Principles Require Policies That Match

I want to have a series of conversations with you tonight and I come to you trying to figure out what's going on. I'm a real stickler on things like consistency. Things have to be consistent. I mean, you either have principles or you don't. Principles. Principles. Base everything on principles. Get the policies from those principles.

OK. What were the principles that Barack Obama said that he had when he was elected? When he was elected, how many times did you hear this: "We're going to stop just snatching people off the street"? I mean, I don't remember us ever snatching people off the street. But, apparently, we were during the campaign, we were just snatching Muslims off the street. He was going to stop that. I haven't seen it, so we must have stopped it. And everyone was going to get a fair trial. Do you remember that one? Going to have a fair trial. The next was right to privacy. You have a right to privacy. This government is out of control. The next one was no interrogation techniques, basically no torture or anything. Don't even ask a hard question. Don't keep the lights on too long. Let them take a nap. And the last one was no war. They're going to stop the war. No war. OK?

Those were the ideas: fair trial, privacy, interrogation techniques and no war. Those were the principles. So what were the policies? Well, not snatching people off the street and fair trial. You can't hold terror suspects indefinitely. They wanted to close Guantanamo Bay. OK, these match. I could say your principles match your policies. Great. Right to privacy. Match. No warrantless wiretaps. That's what they were going for. Third one: no interrogation techniques. That's "ensure basic rights." I think this one and this one kind of match. You can't hold people, terror suspects. You got to close Guantanamo — because what we're doing in Guantanamo? We're asking tough questions and leaving the lights on. You have basic rights. Interrogation techniques, when do you think that happens? The last one is no war. They said they were going to stop the war. This is where they got really weaselly. We're going to stop the war. No war. We're going to end right away. Well, they did. It's what progressives always do. They just call it an overseas contingency plan. War? What war? No, it's a plan now, not a war. OK.

This I understand. I think you're weaselly. I think the wiretap thing didn't happen, but I think you're weaselly, but I get it. I get it. OK. That's politics in America the way it normally happens. Now, let me show you some things that don't match, because remember, these are our principles. This is what Obama said his principles were. Something is wrong. And I need you to figure out why.

Let's start at the beginning. We're against snatching people off the street in a fair trial, right? How does that match with what's happening today? Not a lot of people have seen this. Let me show you the person we just nominated for Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan. Now, people don't know an awful lot about her because — I mean, she doesn't have a deep catalog of writing. She wasn't a judge before. Not a problem. Some people have a problem with that, but this is a new thing that everybody was a judge. You can't count on the media to investigate. So maybe you should because I see in the media, these are the hard-hitting facts that we know about Kagan. Here they are. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ON CBS: Her interests reflect her openness. She loves softball and poker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ON NBC: Accomplished poker player, opera lover and given that nickname Justice Marshall gave to her, she's 5'3."


OK. She loves softball and poker. I don't know what that means to you and me. It'd like to see the media maybe spend a little more time looking into some of the things and some of the things that she said. For instance, how about this answer to a question at her confirmation hearing for solicitor general? Watch carefully.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: When you talk about the physical battlefield, if our intelligence agency should capture someone in the Philippines that is suspected of financing Al Qaeda worldwide, would you consider that person part of the battlefield, even though we're in the Philippines, if they were involved in Al Qaeda activity? Holder said, the attorney general said, "Yes, I would." Do you agree with that?



OK. In her testimony, she is talking about if someone is suspected of financing terror. We're talking about the definition of the battlefield. Now the battlefield moved over here to the Philippines he says. Well, what about Nebraska? Suspected of financing, not guilty, not proven, suspected of funding Al Qaeda. That means you can be declared an enemy combatant and treated the same as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, you know, the hairy-back guy that we waterboarded. If you were suspected of funding terrorists, wow, I mean, I think we've come a long way here with this new justice and Eric Holder, we've come a long way from when Obama wanted to make sure we had terror trials right here in New York City with the hairy-backed guy. OK. So, we now have: you can hold a suspect without trial — a suspect. If we suspect them, you can hold them without trial. OK. Great.

Now, let's try number two: right to privacy. I don't see anybody reporting on this. It disturbs me. The DOJ right now is arguing in court that if you want privacy, you better go someplace else. You don't have a privacy of location, which means they can track you wherever you are. Where is Glenn Beck? He's in the studio at Fox. How do you know? He has his cell phone on him. Your cell phone can be triangulated. You have no right to — or no reasonable right to privacy of location, they say. They say you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in your own e-mail. What does this mean? This means they can track you or read your e-mail without a warrant. Help me out on this principle because they were against warrantless wiretaps. Right to privacy. No warrantless wiretaps. Now, our policy apparently is that they can read, track, without warrant.

The third one: Attorney General Eric Holder is now coming out and saying that we should make exceptions when to apply Miranda rights to people. Here he is.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're now dealing with international terrorism and I think that we have to think about perhaps modifying the rules that interrogators have and somehow coming up with something that is flexible and is more consistent with the threat that we now face. We want to work with Congress to come up with a way in which we make our public safety exception more flexible and, again, more consistent with the threat that we face.


OK. Notice he said international terrorism. But Miranda rights came up because of a U.S. citizen — a U.S. citizen. So, why do you want to not Mirandize somebody? Why is it important? Because you can use interrogation techniques before you Mirandize them. You don't have to give them an attorney. You don't want to talk — you can make them talk. What do you think they are going to have a cake for a few hours before we Miranda them? Yes, we're just going to have to sit here for a while, a nice, cool, comfortable — are the lights too bright? You think that's what's happening? They don't want to read Miranda rights to citizens. How does that fit with this principle? It doesn't. It doesn't. It's all on an "if." No Miranda rights if you are suspected.

And war — no war. Is there a war going on? Well, yes, there is. I think there's two things. I think there's a war and there's an overseas contingency plan. Maybe the other is a war. Maybe it's just — you know, in-nation contingency plan. We all talk about Al Qaeda. But these principles aren't fitting with what they have demonstrated in their principles and in their actions in the past. Nothing is consistent here. Something is not right.

You know, last week, I couldn't believe that answer I gave on Fox last week about the Miranda rights, that was off the top of my head. I didn't — I just got up. I mean, I was up for about 20 minutes while I did this episode. And even the founder of Tides, remember that? The really shady organization that I'm like, "Run for your life, it's Drummond Pike!" Drummond Pike wrote: "Why I love Glenn Beck." He says, "Beck has just done the right thing, and he deserves praise, even from his rhetorical enemies." Are you kidding me? It's Tides! I mean, I read that one, I'm like, "I should rethink this whole thing." Jon Stewart, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, they all said that I was the voice of reason in all of this.


JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": This next clip is going to hurt me. As much as it's going to hurt you, Chuck.


STEWART: Roll tape of someone being far more reasonable about reading a suspect his Miranda rights, please.

BECK: He has all the rights under the Constitution.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: We're seeing people like most — I think most notably today Glenn Beck —


MADDOW: — a host of Fox News Channel — saying actually it's important that the suspects are read their Miranda rights. We can't shred the Constitution just when it's not — just because it's inconvenient.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never thought that I'd see Glenn Beck as a beacon of reason when it comes to this specific issue, but what's going on here?


I don't know why he wouldn't see me as a beacon of reason on this specific issue. I'm very consistent on this specific issue. I mean, look, we don't shred the Constitution. OK, so here they are. This was last week. They're all for the Miranda rights thing, but they don't take on Eric Holder. Where is everybody on the right to privacy in your own e-mail? Where is everyone on the right to location? Where is everyone on new Supreme Court justice that could be there for the next four decades who says if you are under suspicion of financing a terror group you can lose your rights and go to jail indefinitely without a trial? What?

Here's another principle that we've always had in America: "Innocent until proven guilty." How does that one work with this? You're innocent until proven guilty. But I can't be proven guilty because I'm being held indefinitely without a trial. I'm guilty until proven innocent. How does it work? That's why you need a warrant, you see. You need a warrant for citizens. You have to go to a judge. You have to convince the judge that you have enough reason, you got enough evidence here to say, look, I think this guy is guilty. All we need is to listen to his phones or all we need to do is this or this or this. We need a warrant to do it. You're asking permission to be able to go and violate somebody's right. Now, no, you can just go look without a warrant. You can just arrest them on suspicion. Citizens in jail, indefinitely, without justice. What are we turning into? Who is for this? Why are there not people speaking out about this? This isn't a Republican/Democrat. This is nothing. This is a principle.

Let me add one more to it: freedom of speech. Where does freedom of speech come from? I mean, that's the big, that's number one. Where is that? This one was such a bedrock principle for those on the left, because — and I was with you, I was with you. I didn't like Cindy Sheehan. I thought she was wrong and I thought she was a socialist. But she had a right to do it. I defend her right to speak out. Boy, you want to talk about being on talk radio during the war and defending Hollywood's right to speak out and saying, no, you don't boycott their stuff. If you can't handle it, just don't go to the movie anymore. But you don't boycott anybody. They have a right. In fact, I was on conservative talk radio — if you want to talk about unpopular, it was me! Saying they not only have a right to do it, they have a responsibility.

This is all of our country. If you think our country is going down the wrong path, you have a responsibility. Leave the Hollywood people alone. It doesn't mean you have to talk nice about them, but they absolutely have a right. It is the most American thing you can do to speak out against your government. Where are those people now? Where are those people now? I agreed with you when you said you had a right to speak out. Now, here's something in the media I saw today and if I see one more stupid person in the media talking about the Xbox thing in this speech from Saturday, I think my head is going to explode. Everybody in the media is missing the point. Listen to what the president said on Saturday.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter.




OBAMA: And with iPods and iPads and Xboxes and Playstations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.


Did you hear this? Media, can you get this story right, please. It has nothing to do with Xbox. Are you that stupid? What kind of information do you get from your Xbox or Playstation? You get no information from them! That phrase is a distraction. Name the president in the history of America that says information is just a diversion, it's distracting? That can be too much information out there. That we got to stop it. It's bad for the republic, some information. I've never seen a president say that. Please send it in. If you've seen it, if you have a videotape, a film, send it in. I want to see it. I've only seen this in countries where they end up burning books.

"Question with boldness even the very existence of God; for if there be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear" — Thomas Jefferson. I try to read as much as I can on both sides of the issue. I want to know what the other side is. Have you read "That's Capital (ph)"? I have. Should it be banned? Of course not. Read it. It's the ramblings of an idiot. Read it. I want you to read it. Karl Marx, read as much as you can. Do me a favor. Those in the administration — put the Mao book down. I know you got it. You got it mastered. Read the Federalists Papers. Read them both and then decide. Information is bad — when? When did information become bad?

We're changing. Look at these policies. You can hold without a trial if you are suspected. You can read and track without a warrant. There's no Miranda rights if we suspect. And war. OK, these don't work if we're talking about Al Qaeda because we know what they've already done with Al Qaeda. We know.

So, what are the principles? These are the policies. We have to track-back now to find out what their principles are. The principles are: you can hold without a trial indefinitely if you are a suspect. The principle must be that terror at home is becoming a problem and we have to do anything.

Now, wait a minute. Terror is becoming a problem here at home but with Al Qaeda. And you're not doing things you should be doing. We already have systems in place from these. How about this? Read or track without a warrant. You have no reasonable right to privacy. Well, the principle must be that you're a suspect of the state. The state controls you. The policy, no Miranda rights if they suspect you. In other words, the principle must be: you can lose rights until proven innocent. That's a huge change.

Look, you want to lose your rights, go through court. You'll lose them. If you're a citizen, go through court and you'll lose the right. We'll hold you without trial indefinitely. You're guilty until proven innocent. Huge change in America. And is there a war? Yes. There's a war on those who disagree.

Let me ask you this: Do you remember the thing that came out, the report that came out from St. Louis that said the Tea Partygoers are terrorists? If you are a Ron Paul supporter and you got a Don't Tread on Me flag and you're at a Tea Party, you could be a terrorist. That was the report.

Now, let me ask you: you write a check to some Tea Party group in some state and then some nut job goes off and blows up a building, and they find a Tea Party shirt at the guy's house. Our next Supreme Court justice, are they in favor of putting you in jail? Can the government scoop you or anybody else who wrote a check to the Tea Party and hold you indefinitely until the trial or no trial at all? Can they read your e-mail without any warrant whatsoever? Could you they shut you down if you're providing too much information?

These are the questions the responsible media should be asking today.

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