This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 04, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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No "Talking Points Memo" this evening because we have a very disturbing situation on our hands. We were supposed to have former Marine Corporal Jon Hammar on the program tonight. But at the last minute -- at the last minute he simply could not do the interview.
As you may know the Corporal has been through a very terrible ordeal returning from Iraq an Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. Then last August he was imprisoned in Mexico on bogus gun charges after trying to register a shotgun with border authorities in Matamoros.
The State Department couldn't get him out of prison. President Obama took no notice. Well we got involved and four days before Christmas the Mexican government finally released Jon Hammar. But then he hospitalized in the USA. His doctor telling us last night that his physical condition was awful. Well today things became chaotic.
Joining us now from Miami is his father, Jon Hammar, Sr. First of all Mr. Hammar I think I speak for all Americans when I say, we're very sorry for the ordeal of your family is experiencing. And we'll do all we can here to help you.
And Jon was supposed to talk with me tonight. What happened?
JON HAMMAR, SR., FATHER OF FORMER MARINE JON HAMMAR: Well we were going along pretty good the last couple of days doing interviews over the phone to thank people for all that they had done to help get him out. And I think probably after a couple days of that this afternoon, he took off to get some -- some clothes and run some errands and when he came back, he -- I think the pressure got him a bit. And he is not doing real great right now.
Physically -- physically great, but mentally I think we're going to have to take a break for a second.
O'REILLY: Ok is he apprehensive? Is it -- is it painful for him to talk about what happened to him in Mexico?
HAMMAR: Well, he is definitely apprehensive. I mean we've gone over with him and he's gone over with some friends he trusts about what's appropriate for him to say publicly. And, you know, it's a scary situation. He doesn't want to bring any danger onto his family or himself in the future. And you know it's a tough situation down there because you are dealing with quasi-authoritative people. And you are dealing with the Mexican authorities and so you're not sure who you're really dealing with.
O'REILLY: Well, I understand he was threatened in prison. He said that himself to the McClatchy News Services that he was threatened with decapitation by fellow prisoners.
O'REILLY: That's -- that's true, right?
O'REILLY: Ok and also the prison down in Matamoros is infested with the Los Zetas who are a drug dealing gang who kill people with impunity. I mean they just murder people. So this is the apprehension. That he doesn't want to say too much about that because he fears reprisals from south of the border?
HAMMAR: Well there is always that chance. And -- and you know there were comments as he was leaving indicating to that. But you know I think he wants to get -- you know, he wants to thank you and he wants to thank the American public, you know, for helping him get out but he wants to do it in a way that makes sense for him.
O'REILLY: Ok and certainly we understand that, but we are concerned because he had to go to a post-traumatic stress disorder place in Napa, California.
HAMMAR: Right. Napa Valley.
O'REILLY: Yes and he's fragile. I mean look anybody would be. He's a tough Marine but anybody incarcerated for four months in a Mexican dump with gangsters all over the place. And would be so we understand perfectly. He doesn't ever have to talk to me Mr. Hammar, you know. If he wants to and he's ready, whenever he's ready we're here for him. But we wanted to try to get the story out to the American public.
O'REILLY: So let's pick it's up you going down to get your son. When he came over the border Mexican authorities brought him over the border handed him off to U.S. authorities after this big campaign that we went on.
O'REILLY: They finally did the right thing a couple of days before Christmas, a few before Christmas. What was the first thing -- your first impression when you saw your son coming at you?
HAMMAR: You know physically it was a shock because he was hunched over, you know, underneath a blanket in the back of this armored suburban that the U.S. consulate have done a great job of getting him you know to me in a secure area.
O'REILLY: You drove then to Miami. Why didn't you just hop on a plane and fly to Florida. Why did you drive?
HAMMAR: Well you know at first, I thought, you know I wanted some time with him to figure out what he needed. But then it became really clear that you know what he needed was physical at that point. He was so sick, that you know stomach illness and lungs that you know we didn't -- we made it to Lafayette before we had to go to emergency room.
O'REILLY: Yes to the hospital. Now for those who didn't see the Doctor Villanueva's interview with me last night. The doctor is treating Mr. Hammar's son. He was severely dehydrated. He was vomiting and had diarrhea. All of this contracted inside the Mexican prison. And the doctor said last night -- did you see the interview Mr. Hammar last night on THE FACTOR?
HAMMAR: Yes, I did.
O'REILLY: Ok I mean, he basically said we were lucky to get him out then. That that if this had gone on much longer in the Mexican prison he might have been dead.
HAMMAR: Yes. I didn't -- we didn't realize, you know and this just came on within the first -- the last few days before we got him out.
HAMMAR: So you know yes but I didn't -- we didn't realize how bad off he was.
O'REILLY: Did he say anything to you. I know he had severe headaches and he had diarrhea and he was dehydrated and you had to go to the Lafayette, Louisiana Hospital, but did he tell you what happened to him in prison in the tried to Florida?
HAMMAR: Yes. We -- we talked about -- we talked about it. You know there are -- but you know we had been talking, you know, throughout the ordeal so there were a few details that I was not aware of, but in general it was pretty, you know, consistent with what I knew already.
O'REILLY: Would say that that his treatment down there was brutal. Was it -- how would you describe it? Because most Americans have no idea what goes on.
HAMMAR: Yes well, I think it's hard to understand it because the facilities are not -- we would not consider them an actual prison. You know I -- it's more of a facility to house the cartel as they do their business.