Spanish Magistrate Targets Former Bush Staffer

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," April 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: While I'm not exactly the world's leading advocate for same-sex marriage, I do believe in the republic. I want to celebrate what happened in Vermont yesterday.

Instead of the courts making a decision, the people did. Lawmakers were able to muster enough votes to override the governor's veto. This — I mean, I learned this in "Schoolhouse Rock" — this is how laws should pass: Through open, honest debates between elected representatives and then the people decide, as opposed to activist judges out of the view of the public — or even worse, through trans-nationalism, which seems to be the direction we are headed in.

The State Department nominee, Harold Koh, is a believer in trans-nationalism, which means that instead of — you know, instead of the laws, you know, being dictated by the people and then going through the courts, they can now bypass our own Constitution in courts in other countries or our own country — our own courts can look to other countries and go, "Yes, but Sweden is doing that, that was pretty sweet."

Yesterday, I spoke with Doug Feith. He knows firsthand how wrong trans-nationalism and how dangerous it can be — because criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantanamo Bay, and Doug is one of those guys named in the case.

He was a former undersecretary for defense under George W. Bush. He's also the author of "War and Decision." And, by the way, all of the book proceeds go to charities that support the veterans.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

Here's what happened when I spoke to him yesterday.


BECK: Doug, first of all, thank you for your service to the country, sir.


BECK: What exactly is — are they — are they charging now in Spain?

FEITH: Well, there's a Spanish magistrate who is recommending that the Spanish government bring criminal charges against six former Bush administration officials for advice that they gave to the president regarding the detainees and interrogation policies, because this Spanish investigative magistrate believes that the advice violated the Geneva Convention and — they allege — opened the way to the torture of detainees.

BECK: OK. This is the beginning — or not even the beginning, but a clear sign of what we've been warning about with the Obama administration and quite honestly, Bush played around with this a little bit himself — trans-nationalism.

This is another country reaching in and saying to you, "What advice did you give to the president?"

Was this not a closed-door session? Was this not just, "Mr. President, OK, you asked for my advice, here it is"? How did — how did your advice come about?

FEITH: Well, the point you're making is an important one. It's important to understand that the people who are being focused on here and are under the threat of a possible prosecution are people who did not — we're not being charged with having committed torture or even having directed anybody to commit torture. We're being charged with having given the president advice that a foreign lawyer believes was not consistent with that foreign lawyer's view of international law.


FEITH: It's unprecedented and it basically would mean — I mean, if this kind of thing goes forward, it would mean that American officials don't answer to the American people for their opinions. They answer to foreign judges.

BECK: OK. There's two problems I have with this:

First of all, Doug, somebody has got to be able to feel confident enough to walk into the president's office when he needs advice, you have to be confident enough to say, "Mr. President, I think this is crazy, but let's think out of the box here." You've got to be able to say — and then have other people in the room go, "no, no, no — no." You have to be free to have a brainstorming session on, well, what is the law here? What is it exactly?

And you can't do that, even if an American court would say, "Well, now, wait a minute, you gave the advice of what?" That should not — you should not have your advice being scrutinized. The policy, yes. The advisers, no — not criminally.

The second part of this is, again, what you said: This is a — this is a loss of sovereignty. What does this mean to the country if this goes through? Can anyone ever advise the president? Can the president even make a policy and have it stand under the Constitution?

FEITH: Well, those — that is an important question. The theory that the Spanish who favor this prosecution seem to be pursuing makes no distinction between current and former officials. So, even though the people they are focusing on in this case are former officials, this theory could easily apply to current officials. And when you think about it, for example, the Obama administration right now is engaged in military operations in Pakistan and it's possible that there are judges somewhere in Europe who believe that current American military action in Pakistan violates international law.

If this theory goes forward, they can go after U.S. officials in this administration.

BECK: Oh, and you know what? And soldiers as well, if I'm not mistaken.

So, let me just — because I've got to wrap this up — let me just ask you this: You're not going over to testify on your behalf or anything. I mean, if they — if they nail, you know, you guys, what happens then? Do you just never leave the country?

FEITH: Well, at the moment, no charges have been filed. The Spanish prosecutor is deciding whether to move forward with this case. A Spanish magistrate has recommended going forward. Now, it's up to the Spanish government to decide what it does.

I hope and expect that the Obama administration will communicate to the Spanish government that they — that they do not view this as simply an attack against some former officials; they view it as an attack on the U.S. government — because as I said, the principle that's involved here would attack current officials as much as former officials.

BECK: OK. I have to tell you, Doug, and people wonder why we can't get the best people to run and serve in our government, it's because you are always under attack.

I thank you again for your service. And I have to tell you, sir, I appreciate the integrity and the willingness to give up our profits for the book to our soldiers. Thank you.

FEITH: Thank you.

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