Torture Allegations and the Safety of American Forces

Torture allegations and the safety of American forces. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

All over the world, the USA is being accused of torturing prisoners taken in the War on Terror. Just the allegations alone hurt this country and shift emphasis from the real villains -- terrorists who routinely murder civilians.

Day after day, the left-wing media pound stories about America's mistreating of prisoners in Guantanamo, in Iraq, in Afghanistan. Those reports are picked up worldwide and are used to incite anti-American feelings and even to recruit more terrorists.

The truth is that some prisoners have been abused and maybe even tortured. There are a number of prosecutions going on right now that will demonstrate that. And any reasonable person knows that, in a vicious struggle, some rules will be broken.

The trouble is the continuing reportage of the torture allegations is putting lives in danger. Hyping the situation to undermine the Bush administration is disgraceful and should be condemned.

But the Bush administration bears some blame as well. It has consistently resisted defining the terror war and explaining to us what's acceptable and what's not concerning incarceration and interrogation.

Thus, partisans like Senator Kennedy can legitimately wail away.


SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: By refusing to come clean and provide necessary documents and by discouraging responsiveness and candor from its nominees on the issue of torture, the administration is only making the crisis worse, further embarrassing the nation in the eyes of the world and casting greater doubt on its commitment to the rule of law.


"Talking Points" does not believe there is a "torture crisis," as Kennedy puts it. I don't think the Bush administration sanctions the abuse of human rights, but I do believe the president has a far different view of how captured terrorists should be treated than Kennedy or "The New York Times." So let's have the debate.

It is almost a miracle that the USA has not had another 9/11. The tough measures by the Feds have to be a factor in that. We are in a kill-or-be-killed situation that Kennedy and others fail to understand.

That being said, the president must understand that, by failing to address the torture controversy, he's making it tougher for our military. There is, indeed, sympathy for the devil in many quarters, and action must be taken to lessen that sympathy.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The University of Notre Dame (search), perhaps the most famous Catholic college in the world, is sponsoring a film festival, and it is called -- ready? -- "The Queer Film festival," queer as in gay, not strange. Now this is not going over real well in some Catholic circles, including the one in Rome. But there is no truth to the rumor that the statue of Knute Rockne (search) is getting a makeover. That, of course, would be ridiculous. Go Irish.

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