President Obama's Christmas could not have been calm after that loon from Nigeria tried to blow up a Northwest jetliner as it approached Detroit.

Because the Obama administration has changed so many Bush anti-terror policies, any terrorist activity will engender controversy.

The president had to wince when Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano initially stated that the system "worked." Of course it did not work, and the governor had to recant her statement 24 hours later.

That gave the anti-Obama people the opening they needed to hammer the president, and that criticism deeply offended The Washington Post, which editorialized:

"With former vice president Richard B. Cheney in the lead, [Republicans] have embarked on an ugly course to use the [attempted bombing] incident to inflict maximum political damage on President Obama. That's bad enough, but their scurrilous line of attack is even worse. The claim that the incident shows the president's fecklessness in the War on Terror is unfounded."

That's the liberal view, but here's the truth: President Obama has promoted a number of policies that most Americans feel are not tough enough on Al Qaeda.

For example, a new Rasmussen poll says a whopping 71 percent of Americans believe the Nigerian bomber should be handled by the military, not tried in civilian court. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Obama's counter-terrorism guy John Brennan about the situation:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Why not treat him as an enemy combatant, put him in a secret prison, use the interrogation techniques that President Obama has specifically approved and try to get more information out of him?

JOHN BRENNAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNTER TERRORISM ADVISER: Well, we have an array of tools that we will use, and we want to make sure we maintain flexibility as far as how we deal with these individuals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Flexibility? Word is the accused bomber has now lawyered up and has stopped talking.

Mr. Brennan told CNN the government may offer the man a plea bargain to get him talking again, but why bother with that when it is legal to hold the terrorist as an enemy combatant and turn him over to the military?

Most Americans — and I agree — see military interrogation as the most effective counter-terror measure. So criticism directed at President Obama for his War on Terror strategy is legitimate, especially because the Obama administration is so different than the Bush administration in this area:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRENNAN: The president does not describe this as a war on terrorism. That is because terrorism is but a tactic, a means to an end. Describing our efforts as a global war only plays into the warped narrative that Al Qaeda propagates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Brennan's opinion is not currently playing well with the folks.

All in all, the attempted bombing of the Northwest airliner is very bad news for the Obama administration.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Can you imagine spending Christmas in Iraq or Afghanistan? Well, hundreds of thousands of Americans did that, defending our country.

And we would like to salute some entertainers who went to those war zones over the holidays. They include country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, tennis star Anna Kournikova and comedian Dave Attell, who met with troops in southern Iraq, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Obviously anybody who goes abroad to entertain our troops is a patriot.

On the pinhead front, there was quite a commotion in India when an elephant got a bit rattled. The display took place outside of a temple where the 6-year-old elephant was marching in a religious procession. Two people were hurt, hundreds unsettled, so we must make the elephant a 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