THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2001
(C) COPYRIGHT 2001, FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC., 620 NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING, WASHINGTON, DC 20045, USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, REDISTRIBUTION OR RETRANSMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.
UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION, REDISTRIBUTION OR RETRANSMISSION CONSTITUTES A MISAPPROPRIATION UNDER APPLICABLE UNFAIR COMPETITION LAW, AND FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC. RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PURSUE ALL REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO IT IN RESPECT TO SUCH MISAPPROPRIATION.
FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC. IS A PRIVATE FIRM AND IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. NO COPYRIGHT IS CLAIMED AS TO ANY PART OF THE ORIGINAL WORK PREPARED BY A UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AS PART OF THAT PERSON'S OFFICIAL DUTIES.
FOR INFORMATION ON SUBSCRIBING TO FNS, PLEASE CALL JACK GRAEME AT 202-347-1400.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Guilty as sin. Osama bin Laden's long-awaited self-incrimination tape speaks for itself. "We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors.
"I was the most optimistic of them all. Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for.
"The brothers who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation, and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes. Those who were trained to fly didn't know the others."
Question: Is this tape conclusive? Does it amount to a confession of guilt? Lawrence Kudlow.
MR. KUDLOW: Well, I think it does. I mean, here you have this Arabian murderer spilling all this stuff out. And, yeah, it's a bill of attainder, and it shows that he's totally guilty. But, John, I don't think it's going to convince many people in the Arab world, or at least some people in the Arab world. And we've already heard statements from officials in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and I believe Kuwait, actually doubting the existence of the tape or saying that the U.S. authorities doctored the tape.
I think the only thing the Arab world and the terrorist world understand is military might and sheer, raw power. And for that reason, I think it's essential that we find bin Laden, that we exterminate him. It's also essential that we not accept surrender too soon in Afghanistan. We must find the al Qaedas. We must find the Talibans and exterminate them. And that removes any vestiges of power from these people. That's our mission right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quite hawkish, wouldn't you say, Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Well, I don't like to use the word "exterminate" when I'm talking about people, even people as vile as these. But this is the first credible evidence tying bin Laden to the attacks that is not secret U.S. intelligence, so I think it's going to be very valuable in a courtroom if that's where it ends up. And it's also, I think, good in terms of mobilizing moderates in the Arab world.
Also, the timing is fascinating, because the administration has been telling us every way they can that they think they have bin Laden pretty well cornered. And I must say, I don't think this has been an overwhelming display of military might. Instead it's been a very canny surgical expedition in Afghanistan with the bombing from the air, and now the sympathizers on the ground now willing to go in there and try to help us find bin Laden.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, yeah, obviously, from a legal point of view, it's an admission against interest, for those people who care about law and logic. I think that, more than that, it looks to me like a sales pitch to either -- that he was making to either the faithful or the hope-to-be faithful, and sort of like an effort at an early gospel for this would-be messiah that he wants to be. And so that's why, while it wasn't made for the western mind, I think it was made for posterity in his world.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could he have been bragging after the fact and taking credit for a crime that he did not commit?
MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, sure. Criminals do this all the time. You hear this kind of talk in prisons all the time. The question for us is, is this within the reasonable-doubt standard that would apply in this case if he was tried in an American courtroom? It probably is.
You have to remember that reasonable doubt is a floating standard that has a different measurement in every case. This certainly seems to clear it. Once he's into that language of "We calculated," "We calculated," that would put him, prosecutorially, in a conspiracy that it would be very difficult to extricate himself from. However, there is -- and this raises the question of military tribunals.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're quite into this, aren't you?
MR. O'DONNELL: Well, the chain of custody of this particular exhibit is something which is a very important thing if we were to have a trial, a federal trial. It's something that the administration is not prepared to discuss in the least. Now, that could be that it wants to preserve that revelation for a trial, not a military tribunal. In a military tribunal, they wouldn't worry about niceties like chain of custody and exactly who picked this up and handed it to whom and how did it get to this courtroom.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Johnnie Cochran could make hay with that.
MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- evidence overseas, acquired overseas, is not as strict here. But there is one legal fallout here. The first indictment brought in this country against Mr. Moussaoui -- remember, the fellow who wanted to steer planes, didn't care about taking off and landing -- the fact that bin Laden seems to suggest that the people involved in the hijacking had no idea what was going on -- they were on a martyr mission -- does offer a defense for somebody --
MR. BLANKLEY: No, it doesn't.
MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. Let me finish, Tony.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.
MS. CLIFT: It does offer a defense that he can say he was a cog in a machine; he didn't know what he was getting into. That may mitigate his sentence.
MR. BLANKLEY: No, look --
MS. CLIFT: It doesn't get him off the hook.
MR. BLANKLEY: -- in a conspiracy, the conspirators don't have to know what all the other conspirators are doing.
MR. O'DONNELL: And also, he was trying to train to be a pilot.
MR. BLANKLEY: And you're still going to be responsible for all of the conduct of the fellow conspirators, even if you don't know their particular activity. So I don't think --
MR. KUDLOW: But a key political-military point is this. Bin Laden miscalculated. I don't think he had any sense that the United States would respond the way it has, to President Bush's credit. And I think, if you take this down the line, John, Russian generals, Arab analysts, U.S. armchair strategists, we won this war fast. It took the Soviets 10 years to not win it. We won this war fast. And that statement of military might will serve us well in dealing with other terrorists around the world.
MS. CLIFT: There's a lot of work to be done. I wouldn't be celebrating too prematurely.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: After seeing this tape, is it better to, A, capture bin Laden and try him in an open court; B, capture bin Laden and try him secretly in a military tribunal; or, C, bring him back dead, not alive? Lawrence Kudlow.
MR. KUDLOW: C -- total extermination, like vermin, Eleanor.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor Clift.
MS. CLIFT: If he comes out with his hands up, I think, you know, he then gets a trial. I would like to see something in the Hague or somewhere else, like we dealt with Nuremberg or with the atrocities in Rwanda. I think that could be done, and that would provide a record for all time.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The assumption of the question is which would you say that would be better?
MS. CLIFT: I have a mixture of A and B. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MR. BLANKLEY: I originally wanted to see him just die. I now would like to see him arrested live, put into an American trial and prosecuted successfully, because we're proud, and correctly so, of the legal system we have. I'd like to see him be processed through that system. I think it's a good piece of evidence for the world of the western civilization.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Also the opportunity for the world to see a cold-blooded and calculating killer close up and at length.
MR. BLANKLEY: Even though there are some dangers.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you say to that?
MR. O'DONNELL: Yeah, I've moved now definitely toward I'd like to see him tried in an American courtroom, because I'm surprised at the quality of the evidence base so far. And what we know and have a right to assume is that there's more evidence that Eleanor has referred to as secret that the government has.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We originally said that this would be inflammatory for the Islamic extremists around the world to see their leader in an Eichmann-like glass cage.
MR. O'DONNELL: Well, anyone who gets inflamed in some anti-American way by this videotape is already insane, and there's absolutely nothing you can do or say in their presence that would not make them more insane.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would they be numerous, and would they be inclined to inflict terror on the United States?
MR. KUDLOW: Yes.
MR. O'DONNELL: We don't know what the number is.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, we have to move on. I believe that it would be better -- I mean, I would be persuaded that it would be better for him to go on trial and let us see this calculating killer at length and at close range.
When we come back, President Bush scrapped the ABM Treaty this week. Did he open up a window to peace or a Pandora's box?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Aborting ABM.
PRESIDENT BUSH: (From videotape.) Today I have given formal notice to Russia, in accordance with the treaty, that the United States of America is withdrawing from this almost 30-year-old treaty. I have concluded the ABM Treaty hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue-state missile attacks.
At the same time, the United States and Russia have developed a new, much more hopeful and constructive relationship. We're moving to replace mutually assured destruction with mutual cooperation.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Confident words from President Bush this week, as he announced the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed almost 30 years ago by the U.S. and Russia to curtail the build-up of nuclear arms.
Although the treaty contains a clause that either Russia -- then the Soviet Union -- or the U.S. may withdraw from the pact with six months' notice, which is exactly what Mr. Bush is doing, it did nothing to mute the critics. "We are not surprised by this decision which we nevertheless consider to be a mistake," says Russian President Vladimir Putin.
China also voiced annoyance. Quote: "China is not in favor of missile defense systems. China worries about the negative impact," unquote; Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhang Qiyue. Unquote. China hoped for a "strategic dialogue" with the U.S. before a decision was made on the ABM issue.
On Capitol Hill --
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER TOM DASCHLE (D-SD): (From videotape.) I think that it presents some very serious questions with regard to future arms races involving other countries and sends the wrong message to the world with regard to our intent in abiding with -- abiding with treaties that we have felt are critical.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Would Daschle gladly preserve the ABM Treaty even if it means leaving American cities vulnerable to nuclear attack, provided he could score political points against Bush? I ask you, Tony Blankley.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, look, I can't get into his mind, but obviously the fact that he's opposed to the ABM Treaty -- opposed to getting out of the ABM Treaty, which means he's opposed to a real defense, means that objectively, whatever he might say, he's prepared to accept the consequences of not being able to protect our cities from limited nuclear attack.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why does he want to preserve this Cold War machinery? Why?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's for partisan reasons. But what is the strategy behind preserving the machinery to help the Democrats?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, they've been criticizing Bush all along, attacking him for being a unilateralist, for going his own way on foreign policy. This is a piece of that, along with the Kyoto treaty, and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they will be able to say that his unilateralism and isolationism formally creates --
MR. BLANKLEY: Hey, I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- disequilibrium in the world.
MR. BLANKLEY: Look, Daschle is a very good politician, and I can't believe that he still sees that as a political advantage.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that too harsh on --
MR. O'DONNELL: That the Senate majority leader is prepared to put this country at nuclear risk is preposterous. He's opposed to dismantling this treaty because he doesn't see the reason for doing it. The reason we're doing it is to favor a technology which does not work and offers actually less protection than the treaty would offer during the relevant period.
MR. KUDLOW: Oh, Lord.
MS. CLIFT: Right. I mean, I thought the Soviet president, Putin, handled this rather gracefully because he saw it coming. And Russia itself is not directly threatened. They have -- they, if the system ever comes into being, would be able to override it. But what it does --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Override what?
MS. CLIFT: Override a missile shield in this country.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm glad you raised that --
MS. CLIFT: What it does is probably set off an arms race in China and southern Asia of countries who will want to have nuclear capability. And second, it's not a proud thing for a superpower to walk away from a treaty. This is the first since World War II of this kind of behavior. Thirdly, where is the money? This is billions of dollars. And the latest test of the booster rocket just failed this week. This is fantasy technology.
MR. BLANKLEY: We're going to take the money out of --
MS. CLIFT: We have many more --
MR. BLANKLEY: -- (blueberry?) subsidies, buffalo-meat subsidies.
MS. CLIFT: We have many --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, Eleanor --
MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to support Eleanor's point about the reason why Russia is not fearful of this. This is Kuchma's threat. Just before September the 11th in Kiev, I interviewed Ukraine's president, Leonid Kuchma, who, as a Ph.D., worked 32 years in Soviet rocketry, including a long stint as director. He told me, in effect, why Putin and Russia do not see the Bush missile shield as a real threat to Russia's security.
LEONID KUCHMA (PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE): (From videotape.) We developed and manufactured, if you'll excuse my saying so, what we believe is the best missile in the world, the SS-18, known in the United States as the Satan. (Inaudible) -- say that this missile has heavy capability for breaking through any missile defense.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Does this explain why Putin's reaction is so muted, namely, he has a rocket that can penetrate any Bush shield? Eleanor Clift.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I mean, this can protect against one, two, three missiles. That's the way it's being designed. It can't protect against an arsenal. But Mr. Putin understands the geopolitics behind this, and he's worried about an arms race that his neighbor will begin in China. So he is opposed to this.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Only a space-based missile shield can deflect a Satan rocket.
MR. KUDLOW: Right. And, look it, that is on the drawing board.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, it isn't. It's not being built in Alaska.
MR. KUDLOW: It will.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's not what we're talking about now.
MR. KUDLOW: It is part of the vision. It has always been part of the vision. It doesn't mean --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What isn't part of the vision? What isn't?
MR. KUDLOW: The first part of the vision is going to be to equip the Aegis system. The Navy ships that are on the ocean can easily be converted into an Aegis system. That's the first step. The second step politically is to recognize the danger from rogue states and rogue terrorists that may be developing nuclear weapons.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MR. KUDLOW: And the third point that no one has said here is the fact that Putin has a better relationship with Bush. Bush handled this Putin story very well. Putin was --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Putin handled it better.
MR. KUDLOW: And Putin announced his own arsenal reduction, commensurate with the United States' missile reduction.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. Okay, thank you --
MR. KUDLOW: So this old liberal saw about an arms race is just not --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, Admiral Kudlow. Let's move on.
MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question? Will Congress -- excuse me -- will Congress back Bush on building a missile shield, yes or no? One word. Lawrence.
MR. KUDLOW: Yes.
MS. CLIFT: They already are, but they're going to tighten the purse strings in the future if some of those tests don't work out.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They will?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, of course.
MR. O'DONNELL: Yes, in the half-hearted way that they do.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, if the Democrats don't take over the House. Then they will claim it is destabilizing and kill it. By the way, a transcript of the interview with Leonid Kuchma, president of the Ukraine, is available on our Web site, McLaughlin.com, and a streaming video will be available there soon.
Issue three: Christmas cheer. A rebound may be just around the corner. Even in the face of heavy job losses, Americans' optimism over the future of the economy is soaring. That's what the latest Investor's Business Daily/Technometrica Institute of Policy and Politics, TIPP, the Economic Optimism Index, says. In November it surged to 60.5. That's up nearly three points since October.
Quote: "Americans across the board are seeing a rosy economic future ahead. This surge in consumer expectations is clear early evidence that we might have already come out of the recession, or are well on our way to a recovery in the first half of 2002," unquote. So says Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP. It's confirmed by leading economists who are turning bullish, as noted by the blue-chip economic indicators: First quarter, 2002, slight growth; second quarter, 2.6 percent GDP growth; third and fourth quarters, 3.8 percent GDP growth.
On Friday, I read the blue-chip predictions to Jack Welch and asked him what he thought. He said they were pretty much on the mark, those four quarters, unless an act of terrorism occurs at home, and then he said all bets are off.
JACK WELCH: (From videotape.) Now, what happens to the psychic impact of that consumer confidence if some of this terrorism that we see elsewhere hits home? So we desperately need to have the same security we've all felt since September 11th to today. And that's the wild card in that forecast, in my opinion.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Since we're talking about General Electric in a way, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, by the way, says that GE profit will grow at a double-digit clip, rising at least 10 percent in the year 2002 and beyond.
My question to you is, is Jack Welch right? Is terrorism a critical wild card that can change the whole economic picture overnight? I'll defer to you, on the other hand, Lawrence, because you've had the floor quite a bit -- Lawrence here -- Lawrence there, Lawrence here. Why, I'm Lawrencified.
MR. O'DONNELL: Well, I long ago learned not to disagree with Jack Welch. Of course, he's completely right on this. It is the wild card. And we saw what it did -- what September 11th did to airlines, did to travel, did to a certain sector of the economy. A second or third serious punch like that would be devastating.
MS. CLIFT: Well, I just want to point out that the first attack on the World Trade Center was in '93, the second one in 2001. Bin Laden's pattern and al Qaeda's pattern is to wait a long period of time. So I wouldn't get too comfortable about the economy or anything else if we don't get a terrorist attack.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, but we can also say on that, on the negative side, that the November retail sales were down 3.7 percent, and that has Wall Street spooked.
MR. KUDLOW: No, no, no. Look --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, no, no, no? What?
MR. BLANKLEY: Jack Welch is obviously right regarding the terrorist component. However, it's not otherwise certain that the economy is going to do well. We may well be in a deflationary situation right now, as Jude Wanniski has been arguing, and his predictions keep coming more and more true. We have very, very low inflation, almost deflation. We have low sales. I think there's a danger of the economy not springing back.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the progress in the war in Afghanistan a factor in the optimism?
MR. KUDLOW: Hugely important. Successful prosecution of the war in Afghanistan, I think, is the single greatest confidence-booster. The deflationary argument is past, and that chap completely missed the stock market turn, which we are now enjoying.
Welch is right, I think, in general. You know, a year ago he was the first major CEO to predict a deflationary recession. So he's a good forecaster. And it's interesting, John, the industrial production number out on Friday showed the first increase in computer production in over 12 months, and defense production and defense capital goods is underrated, and the Fed is finally expanding the money supply. So, along with lower energy prices, I think you could get 2 to 3 percent growth in the first quarter.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about those TIPP numbers?
MR. KUDLOW: It's a good poll.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's a good poll?
MR. KUDLOW: It's an accurate poll. By the way, they had a terrific record in the last --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the blue-chip economic indicators are all the views of economists, correct?
MR. KUDLOW: Sometimes right, sometimes not right. But in this case --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You go along with those numbers on the Q side, the quarterly side.
MR. KUDLOW: No, I think we're going to see stronger recovery earlier in the first quarter.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're very late.
MR. KUDLOW: And then it ramps up.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We're very late. The biggest factor for the turnaround of optimism is the absence of any new terrorist attacks. So we need to thank Rumsfeld and Ashcroft for our current fragile rosy scenario. Yes or no?
MR. KUDLOW: I think they're a key, key part.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no?
MS. CLIFT: I would like to think that. I'm not really sure about that. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no, Eleanor. That translates as a yes.
MS. CLIFT: I'm not going to say it's because of what they've done.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no?
MR. BLANKLEY: I'm very thankful for their effort so far.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rosy scenario? Fragile rosy scenario due to Rumsfeld and due to Ashcroft?
MR. O'DONNELL: The secretary of Defense is doing a great job, but there's no evidence that what they've done has had anything to do with the economy.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is yes, particularly Ashcroft, for keeping the extreme --
MR. O'DONNELL: What did he prevent? We don't know that he's prevented anything.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Because people in detention, who are potentially and maybe really -- you know, really, in some instances, are a huge threat to the United States.
MS. CLIFT: No, we don't. No, we don't.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Lawrence.
MR. KUDLOW: The final stimulus package will have a 30 percent depreciation bonus write-off for equipment, and that's going to help promote technology expansion and economic recovery.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Great. Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: I was also going to predict stimulus package next week, with significant concessions on the part of the Republicans to the Democrats in terms of unemployment benefits and health care for unemployed.
MR. KUDLOW: They need paychecks, not unemployment checks.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you say?
MR. BLANKLEY: The passage of the president's education bill gives the Republicans a chance to take the education issue back from the Democrats.
MR. O'DONNELL: Justice Scalia's son will be confirmed for his position in the Labor Department.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really?
MR. O'DONNELL: Next year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Audacious. I predict Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, will be deposed by a military coup.
Next week, an eagerly-awaited on-site report from Ukraine. Happy Hanukkah. Bye bye.
(End of regular program.)
(Begin PBS segment.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Camp Hamp. Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts has become the first U.S. college to condemn the U.S. war on Osama bin Laden and terrorism. By a vote of 693 to 121, Hampshire students, faculty and staff adopted the resolution. Quote: "Both at home and abroad, the war on terrorism is symptomatic of the racism of American society, in its disregard for the lives of people of color overseas (and its) encouragement of racial, ethnic and religious scapegoating and violence," unquote. The resolution calls humanitarian relief efforts, quote, "token and scattered," unquote.
What do we think of this? The editors of American Enterprise Online, a publication of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington DC think tank, say this. Quote: "Although most of those we know who have gone to the Amherst, Massachusetts school appear more interested in smoking pot than learning or even radical political activism, the college has once again proven itself worthy of a label as a hotbed of wigged-out leftist prattle," unquote.
Question: Why doesn't this inflammatory condemnation of the U.S. war on terrorism by these Hampshire students violate Hampshire campus PC code by vilifying those who support the war as racist or religious bigots, like all of us here? We all support the war.
MR. O'DONNELL: We do?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where are we, Eleanor? Are we racist or religious bigots?
MS. CLIFT: That is very tortured logic, John, almost as tortured as the American Enterprise editorial, whatever that was. First of all, these were a few students who organized this vote. It isn't Hampshire College per se making this statement. Less than half the student body registered a comment. And it was a long laundry list of things --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A comment to what effect?
MS. CLIFT: About the war. I mean, less than half the student body voted. There are now students signing a petition in support of the war. Colleges are supposed to be a place where you utter your opinion, where you debate ideas. So there's nothing wrong with this, except the right-wing press has jumped all over it, trying to caricature Hampshire as a place of far-out ideas. It's a place where ideas are discussed, where a handful of people oppose war, and most of the students support the war.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't she terrific?
MR. KUDLOW: Eleanor, that's -- that's just fabulous, Eleanor.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What an exquisite whitewash. Let me ask you a question.
MS. CLIFT: It happens to be the truth.
MR. KUDLOW: If this was a significant college, it would be a more significant debate, but it's not. I mean, you've --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute.
MR. KUDLOW: You've had some faculty --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You'd better come clean, Eleanor. Let Eleanor come clean.
MS. CLIFT: I have a son who's a graduate. But I would also point out that Ken Burns is a graduate of Hampshire. It's only been in existence 30 years. It's an experimental college to encourage entrepreneurship, among other things.
MR. KUDLOW: If it were a more important -- I'm not denigrating the entire school, but it doesn't yet have its place in the sun. That's all I'm saying. If it was a Harvard or a Yale or something, then the outcry across the nation would be much greater. Hopefully these kids will soon see the error of their ways.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Suppose this rhetoric really offends some Americans. How can they --
MR. O'DONNELL: Too bad.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How can they vent their displeasure?
MR. O'DONNELL: Too bad if it offends them. It's a very good exercise of the First Amendment. I'm terribly disappointed that there's only one college that has issued a resolution like this so far. There's no point in being young if you're not going to disagree with your government on pretty much everything. And I, by the way, do not support the war, speaking as one who doesn't support the war.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You do not?
MR. O'DONNELL: I am agnostic on this exercise. I don't know whether it is a net good or net bad idea to be doing what we're doing, whether we will, in the end, end up with more or less terrorism.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the alternative?
MR. O'DONNELL: I don't have an alternative.
MR. KUDLOW: Did you go to Hampshire?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'd like to know from you what your impressions are.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I think that university students these days remind me of university students in England in the '30s, where they said they wouldn't fight for king and country. The only difference is that, at least in Britain, they voted on that eight years before Hitler attacked. These fools are voting after the attack.
(End of PBS segment.)