Tuesday, June 17, 2008

McCain Campaign Conference Call On Barack Obama And Terrorism

Today, Secretary John Lehman, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, McCain 2008 Director of Foreign Policy and National Security Randy Scheunemann and McCain 2008 Senior Policy Advisor Kori Schake held a conference call on Barack Obama's remarks concerning terrorism:

Former CIA Director James Woolsey:

"The criminal justice, totally criminal justice, approach to dealing with international terrorists, particularly when they are suicidal and are able to pull off plots like 9/11, has not worked. It was tried for essentially eight years, from the first year of the first Clinton administration to up until 9/11 during the first year of the first Bush administration. It was a miserable failure."

Secretary John Lehman:

"What Senator Obama said that this is the right approach -- the way we went about it in the 93 bombing was the correct approach -- shows a very deep first ignorance of the fact and very, very dangerous policy."

Advisor Kori Schake:

"I think it's important to emphasize two points that the 9/11 Commission concluded. First, that the existing mechanisms for handling terrorist acts have been trial and punishment, and that's inadequate to the threat posed by Al Qaeda. And that second, by favoring just one tool by neglecting others, we leave ourselves vulnerable and weak in our national effort. If the law enforcement approach were adequate, you wouldn't have had September 11th, and that Senator McCain favors good faith efforts like the Military Commissions Act to better protect Americans."

Advisor Randy Schuenemann:

"To put this in a little bit of a larger context, once again we have seen that Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mindset. He brings the attitude, the failures of judgment, the weakness and the misunderstanding of the nature of our adversaries, and the dangers posed by them to a series of policy positions.

"This is just his latest statement of how the 1993 World Trade Center case was handled in a long line of positions that reveal that he does not understand the nature of the enemies we face. He wants to retreat from Iraq, which Al Qaeda has called the central front in their war against us. He opposed FISA and terrorist surveillance programs because he wants to be able to have folks sue the telecommunications industry that cooperated with American national security officials in good faith. He opposed the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

"And the reality is he is not even factually right in his statement when he says that the people responsible for the World Trade Center bombing are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated. As the bipartisan 2004 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report pointed out, one of the individuals, Abdul Yasim, got away to Iraq and has not been brought to justice. So whether its ignorance of the facts, misunderstanding of the threat we face, the only conclusion we can reach is if Senator Obama did receive that 3:00 a.m. phone call that was so often talked about in the primaries, I guess his response would be to call the lawyers in the Justice Department. And with that, let me open it up to questions."


"I have no doubt that we will hear in the course of the day that the Obama campaign will say we're practicing the quote politics of fear, and the reality is what Senator Obama's statement reflects last night is that he's advocating a policy of delusion that ignores what happened in the failed approach of the 1990s which allowed al Qaeda to thrive and prosper unmolested and that policy clearly made America less safe and more vulnerable."


"It appears that all detainees held at Guantanamo do have the Habeas rights, and this is one of the reasons, under the Supreme Courts closely divided and strongly argues decision, and this is one of the reasons Senator McCain is so concerned about it and I think someone should frankly ask Senator Obama if he believes that if Osama Bin Laden were captured and taken to Guantanamo whether he should have Habeas rights."

Listen To The Full Conference Call.

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