Special Report Online: 4/18/12
Government's handling of recent scandals
- Duration 27:31
- Date Apr 18, 2012
Government's handling of recent scandals
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Welcome to another edition of special report on line I'm Bret -- if you haven't been here before welcome aboard.
This is the place where you can ask questions make comments.
To the panel in Iraq if you will.
Will be voting on these polls underneath here will be scrolling through throughout the show.
And don't get frustrated if you don't see your question or comment were put him in the middle as fast as we can thousands of just thousands on right now.
Here at the panel -- Houston and Charles we kind of -- that second segment short about the photos in Afghanistan.
Because of time but Charles you had something I'm sure.
Solutions to say but not fifty yeah.
That guy I think there's another aspect it is and I think that we -- -- -- -- segment.
And that is a remarkable double standard in the media about its -- what's happened on Obama's watch in Afghanistan.
The burning of the caller on.
There -- incident earlier on of troops urinating on the corpses.
The enemy in the massacre of the religious seventeen.
By an American soldiers -- now they're playing would body parts of suicide attackers.
If and this is a game that we often play of this -- happened in the Bush Administration.
But notice how none of it is attached to Obama or his team whereas Abu Ghraib was covered as if the orders have come from president -- -- Dick Cheney and the secretary of defense I mean that's the way it was treated they were directly indirectly that was the climate or whatever you wanna say.
And I think that is it's simply a function of who's in office had you have the Bush Administration in office -- all of these events.
You would've had it all tied to somehow the climate divides the implication.
The you know -- That the -- -- -- inherent.
In the Bush Administration rubbing off on the troops it's not how it's covered with Obama.
And that they use a glaring double standard.
Cures and look how concerned are you about the -- soldier images from Afghanistan -- this ongoing.
A 25% say very somewhat 18% not very 57%.
It does seem line -- -- and you heard Ralph Peters and obviously his.
He said that wasn't good what the soldiers did but he's very upset about the the reaction to it do you think.
That most in the military or most in the government.
Are more towards.
Worried about it or more towards this is just part of war is -- Well I think one of the problems as the Afghanistan war of course this has gone on for eleven years it's not popular and there have been.
Just there's been this horror show of things happening there.
And -- -- what this does is it just adds to that list and it just makes it even.
I think makes people ask again what are we doing parent we -- a lot wire we still there a look at look at what's happening with these.
Soldiers and ends on that sense I think it just it eats away at -- -- little support may still exist for the war which is very -- They looked amazing as it is the most photographed covers you know moderate war history.
God knows if we have had you know sap cameras and then and that's has in World War II anyway that and and -- newspapers and TV thought that's appropriate to -- -- -- these things.
What we would have seen and you know how many if you platoons has done bad things in Afghanistan and Iraq and unbelievably high percentage into done nothing I -- would have heard about it.
If something it happened it's hard to believe -- one who hasn't.
Grudge hasn't had plenty of incentive now to come forward and then -- the -- -- people who are out there -- looking for misdeeds by US troops so I think the big picture is.
And amazingly well disciplined force when you get a case like this in the news of the time and that they had a problem -- -- there was a fantastic.
Obviously outfit that that they have had some issues that -- was they had a very tough deployment 35.
Men killed in this in this per -- didn't you know your buddies get blown up by and I you do you -- suicide bomber and you.
Two days you know if later you find -- a list of remains of -- suicide bomber.
And right so you -- you do something you shouldn't do which is you hold up a body part or stand next to it that's it I mean that's really of this is that really the.
Doug and sulphur Louisiana says the video of decapitation by the terrorists is a horror shown not to -- at times photo others say -- war is hell.
-- -- -- -- I just gonna say I -- I you expect tonight and -- defer to the doctor on the panel but.
There has there has been some talk but not enough talk I think about the psychological impact of of these soldiers being.
Gone for so long going on multiple deployments have some of them haven't seen their families you know hardly all in the last ten years and you do have to wonder what kind of told -- that takes time person on and how hard it is to to keep your humanity when you're living in constant fear of being killed.
And when you're having your friends killed.
You know by by these people so.
I'm not making excuses from -- it is something that needs to consider.
I'll just say having been over there thirteen times.
The minority exponentially.
The minority of people that you run into and soldiers who are essentially running villages and towns like mayors.
And have amazing responsibility -- point 112223.
This is infinitesimal.
In the giant scheme of all the people who have been in and out of Afghanistan I think -- Absolutely true and I think -- of the vision we have he's completely skewed by the way everything is covered.
Not only was this stuff and I've seen in World War II even if it were captured on camera and the cameramen would never send him in any of they had it would have been censored there was heavy censorship.
Of anything coming in even on our own casualties as a way to keep up.
For more around secondly those -- worked unbelievably savage and intensity.
We lost about half a million men.
Here when we lose a thousand dollar -- 6000.
Yes it's a long war but it's nothing near the savage intensity of the Second World War.
Where these kinds of things were far more prevalent I think the Americans today in Iraq and in Afghanistan that's conducted probably.
The cleanest of the most restrained wars in the history of mankind.
Even compared with previous American history a discipline.
Second home new culture in the west the last fifty years for example.
The death penalty in most of the west is out we have different standards and -- the coverage so we hear about.
These we know a minute instances.
And I would say on the scale of offenses what was -- -- depicted in the times.
That you know in those pictures is way way down the scale compared with.
Anything like me -- or massacres or or you know or even the abusive of prisoners of that kind of thing so I don't.
Uniting -- -- -- out of proportion because of coverage in history and that we we ought to be aware of that.
And we really be proud of the way our soldiers have conducted themselves it's extraordinary -- -- historically.
Chris from -- says let's move on to a different topic.
Okay Chris you've got it.
These scandals bill this should the director of the -- -- be fired yes.
Should the GSA be eliminated -- yes 87%.
It would scandal is the worst fast and fierce 81% GSA 14% Secret Service 4% soldier pictures 1%.
These are just some polls rolling in the bottom screen that said these you know it is taking a lot of oxygen out of Washington cup match.
This GSA Secret Service story.
And while the going bad is that President Obama is not directly tied to him to either one.
Is there a perception issue that starts to seep into.
A an administration that has touted not being scandalized.
I think if it's a government -- -- I would actually not to be too pedantic distinguish the scandals and the secret services guys behaving badly.
There's no allegations.
I know of is -- GSA thing where there's -- as blatant misuse of government funds or fast and furious Justice Department and government.
Action that went awry and that apparently wasn't there weren't entirely candid about or -- and afterwards or slender so.
I think you know and administration -- we have held responsible for the government -- down on its.
On its watch and if a few Secret Service agents -- few soldiers or whatever -- -- Do you to foolish things -- good and bad things they should be disciplined but I and find a little hard Armisen playing.
For the president for the secret service's actions you know.
If I shouldn't even.
Goodell wrote that if somebody jokes and criticism that comes to mind that I always strain myself from trying -- that's not why -- -- -- The GSA thing.
Why I don't see how you can be -- blame Obama for the GSA fan and -- -- -- -- the government you've worked in the government I mean then the system and concerned that how on earth with the president or even anybody in the west -- know that this is going on I happen to think.
That this is not commonplace it was not my experience and and I was in the White House but.
We were very careful with the way we spend money for you know chips that we went on and things like that I don't think most people -- like whipping it up in the hot tubs drinking champagne.
Quite an amazing -- -- and it.
Obama speaks about -- Democrats learned.
Thirty years ago the party of tax and spend you never -- The Euro ways you know you're you're investing.
And spending -- -- -- venue in the investing.
And investment in what I mean it Democrats have a party of government.
Of course is that directly related to Obama -- that they believe in spending lots and lots of money.
Chinese -- -- -- -- all kinds of programs and everybody knows it's sort of inherent human nature.
The -- in your regime and have less care.
And more negligence and abuse and -- the money is yours and that's the main argument again.
Against taxing -- see you take money out of the private sector.
And you give it to bureaucrats who are gonna spend some of them well in scrupulously.
But generally speaking far less well than money left.
In the private sector that's the general argument of conservatives.
So I think to the extent did you get a great.
Scandal like that this will run clowns and -- time leaders -- leaders the whole thing.
It illustrates exactly that that kind of abstraction.
In a way that I think has kind of a subliminal effect is gonna -- to affect the election night down.
But it doesn't hurt to -- doesn't help if you -- the party of government.
-- mean -- okay to that point bill I mean as you're talking about taxes and people paying more taxes even on the higher end.
And you look at this guy in this hot tub with two glasses of wine and you think where's the money that we send to Washington going I know what's it.
This can act but there's something.
Subconscious is in there about it having an effect.
We -- if you talk to democratic pollsters one of the biggest things -- certainly never gonna this is what's hurt the democratic party of the last 3040 years why did Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson -- landslide victories and Democrats now what were rarely win national victories.
This was a one point people had great faith in government.
-- -- suggested and now they tend not to and obviously if you see government funds being squandered to say the least and misappropriated and government.
Doing things it shouldn't be doing.
You're gonna have less faith in -- -- in that respect and a very simple way I think the overall I'm not I don't know whether the Obama administration's mortgage scandals or fewer than the bush.
Four years or Clinton I mean that's -- a different question -- in the general sense of you know do we wanna be sending more government is what party supported wants to expand government -- the -- -- -- to restrict government somewhat.
Obviously just incentives in the private sector and Wall Street scandals have hurt the party of -- -- leave all the money in the private sector let's trust big business so right -- -- Kevin -- Brett please say quote.
Houston's Kevin from Morgan -- -- very fair minded.
Thank you come from -- and Chris from Nashville says -- where -- at the same hotel as the Secret Service and -- -- -- You know the first day when we did the show on Friday it was at a hotel created and all the white house press was there I actually -- in different hotel.
And you knew it was -- I knew it was going now I didn't.
Now why it was surreal being there when here we are at the summit.
How we're talking about expansion of business opportunities in Latin America and all -- getting covered these guys with prostitutes it's it's truly amazed.
OK Zach -- did the Secret Service.
Guys actually break any law.
Not in Columbia didn't but whether they broke a law.
They broke their code for letting.
People the possibility that they would be blackmailed.
And somehow threatened the security grounds that these were -- Also they know the whereabouts of the president and -- his every movement they know everywhere he's gonna go -- women coming into their rounds I mean look the chances of them even be looking for that but it is putting.
It could potentially put the president at risk and I think that.
Yes it violated their code the military actually in 2004 had said.
To make an anti prostitution.
Code precisely because they felt that they work.
Contributing to sex trafficking essentially and an and -- did he needed a much faster -- Rule about that and I guess they don't hound them for the Secret Service exists this just in quiet but they didn't realize -- Brenda asked Brett did you get to see Shakira.
Brenda she was there she spoke at the conference denouncing here but I did see -- -- by Carlos Venus -- Friend like you don't want to see we're down there's -- -- didn't -- -- I got -- right.
And he knew he could.
Let's -- voter fraud here.
Well look I mean it's a remarkable to me now some things it's a simple issue is turned into a racial issue a class issue.
I mean if and you know Utah and in the show we talked about the campaign by.
What's in the nose in the White House says Van Jones the famous -- certainly used to be in the way.
Again it's an organization that supported.
The voter -- and calling it racist well of that is races.
Then he got -- start a campaign against -- united and delta and all the other airlines.
Who also require.
A photo ID if you weigh in on their airplanes on -- discrimination against African Americans.
He -- to started campaigning in the Justice Department.
Because you can't get into the building -- -- -- have a photo ID so they can racist it is preposterous.
The idea is that we all know that there are people who vote who shouldn't vote.
-- of -- generally the laws are extremely -- you can impersonate anybody and in places move like Chicago and elsewhere it is a legend.
That dead people -- and amazing to miraculous way there's even Easter.
And end up at the polls -- you know I of their stories about a 1960 campaign.
I've heard from Democrats.
Who said that you know those democratic manager for that in Texas called -- one of the precincts and that's what the for the vote.
Was how many excessive Democrats and the -- said how many do you need.
Well that's how it works and that's -- this is at least attempting to curtail.
Like a tough -- and many Democrats make it.
That this is somehow disenfranchising.
Minorities and there are many people on the side -- it's just and I.
And this is one of those arguments that I feel.
Democrats are sort of trapped in the past Saturday at one point taking this was true.
You know and -- world places or you know with with people who.
You know couldn't read or a raider you know it in it in different timer when African Americans were very afraid of the government things like -- Yet now today I'm just not on board with this I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect someone to get.
Let's go and and raises the money to pay for them to get the ID which is not that much money and give some of forms and tells them how to do it.
And in many states the government does today.
Offers a program practically I think of free ID.
And helps him to get it in a way that that is sort of serves that public they're sixteen states that passed laws requiring photo ID.
There -- another sixteen that require some form of ID though not necessarily a photo.
So I mean you could get your birth certificate you could get.
A number of things -- but there are several states.
The utility Bill Murray -- state laws had a number of them have been blocked by the Justice Department and there's litigation ongoing.
And we've just had some rulings from some appeals courts saying that impart some of those laws are worse.
Upholding bill what about this and how big initiatives -- -- color of change then Jones group is is saying.
They need to go after these companies that supported this American legislative exchange council Alec.
Which is a group sort of fit state legislators that tries to push among other things of our citizens various.
Professionals as the most of the photo ID laws of the state level.
Allow they don't stop the person -- voting exactly dump a lot of -- allow provisional vote.
I mean you'd and then you later on can revisit the issue of whether you were who you said you were you can go home get your whatever you know gas bill or something like that so.
Well I think -- -- van Jones and and these activists are using this is a way to rally the democratic base and particularly to rally minority voters because as -- -- -- currently 4050 years ago this was a wave discriminating.
I literacy tests were -- that this sort of vaguely fits in you know.
And I -- some ID if you know southern Alabama 1962 -- requiring an ID was probably not but.
An attempt by the government to make sure you were you said you were.
-- -- sometimes and therefore I am I do think this is center at least a serious attack at dispute about policy issue.
It's an attempt to rally.
Democratic voters to make them think that the Republican Party doesn't want them to vote.
When I don't understand -- I thought the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law and to some years ago so it's constitutional.
So what's the argument I mean it's constitutional it's -- going to be racist so what's the basis for saying.
For -- for -- -- just his environment running to throw out of these laws I don't quite get it.
Presenting anything that this of -- years I'll Samuel -- Should Romney used this as an election year issue.
I'm not sure that it helps Republicans I think if it's brought up by Democrats -- clearly indicates is a way to rally.
The troops clearly you know if you have high and employment agreement African Americans and minorities.
Putting into appeal to even say the Republicans are racist and I think you really.
Counterattack on that but I wouldn't believe when that I don't see the benefit in leading when it.
Consumer rather run this is -- -- -- earlier morality.
Actually more thought about Romney campaign and I think other conservatives -- Republicans -- attack the Obama administration on everything attacked for Jones.
When Mitt Romney should stay above all these little phrase.
And should not even look backwards and we shouldn't go on about the GSA's -- something he needs to say this is what I'm gonna do to prevent.
-- -- govern the country to take a veteran a better direction of President Obama would take it based on his record so far what we've I think I don't.
Great temptation I'm a big you know let's get it twice governor Romney's slamming -- -- white house on this but I just think let and there are plenty of Republicans and conservatives will slam the west all these things.
His main test tested two units of 3456.
Assessment voters that he is up to be present -- Let me push back as -- talked to some people and they say.
They like the Mitt Romney that short of that Florida debate against Newt Gingrich and was firing was emotional was pushing back on a number of different points and they -- that he was.
Taking them you know the red meat.
Two are on the attack.
Now Romney's default position sometimes when he gets into what you're saying trying to be above the fray.
Is it sometimes can sound computer.
Like -- -- like he's repeating his economic talking points of the question is can you get an emotional forward leaning Romney with what's your sense.
Human hue and emotional for the human comedy it's yes for the sort of mostly positive before looking message I would say yes and I do think that things -- hammering Newt Gingrich.
And you know and Rick Santorum it to basically disqualified them and it's -- nominating contests for the presidency.
He's running as -- -- -- -- states it just looks silly if you say the guy can't be president as he is present -- season been for existence for almost four years.
-- you know and he's not been impeached in the country is chugging along and it's not -- this wasn't should be doing.
I don't think a personal assault on I think for a group of Americans remain respectful president's most Americans.
The question this lucky numbers are already majority vote remember here's what they can it's always forget I've -- -- in politics the majority Americans voted for Barack Obama.
In nineteen in 2008.
Some percentage of those and learn from you need to -- get away you don't get somewhere -- were saying you you're an idiot how did you ever voted for that guy.
You say you know I understand what the -- was he had a bipartisan appeal you retired of the bush years.
He hasn't taught us what you should have done and I can do better you need a little bit of honey to win over voters who after all don't wanna stick say to themselves.
You know how could I even have ever considered voting for this guy he's so obviously disqualifies him running it's incumbent president where by definition you -- win over some voters who voted for him that's where is incumbent.
There's a little it's a tricky task actually and a -- and not like you're in the position -- Give me round -- but I agree with -- and I think it's great advice and I and I think.
I -- recently -- some concern in criticizing Obama has been in of the former community organizer and I thought really you know.
He has been presidents like let's not forget -- -- the idea that he doesn't have experience it just doesn't doesn't wash anymore.
And and I think -- that's actually really good advice and I think he is -- -- Mitt Romney is diminished if -- he does get into any kind of personal attacks the other -- would say is.
Remember the people who are saying they like that Mitt Romney were the conservative base and these are people who are looking for red meat and that situation.
-- the -- -- voters -- the people you -- trying to -- -- maybe even some Democrats.
They're not looking for the same thing.
But I think there are times and you can land 11 punch for example when they got this gift of the war on moms.
You know the attack on -- around -- I think committing only game one says that -- and run into the single week.
And that's the way you want -- you know it was slightly offended also slightly smiling and -- things and if -- -- it's easy to race.
-- the Boise give it a shot.
That I think is a way to do it if you -- you should counterattack.
But -- the heavy lumber ought to be.
From -- what you do is -- can sort of a show of it feel like superiority you know I can't believe he said to somebody.
Said that on behalf of Democrats and -- then that's gonna work but I think.
Generally speaking yes you have to sell himself -- the president.
Sell himself as somebody reasonable and I think there's -- -- One other aspect it's good for the country.
To run against Obama and -- say every it is wrong side or we were if if the -- Republicans are gonna win.
They need to mandate and they are taking a huge risk in embracing the budget that Ryan and propose it was not required it wasn't necessary I can assure you.
If the rose had been reversed Democrats would not have proposed a budget like that.
But it's a serious proposal that would change the country if Romney is to win and if he were to win I think -- have a mandate to do it.
And that would be hugely refreshing because you need that otherwise nothing happens after Election Day.
-- if you -- left VP picks.
Where -- -- the pick someone thinks it's I just before I give me.
-- hit -- two finalists Paul Ryan and Rob Portman.
All right Rob Portman you have -- Colorado Wisconsin congressman Rob Portman the senator from Ohio.
I think that also I'm I'm not saying I would just say do this there are others were -- to -- and others who have good fix.
But I think when you do combination of who helps you get elected who Romney's comfortable with who he would feels -- -- qualified to be vice president and often says the right message about how is going to govern.
I think he comes down to choice which -- -- writer Rob Portman to -- here's.
And I'm and I have to -- to you are plugged into this kind of stature in what -- I'm sure I'm wrong.
Yeah probably not always feels like rubio seems to be you're the one that everybody gets so excited about the so I don't you know.
-- and Paul Paul Ryan I feel.
He's he's just seems really young.
I don't know why he I know he's not that young but there's something about him but -- and then he's very he's -- -- -- -- as -- together you know in order for some reason he.
Comes off as -- very -- I'm just wondering among.
It's feel well it's -- she looks -- -- voters -- Let's get and it's.
Here a Democrat can say I can say casinos are being friendly.
Rubio rubio I think those -- the two insurance if we're assuming he's -- -- only he gets through the -- betting is is clean I think he's the clear choice.
-- Ryan is redundant because he is going to be driving the congress and Romney presidency will be.
A partnership that I think he'll be more important than anybody.
-- -- vice president he will be you know essentially be the of the de -- number two.
In changing the country but so I'm not sure it's necessary.
And I think Portman would be a clear choice Ohio if you think that's would.
You need to go over the top he's responsible he has a little bit of a -- and that he was a bush OMB director so.
The word bushel pop up here and there but I imagine it's gonna have a dramatic effect it's actually rubio -- report.
Okay I say.
Mitch Daniels or review.
-- the same thing okay that's -- oh by the way this is setting a horrible precedent but Justin.
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