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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: America, the torture nation

Ever since we were attacked on 9/11, there has been an on-going debate over how to fight the war on terror.

There are some folks like me, who believe we must use harsh measures to defeat the jihadists who would slaughter us all if they could. There are others who say we must obey the Geneva Convention even we are fighting an enemy that does not fall under that treaty.

Then there is the definition of torture. Some believe that subjecting a captive to loud noise or verbal threats is torture. So, it's useless too debate the issue because minds will not change.

Enter a report by Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee it says that the CIA tortured captured al Qaeda suspects and lied to Congress about it. The Senate Intel Committee is comprised of 8 Democrats and seven Republicans.

All of the Republicans, all of them refuse to endorse the report, which by the way, cost $40 million to produce. The GOP senators did that because they feel it's a partisan situation designed to embarrass the Bush administration.

The report concludes that harsh interrogations did not produce a single critical intelligence nugget that could not have been obtained by non- coercive means.

Now, I have spoken directly to senior members of the CIA who say that conclusion is false. They strongly assert that coerced information saved thousands of lives. They point to the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to prove their point.

I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. But I can tell you that a number of high ranking CIA people are furious and swear the Senate report is misleading. Some say the report should never have been released because it puts U.S. operatives around the world in danger.

I don't dispute that opinion. But, in an open society, if the CIA or any other federal agency breaks the law we the people should know it. That being said talking points does believe the report is a partisan play that will solve nothing, here is President Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I knew the directors. I knew the deputy directors. You know, I knew a lot of the operators. These are good people, really good people, and we are lucky as a nation to have them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Former Vice President Cheney was even stronger, telling the "New York Times," quote, "It occurs to me the report was sort of a cover for those on the Democratic side who were briefed on the program, but then were subsequently embarrassed to admit that.

And so they are going back to a construct, a rationale to say they didn't tell us the truth. Interrogations were the right thing to do. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it."

On a personal note, I know scores of Americans who lost loved ones on 9/11. I have watched their children grow up without mothers and fathers. If I were president, I would have authorized waterboarding and other severe interrogation methods of high ranking captured terrorists.

It is morally correct to protect innocent lives from barbarians. As we all know the jihadists are beheading Americans today and they will kill any American they can. It's not theory it's reality. We are a nation of laws, but we are involved in a brutal on-going war. Americans need to be protected and that's “The Memo”.

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly