O'Reilly recalled when "everybody in the country is behind [Iraq war], except the kooks"

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

During a discussion with former CIA director George Tenet about his recently released book, At the Center of the Storm (HarperCollins), on the May 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that at the beginning of the war in Iraq, "everybody in the country [was] behind it, except the kooks." However, 23 senators and 133 members of the House of Representatives -- including a majority of House Democrats -- voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. Media Matters for America has provided a list of these "kooks" below. Additionally, in a speech at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 23, 2002 -- six months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq -- former Vice President Al Gore denounced President Bush's Iraq policy, saying, "I am deeply concerned that the policy we are presently following with respect to Iraq has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and to weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century."

Tenet responded to O'Reilly's assertion that only the "kooks" were against the war by saying: "I don't know about kooks, Bill."

Also, O'Reilly again claimed: "I saw, the night the statue went down, Iraqis looting the armories with nobody stopping that. And I went, 'Whoa! What's that all about?' And it doesn't seem that there was any kind of plan to secure the country after you got him." In fact, as Media Matters noted, on the April 9, 2003, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, on the night U.S. Marines assisted in tearing down a statue of Saddam in central Baghdad, O'Reilly made no mention of looting or the difficulty of reconstructing Iraq, though he did ask a guest to comment on plans to "stabilize Baghdad." Rather, during his April 9, 2003, show, O'Reilly hosted several segments listing the "winners" and "losers" of the Iraq war and praised President Bush for "prov[ing] he is a disciplined leader who does what he says he will do" and for "rid[ding] the world of an evil dictator." O'Reilly attacked many opponents of the invasion, such as "Saddam enablers" Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac, and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, plus "newspapers who wrongly predicted doom" and "the hysterical Hollywood celebrities who voiced strident protest, [and] obviously, have lost much credibility."

Nay votes in the Senate (21 Democrats, 1 Republican, and 1 Independent):

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Robert Byrd (D-WV)

Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)

Kent Conrad (D-ND)

Jon Corzine (D-NJ)

Mark Dayton (D-MN)

Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Russ Feingold (D-WI)

Bob Graham (D-FL)

Daniel Inouye (D-HI)

James Jeffords (I-VT)

Edward Kennedy (D-MA)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Carl Levin (D-MI)

Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Paul Wellstone (D-MN)

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Nay votes in the House of Representatives (126 Democrats, 6 Republicans, and 1 Independent):

Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)

Thomas Allen (D-ME)

Joe Baca (D-CA)

Brian Baird (D-WA)

John Baldacci (D-ME)

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Gresham Barrett (R-SC)

Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

David Bonior (D-MI)

Robert Brady (D-PA)

Corinne Brown (D-FL)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Lois Capps (D-CA)

Michael Capuano (D-MA)

Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)

Julia Carson (D-IN)

William Clay Jr. (D-MO)

Eva Clayton (D-NC)

James Clyburn (D-SC)

Gary Condit (D-CA)

John Conyers Jr. (D-MI)

Jerry Costello (D-IL)

William Coyne (D-PA)

Elijah Cummings (D-MD)

Susan Davis (D-CA)

Danny Davis (D-IL)

Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Diana DeGette (D-CO)

Bill Delahunt (D-MA)

Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

John Dingell (D-MI)

Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

Mike Doyle (D-PA)

John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)

Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Lane Evans (D-IL)

Sam Farr (D-CA)

Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Bob Filner (D-CA)

Barney Frank (D-MA)

Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)

Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Earl Hilliard (D-AL)

Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)

Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)

Rush Holt (D-NJ)

Mike Honda (D-CA)

Darlene Hooley (D-OR)

John Hostettler (R-IN)

Amo Houghton (R-NY)

Jay Inslee (D-WA)

Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)

Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Dale Kildee (D-MI)

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI)

Jerry Kleczka (D-WI)

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

John LaFalce (D-NY)

James Langevin (D-RI)

Rick Larsen (D-WA)

John Larson (D-CT)

Jim Leach (R-IA)

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Sandy Levin (D-MI)

John Lewis (D-GA)

Bill Lipinski (D-IL)

Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

James Maloney (D-CT)

Robert Matsui (D-CA)

Karen McCarthy (D-MO)

Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Jim McDermott-D-WA)

Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)

Carrie Meek (D-FL)

Gregory Meeks (D-NY)

Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)

George Miller (D-CA)

Alan Mollohan (D-WV)

Jim Moran (D-VA)

Connie Morella (R-MD)*

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Grace Napolitano (D-CA)

Richard Neal (D-MA)

Jim Oberstar (D-MN)

David Obey (D-WI)

John Olver (D-MA)

Major Owens (D-NY)

Frank Pallone Jr.(D-NJ)

Ed Pastor (D-AZ)

Ron Paul (R-TX)

Donald Payne (D-NJ)

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

David Price (D-NC)

Nick Rahall (D-WV)

Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)

Lynn Rivers (D-MI)

Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Bobby Rush (D-IL)

Martin Olav Sabo (D-MN)

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Thomas Sawyer (D-OH)

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Bobby Scott (D-Virginia)

Jose Serrano (D-NY)

Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Vic Snyder (D-AR)

Hilda Solis (D-CA)

Pete Stark (D-CA)

Ted Strickland (D-OH)

Burt Stupak (D-MI)

Mike Thompson (D-CA)

Bennie Thompson (D-MS)

John Tierney (D-MA)

Edolphus Towns (D-NY)

Mark Udall (D-CO)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Nydia Velaquez (D-NY)

Pete Visclosky (D-IN)

Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Diane Watson (D-CA)

Melvin Watt (D-NC)

Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

David Wu (D-OR)

From the May 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: In our final segment tonight with former CIA director George Tenet, we take a look at the mess in Iraq.

I still believe it was a noble effort to try to bring the Iraqis freedom. I still believe the U.S. military has performed magnificently. But, like you, I just don't understand why things were not better planned out. George Tenet explains some of this in his book, At the Center of the Storm, but not enough. So I called him on it.

[begin video clip]

O'REILLY: We go in, all right, everybody in the country is behind it, except the kooks.

TENET: I don't know about kooks, Bill.

O'REILLY: Believe me, at that point, it was running 80-85 percent --

TENET: OK. Anyway --

O'REILLY: -- in the polls.

TENET: Go ahead.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, we overthrow him. The military campaign goes well -- you didn't run the military campaign, the Pentagon did -- and he's done. And he's out. But you know what I saw? I saw, the night the statue went down, Iraqis looting the armories with nobody stopping that. And I went, "Whoa! What's that all about?" And it doesn't seem that there was any kind of plan to secure the country after you got him.

Correction: 

1

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.