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O'Reilly-Rumsfeld Interview - Part II

Reported by Marie Therese - December 5, 2004

This is the second part of Bill O'Reilly's two-part interview with current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (12/3/04). The topics were the ACLU "assault" on the Boy Scouts, the draft and Mr. Rumsfeld's future plans. O'Reilly also took the opportunity to announce another 9/11-related charity. (The transcription is mine.)

BILL O'Reilly: Tonight we continue our chat with the Secretary of Defense. Just today another Bush cabinet member resigned - Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson - so we wanted to know how long Secretary Rumsfeld has and also ask him about the Boy Scout controversy. Roll the tape.


BILL O'Reilly: The ACLU is attacking the Boy Scouts.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Again and again and again!

O'Reilly: We all know this is the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

RUMSFELD: Right. And they do it to raise money. I suppose I shouldn't say that. I don't know.

O'Reilly: Are you a supporter of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell," number one.

RUMSFELD: That's the policy of the department.

O'Reilly: Do you support it as the Secretary of Defense?

RUMSFELD: Why, certainly.

O'Reilly: You do.

RUMSFELD: I support all of the policies of the Department. I have to.

O'Reilly: Do you think it's a fair policy?


O'Reilly: Alright. So "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy of this administration, you're OK with it ‘cause that's the genesis of all these attacks. But the ACLU filing a lawsuit against the Department of Defense has succeeded now in having the Department of Defense not sponsor Boy Scout troops all over the world. Now, you know, I got thousands of letters form military goin' "We want our kids in the Boy Scouts in the base in Okinawa and everywhere else." What are you going to do about it?

RUMSFELD: OK. Here's the situation. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, an Eagle Scout, a distinguished Eagle Scout and I'm for the Scouts. Let there be no doubt. The Department of Defense has had a long-standing, excellent relationship with the Boy Scouts. It has been mutually beneficial. It has helped the Department of Defense and the soldiers and sailors and it helps the Boy Scouts. And that's a good thing. Apparently, what happened is there is a macro lawsuit by the ACLU and at some moment the Department of Justice and the - some lawyers in the Department of Defense settled a sliver of that suit. When we found out about it - we heard that Senator Frist was sponsoring some concurrent resolutions and we supported that. And he now is working on some legislation, which we are working with him on. The current situation is we do not believe - and again I'm not a lawyer but I'm told by the lawyers - I do not believe that what took place in terms of that sliver of the larger case that was settled will alter in any way anything the Boy Scouts and the Department of Defense have done together in the past.

O'Reilly: So you still sponsor Scout troops?

RUMSFELD: The phraseology, I think is ..

O'Reilly: You might change the phraseology?

RUMSFELD: I think there's a marginal difference, I'm told by the lawyers, between cooperating - allowing ‘em, the Jamborees - to occur and all of these things...

O'Reilly: Right.

RUMSFELD: ... and a base commander officially becoming the sponsor of something.

O'Reilly: I get it. Alright. So you can dance around whatever it is.

RUMSFELD: Exactly. But this is a good relationship. It ought to continue and as long as I'm here, I'll do everything to see that it does.

O'REILLY: Can't you institute a draft for the ACLU. [Secretary Rumsfeld laughs.] Can't you do that and just ...

RUMSFELD: Listen. I'm against the draft. That's one of these myths that went around during the campaign. (Continues to chuckle.)

O'Reilly (overtalking, laughing also): I know. I just want to see if we can deploy them maybe to some outpost somewhere. Saipan? Alright. What about your future? You quittin'? Ya' gonna retire? Ya' leaving? Tell me the truth.

RUMSFELD: The truth is that the - this is an issue between a President and a Cabinet officer. And it strikes me that it's up to the President to make any discussion ...

O'Reilly: You're not going to quit then?

RUMSFELD: Um. [He pauses.] I'm not gonna discuss it. [Laughs]

O'Reilly: OK. Hey, your prerogative. You're an American. You don't want to discuss it, I can't force you. Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you very much for takin' the time to talk with us today.

RUMSFELD: Thank you. I appreciate you coming in. It's good to visit with you.


O'Reilly: And in an interesting aside, President Bush asked Secretary Rumsfeld to stay just a few hours ago. We don't know how long that's gonna be. The Secretary has agreed to stay and that's where things stand.

Also the Secretary would like you to know about the Pentagon Memorial Fund, which will honor the victims at the Pentagon, who died on 9/11. We'll have details on The Factor website or you can go directly to Pentagon Memorial Fund.


Why is it that all the right wingers vilify the ACLU for daring to go to court, when people like Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh and - yes - even Bill O'Falafel himself - run to their high-priced lawyers at the drop of a hat? This is the same group that paid Ken Starr and his baby-faced legal beagles $50 million to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton. Guess lawyers are only bad when they file lawsuits the GOP doesn't like.

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