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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
All hell is breaking loose inside the FBI. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
We sat on the story for quite awhile. But now FBI Agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz has been put on administrative leave. And The Factor has two eyewitnesses who say Mr. Hafiz refused to wear a wire twice during terror investigations.
According to FBI agent Robert Wright and former federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, Hafiz declined to secretly tape a Saudi citizen named Yassin Kadi, who was suspected of financing Usama bin Laden.
That incident happened in April of 1999, and it happened again during the investigation of Sami Al-Arian, according to the two men.
Wright says Hafiz told people, quote, "A Muslim does not record another Muslim." That is not true. Hundreds of Muslim American law enforcement agents have worn wires, according to FACTOR sources.
Agent Hafiz apparently denies any wrongdoing and has filed an equal opportunity complaint against Agent Wright. A short time later Hafiz was promoted to the FBI's office in Saudi Arabia but again, he's now been called back here and placed on forced leave. Why? The FBI will not say.
But The Factor has learned that Hafiz is being investigated by the office of professional responsibility at the Justice Department. That's serious.
The simple question is this. Did Agent Hafiz refuse to secretly tape other Muslims involved in terror investigations, yes or no?
Now, this is the third time that FBI chief Robert Mueller has been in the vicinity of a scandal. And enough might be enough. He was a federal prosecutor in Boston when the FBI allowed three innocent men to stay in prison to protect an informant who had committed murder.
Mueller rewarded FBI Agent Spike Bowman with special praise after Mr. Bow man refused a request from the FBI's Minneapolis office to search accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's computer in the months before 9-11. Moussaoui, of course, is now being charged with being in on the mass murder at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
FBI Agent Colleen Rowley was so outraged by that screw-up she put her career in jeopardy and made the situation public. But Rowley was not commended by Mueller; the guy who messed up, Bowman, was.
And now we have Gamal Abdel-Hafiz. Unless director Mueller can fully explain this situation to the American people, Talking Points believes he should be fired by President Bush.
Americans are depending on the FBI to protect them and there is growing evidence that Mueller is a bureaucratic nightmare. The FBI, we believe, is now doing an excellent job in fighting terrorism, and most field agents are magnificent. But did you know that many of those agents refer to Mueller's Washington group as "hindquarters" instead of "headquarters"?
Americans have a right to know what's happening when serious charges are leveled against a government agency.
Agent Wright is writing a book, but was told he would be charged with insubordination if he appeared on The Factor last night. That's a very disturbing threat.
Bottom line. We need to know if Agent Hafiz refused to wear a wire during a terrorism investigation and why he was subsequently promoted. If the government will not answer that simple question, we are all in big trouble.
We'll have more on this coming up.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
The guy who did the voice over for Dan Rather's translation of Saddam Hussein's words in that interview last week used a fake accent. Actor Steve Winfield was hired by CBS to read the translation and affect it in an Iraqi accent.
Now I don't really care, but it is ridiculous. There are enough guys with real accents who could do it, if you want an accent, which you don't need. Maybe they could have used Bugs Bunny's accent to do that.