On WIBX First News With Keeler In The Morning: New York Senator Greg Ball Defends Calls To Torture Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Tsarnaev
A New York Senator is defending his statement that he would have Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tortured.
State Senator Greg Ball, representing Putnam, northern Westchester, and eastern Dutchess counties, tweeted that he supports torturing Tsarnaev if it would mean that federal authorities can get more information about the attacks.
He joined us on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. A synopsis of the show is below. The full interview follows the text.
He says that he was on with Attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was sitting alongside him to discuss the Tsarnaev case. Ball said the appearance was running late and he knew that, "someone was going out of there holding their intestines and it wasn't going to be me."
He says, "This is the deal....If it could save innocent American lives who wouldn't torture this punk?" Ball says President Bill Clinton, and even president Obama, "Mister Drone Strike (who went against Gitmo and then became 'Mister Gitmo'), would leave it open that if he could save innocent American lives all options need to be...on the table. When you're dealing with terrorists you are dealing with folks who play by a different set of rules..." He added that "...three are those apologetic Americans and some Brits, like Piers,...who entirely disagree. But when I put the question to him, 'What would you do?' the CNN host would not say.
Ball asks, "If we had the opportunity three months ago...to stop Boston, or months or years in advance of 911, to stop 911 where you had three thousand people who were mass murdered, people who, literally, jumped to their deaths at over a thousand feet instead of being burnt to death alive. If you could stop that, as an American, what extent would you go to? Me? Personally...You know when I speak for myself, I would do everything possible against these people."
When Bill Keeler asks Ball about the effectiveness of torture methods, Ball responded, "People can say that it...doesn't work but we have to give...our intelligence officers the intelligence community, our special forces troops, and our partners in the war against terror every flexibility within realm to protect us."
He said, "We have a governor in New York who has said, 'Look, this is the new norm.' And if this Boston incident, which honestly is amazing we have not had more incidents...it's a testament to those special forces, to the intelligence community. We have to give them every flexibility to protect us. And to suggest...that torture doesn't work...There have been cases...including... we know the case in Germany where there's an abduction of a child and...at the threat of torture that abductor immediately told officials where...the child's, unfortunately the child was killed, remains were. Just to suggest at hand in "some academic ivory tower way doesn't... address the issue properly."
Ball says he is "very active" on the Second Amendment issue and he has seen Morgan "rip apart folks who protect the Second Amendment." He says Morgan is "very dismissive" and "just the typical bully." Ball says, "I've taken a lot of hits in politics. I consider myself to be a happy warrior...I don't take any of this stuff (personally)...You know we can agree to disagree. I went to shake his hand...sometimes you bump into people in politics, and they internalize this and they can't shake your hand. I went to shake his hand after and... the guy wouldn't even shake my hand so that gives you a little bit to his psyche."
He says that he does not know what is in his future, but appreciates the kudos that he is getting from people like Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. When Ball was asked about his own intentions to run for office on the national stage he replied that Abbott is an "amazing man" whom he met "several weeks back." He says, "Sometimes you just...meet men or women that seem to have that presidential timbre and if there's anybody that you can see on a national stage I would towards that man down in Texas. Maybe we'll all get the opportunity to vote for him one day. You know, I tell you, just my perspective on politics...I was a former Air Force officer...taken on the political system. I've done this now for about eight years. You know I don't know honestly what's up for my future. I've met a lot of great people. I'm very concerned for what's happening to this country...If you really look at my comment and the fact that I said 'if you could save innocent American lives...would you torture this punk?' To me, that's not even a question. The fact that this has become a controversy in this nation, quite frankly, scares the h--- out of me...I've watched this country....everything from immigration policy to education policy, trade policy. You know the middle class people are getting screwed. The people who are trying to obey the laws are getting screwed, and there's this polarization on both sides where there seems to be common sense lost at every end."
Keeler tells Ball that Remington Arms is in Central New York. Ball says, "The people who are introducing these anti-Second Amendment measures...they have never been north of 125th Street for the most part, except to go to Albany to vote...they get lost in Central Park."
"When you think about that over ninety-five percent of these gun crimes are committed using illegal firearms. There are kids in the inner city that are getting killed nearly every day. Why are those members not going after the scourge of illegal guns and going after the real criminals? It's because it's easier to go after those law-abiding folks who live in districts upstate. They believe that the criminal is the victim. They view them as 'constituents,' as victims. And it's easier to criminalize law-abiding, mostly you know former vets, and former law enforcement. It's easier to turn them into criminals than deal with the real problems in their own districts....You'd have to put real criminals in jail, and that would complicate voting matters."
For the video click on the photo above. Here are some of the tweets from Senator Ball's Twitter feed:
Here is his response after the Piers Morgan appearance. Note that the Tweets appear with the earliest at the bottom:
Who is Greg Ball? Here is a YouTube video biopic on Senator Ball's website: