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Juan Williams Refers to the 'Murder' of bin Laden

While discussing what role President Bush and enhanced interrogations played in the death of Osama bin Laden, Fox News Sunday panelist Juan Williams referred to the terrorist's death as "murder."

Responding to conservative Paul Gigot, Williams dismissed, "But to somehow say it's because we were engaged in enhanced interrogation, and that led- and it's a very uncertain path that it leads directly to the murder of Osama bin Laden- it seems to me petty, and it seems to me an attempt to diminish President Obama's accomplishments."

No one on the May 8 panel objected or complained about Williams' phraseology, but Webster's dictionary defines murder as "the crime of unlawfully killing a human being." So, perhaps that's a term that Williams would like to take back.

Williams, who was considered not liberal enough for NPR, continued to downplay enhanced interrogations, chiding, "So what if we got some information by means of torturing people?" He added, "It's not in our value to pull out people's teeth and eyeballs. And secondly, you know what? We can get that information in other ways."

A transcript of the exchange, which aired on May 08, follows:

 

PAUL GIGOT: I mean, the fascinating big picture here is the degree to which the Obama policies have inherited and even expanded and built on what Bush did. The architecture here of the war on terror, whether it be permanent detentions, or almost permanent detentions, Guantanamo, secret rules for state secrets - CHRIS WALLACE: Drones. GIGOT: -drones- I mean, those things, across the board - WALLACE: Surge in Afghanistan. GIGOT: - he has taken those and he has basically inherited them. And much like Eisenhower took Truman's Cold War architecture, built on it, and said this is now a permanent part of American policy, I think Obama has done that with the Bush anti-terror architecture.


JUAN WILLIAMS: Listen, this is so - to me, this is so petty, that somehow now Republicans are trying to say we must be sure to credit President Bush. President Bush deserves credit for what he did. He kept the country safe after 9/11; we did not have a subsequent attack. But to somehow say it's because we were engaged in enhanced interrogation, and that led - and it's a very uncertain path that it leads directly to the murder of Osama bin Laden- it seems to me petty, and it seems to me an attempt to diminish President Obama's accomplishments. Let me finish the point. You know what? So what if we got some information by means of torturing people? As President Obama - and we heard this morning from Tom Donilon - it's not in our value to pull out people's teeth and eyeballs. And secondly, you know what? We can get that information in other ways.

- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.