January 5th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Gingrich: Obama team favors terrorists' rights over Americans'

Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack
Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich is standing by his criticism of the Obama administration in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terror attack, saying Monday he believes the Justice Department is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than those of Americans.

"I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," the former House Speaker told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Monday. "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

An incredulous O'Reilly replied that Gingrich's statement was "impossible to believe" and asked, "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"

"You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.

"We are in much greater danger than we were a year ago," he also said. "...We have to confront the fact that this is going to be a much bigger, much harder war than we thought."

In a letter in the conservative magazine Human Events last week, Gingrich said the recent terror attempt highlighted the need "to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information."

"Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary," Gingrich wrote.


Filed under: Eric Holder • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. bmw

    The neocons keep trying to outdo each other with their outrageous attacks on President Obama. Given that most of the international community disliked Bush for his saber-rattling and "bring em on" posturing; and Guantanamo, Abu Graib, and the invasion of Iraq served as recruiting tools for Al Quaida; and Cheney distorted and interfered with intelligence-gathering - I feel much safer under Obama, who is working hard to undo the damage done by the Republicans.

    January 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. a health economist

    All right. I'm completely fed up with Republicans. The only one saying anything right now I can agree with is Ron Paul. And that is very ironic because his economic principals are absolutely ludicrous. Looks like it will be a long time before I can vote for a Republican and still feel good about myself. I'll sooner vote for nobody than a candidate with an R behind their name the way the party is going.

    January 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Scott

    You are completely off your rocker, Newt. It's called upholding the rule of law in this country. It's un-American to say the things you've said. Seriously... "fear politically incorrect honesty?" Say what you really mean and group all Muslims in with the terrorists. You're a disgrace.

    If you forget the rule of law, then you might as well burn that book you call the Bible. Would you denounce your God in order to kill terrorists? I don't think so. Forgetting our rule of law would be the same thing.

    January 5, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. So whites can't be terrorists?

    Yea we SHOULD profile, and take away attention from other unknown terrorists.

    Gingrich acts as if Muslims are the USA's only enemies.

    Here's something: we have also had American white terrorists here in the US too, so maybe we can focus on 35-40 year old white males and profile them.

    Or MAYBE we should watch everyone and not make stupid comments above just so your base can pat you on the back.

    January 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. terry denman

    Gingrich and Cheney conveniently forget who arranged legal representation out of the White House to defend the rights of the country and its people where the terrorists responsible for 9/11 came from. If ever there was an un-American decision or position, those in the previous administration who defended Saudia Arabia and the Bin Laden family are the guilty ones of being pro-terrorist and subjecting the American public to threats of continued violence. After all, weren't they the ones who said in 2003 that Bn Laden was no longer a concern?

    January 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. JA/TN

    what you have is the ball being dropped period, the man shlould have never boarded according to protocol, where was the grinch eight years ago

    January 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Geez

    "Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary," Gingrich wrote.
    Um. I think harassing the innocent is something they are trying to avoid. That's better than fanning the flames of terrorism by capturing and then holding people who have not been charged with any crime. Or maybe we should follow the neo-con logic, which would imply that since the attacker came from Yemen, we should invade a totally different country. No harassing of innocent people there.

    January 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Michael Wynn

    Please don't forget who is speaking here, this is the same racist republican that was speaker of the house who framed the contract on America, and who was also caught up in his own little sex scandle.

    Newt, is a hypocrite to no end.

    January 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. harold

    To think the party in power believes a terrorist's rights are more important than the lives of Americans is just simply warped. These type of statements just fuels the fire for terrorists. All this guy wants is for something to happen then he can say I told you so. We can argue about whether enough is being done or what is being done, but this statement does the country far more harm then good.

    January 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Obama 2.0

    It is amazing how theses guys don't get it. But it is clear that they do not believe in our system of laws. And they play right into the hands of the terrorist, by favoring doing something other than what this country is founded on. The terroist want us to treat them in a way other than our Democracy. They want to prove to the world that our system does not work. The Obama team sees that and is shjowing the world that our democracy does work and that the terroist will fail, but they will fail at the steps of the constitution, not a Rumsfeld, Cheney style lynch mob. That does nothing but make their case.

    January 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. puzzled

    I can't blieve some of the thngs that comes out of this mans mouth. Pathetic.

    January 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. texas outlaw

    Gigrich is an idot plain and simple. Blurting out more scare tatics.
    He did not say anything like this when Bush and Cheney where in office. Remember the shoe bomber. He went to court in the US and was convicted. That was ok with this jerk then, and he thought the US was a safer place. The president certianly is much more of a rational person then this idiot biggot.

    January 5, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. pat c.

    why can't the republicans see that america is tired of living under fear from the right??
    president obama is very much on top of the terrorist threats in our country. i am sick of the right trying to ruin the morale of this nation by constantly reminding us they let 911 happen on their watch and now we all must live in underground shelters because of their incompatance 8 years ago. i have more faith in our president because he is not letting the terrorist control our right to freedom and happiness. thank god for president obama not being a coward and is without chest beating for himself quietly going after the enemy without causing panic in our world.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. Jane in WI

    Newt is a typical wingnut.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Frank G.

    The governmental agencies that attempt protect us against terrorists strikes is (are) not the Justice Department in either thinking nor activities ( eg drones in Pakistan). This political fodder at a time when the Country should be united, irrespective of poltical bent, is both unpatriotic and unAmerican. It is one matter to question the efficacies of particular strategies (to defend), but another to make the absurd connections this "stateman" purports. He is representative of the sad new commentary of today's "Rebuplicants" and as much as they may think such audacious comments will gather some votes in the future, it will hopefully be a politicized operative soundly renounced by Americans in furure elections.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Bill from GA

    Hitler was big on protecting the rights of Germans, to the extent of using torture to get information to further the cause of the Nazi party. Hitler also thought nothing of invading a country that never attacked Germany. Sounds like most of the Republicans' way of thinking.

    Conservatives accuse President Obama of being like Hitler in their Health Care Reform protest rallies. Unlike the Conservatives, when I think of Hitler, I don't immediately think of health care for all.

    Personally, I would like to see the underwear bomber blown up with his own undies, but our law doesn't allow that. Remember law, Newt. It was supposedly important to you when you felt the need to impeach President Clinton.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Irma in North Carolina

    So he has to come on here and open his big mouth, what the heck is he trying to prove, he must want to make some points with Sarah, that is something she would say.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    "We are in much greater danger than we were a year ago,"

    Contained in this statement – for those who care to apply basic analysis – is the admission that Republicans depend upon fear to win elections.

    Gingrich is intentionally creating an erroneous perception that there is a connnection between two completely unconnected facts. Firstly that KSM is going to be tried in a civilian court, and secondly that a terrrorist was able to slip through security and get on an airplane. The Obama administration has not made any changes in airport security, the process is still precisely the same as it was under the Bush Administration. And the airport security process bears no connection what-so-ever to the pending trials.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. LG

    But news reports already indicate that the would be bomber is already talking like mad to the FBI as he proudly brags about his actions.

    When will Cheney, Gingritch, et al. learn that the FBI gets better quality information by smart interrogation than one gets from heavy handed tactics like water boarding.

    Water boarding was developed to get pilots to confess to fictitious war crimes. After enduring it, you'll confess to anything without regard to whether it's true or not.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. ForThePeople

    Just as this nation is less concerned with the rights of victims when crimes are being committed, the liberals in this country have been so concerned with rights of terrorists and combatants and less concerned with the rights of innocent Americans who are killed or targeted, as well as the American servicemembers who have volunteered to go in harms way.

    It's simple, we are at war. And anyone attempting to or succeeding in attacking Americans is an enemy and should be treated as such. Did the Americans who were killed on 9/11/01 or who have been murdered by terrorists on other occasions get their day in a courtroom? Of course, not!

    The rights, freedoms, and protection of Americans are the only ones that we should be considered with, not the enemy.

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Bubba

    Cmon Newt, here you go again. Couldn't win the healthcare debate so now it's time to trot out the standard Republican response that Dems are weak on terrorism and that we need to vote Republican if we want to protect this country. Must be an election coming up in 2010...what a crock!

    January 5, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Susan L.

    Face Palm!!! Nothing else can possibly sufficiently express the dismay at the reported nastiness and stupidity of the Republicans.

    January 5, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Puddin

    Well what you anyone expect from the likes of Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney and others? When the time comes when we have to remove our clothes, that will be the time when not many people will choose to fly.

    January 5, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. Peggy - TX

    Hard as they try, the Republican slime machine just can’t get traction on their position that some how they will make America safer from terrorist the President Obama.

    Maybe because one year into the previous administration we were recovering from 9/11. Maybe because the last administration got us into a war with Iraq that most Americans now believe was a poor move that actually promoted more terrorism. Maybe because Americans are not impressed with the bravado of the past administration . Maybe because Most Americans can see that our current President is acted competently and in fact is going after terrorist aggressively.

    Repeatedly, the Republican slime machine contrive facts, twist reality to knock our President, but, frankly their arguments are tiresome and the people delivering the attacks lack credibility.

    January 5, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Jim

    This is the kind of statement that drove me from the Republican Party. As a 53-year old, white, retired military colonel, I should be in the hip pocket of the GOP. I am not. This kind of talk is the reason why. Even Bill O'Reilly cannot believe Gingrich (and his allies Palin, Cheney, et al) talks like this. I served in Iraq among other places, but I knew (as do many military people) that our attack on Iraq has created many more enemies for the United States than it stopped. Shame on Newt Gingrich.

    January 5, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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