updated 12/19/2005 2:06:15 PM ET 2005-12-19T19:06:15

Guests: Alberto Braunstein, Davidson Goldin, Andrew McCarthy, Adam Schiff, Dave Holloway, Jossy Mansur, Kathy Sudeikis

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  ... sexually assaulted a woman for more than 12 hours in New York has been caught.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS (voice-over):  Peter Braunstein caught in Memphis, Tennessee, after a college student recognized him on campus.  He‘s in a hospital in critical condition after stabbing himself repeatedly.  We‘ve got the late breaking details.

Plus, Aruban officials meet with congressional leaders about the Natalee Holloway investigation.  All the talk outside sure sounds friendly, but does this mean the call for a boycott of Aruba will end? 

And “Dateline‘s” under cover investigation into the world of online sex with kids.  Remember all those men who came to a house looking for sex with children and instead were confronted by “Dateline‘s” Chris Hansen?  Where are they now?  Chris Hansen is back with the latest. 

The program about justice starts now. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  First up on the docket, they have apparently gotten him.  After more than six weeks on the run, Peter Braunstein, the man who police say posed as a New York City firefighter on Halloween night and sexually assaulted a woman for more than 12 hours was finally nabbed in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Here‘s what we know.  According to Davidson Goldin of New York 1, who we just spoke to, he was spotted by a student on the University of Memphis campus.  The student then called the police.  The police came.  They approached Braunstein. 

As the police approached, Braunstein said—quote—“you‘ve got your guy” and then stabbed himself, apparently repeatedly in the neck.  He is now in critical condition at a nearby hospital.  We‘re joined now in an exclusive interview by Alberto Braunstein, Peter Braunstein‘s father. 

Mr. Braunstein, I know that you‘re just getting this news only moments ago.  What is your reaction? 

(AUDIO GAP)

ALBERTO BRAUNSTEIN, PETER BRAUNSTEIN‘S FATHER (via phone):  I‘m also relieved that it‘s over.  But the way they treat mentally sick people leaves much to be desired. 

(AUDIO GAP)

BRAUNSTEIN:  I beg your pardon.

ABRAMS:  Now you just found out about this from one of our producers. 

Have the authorities or anybody else spoken to you? 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes, I have. 

ABRAMS:  And what did they say to you? 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Essentially what you just stated. 

ABRAMS:  They just laid out the facts for you.  They said your son has been found?

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes, he was found bleeding apparently, but now I understand that he tried to commit suicide and in front of the police, is that it? 

ABRAMS:  That‘s what our reports are telling us is that as the police approached, Braunstein said—your son said, you‘ve got your guy, and then he started stabbing himself apparently in the neck. 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Right.  That just goes to show you how desperate he must have been.  As a father I‘m terribly saddened.  And I hope that now the news will cover something else because you would have thought that you know that he murdered 20 people.  On the wanted list, most wanted list and everything else.  He did not rape the woman. 

I‘m not minimizing what he did to her, which I don‘t quite know yet, but nonetheless I mean the press has been going completely crazy for two months.  So at least that is over and I will probably be flying to Memphis as soon as I hear from the doctor.  And that‘s about it. 

ABRAMS:  You had a falling out with your son a number of years ago. 

There have been... 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  ... quotes read from these...

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  ... awful letters that he wrote to you about just awful things...

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  Does that change anything for you, or are you ready to be there and say, look—because you‘ve come on the show and you‘ve said you wanted him to turn himself in. 

BRAUNSTEIN:  That‘s right. 

ABRAMS:  And so I just want my viewers to know that—who didn‘t know that, that you called for him to turn himself in...

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  ... that you think he‘s mentally ill.

BRAUNSTEIN:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  Are you ready to go be at his bedside despite everything that‘s happened...

BRAUNSTEIN:  Of course I mean I‘m dealing with a sick person, a sick son, not a rational person, so of course I would. 

ABRAMS:  And the last thing they told you about his condition is what? 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Critical.  So I placed a call and I‘m hoping that the doctor will return my call to find out the extent of his wounds. 

ABRAMS:  Let me just very quickly bring Davison Goldin from New York 1 into this.  He‘s been covering the story.  Davidson, what else can you tell us about the capture of Peter Braunstein? 

DAVIDSON GOLDIN, NY1:  Well, we can tell you that at this time I just spoke with the University of Memphis police force.  They say Peter Braunstein is now in surgery at The MED, which is the main public hospital in Memphis.  At about 2:00 this afternoon local time, a woman on the campus spotted Peter Braunstein, notified police.  And about a half-hour, 40 minutes later, Dan, they did approach him. 

And the Memphis University police say that before they were able—before their officer was able to get close to Peter Braunstein, he pulled a knife out of his clothing, and as we‘ve been hearing, he stabbed himself three times indicating that something to the effect of you‘ve got me or I‘m the guy you‘re looking for.  There was an article this morning in the “Memphis Commercial Appeal” that talked about what we just discussed last night, which was that back on November 28, Peter Braunstein had given blood, a pint of blood, in exchange for $20.  That article ran along with his picture today and the University of Memphis police believe that somebody who saw that article and his picture led to his being sighted and then approached today on the campus. 

ABRAMS:  So Mr. Braunstein, let‘s be clear, you are pleased, are you not, that this is...

BRAUNSTEIN:  Of course I am pleased.  I‘m relieved that it‘s over, that he can‘t hurt—well, he did hurt himself, of course, but he can‘t hurt anybody else. 

(CROSSTALK)

BRAUNSTEIN:  And let‘s see how this is going to end.  I really—everything is so sketchy.  I just—I heard this about 20 minutes ago.  So it‘s all so sketchy.  I don‘t know the extent of his wounds and I‘m waiting for the doctor to call me back. 

ABRAMS:  David, just so you know, Mr. Braunstein didn‘t know about this until we called him.  Is there any other information that you got from the authorities there about the condition of Peter Braunstein?  You said surgery.  Do you know what kind?

GOLDIN:  They did not know what kind of surgery.  They did not know exactly what kind of surgery was being performed, but that could explain why Mr.  Braunstein is not hearing back from the doctors.  They‘re apparently in surgery at this hour at The MED, which is the main public hospital in Memphis, for people who are familiar with the Memphis area, and there‘s speculation, as I said, is that somebody saw the article in the newspaper today, his picture was there.

There was no great effort on the campus we‘re told looking for Peter Braunstein.  Nobody believed he was on the campus for any particular reason.  And right when the police officer approached him, he clearly did not want to be taken into custody because he did stab himself those three times. 

ABRAMS:  And you can see what appears to be blood there on the sidewalk outside—all right.  Mr. Braunstein, I know you‘ve got to go make phone calls and figure out what‘s going on.  You deserve a lot of credit for the way you‘ve handled this.  This has been an impossible situation for you.  I‘ve said that before.  I appreciate you coming on the program. 

BRAUNSTEIN:  Thank you, Dan.

ABRAMS:  David Goldin, thanks to you as well.  We appreciate it and we will of course stay on top of this story once we get more information. 

Coming up, the White House defending itself saying President Bush did not do anything wrong.  In the wake of a new report that a government agency was authorized to spy on some Americans following the 9/11 attack. 

And the Natalee Holloway investigation goes to Capitol Hill.  Here‘s what I don‘t get.  A U.S. congressman comes out and says the Aruban authorities are cooperating with the FBI, so does this mean that the boycott should end? 

And later, who can forget this guy, he showed up naked at a house looking for sex with a child, all documented by a “Dateline” hidden camera investigation.  Chris Hansen is back with updates as to whatever happened to that guy?

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  America is being watched by our own government.  “The New York Times” reporting that since 2002 the government has been monitoring phone calls and e-mail traffic of Americans without approval from a judge.  That a presidential order allowed the National Security Agency to monitor Americans‘ international phone calls and e-mails overseas in an effort to track down terrorists. 

Under federal law generally the NSA isn‘t permitted to monitor Americans on domestic soil without a court order.  Some Republicans expressed concern while some Democrats, outrage. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN:  And I don‘t want to hear again from the attorney general or anyone on this floor that this government has shown it can be trusted to use the power we give it with restraint and care.  This shocking revelation ought to send a chill down the spine of every senator and every American. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  “The New York Times” said it held the story for a year at the request of the administration.  They had said it would tip off terrorists as to the tactics being used.  The paper also reporting that top members of Congress were briefed back in 2002 on the NSA‘s expanded spying powers, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter said today he plans to call for congressional hearings. 

Joining us now is former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who was a prosecutor in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case and Democratic congressman and House Judiciary Committee member, Adam Schiff, cofounder of the Democratic Study Group on National Security.  Gentlemen thanks for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

All right, Andrew, you don‘t think this is a big deal? 

ANDREW MCCARTHY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  No, I really don‘t and I‘m surprised that Senator Feingold says he‘s shocked.  I think he should probably ask Senator Rockefeller who‘s obviously known about this for some time.  What—it‘s obvious what‘s going on here.

I mean this is a story that the “Times” has had for a year.  There are serious people who we‘re trying to deal with the challenge of dealing with a transnational terrorist organization that can move on the dime under circumstances where sometimes we have to get up on a phone quickly.  The FISA Act did not repeal the second article of the Constitution. 

The president still maintains and has to maintain the authority to protect Americans in an emergency.  And frankly, the story as the “Times” tells it suggests that there are Americans who are alive today in New York and Washington who might not be alive if this hadn‘t been done. 

ABRAMS:  But doesn‘t that—using that standard, that is such a broad standard that it basically says that the president can do really whatever he wants when it comes to monitoring as long as he determines that there is a good reason to do it?

MCCARTHY:  Well no, Dan.  I mean frankly it doesn‘t say that.  I mean first of all...

ABRAMS:  What is the standard? 

MCCARTHY:  Well the standard is that when there is an authentic national security crisis and the president acts responsibly, acts quickly...

ABRAMS:  Wait.  Wait.  Wait...

MCCARTHY:  And...

ABRAMS:  But wait, wait...

(CROSSTALK) 

ABRAMS:  You should know as a lawyer when (UNINTELLIGIBLE) words like responsibly and quickly, that‘s the standard. 

MCCARTHY:  Yes.  Exactly. 

ABRAMS:  OK, so the legal standard is...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... if the president acts responsibly and quickly, then it‘s

OK...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCARTHY:  So you think degrading is a tight standard, Dan?

ABRAMS:  And therefore what?  I mean...

MCCARTHY:  And therefore what we have here is people reacting responsibly and also keeping in the loop the congressional leadership of both parties and the chief judge of the FISA Courts. 

ABRAMS:  Representative Schiff, did you know about this? 

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA:  No, I certainly didn‘t and Dan, you‘ve actually got two former federal prosecutors here.  The first time I came in contact with intelligence of this nature was when I prosecuted the Miller spy case back when I was with U.S. attorneys in L.A.  I find this very troubling, very concerning that the NSA is using domestic eavesdropping potentially against Americans and lawful residents without review each time by the FISA Court. 

I think there are some very important questions to be answered and you know some of them I would agree with my colleague will have to be answered by the members of Congress because we really haven‘t done adequate oversight in this area or practically any other.  But the pattern of the last couple of days, we saw disclosure two days ago that we may have government intelligence officials sitting in surveilling Quaker meetings in Florida and other peaceful protests elsewhere in the country followed by the disclosure that we may have the NSA engaged in borderline if not improper eavesdropping on American soil... 

ABRAMS:  Let‘s focus on this...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Let‘s focus on this one...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Let‘s focus on this one for a minute though.  I mean look, they would say, it‘s not as if any American out there is being eavesdropped on.  They would say, look, we‘ve got a bunch of names of people who we had questions about and only when they made calls internationally, only when they e-mailed internationally, that‘s the only time that this would kick in.  So they would say that this is being overstated vastly by sort of saying oh, all Americans are at risk of being monitored. 

SCHIFF:  First of all, Dan, I haven‘t heard the administration say that this authority was only used on foreign nationals...

ABRAMS:  No, I didn‘t say foreign nationals.  I said...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... only on foreign phone calls. 

SCHIFF:  Well but we‘re talking about potentially American citizens calling people in Europe or in Asia or elsewhere.  And doing so, being surveilled while they are doing so without any court or any independent authority outside of executive to give it a critical look.  And I think that‘s very troubling. 

The question is not just whether it produced important evidence or intelligence.  That is an important question, but the question is also, why not go to the FISA Court...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

SCHIFF:  ... where you get a response from the court within hours and where there is some oversight. 

ABRAMS:  Andrew, you know the FISA Court.  Look, the bottom line is this is a special court that deals with these kinds of matters.  The standard is much lower than an ordinary court in order to eavesdrop...

MCCARTHY:  The standard is not much lower. 

ABRAMS:  It is lower.  Come on.

MCCARTHY:  No, it‘s probable cause, but it‘s probable cause not of a crime...

ABRAMS:  It‘s also may have...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCARTHY:  Dan, being an agent of a foreign power. 

ABRAMS:  May have...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  May have been an agent. 

MCCARTHY:  No, no, no. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.

MCCARTHY:  Probable cause, Dan...

ABRAMS:  Andrew, come on, you‘re not going to sit here and tell me that it‘s the same standard...

MCCARTHY:  Probable cause is the same standard...

ABRAMS:  But that‘s not the only question that‘s asked in the FISA Court.  You know that...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Come on...

MCCARTHY:  You‘re asking me what the standard is...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCARTHY:  You‘ve got to show probable cause...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCARTHY:  ... that it‘s an agent of a foreign power. 

ABRAMS:  Go ahead, Congressman.

SCHIFF:  You asked earlier what is the standard for the president to employ and the response was well, what he needs to do to protect the country.  The standard is also the Constitution. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Right.

SCHIFF:  And I think one of the things we‘re going to have to do in Congress is determine whether what the president has authorized meets the standards of the Constitution...

ABRAMS:  That‘s a separate question, though.  I mean it‘s a constitutional question.  I‘m not minimizing it.  I‘m just saying it‘s a separate question from the question specifically that Andrew was sort of worming around, which is the notion that somehow the FISA Court has the same standard for getting a warrant as other—as any other court...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... which you know is not true. 

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, what do you mean by that? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIFF:  Even if the standards are slightly different, if there is no independent body, no independent court officer reviewing it, then we don‘t know whether the standards are (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ABRAMS:  And what about that, Andrew?  What about that comment?

MCCARTHY:  I want to go back to what do you mean I know that it‘s not true.  Probable cause is probable cause...

ABRAMS:  Andrew, look...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Stop.  Look...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Don‘t play games here.  You know...

MCCARTHY:  I‘m not playing games. 

ABRAMS:  You‘re not going to suggest to me...

MCCARTHY:  I feel like you are playing games...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I‘m going to ask you a straight question...

MCCARTHY:  Probable cause is probable cause.

ABRAMS:  Let‘s make it really easy.  Let me make it really easy, all right.  Are you saying that it is just as easy to get permission to use surveillance—I‘m going to try not to use legal terms—are you telling me that it is exactly the same standard, just as easy to get permission to use surveillance on an American citizen in a regular court as in the special court?  Because if it is, there is really no reason to have the special court except for the fact that they have additional secretive requirements.

MCCARTHY:  I feel like we‘re talking past each other.  It‘s the same standard as far as evidence is concerned, which is probable cause.  You have to make...

ABRAMS:  Why won‘t you answer my question?  Is it or is it not easier to get permission to engage in surveillance using the special court?

MCCARTHY:  It‘s more difficult internally to get permission to use the internal—to use the foreign...

ABRAMS:  I don‘t know what that means. 

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I don‘t know what that means.

SCHIFF:  There are three different processes we‘re talking about, one is using the grand jury and using the court to get a title three criminal warrant...

MCCARTHY:  The grand jury doesn‘t have anything to do...

SCHIFF:  That is the highest standard to be met in a criminal investigation.  Another is to go to the FISA Court, which is a slightly different standard and another is the NSA process evidently where there‘s no standard to be scrutinized by any independent body and that‘s what is concerning here.  To get a title three warrant...

ABRAMS:  All right.

SCHIFF:  ... you have to jump through several hoops to get...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Let me bring this back. 

SCHIFF:  ... you‘ve got to get a court approval.  We don‘t know...

ABRAMS:  All right.

SCHIFF:  ... if there is any scrutiny...

ABRAMS:  Well that‘s what I want to...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Andrew, let‘s agree to disagree.  I won‘t follow up with you.  Look, we‘ll agree to disagree on the other issue.  Let me ask you what about the congressman‘s point about the fact that there is no court reviewing?  And that‘s the problem here.

MCCARTHY:  Well you know look, with respect to the NSA, for the most part what they do is surveillance of overseas where the United States courts frankly don‘t have any jurisdiction anyhow.  But we are going to have to deal with the fact that we have a transnational enemy that can act very quickly and there are times when it is simply not going to be possible if you get information and you have to react quickly...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

MCCARTHY:  ... to go through the FISA process...

ABRAMS:  What about that, Congressman?  That makes sense to me. 

SCHIFF:  If that‘s true, I mean if, for example, you can‘t wait the two hours it would take to go to a FISA Court, then maybe what we ought to institute is when you need to go and have an NSA surveillance this way after the surveillance you have to disclose it to the FISA Court within a day or two days, so there is still some independent review.  That objection can be met.  All of the national security interests can be...

ABRAMS:  Well I‘m going to ask Andrew about that.  What do you make of that suggestion? 

MCCARTHY:  I don‘t think that that‘s off the wall at all. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.

MCCARTHY:  I would point out that you know here we have a situation where I think people are trying to honestly grapple with these problems.  That‘s the reason that there was disclosure made to the intelligence committees and to members of both parties and the fact that Judge Catelli (ph), the head of the FISA Court, knows about it. 

ABRAMS:  Bottom line Congressman, do you think this is being overstated?  I mean this is being suggested by some as some huge disclosure.  I mean I think Andrew has got a fair point in the sense that even if people didn‘t know all the details, there was sense out there—there was an understanding on the part of many in Congress that some of the rules had changed as a result of 9/11. 

SCHIFF:  Here‘s a thing that I think concerns us in Congress.  In my district the IRS recently told a church it could lose it‘s tax-exempt status for a sermon about war.  Two days ago we learned that we may be surveilling Quaker meetings in Florida and now we learn that the NSA may be using it‘s eavesdropping...

ABRAMS:  All right.

SCHIFF:  ... on American citizens.  We need to oversee this entire arena because I think the executives decided that the authorization to protect the country from the war on terrorism is a blank check and it‘s not. 

ABRAMS:  Andrew, you got a final word? I got to wrap it up.

MCCARTHY:  Yes, we are at war with an enemy who is trying to kill us.  They killed in Madrid, in New York, in Washington, in London and you know what I think we‘re hearing is the September 10 spirit is alive and well.

ABRAMS:  Andrew McCarthy, Congressman Schiff, thanks a lot. 

Appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, the Natalee Holloway investigation goes to Capitol Hill.  What I don‘t get is a U.S. congressman comes out and says the Aruban authorities are cooperating with the FBI, so do we still need to have a boycott? 

And later, remember this video?  “Dateline‘s” Chris Hansen is back with an update on some of the men, a teacher, a doctor, a rabbi who showed up at a suburban Washington, D.C. house looking for sex with children.  What happened to those men in the month and a half since the story aired?

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Under pressure, Aruban authorities spent the day meeting with officials in Washington for a detailed review of the investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance.  The Aruban investigation has come under a lot of criticism.  The governor of Alabama even joined Natalee‘s family calling for a boycott of Aruba.  Today Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus, who organized the meeting, seemed to be defending the Arubans. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. SPENCER BACHUS ®, ALABAMA:  I have asked them if the Arubans are not cooperating with you, if they‘re shutting you out (UNINTELLIGIBLE) case, please let me know.  And they have never advised me of a lack of cooperation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  They is the FBI, so is a boycott still necessary?  Is it working?

Joining me now is Dave Holloway, Natalee Holloway‘s father.  Jossy Mansur joins me, managing editor of Aruba‘s “Diario” newspaper and Kathy Sudeikis, who is president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents.  Thank you all for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

Dave, let me start with you.  It sure does sound when you listen to the congressman as if they‘re are all getting along, that he‘s not really being particularly critical of the Aruban authorities, et cetera.

DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S FATHER (via phone):  You know, I haven‘t had the opportunity to talk to Representative Bachus yet, but I do know this.  You know if Aruba is going to take on the responsibility of bringing in almost a million tourists a year and 70 percent of their income comes from the United States, they need to take on the responsibility to have a properly trained, a properly staffed and a properly funded police department. 

ABRAMS:  Well Dave, let me...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... let you listen to this from Congressman Bachus today. 

HOLLOWAY:  OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHUS:  I think that the people I have met with, they are professional.  They are devoting a tremendous amount of resources to the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  And when he talks about them as professionals, talks about how much resources they have devoted to the case, I mean it sure does sound like the congressman is saying look, they are doing everything that they can. 

HOLLOWAY:  Well you know this case all falls back on the situation where the Arubans admitted that they failed in the first 10 days and that‘s where the training issues recognizing where a case needs to be handled.  The lead detective is a narcotics agent and nothing against a narcotics agent, but you know you would think that they would have somebody better trained and better equipped than a narcotics agent handling the lead investigation. 

ABRAMS:  Jossy, this is—the Aruban authorities are in Washington because they are concerned about the very issue that Dave Holloway is talking about, which is tourism, right? 

JOSSY MANSUR, “DIARIO” MANAGING EDITOR:  Right. 

ABRAMS:  And what are they hoping to achieve? 

MANSUR:  Well they are hoping to in one way or another to avoid the boycott, which I am also against because I don‘t know see what kind of positive results it can bring for the case. 

ABRAMS:  This is what—this is number one.  This is what Congressman Bachus said.  The congressman seems to be suggesting that this meting is not about the boycott.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHUS:  Well there have been a lot of people who have said well, is this effort by the Arubans simply an effort to mitigate the boycott or the bad publicity?  I can‘t answer that other than to say they did not suggest this to me.  This was my suggestion to them.  That I would like them to come to the United States and meet with both state and federal officials. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Dave, are you happy this meeting is happening? 

HOLLOWAY:  Very much so.  I was happy to see the meeting come about and I hope that something will come out about it.  I just hope that the Arubans can go back and get back to the basics and see if they can come up with something. 

ABRAMS:  Before I go back to Jossy and talk about the latest in the investigation, Kathy, as the president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents, do you get the sense that this boycott has worked with regard to Aruba?  Has it had an impact on Arubans—on Aruba‘s tourism? 

KATHY SUDEIKIS, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TRAVEL AGENTS:  Well you know we

really have not seen any response one way or the other, but we can‘t tell -

measure exactly where the—whether customers are not coming to us and not asking for Aruba, but this is a really tough case.  And our hearts and prayers go out to all the Holloway family and the friends. 

ABRAMS:  Are people saying when they‘re calling up travel agents, are they saying—I mean are you getting a sense talking to the people who are part of your society, that people are saying, I‘m not going to go to Aruba because of everything that‘s gone on in the Natalee Holloway—because I get a lot of viewers who write in saying I‘m never go to Aruba.  On the other hand, I get probably more people writing in saying this boycott isn‘t going to have any impact on me regardless of what I think of the case. 

SUDEIKIS:  That‘s really what we are finding anecdotally.  And also there was a survey by one of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) called Travel Trade and it asked specifically would you not go to Aruba or your client is asking about not going to Aruba and there was absolutely no blip on the screen in terms of additional people going or people staying home from Aruba.  It—and I‘m in Kansas City. 

What they‘ll ask for is where is an all-inclusive resort that I can go and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a terrific value.  And that‘s not an island we necessarily recommend when you talk about an all-inclusive, but there is no pushback from people doing that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to say. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Jossy, let‘s get back to the investigation. 

What‘s the latest? 

MANSUR:  The latest is that apparently in a few hours we will know whether Karin Janssen, the prosecutor that‘s been in charge of the case, will stay on, will be removed from the case or will be removed from her position altogether by the minister of justice. 

ABRAMS:  And why would she be removed by the minister of justice?

MANSUR:  Because the minister of justice apparently is not satisfied with the working relationship that exists between the prosecutor and the attorney general.  There seems to have been differences that have, according to him, influenced the proper functioning of the department. 

ABRAMS:  Dave, do you want her to get fired? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well, what I would like to see is the same thing that happens in the United States.  You know if you can‘t solve the case, let somebody else try to solve it.  It‘s just like anything else.  If you can‘t hit the ball and get to first base, why don‘t you just set it aside and let somebody else try. 

ABRAMS:  And Jossy, you say we‘ll know very soon, right? 

MANSUR:  What? 

ABRAMS:  We‘ll know very soon the outcome of that? 

MANSUR:  A few hours. 

ABRAMS:  All right.

MANSUR:  In a few hours we‘ll know. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Dave Holloway, Jossy Mansur, and Kathy Sudeikis thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

Coming up, who can forget “Dateline‘s” investigation into the world of online sexual predators using decoys posing as young teenagers, hidden cameras in a rented house outside Washington.  Correspondent Chris Hansen confronted men who came looking for sex with children.  What happened to some of those men?  Chris is back with us with an update.

And later, for those of you have been following the Natalee Holloway case, saying to yourself what could be tougher than working for Aruba‘s (UNINTELLIGIBLE) right now, Alabama‘s governor, as well as Natalee‘s family has called for that boycott.  Well how about (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tourism bureau?  You know that guy.  I‘ll tell you why it‘s not so easy.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, remember all those men who came to a house looking for sex with children and instead were confronted by “Dateline NBC‘s” Chris Hansen?  Where are they now?  The hero of the story Chris Hansen is back with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Remember that “Dateline” special we showed you a few months ago?  Correspondent Chris Hansen went undercover into the world of online sexual predators using decoys, posing as teenagers, hidden cameras, a rented house outside Washington, D.C.  Chris then confronted the men, even a doctor, a teacher, and a rabbi who came to the house looking for sex with children. 

Now “Dateline” has gone back to find out what happened to those men in the month and a half since the story aired.  We‘ll talk to Chris in a minute, but first here‘s what he found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HANSEN, “DATELINE NBC” (voice-over):  During our investigation, 19 men showed up at our house in three days after making a date online with a person posing as a young teen. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you bring beer? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I think we can stop and get some on the way. 

HANSEN:  Once they saw me, some headed for the door. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HANSEN:  Others stayed, apparently believing I was the child‘s father or with law enforcement.  None of them knew our hidden cameras were recording their every move. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How‘s it going? 

(CROSSTALK)

HANSEN (on camera):  Good.  How are you doing? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How are you doing?

HANSEN:  Why don‘t you have a seat...

(voice-over):  This man, an Army sergeant tried to entice our decoy, who he thought was a 14-year-old girl into having sex. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... I‘ve never done anything and I‘m trying to get help with it. 

HANSEN (on camera):  What are you doing to get help? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m seeing a psychiatrist right now. 

HANSEN:  Well it doesn‘t look like it‘s working too well based upon all this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just started talking to him. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  And perhaps more shocking than the number of men is who they are.  This 54-year-old man is a special education teacher.

(on camera):  What is a 54-year-old man doing coming to this home to see a 13-year-old boy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I obviously made a big mistake.

HANSEN (voice-over):  And he wasn‘t the only one. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Come on in.  I just spilled diet coke all over my shorts.

HANSEN:  This 50-year-old is an emergency room doctor here to meet a boy he thinks is 14. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll be right back down. 

HANSEN:  Watch how he tries to follow our decoy upstairs. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HANSEN:  When I confronted the doctor, he said he had no intention of having sex with the boy.  He only came here because he felt badly for the teen who was left home alone. 

HANSEN (on camera):  What‘s really going on here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What‘s really going on was I came over to take him out for lunch. 

HANSEN:  You asked have you ever been spanked?  He says by my dad but not for sex.  You say could it be fun for sex?  He says I can try.  You say why don‘t you spank a dad.  Now you see how that looks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  It looks pretty bad. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  The doctor like most of the men who showed up at our house maintained he was not doing anything wrong. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I got to ask are you still going to be up for tonight...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We‘ll see.

HANSEN:  And then there was this man. 

(LAUGHTER)

HANSEN (on camera):  So how can I help you?  What are you doing here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) This isn‘t good. 

HANSEN:  Not good.  I think that‘s kind of an understatement, isn‘t it?  What do you do for a living? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m a rabbi. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  That‘s right, a rabbi.  We even had a man strip naked in our garage after our decoy asked him to. 

(on camera):  Could you explain yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m sorry. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  This 43-year-old showed up with a 12-pack of beer thinking he was going to meet a 14-year-old boy. 

(on camera):  What would have happened, John, if I wasn‘t here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I probably would have chickened out, sir. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  He got his chance to tell his story to police just last week when he was taken in for questioning.  Detectives confiscated a computer and other items from his home.  He‘s not been charged with a crime.  And since our first story aired, the prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia tells “Dateline” he expects to bring three or four cases, men caught in our investigation, to the grand jury before the end of the year. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HANSEN:  As for the rabbi, because he lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, his case has been turned over to police there.  And we are told he‘s currently under investigation. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Joining me now is “Dateline” correspondent Chris Hansen who confronted the men in the piece you just saw.  Chris, thanks for coming back on the program.  Appreciate it.

HANSEN:  My pleasure, Dan.

ABRAMS:  So, is it your report that led to all of this investigation or was it that they had these people under surveillance or there were other issues that came up with these various people? 

HANSEN:  Well it was our report, Dan, as well as the work of Perverted Justice.  Once we finished you know shooting the investigative part of this, Perverted Justice handed over the chat logs and other information to the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department.  They started taking a look at it.

I mean they couldn‘t do anything right away.  They‘ve got to do their own investigation.  Then our story aired, obviously, they had the evidence from our story and I can tell you that just within the hour, Dan, we spoke with the prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia and he told us that Monday he is going to go to the grand jury and seek indictments against three or four of the men seen in our story.

ABRAMS:  And those indictments are going to be based on what they said to the decoys online as well as you‘re confronting them and what they said to you? 

HANSEN:  Basically you know the crimes we‘re talking about here, Dan, are you know solicitation of a minor for sex and transmission of obscene material over the Internet to a minor.  So for instance, if they can prove the case or if they can convince a grand jury to hand up an indictment against one of these guys because they were knowingly soliciting somebody for sex who they thought was under age over the Internet, that would be one of the alleged crimes here, as well as anybody who transmitted obscene material. 

ABRAMS:  And as you know, sometimes they get into these technical legal problems here.  For example, people say look, we can‘t charge him because the person who was talking to him wasn‘t actually underage and that becomes an issue.  There have been—I mean you did this last year, as well and I think one or none of the people that were in your report last year were charged? 

HANSEN:  Exactly.  We did a very similar story last year and only one person was charged and that was a New York City firefighter who ultimately pleaded guilty and is in federal prison right now.  In this case it was a little more difficult for the Fairfax County, Virginia, authorities because the laws are a little different there.

See, some of the decoys, the people from Perverted Justice, the online watchdog group, were actually working in different areas online.  You know it doesn‘t matter if you‘re acting as a decoy where you are as long as you have a computer.  So if the man, for instance, the rabbi was in Montgomery County and the decoy who was communicating with him was not in Fairfax County, Virginia, there‘s a jurisdictional issue. 

But the fact that the man came to the house, the fact that things were transmitted allegedly over the Internet and things were said, that‘s enough for them to refer the case.  And in fact, in that case that‘s now gone to Montgomery County, Maryland...

ABRAMS:  Real quick, have any of these guys threatened you or anything since this report?

HANSEN:  We have been in contact with some of them along the way.  The rabbi spoke to us many times over the phone as we prepared the story.  He actually offered at one point to sit down for an interview.  I actually met face to face with him and he put down conditions for the interview that we could not meet and so we left. 

ABRAMS:  Chris Hansen, great work as always.  Appreciate it.

HANSEN:  Thanks, Dan.

ABRAMS:  You can see more of Chris Hansen‘s report tonight on “Dateline” at 8:00, 7:00 Central Time on NBC.  All right, there it is, “To Catch A Predator” tomorrow, that‘s on MSNBC.  OK,  We‘ll figure this out.

Coming up, if you thought Aruba was having a tough time with tourism and its image, that ain‘t nothing compared to the way the authorities in Kazakhstan are responding to comedian Ali G‘s creation of “Borat Sagdiyev, a reporter from the central Asian country.  I say they are just making everything worse. 

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike.  We end our search in Indiana helping authorities look for Thomas Allen.  He‘s 24, 5‘10”, 170.  Allen was convicted of sexual conduct - misconduct with a minor.

A warrant has been issued because he hasn‘t registered with the state.  If you‘ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Indiana sheriff‘s, 1-800-622-4779.  Be right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—for those who have asked, what could be tougher than working for Aruba‘s tourism department right now with Alabama‘s governor and the family of missing 17-year-old Natalee Holloway calling for a boycott?  The Aruban authorities in Washington today to try to assuage concerns about the investigation.

I still think it would be tougher to work at Kazakhstan‘s tourism bureau.  Yes, the former Soviet Republic is fighting what has become an absurd campaign to improve its reputation here in the U.S.  It seems the nation‘s leaders cannot contain their anger at becoming best known in England and the United States as the home country for Borat Sagdiyev, the fictional character created by Sacha Baron Cohen on HBO‘s “The Ali G Show”. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  America‘s national sport is called baseball.  It‘s very similar to our sport (UNINTELLIGIBLE) where we take dogs, shoot them in a field and then have a party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Borat claims to be the leading television personality in Kazakhstan who visits western countries to report back to his country on western culture and customs and he also educates westerners about what he claims are customs in his country like drinking horse urine instead of wine and the practice of having sex with relatives. 

Kazakhstan has threatened to sue Cohen.  The foreign minister said last month we do not rule out that Mr. Cohen is serving someone‘s political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way.  Now Borat recently announced publicly that he supports a lawsuit. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In response to Mr. Ashykbayev‘s comments, I would like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my government‘s decision to sue this (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Well today Kazakhstan tried a different route, paying for a self-promotional four-page small type insert in “The New York Times” where they describe themselves as the—quote—“tiger economy of central Asia and salute their political achievements and religious tolerance.”  But the ad is written with the same insecurities as their evidence by the desire to sue Ali G.

Quote—“Of course there are aspects of Kazakhstan‘s record that are open to criticism.  Kazakhstan continues to suffer from corruption.  The rule of law is developing tentatively and the democratic system certainly concentrates power in the hands of the president.” 

Who would have known about these problems and issues without this ad? 

It‘s as if they are concerned they‘re going to get outed by Borat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Since the 2003 (UNINTELLIGIBLE) reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world.  Women can now travel on the inside of bus.  Homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats and the age of consent has been raised to 8 years old.  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) industry.  I invite you to come to Kazakhstan where we have incredible natural resources, hard-working labor and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of central Asia. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  It‘s a joke.  He‘s kidding.  He‘s not a real character.  You‘re making it worse.  The more you try to repair the damage the more we‘ll think about it when watching this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Enough, please.  Everybody, stand for the national anthem of Kazakhstan (UNINTELLIGIBLE). 

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  When we come back, some of you not happy with my “Closing Argument” last night about President Bush as a legal commentator.  Be back in a moment. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  Last night the New York teacher Beth Geisel who pled guilty to having sex with a 16-year-old student, two other boys who had sex with her were 17 and old enough to consent, according to New York law.  We asked should someone who is 17 or almost 17 be viewed as a victim?  And should it be different if the—quote—“victim” is a boy? 

Jimmy in Nevada, “I don‘t understand the difference in psychological damage between a 16-year-old having sex with a 26-year-old versus another 16-year-old.  If we‘re not talking about coercion, how is it any different psychologically?”

Sandie in Florida is also upset at the authorities.  “How can they say that the woman should be put in jail because a 17-year-old wouldn‘t know what he was doing?  Then why is it OK for a 17-year-old to go in the Navy and fight for his country?”

Mark Williams, “The punishment for having sex with an underage girl should be greater to act as an deterrent for the reason that girls can get pregnant.  Boys can‘t get pregnant and thus the potential for harm is much less.”

Professor of psychiatry, Dr. William Tatton, “The 16 and 17-year-old males can‘t assess the implications of their behavior, hence the more mature teacher was negligent.  The indifference of lawyers and talk show hosts to modern medical science is frightening and in some cases has frozen our judicial system in the last century.”

I‘m not sure, Professor, what you‘re talking about when it comes to our judicial system.  It‘s a crime whether it‘s a boy or a girl and more and more women are being prosecuted.  I would assume if you always view 16 or 17-year-olds that way, you would say they should never be charged as adults for murder or rape as well. 

And in my “Closing Argument” President Bush saying he thinks former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is innocent only weeks away from jury selection.  White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president was exercising—quote—“presidential prerogative”.  Even though I think it‘s going to be a tough case to prove against Delay, I questioned why he just picked this case and only this one to opine on. 

Lynne in Fresno, “I suggest that Mr. Bush‘s unqualified verdict on the innocence of Tom DeLay is an attempt to influence potential jurors.  Obviously some people believe that if a president says something it‘s unquestionably true.”

Sandy Peppers (ph) in Vacaville, California, “If the president doesn‘t have a prerogative, then who the heck does?  He can comment or not comment on whatever he wants to.”

Steve in Chicago, “Is it just me or has that phrase presidential prerogative become a euphuism for abuse of power?”

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. 

That does it for us tonight.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews is up next.  Have a great weekend.

END

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