The Torture Factor...

All over the world people think the USA supports torturing terror suspects. That's because of the awful Abu Ghraib scandal and the relentless far-left drumbeat that the Bush administration is really the inquisition, a bunch of sadistic maniacs inflicting pain on a random basis. How many times have you heard people accuse the Bush administration of torture? On this program alone it's been done scores of times.

Well now we have a window into the torture methodology. A front page article in last Sunday's New York Times chronicles a dispute between the FBI and the CIA over how to question captured Al Qaeda personnel director Abu Zubaydah.

According to the article, which uses unnamed sources, the FBI wanted a soft approach but the CIA, which had jurisdiction, opted for harsh measures: torture, according to some people. What were those methods? Well, the CIA allegedly stripped Zubaydah who had been wounded by the Pakistani authorities, put him in a freezing room and used Red Hot Chili Peppers on him — no, not the vegetables, the rock band.

OK. OK. I'll talk. I mean, who could put up with that kind of noise? Now you may think I'm joking here, but I'm not.

Blasting the Peppers in a cold room apparently broke Zubaydah according to an unnamed government official quoted in the article. At first Zubaydah was defiant and evasive until the approved procedures were used. He soon began to provide information on key Al Qaeda operators to help us find and capture those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. And one of those men was Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11.

"Talking Points" fully expects far worse prisoner abuse will come to light down the road. After an attack like 9/11 you have to expect some American interrogators will go over the line. But the absurdity of this situation, the Red Hot Chili Peppers designated as torture? After 3,000 Americans lay dead in the street?

It's almost too much to comprehend. The truth is that America has been restrained in its response to the savagery of Al Qaeda and others. We do not see that point of view much in the press. What you will continue to see is the word torture. With apology to the Chili Peppers.

That's "The Memo."

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

"The Factor" hits the road, Jack, or Jill, as the case may be, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of FOX News.

On October 7, we're going to Boston and Chicago.

One week from today, September 19, we'll broadcast from Faneuil Hall, one of the legacy spots in Boston in the USA. There are free tickets available. Free. Just go to or How about that, A lot of you would like me to hit the road, I'm sure. But you can get your free tickets right there.

In Chicago, we'll be at the Chase Auditorium on Monday, October 9. Same deal, tickets are free. Get them while they're hot, which means now, because these venues will be full. Remember, it's free. And that is never ridiculous.