Think Progress 
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for declaring in Berlin yesterday that the U.S. will “reject torture and stand for the rule of law.” “Enough is enough with this torture nonsense,” O’Reilly whined, declaring it “rank anti-American propaganda” to claim the U.S. has tortured people.
Ingraham agreed, calling the claim “ridiculous.” She was furious he mentioned torture while abroad:
INGRAHAM: He got up there in front of 200,000 people and he glommed on to one of the most ridiculous and one of the hateful stereotypes about America, which is that we torture. The fact that he did that on foreign soil I think is absolutely atrocious.
O’REILLY: I pointed it out and I feel the way you do. He should absolutely not mention — that’s ridiculous.
IGRAHAM: I mean, come on! That was torture, thank you very much.
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It is ironic that O’Reilly and Ingraham dismissed claims of torture as a “ridiculous” “stereotype” and “rank anti-American propaganda” yesterday, when just hours before broadcast, the ACLU had released yet another White House legal memo that specifically authorized torture of detainees. The 2002 memo describes a “loophole” determining that torture is only illegal if the interrogator has a “specific intent” to cause severe pain.
In fact, the memo’s author, Jay Bybee, declared that as long as an interrogator acted with a “good faith belief” that his actions would not cause torturous pain and suffering, he has not violated the law. What’s more, Bybee wrote, “an honest belief need not be reasonable.”
O’Reilly’s own views on torture notwithstanding, it’s clear that torture constituted the express policy of the Bush administration — and whether Obama discusses it or not won’t change that fact.