Former Defense Secretary Weinberger on Secretary Rumsfeld

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, May 10, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

Watch On the Record every weeknight at 10 p.m. ET!

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST:  President Bush sent a message today to those seeking to use the Iraqi prison scandal to cast doubt on the mission in Iraq.


PRESIDENT BUSH:  Conduct that has come to light is an insult to the Iraqi people and an affront to the most basic standards of morality and decency.  One basic difference between democracies and dictatorships is that free countries confront such abuses openly and directly.


VAN SUSTEREN:  Joining us by phone is secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, Caspar Weinberger.  Welcome, Mr. Secretary.


VAN SUSTEREN:  Mr. Secretary, how difficult do you think Secretary Rumsfeld's job is tonight?

WEINBERGER:  Well, it's always a very, very difficult job.  There are always several different conflicting views pulling and tugging at you.  And he's got, as he said, 40,000 prisoner investigations and prisoners at the moment to deal with.  He's got 1,800,000 people in the department, and there are obviously going to be mistakes made from time to time.  And clearly, there are mistakes made in the training and the assignment of the people who did the interrogations.  And I hope the people directly responsible will be punished.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do we in the media ever get it, in terms of what it's -- it's one thing to be on the outside looking in.  It's another thing to sort of be on the inside looking out.  Do we ever get it?

WEINBERGER:  Well, I think the real problem is, of course, the size of the department and the fact that we are taking substantial punishment from terrorist groups, and we need to get as much information about them as we can.  And it's very difficult.  We can't introduce our people into those groups.  The language problems and the difference in appearances and all the rest makes it impossible.  So we have to get as much information as we can as to what they're planning and where they're going to be and where their boycott -- blockades are going to be and where the ambushes are going to be.  And we need to get that as best we can from these sources.

You don't have to use the methods that were used, and that shouldn't have been done.  I think the real problem is that the people assigned to do the guarding and be in charge of this prison weren't properly and adequately trained, and they were not given any kind of indication of what sort of problems they'd face.  And that -- that is culpable.  That is negligence.  And that needs to be punished, and it will be.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Would you recommend that now -- that it would be better to get all the photos and that apparent -- that video out now and get it out quickly and fast, rather than letting it trickle out?

WEINBERGER:  Well, I don't know that it does any good to get any more.  I think they're exactly what -- they're just variations of the horrors that we've seen.  And I don't think it does any particular good to just add to that or pile that all on -- up.  These were -- these were terrible things.  We all agree on that.  They violated all the rules, and the people responsible should be punished, and the people in charge of that prison need to be punished and then probably put out of the military.  But you can -- if there are -- if there are 50 pictures and we've seen 25 of them, I don't think it does any good to add 25 more.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right, Secretary Weinberger, thank you very much for joining us.  Next time you're in Washington, I'm going to have to get you on camera.

WEINBERGER:  Thanks very much.  Appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2004 Fox News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2004 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.