This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, May 12, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: : They are all bad. I don't know what the scale is of bad to worse, but they're all bad.


JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Against the backdrop of the Nick Berg (search) decapitation, hundreds more pictures of Iraqi prisoner abuse was made available to members of Congress today. There is videotape, too. It will be up to the White House whether or not those images are made public. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (search) saw the new material and he joins me from DC. Senator, the big question — so, what is in this unreleased batch of prisoner pictures?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: More of the same. In Saddam's world, John, this would probably be standard stuff, but in our world, it's devastating to us because we operate under different rules. But could I have just a second to talk about the video about the butchering of the young man?

GIBSON: You certainly may, against the backdrop of that, what do we now think about the prisoner pictures?

GRAHAM: All right. Number one, I don't want my Army, my government using a standard of, we're not as bad as them. That's not the standard. Here's what I would like to see happen. Number one, instead of being terrorized as a nation and believing falsely that this prison abuse scandal led to this execution, it had nothing to do with this execution. These people are murderers and animals long before they caught this young man. I hope that my country will rally around, Republicans, and Democrats and Independents together, the idea that we have to follow these people to the gates of hell if that's what it takes because they're unacceptable to be in charge of anything. And they are truly an enemy of everything we believe.

GIBSON: The gates of hell is where we may have to go to find them. Senator, look, as long as you brought this up ...

GRAHAM: And number two ...

GIBSON: OK, you got a number two, go ahead.

GRAHAM: And number two, they proved to the world who they are and what they believe. They butchered a young man in the name of god. I don't know if we'll ever get justice on this earth, but I'm a person of faith, John, and I know god will get this right. Until they get to god, we'll hunt them and try to bring them to justice.


GRAHAM: Number two, the videos, what I saw. What I saw were photos of prisoners, detainee abuse, worse than we've seen before, disrespect for the dead, consensual sexual contact among military members that's inappropriate that will be handled in a court-martial setting.

GIBSON: You mean American military ...


GIBSON: No Iraqis involved?

GRAHAM: Not that I saw. I did not see everything. Prisoner abuse, detainee abuse that makes you mad as an American that's very upsetting, a culture where there was no command and control. Enough evidence has been generated to make me believe that there will be defenses offered in these cases that other people directed or encouraged this type of behavior. I think that's what we're in for in terms of the prison abuse scandal. It's not whether or not we're like Saddam Hussein. I never want that to be the standard. The question is, did we violate the rule of law or did these people violate the rule of law and let's show the world that we are different.

GIBSON: Do we have pictures — videos or stills — of Iraqis being interrogated to the point where they died?

GRAHAM: I don't know that. Like I say, if you are suggesting, John, that since we didn't kill anybody we get a pass, wrong.

GIBSON: No, no. But I'm trying to keep everything in perspective.

GRAHAM: Here's the perspective. There's one million people in uniform and what happened in that prison is a stain on their honor. You know who wants to investigate this more than you or I or anybody else is the men and women who serve in the military, John. They want to prove to the world that they can fix problems that happen on their watch and this is not who they are.

Please, let's not compare our government and our people to Saddam Hussein. Let's compare them to the values that we all hold dear. We say we're the good guys, John. By God, we are the good guys and we will accept that burden and we will live up to it.

GIBSON: Senator, we know that some members of that same military police unit, refused these orders and were backed up by their commanders. So we know it's not the entire system.

GRAHAM: Exactly.

GIBSON: It's just this group, but how far up are you going to reach, you meaning those who are looking into it, into the command structure to find those who either encouraged or ordered this kind of behavior?

GRAHAM: I'm a colonel in the Air Force Reserves and I'm a military judge in the Reserves. I've been convinced for a long time that enlisted people should not take the fall. There's been a breakdown of command that's probably criminal. There is some suggestion here that other people are involved in orchestrating this abuse. I want to go where it takes us, regardless of rank or status.

Secretary Rumsfeld should not be held accountable for the criminal misconduct of others. That would be totally inappropriate. Calling for his resignation is a political move that hurts us. Let's investigate this, but I want you to know and your listeners to know as a military officer it bothers me greatly. And I want those in command who allowed this to happen to be held accountable, not just privates or sergeants.

GIBSON: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator, thanks a lot. Appreciate you coming on.

GRAHAM: Thank you, buddy.

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