Talking Points

The Truth About Iraq

The truth about Iraq: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".

A number of high-profile Democrats, including John Kerry, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have accused President Bush of purposely misleading the American public about the war in Iraq. You know that. How often have you heard people say Bush lied?

Well, over the weekend, I read the new book "State of War" by New York Times reporter James Risen, who will not come on “The Factor”, by the way. I read the book because one of our good CIA contacts told us it was, the book, fairly accurate about the NSA telephone tap issue and Iraq.

Here's what Risen says in the book. That then CIA Director George Tenet had conflicting intelligence about WMDs, but did not bring the no WMD intel to the president's attention. That is on page 106.

So it would appear that all of those who accuse Mr. Bush of lying owe him an apology, and that includes a number of New York Times columnists.

Times reporter Risen also says that Tenet had no idea there would be an insurrection after Saddam was deposed. And the major cause of that insurrection was the disbanding of the Iraqi Army. More than 200,000 young men found themselves unemployed. And some joined the terrorists.

So on Iraq, the mess, according to Risen, belongs to the CIA. On the NSA, Risen's reporting and analysis blurs. And this is the main weakness in the book.

The reader often doesn't know what's opinion and what's fact. Risen flat-out states President Bush broke the law by allowing the National Security Agency to listen to calls made by Americans. Risen, however, downplays the nature of the calls, that they were reportedly made to overseas people. And Al Qaeda surveillance was the primary reason.

Again, this NSA deal is largely undefined. There are good arguments on both sides. "Talking Points" is watching as the facts unfold.

Summing up, the president gets a break in the book on Iraq, gets hammered on the NSA. I believe I just saved you $26.

And that is "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As you know,

Once again, I'm an oracle. Last week after the David Letterman conversation I said this about the press coverage.


O'REILLY: All in all, the coverage was not ridiculous, at least not yet, but things like this have a way of evolving.


And evolve it did. The New York Daily News and Newsday both printed personal attacks on me in the wake of the David Letterman chat. For The Daily News this is the 44th negative reference concerning me in the past 14 months. Forty-four.

The New York Daily News is already on our don't buy, don't advertise list. And now we add U.S. News and World Report magazine to that list. Because Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman owns that magazine, as well, and Zuckerman's obviously not running fair operations and does not deserve your attention.

As far as Newsday is concerned it joins the don't buy, don't advertise list, which is posted at Newsday leans sharply left and has been losing circulation on Long Island for years. Its editor, John Mancini, told us today he has no problem printing personal attacks in the newspaper. Therefore, the paper is not worth your attention.

By the way, I don't like doing this, but enough is enough. I grew up with Newsday but it is no read anymore. It is a disgrace.

And finally "Good Morning America" last Friday ran a bunch of David Letterman's questions to me but none of my answers. How cute is that?

However, this morning, "GMA" corrected the record and did run a couple of my responses. I was happy to see that, as I am set to appear on "Good Morning America" on Thursday. Hopefully, that appearance will not be ridiculous.

I've got to get up so early to do it. Don't be ridiculous, OK, guys? Please.

Copyright © 2005 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.