The president has ordered a number of captured terrorists transferred from CIA custody to the Defense Department, including Al Qaeda big shot Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the master planner of 9/11.
This was done to set these guys up for military trials and to lessen worldwide criticism of America. In addition, the administration has clarified what can and cannot be done during interrogations of suspected terrorists. No physical pain, no dogs present, no hoods, no dunking in water, no mock executions. Only psychological tactics can now be used by the military.
As for the CIA, there was no definition today by the president about what that agency can do in talking with suspects.
Now this is a good news-bad news situation. Shortly after 9/11, "Talking Points" called for a definite set of rules about interrogation and later for military tribunals to adjudicate the cases.
However, the president might now be a little too lenient. Sources tell us that the foiled terror plot in London where Muslim killers were about to blow up American airliners was partially derailed by Pakistani interrogators, who after talking to a captured Al Qaeda big shot, quickly learned the names of the London plotters. Believe me, Pakistani interrogators are not abiding by President Bush's new guidelines -- if you get my drift.
But there is no question that the USA is under pressure to treat terror prisoners gingerly. The ACLU and others have succeeded in demonizing America. And those American thugs at Abu Ghraib gave the far left all the ammunition it needed.
The key question, of course, is will the new interrogation guidelines help us, the American people? Again, the answer is divided. Soft interrogation isn't going to make us safer, that's for sure. Those who say rough interrogation doesn't work are wrong. It does work.
But the hope is the world will see the USA bending over backwards to be humane, even while fighting the most vicious killers on the planet. That is the hope. I'm not counting on it. And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Katie Couric signed off her first CBS broadcast this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Now, before we go tonight, all summer long, people have been asking me, "How will you sign off at the end of your broadcast?" I've racked my brain, and so far nothing has felt right.
If you have a bright idea for a great signoff, log on to our web site at CBSNews.com and tell me. I know we'll have a lot of fun reading them and, who knows, maybe one will actually stick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Mmm, signoff, huh? How about this, Katie: "The spin stops here, because we're looking out for you."
What? Ridiculous? Watch it!