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Is FOX News Contributor Newt Gingrich Trying To Do Away With The Bill Of Rights?

Reported by Ellen - July 9, 2006 -

FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich did a telephone interview on Hannity & Colmes Friday night (7/7/06) in which he attacked The New York Times and called for “much more intense anti-terrorist laws.” Given that he has already revealed his antagonism to the Fourth Amendment and that he made it clear he’d like to stifle freedom of the press, one can only imagine what else he has in mind. Whatever it is, FOX News is a willing partner in promoting it.

While Gingrich’s plans may not be completely clear, his strategy is: Scare tactics and demonization of those who care about civil liberties.

Gingrich’s interview was purportedly to discuss North Korea but Sean Hannity soon re-directed the discussion by conflating North Korea with terrorist attacks. Gingrich was full of right-wing talking points – attacking Bill Clinton, The New York Times, The UN and liberals – yet there was no balancing point of view. Alan Colmes wasn’t even part of the interview. It was just Gingrich and Hannity.

Alan Colmes did, however, provide a good hint about what was to come when he asked, in a teaser for the interview, “Is Kim Jong Il planning a second Pearl Harbor?”

Gingrich began his “analysis” by blaming President Clinton for difficulties with North Korea and a push for President Bush to take military action. “These two dictatorships (North Korea and Iran) both believe that we will back down and that ultimately we will pay them some kind of a bribe. The North Koreans in particular remember in 1994 when they got President Clinton to accept a terrible deal which gave them a lot of money and which they promptly broke while we kept paying the money. So what you’re seeing is, the United States says there will be terrible consequences, nothing happens. They fire another series of missiles, the United States says ‘we really hate you doing this.’ Nothing happens.

“…You know, the president was exactly right in his State of the Union in 2002 when he said there was an axis of evil. The problem is, two of the three axes, Iran and North Korea, still have dictatorships, are still trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, are still a threat to the United States, and are still trying to develop missiles that could reach the US…

“…As long as the Russians and the Chinese are undermining the American position, the UN is a useless institution, incapable of playing a role in a major crisis.”

Hannity chimed in, “And if we had any doubts about the threats that we, we’re facing today, certainly the news that came out earlier today – FBI agents monitoring chat rooms smashed this apparent Al Qaeda terror plot to attack NYC’s underground transportation system. So obviously, some of the methods and tactics we’ve been using are beginning to work and the fact that we haven’t been hit in nearly five years is evidence of that.”

A photo of the New York Times building appeared on the screen just as Hannity finished talking.

As if on cue, Gingrich then said “Well, first of all I’m very surprised that the New York Times wasn’t able to break that story before we intercepted it and make sure that they knew what the FBI was doing (Hannity chuckled heartily), so here’s the case where we actually managed to maintain our classification despite the New York Times continuing efforts to undermine our security.”

Next, Gingrich took a gratuitous swipe at liberals. “I don’t see how any liberal looking at 18 Canadians being picked up for terrorism with more explosive power, twice the explosive power that they had in Oklahoma City, looking at this plot to attack New York City, looking at the people who were picked up in Miami recently. I don’t see how any liberal can believe that we are not engaged in a serious life and death struggle with terrorists who would destroy our civilization and I hope the president will address a joint session of Congress in early September, lay out the challenges we have and ask the Congress to pass much more intense anti-terrorist laws and to draw and to respond to this recent Supreme Court decision about detaining terrorists.”

The interview is posted on the Hannity and Colmes web page at FOXNews.com. Click on “Strike Hawaii?”