Keeping You Alive

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. We'll get to the chaos in the Peterson case in a moment. But first, the "Talking Points Memo:" Keeping you alive.

On last night's Factor, Judge Andrew Napolitano and I debated a federal judge's ruling that says President Bush does not have the authority to designate terrorists as enemy combatants. I believe Judge James Robertson's ruling that terrorists deserve Geneva protections is dangerous and will be overturned on appeal.

Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez (search) agrees with me, so I like him. I'm a very simple man. White House Counsel Gonzalez has consistently put forth that civilians who kill other civilians in the course of their terror activities are not soldiers in any war, thus are not entitled to any wartime treaty protection including Geneva.

Gonzalez is correct. And he's also right in asserting that any president has a right to define a foreign terrorist in a way that allows our military to deal with that person.

However, if the terrorist is an American, that's a different story, as the John Walker Lindh (search) case demonstrates. Then constitutional protections do kick in. But al Qaeda killers running around overseas are not, repeat not, entitled to anything other than justice at the hands of the American military, which is there to protect us.

Gonzalez also believes that terrorists can be interrogated much more rigorously than POWs. And I think he's right there as well.

Now many Americans disagree and I respect your opinion, but we are facing terrorists a unique situation right now. Terrorists with no rules of engagement have murdered 3,000 of us. And if we do not redefine the rules under which those terrorists are dealt with, we will lose the war. It's that simple.

The way around judges like Robertson is for the Bush administration to set up military tribunals to review all overseas terror cases and tell the world exactly what the rules are. There is power in explanation. And misguided jurists who apply wartime treaties to homicidal maniacs by citing constitutional concerns should be shaken off the high moral ground by pragmatic facts.

So best wishes to Alberto Gonzalez and to those federal judges who realize that the government's primary reason for being is to protect the folks.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Our pal, Madonna, is back talking politics. -- So hide the children. -- Speaking to the BBC, she said this...


MADONNA, SINGER: I just don't want American troops to be in Iraq period. So, you know, my feelings are: Can we just all get out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't feel that they are there to crack down on global terror?

MADONNA: No. I think that global terror is everywhere. Global terror is down the street, around the block, you know, and global terror is in California. I mean, there's global terror everywhere, and it's absurd to think that, you know, you can get it by going to one country and dropping tons of bombs on innocent people.

I'm not placing the accent. She is from Detroit, right?

And there is no truth to the rumor that Ms. Madonna is in line to replace Colin Powell (search), should he leave the State Department. That, of course, might be ridiculous, even if the BBC would probably like it. I can't place the accent...