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FOX Reporter Megyn Kendall Confirms Alberto Gonzales' Talking Points And Defends Torture

Reported by Ellen - January 7, 2005

The nomination of Alberto Gonzales was the topic again last night on Alan Colmes' radio show. Once again, Colmes made many forceful arguments against his nomination. This time, however, FOX Reporter Megyn Kendall visited the show at the beginning of the first hour to discuss Gonzales' confirmation hearings. As usual, she just happened to bring along a bunch of RNC talking points, including the harsh treatment of so-called Al Qaeda prisoners.

Colmes started off their discussion by blasting the Democrats for not being tough enough. "I think the questioning was poor... I don't think the questioning was well focused and I think (Gonzales) slid right out of their questioning."

Kendall, probably ready to defend Gonzales, not the Democrats, sounded a bit taken aback when she answered, "He did face some tough questioning."

Colmes then brought up the newly revised definition of torture from the Bush Administration. "They keep moving the goal post here. I want to know why they keep doing it."

Finally, Colmes brought up what Kendall was obviously prepared to discuss. She told him that Gonzales "does not agree with that earlier definition (the one that gave the Bush Administration more leeway for "aggressive" interrogations)."

AC: Why is he saying that now?... I think he blatantly changed his story.

Frankly, I was surprised Kendall didn't have a talking point for that question. Instead, she agreed that would have been a good question to ask during the hearings. Comment: It certainly would have and I am disgusted that none of the Democrats seemed to have asked it. (Disclaimer: I was working during most of the hearings and could not watch them so am surmising this from what was said.)

Colmes raised the excellent point that also seems not to have been made at the hearing: Why was the Executive Branch of the government asking how much pain and suffering it could inflict on people in the first place?

MK did not have a real answer for that, only some more talking points: "You've got to keep in mind the context." It was right after 9/11 and "the nation was at war." Our agents "were rounding up the top Al Qaeda operatives over in Afghanistan" and "these CIA agents on the ground over there wanted to know just what they could do. As the result of Gonzales' advice, we captured a large number of terrorists. So those who would defend Gonzales would say, 'OK, these tactics... you have to look at them in context. That is how we got the intelligence from those who we capture... Look at the results.'"

Comment: Now who's moving the goalpost? First, Kendall says Gonzales does not agree with the earlier definition of torture and now she says the earlier, presumably more aggressive interrogation techniques worked.

Colmes: People will say anything just - in order - to stop the torture.

Kendall: I'm certainly not defending any of this. I'm just telling you what the argument is. (Comment: Yeah, right.)

Kendall: You've got the lawyer on the one hand who is asked to provide an opinion whether the Conventions afforded Al Qaeda POW status... He says, "I don't think so." An opinion on which he's been backed up by many independents. Then you've got the policy person, Colin Powell... saying "This will be a PR debacle. It will undermine the US" It becomes a policy decision from that point on. Query whether you can hang that (her emphasis) on Gonzales.

Query: Why not? Isn't she saying he's the one who gave the legal OK? Surely, she's not blaming Bush and Rumsfeld for accepting his opinion? Or is she blaming Colin Powell?

Kendall then defended Gonzales against allegations that he opened the door for the abuses in Abu Ghraib. "This so-called torture memo was what was appropriate for Al Qaeda. Abu Ghraib was in Iraq."

Colmes: It shouldn't be done anywhere.

Exactly. Sadly, though, FOX seems willing to defend anything and everything the Bush Administration does.

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