To watch "The Talking Points Memo" click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight. Do accused terrorists have rights? That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
Last July, "Talking Points" opened that President Bush is making a mistake by not assigning, for instance, Zacarias Moussaoui and other accused terrorists to military tribunals.
Now I understand bending over backwards to make sure Moussaoui has his day in court. I understand it, but I disagree with it. The guy never should have been tried in the civilian venue to begin with. He's a terrorist. He should be at Guantanamo Bay. Let the military deal with them.
In a time of war, the president must protect national security, and allowing civilian lawyers to depose the captured terrorists who provide information about Moussaoui? It would be a major mistake that would put us all at risk.
Now the Bush Administration finally understands that. Moussaoui's lawyers, as we predicted, want to interview captured al Qaeda big shots. The government says no, arguing that the terrorists would not give any information to us if they thought it would become public. It's hard enough to get stuff out of these guys, bringing defense lawyers in would make it impossible.
No terrorist captured wants his pals at large to think he's providing intelligence. That would put the man's family at risk. Come on.
So the Bush Administration has asked that Moussaoui's trial be put off until the fall and is exploring the transfers of the proceedings to a military court, which should have happened in the first place.
It should also happen in the case of American citizen Jose Padilla, arrested in Chicago after flying in from Pakistan. Captured terrorists apparently dropped the dime on Padilla, who the government believes was looking to commit mass murder here.
You know Padilla's lawyers are going to want to know who fingered their client. It is the government's job to protect us from killers. And the main reason we have become better at preventing terrorism, is that some of the captured terrorists have spilled their guts, leading to more apprehensions and a much better understanding of al Qaeda.
But some defense attorneys don't really care about that. They want to give their clients the best defense possible, and that means challenging the source of the information it gets against those clients.
At a time of war, this cannot be allowed to happen. All suspected terrorists and those captured on foreign battlefields should be tried by the military, period.
And that's The Memo .
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Madonna is out this week with a new anti-war video, but there is no truth to the rumor that the American military will drop her latest movie Swept Away on Baghdad," the thinking being it's the biggest bomb we've ever seen. That, of course, would be ridiculous.