If you watch us often, you know that many people who oppose aggressive action against terrorists do so by using theoretical arguments.
For example, we should allow terrorists captured in civilian clothing and targeting civilians Geneva Convention protections. That Convention clearly states that POW status is to be granted to uniformed combatants fighting under the flag of a nation. It doesn't say thugs who kill women and children because Allah told them to are entitled the privileges.
So it is imperative that the federal government define policies that are best suited to protect all Americans from terror attacks like 9/11.
Now, President Bush is clear on this. He wants the military to try terrorists captured overseas. And he wants to keep classified information out of the public eye. That is, it would not be given to the terrorists on trial, only to the judges of the terrorists.
That's because information gleaned from informants would get those informants and their families killed if made public. The president is basically asking Americans to trust the military judges to be fair.
Also, President Bush has issued strict interrogation guidelines to the military, but wants to allow the CIA to use harsher questioning methods in extraordinary circumstances.
Again, this makes perfect sense. If lives are in danger, you have to apply more pressure than just name, rank, and jihad number. As we reported earlier this week, the so-called torture methods used by the CIA on Al Qaeda big shot al Zubaydah involved a freezing room and loud rock music.
But today, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 15 to 9 not to allow any force of interrogation methods. This is dangerous. The president of the United States should have the authority to order tough interrogation methods if lives are at stake.
Now you have to respect their viewpoints, especially McCain's who was tortured by the North Vietnamese. But it all comes down to protecting the folks. If informants don't help us, and if name, rank, and jihad number is all we can do to get information, the terrorists get a huge advantage.
I understand some countries don't like the USA, think we're a bunch of fascists here. But that attitude will not change because we give terrorists so-called rights.
So I hope President Bush sticks to his plan — military tribunals for captured terrorists and coercive interrogation when lives are at stake. This is a reasonable position in the face of an unreasonable and brutal enemy.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll asks if Americans approved of racial profiling at airports. The result was split down the middle.
So I respectfully ask the polling people to drop the reference to racial profiling and put it this way: do you approve of profiling to screen airline passengers? Aha! Seventy-four percent say yes. Just 19 percent disapprove. It is all in the way you phrase things.
That same FOX News poll asks are the U.S. and its allies winning the War on Terror? Forty-one percent say yes; 51 percent say no.
We will have a similar poll on BillOReilly.com. We do have it. It's there now. And we'll give you the results on Monday. So if you want to vote, please do. And we hope the results are not ridiculous.
—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org