Ups and Downs for the Week of Nov.4- Nov.10

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, November 10, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: All right, you want me to go to the up and down?



Up, Attorney General John Ashcroft

Ashcroft implements an aggressive and far-reaching campaign to thwart potential terrorists, including detentions, arrests, and deportation.

Mort, listen to this.


JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  We will arrest and detain any suspected terrorist who has violated our laws.  Suspects without links to terrorism or who are not guilty of violations of the law will not be detained.  But terrorists who are in violation of the law will be convicted.  In some cases they'll be deported.  In all cases they'll be prevented from doing further harm to Americans.


BARNES:  Boy, he doesn't sugar-coat it, does he?  And here's my theory.  You've heard me on this before.  But my theory is that Ashcroft has locked up all the potential terrorists who would be doing act number two for Usama bin Laden now, you know, bombing a tunnel or driving a truck bomb somewhere.  They're all locked up, they're detained.  They can't do anything.

KONDRACKE:  Well, I hope you're right about that.  But the fact that the FBI has us on sort of daily alert or weekly alert suggests that they are not convinced that they have all the bad guys locked up.

Now, but as to Ashcroft's aggressiveness, there is no question, I mean, he is a tiger here, he's -- you know, detaining people, he is now going to tap some phones -- not as many as the civil libertarians would have you believe, but some -- I mean, tap some communications between lawyers and clients, and of terrorist suspects and now they've instituted this delay before students from certain Arab countries can get visas.


KONDRACKE:  All, as far as I'm concerned, within our power and right to do.

BARNES:  Yes, I agree with you.  You know how Don Rumsfeld, the defense secretary, is sometimes funny and witty in his briefings?


BARNES:  ... he's the anti-Rumsfeld.

KONDRACKE:  Right, exactly.

Up, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami

Khatami actually voices what the U.S. and our allies have been saying since September 11, that Usama bin Laden's version of Islam is extremist and does not represent the majority of the world's Muslims.  In an interview with The New York Times Friday, Khatami said, quote, "I don't believe that his" -- that is, Usama bin Laden's -- "message really resonates strongly in the Muslim world.  Public opinion in the Muslim world in general wants peace, security, and stability, and the right to defend their religion and their freedom."

He also called Usama bin Laden a fanatic.

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  And, you know, the fact is, though, that Khatami, who is a mullah -- I mean, but a moderate mullah...

BARNES:  Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE:  ... is behind his own population.

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  That population has lived for 22 years under Islamic fundamentalism.  They are fed up with it.  They are rioting against it.  And, you know, Khatami is trying to be their leader and run to the head of the pack.

BARNES:  Yes, well, he's got a long ways to run yet.  I mean, he is a mullah, and I'm not sure whether there is such a thing as a moderate mullah.  That's like these moderate Taliban people.

The -- and what we need to keep in mind, without getting over -- so we don't get overly excited and have illusions about what Iran might do is remember, they are, as you said earlier, Mort, they are a terrorist state.  They've sponsored a lot of it.  And they never liked the Taliban.  You know, I mean, even well before September 11, they were fighting with the Taliban, I mean, disagreeing with them.

KONDRACKE:  Just one more point on this, though.


KONDRACKE:   You know, if -- we would be crazy if we don't take this New York Times story and make it...

BARNES:  Oh, yes...


KONDRACKE:  ... and blow it all over the Muslim world.  Say, you know, Iran, this is...


KONDRACKE:  ... what's happening in Iran.

BARNES:  Absolutely, I'm for that.  All right.

Down, former president Bill Clinton

In a speech to Georgetown University students, Clinton hints at moral equivalency between the September 11 terrorist attacks and America's own history of slavery and treatment of Native Americans, incidents for which he says the U.S. is still paying the price.

Now, look, he did endorse -- he said he's for President Bush in this war, and he didn't directly link these things that he said, these horrible things from American history, with the -- didn't directly link them to the attack on the World Trade Center at the Pentagon.  But he came pretty close.  Listen to this, Mort.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Here in the United States, we were founded as a nation that practiced slavery, and slaves quite frequently were killed, even though they were innocent.  This country once looked the other way when significant numbers of Native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights, or because they were thought of as less than fully human.  And we are still paying the price today.


BARNES:  Now, you know, what?  He should have listened to Bush's speech today.  Bush said it -- was right: It isn't anything we've done, it's not any of our policies.  Why are the -- why is Usama bin Laden and his people angry at us?  It's because who we are, this country of tolerance and freedom, and so on.  And I think President Clinton offered further evidence of how lucky we are that Bush is president now and Clinton is not.

KONDRACKE:  Yes, I -- you know, that struck me as just, you know, Bill Clinton and a lot of Democrats just cannot get over guilty consciences about -- it was totally inappropriate, what he said at...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... this particular time.  This was not a time to review the failures of American history.

BARNES:  Not, yes.

KONDRACKE:  But I think, you know, if Clinton were president and September 11 had happened, he might have risen to the occasion.

BARNES:  Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE:  I can't guarantee that.  But I'll tell you what I think is going on, and that is, September 11 did not happen on his occasion, and now George W. Bush has the opportunity to be one of America's greatest presidents, which obviously Bill Clinton will never be.

BARNES:  Right-o.


Up, media mogul turned New York City mayor-elect, Mike Bloomberg

A divisive Democratic primary and Rudy Giuliani's endorsement helped Bloomberg mount his stunning come-from-behind win against Democrat Mark Green on -- in this week's election.

Now, you know, it wasn't just Giuliani's ads...


KONDRACKE:  ... and at the end, it wasn't just Michael Bloomberg's money, which did, which did help...

BARNES:  Help, yes.

KONDRACKE:  ... but it was ethnic divisions within the Democratic Party that caused this victory.

Here's Bloomberg talking about Hispanics, but it applies to other people as well.  Watch.



MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR-ELECT, NEW YORK CITY:  I think it's fair to say that the run-off engendered some deep feelings, if I can phrase it that way.  And that's why I had the opportunity to present my views and that they listened to them carefully.  I don't think they voted for me because they disliked the other guy.  But I think the dissension, the way it all -- the nastiness in the run-off gave me an opportunity to be heard.


BARNES:  Yes, not exactly Mr. Charisma.  But no, I think we learned something important there.  A majority of the Latino vote, 52 percent, voted for Bloomberg, a Republican, running as a Republican.  An Hispanic Republican is in the runoff for mayor of Houston and so on.  I think we see demonstrated last Tuesday on election day that Hispanics are not tied to the Democratic Party and can be weaned away.  All right.

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