To watch "the memo" click here .
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly, reporting tonight from Los Angeles. Thank you for watching us.
Should we trust our government and what our government tells us? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
It's becoming very clear the Bush administration will try to force Saddam Hussein out of power. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the most dovish of the Bush foreign policy team, is basically telling America that punitive action against Saddam will begin shortly.
Of course, that policy is going to be criticized around the world, and even by some Americans. Although everyone agrees that Saddam is a bad man, there are people who do not want to see violent conflict no matter the situation.
So far, the Bush administration has relied on nonspecific reports about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. In other words, there's no smoking gun against the dictator at this point. We all know what he's done in the past, but what he's up to now is murky. People who don't want conflict will seize upon that.
Talking Points has been around long enough to know there are some things the government cannot tell us -- top-secret information it has acquired that, if made public, would endanger spies within Iraq. That's what's happening here. U.S. intelligence knows Saddam is doing dangerous things. But to make those things public would blow the cover of our intelligence-gathering team.
So Americans must have faith in the Bush administration, and that isn't easy to do, because in the past other administrations have lied to us. Lyndon Johnson lied about Vietnam, Richard Nixon lied about illegal political activities, and Bill Clinton lied about his demeanor in the White House.
But Talking Points believes patriotic Americans must give any president a chance. Since Mr. Bush is clean so far, it is only fair that we follow his lead, especially in this war on terror.
There's no question the world would be a better place if Saddam were dead. He's a tyrant and he's a killer. If America can remove him, it should. But we must be very careful not to create a backlash that would hurt this country.
Right now, I have many questions about the effectiveness of the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, but I think I owe it to this country to support Mr. Bush against the terrorists. Saddam Hussein is indeed a terrorist. He has to go. And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Last week, we told you about a two-time convicted felon currently incacerated here in California, who received a heart transplant at taxpayer expense. Well, the first bill has come due.
California authorities estimated the surgery itself would cost about $200,000. Wrong. The state has been billed for $913,000 for the heart transplant. California says it will appeal, but I don't know. And that doesn't even count after-care costs or anything like that. Well, we think the whole situation is ridiculous, as we said.
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