The truth about harsh interrogation methods: that is subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
According to a new Gallup poll, most Americans oppose torturing suspected terrorists. A majority of us are even against things like water boarding, where a suspect is submerged in water.
Overwhelmingly, Americans reject the behavior some prison guards practiced at Abu Ghraib. And there's no question the Bush administration will not officially sanction the use of torture. But the issue is being demagogued by some who feel that no coercive methods of interrogation should be used on suspected terrorists. These people usually place themselves on a high moral ground saying the following:
• The Geneva Conventions (search) should apply to terrorists. That, of course, is nuts.
• That all forms of coercive interrogation do not work. That -- according to the experts -- is false.
• And that captured Americans will be treated worse if coercive methods are used. — So tell me again what's worse than having your head cut off?
As far as coercive methods are concerned, military interrogators are effectively used a technique called monstering in Afghanistan and Iraq. That is constant questioning by rotating interrogators that lasts for days.
Recently on "The Radio Factor," I spoke about this technique with one of the Army's top interrogators in Afghanistan:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Did you get information that was helpful to the United States by using this monstering technique?
CHRIS MACKEY, AUTHOR, "THE INTERROGATORS": Extremely helpful. The information that my extraordinary bunch of interrogators collected using that technique cannot be underestimated.
O'REILLY: Can you give us an example of it?
MACKEY: Yes. Some of the information that we got using that technique revealed plots that were going on in Europe that were foiled by civilian intelligence agencies. And another one was a couple of very important tactical plots that were being formed against our combat soldiers on the ground, which is actually our principal responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now to be fair, other military interrogators see things differently, but it's hard to argue with a guy who has proven results.
The debate over interrogation is vitally important because there will come a time when someone with knowledge of a planned attack on this country will be taken into custody. If thousands of lives are hanging in the balance, do you want to tie the hands of the military? I don't.
So "Talking Points" is rejecting theory and partisan rhetoric. I want a sane interrogation policy that stops short of torture, but allows for pressure. Grandstanding this issue is not going to make us safer. Torture, no; pressure, yes.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
I want to thank everyone who's purchased "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" book. It's a major bestseller despite being attacked by some media people who don't like me. That whole thing is ridiculous. But, as usual, the folks prevail.
I want to single out James Patrick Davis who lives near Destin, Florida. Mr. Davis read the book to his wife's fifth-grade class at the Walker School in Crestview.
That's a fine-looking group, isn't it?
We hope the kids got something out of the book, and we applaud Mr. Davis who's a firefighter-paramedic for trying to help children.
That is never ridiculous.