Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

As you can see, I'm back [from vacation].  And that was in doubt for a few hours because I rode a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Go ahead, supply the punch line. -- I expect it.  Anyway, I'll tell you about the trip a bit later on.

But first, the "Talking Points Memo."  What ever happened to the war on terror?  There is no question some politicians and media people are using the Iraqi prisoner abuse situation for political gain.  The more you dwell on the story, the worse the Bush administration looks.  Is that fair?  In one sense, the story has to be followed closely because American soldiers can't be allowed.  It could be human  rights violations.  People who say this was a simple hazing incident are dopey.

This is a very serious situation. But it is being dealt with and the reporting should reflect the ongoing process, rather than assigning a bad country tag to America.

The U.S.A. is now fighting a war unlike any other.  All of us are in danger. Politicians who believe that terrorists are entitled to  constitutional guarantees and Geneva Convention protections are heightening that danger.  Uniformed combatants get the Geneva  treatment, not cowardly bomb planters who kill civilians.

And when a terrorist is caught, there's often a sense of urgency in getting information from that person. In Iraq, information can save lives.  Allowing suspected terrorists to pretty much sit in prison  without pressure is unbelievably foolish.  American politicians who don't realize that hard measures must be used to protect American lives should be voted out of office as soon as possible.

Torture can never be condoned, but methods such as sleep deprivation, harsh dwellings, and isolation are certainly necessary in  bringing down terrorists so they will talk.  If you don't believe that,  there's little I can say.

Theory and rhetoric are useless when somebody's trying to kill your family.  Let's be honest.  There are thousands of terrorists,  mostly Islamic fascists, who would kill you and your children in a  heartbeat.  Our government is mandated to defeat these people and protect us.  Thus, all the angst over the abuse scandal can certainly hurt the war on terror if policy changes are made that hinder law-abiding interrogators.

The Bush administration has been tough on terrorism, but  some say that's led to abuse.  And it is true that abuse has  happened, but it's not policy.  And thanks to the U.S. media, the abuse is under scrutiny.

But "Talking Points" would rather have pressure put upon  terrorists than all this theoretical nonsense that every person should be treated with deference.  That theory can get you killed.  And after 9/11, every American should realize that. 

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

Time for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." So there I was last week at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, one mile straight down, a 4 1/2-hour ride on a mule which didn't look real thrilled about carrying me down there.   Believe me, after a ride like that you hear from muscles you've ignored for years. 

For my money the Grand Canyon is America's most spectacular attraction.  We rode the Colorado River for more than 100 miles thanks to an outfit called Wilderness Adventures.  Our guide, John Skolnick (ph) of the Grand Canyon Hikes organization, was absolutely the best.  So I'm writing a big article on the trip for "Parade" magazine.  You'll get all the gory details then.  But it was quite an experience.  Not at all ridiculous. 

Sitting here, you know what I'm talking about?

And on a couple of other fronts, your humble correspondent, that's me, will be featured on the CBS program "Judging Amy" tomorrow night.  I scold Amy and she deserves it.  Also Father's Day is a month away, billoreilly.com has great stuff for dad including personalized signed copies of "Who is Looking Out for You?" and "Those Who Trespass", and remember, a ton of money from Factor gear goes to charity.  Again, not at all ridiculous. 

--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: oreilly@foxnews.com