This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 7, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the "impact" segment tonight, the general in charge of [Iraq's] Abu Ghraib (search) [prison] has repeatedly denied she knew the prison abuse was taking place. This is what she told Bill earlier in the week:
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: You didn't know anything about any of this? You never heard any rumors about it when you did your inspection? Nobody said anything?
BRIG. GEN. JANIS KARPINSKI, U.S. ARMY: I never -- and I did go into those cell blocks. I was in many of the cell blocks out at Abu Ghraib and then all of our prisons...
O'REILLY: You never saw any of this?
KARPINSKI: I never saw -- and certainly not. Had I even had a hint or a suggestion or a question, I would have investigated it immediately.
O'REILLY: All right, now...
KASICH: Now some are saying that her gender and the fact that women are in the military at all could be contributing to a breakdown in discipline and an increase in sexual tension in the battlefield.
Joining us now from Washington is Fox News contributor Linda Chavez, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative public policy think tank. And here in the studio, Martha Burk, the chair of the National Council of Womens Organizations.
Linda, let's start with you. What is the point you've tried to make in this article?
LINDA CHAVEZ, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, one of the things we know very clearly -- we don't know everything, but we know one thing. And that is that there has been a terrible breakdown in discipline in this prison. And one of the things that I think we need to look at is whether or not the gender integration, not the fact that women are serving, but that they are integrated into the same units, has had any impact in that breakdown in discipline. Has it led to less cohesion in the unit? And one of the things we're learning today...
KASICH: Linda, are you saying it has? Or are you just speculating here?
CHAVEZ: I'm saying -- I am saying that we need to ask the question. And what I fear will happen is that we won't even ask the question because it is politically incorrect to do so.
We know that Janice Karpinski, the lieutenant -- brigadier general rather who was in charge of that prison apparently was not very severe in her maintaining of discipline. Apparently, the people were not wearing their uniforms properly. They were not saluting. We know that one of the people that was actually photographed, one of the women photographed in the prison leading that Iraqi prisoner around by a chain wasn't even supposed to be there. She was not a guard. She was there visiting her boyfriend.
CHAVEZ: We know also that this young woman is now pregnant by that boyfriend. What was going on? And was the fact that you had gender integration -- was that helping break down this cohesion?
KASICH: All right, we got the point.
Martha, your take? Do you think because women are in the military, somehow this contributed to this terrible situation at the prison?
MARTHA BURK, NATL. ORG. OF WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS: I think because we have a failure of leadership in the military and the Pentagon and at the State Department, we had a failure of discipline. It has nothing to do with women. And let's don't blame this on women. This -- Rumsfeld knew about this since January. It's a failure of leadership, pure and simple. If the women did the wrong thing, they should be punished just like the men, but it has nothing to do with women being in the military. It's leadership that isn't there.
KASICH: Linda, the...
CHAVEZ: And it's the leadership that has, in fact, insisted on this integration that's been going on since the mid-1990's that started in the Clinton administration. I'm not saying that it is the individual women, although clearly some of them were participating, were responsible. And they should be punished. By the way, this woman leading the man around with the dog chain, she has not, in fact, been court-martialed so far.
BURK: You know being, Linda, the argument you're making are exactly what was made against having African-Americans integrated with white soldiers.
CHAVEZ: That is absolutely -- that is absolutely nonsense.
KASICH: Let me ask you, Martha, when you take a look now at the number of rapes and pregnancies that we have seen reported in this situation in the war in Iraq, plus other reports of them cropping up over a long period of time, how do you feel about that? What does that say?
BURK: I think that there is a failure of discipline. Linda is right about that, but when a woman gets raped, I don't think the rape ought to be blamed on the woman.
KASICH: Right. No, no...
BURK: It needs to be blamed on the man...
BURK: ...who was the doing the rape.
KASICH: Yes, I think what she's saying is...
CHAVEZ: Nobody's saying that.
KASICH: ...when you put people in this position, do these kinds of thing happen? Now I think you can say -- and you know, I frankly believe women should be in the military, but when you say, well, you know, it's a failure of Rumsfeld, you know, what happened in that prison, you know, is unbelievable.
BURK: It's unbelievable.
KASICH: This is not just women and men. It's frankly, both.
BURK: And John, I believe.
CHAVEZ: It's both.
KASICH: Hold on, Linda, one second.
BURK: Linda, let me finish, please. It is both, but Linda has said it's sexual tension, blah, blah, blah. We have women and men working in offices...
BURK: ...women and men working in elementary schools. I'm sure there's some...
KASICH: Would you put a daughter -- would you be comfortable in having your daughter be in the military, living in the barracks with other -- with men and being in that kind of confined situation?
BURK: I would if the situation is under the control it ought to be under. And obviously it is not. There is a failure here. I think whether women had been in that prison or not, we would be seeing the same thing.
But let's be clear. The women that are at fault that were there, but so are the men. It has nothing to do with the gender issue. It is a leadership issue.
KASICH: Linda, you have the last word quickly.
CHAVEZ: Well, quickly, it is not a question of women in the military. Yes, they should be there and they should serve. The question is whether they should serve in integrated units, whether they should be trained integrated units and whether or not that factor leads to the kind of breakdown in discipline that occurred.
KASICH: All right, you know, provoking -- thought-provoking. I thank you for being with us.
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