Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again suggested that Iraq should be run as it was under Saddam Hussein, stating: “Saddam was able to control Iraq, as you know, and defeat insurgencies against him. The new Iraqi government can do the same, but it needs to get much tougher.” O'Reilly also declared that the American Civil Liberties Union, the BBC, and Air America Radio “are helping the terrorists.”
On the June 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly again suggested that Iraq should be run as it was under Saddam Hussein, stating: “Saddam was able to control Iraq, as you know, and defeat insurgencies against him. The new Iraqi government can do the same, but it needs to get much tougher.” In particular, O'Reilly suggested the Iraqi government “declare martial law in areas controlled by insurgents” and repeated his suggestion that Iraq should establish a policy of “shoot-on-sight curfews.” In addition, O'Reilly declared that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the BBC, and Air America Radio “are helping the terrorists.” Later in the program, nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham distorted content on the website of international human rights organization Amnesty International and confirmed O'Reilly's suggestion that Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA), and former President Jimmy Carter are also “helping the enemy.”
As Media Matters for America noted, O'Reilly declared on the June 19 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show that if he were the president of Iraq, he would run the country “just like Saddam ran it,” by establishing curfews and shooting violators “right between the eyes.” On the June 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly similarly argued in favor of adopting Saddam's tactics while reasoning that a “shoot first and ask questions later” policy in Iraq is necessary “because this is a war, and that's what you do in war.” O'Reilly made the remarks during a discussion with Fox News Military analyst retired Col. David Hunt, who agreed that a harsher approach was needed in Iraq:
HUNT: It's time to stop this nonsense, politically and militarily. When you close these borders, we know what to do. We need to leave their dead bodies on the street. And we need to clean this place up and get Iraqis to clean this place up.
Much of the program was focused on, as O'Reilly announced when he introduced the show, “nam[ing] those we believe are helping the terrorists.” O'Reilly immediately asserted that "[t]he ACLU and the BBC head the list" and later stated that the ACLU “opposes just about every anti-terror strategy” and the BBC “consistently slant[s] the Iraq War coverage and portray[s] the coalition as villains.” Continuing, O'Reilly declared, “The vile Air America Radio network does the same thing.” Earlier that day, on the June 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, O'Reilly similarly accused the ACLU of “rooting for the enemy” and stated: “There is not a better friend to Al Qaeda in the world than the ACLU, and that's the truth. OK?”
O'Reilly hosted Hunt and Fox News analyst retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney to discuss the reported brutal killing of two American soldiers in Iraq. McInerney accused " 'ACE' Democrats or 'ACE' liberals" of “aid[ing] and comforting the enemy.” Apparently blaming the media for the way the Iraq war is being fought, O'Reilly asserted, “We're not doing everything we can do to win” the war “because we got The New York Times and all of these other people” reporting “every time we make a mistake.” Hunt agreed that the press reports only “mistake[s]” made during the course of the war, stating, “There won't be any outrage in any paper in the country about these two great guys from the 101st [Airborne] were mutilated.”
Although she acknowledged that Amnesty International has “has done some great work,” Ingraham suggested that the human rights organization was not concerned with brutality inflicted upon Americans because it was too busy “focusing on” the treatment of detainees and “World Cup soccer”:
INGRAHAM: I went to Amnesty International's website right before the show, Bill, their international website, their American version of it. Not a single mention of the soldiers being tortured in Iraq. You know what was mentioned? Guantánamo Bay and U.S. rendition policy and World Cup soccer. Those are the -- that's what they're focusing on.
In fact, Amnesty International's website used the World Cup soccer tournament as a forum to offer "statistics" on how each country participating in the games “scores” on human rights issues: “As the World Cup gets underway, no red cards are being handed out for the many women and girls being stalked, raped, sexually abused and harassed, trafficked for sexual exploitation, beaten or killed.”
Agreeing with Ingraham's suggestion that Amnesty International is unconcerned with abuse of American soldiers, O'Reilly repeated his allegation that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “is the reason that the three Al Qaeda suspects committed suicide” at Guantánamo Bay. O'Reilly previously claimed the ICRC's privacy concerns for the inmates at Guantánamo Bay “may have allowed the suicides.”
At O'Reilly's prompting, Ingraham affirmed that several prominent Democrats were, as O'Reilly suggested, “helping the enemy.” According to Ingraham, Dean “embolden[s]” the enemy; Murtha acts as a “recruiting tool” for terrorists; and Carter “hurts us” by advocating against torture.
From the June 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: The O'Reilly Factor is on. Tonight: two American soldiers brutally mutilated and murdered by terrorists in Iraq. How should the U.S. respond? We will name those we believe are helping the terrorists. The ACLU and the BBC head the list.
O'REILLY: “Talking Points” believes the Bush administration has to stop being defensive about waging war. At this point, the new Iraqi government should declare martial law in areas controlled by insurgents. That means anyone can be arrested and shoot-on-sight curfews.
Saddam was able to control Iraq, as you know, and defeat insurgencies against him. The new Iraqi government can do the same, but it needs to get much tougher.
The Bush administration also needs to begin challenging those who are helping the enemy. The ACLU, for example, opposes just about every anti-terror strategy. This organization should be exposed.
The BBC also helps the enemy by consistently slanting the Iraq war coverage and portraying the coalition as villains. The vile Air America Radio network does the same thing.
This may surprise you, but I don't consider dissenting from the Iraq war to be helping the enemy. Congressman Murtha, for example, is acting on his beliefs. He made a mistake by convicting the Marines in Haditha before the evidence was presented, but dissent makes America stronger.
O'REILLY: All right, Colonel Hunt, I think we're at a tipping point here in the Iraq war. I think if America does not stop being on the defensive, and I mean militarily and in the war of public opinion, that we gotta get out of there. We either have to fight the war and win the war, or get the hell out.
HUNT: Yeah, I totally agree. We take the gloves off. Military leaders, take the gloves off. The soldiers know what they do. Get out of the way. Politicians, get out of the way.
We've got soldiers. We've got Moqtada al-Sadr with 16,000 in militia. He also controls 32 people -- 32 seats in the parliament. We've had two soldiers, as you just mentioned, mutilated. And out of respect for their families, we're not describing all the other body parts that were hurt.
Both the general and I had brothers killed in Vietnam. It's time to stop this nonsense, politically and militarily. When you close these borders, we know what to do. We need to leave dead -- we need to leave their dead bodies on the street. And we need to clean this place up and get the Iraqis to clean this place up. Our guys have done a great thing there. They've done an awful lot.
O'REILLY: All right, do you believe it's a tipping point, general?
McINERNEY: Yes, I do, Bill. And it's a tipping point in the will of the American people. We can't lose over there militarily. It's the will of the American people. And I call them “ACE” Democrats or “ACE” liberals -- aid and comforting the enemy.
O'REILLY: So, I don't understand, general, why we don't have martial law in Ramadi, why we don't have shoot-on-sight curfews, why we don't have action that basically says, look, we're going to shoot first and ask questions later because this is a war. And that's what you do in war. All right?
We didn't fight World War II this way. We didn't fight the Civil War this way or any other war except Vietnam. We're fighting the same way we fought in Vietnam, Colonel Hunt. You know it. You were there. OK?
We're not doing everything we can do to win, because we got The New York Times and all of these other people, every time we make a mistake, bang! There it is. And CNN is running with it. And we're the bad guy. It's got to stop. It's got to stop.
HUNT: There's no outrage at all. We'll have 57 stories of Abu Ghraib, which we admit there were some problems. There won't be any outrage in any paper in the country about these two great guys from the 101st were mutilated.
INGRAHAM: The line is hard to draw. But I think one group in particular, International ANSWER, you've tackled them before on your show, the big antiwar, Bush-hating, America-bashing group that organizes all of the antiwar rallies and also dabbles with other causes as well. I mean, groups like International ANSWER have really morphed into permanent arms of organizations that just want to blame America for, really everything that's going badly in the world. In other words, the problem, Bill --
O'REILLY: People don't know that organization --
INGRAHAM: -- is not the terrorists.
O'REILLY: People don't know them. Are they -- is that Code Pink?
INGRAHAM: No, no, no. International ANSWER is kind of the umbrella under which all of these other organizations gather. I know one organization you have heard of, which is Amnesty International, and Amnesty has done some great work. But also, Amnesty International on a day like today, when we learn this horrific story about what looks like happened to those two U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- I went to Amnesty International's website right before the show, Bill, their international website, their American version of it. Not a single mention of the soldiers being tortured in Iraq. You know what was mentioned? Guantánamo Bay and U.S. rendition policy and World Cup soccer. Those are the -- that's what they're focusing on.
O'REILLY: Well, there isn't any question --
INGRAHAM: It's outrageous.
O'REILLY: Yes, there's no question that Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, which by the way, has a little place on Guantánamo Bay and which, by the way, I submit is the reason that the three Al Qaeda suspects committed suicide, because Amnesty -- I mean, International Red Cross told the Americans you've gotta give them privacy, you gotta let them tape up their window, and they did. And you tape up the window, you can't see in, they're gonna be able to hang themselves.
O'REILLY: Do you think Howard Dean helps the enemy?
INGRAHAM: I think when the enemy sees the reaction in the United States, not of unifying to defeat them, but of picking apart every aspect of what we're trying to do there, when those soldiers get treated the way they did, I think they are absolutely emboldened. They're very savvy. They're on all the websites. They watch CNN International and any other broadcast they can get their hands on. And you better believe it has to embolden the people who want to do us harm.
O'REILLY: What about John Murtha's dissent in the Iraq war? Does that help the enemy in your opinion?
INGRAHAM: Well, I think anytime they can use war veterans, you know, people who have served this country, to then say, look, we're the problem in Iraq, that we're stoking the violence in Iraq, that the terrorists want us in Iraq because we're depleting our military resources, that helps them. I mean, that's a recruiting tool. This guy is recognized by many as a war hero, and yet, he's condemning the United States.
O'REILLY: How about Jimmy Carter? He signs the torture ad along with the reverends, and the torture ad, as I told the reverends, shows up in the Arab press: “See, we told you they were torturing.” How about Jimmy Carter? Is he helping the enemy?
INGRAHAM: Yeah. Nobel Prize -- Nobel Prize winner, right, criticizing the United States' torture policy, which of course, as you pointed out, we do not have a torture policy in the United States --
O'REILLY: Yes, we don't have a torture policy.
INGRAHAM: -- except we're against -- we're against torture. So, yeah, when he went down to Cuba and spent time with Castro and said he did really -- what did he say? He didn't see the problems in Cuba that a lot of right-wing people have characterized down there? I mean, this is nothing new for Jimmy Carter. Again, the biggest obstacle to world peace for many of these people right now seems to be the United States: We're the problem. If you look in the mirror, the enemy, we see him. He's us. And I think that hurts us.
O'REILLY: All right. It's a very interesting discussion. Because the line on dissent and helping the enemy, it's a tough, tough line.
From the June 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: The ACLU is rooting for the enemy. They're rooting for the enemy. They're helping the enemy in every way they can. The American Civil Liberties Union is Al Qaeda's best friend. There is not a better friend to Al Qaeda in the world than the ACLU, and that's the truth. OK?