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Where do we draw the line between victim and victimizer?

Audience Member #1: We're talking about the American Civil Liberties Union? ... This is an organization that is actually trying right now to assist people down in Gitmo. The prisoners we have down in Gitmo. These prisoners we caught on the battlefield. What type of rights are we gonna give them? What type of rights should we give them, and they're trying to kill our troops, behead our troops. I mean, why should we give them any type of rights at all? ...

Audience Member #2: If we don't decide to have some absolutes, where do you draw the line? If everyone's a victim, who's the victimizer? Who gets to decide that? And while it makes some of us seem narrow-minded, we have to have some absolutes philosophically in this country.

Bill: Let me address both of those things. Relativism, moral relativism, is part of the Culture Warrior book. The foreign minister of Italy, Marcello Pera, wrote an essay and said to Americans: "Don't count on Europe in a war on terror. Don't count on us to help you fight these Islamo-fascists because we in Europe, we don't make judgments about behavior. ... So when they're gonna kill 3,000 of you, we'll sympathize, but we're not stepping up." That's relativism. Nothing to fight for. Nothing is worth it.

Now on Guantanamo Bay, it's very interesting. I've been there twice now. We need information to save lives. And according to Brian Ross—I think the best investigative reporter in the country right now—they captured Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, one of the 9/11 plotters, and they water boarded him, which means they tied him up and they dunked him in water. ... Now, they dunk Khalid Sheikh Mohamed in the water until Khalid Sheikh Mohamed said, "Hold it. I'll tell you who my friends are." They nailed 14 of them and they stopped, according to Brian Ross—not Bill O'Reilly—about a dozen terror plots that would have killed tens of thousands of people.

So you have to make a decision, ladies and gentlemen, whether you water board somebody or let 5,000 people die, alright? And that is a tough decision to make. I admit it. But I'm gonna come down...If you take the guy's eye out? No. You cut his fingers off? No. You dunk him in water to save 5,000? I'm dunkin' that guy all day long.
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FROM: Oprah's Town Hall with Bill O'Reilly
Published on October 27, 2006

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