Today: Rachel pushes Colin Powell on Gitmo and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
I have an abbreviated RachelWatch today — Andrea Mitchell pinch hit from London while Rachel attended an MSNBC event — but we did get more footage from Rachel’s Colin Powell interview.
Get ready for some great questions and a level of deflection that a soldier usually needs a shield to achieve.
Powell Interview, Part Deux
Powell admitted that there were high-level discussions about the cases of Guantanamo Bay detainees who were probably innocent, which brought Rachel to the question of the night:
“Who was fighting to keep those people in?”
Which is a darn good question. Instead of a darn good answer, we got “There were people who wondered whether or not they still had some intelligence value.”
I would like an answer with more intelligence value than “people.”
Powell has long been in favor of shutting down Gitmo and deserves credit for that, but he seems to be doing some careful defending of what went on there and the people who allowed it that I’m not comfortable with.
For more discomfort, check out the clip.
One More Thing:
Rachel asked Powell about his opinion on the retirement of the phrase “Global War on Terror.” He agreed that he preferred more concrete thinking, but she couldn’t get him to say “OCO,” her new favorite phrase. Didn’t anyone tip him off that confetti would drop from the ceiling if he did?
When he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell advocated Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Rachel asked him how he felt about the policy that has caused the discharge of thousands of soldiers.
Powell said that times and attitudes have changed and he thinks it’s time for a Congressional review of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But beyond that, he’s really focusing on the Don’t Tell part.
Rachel brought up the many countries that have successfully integrated LGBT soldiers, and Powell replied that those examples should be taken into account, but thought that the United States armed forces are not the same as the militaries of Europe or Canada.
What on earth does that mean? Is he suggesting that our troops are inherently less tolerant and that’s somehow OK? Does American patriotism cause powerful changes in brain chemistry that force soldiers into adopting rigid gender roles? Or is he referring to the Belgian All-Girl Wilderness Survival, Sniping, and Folk Music Brigade?
Maybe it’s that last one.