IN HIS FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE HIS RESCUE, FORMER HOSTAGE
ROY HALLUMS TELLS LESLEY STAHL HE WAS BOUND, BEATEN
AND FORCED TO CRITICIZE PRESIDENT BUSH DURING HIS
10 MONTHS IN CAPTIVITY -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY ON CBS
Interview to be the First 60 MINUTES Segment to be Podcast on CBSNews.com
In his first interview since his rescue by coalition troops, former American hostage Roy Hallums recounts his 10 months as a captive in Iraq for a Lesley Stahl report to be broadcast on the 38th season premiere of 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Sept. 25 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Hallums, a civilian contractor supplying food to the Iraqi Army, tells Stahl that the video his captors made of him to send to the media, in which he criticizes President Bush, was coerced by beatings and threats. "Before the [video] shot, they would say, 'We want lots of crying and to help you cry, we're going to beat you.'" After the beating, he was forced to memorize a script and read it at gunpoint. "A guy's standing there with a gun telling you, 'Memorize this.' I said what they told me to say," referring to the script in which he called President Bush selfish and indifferent to hostages.
"I didn't like the videos going out," says Hallums, "because I knew my family would probably see them and I hated for my daughters to see me in that situation," he tells Stahl.
His captors also sought his family's telephone numbers to ask for a ransom, says Hallums, putting a pistol barrel in his mouth and threatening to kill him. "I knew if I gave them the number, they would call them and ask for money�and I didn't want [my family] to deal with a call like that."
Hallums was kept in a crawlspace below a farmhouse for most of the 10 months, a space he estimates at 9 feet by 11 feet and just over 4 feet high. At times there were several other hostages. "Most at any time is about nine people....You've got nine people and their breath and humidity, just living with nine people you don't know," recalls Hallums. He was blindfolded and bound the entire time.
His captors fed him regularly, with rice being the main staple, says Hallums. Cheese and sardines were also given to him. "The last two months they were only giving us cheese and sardines; [it] gets a little old."
Hallums used his mind to stay sane for 10 months. "Sitting in the dark, no television, no radio, no newspaper, no books, zero. It's just black all day�So I would just plan a trip for my family. I would try to make one of those trip's planning sessions last for a couple of days."
The segment on Hallums will be podcast on the CBSNews.com website beginning Monday, Sept. 26, the first 60 MINUTES report to be made available this way.