Transcript: Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and say she doesn't remember, although that's a pretty important thing not remember accurately.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So does it need to be investigated?

KYL: I am less interested in investigating whether her memory or correct or she lied about it than I am in the policies that flow from the debate that we're having. I am not one who thinks we ought to have truth commissions and all of the rest of it and keep looking backward. I agree with the president. We've got enough on our plate, we need to look forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's the irony here, Senator Webb, as Speaker Gingrich says, investigate. He wants a separate House investigation. Speaker Pelosi says, fine, let's have a truth commission, the one that Senator Kyl doesn't want. Where do you stand on this? WEBB: I just don't think it's that big a deal. I mean, I think we have selective memories...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... is not a big deal?

WEBB: Well, I mean, they're going to have a fight. But in terms of where the country is right now, where we need to go, there are a lot of issues of accountability in terms of looking back as to the conduct of the past administration in a number of areas.

But really, in terms of what we need to be focusing on, let's accept that torture is inappropriate behavior. And I've interrogated hundreds of detainees and enemy combatants when I was a Marine in Vietnam, torture doesn't work.

Let's all accept that, separate it from these other issues that we're talking about in terms of having to resolve issues, like Guantanamo, and move forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no truth commission?

WEBB: I think this will resolve itself without something like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's move on to some of the other issues, because President Obama this week did make two significant shifts on national security policy. He said that the photos of that detainee abuse would not be released, he would fight that in court.

And he also shifted on the issue of military tribunals, even though he had been for them in the past, he heavily criticized the Bush tribunals, now he is bringing them back with some reforms.

And let me show you some of the human rights groups' reaction to these moves by President Obama. The ACLU says: "These military commissions are inherently illegitimate, unconstitutional, incapable of delivering outcomes we can trust."

Human Rights Watch: "By resurrecting this failed Bush administration idea, President Obama is backtracking dangerously on his reform agenda."

Human Rights First: "Reinventing commissions so deeply associated with Guantanamo Bay will merely add to the erosion of international confidence in American justice and provide more fodder for America's enemies."

Now you were also against the commissions during your campaign. Do you support what the president is doing here?

WEBB: I wasn't against commissions per se. I think that -- my view on...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know -- well, let me just interrupt you there, because I have an AP story from April 2007 where you said -- it says that you told reporters that detainees should either be declared prisoners of war or charged in the American judicial system.

"We can't just continue to hold people in limbo without charges for this period of time and still call ourselves Americans."

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...