Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
The report by chief weapons inspector David Kay (search ), that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." About WMDs in Iraq, Dr. Kay has concluded the following:
• Iraqi scientists received money from Saddam Hussein (search ) to construct deadly weapons, but did not do so, diverting the money to other projects or personal gain.
• Saddam Hussein didn't know this because he grew increasingly chaotic in the late '90s and thought the weapons were being made.
• The CIA (search ) failed to learn the true story and erroneously reported that the weapons were being made.
• Dr. Kay says a lack of ground intelligence inside Iraq caused the agency's mistake.
• There was one active WMD program underway until the American invasion. That was the construction of the poison Ricin (search ). Now you may remember, Ricin was shipped to England from Iraq. British authorities arrested those involved before the poison could kill anyone.
• Dr. Kay believes Iraq was a threat to the world, but not the same threat President Bush outlined to the nation.
• Kay says terrorists passed through Iraq all the time. And scientists could easily give them stuff Ricin.
• Finally, Kay says President Bush did not pressure him in any way and ordered him to "find the truth."
Now I believe Kay's report. And that should end all this "lie" nonsense.
President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair also saw the same CIA intelligence Mr. Bush did and arrived at the same conclusion.
So anyone who continues to call the president a liar on WMDs is himself lying, unless he calls Clinton and Blair liars as well. And that's simply irresponsible.
The most disturbing thing about Kay's report is the mistake by the CIA. That agency was clueless to prevent 9-11, and now Kay believes it botched WMDs as well.
President Bush has to address this entire issue with special emphasis on the Central Intelligence Agency. Why is George Tenet (search) still in charge there? It might not be his direct fault, but clearly the CIA has made at least two drastic errors. A change is needed.
Mr. Bush has two choices. He can explain the Kay report and admit the mistakes made. Or he can ignore the issue, hoping Americans will ignore it come next November.
Clearing the air is always the best policy, so I call on the president to address the issue directly. Americans will forgive mistakes made in good faith.
Finally, there's no question the White House was not skeptical enough when it came to Iraq. Bush wanted Saddam's head. And any information that led to that end was encouraged. That is not the way to conduct foreign policy in this very dangerous world. Any and all mistakes will come back to haunt.
In the end, fair-minded Americans will decide whether the president did the right thing in Iraq. And he should be as open as possible on the subject.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
The AP (Associated Press), is reporting that some of the Democratic candidates will absolutely not eat certain foods.
Howard Dean refuses to eat hagas (ph), which is a kind of sausage, I think. I'm not quite sure.
John Kerry says no to rhubarb pie.
And Dennis Kucinich says no to pretty much everything. He's a vegan.
Ridiculous? Only if you like steaks and sushi.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly.