You don't have to -- no, no caveats. We're in the trust tree here. We're in the trust tree. You can speak your mind. What is torture?
CALLER: Torture to me can be many things but I mean, it can be held for unlimited amounts of time without representation of any sort. And I understand what you're saying about these military guys, but they should have them in and out. They should charge them with something. Either they should have shot them in the field like you said. I'm a military men. They should have either handled the business in the field when they had them out there or they should have charged them with something and hung them out in a tree, even --
GLENN: So prisoners -- wait a minute.
CALLER: They can't hang onto the guy forever.
GLENN: So a main prisoner of war camp is torture?
CALLER: Oh, it depends. If they are held for an unlimited amount of time without being charged whatsoever with any --
GLENN: You are fighting against the United States. You were caught on the battlefield fighting against the United States.
CALLER: Then you charge them with something and you take a direction with it. That's what I'm saying. I don't think anybody in the world should -- then the other governments could charge our soldiers with the same thing, in Iran they --
GLENN: It's a -- I understand that. I understand that. You're a country -- we are a country -- hang on. Just listen to me, please. We are a country at war with Afghanistan and in Iraq. Do you have the right to have a prisoner of war camp at a time of war as long as it's humane? You caught somebody on the field. They are fighting against you. Do we need to give them the Miranda rights and then charge them and then put them in a prisoner of war camp, do we have to have a trial for those who were caught on the battlefield fighting against us?
CALLER: See, what I'm saying is if you're in war, just kill them right there. If you're going to --
GLENN: Okay. So it's more humane to kill them than it is to put them in a humane prisoner of war camp?
CALLER: I'm saying if they are fighting you on battlefield, like I said --
GLENN: Kill them, okay.
CALLER: I was a soldier. You go ahead and take them out if they're fighting you.
GLENN: Just want to know, it's more humane, I just -- I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. I just wanted to know, it's more humane to kill them than it is to put them in a prisoner of war camp. I just want to make sure I understand that right.
CALLER: When they're in the prison, you either charge them with something or you don't. I mean, make a direction. Just don't hold them in limbo forever.
GLENN: Got it.
CALLER: You know what I mean?
GLENN: Is it torture to have sleep deprivation?
CALLER: That's up to the lawyers. I'm not a lawyer.
GLENN: No, it's not up to the lawyers. Damn it, America, can we stop listening to lawyers and judges and make our damn decisions! Our founding fathers never got together and said, "Well, let's let the lawyers figure that out." They were guided by principles that were enduring. They were guided by God, they were guided by their own gut and their own moral decisions. For the love of Pete, let's not be guided by attorneys. Let's have a conversation and decide ourselves what is right and what is wrong.
Now, is it torture, Mike, to give sleep deprivation, to leave the lights on all night, to play Barry Manilow music 24 hours a day? Is that torture?
GLENN: It is not torture?
CALLER: I wouldn't say that's torture, no.
GLENN: Some would disagree with you, sir, and that's why they are having a blue ribbon panel to once again decide what is torture and what is not torture. So now we've got a blue ribbon panel to tell us. Is anyone for the pulling off of fingernails for people that we pull off on the battlefield? I don't think anybody is for that. Now, if you are in a situation where you think a guy has information about a nuke going off in New York City and it's going off in 24 hours and he may be the key to that? You are damn right I pull his fingernails out. Do I do that on the battlefield just to get anybody's information? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. But that's my own personal judgment, and I'm sorry if I'm a little too Jack Bauer for you, but if that's what I did, then I would stand by it. If I thought I could get the information about a nuke that was going to go off in the National Mall -- do you know we had a Somali scare? Do you know that? This has -- I don't know if this has even been reported, but there was a scare on the inauguration day that they said that the Somalis had come in, Somalis, the new Taliban, Somalis had come in, infiltrated the country and they were planning a major terrorist attack on the National Mall during inauguration day. Now, thank God we were on top of it. We locked everything down. Our guys were on top of it. If they had information that the Somalis had put a nuclear weapon there on the National Mall and you happened to catch the rebels that you had good information that this guy knew that they had that weapon, he knew where it was, Mike, if it meant that three million people were going to be vaporized on the most important day in America and the president and everybody else was going to be vaporized and you had a Somali, would you pull his fingernails out if you thought you could get the information?
CALLER: Let me say that --
GLENN: No, answer the question.
CALLER: I don't like those black-and-white scenarios.
GLENN: Answer the question. Life is black and white, Mike!
CALLER: When they say should we take over --
GLENN: Hang up the phone. Hang up the phone. Life is black and white. Sometimes you have to make the decision. That's what the President of the United States has to do. Are we talking about the President of the United States? Are we talking about hard decisions or are we talking about movies? Are we talking about -- where in our Constitution does it say, "We, the lawyers, in order to perfect -- create a new nation," we the lawyers?! We the lawyers. Lawyers don't answer the questions. Any company you've ever worked for, any company that you've ever worked for that is run by lawyers, I can guarantee you it was a frickin' nightmare. And unless it's an attorney firm, it's out of business. Business, your family, our country requires leadership, and you go to the attorneys and you say, "I need to do this." "Well, it's not legal." "Well, you find a way for me to do this. It must be done."
You don't like black and whites? Well, you know what? We could have very well been in that black and white situation. The only part of that hypothetical situation was a nuclear weapon and catching one of the rebels. We had information that something was going on with people from Somalia, that they were here in the United States, it had something to do with inauguration day, it had something to do with the Mall. Well, just add nuclear weapon and catching one of the guys. Take me there. Do you torture, yes or no? "I don't like black and white." Life, I'm sorry, is not gray. Sometimes when you have to make a decision, it is yes or no, not maybe. "Mr. President, we have captured him, we think he has the information." "Are you sure this guy is involved?" "Yes." "How sure are you that he's involved?" "98%, Mr. President." "Are you sure that he knows where the nuke is?" "98%, Mr. President." "Is there anything that is telling me that you guys don't -- that you have your head up a place where the sun doesn't shine?" "Mr. President, there are four different people standing in this room. None of us have anything to gain on this one. We don't want to tell you this news. We believe this man knows. Now, the inauguration is in four hours. What do you want to do, Mr. President?" "Let me tell you I don't like these black-and-white decisions."
STU: I love these people that call up and say, you know, they criticize the president for the decisions he makes. Well, as a guy who's calling up a crappy talk show, you might have the luxury of a gray area on this. That's not what the president has.