HH: Joined now by United States Senator Jim Inhofe from the great state of Oklahoma. Senator, welcome. I want to cover a lot of ground with you, but first, we’re raising some money for Feed The Children to take supplies down to those parts of the country that have been devastated, five people killed in Oklahoma last night.
HH: What do you hear from your home state? How are they coping with this?
JI: Well you know, we’re in what they call Tornado Alley, Hugh, and as you know, I’ve been active in aviation for many years. I know people who don’t, won’t even fly an airplane in what they call Tornado Alley, which includes a little bit of Kansas, too, so we are used to it. My wife, for example, last night, I was talking to her late, we have an old house. We’ve lived in the same house for fifty years. And we had all of our staff that didn’t have a basement, were there. So it’s something that’s really tragic. Until you have been there, Hugh, and you have been there the day, minutes or so after, of hours right after it happened, you can’t appreciate the devastation. It’s hard to get it on TV. But it is that. And the fact that you are being help to these people is just, I applaud you for it.
HH: Well, it’s the audience, and they’re calling 800-328-2122, and making contributions or going to the banner at Hughhewitt.com. Americans helping Americans, it never fails to happen, Senator. Senator, were you in the chamber yesterday when Benjamin Netanyahu was there?
JI: Absolutely. Are you kidding? You know, I was with him, I don’t think I’ve talked to you after the, I was with him in March, and we were talking about this very thing. He said that we really believe that the administration is just going out of their way to try to alienate himself with the Jewish population, because it’s not just the 1967 lines, but it’s also what he’s doing now in embracing, well, the first speech that he made over in Cairo. Do you remember that?
JI: And that was just trying to embrace that group of people. And I think his, one of his major concerns is what’s happening in Iran. Netanyahu is very familiar with what they are willing to do, what they are going to do. And yet, this administration, if you remember, he was the one who brought down the ground-based Interceptor that would have protected the United States and Western Europe from something coming from Iran. So it’s not just the lines that are drawn. It’s going out of his way to embrace that whole element.
HH: That radical Islamist element is what I think you’re talking about that is…
JI: Oh yeah. They’re the ones who want to kill us. I mean, you know, to think that they would even embrace the idea that they would have that element, with Hamas tied in with the Palestinians, Hamas who are doing everything they can to destroy Israel. And how do you negotiate? First of all, you can’t negotiate with a terrorist. And yet, those are terrorists that have taken, that are doing everything they can to destroy Israel, and we’re supposed to, or he is supposed to negotiate with them. This thing is really big on the lines. Why in the world he would do it? And of course, we talked about this. He suspected this was going to happen last March when we were with him in Israel. But to come in there and talk about the West Bank, shrinking that area up the ways they say, nine miles wide, that’s what they’re promoting. Golan Heights, I’ve been up there. You can look down there and see what’s happening in Lebanon and over in Syria. And this is something that I just…
HH: What about your colleague…
JI: The timing couldn’t have been more stupid, politically.
HH: What about your colleagues across the aisle, your Democratic colleagues who are supporters of Israel, like Joe Lieberman? They must be shaking their heads at the hostility this president has for the Jewish state.
JI: And the timing, to do it right before the visit by Netanyahu and, let’s don’t forget, the AIPAC dinner was Monday night. That’s the largest dinner of the AIPAC, the people who are supporters of Israel.
HH: American-Israel Political Action Committee, yup.
JI: Yeah, and what timing. You know, you have to almost look at this, and Hugh, I’ve watched Obama. And he has never been rejected in his life. And I think there’s something, I’m not qualified to diagnose him, but there’s something wrong with a guy that is going to go out of his way to do all these things right before these two events take place, Netanyahu, and then the AIPAC event. So I think that you know, you’re dealing with someone who’s never been rejected before, he’s incredibly arrogant, and he really believes that he can talk anyone out of anything.
HH: Did you watch the screw up at the dinner with the Queen last night? Have you seen that film yet?
HH: Okay, I’ll leave you to watch that highlight. Let’s get to substantive stuff about Gitmo. You just were down there. What did you see? And what reaction do you bring back to your colleagues in the Senate?
JI: I can remember we talked before, and we were talking about the photos?
JI: The fact that President Obama, he had, and it’s an obsession with him to close Gitmo, and it has been for three years. And we won. I was kind of the point man, I think you know that.
JI: …on keeping Gitmo open. Well, I’ve taken, I’m taking groups down. I took six members of Congress down with me last Friday, so that they could see. They had never been there before. And I want to get as many people exposed to that, because I have legislation that does something that many of your listeners are probably not aware of, because we just introduced it. Everybody knows that we won on the battle. We’re going to keep Gitmo open. There’s no question about that. But what they don’t know is for the last two and a half years that he has been president, he hasn’t allowed us to take one high value detainee into Gitmo, not one. Not one person has entered Gitmo since he’s been president. And of course, the other choice, the only other option they have, when we get a high value detainee and we want to do some interrogating, we depend on cooperation from the country where we caught him. It can be Yemen. It can be Saudi Arabia. Wherever that is, that’s where we have to either permanently or temporarily incarcerate them, because they won’t, he won’t let us take him to Gitmo. Now you saw what happened the other day in Afghanistan?
JI: They said it was a tunnel that got them out?
JI: It’s really a revolving door. These guys…
HH: Scores of guys got away. Scores.
JI: …they get back out, and they are out trying to kill Americans again. And of the 600 that were released from Gitmo, our intelligence, it’s not even classified, says that approximately 150 of those are now back in the fight trying to kill Americans. Those are the people that we turned away from Gitmo. So this is an asset that we have, and we’ve got to keep talking about this, because this is one of the few good deals that we have. I may have mentioned to you before, but your listeners may have forgotten, and that is we’ve had this since 1903. We only pay $4,000 dollars a year. And for some reason, they haven’t cashed the last five or six checks anyway. So when you go there and you see this expeditionary legal complex that we have, it’s one of the, it’s the only place, really, in the world that you can try these people for military tribunals. We have tried six so far. We have several, including the big guy.
HH: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
JI: …that’ll be up for trial. And we’ve got to keep that thing open. It’s a great asset that we have.
HH: Well, let’s talk about saving money somewhere else, because you have opened a new front on the EPA, and I want to applaud this, demanding why in the world are we going to send them another billion dollars if they haven’t even spent $2 billion dollars in this year’s budget. I say cut them down.
JI: Well, we would do that in a heartbeat. The problem is we still have a Democrat majority in the Senate. And you know, that’s the committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, when we were a majority, you remember very well we talked at that time, I was the chairman of that committee. Now what they’re trying to do is take everything that we have done, we have defeated, even with the minority, cap and trade, and the clean water restoration act, and all these things, they’re now trying to do all of that through regulations in the EPA. And that’s one of our big things. And by the way, did you hear the quote today by Lisa Jackson? And I really like her, because she’s honest when she answers questions. Not many liberals are. But she’s the one who said in response to a question, no, I’ve never known one case of hydraulic fracturing that resulted in groundwater contamination.
HH: Oh, good.
JI: And so that’s a huge step forward. It’s kind of like when she said that yes, if we passed the McCain-Lieberman bill, or the Waxman-Markey bill, or any of these cap and trade bills in America, it’s not going to reduce CO2 emissions, because it only effects America. All it would do is chase these people over to places where there’s no emissions controls like…
HH: Well, let me ask you about the coal stuff, since right now, the administration, through and ALJ, has opened up another war on Peabody and Massey Coal. It’s a different agency than the NLRB, but it’s like the NLRB’s war on Boeing and South Carolina. Does anyone on the Democratic side realize that the Obama administration is, like, trying to kill jobs left, right and center?
JI: Well, sure they do. They have to realize it, because these regulations, and if people want to access my website, http://inhofe.senate.gov, I talk about each one of these regulations that’s killing jobs. And interestingly enough, we have kind of an unholy alliance, we have the labor unions on our side on these things. And we’ve kind of enumerated how many jobs they’re killing. Did you know, I know you knew, but a lot of your listeners don’t know that just over 50% of the power generated to run this machine called America is run by coal?
HH: Yup, yup.
JI: And they’re trying to kill coal, and any other fossil fuel with the idea, well, we have to get into green energy. When they say that we are, that we want to stop our dependence on the Middle East, and at the same time say we want to kill fossil fuels, it’s just….
JI: I don’t think the American people are that dumb. And finally, some of the Democrats are really realizing that. Keep in mind, in the 2012 elections, we have 23 Democrats that are up for reelection in the Senate. And about 15 of those are endangered species. So let’s make sure everyone’s aware of it, and it’s people like you who get this word out.
HH: Senator James Inhofe, always a pleasure. Help out Oklahoma, America. Give a call to 800-328-2122, and Joplin, Missouri, and everyone in the South, Feed the Children rushing supplies there right now.
End of interview.