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Glenn Beck

What Place Should Protests Play in Politics?; What Are Giuliani`s Chances for the Presidency?; Lottery Winner Keeps Day Job

Aired January 29, 2007 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up, annoying Jane Fonda parties like it`s 1969. And Rudy Giuliani has compared himself to Ronald Reagan. Really? What a weekend. We`ll have more on that next.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight`s episode is brought to you by the New Hampshire Department of Tourism. New Hampshire, where peace and solitude are a way of life.

This winter, why not get away from the hustle and bustle and visit tranquil New Hampshire?


BECK: I have to tell you, I think I would have rather been in New Hampshire than this weekend in Washington, D.C., where the anti-war protestors took the streets.

They were joined by the usual suspects of celebrity activists Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and Jane Fonda was there. Now, Hanoi Jane said that she hadn`t spoken out at an antiwar rally in 34 years but that silence is no longer an option.

Oh, really? Jane, I loved the 30 years of shutting your yap. It was amazing. We all loved it.

Here`s the point tonight. There is nothing, nothing more American than standing up and protesting, standing up and questioning our government. That`s what this nation was founded on.

However, if that questioning isn`t done with honesty and integrity, well, then it becomes nothing more than a 60s style rhetoric and posturing for the camera or the next campaign.

And here`s how I got there. I believe that there are some people, Jane Fonda among them, who were still fighting the Vietnam War. For them, I don`t think the Vietnam War will ever be over.

Every town has people like this. You know, the kind that shop for the dented produce at the co-op and drape themselves in loose-fitting hemp from head to Birkenstocks and they will protest just about damn near everything, especially the war, no matter how justified a conflict might be.

These people are lifestyle protestors. And I don`t think they really serve any purpose except annoying people and keeping the Woodstock sound track in print.

To find slightly more reasonable people who were speaking out goodness the war in the Middle East, you need to look no further than Congress. Now, in Congress I think there are two tops of politicians who are against the war. Just so you know, I disagree with both of them.

I want to make it very clear, as I usually do. I am a supporter of this war and I`m a conservative. That`s the prism I see things through.

But these guys, they don`t get my support on the effort to end the war in Iraq without victory. However, out of the two, there is one type that gets my respect.

To put it mildly, Senator Chuck Hagel, he`s really pretty much against the way this war is being fought. He voted for it before he voted against it. But as I told you in a "Real Story" a couple weeks ago, Chuck Hagel has been railing against aggression in Iraq since 2001, well before we contemplated an invasion.

Again, I disagree with him on this issue, but I do admire the courage and consistency of his convictions. He`s also, even in the minority of those in Congress who`s actually willing to take some blame. Take a look.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: I don`t question the president`s sincerity, his motivation of this. I never have. Part of the problem that we have, I think, is because we didn`t -- we didn`t involve the Congress in this when we should have. And I`m to blame. Every senator who`s been here the last four years has to take some responsibility for that.


BECK: I`ve got to tell you, Nebraska, on this particular issue, I think that`s a representative you can be proud of, even if you`re like me and you disagree with him.

Now, on the other end of this spectrum is Senator John Kerry. In case you`re one of the many still reeling from that underwhelming announcement that he`s not running for president, let me remind you that John Kerry voted in favor of the war.

Now, he`s reversed himself -- this is a Kerry specialty -- but he had the audacity to take shots at his own country over the weekend while giving an address in front of the former president of Iran. Get ready to have your temperature gauge go through the roof.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East, in the world really. I`ve never seen our country as isolated as much of a sort of international -- for a number of reasons as it is today.


BECK: Wow, an international pariah. Look who got a thesaurus. You did, yes.

You know what, John Kerry, I am -- I`m ashamed. I`m ashamed of you. And I hope Massachusetts is, as well.

Once again, to question the actions of your government is fine. In fact, it is your responsibility as an American to speak out against something that you believe in or don`t believe in, even if you endorsed it and helped set those actions into motion.

What isn`t fine in my book is doing so for political purposes or because you`re still living in the 1960s and fighting the Vietnam War. It is especially vulgar to do it in another country, especially in front of those sympathetic to Iran.

In case you haven`t forgotten, senator, Iran, the bad guys here. They`re the reason, I believe, we went into Iraq in the first place. But none of you clowns in Washington will admit it. If you want to clean things up, that`s one thing. But have the common decency not to air our dirty laundry while you`re away from home.

So tonight, here`s what I know. Thomas Jefferson said something that really changed my life. He said, when it comes to questioning, question even the existence of God, for he would rather prefer reason to blindfolded fear. I have always taken that as a celebration of questioning everything in our country, the policies of our government included.

As a people, we are at our very best when we stand up and protest or we question whether or not American men or women should give their lives in war. However, we`re at our very worst when we allow our leaders to do so only when it is politically convenient.

What I don`t know, how many honorable politicians are there? How many exist that are willing to take a break from saying, "Vote for me," and show the same honor as those like Chuck Hagel and those very unlike John Kerry.

Rick Shenkman, he is a presidential historian at George Mason University. Rick, questioning our government, historically speaking, is it always a good thing?

RICK SHENKMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Well, we`ve been questioning our government in wartime right from the beginning. Every one of our wars, except for World War II, all of our wars except for World War II, has seen sustained, constant and often intense criticism of the policies of the federal government.

BECK: I have to tell you I just finished, I don`t know, a couple of weeks ago "A Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Have you read that?


BECK: What a fantastic look at Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. And what I was struck by is how many -- the Democrats from Ohio specifically were giving speeches on the floor saying, "This president lied to us. He brought us under false pretenses. He said that this was going to be war to bring the union together, and now it`s become a war on the Negro." And the parallels of today were shocking to me.

SHENKMAN: Well, an even better parallel is Abraham Lincoln, when he was a member of the House of Representatives standing up in Congress and denouncing the Mexican-American war and denouncing the president of the United States at that time and saying, "You know, Mr. President you told us you invaded Mexico because American blood was shed on American soil. It wasn`t American soil. Tell me where, what spot American blood was shed on American soil." And it became so insistent in talking about this that he became known as spotty Lincoln.

BECK: The one question that has been going through my mind is, you know, I really truly believe that we are the greatest American generation, that we`re no different than our grandparents.

What`s different between now and World War II as I see it, is there is a machinery on propaganda just like there`s a machinery on propaganda the other direction in World War II. Can you win a war now with the dot orgs and Hollywood machinery and the media if they are against it?

SHENKMAN: Well, of course the war we`re in now is far, far different from World War II. In World War II and World War I, the entire American society was mobilized for war. This is a war currently that we`re in that`s really affecting a very small minority of Americans.

And when you talk about censorship, in World War I and World War II the government censored the news, and they had the ability to do so. Today, they no longer have that ability because of blogs, because of cell phones, satellites, all the rest. You can`t do it. You can`t write a war the way you used to. It`s changed.

BECK: Let me -- let me play devil`s advocate with myself. What really gets under my skin is having John Kerry speak out on foreign soil. But as I say that, it doesn`t feel right to me. Because really you say anything on television now, what I`m saying now, is being spilled out all across the world.


Beck: So is there a difference between saying it here and on foreign soil at all?

SHENKMAN: Well, you make a very strong point. I think that`s one that we need to reflect on. I would say that John Kerry isn`t running for president. He`s not the president of the United States. So his criticism of America at a forum where leaders are supposed to be frank so that they can have some good discussions, that`s different from if he were the president of the United States or a presidential candidate going abroad and standing up and giving a speech in which he was criticizing of the home government.

But we are living in different circumstances. So I think you`re raising a very important question. If an American can get on television and that...

BECK: Right.

SHENKMAN: ... is going to be broadcast abroad...

BECK: What`s the difference?

SHENKMAN: ... it changes the situation, doesn`t it?

BECK: Rick, thank you very much.

Now, on the march on Washington that happened more than two days ago, yet I still don`t have any idea how many people actually showed up at this thing. I heard guesstimations from anywhere from 10,000 to over a million.

Luckily, there`s one sure-fire way to figure out which is which.


ANNOUNCER: Now it`s time for You Do the Math. How many antiwar demonstrators actually marched on Washington this past Saturday? A, at least half a million or, B, tens of thousands. The correct answer is, neither.

To find the correct answer, simply take the number of people who paid to see Jane Fonda in "Monster-in-Law" and then subtract the people who walked out of Susan Sarandon`s "The Banger Sisters" and just add 12.



BECK: America`s mayor has hit the campaign trail, and you`ll never guess which former president he`s already comparing himself to.

And would you keep working if you hit the lottery? Yes, me either. But we`ll talk to one woman who says her recent jackpot will not keep her from punching the clock.

Plus, the good news is economic tactics against Iraq are working. Bad news, they`ve got somebody else doing their dirty work, so it may not matter. I`ll explain in tonight`s "Real Story". Do not miss it.



BECK: You know what? No matter what you think about the war, maybe we should finish this thing off. I`m just saying maybe we should. What do you say?

Now, me personally, I`m not a war general, but I am a thinker. And I just think that packing up our stuff and saying, "Hey, guys, it`s been fun. Whoa, sorry we stirred the pot over here. Now you`ve got Iran in your face and everything. Boy, that sucks to be you. Hey, I`ve got to catch my plane." I don`t think that`s a good idea. Maybe it`s just me.


BECK: All right. When candidates start finding reasons to be in primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire almost two years before the election, you know the nightmare campaign season is already under way.

Former New York City mayor and potential GOP presidential contender Rudy Giuliani found his way to Manchester, New Hampshire, over the weekend. He gave his speech and then his address to that state`s annual Republican meeting. He called Ronald Reagan his great hero. He invoked Reagan`s name in a discussion on national defense.

Now comparing a new product to an established successful one, really nothing new. It`s worked in the movies and candy bars. But really for potential candidates? Wow.

Andrew Kirtzman is the author of "Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City".

Andrew, was he comparing himself to Ronald Reagan? And if he was, wasn`t that a little bold?

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR, "RUDY GIULIANI: EMPEROR OF THE CITY": Well, I think Giuliani is no wilting flower. He makes bold statements. And he`s got several agendas. No. 1, he`s got a lot of convincing to do to people on the right that he`s one of them. And it`s been well discussed that he`s pro gay rights, he`s pro-choice.

So by aligning himself with a hallowed Republican conservative icon like Reagan, I think he`s trying to convince them he`s -- you know, he`s on their side.

BECK: OK. Now he was kind of comparing himself to Reagan in a way that, from what I know about Rudy Giuliani, I agree with, that he is a guy who believes in what he believes in and he`s just not -- he`s not a focus group. He`s just a guy who believes it, and he`s going to do it.

KIRTZMAN: That`s true. That`s true. And I think that`s probably what he had in mind. I mean, I think he venerates Reagan and has for a while. This is not a new thing for him. He`s talked about it in a great deal in the past for sticking to his guns, for not, you know, caving into interest groups and to a politically correct culture.

BECK: Yes, but I mean, one difference between Reagan and Giuliani is Giuliani is a bull in a China shop. I mean, he doesn`t -- he takes no prisoners. Where Reagan, I mean, he was called a great communicator for more than just giving a good speech. He also used humor. He could disarm people when he walked into a room. Giuliani doesn`t do that.

KIRTZMAN: Look, I mean, there are plenty of differences between Rudy Giuliani and Ronald Reagan. As you said, Reagan was known for his charming, his ability to kind of disarm the political opposition. Whereas Giuliani is about a whole different thing. With Giuliani, his background is that he came into New York as a lonely Republican in a city of Democrats. And he took no prisoners.

And he basically intimidated the opposition and the media and, you know, basically anyone who stood in his way to basically health him do what he wanted. And he was extraordinarily successful.

BECK: I have to tell you, I live in Connecticut, and I lived here before Giuliani and saw a lot of New York before he took over and then saw it after he took over. The guy is amazing. And New Yorkers love this guy because of that, because he took absolutely no prisoners.

KIRTZMAN: A lot of New Yorkers love him.

BECK: Yes.

KIRTZMAN: I wouldn`t say all New Yorkers.

BECK: Well, right.

KIRTZMAN: I would go as far as to say America kind of sees him as a much more non-controversial person because of his heroism on September 11 than New Yorkers do. Because you know, they got to see him close up, and often what he was doing wasn`t very pretty, although it was very effective.

BECK: Right. So here`s the real question. Because I think Giuliani in a way is helped and hurt by 9/11. Most of Americans know him for that. If you watched what he did in New York, you either love him or hate him for what he did in New York. I love him for that.

Little things like cutting off funding for a controversial art project. It was -- it was the Virgin Mary painting made of elephant dung that he shut the funding off for, if I`m not mistaken.

KIRTZMAN: Right. The Brooklyn museum.

BECK: Right. But then on the flip side that Americans don`t know is his, for instance, his relationships. He`s been married three times. He was married to not his first cousin, because that would be weird, but his second cousin.

Then his second wife found out about his girlfriend, and now his third wife at a press conference. I mean, there`s a lot of stuff with Rudy Giuliani that when American finds out they`re going to have to do some thinking on him, besides policy, don`t you think?

KIRTZMAN: Giuliani. Well, yes, the answer to your question is is yes. People are going to take stock of his private life and have to make their personal decisions. But Giuliani`s basic attitude towards all this is that it`s no one`s business.

And not only was it -- did he feel it was no one`s business but he felt he could be public about it, he could walk up Second Avenue with Judy Nathan when he was still married to Donna Hanover in front of the television cameras and the photographers and feel it`s my life.

BECK: You know, Andrew, we`ll have to -- we`re out of time. We`re going to have to continue this conversation later. But you know, it`s going to be hard for conservatives who said that private life does matter to now jump on the band wagon for Rudy Giuliani. We`ll continue later.

So now you think you know what a terrorist looks like? Really? I`ll tell you why racial profiling could actually make us less safe. Tonight`s "Real Story". Don`t miss it. Right around the corner.


BECK: All right. I don`t know about you, but if I won the lottery, I`m pretty sure I`d be packing up on the Griddles, double stuffed Oreos, camping out in front of my TV and watching the first five seasons of "24" until I passed out. I would certainly not be getting up at the crack of down and schlepping my way back to work. Not that this is work. I enjoy every second of this.

Peggie Wilkins is a brand-new millionaire, and she is still the friendly face behind the aisle 7 cash register.

Peggie, what a pleasure to talk to you. I have been reading about you all through the weekend. You are just -- you are one of these amazing Americans that won the lottery, a million dollars. How did it happen? You were there behind the cash register. Tell us the story.

PEGGIE WILKINS, LOTTERY WINNER: Well, I had gone to work at 8 on Friday morning.

BECK: Yes.

WILKINS: And I decided to go to the lottery machine and buy me a ticket. And I decided to buy two tickets, and the second ticket was a winner.

BECK: Now, but you didn`t know how much it was worth at first.


BECK: You thought it said -- you thought it said a thousand dollars.

WILKINS: Yes. I did.

BECK: Why is that?

WILKINS: Because the glare from the ticket was on my glasses.

BECK: And so you passed it to somebody else?

WILKINS: Yes. I asked one of my co-workers in produce and they told me that it was a million dollar ticket.

BECK: What did you -- this would be the next phrase. If I heard that the next phrase would be, "Clean up on aisle 7." What exactly happened then? What was your reaction?

WILKINS: Well, I just started to shout, you know? And run around, you know.

BECK: Yes. And I understand that your co-workers couldn`t be more pleased, because you are somebody -- you`ve been working at the Walbaum`s (ph) for how long?

WILKINS: Well, I`ve been working in that particular store 18 years, but I`ve been with the company for 28 years.

BECK: And you now -- your kids, when you called them, is it true they didn`t believe you?

WILKINS: No, they didn`t believe me. They said -- my oldest son, I called him in Dallas. And he said, "Oh, come on, ma, don`t play with me."

BECK: Right. And -- but yet you`re going back to work. And you`re going to use the money for what?

WILKINS: I`m going to use the money to buy me a home. And I`m going to put some away for my grandchildrens` college education, and hopefully my children will decide to go back to school and better themselves.

BECK: Well, that`s good for you. You know, it couldn`t happen to a nicer person.

Now, listen, and I mean this sincerely. There was that guy that won all that Monday in West Virginia, and he lost it because he kept going to strip clubs and people would steal it out of his car. When you go to strip clubs, don`t take the money with you. A piece of advice.

WILKINS: I`ll remember that.

BECK: Thanks, Peggie.

We`ll be back in a second with "The Real Story" next.


ANNOUNCER: Airline food, missing house keys, dishwashers that kill. These are just a few of the fascinating topics tackled by Glenn in this week`s utterly riveted podcast. Check it out by going to or iTunes. Then download Glenn`s podcast, "Sick, Twisted Freak".


BECK: All right. Welcome to "The Real Story."

Now, when you think about peace, love, and most importantly delicious chocolate, you think, of course, of Switzerland. Now the country that made the extremely hard decision to stand for neutrality in both world wars is at it again, this time as the setting for a possible breakthrough on the Iranian nuclear program.

This weekend, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency was there and made a proposal for all sides to take a timeout. Thank goodness for the U.N. I mean, who else would be bold and creative enough to propose solving a deeply complex nuclear crisis by essentially taking a deep breath? After all, if there`s one thing that you want to give someone who`s urgently trying to obtain a nuke, it`s more time.

Anyway, the head of the IAEA said that, if Iran will agree to suspend their -- I`m trying to say this with a straight face -- their uranium enrichment program, then the U.N. will delay imposing additional sanctions on them, which should have been should have gone into effect as early as February. No, no, not so much.

Iran`s nuclear negotiator, whose job it is to master the ability to say the word "no" in 37 different languages, actually said this weekend, "Sure, we`ll think about that." Look, they want peace. We`ve got to stop isolating them.

The real story is, if Iran accepts this idea, it`s because they`re selfish, not because they have any real intention of helping bring peace to the Middle East. And I say that for a couple of reasons.

First, Russia. I`m sure it`s just a coincidence that Iran said they`re willing to consider the timeout idea on the same day that Russia`s national security adviser met with Iran`s President Tom and, in what is extraordinarily rare -- and I think extraordinarily spooky and dangerous -- they also met with Iran`s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. That almost never happens.

So what is it those two crazy cats talked about? Nobody knows. There`s no Iranian version of Helen Thomas to harass them and ask them about it. But my guess is, it was probably about Russia`s enriching uranium for Iran on Russian soil. Great. That`s great. Didn`t we just find, you know, some of Russia`s old weapons-grade uranium for sale on the black market? Let`s make sure Russia is the international steward for Iran`s nuclear power, as well.

By the way, it`s worth repeating that Russia is building Iran`s nuclear plant, selling them advanced missiles, and lobbying against the U.N. sanctions every chance they get. Shouldn`t we at least be asking whose side these guys are really on?

But the second reason I think Iran may actually be considering this idea is because President Tom sees this country literally splitting apart at the seams. I don`t think the Saudis have intentionally driven down the price of oil to hurt them, and it is working. Their economy is in shambles. The price of things like fruit and vegetables are skyrocketing. Some estimates put inflation as high as 50 percent and unemployment at 30 percent.

The last thing they need right now are tougher sanctions, but that`s exactly why the rest of the world should demand them right now! We finally have a chance to peacefully topple this regime. The worst thing we could do is listen to the frickin` U.N. and back down.

Of course, there is a third reason why Iran would accept this deal. It would have no intention of ever honoring it. And while the world would applaud, they continue to plot. And if that sounds familiar, it should, because it`s exactly what happened in 1938 when Neville Chamberlain signed a peace deal with Adolf Hitler. Seven years later, 62 million people were dead.

Next, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold said it`s a priority for him to get a bill passed this session banning all profiling based on race, national origin, or religion. That same bill failed to be approved last year, but now with John Conyers heading up the House committee, the debate would look quite a bit different.

I actually agree 100 percent behind the idea of this bill, if it were being proposed for real security reasons. But it`s not. It`s all about politics, not solving any actual problem. Because the real story is that profiling only helps make stupid people feel more secure.

The idiots who are so happy that somebody dressed in a burqa is taken off a flight didn`t notice Richard Reid or Jose Padilla sitting across the aisle. Those are the ones who embraced profiling.

Of course, it`s that same person in a burqa that is sweating profusely and asking for seat belt extenders, even though they only weigh 150 pounds. That person should be stopped. By all means, get them off the plane. But that`s profiling based on behavior, not on race.

Last week in Iraq, convoy of black GMC Suburbans carrying about 10 American soldiers, they drove up to an Iraqi military check point. The soldiers, they were all dressed in the latest U.S. military camouflage, they greeted the guards in English, quickly waved through.

A few minutes later, the SUVs arrived at a secure government facility. Now, nobody can say what happened next exactly, but one thing is very clear: The men in the Suburbans, not U.S. soldiers.

After surrounding the facility and attacking it with grenades, the terrorists stormed inside, kidnapped several real U.S. soldiers. By the time it was over, five of our men were dead. Why did this attack happen?

It happened because the guards manning the checkpoint saw the cars, saw the uniforms, heard them speak English, and jumped to a very wrong conclusion. Those soldiers died because of profiling.

Our enemies all have one thing in common, but it is not the color of their skin, or how they dress, or what language they speak. It is this: It is the belief that killing is their ticket to paradise. Their dream scenario is for us to profile them based on superficial things because those are the easiest things to change. And as long as we`re playing defense, they will always be on the offense.

Airport security over the last six years, perfect example of this. Before 9/11, you could bring a box cutter onto a plane, you could probably even open up the cockpit door and show it to the captain. But after 9/11, we adapted. We banned the box cutters, secured the doors.

But nobody thought about our shoes. Hello, Richard Reid. He came along, and now the shoes come off. Tubes of hair gel, they were cool, toothpaste, sure. Now we know those can be weapons, as well.

Our enemy is adapting to us much faster than we`re adapting to them. Your idea of what an enemy should look like, what car they should be driving, what language they should be speaking, is the weakness the terrorists are exploiting in Iraq. And pretty soon, if we don`t adapt, they`ll be exploiting them here as well, if they`re not already.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis, he is a national security and foreign affairs expert. Bob, the story with the imposter soldiers, have we caught these guys yet?

LT. COL. ROBERT MAGINNIS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): No, not yet, Glenn. But you`re right: They`re changing their tactics. They`re very sophisticated.

This was well-planned. Clearly, it was well-financed, as well. They knew exactly when the Americans were going to be on that compound. They knew where to go. And, oh, by the way, you didn`t mentioned computer they stole. Why would a bunch of terrorists want a computer, an American computer, not an Iraqi? All sorts of things that are being investigated now, but these are very cunning people.

BECK: OK, wait a minute. Why would they take the computer? What does that mean?

MAGINNIS: Well, they were in Karbala. It`s the Shiite area. What would an American unit there have? Probably a lot of names, perhaps what the organization structure is, perhaps some financial transactions, future plans. They call it unclassified, but I`m suspicious.

BECK: OK. Bob, there`s two things that come to mind. This is such elaborate scheme. This is well-financed, as you said. Is there any evidence that Iran was involved in this?

MAGINNIS: Well, not yet. But Mumia (ph), who is the boogieman of the Iranian Hezbollah world, has been doing these things since they blew up a couple hundred Marines back in `94 in Beirut, he has been in Baghdad and Tehran. He has just some very conniving ways of doing things. He`s supposedly been working with the Mahdi Army.

BECK: Wait, wait. What is his name again?

MAGINNIS: Imam Mumia (ph).

BECK: I just heard about him today. They`re saying that this guy may be at least as bad as Osama bin Laden. Do you agree with that?

MAGINNIS: Oh, he`s worse. And he probably taught Osama some of his lessons.

BECK: Wow.

MAGINNIS: He tried to knock down some Israeli aircraft. He`s clearly behind much of what Hezbollah has done over the last couple of decades. But this guy I think has helped train jihadists, as well, that have been blowing up Americans and Iraqis by the hundreds.

BECK: OK. The story is that one of the guys driving the GMC was blonde. We don`t know this for a fact. But that takes you out of the Middle East, most likely. Where does that take you, Chechnya? Does that take you into the former Soviet Union? Do we have any idea?

MAGINNIS: Well, keep in mind, there are a lot of mercenaries around the world that are willing to do anything for a few dollars, and there quite a few inside of Iraq on both sides, quite frankly, so that wouldn`t surprise me. Somebody with an English accent or English-speaking that looks American that`s in the driver`s side of a vehicle that speeds through checkpoints, they know exactly what they`re doing. Their timing was down.

And when they dumped the bodies in those fives SUVs over near Hillah, they didn`t leave behind all but one weapon. They had that computer, obviously. I think they accomplished their mission.

BECK: One last question, because I went with Iran, now I`m going to jump back to the other. And maybe this is too conspiratorial. Black market in Iraq, fake IDs, is this why Saddam Hussein released all the bad guys from prison right before we went to war?

MAGINNIS: Well, clearly criminal problems that are mixed with the insurgency and jihadists, you know, they`re operating for a few dollars. Yes, hundreds of thousands people poured out of their prisons, and then we had to capture as many as we can, put them back in there. Is there an Iran, a Syrian connection? Probably. There`s a lot of this sort of thing going on, Glenn. It`s a complex battlefield.

BECK: OK, Robert, thanks a lot. We`ll talk to you again soon. That`s "The Real Story" tonight. If you`d like to read more about this or if you`ve found a real story of your own, please tell us about it. Visit and click on the "Real Story" button.



BECK: Hello, Ron, you`re on the Glenn Beck program.

CALLER: Glenn?

BECK: Yes.

CALLER: I love you, man. Listen.

BECK: Thank you.

CALLER: If I didn`t have you to say what I`m thinking, I`d pop a screw, man. I would be popping a screw. This is great -- and Bush and this damn economy, you know what? I couldn`t get a parking spot at the mall this weekend. Is it Christmas?

BECK: Ron...

CALLER: Yes. Talk me down.

BECK: What is it that has gotten you riled today?

CALLER: These protestors and these Hollywood idiots and the coverage they get, like they speak for so many because they got a microphone.

BECK: America is on it. They get it. And, you know, Ron, that`s the thing that should give you hope. That`s the thing that should talk you down from the ledge. It doesn`t, did it?

CALLER: No, I`m still bouncing off the walls.


BECK: You know, when you reach a certain age in life, I don`t know about you, but birthdays become almost irrelevant. You don`t look forward to them anymore. You actually, in a way, start to dread them. You`re like, wow, another year already? And you`re worried about a friend throwing you a surprise party or a waiter singing happy birthday at a crowded restaurant. Don`t ever do it.

If that`s you, worry no more. Listen to what happened to our next guest the night before his 28th birthday. It is a tale of kidnappings, and gangs, and guns, and money, and prostitutes, and every single word of it true. Meet Stanley Alpert. He is the author of the new nonfiction book, "The Birthday Party."

Stanley, I have a producer that read your book this weekend, could not put it down. He came in this morning and said, "Glenn, you`ve got to read this story." Tell me, in a nutshell, what happened to you.

STANLEY ALPERT, AUTHOR, "THE BIRTHDAY PARTY": Well, Glenn, I always used to love my birthdays, and I love them again now. But one year was really rough.

I was out in Manhattan having a perfectly great evening. It was a very cold night, so there weren`t people on the street. As I walked down 10th Street in Manhattan, suddenly I felt a tug on my elbow from behind. I spun around. There was an automatic machine gun, a Tech-9 in my gut.

Two men behind me, they forced me into a car. There was a third man with a pistol in my face in the car. They took me to a cash machine, made me give them my PIN number. And when they realized that I had a lot of money in savings, they thought they hit the jackpot, and they decided to keep me. And they took me to an apartment in Brooklyn where they held me for 25 hours. I was kidnapped and held for 25 hours.

BECK: OK, what happened in the 25 hours?

ALPERT: It was -- at first, it was absolute bedlam, just an eruption of bedlam. They were so excited that they had gotten this guy. They were continually threatening me. They were pointing guns at my head. I was blindfolded, but I could hear what they were saying, and I could actually hear the guns as they would cock them and uncock them to try to threaten me.

They said they`d blow my brains, put them all over the wall. They would kill my father by breaking every bone in his body if I failed to cooperate with them. Then, these girls showed up who were prostitutes. The leader of the gang was the pimp. They came. They were actually quite shocked at the fact that these guys had dragged me home.

BECK: Yes, you know, guys who hang out with prostitutes, they`re usually the creme de la creme. That`s a different story.

ALPERT: Yes, these guys were in their own category.

BECK: So you actually turned them around, in a way. I mean, you started getting them to do the things -- it was reverse Stockholm scenario, right?

ALPERT: I heard it described that way, and I`m really happy to hear people saying that. I mean, what happened was, at first, they kept threatening me to kill me. But then, as time went on, they started to toying with me to get to know what it was that they had grabbed and who this person was. And I talked to them very politely, with kindness. And I gave them legal advice at one point when they asked for it. And eventually, they actually started to like me.

BECK: So at what point did you figure, "I may get out of here alive"?

ALPERT: I honestly, Glenn, always knew that these sorts of people who unfortunately are leading violent lives could turn on me at any moment and kill me. I always hoped that I would stay alive, but even at the last minute -- I don`t want to ruin the suspense in the book -- but even at the last minute, I was quite sure they were going to kill me.

BECK: And the reason why they caught these guys, if I`m not mistaken, is because you memorized everything.

ALPERT: I tried to tell them they picked up the wrong guy. I was a federal environmental prosecutor at the time. I have a mind for details, and I know how you find people. So whenever I heard anything that was a remote clue to who they were or where we were, I memorized it. I logged it. I thought, you know, if I ever get out of here alive, I`m going to have quite a story to tell the FBI and the cops.

BECK: I have not read your book yet, but I`ve had -- just today, I`ve had several people talk to me about it. And one of the things that intrigues me is, when you used to go into sushi restaurants, you would buy the cheaper sushi. And you`re the kind of guy -- this day changed you to where you`re living life.

ALPERT: The remarkable thing is I actually take a really positive message out of this. It makes you realize, you know, people who have terrible illnesses or something like what happened to me, it makes you realize life is incredibly precious. It`s irresponsible to squander it. If you have it, enjoy it while you have it. Do what it is that you really dream, whatever that may be. Do it now, because you may not have it forever.

BECK: You`re the best. Thank you very much, Stanley.

ALPERT: Thank you.

BECK: Time now to check in with Nancy Grace, see what she`s got coming up on the show -- Nancy?

NANCY GRACE, CNN HOST: Glenn, a 3-year-old Montana boy left beside a family car. Five minutes later, the dad comes back, the child vanished. After an intense three-day search, 3-year-old Loic Rogers found just 10 feet away, deep inside an underground septic tank. Tonight, Glenn, the search turns into a criminal investigation.

And also tonight, last week, photos revealed another 11-year-old boy missing since `91 possibly connected to alleged Missouri kidnapper Michael Devlin. And tonight, Glenn, there`s more: Police now investigating a link between Devlin and yet another boy, 7-year-old Dalton Mesarchik, gone since 2003, last seen in front of his own home, Glenn.

BECK: Don`t forget, you can check out Nancy tonight at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Back with your mail in a second.


BECK: Kind of a sad ending to the 8-month ordeal that happened earlier today, when Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, was euthanized. He had taken a turn for the worse. And his owners, who had tried everything possible to save him, finally had to give in.

You have to feel horrible for them and the fans who had even filled a charity fund with $1.2 million to help buy medical supplies. Roy Jackson, one of the co-owners said, "We just reached the point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain."

Now, I mean, maybe it`s just me, but doesn`t that kind of illustrate a larger problem with horses in general? I mean, you have to put the horse down just because it`s going to be difficult for him to go on without any pain?

Well, a horse is a beautiful animal. And, you know, I know God works in mysterious ways, but I don`t understand what he was really going for there. You`ve got basically this giant torso standing up on four toothpicks. It just -- God, it doesn`t seem practical. It doesn`t.

And it seems like, whenever a horse gets injured, the only real option ever is to destroy it. Anything else is an extreme medical measure. Isn`t that kind of like having a car that explodes whenever it gets dented, sort of like the Pinto, which coincidentally is named after a horse? You see, the circle of life turns round and round.

Carl in Tampa write in, "Glenn, the question I have today is, what`s the worst athletic moment in the past 1,000 years? There are only two options: the sheltered Prince Charles attempting to play basketball and Glenn Beck attempting to throw a baseball. You choose."

Well, there`s an easy answer to that. Here I am embarrassing myself at a Los Angeles Angels game. Honestly, it was brutal. Every time I see this video played, all living members of the Hall of Fame simultaneously shed a tear. I know that. They don`t know why, but they know something terrible has happened.

The answer to "Which is more pathetic?" actually has to be me. And here`s why. Yes, Prince Charles looks awful on his first attempt here. But then he gets the ball back and redeems himself with the very next shot, which would have taken me about three hours. You know, I probably would have caused a severe bout with depression. So there you go.

Yes, I admit it. I`m a worst athlete than Prince Frickin` Charles. But I have to tell you, I`ve been thinking about this, this weekend. I do believe I could take the queen in arm wrestling. I`m just saying, not boasting.

You can e-mail me now at And we`ll see you back here tomorrow night, tomorrow morning on the radio. We`ll see you then, you sick, twisted freak. Thanks for watching.