Berkeley & The Draft

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

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This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, December 18, 2001. Click here to order a complete transcript of the entire show. 

BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  In the Personal Story segment tonight, the continuing actions of the Berkeley, California, city council.  Last week, the council voted five to one to furnish information to young people on how to avoid military service, conscientious objection. 

But the council voted down a proposal to also furnish information about enlisting in the military. 

Joining us now from San Francisco is Steve Freedkin, one of Berkeley's peace and justice commissioners. 

All right, look, now, I -- conscientious objection, I have no problem with that, OK? 


O'REILLY:  Part of America, you want to be a conscientious objector, that's great.  But to not furnish information about people who might want to enlist in the military?  Come on! 

FREEDKIN:  (inaudible)... 

O'REILLY:  Come on, that's not fair! 

FREEDKIN:  That's not what they did, either.  They specifically voted to have the information available on conscientious objection.  All we're talking about here is referral, a phone number that they send people to. 

O'REILLY:  Right. 

FREEDKIN:  For people who asked for it. 

O'REILLY:  Right. 

FREEDKIN:  The, they, the amendment that was asked for about adding military information was voted down for two reasons.  One, it's totally unnecessary.  If you want to join the military, you know where to call, you call the military.  If you can't figure that much out, do we really want to put a gun in your hand? 

And the second thing is that the one of the commiss -- one of the city council members said we can't really be supporting this because the military discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, which is against our city code. 

O'REILLY:  Don't ask, don't tell. 

FREEDKIN:  (inaudible) -- don't ask, don't tell... 

O'REILLY:  Yes, you don't like that. 

FREEDKIN:  ... and if we find out, you're out.  That's the problem. 

O'REILLY:  All right. 

FREEDKIN:  The problem is that you can't serve unless you're straight. 

O'REILLY:  Now look, that's... 

FREEDKIN:  And that was that one council member. 

O'REILLY:  All right fine, fine.  But what it looks like, and what I think it is, is a continuation of Berkeley hating America, in the sense that if the Berkeley City Council were the tribunal that ran this country, we would not be in Afghanistan right now.  Is that correct? 

FREEDKIN:  I don't know. 

O'REILLY:  You would vote to go... 

FREEDKIN:  Bill, you... 

O'REILLY:  Wait, wait, wait.  You would vote to go, Mr. Freedkin, over there and to bomb and to wipe out the Taliban?  You would've voted to do that?  Honestly? 

FREEDKIN:  Well, I'm not on the city council.  I'm a pacifist myself. 

O'REILLY:  Honestly.  That's an easy question. 

FREEDKIN:  I'm also a pacifist myself, so... 

O'REILLY:  Oh, you're a pacifist. 

FREEDKIN:  I think there are many things that we could do, should do, and need to do to stop al Qaeda.  And I support many of the actions the government has taken. 

O'REILLY:  But not military action? 

FREEDKIN:  Well, I think that's a very difficult one.  I don't know if I have a good short-term answer for you, Bill.  I think we need to look at the long-term. 

O'REILLY:  All I'm trying to say, Mr. Freedkin is this, Berkeley is not part of America.  It is... 

FREEDKIN:  You know, you should come down to Berkeley. 

O'REILLY:  It isn't.  It is not part of America, because you don't give... 


O'REILLY:  ...the American people who don't believe the way that -- look, I respect your belief as a pacifist.  I respect conscientious objectors. 

FREEDKIN:  Thank you. 

O'REILLY:  All right?  I do.  But you don't give the other side, all right, credence, in fact... 

FREEDKIN:  Do you think there's any (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on the other side? 

O'REILLY:  You guys look -- you look down upon the other side. 

FREEDKIN:  Is there shortage of information? 

O'REILLY:  You say, "Why should we give information to the military?"  It's not the point.  Symbolically, if you're going to give CO information, then give a kid who calls up and says, "Gee, where's my local recruiter?"  Give him the same kind of consideration.  There's nothing wrong with that. 

FREEDKIN:  You know, the City Council didn't vote to prohibit that.  The City Council simply decided not to add that to this resolution. 

O'REILLY:  Well... 

FREEDKIN:  I'm sure if somebody called the city... 

O'REILLY:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but one of your counselors wanted to. 

FREEDKIN:  ...looking for that information, I'm sure they'd be given the number (UNINTELLIGIBLE). 

O'REILLY:  It's not a matter of practicality.  It's a matter of what you guys stand for.  One of your counsel people... 

FREEDKIN:  Well, you can come to Berkeley and visit us, because... 

O'REILLY:  All right.  I was there. 

FREEDKIN:'s so much less of the crazy town that you think we are. 

O'REILLY:  Oh, no, no.  I was there a few months ago.  And I gave sold out talk, which shocked me.  And nobody even threw tomatoes at me.  But I'll tell you this. 

FREEDKIN:  There you go. 

O'REILLY:  One Berkeley City Council member said if we're going to do the CO resolution, let's be fair.  And if somebody, some misguided soul, probably from, you know south Berkeley, all right, calls up and wants -- where's my local recruiter, we'll tell them, too. 

But no, because you guys just don't like what America is.  I'll give you the last word.  FREEDKIN:  No, no, no, no.  That's ridiculous.  I like a lot about what America is.  I didn't even have any objection to necessarily amending that resolution.  

O'REILLY:  No?  You should have voted for it then. 

FREEDKIN:  Well, I'm not on the council. 

O'REILLY:  And then you wouldn't be on here getting pounded. 

FREEDKIN:  I'm not on council.  I couldn't vote for it.  

O'REILLY:  All right, Mr. Freedkin, we always... 

FREEDKIN:  Take another look at Berkeley.  

O'REILLY:  One of the things I like about Berkeley is you guys stand up.  You guys comes on and you bat it around, whereas... 

FREEDKIN:  Now what could more American than that, Bill? 

O'REILLY:  That's right.  And I will give you that.  Thanks very much, sir.  We appreciate it. 

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