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Up next on med journal editorial report president Obama making good on some campaign promises signing an order to close gitmo and putting an end to aggressive interrogation tactics.
But Kennedy -- the -- and keep America safe plus part part two how we'll the second half of the bailout money be used.
Ended congressman Barney Frank pulled some strings to get millions for -- home state bank and certainly Tim Geithner should -- 34000.
Dollars hack his state disqualifying.
Him in The Journal Editorial Report begins.
-- -- Be following through on.
Not just a commitment I made during the campaign.
But I think.
An understanding that dates back to our founding fathers that we are willing to.
-- -- Course standards of conduct.
Not just what it's easy but also want to talk.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- -- that was president Barack Obama making good on some campaign promises in his first week signing a series of executive orders closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Shutting down CIA's secret prisons and banning aggressive interrogation tactics the measures will go a long way to appeasing the laughed but will they keep.
America safe joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan and anger editorial.
Board member Jason Riley and Washington columnist Kim Straus and the left is aliens and the media are hailing this as a big break from the Bush Administration policies how.
Big break is it really and what the consequences for security.
Well to quote the title of a famous old thirties movie in name only.
They've committed themselves to doing these things but as.
President Obama said -- -- one -- -- goes he will set up a process to close Guantanamo.
And it's it's in terms interrogations they're going to look at whether certain kinds of quote on quote aggressive interrogations.
May in fact the appropriate.
You know we had Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff commend to see -- a while Pope Paul and he said.
I have to say the difference between being on the outside and criticizing even good faith criticism and being in that job and bearing the responsibility.
And knowing what you're responsible for is the difference between night and day it is a lot harder than they think it.
Yes and the president saying that the a lot of these guys are Guantanamo are really dangerous something like exactly what he said yes.
You know he's fulfilling a campaign promise as a sudden excitement.
And he wants to appease some on the left who wanted him to do this but now it's also got the responsibility of keeping the country safe and when you close Guantanamo you have a couple of issues to deal with.
You have a lot of dangerous people back some of which.
Well some of whom want to return of the battlefield one about a six at the Pentagon has has something like sixty have already done so well one that we released an -- -- and has shown up leading al-Qaeda and Yemen.
We don't want that to happen.
Those some Obama's doesn't want it wants to try and US -- is this possible given the rules of evidence in our criminal justice system so he's created some problems as well.
And nobody wants those Guantanamo -- -- national -- can't -- or or neighborhood near you or prison near you which could potentially become a target -- -- you were present Guantanamo.
We -- of them -- not inside the United States -- even the -- themselves to be targets for prison -- -- -- Jason let me ask -- but interrogations how much of -- change is Obama really making their.
But applying the army field manual techniques which are very limited for interrogation now.
To all detained -- got a couple issues there again it's easier on the campaign trail to denounce these these up policy is but launcher put him.
And in in charge of the responsibility of the safety of Americans it's another -- a matter if you announce to the world.
Including the terrorists that we're gonna use this army field manual on the one hand you're telling.
The terrorists how to prepare to resist an interrogation ware knows from their material kitty -- -- for the army -- -- but -- Obama wants it both ways he wants the setup a system.
Where if we need to use more forceful interrogation tactics will be able acidity a special task force set up as part of its its secular with the attorney general on the Defense Secretary.
And the Director of National Intelligence to see if some of the current the current.
Aggressive techniques that the CIA uses and they've only used it about about a hundred detainees according to my K in the current directory if those -- fact.
Allowable so there is this tension what's the you want to Jack Bauer exception if we really need it.
Yeah I -- part of the problem is that Tom if they go too far if they make it it's the state legally.
It if they make the the FBI agents and the CI AI agents legally vulnerable what they will do is go on strike they will stop.
Acting and then.
If you're going to have an administration which does not want to use the military is going to rely much more heavily on intelligence you want the CIA and FBI being aggressive.
The Obama administration.
And Democrats on Capitol Hill and many on the left and in the media about a so called truth commission for bush policies and potential prosecution.
Of bush officials for their anti terror policies how serious are Democrats in congress about going after this.
Oh they are.
Very serious he had John Conyers who has a House Judiciary Committee introduce legislation to create sisters commission.
You also have a lot of pressure from him.
And senators and a lot of other house Democrats for the incoming Justice Department created special prosecutor to look into what they consider to be.
Bush crimes out war crimes and conducting interrogations and other issues -- what are what are some neat.
What are some of these issues and -- one of these of the what do what what what are they want to investigate specific.
If they want to look into what they mean this is why you are hearing a lot of questions right now of Obama's nominees about whether or not.
Friends and they consider waterboarding to be torture.
And you have had some different varying answers from his administration officials are coming -- but they want to be able to say that those sort of enhanced interrogation techniques.
Were word torture and are punishable under law they also want to suggest that this was.
Was that a grand conspiracy it was have developed from the top the highest ranks the Bush Administration officials they -- over certain.
Lawyers with the Justice Department and in the White House and the office of legal counsel and then this a very big.
A game plan for the -- and he's going to have to decide if he's going to have to go along with.
Jason does president Obama really want to spend his political capital I don't think he does this is and we knew he would face this we knew he had this liberal congress that he would after rain and and this is going to be a test of whether it wants to do that but this is a perfect example of of the sort of criminalizing political differences and Obama says he doesn't want to do that you want to look forward not backward and that's what his attorney general nominee Eric Holder also said during his hearings.
Well of industries he wants to oppose that is contained in the title Conyers 500 page report it's called ringing in the imperial presidency.
Now the imperial presidency is something the democratic left.
Has been trying to do since the 1960s.
And the substitute is an imperial congress 535.
Commanders in chief it doesn't.
-- our watch to see how this drama plays out when we come back the politics of the financial bailout could congressman.
Barney Frank pulled some strings to get millions in hard money for home state bank and how woman new administration.
Spend the next.
The new administration is beginning the task of allocating the second half of the money from the 700 billion dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program even as questions are raised about how the first.
350 billion was used.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week at the head of the house financial services committee democratic.
Congressman Barney Frank intervene on behalf of our home state bank to get millions in bail out money the bank was under scrutiny.
By regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive pay abuses but nonetheless receive twelve million dollars in TARP funds last month.
After frank interceded.
And how the Massachusetts congressman wants restrictions placed on how the remaining money is used.
Last week the house approved a bill he sponsored which would devote.
Forty billion dollars to help with mortgage foreclosures and curb executive compensation frank bill would also allow TARP funds to be used -- -- Auto bailout we're back with.
Danny and -- Jason Riley and can distrustful also joining us -- Wall Street Journal columnist.
Mary Anastasia O'Grady Mary is this the way that the TARP money was supposed to be used.
Woman -- a lot of versions of tar visual recall but top I don't think this was a hundred.
I think got basically banks were -- -- it solvent banks are supposed to be closed down I mean we're not supposed to just keep.
Pushing money into banks that can't survive and when you look at what happened with Barney Frank I wasn't the only case.
Apparently a lot of politicians are.
Involving themselves in decisions that are made about how the money is being allocated and it really looks like it's very arbitrary and very political there's no sense that this thing was actually solve this I think was just happen to be in his home district and one that was right which is why the hell but it or there's a lot of discretion.
Apparently about whether bank is they deserve absolutely deserving up and it and all that discretion is coming from the Atlanta.
Let's point out -- the same thing was done by the congressional delegation from Ohio which went -- like gangbusters when national city bank and get money and the the delegation from Alabama.
I mean all of these banks he if you say on the scale of one to 101 being instead sank ten being has a strong bank.
And everything in between all of these are judgment calls by treasury and the regulators and you're going to get into an argument between the banks and the regulators and the banks are gonna go to their congress congressional delegations and saying plead our case.
That's the point and Barney Frank does deserve some recognition here because he was one of the chief critics.
Of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson dispensing of the TARP funds.
So on the one hand he's criticizing Paulson not without some justification I might add on the other -- -- earmarking funds from bank of his home district and I think this is a clue as to how the second half of the start money.
Mike gets spent it's gonna go to lobbyist.
Or court to people who can hire lobbyists to get.
To people like Barney Frank construct a politically why would Hank Paulson the Bush Administration go along with something like this four.
Provide right now I should say that treasuries have looked at.
They followed all the typical standard guidelines and allocating money to this bank.
But nonetheless they did they -- go along.
But these guys are very powerful and they hold the first hearings.
And you know we got a lot of competing interest -- -- know we think his big risk by the way to for the Obama administration which is now in that same situation is that.
You know they are being demanded by congress to allocate this money to a whole bunch of special interest product the second tranche of TARP money.
But it'll only got a limited amount which they need to be using to shore up the financial system and failed it's divvied up for.
Detroit or for local hometown banks or 200 billion dollars to add to its stem mortgage foreclosures they're gonna have to go back and ask for a TARP three or TARP or there's already discussion and Washington about how.
This latest 350 billion still might not be enough they might have to use more.
And I have to say I think here the other -- an asset values continue to fall both of mortgage of financial products and an underlying home values.
You can't just magically declare a stop to that that means more bank losses that means more tarps.
You know the biggest problem here is that there are no clear rules of picking.
And you know he saw that the bank stocks get hit very hard last week and the reason was because people start to become afraid.
On whether the government would nationalize some or all of the banks and I think that problem.
Of government intervention -- unclear rules is also be laying the recapitalization.
Could write an opening and also.
Well you just put.
A lack of leadership to elite in that.
You would not have we've had a lot of talk about the people that Obama is bringing into his administration and how talented they are we have not had -- a planned someone coming out and saying here's what we're gonna do next and until they get that the uncertainty is going to continue have to create you have.
Go ahead camp -- the ups and downs on the stock markets and the fear out there about lending.
I think you have to take this thing and take the TARP and create some kind of resolution agency gets out of the treasury give somebody of stature put in charge who can say no -- with the Barney -- congress TARP stands for troubled.
Asset relief not troubled.
Bank relief OK there's are important distinction there in the resolution trust corporation worked out the troubled real estate assets held by savings and loans.
Assets are the problem not the banks themselves and we're not identifying the asset problem which I think would be the point of a mega bank to buy and the bad.
Bad assets that happened the 1980s that process you describe what we come back he says he made a 34000.
Dollar mistake should Tim -- get the green light for treasury there's a debate ahead.
I I'm sorry to take extra time here but.
Would you answer my question rather than dancing around it please.
President Obama's treasury -- Tim Geithner was in the hot seat this week at his confirmation hearing over his failure to pay 34000 dollars in taxes between 2001 -- 2004.
After IRS audit mr.
-- paid for back taxes for the last two years but.
We didn't cough up the money for the first two until such a hearing seemed likely the Senate Finance Committee voted.
Eighteen to five to approve -- on Thursday a full senate vote is expected Monday senior editorial page writer Colin -- joins the panel.
From Washington Colin that you followed the hearing.
And most senators seem willing to give my -- a -- how about you.
You know I I have to go at most senators on the -- I think that this is not this is not a disqualifying offense and I think in some way that can really look at this as.
A blessing that our Treasury Secretary if he is indeed confirmed.
Will be in a situation where he's gotten entangled in the tax code.
And even you know to say that like most Americans he doesn't want to pay anymore Texas that he absolutely cast -- under -- law which is what he did.
Do you do you believe his story that he said it was well he didn't even occur to him.
After -- paid his taxes in 2003 and four not to then turn around and pay the taxes in 2001 and two.
Even though those have not been -- No I mean it quite quite frankly I I think that was not and a particularly plausible.
Description of what happened there and I think John Kyle was absolutely right to go after him on that as the most critical -- whether or not he is trustworthy in the way he portrayed what happened I think it would have been more reasonable for him to say.
-- the statute of limitations ran out and that was what they thought I owed and that's when it paid.
So little candor -- gone long way to help a long way -- and Arial grainy what do you think gay guy they're -- -- -- this I have.
I can a fashion and I can transcend out of solution even redemption yes your calf back and I I do not -- but I didn't think that the Treasury Secretary.
I either was incompetent in dealing with his taxes Horry was dishonest okay you can choose its.
I U which is the kinder way to explain his mistakes.
But the important thing here they're two important things here one is that.
The integrity of the person.
In the treasury secretary's position right now is extremely important we're talking a lot about reestablishing trust the American people and secondly.
Ten -- does not have a very good record.
On policy for the last fifteen years Jim Rogers the investment guru said that he has made.
Mistakes for the last fifteen years he has done everything wrong that there is thin film that's so it's a little separate from the -- it's a separate from the tax question but you know we want to give him a pass on taxes because we think he's an expert.
-- -- -- That doesn't have a -- Conrad.
The democratic senator from North Dakota said in normal times he would have opposed.
-- there because of attacks infraction but these are not normal times how can you decipher that for me.
Not very easily not to recent certainly in the context of recent history of this sort of thing I mean I think there's if we're gonna get Tim go right near a pass here that perhaps we have set a precedent because in recent history.
A lot of the opposition has fought people on the basis of personality and personnel rather than policy.
Gotcha politics right right right and so you have a situation where even in the campaign.
Mark Penn Hillary Clinton says something politically incorrect he's off Samantha powers did it in the Obama campaign she's out and you had he had total of the liberation of Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby over.
Not very much.
If we're gonna get to a point where policy is more important then.
Personalities I think it'll be a positive develop that would be positive I'm Kim can you explain now that the Kent Conrad formulation.
You know on the democratic side this is simple Barack Obama wants this guy in the Democrats are going to deliver to them on the Republican side you got some different things going on.
One I think that they want to show a little bit of deference to the president.
-- with some -- it likely that three you've got fear out there in that people are worried senators are concerned that if they delayed this -- derailed this nomination tank it.
That while the Obama team is laughed -- kind of leader list struggling for something you're gonna have another market crash another meltdown.
And they're gonna get some flak for having a -- held up.
Putting together his economic team so people are just eager to get things going in there overlooking stuff that might not other.
It's Colin do you think that there's any chance that Geiger will not to be confirmed.
No I think he certainly going to be confirmed for exactly the reason they -- says which is that this is Obama's guy and it's very important in these times that.
You know he had he had the guy next to him that he really believes that's going to help with the script -- let's have a national -- -- tax amnesty for everybody.
-- -- mistake in his -- about my policy are we -- the big one more break what we come back our hits and misses of the week.
Winners -- losers picks and pans hits and misses it's our way of calling attention to the best and -- worst of the week Jason first you.
This is saying this for George Bush on behalf of Dick Cheney.
Cheney gave an interview weekly standard recently where he said the President Bush aired.
And not pardoning Scooter Libby who is Dick Cheney chief of staff now Libby was prosecute the case involved leaking the name of the CIA operative.
But it turned out that Libby was not the leaker someone else wasn't prosecutors knew that from the beginning.
And since Dick Cheney and George Bush have rarely disagreed on anything over the past eight years it's significant that -- Cheney what amounted bush air denouncing.
All right -- This is a -- for the Illinois congressional don't bring the nation that wants to insert a buy America provision in the stimulus package.
This would harm US export interest at a time when we need new export markets and I'll give you one example caterpillar tractor told me this week.
That it has in major initiative.
To compete in numerous infrastructure projects particularly in China.
And the company said that this would completely undermined that initiative bad idea.
-- Colin how what you.
I'm gonna get hit -- Barack Obama anti chief White House counsel Gregory Craig for deciding to have the president retake.
The oath of office after he and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Sort of got the words a bit better idea than they want to make sure they were in the right order this time.
I think that this indicated they we'll fealty to strict constructionist reading of the constitution.
And I think that that's something we should celebrate even if this is the first and last time.
-- -- All right thanks Alan and remember if you have your own hit or miss please send ethos that GR at foxnews.com.
That's it for this week's edition of The Journal Editorial Report thanks to my panel and all of you for watching I'm -- if you go.
We have to see you right here.
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