Cindy Sheehan Lends Support to U.S. Military Deserters in Canada

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 19, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight: more outrageous activity from Cindy Sheehan and her crew — this time in Canada, where she's lending support to U.S. military deserters.


CINDY SHEEHAN, SON KILLED IN IRAQ: They're moral human beings that don't want to go to Iraq and kill innocent people to line the pockets of George Bush and the war machine. Don't make a "gold star mom" out of your mom. Don't kill innocent Iraqi people. It's immoral. These people are dying and their country's being ruined for nothing. And my son, I wish my son would have come here instead of going to Iraq.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from Toronto, Rachel Marsden, a columnist with The Toronto Sun and Rondi Adamson, a columnist for The Toronto Star.

Ms. Adamson, we'll begin with you. I mean, I don't really care much about what Cindy Sheehan says, with all due respect to her. She's kind of a side show at this point. We've heard it before. Very radical left. But she is encouraging people to desert from the U.S. military. And how is that received in Canada?

RONDI ADAMSON, TORONTO STAR COLUMNIST: Well, to tell you the truth, this story fell right under the radar. I think people were not interested. There were ony 100 people at that crowd. I think things have changed. We have a new prime minister, who doesn't use anti-Americanism every time there's a problem to exploit situations. And also, Canadians are more focused on the fact that we have 2,300 troops now in Afghanistan. And that has really pulled focus from this story.

This story really got very little attention, which is a good thing, I think.

RACHEL MARSDEN, TORONTO SUN COLUMNIST: I'll tell you why, Bill. I'll tell you why it got very little attention. It's because Cindy Sheehan was in the news on Saturday, when all this took place when she was in New York — or sorry, in Fort Erie for the rally. And then the next day, Paris Hilton, an even bigger attention whore, blew into town for the Music Video Awards. And Cindy Sheehan was off the front page.

O'REILLY: Is that right? Paris Hilton bopped her off the front page?

MARSDEN: That's right!

O'REILLY: The more serious issue here is that there are 20 deserters who've applied for asylum in Canada right now. The Canadian press says 200 others are floating around.

Now you've been following this story, Rachel, from the very beginning with us on the Hinzman situation. But you can drag this out for years in Canada. They told Hinzman twice, I guess. You've to come back to the U.S., but he's still there. So what's the status of that?

MARSDEN: Right, but there's a due process they have to follow here in Canada. He has a right to appeal to every level of the courts.

So next up is the Federal Court of Appeals. They'll hear his case. And if he so chooses to appeal beyond that, he can go to the Supreme Court of Canada and may have the final say.

But even at that point, if he is denied at the Supreme Court level, he can then appeal to the government of Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but good luck with that with the conservative government, I don't think he's going to get very far...

O'REILLY: All right. So he — Ms. Adamson, so Hinsman, who is the first, and now there are 20 others, they can stay for years in Canada and drag this process out, correct?

ADAMSON: Absolutely. I mean, there are cases where people have dragged it out 13, 14 years. One of these guys is actually engaged to a Canadian woman. So I think he's pretty much guaranteed that he's going to stay. Oh, and she's pregnant — so he's going to stay.

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. So wait a minute, wait a minute. If you get married to a Canadian woman, even though you've broken the United States' law, and there is an extradition treaty with Canada, you can — the Canadian government's going to say you can stay here if you get married to somebody, even though you broke...

ADAMSON: It will be — yes, he can marry. And it'll be that much more difficult to make him leave at that point, particularly when their child is born. He can say, well, my child's a Canadian citizen. It's one more way to drag it out longer and longer. That's for sure.

MARSDEN: But if there's an anchor baby, I mean, that's a different kind of situation. But definitely, if it's ruled at the court level at some point in the appeal process that he has to go back and face prison time, like the — Charles Jenkins did when he was found 40 years later after fleeing to North Korea, I mean, he had to eventually come back in the last couple of years and serve 30 days jail time, which is a real slap on the wrist considering what some deserters in places like oh, say Iraq, have to face with electric shock and being — having machetes put into them. So I mean...

O'REILLY: So what you're both telling us tonight is that it's a good deal for deserters to go to Canada. That this is the place to go because you can stretch it out. And if you get lucky and marry a Canadian girl — and gay marriage is legal. So you might even marry a Canadian guy. So you can stay and then you don't have to come back.

MARSDEN: Well, there's nothing to show at this point that if you marry a Canadian citizen, that even though you break the law by deserting in the USA, that you're going to be able to stay.

There's been nothing to indicate that that is the case. But there are a lot of people. — As you mentioned, Bill, there's up to 200 deserters just kind of flaking out here in Canada. We don't know where they are. We don't know where a lot of people are because according to the Auditor General's report that came out 2003, there are 36,000 Canadians that have had deportation orders issued. And we can't find and we aren't going to find them...

O'REILLY: Well, don't worry about it.

MARSDEN: ...unless they break the law or get pulled over.

O'REILLY: Rachel, don't worry about it. We got 12 million here. You got 36,000.

MARSDEN: I know.

O'REILLY: We got 12 million.

MARSDEN: You guys are importing them North.

O'REILLY: Last question, Ms. Adamson...

MARSDEN: Importing them up here!

O'REILLY: Have things changed since the government changed to a more conservative government? Is it tougher on U.S. deserters up there now? Have things changed?

ADAMSON: Well, I think attitudes have changed simply because I think our prime minister has a more respectful level of discourse towards the United States. And I think that does filter down or trickle down, thankfully. There's no more of that sort of default knee jerk anti-Americanism that his predecessors fell back on every time there was a problem.

O'REILLY: All right.

ADAMSON: So that's a good thing.

O'REILLY: Ladies, thanks very much.

MARSDEN: I think.

O'REILLY: Rachel, I've got to run. But we appreciate it.


O'REILLY: Thanks very much.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2006 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, 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, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.