A Victory for Terrorism Inside the USA

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

We'll get to the Malvo verdict and the Michael Jackson charges in a moment.  But first, the Talking Points Memo, a victory for terrorism inside the USA.

A federal court here in New York City ruled 2-1 today that accused Al Qaeda [operative], Jose Padilla (search), an American being held by the military and South Carolina must be set free within 30 days or charged with something.

Padilla, as you may know, was arrested in Chicago after coming back from Pakistan, where he allegedly trained in an Al Qaeda camp.  The Pakistani ISA apparently told U.S. authorities Padilla wanted to do some kind of dirty bomb thing.  Obviously that has not been proved.

Also today, the most radical court in U.S. history, the Ninth Circuit (search) in San Francisco, rule 2-1 that prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (search) must have access to lawyers and the civilian courts.

Now all of this is fairly predictable.  Talking Points said shortly after 9/11 that the Bush administration should go to Congress for a declaration of war. If that happened, all of these suspected terrorists could be tried before a military  tribunal.

But now, Padilla, the Guantanamo people, Zacarias Moussaoui -- and whatever other alleged terrorist is taken into custody-- will find sympathy among some American judges.

Here's the crux of the problem.  Under our constitution, anyone charged with a crime has the right to face his accuser, but the Bush administration will not make captured Al Qaeda big shots available to civilian lawyers.  And that's  understandable.

The Al Qaedas who are talking would not be talking if they had to show up for depositions.  Also, a foreign intelligence agency, like the Pakistani ISA, is certainly not going to send over agents to testify in American criminal courts.  Those agents would be killed  20 minutes after arriving back home.

What has to be done is what you do in all wars.  If you capture the enemy that is a terrorist, you intern that person until the war is over.  Inexplicably, President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) have not defined how they want to deal with captured terrorists.  And that leaves the door wide opened for the loons on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to undermine the war on terror, which many of those judges will do all day long.

Once again, we are fighting World War III.  The Bush administration should acknowledge that and ask Congress for a declaration of war.  That   would allow the government to protect better we the people.  Because if you think civilian courts are going to protect you, you're sadly mistaken.  They're not.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Senator Hillary Clinton (search) signed books for hundreds of people down in Florida --but the average time they got with her? Each person? [Just] eight seconds.  Eight!  Whoa.

Mrs.  Clinton has had time to do scores of signings around the country, but I've only had time to do four because I have to work.  I'd love to be down there in South Florida signing copies of Who's Looking Out for You?

Believe me, you'd get more than eight seconds with me, although some folks think that's too much time.

As for the race between Hillary's book and Who's Looking Out? we are closing in.  Broadway Books (search) has gone back for a sixth printing since September, bringing the total of Who's... in print to close to a million.  The senator has sold around a million, but a good amount of those were purchased by the Democratic National Committee.  That doesn't count, Senator.

Who's Looking Out for You? is number one this Sunday on The New York Times list and the following Sunday as well.  We thank you all very much.  You're doing it, not The New York Times.  It's a great Christmas present for us from you.

This is a really good race and only ridiculous if you believe those dopey Web sites.  Oh, man.  I -- I can't do it.  I'm not going to do it.  But I've got to tell you just please don't believe the Web sites.