This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Oct. 19, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: And now to Iraq where the director of CARE International has been kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad. Margaret Hassan, Irish by birth but is a long time resident of Iraq and is married to an Iraqi. She reportedly is British-Irish and of Iraqi citizenship.
Our next guest was held hostage by a terrorist in Iraq for three days. Joining us in New York is American photographer Paul Taggart, welcome Paul.
PAUL TAGGART, HELD HOSTAGE IN IRAQ: Hi.
VAN SUSTEREN: Paul, before I get to your situation any advice for Margaret Hassan and her family Tuesday night?
TAGGART: You know every situation is dramatically different, so I don’t know her exact circumstances. My heart goes out to her family. As, you know, when I was captive last week, all I could think about was my family and what they were going through.
VAN SUSTEREN: Paul, when you were captured did there ever come a time when you thought I’m going to get out of here for sure or did you think that the worst was in sight for you?
TAGGART: You know, I tried to keep positive but, you know, as a journalist or as anybody watching the television, especially the Arab satellite channels, you’ve seen these tapes over and over of the hostages in the orange jumpsuits and the beheadings are always in the back of your mind, so it’s definitely difficult to keep a positive outlook.
VAN SUSTEREN: They always seem to have these orange jumpsuits. I mean I don’t know who captured you and we’ll get to that in a second but ever see anything like that that would give you the signal that you were in deeper trouble than you thought?
TAGGART: I personally never saw an orange jumpsuit. I was never made to wear one. I never saw one in the vicinity of the area that I was in but, yes definitely, you know, that’s in the back of your mind constantly.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Paul, take me back. Tell us how you got kidnapped.
TAGGART: Well, I had been in Iraq since July and I had covered the siege of the shrine in Najaf in August from the Mehdi militia side, so I was actually working in Sadr City at the time earlier than that week doing a story on the Mehdi militia and Sadr City, the neighborhood in Baghdad.
So, I was driving from with my driver from my Baghdad hotel to Sadr City when four gunmen came up to my vehicle and accosted me and dragged me into their vehicle.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did they know you were an American journalist, a photojournalist?
TAGGART: I don’t know for sure if they just knew that I was a westerner since we clearly stick out in the city or if they realized that I was, you know, a journalist, after I was detained and then placed in a house.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you describe your treatment? I mean, you know, I mean it sounds a little silly. You’re kidnapped. It’s not the greatest treatment by virtue of the circumstance, but how do you describe it?
TAGGART: For me personally, you know, that three days, I mean mentally, you know, it’s taxing but the treatment was actually, you know, it was excellent. I mean I was fed well. I had clean water. I was allowed to bathe. I mean clearly, I mean I knew I was a captive. I was stuck in one room. I had to sit on the floor but as far as, you know, physical conditions, you know, I have no complaints.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did the fact that you were a journalist, did they learn that you were a journalist and did that have any impact on the way you were kept or even being released?
TAGGART: I can assume that it did. Within the first hour of captivity, you know, they asked for, you know, identification of some sort and I showed them my press card and in the brief Arabic that I know I explained, you know, what I was doing and that I was a photojournalist.
But, you know, we still have two French journalists that are, you know, captive. We don’t know their fate at the moment, so I don’t know that being a journalist in Iraq at the moment is a get out of jail card.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going back?
TAGGART: I have no immediate plans to go back but unfortunately this conflict will be going on for years to come I’m sure, so as a journalist I’ll be back at some point.
VAN SUSTEREN: But the fear doesn’t sort of like, you know, I’m out of there. I’m never going back there. This was the worst. I got my message. I’m gone?
TAGGART: Oh, definitely not. I mean it’s a huge story and it’s very important that we cover and I hope journalists stay there and I hope to be back at some point, yes definitely.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Paul, thank you very much for joining us.
TAGGART: Thank you.
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