Dennis Miller on Torture Debate, Bush's Final Days

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Miller Time" segment tonight, let's bring in the perspicacious pundit who once again did not win a Golden Globe award, despite his insightful commentary that makes Jonathan Swift look like Maynard G. Krebs. Mr. Miller joins us now from Los Angeles.

You know, I'm imitating you, Miller. I'm upping the frame of reference here.

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DENNIS MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: "A Modest Proposal," is what you just said. Thank you.

O'REILLY: Top of the program, as you know, we had this torture debate. And I think these people who are trying to indict Bush and Cheney right now when there's no hard evidence they broke any law are hurting the nation. How do you see it?

MILLER: Yes, I think that — put it this way. Maybe not the 20th, but the 22nd of January. I think if I was domestic help on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I would keep my head on a swivel, because there's going to be some angry people been walking around with a suppository of hate for George Bush for the last eight years, and they're going to have no place to put it. And I would say underlings, nannies, drivers, housekeepers are about to get laid into because I don't think they will know what to do without Bush to hate.

As far as the torture goes, I guess the thing is, if Bill Clinton can quibble about what the definition of "is" is, I certainly think fair-minded people can disagree on what torture is. Now, as I understand, according to this article, they're talking about loud music, keeping somebody up all night, and pouring water down their nose. And you know, if you mix in transporting a Maraschino cherry across the poorly lit break room and depositing it into a shot glass using nothing more than your nether regions, I think we've got a fraternal ritual on our hands here. I don't think water-boarding is torture.

And I know John McCain does. I respect him immensely. But I swear to God, John McCain would have probably prayed for days when he was in the Hanoi Hilton that what they did was pour water down his nose.

I think if George Tenet says that it sprung something out of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, saved some innocents, God bless him. And I oft-times am quizzical, Bill, that people don't get — don't get water-boarding. To me it seems heaven sent. It doesn't kill anybody, and yet it's able to turn zealots who are prepared to die for their religion into people who want to give information to preclude future terrorist incidents. To me, I look at it and I think I find it odd when somebody says, "No, I'm against that." I think jeez, I can't believe it exists. Something that takes somebody who's willing to strap a bomb on and yet freaks them out to the point where they'll tell you where the next bomb is by pouring water down their nose and they don't even die. I think, wow, this is heaven-sent.

O'REILLY: And their nose doesn't even get, you know, hurt. But anyway, look...

MILLER: No, no.

O'REILLY:'s the — it's the irrational hatred of Bush-Cheney that's driving this debate and hurting the nation all over the world. When Bush gave his final press conference earlier this week, I thought he did a pretty good job there. I think he is responsible for the economy somewhat, therefore he goes out under that cloud. How did you see it?

MILLER: Today is 2,682 days since 9/11, 2001. After Khobar, after the Cole, after the embassies in Africa, after World Trade Center one and two, to a point after Mogadishu where we were pronounced by Usama bin Laden to be the weak horse, I want to thank George Bush for keeping this country safe in the interim seven years. That is an amazing achievement.

And when I see the bin Laden, who deemed us to be the weak course, issue a staple today almost soliciting funds like a PBS pledge break, I realize that George Bush got this right. He continued to press on them like water. He bore on that surface. It flipped A.Q. Khan. It flipped Gadhafi. They're out of funds. And that's what I admire about him. He's willing to be hated for the rest of his life to do the right thing.

And I just want to look in the camera — this is the last time I will be on this show when he's my president and my commander in chief — and say, "Thank you, sir. I feel privileged that you were the president during this time in American history."

O'REILLY: Well, certainly that is his big accomplishment. And as you mentioned, I thought that Obama was on the Drifters and the Four Tops segment of PBS when they ran the old clips. And there was some guy who looked like him, and it was poorly lit. It was a cave background. It was send money to Bill Moyers, please. I thought that was Usama. But maybe I was wrong.

OK. That was very well said.

You know, I'm watching the Golden Globes, and isn't it interesting though how — and I believe we're part of this, and you're part of it, as well — these pinhead stars now, they don't run up to the stage much anymore and say stupid political stuff, you know what I mean? Only Laura Dern did that. And nobody knows who Laura Dern is, although I admired her performance in "Jurassic Park" when she was being traced by — chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and outran her — the monster, dinosaur. Dern does have long legs. But we saw Kate Winslet, and we saw, you know, all these people, and they didn't really say anything political. Even Alec Baldwin didn't say it. And I'm saying to myself, these people are afraid to say this stuff anymore. Do you think I'm wrong?

MILLER: First off, I know Laura a little. She's a sweet woman. I don't know why people say things outloud sometimes. I think maybe they feel like they're in a business that doesn't quite add up in the importance of the overview, so they try to compensate by making statements. But she's not a bad woman. Indeed, her father is a fine man who I admire in many ways.

O'REILLY: Bruce Dern, right?

MILLER: But I will say this. Yes, Bruce Dern. I — I look at the people who won, and I just think it was a — listen, the right people won for me. Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney in that "Adams" thing.


MILLER: That's about America, too. And they were absolutely brilliant. Springsteen singing that song. I mean, that's an absolutely brilliant song about the downtrodden. I love that. And I love the most about Mickey Rourke that he fights back. This is what America is about. It's not about being a nanny state. It's about failure and getting your head handed to you. And you don't get bailed out; you bail yourself out.

Now Aronofsky comes along and drops the roll on him, but Rourke has got to pull himself up and fight for it. And then even after that, even after winning the Golden Globe and putting himself in a position, a harbinger to maybe win the Oscar, he comes out and says, "I'm not going to blame George Bush for all this," when the ballots have not even been mailed out. That's the greatness of America, that somebody can express an opinion like that and say, "Here is what I am going to do. You do what you have to."

O'REILLY: Now do you think — do you think Rourke — do you think Rourke put himself at risk of winning the Academy Award because he did say, "I'm not blaming Bush for all this crazy stuff"? Do you think he put himself at risk?

MILLER: I don't think it helps him.

O'REILLY: Well, I said — I said from the jump that the Academy Award, because I don't think that the Golden Globe foreign press cares about gay marriage here, but I said that "Milk" and, you know, Penn and all these people probably clean up as the gay marriage protest by the Academy. That's what I think is going to happen. I could be wrong.

MILLER: Do I think it might hurt Mickey? Yes, because I think that Barack Obama might want to make your union vote for a union membership. He might want to make that public. But trust me: That Oscar vote is always going to take place in the sanctity of very rich households, and some of them are going to hold that against Rourke, I think. I salute him. Mazel tov, Mickey.

O'REILLY: Dennis Miller, everybody. As always, great segment, Dennis.

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