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Monday, January 9, 2006
Parchments
The truth about Iraq
"A number of high-profile Democrats including John Kerry, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter have accused President Bush of purposely misleading the American public about the war in Iraq. How often have you heard people say Bush lied? Over the weekend I read the new book 'State of War' by New York Times reporter James Risen. I read the book because one of our good CIA contacts told me it was fairly accurate about the NSA telephone tap issue and Iraq. Here's what Risen says: That then-CIA director George Tenet had conflicting intelligence about WMD's but did not bring the no-WMD intel to the President's attention. So it would appear that all of those who accused Mr. Bush of lying owe him an apology. Risen also says that Tenet had no idea there would be an insurrection after Saddam was deposed and the major cause of that was the disbanding of the Iraqi army. The mess, according to Risen, belongs to the CIA. On the NSA, Risen's reporting and analysis blurs. The reader often doesn't know what's opinion and what's fact. Risen flat out states President Bush broke the law by allowing the National Security Agency to listen to calls made by Americans. Risen however downplays the nature of the calls, that they were reportedly made to overseas people and al-Qaeda surveillance was the primary reason. This NSA deal is still largely undefined and there are good arguments on both sides. Talking Points is watching as the facts unfold."

Fox News Video: FoxNews.com

John Ashcroft on Samuel Alito
Guest: Former Attorney General John Ashcroft

Judge Samuel Alito, nominated to the Supreme Court, began his Senate Testimony. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft argued that the fight over nominations will only hurt the country. "I think there are some real problems with the bashing and the battering. And Lindsey Graham, the senator from Carolina, he made it clear today that we are making it difficult for people of quality and people of great capacity to offer themselves for public service. And if we inhibit the aspiration of individuals to go and serve, we will have hurt ourselves." The Factor agreed. "You had the right harpooning Harriet Miers. You've got the left harpooning Alito. And I'm saying to myself what kind of country do we live in here? We can't give anybody a fair shake?"

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft commented on the Justice department investigation into the NSA wiretapping story. "The procedures of the department require that every other means be exhausted, that the subpoena of press authorities has to be preceded by an exhaustion of all other potential ways of getting the information. And it's designed to respect the press and to respect the need for the freedom of the press. But at the very end, it says we can't allow the press to conspire to violate the law, and just ignore the fact that the national security might be injured." The Factor asked in the public had a right to know about the story. "If there's a debate within the government, as there seems to be here, unless The New York Times is wrong, if there's a debate on how to do it, how to fight the war on terror, don't you think the folks should know it?" Ashcroft replied, "Not necessarily."

Media vs. reality on Bush
Guest: Fox News contributor Dick Morris

The Factor worried about the extremely anti-Bush tenor of the mainstream media. "The New York Times sets the tone for many in the broadcast industry and last year its four primary anti-Bush columnists ran an astounding 135 negative op-eds about Mr. Bush. Either the president is the worst chief executive in the country's history or something is very wrong." Political Analyst Dick Morris disagreed. "It isn't a question of whether it's positive or negative. But the question is what is it about? There is no such thing as a negative story about George Bush on Homeland Security. The more Ted Kennedy talks about overreaching executive authority, and NSA wiretaps, and Bush's extensive use of The Patriot Act, the more they're helping Bush, not hurting him."

Is the Christian far-right dangerous?
Guest: Author Rabbi James Rudin

Some who believe the Christian right is a danger to America. Certainly Pat Robertson has said some very controversial things including advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez and implying there may be a link between Ariel Sharon's stroke and his politics. Rabbi James Rudin, the author of the book "The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us," thinks there is a wing of the Christian right that wants to turn the country into a theocracy. "I see in the last few years that this is a well-organized group which has combined a potent combination of religion and politics together, and we know historically what that means. It means that religion and state come close together. I see that religion is being used and manipulated to gain political power." The Factor was not persuaded. "You've always got extremes in any organization, always. And I haven't seen any evidence of the religious right extreme making any difference in policy at all."

Child rapist receives 60 days in jail
Guests: Attorney Wendy Murphy & Vermont state Senator Wendy Wilton

34-year-old Mark Hulett of Williston, Vermont pled guilty to repeatedly raping a 6-year-old girl for four years until she was 10. Judge Edward Cashman sentenced Hulett to 60 days in prison even though the prosecutor had asked for 20 years. Vermont has no mandatory minimum sentence for child rape. Child advocate and Factor mainstay Wendy Murphy vehemently criticized the judge. "I don't know if this guy had an epiphany or a nervous breakdown. When someone whose job it is to deter this sort of behavior, to send the right message, to punish child rapists, and he says something like, I think, punishment is not the way to go, let's talk about rehabilitation, if he wants to quit his job and go sit in a circle and sing "Kumbaya" with some other tree huggers, that's his business, but he's got to take off the robe and step down." VT State Senator Wendy Wilton is co-sponsoring a Jessica's Law bill in Vermont, conveyed the feelings in the state. "The reaction from Vermonters is outrage. People are just horrified about this. People think that Judge Cashman has basically flipped his lid." The Factor further lamented the sentence. "The punishment has to fit the crime. The punishment must fit the crime. The little girl was raped for four years. And he gets 60 days? The judge should quit."

Handling irresponsible dissent
Guest: Fox News analyst Juan Williams

Over the weekend radical left bomb-thrower Harry Belafonte, speaking in support of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez called President Bush the "greatest terrorist in the world" and said that "millions of Americans" support Chavez's "revolution." The Factor wondered if this did any harm around the world. "You know that sound bite is on Al Jazeera, it's all over Africa, it's all over the world, and the anti-Americans just take it and run, because people don't know who Harry Belafonte is, other than he had a song once 40 years ago." Fox News analyst Juan Williams "I think, you know, basically, as I said to you before, I think he's a bitter old man. At this point he's a has-been. But you know, who cares at this point? Hugo Chavez is a dictator, a guy -- three quarters of Venezuela did not vote in the last election. Clearly, this is a situation where you have this charismatic dictator-like figure running over a country. And somehow, he's saying that millions of Americans support him. Harry Belafonte has no place in American politics."

Viewers sound off
Factor Words of the Day
Viewers discussed the Factor's criticism of the ACLU:

Christian Ramsey, Lake Jackson, TX: "Mr. O'Reilly, I agree with some of your criticisms about the ACLU, but I don't hear the same criticisms about far-right groups."

Robin Swartz, Juneau, AK: "Since the ACLU seems to be taking a partisan political stance, when are they going to start paying taxes?"

And there was mail on the child sex trade story:

Adam Larsen, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico: "Bill, once again you've shown your bias against Mexico, this time by reporting on the child sex trade. After centuries of the USA raping Mexico of its land and resources, it would be fair to blame the situation on American tourists."

Armando Arjona, Mexico City: "Mr. O, I agree my government should do something about the child sex trade. But politics stops it. That's the price of democracy."

Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us
by James Rudin

Read more...
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