Guests: Ahmed Younis, Neal Langerman, Leo Terrell, Rudy Maxa, Joel Rosenberg, Willie Geist
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks. And welcome to the show.
We are of course watching for developments in the Middle East, and there may be some, but first let‘s get to the latest on the U.K. terror plot. The whole thing gets more and more chilling as we learn just how close we may have come to disaster and just how far the plot may have spread.
British sources report they intercepted a coded message earlier this week saying, “Do your attacks now.” Nineteen of the 24 suspects have been identified, many of them British Muslims.
Meanwhile, at least seven more suspects are in custody in Pakistan in this case. Pakistan‘s government says there are indications of an al Qaeda connection.
Joining me now with the latest from London, NBC News‘s Ned Colt.
Ned, what is the latest?
NED COLT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tucker, Pakistan is reporting it‘s detained a top suspect in this—this still developing plot in terms of what we‘re learning about it. At least seven people have been arrested there, as you said, but British an American intelligence officials tell NBC that the mastermind behind the plan to blow up these U.S.-bound commercial jetliners, most of them apparently going out of Heathrow, flying out of Heathrow, is still being sought in Pakistan. But again, no confirmation on that hat this point, and the British are saying they‘ve got everyone that they‘ve been looking at in terms of possible leaders in this.
Now, 19 of the 24 suspects that you mentioned arrested in the U.K. have been named. That information amerge on a Bank of England Web site, announcing it had frozen the assets of those suspects.
Now, one of those arrested in England is a woman with a small child. There may be another woman as well. And at least one other is a recent convert to Islam.
Now, investigators are still searching the suspects homes. Among the evidence seized in of the U.K., apparently a martyrdom tape of one of those suspects outlining why he intended to carry out a suicide mission.
Now, we‘re also getting more information, Tucker, on this plot. More is emerging right now. The plotters may have intended to use a peroxide-based solution as an element in the—in the explosives. And remember, over the last couple of days we‘ve been talking about how if there were two or three of these suspects getting on to a plane, each might be carrying specific elements of these—of what would ultimately be an explosive.
So those are some of the developments that we‘re watching here today out of London, as well as clearly out of Pakistan, as well.
CARLSON: Ned, there are many Pakistanis, of course, living in Great Britain and descendants of people from Pakistan. How is that community responding to the arrests?
COLT: I would say it‘s a mix. You‘ve got probably what many here would describe as a silent majority who are not the most outspoken, who are saying, this needs to stop, but we also need to figure out why it is that born and bred Brits who happen to be Muslims, and quite often with Pakistani ties, are turning into radical fundamentalist terrorists, if you will.
We saw it last year, 13 months ago, with more than 50 killed in the transit attacks in July of last year, and also a month later, about 12 months ago, the attempted attacks on subways and buses here in London. So there is a sense that this is big problem in the country. And unlike in the states, where the perception is that I think many foreign immigrants come to the states and want to become Americans, per se, there‘s a sense here on the part of many that they retain their distinct identities as it could be Pakistanis, Indians, Americans, what have you, that Britishness (ph) is not at the forefront, and that‘s a big concern on the part of the government right now—Tucker.
CARLSON: I bet it is.
So, Ned, what you‘re saying is, in the community from which these men mostly came, there is an acceptance that they did it, or are people saying that this is—this is a frame-up job, an illusion, that they‘re innocent?
COLT: You‘re hearing both. There are—there are those who have been quoted, neighbors and so on of specific individuals who have been named in this, who are saying, yes, this individual was your typical next-door neighbor, and then may have been attending a specific mosque where—or going to Pakistan and may have gone to a madrassas, a religious school in Pakistan, and then developed more stronger—more strong opinions about—about the American role, the British role in the Middle East.
CARLSON: Ned Colt in London.
Thanks a lot, Ned.
So, imagine you‘re working security at an airport. Who gets patted down at the gate, an 80-year-old black woman in a wheelchair, or a 20-year-old man who appears to be from the Middle East? Well, the official answer is, both get treated the same way.
And according to my next guest, that is the way things ought to be. Singling out passengers because of their religion or ethnicity is simply discrimination, he says, and it‘s wrong.
Ahmed Younis is the national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
He joins us from Washington.
Ahmed Younis, thanks a lot for coming on.
AHMED YOUNIS, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: My pleasure, Tucker.
CARLSON: It‘s hard to think of anything dumber, isn‘t it, than the official policy of pretending that ethnicity and particularly religion don‘t matter, since, in fact, we are looking for Muslims, most of the time when we‘re looking for terrorists, aren‘t we?
YOUNIS: Well, I think the problem is, when we talk about praicial or religious profiling in this context, we forget the lessons that we‘ve learned in every other context. It does not help to catch criminals when we stop every young black man who‘s driving a nice car in middle suburbia in the United States. It does not help to stop criminals when we use religion or race as a predictor for whether criminal activity will come to be.
And so we have to continue to remember that the integrity of this country, what we‘re actually fighting for, are these constitutional principles that everyone agrees on from John Ashcroft to the president himself. Racial and religious profiling, it‘s not about political correctness. It simply does not work.
CARLSON: Well, of course—well, wait. Slow down. Nobody is suggesting -- and bringing up pulling over every black man in a nice car is a complete red herring. Nobody is suggesting pulling over, bother, harassing everybody who looks like a Muslim or as someone of Middle Eastern descent.
The point, however, is that not every Muslim is a terrorist, of course. The vast majority are not and don‘t approve of terrorism. But virtually every terrorist is a Muslim. So...
YOUNIS: Well, let me just very quickly, Tucker...
YOUNIS: ... I mean, in the past 15 to 20 years, the majority of the suicide bombings that have been carried out have been done by the Tamil Tigers, a secular separatist movement that‘s trying to create a state outside of Sri Lanka.
CARLSON: Oh, give me a break. That is...
YOUNIS: That‘s a fact.
CARLSON: You know what? I have heard that. I know, that‘s a talking point that the Muslim groups love to use.
YOUNIS: No, no. It‘s not a talking point.
CARLSON: Yes, of course it is. Let me throw up on the screen some pictures you may recognize.
Here are the 9/11 bombers, OK? Right below we have a picture of the Bali -
there are the 9/11 hijackers right there. Here‘s a picture of the men who pulled off the Bali bombings. Here‘s a picture of the guys who pulled off the Madrid train bombing.
YOUNIS: Put up a picture...
CARLSON: Here‘s a picture...
YOUNIS: Put up a picture of Jose Padilla. Put up a picture of John Walker Lindh. Put up a picture of Richard Reid. Put up a picture.
CARLSON: Well, first of all, John Walker Lindh doesn‘t—doesn‘t—doesn‘t belong in the same category, as you well know.
YOUNIS: Well, but what we‘re talking about...
CARLSON: The point is not...
YOUNIS: What we‘re talking about, Tucker, is the ability of these groups to recruit young Muslims into their camps.
YOUNIS: And when we engage in racial or religions profiling, we are disenfranchising the community that we need the most to fight terrorism.
CARLSON: Oh, spare me. You‘ve got to be kidding.
CARLSON: So you‘re saying they‘re—they‘re going to—they‘re not going to like us now in we profile? I mean, look, there are apparently thousands of people around the world who are willing to lay down their lives to kill Americans just on principle. They already hate us. The idea that we‘re protecting ourselves doesn‘t make them hate us more.
YOUNIS: And there are thousands, if not millions, of Muslims around the world that have put their lives on the line to defending the rest of the civilized world against terrorism.
YOUNIS: And so you have to remember, Tucker, the majority of the victims of suicide bombing carried out by Muslims are Muslims. The majority of the victims of terrorism that is engaged in by Muslims...
CARLSON: But I‘m not contesting that.
YOUNIS: And therefore...
CARLSON: That‘s a non-sequitur. Wait. Hold on.
YOUNIS: Go ahead.
CARLSON: The point is, of course, I‘m not suggesting that every Muslim is a terrorist. Most Muslims, as I said, again, I presume are totally opposed to terrorism. And many victims are Muslim, of course. My only...
YOUNIS: And without them we can‘t fight terrorism.
CARLSON: Absolutely. My point...
YOUNIS: This very plot that we‘re discussing—this very plot that we‘re discussing was foiled because Muslims called their local law enforcement agents.
CARLSON: You don‘t know that.
YOUNIS: Absolutely. The Department of Homeland...
CARLSON: Wait, slow down. You absolutely do not know that. We don‘t know those kinds of...
YOUNIS: I absolutely do. I absolutely do. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI...
CARLSON: Then you are breaking news on our program.
YOUNIS: Then have it, my friend. FBI and Homeland Security have told us that that was what happened. We had a press conference today with the FBI to stand by side...
CARLSON: Let‘s get...
YOUNIS: I do know that, Tucker.
CARLSON: Everybody in that plot arrested so far is a Muslim. OK?
YOUNIS: And they would not been turned over without Muslims.
CARLSON: They‘re not Methodists. They‘re not Presbyterians. So, if we go at this pretending, A, that we have infinite resources and we can sort of plan along to make groups like yours happy and avert lawsuits, and we can sort of, you know, pull over the elderly black woman, along with the guys from Yemen, and it doesn‘t matter, if we pretend that, A, and, B, that really we‘re not looking at—we‘re not fighting one group—it really isn‘t one group, it could be anybody—we‘re lying to ourselves, we‘re wasting time, and we‘re not protecting ourselves as efficiently as we could.
And why would we do that just to make your group happy?
YOUNIS: Because, no, you‘re not doing it for me, you‘re not doing it for our groups, and you‘re not doing it for political correctness. You‘re doing it because we are fighting for the integrity of how we run our societies. And the cohesion of our pluralisms are the best defense in the war on terrorism. And without these communities at the front lines of defending our countries, we will not be able to defend ourselves.
That‘s the truth.
CARLSON: Really? I mean, if you want to get right down to it, where are the marches, actually, around the world against suicide bombing? Where are they in the Middle East? Where are they in this country from the Muslim community.
They‘re actually not taking place, as you full well know.
YOUNIS: No, I absolute live disagree with you.
YOUNIS: I absolutely disagree.
CARLSON: Are there some that are taking place in secret at night when nobody is watching? I mean, come one.
YOUNIS: No, Tucker—Tucker, I mean, let‘s be serious.
CARLSON: I am being serious. Dead serious.
YOUNIS: If we want to fight terrorism—I know, sir. I know sir.
If we want to fight terrorism, let‘s not be too quick to want to see the protests on the street. Let‘s be quick to want to see imams preaching in the mosques against what is happening around the world. Let‘s be quick to see Muslim communities like through our national grassroots campaign to fight terrorism making sure that their mosques are not manipulated by saboteurs to engage in acts of terrorism.
If we‘re really about fighting terrorism...
CARLSON: No, actually...
YOUNIS: ... let‘s engage it in the way that works that we know is most important to do.
CARLSON: Let me end—let me end on that note, because actually, I think you make a very good point. And I hope that that‘s happening. I don‘t‘ trust that it is, but I hope that it is. And I think you‘re right, that is the smart way to fight it.
YOUNIS: It absolutely is happening, sir.
CARLSON: All right.
YOUNIS: And we‘re doing it because of the integrity of our religion and the defense of our homeland, the United States.
CARLSON: Well, if you are, god bless you.
YOUNIS: Thank you, sir.
CARLSON: Still to come, it doesn‘t take a mastermind to mix up liquid explosives. In fact, it is horrifyingly easy. So why isn‘t there a way to keep this stuff off planes?
We‘ll talk to an expert.
And the president says the U.K. terror plot is a reminder that this country is at war. Has anyone told liberals?
That story when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Liquid explosives on airplanes have been a known threat since at least the 1990‘s and, by all accounts, it doesn‘t take a genius to get a lethal mixture on board. So is there any way to protect passengers without shutting down air travel in this country?
Neal Langerman is the president of Advanced Chemical Safety and an officer in the Division of Chemical Health and Safety of the American Chemical Society. He joins us from (INAUDIBLE).
Mr. Langerman, welcome.
NEAL LANGERMAN, PRESIDENT, ADVANCED CHEMICAL SAFETY: Good afternoon.
CARLSON: How—with—you know, obviously without providing a formula for how to build such a liquid bomb, tell us, how complicated is it to do this?
LANGERMAN: It‘s not very complicated to build such a device. The difficulty is that at least one of the components is hard to get in sufficient concentration that‘s needed for the device.
CARLSON: What about nitroglycerin? There was a report today that you could actually make—and everyone knows nitroglycerin famously, you know, a combustible explosive—a report today suggests it‘s not so hard to make nitroglycerin. Is that right?
LANGERMAN: Well, again, a practicing chemist with high-level skills, sophisticated skill could make nitroglycerin or could make the chemistry alleged in the U.K. plot. The average person trying it would more likely than not have a serious detonation or fire while they‘re trying to make it. The difficulty is that these are unstable molecules, and if they—if you attempt to make it, or even handle it inappropriately, they self-react and the results can be devastating.
CARLSON: By self-react, you mean explode?
LANGERMAN: Yes, explode, ignite, depending upon where you are in the mixture.
CARLSON: So how powerful—give us a sense how powerful these things are. We‘ve been hearing reports about a container, a contact lens solution container filled with some sort of flammable or explosive liquid. Let‘s say that was nitroglycerin. What kind of damage would it do?
LANGERMAN: That—I‘m assuming when they said a contact lens container, we‘re talking about the little—the tiny things that actually the lens goes in. That‘s a relative small amount, and that would, by itself, more likely than that not, cause sufficient damage to guarantee bringing down an aircraft. But it would certainly damage the person who is holding it.
It would take a hand off if it was in your pocket. It would take a leg off if, in fact, it didn‘t kill you.
CARLSON: What about a contact lens solution container, say a four or five-ounce container? If you had four or five ounces of nitroglycerin, could you, do you think, blow a hole in the fuselage of an airplane?
LANGERMAN: You could probably, depending upon where you put it, where it was placed, cause sufficient over-pressure to blow a hole in the fuselage. Whether or not the plane would come done would depend on a lot of factors, primarily where the explosive device was. You‘d need more than just the quantity you were talking about, 100 milliliters.
LANGERMAN: You‘d need - if a perpetrator was going to do this, they would build a quantity larger than that.
CARLSON: We keep hearing the phrase “peroxide- based solution” used to describe this bomb or these bombs. What does that mean? Peroxide as in the same stuff you put in your hair when you‘re 15 to dye it white?
LANGERMAN: Basic chemistry, yes. A quick layman‘s guide to peroxide, peroxide means two oxygen atoms linked together, directly linked to each other, and then linked to other atoms, such as carbon atoms.
That‘s all peroxide means. The organic—that is, contains carbon—peroxide alleged to be used by the perpetrators is a particular combination of oxygen and carbon that is highly energetic. That is, it detonates with a very high energy.
CARLSON: Well, you‘ve already—you‘ve already sailed over my head, so you know that I‘m not a threat to this nation.
Mr. Langerman, thanks a lot for joining us.
LANGERMAN: OK. Bye now.
CARLSON: I appreciate it.
Still to come, air travelers are so far taking a better safe than sorry approach, but is there such a thing as too much security in airports? And are we reaching the tipping point?
Also ahead, Christiane Amanpour makes it into “Beat the Press.” Find out which of her colleagues she savagely attacked when we come back.
CARLSON: It‘s time to “Beat the Press.”
We begin by wondering who within CNN would have the brass to insult the silver-haired future of television news himself? CNN Senior International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, that‘s who.
She and Anderson Cooper looked like they were getting along pretty well when she appeared on his show last night, but that might be because Cooper hadn‘t read the interview she gave to “The New York Times” earlier this week.
In it, she says, “I‘m uncomfortable watching deadly serious places and moments treated as the latest in extreme-adventure playgrounds for your own heroics or Petri dishes for examining your own feelings. Reporters notebooks are great, until they start replacing hard news.”
Reporters notebooks, huh? Who could she be talking about?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It‘s been three weeks now, three weeks and counting. Fighting and dying, shelling and running. So much of it seems so long ago. Only the pictures are a reminder you were ever there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, of course it‘s a little much, Christiane Amanpour lecturing other people on self-promotion. On the other hand, if I were Anderson Cooper, I would take that exactly as it was meant, personally.
Now to an ugly combination of propaganda and shoddy journalism. This is the disturbing picture The Associated Press ran on Wednesday of a father killing his 5-year-old daughter‘s dead body. The AP did not blur out the image of the little girl as we have here.
In the caption, The Associated Press claimed the girl had been killed by an Israeli air strike. Here‘s part of the original caption from Wednesday.
It reads, “An Israeli air strike against Islamic militants in Gaza City on Wednesday killed three people, including 5-year-old Rajaa Abu Shaban, and wounded two more,” Palestinian officials and witnesses said.”
Well, it turns out that wasn‘t exactly right. So the AP ran this correction yesterday.
It reads, “On Thursday, doctors said the 5-year-old Palestinian girl initially believed to have been killed by an Israeli military strike Wednesday apparently died after sustaining head injuries during a fall from a swing set in the same area before the strike.”
In other words, the girl was not killed by the Zionists, or the crusaders, or even the United States. She was killed in a fall from a swing set. It doesn‘t make her death any less tragic, but it makes it much less politically important, and, of course, that‘s the point.
Well, here‘s an example of Hezbollah using the body of a dead child as a prop in its effort to manipulate international coverage of its war with Israel. This clip comes to us from German television‘s coverage of the bombing of Qana.
First you see the body of a small boy covered in a blanket being loaded into an ambulance, but then one of the so-called emergency workers in green helmets sees that the German television crew didn‘t get a clear shot, so he walks toward the camera and tells the cameraman to keep recording. The boy‘s body is then unloaded from the ambulance and reloaded once all the cameras are in position.
Now, we spared you the most reprehensible, the repulsive part of that tape. That‘s when the blanket was removed from the boy‘s face and body before he was put back into the ambulance.
Now, this is not a roundabout way of suggesting that Israel hasn‘t killed civilians. It has, many of them. And every one of those deaths is a tragedy. But it‘s a way of making a very clear point, a truth that is seldom reported in the West, and that is civilian deaths in the Islamic world are used relentlessly for propaganda purposes. And we should always keep that in mind.
Well, how would you like to help us “Beat the Press”?
Give us a call and tell us what you‘ve seen. The number, 1-877-BTP-5876.
Still to come, Mike Wallace‘s interview with Iran‘s president is making headlines and hasn‘t even aired yet. Was the newsman a mouthpiece for Iran? That‘s what some are claiming.
We‘ll tell you.
And will President Bush see a bounce in his popularity in the wake of the foiled terror plot from England? Who do voters trust now to win the war on terror?
We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Still to come, does the U.K. terror plot prove the left has been wrong all along in the war on terror? Some say so.
And air travelers are paying a price for security, but is that price too high?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: We‘ll get to all that in just a minute, but right now, here‘s a look at your headlines.
(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)
CARLSON: Well, civil libertarians have made a lot of noise about how government surveillance is bad for America. But now it looks like surveillance is exactly what helped foil terror plotters in the U.K. who were targeting thousands of unsuspecting Americans.
So has the right been right after all when it comes to te war on terror and civil liberties. Leo Terrell is an attorney and a talk show host on KNBC in L.A. He joins us now from Los Angeles.
Leo, welcome. Has this occurred to you that, in fact, this story we‘re seeing out of England, the success story, indisputably the success story, is a pretty good argument for keeping suspected terrorists under surveillance?
LEO TERRELL, ATTORNEY: Well, there‘s no question about that. But there‘s some magic words you omitted, like probable cause, submitting the information to a judge. Don‘t give me the argument that anyone could be under surveillance simply because the government decides to pick someone. Magic words in this country called probable cause and having a neutral judge investigate the evidence are critical to conduct surveillance for anyone.
CARLSON: Well, I don‘t know. I mean, of course, I agree with you. I‘m an American. I‘m kind of a civil libertarian myself. On the other hand, you know, it takes a lot of surveillance, typically. These guys had their spending being watched, their communications being watched, their travel.
I mean, essentially, everything they did was being watched by the government of the United Kingdom. You are not going to convince me that a judge—I know their system is different, of course—but a judge signed off at every step along the way. No, of course. At some point, you need to government blank authority; you have to trust your government is actually going to try to root out terrorism.
TERRELL: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You‘re not going to convince me that we are going to allow the government to do the right thing. We have safeguards, Tucker. And we‘re not going to be scared—
Americans are not going to be scared by what happened into the boogie man approach to give up all our rights. We‘re not going to abandon those right. And it‘s wrong for you to attack people like me just because I want to make sure our constitutional safeguards are never ignored.
CARLSON: Now, Leo. Now, Leo. Wait, wait, wait. Slow down. I‘m not attacking you. I‘m merely asking interesting questions that have you overwrought in response. I agree with you a lot of the time on this subject, but I am merely pointing out that your position, right or wrong, is a tiny minority view. People think...
TERRELL: That‘s not true.
CARLSON: Yes, it is true. It is true. You have think people care one bit if some, you know, recent immigrant from Yemen has his Blockbuster account monitored by the government? People don‘t care at all.
TERRELL: Yes, yes. Because it could happen to me the next time. It could happen to you. You want to downplay—you want to scare people. That‘s what you‘re doing right now. You want to scare people to go justify giving up rights. I‘m not going to buy that argument. You‘re not going to scare me.
CARLSON: Breathe from the diaphragm, Leo. Now, hold on. Wait. Slow down. I‘m not trying to scare anybody. Come on. I‘m merely a talk show host. I don‘t scare people. But I‘m telling the truth. There is a threat. You said, “Don‘t use a boogie man approach.” Well, in fact, there is a boogie man. And the bogie man is a bunch of Islamic extremists who want to kill us. They exist. They‘re real. They‘re not figments of our imagine, and we have to deal with them.
TERRELL: No one is going to deny that that situation yesterday that the British foiled justifies surveillance. However, you‘re not going to justify under any circumstances to give up my rights, and you‘re not going to downplay this immigrant to give my rights away and other Americans.
No American he is going to say that government should have a carte blanche. That is nothing more than a scare tactic that the Republican Party has used throughout this entire five-year alleged war on terror. That‘s what‘s going on right now.
CARLSON: No. Wait, wait, wait. Wait, slow down. Now you‘re getting into partisan talking points, and dumb talking points. It‘s not just the Republican Party. I mean, the Republican Party didn‘t bring us Waco. I mean, any party in power in this country is interested in increasing its power. I mean, that‘s just the truth.
And the Republicans happen to be in power right now. Someday, I believe very soon, Democrats will be in power. They‘ll behave the same way. Government always wants to increase its power. So it‘s not a Republican-Democrat thing. They‘re all in the same way. But isn‘t it true that the left does have a lot of problems admitting that there is this terror threat out there?
TERRELL: No, no, no. The left has no problem acknowledging the existence of terror. What the left needs to do is tell the American public and tell you that this war in Iraq is not hooked to terrorism. That‘s the combined boogie man approach.
People are being afraid because of what happened yesterday, and somehow, the Republicans are capitalizing on that to justify the war in Iraq. Let me be as clear as I can. America, the war in Iraq is separate from the war on terror.
CARLSON: OK, I mean, I think to some extent you‘re right. I‘m not even arguing with you. I guess what bothers me, though, is your tone and your emphasis. And this is what bothers me...
TERRELL: Because I‘m angry that you‘re trying to scare people.
CARLSON: No, no, no. It bothers me with so many liberals. They gloss over. They say, “Oh, you know. Yes, of course there‘s a threat out there. I mean, there‘s a threat out there somewhere. But really, the scary thing is” -- no. Look, pal. The scary thing is the possibility you or I could get blown up on an airplane by a bunch of Muslim wackos. That‘s the scary thing. There‘s nothing theoretical about that. That‘s real. That could happen.
TERRELL: Hey, pal, there‘s some people at these ports—our own ports are not even covered. We spent 300 billion—Harry Reid got it right. We spend $300 billion in Iraq. Where‘s the money on homeland security?
CARLSON: You‘re losing me, Leo. You‘re losing me.
CARLSON: You‘ve slipped off the rails of clean logic here, unfortunately.
TERRELL: No, no, no. You‘re trying to scare people. You‘re buying into the Republicans‘ logic.
CARLSON: Oh, come on. I‘m not defending the war in Iraq. I abhor the war in Iraq, and I have for a very long time. My only point, again, is this. Why is it that the left has so much trouble—literally, it‘s like a bone in their throat. They can barely get the records out—so much trouble admitting that there are all these Islamic—again, Islamic; not Presbyterian, not Jewish—Islamic extremists who want to kill us.
They can‘t say that because it somehow seems insensitive or unduly pro-American. They blush at the thought of saying it out loud. I challenge guests all the time on the left to just to say it, just say it loud and say it proud.
TERRELL: I‘ll say it. There are Islamic terrorists threatening this country. However, that does not scare people to give up our safeguards. You want to scare people. You‘re not going to scare me. You‘re not going to scare me based on 19 or 20 people. You‘re not going to scare me.
CARLSON: Look, I am, as a crypto-libertarian (ph) totally paranoid about the U.S. government. I think the U.S. government poses a threat to my liberty. I‘ve always thought that, and I think history has borne out my fears. That is true. It‘s something really to be worried about.
But you can be simultaneously worried about government overreach and Islamic terror. And you can understand that at some point, it‘s a tradeoff. You give up some of your freedom, hopefully not too much, but you must give up some truly to keep me from being killed by terrorists. I mean, that‘s just reality, man.
TERRELL: Mr. Libertarian, there‘s a document in this country. It‘s in Philadelphia. It‘s 200 years old. It‘s called the constitution. It says even though there‘s this—oh, no, don‘t ignore it. Don‘t downplay it. There‘s a document. It says protections, a right of privacy, safeguard. Don‘t try to scare me away from that document.
CARLSON: Right of privacy? Aren‘t you supposed to be a lawyer? There‘s nothing in there that has the word privacy, right of privacy, that‘s...
TERRELL: You‘re talking about this tension between government overreach and Islamic terrorism. I‘m saying—oh, come on.
CARLSON: You find “right of privacy” in that document, and you win dinner from me. All right, Leo Terrell. You‘re a tough debater.
TERRELL: Thank you.
CARLSON: Day Two of the new normal at airports across the country, meanwhile. Passengers still being forced to board planes virtually empty-handed and all in the name of security. But is there such a thing as being too safe, or at least having too much safety? Some experts say there may be no way to spare travelers delays while still protecting them.
So what do you do if you‘re headed for the airport this weekend? And many are. Rudy Maxa knows the answer. He‘s a contributing editor for “National Geographic Traveler.” He joins us from Minneapolis.
Rudy Maxa, welcome.
RUDY MAXA, “NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER”: Nice to be here. Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: How far bad is it going to be?
MAXA: Well, it‘s gotten incrementally better today. I mean, I think there were a significant amount of people who went to airports, perhaps for early morning flights, and, horrors, didn‘t turn on an all-news network or read even the paper—well, it wasn‘t even in the paper by morning, of course, the new regulations.
So the people stacked up in line to get rid of their lipstick and their deodorant and their toothpaste and their carry-on luggage certainly slowed things down. I‘ve already heard from airlines that today things are better. I mean, people have gotten the message and so they‘re packing those in their carry-ons or not bringing them at all.
But I would say, if you‘re going to the airport this weekend, to touch on your introduction, Tucker, print out your boarding pass before you go. If you‘re going for a domestic flight at a major airport, go two hours before the flight. If you‘re going on an international flight, go three hours before the flight and expect some days.
CARLSON: And just to restate, people who have not been near a television for the last 24 hours, what can you not bring that you used to be able to bring?
MAXA: OK. In the United—well, anywhere but to and from London, these are the rules. Anywhere to and from London, you cannot bring any gel or any liquid in your carry on luggage. That includes a bottle of spring water. It includes lipstick, it includes perfume, it includes toothpaste, it includes sun tan lotion.
You can bring a medical prescription, enough for your trip, if you have the prescriptions in your name, which lets out Rush Limbaugh in some cases. You can bring stuff for babies like baby food or juice, but that‘s it.
Now, if you‘re going to and from London, it‘s a whole different story. Coming from London, no carry-on luggage at all. Not even a newspaper. Not even a magazine. Not even a book to read. And if you‘re going to London, some airlines—I know American Airlines is right now, at least temporarily, banning carry-on luggage as well.
So you‘ve got to put everything in your checked luggage, which of course, raises the interesting question of laptops, cell phones, and PDAs, things that are frequently stolen from checked luggage.
CARLSON: Well, yes. And if you can‘t bring reading material, you‘re at the mercy of the in-flight movie selection, which is really grim to think about. How tough is this going to be for the airlines, which are already, in some cases, in pretty dire shape?
MAXA: Well, it is tough for the airlines because it‘s causing delays, and delays cost them money in gate time and fuel when they‘re taxiing and so on. So it is tough for the airlines, but it‘s really tough for passengers, as well.
And, you know, I live here in Minneapolis, St. Paul, which is a Northwest hub. And a year ago, Northwest took magazines off of the flight. So if you get on a non-stop flight from here to Honolulu for nine hours and you can‘t take on your own water, you‘re flying coach, you‘re at the mercy of a kind flight attendant, hopefully.
And you‘re going to get a lot of time not to read, basically, if you have couldn‘t take reading stuff on, if this gets translated to a nationwide rule of not being able to bring any carry-on. That would be a sea change, Tucker, a sea change because we all try to figure out how to do everything in carry-on.
Well, obviously we can‘t do everything in carry-on anymore if you bring any toiletries. But at least we can still, in the United States, if we‘re not flying to London, if we‘re flying elsewhere, at least bring reading material. But again, no gels, no liquids.
CARLSON: Well, just—I mean, make us all feel better and promise us that that will never happen, that our carry-ons will never be taken away, right? That‘ll never happen?
MAXA: I can‘t imagine it. Of course, I couldn‘t imagine ever having to take off my shoes to go through security before. I can‘t imagine it because there are so many people—there are people traveling with valuable trade secrets, with valuable documents, with laptops chock full of information.
And the weakest link when it comes to security for things in your checked luggage is the baggage department. I‘d like to hear, if this happens—even though this is happening temporarily on the London flights, if that expands, Tucker, I would like to hear airlines and airport authorities and the TSA saying they are putting watchful guards in every single luggage room. Because the pilfering will be rampant. And when the laptops go missing or confidential business documents go missing, we‘re talking serious consequences.
CARLSON: That is such a good point. I hope you‘re out there editorializing on this all the time. Rudy Maxa, really one of the great travel experts in the world. Thanks a lot.
MAXA: Nice talking to you. Bye bye, Tucker.
CARLSON: Iran has made no secret of its wish for the destruction of the United States. So were the Iranians involved in the latest terror plot against our citizens? We‘ll investigate when we come back.
CARLSON: Mike Wallace interviews the president of Iran, the president who wakes every morning thinking of ways to destroy the United States, and he comes away thinking he‘s a pretty good guy. Has Wallace finally lost it? We‘re back in 60 seconds.
CARLSON: So far Iran has not been linked to the latest terror plot against the West, but some experts suspect that country was, in fact, involved. Whether or not it was, Iran remains at the top of the list of the most dangerous regimes in the world. Our next guest says if the U.S. continues to ignore the Iranian threat the way we ignored radical Islam in the 1990s, we are setting ourselves up for a potentially catastrophic confrontation not too far down the line.
Joel Rosenberg was an aide to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He‘s also a best-selling author. His latest book called “Epicenter: Why the Current Rumbling in the Middle East Will Change Your World.” He joins me now from Washington.
JOEL ROSENBERG, FORMER NETANYAHU AIDE: Tucker, how are you?
CARLSON: I‘m great. I‘m confused, though, a little bit by the Mike Wallace interview, the “60 Minutes” interview with the leader of Iran. What do you make of that?
ROSENBERG: CBS has really lost it. I‘m sorry. Ahmadinejad, the new
president of Iran, is the new Hitler. The guy is talking outright about
genocide, not just against Israel, but against the United States. In a
speech that Ahmadinejad gave last October to a group of terrorists, I might
add, he not only said he‘s going to wipe Israel off the map, he also said -
he told the Muslim world to envision a world without the United States.
This is his plan. He‘s bought a billion dollars worth of missiles and other arms from Russia. He‘s giving $100 million to Hezbollah. He‘s building an alliance to destroy Israel first—that‘s the little Satan in his view—and then the United States, the great Satan. And I think there‘s too many people on the left, beginning with Mike Wallace of CBS, who just don‘t see this guy as evil.
CARLSON: Well, here‘s the key question, as far as I can tell. Is he insane? There are a lot of evil people out there. The question is, can you reason with him? Does he have something to lose? Is he someone whose behavior you can predict, or is he a religious nut who is just beyond human reason and is unpredictable? Which is true?
ROSENBERG: He is a religious fanatic. You know, Ahmadinejad is saying publicly that he believes the end of the world is just a few years away, that the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic messiah is to launch a global jihad, to destroy Israel, to destroy the United States. That‘s an end times religious view of Shiite Muslims, but held particularly by him.
I mean, a billion Muslims don‘t believe that, but he does. And that‘s what‘s dangerous because he‘s buying a billion dollars worth of arms from Russia and funding this exact war against Israel and the United States right now. That‘s dangerous because you can‘t ultimately negotiate against someone who is trying to bring about the end of the world.
CARLSON: No. And Iran does, by its behavior, seem to want a fight. It‘s hard to know what Iran gets out of a fight, though, with Israel. I mean, Iran doesn‘t have nuclear weapons, so far as we know, right now. Israel we know, does. We do, of course. Why would they be picking a fight with nuclear armed nations?
ROSENBERG: Well, you know, I‘ve written two novels about this, “The Ezekiel Option,” and now “The Copper Scroll” just out. They‘re both about a cataclysmic clash between Iran, Israel, and the United States and an American president who, frankly, waits too long to deal with Iran and the aftermath of that type of battle.
But this isn‘t fiction. I mean, this is a real new Hitler arising. And there are too many on the American left right now who think this guy—look, you know, Mike Wallace saying, “Oh, he‘s a reasonable guy. He wants peace. The era of bombs is over.” Really? Then why is Iran buying a billion dollars worth of bombs from Russia?
This Russian-Iranian alliance is the most dangerous event on our planet right now because it is moving the world toward a cataclysmic showdown that I believe was prophesized in the bible. It‘s certainly written about in my political thrillers. But right now, it is all too real and all too dangerous.
CARLSON: But we clearly don‘t want to do anything about it. I mean, even when evidence began accumulating in the 1980s, that the ‘83 marine barracks bombing in Beirut was funded indirectly by Iran, we didn‘t do anything about that. Ronald Reagan, you know, the hero to conservatives, did absolutely nothing about it. Right, that‘s right. So what‘s it going to take for the U.S. to act, and should we act? What does it mean to act? Do we really want a war with Iran?
ROSENBERG: Well, Most Americans don‘t. I mean, you know, you yourself are concerned about whether we should be in Iraq, and that‘s a legitimate discussion right now. There is no political capital in the United States today for taking the military action that we probably need to take to neutralize the Iranian threat, which leads us to a very dangerous situation.
Look, if Ahmadinejad gets nuclear weapons—and he already has the missiles to deliver them—Ahmadinejad can do in about six points what it took Adolf Hitler about six years to do, and that is to kill six million Jews. And destroying Israel is not his ultimate objective. That‘s just phase one.
We are the great Satan in his world view, and that‘s what‘s so dangerous. Iran tested a few years ago, firing scud missiles off the back of commercial container ships. Put a ship right off the coast of Baltimore, fire a missile at Washington or New York city, and we‘d have less time than we would from a Soviet nuclear submarine.
That is a scenario that is not fiction. This is real. And unfortunately, too many in our country just do not see this evil. On MSNBC last night, unfortunately, I was on a panel—Pat Buchanan, a woman from the Council on Foreign Relations, they‘re like, “Look, this guy is talking tough, but he doesn‘t mean it.” Oh, really? Well, that‘s what Neville Chamberlain thought about Hitler. He was proven disastrously wrong.
CARLSON: I have guess the problem is, once we believe he‘s going to act, what do we do? Can we afford another war right now? I mean, I don‘t know the answer. We don‘t have time to answer it on this show right now. I half agree with you, but I—maybe I fully agree with you, but I also sympathize with those who are not anxious to start another war.
ROSENBERG: Nobody is anxious to go to another war, but I think a cataclysm is coming, and we have to stop it before it happens.
CARLSON: Joel Rosenberg. Thanks, Joel.
ROSENBERG: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Kim Jong-il—speaking of bad guys, he‘s a threat to the security of the world. But is he also becoming a threat to the Hollywood supremacy of Steven Spielberg? We‘ll explain when we come right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. We‘ve told you have pretty much everything that‘s going on in the world today, but not everything. For the last roundup of news, we welcome our special correspondent, Willie Geist—
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Tucker, I yield my time today to the great Leo Terrell. I don‘t know how I could possibly stand up next to that man? Is he around? Can we get him out here? Well, I‘ll go anyway.
The state mandated reviews for Kim Jong-il‘s latest project are in, and they are glowing. Kim theoretically wrote and produced a movie called “Diary of a Student Girl.” The North Korean state news agency wrote a love letter to the movie, saying the film is playing, quote, “full houses in Pyongyang every day, evoking lively response from people of all walks of life.” The state news called the movie, quote, a masterpiece of the times.
Now, Tucker, Kim Jong-il, a bad guy, his people are starving. Probably clinically insane. But at some point, you have to stop and admire his accomplishments. This is a guy who shot a 34, including 11 holes-in-one, the first time he played golf. He‘s written operas; he flies fighter jets. You can pick up the state run newspaper any day and you read a story like that.
CARLSON: I agree. And actually, I saw “Diary of a Student Girl” and it was evocative. I laughed, I cried. Erotic hints throughout. I thought it was pretty good, pretty good.
GEIST: Sneak preview from Kim Jong (sic) himself?
Tucker, a former Hollywood agent pulled off perhaps the most lucrative bluff of all time at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas early this morning. Jamie Gold got his opponent to go all-in and then beat him with a pair of queens to take home the event‘s $12 million grand prize.
Don‘t cry for the second place guy, though. That was good for $6 million. The tournament started with nearly 9,000 players. And Tucker, this guy actually represented James Gandolfini—Tony Soprano—and Felicity Huffman from “Desperate Housewives.” He‘s their former representative. We know why he was ignoring the clients, now, though. I guess poker right every night, it paid off for him.
CARLSON: It‘s just so wrong. It says something so sad about American culture that the one guy who gets richer is already an agent.
GEIST: Exactly. He‘s already an agent, and he‘s much richer than any of his clients at the moment, by the way.
GEIST: Finally, Tucker, we try very hard to understand cultures different from ours and to not judge them, but it‘s really, really difficult when you see things like this. These people in India are throwing rocks at each other, not out of hate, but as part of a celebration.
The festival held every year outside a Hindu temple where locals split themselves into two teams and chuck rocks at each other. It‘s unclear how a winner is determined. Now, Tucker, I just want to tell these people there are better and easier and less deadly ways to celebrate.
Parades are a lot of fun for holidays. Gift exchanges work. Or, if you must do this, you don‘t have to literally throw the rocks. You can get a representation. On the Fourth of July, we don‘t fire munitions at each other, right? We have fireworks. It‘s a symbol, and many, many fewer people die. Just a recommendation.
CARLSON: I don‘t know. I applaud the authenticity of this ritual, Willie.
GEIST: Is that right?
CARLSON: These rocks aren‘t metaphors for anything. They‘re not symbolic rocks. They‘re actual rocks that you throw at people.
GEIST: Well, I invite you to go next year and join in the fun, then, Tucker.
CARLSON: I think I‘m going to be busy at Pamplona. But thank you for the invitation, Willie. Willie Geist, thanks.
Thank you, too, for watching. Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. Have a great weekend.
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