updated 10/9/2007 12:42:20 PM ET 2007-10-09T16:42:20

Guests: Randi Rhodes, Adam Smith, Tom Leonard, Raquel Rutledge, Danny Bonaduce

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  The question tonight: Is General David Petraeus, the lead commander in Iraq, hinting that a war with Iran is coming?  Over the weekend, on the southern border of Iraq, he essentially called the Iranian ambassador to Iraq a terrorist, telling reporters that the ambassador is a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard - a group that Petraeus himself has said is responsible of inciting much of the violence in Iraq and providing weapons to extremists - the Quds force is an armed of the Revolutionary Guard.


GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ:  It is increasingly apparent to both the coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran through the use of Iranian Republican Guards called the Quds force seeks to turn the Shia militia extremists into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interest and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.


ABRAMS:  The general most recent statements this weekend about the ambassador comes on the heals at the House and the Senate at the urging of President Bush overwhelmingly voting to call Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.  And these days when Petraeus speaks, people have to listen.  The president has almost said so in so many words.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I trust David Petraeus.  His judgment.  He‘s an honest man.  He is - those of you who have interviewed him know that he‘s a straight shooter.  I listened to the commanders that would be running the operation, in this case, the main man, as the man named—General Petraeus.  Smart, capable man.

ABRAMS:  My take.  This administration has turned General Petraeus into an almost omniscient policymaker whose word seemingly determined U.S.  policy on the region.  This is the problem with the administration answering all questions about our Iraq policy with an invocation of General Petraeus.  That‘s not the general‘s fault.  This administration has politicized him and so now we must ask whether his statement is an ominous forecast that some sort of attack on Iran is imminent.

Joining us now, Representative Adam Smith, Democrat from Washington state, Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst and radio talk show host, Randi Wendy Rhodes of Air America.  Thanks all of you coming on.  Appreciate it.  Alright, Representative Smith, I mean, how do interpret Petraeus‘ comments?

REP. ADAM SMITH, (D) WASHINGTON:  Well, I think it‘s hard to interpret exactly where it‘s going.  There‘s no question that Iran is a problem in Iraq and we would like them to be less of a problem.  But our hands are tied.  We do not have the forces to really do a full scale invasion of Iran.  It wouldn‘t be wise even if we did.  So, I think, at this point, the general is simply stating the obvious.  Iran is causing problems in Iraq.  And what is less obvious is what the president plans to do about it.  Diplomacy has not—is not been something they have pursued and we‘re in a corner right now.  So, at this point, the general simply said what‘s happening.  What‘s to come is the really the big question.

ABRAMS:  Well, that‘s right.  Pat, I‘m not questioning the facts behind anything the general is saying.  What I‘m saying is—when you have this general who this administration keeps referring to, making comments about the ambassador to Iraq essentially being associated with a terrorist organization, shouldn‘t it people here nervous that that could mean that a war could be coming?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think it does mean air strikes on the Quds force are coming.  I don‘t know how it could mean anything else, Dan, because of this.  Look, the general has said that Iranians—their ambassadors, a member of the Revolutionary Guard. 

Revolutionary Guards‘ Quds force is training and providing weapons and IEDs

to kill American soldiers and they‘ve been killing American soldiers inside

Iraq and the Quds force is in Iran.  Now, he‘s the commander in Iraq, but

the commander-in-chief - the question now is - as the commander-in-chief,

Mr. Bush, what are you going to do about it?  You mean everything -

ABRAMS:  Alright, here‘s what he said, Pat.  Let me just -   he was on Al Arabia TV and he said this.


PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:  I, of course, said all options are on the table.  But I made a pledge to the American people that we would work diplomatically.


ABRAMS:  Alright, Pat, do you buy it?

BUCHANAN:  Well, he has worked diplomatically, and the general is saying that this is continuing as of right now.  I think the president has painted himself into such a corner.  He‘s not going to invade, as the Congressman says, but I do believe - a surgical American air strikes on al Quds camps and their weapons depots are very, very probable in my judgment.  In fact, I don‘t know how the president can back away from doing that after all of the things he and the general are saying.

ABRAMS:  Randy, what do you think about that?

RANDI RHODES, AIR AMERICA:  I don‘t know when generals got to make

American policy.  I don‘t know how this happened.  But the president‘s you

know, defer to a lot of generals that he no longer defers he used to say—

we should trust General Casey, that we should trust Peter Pace, Abizaid,

all these generals he listens to until they say things he doesn‘t want to

hear.  And then they‘re no longer to be respected according to him and

we‘re to move on to the next general but I don‘t know where in the

Constitution that says that the generals make American foreign policy.  I -

ABRAMS:  We‘re not saying the constitution - I‘m just saying it‘s a

practical matter that -

RHODES:  Well, is Congress going to declare war or is the president going to declare?

ABRAMS:  Let me ask Representative Smith that since he is a member of

Congress.  Let me ask that in the context of this point—this is from

“The Washington Post” from October 7th, Representatives Smith -


ABRAMS:  “They worry about Iranian actions—this is talking about the administration - and they are disappointed that the diplomatic overtures to Iran so far have resulted in little progress, but senior officials say they are seeking to avoid military conflict.”  And the flavor of the article is essentially saying that war with Iran is not imminent.  And it sounds like that—that‘s your take on this.

SMITH:  Well, I think that‘s true although, there are two dangers in here.  First of all is the one is Pat correctly points out.  You know, what‘s war mean?  It‘s certainly we‘re not going invade.  but if we start bombing Quds forces or if we start attacking them in Iraq or across the border, you know, is a slippery slope there and I think it‘s a very dangerous position.  And the second thing is—what both Pat and Randi said, General Petraeus should not be making policy.  And I think that Randi is spot on that the president basically allows these generals to make policy until he disagrees with them.  But he is reasoned General Petraeus, as you‘ve said to a spot of an unimpeachable authority.  What‘s he going to do now?

ABRAMS:  Well, that‘s - that is the point I‘ve been making, Pat.

SMITH:  Yes.

BUCHANAN:  Alright, Dan, look, what - I was astounded by the president‘s statement last week to Arabia and the others; he in effect was doing a climb down.  Now, I‘ve always felt all along that one motive the president‘s got, is he‘s putting pressure, he‘s putting the screws on the Europeans, in other words—get these sanctions for me because I‘m ready to hammer them.  I understand that.  Then he climbs down from that and backs away to relieve the pressure.  Then Petraeus speaks like somebody - you‘re about to get hit.  I don‘t know what they‘re doing.

ABRAMS:  Alright.  Here‘s what the president said, Pat, to back up that point, here is the president on august 28th.


PRESIDENT BUSH:  Attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian supplied ammunitions have increased in the last few months, despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq.  I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.  I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran‘s murderous activities.


ABRAMS:  Boy, when you listen to that, Randi, it sure sounds like the president is saying we‘re going to war.

RHODES:  It does but that‘s the call for Congress, not the president,

unfortunately.  It‘s the one power he really doesn‘t have.  And the -


RHODES:  So, you know, Congress needs to decide whether or not they want to go ahead and do air strikes on Iran.  Of course, you know, Congress understands what the ramifications would be.


BUCHANAN:  But Randi -

RHODES:  The straits of Hormuz, Pat, you know would be - you know

something that‘s -

BUCHANAN:  I agree with you Randi, but look - .

RHODES:  I know you didn‘t.

BUCHANAN:  You know, I agree with you about the Congress should be the one to investigate what‘s being done and declare war or not to declare war. 

But the - from all these years (ph)-

ABRAMS:  But we‘ve seen that that doesn‘t always happen.

BUCHANAN:  Yes, the deciders‘ been deciding lately.


RHODES:  Yes, that‘s right.  And that‘s the problem.

ABRAMS:  And so Representative Smith, what can you do as a member of Congress to ensure - and look, you can pass a—you can state it, you can proclaim it, you can demand it.  but as a practical matter do you think—let‘s be specific here, do you think that if there are going to be targeted bombings, let‘s not call it a war for the sake of this discussion.

SMITH:  Right.

ABRAMS: If there are going to be targeted bombings on portions of the Revolutionary Guard, do you think that Congress must be and be—will be consulted before that‘s done?

SMITH:  Well, I think we must be, and I think we even will be consulted, but the troubling fact is, I think we‘ll be consulted, not asked for permission.  I think the president, given the presence state of our troops in Iraq being right there in an ongoing battle, there‘s a distinct risk that he acts without us having to approve it.  So, it‘s a slippery slope - won‘t too sure doing that.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I‘ve been there.

ABRAMS:  Final comment, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  I‘ve been there.  I was - I wrote the speech for Richard Nixon or with Richard Nixon.  He invaded Cambodia.  I mean, he went in there to attack their sanctuary, they have privilege sanctuaries, he went in to smash them.  He didn‘t ask Congress permission.  He told them we are going.

ABRAMS:  Right.  That‘s very well said, Randi and Pat are all going to stay with us.

Up next: More fallout from that “New York Times” report last week on the Bush administration‘s apparent approval of some torture techniques.  Now the White House is saying Congress was fully briefed on the issue.  Democrats say they had no idea what was really going on.  We decode what quote, “Fully Briefed” really means.

And an off duty cop goes on a shooting rampage killing six young people at a party before a bullet ends his life and it now looks like one of the victims was his ex-girlfriend.  That‘s coming up later.


ABRAMS:  More fallout today from that “New York Times” report that revealed attorney general Alberto Gonzales secretly OK-ed the use of what sounds like torture on detainees including waterboarding, head slapping and exposure to extreme cold.  Now the fight is over who knew what when.  Key Democrats are saying they weren‘t briefed on the policy while the administration insists they were.


PRESIDENT BUSH:  The techniques that we used have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI:  The committees have been briefed.  And I believe that the members that have been briefed are satisfied that the policy of the United States and the practices do not constitute torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But you know, what have they been briefed? 

Actually, if they haven‘t actually seen like the 2005 legal opinions,

they‘ve just been briefed in general, you‘re selecting what -

PELOSI:  What I can tell you is that I have been assured that they‘ve been fully briefed.


ABRAMS:  Alright. My take.  I hate to get all lawyerly, but it seems like this comes down to what the definition of “fully briefed” is.  Now, I hope the administration defines “fully briefed” to bit more consistently than they define success in Iraq, which, of course, is ever-changing, but the Democrats are sure making it sounds like they were briefed on what was happening but maybe not how they got there?  Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, chair of the House Intelligence Sub -committee said quote, “We were not fully briefed.  We were told about operational details.”  And the powerful House speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi said this on Fox News Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED HOST:  Were you ever brief about this policy or the Secret Justice Department memos?

PELOSI:  Well, in order to know if I‘m briefed to that, I‘d have to be briefed about it now, what exactly is the president talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED HOST:  You were never briefed about the secret memos in 2005?

PELOSI:  No, not about the secret memos.


ABRAMS:  Not about the memos.  They sure make it sound like they knew

but not about the legal opinions surrounding the policy.  Still with us,

Democratic Congressman Adam Smith, Pat Buchanan and Air America‘s Randi

Rhodes.  Alright, Congressman Smith, let me start with you, I mean, do you

have you heard from your colleagues what they mean when they say that they were briefed on the details but not on the memos?

SMITH:  I have not.  I think the key here is you know, like what you say, what was contained.  But I think we shouldn‘t lose track of the big picture.  What was in those memos that have been released in the last couple of days is clearly torture.  As anyone who looks at it can see.  and clearly against the policy that we in Congress passed with Senator McCain helping that to make it into law to ban torture.

ABRAMS:  And what I fear, Representative Smith is what some Democrats are saying is we knew the methods that were being used.  We didn‘t know about the legal justification for them.

SMITH:  Yes, I am not clear on exactly what - and again, just a couple of Democrats, Speaker Pelosi, jade Harman, when she was still a ranking member.  But I want to focus on the big picture here.  I mean, if we knew it and didn‘t do anything about it, and shame on us.  What‘s going on in these policies is wrong and really undermines the ability of our country to protect our national security for many, many reasons.  I mean, we really change these policies.

ABRAMS:  You know, Senator Rockefeller says, “I‘m tired of these games.  The administration can‘t say that Congress has been fully briefed while refusing to turn over key documents used to justify the legality of the program.”  Randi. my concern is that the Democrats are playing games here as well.

RHODES:  You know who cares?  We don‘t torture.  This is America. 

They‘ve passed a bill and said -

ABRAMS:  No, I‘ll tell you why I care.


ABRAMS:  Because if they‘ve knew what was happening and they were OK

with it -

RHODES:  They‘re accomplices to the president‘s crimes?

ABRAMS;  That‘s right.


ABRAMS:  We‘ll need to know that.

RHODES:  Well, we don‘t need to know that.

ABRAMS:  Why we don‘t need to know that?

RHODES:  Because what we need to know is that we stopped it.  And obviously “The New York Times” article said that we didn‘t stop it.  James Alison (ph) wrote an amazing piece.  Jay Rockefeller is the senator who is the chairman of the Intelligence Committee was very angry when he read in it the newspaper.  Right, he‘s very angry.  He reads this stuff in the newspaper.  Obviously. he‘s not up to date on the fact that rendition didn‘t end and that torture is still going on.

BUCHANAN:  Wait a minute.  This is critical.


BUCHANAN:  The president of the United States said they were fully briefed on the methods—head slapping, sleep deprivation and the famous one, water boarding.  And neither of those women, both of them, the number one and number two person in terms of intelligence in the House have not denied it.  They‘re going around the issues.  If they knew about it, and they‘re attacking Bush, there‘s real hypocrisy going on here.


RHODES:   Ooh, hypocrites in Congress, Pat.  That‘s shocking.

BUCHANAN:  Wait a minute.  How can you attack the president who‘ve

said - we have told them -

RHODES:  Because, look, Pat, here‘s the problem.  The problem is—no one believes anything the president says anymore.


ABRAMS:  But I want to have an actual discussion about this.  So representative smith, go ahead.

SMITH:  Given the stated position of Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi,

time and time again that I have seen against these specific methods,

against the use of torture, the work that they did on the language in the

defense authorizing bill banning it, I find it impossible to imagine that

someone who have given them a memo completely explaining all this stuff and

they would have said that was fine.  The big picture here is no matter who

knew -


ABRAMS:  I‘m not willing to give anyone a free pass yet.  I‘m not

willing to say no matter who knew -


BUCHANAN:  Let me - let me, Dan look.


BUCHANAN:  Given the - look, the big picture is this.  These two women apparently, I would say, they did know, because they‘ve not denied the president‘s statement which they were fully informed on the methods we were using.  Now, if they were and they‘re now complaining - that is grossly unjust to the president and they‘re being dishonest with their own constituents.

ABRAMS:  Yes, and I don‘t think you‘re going to disagree with that Representative Smith, are you?

SMITH:  Well, no, I mean, if those are the facts that is hypothetical but the one point that I will make whoever knew what when, I‘ve been working on this issue for a long time—we should not be in the business of torturing people.  Abu Ghraib was one of the biggest setbacks in Iraq that we had.

RHODES:  That‘s right.

SMITH:  And we apparently have learned nothing from it.  We need to change the policy.

BUCHANAN:  Let me - I understand.  Let me ask you a question congressman.

SMITH:  Sir.

BUCHANAN:  Reportedly, they used water-boarding to break the guy that blew the Bojinka operation where they were going to blow up nine airliners over the Pacific.  If they water-boarded him and that‘s how they got the information to stop nine airliners from going down would you oppose that?

SMITH:  Again, Pat, you‘re saying if, based on reports.  Everything I have heard is that torture is a fairly unreliable way of getting information.

BUCHANAN:  I know it‘s probably unreliable.  They‘ve also said they water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would you have oppose that?.

SMITH:  Water-boarding him?  I don‘t think it was necessary.  I‘ve read about that one, Pat.  And Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had a lot to say just from the moment he sat down.

ABRAMS:  And I think part of the problem also is that when you do that sort of stuff, you get false information from these guys.

BUCHANAN:  Sometimes you do.

RHODES:  That‘s right.  You if you are -


ABRAMS:  And that‘s and we‘ve heard that again and again.  OK, I‘ve got to

wrap this up.  But -

BUCHANAN:  Sometimes you‘ve get (inaudible) information.

ABRAMS:  I don‘t think it‘s important Pat, to figure out what‘s true.  Congressman Smith, Randi Rhodes, Pat Buchanan, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

SMITH:  Thank you.

Coming up: A British jury investigating Princess Diana‘s death goes to Paris to retrace her final path through a tunnel where her car crash.  They‘ve seen newly released videos on that night, now they see the scene for themselves.

In Fox News: On a campaign against MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews over the fact that he‘s moderating a GOP debate tomorrow.  We take a look at the man Fox holds up as their fair and balanced alternative—Brit Hume.  It is clear where Hume sits politically than Matthews.  That‘s up next in “Beat the Press.”


ABRAMS:  Time for tonight‘s “Beat the Press.” Our daily look back at the absurd and sometimes amusing perils of live TV.  First up: The attack team over at Fox News is trying to get traction out of comments Chris Matthews made at the Hardball—tenth anniversary party last week.  He made reference to these administration quote, “Finally getting caught in their criminality.”  He‘s talking about Cheney aide scooter Libby‘s conviction.  Now the silly and obvious part of this attack they‘re suggesting that Matthews shouldn‘t host the Republican debate.


UNIDENTIFIED TV ANCHOR:  For the first time ever, a political party may have a network news organization in its pocket.


ABRAMS:  First time ever.  The Republicans have had Fox News and O‘Reilly in particular in their pocket on the Republican talking points since 1996.  It seems Fox is very proud of their debate moderators.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST:  Fox News does debates, we don‘t have Sean Hannity.  He‘d be a great host.  But typically we‘d have our political team, who are not biased do the debates.  So, it is interesting that MSNBC chooses Chris Matthews.


ABRAMS:  Right, interesting.  In particular they talk about their D.C.  managing-editor, Brit Hume who I have enormous respect for.  But let‘s not pretend that he‘s right down the middle either.  Here is the lead member of their not biased political team saying that Democrats just don‘t understand the threat of terrorism.


BRIT HUME, TV HOST:  Make no mistake about it, this is what a lot of Democrats and those who support them think.  They think the war on terror is some kind of political scam in which the administration which is using to try to undermine civil liberties and expand the power of the executive branch of the government.  They do not treat it particularly seriously.


ABRAMS:  Right, fair and balanced.  I‘d say Chris Matthews expresses opinions on his show which are far less predictable than any hosts covering politics on Fox News.

Next up: I‘m not a fan of ambush interviews.  I don‘t condone showing up on someone‘s doorstep with a camera in their face.  But when it comes to a member of Congress paid by taxpayers money, showing up in the halls of Congress to question members about a pork barrel project is good, tough reporting.


SHARYL ATTKISSON, REPORTER (voice over):  Try asking about their hometown earmarks, members of Congress can get touchy.  Congresswoman Tubbs-Jones refused our request.  So, we found her at our Capitol Hill office.


to us like this young lady -

ATTKISSON:  You can‘t force us to turn our cameras off.

TUBBS-JONES:  OK.  I can‘t be forced to talk to you either.

ATTKISSON:  Take your hands off of me. 

TUBBS-JONES:  OK.  You want to have a conversation—give me a few moments and I‘ll talk to you.


ABRAMS:  Don‘t play me like that?  Good work by Sharyl Attkisson.  CBS trying to get answers in the right place at the right time.  Representative Tubbs-Jones needs to remember that her office building is all of ours and we pay her checks.

Finally: We showed pictures last week of some of the new Fox Business anchors.  First two in the corner, next to them—next two on the bottom, we compared their poses to ‘90s icon Joey Lawrence.  You see the similarities there.  Since then we got to hear from one of them.  A guy named Cody Willard, previewing their show called Happy Hour.


CODY WILLARD, HOST:  If I like to say Happy Hour is where the Wall Street meets rock ‘n‘ roll.


ABRAMS:  Rock on, Cody!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Excellent.  Excellent.


ABRAMS:  Fox Business surrounded by tall ones at Happy Hour.  That is rock ‘n‘ roll.

We need your help beating the press.  If you see anything amusing, absurd or just right or wrong in the press, please go to our Website at Abrams.msnbc.com.  Leave us a tip in the box.  Please include the show and the time you saw the item.

Coming up: A British jury heads to the scene where Princess Diana died in a Paris tunnel.  They have never before seen video, pictures and for the first time a jury - this jury will render a verdict on the cause of her death.

Plus: A predator first, a mother who is also a prosecutor, ends up defending her son in court as he stands accused of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor after he got busted by Chris Hanson.  We‘ll show you what led to him going to court and how his mom tries to defend him.



ABRAMS:  Coming up, a 20-year-old off-duty sheriff‘s deputy goes on a shooting rampage killing six young people aged 14 to 20 after reportedly getting into a fight with his ex-girlfriend.

But first, a British jury is finally looking into the death of Princess Diana today, retracing her final steps in Paris.  It is hard to believe it‘s happening for the first time only now.  They saw a new video of some of Diana‘s last moments alive.  Tonight jurors walked through the tunnel where she died in a car crash more than ten years ago.  Robert Moore of our British broadcasting partner ITN has the story.  


ROBERT MOORE, ITN CORRESPONDENT:  The 11 jurors gathered at the entrance to the underpass, and watched the flow of nighttime traffic.  Here 10 years ago, a personal tragedy unfolded and an avalanche of conspiracy theories began.  The court began its extraordinary journey this afternoon, tracing the exact route of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed through the streets of Paris.  There were even paparazzi in pursuit, in an eerie echo of what have the couple must have seen as they were followed through the streets on that August night in 1997, a key point which security tightened and a cordon in place. 

The juror emerged from their coach.  The coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker acted as their guide, identifying points of particular interest and helping them gather vital details.  Under court rules, the identity of the jurors must remain secret though cameras have been special access today, the coroner seeking maximum transparency to help separate truth from conspiracy theory. 

Then the jurors and court officials walked into the underpass.  Many people in France wonder what this inquest will uncover that has not already been revealed by two exhaustive inquiries since the car crash.  The jurors stood and looked to the 13th pillar, the very point of impact.  It was at this spot where Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul died, and where Princess Diana suffered her fatal injuries. 

Tomorrow, the jury will tour the Ritz Hotel, where Diana and Dodi spent their last few hours besieged by the press.  Their escape route that night was the rear exit at the hotel, a view seen this evening by the jurors from their coach, all of it intended to give them a complete understanding of the journey taken that fateful summer‘s night in 1997.


ABRAMS:  ITN‘s Robert Moore.  Joining me now is Tom Leonard, a correspondent for “Britain‘s Daily Telegraph,” who has been covering the story.  Thanks a lot for taking the time.  Appreciate it.  All right, so for people who haven‘t been following this that closely, it is hard to believe this is the first time a jury has evaluated evidence in this case.  

TOM LEONARD, CORRESPONDENT, “BRITISH DAILY TELEGRAPH”:  Hey, I think that‘s right.  But I mean, as it was said in that report, we‘ve had two official inquiries, one by the French and one by the metropolitan police in London.  And these things, you know, have been very protracted.  

ABRAMS:  And both of those came to the same conclusion, right, that the driver was drunk and was speeding.  

LEONARD:  Exactly.  

ABRAMS:  And yet this jury will ultimately have the final word on it.  Why do you then need to have this jury evaluating evidence if both investigations have determined that there was no criminality? 

LEONARD:  Well, I have two points to make here.  One is that neither investigation apportioned blame.  You might say you can draw your own conclusions as from what they said, but they didn‘t apportion blame.  And secondly, in British law, there must be an inquest in cases of this type where British nationals die abroad under unexpected or strange circumstances.  

ABRAMS:  All right.  So what do you think - this is being really pushed in particular by Dodi Fayed‘s family, right, who believe that there was a conspiracy.  

LEONARD:  Yes, I think Mohammed Fayed, who is Dodi‘s father, has been pushing this right from the word go, and has come up with all manner of theories which has beset critics say, “But where is the evidence?”

ABRAMS:  And bottom line, Thomas, this jury is probably going to come up almost certainly with the same conclusion that both the French and British investigators have, right? 

LEONARD:  I think so, you know, short of some bombshell new evidence.  But I mean, you know, the conspiracy theory was very far-fetched claims involving the Duke of Edinburgh and MI-6, which is Britain‘s CIA.  

ABRAMS:  All right, Tom Leonard, thanks a lot for coming on.  Appreciate it.  Now to Wisconsin where Sunday morning an off duty sheriff‘s deputy burst into a home and fired 30 rounds killing six people aged 14 to 20 seriously another before he was either killed by authorities or he killed himself.  NBC‘s Kevin Tibbles has details. 


KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over):  Residents of remote Crandon, Wisconsin, had no idea the man pulling the trigger was a law enforcement officer when shots woke them up just before 3:00 Sunday morning.  

JENNY STAHL, VICTIM‘S MOTHER:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Someone who is supposed to protect people.  

TIBBLES(voice over):  When it was over, seven people were dead including the shooter 20-year-old Tyler Peterson, an off-duty deputy with the Forest County Sheriff‘s Department.  

J.B. VAN HOLLEN, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL:  At approximately 2:47 a.m., early Sunday morning, Peterson entered a building at 201 North Hazeldell(ph), apartment B.  An argument ensued.  Peterson then left the building, retrieved a rifle from his truck, forcibly entered the apartment, and began to open fire.  Six people were killed in the apartment.  Their names are Jordanne Murray, Leanna Thomas, Katrina McCorkle, Lindsey Stahl, Bradley Schultz, and Aaron Smith.

TIBBLES (voice over):  The town‘s mayor says Peterson was killed by a police sniper.

MAYOR GARY BRADLEY, CRANDON, WISCONSIN:  We‘re having a rough time.  All these kids, I knew them personally and I know the parents and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) parents.  And it‘s tough.  It‘s very tough.

TIBBLES (voice over):  All of the dead were either students or recent grads at the local high school.

BILL FARR, PETERSON FAMILY PASTOR:  Like those close to Tyler, we are in shock and disbelief that he would do such terrible things.  This was not the Tyler we knew and loved.  We do not know how to act.  We want to express our love and support to everyone affect.

TIBBLES (voice over):  Wisconsin State Police and the FBI are now in Crandon, a town of less than 2,000 residents, to assist with the investigation.

VAN HOLLEN (voice over):  No parent, no community should have to endure what they now must endure due to this tragedy.

TIBBLES (on camera):  Police say Tyler Peterson fired 30 rounds using the same sort of rifle used by the local sheriff‘s department, although they would not confirm whether the rifle was sheriff‘s department property.  Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Crandon, Wisconsin.


ABRAMS:  Raquel Rutledge is a reporter for the “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel” and joins us on the phone.  Thanks a lot for taking the time.  Any idea what was happening at that party that might have set him off? 

RAQUEL RUTLEDGE, REPORTER, “MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL” (on the phone):  Nothing specifically was happening necessarily at the party.  They gathered to watch a movie and eat pizza.  It was homecoming weekend.  So no, nothing particularly at the party. 

We‘re told that he - well, here‘s what I can tell you.  I talked to the man who - where Peterson went in the morning after he had committed these crimes.  He went and told his family friend what he had done and what had happened.  And so directly from that person what I‘m told is that he went to the house to patch things up with his ex-girlfriend whom he had dated for several years sort of on and off.  And he was hoping to patch things up.  They got in an argument.  And some of the people at the party started calling him names, called him a worthless pig.  And he said he told the person that I talked to, Mike Kegley(ph), that he just lost it.  He just absolutely lost it and he was so, so sorry.  He regretted it. 

He spent several hours at the Kegley‘s house. After this happened.  He showed up at the doorsteps at 7:30 in the morning with the weapon in his hand and said what he had done.  And he wanted to - he was talking about trying to turn himself in.  But basically that‘s what happened.  ABRAMS:  Why do they think that he was taunted by some of these people?  I mean, he had had a relationship, right, with Jordanne Murray? 

RUTLEDGE:  It was - from what witnesses tell us and what others tell us, he had a stormy relationship with Jordanne Murray, that it was sometimes physical.  And so if they‘re fighting, why they were taunting him, we don‘t know for sure.  We don‘t know - we do have reports that he was picked on, and that some people say that, you know, in high school, he was picked on.  But we don‘t have a lot of evidence of that.  But we do know that his relationship with her was stormy and maybe her friends took up for her.  We‘re not sure.  

ABRAMS:  Raquel, thanks a lot for taking the time.  Appreciate it.

RUTLEDGE:  You‘re welcome.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a predator first.  A father of three shows up allegedly for sex with a 15-year-old meet Dateline‘s camera.  Then when he heads to court, his lawyer is his mom, who happens to be a prosecutor.  It‘s an all new “Predator Raw.”  And later, “Partridge Family” child star Danny Bonaduce will not be facing charges for face planting a “Survivor” castoff.  I bet you can guess if he‘s tonight‘s winner or loser.  He‘s with us.  Coming up. 



ABRAMS:  Did you know that in the state of Ohio attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a felony?  Up next, in a new “Predator Raw,” an Ohio man, arrested and charged after coming to the house to meet a young girl, calls his attorney, a prosecutor, shows up in court with him.  She also happens to be his mom.


ABRAMS:  It is a “Predator First,” a behind-the-scenes look as the mother ends up defending her own son in court after he showed up at house to meet a 15-year-old girl he apparently was hoping to have sex with.  (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over):  But later, “Predator Raw: The Unseen Tapes” takes place in Greenville Ohio.  Jay Refner(ph), a 30-year-old computer specialist and father of three, showed up after arranging a date online.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Take him on in and just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) showed up.  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)  I‘ll right back.  OK?

JAY J. REFNER:  Okey doke.

CHRIS HANSEN, DATELINE NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Did you have a hard time finding the place? 

J. REFNER:  Not at all.  How are you today? 

HANSEN:  Good.  How are you?  

J. REFNER:  I‘m doing good.  What can I do for you? 

HANSEN:  That was my question to you, what can I do for you? 

J. REFNER:  Well -

HANSEN:  Who are you going to meet here tonight? 

J. REFNER:  Sara.  

HANSEN:  Sara.  Sara is how old?

J. REFNER:  She‘s 15.

HANSEN:  Fifteen.

J. REFNER:  I just said that.  Yes. 

HANSEN:  And how old are you?

J. REFNER:  I‘m 30.  My name is Jay.  

HANSEN:  Jay, Chris, nice to see you.  

J. REFNER:  It‘s nice to meet you, too.  To be quite honest with you, I‘m not at all in any way, shape or form, you know, some sort of pedophile or anything like that.  

HANSEN:  Do you often come to visit young girls after chats on the Internet? 

J. REFNER:  Never.  Never. 

HANSEN:  Did you bring anything with you tonight? 

J. REFNER:  Such as? 

HANSEN:  Condoms? 

J. REFNER:  Yes, I did.  

HANSEN:  You did.  You brought condoms.  So you were just going kick back and chat and in case something happens, you brought condoms.  

J. REFNER:  Yes.  Well here‘s the deal.  

HANSEN:  Will you put them on the table, please? 

J. REFNER:  I‘m sorry? 

HANSEN:  The condoms.  There you go.  So you had a big night planned, huh? 

J. REFNER:  No.  Please listen to me.  

HANSEN:  Go ahead.  You got nothing but time. 

J. REFNER:  There‘s nothing, I swear.  I don‘t want to do anything.  You know.  I don‘t want to hurt anyone.  I just wanted to talk.  I swear to you.  You know—

HANSEN:  How were you going to use the condoms? 

J. REFNER:  I wasn‘t going to use them at all.  

HANSEN:  You have them in your pocket. 

J. REFNER:  Well, yes, I do.

HANSEN:  Do you do balloon tricks with them.


HANSEN:  Well, come on, I mean, there‘s only one reason typically that people bring condoms to a home.  And that‘s for protection during sex.  

J. REFNER:  Yes.

CHRIS HANSEN, DATELINE NBC CORRESPONDENT:  There‘s a couple thing you need to know.  I‘m Chris Hansen with “Dateline NBC.”  We‘re doing a story on adults who meet teens on the internet.  If you have anything else you‘d like to say, we‘d be happy to hear it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why did you bring the condoms? 

J. REFNER:  Because it was dumb.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you normally wear condoms while you‘re having sexual intercourse with your wife? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, why did you buy the condoms today?  Because you intended to come here in my county and have sex with a 15-year-old female.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She told you that she didn‘t preggers, you said you didn‘t want that either.  Does your wife know where you‘re at right now? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where is she at right now? 

J. REFNER:  She‘s with my daughter on a camping trip.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE LAW ENFORCER:  We‘ll slap him now.  You have the right to remain silent.  Do you understand that?  Anything you say can and will against you in a court of law.  Do you understand that? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE LAW ENFORCER:  You‘re mom‘s a city prosecutor and your dad is a cop.  You should probably have a little bit more common sense about things that we‘re doing out here tonight, OK?  

HANSEN:  The interest thing about Jay Refner is once he‘s arrested and processed and taken in for questioning, it turns out that his mother is a prosecutor in a nearby county.  And his father was a police officer. 

J. REFNER:  My attorney is my mother.  


J. REFNER:  I got a dial tone.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Go ahead and dial.  

HANSEN:  Now, how do you pick up the phone and tell your mother, the prosecutor, that you just got arrested in a sting operation for trying to meet a young teenage girl for sex?  How do you put that into words? 

J. REFNER:  Hey, this is Jay.  This is no joke.  I‘m at the Darke County sheriff‘s office.  I‘ve been arrested and charged.  I don‘t know what the charge is.  Hold on.  Hello?  Attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.  If she comes down here, can she see me? 


J. REFNER:  The attorney. 


J. REFNER:  She‘s my attorney.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The attorney, yes.

J. REFNER:  Yes, you can. 

HANSEN:  His mother, the prosecutor, even represents him at his court appearance.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does your client understand the nature of the charges? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does your client understand the nature of the charges? 

C. REFNER:  He does.  The defense is requesting that the court consider releasing him and turning on his own recognizance.  He‘s not a slight risk.  

HANSEN:  Imagine what Mrs. Refner is going through.  I‘m sure she could easily have said, “Look, I don‘t want anything to do with this.”  But she stood by her son and helped him get through the first phase of the judicial process. 

UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE:  Set bail at $2500 cash or your property.  Thank you, Mrs. Refner for your appearance.


ABRAMS:  Jay Refner has since pleaded guilty and was sentence to 60 days in jail and 24 months probation.  “Predator Raw: The Unseen Tapes 5” premieres tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC.

Up next, will tonight‘s big winner or loser of the day be the New York Yankees pitcher who bugged out after he is attacked by gnats during the playoffs?  The Yankees lost.  A group of Hong Kong citizens who wanted to be as snug as a bug by hugging passers-by in a busy city?  Or Danny Bonaduce who won‘t be facing any charges after doing a little more than swatting a pest who was bugging him at an awards show.




ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s Winners and Losers for this 8th day of October, 2007.  Winner - this great Idaho Senator Larry Craig, soon to be enshrined in the Idaho hall of fame.  He was voted in before that whole airport sex sting that Craig still maintains with a handshake was a flip of the wrist.  


SEN. LARRY CRAIG ®, IDAHO:  I am not gay.  I never have been gay.


ABRAMS:  But that‘s not stopping Idaho officials from making him the newest member of the controversial State Hall Of Fame.  


CRAIG:  I‘m going to speak out for the citizens of my state who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty bad naughty boy.


ABRAMS:  Loser, controversial hall of famer, O.J. Simpson, whose hand will prevent him from paying off the millions that he owes.  Just a before the judge ordered (UNINTELLIGIBLE) off of his wrist, a gold Rolex handed over to the family of Ron Goldman, we now learn the timepiece was a fake.  A knockoff made in china, worth only about $100, so he‘s getting it back.  


O.J. SIMPSON:  If winners rent from hertz, where do losers rent?


ABRAMS:  Winner.  Author A.J. Jacobs who spent a year on a spiritual mission following the rules of the bible as literally as possible, altering his appearance, eating habits and daily rituals to match the bible‘s mandates.  Jacobs compiled a list of 750 biblical rules to follow.  Documenting it for a book. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The lord giveth and the lord taketh away.


ABRAMS:  Loser, the New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain who crumbled amid an attack of biblical proportions Friday night, a plague of locusts - at least insects swarmed Chamberlain as he came in to pitch the eighth inning at the Yankees playoffs in Cleveland. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPORTSCASTER:  The insects have gotten under the skin of Joba Chamberlain (UNINTELLIGIBLE)


ABRAMS:  The bugs threw Chamberlain off his game and the Yankees lost.

But the big winners of the day?  A group of Hong Kong huggers offering free hugs to anyone who walks by.  They say they‘re just trying to bring a little human contact back into the lives of the city‘s busy residents.  But not everyone‘s interested.  The more reserved passers-by passing on touching the flesh. 

The big loser of the day?  Reality TV reject Johnny Fairplay.  Now that authorities are passing on pressing charges against Danny Bonaduce after what started as a hug and sort of hump. 

The survivor castoff was tossed aside by Bonaduce during a reality TV awards show last week.  The prosecutors determined Bonaduce was just acting in self-defense. 

Joining me now, Danny Bonaduce from VH1‘s “Breaking Bonaduce” in the Adam Corelli‘s(ph) show on 97.1 on the west coast.  Danny, thanks for coming back.  All right, did you think the D.A. might really charge you here? 

DANNY BONADUCE:  Did I?  Yes, I did.  Just because I‘ve been charged by the D.A. before in two states, I think, and been indicted and then found guilty, and it kind of just shows me and gives me faith in the D.A.   Because sure enough, I was guilty both times he said I was.  And the one time he said I wasn‘t, he was right again. So I have a great deal of faith in the D.A.  

ABRAMS:  I have to believe that when he jumped on you, you had no idea that he was actually hurt the way he was.  


ABRAMS:  It seemed like you just kind of thought you were sort of getting him off you.

BONADUCE:  I was just kind of getting him off me.  What happened

really was I went on there - because it‘s not only a reality show.  It‘s

the reality show awards.  Not anything can happen, anything is expected to

happen.  It should happen.  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)  People wandered off and on

the stage, and everybody was having a wonderful time.  And whatever this

kid‘s name is -

ABRAMS:  Johnny Fairplay.  

BONADUCE:  Thank you.  Like it will matter tomorrow.  Went on stage and instead of reading the prompter, he just started saying, “Why are you booing me?  Why are you booing me?  Why are you booing me?”  And I remembered why they were booing him.  And I walked on stage.  He handed me the mike.  And I said, “They‘re booing because they hate you.”  And then I just walked completely off the stage and left. 

And he came running after me, grabbed me from leaving the stage, turned me around and went, “Wait right here.” and backed up five steps, then ran at me.  And I was thinking, wow, should I pop this guy on his way in?  Is he going to hurt me?  And I move - I like to wear a lot of junk jewelry.  I‘m not wearing that today because it looks stupid on real shows like this.  But I like all these, you know, pirates and stuff like that, and I thought, I can‘t hit him with that. 

So I put my hands at my sides literally like a tin soldier telling him, I don‘t want any part of this.  If you hurt me, you‘re going to look stupid.  Don‘t hit me.  Look at my hands, they‘re at my sides.  And sure enough, a bad call on my part, because when he jumped up and grabbed his legs around me, he pinned my arms to my sides, and then he grabbed around my neck.  And I thought, “What is this nut bag going to do to me now?”  So I just freed arms.  And when I freed my arms he just went flying.  But I thought he was fine, like he just went over and be fine.  And it turned out he got hurt.

ABRAMS:  We get the Danny Bonaduce story from Danny Bonaduce.  Danny, thanks for coming back on the program.  I really appreciate it. 

BONADUCE:  Well, no problem at all.

ABRAMS:  That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  “Predator Raw” is up next.  See you later.



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