Team McCain Conference Call: Fred Thompson on National Security

posted at 10:38 am on June 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The John McCain campaign continued to roll out its heavy artillery by featuring former Senator and presidential hopeful Fred Thompson.  The McCain campaign had Rudy Giuliani speaking yesterday, and the former-opponent tour took a turn through seriously conservative territory with Thompson.

Jill Hazelbaker started off by reading a statement declaring Barack Obama as “just another typical politician” by rejecting public financing in the election.  They noted that Obama is the first candidate since Watergate to do so, and accused him of not keeping his word.

Fred Thompson then appeared on the call to discuss Boumediene and the political reaction to it.  Thompson says this shows a court more interested in making policy rather than adjudicating.  John McCain opposes judicial activism, while Obama supports it.  Thompson calls the decision bad policy on its face.  The process Congress devised far exceeds the requirements of Geneva, and he noted that dozens of detainees have already been released as a result of this process.  He then detailed all of the ways in which detainees could challenge their detention, which exceeded any that we have offered such detainees in our entire history.

Thompson said that Obama should stop apologizing to the rest of the world for defending ourselves in war.  He scoffed at Obama’s suggestion that we should return to the law-enforcement model and the use of the Blind Sheikh trial as the model.  Discovery rights allowed Rahman to see the lists of unindicted co-conspirators, which went to Osama bin Laden within days.  It also exposed our ability to track terrorists by their satellite phones.  These are the security breaches that will occur when we try these cases in open court, which Obama champions.

How will this affect detention in other non-sovereign areas?  It appears that everyone captured by American military would have to be treated as common criminals rather than an enemy at war against us.  Bill Richardson, the campaign notes, explicitly endorsed that view.  They also noted Obama’s statement about avoiding martyrdom for Osama bin Laden, which indicates that Obama has decided against pursuing an execution for Osama if captured alive.

Questions:

  • Redstate: News media hasn’t covered Obama’s statements on Boumediene or Osama; how to get the message out?– Fred says if he knew how to do that, “I probably would be the McCain campaign.”  Judicial activism is not a new phenomenon, but we have to continue to hammer the message.  In this particular case, the other two branches worked closely to present a system that matches our precedential history, and the Supreme Court tossed it out in favor of their own policy preferences.  McCain would appoint different kinds of justices.
  • USA Today: Thompson’s reaction to Obama’s withdrawal from public financing? — Just another example of expediency triumphing over Obama’s principles.  He’s in every way a typical politician.  He’s for public financing until it no longer benefits him.
  • Me: Habeas rights for American soldiers to criminal courts — do they exist? — Not sure, but he believes that American soldiers do not have the right to appeal to American appellate courts, and he doesn’t think that American soldiers do not have habeas rights to civil courts, either.  Thompson also says that the habeas rights as applied by SCOTUS here exceed that for American civilians, too, because Americans in state courts cannot use a habeas petition until they have exhausted their state remedies.  Terrorists can circumvent all that, according to the Court.
  • Bloomberg: How would McCain chase Osama bin Laden to “the gates of Hell” and how would that differ from the Bush administration?  Greater use of diplomatic and intelligence leverage.
  • Toledo Blade: Didn’t the administration lay the groundwork for Boumediene by insisting that unlawful combatants don’t get Geneva protections?  Thompson says there are two different issues in play, one being treatment and the other being determinations and process.  Thompson says “one could argue” that we should have had these processes in place earlier, but it was a new situation. Most people put the priority at national defense.  For the last few years, we have had procedures in place, but the Court has now thrown them all out.  Thompson makes the point that the Court has now undermined Geneva by treating the terrorists better than POWs captured in uniform.

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Comments

Really don’t care about Fred “!” anymore. He’s dead to me.
He had his chance and didn’t take it seriously. He let me (and I think many poster’s here as well) way down. Just go away Fred.

bernzright777 on June 19, 2008 at 10:46 AM

I wish McCain’s camp would broaden the National Security questions being thrown at Obama. I understand the importance of the SCOTUS decision and the war in Iraq but Obama has declared his opposition to many programs.

-Missile Defense
-wants to SLOW our future weapons research
-wants a civilian overwatch to determine if the weapon systems the military wants is really what the military needs
-cutting back on the SSGN and carrier conversions programs.
-Halting all nuclear weapon upgrades (let em rot)
-Scraping space based weapon/defense research

Obama is so vulnerable on defense issues like these. He needs to be trying to defend these policies instead of McCain defending Iraq.

Limerick on June 19, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Fred for VEEP!

kirkill on June 19, 2008 at 10:48 AM

I miss Fred!.

Fred! for AG.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Just go away Fred.

The guy can’t render assistance to the nominee of his party? I’m no one to talk about grudges, but give a fellow a break!

DrSteve on June 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

hmmm. Fred was a great opportunity missed.

melda on June 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Fred for Attorney General!

schmuck281 on June 19, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Fred for Supreme Court

William Amos on June 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Fred for Chief Grimace

LimeyGeek on June 19, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Good post Ed, thanks.

rockhauler on June 19, 2008 at 11:28 AM

My dream ticket: Cindy and Jerry for 1st everything!!!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on June 19, 2008 at 11:30 AM

McCain parades all his primary opponents out to the media so that we can all be reminded of why we preferred almost any of them to himself.

BigD on June 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

OT: Today is the HUGE Celtics victory parade. Can you guess where Obama’s buddy Gov. Deval Patrick is right now? You guessed it, LA! He’s meeting with movie Execs! Then he’s off to an Obama rally in Chicago.

The centerpiece of his legislative agenda was to get a Casino bill passed. You know where he was when it came up for the crucial vote? NYC cutting a multi-million dollar book deal.

You know what the difference is between Obama and Deval? Me either.

TheBigOldDog on June 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

BigD on June 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

You’re bringing a tear to my eye ;)

LimeyGeek on June 19, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Obama is so vulnerable on defense issues like these. He needs to be trying to defend these policies instead of McCain defending Iraq.

Limerick on June 19, 2008 at 10:47 AM

I agree with you. Obama wants to gut our current defenses, and our ability to develop new defenses in the future, and McCain should be pounding him on this point on a regular basis. Obama lives in a John Lennon, give-peace-a-chance dream world — where everyone else in the world wants the same things we want, and they’ll all put away their weapons and join hands if we just do it first. It’s BS. Islamofascists (and a lot of other people) would love to see the U.S. destroyed, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Most of the American public understands this, and they’ll reject Obama’s “let’s stop spending on defense and just hope for the best” nonsense, if they know about it. McCain needs to make sure that they do know.

AZCoyote on June 19, 2008 at 11:37 AM

McCain parades all his primary opponents out to the media so that we can all be reminded of why we preferred almost any of them to himself.
BigD on June 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Yup. Poor poor Fred is just so helpless to resist McCain’s evil mind control powers that he has to make Fred do his bidding. Poor Fred.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Fred Thompson - A MAN WITH A SOLID VOICE AND SOLID STONES

jake-the-goose on June 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

jake-the-goose on June 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

He has a special harness sewn into his pants, so I’m told.

LimeyGeek on June 19, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Fred for DA of New York!

Akzed on June 19, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Toledo Blade: Didn’t the administration lay the groundwork for Boumediene by insisting that unlawful combatants don’t get Geneva protections?

Thompson makes the point that the Court has now undermined Geneva by treating the terrorists better than POWs captured in uniform.

Wow. A politician who actually knows what he’s talking about.

McCain parades all his primary opponents out to the media so that we can all be reminded of why we preferred almost any of them to himself.

BigD on June 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Like the great political philosophers of Metallica said: Sad, But True.

Yup. Poor poor Fred is just so helpless to resist McCain’s evil mind control powers that he has to make Fred do his bidding. Poor Fred.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Incoherent much? What are today’s talking points, anyway?

misterpeasea on June 19, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Hey, look! It’s misterpeasea!

Hi misterpeasea!

*waves to misterpeasea!*

Aren’t you afraid you are going to get some of John McCain cooties by going to his website like that????

Goodbye, misterpeasea! !!!!!!

*waves goodbye to misterpeasea! *

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 11:51 AM

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Are you drunk or otherwise on something?

BigD on June 19, 2008 at 12:00 PM

and the former-opponent tour took a turn through seriously conservative territory with Thompson

I think Robert Heinlein once wrote a novel about McCain in conservative territory – he called it “Stranger in a Strange Land.”

thirteen28 on June 19, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Fred!

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 12:09 PM

No, BigD. I was replying to misterpeasea’s annoying comment in a reciprocating manner.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 12:11 PM

wise_man once again proves that he is a few sandwiches short of a picnic…

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Fred doesn’t want Islamic terrorist tried in American courts. He wants them tried in a Libyan court where they are sure to be exonerated. Fred is such a tool and a liability to any campaign foolish enough to associate with him.

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 12:17 PM

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 12:17 PM

You’re still using these same ridiculous talking points to bash Fred? Unbelievable.

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Hey, that’s really funny, HebrewToYo.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Fred did not stop being a terrorist enabler just because he dropped out of the election. He is still a sad excuse for an American — allowing his greed for money and billable hours to trump the families of the Lockerbee dead’s search for justice. Disgusting!!!

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM

He is still a sad excuse for an American

Pot, meet kettle. Your anger towards Fred! is quite unhealthy. Seek help.

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Really don’t care about Fred “!” anymore. He’s dead to me.
He had his chance and didn’t take it seriously. He let me (and I think many poster’s here as well) way down. Just go away Fred.

bernzright777 on June 19, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Quit whining. Fred Thompson is one of the most intelligent (anti) politicians we have on our side.

Connie on June 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM

You copy and paste the same garbage into every Fred thread. Get a grip and lose the phony hate.

Connie on June 19, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Quit whining. Fred Thompson is one of the most intelligent (anti) politicians we have on our side.

Connie on June 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Connie, I’m not a whiner and I’m not whining in the least. I am quite aware of Mr Thompson’s intelligence. I was pulling as hard for Fred to get in the race as anyone. I was hoping he would come out swinging. But he came off as lackluster. I’m not whining, I’m simply disappointed.

bernzright777 on June 19, 2008 at 1:10 PM

But he came off as lackluster.

You ate up the media narrative hook, line and sinker. He came off as a man who didn’t desire power. He came off as a man who wanted to be a true public servant. He came off as a man with a thorough grasp of the issues. But instead of focusing on what he was saying, all we got from the media was analysis stating that he lacks the “fire in his belly.”

Ridiculous.

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

You copy and paste the same garbage into every Fred thread. Get a grip and lose the phony hate.

Connie on June 19, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Seriously? He does? That’s even more pathetic.

OneGyT on June 19, 2008 at 1:28 PM

I just can’t stand the sycophants on this site that think the sun shines out of the butt of this moonshine chasing Nixon mole, fake federalist, campaign finance crime investigation bungler, campaign finance reform supporter, voter for keeping a perjurer and obstructor in the oval office, voter for Spencer Abraham’s open border agenda, NRLC conning pro-choice candidate, career lobbyist and terrorist lawyer. It gives me an irresistible urge to take a dump in the echo chamber’s punch bowl.

But I do like his movies, except for Curly Sue.

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

And somewhere the underside of a bridge is missing its troll…

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 2:07 PM

sycophants
tommylotto on June 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Thanks tommy. I’ve always spelled it psycho pants.

Limerick on June 19, 2008 at 2:14 PM

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 11:51 AM

You REALLY need a new nic… your current one just doesn’t fit. I’ve known some real idiots in my time, but you just seem to parade it all over the threads. You’re like the emperor with no clothes! …and confoundedly ecstatic about it!

dominigan on June 19, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Hey dominigan, your views on Fred Thompson are brilliant ….

Oh wait.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/

scroll down to “Obama lacks judgment on terror” and Watch Rudy.

Chakra Hammer on June 19, 2008 at 2:43 PM

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Meanwhile, John McCain is still a liberal. Whose signature legislation has the names of liberals all over it. Including McCain-Feingold, which single-handedly erased the Republican advantiage in fund-raising.

And now he has the nerve to whine about Bambi turning down public financing. Similar to you whining about critics of John McCain.

misterpeasea on June 19, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Meanwhile, John McCain is still a liberal.

Hey look at this, misterpeasea is lying again.

The American Conservative Union has released its report on Congress for 2007, and John McCain will welcome the results. Despite missing a number of votes while campaigning for President, McCain voted often enough to win a rating of 80, a significant improvement over the 65 he got in 2006. That approximates his lifetime rating of 82.16 and gives McCain a little more ammunition for his argument to represent conservative values. HotAir May 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey .

I’ve repeatedly shown you the truth, and you repeatedly lie. And lie again. And again.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM

wise_man, how about showing the McCain’s conservative rating over the last few years as a trend?

Here’s a nice tidbit: Senator McCain’s 39th place ACU rating showing among senators serving in 2006. McCain scored only 65, putting him in 47th place for that year. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), for example, scored 64 and 75, respectively.

Source: American Thinker

2007: 80
2006: 65
2005: 80
2004: 72
2003: 80
2002: 72
2001: 68
2000: 81

Put in perspective, in this decade McCain’s rating is only 74.75. Hardly the rating of a true-blue conservative…. I especially love the 2006 score of 65. What a guy!

wise_man: intellectually dishonest.

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 5:23 PM

Ben Nelson’s score is no where near the average score of the Dem senators. I wouldn’t be surprised if his is the most conservative score among the Dem senators. The point is that McCain is MORE conservative than the most conservative Dem senator. I know that’s not much, but it’s something.

I started off for Duncan Hunter. When he went no where, I switched to Fred. When he dropped out, I switched to Rudy because Romney seemed unelectable and McCain unacceptable. Then Rudy dropped out, and I switched to Romney. So McCain was not among my first four choices, but he’s loads better than Obama!

Al in St. Lou on June 19, 2008 at 6:53 PM

I am not intellectually dishonest, HebrewToYou. I copied and pasted what Ed Morrissey had reported on.

If you want to call Ed Morrissey or the American Conservative Union liars, or misleading, or dishonest … then by all means, go ahead.

wise_man on June 19, 2008 at 7:03 PM

If I have to pull this car over, you kids are going to be really sorry! Now sit down and do not touch each other!

platypus on June 19, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Yep, I’m still voting my conscience by writing in Fred Thompson. It’s not like McCain has that much support anyway. Besides, why vote for “Evil #1″ or “Evil #2″ when there’s a good man who’s not part of either good ol’ boy club?

Send_Me on June 19, 2008 at 7:57 PM

Fred has got to be on McCain’s cabinet.

Sir Andrew on June 19, 2008 at 7:59 PM

I am not intellectually dishonest, HebrewToYou.

Yes, you are. You claimed that quote refuted misterpeasea’s position — in fact, you said it proved him a liar. In reality, it did no such thing. McCain is NOT a conservative and using his lifetime ACU rating is misleading.

But, hey, keep on truckin’ and trollin’.

HebrewToYou on June 19, 2008 at 8:28 PM