Some Good Has Come from the 9/11 Warnings Controversy...

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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly, reporting tonight from Los Angeles.  Thanks for watching.

Well, something good has actually come out of this warning controversy, and that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

As Points stated last week, we the people need to be told about any threats against us.  The more alert we are, the less likely bad things will happen.  We should have been told last summer that the government was on a heightened alert because of terrorist threats by Usama bin Laden.

Well, over the weekend we were warned about new threats by al Qaeda, and that's good.  Knowledge is power, and every American, including the FBI, should be paying attention.

Now, the finger-pointing in Washington is an interesting chess game.  The Bush administration is embarrassed, and in no mood for cheap shots by the Democrats.  Vice President Cheney has already played the patriot card.  Didn't work very well.  And the president himself has chosen one Democrat as the symbolic fall gal.  That would be Hillary Clinton.

In a column today by New York Times writer Bill Safire, it was pointed out that Bill Clinton sat on Al Qaeda threats for 16 months before he left office.  Obviously this was leaked by the Bush people to deflect criticism by Hillary and others against them.

Now, Mr. Bush knows much of the country does not like Mrs. Clinton, so when she asked what did Bush know, the president had his opening.  I think it's safe to assume that Mr. Bush knew about general bin Laden threats but nothing specific.  If he did know specifics, they would have had to come from Condoleezza Rice, who's nationally security expert.  But she says she didn't know any specifics.

Now, whether or not you believe Dr. Rice is up to you, but I do believe her.

There is no question, however, that there should be an investigation into the U.S. intelligence breakdown before 9/11.  But Bush and Cheney say they object to an independent commission because it would violate presidential power and possibly endanger U.S. security during wartime.

Bush-Cheney want the congressional intelligence committees to investigate, but many believe Congress simply will never investigate itself honestly.

In the end there will be a congressional investigation that will take months to find out what Talking Points will now tell you.

The FBI could not get a detailed, specific analysis on al Qaeda threats to Condoleezza Rice because the bureau was a disorganized mess.  It is President Bush's duty now to make sure the FBI is run more effectively in the future.

In the meantime, spin control is under way, and Hillary Clinton is as good a diversion as you can get.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time for the "Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day." 

A swarm of Ozzy Osbourne wannabes have emerged from the Hollywood woodwork.  A bunch of celebrities now want reality TV programs based on them.  The list includes Cybil Shepard, Puffy Daddy, Jean Simmons of Kiss, Brandy, Courtney Love and Kato Kaelin.  I know I'd watch that.  Ridiculous?  Oh, no!

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