Charles Krauthammer on America's Anti-Terror Policies

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 2, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: "Charles in Charge," where we ask Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer to find important things that we, the people, may not know about. Tonight, the inside story of America's anti-terror policies as they stand now. Krauthammer joins us from Washington.

So what should we know that we don't know about the anti-terror policies of the Obama administration?

Click here to watch the segment!

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, one thing that hasn't been covered, there's been a lot of coverage of the guy who tried to blow up the airplane over Detroit and then he got his Miranda rights. He's been quiet and all that.

But what's not known, or at least it wasn't covered as much, is the fact that when the director of National Intelligence was asked about this in hearings a couple of weeks ago, he said, "Well, he should haven't been given his Miranda rights. He should instead have been interrogated by the HIG" — which stands for High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.

Now, this was a unit supposedly established by the Obama administration to interrogate the guys who know stuff. Now, you'll remember, three days into his presidency, Obama abolished the Bush interrogation policies. He had a study in August. It was announced that the HIG would be set up in its place.

Well, it turns out that it did not even exist at the time of the attempted attack on Christmas. It doesn't exist today. They are still looking for office space in Virginia. That tells you one year into this administration we do not have this elite element, elite group which can get valuable information out of the terrorists who may know something.

O'REILLY: All right, let's do the timeline. In August, President Obama says, "Look, we're going to have this high-value interrogation team, like a SWAT Team for questioning, and they're going to be available if anybody is captured." All right, that's August.

Christmas bombing deal happens. They're not around. Now it's February 2. They're looking for office space.

So who's the villain? Who's supposed to be in charge of that? Who would this team answer to?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, ultimately, the buck stops with the president. He can't look after every detail, but if he makes a big deal about abolishing the old interrogation techniques, as he did in every speech from Cairo all the way to Oslo, he ought to at least inquire as to whether there's been a substitute, according to the principles he would enunciate.

O'REILLY: But who would be in charge? Who would be...

KRAUTHAMMER: The way it was structured in August, it was announced it would be in the FBI, and it would be overlooked by the White House.

O'REILLY: So Mueller would be in charge of the nuts and bolts, and the White House would oversee Mueller.

KRAUTHAMMER: The White House...

O'REILLY: So the law hasn't done its job, and I'm sure Mueller will have the story to tell about why he hasn't done his job. But the bottom line is there's no high-value interrogation unit around. We have office space here, Charles, by the way, in New York, if they'd like to come in. And we would be able to get them some office space.

All right. Now today earlier, Senator McCain eviscerated Secretary of Defense Gates. Gates has to serve at the pleasure of President Obama. Of course, doesn't want to embarrass the president by saying that Holder is an idiot, the attorney general is a total dope. Gates isn't going to say that. McCain knows Gates is not going say that. So did McCain — was he being unfair in his kind of Q & A?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think he could have asked it once and even asked it twice, but I think three times is excessive. It was obvious, as you say, that the secretary of defense is not going to step on the president. He's not going to step on the attorney general. He knows that this was a mistake. Everybody knows it was a mistake. And he did say earlier — his spokesman had said last week that the secretary of defense was never — was never consulted on the decision of giving Abdulmutallab Miranda rights. So I think it's a little excessive. It's good to elicit at least once that, you know, he can't say anything to embarrass him, because the administration deserved embarrassment over the method and the result.

O'REILLY: Gates is, by all accounts, a pretty good guy, pretty honest guy. Wasn't he the wrong guy to embarrass? Why don't you just go after Holder directly?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, but you — to some extent, you've got to have a mechanism in which the relevant departments, which is Defense and Homeland Security, at least, had an interest or a connection with the arrest of a guy who's blowing up an airplane.

O'REILLY: I said I would ask the same question. I would ask the same question. But you know, I felt a little bit sorry for Gates. But I do believe Holder — do you think he is...

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm sure — I'm sure he's got office space, and he'll do OK in the end.

O'REILLY: All right, Charles. Thanks very much.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.