Thursday, December 10, 2009

Duncan Hunter Interview - December 8, 2009: On Huckabee, the EPA, GOP Amnesty Hacks, and Harry Reid!!

Duncan Hunter Interview - December 8, 2009: On Huckabee, the EPA, GOP Amnesty Hacks, and Harry Reid!!

This interview is the seventh installment of an on going series of conversations with the former Congressman, 2008 presidential candidate and current conservative activist. Today I found Mr. Hunter driving from Nevada back to San Diego to attend a fundraiser for yet another conservative, ex-military, Republican candidate attempting to wrest a seat from a liberal Democrat in the 2010 Congressional election. He was also in Iowa over the weekend to support another super congressional candidate, Chris Reed. Mr. Hunter fully understands the dire straights that America finds herself in with Obama, Pelosi, and Harry Reid in charge. He is doing everything in his power to promote conservative candidates, conservative values and a conservative re-awakening in America. This series of interviews is part of his agenda to keep that conservative voice front and center as we attempt to save our Constitutional Republic from the ravages of weakness and socialism. We pick up the interview, once again, on the road….

AJM: Hello Congressman. You still in Nevada or have you made it to California yet?

DH: We’re in good old California.

AJM: OK. Just one more time, the gentleman’s name again that you are doing tonight’s event for?

DH: It’s Brian Rooney. He’s the brother of Tom Rooney. He’s a former Marine and he’s running for Congress in Michigan.

AJM: That’s excellent. So far, you’ve got a lot of good ones. Does he have a good shot at capturing this thing?

DH: You know, I don’t really know how this race is shaping up yet. His brother is in the House and is a good friend of Duncan’s. And he asked me to help. And I’ve been out helping all of the Armed Services guys that are running now as Republicans. I told him I’d be happy to help out.

AJM: Fantastic.

DH: I would think this could work out. He’s a quality guy. He was part of the law center that helped us to save the Mt. Soledad Cross in San Diego. The lawsuit over whether or not we could keep the cross on government property, the major lawsuit we had down here. The Thomas Moore Law group…

AJM: Yeah, the Thomas Moore guys. He’s part of that group?

DH: Yes. He’s a lawyer. He helped us out. It worked out well. And he was a JAG officer in the military.

AJM: That sounds like pretty good credentials to me. You guys needed all the help you could get on the Mt. Soledad suit. It was nip and tuck there for awhile.

DH: Yeah. It was a great victory.

AJM: I certainly think so. And I thank you for leading that charge.

DH: It was important.

AJM: Ok, let’s get some quick questions in before you get into the mountains here.


AJM: Let’s start off with your friend Mr. Huckabee. He’s run into kind of a buzzsaw here. I think it may impact his ability to run again in, if he was planning to. That is the 4 police officers up here in my neck of the woods that were gunned down a week and a half ago. Today they are having a memorial. Turns out the guy that killed these 4 police officers up here in Washington was another one of the guys that Huckabee commuted the sentence for. It made him eligible for parole, and of course he got parole, that was the whole purpose. And lo and behold, he kills 4 police officers. It’s going to be shades of Michael Dukakis all over again for him I think. Would you like to comment on it?

DH: (laughing). I think you’ve just covered all the commenting. I don’t think you even need me here, Jim.

AJM: (laughs)

DH: Well, I like Mike Huckabee, but that’s an exposure you are always going to have as Governor. There is always a chance of a person, if you commute sentences, there’s always a chance that one of the people is going to hurt somebody down the line. That’s part of the exposure of being a Governor who commutes sentences. I think most, if not every governor commutes some sentences. I don’t know the exact circumstances, but I think he commuted this guy to 34 years, which should have kept the guy in jail if he did the time that Huckabee gave him. But that didn’t happen. He sure shouldn’t have been around to commit those crimes.

AJM: From my understanding, the whole point of taking his sentence from 90 years down to, I believe it was 47, because that was the magic number that allowed you to be eligible for parole. And within a year, of course, his parole came up, and of course, the rest is history.

DH: I don’t know that for sure. But if he had done 47 years….

I think what’s occurred is bad enough without folks thinking there was some kind of diabolical plot for an early release. If he wanted to release him immediately, he could have simply done so by pardoning him, right?

AJM: Yeah, this was a commutation, not a pardon.

DH: And I think normally you should presume that if a person gives you a certain amount of time, that that is the amount of time they want you to do.

AJM: Well, for Huckabee, it’s going to be a little more problematic than that. In his 10 years, he commuted and/or pardoned 1058 people. Compared to Romney – zero. Palin – zero. Huckabee by himself had more pardons than the six bordering states governors combined…

DH: You know more about it than I do then. I just saw flashes on television.

AJM: The other thing, just for your information, this wasn’t the first time that one of the guys that got out did something. In fact it was brought up during your guys’ primary race that a rapist that he let go, he actually pardoned instead of a commutation…..

DH: Well Jim, what’s the rest of your good news for the day (laughing)

AJM: No, this is bad news (laughs).

DH: I don’t think you needed me for that conversation, I think you just wanted to tell somebody (laughing).

AJM: No, I just didn’t know how close you were paying attention to this. I guess the bottom line question is do you think it hurts his chances for 2012?

DH: I really don’t know. It could. I think it’s tough to figure. As you said, that point was brought up, by CNN, at the first debate in Simi Valley. Huckabee managed to handle that question and went on to almost win the primary.

AJM: That’s true. The reason its big news today, it’s about a mile away where they are having the memorial today. A mile from my house. So it’s bigger news up here than most other parts of the country, so I apologize for….

DH: I think for all of us it’s a tragedy that those 4 guys were killed.

AJM: It’s a heartbreaker. All young. All young guys

Well OK. Enough about Mr. Huckabee. Did you hear the news today that our friends from the EPA decided to label CO2, carbon dioxide, as a hazardous exhaust, and thereby giving them the ability to regulate it on their own through the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as opposed to waiting for some kind of Cap and Trade.

DH: I just saw the headlines a few minutes ago in the LA Times.

AJM: Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous as labeling CO2 as a pollutant?

DH: Well, I think it is probably less about the CO2 and a lot more about government power. Just as their health care bill is more about power than it is about medicine. That multi-thousand page bill on healthcare, none of the people that wrote that have ever practiced a day of medicine. And by the same token, very likely the people that put together this new interpretation of CO2 probably have no technical capability. That’s more a political assertion, not a scientific fact!

AJM: You hit that one out of the park. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

DH: Yep.

AJM: That falls along the lines of what we discussing about global warming the last couple interviews. The whole thing in Copenhagen is going on right now too. But I haven’t had a chance to actually listen to what’s going on over there.

But do you remember Ed Gillespie?

DH: Yeah.

AJM: He was at one time, I think, during the Bush years, the head of the RNC?

DH: Yeah.

AJM: I just read a quote from him earlier today where he came out and is kind of laying the ground work for the new amnesty plan I think. Here’s his quote, and I want you to comment on it: “The GOP needs to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. The party’s harshest voices were the the loudest voices last time immigration reform was debated”. And I’m assuming he’s pointing his finger right at you and right at Mr. Tancredo on this. So would you like to comment to Mr. Gillespie?

DH: Sure. Well, we don’t know for sure he’s pointing at us, but I would say this. While building the border fence, I ran for re-election repeatedly during my 28 years in congress in the border area of California. One of my counties is predominantly Hispanic, 2 to 1 Democrat. And those folks gave me more votes than any other politician, Democrat or Republican, including Bill Clinton. Now that indicates to me – and I was well known as the guy who built the border fence – that actually, unlike the folks, some of the elites clinking champagne glasses in Washington DC, that most Hispanics in America really want to have border control. And they realized also that it has a direct link to their jobs. I’m reminded that one of the…one craftsman, a construction worker, came up to me during the debates and said ‘Don’t let Kennedy/McCain pass’. That’s how he described that legislation. And he explained that it took him many years to get to the point, where he as an American citizen, could make 35 bucks an hour as a master craftsman. And he said “if you open the floodgates, I’ll go down to $17/hour”. And so, many folks in the Hispanic community, as well as the general community, are concerned about their jobs, especially in this time of major unemployment. They despise the idea of opening up what they consider to be the floodgates of illegal immigration.

Another guy, down in Lakeside, a small business owner and also a Hispanic, said at one point “doesn’t President Bush get it? This is about national security! You have to have a secure border”. So I’ve always talked about border control and implemented border control legislation, a great deal which has been passed into law that I drafted, in the context of security and protecting jobs. And I’ve always been very well received in the ‘real’ Hispanic community. But that’s a different community than the one elites rub elbows with in Washington DC.

AJM: Well I think that Mr. Gillespie and maybe some of President Bush’s and McCain’s advisers were spending too much time going to cocktail parties with La Raza and LULAC, some of those organizations whose whole purpose in life seems to be to push amnesty.

DH: Could be. I don’t know where all their comments come from, but I think we as Republicans….I’ve always run as a conservative Republican and I haven’t tried to shape a separate message for the Hispanic community. I always gave them in my campaigns the exact same message as I gave to the general community. And I think they appreciated it. I think they are natural conservatives. They tend to believe in a strong national defense. Many of them are in our Armed Forces and our Border Patrol, I might add.

AJM: Both Ramos and Compean are of Hispanic descent.

DH: Yeah. What the Republican Party needs is fewer of its leaders saying that the Republican Party doesn’t like Hispanics!! At least my experience is that they have been very supportive of our party, and they’ve always been very supportive of me in my re-election bids. While I’m known as the guy who built the border fence, the Hispanics in my district seem to like that.

Incidentally, when we built the border fence we brought down murders and violence because you had those border gangs who were roaming wild on the border, and they were robbing, raping and murdering on both sides of the border. We averaged 10 murders a year on the San Diego side of the international border. It went down to zero when I built the border fence. We also saw the violence subside on the other side of the border, in the northern Tijuana neighborhoods.

But again, when you are clinking champagne glasses with the boys in the embassy you don’t usually see things like that. There was absolutely no logic behind allowing the murderous border gangs to control the land between San Diego and Tijuana. That was my central theme for years. You know we finally had to pass that with the vote of both houses of Congress to finish the border fence. And incidentally, Congress felt so strongly about it that they waived the environmental laws at the border, because the environmentalists held up the Smugglers Gulch construction for years. Massive cocaine deliveries came through there and destroyed many lives, Hispanics included. The environmentalists were delaying the construction of the fence, but we’ve now completed the fence. And again, the murders on this part of the border have gone down to virtually zero in San Diego city.

AJM: Fantastic. You’re not known just as the guy who wants to build the fence, you’re also known as the only guy who has consistently opposed any type of amnesty. A lot of these guys give lip service to the fence while they are stabbing you in the back. But they turn around and say ‘well, we’ve got to give 12 million, 15 million people a pathway to citizenship’ – is what they call it. And you’ve always opposed that as well! Yet you still got Hispanic support.

DH: Yeah, once again this goes to the jobs issue and the Hispanic American citizen who said ‘don’t let McCain/Kennedy pass because I’ll go down to $17 an hour instead of the 35 I’m getting’. You know, the idea that when you’ve got 10 percent unemployment that you are going to open the floodgates for vast numbers of illegal workers makes no sense whatsoever!

And the effect of calling an amnesty when reviewed in the historic context – that is the 3 million folks who were given amnesty in the 1980s when Congress said ‘now this time we really mean it, read the fine print – nobody else gets to get in’. They obviously let their friends and neighbors and relatives know that they got amnesty and so you had, which was entirely predictable, another wave of people heading north expecting to catch the 2nd amnesty. So as the credibility of the US government for enforcement slides lower and lower, if we get a second amnesty, if anyone thinks there won’t be another vast wave of illegal aliens coming in anticipation of a third amnesty, then I think we can sell those folks the Brooklyn Bridge fairly quickly. They are extremely gullible. Of course there will be a big wave of people.

AJM: I agree.

DH: In fact, maybe we can sell them the border fence (laughs)

AJM: (laughing) At least sell them some property along the border so they’ll get pissed off about all the illegals trampling over it.

DH: Yeah. So anyway….

AJM: I wanted to get your two cents on Harry Reid, a statement by Harry Reid from yesterday, or maybe it was two days ago. Where Mr. Reid had the audacity to compare us, those of us who oppose his ObamaCare bill, he compared us to the segregationists and the folks who opposed emancipation for the slaves. He basically said on the floor of the Senate that those who opposed his healthcare where like those who wanted to push off the freeing of black slaves to a later date. Do you want to comment on that?

DH: Well, I’ll say first that Harry Reid has already won a major contest. He’s come closest to unseating Algore - with his statement that he invented the internet - by Harry’s statement that we had lost in Iraq – shortly before we won! And his now famous statement was the only good news that any Al Qaeda leaders received as their forces were being crushed in Iraq by US Marines and Soldiers in the summer of 2007. That now famous statement that we had lost while we were winning, followed shortly by our victory in Iraq, put Harry in close competition with Algore.

His new statement, that if you don’t believe in socialism you are a racist, since that’s the essence of his statement, I think he’s actually close to beating out his first statement for being outrageous, ridiculous and false! He’s now got two contenders for ‘Wild statement of the Decade’, though I think Algore is still slightly in first place.

AJM: (laughing) Well, with any luck we’ll slam the door on Algore’s wetdream and stream of income. So basically, you put it (Reid’s statement) in the ridiculous category then?

DH: All you can do is laugh at that one.

AJM: Yeah. I don’t know if you know this or not, but he is running several points behind either of his GOP contenders in his home state of Nevada. That would be a nice win for us.

DH: Good!

AJM: Another thing I wanted for awhile to ask you about is that Bob Gates, presumably at the behest of his boss, Obama, cut out the F-22 program. Completely.

DH: Say that again, you’re kind of going out on me here….

AJM: If we lose you, we’ll take it up next week. But the F-22, I wanted to get your take on them cutting the F-22 out.

DH: What I think that Barack Obama is doing generally with our weapons programs, is that he is clearing the headroom for increased social spending by dramatically driving down defense spending. And the fact that he can’t scare up an additional 5000 soldiers from the combination of 26 socialized European nations for Afghanistan duty is to the evidence of this dynamic; whereby social programs pushed defense programs out of the budget.

The United States, as a superpower, has been able to maintain an umbrella of freedom not only for ourselves, but for the rest of the free world because we maintained a decent sized defense budget. And Barack Obama over the next several years can be expected to strive to take down the defense budget to allow headroom for his social spending. It’s a major problem that the West has right now, and that’s the problem with NATO. Socialism has crowded out their defense budgets and they are able to only supply extremely small contingents of soldiers and equipment. Yet another reason why we shouldn’t socialize Amerca. But I think more major defense cuts are to be expected from Barack Obama.

AJM: I know. But the F-22 in particular irritates me, because today, this very day, it is the most effective warplane of its kind in the world. It doesn’t make any sense until we have….I mean it hasn’t been off the assembly line for that long, and they are already cancelling it.

DH: Yeah. No, we need to have planes that have the speed and endurance and the radar evading characteristics that are necessary to handle the next generation of SAM missiles. The F-22 alone has that capability.

AJM: It hurts our national defense posture. And today we read in the paper, I read that China has every intention, every intention of weaponizing space, something Obama also wants no part of….

DH: We saw that several years ago when China shot down a satellite with their own anti-satellite system. China at that point declared a military competition in space. Whether we want one or not, we are in it. We must be able to defend our assets and eliminate the space based military assets of other nations, including China.

AJM: Yet that’s another one on the chopping block from our friend, Mr. Obama.

DH: I know.

AJM: It looks more and more like 2010 and 2012 are going to be crucial for the safety, security, economic viability and livelihood for our nation. Do you agree with that?

DH: Most certainly. We’re doing what we can. 2010 is a very important election. I think we have a great chance of taking back the House. The key is to have good candidates and support those candidates, not just in areas where Republicans should win, but we should take some districts that have fairly large constituencies of conservative democrats who don’t want to see this country socialized and want to maintain a strong national defense and want an enforceable border. And incidentally, Brian Rooney, who is running in Michigan is a former Marine, he’s the guy I going to campaign for here today. Obviously, Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch who is running against Bob Filner in California, is one of those seats that we need to take if we want to win back the majority. Jesse Kelly, another former Marine who went up the road to take Baghdad in 2003 as a corporal in the infantry, is another guy running for Congress in Arizona, the Tucson race. We’ve got Vaughn Ward, who was a rifle platoon leader in Boise running for Congress who has a good chance of winning.

AJM: Yeah, didn’t Vaughn re-join the military after he had a comfortable life? He had already done a couple of tours previously, then was in a comfortable life in the CIA, then re-joined the fight.

DH: Yeah. He was in the agency then came back out and ended up going back to Iraq.

AJM: God Bless him!

DH: Listen, I’ve got to close down here in just a second but it’s been great talking to you.

AJM: Yeah, it’s been great. I got another swath of my questions out; I’ve been wanting to ask you about the F-22 forever.

DH: Well good. I like the F-22. We’ve got to learn to make these planes a little cheaper. On the other hand, stealth is expensive. We’ve got some stealth capability with the F-22.

AJM: Yes. And just as a final thing here before you go, I read in the paper today that the first two months of fiscal year 2010, which I guess started in October --- 292 BILLION in the red. In the first two months of this fiscal year! So do you have a message for Republican and conservatives and activists, and just Americans in general to put pressure on the existing congress, existing Republicans and Democrats, to knock this stuff off and start cutting the spending?

DH: I think the message here is this: Reverse course!! Socialism is expensive. If you give government control of larger and larger sectors of the economy, you are going to increase the deficits, because you deaden the spirit of America’s entrepreneurs who create wealth in this country. And you provide a regulatory straight-jacket that prevents them from being able to start or expand businesses. And at the same time you lever in the traditional inefficiencies government brings to any enterprise.

AJM: Exactly right.

DH: Socialism is expensive.

AJM: Not only that, Congressman, but I think it’s an ice-pick in the back of the Constitution in a lot of these cases. Would you agree with that?

DH: Well, even though that is a very generalized statement, any time you take private property without compensation you are intruding unconstitutionally on the private sector. And secondly, when you undertake regulation that goes beyond the limits of the Commerce Clause and the 10th Amendment, you are also intruding unconstitutionally. So they may well be. But above and beyond that, it’s whether or not Americans want to retain personal responsibility, individual accountability, and the freedom to fail or to succeed. That’s the question for America right now! Whether we want to become Europe. I think the answer is clearly NO.

AJM: That’s why we are fighting this thing.

DH: But I’ve got to sign off. It’s been great talking to you. Hope you’re having a great day up there.

AJM: Well, thank you very much and keep up the great fight. You’re doing a lot on our side to make sure that worry does not come to pass.

DH: OK, my friend.

AJM: Have a great day.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Duncan Hunter Interview 12-01-2009: Obama's Weak Speech, Navy SEALS, Climategate & Downsizing the Gov't

This interview is the sixth installment of an on going series of conversations with the former Congressman and 2008 presidential candidate.

Now home in the San Diego area, Hunter has been keeping busy making appearances on local TV and promoting the campaigns of up and coming, conservative, young military veterans who are attempting to unseat liberal democrats in the 2010 congressional races. Among those Hunter has persuaded to run or has campaigned for are veterans Vaughn Ward in Idaho, Nick ‘Gunny Pop’ Popaditch in California’s 51st District, Jesse Kelly in Arizona and Chris Reed in Iowa. In fact, Hunter has a campaign event scheduled for December 5th for Mr. Reed. He plans on continuing his push for staunch conservatives to help retake the House of Representatives in the next election cycle. We pick up the interview after the introductions and a quick prayer for our friend Russell Scott….

DH: Hey, I think a rare thing has happened, either Jim has stopped talking or he got cut off.

ALL: (laughing)

GW: I think so.

AJM: Can you guys hear me???? (no they couldn’t)

DH: Listen, till he comes back in, I thought I’d tell you guys that I just got finished doing a commentary here in San Diego on Obama’s speech for a news channel here, for KUSI. And I was on with a Marine, retired Marine General Mike Neal, a great guy. He’s been out of the corps for a long time, and we were talking about the Obama speech. First, one thing I thought was kind of sad that the President told the West Point graduates, was that he was against the war in Iraq. I thought that was kind of a slap in the face. A lot of those guys fought in that war. And we’ve now won that war; by not following Obama’s call to retreat at a critical moment, along with Hillary Clinton and all the other Democrat nominees, or candidates for the presidential nomination. It was bad taste on Obama’s part.

Also, not much of a confidence builder. He was a guy that said we had to leave in Iraq. We didn’t leave. We put the surge on and we won. That doesn’t reflect well on his judgment. I thought it was bad on the part of Obama not only from the stand point of strategy, but also a slap in the face of the guys that defend the country.

So anyway, the other thought that I had about the speech was that we’re sending 30,000 people, that is not as many as McChrystal had requested. McChrystal’s request has been kind of muted at this point. I think he was criticized pretty strongly in the Administration for coming out and openly talking about the need for more troops.

But the real key here is to bring the NATO allies, the 26 nations which together have not suffered as many casualties as America alone because they stay out of the firefights. They stay out of the combat zones. Bringing them into the war, because right now they are AWOL. They may have their troops to some degree stationed in Afghanistan, but the Germans, for example, have a rule that was established as I understand it, by the Bundestag, that they cannot leave their forts at night, which is a time when our Marines do a lot of their fighting. And the French and others try to stay out of the combat zones and let the Americans take the combat zones. So there is a vast difference between being ‘in the country’ and being in the fight. Right now, most of our NATO allies are not in the fight. And I think this is a chance for Mr. Obama to talk to the leaders of those countries, face to face, and let’s see if he can do something to justify those prizes he’s been awarded lately.

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: Can you guys hear me again??

ALL: Yes

DH: Jim, glad to have you back, I’m about ready to sign off here (laughing)

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: (Laughs) Thank you very much. Now I did hear in the news, yesterday I believe, that Great Britain decided to send all of another 500 additional troops. So apparently, whatever arm twisting he’s doing isn’t seeming to have the effect that we’d anticipate.

DH: Once again, the key is not just having troops there, and that (500) is obviously not a lot of troops, but there’s 26 NATO nations who have some people, as I understand, on the ground now in Afghanistan. But there’s a vast difference between providing airport security or security in Kabul, and sending your people into the fight in places like Helmand province. So this needs to be a cheap estate discussion. The Germans, the French and the others need to be kicked into the battle. They need to join the battle and right now they are AWOL from the battle. They may have troops there, but again, there is a vast difference between having a presence in the country and coming to the war.

So that’s the real test for Obama. If we can get the NATO allies engaged strongly in this war we wouldn’t need to have more troops.

AJM: I agree. What did you think about the timeline? He’s kind of telegraphing….that we are going to do this little surge, but then start withdrawing within a year?

DH: Yeah, I was reminded that in Iraq, because George Bush refused to give a timeline, which was the burning question of the day for the press, trying to extract a timeline from the Bush administration. You know, at one point the Sunni tribes in Anbar Province in western Iraq made a decision. They decided to turn against their fellow Sunnis, Al Qaeda, and be on our side. And actually fight Al Qaeda, fight their former allies. There were a couple of reasons for that. One reason is they found out that these foreign fighters, Al Qaeda fighters, started to wear out their welcome. They taxed Sunni businesses there to sustain the war effort. They took their women for short term marriages. When tribal leaders objected, they were killed. And they provided lots of very heavy punishment, including death for such things as eating ice cream, failing to flop to the ground quickly enough for prayer call, and many number of other things. So they began to resent the Al Qaeda foreign fighters. But at the same time they saw that the US Marines were very tough, that they stood toe to toe in these 15 foot firefights in Falluja with Al Qaeda until they were the only guys standing. They never retreated. And at the same time that Al Qaeda took money from the tribes, the Marines gave them money. They gave them projects. They hooked up sewage lines and water lines and they put together medical clinics and did lots of things that showed that they were the ‘good guys’. And you had as a result of all of that the “Awakening”.

The Sunni tribes did a remarkable and profound thing. That is they turned against their allies, the Al Qaeda, who they had been with and had joined with in attacking the Marines. They joined the Marines and turned and attacked Al Qaeda, their former allies. And what I’m getting to is that at one point, in Bing West’s great book called The Strongest Tribe, he asked one of the Sunni leaders why they had joined with the Marines, and the guy gestured to a squad of Marines that were walking towards them down the street and he said, “because you, the Americans, are the strongest tribe”.

Now those folks in Anbar, Iraq had a history of making choices. And those instances of choosing their allies were something that the well being of their clans, their families and their tribes depended on. They’d been occupied at one point by Genghis Khan, at another point in their history by Alexander the Great, and choosing your allies was something which your very life could depend.

My point is that because George Bush refused to give a deadline for leaving, and because his people, the US Marines in Anbar Province appeared to be the strongest tribe, the native tribes went with the United States, joined us, and turned against Al Qaeda and helped us exterminate Al Qaeda. In fact in 4 days, in the Zaidon area south of Falluja, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines joined up with the native Sunni insurgency, they joined the Marines and in 4 days, starting on the 4th of July 2007, they wiped out the Al Qaeda from the entire Zaidon area. They took ‘em out.

AJM: What a beautiful thing.

DH: Yeah, and that was done because the United States refused to give a deadline, amongst other things. And here’s Mr. Obama giving a deadline for the American presence in Afghanistan.

AJM: Whoa. Some heavy stuff here. But at least he’s given us…..I was afraid he was going to pull the rug out. So we have time to convince him to do this right still.

DH: Yeah, I think that’s so. And I think that he feels a little bit connected to this war too. His platform and the democrat platform was that Afghanistan was a ‘real war’ and Iraq was a wrong war. Now we’ve won Iraq, and his military in Afghanistan is saying ‘OK, let’s do this one right and win this thing’. So I was glad to see that he was putting the 30,000 troops in.

I thought it was wrong to try to put an exit strategy up front.

AJM: Well, thank you for your insight, we really appreciate that.

The next question I have has to do with the military as well, Mr. Hunter. And that is….In the news lately, you’ve probably seen it. In Iraq, some of our Navy SEALS, our best and brightest, managed to capture the scumbag who was responsible, or thought to be responsible for the US contractors being hung from the bridge in Falluja. And when they caught him, apparently, they did one of their expert raids when they found out where he was, and somehow he managed to end up with a fat lip or a swollen jaw in the process, claiming that one of the SEALS gave him a whack. Because of this deal – I believe it is 4 Navy SEALS – they are in court martial, for whacking this idiot. I want your take on this kind of nonsense that seems to be hamstringing our bravest, most courageous fighters for basically doing their damn job.

DH: You know, that’s a pretty good leading question. I don’t think you need me for this conversation, Jim (laughs).

ALL: (Laughing)

DH: I think you just want me to say “Dittos”. (laughing)

AJM: Yeah, I’m a wannabee Rush Limbaugh here (laughs)

DH: Well listen, I haven’t seen all of the testimony regarding these guys, but it will obviously come out. I would simply say this about the judicial system. There have been a lot of charges, as there always are when you have over 100,000 people involved in combat operations over a period of years. You’re always going to have some charges. We’ve had far fewer charges in this war than we had in wars past, including Vietnam, World War II, World War I, Korea.

Generally speaking, the judicial proceedings that have occurred in San Diego County with respect to Marines…

LD: The Haditha Marines?

DH: …in Camp Pendleton and other places have been very favorable to the people who were initially accused – and in some cases convicted in the liberal newspapers. I’m thinking about a lot of the defendants in the Haditha thing, for example.

The good thing about the military system is that those officers who sit in those tribunals realize that these tough combat operation don’t come wrapped in neat packages, where you are able to sit back and contemplate what seven guys in black robes would do, as they sit in their armchairs. They understand that these things happen in the fog of combat. And I think they also balance what happens.

I’ve seen a number of these cases where people got very upset that there were even charges lodged. I don’t know, I haven’t seen the specific reports that came out as a result of this capture. But if this is a case of balancing equities, of balancing actions, and the guy got a fat lip, that’s a fairly nominal wound, if you will, considering what his is alleged to have done.

The other thing is, you know, we are falling into this abyss of giving enormous rights to enemy defendants. For example, nobody wearing the uniform is considered to have the right to have a lawyer. Or to cross examine his accusers. Or to have any number of other rights that we give to criminals. If you took 500 POWs in any given conflict, and you required that each one of those people be specifically convicted, found beyond a reasonable doubt to have engaged in warfare against us, you’d have to release about two-thirds of them. Because it is very hard in the fog of war to find the particular sergeant who captured a particular enemy private, or enemy lieutenant, and is there to testify that he actually saw this person fire a weapon or undertake some other act of war. If you put this heavy, heavy standard, you apply that heavy standard – that’s why it’s very difficult with these terrorists that we’ve brought in from Afghanistan that heretofore have been at Guantanamo – it’s very, very tough to find the specific American who actually saw this person in an act of war. To apply this standard that we grant under our constitution to criminals, to apply that to terrorists makes it very difficult to keep these guys off the streets. And I think a lot of that is proven by the fact that there was a large degree of recidivism with the people in Guantanamo that we actually screened and released. A number of them went back and picked up weapons and were recaptured or killed fighting Americans again in the war theatre.

So giving this extraordinary, new protection to terrorists that our own soldiers don’t have is, I think, a very dicey thing.

It’s a long answer to your question, and I haven’t seen the specific reports on what you just described to me, but I have seen some pretty good outcomes in the military judicial system.

AJM: Yeah, so have I. I’m very grateful for that as well. On Free Republic, we’re very big supporters of the Marines who have been brought up on those charges. But one of the things that it seems to do is that it takes these guys out of combat, and it could be for years. In the case of the Haditha Marines, I think Chessani has his last hearing tomorrow, and Sgt Wuterich is still up for his court martial. But in regard to these SEALS, it blows my mind, Congressman, that they should have been authorized to execute the son of a bitch, yet they rough him up a little bit when they capture him, and they’re going to be put through this wringer. I think that is exceedingly ill-suited for the type of combat that we are dealing with here.

DH: Yeah. But you don’t have the right to…..just like Chesty Puller at Guadalcanal, they captured a bunch of Japanese as they were moving through the battlelines, and one of his lieutenants says “what are we going to do”; and as I recall Puller said ‘we’re moving too fast, we got to kill them’. Then they got into a quiet area, a secure area, and the same lieutenant or sergeant said, ”I didn’t shoot those guys back there, what do I do with them now?” And he said “now we’re secure, we got to keep them. You’ve got to protect them. We don’t shoot prisoners”. < p>

That’s not something we do.

You’re not authorized, no matter how heinous the guys are, you’re not authorized to do it. You can’t do it. And if you murder somebody you will be and should be brought up on charges. It’s a sad thing. It happens sometimes. There was a captain and a sergeant in World War II who were found guilty of machine-gunning a truck load of German prisoners. They were sent back to the front lines, and as I recall from reading the research, the captain and the sergeant were both killed in later combat. What that shows is that we realized even in those days that you had to abide by the law of war. On the other hand, it also shows that we kept our eye on the ball – we said ‘we also got to win this war’. So they sent those guys back to the front lines, and unfortunately they were killed. But we kept our eye on the ball. The point was winning. We had to win that war. That was a necessity; we had to keep forcing that front line.

AJM: Yeah, I know. It just rubs us the wrong way. I know Lynn and I have talked about this….

DH: If you look at the motion to suppress evidence, if evidence is found to be obtained in a criminal trial in the US, in a way that is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, then that evidence is suppressed. No matter how strong it is. That came I think, the original case was Davis vs. Mississippi, and that was a case in which a person who murdered an elderly lady had his fingerprints found on a windowsill of a window. But he was identified out of an unconstitutional lineup. And as a result of that, the evidence was suppressed, and he went free. With motions to suppress, we understand that the real result of that is going to be that killers do go free. And yet, we made a decision as a country that we would allow that, that it was more important to ensure that constitutional rights were not violated.

So society sacrifices even in the domestic scenario to ensure that criminals are treated in a constitutional manner. My point is that we carry that to the battlefield scenario in that we don’t murder prisoners. And you can’t murder prisoners. And you can’t abuse them.

On the other hand, you say we got a prisoner who has a fat lip….you’ve got to remember that these guys in combat are human, they’re not zombies, and again, they aren’t seminal men in black robes in a smoking lounge in the Supreme Court. They are out there in the middle of combat. And as one of the justices once remarked, you have to put them in that context, and understand those are decisions made in the heat of combat. You have to accord them that situation.

AJM: I think you nailed it on that last one. I think as you do find out some more information on this as it comes in – it’s exploded as an issue in the news now – so more and more information is coming out. It sounds like a ‘he said’ – he being the terrorist – versus ‘they said’, being the SEALS. So I would urge the people above who make these decisions to take the word of 4 SEALS over the word of a murderer….

GW: A terrorist

AJM: A terrorist, basically.

DH: I would agree with that.

And you know something else. Look at the disparity in standards here, and the unfairness that enshrouds this entire situation. That is, you had four contractors; they bumbled off the main road in Falluja in April of 2004, or late March of 2004. They were captured, grabbed by this crowd, presumably at the behest of this Al Qaeda leader. They were murdered. They were dragged through the streets. They were hung from that bridge and they were burned as I recall. And where the American press is going to focus is not on that fact, not on the remarkable cruelty of Al Qaeda and their ruthless nature, but it’s going to be on whether or not the guy that did this got a fat lip…

AJM: It’s frickin amazing…

DH: …whether we were mean to him. And one thing I really resented from the president in his remarks tonight. He said, “I have ordered that torture be stopped”.

AJM: No! He said WHAT??

LD: He said THAT??

DH: Yeah, he said “I ordered for torture to be stopped and Guantanamo to be closed”. You know there is only one major prison in the world that has never had a murder. And that’s Guantanamo. The President’s home prisons in Illinois have had multiple murders and he’s never called for any of them to be closed down. But beyond that, we do NOT torture people. Waterboarding is not torture.

LD: Amen!

DH: We use it as a training device for our own people. And I think it was Chris Matthews who asked me “then what’s your standard for what is torture?” So I said if we do it to ourselves in training, that should be an acceptable method for extracting information.

RM: There ya go.

DH: So now I have the lefties in the position where they have to say we basically torture our own people in training when we waterboard; for the president to say that!!

You know people around the world really do torture people. There are police departments that drive splints under people’s fingernails. And hook them up to batteries and electrocute them. And when they see that word ‘torture’, they think that’s what WE do. So when the president uses that term, because he’s now decided what has been heretofore considered to be allowable, this waterboarding, is now torture. When he uses that term, he denigrates our country, and he creates what he MUST know is a false impression. That is the impression that we somehow do electrocute people, that we do drive splinters under people’s fingernails, and we do enormous depravation of food and water--- which we simply do not do!

AJM: It fits nicely with his world view, as far as I know it to be. His entire life was mentored by radicals from Bill Ayers to Frank Marshall Davis to a plethora of communists and Palestinian rights activists, and blah blah blah. It’s part of his world view. He can’t shake it.

DH: Yeah. So we definitely got a mixed bag here with this guy. But I thought two major disservices to our country in this speech: One, saying that we tortured people. Another, saying that Iraq was a “bad war”, with all those guys at West Point, some of whom fought in Iraq. And lastly, giving an absolute date for leaving.

There’s never been a war in history that’s been won by establishing a quitting time. The clock doesn’t determine who wins these things.

Anyway, those are my views, and I know you had a few more questions here my friend.

AJM: Yes, yes. I’d like to return very briefly to our previous conversation on our global warming alarmist friends in the media and so forth. I know you’ve had access to the media now that you are out of Idaho. These E-mails that someone hacked into and released, from the East Anglia University, I believe, which is kind of the head operation for the global warming cabal, and global warming scientists. And they released those to the press. Come to find out these dirty suckers have been suppressing real scientific data and crafting the stuff to fit their own agenda, just like you said they did before we knew all this. In fact one of the guys had to step down from his prestigious post today. Its snowballing right back in their face…..

DH: I think what I told you before is this: That the evidence of global warming is very thin. Scientific evidence. That the ‘political evidence’, if you will, now dominates the discussion. And I think that part of that is ensuring that the scientists who don’t believe global warming is either as critical as its described, or that it exists at all, that they are pushed rapidly away from the forum, from the rostrum. And global warming has now become a political ‘fact’, rather than a scientific fact.

AJM: That’s a perfect way to state it. You don’t need to go any farther than that. These guys are in a heap of trouble so stay tuned…..

DH: Hey, incidentally you ought to pull…remember the guy who was the head of one of the major scientific groups. He passed away several years ago. Doggone it, I can’t remember…

AJM: The National Academy of Sciences?

DH: Yes, the National Academy of Sciences. You know who I’m talking about?

AJM: I know who you are talking about, but I don’t know his name.

DH: He was the senior statesman of scientists. He was the head of the National Academy of Scientists. And he was a staunch foe of the proposition of global warming. When I talked to you last time I had mentioned I saw his obituary, some time ago. And his statements ought to be pulled up.

AJM: I’ll look into that.

DH: At least when he was politically correct, he was considered to be a fairly revered scientist. (chuckles)

AJM: Yeah, until he went against the grain, then he was just an old coot.

DH: Yeah.

AJM: I’ll see if I can find it. It will be interesting to see how close he was to the truth. I think we are going to get a lot more revelations coming in the next months and weeks.

DH: Let’s just say there needs to be a REAL scientific debate.

AJM: Absolutely. Last question is not so topical, but it’s kind of important. And we can take it up again later if time expires on us. What do we need to do to actually turn back the massive growth in the federal government? Not just to stop the growth, but to reduce the scope of it. What do Republicans and conservatives, what message do we need to take forward to actually start chopping some of this stuff out. In your record, you have been on record as trying to get rid of the Department of Education, trying to get rid of the Art and Humanities, trying to get rid of even the Department of Energy at one point. So I know you’ve been down this road before. But I think at this time the country is ripe for actually looking seriously at slashing instead of just slowing. What is your recommendation?

DH: Well, one step that could be taken very quickly is to freeze non-defense discretionary. I think that ought to be frozen. But the annual growth in non-defense discretionary spending could be taken down very quickly.

AJM: There goes Obama’s agenda…

DH: Yeah, you’ve got to realize that necessity is the mother of invention. And I think we are seeing the very difficult times right now, where we are basically printing a lot of money, which has to have an inflationary effect. And the alternative to becoming fiscally responsible is to have massive inflation to pay off this huge amount of borrowing that has attended this last period of time. I’m just an old retired guy now, but I think we are going to have to take very, very strong steps and I think it’s going to be a result of coming up against the brink of massive inflation!

AJM: Yes. Do you still advocate getting rid of the Department of Energy, maybe transferring over its useful functions to….

DH: Oh absolutely!! I think we can get rid of A LOT of departments. And we can also cut….one thing I did for years as the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, initially chairman of the procurement subcommittee, was to cut the ‘shoppers’. That is the bureaucracy that just purchases weapons systems. These are not the folks that do the engineering, not the folks that bend the metal and make these things. At one point we had two Marine Corps of shoppers, professional shoppers. That’s almost 300,000 in the Department of Defense. They did the paperwork for acquisitions for systems. At one point, if you bought a $10 million helicopter, you spent $3 million on the shopping bureaucracy for purchasing it. So we were cutting 25,000 folks a year, much to the consternation of the Pentagon.

We’ve got a massive bureaucracy. I think it’s instructive that the only job sector that has increased during this period of massive job losses has been in many cases government jobs.

I got to go here pretty quick old kid, but go ahead.

AJM: I just wanted to add to that. I read that Obama was bringing in 20,000 more shoppers to the Pentagon.

DH: (laughs)

AJM: Probably people that were lobbying for such because they lost their jobs when you were running the thing.

DH: That’s too bad. That’s money that doesn’t go to the troops, it doesn’t go to ammunition, it doesn’t go to make things. It simply goes for paperwork.

AJM: Do you think it’s still possible to dump some of these things, like the Dept. of Education that I…

DH: That obviously requires a political change. And it’s going to require a Republican administration.

AJM: Another one I think should go away and give the money back to the states is HUD. There’s a whole plethora of ones like that I think we can work towards eliminating.

DH: You’re never going to get that kind of trimming until you get a conservative, Republican administration. But for us, it’s just having a nice conversation. That’s all its doing. Some of the things we talked about are achievable, like winning in Afghanistan – we could do that with the Obama administration. But if your talking about getting rid of all these departments in the federal government that is not possible with the Obama administration. (laughs)

It is just us having a nice conversation.

AJM: That is true. Well we’ll let you go and….

LD: Wait, wait, wait. Congressman Hunter?

DH: Sure, Lynn.

LD: Was it Frank Press for the Academy of Science?

DH: Now which name did you say?

LD: Frank Press?

DH: I’m just not sure. You know a friend of mine sent me his obituary here some months ago. He was very old. There can’t have been that many presidents of the Academy of Sciences.

LD: Now I had them here just a second ago now and I picked him as the most likely one…

DH: He was quite a senior citizen. And he passed away within the last several years.

LD: DO you know when he was president, how long ago.

DH: No, but it couldn’t have been too long ago.

AJM: Well, we’ll research it. We’ll figure it out.

DH: Yeah, look into it.

LD: I thought if I said the name, Jim, he might remember….

DH: No. No, I don’t recall his name. OK. Listen. Thanks so much guys for tuning in here. And let’s hope our country survives these difficult times.

AJM: And thank you for going out and promoting some of these great candidates to take some of these democratic seats. You have a nice stable there, Mr. Hunter.

DH: We are going to try to help as many as we can. When I come into their districts, there numbers may drop a few points, but I’m going to help them anyway.

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: OK, we’ll just talk next week then.

DH: OK. Goodnight.

ALL: Goodnight.