HH: Joined now by Columnist To the World Mark Steyn, who’s in the third hour today instead of the first hour, because Ambassador Michael Oren was with us. Mark Steyn, I talked a lot about Iran today with Ambassador Oren. I’m curious if you think that this President will give the Iranians whatever they want in order that he can get a deal.
MS: Yes, I think so, and I think that’s certainly the way the Iranians are playing it with these last minute, and actually post-last minute demands. They understand that the minute they entered into these negotiations, the priority for the guys on our side was that it would be a successful negotiation, whatever its terms. And so the Iranians figure that they can extract whatever terms they want from Obama, and that in the end, they’re going to wind up with the nuclear capacity they want, and the only bonus these talks offer is they’ll get the nuclear capacity plus reintegration into the world community, and a signing bonus from Obama and the other P5 + 1players.
HH: You know, Mark Steyn, there was the old cliché that a car salesman would take your keys and pocket them, or throw them on the top of the car to keep you in the showroom.
HH: I think the Iranians have done that to John Kerry.
MS: Yeah, I think so, but that’s because I think they understand his psychology better than he understands theirs. And if you look at what’s going on in Switzerland where the pictures of the schmoozing, the pictures of John Kerry bussing the cheeks of his fellow negotiators, and then back in Tehran, they’re still doing the death to America routine, they understand how to play his game way better than Obama and Kerry understand how to play the Iranians’ game. And I think you know, at a certain level, Obama is thinking in world historical terms here, that he’s thinking, in a sense, this is where this whole, the whole current jihad and 9/11, the 9/11 world began with the fall of the Shah and the Iranian hostages that destroyed a democrat president, and that this is his way to draw the line under that era by making Iran, in fact, a regional power and beyond, a power beyond the region, and reintegrating them into the world community, whatever the cost to America’s national interest or to its allies.
HH: Now speaking of 9/11, I had Congressman Mike Pompeo on yesterday as a member of the House Intelligence Committee. And he said this to me in response to my question.
HH: Are you worried about this 4th of July, the safety of Americans in a way that you are ordinarily not worried, because you’re always concerned, obviously. But is there a heightened sense about the 4th?
MP: There is, Hugh. There is no doubt that there have been threat stream indicators suggesting that ISIS and some of their affiliates are focused on that day. And so I know our law enforcement people have known about this for a while, and they, too, are very, very focused on pushing back. They’ve already done some really good work, and I’m confident that they’ll continue to do so. It is the case that some radical Islamists intend to focus on this day, and we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure that we have a safe and wonderful 4th of July.
HH: Is there a geographic precision to that threat stream indicator?
MP: Not very much.
HH: So Mark Steyn, I hadn’t actually heard the term threat stream indicator until yesterday, but it sounds ominous. What do you make of this?
MS: Yeah, I mean, realistically, I think if we had been sitting here having this conversation on the morning of September the 12th, 2001, I don’t think we would have, either of us would have thought we’d have gone this long without another major attack. Now obviously, there have been plenty of attacks. There have been things like the Boston Marathon bombing, and Fort Hood and all the rest of it. But I think most of us on September the 12th, 2001, thought there was another big attack coming. And these guys certainly understand the power of symbolism. You know, they hit Benghazi on the anniversary of September 11th. And it would be a huge coup to them to make the headlines on America’s national holiday ones of dead bodies in the streets at some important symbolic event. And the lesson here is the one that the IRA gave Mrs. Thatcher after the Brighton bombing in, I think it was 1984, when she survived and most of her cabinet survived, although some of them very grievously injured. And they said to her, today, you were lucky. You have to be lucky every day. We only have to be lucky once. And that’s the advantage when you’re playing terrorist odds. We have to be lucky every day. al Qaeda or ISIS or whoever it is only has to be lucky once. And they figure that if they keep trying all the time, they can do that eventually.
HH: Hopefully, we are lucky this 4th and for the foreseeable future until we get a serious president. Let me ask you about Benghazi, because of course, this week, Mrs. Clinton’s latest batch of emails came out, 3,000. 20 years ago, Mark Steyn, a different Republican Senator was saying about a different Clinton, where’s the outrage. Lots of Senators are saying that now, and there’s still no outrage.
MS: No, what’s interesting to me, actually, is just to step back from Benghazi itself, which was terrible. And her behavior in particular was terrible in it. And given the way things are going on free speech in this country, I didn’t like the way that in effect, she and the President made the 1st Amendment the scapegoat in that appalling public service ad they made for Pakistani television. But beyond that, you understand from these emails that Libya was supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s pet project, that she would knock off this harmless, old, past his sell-by date, pock-marked desert transvestite, and she would end up with a big foreign policy feather in her cap, that it was easy to do. And instead, in effect, because she gave it no further thought, except in those shrunken terms of political benefit to her, she left a failed state in Libya, which has resulted in the Libyan ports being under the control of ISIS, and then now being used as the main jumping off point for this flood of refugees that are remorselessly landing on the shores of Italy every day, every day, every day, and destabilizing Italy and other European Union countries. That’s Hillary Clinton’s Libya. Libya is Hillary’s failed policy. That’s what she did. That was supposed to be her great accomplishment as Secretary of State. Instead, she turned it not only into just another failed state, but a failed state that is destabilizing American allies. And nobody is saying a word about that.
HH: And also, nobody is saying a word about Mike Morell told me, that our enemies knew she had this server, and almost certainly were following her every move and reading her every email at the same time that they were being sent. That’s a national security flaw. David Axelrod said he didn’t know about the server. Bill Daley told me he didn’t know about the server. All these people didn’t know about the server. When does it become disqualifying, or when does it dawn on the American media, Mark Steyn, that it’s not that she couldn’t work a fax machine. It’s that the Iranians, the Chinese and Putin knew that she couldn’t work a fax machine before we did.
MS: Right, right, and I think this is, at some point, the media just do have to decide whether they’re just going to be court eunuchs, because there’s a great story here. And if this had been, if the Woodward and Bernstein self-mythologizing of what’s left of the American media had any grain of truth to it, this would be a great story for a crack investigative unit at one of the big newspapers to make their bones and win the Pulitzers on. And the fact that they’re not even going there, that they only want to frame it in partisan terms, you know, that mean-spirited Republicans who are hostile to the first female president keep making, wanting to make this an issue, the issue, as you understand from Hillary’s, most of Hillary’s emails are one word answers. They’re either yes or please print, which is a two word answer, in that she understands that the reason she has this private email server is because she doesn’t want to be caught at anything by what she perceives as are her enemies. Well, she’s not working for herself. She’s working for the people of the United States. And the problem is that the United States’ enemies around the world in Tehran and Moscow and Beijing and everywhere else, are reading all this stuff. And they’re getting all this information in real time, because she put her own interests before that of the United States. How can someone like that be president?
HH: I don’t know. The level of political paranoia and the level of indifference to national interest is immense. Mark Steyn, Bobby Jindal is coming up after you, so I want to ask you quickly. I’ve been asking all the candidates. Filibuster or repeal of Obamacare, and they’re dividing. What do you think is the right answer to that – keep the filibuster or get rid of Obamacare?
MS: I want to get rid of Obamacare. That would be my priority, because I think this is worse than any private or public health care system ever known to man, and that at some point, it will just suck the entire federal budget and what’s left of U.S. economic dynamism over the cliff with it. So to me, that’s the priority.
HH: Mark Steyn, a happy and a safe 4th of July. I’m sure you’ll run into candidates in New Hampshire. Enjoy talking to them.
End of interview.