Published January 14, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes", May 10, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Private First Class Lynndie England (search), the soldier prominent in several of the now notorious prison abuse pictures, has officially been charged with assaulting detainees at the prison in Iraq.
A team of Denver area lawyers have taken on her case. Joining us now are three of those attorneys: Rose Mary Zapor, Carol McGuire and Danielle Guebert are with us.
Guys, welcome aboard. Thank you for being with us.
Rose Mary, let me start with you. We see these pictures. Your client is prominent in most of them -- many of them, let's say, the ones that have been released.
How do you explain, and more specifically, especially with the smiling face?
ROSE MARY ZAPOR, ATTORNEY FOR PFC ENGLAND: You know, we haven't spoken directly with our client yet, and so we don't know why she's smiling in those photographs. We don't know if she was told to do so. We don't know all of the particulars of how those photographs were staged.
HANNITY: You've never spoken with her?
ZAPOR: I've spoken with her family and with the family attorney, and Mr. R. Shea has spoken with her, and he's on his way to North Carolina right now, and he will be meeting with her off base.
HANNITY: What are they telling you is the reason for what it is she's doing, especially, you look at this?
ZAPOR: We have not discussed the particulars of the photographs, why she's smiling or why she's pointing or why she's doing anything in those photographs.
HANNITY: Don't they look...?
ZAPOR: All we know is that the civilian authorities improperly undermined the military chain of command, that these military people were cut off from their chain of command.
And we're told that these photographs were to be used in interrogation of subsequent prisoners, to help gain further information to protect our country.
HANNITY: Carl, I'm just trying to look at these pictures objectively here. And I'm thinking, you go before a jury one day, and those pictures with those smiles and that leash and the pointing and everything else, don't you think you have an uphill battle, objectively speaking?
CARL MCGUIRE, ATTORNEY FOR PFC ENGLAND: I think that what we have here is a young lady who's being used as a scapegoat, who was told to do these things by civilian intelligence agencies.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. Carl, Carl, wouldn't she have an obligation not to do something to a detainee if she knows it's wrong?
MCGUIRE: Well, you know, here's the problem is that when you're a 21- year-old E-3, you're told to follow orders. And if you don't follow those orders, someone can die, someone can get hurt.
So if you take the time to say, "I'm not sure if this is a legal order," you're going to go to a court-martial.
HANNITY: How could you make that case if you're in a prison and you're pulling a guy around by a leash or you're pointing to their genital areas. Or they have bags on their head and are not a threat to anybody? How could you make the case that somebody's life is in jeopardy?
MCGUIRE: What I'm saying is that she was being told by civilian intelligence agencies that they needed to use these pictures in order to get information from other inmates who had come into the prison.
They can show them that, look, this is what's going to happen if you don't work with us and give us the information. You're going to be subjugated by a small, demure American woman, and that that form of humiliation was enough that we're being told worked well to get intelligence information.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Danielle, you -- the attorneys are making this sound very benign, as if these were just posed pictures, nobody got hurt.
But we know, we're hearing from the Red Cross (search) that people did get hurt, people were threatened, all kinds of threats. Abuse, physical abuse, that's what the Red Cross report says. Is it as benign, really, as you're saying it is?
DANIELLE GUEBERT, ATTORNEY FOR PFC ENGLAND: Well, first and foremost, I entered on this case today, so I have not even had an opportunity to completely review the information that we have. And I haven't had an opportunity to be completely briefed by Rose Mary and by Carl.
COLMES: Let me ask Rose Mary that question, then. What about this? You make it sound like these were just posed pictures, as if these were models just posing to make other prisoners know what would happen if they didn't agree.
Yet we've heard reports of all kinds of abuse from the Red Cross and others. Are we to believe that these were just not very painful pictures? We have naked people. We have all kinds of reports of physical abuse.
ZAPOR: That's true. There are all kinds of reports of things happening in that prison which were -- which was supposedly under the command of Brigadier General Karpinski.
However, she was not allowed to visit her own command. She was excluded from that part of the prison, and therefore the military discipline broke down.
In terms of the abuse that's listed by the Red Cross and, I believe there is a report out by other military agencies, our client is not mentioned in those reports as far as we know at this time.
COLMES: Carl, what responsibility does your client have for what we are seeing, and who knows what happened beyond what we see in the pictures? But what is her culpability here and responsibility?
MCGUIRE: And ultimately, that's for a jury of her peers to decide in the military. What is her culpability? What was her responsibility? And what other agencies were also responsible for this?
Because I certainly haven't seen anything from the CIA being brought up on charges. Other officers may have gotten letters of reprimand, but they're not facing a court-martial. So that issue of culpability will be determined at a court of law.
COLMES: Rose Mary, the attorney you mentioned before, Georgio Rochet, says the military is short on troops and untrained people are being used as guards. And the military generals and Rumsfeld are hiding behind a 20-year-old farm girl from West Virginia who lives in a trailer park. That's his quote.
Do you concur with that? Is that what the problem is here?
ZAPOR: Well, the problem is that our client is the only person from these photographs and from this situation who is present in the United States. We believe because of that, as well as the fact that she is the weakest of the group -- she's the youngest; she is the lowest grade -- that they are using her, as they believe they can use her as a scapegoat. The higher ups in this group are not being brought to task.
HANNITY: Thank you guys for being with us. And we'll be checking in. I'm sure we're going to do a lot more on this in the days and weeks to come.
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