updated 10/5/2007 11:13:11 AM ET 2007-10-05T15:13:11

Guests: Michael Waldman, Jack Jacobs, David Rivkin, Jack Jacobs, Chris Taylor, Joe Gambardello, Clint Van Zandt, Susan Filan, Steven Rogers, Don King

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST:  From New York, I‘m Keith Olbermann.  Good night and good luck.  Our coverage continues now with MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams.

Dan, good evening.

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Good evening, Keith. 

We start tonight with that new report that the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issued secret memos condoning the use of what sure sounds like torture.  The harshest tactics used by the CIA.  According to the “New York Times” while the Justice Department was offering up public assurances that torture was abhorrent, behind close doors they were greenlighting painful, physical and psychological tactics including simulated drowning and exposure to frigid temperatures. 

And this is Andrea Mitchell with the details.


ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC REPORTER:  After a political firestorm, devastating pictures from Abu Ghraib and a Supreme Court ruling last year, the president made this promise.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The United States does not torture.  It‘s against our laws and it‘s against our values.  I have not authorized it and I will not authorize it.

MITCHELL:  But as first reported by the “New York Times,” a full year earlier, then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved two secret memos,  specifically authorizing much harsher techniques including head slapping, water boarding, frigid temperatures and combine effects using several practices simultaneously despite descent on his staff.  Today leading Democrats vowed to pass new laws.

SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  The White House overruled all those pesky official who told them what they didn‘t want to hear, who told them that torture is wrong and illegal.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT:  The president and those working with him are saying, basically, we‘re above the law.  The law applies everyone out, it does not apply to us.

MITCHELL:  Two years ago John Mccain who was tortured in Vietnam led Congress to outlaw the practices.  Today the white house insisted it is not breaking that ban.

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  They were safe, necessary and lawful, these techniques and helped save American lives.

MITCHELL:  But tonight Mccain wants the White House to explain.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  We‘re going to make inquiries of the administration and find out whether any of the techniques such as water boarding are still being employed and, if they are, we‘re going to have to act again.

MITCHELL:  There is also a big impact on foreign policy.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has promised U.S. allies that the administration does not use torture.  Even though officials say she knew about the memos.

“It has a corrosive effect because it seems that the ideals we stand for in the world are undermined by our practices and our policies.”

MITCHELL:  Tonight, officials still say they don‘t torture prisoners, but others say it depends on what your definition of torture is. 

Andrea Mitchell, NBC news Washington.


ABRAMS:  My take, it‘s official.  The Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales will go down as one of the worst ever, an embarrassment to the legal community to the office of attorney general and beyond.  And as I say this is someone who has supported and will continue to support aggressive measures as part of the war on terror.

But I guess I‘m tired of being lied to and as a lawyer I‘m ashamed of how Gonzales‘ Justice Department rolled over and became the lapdog of an administration, said I‘m giving unlimited power to the president.  Gonzales‘ unwillingness to be true to the law and constitution led good, honest, conservative lawyers to lead the department in protest and now we know more about why.

Joining me now Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and David Rivkin, who served in the Justice Department in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administration.  Thank you for coming on the program.  I appreciate it. 

Alright, Michael, what is most disturbing to you about today‘s revelation?

MICHAEL WALDMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE:  Well, its two things.  First of all, their explanation is tortured.  It‘s very clear that the Justice Department was publicly stating that we do not do this.  This is illegal, we‘re against it and privately they were issuing ruling over for the White House saying here‘s how to do torture.

Their own staff, senior attorneys such as the deputy attorney general said privately, according to the newspaper, that they would be ashamed if the public ever found out.  And this was just not because it was necessary, but because it was embarrassing.  And that‘s the other thing, is what we have seen over and over again, what Congress has voted explicitly in the law, is torture is illegal and it doesn‘t work.  It doesn‘t get information that‘s good and it‘s bad for foreign policy.

ABRAMS:  David Rivkin, my guess is you‘re going to say that maybe this isn‘t torture and how do you define torture, but if that is going to be your argument, how do you explain how good, conservative, honest lawyers like Comey and Goldsmith are both fleeing this Justice Department because they think that they have rolled over and they‘re doing things that violate the constitution?

DAVID RIVKIN, SERVED IN JUSTICE DEPT. IN REAGAN AND GEORGE H.W. BUSH ADMINISTRATIONS:  Very simple.  First of all, having served in two administrations I can tell you that every difficult legal and policy issue engenders serious and often heated disagreements (INAUDIBLE) definition in a clean air act or debating what is the meaning of the term torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment.  It does not mean that they are evil doers.  It does not mean—moreover, “New York Times”, I remember reading in the newspaper about an account of some debate, in which I participated and I would laugh as to how distorted this picture is.

ABRAMS:  Alright—you‘re not addressing the specifics here, David.


RIVKIN:  How is it that people like Comey, if you believe in “New York Times” disagree with somebody like Steve Blackberry.  Look, what we have here is the rule of law.  In this country we ask the lawyers whether or not a given—excuse me, let me finish.


ABRAMS:  A filibuster.  We asked lawyers whether given—OK, we get it.  We know how it works.  The question is why do you think then that people like Comey and Goldsmith are fleeing?  It seems to me—my position is because I think that they were absolutely aghast at what this Justice Department was doing.

RIVKIN:  No.  It means that, again, if you believe that everything the “New York Times” said about the motivation is correct.  This is what I would say.  We lost an internal debate and for a variety of reasons they departed.  It has nothing to do with the merits of his proposal.

Let me also tell you once in both things, as far as the critics are concerned including Mr. Waldman.  Everything, everything is torture.  Under their definition, everything is a “t” word and yes I‘m going to tell you not everything is torture.  Some things are torture, some things are not...

WALDMAN:  What about the things listed in this article, waterboarding, torture?

RIVKIN:  I‘m not in favor of waterboarding.  But—wait a minute but I can tell you of things like temperature variations with a certain zone, sensory deprivations are not torture.  Let me tell you, they use in most police stations in this country pushing, slapping, getting in your face, spit flying, making you uncomfortable and not letting you speak.  That‘s what they do with muggers.


ABRAMS:  Let me, okay, go ahead Mr. Waldman.

WALDMAN:  First of all water boarding, as the other guest said is by any definition torture.  The second thing is if these were all such defensible things that you can see in any police station in the country as oppose to police state, why was it secret?  Why was it necessary?


ABRAMS:  David, I‘m going to give you the final answer.

RIVKIN:  I got news for you.  Almost all of those here opinions are secret.  They‘re not written for you or written for Congress.  They‘re written for a particular client of an executive.

ABRAMS:  But they don‘t usually contradict the public statements.

RIVKIN:  That is your view.

ABRAMS:  That is my view.  Look, it is my view, absolutely.  Michael Waldman thanks a lot for coming in.  I appreciate it.  David Rivkin is going to stay with us.

ABRAMS:  Tonight the House was overwhelmed when we passed a bill making all private contractors in Iraq subject to prosecution by U.S. Civilian Courts.  The White House now saying that bill would have “unintended and intolerable consequences”, but they won‘t specify exactly how or what those consequences would be.  Apart from saying it would impact crucial national security activities and operations.

The legislation comes after guards from the private firm Blackwater opened fire in a Baghdad square killing up to 17 Iraqis more than two weeks ago.  The number is still unclear.

And a congressional report claims that last December a drunken Blackwater guard allegedly shot and killed an Iraqi soldier.  Instead of facing criminal charges that guard was fired and quickly whisked back to the U.S.  How could we not have some way to hold the bad apples criminally responsible?

This contractors are already legally protected from being prosecuted in Iraq so that legislation, they can‘t be prosecuted here either.  Military men and women who commit crimes in Baghdad can be charged, but not the private contractors?  But most these are honorable Americans, serving our country in a war zone.  Putting their lives on the line and helping the American war effort, but the bad ones, like everyone else, had to be prosecuted somewhere.

Here now on MSNBC military house retired U.S. Army Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chris Taylor former Vice President of Blackwater and David Rivkin is still with us.  Alright as a Former Vice President of Blackwater, what do you make of this?

CHRIS TAYLOR, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF BLACKWATER:  Well, I think you‘re right, absolutely that there are honorable men and women serving as contractors in Iraq and, also, we do have to have a strong mechanism for accountability for bad...

ABRAMS:  You‘re not opposed to this legislation, are you?

TAYLOR:  Not at all.

ABRAMS:  Jack, what do you make of it?

JACK JACOBS, RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL:  Well, anytime you give somebody the authority to take action, particularly violent action, you also have to hold them responsible for what they do as violate law in any organization and in any leadership situation that with authority goes responsibility and should be in this case, too.

ABRAMS:  Jack, how do you feel about the fact that there are private contractors doing so much military work in Iraq?

JACOBS:  Well, I think the reason for it is that we don‘t have enough troops in the theater and in Iraq in order to provide security for everybody.  There are many contractors in Iraq as there are troops on the ground.  And because we don‘t have enough people to provide security, they outsource security and then these people are held accountable for anything that they do.

ABRAMS:  And again, Chris, as former VP of Blackwater you don‘t have a problem with holding some of them accountable?

TAYLOR:  No, it has not been the private sector, who has been reticent to have a conversation about holding everyone accountable.  It sure—I want to clear it up though that mediate did actually apply to contractors prior to today.  This tried to expand it to all contractors serving all different missions.  Before, it just applied to DOD contractors.

ABRAMS:  Alright, David Rivkin, so what‘s the problem with this legislation?

RIVKIN:  I don‘t know if there is a fundamental problem.  They have practical difficulties of making—look, if you have a military unit operating within a chain of command and a given platoon does something wrong, the military is in the position to enforce good discipline.  But if you have Blackwater contractors escorting a visiting congressman or a state department VIP, how is the military supposed to be able to easily enforce some force of uniform guard of military justice.  But I also want to say this, we have no idea if the allegations by the critics of this war that these guys, they‘re out of control are true...

ABRAMS:  All we‘re talking about is putting them on trial.  That‘s it.  No one is saying to convict them yet.  But the problem has been, there is no where to put them on trial.

RIVKIN:  But wait a minute, in civilian life, in a military life, you don‘t just put people on trial willy-nilly.  You put people on trial if there is threshold determination they have done something wrong.  What we have here civilians being killed.  Civilians are killed in Iraq unfortunately over time given the...

ABRAMS:  Jack, this is different.  Isn‘t it?

RIVKIN:  Well, completely different.

ABRAMS:  Let Jack Jacobs answer.

JACOBS:  There‘s no mechanism whatsoever established in order to make a determination about whether or not anybody should be on trial.  Absolutely no mechanism.  So people like this, contractors who do things that they‘re not supposed to do, get off Scott free and that‘s absolutely positively bad news.  Not only for the rule of law, but its also bad news for all of our troops who are working very, very hard to gain the trust of the Iraqi populous, very  detrimental to our mission there.

TAYLOR:  Dan, if I could...

ABRAMS:  Let me let Chris in.

TAYLOR:  Dan, if I could, I think it‘s important to note that the investigation has not yet been completed and remember these contractors who are doing a very tough job in very tough circumstances and I would agree that stronger accountability mechanism actually keeps them safer and more accountable and that‘s what we‘re all working towards.

ABRAMS:  Bravo to the passing of this legislation.  It‘s necessary just to keep some sort of legal structure in place to hold people accountable.  It doesn‘t sound like anyone that fundamentally disagrees with that on the panel.

Alright Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chris Taylor, and David Rivkin thanks a lot and I appreciate it.

Still ahead, remember when Senator Larry Craig promised to leave office of his guilty plea, the disorderly conduct in a men‘s room was not reversed?  Well, today, it wasn‘t reversed and he‘s not gone.  Republicans already threatened to bring him to the Senate Ethics Committee if he stayed.  So are we in for some colorful senate hearings about what foot tapping means?

And a deadly armored car heist in Philadelphia ends with two former Philly cops‘ dead.  The latest on the manhunt for the killer is coming up.


ABRAMS:  Did you know Senator Larry Craig is the second longest serving member in the U.S. Congress in Idaho‘s history?  If he completes his term, it will be the longest.

Up next today, a judge rejects his effort to take back his guilty plea and yet now he says he is still staying.


ABRAMS:  The senator best known for his wide stance has done it again.  He‘s changed his mind.  This afternoon, a Minnesota judge denied Larry Craig‘s request to withdraw his plea for disorderly conduct after that arrest in the airport bathroom sextant.  This was supposed to be the time when Craig would step down, disappear, shrink away to save the Republican Party and flush away the stain of scandal sticking to the GOP‘s heels.

But, no, only hours ago we learned that Larry Craig is taking a firm stance.  Vowing to serve Idaho in the United States Senate until the end of his term in 2009.  This comes as little surprise given what his come to be known as Craig‘s pattern of indecision.  Pleading guilty, then withdrawing his guilty plea, one day saying he is resigning and then not resigning and then sort of kind of resigned and then thinking about resigning.  Alright, my take.

What troubles me is in my opinion he‘s lying, again and again.  I think he‘s lying about why he is in the bathroom.  I think he‘s lying about why he pleaded guilty.  I think he‘s lying now about whether he was going to resign.  I don‘t really care if it helps or hurts the Republican Party, but I think it‘s time for him to go.

Joining us now Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief of salon.com and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.  Alright Pat, the Republicans want him out, don‘t they?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Sure they do.  They‘re probably embarrassed by him, but the point is, he was elected by the people of Idaho and if he‘s to be thrown out, they‘re the ones who should recall him and throw him out.  I think when you mentioned his lies.  I think the last one is simply a change of mind.  I think he intended to go.

He was down, he was beat and he finally turn to change his mind to, heck, I‘m going to fight it, I‘m going to stay in.  I want to stay until the end of my term, which he has every right to do.  And Dan, he has not committed any offense which would justify his expulsion from the Senate.  Pleaded guilty for his misdemeanor, see it as it is, embarrassing as it is, it‘s not justification for expulsion from the United States Senate.

ABRAMS:  Right, but that‘s sort of the legal answer and let me go to Joan on this.  I mean, there is no question that there is no—this is not justification for what the equivalent of impeachment.  I mean the bottom line is this is politics and this is the game he entered and this is the game he‘s playing and it seems to me that he just isn‘t telling the people the truth.

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF SALON.COM:  I agree with you, Dan and I find it very fascinating.  I mean, I have to say, it‘s also trouble for the Republicans because it takes away a talking point that I know Pat has used in the past.  I heard Tom DeLay used which is we get rid of our guys who are wrongdoers.  When they do bad, we get them off the stage, they resigned, we hide them.

And of course that wasn‘t true.  Senator David Vitter got to go back to the Senate and get applause after admitting that he patronized the prostitute and Ted Stevens just still up there even though, you know, FBI investigators are looking at him seriously for corruption.  So, it wasn‘t true to begin with but it‘s really not true.

ABRAMS:  Something really bad about this one to me, Pat, because he said, first he said he was going to resign.  OK, you said he changed his mind.  But then he said I want to pursue my legal options.  I want to see what the court rules on this.  Today the court rules against him and he‘s got a statement ready to go.  You know what; I‘ve decided I‘m going to stick around until 2009.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t have any problem with that.  Maybe he changed his mind.  He was going to resign.  He said, I‘m going to try to get it overturned.  He failed to get it overturned and he said I‘m going to stay in until 2009 as I was elected to do.  What is the problem with it, Dan?  What is your problem?


ABRAMS:  The problem is it‘s dishonesty.  Pat, do you believe that he was doing nothing, do you believe that he was in that bathroom looking to have gay sex?

BUCHANAN:  No, I believe he made a public statement which I don‘t think it‘s true.  I don‘t know...

ABRAMS:  I‘m asking whether he is telling the truth about what he was doing in the bathroom, do you believe him?


ABRAMS:  OK.  I don‘t either.  Alright.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t think—that still doesn‘t justify me saying I‘m going to throw him out.  What about procedure, Dan.  You‘re a man for that aren‘t you?


ABRAMS:  No one is talking about not giving him his due process.

BUCHANAN:  Why are you trying to—you‘re here on television saying get out.  You didn‘t elect the guy.  You‘re not from Idaho.

ABRAMS:  If he wants to go in front of the ethics committee, let him.  That‘s fine.  I have no problem with it.

WALSH:  OK.  Let me say something here.

BUCHANAN:  Why are you hollering about this?


ABRAMS:  I‘m hollering about it because I‘m tired of the contradictions and the dishonesty.

WALSH:  I have a lot of sympathy for the guy.

BUCHANAN:  You‘ve never seen a politician change their mind?

ABRAMS:  You know what, Pat, as you told us before, the worst thing a politician can do is admit that they were wrong, right?

BUCHANAN:  That‘s the worst thing he could do (INAUDIBLE).

WALSH:  He‘s not admitting anything.


ABRAMS:  Go ahead, Joan.

WALSH:  Well, I just think, I think that the worst thing about it is the changing of his mind but I have a little bit of sympathy for him.  I honestly think that this man is very confused.  I don‘t know what he thinks, what his sexual identity is.

ABRAMS:  He‘s in the wrong party.

WALSH:  He got completely hung out to dry by his friends, people who embraced David Vitter after his prostitute high jinx, left this man high and dry when he claimed he didn‘t do it.  Friends for years, you know, (INAUDIBLE) calling it unforgivable.


ABRAMS:  Hang on a bit.  Joan, do you think that the democrats, if he had been a democrat, do you think the Democrats would have done the same thing to him?

WALSH:  I don‘t know.  I don‘t know.  I think they would have put a pressure on him.  I think the men‘s room high jinx, I think it doesn‘t look good.  I don‘t know.  I haven‘t thought about that, Dan, but I think the point is that he was abandoned by his party and abandoned by his friend.  He seems very angry and lost and this is his revenge (INAUDIBLE).

BUCHANAN:  Let me just say, look, Bonnie Frank and the other fellow up there, Gary Studs were given chairmanships by their party.  They‘re honored and awarded.  This guy, even if he didn‘t tell the truth, which I don‘t think he did.  I think he‘s either deceiving himself or us, his friend should stand by him.  I don‘t care if he‘s wrong.

WALSH:  I agree with that.

ABRAMS:  You know, that‘s interesting.  I‘m not going to challenge you on whether his friends should stand with him.  The bottom line is though that...

BUCHANAN:  You‘re not standing with him.

ABRAMS:  I‘m not standing with him.  You know, maybe I‘d sit next to him.

WALSH:  I don‘t know.

ABRAMS:  Joan Walsh, Pat Buchanan, thanks a lot.  I appreciate it.

Still ahead, an armored car heist on tape ends with two guards dead and one injured and the suspect on the run.

We have some pretty good ideas here at MSNBC, so good that our friends at CNN have borrowed/stolen one.  Their take of my take is next in “Beat The Press.”


ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Beat The Press”.  Our daily looked back at the absurd and sometimes amusing perils of live TV.  First up viewer Tom Sterling alerted us to CNN and their coverage of the laws that cover private security firms working in Iraq.  CNN‘s graphic leads me to believe that some of those contractors may be from out of this world.


Let‘s call the Military Extra Territorial Jurisdiction Acts.  It covers contractors supporting the mission of the department of defense.


ABRAMS:  Now you see the screen there, The Extra Terrestrial Jurisdiction Act.  Who are these extraterrestrial contractors and how are they getting away from the law?  There they are.

Next up, retired General Wes Clark went over Rush Limbaugh over his phony soldiers comment and Fox News covered the controversy in their fair and balanced way.  Take a look at the photos they use of each man and try to guess who they like and who they don‘t.  Rush smiling, Wes Clark in the middle of a sentence.  They report, you decide.

Finally, everyone who watches this program and my old show knows that I share my opinion on many stories, I long called it “My Take” and on the screen it says “Dan‘s Take”.  What seems our friend at CNN like the show and the idea so much, they got their creative team in and they came up with something amazing.  They took Dan‘s take and put their own special twist on it for Rick Sanchez.  They started doing something called “Rick‘s Take”.  Wow, they are good.

We want your help, beating the press, if you see something amusing, absurd, or just right or wrong.  Please go to our website at abrams.msnbc.com.  Leave us the tip in the box.  Please include the show and the time you saw it.

Still to come, we are getting more details tonight about a manhunt under way right now in Philadelphia after a gunman killed two former police officers during an armed car robbery all caught on tape.

Plus, for the first time, we see the last pictures taken of Princess Diana just before her life ended in a car crash in Paris.


ABRAMS:  Up next, police are looking for a gunman who killed two retired Philadelphia police officers in cold blood today during an armed car robbery.  We have got the video and the latest on the search.  But first, the latest news.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, new surveillance video of exactly what happened just before a woman mysteriously died in Phoenix in police custody.  The question, will it give us clues as to why she died?  We‘ll see.

But first, breaking tonight, a manhunt under way in Philadelphia after what police are calling an assassination of two armored car guards in broad daylight. 

Surveillance cameras outside the bank caught the cold blooded killer in action.  He killed the guards, wounded the driver, got away, Philadelphia police commissioner Sylvester Johnson described how it all went down. 


SYLVESTER JOHNSON, POLICE COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA:  The male came from behind the truck.  He fired and shot the male.  He went around and he shot the other male.  There was no physical contact at all.  It was like an assassination.  There was no physical contact; there was just firing.  It was an assassination.  He killed two people, intentionally. 

It was a black male wearing a yellow baseball cap with a black logo on it, black short sleeve shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers, black gloves along with a black handgun and he escaped in a black Acura TL which was parked in the rear parking lot probably approximately 700 feet from the third club. 

We are looking for an armed and dangerous male who had no regard for life at all and never gave these - any male the opportunity to surrender their money.  He never spoke to either male.  He just came out and essentially just assassinated them and that‘s sad.  We want this person caught. 


ABRAMS:  The victims, officers William Widmaier and Joseph Allullo, retired police officers who had 50 years of experience on the force between them.  They were also old friends.  Joining me now, reporter Joe Gambardello from the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.  All right, Joe, have they got any leads? 

JOE GAMBARDELLO, REPORTER, “PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER”:  No leads at all right now.  All they seem to have is the videotape, which they‘re hoping will generate some leads.  

ABRAMS:  But, Clint, there‘s a lot of evidence on that videotape.  I mean, you got a pretty good shot of the guy and the fact that you know what type of car he‘s driving, if that car is not a stolen car, it should be a huge clue. 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI PROFILER:  Yes, it should be.  The clothing is going to help - you know, the gloves, the yellow gloves, the hat - unless he just bought those.  And even if he just bought them, if I can find out where he bought them, so be it.  The automobile could be a clue, even if turns out to be stolen.  One of the surveillance videos shows him putting the gloves on in the car, so we knew he was driving it bare handed.  We‘ve got a chance for at least finger prints and other forensic evidence.

ABRAMS:  Joe, what kind of neighborhood is this where this happened? 

GAMBARDELLO:  It‘s a transitional neighborhood right now, but it‘s pretty much blue collar.  It‘s not a high homicide area at all, so that would make this crime really stand out.  

ABRAMS:  I want to put up the photos of the two victims, again here.  Because, Clint, I‘ve got to believe that, you know, they may be former cops, but the authorities there are going to treat this like their current cops.  

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, I mean, any homicide is terrible, when you take the life of a law enforcement officer, current or former, or these guys trying to make a living.  You know, these guys put on a uniform for 25 plus years and  went to work every day and survived it.  And here they are in a retirement job and you said it, Dan, cold blood.  These guys never had a chance.  And the shooter, the killer, the murderer, he didn‘t just go to rob them, Dan, he went to kill them.  

ABRAMS:  Joe, it seems to be premeditated, right? 

GAMBARDELLO:  Oh, without a doubt.  I mean he just came out shooting.  Didn‘t say a word, didn‘t ask for the money and he just took the money and ran.  

ABRAMS:  But I mean, most importantly, that he probably knew exactly what time they were going to be there, he knew sort of - Any sense of whether he had tracked them before?  Anything like that? 

GAMBARDELLO:  Well, some police believe that he knew their routine and that‘s why he was there at that time.  And one of the videotapes of another camera shows him putting on his gloves right before he goes out.  And so, that would indicate that, you know, he was getting ready and go out and do what he did. 

ABRAMS:  We‘re showing the number there, 215-686-3334, if anyone has got any information.  Clint, this is one of those cases that you and I talk about this sometimes that I think will get cracked pretty quickly.  

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, I do, too.  I mean, this is no good rotten murderer and sociopath.  There‘s few people in the community that will support something like this.  So, anybody out there who knows something, I guarantee you, police, FBI, they‘re going to be shaking the trees to get this guy and hopefully he‘ll fall pretty soon.  

ABRAMS:  all right.  Joe Gambardello and Clint Van Zandt, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you.

GAMBARDELLO:  You‘re welcome.

ABRAMS:  Now the new pictures of the final moments before Princess Diana died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel ten years ago.  These have just been released.  They‘re the last-known images before the crash that night.  They came out at the inquest into her death.  Jury‘s hearing evidence under way now in London. 

ITN‘s Romilly Weeks has the story.


ROMILLY WEEKS, ITN REPORTER:  The pictures are shaky, but it‘s clear what they show.  Henri Paul walks out of the back door the Ritz and raises his hand to signal.  And highlighted here on the other side of the road, the paparazzi he‘s waving at - the very paparazzi Diana and Dodi had been trying to escape. 

The jury were told if they looked closely, they would see one put their camera up to focus.  Immediately after this mysterious sequence Henri Paul goes back inside, talks to Dodi and Diana who salutes him and shortly after that wave, the couple leaves.  The paparazzi are ready and waiting.  Diana puts up her hand to shield her face from the cameras as they get into the waiting Mercedes for what would be the final time. 

The pictures are part of newly released CCTV footage that builds up an incredibly detailed picture of Diana‘s last hours.  Minutes before, she‘s seen laughing with Dodi in the service lift, completely unaware of what she‘s about to face. 

The jury has heard evidence that Dodi came up with the plan to leave by the back exit to outwit the photographers.  Just look what was happening in the front of the hotel.  By now a huge crowd has gathered - paparazzi and onlookers.  This video was shot by an Australian tourist. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE AUSTRALIAN TOURIST:  Wow, wow, wow!  Guys, look at this!  Someone‘s out, they‘re very important. 

WEEKS:  Some of the paparazzi screech off following the decoy car.  But already at the back of the hotel, the cat and mouse game with the press is going wrong.  Diana and Dodi wait for more than seven minutes, apparently uncertain whether to leave because the paparazzi have already clocked their plan. 

The CCTV capturing their final moments of togetherness, Dodi‘s head resting against Diana.  And then the wave, it‘s not clear what it meant, but the jury were told that Henri Paul had left the hotel to speak the paparazzi at the front no less than three times, and he was overheard taunting them, saying, “You‘ll never catch me,” as he left. 

Romilly Weeks, ITV News.


ABRAMS:  Wow.  Coming up, a woman dies while in police custody at a Phoenix airport.  Now her family wants to know what happened before and after police put her in shackles.  We‘ve got new surveillance tapes.

And later, two former heavyweight champs are getting ready for the hottest fight of their lives.  Now that Evander Holyfield has entered the grill game.  Boxing promoter Don King is with us to decide the winner and loser of The Thrilla on the Grilla.  Holyfield versus Foreman in tonight‘s “Winners and Losers.”


ABRAMS:  Breaking tonight, newly released surveillance tape of Carol Ann Gotbaum, the mother whose death while handcuffed in police custody in an airport holding cell still unexplained. 

Here‘s what we know.  She was apparently irate when gate crews refused to let her board a US Airways flight.  She got to the gate too late.  But the question remains tonight, once police arrived, did she scream for them to stop restraining her or was she a menace?  Was she disturbing the peace, the police‘s reason for arresting her in the first place?  The surveillance tape has no audio on it.  The voice you heat, the Phoenix police investigator talking us through. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE PHOENIX POLICE INVESTIGATOR (voice over):  That‘s her entering right there.  You can see that by - the video doesn‘t have any audio.  However, based upon witness statements, she‘s screaming at the top of her lungs, “I‘m not a terrorist.  I‘m not a terrorist.”  There‘s some TSA personnel over here who will make contact with her.  You can see he‘s doing that now and he‘s trying to calm her down.


ABRAMS:  Witnesses say Gotbaum kept screaming, even after she was surrounded by TSA and police officers who finally took her down physically and cuffed her before walking her to a holding cell.  Once in that room, her handcuffs were fastened to a shackled chain that was locked on to a bench. 

Police left her alone and that‘s when investigators believed she may have tried to get out of the cuffs, accidentally choking herself to death with a long chain.  We know Gotbaum was under way to a rehab center, and now her family has hired a well-known forensic pathologist, Cyril Wecht to examine the evidence.  But apparently Wecht was not allowed access to key organs - heart, brain and throat. 

Here now MSNBC‘s senior legal analyst Susan Filan, back with us, former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt, and joining us on the phone Detective Steven Rogers of the Nutley, New Jersey Police Department.  Thanks to all of you.  Appreciate it.  All right, Clint, it does seem that this surveillance tape helps the authorities in their defense? 

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, no problem, Dan, that she was irate.  She was distraught.  They tried to talk her down, if, in fact, she wouldn‘t let herself be talked down and she wouldn‘t accompany officers.  They had a right, they felt, for an arrest.  It took three of them to take her down, that‘s kind of a challenge.  I have got no real problem with that.

My problem was when they cuff her and stuff her.  When they take her and put her in this room, cuff her to her chair.  She‘s upset, she‘s distraught.  She say, “I‘m a mother, I have to get home to my kids.  I‘m a sick woman.”  And they leave her alone, Dan.  No one tries to talk to her, work with her, and then mysteriously 30 minutes later she‘s dead.  I don‘t know how she could choke herself.  I‘m challenged by that.  

ABRAMS:  Susan, look, I don‘t know what the protocol is in this police department, but is there a requirement that you have to stay with someone after they‘re put into a holding cell? 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST:  Look, once you arrest somebody and deprive them of their liberty, you‘re responsible to ensure their safety.  You‘ve got to either have a camera into that cell all the time, somebody watching that camera and monitoring it.  Generally, you take away anything from the person that they could use to hurt themselves - shoelaces. 

I can understand leaving a distraught woman chained to a bench without anybody watching.  They had an obligation to say, “Are you all right?  Do you need medical assistance?”  And for her to have allegedly choked herself on the chain, it had to be more than what police are saying as eight minutes having elapsed.  Something doesn‘t add up for me, Dan.  

ABRAMS:  Detective Rogers, what do you make of it? 

STEVEN ROGERS, DETECTIVE, NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Well, unless you‘ve been in situations like that, you don‘t know what goes on.  First of all,  it appears the police officers did follow department policy.  You can‘t be with a person every second that they‘re in custody.  They handcuffed her, they believed they secured her to the bench and, unfortunately, a tragedy happened.

And, you know, the fact of the matter is, this woman put herself in that position.  The police did not wake up that day and want to be in this position.  And I‘m sure they feel as bad as anyone else.  Bud they did follow department procedure.  

ABRAMS:  Let me play this piece of sound.  This is from the Gotbaum family attorney, Michael Manning. 


MICHAEL MANNING, GOTBAUM FAMILY ATTORNEY:  She would literally have to both dislocate and break both of her shoulders to get into that position, or do some sort of Houdini effort to try to get her legs beneath the handcuff.


ABRAMS:  Detective Rogers, sounds to me like he‘s saying they simply don‘t believe that she was in that cell and tried to get herself out of the cuffs. 

ROGERS:  Dan, I‘ve got to tell you something.  I‘ve been in situations where prisoners have been handcuffed behind their back in police cars and managed to wiggle their way out.  So, these things do happen.  And I guess until the internal affairs bureau and the investigators come to a conclusion, we should not indict these officers as being wrong until there‘s a fair investigation. 

ABRAMS:  But, Clint, how does this new surveillance tape impact that? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, you know, like your other guests, I‘ve arrested a lot of people and put handcuffs on them over 25 years.  After this happened, I sat there, Dan, and tried to imagine handcuffs and how I would slip my hands behind my backs and under my legs and bring them back up.  Maybe if I was in some kind of shape I could do that.  But for the woman to choke herself, she would almost have it stand on her head on that bench and wrap the chain around her neck.  That‘s where it starts to break down for me.  

ABRAMS:  Susan? 

ROGERS:  And Dan, ...

FILAN:  Dan, the other ...

ROGERS:  I agree with Clint on that.  It is - on the surface, sounds almost impossible to be done.  But you know what, these things do happen.

ABRAMS:  But, Susan, you‘re disturbed by the fact that they won‘t let the Gotbaum family medical examiner access to all of the potential evidence. 

FILAN:  You bet I am.  They hired Cyril Wecht to oversee the autopsy.  He has a right to view the body in its form, but it take away the throat muscles and not allow them to be examined when the police are claiming that she died as a result of accidental asphyxiation is wrong to me.  Also, the heart and brain was not turned over.  The coroner‘s answer was, we‘re just too busy, which is either negligence or cover up.  And something is wrong there. 

ROGERS:  And, Susan, I agree with you.  You know, one of the worst things any police agency to do is not to come out and release everything.  And you know what, they should.

FILAN:  That‘s right.  That‘s exactly my - .

ABRAMS:  Susan Filan, Clint Van Zandt, Detective Rogers(ph), thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

FILAN:  Thanks, Dan.

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you.

ROGERS:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Up next, will tonight‘s big winner or loser be two reality TV stars who got into a fight at an award show; a lawmaker who won an award for pulling a punch on the senate floor, or one of two prize winning boxers, Foreman versus Holyfield now at each other‘s grills in a fight to the finish to cook meat.  Holyfield is trying to get into foreman‘s turf.  Don King joins us to judge the beef bout and tell us which kitchen appliance is the winner and loser, next.


ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers” for this fourth day of October, 2007.  Loser, former reality TV star Johnny Fairplay(ph).  The survivor castoff scuffled with fellow TV titan Danny Bonaduce at this week‘s Fox reality channel award‘s show.  Fairplay who failed to take home the prize during his season of Survivor, was booed off the stage.  Now, he‘s pressing charges for the embarrassing award show face plant. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  Any last words to Danny?



ABRAMS:  Winner, prize fighting Alabama State Senator Charles Bishop, rewarded for planting one on the face of a senate colleague.  The reality TV moment caught on tape by a local cable access channel. 

The Republican senator says he regrets throwing the punch.  His fellow Republicans, not so apologetic.  This week, they gave him a trophy, the Boxer.  Loser, Carmel, Indiana high school students, now being forced to take alcohol Breathalyzer tests before attending home football games.  Each student required to blow into the device in order to pass through the gates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT:  A little overboard for three or four kids who may have done it one time. 


ABRAMS:  So far not one student has failed.  But then again student shows up drunk knowing there‘s testing of breath is failing more than the Breathalyzer. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Once it hits your lips.


ABRAMS:  Winner, a British biker who sure looked like he was drunk as he rode his two-wheeler off the edge of an east London station platform.  The breathtakingly bone headed move landed him on the tracks just seconds before a train came barreling through the station.  The startled cyclist narrowly escaped death, not to mention the 750 volts of electricity going through the live rails he walked across.  But the big winner and loser of the day -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let‘s get ready to rumble.  

ABRAMS:  Will be decided tonight on this program, in a world television event exclusive.  Two of the best-known boxers of their time facing off in our MSNBC studios.  A sizzling battle that will be decided by one man, legendary boxer promoter Don King.  Joining us now in our studios is that man, Don King, in town to promote this weekend‘s heavyweight bout between Samuel Peter and Jameel McCline, but, tonight, he‘s going to serve as a judge.  We‘re calling this one the “Thrilla on the Grilla.”

In this corner, the reigning champion ringing in a cost of $99.99, featuring a 96-square-inch cooking surface, the venerable veteran, the George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat Grilling Machine. 

And in this corner, the new culinary kid also ringing in a cost of $99 and featuring the largest cooking surface in its weight class, the savvy startup Evander Holyfield‘s new Real Deal Grilling Town.  Great it see you, Don.  

DON KING, BOXER PROMOTER:  It is great to see you.  This is fantastic.  

ABRAMS:  Did you think you were doing this, deciding between Evander and George Foreman in this kind of form? 

KING:  I never thought I would be a master of culinary art on this type of form.  Yes.

ABRAMS:  So how important is the size?  Evander‘s looks bigger.  And would you say that reflects his boxing style or not? 

KING:  Well, that reflects Evander.  He has a great appetite, you know what I mean.  But George Foreman is the original.  He is the first, right?

ABRAMS:  He‘s the original. 

KING:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  Evander‘s the challenger here. 

KING:  Oh, yes. 

ABRAMS:  But the thing is, the Foreman thing has all the numbers at the front, but Evander‘s, on the other hand, cooks on both sides.  Now, the question is, is, again, is Evander, when he‘s boxing, does he have more of a reach than Foreman?  How do they compare?  Compared to - let me look in - they are both doing about the same.  

KING:  Yes.  Yes.  And you know what, Foreman is a power machine.  Evander is a boxer-puncher.  You know what I mean?  Foreman is a guy whose grill takes away the fat.  Now, I don‘t know about Evander‘s yet.  I know that it‘s a real deal.  It‘s a new cooking machine.  It‘s a great grill.  

ABRAMS:  You are surprised he‘s gotten into the business? 

KING:  Oh, no.  Evander never surprises me.  He will be champion of the world, too, by the way, next week.  Five-time champion.  But nevertheless, I think that Foreman‘s grill is the best.  

ABRAMS:  Wait.  Oh, so that‘s it.  The official ruling has come in.  We will look at the burgers, Don King deciding if the ultimate - that the George Foreman grill defeats the Evander Holyfield grill in a side by side comparison.  It‘s a little messier, the Evander ...


KING:  It only contains more of the fat. 

ABRAMS:  I think it‘s because George ...

KING:  But it‘s going to be good.  Evander is going to increase - I mean, improve as it goes along, but you can see the little gadgets here with the Foreman grill, and it goes out and the fat goes away.  And so George Foreman is giving you that lean, mean, cooking machine.  

ABRAMS:  Final question.  Any chance you‘d give up the jacket to the winner?  I mean, that is a collector‘s item.  

KING:  That would be extremely difficult because this is only in America.  I know they are going to sell these grills everywhere and I‘m so proud and happy they will be entrepreneurs.  You know what I mean?  The entrepreneurial spirit - it reigns high with your great choice.  But I got to tell you, I can‘t give up the jacket, nor the flag.  Not the flag. 

ABRAMS:  Don King. 

KING:  Oh, I love it.  This is great.  

ABRAMS:  It‘s great to have you.  

KING:  It‘s great to be here.  What a show.  What a show.  

ABRAMS:  Well, what a good - you never thought.  

KING:  Yes, I‘m looking at those burgers.  They look so delicious. 

ABRAMS:  You‘re going to get to eat them.  

So sumptuous.

ABRAMS:  You‘ll get to eat them.

KING:  I got to stay away from those.  

ABRAMS:  We wrap up with Don King.

KING:  Love you, man.

ABRAMS:  Good to see you. 

KING:  Great to be here.

ABRAMS:  That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  See you next week.



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