updated 12/5/2005 1:40:11 PM ET 2005-12-05T18:40:11

Guest: Harold Copus, Steve Cohen, Fraser Seitel, Burt Dubrow, Thom Raulen, T.J. Ward, JBL, Jesse Davidson, Lester James Brandt, Katherine Benz-Campbell

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Tonight: Is it a confession or not?  A firestorm over an interview with one of the prime suspects in the Natalee Holloway case gets worse.  Was it manipulated, and by who?

And into the war zone, America‘s wrestling superstars heading into the heart of the war on terror to support U.S. troops, and we‘re going with them.

And more wackiness surrounding Tom and Katie‘s baby.  Tom buys a big piece of medical equipment for their house.  Find out why some doctors are asking, What were they thinking?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s a dream come true.


COSBY:  It‘s all LIVE AND DIRECT.  But first, we start tonight with the tale of the tape in the Natalee Holloway case.  Dr. Phil and his syndicated talk show are defending themselves right now against any allegations of manipulating what could be a key piece of evidence in the Holloway case.  At issue is the content of an interview with suspect Deepak Kalpoe and what he did or did not say about what happened the night Natalee disappeared.  Tonight, this controversial interview and what may or may not have happened behind the scenes of Dr. Phil.

First, here‘s part of the interview from Dr. Phil‘s show.  Here Deepak allegedly admits all three suspects had sex with Natalee Holloway.


JAMIE SKEETERS, POLYGRAPH EXPERT:  I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.


You‘d be surprised how simple it was.


COSBY:  And now here is that same part of the interview from Jamie Skeeters and what he claims Deepak Kalpoe says.


SKEETERS:  I‘m sure she had sex with all of you and (INAUDIBLE)

KALPOE:  She did.  You‘d be surprised how simple it was.


COSBY:  And now the version sent to us by the Aruban government with their translations.  You can see what they say is quite different.


SKEETERS:  I‘m sure she had sex with all of you and (INAUDIBLE)

KALPOE:  No, she didn‘t.  You‘d be surprised how simple it would have been.


COSBY:  So what do we make of all of this?  On the phone tonight from Aruba is special adviser to the Aruban government Steven Cohen.  This is the first television interview he‘s done since taking on the role.  And LIVE And DIRECT from Atlanta is former FBI agent Harold Copus.  More importantly, he‘s part of Dr. Phil‘s investigation into the Natalee Holloway case.  And he‘s also appeared as a guest on that show.

Harold, what do you make of all the controversy?  Can you make sense of it?

HAROLD COPUS, FORMER FBI AGENT:  I certainly can‘t.  I understand what‘s going on.  The problem now is what happens in these tapes and if they were manipulated, and if so, by whom.

COSBY:  Do we know who did the editing at all, Harold?

COPUS:  You know, I have no idea.  That—someone from the Dr. Phil show is going to have to come forward and say what they did.

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And Steven, you know, you just stepped into your role today.  What do you make of all of this controversy?

STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT:  Well, I think we make a few things of it.  First, the tape was created by an independent investigation force, in this case, Jamie Skeeters and the Dr. Phil show, so it wasn‘t part of the official investigation.

And second, the Dutch had four independent forensic experts listen to these series of tapes.  They acted independently of each other.  They all came up with the same conclusion, which was that the Dr. Phil portion of the tape, in their words, quote, unquote, was “manipulated.”  No one on our end of it has any idea whether it was manipulated and by whom, only that it is a different tape than the original that you‘ve received from us.

COSBY:  Yes, and there certainly seems to be a big discrepancy there.

Let me read a statement—this is an official statement which was released today by the Dr. Phil show.  It says, quote, “We were provided a raw tape by Jamie Skeeters, president of the California Polygraph Association, who conducted the interview.  Mr. Skeeters confirms that Mr.  Kalpoe did, in fact, say what was broadcast on the Dr. Phil show.  Subsequently, the Dr. Phil show submitted Mr. Skeeters‘s tape to an independent forensic audio specialist who confirms the substance on the raw tape is consistent with what was played on the Dr. Phil show and that no change of the content in question took place.  Specifically, in his expert opinion, the raw tape does not”—“does,” rather, “contain Mr. Kalpoe saying ‘She did,‘ as well as, ‘You‘d be surprised how simple it was the other night,‘” referring to all of them having sex with her.

COHEN:  Rita?  Rita?

COSBY:  Wait.  Let me finish the statement, sir.  “The Dr. Phil show of course excluded unintelligible an irrelevant portions, which did not change the content.”  That‘s the response from the Dr. Phil show.  Steve Cohen, go ahead.

COHEN:  Yes.  I think that the Dr. Phil show is saying this, and it certainly makes sense that they feel that they did not alter the tape.  However, I do know of Mr. Skeeters‘s record, being a Californian myself, and he‘s a very reputable polygraph investigator and interviewer.  I would certainly doubt that he altered this, even though he was working for Dr.  Phil, which he says on the tape repeatedly.  He says, I‘m working for Dr.


Also, one other thing.  Some of the words, like “simple,” which in Dutch is not translated as “simple”—what “simple” means in Dutch is “easy,” that this—that this—“no problem,” is what it means.  And I think sometimes in the translation, English to Dutch and Dutch to English, that there are some idiomatic problems that can result here.  So even if...

COSBY:  But Steve, do you believe that that‘s the issue, that we‘re playing with language barriers?

COHEN:  I think there is some idiomatic issues here, but I don‘t think that any of this resolves in our investigators saying that Kalpoe has admitted to a rape having taken place on the beach.

COSBY:  And of course, that‘s a big discrepancy.  Let me—I want to just remind everybody, of course, at this point that there is absolutely no evidence, at this point, that the Dr. Phil show has indeed done anything wrong.  But I do want to show or point out is that what we know is that some audio experts have said that the tape that played on Dr. Phil‘s show didn‘t match the original tape from the man who conducted the interview, the one that we‘ve been talking about, Jamie Skeeters.  The show‘s producers say that they did not alter the tape that Skeeters gave them.

With that in mind, of course, we want to find out what may be going on behind the scenes of some of your favorite talk shows.  Here tonight is a former executive producer of talk shows like Sally Jessie Raphael and Jerry Springer.  LIVE AND DIRECT is Burt Dubrow.  Burt, what do you think is going on behind the scenes at the Dr. Phil show?  I mean, they‘re standing by their story right now.

BURT DUBROW, TALK SHOW PRODUCER:  Well, and as they should.  I just can‘t understand, Rita, why the Dr. Phil show would benefit in any way, shape or form by lying.  It just doesn‘t make any sense to me.  It‘s a news story.  They‘re a very responsible show.  The show is beautifully done, doesn‘t get in any trouble.  I just don‘t think for a minute that they would do anything like that, in my opinion.

COSBY:  (INAUDIBLE) And I‘ve had dealings with them.  They seem very

reputable in my dealings with them.  I want to show you a comment.  This is

we had last night a voice analyst on our show.  Here‘s what he had to say about the discrepancy from the raw tape to the edited tapes.


DR. PHIL, TALK SHOW HOST:  It‘s time to disclose that he is giving very specific information of her being moved, of tracking her, and that he has every confidence that that‘s who she is.  He‘s not asking you for money or anything of the sort.  He‘s just coming and telling you, I have seen her alive on the island in June, July and August with three moves that he‘s specifically talking about.



COSBY:  And that, of course, was Beth Holloway and Phil McGraw, not, obviously, the tape analyst, just a clip of the show about what was going on.

You know, Harold, you were there.  Was there any sense of any nervousness about what was going to air and also where Dr. Phil was heading with his questions?

COPUS:  Well, I wasn‘t there.  They—what they did is, Jamie had put that together, and that was what was used for the show.

COSBY:  But you were at the show, Harold.  You were in the show.

COPUS:  I was in the show on the second showing, when—that was about the sex trade.

COSBY:  Yes, what do you—what do you make of it, though, Harold?  I mean, was there any sense of nervousness, or do you think that they believed everything was fine and, indeed, maybe that is the case?

COPUS:  I think it still is the case.  And I really think from—we‘ve seen so much coming out of Aruba.  I go back to that thing from Shakespeare, maybe much ado about nothing.  I think this is just another red herring by these folks, and I see nothing wrong until a complete transcript is made and you put them side by side.

COSBY:  No, absolutely.  In fact, now I understand we do have that tape analyst who was on our show last night.  He said he does see a discrepancy.  And again, this is an expert looking at it on his computer.  Of course, everybody has differing views, but here‘s what the one said last night on our show.


FRANK PIAZZA, VOICE ANALYST:  The original version, which we‘ll say is Mr. Skeeters‘s version, and the Aruban version, they both for me, as I analyzed them earlier, are exactly the same.  There‘s no changes.  Yet the Dr. Phil version, there are absolute edits.


COSBY:  You know, Burt, when you hear that, and you have tape experts who are saying that—and again, no one‘s quite sure what happened here—but when you hear that, the Dr. Phil show has got to be sort of scrambling to figure out what is going on.

DUBROW:  Well, yes, and it‘s also very possible that there was an edit made, but not in a negative sense.  I mean, that‘s very, very, very possible.  I‘ve got a funny feeling, when all is said and done and the water clears, you‘re going to find the that Dr. Phil show is fine, is honest.  And believe me, if there‘s anybody there who did do something wrong—and I don‘t think there is anybody, but if there is anybody, believe me, they‘ll be taken care of.  I‘m sure.  It‘s too responsible a show.

COSBY:  Yes.  Absolutely.  Let me bring in, if I could, everybody—here with us tonight is the author of “The Practice of Public Relations,” crisis manager, consultant Fraser Seitel.

Fraser, regardless, how is this going to affect the Dr. Phil show?

FRASER SEITEL, CRISIS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT:  Dr. Phil, Rita, has got to be very careful about this.  I mean, ultimately, what he‘s got to be concerned about most is his reputation.  I mean, he‘s not your normal TV personality.  He‘s a doctor, or at least he plays one on TV.  And there are millions of people who watch him and listen to him and trust him.  And you know, when he speaks about Natalee Holloway might be part of the sex slave trade now, and then this potentially altered tape, it strikes right at his credibility.  So he‘s got to be very careful how he plays this.

COSBY:  And you know, Fraser, they released this statement that we just read, saying that, Look—they basically stand by everything they did.  Is there something more they should do just to reassure the folks?

SEITEL:  Yes.  No.  Here—what they have to do is this.  There are only three choices.  One, the tape is truthful.  Two, the private eye altered it.  Or three, somebody on Dr. Phil‘s staff altered it.  If I‘m advising Dr. Phil, I‘d say, Look, it‘s your credibility, it‘s your reputation.  You find out what happened.  You get to the bottom of it.  You shake everybody up, and you announce it next week on the air, or else you run the risk of becoming the medical equivalent of Geraldo.  You don‘t want that to happen.

COSBY:  You know, and again, the tape analyst that we had on last night—I want to show another clip from what he had to say.  He felt that it was sort of sensationalized, that there were some changes.  I don‘t think we have it, but I just want to read—he basically says that Dr.  Phil‘s show is filled with music and hype.  At playback, it sounded a bit different.

Steve Cohen, if you‘re still with us in Aruba, is there something that the Aruban government‘s going to do just to clear this up?  Because Dr.  Phil‘s standing by his story.  Very well may be his explanation is the right one.

COHEN:  Well, as soon as Chief Dompig received the report which said that one tape was manipulated, he immediately called the FBI and offered the tapes to their forensic experts.  So that is happening as we speak.

COSBY:  Will we get the FBI‘s response, Steven?

COHEN:  Yes.

COSBY:  When will we get that?

COHEN:  I‘m not in control of their timetable, but I expect it‘ll be quick because we, again—all we‘re looking for are any bits of information that can help us solve this puzzle of the disappearance.  And if this, in fact, is a valid bit of information, where Kalpoe says that he committed rape, as did the others, well, that‘s very important in moving the investigation forward.  But at this point, there‘s so much question about these tapes that our investigators really can‘t move forward with it.

COSBY:  No, it doesn‘t sound like anybody can, at this point.

DUBROW:  Rita?

COSBY:  Yes, go ahead, real quick.

DUBROW:  Rita, what would be the possible reason for the Dr. Phil show to mess with the tape?  Why would they do that?  How would they benefit?

COHEN:  I have an answer for that, Rita, if I might.

COSBY:  Yes.  Go ahead, really fast.

COHEN:  All right.  My answer is that he had a scenario that ended the show, that he asked for a boycott of Aruba, and that he needed all his pieces in that show to fall together so that they would conclude that Aruba should be boycotted.

COSBY:  Let me real quick get Harold in because Harold, is it possible that Aruba just doesn‘t want to admit that maybe it is on the tape?  Let‘s play devil‘s advocate.

COPUS:  I think that‘s pretty safe.  So far, from at least my standpoint as an investigator and a former agent, I haven‘t been too impressed with what they‘ve done in Aruba to date.  So I think—I stand by and say let‘s get the full transcript, lay them down side by side, and I think the chips will fall where they may.

COSBY:  Exactly.  In fact...


COSBY:  Everybody, thank you.  And of course, the debate about Dr.  Phil‘s investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance doesn‘t end with the tapes that we‘re talking about.  Just a few weeks ago, Dr. Phil dropped this bombshell on the “Tonight” show With Jay Leno.


PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST:  We have reasonable belief and some credible evidence that Natalee Holloway is alive.

JAY LENO, HOST:  Is alive?

MCGRAW:  Is alive.  We cannot prove that at this point, and we don‘t know where she is, but you know, there is a huge sex slave underground in some of those countries down there.  Young women have disappeared from that part of the world before, and we have—we have reasonable cause to believe that she may well be alive.


COSBY:  And LIVE AND DIRECT tonight from Atlanta is private investigator T.J. Ward.  T.J., what do you make of those statements from Dr. Phil?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  Hi, Rita.  I believe that it‘s way out of (INAUDIBLE).  I spent a lot of time in Aruba, and there‘s pieces of the puzzle that I know about, and I hardly believe that she‘s in a sex slave camp.

COSBY:  But is it possible you just should look at all options, T.J.? 

I mean, you don‘t want to exclude anything, right?

WARD:  Well, we don‘t want to exclude anything, but when this came up at the first part of the investigation back in the first part of June, the FBI has done a lot of work down in South America to follow up with these type allegations.

COSBY:  All right, T.J., stick around, if you could, because when we come back—why is Deepak Kalpoe out of prison in the first place when the chief of police said he‘s guilty?  You remember on this show, “guilty as hell”?  That‘s coming up.  And that‘s not all.

Still ahead: A 20-year-old shooter goes berserk inside a shopping mall.  And for the first time, we‘re hearing his chilling warning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, I‘m just alerting you (INAUDIBLE) I‘m about to start shooting right now.


COSBY:  You‘ll hear the 911 tapes telling police that a rampage was on the way.

And a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive, smackdown in Afghanistan.  America‘s wrestling superstars tell me why they‘re taking the show on the road to support U.S. men and U.S. women fighting the war on terror.  We are going with them.

And what were they thinking?  Wait until you hear what piece of medical equipment Tom Cruise bought for his fiancee, and find out why doctors say it could be bad for baby.  It‘s all coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m so happy!  I‘m so happy!  I‘m so happy!



COSBY:  And the a big question in the Natalee Holloway case is could this controversial tape of one of the prime suspects possibly confessing put him and the other suspects back behind bars?  Joining me again on the phone tonight from Aruba is special adviser to the Aruban government Steve Cohen.  And let‘s also bring back in private investigator T.J. Ward.

Steve, I want to go to you, but first I want to show—this is a comment that Deputy Police Chief Dompig, who‘s the acting police chief down there in Aruba, as you know, made on our show, basically talking about the tape.  This is prior to the release.  And let‘s listen to what he had to say.


GEROLD DOMPIG, DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF OF ARUBA:  Once these tapes have proven to be authentic, which is very important for the court case, we definitely will move ahead.  And I assure you that this be a complete turnaround of the case.  And as I said earlier in other interviews, if these guys are guilty, I want them behind bars.


COSBY:  And before I get to that, I also want to play the subsequent conversation that I had with Chief Dompig not too long after that—I believe the conversation was November 2 -- where he took that guilty line just one step further.


DOMPIG:  I still believe that these boys have been lying.  They‘re still lying, and everybody knows that by now.

COSBY:  Chief, you said to me even before this interview that you believe the boys are guilty as hell.  Do you believe they‘re involved in her disappearance?



COSBY:  Steve Cohen, that was a pretty strong “yes” from the deputy chief of police, the acting police chief there.  What‘s going to happen now?  Because there‘s other information on the tape, not just the question about the sex, but other things that have been authenticated.

COHEN:  Yes.  I don‘t think there‘s any question that the operative theory by the chief continues to be the same theory that Beth Holloway has, which is that the boys had non-consensual sex with Natalee.  And then at the conclusion, she was either comatose and then passed away or she passed away at some time in that interval, and then they disposed of the body or had someone dispose of the body.

That continues to be the foremost operative theory.  And any evidence that would give us some more pieces to move forward would be very important to the investigation.  I spoke to the chief this morning, prior to this interview, and he told me again that if there‘s anything on that tape that really begins to put some of the pieces together, he will take it to the attorney general.  But right now, I‘d have to say, Rita, that honestly, we don‘t have enough to move forward off of that tape.

COSBY:  T.J., if they can somehow get this validated—say the FBI comes forward and says this is what it is and it‘s in sync with what the Dr. Phil show has said—that is enough, at that point, T.J., don‘t you think, to force them to move forward?

WARD:  Yes, I think so.

COSBY:  I mean, what else do they need, T.J., in your assessment?

WARD:  Well, I can‘t really believe that three boys could pull off the perfect crime.  There‘s somebody else involved in here.  And I was kind of a little taken when they put Paul Van Der Sloot out of the picture.  I believe he plays a major part of this investigation, and I believe that he‘s a major part of the disappearance and removal of her body, wherever she is now.

COSBY:  And T.J., let me play another part.  I had Beth Holloway, of

course, Natalee‘s mom, on my show last night.  And I asked her—because

she and I had also talked about some things that she had read, some

statements that Joran and some other boys made about using another boy‘s

father‘s boat that night—this is something that had never come up before

maybe signaling that someone else was involved.  Take a listen to what Beth said on the show last night.


TWITTY:  Coon‘s (ph) father has a boat.  And from what I had understood, that there was some activity with that boat during the early morning hours of May 30, when these boys took Natalee.  To what extent, we don‘t know.


COSBY:  T.J., you definitely believe that there were others involved, if, indeed, these boys played a role.

WARD:  I believe that Paulus Van Der Sloot is the culprit that is directly involved in the removal of Natalee Holloway off that island.  And I‘m trying to place the pieces of the puzzle together to solve and convince my theory that that‘s what has transpired.

COSBY:  Steve, what‘s the next step for you guys?  Are you waiting for something to come in, or are you going look for something...

COHEN:  No, I...


COSBY:  ... reinterview this—you know, we had Arlene Ellis Schipper on the other night.  She indicated that these guys may be interrogated again, may be questioned again anyway.  Is that the case?

COHEN:  I think all things are possible, but I‘ll tell you exactly what is happening.  One, the attorney general has asked another prosecutor from Curacao to come in and review the case from zero to now, as a check and balance to the investigation.  Dompig has put on another investigator, and Adolfo Richardson (ph) is returning from Holland next week, who will also take up the investigation, as well.  He‘s a very highly trained investigator.

And I don‘t disagree with T.J. in terms of, Are there other people?  We are investigating whether or not there are other people.  And I would encourage him to continue his investigation, and if, in fact, he does come up with enough evidence, to please bring it to us as soon as he can, so that we can run it through our own investigators and see if we can come up with a solution.

COSBY:  And Steve is shaking his head yes.  All right, both of you, thank you.  Steve Cohen and T.J. Ward, thank you both very much.

And now an “All Points Bulletin” right here.  There has been another prison break.  Seems like there‘s been so many lately.  The hunt is on for two inmates now who broke out of the Indian River Florida county jail.  Three inmates actually escaped last night.  One was captured, but Edward Roberson and Martin Finney are still at large as we speak.

Joining me now on the phone is Detective Thom Raulen with the Indian River County sheriff‘s department.  Detective, how did these guys get out?  It sounded like something creative, what, through the bathroom?

THOM RAULEN, INDIAN RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF:  They did.  They were able to take some tile out of the shower and made a very small hole that they were all three able to fit through and into a—like, a plumbing maintenance area behind the shower, out a door, a maintenance door onto the exercise yard.  And they were able to all three to scale three 12-foot fences with razor wire.

COSBY:  Are you surprised they were able to do it?  Sounds like that would be sort of a small hole.

RAULEN:  A very small hole (INAUDIBLE) and the razor wire (INAUDIBLE) very surprised.

COSBY:  And real quick, where are they?  Are they at large?

RAULEN:  One was captured, as you mentioned.  Finney and Roberson are still at large.  They both have ties to the north Florida Panhandle area, although we certainly are not limiting our search to that area.

COSBY:  What kind of a lengthy record do these guys have?  I understand both have a pretty long rap sheet.

RAULEN:  Finney does have an extremely long rap sheet dating back to the late ‘80s, mainly burglary and theft charges.  Roberson, who‘s younger, does have some prior burglary charges also.

COSBY:  All right.  Thank you very much, Detective.  Of course, anybody, if you see them, please call 911.

And still ahead: These guys are taking the fight to Afghanistan, and LIVE AND DIRECT—right there, there they are—is going with them.  We‘re going to tell you why America‘s wrestling superstars are heading into the war zone with us.

And you heard it here first.  The world‘s most famous madam, Heidi Fleiss, tells us she‘s opening up a stud ranch for women customers.  Tonight, you‘re going to meet her first gigolo.


HEIDI FLEISS, “HOLLYWOOD MADAM”:  I have to do the madam thing because that‘s what I‘m known for.



COSBY:  Well, we are really honored because next week, we‘re going to be broadcasting LIVE AND DIRECT from Afghanistan.  In recent months, events there have been overshadowed by the war in Iraq, but the battle against the Taliban and foreign fighters has increased dramatically over the past year and military leaders on the ground say the enemy is even more aggressive and better organized there than before.

And joining us to give some perspective is retired Army general Barry McCaffrey, who was in Afghanistan this past August.  He‘s also, of course, the former drug czar.  General McCaffrey, what was it like when you were there just in August?

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET.):  Well, pretty encouraging, in many ways.  It‘s a year since my earlier visit.  The country has come a long way.  We‘ve got around 20,000 U.S. combat forces there, around 11,000 NATO forces, who are scheduled to take over the security responsibilities by the end of this coming summer.

You know, roads are opening, Rita, clinics, schools are starting up.  The election was held.  We now have a parliament, an elected head of government.  A lot of problems, a lot of Taliban trying to come back across the border, significant ground combat, and the appearance of some technology and money out of international terrorism.  So it‘s a big challenge, but it‘s moving in the right direction.

COSBY:  You talk about technology and money from the international side.  Are we talking about ties to Iraq and elsewhere? 

MCCAFFREY:  I think so.  Yes, I think probably a lot of the funding for this sort of thing is coming out of this gigantic opium production; 582 metric tons of heroin are produced in Afghanistan last year.  That money is apparently buying new camping gear, you know, electronic warfare equipment, new encrypted radios. 

So it‘s a challenge.  We‘ve killed well over 700 Taliban in the last several months.  And there‘s been some very stiff fighting by Army and Marine ground combat elements and Special Forces. 

COSBY:  You know, General, how do you stop it?  Because I‘ve been reading here it supplies 87 percent of the world‘s opium supply in Afghanistan.  That is a major, major issue funding their government, funding the Taliban.  How do you stop it?  How do you break that cycle? 

MCCAFFREY:  Well, we got a terrific ambassador on the ground, Ambassador Ron Newman.  He just came out of Iraq.  He‘s a very experienced, stable guy.  Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry is our senior military person on the ground.

COSBY:  But, General, how do you tell the folks on the ground, these poor folks who have nothing, and they‘ve been sustaining themselves on that for so many years?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, not really, Rita.  This stuff‘s all new.  This is 1984, the Soviet invasion when we started to see massive opium production... 

COSBY:  But that‘s still 20 years. 

MCCAFFREY:  Well, yes, it‘s killing them.  It‘s addicting them.  It‘s providing money to the warlords.  Nobody wins out of opium. 

We could clearly have alternative economic livelihood programs, open the road network, get them back the legal agriculture.  They‘re devout Islamic people.  They don‘t want to grow drugs.  There is an option. 

But part of the option has to be, look, if you grow opium, we‘re going to spray it or cut it down.  We‘re simply not going to tolerate illegal activity, which addicts and destroys the Afghan people. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  You know, how dangerous is the enemy right now?  You talked about sort of increased violence.  We‘ve been reading a lot of reports, as we‘re heading there, of course.  But in the last year or so, there have been some stepped-up suicide attacks.  How dangerous, how well-organized is the enemy there? 

MCCAFFREY:  Well, a lot less dangerous than Iraq, that‘s for sure.  We‘ve got 35 battalions of the Afghan national army who are out in the field.  They‘re pretty well-trained.  We‘ve got a lot of Army and Marine, Reserve and National Guard forces embedded with them. 

A lot of stiff combat.  But a lot of these kids we see coming across the border, 16-year-old boys out of madrassas in Pakistan, some foreign fighters pretty well-trained, pretty tough.  But by and large, the ground combat units of the coalition, primarily U.S., but also some of our allies, are doing pretty effectively against them. 

COSBY:  Well, that‘s good to hear.  Thank you very much, General McCaffrey.  Always good to have you with us, sir. 

MCCAFFREY:  Good to be with you, Rita. 

COSBY:  Thank you. 

And we‘re heading, of course, to Afghanistan.  But we‘re not alone.  We‘re going with the WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, as part of its annual Troop Tribute Tour. 

And joining us now for a preview of our trip is wrestling superstar, my pal JBL.  He‘s going to protect me there in Afghanistan. 

JBL, WWE SUPERSTAR:  Absolutely. 

COSBY:  And also Captain—well, you promised, right? 

JBL:  Yes, I will. 

COSBY:  OK.  And Captain Jesse Davidson, who will also protect me, of the Armed Forces Entertainment, who‘s spearheading our visit. 

You know, JBL, here you are.  You have a successful wrestling career. 

Why are you putting yourself sort of in the fire there? 

JBL:  For that very reason.  We get the opportunity because we work on television to go and over say thank you to the troops.  And that‘s the reason we do it.  It has nothing to do with political reason.  It has nothing to do with what we think of the war, the current administration or anything.  We‘re simply there to say thank you to the troops. 

We‘re doing this tribute to them.  It‘s like the old Bob Hope USO feel-good Christmas special.  We‘re going to play as many of them as we can on our television shows so their loved ones can see them, see what they‘re going through.  And the whole thing is totally to honor these guys.  They‘re heroes. 

COSBY:  You‘ve been to Afghanistan five times? 

JBL:  Five times. 

COSBY:  What do you thin we‘re going to expect this time? 

JBL:  I think you‘re going to see—it‘s very interesting.  I was first there right after Kandahar Airport fell.  You can still see actually blood on the ground.  And it was very unique.  They had the Kandahar Cafe, was what they named their mess hall. 

They had a couple of old wrestling posters and one old cheerleading poster that they had put up, they had found somewhere.  And it‘s neat to see the morphism that has taken place in this. 

You know, the Army is very good about building cities rapidly, building mess halls, building recreational facilities.  In fact, the NFL donated a lot of money for a Pat Tillman Memorial for video games.  It‘s really amazing what they‘ve done in just a short period of time. 

COSBY:  It is incredible.  And it‘ll be neat for us to see, too. 

We‘re going to get our first-hand—it‘s my first visit to Afghanistan. 

It‘s going to be interesting. 

Captain Davidson, you know, as we look at the wrestlers there performing, this is a prior trip.  Where was this?  Was this in Iraq, when you were in... 

JBL:  This was in Iraq.  The last two Christmases we performed in Iraq for the soldiers there. 

COSBY:  And I was watching, actually, I think, a clip of this tape

last night.  You know what‘s amazing, Captain Davidson?  I mean, these guys

you know, they‘re out there in the front lines braving themselves.  They look up to the wrestlers.  They seem so thrilled to see folks like JBL.  Why is that? 

CAPT. JESSE DAVIDSON, ARMED FORCES ENTERTAINMENT:  I think they appreciate anyone who‘s going to come over there and do something.  But for something as popular and famous as WWE to come over there, it‘s extra special for them.  They get into their daily routine and focus on that every day.  But with the wrestlers able to come over there and give them a chance to look at home and remember home, it‘s certainly a big thing for them. 

COSBY:  You know, and, Captain Davidson, how difficult is it to organize things like this in the war zone?  As we talk about, you know, a volatile situation like Iraq, a volatile still situation in Afghanistan, logistically, it‘s a big operation, right? 

DAVIDSON:  Afghanistan is a particular challenge, because it is one of the furthest away locations from the United States.  And it‘s difficult to get to.  And it takes an effort from everybody, from here in D.C., in Charleston, South Carolina, and all the way to Afghanistan, and in Europe, to be able to set this all up over there. 

COSBY:  You know, JBL, when you go there, some of the tears—you know, here you are, a big guy.  But I could see in some of the tapes that I was watching, you guys are welling up. 

JBL:  It‘s an amazing thing.  The guys tell us thank you for coming. 

And  a lot of people say it‘s so great you go. 

We view it differently:  It is great that those guys are there.  We‘re simply to tell them thank you.  They‘re the heroes in all this.

I met a soldier that had been just bombed in the Mosul bombing last year, where 23 people were killed.  And as I walked in and saw him there, he called me over.  He was a wrestling fan. 

And I said, “Are you going to be OK?”  His whole face had been burned off.  His ears had been burned off.  He was blind.  He had had some shrapnel stuck in his leg.  And he said, “Sir, thanks for coming.”  He said, “I took this blast for my country and people like you, sir.  I‘m glad to have defended by country.”

COSBY:  What a great thing.

JBL:  And you see heroes like that and you realize how proud you are to be an American.  And who are the real heroes are, you know, heroes in movies now, they don‘t play us.  They play these soldiers, and rightfully so. 

COSBY:  You know, it‘s amazing, too.  We were just talking right before you came on set.  It is risky stuff.

We‘re going to be going up in Blackhawks.  We‘re going to be on the ground.  We‘re going to be going in some of these tough areas where these guys are.  I mean, we just get the experience for a day or two.  These guys are doing this every day. 

JBL:  These guys live it everyday.  One of the first times I was in Afghanistan, I saw a soldier standing on a sand dune guarding obviously a very valuable military piece of equipment.  And he was there for four hours.  And that‘s what he did.  It‘s a mundane job, sometimes very boring, in a rotten place, thousands of miles away from home, and all of a sudden bullets might fly at you.  It‘s really an unbelievable experience. 

I wish every American could take this opportunity to go over there. 

COSBY:  You get a different perspective to what the guys do. 

JBL:  You get a completely different perspective of what these guys do.  And you don‘t really get all of that in the media, because there‘s not that many reporters in the forward-operating bases.  So a lot of them are reporting things they don‘t have firsthand knowledge of.  They‘re in the Green Zone or they‘re sitting back. 

It‘s really a unique perspective that we get.  The WWE is extremely proud to be just able to go over and say, “Thank you.” 

COSBY:  It is.  And I can‘t wait to say thank you to these guys, too. 

You know, Jesse, what do you think we‘re going to learn the most?  What do you think‘s going to be one of the most interesting things that we, as broadcasters, are going to be able to show all of our great viewers out there? 

DAVIDSON:  They‘re going to be able to get to some of the most forward locations that are out there, which are places that is very hard to get entertainment out to.  So this‘ll be an amazing opportunity to get to live and go visit the marines and soldiers out there, and see where they live on a daily basis, and see how they live on daily basis. 

COSBY:  Well, we‘re looking forward to seeing it.  I know it‘s going to be rough conditions.  I‘ve heard cots, 20-degree weather... 


But I volunteered, just like you guys.

JBL:  Absolutely.  It‘s not the Four Seasons, and you won‘t get any frequent flyer mile credit for it, but it‘s a great trip. 

COSBY:  But you guys are going to protect me?

JBL:  It‘s a great way to spend your Christmas.

COSBY:  Thank you.  I‘m looking forward to spending the next two days with both of you. 

JBL:  We‘re glad you‘re going.

COSBY:  Thank you very much, JBL.

And Captain Davidson, thank you, too. 

DAVIDSON:  Thank you.

COSBY:  And again, everybody, LIVE & DIRECT is heading, as you heard, to Afghanistan.  Now I‘ve said it.  It‘s on the record.  I‘ve got to go.  You‘ll see some of your favorite superstars, including JBL, Kurt Angle and Rick Flair, just to name a few, as they meet with some of America‘s bravest. 

We‘re also going to be taking a look at life in Afghanistan four years after the fall of the Taliban.  That‘s “In the Warzone” Wednesday, December 7th, and Thursday, December 8th, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. 

And, of course, we also want to take along some of your questions and some of your e-mails with us.  If you have any questions or any comments that you want us to pass along to some of the U.S. forces who are working so hard there in Afghanistan, be sure to send us an e-mail.  We‘re going to bring them along.  We‘re going to ask them some of those questions and also pass on some of your well-wishes, some of your support.  Make sure you send them in to rita@MSNBC.com

And still ahead, everybody, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss broke the news to us that she was opening a stud farm.  Not with JBL; he already has a job.  Now her first man for hire is going to join us. 

And later, for the first time, we‘re hearing that warning that came into 911, the operator there, before a young man with a gun let loose inside a busy mall.  It is coming up.


DISPATCHER:  Sir, what is it we can do for you here at 911?

DOMINICK MALDONADO, ALLEGED MALL SHOOTER:  Oh, I‘m just alerting them I‘m about to start shooting right now.




HEIDI FLEISS, FORMER HOLLYWOOD MADAME:  When husbands cheat on their wives or their boyfriends cheat on their girlfriends, they sit home and cry.  Now they can go to Heidi Fleiss‘s stud farm and go right back at you. 


COSBY:  Well, you heard it here first.  Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss is set to open her first stud farm.  She says the new business will turn the tables on traditional legalized prostitution.  This time, she‘s catering to female customers.  And she‘s launching her all-male brothel in Crystal, Nevada. 

Joining me now live is Heidi‘s first hired stud, Lester James Brandt. 

There he is. 

Lester, how did you get hired? 

LESTER JAMES BRANDT, HEIDI‘S FIRST HIRE:  By accident, actually.  It was all just accidental.  I met her at a storage unit one day unloading something boxes.  And I offered her some help.  And she offered me a job. 

COSBY:  Now, it was at a storage unit.  Did you ever imagine going to a storage unit you would turn into a gigolo? 

BRANDT:  Not in a million years. 


COSBY:  Why did you take this job?  What drew to you this job?  And did you think, at first, she was joking? 

BRANDT:  At first, when she offered, she said, “I‘m going to make you rich and famous.”  I was like—I laughed it off, because I‘ve heard that before. 

You know, I didn‘t think much about it.  I took it light-heartedly.  And she said, “Congratulations, you got the job.”  And I didn‘t know what she was talking about at the time until, you know, a few days later.  But I said, “I don‘t have a job.  You just have my business card, and I have your word that you‘re going to call me about something.”  And she did. 

COSBY:  And what was your reaction when you found out what that “something” was? 

BRANDT:  I was taken aback for awhile.  And situations like this don‘t fall into people‘s laps every day.  So I saw it as a sign—it‘s a—I‘m blessed.  My whole life has been a blessing. 

COSBY:  Now, what were you doing before?  Those pictures look like they were modeling or acting pictures.  What was your background? 

BRANDT:  I‘ve been an actor here in Los Angeles nine years, in New York, six, five years in Dallas.  I have a clothing line in Beverly Hills with a motorcycle company, Ducati. 

I‘ve run the gamut on things that I could possibly involve myself with.  And I‘ve managed, by the blessing of God, Jesus Christ, to be very quite successful.  And I guess this is just another page. 

COSBY:  And real quick, how do you feel about getting paid for sex? 

And how much are you going to make? 

BRANDT:  Well, I‘m actually quite thrilled about being paid for something that I used to do for free.  I‘m ecstatic. 

COSBY:  And how much are you going to make? 

BRANDT:  Oh, I don‘t know that yet. 


It‘s going to be a lot.  I don‘t know the details. 

COSBY:  Well, we wish you lots of luck.  And Heidi was on the show

talking about it.  And now we know what happens when you go to the storage

thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

BRANDT:  You never know.

COSBY:  Good luck to you.  Thank you.

And, in the meantime, the man who served jail time for whacking ice skater Nancy Kerrigan on her knee is trying to clear his record, but he‘s gotten the cold shoulder from the courts. 

Shane Stant served 14 months in prison for the conspiracy involving Tonya Harding and her ex-husband.  Stant was convicted of carrying out the plot against skater Nancy Kerrigan—remember all that—back in 1994.  Stant made a request to an Oregon judge to clear his name so he could pursue his lifelong goal of become a Navy SEAL.  The Navy‘s special warfare unit will not accept anyone with a felony conviction.  Yesterday, the court denied his requests. 

And, for the first time tonight, we are hearing the frightening warning from a young man foretelling his shooting rampage inside a shopping mall.  Twenty-year-old Dominick Maldonado is accused of the rampage in Tacoma, Washington, last week.

Tonight, we hear the warning that he gave to a 911 operator.  Here‘s NBC‘s James Hattori.


DOMINICK MALDONADO, ALLEGED MALL SHOOTER:  Oh, I‘m just alerting you that I‘m about to start shooting right now.

DISPATCHER:  Where are you located?  Sir, where are you located?

MALDONADO:  Follow the screams.

DISPATCHER:  I‘m sorry.  You‘re on a cell phone.  I don‘t know where you are.

MALDONADO:  Follow the screams.

JAMES HATTORI, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Moments later, the gunman opened fire, shooting six people. 

DISPATCHER:  Just stay where you‘re at, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK, everyone‘s running.  I think he‘s coming again.  Please hurry.

DISPATCHER:  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe.


HATTORI:  Police say 20-year-old Dominick Maldonado took hostages at mall music store on November 20th.  One of them called 911. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m one of the people being held hostage in Sam Goody.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The guy told me to give you guys a call and let you know that, as long as you guys play by the rules, he‘ll play by the rules.

HATTORI:  The suspect then put down his gun and called police to surrender. 

MALDONADO:  I‘m coming out with the hostages.  Please don‘t kill me. 

I want to go peacefully please.

DISPATCHER:  OK.  He wants to go peacefully.

HATTORI:  Maldonado remains held under $2 million bail charged with assault, kidnapping and firearms‘ possession. 

James Hattori, NBC News, San Francisco. 


COSBY:  What a sad story.  Well, still ahead, some doctors are outraged over what Tom Cruise has bought for his pregnant fiancee, Katie Holmes.  They say it‘s bad for baby.  And it‘s next. 


KATIE HOLMES, ACTRESS:  It‘s amazing.  I am so happy.  It‘s a dream come true.




TOM CRUISE, ACTOR:  You don‘t even—you‘re glib.  You don‘t even know what Ritalin is.  If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK?  That‘s what I‘ve done. 


COSBY:  And that was Tom Cruise talking to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show.  Tom Cruise caused a fire storm when he was critical of Brooke Shields for using anti-depressants for post-partum depression.  Now, the superstar is now back in hot water with the medical community after revealing that he has bought a sonogram machine and he plans to use it himself to find out the sex of his baby with Katie Holmes.

We‘re joined now by Katherine Benz-Campbell, who has been teaching courses on how to operate sonograms since 1983, when Katie Holmes, incidentally, was just four years old.

What was your reaction when you heard that he bought a sonogram machine?

KATHERINE BENZ-CAMPBELL, REGISTERED MEDICAL SONOGRAPHER:  I really—it‘s not a good idea.  I was very surprised. 

COSBY:  Now, why is it a bad idea?  I mean, it sounds like a wacky idea to folks who are not medically inclined, but in the medical community...

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  It‘s a bad idea because it takes a great deal of expertise and training in order to do—to learn how to do an ultrasound.  It‘s just not like watching a DVD.  The FDA has stated that the energy level of an ultrasound energy on a fetus is unknown at this time, so we don‘t know the effects of it. 

COSBY:  Well, we know that the military also uses it for sound waves as a weapon. 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Yes.  Yes.  So it needs to be done by a skilled, certified, board-certified professional who is registered in the field of ultrasounds.

COSBY:  ... who knows what they‘re doing. 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Who knows what they‘re doing.  You know, I don‘t—if it‘s done under a license for a legitimate medical reason, then it can save a baby‘s life.  It can save an unborn child‘s life, if it‘s done the right way. 

COSBY:  Have you ever heard of someone buying a sonogram? 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Never.  Never.

COSBY:  How do you get a sonogram? 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  How do you get a sonogram?

COSBY:  Yes, I mean, can you buy it openly? 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  No.  It should be done for legitimate reasons, for the doctor.  And we should be—people should be trained.  If you go and you‘re having a baby, and you‘re going for an ultrasound machine, that person should be board-certified or registered in that.

COSBY:  Now, is it legal to even buy a new sonogram machine? 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  It is not legal to buy a new sonogram machine at all. 

COSBY:  So he would have had to buy an old one, if he‘s going to get one at all.

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Either or international—I don‘t know that.  But it is not legal to buy one.  The FDA does not allow it.  It is highly regulated.

COSBY:  How much would a sonogram machine cost?

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  It ranges.

COSBY:  And how difficult is it to run one?

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  It is extremely—like I said, it takes a lot of training.  And I do train that, over 27 years, a lot of training.  It takes a lot of skill.  It‘s just like doing a piano.  It‘s just like—you can‘t just bang at it.  It takes time. 

You have to be board-certified.  You have to look to see if there‘s something wrong with that baby and show it to a licensed physician and interpret it.  It has to be done that way.  It should be done in a hospital or a medical center, and it should be done on someone that is board-certified or registered.

COSBY:  And know what they‘re doing. 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  And knows what they‘re doing.  That‘s the bottom line.

COSBY:  What does the medical community think of Tom Cruise?  I mean, first he comes out with this wacky statement about the post-partum depression.  Now he‘s got this case, talking about sonograms.

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Yes, you know...

COSBY:  Is there an overall sort of feeling?

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  I kind of—yes, but we are concerned about it, absolutely.  There‘s no doubt about it.  But we are happy that he‘s brought this (INAUDIBLE) to let everybody know that it is important at this time that we don‘t know what the effects are on having—you know, the biological effects on a baby. 

So it has to be used minimally.  Excessive use can cause some type of damage.  So we really have to watch it and we have to look out. 

So I‘m very pleased, in a way, that he has brought it to our attention to make everybody aware, if they have any questions for that unborn child. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  It brings up a lot of issues, and a lot of us didn‘t know that. 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Exactly.  If they have any questions, they need to know.  Go to your doctor, ask, “Are you registered?  Are you board-certified?”  You know, that‘s what they need to know.  And then it‘ll be fine.

COSBY:  Katherine Benz-Campbell, thank you very much.  Unfortunately, we‘re out of time. 

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Yes, thank you.  I know.  I‘m sorry.  OK.


COSBY:  No, we‘re glad to have you on.

BENZ-CAMPBELL:  Thank you for having me.  I appreciate it. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much. 


COSBY:  So what does Katie Holmes have to say about the wedding plans?  Here‘s what she said the last time she was interviewed for the “Today” show on Halloween.  We‘re going to be right back. 


HOLMES:  We don‘t have a date just yet, but there‘s so much excitement going on.  It‘s just amazing. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s your first wedding.  I can imagine you‘re going to have, like, the biggest wedding ever!

HOLMES:  It‘s exciting.  We don‘t know yet, but we‘re excited.



COSBY:  And, once again, a reminder.  All next week, LIVE & DIRECT is heading to Afghanistan.  We‘re going on the road with the World Wrestling Entertainment, the WWE, for their annual Troop Tribute Tour. 

Some of the wrestlers on the tour are going to include JBL, who you saw on the show a little bit ago, Triple H, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Rick Flair, just to name a few.  I‘ll also look at the daily life of the U.S.  troops as they fight the war on terrorism.

“In the Warzone” is going to air this Wednesday, December 7th, and Thursday, December 8th, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.  And we want to take along some of your questions and e-mails.  If you have any, be sure to get a hold of us.  If you have anything for the troops, make sure that you e-mail us at rita@msnbc.com

And that‘s LIVE & DIRECT.  I‘m Rita Cosby.  I‘ll see you from Afghanistan.  Joe Scarborough starts right now.


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Watch Rita Cosby Live & Direct each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET


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