This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Actress Jane Fonda's publicity blitz for her recently published memoirs has brought out her fans and also some of her critics. Tuesday night during a book signing in Kansas City, Vietnam veteran Michael Smith allegedly spit tobacco juice into Fonda's face. Smith was arrested, but Fonda declined to press charges against him.
Joining us now is the author of a brand new book "They Just Don't Get It," Colonel David Hunt, 29 years in the military.
How are you doing, Colonel? Thank you for being with us.
COL. DAVID HUNT, AUTHOR, "THEY JUST DON'T GET IT": Doing a little bit better than you are right now.
COLMES: We have a few tape issues. All right.
COLMES: Jane Fonda. Now, I know lots of military and former military are very angry with Jane Fonda about Vietnam. Is it time to let that go? She did apologize. And what about this guy who allegedly spit tobacco juice on her.
HUNT: Quick review, Fonda, 1971, sat with a pith helmet in defense artillery place on top of a patty dyke in North Vietnam with a former U.S. attorney general, Ramsey Clark, now infamous for defending Saddam Hussein. She apologized for that.
What she did not apologize for and why she will probably rot in hell is this. She visited the Hanoi Hilton. She visited POWs who had been tortured for years. While she was meeting the POWs, they passed her notes, secret notes. At the end of the line, she gave those notes to the prisoners. That's the problem we have with her.
It's never an excuse to spit on anyone, but Miss Fonda has not been forgiven. She's never said sorry for that. She was grandstanding then. She's grandstanding now. I'm sorry this Smith — this guy Smith is supposed to be a veteran, and...
COLMES: You don't support what he did, do you?
HUNT: No, you don't spit on anybody. But I understand the anger. I understand the anger.
COLMES: At what point — Colonel, look, there is some dispute about whether she actually handed notes to POWs.
HUNT: Not the POWs I talked to.
COLMES: Some say that never happened. There's some dispute about that. She apologized about being at an anti-gunner site. She didn't apologize for talking to POWs. Many dignitaries went and did that.
HUNT: Yes, but they didn't take the notes, Alan, come on, and give them to the guards. That's the issue. She was grandstanding. I mean, she jeopardized guys like Senator McCain is an example. The torture these guys went through. I mean, she should have been kissing their feet, let alone passing notes to a guard.
COLMES: A lot of people are also angry — look, President Bush started a war that it turns out was against a country that was not a threat to the United States.
HUNT: How did Bush get in this? Come on. Bush is not in this.
COLMES: If you make a mistake, you apologize. She has apologized.
HUNT: Not for the POW thing.
COLMES: People lose their lives. People have lost their lives in a war the president started on what turned out to be false intelligence.
HUNT: Alan, you're a wonderful man. I love you. You're a good pacifist but here's the deal: I'm sorry about this one. I had a brother killed in this war. And I had a lot of close friends, a lot of close friends. And I got a few injuries myself in a couple of other places. There's no excuse, none, for what Fonda did at the POW. None.
I understand it was a divisive war. We've forgiven. We've had Vietnam veterans like McCain forgive the North Vietnamese. I forgive the guys I was in combat with, absolutely. They were doing their job.
What she did in that picture — that's nothing compared to what she did with the POWs and handing them notes. Grandstanding then and she's grandstanding now.
Look, I think she's paid a price. She was married to Ted Turner for all of those years. But I'm going to tell you, there's no excuse for spitting on her, but I totally get the anger that he has.
COLMES: At what point do you give up the anger? I mean, that was 35 years ago.
HUNT: I'm sorry, it's a personal. Look, I would not stand in line to do anything with the woman. It is not an issue for me and I don't know a lot of combat vets that would do that. But I do understand the anger. There's no excuse for spitting on her.
But forgiveness is a whole other issue with that one. This is not about forgiving soldiers you fought against. This is about forgiving a woman who took notes from guys that were tortured for years, six, seven, eight, nine years, like McCain, and take the note and give it to their guard. That is unconscionable. I'm not sure she can be forgiven.
HANNITY: Colonel, there are two issues here. First issue is, I don't like it when Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, David Horowitz or Bill Kristol are hit with pies. I don't like when people are attacked.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: And as much as I despise Jane Fonda — I despise her politics — this guy ought to be charged for what he did. She's not pressing charges against him.
HUNT: That's kind of her. No question, Sean, you're absolutely right. I appreciate your point. You give a lot of public speeches all over the country and the world. That shouldn't the case where people are attacked. There's no excuse for him spitting.
HANNITY: He has every right to call her a traitor. And that's his point of view. He has every right to say what he did is unforgivable, especially considering his background.
Now apparently, according to one report from the Kansas City Star, he receives disability payments from the government for injuries suffered in Vietnam. In that sense, I think he probably deserved — if I were her, in her situation — I'd probably give the guy a pass and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
But I'll tell you something, anybody that treats anybody in the public eye this way needs to be, as much as I sympathize with the Vietnam vets, as much as she did offer aid and comfort to an enemy, you cannot have this type of reaction.
Look, we're showing pictures there. This is her on a tank, while our men are out there in harm's way, fighting for their country.
HUNT: And let's not forget, she gave Ramsey Clark a pass. I mean, Ramsey Clark is the former U.S. attorney general who's now defending Saddam Hussein. And she gave him a pass because of her notoriety.
But I totally agree, there's no excuse for waiting in line. He could have waited in line and yelled at her.
HUNT: But waiting in line and spitting on anyone, diminishes his cause.
HANNITY: That's assault. Now, the issue of her apology and whether or not it should be accepted by Vietnam vets. I'm not in a position to tell them what they should or shouldn't do, and if they can — I guess our — my religion teaches me to forgive. This is one of those issues where you're really pushing the limits, but you ought to do it, I guess, if it's the right thing to do.
But you know something? She didn't say she's sorry — except she's writing a book and she's making money on it. I'm a capitalist in every sense of the word, but it takes away the sincerity for me that it's not genuine and it's not real and that it's not true contrition. Am I wrong to believe that?
HUNT: I totally agree. You're a best selling author and I'm trying to sell one myself. And I understand what happens at the book signings.
But, look, the real issue is the POWs and the Hanoi Hilton. Again, she should have been washing their feet and kissing their feet, not taking those notes and giving them to the guards. That's the issue. Protest be damned. I understand it. But forgiveness for that is up to the POWs.
HANNITY: Let me ask you a question: If a person does this and she goes on Hanoi radio the way she did and she's there on the tank the way she is, is that the definition, the legal definition of a traitor?
HANNITY: I think you have to be in uniform to do that for treason. But it's certainly a treasonous act that a lot of people have thought about at the time. It was divisive war for a lot of us.
But the fact which she took notoriety and the former attorney, Ramsey Clark. I keep mentioning him. He shouldn't get off for this. And said some terrible things. She said some terrible things about guys like my brother and my friends who died over there — 68,000 we had — no excuse.
But the Hanoi Hilton, I mean, to take a tour and shake hands with prisoners and they're giving you secret notes and to take those notes and give them to the guards, that's inexcusable and that's why most of us have had trouble with her ever since.
COLMES: All right, Colonel. Thank you for being with us tonight. Good luck on that book, "They Just Don't Get It," the book by Colonel Hunt.
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