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CNN CROSSFIRE

Jackson, Falwell Discuss Middle East; Is a Little Torture OK to Get Information?

Aired April 4, 2002 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE tonight, one sides with the Palestinians. One sides with the Israelis. Tonight, Jesse Jackson vs. Jerry Falwell on the crisis in the Middle East.

As the U.S. tries to get every single thing out of a captured al Qaeda leader, is it OK to use a little torture?

If it's Thursday, it's the CROSSFIRE "Police Blotter." When public figures and the law intersect, we'll tell you about it. All tonight on CROSSFIRE.

From the George Washington University, James Carville and Robert Novak.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to the new and improved CROSSFIRE, coming to you from our new location, the George Washington University here in Washington, D.C. You couldn't have picked a better night to join us. We're going to bore in our guests the controversial issue of torture. Is it ever justified to save American lives?

But first, a dramatic shift by President Bush in the Middle East, declaring that the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians must end, President Bush today said Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to the region next week. Powell's mission is to bring about a cease-fire. The move comes after weeks of escalating violence and demands from President Bush to do more to stop the fighting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world finds itself at a critical moment. This is a conflict that can widen or an opportunity we can cease. And so I've decided to send Secretary of State Powell to the region next week to seek broad international support for the vision I've outlayed today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARVILLE: Bob, what took the president so long?

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST: You know, James, I know this is asking too much of you, but for just once, I wish you would forget about banging the president so hard and say, my goodness, be an American instead of a partisan Democrat. Aren't we glad he's doing the right thing in sending the secretary of state out there?

CARVILLE: All I said was, what took him so long? Bang the president? I didn't do anything as a partisan Democrat. I approved of the move to send Powell.

NOVAK: I know. I'm anticipating your demagoguery. All right. Wait. Is sending Secretary Powell to the Middle East too little too late or a necessary move on the part of the president?

Let's bring in our guests to talk about that: the Reverend Jerry Falwell and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Dr. Falwell, I'd like you to hear from a person I consider one of the more astute, careful, studious members of the Senate foreign relations committee, Senator Chuck Hagel in Nebraska. Let's hear what he had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I think that the president's comments were blunt, direct. The assessment was correct. But at the same time, I think all parties have to share some responsibility here and I think the concurrent action that the president requested of the Israelis on complying with the U.N. resolutions, pulling back from those cities. Arafat and the Arab leaders being part of stopping this escalation of violence is all part of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOVAK: Reverend Falwell, doesn't Senator Hagel have it right and doesn't the president have it right? It's incumbent on the Israelis to pull their troops out of these Palestinian cities if they're going to stop the bloodshed?

REV. JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: I think just the opposite. I'm in strong support of the president. You know that. And I admire him and I will vote for him next time again. But I think requiring that we pull -- that the Israelis pull their tanks out in the incursions, the only language Arafat understands is strength and force. I'm not talking about the Palestinian people. I'm talking about the PLO, Mr. Arafat, who are nothing more than terrorists and they have proven it in so many ways. And as the president said today, these suicide bombers are not martyrs. They're murderers.

And to expect Israel -- suppose this were the U.S. There's a little country the size of New Jersey. And if the U.S., if Mexico or Canada, somebody decided that they were going to take over our country and bomb us into oblivion, would we, for one second, hesitate to do whatever was necessary to protect our people?

NOVAK: Dr. Falwell, all the civilized world is appalled at this bloodshed put on by the Israeli Defense Forces. FALWELL: Of course.

NOVAK: And the idea of the Israeli government saying, we're going to get out in our own good time, after the president -- you know, we supply almost the entire defense budget of Israel. Aren't you in America offended that the Israelis just stuck it to George Bush and said, we'll get out when we're good and ready?

FALWELL: Well, I think that Ariel Sharon has an awesome responsibility. I would not want it for a moment. I think he is doing the right thing, and I don't believe that our bullying of Israel and demanding that they cannot defend themselves or go in and find the terrorists and disarm those who would do damage to innocent men, women and children is the right thing to do. I am strongly, strongly, strongly in support of whatever it takes on the part of Israel to put Mr. Arafat in his place. And if that's a one-way ticket, so be it.

CARVILLE: Reverend Jackson, what should Israel have done? If they were blowing people up, the suicide bombers were coming in, they were paying the families of these suicide bombers. I mean, obviously, Israel has a right to protect itself. What should they have done?

JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Mr. Falwell has such an immature view of foreign policy. America's interest is not just to choose sides, but to reconcile sides. Mr. Bush made a step in my judgment today in the right direction because up until now, we've had a conflicting foreign policy, that the U.N. resolution says pull out, that the U.S./Israeli policy that says go further in.

So the fork in the road -- we chose the fork. Now it seems that by sending Mr. Powell in, at least we begin to start some active dialogue between the two leaders. And that's the first step.

CARVILLE: It may sound immature to you, but it sounds like -- those people were being bombed and they don't have a right to protect themselves? No, I don't think that's immature at all.

JACKSON: Well, my judgment, what you're looking at here is a cycle of killing. And there's the assumption that this policy is winning. The reality is the U.S. is becoming more isolated in the region and in the world community. So we're really not winning. Israel is becoming more isolated. And so, they are really punishing Arafat into exaltation, not into humiliation. And our allies in the region are becoming less stable.

So, this present policy is not working. That's why sending Mr. Powell there is the first step in the right direction and our allies ought honor this appeal for reconciliation.

NOVAK: Jerry Falwell, I can't believe that as a man of the cloth, you're not alarmed by the use of American attack helicopters, bombers, tanks, attacking the Palestinian defense police force with pistols, with young suicide bombers. You know, maybe more Palestinians have died in this than the Israelis. Aren't you appalled as a man of the cloth of the use of American weapons taking so many civilian lives? FALWELL: I would be appalled, Bob, if the American military force was not used to help Israel defend itself. Unlike the U.S., they have nowhere to go except the Mediterranean. Unlike the U.S., they have very few friends in the world. Europe is against them. Obviously, all their surrounding neighbors want to see them annihilated, totally disappear from the planet. They're teaching their children in the classrooms that Israel doesn't exist. They are not on the map. And all that Mr. Sharon is doing or any prime minister, forget the personality, is trying to defend 6 million people. And I believe that what Sharon is doing is helping the Palestinian people as well.

JACKSON: But it seems to me that's what's missing here is that Israel's security and existence matters to us and Palestinian existence and security matters to us. The stabilized region matters to us. What is happening there is not contributing to anybody's stability or anybody's security.

CARVILLE: Reverend Jackson, let me ask you, didn't Arafat take what what Prime Minister Barak offered him at Camp David? A Palestinian state.

FALWELL: That's right.

CARVILLE: Withdraw from the occupied territories and a lot of money was put on the table to help the Palestinians. Why did he refuse that?

JACKSON: I thought that was a huge mistake on his part. I also think that the initiative made by the Saudis last week that finally recognizes Israel's right to exist, and see them as a friendly neighbor rather than a hostile neighbor was the right thing to do, but should have taken place a year earlier, for example.

CARVILLE: Well, I agree with you. I agree with Reverend Jackson.

JACKSON: Of course you do, because I'm making sense.

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: Yes sir. You are. We're thinking on the same --

NOVAK: Reverend Falwell, you surely.

JACKSON: But the point is, today that the secretary, Powell going there was -- is the right thing. The next step, of course, in addition to going there, Mr. Sharon must respect Mr. Bush's appeal.

NOVAK: Reverend Falwell --

CARVILLE: If Arafat would have accepted what was offered to him, we wouldn't have any of this.

FALWELL: No question about that, James. You're right on target.

NOVAK: Reverend Falwell --

FALWELL: I want to tell you, if -- Mr. Arafat doesn't want peace he doesn't want a settlement, he would be out of business and unemployed if suddenly everybody were in peace.

NOVAK: Well --

JACKSON: One more point, Mr. Novak.

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: Let me ask you a question, Reverend Falwell. You surely, you're a sophisticated gentleman. You are fairly sophisticated to know there is no danger of these pathetic, radicals, fanatics, teenagers, suicide bombers driving the great Israeli armed forces, the strongest military in the Middle East, into the sea. When you say, gee, they stand alone, you know very well they are not in any military danger, and isn't it true that --

FALWELL: Bob, you know very well -- you know very well what you're saying is ridiculous. Saddam Hussein is paying those who will give their lives to kill Jewish people, men, women and children, and so is Arafat. So is the PLO.

NOVAK: Who is --

FALWELL: They are paying others. And I can tell you that if this were happening on American soil, when those towers went down, there was not an American who -- maybe Maxine Waters. But there were not many Americans who did not want us to go and --

JACKSON: Jerry Falwell, that was an unnecessary and ugly thing to say about Maxine...

FALWELL: It's the truth.

JACKSON: ... Waters. The reality is we are all against terrorism. And we are all against being terrorized. The issue in the Middle East is that Sharon and Arafat are trapped in a kind of death grip. And neither can turn the other loose, and neither is winning. Do you ask --

FALWELL: Arafat can stop it. He can tell those people to stop doing their terrorism.

NOVAK: Do you know -- Jerry Falwell, do you know the comparative number of Palestinians, civilians, who have died compared to Israeli civilians since this terrible bloodshed started? Do you have any idea? Who has suffered the greatest loss?

FALWELL: There is no question, no question that a greater head count of Palestinians are dying, and that's very sad. We take Palestinian students here at Liberty University and we take them on full scholarship, and we've allowed Mr. Arafat to even pick the students if he wishes. The issue is not the Palestinian people. The issue is Arafat himself. He's a barbarian, a terrorist. JACKSON: Novak --

FALWELL: And what Sharon is doing to him ought to be done to him.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Falwell you are not sounding like a man who uses love and redemptive power to reconcile. I submit to you tonight, our challenge tonight this night is not just a name-calling label, which you can do cheaply from America. We must use our strength to do a heavy lifting, that is not just choose sides. We must break that cycle of killing. We have that power.

Mr. Bush did not cause this. He does have the power to stop it. Today is the first step in the right direction, if Mr. Powell will take with him enforcement power.

FALWELL: I'm for diplomacy. I'm for Mr. Powell talking to both...

BEGALA: Reverend Jackson, do you support the...

FALWELL: ... parties. But I am not for forcing Israel to stop defending itself. A little tiny country the size of New Jersey, up against all of Europe and all of the Arab nations and Arafat. It's high time we said to our only true friend in the Middle East.

JACKSON: I think -- Falwell is seeking redemption.

CARVILLE: One thing I'll give Reverend Falwell, you're consistent. Because you used this to raise money just like you used everything else to race money. You put out a fund-raising letter. Just like you used September 11 to try to raise money. Reverend Jackson, I want to go to you.

JACKSON: I think Falwell is seeking redemption on other agendas.

(LAUGHTER)

Let's focus on this -- the Saudi plan. It is a step in the right dregs. The idea of the Arab countries recognizing Israel's right to exist. They are moving toward peace and coexistence rather than co- annihilation. That is at least a step in the right direction.

NOVAK: I want to ask you a simple question, Dr. Falwell. Do you favor the creation of a Palestinian state? Yes or no?

FALWELL: No, I do not. I think it should be formed, but not in Israel. What's wrong with the other Arab states like Jordan who have great volumes of land?

NOVAK: You don't want a solution. You want a military --

(CROSSTALK) CARVILLE: Of course you have to have a Palestinian state. How you going to have any peace over there unless you have one?

JACKSON: I think --

FALWELL: Well, they weren't even there when Israel in 1948 became a state. Very few were there. They weren't just displaced. They came in after Israel did, and many Palestinians will tell you --

CARVILLE: We've got to go. You go send out another fund-raising letter. We've got to go to the audience here.

(APPLAUSE)

JACKSON: He's on the wrong show.

FALWELL: I'm praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and I'm praying that God will give wisdom to Mr. Sharon to deal with...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: Why don't we pray for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) --

FALWELL: ... means to do.

NOVAK: Go ahead. Give your name.

JEREMY: Hi. My name is Jeremy Haulstough (ph), and I'm from the University of Maryland, College Park.

NOVAK: Yes! Go terps.

JEREMY: Go terps! I have a question --

NOVAK: Your home town?

JEREMY: My home town is Reiserstown, which outside of Baltimore.

NOVAK: All right.

JEREMY: And I have a question for either guest. As reverends, how do you feel about Palestinians using churches in Palestine as a safe haven for suspected terrorists?

JACKSON: Well, churches have always been a safe have.

FALWELL: I don't think there ought to be safe havens for terrorists anywhere.

JACKSON: Well, one thing, we must do is make certain, that we do not narrowly define terrorism. I think killing innocent people is terrorism. So we must break up the cycle of terrorism. But people who are in fear, using the church for safe haven in time of war, is a time honored tradition. NOVAK: Next question, please.

ERIC: I'm Eric Baptist (ph) from Rockford, Illinois. A question for either guest. To what extent do you see the other Islam nations becoming involved in the conflict?

NOVAK: Let's try Dr. Falwell first on that.

FALWELL: You mean broadening the conflict I assume you mean?

ERIC: The Egyptians and Saddam Hussein.

FALWELL: Saddam Hussein is already broadening the conflict by paying up to $25,000 to anyone who will kill Jewish men, women and children. And it's unlikely he's going to change his attitude unless Mr. Bush does in Iraq what he's done in Afghanistan, and that is if finish what we should have nine years ago.

NOVAK: Jesse Jackson?

JACKSON: Both groups have their financial backers, and the sum total of all of it is where we are today. The question is, how can we break the cycle of violence? Is the U.S. strong enough diplomatically to break the -- to break the -- to break the cycle? I think -- it's a step in the right direction.

NOVAK: Do you think that the other Arab states are getting involved in this, that's what the question was.

JACKSON: Of course they're involved in it. The United States is involved. As a matter of fact, the whole world is becoming embroiled in it. I think the coalition we pulled together after September 11, we maybe losing some of that coalition now. Because they disagree with our policy in the region. I think the more that Arafat is exalted as a kind of living martyr, that it gives the destabilizing forces in the Middle East more strength. So the whole region's being destabilized. It's not just Arafat and Sharon. The whole region is being destabilized. And our foreign policies, in fact, is being isolated and weakened.

FALWELL: In Israel there's a unanimity today. All the parties have come together, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, all agree with what is being done there by the government. And it's because we would do the same thing if we were being attacked from within.

JACKSON: All of them do not agree, as a matter of fact. What they really agree on --

NOVAK: One more question.

JACKSON: They really agree on the U.M. resolution.

FALWELL: Arafat doesn't agree.

NOVAK: Hold on. Wait a minute. Hold on. Go ahead. SARAH: I'm Sarah Kaufman (ph) from Washington, D.C. And this is a question actually from my dad in Miami, Florida. Reverend Jackson, in your opinion, do you think that Sharon stormed the temple of the mount to align the ultra-conservatives behind him so he could ultimately win the prime minister?

JACKSON: Well, there are those that believe that. And I think at this point to try to make that case, serve no socially useful purpose, I must say. I think his going there was a mistake. I think it undermined Barak politically. But getting into that now would not resolve the present moment of tension that we are in right now. I just hope we can in some sense stop the name-calling and labeling and break the cycle of violence.

NOVAK: Quickly respond, Dr. Falwell on the storming the Temple of the Mount by Sharon?

FALWELL: I personally think that was a mistake, and I think lots of mistakes have been made. But there's no way to justify the terrorism that is being incited by Mr. Arafat in helping these poor children to go in, blow themselves away. It is a terrible, terrible thing. And what do you expect Israel to do? Sit down and say, Mr. Arafat, have a party at our expense.

NOVAK: Thank you. Thank you very much, Jerry Falwell, thank you very much, Jesse Jackson.

Coming up on CROSSFIRE, it's our Thursday night police blotter. Including, is he in or out? Another twist in the Marion Barry comeback saga! Plus, our quote of the day. Here's a hint: A truck driver's son who may have a fool for a lawyer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: If you're a public official and you're in trouble with the law, look out! It's Thursday night, and it's time for the CROSSFIRE police blotter.

Too bad for us citizens of the District of Columbia, we just won't enjoy the pleasure of a comeback by former Mayor Marion Barry. Once more those nasty policemen are to blame. At his 66th birthday party last month, Mayor Barry said he would run for the City Council. But then the U.S. Park Police found traces of cocaine and marijuana in his car. Not enough to arrest him, but enough to cause Mrs. Barry to leave him and enough for Marion to put aside his latest comeback effort -- and let's not snort over that!

CARVILLE: Well, talk about a bad opening day. Just as Cleveland Indians pitcher Chuck Finley was about to make his season debut yesterday, his wife, actress Toni Katang (ph), was charged with spousal abuse and battery for allegedly attacking her husband. Then he missed his start, but the team said there was nothing physically wrong with him. If you're sitting there watching, I'll never say that you're the toughest (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Whoa, baby. I think she kicked him with a spiked heel.

NOVAK: A spiked heel. That's a lethal weapon.

Just weeks ago, Liza Minnelli, at age 56, got a new husband in the overdone marriage of the century -- the 21st century. But now she's in Los Angeles Superior Court accused of neglecting her 94-year- old stepmother. Liza's wedding featured a 36-member bridal party and a 12-tier wedding cake, enjoyed by 850 of the couple's closest friends. But 88-pound stepmother Lee Minnelli (ph) was disinvited to the wedding, and she charges her famous stepdaughter with refusing to pay for the upkeep of her home. She's suing, and that's entertainment!

CARVILLE: You know, it kind of reminds me of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has its ups and downs. I mean, wow!

All right. Now we reveal the mystery man behind our quote of the day. None other than Congressman James Traficant, the master of antic behavior on the House floor, now defending himself against racketeering and corruption charges. The Ohio Democrat blasted Federal Judge Leslie Wells saying she has turned the constitution into "toilet paper." Traficant faces up to 63 years in prison if convicted on all 10 counts against him.

NOVAK: But he's a hero in Youngstown for going against the IRS. And anybody that goes against the IRS can't be all bad, James.

CARVILLE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) anybody that's got that much hair, I guess!

NOVAK: Coming up next, a CNN news alert. Are you ready for this? Another Gore may throw her hat in the ring, and not Tipper. And later we hit our guests with the question -- should the United States torture this man to protect Americans?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: James, after the enervating, I think you know what that word means, experience of the year 2000, the last thing America needs is another Gore running for public office. Boredom, boredom, boredom.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you something. This is an outstanding young woman. I'm delighted to hear that she wants to be involved. She's a graduate of Harvard Law School. Her grandmother was the first female graduate of Vanderbilt Law School. Her grandfather was a United States senator. Her father was a United States senator and vice president.

She seems to me to be a vert articulate, brilliant -- and I tell you what else. We just don't Karenna Gore to run. I hope that when Chelsea Clinton comes back from Oxford...

NOVAK: Oh, yes.

CARVILLE: ...that she decides to run for office, too! Just like her mother, an outstanding member of the United States Senate. It's a good thing, yes. They would be great public servants and it would drive you right up the wall, Bob! Right up the wall, yes, sir. NOVAK: All those people know, James -- wait, a minute. All those people know, James, is how to get on the public payroll. Tipper was going to run for the Senate until she got cold feet.

CARVILLE: What are you talking about? This young lady -- you don't like the idea that this young lady is ambitious, and she's brilliant, and she wants to run for the Senate?

NOVAK: All rigth. Oh, stop.

CARVILLE: Run, Karenna, run!

NOVAK: Stop pandering.

Coming up on the new CROSSFIRE, we bring on our guests and tackle the question, if the lives at America at stake, is torture OK?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: We're in a state of war against the terrorists around the world to protect Americans. Should the United States resort to torture? Defense lawyers for Taliban-American John Walker Lindh say he's been tortured. U.S. officials deny the charge.

Lindh was captured in Afghanistan last year. He's now in Virginia, charged with conspiring to murder Americans and providing support for terrorist groups. And this man, al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, was captured in Pakistan last week, while possibly planning a terrorist attack yesterday.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld strongly denied reports that the U.S. might turn Zubaydah over to another country where he could be tortured to get information.

To talk about whether the United States should torture, we turn to our next guest. Give a warm welcome to criminal defense attorney Stanley Cohen and to Colonel Bob Maginnis of the Family Research Council.

NOVAK: Mr. Cohen, I'd like you to listen to something that was said today by the U.S. Secretary Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We intend to get every single thing out of him, to try to prevent terrorist acts in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOVAK: Surely, even a criminal defense attorney such as you doesn't have any objection to that kind of desire that we're going to find out what these people know to save American lives?

STANLEY COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well you know, I know of no country over the last 20 or 30 years that's spent more time and energy in openly and unsuccessfully interrogating by use of torture terrorists than Israel. And it's gotten them nowhere.

All it's done is it's produced another generation of folks that are willing to give up their lives because of what's happened to them and their families. In the United States, we may not like it, there are laws. The laws say, you can't torture. The laws say, in terms of our international treaties, you can't torture. Now we want an exception. It's a slippery slope. It'll completely consume and become the rule.

NOVAK: Far be it for me, sir, to ever be a defender of Israel, but the Mossad, the Israeli defense force has got one of the greatest banks of intelligence information in the world, but I would really like you to -- I'd really like to look deep into your soul, sir, and tell me that if we rough up some of these thugs to save a few American lives that would really bother you that much?

COHEN: Well, let me ask you.

NOVAK: I'm asking you. Don't you ask me.

COHEN: No. Does it have to be one life, 1,000 lives or 10,000 lives? Where is the cut off point? At what point do we say is it OK? Is it OK to prevent a bombing or nuclear war? What's the acid test? Who makes the decisions and what's the burden of proof?

NOVAK: You didn't answer. Just raised questions.

CARVILLE: I'm open on this, OK? And -- is he right when he said it would be against the law if we tortured this guy to get information from him?

BOB MAGINNIS, LT. COL., U.S. ARMY (RET.): Technically torture, James, is if we do, you know, irreversible damage to someone. And so, there's a line that you need to define. But in international law and both domestic law, but clearly, we can do certain things.

And the military, the CIA, FBI have certain techniques, fairly aggressive interrogation techniques. But I don't think they don't cross the line. You can put people in solitary. You can have them go without sleep for long periods of time.

CARVILLE: Can you pull his fingernails off?

MAGINNIS: No, you're not going to put electrodes to his testicles and those sorts of things. You're not going to do.

CARVILLE: OK.

MAGINNIS: But certain countries do. And...

CARVILLE: But you're not -- would you -- I'm just trying...

MAGINNIS: I'm not going there.

CARVILLE: All right, now let me ask something.

NOVAK: It is used around the world, isn't it?

COHEN: It is.

MAGINNIS: Russians did it for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're the great democracy.

CARVILLE: What is the best way -- what about using sodium -- truth serum? Does that work? Is that something that...

MAGINNIS: Revatol and sodium pentathol, you know, oral surgeons have used it 40 years.

CARVILLE: Right.

MAGINNIS: It works in some people in certain ways, but it's not infallible. It has some problems associated with it.

COHEN: You know what the best way, when you got a domestic problem, you got a missing baby, when you've got nuclear fission that's disappeared, you make deals. You turn around and you say to folks, "You know what, maybe I'll give you life, maybe I'll put you in the witness protection, maybe I'll give you $25 million," but you don't torture.

MAGINNIS: But in this context what we have, Abu Zubaydah, has some information. He's an operations officer. He has tactical information about perhaps near-term, real world problems that we need to get some information. You know, it might be worth a try. I would not be surprised if we've already done that with the CIA in Pakistan with he likely is.

CARVILLE: But in other words, what you're saying, I agree with him. If we can keep him up at night, I mean, we can be pretty aggressive. What the hell, what's wrong with that?

COHEN: You can strip him, and tether and put him out like John Walker. And you can, you know, chain him and do all those other wonderful things we claim they didn't do to John Walker.

NOVAK: I mean, I just want to find -- take a look at the picture of John Walker. Is it up there? There it is. That is really terrible. Isn't it? I mean, that is one of the great tortures of all time! My goodness! I got treated worse when I was in a fraternity 60 years ago.

CARVILLE: You know what? I'll tell you what, I mean, look, first of all, to compare John Walker Lindh to this guy...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

CARVILLE: ...John Walker Lindh don't know anything. I mean, he don't have any information. This guy knows something. If we're going to believe -- give me -- just tell me what you suspecting to do to him? Tell us what do you suspect that the CIA or whoever's interrogating him, what kind of tactic do you use in something like this?

MAGINNIS: Well, first, James, the guy's got three bullet holes in him.

CARVILLE: OK.

MAGINNIS: And we've got to keep him alive so we can get some information. What we already have is pretty good. We have his laptop. We have a lot of papers. And we also -- he's not going to talk to anybody. And he's not going to be able to execute those tactical plans that are in his brain. Keep in mind they weren't great about writing everything down, what the next strike is going to be, who -- where bin Laden...

CARVILLE: No, what I want to know, suppose there's something, we have to connect the dot in the laptop...

MAGINNIS: Yes.

CARVILLE: ...and need to know something. What is available to us that you would endorse that would be legal, that we could do to get this guy to talk? That's what I want to -- I want you to tell them what kind of -- I just want to know.

MAGINNIS: Well, you know, disorientation. We can use the truth serum.

CARVILLE: OK.

MAGINNIS: We can certainly, you know, deprive him of sleep. You know, you change every two hours, a fresh interrogator. You do that for 48, 72 hours.

(CROSS TALK)

COHEN: God forbid I should follow the law to preclude on international covenants and treaties.

NOVAK: Oh.

COHEN: I know the law keeps getting in the way of everyone's rush to torture, torture, torture.

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: I'm sorry. We're supposed to be a country of laws.

NOVAK: What upsets most Americans about people like you, Mr. Cohen...

COHEN: Oh, I see.

NOVAK: ...and that is that these people that we brought over from Afghanistan are bad dudes, the people in Guantanamo. And we have all these civil libertarians wringing their hands.

Let me just show you what General Michael Leonard, who is the American commander in Guantanamo said. We'll put it up on the screen. "These men are not choir boys; they are terrorists." Don't you see that we treat terrorists different than we treat choir boys?

COHEN: Serial killers are treated in a certain way as well. The bottom line is this, you keep talking about successful interrogation. Look at Israel. It doesn't work.

NOVAK: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COHEN: They tortured for 20 years and they haven't been able to pull anything off from anyone.

MAGINNIS: There are some overriding issues you've got to consider. One, we want Pakistan to continue to cooperate. If we go out and, "torture" someone, they're not going to cooperate and we're not going to get the next (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

We also have to stop antagonizing some of the allies. In fact, we want to go in and topple Saddam Hussein. If we want to do that, we're going to have to have some friends in the region. And quite frankly, we already have a problem in the Middle East. You know, if we start getting the reputation for torturing people, then we're going to end up with serious problems in the Arab street.

CARVILLE: My God, you're agreeing with him.

NOVAK: That's different.

COHEN: Wait, I got to switch my tune.

(CROSS TALK)

CARVILLE: I think -- I got to tell you, counsel, I think he's making a lot of sense.

(CROSS TALK)

CARVILLE: No, no. But what he's saying -- what is the problem with keeping the guy up?

COHEN: Look, there are certain prohibitions under international treaties. I know, there goes the law again.

CARVILLE: What treaty do we have? Who signed a treaty with the Taliban or the al Qaeda?

COHEN: Oh, I see. I see. We get to pick and choose whose laws we apply and when.

CARVILLE: No.

COHEN: Look, the bottom line is this, we are either going to be -- we know that every once in a while, the CIA and the military, they go marching off. They overthrow governments. They try to assassinate people. It always ends up hurting us and the bottom line.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you. These -- you have young Marines in boot camp right now. They're kept up. They have to march at night. They get sleep deprivation. They have water deprivation, everything. You're telling me we can't -- I mean these are guys talking about sleep deprivation in front of interrogators!

COHEN: They volunteered for service. This is different.

CARVILLE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) volunteer to knock our buildings down? Oh, come on.

NOVAK: He knows whereof he speaks, because he's a retired corporal.

COHEN: Oh, there it is. I'm surrounded by the military.

CARVILLE: Corporal cueball!

COHEN: Listen, we've always said -- and it's worked successfully in other World Trade Center cases, where we've made deals of suspected terrorists.

NOVAK: That's the last word. Thank you very much, Mr. Cohen.

COHEN: Thank you.

NOVAK: Thank you very much.

Coming up later, fire back, your chance to fire at us. A chance for us to return fire. But next, round six. James and I take off the gloves and go one on one. The scandal locking the Catholic church.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Time now for round six, where we take off the gloves and go after each other just one on one. The first issue, a new poll in the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic church. Bob, I want to go with "The Washington Post" poll. Catholic church's handling the scandals among Catholics. Disapprove, 66. Approve, 28. What were the hell were the 28 percent thinking over when they said they approved this? That's what I want to know.

NOVAK: I'm a Catholic. And I disapprove. And I think perhaps for their eternal soul...

CARVILLE: You disapprove?

NOVAK: I disapprove.

CARVILLE: On the way the church has handled it?

NOVAK: Yes. I think Cardinal Law, perhaps, for his eternal soul, might consider after prayer whether he should give up this thing. There's something else is going on. And that is the lefties, the left wingers in the church are trying to use this to do things that -- to attack the pope, to get things that they've always wanted, to end celibacy, to have women priests...

CARVILLE: Right.

NOVAK: ...to do a lot of things which would undermine the church. And I hope...

CARVILLE: Having women priests?

NOVAK: Yes.

CARVILLE: Or having married priests is undermining the church?

NOVAK: Yes.

CARVILLE: Oh, come on!

NOVAK: Celibacy is a gift.

CARVILLE: We're not saying you can't be celibate. You can still have celibate priests, but you can have married priests. We're not telling people don't be celibate if they want to.

NOVAK: It's a gift. It isn't a matter of whether you want it. It's a gift and it's something that's been used for 1,000 years. And see, I know what people like you are...

CARVILLE: I'm not saying...

[ringing bell]

NOVAK: I know what you're up to.

CARVILLE: No, you know what? Yes, you're right. You know what I'm up to? I'm up to having more priests and better priests. And you know why? To keep these guys in here because there's not enough priests. There's not enough priests in this country.

NOVAK: There are more priests coming in all the time. And you're side is losing. That's the reason..

CARVILLE: Losing what?

NOVAK: There's this disparate attempt to use this scandal to undermine the pope and to undermine the entire structure of the church.

CARVILLE: 16 percent of the Catholics in the United States want to have married priests and women priests.

NOVAK: I don't believe that.

CARVILLE: Well, of course. What is wrong with having a woman priest? What is wrong with having a married priest? The apostles were married.

NOVAK: I tell you. It's worked very well for the church for 2,000 years without women priests.

CARVILLE: Oh.

NOVAK: They don't really need it.

CARVILLE: It's working. You call this...

NOVAK: That's a mistake! You I want to use that. OK, wait a minute. Wait a minute.

[ringing bell]

Change the subject.

CARVILLE: Change the subject, OK.

NOVAK: Next Wednesday, the president is going to come out very strongly to urge action in the Democratic-controlled Senate on a bill that as passed in the House last November to prevent, to abolish, to prohibit human cloning. Now that is something that Senator Daschle, the Democratic leader, has kept from coming to a vote all this time. He is whipping the Democratic senators to vote against the bill to prohibit cloning.

We have -- I tell you, one James Carville is plenty. We really don't need them cloned. Don't tell me you're for human cloning?

CARVILLE: They just wouldn't clone me. That would be fine because nobody needs to be this stupid and ugly, but what the hell, Bob.

You know, it's anything against science, the Republicans hate it. They hate science on global warming.

NOVAK: It has nothing to do with science.

CARVILLE: Of course, it has something to do with -- there's got to be a way that we're smart enough people, that we can figure out a way to do this kind of thing in an ethical way, in a way that protects people and protects the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). What this says is the Republicans caving to a group, to extreme pro-life group that wants to stop any kind of progress into research.

NOVAK: See, what this is all about...

CARVILLE: Is what?

NOVAK: I'll tell you. The American people, you talk about polls, the American people don't want human cloning. But what this is about, this is about your feminists and the pro-choice, the abortion lobby.

CARVILLE: It is not the abortion lobby?

NOVAK: Wait a minute, let me finish. The abortion lobby is afraid that they're going to use this to prohibit abortions. See, I know what the ulterior motives are, even if you...

CARVILLE: The abortion lobby molested these kids, I guess? I mean, come on. You're blaming everything...

NOVAK: That's really stupid.

CARVILLE: I know, but I'm saying you blaming "abortion lobby," it's common sense to say that you want to have as much research for disease as you can. And all I'm saying is, is there has to be a way that you can have -- you can pass a law that would allow some of this to happen without...

NOVAK: Can I say something?

CARVILLE: Anything you want.

NOVAK: Can I say something, endorsing a female Democratic co- sponsor of the anti-cloning bill?

CARVILLE: Sure.

NOVAK: From your state, Louisiana, Mary Landrieu has taken a courageous position, supporting and sponsoring the anti-cloning bill. And I give the Senator Landrieu credit for that.

CARVILLE: All right, Senator Landrieu's a great senator.

Coming up next, fire back. Your chance to fire at us and an opportunity for all of us to fire at you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Now it's your turn to fire back at us, but first let's check our e-mail. The first e-mail is to James Carville from somebody who says, "You do such a wonderful job of orating a terrible liberal agenda. I would love to see you work with real ideas that are good for America like the ones the president is advocating." Wait a minute. "Come to the dark side, James."

CARVILLE: That's right.

NOVAK: And that's from Justin E. Scully of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

CARVILLE: You know what happens is at this time of year, you get some weird things in those maritime provinces. The days have been too short and the winter is too cold. James Carville is never going to work to raid the Social Security trust fund of $2 trillion.

NOVAK: Oh stop demagoguing.

CARVILLE: James Carville is never going to work on behalf of arsenic. James Carville is never going to work on behalf of these things.

NOVAK: All right. CARVILLE: "Dear Mr. Novak, I thought your comments about Oprah were mean-spirited, unnecessarily vicious and inaccurate. To smear and slander a woman who has used her influence to inspire others to do volunteer work and to strive for character and integrity was unbelievable." Julie Ravell Benjamin of Duvall, Washington.

NOVAK: See, I told the truth and I get in trouble. She attacked President Bush and came over just another entertainment liberal.

CARVILLE: What is -- can't people attack President Bush?

NOVAK: Not entertainment liberals. When they...

CARVILLE: The First Amendment doesn't apply to her!

NOVAK: When they turned down at effort to go, an invitation to Afghanistan to do some good. To do some good. Go ahead.

CARVILLE: I know you didn't like the Constitution!

NOVAK: All right. "Watching Mr. Carville is like watching a Mike Tyson fight. You know he will always go to absurd lengths to win his point. Bob and Tucker should keep their ears protected. Carville might take a bite." And that's from Bob Romero of Binghamton, New York.

CARVILLE: Well, I tell you what, Bob, you don't have to worry about me taking a bite out of Bob Novak. Look at that ear. That is kind of appetizing, there, fellow!

NOVAK: Yes, you're biting me, all right.

CARVILLE: "I haven't seen so many loud whiny, rude cry babies all yelling at once since kindergarten. Carville and Novak on the same show? If van Gogh were alive today, he'd cut off his other ear." Pete Selkowe of Racine, Wisconsin.

NOVAK: Oh.

CARVILLE: I tell you, Pete, that was a good one. That was clever. I give you a lot of credit.

NOVAK: From the audience.

ADAM RAMEY: Hello, my name's Adam Ramey. I'm a Republican from Methune, Massachusetts. And my question is to Mr. Novak tonight. Mr. Novak, earlier in the program, you argued from a seemingly pro- Palestinian perspective. Are you pro-Palestinian or are you pro- Israeli?

NOVAK: Well, you know, you're one of a vanishing breed, a Massachusetts Republican. You know a very -- that'll put you in a museum case, but, no. I'll tell what you I am. I'm pro-American. And I think the American position ought to be to negotiate a settlement and not to be a war party, trying to egg on the Israelis. Go ahead. GAIL REYTUSTRA (ph): I'm Gail Reytustra (ph) From Reisterstown, Maryland. I want to know do you think if the United States pursues using torture, are we just it's a bad as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda?

CARVILLE: No, there's nothing we can do to be just as bad as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. And I was about to talk at the conversation that we had tonight was pretty good. I mean, it's one thing to talk to one guy. It's another thing to knock down buildings with 4,000 people in them. The two hardly -- they just don't equate with each other.

NOVAK: Next question, quickly, please.

FOREST TISCHER: I'm Forest Tishcer from Reston, Virginia. The Bush administration intends to spend $200 billion developing a missile defense shield. I would like to know, Mr. Novak, do you think this would really be effective in fighting terrorists in the United States?

NOVAK: It might be protective in saving you in Reston, Virginia from destruction by a rogue nation. And that's what's important.

CARVILLE: Box...

TISCHER: Which rogue nation, you mean...

CARVILLE: They can't hit anything with it that's going to knock a box cutter out. Yes, right, sure, OK.

NOVAK: Just because they use one system doesn't mean they won't try another one the next time. The thing is I can't understand why liberals don't want to protect their fellow Americans.

CARVILLE: Oh, get out of here!

NOVAK: That just surprises me.

TISCHER: How would a defense missile protect us against a terrorist that blew up the World Trade Center?

NOVAK: It won't protect against a missile attack.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you. They want to protect Americans pocketbook and not waste it on itself. That's what governments want to do. Wasting money on this and everything else.

NOVAK: Liberals trying to protect the pocketbook...

CARVILLE: Yes, sir. I tell you what. You know what? Who got the deficit under control?

[ringing bell]

NOVAK: All right, say good-night.

CARVILLE: From the left, I'm James Carville.

NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak. Be sure to join us next time for another edition of the all new CROSSFIRE.

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