Video: To watch "the memo" click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Are some American lawyers putting all of us in danger? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.
Attorney General Ashcroft says that American Jose Padilla was working closely with al Qaeda to try and kill American civilians. Mr. Ashcroft tells us that has been confirmed by, quote, "multiple independent and corroborating sources."
But Padilla's lawyer, American Donna Newman, has petitioned a federal court in New York to release Padilla from military custody, saying the evidence against him is weak.
But Counselor Newman could not possibly know that because the evidence has not been given to her. It is being held by the federal government because of its ongoing investigation. By the way, two of Padilla's alleged al Qaeda associates have been detained in Pakistan as the probe continues.
But Donna Newman does not care about any continuing investigation into whether Padilla wanted to commit mass murder, and she doesn't care about protecting informants in this case. No, counselor Newman wants her client released forthwith because she worried about his rights.
Now, I've been critical of John Ashcroft in the past. I feel the man's too secretive. But if it comes down to trusting Ashcroft or Donna Newman, then it is the attorney general all day long. That's because I believe Jose Padilla was doing some bad things, and I'm willing to give the government time to develop a case against him and to round up as many of his pals as possible.
If in the end it turns out Padilla is innocent, then the government should compensate him. Likewise in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. We now know from his own words that he hates America and was very likely the 20th 9/11 killer. But Moussaoui's lawyers want a judge to declare him insane even though a doctor has ruled he is not.
And Moussaoui's attorneys also want the government to hand over all the security plans for U.S. airports. Of course, that's not going to happen, but the point is that this alleged terrorist's lawyers want that classified information. And the kicker is, Moussaoui doesn't even want those lawyers, he wants to represent himself.
So why are these attorneys in USA doing these things? The answer is, I don't know. But I do know that they do not have to represent accused terrorists. They can walk away from this case. Donna Newman is a volunteer. Moussaoui's people have been appointed. But every American lawyer can legally decline a case if he or she finds the client, quote, "morally repugnant," unquote.
So is it ego for these people, money? Of course, none of them would ever admit that. They all hide behind the Constitution. But once again, no lawyer ever has to take a case.
In the end, all of us must make moral decisions in this life. Trying to spring alleged terrorists before their cases are fully explored is immoral and anti-American, in my opinion. And I want those lawyers to know it.
That's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
There's a very cute advertisement in USA Today today. It is for the paperback edition of The O'Reilly Factor book, and says "give your dad a piece of O'Reilly's mind." Father's Day, of course, is Sunday. And if your dad likes us, well, those dots are easy to connect. And if he doesn't like me and you're mad at him, The Factor book and The No Spin Zone could provide a little pay back. Might be ridiculous, but either way, the strategy is sound.
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