This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 10, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight. Why did Governor Napolitano suddenly take this action? And can it work from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego?
Joining us now from Washington, FOX News military analyst Colonel Bill Cowan and Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona.
You know, if you look at Governor Napolitano's record, and she's traveling this evening, we were hoping to get her on, but if you look at her record, congressman, she has vetoed a lot of legislation that would make life more difficult for illegals in Arizona. Why do you think she did this?
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: Well, you know, Bill, I've said for a long time that I believe one of the greatest national security threats this country faces is some type of major weapon brought across by terrorists across our border that could devastate this country.
So I agree with the governor's call for putting National Guard troops on the border to help in critical situations like this.
But it is a difference in her posture in the not too recent past. You know, just in 2003 and 2005, she said that she did not believe that this was the proper role for the National Guard. And she has vetoed many of the pieces of legislation enacted by the legislature that would have disincented or prevented illegal immigration. So I'm having a difficulty understanding why there's such a change in posture.
O'REILLY: Well, maybe she's had an epiphany. You know, the epiphany was just last weekend.
FRANKS: Well, you know, if she has, Bill, I sincerely want to embrace that and help her out here. And there's a lot of legislators in Arizona that would be glad to hear that as well.
O'REILLY: Well, OK. I mean, we have to applaud the governor for taking the action because the action will be effective. We know that. The National Guard goes down in force to the border in Arizona and helps out the border patrol. Then the state of Arizona will be better.
But let me submit this to you. Governor Napolitano is up for re-election next January. The good people of Arizona in a referendum have said quite clearly they don't want any state money going to illegals. They don't want a penny going to illegals. I think the governor is reading the tea leaves, don't you?
FRANKS: I absolutely do. And fortunately in this case, probably to the betterment of Arizona. And I just hope that we can all work together to secure this border, because it is a critical consequence.
O'REILLY: Oh, absolutely.
FRANKS: No just with immigration, but national security.
O'REILLY: We're going to encourage, governor — Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to do that, to help the state of Arizona, you know, pick up some of the costs here.
FRANKS: Incidentally, she's had that opportunity for over a year now. So you know, she's had the statutory authority to request that for over a year.
O'REILLY: I know that. But look, better late than ever.
O'REILLY: Let's start here and maybe the other governors will do it.
All right, Colonel Cowan let's start with you on the tactics here. Now first, do you agree with me that this can be very effective in securing the southern border, the presence of the National Guard? Do you agree with that?
LT. COL. BILL COWAN, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, absolutely, Bill. We saw that last year. You might recall at least two Army reserves, now this is different from the National Guard. Two Army Reserve battalions, the six week and eight week staged down there along the border and had wonderful results in the apprehension of people coming across the border, wonderful results working closely with the border patrol.
O'REILLY: All right, those units were from Fort Lewis, Washington. They moved them down.
COWAN: And another one from Alaska, right.
O'REILLY: And I believe an experiment to see how it would and it did. It worked well. Because look, if you're a coyote and a coyote is a bandit who smuggles people across to the United States from Mexico, you usually charge them about $1,000 a head. You know, these poor people have to pay money to get smuggled in here.
Or if you're a narcotics smuggler which — and the narcotics gangs now control Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, they run those towns. You're not going to take a chance of losing a big load when you have not only the border patrol, but the U.S. military.
Now tactically, I hear, Colonel Cowan, that the National Guard's not trained for this, they can't do this, it'd be a big fiasco. How do you answer that?
COWAN: Well, I don't believe that to be so, Bill. First off, any of those units going down there, whether they be National Guard or Reserve, get a wonderful training opportunity out there in a real-time environment. They get to communicate, they get to move, they get to surveille, observe, report. They get to do all the kinds of things that they would typically do on a battlefield such as interact.
And the only thing that's restricting them, which is appropriate, is posse comitatus. They cannot apprehend. They can't arrest people, but they can work alongside the border patrol and facilitate.
O'REILLY: They can detain, though, Colonel. They can detain.
COWAN: They can detain, Bill.
O'REILLY: OK, they cannot arrest. And that's what we need. We need the Guard...
COWAN: Exactly, Bill.
O'REILLY: ...to basically stop these people, say OK, come over here and then call the border patrol. They come pick him up. And we're not going to have the catch and release anymore, according to the Homeland Security Chief. Chertoff told us no more catch and release.
So at least we got some semblance of control over that southern border.
COWAN: But, absolutely, Bill. And the mere presence is a major deterrent, as you were suggesting, to people coming across the border.
O'REILLY: Yes, there's no question.
COWAN: They look up and see a military unit and a striker or some remote piloted vehicles or something. It's a deterrent without a doubt.
O'REILLY: Yes, I mean, we have the finest military in the world, all the high tech gear. And let's use it.
Now The San Francisco Chronicle, congressman, points out that this would make it more dangerous for people to cross, thereby leading to more loss of life. San Francisco Chronicle's opposed to any fence or military. They just want anybody to come on in.
But they say, look, if you do any of this stuff, more illegals are going to die in the desert or they're going to die in this circumstance of that. Do you think there's any validity to that?
FRANKS: Well, Bill, I really don't. I think if illegal immigrants know that there is a presence on the border of our National Guard, and they understand that this is no longer an option, that it's actually going to decrease the number of those trying, and I think it'll save lives on the south of the border. And it ultimately may save this country a devastating attack at some point.
O'REILLY: All right. All right, turning point for everybody in the border security situation, I believe this is a turning point. We'll see if the Pentagon is going to go ahead and help the states. And once again, Governor Schwarzenegger in California, Richardson in New Mexico, and Perry in Texas should do exactly the same thing as Governor Napolitano did. Gentlemen, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
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