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The O'Reilly Factor
Friday, June 7, 2013
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with guest host Greg Gutfeld
Bill's Mugs
"The Idiot's Guide" to the NSA spying situation
"If someone asked you whether you wish 9/11 had never happened, you obviously would say yes. If you were then asked whether you wish there had been a system to catch those terrorists before they attacked, you would say yes to that, too. Which is why the NSA data scoop is a tricky thing. If that program had existed twelve years ago, 9/11 might have been stopped. The White House claims this mass grab of phone records did stop one attack, which makes me wonder: If a security program like this wasn't present and that attack hit, would we not clamor for one? Whatever this snooping amounts to, it didn't stop the Boston bombing or Fort Hood, the strangest case of 'workplace violence' ever. Fort Hood happened not because of lack of intel, but lack of will. We were scared to call terror what terror is for fear of appearing bigoted, so that opened the door to the devil. So it's not about surveillance, but about an administration that cannot use it properly. Sorry, I just can't trust a progressive government, given their nature to defend America's critics rather than our own values. And you can't feel safe when one arm of the government, the IRS, is already targeting decent Americans. We've had the DOJ, the IRS, and now the NSA - any more scandals and we'll have to move on to the Greek alphabet."

Greg was joined by Washington Post investigative reporter Robert O'Harrow, who elaborated on another government anti-terror effort. "The program is called PRISM," O'Harrow explained, "and it involves a partnership between the government and private sector data collectors. In this case we're talking about Microsoft, America Online, Apple, and others. The National Security Agency has what appears to be direct access to their servers in an effort to find foreign nationals that may be involved in nefarious activities. There are people trying to protect the country and they're operating behind a cloak of secrecy. A lot of Americans would say that's intolerable because we don't allow unchecked power in this country."
Has government spying gone too far?
President Obama has defended the government's data-gathering operations, arguing that they lead to greater security. Greg invited reaction from civil rights attorney Jennifer Bonjean and former Bush adviser Brad Blakeman. "I do not agree with President Obama," Bonjean declared, "and I believe Pandora's Box was opened when the Patriot Act passed under the Bush administration. We are still stuck back there and it's actually gotten worse. President Obama campaigned on the idea that there would be more transparency, but we haven't seen that at all. Even the author of the Patriot Act says we have gone too far!" Blakeman declared that President Obama's actions are vindicating his predecessor. "In 2007, then-Senator Obama was against the Patriot Act and FISA, but then he got sworn in as President and he had an epiphany. He was given the Presidential daily briefing and the hair probably stood up on the back of his neck when he understood the threats and understood that President Bush did the right thing." Greg concluded, "I love this conversation because you have a conservative siding with Obama and a liberal siding with conservative libertarians."
New York Times changes Obama editorial
In a stinging editorial Thursday, the New York Times declared that the Obama administration "has now lost all credibility." Then, for reasons unknown, the Times added a few words to say the administration "has now lost all credibility on this issue." Greg asked Geraldo Rivera why the Times changed its tune. "It's fascinating that there was this moderation in tone," Rivera said, "and maybe they thought better of it or maybe somebody got to them. The Times is constantly being surprised that Barack Obama is not really a liberal. He may have campaigned as a liberal and he may have been a liberal as a community organizer, but he's really a middle-of-the-road guy. He has waged this drone war and now he has sanctioned this widespread snooping under the Patriot Act. He has fully embraced the Bush legislation." Greg scoffed at the notion that President Obama is not a man of the left: "He just introduced a whole new program of health care into government. If he just does that, he's already a successful progressive."
IRS targeting conservatives
New reports indicate that IRS officials in Washington knew that conservatives were being targeted as early as 2010. Greg discussed the scandal with Maddie Duppler of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform. "The more we learn," she said, "the less surprised we are. We're now hearing that IRS officials knew about this a year earlier than they said before. Unfortunately, these are the folks who are in charge of administering the tax code, and that's worrisome for taxpayers. The agency has wasted millions and millions of dollars on conferences and lavish gifts for employees. If they can't keep track of their own budget, how are they able to keep track of our taxes?" Greg suggested that a politician could gain traction by targeting the agency: "It seems to me that there is an opening for a candidate to target the IRS itself in an election and to say it's time to talk about closing the IRS down."
Bikinis banned at pageant
In an effort to placate religious Muslims, organizers of the Miss World competition have jettisoned the bikini competition for this year's pageant in majority-Muslim Indonesia. Greg debated the ban with Mike Ghouse of the World Muslim Congress. "I stand with the Muslims and their sensitivities," Ghouse said. "They have the right to defend what they believe in and we should be proud of them for protesting, which is the sign of a healthy democracy. This is a business decision - if you want to open a restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood, you want to sell kosher food. In this case, they're doing this show in a predominantly Muslim country." But Greg contended that the move was made primarily out of fear: "I have a feeling it's more about capitulation than sensitivity, it's the intolerance of Muslims who threaten violence."
American children and the war on drugs
Some libertarian Americans argue that drug dealing is a victimless crime and that dealers are punished too harshly. Greg introduced Bill's recent interview with Denise Cullen and Ginger Katz, both of whose sons died in drug overdoses. "Loosening the drug laws would create more drug use," Katz opined, "and that means more crime, more overdoses, more kids dropping out of school. It wreaks havoc on our country." But Cullen, despite her personal loss, disagreed vehemently. "Our drug sentences are draconian and we incarcerate so many people. I don't blame the person for allowing my son to purchase the drugs from him, I blame him for leaving my son alone in the condition he was in. My son called the drug dealer, the guy didn't shove it down his throat. We've been doing this war on drugs for 40 years, it doesn't work."
In defense of government snooping
Greg concluded the week by debriefing Fox News military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who defended the Obama administration's data-collection tactics. "This is a non-scandal," Peters declared, "and it deflects from the real scandals the Obama administration is facing. The intelligence community can't get a break - if they do everything they can to prevent a terrorist attack, people say 'big brother' is watching; if they slack off and there's a terrorist attack, then it's an intelligence failure. I've worked in that world and the people at NSA are wonk patriots who do a good job. They're not out to take over the government and they're not looking over the shoulders of 40-year-old losers who are trolling at porn sites. This is focused on terrorists, not on you and me. The NSA is just doing its job."
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