Kyrsten Sinema: Supposed Taliban Comments

Summary: Martha McSally (R) has accused her political opponent in Arizona Kyrsten Sinema (D) of stating in essence, it’s “OK to commit treason”.  The treason component being based on the following transcript of an interview Sinema gave back in 2003.

Transcript provided by: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/10/sinemas-taliban-comment-in-context/

“Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock” show, Feb. 14, 2003:

Hancock: The point that I’m making is is that, you know, a lot of people would make the argument, “We owe the world something. Because we’re so successful, we owe something to the world.” And I’m going, “Really?” Now you would say, “Maybe we do owe something to the world, as long as it’s nice and sweet and peaceful and what you want to do.”

Sinema: Well, it’s not so much a candy cane kind of theory as you’re making it stand out. But I do think that those of us who are privileged to have more do owe something to others.

Hancock: By force? By me, as an individual, if I want to go fight in the Taliban army, I go over there and I’m fighting for the Taliban. I’m saying that’s a personal decision — individuals. Knock yourself out.

Sinema: Fine. I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.

Hancock: If I want to go in World War II and I want to join the RAF and fight the Germans bombing London, I’m all over it. I want to go get paid in how many Japanese zeros I can take down as a flying tiger in China, you know, I’m all over it. As an individual, I have no problem. You can do whatever you want with your money, not mine.

Sinema: Right, well, I think what we’re talking about here are two different things. When you say we owe something to the world, my definition of owing something to the world does not involve war and destruction.

Hancock: But if you steal money from me to go give them something that’s nice and peaceful and warm and fuzzy — inoculations, shots, some help in any kind of aspect of what we can improve their lives or their lifestyle, well then it’s OK to steal from me.

Sinema: Well I think that maybe we have different definitions of “steal.” So, um, I’d like to get back to reasons for opposition to the war.

Hancock: Of course you would.

Sinema: Of course I would, because I don’t want to debate, you know, ah, any kind of, I don’t know, fiscal opportunities with you. I’m interested in talking about the war. Specifically I’m interested in talking about opposition to the war that’s happening tomorrow.

My Takeaway: OK to commit treason? I mean, come on.  The interviewer is clearly making an exaggerated point about “doing whatever the individual wants” which appears to include running off to the Taliban, and Sinema has responded with exasperation in order to steer the conversation back to her main talking points.  Her sentiments are clearly anti-war and nothing she has said lends any credence to the notion that she is OK with someone leaving the US to go join the Taliban or being “OK to commit treason”.

Agree or Disagree?

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