Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
A bomb is thrown at the Bush administration. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Former terrorism czar Richard Clarke (search) says President Bush is doing a bad job fighting terrorism. Since Mr. Bush is running for re-election as a terror warrior, this is a serious situation for the White House. Clarke has impeccable credentials. He served as chair adviser under Presidents Reagan, Bush the elder, Clinton, and George W.[Bush].
But his position was diminished under President Bush. So he may have a personal ax to grind here.
This is one of the most complicated situations "Talking Points" has ever seen. It's almost impossible to know who's telling the truth, Clarke or President Bush. Clarke contends that Bush ignored his warnings on Usama bin Laden (search). And then after 9-11, made a mistake by focusing on Saddam Hussein instead of al Qaeda.
The president contends that his administration has decimated Al Qaeda, rendering it almost incapable of attacking the USA again and has destroyed the Taliban and the terrorist enabler, Saddam [Hussein].
In searching for the truth, "Talking Points" has come up with a couple of interesting things. Number one, in his new book, Richard Clarke is very easy on President Clinton's failure to confront bin Laden. In fact, Clarke says that the widely reported story about the Sudan being willing to hand over bin Laden to Mr. Clinton is a fable.
However, other terror experts do not believe that. We'll hear from one of them, coming up.
Here's the importance. If Clark is not telling the truth about the Sudan Clinton situation, then his entire book becomes suspect.
Number two, "60 Minutes" devoted two segments to Clarke, saying Bush blew it on Al Qaeda. But in the third segment, a look at Al Qaeda big shot, Zawahiri. Ed Bradley stated Al Qaeda has been badly damaged under the Bush administration. So what's up with that inconsistency?
Number three, there's no question after watching Clarke, he really dislikes President Bush. And as "60 Minutes" did point out, he's now teaching a course with John Kerry's foreign policy adviser at Harvard.
A legitimate question can be asked about Clarke's political agenda. "Talking Points" again doesn't know the truth of the matter. Ideologues on both side will feed you propaganda. We will try to feed you simple information so you can decide as always.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Over the weekend, an astounding 150,000 people visited billoreilly.com. Twenty-five thousand of them answered our poll question: Make a prediction. Will the Iraqi people embrace democracy?
Sixty-nine percent believe they will. Thirty-one percent say they will not. By this time next year, we should definitively know the answer to that question, which is not at all ridiculous and very important to the USA.