updated 4/27/2004 10:37:23 AM ET 2004-04-27T14:37:23

Guests: Jeremy Staat, Frank Bauer, Terry Anderson, Terry Waite

ANNOUNCER: DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT.

DEBORAH NORVILLE (voice-over):  Remembering Pat Tillman. 

JOSEPH CHAVEZ, PASTOR:  He was a patriot.

NORVILLE:  An outpouring of grief for the man who gave up a multi-million football career and then his life to serve his country. 

PAT TILLMAN, KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN:  We don‘t realize how great a life we have over here.

NORVILLE:  Tonight, two who knew Pat Tillman best reflect on the man who redefined the term “sports hero.” 

Plus behind enemy lines.  What‘s it like to face injury, kidnapping or death almost every day?  Richard Ingle knows. 

RICHARD INGLE, JOURNALIST:  Every man for himself.

NORVILLE:  And he‘ll take us behind the scenes of the most dangerous beat on television. 

And one-time hostages Terry Anderson and Terry Waite recall their own terrifying ordeal while in the line of duty, kidnapped and held for years in Beirut. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I was scared out of my wits. 

ANNOUNCER:  From Studio 3-K in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NORVILLE:  And good evening. 

Pat Tillman is coming home.  The body of the former Arizona Cardinal is being flown back to the United States. 

As you know Tillman, who gave up a multi-million dollar NFL career to join the Army after September 11, was killed in action in Afghanistan on Thursday. 

His brother, Kevin, who enlisted in the Army with Pat, is accompanying the body back home to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. 

Two other U.S. soldiers were wounded and an Afghan militiaman fighting alongside Tillman were killed in the Thursday firefight.  The Army says that a public memorial service will be held next week in Tillman‘s hometown of San Jose, California. 

Back home, his church in Phoenix, Arizona, remembered him at Sunday services. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHAVEZ:  He was a patriot.  He was a man who measured the cost, weighted, took the risk and paid the price.  And that‘s why we honor him this morning. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  The Arizona Cardinals say they will retire Tillman‘s number 40, and his college Arizona State says they‘ll do the same thing with his college jersey, number 42. 

And joining me tonight to talk more about Pat Tillman‘s life is Frank Bauer, Tillman‘s agent and very close friend.  And with me here in the studio another good friend, Jeremy Staat, who played college football with Pat Tillman, used to be a roommate with Pat‘s brother Kevin. 

Good evening.  Nice to see you both.

JEREMY STAAT, FRIEND OF PAT AND KEVIN TILLMAN:  Good to see you.

NORVILLE:  Jeremy, how do you think Kevin is doing right now, coming back?

STAAT:  It‘s hard to tell.  They‘re both very aggressive, very explosive people.  So I mean, it‘s kind of—there‘s probably a range of emotions that‘s going on through. 

He probably wants to stay.  He wants to keep fighting and he wants to, you know, bring his brother‘s body back.  I mean, it‘s got to be—I mean, it‘s got to be just a numerous range of emotions going through him right now.  I mean, I couldn‘t tell.  I couldn‘t speak on it because, I mean, it probably wouldn‘t give him justice. 

NORVILLE:  Right.  Right.  Has it sunk in yet?  I know it was Thursday that it happened, Friday that everybody got word.  Has it sunk in yet for you, Jeremy?

STAAT:  Not at this point.  I‘m kind of in shock.  It‘s kind of still surreal.  With all the media exposure going on it‘s kind of—it‘s hard to sit back and really realize what is going on and what has really transpired. 

You know, you kind of—with all the exposure it‘s kind of—you want to make sure that Pat is not getting too much media exposure.  That‘s not what he wanted.  He didn‘t want to be exploited.  He was more interested in what is going on with his other guys, the other troops that were in his company. 

You know, with an ambush like that I‘m sure the first thing through Pat‘s mind was make sure everybody else gets down.  His brother Kevin I‘m sure that everything that went through his mind was just overwhelming. 

NORVILLE:  Do the right thing.

STAAT:  It is tough.  But I mean, right now it hasn‘t sunk in yet. 

NORVILLE:  Frank, you were kind enough to be with us on Friday night to talk about Pat‘s death, and there has been so much media attention to it. 

Do you worry that the spin will be wrong?  Are you pleased with the kind of coverage Pat‘s life and his passing have received?

FRANK BAUER, PAT TILLMAN‘S AGENT:  Well, this is really a hard time, because we all know anybody that was close to Pat, maybe more Pat‘s family and friends, the close—real close friends, this is not something that Pat would appreciate. 

He always was a young man that kind of kept to himself in that way and also put people out in front of him, worried about them instead of himself. 

And it would be really tough—in my mind it‘s been hard because I know what Pat‘s wishes were when he joined the service.  And how he wanted to stay away from the media and turned down so many different interviews and lucrative deals that could have been—you know other people would have expounded on, he stayed away from them. 

NORVILLE:  You know, the media couldn‘t understand that.  They couldn‘t get their arms around the fact that here was a man who had worked in a very public sport, who was being completely private about this personal decision to go serve his country. 

How did Pat—did he get kind of a kick out of that, that people were so perplexed that he wanted to protect his privacy?

BAUER:  No, I don‘t think so.  I think that Pat, and it‘s very hard to say, but—and people would know this like his parents and the family and his beautiful wife.  That Pat was a guy that just didn‘t like that.  He was so well grounded. 

You never found a man like this.  Most people would take it and run. 

Pat would run out the back door. 

I‘ve said it once before that, if Pat was coming out of a locker room and the pope was there to see him that—and a little boy stepped up, or a little girl stepped up for his interview he‘d stop and spend time with them rather then—and then go ahead with it.  And that‘s the kind of kid he was. 

NORVILLE:  So would he be a little distressed that they‘re retiring his jersey at ASU and with the Cardinals?  What do you think is appropriate?

BAUER:  It‘s hard—I think it‘s hard to say.  I think that all of us that know him well are very proud and feel great that this is being done for him but it‘s very hard to say.  And maybe Jeremy can answer that question.  But knowing Pat, he‘d probably be pretty mad about it. 

NORVILLE:  What do you think, Jeremy?

STAAT:  I agree.  I think, especially with his 42 number.  I mean, that was his number and I‘ll always remember him as 42.  You know, the Cardinals with the 40, that wasn‘t his number.  In our hearts he was 42, because that‘s the guy we knew, and that‘s the number he always wanted. 

So I mean, with that number, I mean, he would want someone else to wear it.  He would want some other guy coming in, maybe the guy in his same position, you know, kind of undersized, slow or whatever coming in there and wearing that number and fulfilling the same thing that Pat did.  You know, taking that number to a whole new level. 

And it‘s—I don‘t—I think he would be really upset that they‘re retiring his number.  All that for him Pat would be like no way.

NORVILLE:  Don‘t do this?

STAAT:  Yes, don‘t do it.  Let someone else wear it. 

NORVILLE:  You and he met when you both came to ASU.  You both have grown up in California.  But you didn‘t know each other until you ended up on the same college team.

How did the two of you become such good buddies?

STAAT:  I think it was just we‘re joined by different forces.  I mean, people that gravitate to people by just—you know, by their characters or by their character traits.  And I think we pretty much hit it off from the get go. 

I mean, it was kind of one of those things where, you know, you can look in someone‘s eye and just kind of tell who they are and where they‘re coming from. 

And you know, as our relationship grew, you know, we kind of tested the limits on each other and, you know, physically and mentally and grew into a real heavy friendship. 

You know, it was a friendship where I wouldn‘t have to call him every day.  I didn‘t have to call him every week.  You know, it could be six months, eight months down the road and just, you know, get a call.

“What‘s going on?”

“Nothing, you know, same old, same old.”

“All right.  Great.” 

You know, “Stay healthy.  How‘s your mom.”  You know, it was a friendship like that.  We didn‘t...

NORVILLE:  You spoke shorthand with each other. 

STAAT:  You know, it didn‘t have to be all drawn out.  It was just quick to the point: “How‘s everything going?”

“Great.”

“Hey, let‘s get some dinner.  Let‘s get lunch.”

“All right.  When you get time.”  You know? 

NORVILLE:  And what kind of shorthand, then, did you guys use when he told you that he‘d made the decision to leave the team and join the Army?

STAAT:  That‘s a whole different story.  I mean, when he said that I -

·         I knew it.  I was like, you know...

NORVILLE:  There‘s no turning him back? 

STAAT:  Yes, there‘s no turning him back.  And you know, because there was a lot of things that had gone on prior to that.  And I told him after I had some issues with my NFL career I got—I kind of walked away from the game as well. 

And after 9/11 I was, you know, kind of frustrated and upset about what was going on.  And I just—I told him the same thing.  I said, “Pat, I don‘t want to play football any more.  I‘d rather join the Army.” 

And then when he joined I said, “You stole my idea.”

And he kind of laughed: “No, no, it‘s been in the works for awhile.” 

He said, “You just kind of, you know, helped me out with it a little bit.” 

NORVILLE:  And Frank, you got the first inkling that Pat was thinking about going that direction when you were in the process of negotiating his contract that spring?

BAUER:  Well, I never got an inkling he was going into the service.  I

·         When I was negotiating the contract in the spring I was down at the owners meetings and I called Pat to address the situation regarding his—the contract.

And Pat just said to me, “Hey, Frank, please take care of your other clients, worry about them.  Don‘t worry about me.  I‘m thinking about doing something different.” 

And I asked him and he would never tell me.  He‘d say, “Hey, look, I‘m doing something different.  I just don‘t want to talk to anybody about it now.  And I‘m keeping it close to the cuff.” 

And I tried to get out of him, to find out what direction he was going in.  And the only thing I would speculate is maybe he wants to go back to school, maybe he wants to get his law degree. 

And he told me, he says, “Hey, Frank.  I‘ll let you know but just worry about everybody else.”  And I couldn‘t figure it out.  And when we went to the wedding we were going to talk about it, but that wasn‘t the time. 

When he came back from the honeymoon he told me, “Hey, Frank.  I‘m going to join the Special Forces.  I really want to do this.  is something that I want to do.” 

And I tried to, you know, say to him, “Hey, Pat, do this later.  Finish this contract out.  Put some money away for your life and then go back in.”

And he said, “I would be too old.  I can‘t do that.  At 28 they will not accept you into the Rangers.  And I‘m doing it now.  And I‘ll return to football, Frank.  Will you be with me when I come back?”

And I said, “Pat, of course I will.” 

I mean, Pat was a very, very special person that thought things out.  And like Jeremy would say and knows, because I recruited both young men when they came out of college together.  And Jeremy will tell you that Pat, when he made a decision, it was a decision well thought out, and he wasn‘t going to have anybody change his mind. 

NORVILLE:  And on that note, I‘m going to stop for just a second, because we‘ve talked so much about Pat Tillman getting up to this point. 

When we come back I want to talk about the impact that he is having now on so many people, a lot of who never ever saw him play. 

Back with Frank Bauer and Jeremy Staat in just a moment. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... special forces.  Clearly a patriot.  But I think that exemplifies ultimately the patriotism that every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine that‘s serving in Afghanistan today. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Beaver (ph) is talking about former Arizona Cardinal safety Pat Tillman, who quit his NFL career to join the Army.  He was killed in action on Thursday in Afghanistan. 

We‘re back now with Pat Tillman‘s agent, Frank Bauer, and his former college teammate, Jeremy Staat.      

Jeremy, I know you—you came onto our program reluctantly because you‘re concerned all the publicity.  This isn‘t what Pat would want. 

Are you worried that some people are—I don‘t know—elevating him to a status that Pat would just simply not want?

STAAT:  Oh, yes. 

NORVILLE:  Or taking advantage of his passing to...

STAAT:  Yes.  One of the big people, I think, is the former team, Arizona Cardinals, you know, with what they‘re doing, you know, with their memorials and stuff like that. 

It‘s all fine, but, I mean, you know, as a business side of football, I mean, they‘re one of the reasons he walked away from the NFL. 

NORVILLE:  How?

STAAT:  You know, when it comes—Pat is not a materialistic kind of guy.  But we talk about the $3.6 million that he walked away from.  It was more like $12 million.  Because he turned down a deal with the St. Louis Rams a year before and was promised by the Arizona Cardinals that they were going to match it or better it the next year—the next two years.  And they wind up not doing it. 

You know, and 9/11 hits and all that stuff.  And it was just, you know

·         they turned their back on him basically.  It had nothing to do with the money.  It was just the principal. 

NORVILLE:  So 9/11 was a wakeup call in that the loyalty he thought that would, turned out there wasn‘t and maybe there‘s something bigger out there. 

STAAT:  Right.  Right.

NORVILLE:  Frank, is this something that Pat talked with you about?

BAUER:  Not really.  You know, Pat, he kept to himself a lot of this in regards to why or—And I know that I‘ve heard and talked with different people about this, about the 9/11 did send him into that direction.

But Marie, his wife, said to—Frank, this is something that Kevin and he had talked about for years and always wanted to be in the Special Forces or some unit in the United States. 

And I always wondered if it would be Secret Service or something like that, because Pat in his life, he loved challenges. 

In 2000, when he was training for camp he ran the marathon to get ready, and then in 2001, a triathlon.  And he hired a swim coach to teach him.  He knew how to swim but he wanted to be able to swim faster. 

He just challenged everything.  And you know, it wasn‘t to prove anything to anybody else.  It was always for Pat.  And he didn‘t talk about it.  You would find out about it through somebody else. 

And I would just laugh at him when he said, “Well, I hired a swim coach.”

And I go, “What?”  But that‘s just the way—that‘s the way he is. 

And then I think what happens is, is that Pat gave his all in football and played very, very, very hard and decided that “Maybe there‘s something else in my life that I want to do and I will come back to this chapter in my life.” 

NORVILLE:  How, then, Frank, would he want people to look at his death and what message to take from it?

BAUER:  I think the message is that Pat Tillman will send to everybody, and I‘ve thought about this over the days of learning, is that he‘s not—the greed for people, he was never a greedy, selfish purpose. 

He looked out for others, he cared about people.  He always put people in front of him.  And the integrity, the high integrity this young man had, I don‘t think I‘ll ever meet another young man like this with his conviction and the way he handled himself and the uniqueness and always making the people around him feel they were special and he was not.  He was just Pat Tillman. 

NORVILLE:  Fine words to end on.  Frank Bauer, our condolences to you and to the Tillman family. 

Jeremy Staat, it‘s very nice of you to come and speak on behalf of a friend.  I know Pat would appreciate it.  Thank you for being here. 

STAAT:  Thank you.

BAUER:  Thank you very much.

NORVILLE:  When we come back, the death of Pat Tillman has hit a home

·         has hit home with a lot of you. 

And a little later on, after we look at that, we‘ll check out the situation in Iraq, where it‘s getting worse by day.  What‘s it like to be an American civilian there these days?  A firsthand account coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)          

GRAPHIC:  I‘m saddened and disappointed with the loss of Patrick Tillman.  He was a warrior and should be remembered that way.

NORVILLE:  That e-mail is reflective of so many that we‘ve gotten about the death of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman, who joined the Army after September 11 and was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan on Thursday. 

Mohamed Kargro writes, “He was a friend of mine during basic training at Ft. Benning.  He was motivated and ready to go at all times.  I think he deserves a medal of honor from the military and also for the NFL.  My sympathy to his family, mostly his brother.” 

And F. Glorianna writes in, “I am sorry about the loss of Mr. Tillman.  But regardless of the walk of life of the soldiers, no death should be more publicized and more valued than the other, because they all make great sacrifices for our country.”

Pat Tillman‘s death is a reminder of a time when it was not all that uncommon for professional athletes to sacrifice their careers in order to fight for their country during wartime. 

He was a throw back to an earlier age, when the best athletes gave some of the best years of their professional careers to serve in the armed forces. 

Recently, NBCSports.com contributor Joe Concha wrote a column putting Tillman‘s enlistment in historical perspective with other professional athletes who served their country.  And he‘s here now to talk about that column and the amazing number of e-mails you got. 

Good evening.

JOE CONCHA, NBCSPORTS.COM CONTRIBUTOR:  Good evening, Deborah.

NORVILLE:  Compared to your usual e-mail response, how did this one compare in terms of what the listeners wrote in?

CONCHA:  Three hundred percent more, probably. 

NORVILLE:  Really?

CONCHA:  Yes.  I received over—about 400 letters on this one. 

NORVILLE:  Wow.  And—And the gist of your article was that Tillman is not the first, but he‘s the first in a long time. 

CONCHA:  Certainly.  You have to go all the way back to Bob Feller in World War II.  Feller was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. 

In 1941, he gets a draft deferment to not serve in World War II, because he has to take care of his ailing mother.  Pearl Harbor comes, Japanese attack. Two days later he volunteers for the Navy, ends up serving for a couple of years in World War II.

Then he survives, unlike Tillman, and pitches for another 11 years and ends up in the hall of fame. 

So it‘s very rare that you find somebody that‘s willing to leave—In that case, they weren‘t making millions, but they were very comfortable—to go off somewhere and fight for their country.  You go all the way back to World War II to find something like that. 

NORVILLE:  What was it about that notion that resonated with your readers?

CONCHA:  As far as?

NORVILLE:  As far as the idea of giving up something great to go serve your country?  That hit a button somehow or another. 

CONCHA:  Certainly.  I think a lot of people looked at themselves.  In conversations I had with people over the weekend, particularly young adults like myself, they probably ask themselves three questions. 

What have I given back to my country?  What have I done to make the world a better place?  And most of all, would I have given up $3.6 million -- And he really gave up $9 million, because the Rams offered him that—for an $18,000 a year job in the Army to go fight along the Pakistani/Afghan border in the hopes of maybe taking in Osama bin Laden and fighting al Qaeda? 

I could count probably on one thumb the number of people I know that would have done that. 

NORVILLE:  Do you think that this is going to inspire people to become more civic minded in whatever way is possible in their own lives?

CONCHA:  I certainly hope so.  I got one e-mail here, and it says, “We should all stop for a minute, take a deep breath and realize that many of our young Americans still hold true the ideals formed for our country.”

I think Pat Tillman and a couple of other people are anomalies for the most part.  If you look at the last presidential election in 2000, 52 percent of the people that voted in this country—only 52 percent of the people voted in this country. 

In Pat Tillman‘s demographic, 18- to 34-year-olds, only 27 percent of those people voted.  So you say we‘re sitting here and we‘re celebrating Pat Tillman‘s life, yet he fought for freedom and we‘re not really exercising that right very often, if our voting record is any indication. 

NORVILLE:  There are might be a way people are wondering how they can get involved can do so.  Joe Concha, thanks for being here. 

CONCHA:  Thank you, Deborah.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Coming up, risky business.  Imagine going to work every day, knowing you‘re a target to be kidnapped, held hostage, even killed. 

INGLE:  If you get killed for this story it‘s not worth it. 

ANNOUNCER:  Life in the crossfire when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Terror attacks, militant shootings and threats from hostage takers.  What my next guest faces every day in Baghdad.  But he‘s not a soldiers.  Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Another deadly day in Iraq. 

An explosion leveled part of a building in Baghdad as U.S. troops were searching for chemicals.  Two U.S. soldiers were killed and five injured.  The blast damaged several American Humvees, which an Iraqi mob looted, taking weapons and equipment.  And, in Fallujah, a U.S. Marine was killed, eight others wounded in fighting around a mosque. 

In addition to the danger faced by the military, there are thousands of civilians putting their lives on the line every day in Iraq doing their jobs in a country where they could be killed, hurt or kidnapped at almost any moment.

Among them journalists, including NBC‘s Richard Engel.  He has been on the ground in Iraq reporting on the war for the past 14 months, frequently putting himself in harm‘s way to cover the story. 

Joining me now from Baghdad is NBC correspondent Richard Engel.  

Richard, you‘re working there in the most dangerous place on planet Earth right now.  I wonder, on a scale of one to 10, 10 being, I don‘t want to walk out the door and go outside, how worrisome is it right now in Iraq? 

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  I‘d say we‘re maybe at a seven, according to that scale. 

A lot of people are very seriously thinking about every step they take.  Almost daily, we hear reports of people being kidnapped or detained briefly.  There are all sorts of incidents of impromptu checkpoints being set up in Baghdad, particularly on the road between Baghdad and, say, Fallujah or even on the road between Baghdad and Najaf to the south.  There has been a serious breakdown of order.  People don‘t really trust the police. 

There has been reports of phony checkpoints where the police have been dressed up—where the insurgents have been dressed up like police or where the police themselves have actually carried out attacks.  So it‘s back to a situation where everyone feels that it‘s every man for himself. 

NORVILLE:  How does this compare with a year ago when the height of the war was going on and you were also in Baghdad reporting? 

ENGEL:  It‘s remarkably similar, actually.  A year ago right around now the main battle for Baghdad had happened and Baghdad had toppled.  Saddam Hussein was on the run.  And there was looting going on and chaos and the Americans were just finding their feet in the country here and trying to establish some sort of law and order, but there wasn‘t really any law and order. 

At the time, things may have been I think better because there was optimism among the people and there was—there were criminals who were, you know, conducting kidnappings and burglaries and things like that, but the general mood among the people was optimistic. 

NORVILLE:  And the mood now? 

ENGEL:  Now it‘s—there is not a lot of optimism.  The criminals and the people who are carrying out these kind of attacks feel very much emboldened.

One general said that it is basically a grab for power.  They‘re trying to establish themselves as legitimate militant groups and the insurgents who operated in the shadows in the past are now coming out.  They‘re issuing statements with their names on it.  They‘re going to shops and telling people to close down their stores.  So we‘re in a state where this city is not necessarily under the—under—in control anymore. 

NORVILLE:  Yes. 

Now, when you have to go out and report all of this, I‘m sure it is no easy production.  What is actually involved in just leaving the base where you guys are headquartered there in Baghdad, going out with the camera crews, doing what you need to do to do your job as a reporter and yet at the same time make sure you get back in one piece safely in order to file that report?

ENGEL:  Every day is different.  Every day, it‘s a bit of a gamble. 

We sit down and we don‘t—before, I used to spend a lot of time—

I‘ve been in Iraq now for about 14 months with a few—maybe two months of that outside of this country.  So I have a lot of friends here.  I know a lot of people.  So I will still go out and do—go reporting and talk to friends and go to neighborhoods and meet people, but I don‘t just do it as casually as I used to. 

Now, we‘ll get together.  We have security advisers who are here who work with us.  So we‘ll sit down.  We‘ll discuss the route we‘re going to go, how long we‘re going to be, if a car can come and meet us where we‘re going to be.  And we try to plan as much as possible every step of the way, because it has gotten to the stage where you don‘t want to be making decisions on the fly or exposing yourself too long to danger. 

NORVILLE:  How do you know who to trust?  We all know that the four American workers who were killed near Fallujah were stopped by one of those roadblocks you described where the people dressed as though they were civil defense and indeed they weren‘t.  How do you know whom to put your trust in? 

ENGEL:  It‘s tough. 

And I feel—luckily, I have a little bit of an advantage.  I speak Arabic.  And I have a sense, I think, of who, by the way they‘re talking and by the way they‘re acting, maybe have negative intentions or the kind of, you know—you can tell if they‘re sort of an Islamic fundamentalist or not.  And those are a lot of people responsible for these kinds of acts or kidnappings. 

But you don‘t know.  And even if you do know that they‘re the wrong kind of people, if they stop your car and they‘re surrounding you with RPGs and they‘re—they‘re telling you to get out of the car and go with them, there is not that much you can do, unfortunately. 

NORVILLE:  Do you have a contingency plan?  Do you have a contingency plan?  Have you guys talked about what do you do if somebody pulls over and the RPG is pointed at your Hummer or whatever you guys are driving in?  Have you thought about what you would do in the event that someone has a gun to your head and said, you‘re coming with me?

ENGEL:  Yes, I think about that all the time, you know.  You don‘t—it has gotten to the stage—before the war when I was here, essentially on my own, I had lots of contingency plans for escaping the building, finding a driver, going to a safe house and now I‘ve started—and a lot of people have—reviewing those kind of plans that you want to have an out. 

You want to have a bag.  And I have a bag packed by my door with some water in it, some extra food, just because you never know if you need to move quickly if the hotel gets hit.  So some of those safety plans that were put in place that we were talking about before the war, you know, have been dusted off and we‘re thinking about them again. 

NORVILLE:  Richard, is there any situation in which you could envision things getting so dicey there that you would be concerned enough for your personal safety that you would leave? 

ENGEL:  Yes, obviously. 

You always don‘t want to—there is no point in being here—if you‘re going to get killed for this story, it‘s not worth it. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

ENGEL:  There‘s no point.  There is no place I would rather be.  I want to be here and watch this story develop.  I think it‘s important.  But if it‘s totally not workable and totally untenable, then you would have to leave.  We would have to totally go back to the way I used to operate, which was a one-man-band operation with just a tiny team where you can move pretty much invisibly. 

As you know well very well, television is not a discrete medium.  We have to move around in several cars with lights and things like that.  So I think, maybe at some stage, if it got much worse, we‘d have to consider scaling back our presence.  But I would really—it would take a lot to get me to leave. 

NORVILLE:  What‘s the impact, in your opinion, Richard, going to be on the planned June 30 handover?  If the infrastructure construction cannot continue, if companies that were in place to try to make Iraq a more functional society cannot do their work and if the NGOs can‘t get the food to the people and help them learn how to be democratic citizens, what is the future of Iraq going to be as long as this rampant anarchy continues? 

ENGEL:  Yes, it‘s not—it doesn‘t bode well.  Things I think will have to calm down.  There is not necessarily rampant anarchy across the country.  It is still more or less limited to the areas around Fallujah, some parts of Baghdad as well that extend from Fallujah to Baghdad, some parts, some areas in the south. 

But the problem is, you don‘t feel safe.  You don‘t feel that you can just get in a car and go from point A to point B.  There is no one who is securing the roads.  Getting in a car and driving to Jordan, for example, you would have to be crazy to do it right now.  So if you can‘t move around in the country, it‘s hard to operate, to bring those basic services. 

The hope is, and this is what the U.S. administration hopes, is that things will get better once there is a handover to Iraqi sovereignty on June 30, that the people carrying out these attacks won‘t have the pretext to continue holding this country hostage the way it is being held hostage right now.  We‘ll see if that actually happens. 

NORVILLE:  Well, in the meantime, there will be plenty of interesting stories.  We hope you‘re able to get out safely to report them and we appreciate your time with us tonight, Richard Engel.

ENGEL:  Thanks. 

ANNOUNCER:  Up next, Terry Waite and Terry Anderson, they endured years of captivity and torture in Beirut more than a decade ago. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY WAITE, HELD HOSTAGE FOR FOUR YEARS:  My hair is gray, but not with years. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Life as a hostage and what happens when you finally come home when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  There are new pictures released today of three Italian hostages being held in Iraq.  Their captors are threatening to kill them in five days if Italians don‘t take to the streets and start protesting their country‘s military presence in Iraq.  The three men were working as private security guards when they were kidnapped two weeks ago.  A fourth Italian security guard was executed by his captors two days later. 

A number of hostages from several countries are being held in Iraq, including two Americans that we know of; 44-year-old fuel trunk driver Thomas Hamill was kidnapped April 9 after the convoy he was riding in was ambushed.  And Private 1st Class Keith Maupin is an American soldier being held hostage.  He was part of that same fuel convoy.

For some perspective on what it‘s like to be held hostage, we turn to two men who know all too well what that is.  Terry Anderson was the Associated Press chief Middle East correspondent when he was kidnapped in Beirut in 1985 by the Hezbollah.  He was released more than six and a half years later.  Terry Waite was also kidnapped in Beirut by Hezbollah.  He was negotiating the release of the American hostages when he was abducted in 1987.  Waite spent four years in a dark room in solitary confinement, often blindfolded, beaten, whipped across his feat, and subjected to mock executions. 

Both men wrote books recounting their experiences in captivity. 

And joining me this evening are Terry Anderson and Terry Waite. 

Gentlemen, it is good to see you both on television this evening. 

(CROSSTALK) 

NORVILLE:  Terry Anderson, let me start with you first.  I know that no one wakes up any morning and says today is the day I‘m going to be kidnapped.  But you did at the time you were running the bureau—chief—and you were running the bureau for Associated Press in Beirut—know it was a very dangerous place.  Nonetheless, how stunned were you at that moment coming back from a tennis game that the Hezbollah people grabbed you? 

TERRY ANDERSON, FORMER HOSTAGE IN LEBANON:  Well, I knew immediately what was happening.  We had thought about it.  There had been other journalists and other people kidnapped.  And my immediate thought was, oh no, I‘ve done it.  I‘ve made that mistake.  I‘ve allowed myself to be kidnapped.  It was almost a shock of recognition. 

NORVILLE:  Like, they got me, I kind of thought it might have been coming? 

ANDERSON:  You know, you work in that war for three years, three and a half years and you get to be feeling almost invulnerable.  You‘re a correspondent.  I‘m here to watch.  I‘m not really part of this. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  And I‘m not part of your problem so why would you want to involve me in it? 

ANDERSON:  I actually told somebody, they won‘t take me.  I‘m telling their story. 

NORVILLE:  And Terry Waite, in much the same way I‘m sure that you were in Beirut there working on behalf of trying to negotiate the release of other hostages thinking, they wouldn‘t take me, I‘m here to help. 

WAITE:  Well, that‘s not quite the case.  I always felt very vulnerable, particularly on that last visit when I was captured.  I was told by the kidnappers with whom I had face-to-face contact, the only person to have face-to-face contact with them, that they would allow me to see the hostages because they were sick and they said one may die. 

I asked for 24 hours.  I said give me 24 hours to think about that because the risks were enormous.  And I went away and took advice.  Some said, for goodness‘ sake, don‘t go.  Others said, well, you should be safe, but we can‘t—nobody can guarantee it.  And that‘s for sure.  And others said, well, you‘ve been given the promise of safe conduct as an envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury.  You should be OK. 

NORVILLE:  How did they take you?

WAITE:  They came in the night.  I was blindfolded, taken downstairs into a van, driven across town.  And then we drove into what I believe was an underground car park beneath an apartment building.  There was a trapdoor in the floor.  They told me to jump down and I was pushed into a cell and that was it.  I was a hostage, an underground prison, about four or five little cells down there.  I think Terry once described these places as being the Lebanese gulag.  And indeed that‘s what it was. 

NORVILLE:  What was the worst of it for you, Mr. Waite?  Was it the solitary confinement, the lack of human interaction or was it the physical torture that I know you were forced to endure? 

WAITE:  The torture—there was beating on the soles of the feet with cable and a mock execution when I was literally scared out of my wits.  I thought I was going to die. 

But I think that was worse.  With strict solitary confinement, even though you have nothing—I was fortunate.  I had been someone who had read widely across life.  I had a store of memories.  I could write in my head, converse with myself.  And somehow, what you have to do in solitary confinement is learn to live from within because nothing is given to you from the outside.  You just sit chained to the wall in a dark room and so there is nothing. 

So I think, having said that, though, I think probably solitary confinement is worse than the physical beatings of misery.  I don‘t like that. 

NORVILLE:  Yes. 

Terry Anderson, you spent more time as a hostage than any other American.  I think most of us still marvel that you were able to get through it.  What was it that kept you going? 

ANDERSON:  I‘ve been asked that a number of times. 

As Terry said, you have what is in your mind.  You have what is in your head.  You have your past to think about.  You have ideas.  But mostly, what kept me going was, I spent only about a year in solitary confinement.  During that time, I was given a Bible, which I read very, very often.  And then I had companions, other hostages in my cell.  Sometimes, there was one other hostage, Tom Sutherland usually.  Sometimes, there were four or five. 

Terry joined us after several years.  And it is those people that you can rely on, that you can lean on each other.  You can help each other.  Even when you have arguments or you don‘t get along, which sometimes happens because you‘re strangers forced into very, very close contact, it is still a resource for you. 

And I‘m—I‘m very grateful to T.W. and to all the other hostages who I was confined with, because they helped me get through it. 

NORVILLE:  I know when Mr. Waite joined the cell, you talk about the close quarters and people get annoyed.  Terry Waite, I know you had an asthma condition and you were coughing like mad in there.  And you said that Terry Anderson was the only one who didn‘t get annoyed at you for that and that you learned something about the healing presence of another individual?

WAITE:  Well, it was extremely irritating to the other hostages, because I just couldn‘t breathe and I made a terrible noise when breathing day and night.  And I think the others were sympathetic. 

But what was special about Terry—and I don‘t think I‘ve ever told him this to his face since he‘s been released—is that he just would lean across in the night when I was sitting up.  I couldn‘t lie down.  And he would lean across, stretch as far as he could on the end of a chain and he would just sit there or lie there.  And it was his presence.  And it made me realize—you know, I‘ve often felt when you‘re visiting the sick, sometimes, you feel stumped for words.  And you feel, well, I ought to say something, but what can I say?

And I realized at the time that it doesn‘t really matter what you say.  The very fact there is another person who just will be sympathetic and be with you and who is living and alive and says, come on, hold on, is enough to give you a little hope.  And that was something that was very significant to me at a very, very low point in my whole experience. 

NORVILLE:  Terry, you want to respond? 

ANDERSON:  Well, I thought T.W. was going to die there for a while. 

In fact, at one point, when he had a coughing fit so bad, he fell unconscious, I thought he was dying.  And the only thing I could do was reach out and try to support him.  It‘s what you do. 

NORVILLE:  And, briefly, what would each of you offer as words of encouragement or advice to the family members who have loved ones who are currently being held hostage in Iraq somewhere? 

Terry Waite.

WAITE:  OK, I‘ll go first this time. 

When I was in captivity, someone came out from Beirut and went to see my wife and said, your husband is dead.  We‘ve seen his grave.  And she was trying to bring up four children and see them educated and so on.  And she said, I believe it when I have proof positive.  And she had to live with that all those years.  And so I would say, maintain hope.  Don‘t believe everything you hear and try and maintain hope.  If you can do that and if you can be supported in that, then that‘s the greatest thing you can do. 

NORVILLE:  Terry Anderson? 

ANDERSON:  Well, it is devastating on the families, obviously.  And one of the biggest problems I know is the sense of helplessness.  What is it you can do?  And there isn‘t much.  You can pray for them.  You can support them. 

It is—it was important to us when we had access to the news to hear things from the outside about people who were supporting us and people who were praying for us.  That gave us a lift.  It made us feel like we hadn‘t been forgotten over all those years.  I pray to God that these hostages will not have that experience, that they will not have to spend those years in imprisonment. 

I pray that we‘ll be able to resolve this situation much more rapidly.  But for the families, as T.W. said, keep your hope up, keep praying, don‘t believe everything you hear.  There are going to be a lot of rumors.  There are going to be a lot of strange people.  Just keep hoping. 

NORVILLE:  Your presence on the screen is hope for those families that prayers can be answered. 

Terry Waite, Terry Anderson, thank you for being with us. 

WAITE:  Thank you. 

ANDERSON:  Thank you. 

WAITE:  Bye-bye, Terry. 

ANDERSON:  Bye-bye, T.W. 

NORVILLE:  Not all hostages are heroes when they come back.  That‘s next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Finally, those new pictures of the Italians held hostage in Iraq remind us of the courage they need now.  Terry Anderson said it made a huge difference to him knowing that people cared and were praying for him. 

So you‘ve got to wonder what kind of example is being set in Japan, where three former hostages, a photojournalist, a writer, and an aide worker have been practically treated as pariahs upon their safe return.  The Japanese government is billing them over $20,000 for the cost of their plane tickets back home. 

On the other hand, here at home this weekend, an elementary school kid who had never heard of Pat Tillman before wrote an essay about what it means to give up something really special of their own for something even more special for their country.  I‘d never heard that from my little boy before.  And I bet Pat Tillman would have liked hearing it, too, and so probably would those soldiers who have died and won‘t get the publicity of the fallen NFL safety turned elite Army Ranger. 

It‘s a reminder that nothing good comes without effort, nothing lasting comes without sacrifice.  And if the 24 million people of Iraq one day can get up and raise their children and go to jobs in peace and if little boys in this country realize that sometimes the bigger picture is worth sacrificing for, then maybe the deaths of Pat Tillman and the more than 550 other Americans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan won‘t be in vain. 

That‘s our program for tonight.  Thanks for watching. 

Do join us tomorrow, because coming up tomorrow night, this John Kerry interview from 1971 raising lots of questions.  We‘ll talk with the woman who conducted it when you join us tomorrow. 

END   

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