Wednesday, June 18, 2008

McCain Campaign Conference Call With Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Today, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and McCain 2008 Director of Foreign Policy and National Security Randy Scheunemann held a conference call on Barack Obama's remarks concerning terrorism:

Mayor Giuliani On America's National Security

Mayor Giuliani: "And the approach that was taken before September 11 of 2001, which I have said many, many times, I believe was a critical mistake -- much more easily recognized in retrospect than at the time, was to not deal with terrorism realistically. To deal with it rather as a defensive matter. When the 1993 attack took place at the World Trade Center the response to it was a criminal prosecution but nothing beyond that. No follow up to that in any meaningful way. Not the recognition that these are not isolated criminal acts but these are part of an ongoing, even if loosely defined, conspiracy and act of war. The attack of 1993 on the World Trade Center was an act of war not just a domestic crime. And for Senator Obama to suggest that is the best example of how to deal with this, I think does demonstrate the point that we have been making for quite some time. That he wants to go back to going on defense. Then after the 1993 a ttack there were the attacks at Khobar Towers, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, the attack on the USS Cole in which in some cases there were responses but they were very modest responses, certainly not at the level of the danger and risk and reality that we were facing. And again, this is not said to criticize the decision making then. People can only react to what they know at the time. But it is another thing, now in retrospect, to now want to rush back to doing it the same way we did It then."

Mayor Giuliani On The Obama Campaign's Comments Concerning Habeas Corpus Rights

Mayor Giuliani: "I also believe that the remarks yesterday that were made by several people in the Obama camp that if Bin Laden were taken to Guantanamo, he would be given habeas corpus rights is startling. And again, a reminder of just maybe where they are going on the Democratic side and what we would have in store for us if he had a Democratic presidency. The reality is that there seems to be more concern about the rights of terrorists or alleged terrorists than the rights that the American people have to safety and security."

Mayor Giuliani: "Senator Obama has a defensive approach to terrorism and I could probably give you ten other examples of that. The statement yesterday that was made by Senator Kerry, and I am not sure if Richard Clarke joined in that, that they would extend Habeas Corpus to Osama Bin Laden if he were in Guantanamo. When I hear that I just am startled, and it does illustrate that what the Supreme Court did last week is not recognize a right that has existed for a year much less two hundred years, it created a new right that hasn't existed before. And I really do ask the question why would you do that at a time in which we are facing this terrorist threat, unless you didn't see the full significance of the terrorist threat that we are facing, and see it more like this can dealt with through our normal criminal justice procedure."

Randy Scheunemann On The Obama Campaign's Misleading Attack On 2003

Randy Scheunemann: "Senator McCain, when he came back from his visit to Guantanamo in 2003, did in fact write a letter, was joined with two other senators and believed and has always maintained that there needed to be adjudication and a process in place for adjudication of the detainees at Guantanamo. It's no secret that he's differed with the Bush Administration on many aspects of the detainee treatment as well as the adjudication process that the Bush Administration initially resisted. And as Mayor Giuliani pointed out, there was a good faith effort to put a process in place that both gave adjudication process to the detainees, but also protected our intelligence information for example, from discovery by defense lawyers and all the other ramifications that would flow from being in the federal court system. Senator Obama opposed that effort to set up that process.

"It's ironic now that he's talking about his support for military tribunals when he in fact opposed the process that was set up. The Supreme Court, as Mayor Giuliani pointed out in a closely, narrowly divided decision, struck elements of the military commission back down, Senator Obama expressed support for that Supreme Court decision, and has expressed support for habeas and access to federal courts by the Guantanamo detainees, including Osama Bin Laden, if he were captured and held at Guantanamo. Senator McCain opposes that, does not believe that that case was rightly decided or that detainees at Guantanamo should have habeas and our federal courts."

Mayor Giuliani And Randy Scheunemann On The Obama Campaign Calling The Current National Security Debate "Stupid"

Mayor Giuliani: "Second, with regard to this language of stupid' or smart', I think that language that probably shouldn't be applied to this debate, every once in a while, that kind of thing happens out of partisan excess."

Randy Scheunemann: "But on the comments by Susan Rice, we don't want to engage in name calling, we want to have a honest civil debate about the issues. We are happy to talk about Senator McCain's positions and Senator Obama's positions on things like designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group which Senator Obama opposed or on whether telecommunications companies that cooperated in good faith with the United States should be open to lawsuits for their good faith cooperation or on the consequences of withdrawal from Iraq and what that would do to strengthen al Qaeda in Iraq."

Listen To The Full Conference Call.

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