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All Right-Wing "All Star Panel" Crassly Tackles Political Implications of Terror Plot

Reported by Janie - August 11, 2006 -

During last night's (8/10) "Special Report" guest host Chris Wallace conducted an "All Star Panel" that included all conservative guests: Fred Barnes, Jeff Birnbaum, and Charles Krauthammer. The topic was, obviously, the latest thwarted terror attack - but mainly focused on the political implications, and how it could benefit the Republican party.

After a mild opening, Wallace turned the attention of the panel to the political implications of the thwarted attack, "Jeff brought up the politics of all this, and let's talk about that because this comes on the same week Republicans are trying to portray Ned Lamont's victory in Connecticut as showing that the Democrats are going wobbly in the war on terror. Does this event reminding all of us that there is a war on terror, does this help make that argument?"

Comment: Off the bat, Wallace is distorting what the Lamont/Lieberman election was all about - it was NOT the War on Terror, which everyone regardless of political persuasion understands needs to be fought. The primary was about the Iraq war - which is not a portion of the WOT.

CK: "Well, the election in November is going to hinge on the debate on terrorism is framed. If it's only about the Iraq war, the Democrats are going to win as we saw in the Lamont primary. If it's framed in the larger frame as Iraq as one of the theaters in the larger war on terror, the President is still going strong because A) we're reminded that this is a real threat. I mean look, it's been 5 years. We were going to have all kinds of reminiscence a month from now about the 5th anniversary of 9/11 as if it were a historical event. Because no one expected to go half a decade and not have a second attack. Now, with this attempt at repetition of what was an attempt in the mid-90s of bringing down all kinds of airplanes, we're reminded it's active out there. And if the frame is the war on terror, the Democrats as represented by a neophyte like Lamont who speaks sort of simple-mindedly about its causes and how to defeat it, are going to lose."

CW: "Let's talk about this, it's so interesting that you talk about how it is framed, and it's a battle to see how this is framed. Because Fred, the Democrats fired back today saying that the US is less secure under President Bush and as we reported earlier, and let's put it up on the screen, Harry Reid – the Senate Democratic leader had this statement. The Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists.' He's in effect saying Iraq has made us less able to defend ourselves against terror like these in Britain."

FB: "That's a nice statement – it's wrong, but it's an interesting statement. Look, when was Al Qaeda's biggest growth period? It was in the 1990s. And look at all the things they tried. Blowing up the World Trade Center the second time, they hit the USS Cole, they hit those embassies and so on – and that was their big growth period, it hasn't been since the US has been in Iraq. I don't know where he gets the $300 billion figure from exactly."

Comment: And guess who had nothing to do with that growth period? SADDAM HUSSEIN!

CW: "I think he's saying that's what we've spent in Iraq, so therefore he's saying we didn't spend t on Homeland Security." (Comment: Duh!)

FB: "I know. But that's not the way government works, he knows better than that. That's ridiculous. I don't know why Democrats are so adamant about – on the one hand they certainly don't take the war on terror very seriously, that's why they're upset about the NSA spying, the bank transfer story that broke, they wanted to weaken the Patriot Act, and all those things. And now they say, gee we should have had $300 billion more. That's just not credible."

Comment: Barnes was allowed to shoot this BS off without any challenge, since it was an all right-wing panel. Let me explain this - once and for all - for all of those that think as simply as Barnes. We don't care if you're spying on terrorists - not a problem, but stay out of the home of average, every day American citizens! The $300 billion could have been spent on well... maybe, PORT SECURITY! How about hiring a few more air marshals? It might even help to have an Arab linguist or two! You want to talk about serious on security? The right, Mr. Barnes, needs to stop pissing away our tax dollars on a civil war in Iraq, and start worrying about the UNITED STATES - rather than the future 51st state!

JB: "Look, I understand why they Democrats want to do this, and it is pretty clear. If the Democrats are able to isolate Iraq as the problem area, and separate from the war against terrorist globally, then they're able I think to have a huge advantage, if you look at the polls, there is a great deal of discomfort with Bush policies in Iraq. That has leeched over to skepticism about the Republican's ability to conduct the war on terror, but Republicans have a historic chance and historic tie to National Security and Homeland Security by inference. So I think the Democrats will lose if Iraq and terrorism are conflated, but if the Democrats are able to say Iraq, that's a problem, it's a civil war, sectarian violence, that's completely different from the war on terrorism, then I think they have a chance to at least take over the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections."

Comment: To sum up Birnbaum is quite simple: If the Democrats tell the truth, they will win. If the Republicans continue their campaign of "fear and smear", they'll win. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

The segment ended there, and was one of the most "unfair and unbalanced" segments to date during the "All Star Panel".