A Tough Weekend for America

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.

A tough weekend for America, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."  As we predicted last week, the torture allegations against a small number of U.S. troops in Iraq have caused grave damage to the country.  Here's how.

Allies like Pakistan's [General Pervez] Musharraf will now have an even harder time convincing Muslims to cooperate with America against terrorists.  American haters like Al Jazeera now seem almost justified in their vile portrayal of the USA.  Anti-American partisans both abroad and here at home can now lace their propaganda with this incident.  And finally, President Bush has another Iraqi setback to deal with.

Now this evening, we will get you some truth about the matter.  Here's what we know so far.  After hearing allegations from soldiers in Iraq, the American military itself initiated an  investigation into the torture of some Iraqi prisoners.  General Antonio Taguba (search) quickly assembled facts have pinpointed abuse at the Abu Ghraib (search) prison.  Six soldiers are facing prosecution and that number could rise.

The general in charge of the prison, Janis Karpinski (search), is also under investigation. [Note: Streaming video of Bill O'Reilly's interview with Brig. Gen. Karpinski is posted on the right hand side of this Web page.] The Army's chief law enforcement officer, Maj. Gen. Daniel Rider (search) apparently knew there were problems at the jail, but didn't do enough to stop them.  And some U.S. private contractors were also said to be involved in some torture incidents.

"Talking Points" deplores this entire episode because human rights violations have no place in the American landscape and because the scandal diminishes the heroism and sacrifice of our military, which on the whole has been brilliant in Iraq.

There is a small amount of good news here. Our system does work. The story's out. The violators will be punished. That would not happen in many other countries.

In the end, the torture scandal is another unintended consequence of the Terror War, which is unlike anything America has ever fought before. The enemy has no rules, but we do. It's unfair, but it's what separates us from the terrorists.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

In Austin, Texas, a semiannual event called "Splash" takes place in and around Lake Travis. The event features naked people splashing and clothed people watching.  Unfortunately about 60 clothed people on a boat all rushed to one side to see the naked people and the boat capsized.  Ridiculous?  Sure, but those clothed people needed to cool off anyway.   Everyone was rescued.