Dennis Miller on Hillary Clinton, Hollywood and Iraq

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 17, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

And in the "Miller Time" segment tonight, comedian-actor Dennis Miller is an outspoken guy, a rare non-liberal in the entertainment industry. He's done many things in his career, including an Oscar-caliber performance in a film called "Bordello of Blood" which moved me.

Each week Mr. Miller will enter the no spin zone with his take on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and here he is, Mr. "Bordello Blood" Dennis Miller from L.A.

DENNIS MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, I'd like to have you introduce the "Bordello of Blood"...

O'REILLY: I actually saw that movie. I paid to see it just because you were in it. I've got to go to see this thing.

All right. Now I want to remind people that you used to be a raving left wing loon, and you converted, like St. Paul. And now, you're a libertarian, not a conservative. How did that conversion come about?

MILLER: Well, listen, I must say that I never considered myself a secular-progressive. I know you're familiar with that mindset. Sec-prog is what I call them. I didn't consider myself that then, and I don't consider myself to be Curtis LeMay now, but I have always thought of myself as a pragmatist, and I began to see a degree of certitude on the left that I find unsettling. I don't like lock step, even if it's lock step about being open-minded.

And after 9/11, I remember thinking we might have to get into some preemptive measures here, and that seemed to put me, I don't know, off to the kids' table.

O'REILLY: All right, so you're in the entertainment industry, and you start to speak out about a strong defense and an aggressive war on terror. And did you lose friends in the entertainment industry? Did people pull turn their back on you?

MILLER: Well, listen, I think there's a lot of double-cheek air kissing in Hollywood. I might have lost some of those friends. But no, not by dear friends. I certainly hope our friendship runs deeper than that. I still have some ultra liberal friends. I went to Arnold's for a Christmas party.

O'REILLY: You went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, he's not ultra liberal. Now, did you lose any work?

MILLER: You never know about that, Bill. But that all seems — listen, I've always made my living speaking my mind. I have to keep speaking my mind.

You know, at some point, I look at guys like Ron Silver, and I, and Joe Lieberman and Ed Koch, you, for God's sakes. I feel like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters", where we've been given a glimpse earlier than the regular populace. Some of my friends think I'm mad or off at the dining room table making mashed potato mountains, but the fact is, we're in the fight of our life, and I just happen to recognize that.

O'REILLY: Did you get nasty mail from people? That you're a traitor or something?

MILLER: Well, listen, you always get weird mail in my business. But I will say this. I think that when your death threats are from the right, they're at least spelled correctly.

O'REILLY: All right. Now Iraq is very troubling for a lot of people who want an aggressive war on terror.

MILLER: For everybody.

O'REILLY: It is. And not everybody. There are people who want us to lose in Iraq. And they're the far left loons who put their ideology above the welfare of the country. But for those of us who want an aggressive war on terror, in the beginning this looked like an OK strategy, and now it's turned out to be a semi-disaster. How do you see it?

MILLER: Well, listen, I see it this way. I think of Iraq, at the very least, I think of it as like a demented salt lick in that part of the word, where these people come now, because they know there's a fight to be had here. And I like that part of it.

As of today, it's been roughly 1,950 days since something has happened on terra firma here in the United States again. It's like that sign on the factory wall, the amount of days without an accident. I give that to Bush and his approach to the war on terror, and part of the approach is the thing in Iraq.

Now, people always talk about Iraq was the wrong move; we should have went after Al Qaeda. But really, think about the viability of that plan? If you saw Spielberg's movie last year, "Munich", remind you that the hunt and peck method, vis-a-vis terrorism, is impossible. You cannot get into Al Qaeda's presence; you only can get into their heads. These guys are six, eight person cells in every great city on this planet. If you go try to out them of an apartment building, they're all wired for bombs, for God's sakes.

You think we've got bad P.R. in Iraq. Imagine what we'd do if we tried to ferret out individual Al Qaeda cells. So at least at some point in Iraq, we've taken a stance and chosen to look formidable again. We've chosen to look like we're not going to take it any more. And I think that's an important step.

O'REILLY: Yes, but the problem is, technologically, we are taking a beating, because the Iraqi people haven't stepped up to help us. Maliki government is funding the Shia crazies, and now we're looking like we're not winning there.

MILLER: Well, Bill, I think that certainly, after four years, we've got our troubles there, but for God's sakes, I remember when Rumsfeld, who I have my problems with, but I remember when he wanted to modernize the army, and takes troops out of Germany and reallocate.

And then everybody said, "Let's not rush out of Germany," and yet after four scant years in Iraq, we're supposed to have the twist tie on the Iraqi alligator bag?

The fact is that some of these things, if you view history, some of this has to happen. Mistakes almost have to be made before you eventually get it right. And I think that there will be a let them eat cake tipping point where the Iraqi people, where they eventually think, "For God's sakes, the insurgents are our problems, not the United States."

O'REILLY: Yes, I hope so. And that's what — this is — we're almost at crunch time.

Now Hillary Clinton just came back from Iraq. We did a segment a couple of minutes before you. What do you think of that?

MILLER: Well, listen, good for her. I think Hillary Clinton is a serious person. I think this is a serious thing, she does there. I know it draws her out from the Soros crowd, that and her vote for the war. But at least it makes me think that she's considering all of these things.

Now the thing that Hillary comes back with, she says the people on the ground tell her that we need more surveillance and more intelligence. And I agree with the intelligence part.

But the simple fact is, in 1995, when the Representative Bob Torricelli was trying to impress his date, Bianca Jagger, he flipped those secrets, and Clinton then made the mandate that we couldn't get into bed in the dirty business of spying with felons and bad guys. That is probably one of the key moments in the demise of our approach in fighting terrorism.


MILLER: For her to bring up the intelligence thing, you just want to go, yes, I wish you'd told your old man then, and if you're going to get into a dirty business, you've got to do business with dirty people.

O'REILLY: Less than a minute. Do you think she's going to be elected president here?

MILLER: Well, listen, I read Hillary's book, because like I said, I like to see all sides. And all I remember is I got to that chapter where she said she had no idea her old man was running around on her, and I remember thinking, really? I'm pretty sure you're not smart enough to be my president. Because that is a massive Macy's balloon sized tea leaf that you failed to read there, honey.

So I wish her well, and if I was Obama, I'd keep my head on a swivel, because you go up against the Clintons, like going across the middle on Ronnie Lott (ph). You better stay away, Obama.

O'REILLY: All right, Miller, I've going to give you the last word tonight.

MILLER: Cantaloupe.

O'REILLY: Good one. We'll see you next week.

MILLER: I like that.

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