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Alan Keyes is Making Sense
Alan Keyes
April 24, 2002

ALAN KEYES, HOST: Welcome to MAKING SENSE. I'm Alan Keyes.

Up front tonight, we will consider the result of the two-day conference of the pope and the American cardinals. The conference recommended the removal of any priest who have become — quote — “notorious and serial child abusers.”

But they would not order the dismissal of all abusive priests. Instead, the future of those offenders who don't fall under the cardinal's definition of notorious and serial would be left to local bishops.

Of course, that leaves us with some questions, doesn't it? I wonder if they would say notorious and serial child killers. Do you think so? And yet they're supposed to regard this assault on the spiritual welfare of the young as more serious than a physical assault.

Doesn't make sense, does it? No. Does it?

Well, the other question that was left begging is the cardinals' own culpability of any cover-up of past offenses and steps to be taken to make sure that we can have confidence that they will not be engaging in any new such activities. Those ideas were apparently struck down.


CARDINAL THEODORE MCCARRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON, DC: I can't see anyone with a responsibility to the church ever trying to cover up anything.


KEYES: The only problem is if Cardinal McCarrick can't see anyone ever trying to do this, how come we have, in fact, proof that several people did? Not only tried to do it, but did it over the course of many years. Is it that we're seeing something that didn't happen, or that there are cardinals refusing to see what took place? And if they're not willing to deal with that reality, what is going to come of this situation? This is a serious matter.

And in case you are wondering about the most notorious example apparently of that kind of failure, there was no comment on the future of Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, notably absent from today's news conference.

Well, obviously we have a lot of things to talk about tonight. The conference at the Vatican raised some high hopes. But it's not entirely clear to me that they have answered yet those expectations.

Up front tonight, we'll be joined by Terry Jeffrey, the editor of “Human Events,” a leading weekly conservative news magazine. Also with us, Brian Tierney, an attorney and longtime advisor to Philadelphia's Cardinal Bevalaqua (ph). Gentlemen, welcome to MAKING SENSE.



KEYES: First of all, I have to put squarely on the table what we saw today in terms of the formulations, the addressing of the issues that are of great concern I think to lay Catholics and people in general.

Let me start with you, Terry Jeffrey. Was this adequate? Are we seeing something that ought to satisfy us that we're going to have these problems addressed in a satisfying way that really meets the challenge that is before the church?

JEFFREY: No, Alan. I think it was profoundly disappointing. And, unfortunately, the cardinals evaded the main question here. I think that the root problem behind this scandal is that leading figures in the Catholic Church, including bishops and cardinals, have turned their back on a basic moral teaching of the church that's in the new catechism that's ancient and changeable, uncontestable. And that is that homosexual acts are gravely immoral.

Yesterday, we got great candor from Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Illinois, who admitted that there is a homosexual atmosphere in the seminaries of the United States. And sometimes homosexuals dominate the clergy in these seminaries.

That is an outrage. And that is the core problem behind this scandal, that the Catholic hierarchy is unwilling to condemn homosexual behavior for the sin that it is, and weed out of the priesthood men who are engaging in this act as Catholic priests.

KEYES: Brian Tierney, is this, in fact, the source and root of the problem? We seem to have a hierarchy in denial here.

TIERNEY: No. I think we all as Catholics and as Americans need to step back, take a deep breath, and not go out and grab the rope, and let's get the wood and build the gallows and see if we can't lynch somebody. And I think it's a duty of Catholics from the right and the left to not use this horrible situation, the victimization of children, as an opportunity to kind of drive a wedge to see a crack in the wall and try to drive our own agendas, whatever they may be, through it.

The fact of the matter is the cardinals aren't experienced in the way of politicians. And they let expectations rise so high before this meeting that there could be really nothing but disappointment other than if they came back and said, “No celibacy, at least in North America,” which obviously wasn't going to happen.

KEYES: Brian Tierney, let me ask you a question, though. I don't understand what you just said. Nobody is driving anything. This is painful...

TIERNEY: Oh, I think it is.

KEYES: ... let me finish, sir. This is the most painful situation I personally have seen as a believing Christian and Catholic in my entire life. Every time I deal with it, it is traumatic for me on this show, personally, and in every way. And I think that's true of many millions of Catholics.

But when somebody puts out a paper and says, “We'll deal with it when it becomes a problem of a notorious and serial abuser,” I'm sitting here and thinking to myself — and I'll put the question to you — if we were talking about child murder, would they wait until it was a notorious and serial child murderer?


KEYES: Before they took decisive action?

TIERNEY: No, they wouldn't. And...

KEYES: One further question, though.

TIERNEY: Sure, go ahead. It's your show.

KEYES: According to the doctrine of the Catholic faith, didn't Christ tell us that the one who harms the body does — the soul, the spirit — does more grievous harm than one who harms the body. Isn't that true? That's what we believe, right?

TIERNEY: And he that would do it to these least powerful, these children, would be better to tie a millstone around your neck.

KEYES: Brian, last step here. Doesn't that mean that what we're dealing with here in each individual case is from a spiritual, moral point of view more grievous harm done to the victim than physical death?

TIERNEY: Yes. Alan, I...

KEYES: Why aren't they treating it that way? Why aren't they treating it that way?

TIERNEY: ... I think what they're trying to do — and, again, the communications of the church and the rules of the church don't really comport so much with our day-to-day as we as American are ready for things. But I think we need to separate the Goeghan situation, the person who is notorious, and notorious not in the commonplace language of the world, but in the more proper meaning of the word notorious, somebody who is with 8-, 9-, 10-, 12-year-olds. Separate that from somebody who has had a horrible, horrible occurrence, but perhaps has had a one-time relationship 30 years ago one time with a 17-year-old boy or girl, and they're saying perhaps we need to, as wise people would do, to separate these two things, to separate Goeghan from the one person.

You have to understand the church is in the position of mercy and forgiveness. It's not a civil body...

KEYES: Brian, wait, wait, stop. I don't think we can do this unless we're willing to be careful here. The notorious and serial language was not used with reference to the past. It was used with reference to a policy laid out for the future in which singular instances were going to be left in this sort of gray area of discretionary action by the bishops and so forth and so on.

It seems to me that what you just said is not relevant to the question. They have made a distinction between notorious and serial and singular instances. And yet, how do you know when a singular instance is the beginning of a notorious and serial situation? How many young people have to be abused before it crosses that line?

Terry Jeffrey, it doesn't make sense. How long are we supposed to wait and watch this go on?

JEFFREY: We shouldn't wait another moment, Alan. I think you got right to the heart of it when you said really what the church should be concerned with is the faith and souls. What the clergy needs to be concerned with, what the Vatican needs to be concerned with, is saving souls, people going to heaven.

Let me put this in a different context. If are you Catholic like I am, you must believe that there is a Satan. And really what this is all about, there's a struggle between God and Satan for the souls of men. And in that struggle, what greater triumph could Satan have than to win the soul of a clergyman who abuses his clerical office and a child and in the process of doing so gives scandal to the church that destroys priests, discredits bishops and cardinals, that has the Vatican itself even wobbling and teetering over deciding what to do?

This is like Satan's weapon of mass destruction with an ever-widening circle of destruction where what is at stake is the salvation of human souls. And that's why divisive action is needed by the clergy, the hierarchy, to say, “This is wrong. This is right.”

And what you say when they say maybe a single act of child abuse can be dealt with and the serial abuse we have to get rid of the guy, that is continuing the scandal...


JEFFREY: This is — we have to separate — I do not want our cardinals and bishops to have the lack of discretion that we now have with our federal judges and other people. I want our cardinals and bishops to be able to separate the person who has lived a good life, who has been a good priest, and has had one indiscretion.

And that person should not be — it's not you let it go. You punish that person. You take them away from children. Perhaps they can work in a nursing home. Perhaps they can work in a convent. Perhaps there are other things to separate.

We need to have wisdom because Satan speaks in a lot of weird ways sometimes. And sometimes Satan I think could be kind of wrapped in the mantle of good too.

So, we need to be thinking people to not be — to not treat our people in locking them like we would lock in judges, which may be a good reason when it comes to drug offenses. But I want our bishops and cardinals to look at this in a different way. I mean, that's what our faith brings it too.

JEFFREY: Mr. Tierney...

TIERNEY: Call me Brian.

JEFFREY: ... there is confusion in the liberal press today over whether the Catholic Church even really condemns homosexual activity. It's unclear whether the church really believes in celibate priests.

TIERNEY: It shouldn't be unclear.

JEFFREY: Is it should not be unclear.

TIERNEY: It shouldn't be unclear.

JEFFREY: Who is responsible for that lack of clarity on these basic issues that educated Catholics understand the church has an unchanging and very clear position on?

TIERNEY: You know, I can't even begin to tell you what's going on in cardinals' and bishops' minds before this meeting. I'm not going to name diocese, but in certain parts of the country, certainly thankfully not in Philadelphia, who have allowed leaks and innuendos and what they're going to do to law and this and that as if it's a civil body, as if we were going into the Republican convention is the way some of these people treated this, which is outrageous and has never happened before.

So, I do think there's a rhetorical calm-down. We need everybody to get off the rhetorical table. And I'm seeing — and I'm conservative. And I'm a parent. And I'm a Catholic. I have been knighted by the pope, St. Gregory the Great. So I'm somebody who believes very much in this church. But at the same time, we need people to calm down, look at the good of the church, and to not use this as a vehicle to drive other agendas.

KEYES: Brian, Brian, I'm sorry. This isn't a question of people calming down or not calming down. Cardinal McCarrick makes a comment that he doesn't see how anybody would engage in cover-up. I listen to do that, and my heart grieves.

The facts are on the table, Brian, that some of the hierarchy engaged in cover-up. And some of those facts are quite shocking and egregious, involved payoffs and intimidation of people. And how could anybody in the face of those facts today still look us in the eye and say, “We don't have a crisis here that involves confidence in the judgment, confidence actually in the spiritual well-being and welfare of some of the people in the hierarchy?”

TIERNEY: Alan...

KEYES: This isn't driving any agenda. We need to address the reality that is in front of us in a way that restores the confidence...

TIERNEY: Right. Calmly.

KEYES: ... in the church.

TIERNEY: We need to do it calmly. I'm a civil attorney too. I understand — and those people who committed cover-ups, even if they're not culpable criminally, should go. They should go because just like any leader — it doesn't mean that we don't forgive perhaps a cardinal or bishop who's engaged in cover-up. It doesn't mean that we don't love them. But they should not be in that position anymore. We can still love them, and they should go.

KEYES: Brian, we're going to come right back to both of you.


KEYES: So, we'll have a chance to continue this.

One last thought to think over the break. See, I think it has to start like everything else. The first rule in AA and everything else, first admit you have a problem.

I listened to Cardinal McCarrick. And it seems to me they're denying their part in the crisis. They're denying that they are part of the problem and that the judgment of some of the highest prelates in the church is what has shaken a lot of the situation right now for the church.

Think about that. And let's address it when we get back.

Plus, the next segment, George Weigel, biographer to the pope. You are watching America's news channel, MSNBC.


KEYES: Next, the “Heart of the Matter.” But first, this commercial produced by the Saudi Arabian government is now airing on American television. It says Saudi Arabia is a friend of the United States, but how can we believe that the Saudis are our friends when they clearly support Palestinian and other terrorism? We'll debate the issue in our next half hour.

A reminder that the chat room is rocking tonight. And you can join in right now at

But first, let's head back to our discussion on the results of the conference with American cardinals in the Vatican. Still with us, Terry Jeffrey, Brian Tierney, and joining us now Monsignor Tom McSweeney, an MSNBC analyst.

Let me go first back to you, Terry, for a brief remark because as I was coming out, I was making the comment about the role that the prelates play in all of this and the fact that we can't deal with it if they're in denial. It seems to me by McCarrick's comments, other things, that they are in denial. How do we overcome this?

JEFFREY: Well, Alan, I read the statement that the cardinals put out this evening. And reading between the lines you can see that they recognize the truth. Let me be specific. In one passage, they say that the problem with most of the priests that have been reported isn't really pedophilia, that it's, in fact, sexual activity between post-pubescent teenage boys really and adult men. They admit that without getting graphic in the language.

And secondly, in two passages, they talked about the fact that they have to look to the integrity of Catholic teaching and on sexual morality in the seminaries. What they really mean there — they're being euphemistic — is they have to insist that the priests be taught what the catechism says about homosexual activity being gravely immoral.

Bishop Gregory in the press conference, again repeating what he said yesterday, said he doesn't want homosexuals going into the priesthood. That's the heart of it. They know it's true. They need to enforce it even further, unfortunately, to act on it.

KEYES: Doesn't that mean — doesn't that mean as well — and I address this question to our new guest Tom McSweeney coming back with us now. Thank you for coming.


KEYES: But it seems to me also the Pope's language in his statement and the kind of steps that we were just hearing from Terry Jeffrey suggest that, as I had hoped, in fact, that the cardinals and the Holy Father would see this in the context of the crisis of sexual morality and see the need to renew the application of real church doctrine to the issues of human sexuality in the context of the challenge of the American life where a lot of sexual corruption is rampant. Do you think that is what is going to follow from that what they have said here?

MCSWEENEY: I think what's going on here, Alan, is that there was an effort, a very clear effort, to get the predators out of the priesthood. The first provision is to get the serial predator. He is going to be in prison anyway. We can get him out of the ministry like that.

A first-time offender, however, needs special permissions from the Vatican because this individual has rights canonically to appeal to the Vatican for consideration and forgiveness. And the reasons that the cardinals were over there was to deal with all of the other congregations and the canon orders to find a process that can speed up getting these predators, even first-time offenders, out. That's all from now and into the future.

JEFFREY: Alan, the problem with the monsignor's construction is this. If you have a seminary where two 23-year-old men are engaging in a homosexual relationship...

MCSWEENEY: You didn't give me a chance to answer the question. I just got on here. I just wanted to clear up something that you were talking about.

JEFFREY: Let me make my point. And then you can answer my point. If you only go after quote, unquote, predators, and you have two 23-year-old seminarians engaging in a homosexual relationship, or you have two priests in a rectory engaging in a homosexual relationship, in clear violation of Catholic moral teaching from the beginning of the church — the catechism cites Genesis for the origin of this — then the construction the cardinals put out today and what you just said does not condemn that activity or try and stop it.

MCSWEENEY: They're not out to condemn.

JEFFREY: Yes, they are.

MCSWEENEY: First of all, you heard...

JEFFREY: You are supposed to condemn homosexual. You, sir...

MCSWEENEY: ... you heard Cardinal — Alan, I just came on. And I listened to you for the last 20 minutes.

KEYES: Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.

MCSWEENEY: The doctrine is very clear on homosexuality. You love the homosexual. You hate the sin. And it's been clarified doctrinally that what is sinful for sure is the disordered activity of practicing homosexuality. Homosexual acts are the disordered reality.

JEFFREY: So, are they going to root practicing homosexuals out?

MCSWEENEY: You heard Cardinal McCarrick say today when he was in conversation with the reporters. He said there's no reason why someone who is inclined to be homosexual but embraces celibacy cannot get ordained, just the same as somebody who is inclined to be a heterosexual. There's no reason why anybody who practices celibacy and takes that discipline to their heart and lives the joy of the celibate life cannot...


MCSWEENEY: It doesn't matter what their persuasion is.

KEYES: Father Tom, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Father Tom, it seems to me you are failing to respect a distinction that has been clear in the church's theologies since Thomas Aquinas at least. The heterosexual inclination is an inclination in conformity with the natural law. The violations of God's law that are involved in adultery and fornication in Aquinas' hierarchy didn't fall to the same level as that which involves the denial of the intrinsic nature of sexual activity itself according to God's plan. So, it seems to me there is a greater gravity in the tolerance for homosexuality...

MCSWEENEY: But you are saying...

KEYES: ... than there is in anything that has to do with heterosexual behavior. Don't we have to look at that?

MCSWEENEY: What we want to strengthen is the discipline of celibacy. That is what we're after here. Out of this crisis, that is what we're after.

And you talk to the other cardinals. You go down to New York City, my friend, right over here from where I am. And you go tell all those Franciscan friars and you go tell all those wonderful firefighters down there that that priest, that — I'm sorry I can't remember his name now, Judge, Father Judge, who the firemen picked up, who is a homosexual, but a celibate homosexual. They picked up his body, and they carried him in the church. And they put him on the alter. And those firefighters, they all loved him. All the people loved him because he accomplished so much in their lives. And he was — he let them know about his inclination. You go down and you tell them that he is disordered and he shouldn't have been ordained.

KEYES: Terry Jeffery, we can have a quick response from you, Terry, and then a very quick response from Brian Tierney, and we're out of time.

JEFFREY: Monsignor, Bishop Wilton Gregory said yesterday — it was quoted all over the place — that there's a quote, unquote, “homosexual atmosphere” in many Catholic seminaries in the United States, and that's driving way good, healthy heterosexual men from the priesthood?

MCSWEENEY: If there's a...

JEFFREY: Isn't that a problem that needs to be immediately addressed by the Catholic Church?


KEYES: I want to give Brian Tierney to have a quick remark before we go.

TIERNEY: I think to say that there's some kind of a gay cabal does such a disservice to all the priests who wouldn't be part of a gay cabal, as that they're straight people. They wouldn't be part of it.

I also think we don't want to get into the thought police. Somebody who is celibate, who is embracing that life, maybe has a homosexual thought. I mean, Alan, you wouldn't want to be defined by the goofiest idea that ever ran through your mind, right? Nor would any of us, for Pete's sake.

KEYES: But, of course, that's not what we're talking about, is it? We are, in fact, talking about when...

TIERNEY: I think we are.

KEYES: ... wait a minute, when folks cross that line, and the reaction of the church not to the serial offense and the millionth time somebody does it, meaning no exaggeration, but to the firs time and what is implied in that first time in terms not only of dealing with children, but in terms of the violation of the church's understanding of human sexuality overall.

That's what I think Terry is getting at. And I think we have to be applied...

MCSWEENEY: Well, you can read the document. Read the document.

KEYES: ... apply to all sexuality. And it would have to be taken more seriously in terms of the moral dereliction than they have been taking it.

Gentlemen, we have run out of time.

TIERNEY: Thank you.

KEYES: Thank you so much for joining me this evening.

TIERNEY: Good discussion, Alan.

KEYES: But I want to make sure that we have enough time to have a good talk with our next guest, George Weigel, the Pope's biographer and an MSNBC analyst. I want to welcome him now to MAKING SENSE.

George, thanks for being with us this evening.


KEYES: I think that the pope has played obviously a critical role in this. And one of the things that I have deeply believed, and in fact in the midst of this crisis been thankful for, is that John Paul II is somebody who has thought deeply about these issues of sexual morality and the proper and right understanding of the context of church doctrine of sexual morality. Isn't he, in fact, from what you know of his life and work, in once sense the ideal resource for a true understanding of the church's teaching in these matters?

WEIGEL: That's exactly right, Alan. First, because he has lived a noble, heroic vision of the priesthood himself. Secondly, because he has taught the fullness of Catholic faith and challenged the bishops in his statement on Tuesday morning to make sure that the full truth of Catholic faith is taught in seminaries, lived by priests and bishops alike, and transmitted to the laypeople of the church.

It is not without real significance that in the bishop's statement today they recommitted themselves to looking very, very carefully at the teaching of moral theology in seminaries, in seminary formation, to make sure that the days of cafeteria Catholicism are over with and that the church will find its way out of this crisis by becoming more Catholic, not less Catholic, in the months and years ahead.

KEYES: One of the things that has grieved me as I watched this develop, but actually long before because some of us have had to deal with some of these problems in terms of the education of our young people in the schools and so forth, is it seems to me that there's been a resistance in the American church — not everywhere, but in some instances — to the Pope's teaching, to his work, so that the work of actually understanding it and applying it in the curriculum, in the schools for our kids, for our Catholic schools and Catholic seminaries, hasn't been done. Do you think that this is going to give a new impetus to the word of developing a developing a curricula that is, in fact, based upon the work that the Holy Father has done?

WEIGEL: I think that is exactly what is going to happen. I think it's going to happen for several reasons.

First of all, the silly season in catechetics, in religious education, has been over with for some time now. I think we have understood that collages and balloons are no substitute for doctrine, for serious presentation of the truths of faith, for serious formation in the spiritual life.

Secondly, the silly season is going to be rapidly winding down in theology because the generation of dissent in this theological guild is graying. It's un-reproductive. It's not reproducing itself. The younger intellectuals coming on line in the church are men and women formed in the image of this pontificate who want to embrace the truths of Catholic faith and explore that in all its richness and complexity.

The days of saying, “How little do I have to believe, and how little do I have to do in order to remain in the church?” are over with. The new question is how much of this rich, wonderful tradition have I made my own? How can I continue to grow in it and understand it even more deeply?

KEYES: Now, we have a Holy Father who went through what I think is probably one of the most serious forms of education in political skill in addition to theology in terms of his life earned the old Communist empire. How do you see that formation being applied in this situation where we also quite evidently, to be frank, have a situation of an American hierarchy that may be somewhat resistant, and in which you also, of course, have problems of folks who have been in some sense derelict in their application of judgment?

You know the pope very well. How do you think he is going to handle that aspect of this crisis?

WEIGEL: I think that experience bears on this, Alan, in two ways. First, the pope has long been convinced that the truth is the most liberating force in human history and that the truth proclaimed forcefully, powerfully enough, has the capacity to change history. That's how he became a principal figure in the collapse of European Communism.

Secondly, he knows that real episcopal leadership, real leadership from bishops, is the leadership says of apostles, teachers, and evangelists, not the leadership of managers. And I think we're all beginning to understand that an over-bureaucratization of the church in the United States, a devolution of the bishops' office into the office of a kind of discussion group manager rather than a forthright, vigorous teacher of Catholic truth, was a bad move. And we're going to be moving beyond that period in the days ahead.

KEYES: One last question. I was, to be quite frank, pleasantly surprised at the bold move of this conference on the part of the Holy Father because we had had a portrait of him enfeebled by old age and so forth and so on. To be quite frank about it, where did he find the resources to confront this crisis, given the fact that he is an aging man? What do you think explains what I think has been his ability to rise to this occasion?

WEIGEL: This is a man who lives out of his soul. And what we're seeing in these days, his physical difficulty, is a soul bringing a body along behind it. I must also say that in all of my recent conversations with the pope, his mind is as clear as a bell. He is determined to continue to give the church the service of leadership it deserves.

And when he understood the urgency of this problem in the United States, a church about which he cares very, very deeply, he moved vigorously and boldly to bring all of the relevant parties together in Rome these past two days with I think a very positive result.

KEYES: George, thank you.

WEIGEL: Nice to be with you.

KEYES: I appreciate your willingness to join us. I hope to see you again as this progresses. Obviously, we're not going to be out of the woods here for a while with the conference in June and so forth. Thanks for the insights that you brought this evening.

Next, we're going to be talking about Saudi Arabia. Yes. One of my favorite topics. You know that. Are they with us or against us? They're trying to convince us they're with us. We're going to debate that, though, here on MAKING SENSE right after these words.

You're watching America's news channel, MSNBC.


KEYES: Welcome back to MAKING SENSE. I'm Alan Keyes.

Is Saudi Arabia with us or against us? You remember G.W. Bush's famous speech where he said, “You've got to be with us or against us in this war on terrorism. There is no in-between.” That's the question that we're confronting right now.

Now, yesterday, two TV ads funded by the Saudi government began running in about 20 media markets here in the United States and will continue for 10 days. The markets include Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, and Atlanta but not New York and Los Angeles.

Here's one of them.


ANNOUNCER: Read the editorials, tune into Sunday morning news shows, or listen to talk radio, if you want opinions. Listen to America's leaders, if you want the facts.


KEYES: Now which would you rather believe — the evidence of your own eyes and ears or expensive Saudi commercials?

And you notice they said “the people of Saudi Arabia,” whom, as we know, have absolutely nothing to do with the government of Saudi Arabia. Fascinating.

And everything we hear from the people of Saudi Arabia, including, by the way, some officials who write poetry and talk about the darkness in the White House and raise money to support terrorists and all this — it doesn't strike me that the people of Saudi Arabia are being all that friendly.

But, anyway, as I say, who are we to believe?

Well, here to talk about it, Hume Horan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy and former Reagan assistant secretary of defense.

Gentlemen, welcome to MAKING SENSE.



KEYES: Let me put the question to you squarely on the table starting with Ambassador Horan. Who should we believe? There seems to be a lot of things floating out there that suggest a fairly high degree of hostility to the United States, particularly, if I may say so, among the Saudi Arabia people, but, also, if the ambassador in London is any example, it extends to officialdom. What are we to believe here?

HORAN: Al, it's a — that Saudi ambassador in Washington, as I recall, is a USC graduate, a highly-westernized, sophisticated guy, who had gotten in trouble with King Fahd in the past. It's a kind of childish conceit that he has tossed out.

But, as for that — that — those television advertisements, those are simply an indolent and ineffective form of diplomacy that can never take the place of actually working at foreign affairs, the kind of shoe leather, contact, and development of that sort.

Now, as to the kind of inconsistencies that we see in Saudi Arabia's relationships with the world, the U.S. and its own domestic politics — we can talk about that in a bit because my point will be really that 9/11 brought out clearly into the open the contradiction between the two pillars of Saudi policy.

One was its longstanding friendship or common interest with the United States, and the second was — is its — the indulgence it has given to an obscurantis (ph) religious institution at home.

KEYES: Now, when you say an obscurantis (ph) religious institution at home, help the audience to understand what you mean there.

HORAN: That is the kind of Islam that is practiced in Saudi Arabia is more rigorous, more fundamentalist, that turns its back more squarely upon the modern world than the Islam that's practiced anywhere else in the Islamic world.

But, in order to, let's say, garner support within the — the religious intellectuals, the religious institutions, they have given them pretty much free reign for prescribing matters of personal conduct, marriage, inheritance, divorce, public behavior of all sorts.

KEYES: Now, Frank Gaffney, I have to confess I look at this situation, and, as you know, I haven't been abashed on this program in pointing out some of those things that are in evidence that lead us to be deeply suspect of the Saudis and their position, particularly with respect to terrorism. Should these ads convince us otherwise?

GAFFNEY: Well, Alan, of course not. The ads are, as the ambassador, I think, freely acknowledges, a fairly transparent charm offensive, part of a very expensive, I'm sure, campaign aimed at trying, as you put it at the outset, to persuade the American people not to pay attention to what their eyes and, more importantly, their brains are telling them they must conclude on the basis of behavior that, unfortunately, isn't just the sort of odd ramblings or poetry of an individual, but really part and parcel of, I think, what the ambassador called one of the central pillars of Saudi official and institutional behavior, which is absolutely virulent anti-westernism and, for that matter, anti-Americanism.

And I think what's troubling about this is that, as we have seen since 15 Saudi nationals flew into buildings and other property in this country and as we've seen as more evidence has come out of this — this obscurantis (ph) religious thing called Wahabism, which is, in fact, the state religion which is, in fact, what they are promulgating worldwide, including in our own country, this is more and more clearly a problem of the first magnitude because they really aren't entirely reliable allies at a moment when it would be very nice to have them be reliable, be solidly with us, be supportive of our efforts to protect them as well as our own interests in the Persian Gulf and beyond.

KEYES: Well, it seems to me, Ambassador Horan, that there's a lot of evidence that Saudi money, particularly through the channels of some of the more extremist elements in the Islamic world, really does run out there into the sea of terrorism in a way that, of course, at a formal level. they deny, but don't we also see a policy that seeks to maintain Saudi power by trying to appease and buy off some of the more extreme elements in the Islamic world?

HORAN: Alan, that's quite correct because the — the Saudi tactic of indulging extremist religious types at home, figuring, well, these people will never turn on me, until very recently the only kind of ideological enemies they had to worry about were on the left.

You had communism and socialism and Baathism and Nasserism, whatever those things might be, and so they never really had to worry about enemies on the right, and so they always said, “Well, Islam was founded here in Saudi Arabia. Let's just wrap ours in the hometown religion, and we will be ideologically invulnerable.”

And this policy continued on and on, but it turns out that the Saudi regime has been feeding something very dangerous, and, all of a sudden, they've got a kind of Frankenstein's monster on their hands.

KEYES: When we get back, I want to talk a little bit about how this kind of dualism, this ambiguity, this schizophrenia, if you like, in the past in Saudi policy — how it comes into focus in the wake of 9/11. Isn't it very dangerous for the United States to be working with somebody in — a state this in this condition? We'll have more from our guests after this.

And later, my outrage of the day. We're supposed to rejoice that the Palestinian schools are reopening on the West Bank. Well, maybe not after you hear what they're teaching.

But, first, does this make sense? Cornelo Sommaruga, past president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is somebody that Kofi Annan just appointed to this committee to investigate Jenin. Well, he also — when he was head of the International Red Cross, he blocked Israel's admission to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, relegating them to observer status.

He is also known to have said in the context of that blocking — he compared the Star of David to the Nazi Swastika, saying, “Well, if we give them that, wouldn't we have to admit the Swastika?” Not very complimentary. It sounds — and that we have learned from Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist. He said, “If we're going to have the shield of David, don't we have to accept the Swastika?”

And now, of course, Kofi Annan has appointed him to be a fair and unbiased investigator into the conflict in Jenin. Fair and unbiased? Does this make sense?


KEYES: We're back. Tomorrow. an Air Force phrase, IFF: Saudi Arabia. Identification — friend or foe? That's what we're looking at tonight with Frank Gaffney and Hume Horan, and especially in the wake of September 11th and the terrible attacks against us. It seems to me this becomes a critical problem. President Bush says, “You're either with us or against us,” and yet, at the very least, wouldn't you have to say, Frank, that the Saudis are falling into rather a gray area shading to foe?

GAFFNEY: Yeah, at best, and I'd just come back to a point, I think, again, the ambassador made very illuminatingly. You do have two dynamic forces at work there. One wants to be our friend. One regards it as expedient for the government to endure, to encourage, in fact, to empower Wahabists who regard us as their enemy, and the interesting thing is the man who used to run Saudi Arabia, King Fahd, I think, more or less fell in the first category.

The man President Bush will be meeting with tomorrow, Crown Prince Abdullah, is pretty clearly in the second category, and what makes much of this diplomacy and, before this visit and the ad campaign, the last aspect of the charm offensive, the so-called Saudi peace plan introduced formally in Beirut at the Arab League Summit a couple of weeks ago, all has this same sort of double game aspect to it, trying to see what they can do to be perceived in the West as a friend, while clearly playing to our enemies elsewhere in the world, notably others who signed on to the peace plan there in the most disingenuous way imaginable — Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Come on.

KEYES: Yeah. Ambassador Horan, how can we take seriously a so-called peace proposal from a nation like Saudi Arabia that does appear to be so duplicitous in a certain sense, and I use that, yes, in a derogatory way but also in a descriptive way. We have a double mind here. We have the — a double culture. We have the possibility, therefore, of a double policy. What are we to do with a proposal that comes from such a source?

HORAN: As I look at what the crown prince came up with, I have a sense that he sees his country as standing on the edge of an abyss and that, unless something is done about some of these outstanding problems, such as the kind of extreme fundamentalism being nurtured at home and which derives a lot of its emotional force from the Arab-Israeli conflict — now there may be various reasons why he put this plan forward.

But I think part of it is that he sees that the fate of Saudi Arabia, the continuation of his dynasty, lies in defusing this problem, which otherwise could blow them all to kingdom come, and this is why I really hope that down in — that regardless of the reasons that he puts it forward — without giving you my thoughts on it — that when he meets with President Bush, they can come up with some way of approaching the Arab-Israeli problem that's a little more creative than sending out an unending stream of Vice President Cheneys, Secretary Powells, Senator Mitchell, General Zinni, Mr. Burns, and George Tenet — Mr. Tenet — I mean, a stream of special emissaries that has not gotten us anywhere. What really we need to do is to pick up on actually a proposal that he made...

KEYES: Now...

HORAN: ... about a multilateral, multinational intervention force along the lines of what we've got in Sinai and Kosovo.

KEYES: Now, Frank, we're coming up to the wire here, but one last thought. Actually twofold. One, the kiss on the cheek and the embrace of Saddam Hussein — is that implicitly a threat in terms of what he represents?

HORAN: Whenever Arabs get together, they always embrace. They kiss each other on the nose, on the forehead, on the cheek. That's nothing more than a handshake.

GAFFNEY: Well, I would just argue...

KEYES: Frank, quickly.

GAFFNEY: ... I think it's evidence of the double game, and I think the problem, when we talk about creativity, is there are very few new ideas, and things like putting U.S. personnel or international personnel into the middle of this crisis is one of the really lousy ideas that does not deserve to be introduced now.

KEYES: I think particularly dangerous if we are dealing with a double game.

Gentlemen, thank you very much. I particularly appreciate your being with me tonight.

Next, of course, my outrage of the day. From a Gaza city school, we learned a little bit about what's being taught to young Arab children. Stay with us.


KEYES: Now for my outrage of the day. Read an article today that said we should rejoice. Schools have reopened in Ramallah. Sixty-nine thousand kids back at the schools.

But consider what they're being taught in Gaza City. Abu Marazurg (ph), who is civil defense — he's involved with civil defense there, has come to the all-girls high school to announce an eight-day preparedness course. This is what he says to them. “Surely,” he says, “you have heard of your sisters who play themselves up to defend the dignity of Palestine.” The fresh-faced teenagers nod beneath their head scarf. “Anyone who kills and struggles for the sake of their land and dies doing so — they are not dead,” he assures them. “They are alive with a new life because, as a martyr, you will be alive in heaven.”

Maya Yawa (ph), a supervisor of the school's English Department — she smiles with pride at her students' solid command of the language. She also volunteers that she would not stop her own daughters, 13 and 15, if they wanted to martyr themselves and battle the Koran, she says, which shows the highest honors for the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) strive to kill the enemy while killing himself. If they're getting this kind of education in hate, is schooling a good thing?

That's my sense of it. Thanks for being with me. The NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS is next. See you tomorrow.

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