Talking Points

The Terror War Meets the Culture War

Something very important happened today: Congress passed a terror war bill that pretty much gives President Bush and the military total authority to deal with captured terror suspects. The only downside for the president is that interrogation methods like water boarding are no longer allowed.

However, under the president's order, the CIA can make terror suspects uncomfortable — something the far left didn't want.

Now basically, the bill allows the U.S. military to try terror suspects and evaluate classified information against those suspects. The far left doesn't like that either. They don't trust the military. They want terror suspects tried in civilian courts.

Well, we saw how that played out in the Moussaoui case. Four years, tens of millions of dollars to convict a guy who was involved with 9/11. Do the math: If every terror suspect lawyers up, they can cause chaos within the judicial system.

What this comes down to is that most Americans believe they're in danger and want the military to protect them. But the far left does not believe that. Instead, it says terrorists should be taken care of by police action, not the military.

So why do we have this basic divide in America? An excellent analysis is put forth today by David Brooks in The New York Times:

"On the left, many people can't seem to fathom an enemy the U.S. isn't somehow responsible for. Today's extremists are not the product of short-term historical circumstances, but of consciousness and culture. They are not the fault of the United States."

Here's where the culture war kicks in. The secular progressive movement dominated by far-left individuals like George Soros and Nancy Pelosi continue to put forth that the USA is a flawed country, that if only we become good, terrorism would subside. America's enemies have seized upon this SP philosophy. You saw with Hugo Chavez, touting far-left writer Noam Chomsky.

But the truth is most Americans want an aggressive War on Terror. All the polls say that. They want the president and the military to deal with these killers.

So "Talking Points" believes people who oppose tough terror measures will lose in the court of public opinion. Senator John McCain has been hurt. And liberals like Senators Leahy and Kennedy are certainly not looked upon as terror warriors.

One final thing: On this new law, the left is outraged that the government can still hold a terror suspect, even if charges are dropped because classified evidence is too valuable to be exposed. That is troubling. But it goes back to the war. Under the Geneva Convention, you can hold POWs until the end of that war.

Congress did the right thing today. We're not losing any rights. We're simply making the world much more dangerous for terrorists.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

We're out here in L.A. because I have a book signing for "Culture Warrior" this evening. It's sold out. Thank you all. Tickets are free, but we have to limit the flow in.

Tomorrow I will be on the Jay Leno program. And in the meantime, if you want a few laughs right now, go to and watch Lis Wiehl and E.D. Hill interview me about "Culture Warrior." Even if you don't care about the book, the interview is well worth seeing. I promise.

Finally, our poll question asks, "Did Bill Clinton feign indignation with Chris Wallace or was he truly angry?" Did Bill Clinton feign indignation or was he truly angry? So we'll give you the results next Monday or Tuesday. OK? Lots of action on, which is never ridiculous.