O'Reilly Goes to Guantanamo! Part II

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, July 16, 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the Factor Follow-Up segment tonight, part two of our report on the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

As we told you last night, there are almost 600 detainees at Gitmo, and life there is very hard for them. Guarding those suspected terrorists are U.S. Army military police. And here's the irony, some of those guards are women.

Many of the detainees don't like that one bit.


(voice-over): Long before 9/11, the Taliban were put under the world's microscope for one reason in particular, the way the repressive Islamic regime treated women.

The West was appalled by the way Afghan women had essentially no rights, how they were forced to wear restrictive burkas, the way they could be beaten or whipped if they were deemed to be dressed inappropriately, or even executed for offenses like having an affair.

This makes it ironic, and payback for many, that some of the military police guards now keeping watch over these al Qaeda and Taliban detainees are women.

Women like Army Sergeant Gabrielle Graham of Plainfield, New Jersey.

(on camera): Sergeant, we asked to speak to you because we wanted to find out if the al Qaeda detainees treat you as a woman differently than they treat the men MPs.


O'REILLY: In what way?

GRAHAM: Well, some of them won't look at us. They'll cover their eyes as you walk by. Some of them will (UNINTELLIGIBLE) chants, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to make -- just to see if they get a rise out of us, I think.

O'REILLY: What do they say?

GRAHAM: I don't know if I can say this on TV, but I...

O'REILLY: Yes, you can, go ahead.

GRAHAM: They'll chant "bitch," or they'll say -- they say certain things in their own language. I've been called a nice (EXPLETIVE DELETED), you know. They watch you more, like they -- you'll like feel them watching you as you walk by.

O'REILLY: Sergeant, for the first time in most of their lives, they have a woman like you and other women MPs telling them what to do. How are they responding to that?

GRAHAM: I'm sure a lot of them don't like it. I mean, some of them try to, you know, be a little defiant, but they learn that we -- if they need something and they won't take it from us, they will end up doing so. And they just -- they learn to deal with it.

O'REILLY: Have they accepted the fact that you have power over them?

GRAHAM: I don't think they'll ever accept that.

O'REILLY: What do people back home say when you tell them you're guarding the al Qaeda? What do they say?

GRAHAM: Tell me to be careful. That's pretty much it. They know I'm a soldier.

O'REILLY (voice-over): Sergeant Graham, like many of the MPs guarding these detainees, has good reason to be especially motivated in her job.

(on camera): Do you have any anger personally against them, because of what happened on 9/11?

GRAHAM: Yes. I mean, I'm from Jersey. I live 40 minutes outside New York City. I have family that lives there. I have -- I remember my mom taking me to Windows on the World when I was 13 for my birthday. I had just -- I have a lot of angers towards that, but I have a job here. And you learn as a soldier not to let personal interfere with professional.

O'REILLY: Do they every say anything political to you?

GRAHAM: A lot of them do. They -- a lot of them tell us that, you know, the American way of life is bad.

O'REILLY: So they do try to engage you in political discussions?

GRAHAM: Oh, yes. All the time they do.

O'REILLY: But your orders are not to, right?

GRAHAM: I just -- I'm like, look, I'm not going to discuss this with you. And I'll try to -- I either walk away or I'm going to move the conversation over to something else.

O'REILLY: The fact that these detainees would criticize America is no surprise. Nor is it surprising that when they talk to their guards, they say they're being held unfairly.

They're from all over the place, right?

GRAHAM: Mm-hmm. Just -- from, you know, where they are in Afghanistan, what they were doing at the time, but...

O'REILLY: None of them are al Qaeda killers though, right?

GRAHAM: They all say, oh, no, I wasn't doing anything. I'm an innocent man. A lot of them say that.

O'REILLY: Do you feel sorry for them?

GRAHAM: Some have, you know, an arm missing or a leg missing. Sometimes we'll see very old men in the blocks. And you wonder -- and you actually do wonder, you know, would this person have the, you know, have the want or the need to kill me? And you go -- I mean, as a human being, you have that level of compassion. But as a soldier, you know, I mean, these people are potential killers. So you -- you have that degree of wariness around them.

O'REILLY: If there's one thing that happened to you, one thing that stands out in your mind, what would that be?

GRAHAM: There's one detainee who actually tried to get me in a conversation about the role of women. He actually -- not threatened, but made the comment that he wanted -- that he could beat me. And that if he had the chance, he would, you know, he would try to beat me up. I looked at him and I shook my head. I'm just, like, I just said, you know, "I'm not going to talk about this to you. I'm not going to get into an argument with you." And like, "I'm not going to -- I don't have to stand here and take this from you because, I mean, I'm your guard."


O'REILLY:  She's the guard.

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