updated 11/6/2007 11:17:48 AM ET 2007-11-06T16:17:48

Guests Vikki Ziegler, Monica Lindstrom, Oscar Garcia, Cassandra Cales, Steve Caesar(ph), Mary Frances Bragiel, Clint Van Zandt, Rachel Maddow, Malcolm Nance, Nancy Pfotenhauer

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  The question tonight—will Mukasey actually make it through the Senate?  Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on his nomination.  Two key Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Dianne Feinstein have both indicated they will vote for him.  Many of the other Democrats on the committee including Biden, Kennedy, Durbin, Leahy and Whitehouse have all said they will vote no.  So, does that mean he really makes it through, the Democratically controlled Senate without saying the words, yes, waterboarding is torture?

Joining us tonight, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, Air America radio host Rachel Maddow and counterterrorism analyst, Malcolm Nance who has been waterboarded and instructs the U.S. Navy on how to resist waterboarding.  Thanks very for all of you coming on.  Appreciate it. All right.  So, Rachel, does this mean as a practical matter that he is going to get through, and if so, what do you think of it?

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA:  Well, I think there‘s an effort right now to try to slow down this process.  I think they‘ve set this timetable when they thought that he is going to zoom right through.  There are now serious questions about Mukasey on two levels, one on the waterboarding issue, one on him saying that the president can break American law, which is a bizarre assertion for the guy who wants to be the top law enforcement official in the U.S. and I think that if they succeed in slowing it down, there‘s a chance it could be stopped.

ABRAMS:  Pat, look, he still hasn‘t said those words that a lot of people wanted him to say, which is that waterboarding is torture.  And yet, are you surprised that two of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee seem to be caving?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Not too much surprised.  I mean, Schumer suggested him for the U.S. Supreme Court and then he praised him when he‘s nominated for attorney general.  He‘s got a very rough time I think going against that.  And Dianne Feinstein I was surprised at, but if she‘s there and McCain‘s there who has been tortured, I think he‘s home.

ABRAMS:  Alright.  Let me read, this is what Chuck Schumer said and Rachel I wanted to ask you about this.  “Judge Mukasey is not my ideal choice.  However, Judge Mukasey, whose integrity and independence is respected even by those who oppose him, is far better than anyone could expect from this administration.”  I don‘t get that, Rachel, I mean, that‘s sort of is the language of someone who‘s not in the majority in the Senate, isn‘t it?

MADDOW:  That‘s the language of somebody who‘s not interested in defending the Constitutional role of the Senate in confirming these nominees.  I mean, that‘s what you say if you see yourself and your Senate as a giant rubber stamping machine for the Bush agenda.  Well, he‘s not Alberto Gonzales, that‘s not good enough.

ABRAMS:  That is a copout, isn‘t it, Pat from Schumer?

BUCHANAN:  Look, no, I don‘t think so.  Look, the point is that the majority of the United States Senators are for Mukasey.  Secondly, the Senate as we talked in does not have the courage to take tough decisions and responsibility for them.  Now, you reject Mukasey and the president is going to say that‘s the last attorney general I‘m sending up.  You‘ve got all the editorials and many would pound the Democratic Senate and say you‘re obstructionists.  And they said, as they did before; let‘s take a pass on this one.  That‘s your Senate, Dan.

ABRAMS:  Alright, Malcolm Nance, look, you know, you‘re the only one of the four on this panel who has actually been waterboarded.  So, let me ask - any question in your mind about whether this is torture?

MALCOLM NANCE, COUNTER TERRORISM ANALYST:  No, there‘s no question about this at all.  I mean, there‘s an entire history of waterboarding that‘s going on from the beginning of time through the middle ages and the Vietnam War.  And we‘ve even heard reports of this happening in Burma.  That‘s absolutely that this is a torture.

ABRAMS:  I mean, we‘re showing a demonstration from current TV.  But I mean, describe for us, if you will, you know I can sit here and tell you what happens, but tell me how it feels.

NANCE:  Well, I can tell you that the first thing that goes through your mind when the water hits your sinuses and fills your throat, then pushes down past your esophagus and into your trachea, the first thing that happens is you think I‘m being tortured.  So, it‘s definitive that you know that your body‘s processes are being degraded to the point where if it continues, you‘ll die.

BUCHANAN:  Dan, let me ask the gentleman, look, do you believe that the Congress of United States should officially say what is known as waterboarding, describe it and say this is outlawed because this is torture, if they did that, we would have no problem.  Do you think Congress ought to do that?

NANCE:  Yes, they should have done that last year when passing legislation concerning interrogation for the U.S. Army.  It should be across the board.  You can‘t have a little bit of torture or put together a level of what you think is torture.

ABRAMS:  And look, Rachel, I‘m going to give you the final word on this, because I want to talk about what‘s happening in Pakistan.  But you know, this is what those you know, those on the right have been saying is that, you know what?  This isn‘t Mukasey‘s fault, this is Congress‘ fault.

MADDOW:  The Congress shouldn‘t have to assert this for the CIA or for anybody.  The only explanation for why Mukasey says he doesn‘t know what waterboarding is so he doesn‘t have to prosecute U.S. officials who order it -


ABRAMS:  No, and you know what, Rachel, let‘s be clear.  It is not the interrogators who would be prosecuted.  It is potentially attorney general Gonzales.  I mean, there is specific protections in the law in place that would protect the interrogators.  They‘re not the ones who, if there were ever—no one‘s going to prosecute them, but even if they were, it wouldn‘t be the interrogators.  It would be the people who ordered it.

BUCHANAN:  But Dan -

MADDOW:  And the people who sent U.S. prisoners to other countries to be tortured deliberately in those countries, too.  It‘s all war crimes stuff.

BUCHANAN:  But Dan, we‘ve been talking about this night after night after night.  There are people who have different points of view.  Why doesn‘t Congress stand up and at least now define it as they want?  Again, we are dealing with the cowardice in the Congress of the United States.  That‘s why we‘re all -

ABRAMS:  Pat, no, what happens is you guys change the debate and you say, you know what?  If we were talking about nails being removed and then we discussed that, you wouldn‘t say Congress has to pass a law that says -

BUCHANAN:  But we don‘t agree on that.

ABRAMS:  What do you mean -

BUCHANAN:  We don‘t agree on waterboarding.


ABRAMS:  Just because you don‘t want to agree—just because you‘ve decided that somehow there‘s an issue out there about waterboarding doesn‘t mean the rest of us who are sane have to follow that.

BUCHANAN:  All you sane guys, why don‘t you make it law and you can prosecute people?  You can‘t do it.  That‘s my opinion.

ABRAMS:  I‘m not interested in the prosecuting.  I‘m interested in stopping.  That‘s it.  No, I‘m not interested in the prosecution.

BUCHANAN:  Make it illegal if you want to stop it.

MADDOW:  Pat, torture is illegal.  Torture is illegal.  Waterboarding is -

BUCHANAN:  What is the matter with you people?

MADDOW:  Pat, waterboarding is torture.  It is insanity to say it is not.  That‘s the problem.

BUCHANAN:  Write it into law.

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Let me ask - Pat, you just real quick, I want to move on to—Pat, do you think it‘s torture?

BUCHANAN:  I think when you have people on the table and make them think like they‘re drowning and they don‘t know if they‘re ever going to get up, that comes very close to it in my judgment.  Certainly gets with this exception, if you‘re going to end it before something critical happens, I don‘t know.

ABRAMS:  Alright.  Look.  And Malcolm, real quick, there‘s no ambiguity as to what the procedure is, right?

NANCE:  No, there‘s no ambiguity.  It doesn‘t matter whether you‘re doing it in that amateurish way you showed in the video or a very professional way.  You know, torture‘s torture.

ABRAMS:  Alright, Malcolm Nance thanks a lot.  We really appreciate coming on the program.  I want to move on because this is really important stuff.  Tonight, President Bush is refusing to cut off aid to Pakistan after the so-called ally in the war on terror.  President Musharraf imposed what seemed like martial law.  A new “L.A. Times” article suggests Pakistan is using most of the $7 billion in U.S. aid for conventional arms to probably fight India rather than terrorists.  In the streets of Pakistan today, violence, police armed with tear gas and clubs beat down hundreds protesting.  Lawyers dressed in suits and ties, they were the protesters, taking to the streets to oppose Musharraf decision to suspend the country‘s Constitution.  Pakistan arguably the largest home to al Qaeda terrorists, they have nuclear weapons, this is serious business.  Pat, do you think it is time to suspend some of this funding to Pakistan?

BUCHANAN:  No, I mean, if you‘re talking about ending the funding to the military, now, look, this is a tough situation, I think partly done by Musharraf, maybe largely done to preserve himself in power, get rid of the Supreme Court which might have invalidated his election.  But at the same time,we are now in a test where the two contenders for control of Pakistan, maybe al Qaeda on one side, the Taliban over there -

ABRAMS:  But don‘t we have some obligation to make sure and let me ask Rachel, don‘t we have some obligation to make sure it‘s the money that we are providing, $7 billion is being used for the reasons we‘re giving it, which is to fight al Qaeda as opposed to buying larger arms that really couldn‘t be used to do that?

MADDOW:  Sure, it makes no sense that the frontier corps, which we thought we were funding when we sent them that $10 billion, it makes no sense that they‘re using both action rifles and walking their way through the mountains while Musharraf is taking all of our money and buying howitzers that need to be towed in the position and Harping missiles to go after Indian ships.


ABRAMS:  Hang on.  You would agree, Rachel, this is a very tough situation because we have to be - we don‘t want Pakistan to explode, right?  I mean that‘s got to be our number one concern, right, Rachel?

MADDOW:  You know, if you want Pakistan not to explode, you would think that two thing would be happening right now.  Number one, Musharraf would be taking this emergency period as an opportunity to go after al Qaeda and the Taliban.  He‘s not.  He‘s locking up its political opponents.  The other people he‘s locking up are the second and middle class.


ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to wrap it Pat.  I‘m sorry, we‘re out of time.

BUCHANAN:  The reason you aid the military is to keep your lines to the military man.

ABRAMS:  Rachel will stay with us.

Coming up: A Nebraska teacher who ran away with her 13-year-old student found in Mexico.  They were allegedly having sex, but now the boy, get this, might not be allowed back in the U.S.  Wasn‘t he supposed to be the victim?

An e-mail sent to days before missing Illinois woman, Stacy Peterson disappeared could tell a whole lot about what she thought of her police sergeant husband, quote, “Controlling, manipulative, abusive,” that‘s just a start.  Her sister joins us.

Plus tonight: More prominent women now saying that Hillary Clinton is being beaten up because she‘s a woman.  One even comparing Hillary‘s experience to the grilling of Anita Hill and what she faced during the Clarence Thomas hearings.  Why can‘t they just believe that the top dog always gets grilled?  We debate.


ABRAMS:  Tonight more prominent women charging that an attack on Hillary Clinton is sexist.  Some still fuming over the grilling the senator faced during last week‘s Democratic debate.  One-time vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro saying quote, “It‘s discrimination against her as a candidate because she‘s a woman.”  Feminist comparing the experience to the grilling Anita Hill faced during the Clarence Thomas hearings back in the 1990s.  The question -


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don‘t think they piled on me the other night because I‘m a woman.  I think they piled on because I‘m winning.  And that‘s what happens.


ABRAMS:  So why are these other people not just accepting that?  Aren‘t campaigns about facing tough questions?  Joining me now is Nancy Pfotenhauer, former president of the Independent Women‘s Forum.  And back with us is Rachel Maddow of Air America.  Rachel, this seems to me that this is the ultimate in playing a card—and I‘m going to call it the gender card here, because Hillary is not playing it.  It‘s other people playing it for her saying - oh, she‘s being treated differently by the other candidates, by the other media.  She‘s the front-runner.

MADDOW:  She is the front- runner and I think Hillary is very smart to not be playing the card herself.  When she came out and said, I‘m being attacked because I‘m winning, that was the absolute perfect response.  Well, her campaign is playing it the way a lot of pundits are playing it, too, myself included.  I‘m not a big supporter of Hillary Clinton; I‘m not a person who‘s known for playing the gender card.  But I‘m also not blind.  And I know that when have you a female front-runner; it does look different to have 13 men attacking her than if it was a male front-runner.

ABRAMS:  Wait -

NANCY PFOTENHAUER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  She is smart enough to understand that she‘s being attacked because she‘s being given the respect that is accorded the front-runner.  That means it is everybody else‘s job to take you down.  And she‘s getting horrible advice or the people who think they‘re helping her by playing this gender card are hurting her.  She‘s exactly right to be saying I‘m being attacked because I‘m winning, not because I‘m a woman.  It would be a terrible mistake for her to try to play this victimology or victimization card because it‘s just not what we want in a president.

ABRAMS:  You say it looks different to have all the other people attacking her, and they‘re all men and she‘s a woman.  But isn‘t that what happens when the front-runner is a woman and the rest of the people are men?  I mean, what is the other option?

MADDOW:  That‘s the thing.  This is something that we‘re observing and it is not sexist to observe that this is happening.  We‘ve got a first time in history woman front-runner.  And so the male candidates now obviously have to attack her because she‘s the front-runner but they‘ve got to do it in a way that doesn‘t hurt them.  And it is not sexist to notice that women voters are going to -

ABRAMS:  Do you think the media, though, has been treating her differently.  You think the media has been sexist, right?

MADDOW:  Yes, I do.


MADDOW:  Well, because -


MADDOW:  None of the other candidates are getting attacked for their laugh.  None of the other candidates are having their outfits picked over. 

ABRAMS:  Mitt Romney.

PFOTENHAUER:  None of the other candidates are getting the press about their outfits.  I mean, there‘s an old adage that says there‘s no such thing as bad PR.  And when they‘re talking about should she have been wearing a pink blazer or blue blazer, they‘re still talking about you.  And I‘m sorry; you can‘t have it both ways.

MADDOW:  Nancy, how can it be good when there was the cackle coverage?  How can that be good?

PFOTENHAUER:  Well, I mean, I have to say, it happens to anybody who becomes high enough up on the ladder.  And you know, Condoleezza Rice got the same coverage on her outfits when she was new Secretary of State.

ABRAMS:  And Dennis Kucinich was asked about UFOs.  I mean if that had been asked of Hillary would be saying, -- oh, no other candidate would have been asked about UFOs.


MADDOW:  Rudy Giuliani on the laugh, for example, when Rudy Giuliani laughs, I feel like I‘m watching a rerun of Nosferatu (ph).  It is terrifying.


PFOTENHAUER:  But you‘ve got to admit that people like Mitt Romney are again and again said well, he may get the vote because he‘s just good looking and he looks like a president.  I mean, I‘d be offended if that‘s what somebody said about me, if I had the record that Governor Romney has.  I mean this is just going to happen.  They‘re going to go after whatever they perceive to be your uniqueness or your weakness.  And what Senator Clinton has to do is keep a steady eye on her goal and she has to respond like Margaret Thatcher would in these situations.

MADDOW:  Not if she wants to win the democratic primary.

PFOTENHAUER:  She‘s not going to win the general election unless she sounds a heck of a lot more like Margaret Thatcher.  And she knows that, which is why she‘s got a difficult path to walk because she has to sound strong.  She cannot have a glass jaw or perceived to have a glass jaw.

ABRAMS:  Yes, let me ask.  Final question Rachel, can she on the one hand go out there publicly saying I‘m not playing the gender card, they‘re coming after me because you know, because I‘m winning, then have her campaign say, harks guys it‘s (INAUDIBLE) -

PFOTENHAUER:  It‘s all because I‘m girl.

MADDOW:  She doesn‘t even need to orchestrate it.  It will happen.  People who are watching this happen are going to think, I wonder if this is playing different because that‘s a woman.  It will just happen organically.

ABRAMS:  No.  I think they‘ve got to stop this business.  Until I see real sexism, they‘ve got to stop it because it will just hurt you.

MADDOW:  She‘s got clean hands.

ABRAMS:  Nancy Pfotenhauer and Rachel Maddow, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

PFOTENHAUER:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  Thanks, Dan.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a Nebraska teacher in court today, three days after being captured in Mexico where she pledged to allegedly have sex with her 13-year-old student.  She‘s in prison in California.  Get this, he‘s still in Mexico and may not be allowed to come back because of his immigration status.  So he gets, quote, “Kidnapped” and now he can‘t come back?  And I ask, would it be different if the 13-year-old he was a she?

And our friends of the FOX Business Network claim to be the place where Wall Street meets Main Street.  For one of their hosts, that means telling the audience about his tailored-made Armani suits and handmade shirts.  Main Street.  That‘s up next on Beat the Press.


ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s Beat the Press.  First up: Our friends at the FOX Business Network claim to be the place where Wall Street meets Main Street.  One of their shows‘ happy hour even shot in a bar with $18 bottle of domestic beer and $18 burgers.  One of the hosts, Cody Willard, a Beat the Press‘ favorite shows us why he‘s a Main Street kind of guy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST:  Friends with a good tailor because an ill fitting suit.

CODY WILLARD, HOST:  Tailored Armani suit and a brand new hand made shirt.


ABRAMS:  Whoa, tailored Armani suit and a hand made shirt, Main Street, baby.

Next up: I hate a lot of the teases and coming ups that news people do during their “Coming up,” But sometime, when there‘s a real mystery, viewers going to stick around and find out the answer.


WOLF BLITZER, HOST:  A Bush and we‘re not going to tell you yet which one, but A Bush tells what he thinks of the Republican presidential candidate.  Stick around.  You‘re on the SITUATION ROOM.


ABRAMS:  I wonder which Bush?


BLITZER:  A Bush, and we‘re not going to tell you which one, but A Bush tells what he thinks -


ABRAMS:  Look at what they did on the screen there.  Which Bush?  I wonder.  Maybe Jeb?  Maybe the name on the bottom of the screen?  Finally, from an idiotic tease to one that is purely political.


MEGYN KELLY, HOST:  Well in other news, Barack Obama makes a little girl cry.  What?  That story, Bill, in five minutes.


ABRAMS:  Really?  Is that really what happened?


BILL HEMMER, HOST:  A Democratic candidate taking questions from a 5-year-old girl after she shed a few tears and got his attention.

KELLY:  Well he didn‘t make her cry.  She was crying, and then she stopped crying.

HEMMER:  Yes, I didn‘t say he made her cry.

KELLY:  I waited to see if he made her cry.  But he didn‘t make her cry.

HEMMER:  That‘s why he called it a tease.


ABRAMS:  Bill Hemmer, unquestionably one of the best in the business, but apparently he didn‘t read the FOX handbook.  Rule 38-C clearly states that the facts should not determine the tease, if there‘s an opportunity to mislead the public with an attack or insult on a Democratic candidate.

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

Up next: A Nebraska teacher is behind bars tonight, caught in Mexico with her 13-year-old student who she was allegedly having sex with.  Police say in letters, the boy said their relationship was not just about the sex.  Tonight that boy may not be able to return to the United States because of his immigration status.  Isn‘t he supposed to be the victim?

And an e-mail sent just days before Stacy Peterson went missing, she does not have kind words for her police sergeant husband, quote, “Controlling, manipulative and abusive.”  He‘s suggesting she‘s probably with some other guy.  Her sister joins us.  I‘m not sure she buys that.


DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Up next, a teacher allegedly ran away to Mexico with her 13-year-old student was in court today facing federal charges of crossing the border to have sex with a minor.  And now, he‘s being told that he can‘t come back to the U.S.  Isn‘t he supposed to be the victim?  And I ask, would it be easier for him if he was a 13-year-old she-victim?  But first, the latest news. 


Coming up, e-mail sent days before a young Illinois mother disappeared seemed to lay out exactly how she felt about her police sergeant husband, quote, “controlling, manipulative, abusive.”  Her sister joins us.  I‘m not guessing - I‘m guessing she wasn‘t a big fan of his either.

But first, a 25-year-old teacher in court today accused of having sex with her 13-year-old student.  They pair allegedly hit the road in Nebraska and headed south to Mexico, where authorities tracked them down in a mall.  What‘s really amazing tonight is that the student, the 13-year-old boy, may not be allowed to return to his home in the States because he was living there illegally. 

Now, he‘s staying with his family in Mexico.  Now, I thought the 13-year-old was supposed to be considered the victim.  And you have to wonder, if the victim was a 13-year-old girl, would they be telling her, you can‘t come back to the U.S.?  Isn‘t this boy receiving tougher immigration issues because he‘s a “he”? 

Here now is defense attorney Vikki Ziegler, former prosecutor Monica Lindstrom and Associated Press reporter Oscar Garcia, who has covered the story.  Thanks a lot to all of you.  Appreciate it.  Monica, let me start with you.  Do you think this is fair that this 13-year-old, quote, unquote, “victim” is being told he can‘t come back to the United States? 

MONICA LINDSTROM, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  Well, that‘s a really good question.  And not only that, it really hits on a big controversial issue that we have in today‘s times.  

ABRAMS:  Right, I know.  I‘m asking you what you think.  

LINDSTROM:  But it is not really about the kid, Dan.  It is about the sexual predator that we need to get off the streets.  That‘s what matters.

ABRAMS:  She‘s off the street.  Now the question is, does a 13-year-old boy - let me take this one to you, Vikki.  This 13-year-old boy who is in Mexico, supposedly kidnapped, right, by this woman who is older, she‘s taking him there to have sex with him. 

I think if this was a 13-year-old girl, even if she was an illegal, that immigration might be a little sort.  They might feel sorrier for her.  Instead they‘re thinking this 13-year-old boy is having a good time with his hot mama.  

VIKKI ZIEGLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well, Dan, let me tell you, regardless - immigration out of it.  Girl, boy, this child should return to the United States, the home state of Nebraska.  I don‘t care what anybody says.  It is clearly the statutes that allow this to happen. 

What?  Uniform child act - jurisdiction act will bring this child back with the Hague convention.  So the answer to your question, perhaps, there may be more harm if this was a female with a male predator.  Still the same problem.  Bring the child back.  Maybe they‘ll get deported later.

ABRAMS:  You want to see the kid, Monica, stay in Mexico? 

LINDSTROM:  Well, we have laws in this country that keep out illegal aliens.  And unfortunately, no matter how unfair it seems, that‘s what we have in this case.  We have a sexual predator that caused this entire problem, and because of that, she needs to be prosecuted.  So even though this is a big issue, this right here is not about the kid.  It‘s about the predator.  We need to punish her.

ABRAMS:  I understand, but the predator - look, the predator - All right.  She‘s facing federal charges.  She‘s got a list of charges that she‘s facing.  Let me bring in Oscar here.


ABRAMS:  Let me bring in Oscar here.  All right.  Oscar, as a practical matter, right now, this kid is being told, you cannot come back to the United States yet”? 

OSCAR GARCIA, REPORTER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Right now, he‘s been told that he can‘t return to the United States.  But Mexican authorities have told them to keep in touch just in case he‘s needed to testify in a possible criminal trial.  

ABRAMS:  So he‘ll be able to come back if they need him to testify, but otherwise he stays in Mexico? 

ZIEGLER:  Outrageous. 

GARCIA:  Well, they‘ve told him to stay in touch, just for that reason.  And in talking with Immigration and Customs Enforcement today, it seems that there are possibilities for him to come back in the United States, but only temporarily.  There‘s nothing, so far, that we can see that would allow him to come back permanently.  But that may also depend on - that may also depend on how he became an illegal immigrant.  

ABRAMS:  All right.  Monica, I‘m going to ask you straight out.  There‘s such a thing as a humanitarian visa, all right?  Do you think that this kid, who again, if we‘re supposedly treating him like the victim - and again think to yourself, put in your head 13-year-old girl for a minute, who had been transported across into Mexico by an adult 25-year-old teacher man, would you be telling me that you think that girl should not be able to go home and go back with her family? 

LINDSTROM:  I would not be telling you that.  It would be interesting to see how America would look at that issue, because it shouldn‘t matter whether it‘s a girl or a boy.  

ABRAMS:  I know it shouldn‘t matter.  But I think they do look at it differently, Vikki.  

LINDSTROM:  I think so, too - that child.  I do.

ZIEGLER:  They probably do, but this is about the child.

I completely disagree.  This is all about the child.  This is a victim regardless if this child is a citizen or not.  We need to protect people when the laws are broken.  Dan, are you kidding me? 

LINDSTROM:  That‘s what we‘re doing.  We‘re prosecuting the sexual predator that did this.  

ZIEGLER:  He‘s a child.  He has the jurisdictional right from Nebraska to live there.  

ABRAMS:  You keep talking about the woman.  Let‘s take a look at why some of these women, these female teachers say that they do this sort of stuff. 


DEBRA LAFAVE, FORMER TEACHER:  He wanted it.  And yes, I gave it to him, because at that point in time I was already in the mode of wanting to please him.

MATT LAUER, “TODAY” CO-ANCHOR:  A 14-year-old boy, a very attractive 23-year-old teacher.  He‘s had sex with you.  Weren‘t you scared to death he would tell someone? 

LAFAVE:  Obviously not, because I did it again. 

LAUER:  And again.  

LAFAVE:  And again.  I kind of developed this idea that it was my role, in order to make a man, guy, boy happy, I had to do my part, which was pleasing him in that way.  

LAUER:  But you felt it was your duty.  You didn‘t really feel as if you had a choice. 

LAFAVE:  Exactly. 

JOSH MANKIEWICZ, “DATELINE NBC CORRESPONDENT”:  How does a 34-year-old woman fall for a 13-year-old boy? 

MARY KAY LETOURNEAU, FORMER TEACHER:  He‘s quite the man, and was back then, actually. 

MANKIEWICZ:  And what were you worried about? 

LETOURNEAU:  His mother getting angry.  

MANKIEWICZ:  You weren‘t thinking to yourself, “I could be fired.  I could go to jail?” 

LETOURNEAU:  Oh, no.  It was really a great, great frustration that I have a job, and I was determined to do it.  And he wasn‘t taking it seriously. 

MANKIEWICZ:  Well, he was 13. 


MANKIEWICZ:  I mean, when you say that, you‘re kind of expecting him to act and have some responsibility that an adult would have.  At the time, he was not an adult, he was 13.  

LETOURNEAU:  Yes.  There was an air about him that was older. 

PAMELA ROGER, FORMER TEACHER:  You know heartbroken my spirit was.  I don‘t know how I could have got to the point to have made the decisions that I‘ve made.  And I don‘t know what I was thinking.  And it is clear that I wasn‘t thinking.  I was blinded by emotions.  I betrayed my profession, and that‘s what I‘m truly ashamed of.  Please, have mercy with your judgment. 


All right.  So Vikki, now we see that all these loony tune women - all right, they all got their crazy reasons for why they‘re doing this stuff.  He wanted it - blah, blah, blah. 

We hear this, and now you picture this other woman, this latest case of a 25-year-old going and taking this 13-year-old into Mexico.  It just seems to me to be nuts, that they‘re saying the guy, the kid - I shouldn‘t say the guy - the kid now can‘t go back to his family.  I don‘t care what his status was before.  

ZIEGLER:  Outrageous.  This child needs to be returned to Nebraska, reunited with his family.  She‘s a criminal.  We‘re talking about kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  She‘s 12 years his senior.  This is ridiculous.  Return the child immediately.  

ABRAMS:  Yes or no, Monica, should they return the child? 

LINDSTROM:  It‘s not according to the laws, Dan.  They should not.  

ABRAMS:  Monica!

LINDSTROM:  I know it‘s unfortunate, but it‘s the law, Dan.  It‘s the law.  

ABRAMS:  All right.  Vikki Ziegler, thanks a lot.  Monica Lindstrom, as always, appreciate it.  And Oscar Garcia, good work on the story and we appreciate you taking the time.  Thanks a lot. 

Up next, e-mail sent by a young mother just before she went missing say of her police sergeant husband that he was controlling, manipulative and maybe even abusing her.  He‘s now suggesting that she may have gone off with another guy.  Stacy Peterson‘s sister is with us next.  I‘m guessing she does not buy that.

Later Brian Williams hosts “Saturday Night Live” so the question, is he tonight‘s big winner or loser.

ABRAMS:  This week, NBC Universal is going green, doing our part to try and conserve the environment.  Today is paperless day.  We‘re cutting down the amount of paper we use.  Do you the pulp and paper industry is the single largest polluter of water and the third biggest emitter of global warming gasses?  A typical office throws off about 350 pounds of waste paper per employee per year.  Coming up, the sister of the missing Illinois woman joins us.


ABRAMS:  E-mails from a missing young mother of two and the fourth wife of a veteran police sergeant are pretty interesting.  Twenty-three-year-old Stacy Peterson was last seen on October 28, ten days before she disappeared. 

And she wrote to a friend, “I‘m finding that the relationship I‘m in is controlling, manipulative and somewhat abusive.”  That relationship is with is Sergeant Drew Peterson, a man whose third wife died mysteriously in a bathtub while they were going through a messy divorce.  Joining us now, Stacy Peterson‘s sister, Cassandra Cales.  Cassandra, thanks very much for coming on.  We really appreciate it.  How is the family holding up? 

CASSANDRA CALES, STACY PETERSON‘S SISTER:  We‘re doing all right.  We‘re doing the best we can, putting forth our searches and looking for my sister.  

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you about some of these new e-mails that she had written to friends.  I want to just ask you if you think this reflects what you knew about her relationship at the time.  She wrote an e-mail to a friend that said, “I‘ve been arguing quite a bit with my husband.  As I mature some with age I‘m finding the relationship I‘m in is controlling, manipulative and somewhat abusive.  As I try to help make changes to this, he‘s become argumentative.  Keep me in your prayers.  I could use some wisdom, protection and strength.”  It was very well written as well.  Is that the sense you got from her about where her relationship was? 

CALES:  Pretty much the same state I was in with her where her relationship was at.  She said she was getting the word out there, so I knew she was e-mailing and telling her friends and close relatives that that was how she felt and that she wanted out of the marriage.  

ABRAMS:  Did the family - what did the family think of Peterson? 

CALES:  We all just kept close to ourselves.  Really didn‘t say much.  We had our disagreements about the marriage because of the age difference, but we just kept quiet.  

ABRAMS:  And did you know anything about his third wife? 

CALES:  No.  All I know is that she passed away.  She slipped and fell and bumped her head in the tub and passed away.  

ABRAMS:  Are you still hopeful that Stacy is going to be found? 

CALES:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  And I want to ask you about - this is again what Sergeant Peterson had said to a newspaper.  He said, “I believe she‘s not missing.  She‘s where she wants to be.”  Does that reflect to you the attitude he‘s always had? 

CALES:  Yes.  He‘s stubborn and cocky.  She‘s where she wants to be.  That must be somewhere where he knows she is because there‘s no other place in this world than she‘d rather be than with her kids.  So -

CALES:  All right.  Cassandra, thanks a lot for taking the time.  I know this is a hard time.  We‘re going to keep putting up the number if anyone has any information because I know that‘s why you‘re here.  So thanks very much.  Appreciate it.

CALES:  Great.  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Let‘s bring in Stacy Peterson‘s friend Steve Caesar(ph) who received those disturbing e-mails.  We‘re also joined by Mary Frances Bragiel a reporter with WBBM News Radio in Chicago and MSNBC analyst former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.  Thanks to all of you. 

Steve, let me start with you.  You are the one who received a lot of these e-mails.  Let me read another one.  This one says - from Stacy, “Tomorrow‘s our four-year anniversary and I‘m not as excited as the years that have passed.  They were having problems. 

STEVE CAESAR(ph): Yes, yes.  He was limiting most of her communication.  I had trouble giving her a phone call or - The e-mails were, you know, sparse, but I tried to keep in touch.  

ABRAMS:  Because he was so controlling, you weren‘t able to get in touch with her? 

CAESAR:  Yes.  It was difficult to call and stuff.  It wasn‘t a good time or it just wasn‘t allowed.  So it was tricky.  

ABRAMS:  What do you make of his comment where he‘s basically saying, “Oh, you know what?  I‘m sure she‘s where she wants to be,” basically suggesting she‘s with some other guy? 

CAESAR:  That‘s baloney.  There is no other guy.  She wouldn‘t have left her kids.  I know her.  She loved her kids.  No mother leaves her kids.  

ABRAMS:  All right.  Mary, where do we stand in terms of the investigation here? 

MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, REPORTER, WBBM NEWS RADIO:  Illinois State Police are the lead investigators on this case.  They told me today that they are looking at seven different areas at this point.  They wouldn‘t say whether it was still in state or out of state.  They also wouldn‘t reveal what they were looking for.  But Texas Aqua Search is on site now.  Beginning tomorrow morning, they will begin another search of the area with volunteers.  

ABRAMS:  Did they view this - I mean they haven‘t said he‘s the suspect, right?  The husband is a suspect. 

BRAGIEL:  That‘s right.  They‘re not saying anything, quite frankly.  

ABRAMS:  All right.  Clint, but now take us into - bring us to reality.  These terms, “suspect,” “person of interest,” whatever, they become sort of meaningless.  As a practical matter, based on everything that we know now -


ABRAMS:  Even publicly, listening to her sister, listening to Steve telling us about these e-mails, listening to the story about his third wife, they have got to be looking long and hard at this guy.  

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, we don‘t care what we call this guy, Dan.  Police sergeant, suspect, person of interest, he‘s who they‘re focused in on.  I mean, look, the sergeant suggested his wife may have taken off with someone. 

Dan, this is a guy who has been called manipulative, who monitors her phone calls, who stalks when she goes out, who follows her when she goes to college.  She‘s raising four kids.  When did she have time to develop a relationship with some mysterious man?  And if she did, this guy ought to know who it is, and the police would have found him by now.  This sounds like a trumped up story, Dan.  

ABRAMS:  Clint, listen to what he says.  Apparently, one of the affiliates went to his home.  And this is what he said from behind a closed door.  Listen. 


DREW PETERSON, STACY PETERSON‘S HUSBAND:  Any time someone searches your house, it is like a major violation of your rights.  So it‘s like, OK, I have nothing to hide.  So it‘s like come in and look.  But they did so on a court order and I didn‘t have is a choice. 


ABRAMS:  A cop is saying any time someone searches your house it‘s a major violation of your rights?  Clint, that‘s an odd thing for a cop to say, isn‘t it? 

VAN ZANDT:  Dan, it‘s like this guy just took 28 years on the job and threw it away.  And all of a sudden he‘s saying, hey, my civil rights are being violated because you‘re searching my house for my missing wife.  And supposedly, Dan, she told him two days before she, quote, unquote, “went missing” that she wanted to get away.  She wanted a divorce.  She wanted to leave.  Now, this same type of conversations took place up to and including a divorce with wife number three.  We know she died under mysterious circumstances.  

ABRAMS:  Yes.  They are going to need investigators.  All right.  Steve, thanks a lot for taking the time to come on the program.  Mary thanks to you as well.  And Clint, as always, appreciate it.  

VAN ZANDT:  Thanks, Dan.

ABRAMS:  Up next, in “Winners and Losers,” NBC‘s Football Night in America crew does their half-time and post game shows by candlelight.  Police swarm the hideout of suspected drug dealers in the dark.  And NBC‘s Brian Williams in the spotlight as he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”  A studio that goes dark for Green Week; a drug bust in the dark that has  us seeing green; or Brian Williams on SNL lightening up and proving he‘s no green comedian.  Which will be tonight‘s big winner or loser?



ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers” for this 5th day of November, 2007.  Our first winner, British Mama turned marathon champ Paula Radcliffe, who sprinted to the finish at Sunday‘s New York City‘s marathon, just ten months after giving birth to her first child.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPORTSCASTER:  Once again, first to the line.  And the 2007 champion in the 38th edition of the ING New York City Marathon.  


ABRAMS:  The water chugging marathon mom defied the odds, quickly shedding her bump, then taking home the top prize. 

Losers, water chugging camels in Saudi Arabia whose bumps were judged for a prize in this bizarre beauty pageant.  The racy desert dwellers paraded for the judges, rated in categories like color, face texture and, of course, bone structure.  Seven hundred curvy camels competed with the winner‘s owners taking home top dollar - I mean, riyal. 

Our second winners, NBC‘s Football Night in America crew pulled off last night‘s NFL half-time show in the dark. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPORTSCASTER:  Aren‘t there enough dim bulbs on this program already? 


ABRAMS:  The studio lights dimmed to save energy, part of NBC‘s Green Week, proving the show really can go on in the dark, even with the lights out. 

Loser, a pair of lightweight drug kingpins busted by Dutch police with the lights out.  This green video was put out by the cops after blowing the doors off the drug pushers‘ pad and storming inside.  The dealers allegedly part of a major European drug cartel that turned up more than $30 million of cash and cocaine. 

But the big losers of the day?  An Ohio school cheerleader and her coach photographed in the buff.  The 15-year-old freshman snapped songs, pompoms, posing with her coquettish cheerleading coach at a party held by the football coach.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Whatever measures have to be taken that are appropriate, those will be taken by our high school administration.  


ABRAMS:  Come on.  No more (UNINTELLIGIBLE), please.  The rookie coaches both booted by school officials not amused by the late night antic.  

ABRAMS:  The big winner of the day?  Rookie comedian Brian Williams whose late night antics left viewers quite amused. 


BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”:  Shout out to all the guys at 114 ladder, my friend Barney, Mikey Stratford, Mike Smith, Bruce George, my wife! OK.  What‘s up? 


ABRAMS:  The normally straitlaced newsman hosted “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, pulling in the highest rating the show has seen in eight months.  


WILLIAMS:  I know I‘m often seen as a stiff - a guy who is always in anchorman mode.  But tonight, -



Tonight that all changes.  You‘re going to see a whole new Brian Williams because here tonight I‘m going to relax, have fun, be spontaneous and most important, stay loose. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  I still can‘t believe it‘s the end.  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  It‘s not, it‘s the beginning.  Principal Jeffries(ph).  

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  What do you want? 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS:  Any advice for the future? 

WILLIAMS:  Yes.  You know what?  You can go to hell, you can lose 10 pounds and you‘re gay.  




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Come here.  Let‘s a little chat here. 

WILLIAMS:  So much of what we do in the news business is serious, sometimes I find it healthy to take a break and have a little fun.  Ah, the morning duo.  Look, it‘s called fun with eggs.  I mean, it‘s - what is that? 

What kind of an (EXPLETIVE DELETED) throws pennies from a building? 

On the broadcast tonight, the war in Iraq.  Will it spill over into Iran?  As winter approaches, how much will we all be paying to heat our homes this year?  And the new numbers out from the Fed.  Are we heading into a recession?  “Nightly News” begins now.  


ABRAMS:  And I‘ll tell you this.  Brian is actually even funnier off the cuff.  All that stuff was scripted.  The guy thinks of - I can tell you stories.  I don‘t have time.  That‘s it.  That‘s it for tonight.  “TO CATCH A PREDATOR” is up next.  See you tomorrow.




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