Rudy knows best

More experience in foreign policy than Biden, more expertise on torture than McCain!

By Tim Grieve
November 5, 2007 6:32PM (UTC)
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In a radio interview Friday, Rudy Giuliani was asked if he'd say that Joe Biden has no foreign policy experience. Giuliani's answer? It sure seemed to be "yes."

"What -- has he ever -- has he ever been in the State Department?" Giuliani asked. "Has he ever been an executive?"


Biden has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 32 years, but that apparently means nothing when you're the former mayor of New York, a city that was attacked on 9/11 and has thousands of restaurants, many of them featuring the cuisine of foreign lands.

"It's one thing," Giuliani continued, "to speak about what you want or even pass laws about it. It's another thing to actually do it. Foreign policy experience, to me, means being an ambassador, being in the State Department, being a law enforcement official, dealing with foreign countries."

So far as we know, Giuliani was never an ambassador nor a State Department employee. He's never even visited Iraq. But he was a law enforcement official once -- a federal prosecutor in New York -- so maybe that's the basis of his self-appointed foreign policy cred.


It certainly seems to be the basis of his torture expertise.

In an interview with Al Hunt that aired over the weekend, Giuliani said that he knows "a lot about intensive questioning and intensive questioning techniques." "If I didn't use intensive questioning, there would be a lot of mafia guys running around New York right now, and crime would be a lot higher in New York than it is," Giuliani said. "Intensive questioning has to be used. Torture should not be used. The line between the two is a difficult one."

In the course of answering, Giuliani distinguished his views from those of Sen. John McCain on the ground that McCain "has never run a city, never run a state, never run a government. He has never been responsible as a mayor for the safety and security of millions of people, and he has never run a law enforcement agency, which I have done."


McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he might have learned a thing or two about the sort of "intensive questioning" Giuliani advocates.

Here's McCain, firing back during a town hall meeting in Iowa Sunday night: "When someone says waterboarding is similar to harsh interrogation techniques used against the mafia in New York City, they do not have enough experience to lead our military."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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