Saturday, January 09, 2010

Conservatives' fevered claims about extending certain privileges to Interpol ridiculed by Fox panel

Media Matters for America

Conservative media figures Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich have recently attacked President Obama for issuing an executive order designating the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) as a public international organization; these conservatives asked "what special interest group asked for this," suggested that the order could lead to investigations of American officials, and suggested that the move was a "screw-up." However, the "All-Star Panel" on Fox News' Special Report, including conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, debunked these claims, calling the order "benign" and the conservative media claims "paranoid."

Conservatives freak out over executive order

Beck asks, "[W]hat special interest group asked for this?" During his Fox News show, Beck said of the amendment to Executive Order 12425, extending certain privileges and immunities to Interpol, "I have been trying to find out the answer why, and no one in the White House will respond." He continued: "This Congress attacks our CIA and FBI, but the European group Interpol they give immunity to?" Beck also stated, "This doesn't make sense," and asked, "[W]hat special interest group asked for this?" [Glenn Beck, 1/7/10]

Limbaugh calls the order "a screw-up." Addressing Obama's comment that the security failure that led to the attempted Christmas day bombing was a "screw-up," Limbaugh asked: "Is lifting an executive order, giving Interpol immunity from American laws a screw-up?" [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/6/10]

Gingrich suggests order could lead to investigations of U.S. officials. Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich claimed that the order "basically releases Interpol from all American constraints" and gives the organization "all sorts of extralegality in the United States in a way that has never ever before been offered to Interpol." He further asserted, "What I'm told is that it could lead to a number of investigations by Interpol in the United States potentially aimed at American officials." Gingrich commented that he was "very curious as to why the president is doing this" and asked, "Why would the president of the United States give that kind of extralegal protection to an international police force?" [Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 1/4/10]

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