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Tom Tancredo's Prescription for Homeland Security - Threaten To Bomb Mecca

Reported by Ellen - July 27, 2005

Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is reportedly considering running for president in 2008, appeared on Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night (7/26/05) to defend his controversial comments on a radio program last week in which he talked about bombing Mecca and Medina as a way to protect the US against a catastrophic attack by Islamic extremists.

Alan Colmes introduced Tancredo by asking "Should he apologize? Well, here's a chance."

Tancredo said, "Thanks for this chance, but I'm not going to take it." In his view, the problem arose from "the way it's been reported," not his remarks. The way he explained it, he was asked a hypothetical question: what should we do if one or more nuclear devices are set off in this country by Islamic extremists?

Comment: According to the Denver Post, the hypothetical question didn't just pop up as the result of the radio show host's whimsy, as Tancredo made it seem to Colmes, but as the result of Tancredo bringing up the topic.

Tancredo theorized that illegal immigrants could smuggle in a nuclear weapon, then detonate it in an American city. Campbell asked Tancredo how the United States should respond.

Tancredo may not have apologized but he tried to downplay his remarks by saying he was just trying to consider different possibilities of preventing such an attack. "And one of the ways we might think about - and I'm just presenting this as a possibility - is saying that if that happens, and if it's perpetrated by people who are in fact Islamic extremists, then we can take out their holy sites. I didn't say nuke anything. I just said take out... The prevention, the deterrent... We've got to think about something that may in fact be as catastrophic in their world as destroying 7 or 8 american cities would be in ours..."

Oh, so that's all he meant.

Colmes was clearly appalled by Tancredo's method for deterrence. Colmes asked, "We're talking about extremist Muslims, not mainstream Muslims, and if extremist Muslims, who do not represent most Muslims did this, do you really believe that possibly bombing Mecca would solve the problem?"

Tancredo: I'm not going to tell you I'm sure... that that's what we should do... but what if it would (be a deterrent)? ...I would not take anything off of the table."

Comment: And what if it would NOT be a deterrent? Colmes' time was up and Sean Hannity didn't seem to think of that possibility.

Hannity defended Tancredo by saying he was talking "off the cuff" about a hypothetical question and (like every Republican, in Hannity's view), was "being attacked in a very vicious way."

What Tancredo didn't mention is that according to The Denver Post, Tancredo believes his approach could help further world peace.

How? By removing one major cause of conflict. So many modern disputes are not about the traditional reasons for war, like control of resources, but are instead about the control of places alleged to be sacred and holy.

Not even Hannity went down that road.

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