Guests: Carl Bernstein, Mike Rectenwald, Tony Perkins, Jim Warren, Larry Johnson, Lindsay Moran, Rhonda Sobotka, Ron Richards, Stacey Honowitz, Craig Silverman, Jim Spencer
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Thanks a lot, Rita. Greatly appreciate it.
And right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, censure in the Senate. A Democratic presidential hopeful starts a movement to make George W. Bush the first president censured since Andrew Jackson.
More political bleeding for Bush or a bungle that‘s sure to backfire on Dems?
And, an alarming trend across America as more judges let child rapists walk free. Tonight, I am going to have the latest on the Ohio judge with eight DUI arrests who let the rapist of a five-year-old off without any jail time.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. No passport required and no liberal judges allowed.
Thanks so much for being with me tonight. We‘re going to have all of those stories in just a minute. Plus, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter from the “Chicago Tribune” digs up the names of over 100 CIA employees in several top secret facilities. How? He used the Internet.
The CIA director is horrified by the “Tribune‘s” finding. We‘re going to get to the bottom of it here tonight.
And then, the teacher who compared President Bush to Hitler, well, he is back in the classroom. The student who complained about it? He‘s been run out of the school. We‘ll give you that story, too.
But first, a potential presidential candidate going nuclear against President Bush on the Senate floor today. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin took to the Senate floor today to call for the censure of President Bush for ordering the secret taping of phone calls as part of the tapings as part of the war on terror. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD, (D) WI: This president has done wrong. This body can do right by condemning his conduct and showing the people of this nation that his actions will not be allowed to stand unchallenged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Let me bring in right now, we‘ve got MSNBC‘s Washington chief correspondent Norah O‘Donnell. And we also have Carl Bernstein, contributing editor for “Vanity Fair” and former “Washington Post” Watergate reporter.
And we also have Michael Rectenwald for Citizens for Legitimate Government. And Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Carl, let me begin with you. A little bit of experience covering presidents gone bad and gone wrong.
What‘s Russ Feingold up to?
CARL BERNSTEIN, “VANITY FAIR”: I don‘t know. Seems to me that censure is a political act. And what is needed here is a real congressional investigation of this presidency to find out what the president, what the vice-president have done and have not done in terms of what is constitutional, what is unconstitutional, what‘s been honest, dishonest, and what has been legal, what has been illegal.
A while ago, John Dean, the Watergate conspirator, wrote a book called “Worse Than Watergate” in which he alleged that the Bush presidency was worse than Watergate. I thought it was hyperbole at the time. And now, enough serious allegations have been made that we deserve a congressional investigation of this presidency about .
SCARBOROUGH: Norah O‘Donnell, the Democrats - I‘m sorry, I was going to bring in .
BERNSTEIN: Let me just say, about the WMD, about the misuse of wire tapping, intelligence and the authorization of torture, the honesty in terms of how we went to war or how we didn‘t. All of this is open to question. And ..
SCARBOROUGH: Carl, that‘s open to question but that‘s not open to impeachment.
BERNSTEIN: I‘m not talking about impeachment. I‘m saying .
SCARBOROUGH: But .
BERNSTEIN: No, to the contrary. I‘m saying, what we need are facts. And the only way to get facts are from an investigation, somewhat like the Watergate committee investigation by Sam Irvin. Not an impeachment investigation because we need to know what happened. And it‘s very important that the country know what happened.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Hold on, Carl. Let me bring in Norah O‘Donnell. Norah, tell us what went on on the Hill. Tell us how the White House is responding. Tell us how the fellow Democrats are responding?
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was high political drama on the Senate floor. And just immediately after Senator Feingold called for the president to be censured, the Republican leader, Bill Frist decided to call their bluff and said, OK. Let‘s have a vote right now. Let‘s see who is ready to vote for this.
And even Republican Senator John Cornyn said, let‘s see how many Senator Feingold‘s colleagues are ready to follow him over the cliff. And at that point that‘s when the Democratic leader, Harry Reid, said, Hold on just a minute, let‘s postpone this vote, there should be more vote on this.
So Republicans clearly smelled blood. The vice president, who happened to be campaigning in Senator Russ Feingold‘s home state of Wisconsin, for a Republican congressional candidate there, said it was outrageous, he said this was an extreme and counter productive antics of a few. He really challenged Democrats, are you going to saddle up with this guy, Feingold. So, I think what happened in many ways is that the Democrats, and there are many Democrats, but it‘s not clear that Senator Feingold has any outright support for this censure.
I mean, Harry Reid declined to endorse it, Nancy Pelosi declined to endorse it, Senator Joe Lieberman said, let‘s instead have an investigation. Or let‘s decide how to bring this NSA spying program under the law and make it legal. And Republicans called this a cheap political trick and that this undermined ...
SCARBOROUGH: Norah, you know, the vice president, let me play the vice-president‘s clip. Because tit seemed like to me that the vice-president was actually relishing what was going on in the Senate floor. Let‘s play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The junior senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold believes the terrorist surveillance program is grounds for censuring the president. This is an outrageous proposition that we ought to protect the enemy‘s abilities to communicate as it plots against America poses a key test for our Democratic leaders. Do they support the extreme and counterproductive antics of a few or do they support a lawful program vital to the security of this nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Norah, as unpopular as the president and vice president have been of late, do they actually like having these type of attacks thrown at them? Because it makes them seem almost reasonable to Middle America?
O‘DONNELL: Well, remember that President Bush has always done well when he‘s in campaign mode. And his approval ratings have usually remained above 50 percent when there was a clear opponent, like, Senator John Kerry. And his numbers have dipped because he doesn‘t have a clear political opponent. So it‘s the perfect political opportunity for this White House and Vice President Cheney was unleashed today, if you will, ready to sort of deliver the political attack.
And this White House likes to have a debate about national security. They have had a tough one over the Dubai ports deal for the past two weeks where we have seen the Democratic Party gain an upper hand coming to national security. I think that‘s why the Republicans smelled some blood today and thought they could turn this around on the Democratic Party.
Clearly, though, it divides them and it looks like Senator Feingold, who is probably running for president in 2008 was trying to, at least, stir the pot.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me just say this for our viewers that may not know Senator Feingold. The guy has been known in Washington as being really an independent-minded senator. He‘s known as a guy that teamed up with John McCain for campaign finance reform. A guy that‘s not been afraid to buck his own party.
But Mike Rectenwald .
MIKE RECTENWALD, CITIZENS FOR LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT: Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, so many people like to paint this White House as being extreme. George Bush. Dick Cheney is being extreme on issues like NSA wire tapping, on the PATRIOT Act, on going to war. But you and I both know that the Senate Democrats back the president and Dick Cheney on these issues a lot more than they back Russ Feingold or you.
RECTENWALD: Well, here‘s the thing, Joe. The thing is, there‘s no need to find facts over this incident of wire tapping and the FISA Act. The president himself admitted that he wiretapped illegally because he did not go to the FISA court to get approval. While he was telling the American public .
SCARBOROUGH: Did the president say he did it illegally?
RECETENWALD: While he was telling the American public that he - while he was assuring the American public that he would not wire tap American citizens without a court order. So he lied.
SCARBOROUGH: I don‘t remember the president saying he did it illegally. Did he?
RECTENWALD: Well he admitted that he broke the law. He didn‘t say, I broke the law. But he had admitted to wiretapping American citizens without getting a court order. Likewise, he admitted to breaking the law. Number two, the only reason the Republicans can smell blood .
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, wait a minute. I want to stop you there. Because if he broke the law it seems to me that somebody would impanel a grand jury out there or some indictments would be coming forward. Some court somewhere would say that. If that‘s not the case - if that‘s not just the political calculation or judgment on your part, why hasn‘t there been a grand jury impaneled? Why isn‘t there an indictment out there against .
RECTENWALD: Well, Feingold is not only calling for this censure, he‘s also saying that the censure is first. Then investigations. Then legislation. And perhaps impeachment. So, he‘s not just ending it here with the censure. He wants to go further.
SCARBOROUGH: But he‘s out there by himself! He doesn‘t have a single Democrat supporting him? Does he?
RECTENWALD: The reason why we‘ve not had—We have a Republican controlled Congress in both houses. And of course, everything we try to do is squashed almost immediately, like, trying to find out about the war. The intelligence, the pre .
SCARBOROUGH: But Dr. Rectenwald, the Democrats aren‘t even supporting this position, though, are they?
RECTENWALD: Well, you know what? That‘s where they are making a mistake. They smell blood and every time they attack, they back off when the Republicans strike back. When they smell blood is when they should continue to attack. And they impeached a president with a 60 percent approval rating, they can certainly go after censure on a 36 percentage approval rating president.
BERNSTEIN: Let me suggest that there‘s serious Republicans that .
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m going to go to Tony Perkins first. Tony, it seems to me that this is the Democrats‘ biggest problem. You hear so many activists against the PATRIOT Act, against the NSA spying, as the president would call it, the Terrorist Surveillance Act against the invasion of the Iraq war. But on issue after issue after issue, Democratic senators are siding with the president more than they are siding with their own base, right?
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: You know that Senator Feingold is out in left field when Nancy Pelosi is distancing herself from him. In a time of war, this is borderline treasonous behavior. This takes politics to a new low. This literally, what he is doing, puts our military and our nation and military at greater risk by sending the message out there that we‘re divided, that we‘re not intent on protecting our nation against terrorists. This is a bad move on his part. And you can tell .
SCARBOROUGH: So, are you accusing Mike Rectenwald of treason also?
PERKINS: Look, the Republicans have been questioning the president on the wiretapping. And the committees are looking at it, judiciary committee is looking at it. That‘s the way you investigate. You have the hearings. You get the information. They are going to subpoena and bring in, they have brought in, they are bringing in more official within the administration.
But for one senator to take up this act. This is an act of desperation. What this is, Feingold fashions himself as a potential presidential candidate. He‘s running in a crowded field of left-wing Bush bashers. Nobody is hearing him. So he pulls this stunt so he can get some press. That‘s what this is about but it is dangerous.
SCARBOROUGH: In the end, Carl, isn‘t this what this is all about, he‘s trying to separate himself from Hillary Clinton and other Democratic nominees in 2008.
BERNSTEIN: What this ought to be about is remove all of these questions from these political discussions motivated by partisanship and the only way, I believe that indeed, Feingold may be doing this in a very partisan way. Which is why, now, for the first time, serious Republicans and Democrats on the Hill who believe that many of the aspects of how we went to war and this president‘s conduct need to be investigated.
And that is a serious business. The allegations against the president and the vice president by members of their own party, among others, are extremely serious, about torture, about WMD, about truth-telling. All we need are to find some honest answers through an honest inquiry. Nonpartisan. And I suspect as more and more dissatisfaction in both parties advances we may really se that come to be.
O‘DONNELL: Joe, what is interesting is that it seems .
SCARBOROUGH: I want to follow up with that, Norah. Carl talked about dissatisfaction in both parties. What‘s this say - go ahead and respond to what you wanted to respond to before?
O‘DONNELL: Senator Feingold.
SCARBOROUGH: I see it as Republicans are fearful they are going to lose the majority in 2006. What are you hearing?
O‘DONNELL: I think Republicans are nervous about that. But on this particular issue, NSA spying, Senator Feingold has obscured what was already a major issue even for Republicans. NSA spying is clearly controversial.
The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the past couple of weeks, the Arlen Specter accused the attorney general of the United States of not being forthcoming and demanding that he return back to Capitol Hill for testimony on this very issue.
So, the Democrats in many ways didn‘t need to pour gasoline on a fire that was already burning because there were all the Republicans members that wanted to talk about this more. Now it looks like a political fight, a political ploy and certainly the White House will use in that way in terms of a weapon, back and forth, as a partisan fight, if you will, rather than over the merits perhaps of this, that should be perhaps debated.
O‘DONNELL: All right. Thank you so much, Norah. And thanks so much to our panel. Norah touched on a couple of great points. George W. Bush is always, always, always seems to have the upper hand when he‘s in campaign mode. When Russ Feingold and others like that come after him on issues of national security.
I think the White House absolutely loves it. But remember, Republicans on Capitol Hill, very nervous. They believe they may lose a majority for the first time in 12 years.
Now, coming up next, the shocking “Chicago Tribune” report on CIA secrets that you can get over the Internet. That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, to that shocking “Chicago Tribune” investigation, as you know, the United States spends billions of dollars on covert operation in the war on terror and homeland security. But a shocking investigation by the “Chicago Tribune,” by a Pulitzer Prize wining reporter reveals that some of the CIA‘s deepest secrets are just a click away on the Internet.
What‘s going on at the CIA? With me now, we‘ve got Jim Warren. He‘s deputy managing editor of the “Chicago Tribune”. Lindsay Moran, she‘s a former CIA agent and author of “Blowing My Cover, My Life as a CIA Spy.” And Larry Johnson, who is also a former CIA agent.
Jim Warren, let me begin with you. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter John Crewdson reports that the CIA can‘t even keep its own secrets off the Internet. What‘s going on here?
JIM WARREN, “CHICAGO TRIBUNE”: Well, John, as you said, a Pulitzer Prize winner, doing magnificent work in the last couple of years on a variety of terrorism related matters, including the so-called rendition program of the CIA and has also exposed some bungling by law enforcement, including CIA in various European matters related to terrorism.
Well, John, after a an incredible job of reporting underscored how very, very porous the CIA system of protecting the identity of many of the employees is by using a variety of methods including fairly readily available databases and in the process, Joe, revealing, not revealing but being able to determine the identities of about 2600 CIA employees including covert employees as well as at least 50 internal CIA numbers that the world really should not know about.
And then, about two dozen secret CIA facilities around the world including some that are heavily guarded. Now, so people should know that .
SCARBOROUGH: And also you have the CIA director, after seeing this “Tribune” report declaring himself horrified. Now, how could the “Chicago Tribune” get this information off the Internet and the director of the CIA, and the rest of the CIA leadership not know that it‘s readily accessible out there.
WARREN: Well, in fairness to Porter Goss, he did not use that term in direct response to our disclosures, but he has used that term in response to what he‘s learned in the last year or two about how porous, especially in the Internet age the CIA systems are for protecting folks.
In fact, we start our series out, our Sunday package which you get on the chicagotribune.com by talking about a 52-year-old who lives in Virginia, worked for the CIA. We know virtually everything about her. The CIA then asked us not to identify her because she had been a covert agent.
But it‘s quite amazing in the Internet age, Joe, the amount of information that‘s readily available. Whether you are talking about names, addresses, legal judgments, voting records, tax records, a whole variety of matters. Even as you know, satellite photos of where people live.
And you put all of that together and we found that it can be quite horrific. But so everybody then knows, we did not identify any person, we were incredibly sensitive to what the CIA‘s concerns were. But we did make quite clear, that we could, using these databases just out covert agents which is distinctly troubling.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. It‘s certainly a long way from what we see on TV when we watch “24.” Larry Johnson, you are skeptical, why?
LARRY JOHNSON, FORMER CIA AGENT: It‘s a goofy article. What they imply in “Tribune” is that just go onto Google, go on to Lexis-Nexis, go onto Choicepoint autotrack. And just pick a name out and all of a sudden, it will tell you that they‘re with the CIA.
The methodology they used, and ask Jim about this, they were able to take, for example, the indictments that were handed down in Italy that identified about 24 people. And admittedly that was lousy tradecraft on the part of the CIA. But using that information backwards to identify companies, individuals. But at no time are you able to go anywhere on the Web and find somebody that says, hey, this is an undercover CIA operative.
The way these operatives are outed is what happened in the case of Valerie Plame. She was outed by the administration. Once her name was out there and the company she worked for, it then enabled people to go out and do some of the work that Jim .
SCARBOROUGH: Larry, we got 2,600 CIA employees that are out there.
You have some undercover people out there.
JOHNSON: Joe. Joe. No, Joe, what you have 2,600 employees, most of whom are not undercover.
SCARBOROUGH: But there are some covert people, according to the “Chicago Tribune”. And Jim, let me ask you about it .
JOHNSON: How do they know they know they are covert? Because here‘s nowhere on the Web. Joe, hang on for a second. There‘s nowhere on the Web that you are going to find a list of people that says, “Hi, I‘m an undercover operative.”
SCARBOROUGH: Well, of course, you are not! That‘s why you have Pulitzer Prize winning guys piecing things together. That‘s not what I‘m saying. And that‘s not what the “Chicago Tribune” said. Jim Warren, how do you respond to these attacks?
WARREN: Well, obviously, we could not, for a variety of grotesquely obvious reasons get into the specific methodologies we used. There was a substantially greater amount of information and discoveries that we made that we did not put in the newspaper and having been involved in the editing of this and knowing the amount of time that the lawyers spent on this, I can assure you everything that we wrote in the stories is absolutely correct. And in due respect to Mr. Johnson, he simply doesn‘t know what‘s talking about.
JOHNSON: No, sir. You are absolutely wrong.
WARREN: He doesn‘t know what he‘s talking about when he raises criticisms of the piece.
JOHNSON: That‘s absolutely wrong. I do know what I am talking about. I work with these databases on a daily basis. I defy you. Come out and give me a name right now of somebody that‘s not undercover that you can just pick out and automatically go there without having that name first divulged by a public source.
WARREN: Joe, Joe, I mean, that sounds dramatic, as a challenge but obviously one for lots of reasons that we‘re not going to do that.
SCARBOROUGH: By the way, anybody that wants to read the article, you need to go to the “Chicago Tribune‘s” Web site. I have read it. And it‘s surprising to me. But Lindsay Moran, let me bring you in. Judging from what you have written before. You are not surprised, either, by what the “Chicago Tribune” unearthed, are you?
LINDSAY MORAN, AUTHOR, “BLOWING MY COVER”: No, no, I‘m not totally surprised. And goofy article or not, I don‘t necessarily think that it is. But I think it‘s alarming that it takes the “Chicago Tribune” to point out to the CIA what seems to be a glaring weakness in their cover capabilities.
The weaknesses in the cover capabilities are no shock to me from someone on the inside. I had a number of incidences and colleagues that had issues with the cover office. Where the cover office was not doing what they needed to do to uphold our cover. You could say the CIA was caught of guard. But the Internet was not invented yesterday.
SCARBOROUGH: And talking about—you had several instances where basically, you said Keystone Kop moments within the CIA.
MORAN: Sure. I mean I described in my book .
SCARBOROUGH: There was other information, you don‘t believe they are to be trusted with a lot of national security.
MORAN: Well, I described one incident where I went to use an alias
credit card only to find that the credit card was rejected because, lo and
behold, the cover office hadn‘t paid the bill. That shouldn‘t happen with
we‘re the last remaining superpower and we should have the best intelligence that there is. And we can‘t even get beyond gaps like that resulting from flaws in our cover capabilities.
Another time I got a set of alias documents and on my alias documents I had three different birthdates. One on my passport, one on my driver‘s license and different one on a different form of identification. That shouldn‘t happen. But it does. It happens everyday for CIA officers.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Jim Warren, what‘s next? Are you all going to be continuing this investigation?
WARREN: Well, again, this is a natural, if rather depressing follow on tremendous work that Crewdson has done for the last couple of years. Including on the so-called rendition program, it was the “Tribune” and John revealed the CIA was using the private jet of a Boston Red Sox co-owner to ferry alleged terrorists around the world.
And it was in some ways depressingly easy to put the pieces of that puzzle together as it has been for John to put the pieces of the puzzle together when it comes to the traditional way that the CIA has operated in setting up dummy front companies, including, it appears now, in the case of Valerie Plame and for many others. But if I can just say one correction, as great as our work was, I mean, there‘s no sense that this is the first time Porter Goss, the director of the CIA has learned about some of the frailties of the cover systems that they use.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ve got to go Jim, but you brought up Valerie Plame‘s name. Crewdson also said that had a background search done on Valerie Plame, her so-called undercover work while she was in Athens would also have come out on the Internet also, correct?
WARREN: Yeah, yeah, it was not to hard to figure out that she was posted to Athens for a good period of time. And then, to figure out that the cover she was using, the company that had been set up supposedly, in Boston, was distinctly fictitious and to this point, we can‘t find any person listed as CIA as actually being a real live person for the company that Valerie Plame was working for, supposedly. And whom she was working for when she contributed to the Al Gore campaign.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. We have to go. Thank you so much for being with us, Lindsay, Larry and Jim. We greatly appreciate it. Isn‘t that just amazing? Again, the 2,600 CIA employees outed over the Internet by the “Chicago Tribune”. Very, very troubling. Coming up next, we‘ve got new details in the case of the Ohio judge with eight DUIs. That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: A teacher who compared George Bush to Adolph Hitler is back in the classroom. The student who complained about it? Gone. We‘ll give you the story behind the story when “Scarborough Country” returns.
But first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: You remember that Colorado teacher who compared President Bush to Adolph Hitler? Yes, the Hitler that killed 6 million Jews and started World War II. He killed 20 to 30 million people? Yes. That Adolph Hitler. Well, wait until you hear what‘s happened to the teacher and to the student.
Welcome back to “Scarborough Country.” We‘re going to have that story in just minutes. But first, we‘re learning more tonight about the Ohio judge who sentenced an admitted child rapist to probation with no jail time.
Andrew Selva was originally indicted on 20 counts of rape. But at the trial, he pled guilty to just two charges, a process that took nearly three years. But in the end, Judge John O. Connor sentenced him to house arrest and probation with no jail time.
Now, Andrew Selva‘s neighbors are angry and they are speaking out against the judge.
Let me bring in one of those neighbors, Rhonda Sobotka. Also, a witness, we‘ve got Florida prosecutor, Stacey Honowitz and criminal defense attorney Ron Richards.
Rhonda, this rapist lives in your neighborhood. And I understand that he raped and molested a 5-year-old boy. What do you think about your neighbor not getting a day of jail time?
RHONDA SOBOTKA: Well, first, I want to thank you for making this a national phenomenon right now. This person needs to be talked about.
We‘re very angry. He lives in our neighborhood. This person is sending a message to other criminals that you can get away with abusing children. And we don‘t agree with him.
As a parent of a soon to be 5-year-old boy, and a soon to be 11-year-old daughter, I can tell you that taking the innocent life of children in the form of abuse is not acceptable. It‘s not acceptable for me or my neighbors.
Our rights have been violated. And we feel that our children, the little bit of trust we give them maybe to ride around the block or walk the dog, has been taken away. Our children can no longer feel comfortable.
SCARBOROUGH: Your children are basically prisoners inside their own homes. I mean, your 5-year-old boy will have to walk past this guy‘s house to go to school, to go anywhere. It seems to me that you can‘t let him go out and play. You can‘t have a moment‘s rest because this judge has allowed this guy that admitted to raping, to sodomizing a 5-year-old kid, this judge has let him out without any jail time.
Now, we‘ve got a statement from Judge Connor to “Scarborough Country.” The judge says, quote, “The court feels that the public is well protected and there is no likelihood whatsoever that the defendant will pose a problem to the community in which he lives.”
You know, Rhonda, I have three kids. If a judge told me that, I would tell the judge to go straight to hell.
SCARBOROUGH: This guy raped and sodomized two young children. And this judge is telling you to trust him?
SOBOTKA: I agree.
SCARBOROUGH: What can you all do? Are you all going to fight back against this judge and try to get him removed from office?
SOBOTKA: Well, that‘s our plan. Our plan is that this judge does seek some sort of justice in the case. This judge needs to be penalized by a higher court for what he has done. Because he frankly did not take the seriousness of the case.
He allowed this person to walk free. He is on house arrest. He is allowed to go to work. He‘s allowed to be with his children. He‘s allowed to do things that a lot of people aren‘t allowed to do for very small crimes. Our children have to walk to school. We are not bused. So our children will have to walk past his house, 12-year-old boys...
SCARBOROUGH: Rhonda, that‘s just unbelievable.
I want to bring in Ron Richards.
Ron, I read your pre-interview. I know you don‘t think that this judge was right in letting this child rapist off without any jail time, right?
RON RICHARDS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, no. I think the judge was right, especially after I interviewed his defense counsel. Because the state‘s psychologist and the defense psychiatrist both felt that he was amenable to treatment. He no priors and a very checkered childhood to...
SCARBOROUGH: He raped two kids. He raped a 5-year-old boy. And you‘re saying that this guy shouldn‘t get jail time?
RICHARDS: Well, he‘s getting a year of house arrest with six months live-in treatment. The judge‘s...
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s not going to jail.
RICHARDS: And the judge...
SOBOTKA: Now, Joe, excuse me. Excuse me.
RICHARDS: Hold on.
The judge didn‘t want to pass the problem off to the Ohio system, so when he comes out in two years, these poor neighbors have somebody that‘s not been treated. The judge did the right thing. He got someone that‘s amenable to treatment into treatment.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. You didn‘t want to pass—I don‘t understand what that means, Ron. He didn‘t want to pass this off to the Ohio criminal justice system? What are you talking about?
RICHARDS: There‘s no treatment in the prison, so the judge felt that just throwing him in jail and then not...
SCARBOROUGH: I don‘t want to treat this guy. I want to lock him up for life. He sodomized a 5-year-old boy.
SOBOTKA: Excuse me. Excuse me.
RICHARDS: But it was a statutory max of five years, and the prosecutor did not object to this plea bargain because they lost the first indictment due to a defect. So, you can‘t blame the defendant or the judge.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, yes I can.
SOBOTKA: Now, Joe, I want you to understand something. Joe, I want you to understand something.
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead.
SOBOTKA: When this first indictment was made in 2003, this person was let free. And there were lots of circumstances why he was let free. That‘s a whole different show. But this person was free.
And after 2003, he did have Halloween parties at his home, inviting the neighborhood children there. Neighborhood children went to the home. They were victims, you know.
I mean, we don‘t know any of these children were abused. But this guy has a problem. Putting him in prison is the best thing for him. Don‘t letting him run free.
SCARBOROUGH: Ron, I—let me ask you, Ron, are you a father?
RICHARDS: No, I‘m not.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, OK. Well, let me just tell you. If you were a father, if you had, let‘s say, a 5-year-old boy, would you want your son living next door to a guy that sodomized other 5-year-old boys?
RICHARDS: Of course, when you put it in this mob mentality. But I have faith in the justice system and I...
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. That‘s not a mob mentality.
I‘m asking you as a father. Because we have a mother up there that‘s got a 5-year-old. That has nothing to do with the mob. It has everything to do with protecting our children?
Would you be comfortable having a 5-year-old son or daughter or niece or nephew next door to a guy that sodomized other 5-year-old kids?
RICHARDS: I would definitely be concerned about it. Absolutely.
And we have sex offenders live in all parts of Los Angeles. But we can‘t sit there and try to shot call a case when we don‘t know all of the facts, and then second guess every aspect of the judicial system from the prosecution to the defense to the judge to the both psychologists.
SCARBOROUGH: Ron, we know this guy raped a 5-year-old boy. Ron, we know he raped a 5-year-old boy. We know he raped another boy. We know that he admitted to as much. We know that this judge has been arrested for eight DUI‘s; said, “Well, I‘ve got a sickness.” He‘s got a sickness.
RICHARDS: Well, that‘s sort of a cheap shot.
SCARBOROUGH: You guys talk about rehabilitation. You know, you can‘t rehabilitate these guys. If you are going to sodomize a 5-year-old boy, you can‘t be rehabilitated. You need to be locked in jail.
And Stacey Honowitz, I don‘t understand why Americans don‘t get angry, and put judges on the bench that understand that a lot of these creeps cannot be rehabilitated. They just need to be locked up.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, that‘s exactly right, Joe.
And it‘s amazing to me.
I don‘t know what the prosecutors did in this case. I can‘t imagine they would have agreed to any kind of plea deal like this. You are not talking one victim. You‘re talking two victims, repeated rapes and a defendant that pled guilty to these charges.
The problem is I don‘t think the public knows what goes on in all of these courtrooms. Sex offenders are sentenced every single day. The regular public, other than the victim and the victim‘s family isn‘t in the courtroom to see it. And that‘s why, when things like this, miscarriages, take place in a courtroom like this, the public has to know what‘s going on.
SCARBOROUGH: Stacey—but Stacey, this is happening...
HONOWITZ: This is sex offender who has to be in prison.
SCARBOROUGH: Stacey, we saw it happen in Vermont. We see it happen in Ohio. We see it happen in Florida. All across the country, you are hearing these judges saying, “Well we can‘t really give these child rapists treatment.”
I don‘t want them to be treated. I want them to be locked up. Why can‘t we lock them up for life?
HONOWITZ: Well, see, you can lock them up for life.
SCARBOROUGH: On the first defense?
HONOWITZ: That‘s the situation. You can lock them up for life.
These offenses sometimes carry with them life sentences.
Why these judges choose to let offenders go free or let them live in a neighborhood and be in the environment, they‘re setting themselves back up. Because what happens is, inevitably they re-offend. And that judge is the one that has egg on their face because they‘re the one that originally gives them a very lenient sentence.
So these cases are have to come to the forefront. They have to garner national attention. The public has to know what‘s going on in their own circuit in their own courthouse.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
They‘ve got to know what‘s going on. And we‘ve got to fight back.
And, Rhonda, I hope you will come back. We‘re going to have you come back this week, if you will, to give us an update on your efforts.
Ron Richards, thank you very much for being with us.
Stacey Honowitz, as always, thank you for being here.
I‘m joined now by Tucker Carlson. He‘s host of “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.”
Hey, Tucker, welcome back from vacation. We missed you. What‘s “The Situation” tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”: Well, I missed being here.
Thank you, Joe.
Two amazing—many amazing stories, but two particularly amazing stories. The head Muslim counselor, the imam in the New York City jail system attacks Jews and called the Bush administration terrorists. He may get his job back. We‘re going to talk to one his supporters.
And the Episcopal Church ordains a convicted murder while he‘s still in prison. Unbelievable. We‘re going to talk to the bishop who did it.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Tucker. Appreciate it.
CARLSON: Thanks, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: And make sure you tune into “The Situation with Tucker Carlson.” It‘s coming up next at 11:00 p.m.
And next here, teaching anti-Bush hatred in the classroom. We‘re going to have the latest on the Colorado teacher.
And what‘s Manorexia? We‘ll going to find out from Dennis Quaid in flyover country when “Scarborough Country” returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Big development tonight, the Colorado teacher caught on tape, comparing our president, George W. Bush, in a time of war, to Adolph Hitler. Yes. We‘re talking the Nazi tyrant that killed 6 million Jews and launched World War II.
Well, this teacher, Jay Bennish, is back in the classroom after the school district reinstated him in Overland High School at Aurora, Colorado.
And tonight, we‘re learning that the student, who made that tape, has left school because of a backlash.
So to re-cap, the teacher who compared Bush to Hitler is back in the classroom. The kid who blew the whistle on him, forced out.
Something‘s not right here. And with me to talk about it, we‘ve got Denver radio talk show host, Craig Silverman. And we also have Jim Spencer, he a columnist for the “Denver Post”.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.
Craig, what in the hell is going in Colorado?
CRAIG SILVERMAN, DENVER RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, they had a clear violation of Cherry Creek school district rules by teacher, Jay Bennish. He‘s not supposed to indoctrinate. He‘s supposed to be objective. He‘s supposed to provide balance. That did not occur.
However, the school district did not feel like it was a firing offense. He was on paid leave. I thought he should have gotten a couple of day‘s pay taken away. We‘ve seen absolutely no contrition on the part of Jay Bennish. So I don‘t know that I would want my kid back in the classroom.
SCARBOROUGH: And Jim Spencer, you really think this is much ado about nothing, don‘t you?
SPENCER: I do, Joe. I think that Jay Bennish violated the Godwin rule, which is he who brings up Hitler or the Nazis first automatically loses the argument. So I‘ve got no problem with saying that Jay Bennish stepped overboard.
But I think what the school superintendent said when he announced that he was going to go back into the classroom with some sort of a warning was right. He said, “I talked to a bunch of teachers about what happened here. And what the teachers said to me was, a mistake was made. Let‘s work with the teacher and move forward.” And I think that that‘s what‘s happening here.
I‘d like to say something to you about the young man, who did make the recording of Jay Bennish. He was not forced from school. He chose not to go back to Overland. I wish he would go back to Overland. He has decided, I believe, instead to enroll at another school in the Cherry Creek school district here in Colorado.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, didn‘t Sean say that he was concerned that he had been harassed, that he thought he would be abused if he went back to his school?
SILVERMAN: Right. Yes. He received some threats. And when we went to Overland High School, our radio talk show, Capless (ph) and Silverman, and I tell you, the mood was hostile. So I don‘t blame him for wanting to switch schools.
And part of the problem is on the shoulders of Jay Bennish who went on NBC, the “Today” show and told Matt Lawyer that he was just playing devil‘s advocate.
I defy anybody to listen to that 21 minutes. And not just what he said, but how he said it, the tone, the passion. And it‘s obvious that this is Jay Bennish‘s conviction.
Joe, you and I are both courtroom lawyers. We know the difference between dispassionate presentation and sincere advocacy, much as you did that last segment. That‘s what Jay Bennish was doing.
He is a clear Bush basher, which is OK. I don‘t think Bush is a great president. But I‘ll tell you what, he said some far-left things that the presents no balance.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s his business to say, if he wants it balanced. But I don‘t think taxpayers want to have their children indoctrinated one way on the other.
SILVERMAN: That‘s right. There‘s a time and place for everything.
SCARBOROUGH: A time and place for everything.
Jim Spencer, don‘t you think—because I know you were concerned that this kid had taped his teacher and that the father shopped it around and it became a national issue?
SPENCER: Don‘t you think American parents and taxpayers have a right to know what‘s being taught in the classrooms?
SPENCER: Joe, they absolutely do. But I‘m a parent, myself. You said you have three kids. I raised two and I‘ve got a granddaughter now. When my children had trouble in school, we went first to the classroom teacher; then to the principal; and then if we didn‘t get satisfaction, then to the school division.
And then, in my own job, I try to do this all the time, I try to make the system fail people before I start to get involved as media.
And I think that Sean Alan, the young man who did record this conversation and put it out there before everybody, I think if he had just followed the chain of command, I believe he would still be in the school, and that Jay Bennish would have been admonished.
But you know, neither of us can say that, neither of us can say that because the system wasn‘t even given a chance to fail.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Jim. Thank you so much, Jim Spencer.
SILVERMAN: Well, the principal sat on it for about a week, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: And Craig Silverman.
Greatly appreciate both of you being with us.
I think the biggest problem—it‘s not just about this student, not just about this school, unfortunately, there‘s a growing problem across America that we used to see in our universities and colleges. Now, we‘re seeing it in high school. You need to teach, not indoctrinate our children.
We‘ll be right back with more “Scarborough Country” in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: Time for another fly over in “Scarborough Country.” The stories that may have fallen under the mainstream media‘s radar, but certainly, not ours.
First up, Los Angeles, one of Hollywood‘s leading men says he‘s getting help for manorexia. That‘s right. Dennis Quaid says he‘s suffering from the male version of anorexia.
Quaid says his food problems began in 1994, when he lost 40 pounds for a role. Quaid said he is now talking about his problems because he wants other men to get help.
Hey, get over it and just eat a slab of ribs in dreamland.
Next stop, Dallas, Texas, where crooner, author and now a Texas Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman acknowledges getting a little too much into the spirit of St. Patrick‘s day when he broke the law. It seems there was an open beer in his hand as he road through the streets of Dallas. The can of Guinness he violated that state‘s open container laws. But police say he won‘t be charged because no officers there saw the open container at the time.
We will be right back with Joe‘s Schmoe.
Plus, “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” is only minutes away.
SCARBOROUGH: Tonight‘s Joe Schmoe, soul singer Isaac Hayes who says he‘s quitting the Comedy Central show “South Park” after five years of providing the voice for the character Chef.
Hayes says he can‘t stomach the way the show mocks religion, all religion. But according to “South Park‘s” creators, he‘s never had a problem cashing his check when the butt of the joke was Christianity. But since Hayes is a Scientologist, well, the show recently took aim at his faith, and then he decided to cry foul.
The “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone told the “Associated Press” quote, “We never heard a peep out of Isaac until we went after Scientology.”
Isaac Hayes is tonight‘s Joe‘s Schmoe.
And now, “In the Situation with Tucker Carlson.”
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