Bill O'Reilly: The Truth and Ideology
By: StaffMay 5, 2011
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By Bill O'Reilly

Tuesday night on "The Factor," we told you the truth: that coerced interrogation, most likely waterboarding, gave the CIA the first clue that led to Usama bin Laden's death. That is the truth. Yet many on the left in America will not acknowledge it.

Case in point, our pal Alan Colmes, who simply will not admit that coerced interrogation protects Americans. On Tuesday, Colmes pointed to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who Colmes said denied coerced interrogation gave the CIA valuable intelligence:


ALAN COLMES, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: You don't believe the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? You don't believe him?


COLMES: Why not?

O'REILLY: Because I -- I haven't -- I have not questioned him. If Rumsfeld wants to come on tomorrow night and sit there, I will question him. And then when he says something, I will decide whether to believe it or not. I'm not going to take a second rate -- secondary source on Rumsfeld.

COLMES: Secondary source? Why would he be a secondary source?

O'REILLY: Because he didn't answer my direct question.

COLMES: So only if he talks to you is he a secondary source.

O'REILLY: He didn't talk to you either. You are taking it from a secondary source.


And that's exactly what happened. As it turns out, Colmes was wrong. It is extremely frustrating to watch pundits and politicians put ideology above the safety of the American people, and that's what's happening.

CIA chief Leon Panetta, an honest guy, admitted that coerced interrogation gave the U.S. government vital information:


KATIE COURIC, ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Some valuable information did, in fact, come from enhanced interrogation techniques.

LEON PANETTA, CIA DIRECTOR: Obviously there was -- there was some valuable information that was derived through those kinds of interrogations, but I guess the question that everybody will always debate is whether or not those approaches had to be used in order to get the same information. And that, frankly, is an open question.


Because Mr. Panetta works for President Obama, he has to hedge a bit, saying, "Well, we don't know exactly how much information we might have gotten had we not dunked three guys in the water."

OK, fine. I understand Mr. Panetta's position. But again, the truth is that enhanced interrogation does lead to lifesaving information despite what has been said:


PRESIDENT OBAMA: We do not torture. Period. The reason this is important is not only because torture does not end up yielding good information and most intelligence officers agree with that.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I do not think the United States government sanctioning torture is in our best interest. I do not think torture works.

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST, "FACE THE NATION": Can you, Mr. Vice President, ever envision a time when waterboarding should be used on anyone?



BIDEN: No. It's not effective.


Well, now we know the vice president is wrong. It is effective. Coerced interrogation led, in part, to the death of bin Laden. But this debate will not go quietly into the night because ideologues rarely admit they are wrong.

On a personal note, I like Alan Colmes. He's a good guy. I think he makes a good debate partner with Monica Crowley. But as I've told Alan to his face, his ideology is hurting his analysis. You have to have some kind of objectivity in life if you want to be taken seriously.

Nearly 15 years ago when I started "The Factor," I told you that I would give you the truth as I know it and that I would back up what I say with facts. We have done that once again with coerced interrogation. However, it is not a tool to be used lightly. Only the president should be able to order it. But it can and has worked. And in this case, Usama bin Laden is dead partly because of it.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Capitalizing on the death of bin Laden and the live-time viewing of the raid by the Obama team in the White House, David Letterman issued his "Top 10" list Tuesday night:


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Here we go. Top 10 Things Overheard During That Moment the Picture was Taken.

No. 10: "We've got to get together for covert Special Ops raids more often."

And No. 9: "Are we shooting this in the studio where we faked the moon landing?"

No. 8: "Someone run to the store and get Daddy a pack of smokes."

No. 7: "Hit pause. I've got to take a leak."

No. 6: "These vibrating chairs are the best money we ever spent."

No. 5: "Biden, wake up."

See? That's what I was talking about.


Is Letterman a pinhead or patriot for that bit? Please vote on

Tuesday night we told you about middle school teacher Gary Weddle from Washington state finally being able to shave off his beard after bin Laden was killed. He had not shaved since 9/11. Eighty-seven percent of you believe Mr. Weddle is a patriot; 13 percent a pinhead. I think he's a patriot.

— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on Send your comments to:

Transcript Date: 
Wed, 05/04/2011
Transcript Show Name: 
O'Reilly Factor
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