Ups and Downs for the Week of July 8 - 12

This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, July 13, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's go to the Ups and Downs.


BARNES: Are you ready?

KONDRACKE: I'm ready, let's go.

UP: Airline pilots

BARNES: They got a big win from the House this week with a vote that allows them to carry guns in the cockpit. But the measure faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

Here's Captain Dennis Dolan, vice president of the Airline Pilots Association, with his take on the issue.


CAPT. DENNIS DOLAN, VICE PRESIDENT, AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION: I guess from my perspective, if a terrorist gets into the cockpit, is the pilot just supposed to sit there and continue to fly, or is he going to try to defend himself? Well, obviously, he's going to try to defend himself...


BARNES: You know, Mort, you know, I like this guy, I think he's a great pilot and everything. But he's basically wrong, he's missing the point. The point is deterrence. You don't want gunfights on the plane with — And you won't have them. The idea is, hijackers and terrorists are not going to get on planes if they know that the pilot is armed. It's just not going to happen. That's the whole idea. It'll work well. The Senate better knuckle under.

For some reason, President Bush is totally wrong on this issue. He thinks we shouldn't arm the pilots.

KONDRACKE: Congratulations to you. You're one of the, the, the major forces pushing that...

BARNES: Well, I hope so.

KONDRACKE: ...bill, it ought to be named the Fred Barnes Memorial Bill.

BARNES: I'll, I'll accept it.

KONDRACKE: But, but, you know, the, the airline pilots themselves say that only a few of them are going to carry guns, no — but that's the point, you know, that the terrorists will never know how many, how many people...


KONDRACKE: ... there actually are, it's a good deterrent.

DOWN: Assistant Secretary of State Mary Ryan

KONDRACKE: Ryan, the foreign service's equivalent of a four-star general, gets the boot amid reports of lax standards in the, in obtaining U.S. visas. The final nail in the coffin was a money-for-visa scheme involving Middle Easterners who actually had connections with the 9/11 hijackers.

BARNES: Well, Mary Ryan just did not get the message from September 11. I mean, she seemed to think that the, that the best thing to do was continue doing exactly what she had always done and expedite getting people with visas and visitors from other countries in the United States just as fast and just as many as possible.

she didn't understand that there's a new concern here that trumps this expedition that she was following, and, and, and what it is, is security, that that's the most important thing.

She made no changes in the whole visa process. She had to go.

KONDRACKE: Yes, but the, the, that, this is part of a larger problem, and that is, the State Department and even George Bush's coziness with the Saudi — with Saudi Arabia, I mean, you — what — the Visa Express operation still exists that, that she established, whereby travel agents in Saudi Arabia...


KONDRACKE: ... basically do the screening, and, and most Saudi visa holders never get questioned by, by an American diplomat.

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: So they can, they can flood right into the country, in spite of the fact that, that 15 of the 19 terrorists were, were, were from Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, you know right after 9/11 happened...


KONDRACKE: ... there was this huge group of, of Usama bin Laden's...

BARNES: Yes, I know.

KONDRACKE: ... relatives who were here in the United States, they got whisked...


KONDRACKE: ... out of the country without anybody ever asking them any questions about what they knew about financing or anything else.

And this is all because...


KONDRACKE: ... the Bush administration is so cozy with them.

BARNES: Right, yes. Moreover, I'm going to go to the next item...

KONDRACKE: All right.

DOWN: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

BARNES: His Cabinet endorses a law that would bar Arab citizens of Israel from purchasing homes in Israeli communities. It's a move that's setting off a bitter debate within Israel about how to balance being a Jewish state and democratic state.

KONDRACKE: I mean, this was a, a sign on state-owned lands saying, "Jews Only."

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: And it was denounced by the, the Labour Party's leader, Shimon Peres, as, you know, racist, and it feeds into all these false charges that Zionism is racism.


KONDRACKE: And the other thing that the Israelis did that was stupid this week was to kick Sari Nusseibah, one of the real Palestinian moderates, out of his house, out of his office in, in Jerusalem...

BARNES: Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE: ... even the Bush administration denounced that.

BARNES: Yes, and he works for a terrorist, right, though, he works for Arafat.

KONDRACKE: He works for the Palestinian Authority.

BARNES: But Mort, here's the problem with it. I'm for allowing Arabs to buy land in Israel. But what about the Israelis living in the West Bank and Gaza? They have a perfect right to stay there.  Wouldn't that be balancing with the rights of Arabs in Israel?

KONDRACKE: Now, look, the settlement activity way out into, in, in, into Arab land is provocative and...

BARNES: Oh, come on...

KONDRACKE: ... to seize land.

BARNES: ... have a right to be — Mort, you have a double standard and you know it.

DOWN: Civil rights activist Al Sharpton

KONDRACKE: The outspoken reverend goes over the top, even for him, with his accusation that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are mere tokens in the Bush administration.

Here's what Bush — here's the Bush remark that started it all off.  He was answering a charge that the NAACP was critical of his civil rights record.


PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Let's see. There I was, sitting around the leader with — the table with foreign leaders looking at Colin Powell and Condi Rice.


KONDRACKE: That was a put-down of the NAACP.

BARNES: Yes, no kidding.

KONDRACKE: Here's what Sharpton said in response to that.


KONDRACKE: "I think that it was a condescending answer and the epitome of insensitivity. It raises the question about whether Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are there merely because of their abilities, or because of — they're civil rights trophies."

Al Sharpton doesn't get it.

I mean, they are there because of merit and in spite of race. Race makes — makes no difference.


KONDRACKE: Al — but people like Al Sharpton don't get it...


KONDRACKE: ... that race is not everything. They're, they're consumed with race. Bush is consumed with merit.

BARNES: I love that answer, it's one of the best answers Bush has ever given at a press conference. He didn't go through the normal pieties about how the NAACP's a wonderful group — and I'm sorry I'm not at their convention, which he refused to go to. He's not sorry at all. He'll never go to one of their conventions. All right.

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