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Iraq War Vet Gets Spat On by Anti-War Protester

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 29, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Washington, D.C., was the mecca for antiwar protesters this weekend, drawing thousands to the capital. We sent out Griff Jenkins with FOX News talk radio to get a different perspective on the demonstrations:

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS TALK RADIO: Do you want to see America prevail in Iraq?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to see the United States and its elected representatives start taking some responsibility in the actions that led to this war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the next 10 years let the same amount of Iraqi civilians die and add to them American casualties or we can pull those Americans out and start focusing on the issues of the Iraqi people and start offering reformations and closing bases.

JENKINS: Do you want America to win in Iraq?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no winning . What are you going to win?! Win that you are a terrorist nation? We've lost.

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: What America has always represented to the world and what it needs to represent is building for peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't a circus, it's a movement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are with?

JENKINS: FOX News.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FOX News? Yes, I don't want to talk to you guys.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: We cannot assume that we can, through invasion, occupation, and expansion, resolve the conflict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I hope to God you have the nerve to report the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FOX News lies. FOX News supports the administration in this murderous war. (expletive deleted) off.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, (D-OHIO): Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, with Al Qaeda's role in 9/11. That Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction , that we're in Iraq illegally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like those guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FOX News is full of liars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your name?

What's your name?

What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a big party.

JENKINS: Tim, what about some voices like our own Sean Hannity. What do you think about him?

TIM ROBBINS, ACTOR: I don't watch.

JENKINS: Do you have a favorite show on FOX?

SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: I don't watch FOX.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with FOX News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I watch FOX News just to get my blood boiling because sometimes when I'm feeling complacent I turn on FOX News and I'm jumping up and down.

KUCINICH: If Hannity and Colmes can talk with each other then the United States can engage in discussion with other countries who we may not agree with.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLMES: You see if we can — oh, we're not talking.

Joining us now, FOX News radio's Griff Jenkins and Iraqi war veteran Joshua Sparling. He took part in a counter protest to the capital weekend. And let me begin with you both.

Sparling, let me begin with you. There was a controversy, as you know, about whether you were spit upon. Can you tell us what happened?

JOSHUA SPARLING, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Yes. Nice to talk to you, by the way. What we are doing, actually, is doing the anti-protest protest. And we were there with our flags. And all that happened I was — a fellow saw me wear my 82nd Airborne sweater, and I noticed he also had an 82nd patch on his own sleeve.

And he said I was a disgrace, basically, and that I was — that I had blood on my hands and that I had no right wearing the uniform. And he spit at me.

COLMES: And you spit back?

SPARLING: Of course I did not.

COLMES: That's what was reported. So that did not happen?

SPARLING: No, sir, it did not.

COLMES: But this was directed specifically at you, as far as — Griff were you there? Did you witness this?

JENKINS: I did not witness that, Alan. Good to talk to you. Excuse me. But I would offer that, for a peace march, you know, spitting on war veterans and also vandalizing satellite trucks is not exactly extolling the virtues of MLK Jr. or Mohatma Gandhi .

COLMES: First of all, I would denounce that anybody could spit on anybody. It's horrible. But is this — are you suggesting this is representative of the antiwar movement, or is this one person acting like a jerk?

JENKINS: Gosh, that's hard to say. I mean, I saw a lot more militants. You know, one of the biggest observations I would make is that there were a lot of older folks there. I mean, it reminded me of the protest scene in "Forrest Gump ", and I would probably offer that a lot of the people that were there in the '60s, in the glory days, were there on Saturday.

COLMES: Joshua, I understand that last spring you were demeaned at an airport and you were told you couldn't board a plane. You got a hate letter at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2005. Why do you think this always happens to you?

SPARLING: To tell you the truth, Alan, I really couldn't know. The people that have done these things, I don't even know personally. So it couldn't be of a personal nature in the first place. And maybe it's because the peace rally is an obvious one. I went there, and that was the most angry peace march that I've ever witnessed. That's for sure.

And he wasn't the only person to spit at me, either. There was others. But this fellow here actually was on the sidewalk with me, whereas all the other ones were about 10 yards away on the other side of the road. And they weren't just spitting. They were throwing cigarette butts, flipping us off.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Josh, it's Sean. Welcome to the program. Good to see you.

SPARLING: Hello, Sean.

HANNITY: We first met how many years ago? I was with Colonel North. I met you at Walter Reed Army Hospital. How many years ago was that?

SPARLING: That was in 2005 in December.

HANNITY: OK. And you at the time, for those who don't know, you were injured in Ramadi and you were struggling to save your leg and you since have had it am amputated from the knee down, correct?

SPARLING: That's right.

HANNITY: And I remember, because I spent a lot of time talking to you and talking about you and put you on my radio show. And you were dying to get back. You just put yourself in a position where, hey, you wanted to give a different point of view and then we could see the hostility. And I went in the middle of an antiwar protest in New York, and I was called every name in the book.

You know, so you gave your leg for this battle, and you still believe in it. And this is how you were treated?

SPARLING: Yes. Well, it's unfortunate that that happens. But, well, the Americans that do appreciate us and do support us and not just say they support us, are the ones that I actually fight for. These people right here.

That was a sad day. It was one of the saddest days I've witnessed. And I was actually glad that my unit was deployed recently, so they wouldn't have to see the spectacle they were making of themselves.

HANNITY: You know, Griff, one of the things I observed when I went in the middle of this antiwar protest in New York is the just anger for anybody that has a different point of view. I mean, it's visceral; it's emotional. And it's sort of bordering on violence. You seem to be experiencing very much the same thing there.

JENKINS: Well, look, you know, I went in there as an honest broker that understands that nobody has got a lock on political wisdom, but I wore my FOX News hat and that certainly got the ire of some folks. I guess the antiwar crowd is not necessarily a pro-FOX crowd.

But I would observe that, you know, the Democrats having control, the tough talk coming out of the Democrats and Sen. Chuck Hagel has certainly emboldened this movement. I've been to, like, 20 of these things. And that's definitely the highest level of energy.

Although I will say there was one person there, who was a sergeant in the Marines that was dressed in his "blues," his full blues, and I was shocked to see that. He's retired. But he was there as peace. He didn't support getting out but he just wanted to be a credible protester among many.

HANNITY: One of the things that's fascinating is how many of these hard left wingers, led by "Hanoi Jane" and Sarandon and whatever that other guy, Robbins and Penn. But they're challenging her specifically, you know, to defund the war. People like Kucinich who wants to defund the war here, and so it's going to be interesting to see how the Democrats react to this radical element in their party.

Joshua, look, I know we don't have a lot of time. You lost your leg, your battle for your leg. How are you doing? How are you getting along? I know they're working on new prosthetics for you? How's that moving forward?

SPARLING: It's going great, Sean. I am getting along. And I'm getting better each day, getting stronger with each day. And — and I'm going to be back on my feet before long. And, you know, spitting here and there, insults, letters, it doesn't matter...

COLMES: Hey, Josh, I'm glad you're getting better.

SPARLING: Thank you.

COLMES: I have just one question. It was said in the press you said, "these are not Americans as far as I'm concerned."

Did you say that, and were you referring to people spitting or anybody who was demonstrating against the war?

SPARLING: Oh, no. Actually, that was just for the vulgar people. Let me clarify something here.

COLMES: OK.

SPARLING: I actually spoke in front of Code Pink, which is antiwar group.

COLMES: Nice they let you speak. OK.

SPARLING: I told them of the respect that I have of them of their right to protest, and as far as I'm concerned that's one of the greatest amendments we have.

COLMES: All right sir, Thank you. Thank you, Griff, as well.

SPARLING: That's basically who I was considering.

COLMES: Thank you, Josh.

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