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Busy week here in Washington with new developments in several scandals and the president announcing a major shift in the war on terror.
Bryant joining us to talk about all of that is the number two Democrat in the senate Dick Durbin who's in Springfield Illinois.
And Republican senator Lindsey Graham from Columbia, South Carolina.
Senators I want to start with the Justice Department targeting reporters and national security leagues.
Here is what attorney general holder told a congressional committee a few days ago.
The focus should be on those people who great miracles and put the American people.
Not reporters who gathering this information that's not the focus of these men of the of these investigations.
But it turned out that holder signed off on an affidavit for a search warrant and one leak case and I want to bring that up -- you here's what.
That affidavit sat there is probable cause to believe the reporter in this case -- -- is is James Rosen.
Has committed a violation of the Espionage Act either as an -- a better and the war co conspirator.
And you got senator Graham despite that clear contradiction between what holders that anybody actually dead.
President Obama is asking the attorney general to investigate his own actions.
Well this a bigger -- have a special counsel come forward -- some.
Independent group to look at it James Rosen has a lot of things -- criminal tokens that are conspirator he is not we're beginning to criminalize.
Journalism and I think that should worry assault but having said that from classified information is leaked out in the public that they can put our operations are American.
Operatives in harm's way we've got to find a way to pursue that too but this is clearly an overreach.
It is senator Durbin how can we expect.
Attorney general holder to honestly review -- in a factor -- own actions isn't that by definition a conflict of interest.
Well its interest in that the attorney general recused himself from the other case involving Associated Press because he believed there was some conflict inherent.
In it may raise the same question in this case.
But let's not forget Chris on Memorial Day weekend and what this is really all about it is a question of classified information.
Someone working for our government on our side.
Violated -- oath and disclose that information to the press and it happens with some frequency -- my dad.
But having done that what does the government to do if in fact that disclosure could endanger our military forces are those who were cooperating with us.
To fight terrorism.
It is a constant tension between the government.
And our freedoms under the civil right under the bill of rights that we see playing out in both the Associated Press case and -- -- case.
But you talk about Memorial Day weekend is also about the First Amendment and the role the very important -- that the media like.
Honestly are you comfortable with the idea that the president has asked the attorney general to review.
The attorney general's own -- Well you you've raised an important point I heard senator Graham call for special counsel I'm not ready to do this at this moment.
I'd like to know if holder has any conflict in -- beyond what we've heard.
When it comes to the fox case.
But but here's the bottom line the media shield law.
Which I'm prepared to support I know senator Graham supports still leaves an unanswered question whichever is many times.
What is -- journalists today in 2013.
We know -- someone who works for fox or AP but doesn't include a blogger does include someone who's -- Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection.
We need to -- -- -- first century questions about a provision and our constitution that was written over 200 years ago.
Gentlemen let's turn to the IRS scandals as -- we got a lot of ground to cover here senator Graham -- say that President Obama may not have directly ordered.
The -- -- target conservative -- with that there was a culture of political.
Manipulation that filtered down from the White House explain what -- Well I think that the president has basically told some of -- supporters you know.
The best way to get back at somebody is is to win sort of talking about.
Revenge this you know take no prisoners attitude there's clearly an organized effort within the IRS to target political.
Opponents of the president that's undeniable.
-- -- such a culture come about how fast was it who is involved.
This really does call for a special counsel.
The DOJ guidelines about dealing with journalist leaks are leaks of classified information goes back to the seventies.
We need to review that but -- my belief about -- scandal is it.
This culture of going after Tea Party groups that were you know all the president's case about Obama -- It did just not accidentally happen I think it comes from the top in terms of -- Senator Durbin -- -- pick up on this culture.
Starting in twenty -- a number of democratic senators democratic senators sent letters to the IRS.
Asking them to investigate.
Various groups that they said we're seeking tax exempt status but were improperly involved in politics now in October of 2010 -- sent a letter to the IRS.
In which you talked about going after groups.
But you only mentioned one specifically by name and I want to put up this from the October.
2010 letter that you wrote to the I -- one organization whose activities appear to be inconsistent.
-- -- tax status as crossroads GPS that of course the group co founded by Karl Rove questions senator why single out.
When you didn't mention a single liberal group and there were -- -- that we're applying for tax exempt status not at exactly that point.
With the -- name progress.
In their nine.
I -- I -- just a flat out why did it because that crossroads organization was boasting about how much money they were raising.
As a 501 C four let's get back to the basics Citizens United.
Really unleashed hundreds if not thousands of organizations.
Seeking tax exempt status to play in political campaigns the law we wrote this congress said.
That they had to exclusively.
Be engaged in social welfare and not politics and campaigning.
And so here's the RS trying to decide whether or not these organizations.
Really comply with the law crossroads was -- today there were boast -- about how much of what is.
Senator -- and -- Democrat senator -- us briefly why not.
Because we we're now in the mess that we're in because of political targeting why not send a letter that says go after any group of any political persuasion why not.
And refrain from singling out a conservative group and never mentioned any liberal group.
Well explain that once Chris but you know Karl Rove was making these posts and saying he was -- -- raise so much money millions of dollars.
And I knew that if they went in to investigate this group every other group will be put on notice.
I've also said from the beginning Chris there is no basis for targeting within the IRS.
Would -- basically need to say is all groups need to have the law applied to them equally.
-- in this situation Karl Rove was front listener and proud of it and that's why -- mentioned his organization.
All right let's talk about the president's big speech this week.
In which he said that we are entering a new phase in the war on terror take a look at the president's comments.
-- beyond Afghanistan.
We must define our effort not as a boundless global war on terror.
But rather as a series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.
As senator Durbin the president said war as must and but the fact is the Cold War lasted for forty years.
Isn't there a danger of declaring an end to this war too soon.
You know James Madison was quoted by the president he basically said if you want to preserve freedom it's difficult to do.
If you have a continuous war with the president is saying to us -- jobs and that was during world -- there.
Well I can tell you that we have to stop and think many times during the Cold War can I go back to McCarthy era.
And talk about the witch hunts for those who were thought to be Communist.
You just spotted in a war like atmosphere that -- end up compromising some basic values and basic freedoms and liberties that's what the president reminded us.
Now I'm I'm not gonna take lightly the terrorism threat against the United States but if we are constantly thinking this thinking of this in the context of war.
We stand the very real risk of doing things -- compromise our values and freedoms.
That senator Graham what is your biggest practical worry about the president's saying that we are in a new phase in and some sense.
Laying out an exit strategy for the global war on terror.
At a time we need resolve the most we're sounding retreat.
Our enemies are -- -- and all over the planet al-Qaeda in Iraq is kind of that would vengeance.
And -- -- saw al-Qaeda groups and Yemen and Libya working together.
Our friends on certain serious falling apart we're talking about helping the rebels but be doing nothing about it Iran is marching toward a nuclear weapon.
The challenge of our time as he weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of radical Islamist.
And we're failing in not being serious about fall apart the chemical weapons there and -- to kill thousands not millions of Americans can be compromised.
Israel is very -- about what's happening in Syria.
Iran is marching toward a nuclear weapon and we show this lack of resolve.
Talking about the war being over what you think the Iranians are thinking.
At the end of the day this is the most tone -- president I've ever could imagine making sexist speech at the time on our homeland.
Is tried to be attacked literally every day changing the standards of when you can.
Go after somebody would -- it has it continuing imminent threat.
Two the American people was no chance of civilian casualties virtually no chances of being casualties.
I think we're diminishing our national security infrastructure sequestration is dismantling the military -- town we need it the most.
I've never seen I've never been more worried about our national security event I am right now on this speech did not help.
Gentlemen we got about a minute left I'm gonna ask you do well -- well what bothers is that same kindergarten and -- that time equally.
The president and Defense Secretary haggle both this week went to service academies and apple -- the West Point.
And spoke about that that really serious problem of sexual assault inside the military and a pentagon study that is just out.
Estimates that 26000.
Members of the armed forces face sexual assault lasted 26000 members specific like.
Each of your 32 start -- he is -- Durban.
What can and should congress do to try to get.
A handle -- and stop this problem.
Well there are several things we need to do but I want to salute you women of the senate both Democrats and Republicans.
Who were stepping up on this issue and in a determined effort to stop what is truly -- scourge on the military.
We need to make certain that those were victims step forward knowing they'll be protected and have a chance to have their day in court a court they can trust.
We need to make a new culture when it comes to the command structure within the military.
So that this is unacceptable intolerable.
And those who are engaged in it will pay a price that I think we understand the future of the military is a military with both men and women in leadership.
Our salute to women who serve -- -- putting up with a way too much crap.
This needs to end when a victim comes forward they should have an advocate to walk -- through the military justice system and commanders who allow this to continue to.
The flourish part frankly should be fired.
And now the president spoke well of this problem it is a disgrace to the united states military.
And the women and our military are needed now more than ever and -- putting up with a way too much.
And it needs to end senator Graham senator Durbin we want to thank you both for coming in and joining us on this Memorial Day we can thank you gentlemen.
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