The other day ABC’s Charlie Gibson did an interview with Governor Sarah Palin. Rather than air her actual comments, they edited the interview to promote an opinion of her that was not accurate as demonstrated by the sections that were removed. Additionally, Charles Gibson misquoted her then told her address to soldiers going off to war, and he made it sound like she believes the war in Iraq is a holy war (Allah ahkbar!!!!). He said the quote was her “EXACT WORDS”, but it was not. He took an edited quote from an Associated Press article, then edited it himself. Later, he asked Gov Palin about the Bush Doctrine (something that is perceived to be MANY different things by many people). Her answer was edited to make it sound like she was ignorant, but her real answer shows she is not at all clueless about it. Still….Saturday Night Live writers chose to view the manipulated interview footage as if it were fact instead of visual OpEd.
The real question and answer-without the edit/manipulation of ABC-is this:
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
PALIN: I agree that a president’s job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.
I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.
GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we’re going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.
GIBSON: But, Governor, I’m asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.
PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.
That unedited response from Governor Palin can hardly be summarized as “I don’t know what that is” as NBC mocks. Of course, Senator Obama was asked pretty much the same question by Charlie Gibson during the New Hampshire debate, and HE GAVE THE SAME ANSWER (Saturday Night Live seems to have ignored that fact).
ABC NH Debate….
GIBSON: Well, Osama bin Laden, as he pointed out, has said it is his duty to try to get nuclear weapons. Al Qaida has been reconstituted and re-energized in the western part of Pakistan. And so my general question is, how aggressively would you go after Al Qaida leadership there? And let me start with you, Senator Obama, because it was you who said in your foreign policy speech that you would go into western Pakistan if you had actionable intelligence to go after it, whether or not the Pakistani government agreed. Do you stand by that?
OBAMA: I absolutely do stand by it, Charlie. What I said was that we should do everything in our power to push and cooperate with the Pakistani government in taking on Al Qaida, which is now based in northwest Pakistan. And what we know from our national intelligence estimates is that Al Qaida is stronger now than at any time since 2001. And so, back in August, I said we should work with the Pakistani government, first of all to encourage democracy in Pakistan so you’ve got a legitimate government that we’re working with, and secondly that we have to press them to do more to take on Al Qaida in their territory.
What I said was, if they could not or would not do so, and we had actionable intelligence, then I would strike.
And I should add that Lee Hamilton and Tom Keaton, the heads of the 9/11 Commission, a few months later wrote an editorial saying the exact same thing.
I think it’s indisputable that that should be our course.
Let me just add one thing, though. On the broader issue of nuclear proliferation, this is something that I’ve worked on since I’ve been in the Senate. I worked with Richard Lugar, then the Republican head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the next stage of what was Nunn-Lugar so that we would have improved interdiction of potentially nuclear materials.
OBAMA: And it is important for us to rebuild a nuclear nonproliferation strategy, something that this administration, frankly, has ignored, and has made us less safe as a consequence.
It would not cost us that much, for example, and would take about four years for us to lock down the loose nuclear weapons that are still floating out there, and we have not done the job.
GIBSON: I’m going to go the others in a moment, but what you just outlined is essentially the Bush doctrine. We can attack if we want to, no matter the sovereignty of the Pakistanis.
OBAMA: No, that is not the same thing, because here we have a situation where Al Qaida, a sworn enemy of the United States, that killed 3,000 Americans and is currently plotting to do the same, is in the territory of Pakistan. We know that.
And this is not speculation. This is not a situation where we anticipate a possible threat in the future.
And my job as commander in chief will be to make sure that we strike anybody who would do America harm when we have actionable intelligence do to that