updated 8/24/2005 12:27:46 PM ET 2005-08-24T16:27:46

5 p.m. EST

In our 5 p.m. edition, a look at the provocative question Pat Robertson has raised. Should the U.S. reconsider its policy against state sponsored assassination, particularly in light of the war on terror? We will debate it.

And later, just how big of a nuclear threat is Iran? Some say none at all.

Email me. maciulis@msnbc.com

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12 p.m. EST

Remember the good old days, when the 700 Club featured segments on everyday miracles and the children of Czechoslovakia?

Well, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has changed his tune--from "Kumbaya" to "Eye of the Tiger."

On his program he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Calling him a serious threat, he said, "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I really think we ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."

Um, it's a little embarrassing, Pat, as this is more your turf than mine, but I think the Bible says thou shalt not kill.

And, in the secular world, there are laws against these things. For example, executive order 11905 which President Ford signed, which states that "no employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination."

That said, Robertson is not the first to make such bold statements. Bob Barr of Georgia proposed a House bill, H.R. 19, back in 2001 that would call for a reversal of the Ford policy. He saw the legalization of state sponsored assassination as an effective weapon in the war on terror.

Before we go declaring him officially off the deep end, let's breathe and actually think about what he is proposing, presuming he's serious about this. What if we simply would have put a plan in place to whack Hitler? How many lives would have been saved in the long run? Or how about Saddam Hussein? We could have killed him years ago, right?

For the greater good, and to save innocent human lives, should we consider a policy like the one Pat Robertson is advocating?

I can't wait to read the emails I get on this one. Let me put a disclaimer on this--I am merely posing the question for the sake of discussion. Consider me the Linda Richman of the web world. Here's a topic--talk amongst yourselves.

Email me. maciulis@msnbc.com

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