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Shepard Smith Gets Tough On Alberto Gonzales

Reported by Donna - May 16, 2006

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith he had an interview with Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. Maybe he thought it was a cakewalk but Smith managed to get in a few tough questions. Before the interview started Smith said that one critic said of Bush's immigration plan that it was like "putting a bandaid on someone who needed heart surgery."

Smith asked Gonzales what about the border to our north and why the president didn't put troops on the border years ago when it didn't matter to his poll numbers? (Comment: I almost fell off my chair on that question) Gonzales responded that they had been looking at the best way to approach the illegal immigration problem for years and they had ramped up border patrol 30% and funding was up 66% since Bush took office (which is probably due to the 1.9 billion just designated for border security in the last spending budget).

As far as the northern border goes he said they looked at it and decided that the southern border was where their attention should be. Then Smith told him if he was a terrorist he'd just come through Canada. Gonzales said they were working with Canadian officials and they've done a lot but America is just not safe yet. He said we're safer than we were on 9/11 but we're not yet safe. (Comment: Whatever that means)

Smith asked him if it was real concern over the border issue or was the president looking at it from the point where this might be the one issue where he can get some traction from his base? Gonzales repeated that this is a problem they've been working on for years.

Smith then asked him why he was collecting phone numbers including his own (Smith's) and Gonzales said he wasn't going to comment on the USA Today article. Smith then put the question to him theoretically. Gonzales said that winning the war on terror (pronounced terra) depends on us winning the war on information, that the administration wasn't focused on innocent Americans but Al Qaeda. He said they were carefully reviewed by lawyers and that they believe (they believe?!) that they are legal.

Smith asked if their tactics produced any postitive results of yet. Of course Gonzales said they were effective and they were lawful. Smith asked what do you say to critics who say someone wants to get me someday, the government has all this information on me and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. Gonzales said we all should be concerned that the privacy interests of Americans are protected.

Gonzales said that they are not getting information about Americans. Smith said incredulously that he had the numbers of millions of Americans. Of course Gonzales said he would not confirm this (Does that mean yes?)

Comments: Gonzales was vague and evasive but I will give credit to Smith for asking the hard questions being that there wasn't a Democrat in sight.

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