This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (search) sits in prison awaiting his trial for crimes against the Iraqi people. The most exclusive access to the deposed dictator was granted to the young American soldiers charged with guarding him. This month's "GQ" magazine interviews five of the young Pennsylvania National Guardsmen ordered to guard the infamous "Butcher of Baghdad."
Joining us now, the author of the piece, Lisa DePaulo, and two of the National Guardsmen assigned to guard Saddam, Corporal "Paco" Reese and Specialist Sean O'Shea. Sean, how did you get that job?
SPEC. SEAN O'SHEA, FORMER SADDAM HUSSEIN GUARD: It sort of just fell into our laps. We had a security perimeter job, and then all of a sudden we get a meeting one day and the next thing you know.
COLMES: And Paco, you said he was almost like — like almost fatherly to you? Advising you on girls?
JONATHAN "PACO" REESE, FORMER SADDAM PRISON GUARD: No, no. That was him.
LISA DEPAULO, WRITER: Sean needed it more...
COLMES: Is that it? What did he tell you?
O'SHEA: He asked me if I was married, and I said no. And then he goes — then he went on to say, "You need to find a woman, not too smart, not too dumb, in the middle, one that can cook, that can clean, not too old."
COLMES: Next thing you know he'll be writing a column for "G.Q.," right?
DEPAULO: We were going to sign him up.
HANNITY: And you fed him, right?
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: No Froot Loops
COLMES: Did you ever, did anybody say, let's spit in his food? Did you have any desire to, like — you can't do stuff like that?
REESE: No. No, no, no, no, no. They made sure that we — our higher-ups came to my mess sergeant and made sure we weren't doing anything like that. But we reassured them, no, no, our guys aren't doing that. But we reassured 'em...
COLMES: How did you get this story?
DEPAULO: I'm from Sean's hometown.
COLMES: Is that right? Is that all right?
DEPAULO: Scranton, Pennsylvania. Finally, there's an upside!
COLMES: What did you think of him?
O'SHEA: As a prisoner?
COLMES: As a person.
O'SHEA: As a person?
COLMES: Yeah. When you look at this guy, you know what he's done. You know what he's there for?
O'SHEA: Knowing his background, I don't really think too highly of him. But while we had him — while I was with him, he was always kind and courteous. I mean, we never had a problem with him. So...
HANNITY: You know, I'm looking at both of you guys, how old are you guys?
O'SHEA: I'm 20.
REESE: I'm 22.
HANNITY: And you're guarding one of the — historically now, this guy goes down in history as one of the most evil men in history.
HANNITY: Do you think about that when you're having conversations about Froot Loops and Doritos and women?
O'SHEA: We always kept it in the back of our minds so we didn't get complacent and really close to him.
HANNITY: Yes. And you had some rules. If you — you could talk to him only if he'd talk to you first.
REESE: We couldn't initiate conversation with him, and if he initiated a conversation with us, we were supposed to keep it as short as possible.
HANNITY: Yes. Did you ever just stare at him and think, "This guy is responsible for the death of millions of people?"
O'SHEA: We did. Absolutely.
HANNITY: And what is that experience like? Did you sense evil around him?
REESE: He put up a real good front when we were there in person. I really couldn't sense evil to him. But in the back of your mind, like, history has taught us, you know, this guy is bad...
HANNITY: Did you sense it?
O'SHEA: Of course.
HANNITY: You did?
O'SHEA: I've known who he was and what he's done since I was little. Third grade when the Gulf War....
HANNITY: Now, did he engage you guys in conversation often?
O'SHEA: Yes. Well, he had his days. Some days you would walk in, shake hands, said, "Hello," and that was it. Other days, he would chat your ear off, so it was...
HANNITY: He admired President Reagan, thought Clinton was OK, hates the Bushes?
REESE: Yes, yes. But he...
O'SHEA: Pretty much.
HANNITY: Go ahead.
O'SHEA: But he said he was willing — he said he was willing to forgive and forget with the Bushes, and he'd like to meet with them.
HANNITY: Lisa, I've known you a long time. This is an amazing gut story for you, because you — the same hometown, high-valued detainee, and you put it together. You thought it was Saddam?
DEPAULO: Well, I think a lot of people wondered, but it was just, it was just so coincidental that he was deployed right after he was captured.
HANNITY: Yes. What would you talk about with him, because he would engage you for long periods of time? What would you talk to him about?
O'SHEA: He would tell us, like he wrote a lot of poetry and stuff like that. And then we would try to translate his poetry into English and read it to us, which we really couldn't understand what...
HANNITY: Did he have any idea of what had happened to his country since then? He still viewed it — he justified his actions in Kuwait, he thought my people, I did all the actions for the people. He really thought of himself as a great leader?
O'SHEA: I think he knew everything was gone. He knew he didn't have anything left, but somewhere in his mind, he just thinks that he's still the president.
COLMES: We've got to run. But he didn't tell you where the WMDs are, did he?
COLMES: Thank you both very much. Lisa, thank you.
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