Stonewalling the Abu Ghraib Prison Situation

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

Stonewalling Abu Ghraib, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."  "The New York Times" editorializes today that the Bush administration is not telling the whole truth about the Iraqi prison scandal. "Talking Points" has no reason to believe that and no reason to disbelieve it. I simply don't know the truth.

What I do know is that "The Times" has been using the scandal to hammer the president and thus its thesis must be taken with some skepticism.

So far, documents released by the administration show the president did not order anything illegal and that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (search) did approve coercive interrogation techniques, but not torture.

And a new FOX News opinion Dynamics poll says 49 percent of Americans are satisfied with the response to Abu Ghraib (search), while 42 percent are not.

From the very beginning, "Talking Points" has condemned the actions at the prison and called for the prosecution of the Americans who abused the Iraqi prisoners.  If any big shots look the other way, they should be prosecuted as well.

The Bush administration should release everything it has associated with the scandal because if it doesn't, it will leak anyway.  And Bush opponents will drop the bomb as close to election day as possible.

So if the administration has any loose ends floating around, they should tie them up and exhibit them right now.  If somebody did something wrong, get it out there.  If not, the prison scandal will go away.  Abu Ghraib is now under professional management.  And every American in the interrogation business is on high alert.

Of course, much of the information the U.S.A. was getting about terrorists is drying up.  And that's logical.  If you don't use coercive interrogation, you will not get information from fanatics and more people will die.  Somebody please read that sentence to Ted Kennedy.

Once again, the Bush administration should broadly define the rules of interrogation regarding captured terrorists, just as Israel does.  Utopian human rights people feel real smug on their high moral plateau.  Meantime, civilians are getting their throats cut.

Most Americans realize the danger we're facing and will support tough anti-terror measures, but we do have a right to know what they are.  So a responsible debate can take place.

Unlike "The New York Times," "Talking Points" hopes Abu Ghraib (search) is behind us.  If it isn't, only bad things can happen for the present powers that be.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

We've been getting an enormous reaction to our boycott of French goods and services.

So far, more than 30,000 of you have ordered the "Boycott France" bumper stickers from  And they are on the way to you.

Also, our Bill O' poll question is, do you agree with the Supreme Court that the Guantanamo Bay detainees should have lawyers at taxpayer expense?

OK, there's the poll question, and we will give you the results tomorrow.