updated 2/21/2006 11:31:49 AM ET 2006-02-21T16:31:49

Guest: Arsalan Iftikhar, James Woolsey, Peter King, Nicholas Baptiste,

Brent Ludeman, Kirby Wilbur, Ruth Hilton, Emily Smith

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  And right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, are our leaders selling out our national security for financial gain? 

Well, there's rising anger over news that countries with ties to the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda terrorists are now in charge of America's most important ports.  So who made that secret decision?  And why are they opening us up to potential devastating attacks? 

And then fasten your seatbelts, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY goes to Daytona 500 to find out what those NASCAR voters are saying.  And believe me, they have a lot to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hey, guys, welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP:  No passport required, just common sense. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room to the courtroom to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks so much for being with me tonight.  We're going to have all those stories in a minute.

Plus, he was one of the best pilots in World War II, but now students at a major public university are refusing to honor this hero because he was a Marine and because he fought in a war.  Now, this comes from the same state college that erected a memorial for communist soldiers.  We'll talk to you about that in a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown later on.

And new information tonight on why the French government may be blocking the explosive information regarding the death of Princess Diana.  We'll tell you what's behind this potential cover-up also later in the show.

But first, why is American security apparently for sale?  There is outrage tonight over the news that a country connected to 9/11 is taking over six ports here in the United States.  These ports include New York City's port, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, and New Orleans. 

The United Arab Emirates was connected to two of the September 11th hijackers, including this terrorist who piloted the plane that slammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. 

Now, according to the Associated Press, this country was also the hijackers' operational base and also the transfer point for smuggled nuclear parts sent to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. 

With me now to try to explain why our government would ever allow this to happen is former CIA Director James Woolsey.  We also have Congressman Peter King and Arsalan Iftikhar of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 

Congressman, let me start with you.  We've turned over five of our most important ports, including the ports of New York City and New Jersey, to a company that's out of the UAE, which means basically the UAE is going to be running these operations. 

What is going on?  How did this ever happen? 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  Joe, this was a serious mistake.  The way it happened was, under a 1988 law, whenever a foreign company takes ownership of a company which could have an impact on national security, it goes before a special secret committee set up with the Treasury Department. 

The reason it was kept secret is they wanted to encourage foreign investment and foreign companies didn't want their secrets made known.  So the whole purpose of this committee, though, basically is to encourage investment. 

And this was done business as usual, basically at a midlevel bureaucratic agenda.  And it went through, and they barely looked.  Despite what Secretary Chertoff said, they did not look very carefully at the national security issues at all.  In fact, the way the limitations... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Peter, how could this happen, though?  We're talking about New York City.  We're talking about New jersey.  We're talking about two ports that on 9/11 saw the World Trade Center come crumbling down. 

And you let midlevel bureaucrats turn the safety of these ports, which I believe are the most vulnerable entry point into America, over to a country, again, with connections to 9/11?  How does that happen?  How do you let midlevel bureaucrats make that decision?

KING:  Well, first of all, it was kept secret from the Congress by the law.  And that's why I'm opposed to it.  This was a terrible mistake that was made.  There was no full investigation.  There was only the barest, cursory investigation. 

I'm opposed to the deal.  What I'm saying is the president has to put a hold on this.  He has to freeze it.  And there has to be a full and thorough investigation, because you're talking about a country which did have two of the Islamic terrorist hijackers that attacked us on September 11th.  It also was a stopping-off point for the transmission of nuclear materials. 

There was a ticket agencies in Dubai who were selling tickets, multiple sets of tickets, to the hijackers.  They did not cooperate with us for a while after September 11th

And also, prior to September 11th, they were only one of only three countries in the world that recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.  So there's very, very real questions here.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in former CIA Director James Woolsey.  Director Woolsey, again, I hate to keep saying the same thing.  I don't understand how our system would allow this to happen.  Please explain.

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR:  I think this is an obsolete statute, Joe.  This was passed late in the Cold War, and it's set up to check security procedures.  It's not set up to look at something like what is at issue here. 

And I must say, I would be equally opposed to this if it were a Burmese company or a Venezuelan company.  There are 89 countries in the world that are democracies operating under the rule of law, and their corporations are real corporations and they act like real corporations.

But if you have either a dictatorial government, like China, or an authoritarian one, like in the UAE or in a number of other countries, the corporation is essentially a tool of the government.  And we shouldn't be letting those types of institutions control strategic sectors of the American economy, whether it's the Chinese in oil or the UAE in port security.

SCARBOROUGH:  So you're basically saying that this company will be an extension of the UAE, right?

WOOLSEY:  Sure.  It's owned by the UAE.  And the UAE may behave fine with respect to this.  But like any authoritarian country, its policies and its personnel, its ruler, could change, you know, with one assassination, one death. 

People would feel very differently about this if it were an Australian company or a Japanese company.  These are real corporations that operate in democracies under the rule of law.  And that's not what we have here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Now, the families who lost loved ones on September 11th are obviously reacting and angry.  Bill Doyle, whose son died in the World Trade Center attack, said, “We're not securing our country in any way by selling our ports to foreigners.”

And then there's Bruce DeCell who lost his son-in-law in the attacks and said, “This administration is putting the selling of our country on the fast track.  There are lots of loose ends that caused 9/11 to happen.  I'm trying to close them.” 

Now, Arsalan, do you agree that there is no way we should have ever turned our ports, especially in New York and New Jersey, over to the United Arab Emirates?

ARSALAN IFTIKHAR, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS:  Well, I personally don't think that we should have turned it over to a foreign government to begin with.  And I think that, if you want to look at the actual policies involved, we should look at why we outsource our ports to any foreign government, regardless of, you know, the ethnicity or the region where these companies take place. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, what about their record on terrorism, though?  I mean, there's a big difference between turning it over to, say, Belgium and the UAE?

IFTIKHAR:  Well, I think what's important to understand here is that this is necessarily doing is it's demonizing the entire world Muslim population for the acts of a few fringe terrorists. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, wait, wait, no, no, no.  Wait a second.  No, no, wait, wait, no.  We're talking about a country that the Associated Press is reporting was the staging ground for 9/11, for many of these terrorist, a country that also allowed nuclear parts to go to North Korea, to go to Iran, to go to Libya. 

IFTIKHAR:  A country that...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, I'm like the director.  Hold on a second.  If China were to get this deal, I would be equally horrified.  This has nothing to do with ethnicity.  This has to do with terrorists, with governments that we don't want running our ports. 

Are you really saying that I'm a racist, that I'm against Arabs because I want New York's port to be run by a country that's democratic? 

IFTIKHAR:  Well, I mean, we have to clarify a few things here.  First of all, none of these port security operations are being given over to this country.  The Department of Homeland Security is still going to have full autonomy when it comes to security at the ports.

This company is going to basically hire the longshoremen, many of whom are card-carrying members of the AFL-CIO, basically just to run a business.  I mean, so essentially, you know, what these politicians are saying, with their knee-jerk responses, I mean, if they were really concerned about national security, you could walk up to the speaker of the House—you know, Congress has been in session five days since January 1st—saying we need to vote on this because our national security is threatened. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Congressman King, that sounds like a challenge to you, sounds like a challenge to the speaker.  Are you just playing fast and truth with the loose?

KING:  Joe, I have said that I would hold hearings on this.  Having said that, under the law, as Director Woolsey said, this is a relic from the Cold War age, and it's a secret process, which Congress is not even made aware of until the entire process is over.  That's the problem we're facing. 

And what I'm doing is calling on the president, though, is to set in motion a 45-day extension so that there can be a full investigation.  But I do intend to hold hearings and do intend to go after this. 

But the fact is, you know, the 9/11 Commission said that the government failed to show imagination.  They have to show some imagination here in working with this existing statute until we can change it to prevent countries and companies from taking this over. 

And I agree with Director Woolsey.  This isn't just because they happen to be from an Arab country.  This would be true if it came from any dictatorial country.  And there's the danger, because then you have—you know, if one dictator falls, another one comes in, and the second one may not be so friendly, and even though they are not handling security per se, they will have to interface with the people who do do security for the United States at the ports, which means they will learn all about our security measures and procedures.

And if you have somebody working for Al Qaeda in that company, you are giving them the keys to our security.  And that, to me, is too dangerous a price to pay after what happened to us on 9/11. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Director Woolsey, shouldn't Congress, shouldn't these local leaders have some sort of review in this process post-9/11? 

WOOLSEY:  I think the Congress and the administration ought to use this as an opportunity to come together and put together a statute that makes sense in the post-9/11 world, this old Cold War-era statue.

The administration has discovered that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is not a good tool—and I agree with them on this—to handle battlefield surveillance, essentially, of the sort they need, have been doing with the National Security Agency intercepts.  They recognized how obsolete FISA is; this statute is equally obsolete.  And if instead of using it, they ought to focus on how to get it fixed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Director, the deal was approved by a committee of 12 people that was headed by Treasury Secretary John Snow.  Here's what his department had to say.

Quote, “Clearly no responsibility of government is more important than protecting the national security.”  And they went on, of course, to justify it.

But I've got to tell you, Director Woolsey.  It sort of reminded me back in, like, '97, '98, when Bill Clinton was allowing Loral to pass missile technology on to China.  I mean, again, does it not seem a fair complaint by many Americans that we appear to be putting financial needs of, say, Wall Street over the better interest of our national security in America? 

WOOLSEY:  That's kind of the world the statute was created in, and it has a very limited reach.  It's only really to check up on security procedures.  And that committee almost never—using the criteria and the statute, that committee almost never turns anything down. 

They just delay it, and sometimes it's withdrawn, any of these applications for acquisition.  They need a new statute that deals with the problems the congressman is talking about.  And they ought to use this as a chance to come together and work together in the country's interest, instead of just arguing with one another. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Arsalan (ph, I want to see if we can agree on something.  Would you agree with me that we'd be safer as a country if Great Britain had this responsibility instead of, say, communist China? 

IFTIKHAR:  Well, I think it's in our best interest to have an American company protect the ports.  I mean, I think that, you know, if you want to change this archaic law, as Director Woolsey would like us to do, then we should revisit whether or not we will outsource any of our ports to any foreign country, regardless of who they are. 

You know, keep it domestic.  I'm sure we have American shipping magnates here.  We have the Coast Guard here, whose mission it is to protect our ports.  I think that it's important that it... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, why does it have to be all or nothing though?  I mean, again, I think you and I both know that Great Britain would be a much safer bet for this type of job than UAE, or China, or Libya? 

KING:  Well, actually, Joe, if I can interject for a second on that, Joe, the fact is that it was a British company that had this contract for the last five years, and at that British company was taken over by the UAE company.  So it was working, and it worked very well under the British company for the last five years. 

WOOLSEY:  And the last time around, American companies didn't bid, Joe.  That was the problem.  They'd ended up with a—a British company is fine with me, but there wasn't a market.  The American companies didn't try to operate the ports. 

IFTIKHAR:  Right, foreign companies have been operating ports in the United States since the year 2000.  I think that what's important to keep in mind is, you know, we talk about free trade and democratizing other parts of the world.  I think that there is no better way to democratize than to increase contacts and not decrease them, you know, just based on, you know, this industry of fear. 

WOOLSEY:  I think we can plenty of contact with the UAE without turning our ports over to it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I agree, Director Woolsey. 

KING:  Well, the ports are our most vulnerable area.  We can't be turning them over.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you so much.  Thank you so much, I appreciate it, Director Woolsey, Peter King, and Arsalan, greatly appreciate it.

And I agree especially with Congressman King.  Our ports are our most vulnerable entry points right now because of a lot of mistakes that have been made by our leaders in Washington over the past five years.  This is a dreadful step to take, and we need to correct it.

We'll be right back in a second. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  That was from “Ba Ba Black Sheep,” the TV show based on the life of World War II flying ace Pappy Boyington.  The Marine plane shot down 28 enemy planes, survived 20 months in a POW camp, and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in the victory over the country that started World War II by bombing Pearl Harbor.  I speak, of course, of Japan. 

But student leaders at his alma mater refused to honor him because he was, quote, “a Marine” and he had blood on his hands.  To talk about the controversy, let's bring in University of Washington student senator Brent Ludeman, who supports the memorial, and University of Washington student Nicholas Baptiste who opposes it.

Nicholas, let me begin with you.  Why do you oppose the memorial to this World War II hero? 

NICHOLAS BAPTISTE, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON STUDENT:  Well, I see this memorial as the right-wing, the pro-war crowd is on the defensive right now.  The majority of American people have turned against the war in Iraq.  I see this as a really cynical way of trying to fire up people and trying to build up nationalism again, like they did when they were building up to the Iraq war, and just trying to, like I said, go on the defensive and trying to sort of make these parallels that don't exist between World War II and the Iraq war. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But this guy was a World War II hero.  He won the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He's a University of Washington alumni.  This guy's a national hero.  What's wrong with putting a memorial on your campus?  Forget about Iraq.  I mean, that war's going to be over soon enough. 

BAPTISTE:  Let's talk about heroes.  A lot of people—obviously, a lot of young people nowadays don't see war as a heroic sport.  It's not an adventure.  It's a brutal, really inhumane thing.  And...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you think the Marines...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... over in Iraq right now?  You think that they think it's a sport when they're getting their legs blown off?  Do you think they're over there to have a thrill? 

BAPTISTE:  No, I'm not saying that the soldiers are—I'm not saying that the soldiers think that.  I'm saying people who whip up nationalism, and try to whip up support for the war, and try to convince people to sign up and go fight in wars like the Iraq war, they think—a lot of times these people think it is some sort of a sport, some sort of a rite of passage for people in our society, like I have to go fight a war because my father and my grandfather fought a war. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You do agree with me, though...

BAPTISTE:  But my main point is this...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... that World War II was an honorable venture, right, an honorable war? 

BAPTISTE:  It's not that black and white.  There is a lot of atrocities committed on both sides.  You can't say that one—that it was a completely justified war.  You can't say that America was always in the right or that Britain was always in the right.  I mean, America...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK. 

BAPTISTE:  Go ahead. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let me show you.  I want to show you a clip from World War II.  This is what killing what Boyington and other people killing enemies brought an end to when World War II, obviously, the Holocaust.  Here's shots from Auschwitz.  I mean, 6 million Jews killed.  I mean, we had to kill 50,000 civilians in Dresden alone to put an end to this to stop 12, 13 million Jews from being murdered over there.  Sometimes...

(CROSSTALK) 

BAPTISTE:  I think that's quite a lie, to say that we had to kill 50,000 civilians in Dresden to stop the war.  There's no evidence to support that.  There's no evidence to support the fact that we had to drop the bomb in Nagasaki...

SCARBOROUGH:  There's no evidence that we had to actually...

BAPTISTE:  ... and Hiroshima.

SCARBOROUGH:  It's war. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  How about this, people die in war.

(CROSSTALK)

BAPTISTE:  Could I say something? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you were saying something. 

BAPTISTE:  May I say this?

SCARBOROUGH:  Nicholas, people that—will you admit to me, Nicholas, that sometimes when we go to war, we have to drop bombs to end that war, and sometimes people like Pappy Boyington do kill people, do kill civilians, but it's done for a bigger reason, for a bigger cause? 

BAPTISTE:  What cause is that?  What cause are we fighting for in Iraq?  Oil and empire.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  No.  No.  Wait a second.  Why are—no, hold on a second, Nicholas. 

BAPTISTE:  I just want to make one point before you go on.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You're mixing up—we're talking about World War II. 

You're talking about Iraq.  I'm talking about what he did in World War II. 

BAPTISTE:  Yes, you think wars just exist in a vacuum?  Wars lead to more wars and to more wars.  I mean, you can say he fought in World War II to stop killing... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  So we should have just let...

(CROSSTALK)

BAPTISTE:  There's still killing going on now, isn't there, in Iraq?

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Nicholas, you are saying that we should have just let Hitler and Imperial Japan roam free?  Is that your argument here tonight? 

BAPTISTE:  No, I'm saying, in the first place, U.S. industrialists and the industrialists of Europe shouldn't have supported Hitler in the first place which they did against communists in Germany, who were the majority of the government at the time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  There we go. 

BAPTISTE:  They were afraid of their industries being collectively organized and taken over by the population of Germany. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.

BAPTISTE:  And I don't care if you think that's ridiculous or not, but look at your history textbooks.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I do actually.  You're now blaming...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... the United States for launching Adolf Hitler's career.

BAPTISTE:  Yes, because, oh, the United States...

(CROSSTALK)

BAPTISTE:  And you can blame the United States in part for Saddam Hussein's career, as well. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Let me bring in Brent right now.

BAPTISTE:  No, I just want to say one thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I'm sorry.  You've been wanting to say one thing for 30 minutes.  Go ahead. 

BAPTISTE:  Let me say it right here.  How about we put up instead of yet another statue of a World War II hero, how about we put up a statue of a slab of flesh, no arms, no legs, no face, like the main character in Dalton Trumbo's “Johnny Got His Gun”?  That would be an honest war memorial.  That would go a much longer way towards establishing a more peaceful and democratic society than yet again glorifying war, and warfare, and bloodshed.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  You've said what you wanted to say. 

BAPTISTE:  I have.

SCARBOROUGH:  Brent, let me bring you in now.  Tell me about the vote. 

BRENT LUDEMAN, UW STUDENT SENATOR:  Well, we—Joe, we've brought the resolution up.  And two of the senators said that, one, we didn't want to honor another rich white male and that this wasn't the type of person that the University of Washington wanted to produce. 

Mind you, this is one of the greatest aviators in our history.  He's a war hero.  He's somebody that won the Medal of Honor and deserves to be recognized by the university. 

The vote was tied, and then the Senate chair voted it down, 46-45.  And I think it just really shows how completely out of touch a lot of, you know, my generation seems to be, how we seem to not understand the historical significance of World War II and war in general.  I mean, unfortunately...

SCARBOROUGH:  Kirby, let's bring you in, Kirby Wilbur. 

KIRBY WILBUR, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Yes, Joe?

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Kirby, you actually got this information out to the rest of us.  It is so disturbing to me.  This isn't—we're not talking about a couple of students waving signs.  We're talking about 46 student senators voting down a memorial because, like Mr. Baptiste, they think that Boyington was not to be looked up to because he participated in a war. 

WILBUR:  Well, Joe, I think this is...

SCARBOROUGH:  What kind of reaction have you had? 

WILBUR:  Well, we've been over—I've been flooded with e-mails from alumni of the University of Washington, from Marines, other people who served in uniform, from widows and mothers of the people serving now, who are shocked at the historical ignorance and the leftist pabulum that passes for serious thinking on college campuses. 

But I've got to tell you, Joe.  I'm actually optimistic, because I think 20 years ago the vote could have been 80 percent no.  At least it was 50 percent yes and the tie had to be broken.  That actually gives me room for optimism.

But you look at the people who said, “You can't honor them because he's a rich, white male,” when in fact Pappy was a quarter Sioux Indian, and that we shouldn't emulate Marines.  I'll tell you, sometimes Marines are the only thing between some of those students and wearing burqas.  And they should understand that.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  And, Kirby, what do you think we do to help turn the tide in this? 

WILBUR:  Well, Joe, the University of Washington foundation has set up a scholarship fund in the name of Pappy Boyington to give scholarships to either Marines returning to school or sons and daughters of Marines.  That's at UWFoundation.org.  And also, you can contact the Associated Students of the University of Washington at their Web site and urge them to approve the memorial.

Right now, the proposal will be a memorial to all five Huskies who have won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II, and that's going to be the proposal, as I understand it.  These men deserve to be emulated and remembered.  They're heroes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Kirby, I have this information.  They saved our world. 

They saved our world from totalitarianism.

WILBUR:  Yes, they did.

SCARBOROUGH:  I have this line here.  I cannot believe.  Do you have information regarding a monument on the University of Washington campus to communist soldiers? 

WILBUR:  To the Lincoln Brigade...

BAPTISTE:  Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

WILBUR:  ... Spanish Civil War, a group of University of Washington students who volunteered to go to Spain to fight with the communists and socialists against Franco, and the Nazis, and the Italians.  And there is such a memorial on campus, yes, sir.  And I'm an alumni of this school, by the way. 

BAPTISTE:  Why wasn't the United States supporting the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, you know, earlier in the war, when you could have stopped Hitler early enough so he wouldn't have perpetuated the Holocaust? 

WILBUR:  The Abraham Lincoln Brigade could not have stopped Hitler any more than you could have. 

BAPTISTE:  No, it could have, if it had the backing of the U.S.  government.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  We'll let you all carry on in the hall. 

BAPTISTE:  But the government decided not to battle against Franco or Nazis...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to show you—let's show that monument one more time.  Put this monument up.  This is on the University of Washington campus. 

So if you're scoring at home, the University of Washington campus allows a monument to communist soldiers but they're offended for Marines that fought in World War II and helped defeat the Axis powers. 

I'll tell you what, I'm enraged because I'm an American citizen that pays taxes that in any way supports the University of Washington.  But I'll tell you what.  If I were a Washington alumni member or if I were a taxpayer in that state, I'd be absolutely outraged.  And I'd be on my phone tomorrow morning to Washington legislators. 

This is a disgrace.  And for those students that said Marines were not the type of people to look up to, you are so ignorant.  You have no idea why you have the freedoms that you have. 

We appreciate our guests being with us.  We'll be back with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY takes you to the Daytona 500 with the sights and sounds, plus a lesson from Jay Leno.  Now, you can make a difference in D.C. 

JAY LENO, “THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO”:  Joe Scarborough, I'm taking your sack of emails to Capitol Hill. 

SCARBOROUGH:  A man who watches is a man who cares.  But first, here's the latest news that you and your family need to know. 

(WEATHER BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yeah, rough and tumble at the Daytona 500 yesterday and SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY was there.  It'll take you up close and personal to the racing world's biggest bash.  We're really—going to show you who's really into NASCAR and why Washington politicians should look beyond the beltway to the speedway. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY this story is in just minutesment but first, London's “Daily Express” is reporting tonight that the British investigation into Princess Diana's death is in chaos because French officials refuse to answer questions from the British authorities.  Could this jeopardize what many are predicting will be a bombshell investigation.  With me now to talk about Paris' stonewalling is Emily Smith, she's U.S.  editor for the “Sun.”  We also have Ruth Hilton, she's senior editor for “OK!” magazine. 

Emily, let me begin with you.  Are the British—would you—is it fair to say the British are frustrated at the French officials' incompetence in this investigation? 

EMILY SMITH, U.S. EDITOR, “SUN”:  There is frustration.  I think there's a belief that the French are stonewalling because they're concerned that the mistakes made in their original inquiry could come to light in the new inquiry. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what questions do the British authorities want answered. 

SMITH:  Well, they've handed the French a list of questions which include things like:  Why did it take so long to get Diana to the hospital following the accident?  Why were the toxicology tests on Henry Paul, the driver, on his blood test to find out whether he was drunk—why were they never independently verified?  Why was Diana's body embalmed so further tests to find out if she was pregnant couldn't be carried out?  Questions like these, and these have not been answered by the French. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ruth, why do you think the French are refusing to cooperate in this new British investigation into, really, one of the highest profile deaths in recent British history? 

RUTH HILTON, “OK!” MAGAZINE, SR.  EDITOR:  Well, it just shows how completely addle (ph) the situation is and how incredibly complex this task is.  I think they are cooperating, but slowly.  I mean, it's a different nations, the British and the French are very different.  No British officers would want their investigation investigated by the French, no French would, you know, wants it done by the British.  So, of course, it's going to be slow going. 

No one wants to admit they made a mistake, but there are key questions, I mean, another one is:  Where's the CCTV footage from that tunnel?  We know it exists, why has it never been made public?  That is really curious, because surely that of all things would be able to show, you know, the flash that was said to have happened, whether the other car exists, or whether in fact, Henry Paul was veering.  All these questions could easily be answered by that, and it's no wonder that the Brits are becoming very frustrated by that because key pieces of evidence, which we know are in existence, are not being handed over. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Ruth, I just don't understand why the French would bungle an investigation, again, into one of the biggest news stories of the latter half of the 20th industry.  Obviously, the entire world's eyes were on Paris after Princess Diana died in that accident.  How could they bungle such a high-profile investigation? 

HILTON:  Well, I think it's only because it's so high-profile that the level of scrutiny exists.  So, you know, how exact are these things ever?  It's not like “CSI” on TV, you know, every single step is exact.  With someone so high-profile, I'm sure there was an awful lot of shock about it as well.  And I guess, everyone did what they felt was right at the time.  But, we're now getting to the point where this whole investigation in Diana's death is on the scale of JFK in terms of the rumoring, the suggestions about foul play, who did it, you know, who didn't do it—

Marilyn Monroe, equally. 

And this is something that even after the inquest ends in many, many months time, I wonder whether all of the questions will ever be fully answered.  And of course, the fact that we're not getting these answers now sort of adds to the conspiracy theory elements and, you know, it must have been really difficult for Mohamed Al-Fayed, obviously the father of Dodi, who has long fought to have this case reopened, been a long friend of the “Daily Express” and a long friend of “OK!” magazine, who of course, I work for now.  So, you know, hopefully it will now unfold, but it will take a lot of pressure from the British authorities to get this information (INAUDIBLE)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Emily, how nervous are some officials in Great Britain right now?  Obviously there are a lot of rumors swirling around out there that some very important people could be implicated.  Is there a sense of nervousness rising in London right now? 

SMITH:  I don't think there's so much of a case of nervousness.  I mean there is—you know, Prince Charles has been questioned about this; there is some indication that William and Harry may be questioned.  It's not a case of nervousness, I think that people really want to bring the matter to a conclusion.  I mean next year it will be 10 years since Diana died and they want to put an end to these swirling conspiracy theories that just will not go away. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there a concern because there's such a long delay in this investigation, though, that we may never get the answers of what really happened to Princess Diana? 

SMITH:  There is some belief now that, you know, that too much time has passed, that, you know, there's certain evidence that may have been lost, you know, like the CCTV footage that Ruth was talking about.  Why haven't we seen that already.  You know, has it destroyed?  Has certain forensic evidence been destroyed?  I mean, the fears are now that so much time has gone past, but this new inquiry may not be able to uncover anything new.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Emily Smith, Ruth Hilton.  Thanks for being with us and hope you come back when the report finally comes out.  Thanks a lot. 

HILTON:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, the poor guy who ended up at the wrong side of the vice president's gun, Harry Whittington, walked out of a Texas hospital on Friday.  Now, that was the end of a not so great week for the vice president or, some say, the White House Press Corp.  Press secretary Scott McClellan was mauled by the pack of press hounds who began complaining over the weekend that it was the Bush administration who was trying to make them look bad.  But look at the Press Corp through the years shows that sometimes the press does a pretty good job of making themselves look pretty bad without any assists, from anybody at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, PRESS SECRETARY:  I'll be glad to answer your questions. 

QUESTION:  Under Texas law, is this kind of accidental shooting a possible criminal offense? 

QUESTION:  Has he taken a hunting safety course in Texas? 

QUESTION:  Cheney's gun, is it proper for the vice president to offer his resignation or has he his resignation? 

MCCLELLAN:  That's absurd question. 

QUESTION:  Isn't the Corpus Christie paper, that's a purported (ph) -- aren't they a member of the A.P.? 

MCCLELLAN:  I'm sure they are.  Not in (INAUDIBLE)

QUESTION:  Why didn't the A.P.  pick it up? 

QUESTION:  Why do you think the president lied to you? 

QUESTION:  Who does the press secretary work for?  Does he work for the press? 

QUESTION:  Does the president realistically think that there's a chance that he can avoid an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. 

QUESTION:  Considering the fact that the president lied to the American people directly and through his support over a period of seven or eight months. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I'm not going to parse the statement.  You all got the statement I made earlier and it speaks for itself. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) in today as an anonymous (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Also I kind of feel like I'm double parked in a no comment zone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I asked (INAUDIBLE) to get off this podium as quickly as possible. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have a good afternoon. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have a good afternoon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  That's a tough job, I'll tell you what.  Coming up next, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY goes to the Daytona 500, 200,000 fans and the folks who are power players in Washington are driving hard to reach.  We're going to take you inside NASCAR's biggest day straight ahead. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sights and sounds of NASCAR. 

TROY AIKMAN, NEW NASCAR TEAM CO-OWNER:  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY goes to the Daytona 500 next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It's the Super Bowl of racing, the Daytona 500.  Now, nearly 200,000 fans descended on Daytona to get up close with the sights, the sounds, and the smells of NASCAR.  In 2004, Washington went after the so-called “NASCAR Dad Vote,” that's not going to be any different in 2008.  But the question is, is the beltway out of touch with the people at the speedway?  Well, we took our cameras to Daytona and the Daytona International Speedway this weekend to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LENO:  It's kind of like trying to explain sex, you know, it's like if you don't get it, you don't get it.  You know, I mean, it's, like, well the cars go real fast. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It's the best.  It's just intensity that they say, you just got to come down and witness it.  You got to do it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When all of the guys get in the cars and you are waiting for “gentlemen, start your engines,” there's no feeling like it.  You're literally like jumping up and down in place because you're so excited.

AIKMAN:  Every weekend is really like a Super Bowl in NASCAR when you are talking about 200,000 plus people coming to the racetrack and being a part of it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  All of the fans, they are just camping out here and waiting for them. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yeah, they're totally camping out.  I mean, it's so many motor homes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We wish we had crap like that. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Three, two, one wheels (INAUDIBLE), we're on a break. 

MICHAEL WALTRIP, TWO-TIME DAYTONA 500 CHAMP:  Those guys can crank out in the pit stops, you get four tires and gas and you can't really believe it until you see it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The media made such a big deal about it and, you know, but it sounds like it was just purely an accident. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He's just a bad shooter He better take better aim next time. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If you're a hunter at all and bird hunting:  dove, quail, or whatever, you're going to get peppered.  It's not going to hurt you, it's not going to kill you, but no big deal here. 

LENO:  Well, I know a lot of people are playing the Dick Cheney drinking game.  Have you played that?  That's where you down a beer and take a shot at ol' granddad.  Hey! Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Look what he did for the city of New York.  That's what this country needs, is somebody that's going to take charge and make some changes.  Not say they are going to make some changes, but actually make a change, make a difference. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Originally, I'm from Jersey, got to see firsthand what he did, you know, Times Square up in New York and I mean, I'm all for the guy. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I know Giuliani was the mayor during New York, although he did a great job during 9/11, I have to see more about him to make my final decision.  But at this point I would think McCain would be a little more suited. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I like McCain, but I tell you what, I've been

impressed with Giuliani, I love New York City.  New York, New York

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He loves the people.  He represents everything about America as far as.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Being the president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yeah, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Cold day in Daytona before I vote for her.  Real cold. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I can't see myself voting for her. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Uh, no.  A woman to a woman.  No.  No.  Not at all!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Three-two-one, (INAUDIBLE)

LENO:  It's fun to be able to talk to people of similar interests.  In Hollywood people are interested cars, but they're usually (INAUDIBLE) or something like that, they're not like car, cars, you know, so you wind up talk about, oh, yeah, that's good and it runs on hydrogen.  I mean, this is, you know, kind of sport cars and exciting cars. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, can you feel it?  Can you hear it?  I don't know what it is.  Cars are shaking bad. 

AIKMAN:  It's a great sport.  It gives us a little bit of an outlet for some of our competitiveness and it is going to be a challenge and we recognize that.  You know, we hope to be here for a long time.  But, time will tell. 

LEANN TWEEDEN, MODEL:  It's a “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. 

Hey, Molly Sims is wearing less than I am in there, so I don't feel bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You are the man!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Daytona 500! Woo hoo hoo!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  What a wild ride indeed! Thanks so much to all of the people at NASCAR for their help over the weekend, the Michael Waltrip car 55 crew who let us into the pit.  Also, thanks so much to Chris Lick and Rich Santo who went down there and Chris who put all of this stuff together.  Man, it's really, really great work on their part.  We appreciate it. 

Let's bring in now a guy who won, I think, he was the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR championships in a hydrogen-powered car.  He is of course, Tucker Carlson, host of “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.”

Hey Tucker, what's the situation tonight? 

TUCKER CARLSON, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  Well, the situation is not so popular in Daytona, a little breaking news for you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, not at all.  But, you know, Rudy is.  Isn't that fascinating?

CARLSON:  That is fascinating.

SCARBOROUGH:  I'm telling you, Giuliani is going to do a lot better in the south then a lot of people in D.C.  think. 

CARLSON:  You are the first person I know and respect to say that and I'll be here to see if you're right.  You may be, at which point I will buy you dinner.  Tonight, we have story that's a little bit shocking.  SMU, Southern Methodist University is hoping to be the site of the George W.  Bush presidential library.  And in preparation for this library site, they are condemning property using Eminent Domain, that principle republicans despise.  We're going to talk with someone who apparently is being turned out of his own home by the George W. Bush library.  Oh, irony alert. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  And of course SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY's long been an irony free zone, probably because I can't say it.  So, if you're into that sort of thing, make sure you tune into “The Situation” at 11:00, coming up next, I do every night, it's must-see TV in my household.  In fact, my wife watches Tucker more than she watches my own show.  Figure that.  I guess she likes irony.  We'll be right back with “Flyover” in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It's time for another “Flyover” of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the stories that may have fallen under the mainstream media's radar, but certainly not ours.  First stop, McHenry, Maryland, where kids get an adrenaline rush while earning their college degrees.  Now, if you can believe it, students attending Garrett College can take classes in snowboarding, Alpine skiing, and other outdoor sports.  Now, the school's defending the program saying kids love the outdoors, love coming to class, and actually can get jobs in these areas when they graduate.  I'll tell you what, when our colleges teach our students to write complete sentences, fine. 

Now next, showing you that some good happens on college campuses these days, students of Penn State University entered the weekend with tired eyes and sore legs.  Thousands of students volunteered and danced their hearts away for 48 hours straight, and most importantly they raised $4 million for pediatric cancer research.  Very good news in a time when a lot of bad news are coming from our college campuses. 

And we will be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute.  And remember, “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” is just minutes away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks for being with us.  That's all the time we have for tonight.  But please, don't forget to make a donation to the Fallen Hero's Fund.  Check the info on your screen how you can make a big difference in these fallen hero's lives.  The Situation with Tucker Carlson starts right now. 

Hey Tucker, what's the situation tonight?

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Content and programming copyright 2006 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.'s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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