Firsthand Experience

On Wednesday night's show we had a former military interrogator -- Jeff Day -- who interrogated detainees at the Abu Ghraib (search) prison.  He was at the prison doing interrogations from October through part of November 2003.  The abuses, per General Taguba's report, occurred in part in November 2003 when Jeff was there.

I found Jeff fascinating since he was actually there and could be our "eyes and ears" in the prison. What did he see? What did he know?

You might wonder, “How did we find him?” Here is the 'behind-the-scenes' answer: He objected to some of the conversation on our show and sent an e-mail to our “On the Record” show page with his objection.

I read the e-mails that we get, saw his and wanted to give him a chance to talk. On a news show there is nothing better than a guest with firsthand knowledge, so I was delighted to talk to him.

Frankly, I wish I had had more time with him. I was happy to have him as a guest because I want to make sure we get as much information about the topic as possible so that you can decide what happened. I would like to get you even more information since I am sure -- at this early point -- we don't have it all.

On another note, every day we get information that we need to decide if it is news or not. The reporters call in -- called a "hotline call" -- with anything they learn. Some turns out to be news and some, of course, does not. The "hotline call" allows the fastest dissemination of information to the news bureau from the reporters in the field. The news desk in the bureau wants to hear all information immediately to decide what we should do: Report it? Send a crew with cameras? Ignore it?

Late afternoon Wednesday we got two "hotline calls” that I thought you might be interested in. The "hotline call" is broadcast throughout the bureau via speakers so everyone can hear it -- not just those at the news desk. The first call, from the reporter at the Pentagon, was that there was a "suspicious package" at the Pentagon that was the subject of great concern -- of course!

We all waited to find out what was in the package. These are dangerous times and this is a dangerous city. We have to be prudent. The second call -- also from the Pentagon reporter -- finally came in about 15 minutes later. The package was a bag with a box of cereal in it.

Since I read e-mails from viewers, I thought you would like to read a few:

E-mail No. 1

Would someone please get Steve Harrigan a helmet that fits his head? The one he has is way too small. Not only will it not protect him very well, but he looks ridiculous...
Michael R. Grimler
Los Alamos, NM

You might recall from an earlier blog that "our Generals" also think the helmet does not fit.

Viewers who have received show bumper stickers have placed them on cars, in windows, on jackets, on scooters. Here is another idea:

E-mail No. 2

Not only did I get the sticker you sent me from D.C. (thank you, by the way), but I got the ones sent from New York too! They must've had my address after all. Anyway, here is a picture of the "temporary" location of the sticker, taped to my refrigerator... my husband has asked that we not put it on the rear windshield until we wash the car!


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Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET