Guests and Topics: February 28

Tonight... The O'Reilly Factor is on!

Bill O'Reilly is under the weather... Cal Thomas will be our guest host this evening.

--200,000 U.S. troops are now in Saddam Hussein's backyard, poised to act. But Russia's foreign minister says his country is prepared to veto a U.S.-British resolution in the U.N. Security Council authorizing the use of force in Iraq for the sake of international stability. So where did this leave us? CMD SGT MAJ ERIC HANEY, U.S. ARMY (RET.) and MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION join us.

--Dan Rather's coming under fire for his interview with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The piece aired Wednesday, and lots of people are saying the CBS newsman wasn't tough enough. In fact, they say, Saddam used him.


--Factor flashback : Some action following The Factor's report on the vicious beating and gang rape of a 42-year-old New York City mother by five men; four of them illegal immigrants. As we first reported, despite their long rap sheets, the illegals were roaming free and had never been reported to the INS. Yesterday, a congressional panel held hearings to find out why. The mayor's office blamed I.N.S. red tape. But lawmakers want to know if the city has an unwritten policy that forbids cops from reporting illegal to the feds. (Replay of discussion between O'Reilly & former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir about this topic.)

--18-year-old Parker Ignotz faces up to 42 years in prison for a sexual assault he didn't commit. In fact, prosecutors say he wasn't even in the room. Last February, he hosted a drinking party. Things got out of control, and two teenage girls assaulted a 17-year-old girl. Parker's attorney is trying to get the felony sexual assault charges dismissed. DAVID WOLFE, ATTORNEY FOR PARKER IGNOTZ

--In the "Unresolved Problem" Segment this evening, prison and religion. A faith-based group has been having some success across the country counseling inmates who are close to getting released. But some critics say the group is just looking for converts, and now it faces a possible lawsuit. ROB BOSTON, AMERICANS UNITED FOR THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE and MARK EARLEY, PRISON FELLOWSHIP MINISTRIES

--A "USA Today" poll released today shows celebrities have little influence over opinions about a possible war with Iraq. Yet stars like Martin Sheen, Sheryl Crow, and Susan Sarandon are becoming more and more visible in the anti-war movement. DARRELL WEST, "CELEBRITY POLITICS" AUTHOR AND BROWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR comments

--Back of the Book: Hawaii's role in the war on terror. This week, Hawaii's governor met with President Bush and Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge to discuss a plan that would put Hawaii right at the center of an anti-terror strategy. GOV. LINDA LINGLE (R), HAWAII.

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