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Friday, January 14, 2005
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The truth about interrogation
Guest: Capt. Mike McGrath, ret.

According to a new Gallup Poll, most Americans oppose torturing suspected terrorists. But the issue is being demagogued by some who feel that no coercive methods of interrogation should be used. These people usually place themselves on high moral ground, saying the Geneva Convention should apply to terrorists. That is nuts. As far as coercive methods are concerned, military interrogators have effectively used a technique called "monstering," which is constant questioning by rotating questioners. One interrogator recently told me it helped the military obtain extremely helpful information. To be fair, other interrogators see things differently. The debate over interrogation is vitally important because there will come a time when someone with knowledge of a planned attack on this country will be taken into custody. If thousands of lives are hanging in the balance, do you want to tie the hands of the military? I don't. So Talking Points is rejecting partisan rhetoric. I want a sane interrogation policy that falls short of torture, but allows for pressure. Torture, no. Pressure, yes."

Retired Navy Captain Mike McGrath endured torture in Vietnam, and has written a book about his six years as a POW. "I was denied medical treatment for my broken bones and was tortured brutally, and I'll never forget it." McGrath described one particularly terrible method known as the "rope trick." "They tie your arms behind your back, rotate them up over your shoulders until your shoulders dislocate." Regarding the treatment of terror suspects, McGrath said America should maintain the moral high ground. "I'm all for the interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation, ganging up on prisoners, slapping them around. That's normal and expected. Where I would draw the line is physical torture where you're endangering someone's health."
Cosby on bad behavior
Guests: Angelo Henderson, "Inside Detroit" & Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press

Bill Cosby has been speaking out forcefully about destructive behavior in black communities. Most recently, at a packed rally in Detroit, Cosby railed against "poverty pimps and victim pimps" who tell black Americans they're helpless. Rochelle Riley is a columnist with the Detroit Free Press, which sponsored the event. "He was a huge hit," Riley said. "He's not talking about all African-Americans. But he made clear that if your kid is walking around in a thousand dollars worth of clothes and not a dime's worth of sense, he's talking to you." Radio host Angelo Henderson agreed that Cosby is saying things that have needed airing for a long time. "He reflected on some of the problems in our community--literacy, violence, and problems in the schools. And he said God can't do the work all by himself, and he's right. And he was saying you can't blame the white man--it is not what he is doing to you, but what you are not doing."
Federal sentencing guidelines changed
Guest: Fox News chief judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano

The Supreme Court has overturned some mandatory federal sentencing guidelines, calling them too restrictive. "The guidelines basically took away judges' discretion," Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano told The Factor. "Judges didn't like that because once in a while there is a case where you feel you're over-sentencing a person." The Factor pointed out violent crime in the US is down by more than half in the two decades since mandatory sentencing became common. "The liberal press loves this ruling. They want judges to have all the discretion in the world. But the stats prove that since the judges couldn't let the bad guys walk out, violent crime in this country is down."
Media & special interests
Guest: Talk show host Hugh Hewitt

Some media outlets have received money in exchange for providing favorable coverage to certain special interests. It's now been revealed that Howard Dean's campaign paid two internet bloggers to say positive things about the candidate. "Bloggers on the take are very bad for the business," said blogger and radio host Hugh Hewitt. "But for every one of those bad actors, there are twenty that are good." Hewitt contended internet journalists have transformed the media world for the better. "Look at the fact that the bloggers brought down Trent Lott, they exposed John Kerry on his Christmas Eve in Cambodia fantasy. Blogging is the way to communicate, the way of the future."
Controversy over killed soldier
Guests: Bernie Ward, KGO & Jeff Katz, KNEW

19-year old Marine Andres Raya was confronted by police while holding up a California liquor store. He fatally shot a police officer, and then was killed by another officer. Radio host Jeff Katz contended Raya instigated the episode because he actually wanted to be killed. "He didn't want to go back to Iraq. And rather than run away or get out of the Corps, he decided he was going to participate in death by cop. He was determined to die, but wasn't going to do the job himself." Radio talker Bernie Ward used the incident to condemn the war itself. "Soldiers coming back from Iraq are damaged goods. We've got vets already living in their cars. We know they're showing up in homeless shelters, and this young man came back different. He was damaged goods."
Prince Harry's Nazi costume
Guest: Jeanne Allen, President, Center for Education Reform

Prince Harry set off a firestorm of controversy by wearing a Nazi costume to a party. The incident has also raised a peripheral question about young peoples' knowledge of history. "I don't think Harry knows what the Third Reich was," The Factor believes. "I don't think he has any clue what happened sixty years ago in Europe." Jeanne Allen of the Center for Educational Reform said American students are especially deficient. "The problem in this country is that kids hear about events, but don't get into the depth and the importance. We have not put into perspective or context what our kids need to know. We really did dumb down the curriculum."
Books Mentioned


Prisoner of War: Six Years in Hanoi
by John M. McGrath

Read more...
 
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