The battle lines are drawn over how to deal with captured terrorists. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
In this corner, “The Factor” and the nation's largest newspaper, "The Wall Street Journal." Across the ring, the leading secular progressive new operations, "The New York Times" and "The Los Angeles Times."
The issue is how to wage the war on terror. "Talking Points" has been telling you that objecting to coercive interrogation rendition, military tribunals, the Patriot Act and other anti-terror measures puts all of us in danger. The USA needs to wage an aggressive war against Al Qaeda. And new rules are needed in order to do that.
So far, the "Timeses" have opposed most, if not all, anti-terror measures and have put forth little in their place. Those newspapers do have one legitimate point, however. The Bush administration has not defined the new rules of engagement and it must begin to do so. — We, the people, have a right to know how the government is acting on our behalf.
Admiral Albert Church's investigation this week into alleged torture turned up no abuse policy at the Pentagon or in the Bush administration. As we told you last night, "The New York Times" buried Church's conclusion and today predictably, called the admiral's report a whitewash.
Now if I were Admiral Church, I'd would take that very personally. The newspaper has insulted the man's honor.
Out on the other coast, the loopy "L.A.Times" railed against the rendition policy of sending suspected terrorists to be questioned in foreign countries because there's not enough evidence to hold them in the USA.
The editorial writer opined, "What intelligence of value have U.S. officials gleaned from suspects who've been handed off to modern-day dungeons?"
Well, the answer came quickly from Michael Scheuer (search), former CIA official who ran the rendition program. He wrote, "The rendition program has been a tremendous success. Dozens of senior Al Qaeda (search) fighters are today behind bars, no longer able to plot or participate in attacks."
So the CIA pros love the rendition program. The liberal editorial writers hate it. The question — who's looking out for you?
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
For more than an hour yesterday, a dog eluded New York City authorities, running for miles through the streets and byways of Gotham. The dog's name is Snoopy, and the New York Jets (search) ought to sign him.
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Snoopy is resting today mulling over offers from various enterprises. To not to do so would be ridiculous.