Truth Police: Are the Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Terrorists or Victims?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 14, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the Impact segment tonight, a "Factor" first. No guests. Because, I have something I want to talk something over with you guys.

As you know, I got a close look at Guantanamo Bay last Friday, just hours after we left that prison, as we reported, three detainees committed suicide. And that's caused all kinds of controversy.

Now some on the left believe the Bush administration is violating human rights and the War on Terror, by policy. That is, they are mandating torture and other abuses.

Abu Ghraib proved that bad things can happen in a war as chaotic as this one. And there have been coerced interrogation methodsused on a few captured terrorists.

But time after time, ladies and gentlemen, the anti-Bush press makes terrorist suspects into victims. And I believe that is very wrong and harmful to America.

Today, for example, The New York Times published an article by a man named Mourad Benchellali, who spent two years as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay. The French citizen portrays himself as a victim. He writes:

"In the early summer of 2001, when I was 19, I made the mistake of listening to my older brother and going to Afghanistan on what I thought was a dream vacation. [It] turned out to be an Al Qaeda training camp. For two months, I was there, trapped in the middle of the desert by fear and my own stupidity.

"As soon as my time was up, I headed home. I was a few miles from the Pakistani border when I learned, with horror, about the attacks of 9/11.

"I was seized by the Pakistani Army. I was delivered to the United States Army. [I] had never been on a battlefield, let alone fought or aimed a weapon at anyone."

Mr. Benchellali was then sent to Gitmo, and subsequently repatriated back to France, where he is now awaiting trial on terrorism charges. He says he was tortured by Americans at Guantanamo Bay.

The New York Times allowed this man to paint himself as a victim of abuse, an object of sympathy.

But here's what The Times did not tell you, although the paper surely knows this: Mourad Benchellali's entire family is involved with terrorism. His brother was convicted today — today! — of terrorism charges and sentenced to 10 years in a French prison. His father, a radical cleric, was also convicted of terrorism charges. His mother and half brother — you guessed it — convicted terrorists.

But The New York Times wants us to believe that this guy simply made a bad vacation decision and wound up in Guantanamo Bay.

Sure. While his entire family is involved with trying to kill people, he doesn't know where he's going in the middle of Afghanistan. And while he's just trying to get home to France, he goes in the wrong direction and winds up near Tora Bora, where he's captured just standing around. Do you believe that story? You also believe the Dixie Chicks vacation with Dick Cheney.

What a bunch of bull.

And this is the kind of stuff I see all day long in the American press. Most readers of The New York Times have no idea who Mourad Benchellali is. They just read his sorrowful words and then run down to Starbucks in West Hollywood and tell their friends the military is torturing people.

Garbage, garbage, garbage.

So, I'm sorry I had to use this segment for some truth policing, but enough is enough with this B.S. Mourad Benchellali is deeply involved with terrorism. He's not some barber who made a wrong turn at Kandahar. And The New York Times should be ashamed of itself. Shame on you.

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