Military Justice

The Fallujah (search) Marine cleared of all wrongdoing, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

You may remember that "The Factor" went to bat for a young Marine captured on tape shooting an Iraqi combatant inside a mosque.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's breathing.



I believe that tape demonstrated the Marine thought he and his squad were in danger. And now an investigation has cleared him.

"The corporal reasonably believed that the wounded Iraqi posed a hostile threat to him and his fellow Marines (search) and justifiably fired in self defense. The enhanced videotape of the shooting supports the corporal's claim that the wounded combatant was concealing his left arm behind his head."

Now you can imagine what this Marine and his family have been through. We're glad it's over for them. The difference between this program and some other media vehicles is that we give the benefit of the doubt to the military, which is fighting, as you know, a vicious war on terror.

From the get go, I knew the Marine didn't have an evil intent, that he was protecting himself and his squad. Just the day before that action, another Marine in the unit was killed when the booby-trapped body of a dead Iraqi exploded.

Now for those of you critical of the Fallujah Marine, I say you're sadly misguided. The young man should be promoted for what he's been through.

Now in another case, the Army private who pleaded guilty to abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib is getting another day in court. Lynndie England (search) was about to accept her punishment when a judge stopped the case because England's superior, Charles Graner (search), also the father of her child, said he ordered Private England to do the things for which she is charged.

Now the case will resume shortly. And England should be found guilty. She has shamed her country and the military. There's no excuse for what she did, even if ordered.

Remember, the Fallujah Marine was in combat making split-second life- death decisions. Private England was messing around in a prison, where she shouldn't have been in the first place.

All American soldiers must be responsible for what they do at all times. It's a part of being granted the power to kill. If you want the stripes, you got to act appropriately.

It cannot be stated strongly enough that the American military has performed tremendously under very difficult circumstances. Of course, mistakes will be made, but standards of behavior must have met.

The Fallujah Marine is to be respected. Private England punished. And that's the "Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

We got a ton of mail on Laura Bush's public display of humor. We'll read some of the letters in a moment.

Our brand new poll asks you, "Do you approve of the first lady's comedy routine?" Yes or no. Do you approve of the first lady's comedy routine?

We'll give you the results on Monday. And there is division among both conservatives and liberals. This is very rare to see this. All right. Both parties are split over the first lady and what she said.

And, of course, that could be ridiculous.

You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: