Diane Sawyer on Jessica Lynch

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, November 11, 2003.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Private Jessica Lynch has cooperated with a new book called I Am a Soldier, Too and is out publicizing it. Of course, if you want to be famous in this country, you'd better not having anything in the closet. One pornographer says he has topless photos of Ms. Lynch. Not important, but somewhat embarrassing.

With us now is the only TV journalist who have debriefed Ms. Lynch thus far. ABC's Diane Sawyer will run that interview on Primetime at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday.


O'REILLY: 9:30?


O'REILLY: It's a special time?

SAWYER: Special time. 90 minutes.

O'REILLY: You know, I'm delirious here. I should have known that, but 9:30 Eastern and Pacific time.

SAWYER: Forgiven.

O'REILLY: OK. Give me a personality profile of the woman, first of all. Let's start with that.

SAWYER: She's really surprising. You sit down and you look for every opportunity that she might take to inflate herself, to aggrandize herself, make herself look more heroic than she says she actually was. And she will not take it. You know, everybody in that Humvee died. She could have said anything she wanted about what she did.


SAWYER: And instead she tells a story that really does makes you re-examine what real courage is.

O'REILLY: Now do you consider her a heroine of some kind?

SAWYER: You know, somebody said every 19-year-old kid who gets in a truck and drives into a war is a hero. And when you realize what she went through, when you realize what she went through in captivity and the kind of private war that she was waging herself to hold true to her code of courage with dignity in crisis, you really do come away saying what an amazing girl.

O'REILLY: Well, you know, just to keep it together when you're in that kind of pain in a hostile environment, I mean, you have to...

SAWYER: And yes, filled with terror all around you.

O'REILLY: Do you buy the rape thing? I mean, the Iraqis are saying no. U.S. military in Bragg and the book is saying yes. Are you buying it?

SAWYER: Well, we phoned her doctor at Walter Reed. We got a specialist on the phone with us -- a physician on the phone with us -- to listen to her doctor. We called other doctors. We tried as best we can to examine the evidence as we have it, that medical report. And there's no question she was told that.

But interesting to me, she doesn't necessarily say she buys it. She says to us I don't know if it's true or not. And I'm not sure how I feel about whether it's true or not. I do know they told me that. And I know they told me that this is something...

O'REILLY: So the doctors who examined her when she went back to Germany said that she was anally raped.

SAWYER: Yes. Right. And they say that it's not something...

O'REILLY: But why would they say that if it didn't happen? You know, that doesn't make a difference.

SAWYER: Well, the only question is, are there other things that cause similar kinds of problems?


SAWYER: And they're terrorists. So...

O'REILLY: All right, now how bad is the memory loss? You know, when you're interviewing a woman, were you able to get her to pull anything out or?

SAWYER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. There's only one period, and nobody knows how long it was. Nobody knows whether it was an hour or three hours, which is immediately after the crash until she wakes up in the hospital. And it wasn't very long that she doesn't remember. She remembers everything else. She remembers the rescue vividly. She remembers being in the hospital every single day, trying to stay awake because she said if I showed weakness and slept, they might come to get me and take me to Saddam Hussein.

O'REILLY: So she had a compelling story to tell once she woke up in the hospital.

SAWYER: Oh, yes.

O'REILLY: Does she buy into the fact, there's been controversy about the rescue. And you know, from our sources, the rescue was a genuine rescue. They thought they were going into hostile territory to grab this private. What did she say about it to you?

SAWYER: Yes, she makes an interesting distinction again. She says there's no question that coming into that, they had no way of knowing it was a trap.

O'REILLY: Right.

SAWYER: They didn't know how much was hostile and what wasn't. But she says she didn't know she was being photographed. And she didn't know that it was going to be released all of a sudden even before she really gets full medical treatment and made her well symbolically at least a kind of poster person for everybody's views of the war.

O'REILLY: Does she resent that?

SAWYER: I think she was dismayed by it.

O'REILLY: Really?


O'REILLY: Because it helped her country, you know. It put a brave face on the guys who risked their lives to get her.

SAWYER: And yes, but she's also a 19, 20-year-old girl suddenly cast into the middle of this big debate.

O'REILLY: Oh, yes.

SAWYER: And she says did it bother me? Yes. I mean, I didn't ask to be a symbol.

O'REILLY: By the time you talked to her, this topless thing wasn't out yet, right?

SAWYER: No. But we've checked and I don't think she's going to have a comment on it.

O'REILLY: No, I wouldn't either. And isn't it a sad commentary that this is the country we live in now?

SAWYER: Yes, and somebody sold these. I mean this...

O'REILLY: Of course they did. I mean, you know, we're going to have this Paris Hilton video tomorrow. You know about this thing?

SAWYER: You're going to have it here?

O'REILLY: We have it, yes. We have it right here.

SAWYER: Are you going to put it on?

O'REILLY: I'm going to put some of it on, not a lot. I'm going to show the folks tomorrow. But isn't it a sad commentary that everybody now...

SAWYER: Why are you going to put it on?

O'REILLY: Going to put what?

SAWYER: Why are you going to put it on?

O'REILLY: I'm not going to put on the sex stuff.

SAWYER: Oh, all right.

O'REILLY: I'm going to put on some stills to show people, but it's a bigger question of like if you're famous in any way, shape, or form here, somebody is going to try to hurt you.

SAWYER: Well, and in her case, she's going to take them to court, right?

O'REILLY: Hilton?


O'REILLY: Her parents are threatening to. But whether they can do it or not, that's what we're going to discuss. On the Internet, see, the Internet's changed all the rules.

SAWYER: Yes, there's no question that anything now -- and in Jessica Lynch's life, no matter how many broken bones she has in her body, no matter how much she suffered...

O'REILLY: Somebody's going to try to exploit her.

SAWYER: ...everybody's going to...

O'REILLY: Now I don't mind her getting the million dollars or whatever she's getting from the book.


O'REILLY: I mean, more power to her. It will help her in her life. Does she feel guilty about the money?

SAWYER: She says that she wants to tell the story. You know, they turned down a lot more money. Her family could have had a lot more money and they turned it down. What I think she really does feel stricken by is that she doesn't feel that she should be the one everybody pays attention to.


SAWYER: Every soldier out there has a story.

O'REILLY: 9:30, Diane Sawyer, Primetime, ABC. We'll be watching. You're going to get big numbers with it. Thank you very much.

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