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Fact-checking national security on 'This Week'

By Louis Jacobson
Published on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.

Fighting terrorism and other national issues were a big topic on Sunday's This Week program.

Attorney General Eric Holder shared his outlook on how investigations into the Times Square bomber were proceeding. Since the investigation is ongoing and Holder's statements were fairly measured, we didn't find much that we could independently fact-check there.

We did fact-check a statement from former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani about the underwear bomber who attempted to blow up an airliner landing in Detroit at Christmas. Giuliani said that federal law enforcement officers cut off questioning of the suspect by giving him a Miranda warning after 30 minutes of questioning.

"Giving him a warning after -- after 30 minutes makes no sense," Giuliani said. "It makes no sense to do that. So, sure, it may work sometimes; it may not work other times. It's not the best policy to follow. And so far, two in a row, we've gotten lucky. So let's not rely on luck. Let's rely on solid policy."

We found that Giuliani left out a lot of details about the timeline of the suspect's questioning, so we rated his statement Half True.

We also looked at a statement from Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who is pushing a measure to strip terror suspects of their U.S. citizenship. In support of his measure, Lieberman noted that president can "authorize the killing of a U.S. citizen who fights for a foreign terrorist organization."

We looked into the details of that statement and rated Lieberman's statement Mostly True.

We also checked a statement from pundit George Will, who commented on the financial crisis in Greece. Will said that Greece's economy was relatively small and that it "has a GDP the size of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex." We rated that statement True.

We also checked Will's statement about Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, who lost a renomination fight during a state Republican convention. Will said Bennett was "going against terrific headwinds this year, and cast three votes, TARP, stimulus, and an individual mandate for health care." We found that Bennett did vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but the record is lacking on the other two items. We rated Will's statement Barely True.

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Researchers: Louis Jacobson

Names in this article: Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, George Will

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