Anti-War Activists Pressuring Schools to Ban or Limit Military Recruiters

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Culture War" segment tonight: the anti-war movement's agenda to drive military recruiters out of high schools. Well, the pressure seems to be getting to a lot of school boards who are voting to either completely ban or limit recruiters in the schools.

The latest to cave? The Chicago Board of Education. How brave. And joining us now from San Francisco, civil rights attorney Angela Alioto.

Angela, I'm going to go right to this one, OK?


INGRAHAM: Why are you all afraid of military recruiters in our schools? Why are you afraid of military recruiters?

ALIOTO: I don't think the word "afraid" is relevant.

INGRAHAM: Petrified. How about petrified?

ALIOTO: Petrified? I'm petrified, Laura? Give me a break.

You know, as an elected official for eight years who had ordinances and resolutions that dealt with the school boards, we banned the military solicitation in high schools. Some high school kids are 13 years old. They're very impressionable. They bring in, you know, the Tom Cruise "Top Gun." You're going to go out and be a Blue Angel. And it's very, very exciting. It is totally, in my opinion and in the board's opinion at the time, unconscionable to do that. There are many ways.

INGRAHAM: All right. So you're basically, Angela, you basically don't want military recruiters in schools at all. Let's be perfectly clear, right? You'd rather have them not there at all.

ALIOTO: Oh, you're going to get — you can always get the bottom line from me. I think they ought to be banned in schools.

INGRAHAM: All right. Good, but OK, got it, got it. We established the foundation.

You consider yourself essentially pro-choice, right? You're open to viewpoints and so forth on whether it's getting kids information about abortion or premarital sex, transgender lifestyles.

And so my question is whether it's the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where you served for a number of years, or Chicago, you guys don't have any trouble advancing agendas in schools for young people when they agree with the far left. But this, actually supporting our military?


INGRAHAM: You are like, oh my God, the military's coming in. How awful.

ALIOTO: You know, Laura, that's just not true about me. I can't speak for fellow former members or present members. But as far as I'm concerned, we have advocated many issues that you are categorizing as advocating a cause that I consider to be health issues. And when it came to health issues, absolutely, I advocated it.

INGRAHAM: How to get an abortion, where to go to get an abortion.

ALIOTO: Absolutely not.

INGRAHAM: How to do your premarital sex.

ALIOTO: No, this legislator.

INGRAHAM: Multiculturalism, global warming. Right.

ALIOTO: No, that's just not true. It just ain't so.

INGRAHAM: So Angela, you're saying that you don't support an agenda in schools that educates students on other controversial topics. I don't think military service is actually controversial. It's just patriotic. But whether it's sexual in nature, or whether it's controversial and now saying global warming or alternative lifestyles, that's OK with most people who describe themselves as civil rights activists. But when the military comes in, you guys are running, you know, running to intimidate these school boards. And it's ridiculous.

ALIOTO: You know, but the military's a huge organization. They have extensive advertising. Young kids learn about the military. And they can go off if they want and enroll in something that the military specifically does.

The question at stake here in Chicago and other major United States cities is whether or not we are going to have it inside the schools themselves. And in Chicago, they were actually giving away the information about our children.

INGRAHAM: Right. You know what Christian people think across the country, especially you know, pro-family groups? They're really sick of far-left groups coming into schools and putting their materials out, but they always lose in federal court. They always lose. And they're told to suck it up.

ALIOTO: You know, I'm sorry, Laura.

INGRAHAM: That they have to agree with the more progressive viewpoint.

ALIOTO: I'm sorry, Laura. I'm sorry.


ALIOTO: Listen, I'm building St. Francis Chapel in the heart of San Francisco. So I know all about…

INGRAHAM: Well good for you.

ALIOTO: …with all due respect.

INGRAHAM: Hey, Angela, I have a question to end this with. We only have about 15 seconds. What if nobody joined the military? Would that make you happy?

ALIOTO: No, of course, it wouldn't. The United States…

INGRAHAM: Well, what would happen?

ALIOTO: But that's not a reality.

INGRAHAM: No, but what would happen? Would the world be safer? I mean, the idea that civil rights activists or the so-called anti-war groupies, there are only 12 of them, can make a school board crumble is pathetic, OK?

ALIOTO: Hey, listen, this…

INGRAHAM: No other left-wing activist gets banned from these things. Left-wing activists, open door policy, military, sorry, we're busy, come back another day.

ALIOTO: No, it's war.

INGRAHAM: Angela, we're out of time. Angela, I appreciate it.

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