This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 6, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, commentator Bill Maher is set to return to HBO on Friday, February 17 at 11 p.m. Mr. Maher joins us now from Los Angeles.
All right. I mean, when you come on and we kick it around. Same thing when I go on your program. You just throw things out at me, and we see where they go.
The first thing is, your executive producer said, "Bill Maher is not a wall kind of guy down on the border." How do you see that down there?
BILL MAHER, COMMENTATOR: Is not a what kind of guy?
O'REILLY: A wall. You know, they just passed — the House passed — they're going to build a wall if the Senate goes along.
MAHER: Oh, I see. A wall on the border.
MAHER: Yes, I'm not for building the wall. You're for building the wall, I know.
O'REILLY: I'm not — wrong again. I don't want the wall. I want the National Guard. Go ahead.
MAHER: Right. Well, that's a human wall, isn't it? But do you really think that's the long-range solution to the problem? I live in Beverly Hills, Bill. Do you know what would happen — would happen in Beverly Hills if there were no illegal immigrants? The town would completely collapse.
O'REILLY: And that's a bad thing?
MAHER: I get it. You're saying Hollywood is evil.
O'REILLY: Thank you. Now look, come on, Bill. You know the problem that we have, security-wise, in this country, and you just can't have a 2,800-mile border unsupervised and millions of people walking in here, even if the good folks of Beverly Hills want their lawns trimmed twice a week. It just can't happen. There has to be an orderly process.
So how would you solve the problem?
MAHER: Well, if you're talking about the homeland security aspect of it, yes, that's a different issue.
O'REILLY: But it is the same issue. It's the same...
MAHER: Yes. The same border.
O'REILLY: ...regulating who's in the country. We need to know who's here.
MAHER: Yes, we do need to know who's here. Look, I think that homeland security is the great unattended issue of the Bush administration. So anything that they would start to do, as opposed to what they've done so far, which I think is so very little, that it has me almost supporting his NSA snooping policy, because I feel like it's the only tool we have to fight this war.
O'REILLY: But I think that you underestimate the Bush administration's effectiveness, and we haven't been attacked, and there have been a lot of people disrupted.
MAHER: That doesn't mean...
O'REILLY: So I mean, look, I agree any kind of security in the border is just awful, and you can lay that right at the president's doorstep. But I think that they've done a fairly good job decimating Al Qaeda and keeping us safe. And the proof is we have not been attacked.
MAHER: That is not proof, Bill. That's logical — that's a logical fallacy. Just because something doesn't happen doesn't mean that that was the cause of it not happening.
I think we haven't been attacked again, because they take their time in attacking. They're planning it. They're plotting it. They're working on it. But if you look at the history of Al Qaeda, they don't — they don't work on our hurried schedule. Just because we haven't been attacked in four years doesn't mean that the Bush administration disrupted anything.
O'REILLY: All of our — all of our intelligence experts say that Al Qaeda has really been decimated, they're all on the run. We are fighting the offensive war. They're on the defense. But again, you're right; I can't prove it.
O'REILLY: But I deal with reality. And reality is if you're going to run on a record of not being attacked, that's a god thing.
MAHER: The reality is that, yes, at one point I remember a couple of years ago Condoleezza Rice said that we have decimated, as you say, we've eliminated about two-thirds of the top leadership of Al Qaeda. And then a little later on, she was forced to admit we don't know how many people are in the top leadership of Al Qaeda.
O'REILLY: No, we don't. I know.
MAHER: So the two-thirds — so the two-thirds figure was pulled right out of her behind. -- Like a lot of their facts.
O'REILLY: But they've got a lot — they've got a lot of bad guys. They got a lot of bad guys.
MAHER: How many — how many times — how many times have they knocked off the No. 3 man in Al Qaeda? That has got to be the most dangerous job in Al Qaeda, the No. 3 man.
O'REILLY: We don't want to have that job. Look, of course they're going to hype up anything they do. But, again, I think you can't criticize, because we are sitting here four years — more than four years after — four and a half years after.
MAHER: Of course I can — of course I can criticize. And I think it is absolutely traitorous — yes, I'll use that word that conservatives use so much — for anybody in the United States Congress who has not voted to protect the chemical plants, the nuclear plants, the ports.
I mean, I live very close to this port of Long Beach, where so much of the cargo comes in and so much of it is unchecked. And you know the reason why the chemical plants don't have security. It's because...
O'REILLY: You know, we — but we had the homeland security guy [Michael] Chertoff [on The Factor]. He says that's all a myth. He said they do check, they have a ystem, it does work. Maybe Chertoff is lying. Maybe he's lying. I don't know. I'm not there.
MAHER: Maybe he is. I would check with Governor Corzine, former Senator Corzine of New Jersey.
O'REILLY: With all due respect, I'm going to believe Chertoff more than Corzine. I'm going to believe him more than Corzine. Corzine is a political...
MAHER: And why is that?
O'REILLY: Because Corzine has a political ax to grind here, and we haven't had any trouble at the ports. That's the proof.
MAHER: Oh, yes. There's no — there's no politics between the Bush appointee to that cabinet level position.
O'REILLY: Bill, the only reason I'm not as doubtful about Chertoff is because he has a record. They have a record. There hasn't been problems in the port.
MAHER: Bill, the point of fact is that there was a bill before the Congress about protecting the chemical plants, but because the chemistry makes so many contributions to a lot of the people in the Congress, that bill never went forward. In other words, homeland security has been politicized just like everything else.
O'REILLY: I won't argue with that.
MAHER: It's business as — it is business as usual.
MAHER: Well, then how can you — how can you say we're as protected as we could be if...?
O'REILLY: No, I think we would be more protected if we put the guard on the border and we took a more progressive surveillance approach to the ports. I agree. But I think that...
MAHER: We can't put the guard on the border, Bill, because they're in Iraq.
MAHER: The Guard is in Iraq.
O'REILLY: Napolitano, the governor of Arizona, just moved her Guard down to the border. You can do it, it's feasible. You just need the will. Now...
MAHER: You can't deny that the Guard is depleted because they're overseas. They're fighting them over there, Bill.
O'REILLY: There are more than — there's more than enough guard.
MAHER: Remember, we're fighting them over there. We're fighting them over there. And now you're saying we need to fight them over here. What are you going to do?
O'REILLY: We don't need to fight them. We need to secure the border.
I only have a minute. We're mocking Hollywood, which is one of our favorite things to do, because we believe the upcoming Academy Awards is all about politics. So you've got, you know, left winger George Clooney, they love him. Then you've got the "Brokeback" pup tent boys, and they love them. So who's going to win?
MAHER: The "Brokeback" pup tent boys. Pretty...
O'REILLY: Yes, the two cowboys that are rolling around in a pup tent. I'm afraid to see the movie. You didn't see it, did you?
MAHER: No, Bill, I'm not married or, you know, I don't have a girlfriend, so I don't have to go to chick movies.
O'REILLY: This is a chick movie?
MAHER: Are you kidding? "Brokeback Mountain"? If that's not a chick flick.
O'REILLY: I thought it was a cowboy movie.
MAHER: It's a gay cowboy movie!
O'REILLY: It is?
O'REILLY: Does that mean it's going to win the Academy Award?
MAHER: I don't know. But I don't even understand why that's so novel. When I was a kid, we had "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid."
O'REILLY: Are you casting aspersions?
MAHER: Well, Bill, one of them went on to start a film festival and the other one has his own salad dressing.
O'REILLY: Oh, my gosh.
MAHER: You make your own judgments.
O'REILLY: All right, Maher. I didn't say that.
Always good to see you, Bill. Congratulations going back on HBO February 17. Bill Maher, everybody.
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