Held Captive in Egypt

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, July 12, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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HANNITY: And still to come tonight, are terrorists getting express entry into this country, without ever having to meet an American? Well, we'll tell you what one reporter had to say. He'll join us next. Then does Kermit the Frog like, Alan or me? You know, who does he like better? We'll ask him.

COLMES: He's human.

HANNITY: That means me. But first, Michael Shannon says...

COLMES: Oh, that really hurt.

HANNITY: Oh. All he wants to get is his two sons back into this country after winning full custody of his two sons. His wife, an Egyptian national, took them for an unsupervised visit and then fled the country. Well, now his sons, Adam and Jason, are in Egypt. And he can't get them out. So he's here to tell us this story.

Michael, I read the story. You got custody of your kids.


HANNITY: Your wife is an Egyptian national. She took them, what, to New York and then off to Egypt?

SHANNON: She has dual citizenship. Her mother is a full Egyptian. She flew into Dulles, picked up the kids, and took them to New York. And they flew to Egypt, yes.

HANNITY: How long now?

SHANNON: It was August 28.

HANNITY: Mm-hmm, so that's almost a year?

SHANNON: Yes. The bizarre part is on July, one year ago this week, she sent a letter to the State Department from a post office in Baltimore. And they mailed her two copies of my sons' passports without checking to see if she had custody or if she had a criminal record.

HANNITY: Yes, well, I mean, first of all, Egypt's supposed to be a friend, supposed to be an ally. They get U.S. aid money, a lot of it. And we have a State Department. Are they helpful? Or do they hinder?

SHANNON: I've been basically told not to come to the U.S. embassy if I did get the kids. And the...

HANNITY: You've been told to what?

SHANNON: Not come to the U.S. embassy if I grab the kids. They won't even give me a photo. I've asked after a year, could I just get a photo? And the contact at the U.S. embassy in Cairo told me it might upset the Egyptian if they took a picture of my boys.

HANNITY: Well, gee, what a shame. So if you went to Egypt and you got your boys, and you brought them to the U.S. embassy...

SHANNON: It would not be a good idea.

HANNITY: ...even though they're in your custody, and she stole them, they wouldn't stand by you?


HANNITY: Oh, isn't that wonderful? You know, there's our State Department. Have you contacted anybody? Congressmen, senator? Anybody in the administration, anybody sympathetic? I mean, because I feel for you.

SHANNON: Many, many people.


SHANNON: Senator Mikulski, Congressman Gilchrist, first district of Maryland has been very helpful.

HANNITY: Let me ask this. When you married this woman, and I know this is a tough question. I asked this to Pat Roush. She was in a Saudi Arabia situation. You marry this woman. You know she has dual citizenship in this particular case. Do you ever think this could happen? Do you ever...

SHANNON: Certainly.

HANNITY: You did think about...

SHANNON: But I had -- I did not know she could become a convicted child abuser, lose full custody, and still get a passport. I have the boys' passports at my house.

HANNITY: Yes, yes. Well who's -- now where do you go from here? What's the next step?

SHANNON: The next step is the mother-in-law that flew in and drove them out has been arrested in California, San Marcos. They have a $200,000 house out there. We're trying to extradite her back to Maryland.

COLMES: Michael, it's Alan. I want to ask you another tough question.

SHANNON: Hi, Alan.

COLMES: Your wife's a convicted child abuser. What did she do to abuse these kids?

SHANNON: She was an alcoholic. I would come home and my son and my father would find Adam with bruises. Once his entire left side of his body, when we were changing his shirt to go to hockey practice with my older son was just black and blue from his neck down...


SHANNON: There was a report written up by the Maryland Family Law division that said she definitely needed help.

COLMES: Given that, why has the State Department not more proactive in pressing this case?

SHANNON: I have no idea. They just don't want to -- there's over 400 children over the age of 10. Someone at the consular's office in Egypt told me to get them out if there was a war, they would need two jumbo jets just to get American children that are only American citizens out of Egypt, scattered throughout Egypt.

COLMES: We hear these stories. You know, we had Pat Roush, as Sean mentioned. We hear these stories concerning Egypt, Saudi Arabia. What do you suspect? I mean, our State Department I guess wants to maintain relationships with these countries. And that seems more important than individual cases and human emotions like yours?

SHANNON: Of course it does. They're still handing out passports and green cards at the U.S. embassy like candy canes in a Santa Claus shop. I mean, there's no restrictions, Alan. I have two older children, Alan. My 19-year-old is going to Pearl Harbor. She's serving aboard the U.S.S. Chaffey (ph), brand new ship. Angela, go Navy, Angela.

My 17-year-old is going to apply for the Naval Academy in October.


SHANNON: What do we tell our children when they see on the news on C-SPAN this woman being dragged out by Marines from the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia and thrown on the street a 12 and a 10-year-old? What do we tell my children? They love their country. They love the flag. The only department they can trust in the federal government is the Department of Defense?

HANNITY: Michael, I hope you get more help. And I hope -- I wish you all the best in getting your children back.

SHANNON: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: Sad to hear about the story. It's a sad story.

SHANNON: Thank you for having me on.

HANNITY: You bet, glad to have you.

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