In one of the most important debates in U.S. history, the president and former vice president are lined up against each other on the vital subject of national security. So I am here to give you some no spin perspective. If you hate the president or Mr. Cheney, this analysis is not for you, so don't waste your time.

We begin with President Obama, who believes that after the 9/11 attack the Bush administration compromised some of America's core values, putting the country in even more danger:

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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight, that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.

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But isn't Mr. Obama doing the same thing? His left-wing base despises the War on Terror, believing the USA brought much of the Muslim hatred on itself. And while campaigning for the presidency, Mr. Obama gained liberal votes by softening the War on Terror rhetoric.

Then the President got specific:

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OBAMA: I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As commander in chief, I see the intelligence, I bare the responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I categorically reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation.

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That is a bit of verbal sleight of hand. By all accounts, enhanced interrogation methods like waterboarding were rarely used. It is the president's opinion, not a fact. They were not necessary.

Mr. Obama continued about the dangers of rough interrogations:

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OBAMA: They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists and increase the will of our enemies to fight us while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured.

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A theory but probably true to some extent. Any aggressive action the USA takes will lead to more terrorists signing up. Does Mr. Obama believe that sending more troops to Afghanistan is not helping Taliban recruitment? Come on, you don't fight a war fearing the enemy will get angrier. You fight to win.

As for U.S. troops being mistreated, everybody knows the terrorists don't need a reason to murder. They do it everyday. On this issue, the president sounds naive.

Mr. Obama then addressed closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay:

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OBAMA: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies. It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries.

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Again, the theme of giving terrorists recruitment tools and alienating so-called allies like Spain and other European countries, who are now refusing to help Mr. Obama in Afghanistan. But the president is correct when he states that Gitmo has become a symbol of anti-American feeling. However, closing the prison does not guarantee anything. If you hate America, you'll find other symbols.

President Obama then addressed where the captured terrorists will go:

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OBAMA: We will seek to transfer some detainees to the same type of facilities in which we hold all manner of dangerous and violent criminals within our borders. Namely, highly secure prisons that ensure the public safety.

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Well here's a bulletin for the world. The detainees are far better off inside Gitmo than they will be inside a supermax American prison. I've been to Gitmo twice. Cooperative detainees have amenities, good food and all the fresh air they want. At a supermax they will be locked down solo because other inmates would kill them. So liberal Americans, including the president, should wise up about that. If I'm a terrorist, I want Gitmo all day long.

More than halfway through his speech, the president changed the tone, beginning with his support for military tribunals:

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OBAMA: They allow for the protection of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence gathering. They allow for the safety and security of participants. And for the presentation of evidence gathered from the battlefield, they can not always be effectively presented in federal courts.

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Mr. Obama is absolutely correct on this. He's also right about the photo controversy:

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OBAMA: I recently opposed the release of certain photographs that were taken of detainees by U.S. personnel between 2002 and 2004. Individuals who violated standards of behavior in these photos have been investigated, and they have been held accountable. It was my judgment informed by my national security team that releasing these photos would inflame anti-American opinion and allow our enemies to paint U.S. troops with a broad, damning and inaccurate brush, thereby endangering them in theaters of war.

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That decision hammers the Obama-haters who believe the president is weak. Left-wing loons desperately want to diminish America with those pictures. The president is standing tall on this one.

By the way, any media that puts out leaked pictures will pay a huge price. Trust me on that.

Finally, the president predicted the future:

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OBAMA: I do know with certainty that we can and will defeat Al Qaeda, because the terrorists can only succeed if they swell their ranks and alienate America from our allies. And they will never be able to do that if we stay true to who we are.

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Let's pray he's right.

But Dick Cheney is not optimistic. In his reply to the president he began by defining his dissent:

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FORMER VP DICK CHENEY: When President Obama makes wise decisions, as I believe he has done in some respects on Afghanistan and in reversing his plan to release incendiary photos, he deserves our support. And when he faults or mischaracterizes the national security decisions we made in the Bush years, he deserves an answer.

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Fair enough. Mr. Cheney then listed all the terror attacks leading up to 9/11, pointing out that standard diplomacy did little to blunt the growing problem of Al Qaeda. The historical record proves that, as does North Korea launching missiles over the weekend.

Then Mr. Cheney got pithy about the Bush post-9/11 strategy:

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CHENEY: Our government prevented attacks and saved lives through the terrorist surveillance program, which let us intercept calls and contacts between Al Qaeda and persons inside the United States. The program was top secret and for good reason until the editors of The New York Times got it and put it on the front page.

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The former vice president obviously indicting the ultra-liberal newspaper in a major way.

Mr. Cheney then went to the alleged torture deal:

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CHENEY: The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts had failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work, proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. Yet somehow, when the soul searching was done, and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth. The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question. Other memos laying out specific terrorist plots that were averted apparently were not even considered for release. For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.

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That is Dick Cheney's strongest point. It is impossible for we the people to make a rational decision on interrogation without knowing the full extent of the situation. If President Obama does not release all the information on the subject, he will never win the historical debate.

Mr. Cheney continued pressing his point:

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CHENEY: It is a fact that only detainees of the highest intelligence value were ever subjected to enhanced interrogation. You've heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, who has also boasted about his beheading of Daniel Pearl. We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country, things we didn't know about Al Qaeda. We didn't know about Al Qaeda's plans, but Khalid sheik Mohammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we did not think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

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It is here where Americans must make their own judgment. I've made mine. I would have waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Finally, the former vice president put the president on the spot:

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CHENEY: To completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future is unwise in the extreme. It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness and would make the American people less safe.

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That is a blunt warning. And if the USA is attacked again, President Obama will hear that echo.

So there you have it. The president believing his strategy will make the world more inclined to help America defeat the terrorists. Dick Cheney believing Mr. Obama is damaging national security.

As always, you make the call. My job is to present the issue in a fair way, and I believe I have.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Our pal Mr. T was at Wrigley Field Monday night singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Click here to watch Mr. T sing the baseball classic!

For wearing that bandana, Mr. T is a patriot. No comment on his singing.

On the pinhead front, you may remember former school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau spent seven years in prison for having an affair with a 13-year-old student who impregnated her. Well, far from being contrite, Ms. Letourneau is now exploiting her crime. She hosted an event called "Hot for Teacher Night" in Seattle. This was a paid situation. It is disgraceful, and Ms. Letourneau is shameful, in addition to being a major pinhead.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com