updated 3/30/2004 9:46:00 AM ET 2004-03-30T14:46:00

Guests: Jennifer Giroux, Shmuley Boteach, J.D. Hayworth, John Dalton, Jack Burkman, Rosemary Cain, Tim Burger, Deroy Murdock, John Fund

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Richard Clarke won‘t stop talking about 9/11, while Condi Rice won‘t start. 

You‘re about to enter SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, no cover-ups allowed. 

Getting to the bottom of why 9/11 happened to make sure it never happens again should be our nation‘s top priority.  So why won‘t the president‘s top security adviser talk with the commission charged with finding that out? 

And former Bush aide Richard Clarke drops his 9/11 bombshell and does “60 Minutes” the same week as the nation‘s most important hearings on terror attacks on Capitol Hill.  Now he stands to make $1 million off of that testimony.  A coincidence?  Not a chance.  We‘re going to talk to a mother who lost her son on 9/11 and says Clarke is exploiting his death to make a few bucks. 

Then, the lid is blown off a huge scandal at the U.N.  Instead of feeding hungry Iraqi children, the U.N. oil-for-food program was allegedly skimmed for billions of dollars from axis of weasel members France and Russia, U.N. bureaucrats and possibly Kofi Annan‘s own son.  We‘ll uncover that soon.

And “The Passion” has been showing in America for over a month.  And it hasn‘t spurred an anti-Semitic backlash.  But critics warn that once “The Passion” hits the Middle East, all that will change.  Are their worst fears now coming true?

But, first, is Condi Rice in the middle of a cover-up?  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.”

Why won‘t Condi Rice talk?  Oh, now, I know what the White House lawyers are saying, but I really want to know, why won‘t Condi Rice testify before the 9/11 committee?  You know, it‘s more than a little disconcerting that the president‘s most important policy adviser on terrorism won‘t testify at the most important political hearing of this new century, claiming privilege, while at the same time making herself available for every news program seemingly from “60 Minutes” to the Delaware cable access network. 

If what she has to say on this issue is so important that she goes on “60 Minutes,” then why not testify before the committee?  Or, conversely, if what she has to say is so secretive, then why blab about it on national news programs?  Ms. Rice and the White House can‘t have it both ways or else they‘ll be no better than Richard Clarke, whose own political showmanship over the past week has been nothing short of disgusting. 

Clarke‘s apologists claim that it‘s just a crazy coincidence that this hack‘s million-dollar book deal dropped on the eve of these explosive 9/11 hearings.  But if you believe that, I have some voting machines in Florida that I‘d like to sell you.  Bottom line—Condi needs to start talking and Clarke needs to stop and count the millions of dollars he‘s made exploiting the tragedy of 9/11, because, in my mind, his 15 minutes are just about up.  And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now, as we‘re on the air tonight, there is news out of Washington that the White House is actually considering a compromise that would allow Condoleezza Rice to testify. 

With us now to talk about that breaking news, John Fund from OpinionJournal.com. 

John Fund, thanks for being here.  I want to play you what Condoleezza Rice said on “60 Minutes” just last night. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “60 MINUTES”)  

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  Nothing would be better from my point of view than to be able to testify.  I would really like to do that.  But there‘s an important principle involved here.  It is a long-standing principle that sitting national security advisers do not testify before the Congress. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  John Fund, somebody else that worked on the National Security Council for a president, his name Oliver North, could tell you that sometimes perception tops reality in these hearings.  Come on, Condi  Rice needs to go before this committee, needs to go before America and tell America what she knows, doesn‘t she? 

JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”:  She is willing to go before the committee.  She is willing—I think there‘s going to be a compromise in which she testifies behind closed doors and then a transcript of the session is released to the public. 

Joe, you remember when you‘re in Congress that it‘s very important to keep the lines of authority between Congress and the executive branch clear.  We don‘t allow presidents to haul in senators after a vote to subpoena them and say, how did you vote this way?  And we shouldn‘t allow Congress to drag in the president‘s personal staff, the people he relies on for the most unbiased advice, before a committee unnecessarily. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, John.  She goes on “60 Minutes.”  She goes on all these other networks and talk about what she‘d be saying in front of this committee.  Why not go in front of the committee? 

FUND:  Because Richard Clarke himself, when Bill Clinton was president, declined to do that before a Senate committee, and in fact, he invoked the same privilege that Condoleezza Rice is invoking.  This is nothing new.  All presidents have done this. 

And, you know, the polls show the public really doesn‘t care.  There‘s a “Newsweek” poll out tonight, Joe, that shows by 49 percent to 47 percent, the American people say it doesn‘t make any difference whether she testifies in public because they know that they‘re going to hear the same things that she‘s saying on these news shows.  This is a distinction without a difference.

Deroy Murdock, you‘re a syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service.  As a Bush supporter, you say Condoleezza Rice should testify and this is just another case of the White House doing a bad job getting its message out.  Explain. 

DEROY MURDOCK, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Well, that‘s exactly the case. 

There is an argument to be made, which I guess John is making, that what happens in the Oval Office should stay in the Oval Office, and whether you agree or disagree with that, I could respect that if Condoleezza Rice had said I‘m not going to talk to anybody about what I say to the president of the United States, that stays private, and then not testify privately, not go on “60 Minutes,” etcetera. 

But she‘s testified privately to this commission already.  Whatever executive privilege that would have existed there I think has been breached.  They now know privately what was on her mind and what she said to the president.  And what we‘re not getting is the public having an opportunity to hear her say under oath what the White House knew about terrorism before 9/11, what they‘ve been doing about it since, why Saddam Hussein was a tremendous supporter of terrorism and why that justified the war in Iraq. 

I think she ought to take the opportunity, with all those cameras there, with the whole entire country, world focused on those hearings, if she comes forward, and use that as an opportunity to explain what we‘re doing about terrorism, why the war in Iraq was justified, not so much in terms of weapons of mass death, but in terms of an effort in the war on terror to unseat a government that was very, very supportive of terrorists in general and I think even al Qaeda in particular. 

It‘s a wonderful platform for her to explain exactly what the administration‘s policy is. 

Let me bring in “TIME” magazine‘s Tim Burger.

Tim, you‘ve written about this.  And I know there are a lot of Americans out there are listening to this debate, saying, hold on.  Wait a second.  Let me get this straight.  Condi Rice will testify not in front of cameras, but she‘ll go before this committee and testify.  She‘ll say the same thing that she‘s been saying on TV.  What‘s the difference?  What‘s the distinction?  Why is the White House botching this issue this way? 

TIM BURGER, “TIME”:  Well, John Fund has mentioned that there are a bunch of important precedents at stake.  That‘s true.  Some would say that the 9/11 attacks are a precedent unto themselves. 

The commissioners, both sides of the aisle, as you know, are saying that they want to see her in public.  Part of what they see their mission as is to sort of tell the story publicly.  And also in public you‘ll have her required to answer questions of the commissioners, depending on the format they choose were she to appear. 

So they want to be able to have these 10 or so commissioners asking her some questions with follow-ups and you know telling the story publicly to the extent she can. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So what‘s the difference, though?  Again, John Fund‘s saying well, maybe she can testify behind closed doors.  But, again, what‘s the difference?  You say the White House is claiming that they have privilege and there‘s a long history of this, but aren‘t they just shooting themselves in the foot? 

BURGER:  Well, that‘s what one of the Republican commissioners has said.  John Lehman, who has worked in the Reagan administration, said it‘s a political blunder of the first order and he doesn‘t understand why they‘re taking this approach.  And I think the other Republicans and Democrats on the commission also don‘t understand. 

There are important precedents at stake.  Many would say that there are ways for them to work it out so that precedent isn‘t implicated, but in any case, I think everyone hopes that there will not be another 9/11-type precedent that might change the political calculus in the first place. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.

Tim was talking about the chairman of the 9/11 commission was calling on Condoleezza Rice to testify, saying that executive privilege doesn‘t apply and this is what he said. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN LEHMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER:  We‘re not an arm of the Congress.  Once again, I think the lawyers are driving the train here and we‘ve got to get them out of control of this because they‘re saying that we‘re an arm of the Congress, which we‘re not except in the sense that every agency of the government is an arm of the Congress.  We don‘t report to Congress. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  John Fund, as you know, that‘s a Republican.  That‘s a George Bush supporter.  That‘s a man that says this White House has nothing to hide.  Talk to his point where he says, this is not Congress, so she should testify without any privilege. 

FUND:  Look, John Lehman is right that this is politically harmful to the administration.  It looks bad, Joe, I agree.

But he has not challenged the legal definition of executive privilege.  This commission was created by Congress.  It may not be a complete creature of Congress, but it is created out of the legislative branch.  And I think the administration is on very solid legal ground.  The polls show that the public wants to hear from Condi Rice, but the format, whether it‘s public or private, open testimony, is not that important to them. 

I think it would be nice if she did it, but I think she has to pay attention to the powers of the presidency.  This precedent will be cited for decades and even 100 years from now. 

(CROSSTALK)

MURDOCK:  Joe, I think this is something very interesting for a constitutional law class, but politically speaking I think the administration is now into the second week that this is going on.  This may go on into a third week.  And I think they really need to be able to get on their game and go on offense, rather than another four or five days of defense on this.

I think the way to do it, as my friend Quin Hillyer of “The Mobile Register” suggests is, actually assert privilege and then go ahead and waive it and say, under these unusual circumstances, we‘ll waive the privilege and go ahead and testify.  That‘s one way to maintain the privilege legally, while politically going forward and coming forth and talking about this.  And I think Condoleezza Rice is someone who can talk very forthrightly and very clearly on what‘s at stake here. 

I think she would do a tremendous job of defending the president and the administration‘s policies on this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Tim Burger, I‘m going to give you the last word.  What is going to happen tomorrow?  Do you think they‘re strike a deal? 

BURGER:  There‘s lots of ways that a deal could be struck.  They could say, OK, the commission isn‘t demanding that she come, but suddenly, Condoleezza Rice wants to come.  And they could do it in defense forums, in different ways.  It seems a lot of pressure is building for them to reach some kind of an agreement.  So that‘s definitely a big story line to watch this week. 

FUND:  Joe, we‘re going to hear from her.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right. 

Thank you so much to Deroy Murdock, John Fund, Tim Burger.  We appreciate you being with us tonight. 

And let me give you the “Real Deal.”  I gave it to you up front.   I‘ll give it to you here.  The White House is going to strike that deal, Condi Rice is going to talk and all of this is going to be political damage to this White House that didn‘t need it right now.  They mishandled this situation.  They should have taken care of it right up front.  This is a very different situation.  And right after Richard Clarke spoke, somebody at the White House should have figured out, you know what?  We don‘t need to be even having the appearance of a cover-up before the American people because it won‘t help us out.  So now what do they have?  The worst of both worlds. 

Anyway, coming up, Richard Clarke isn‘t just profiting over his failure as an intelligence officer.  A mother of a 9/11 victim now says he‘s profiting off of the death of her son, a firefighter killed in the attacks of September 11.  We‘re going to talk to her next. 

And then, you want to know why the chocolate makers of old Europe were against the war in Iraq?  You‘ll be appalled at who got rich scamming the U.N. oil-for-food program. 

Plus, what the heck‘s going on in the California state legislature? 

Stick around for a civics lesson that everybody can understand. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  More than 3,000 people were killed on September 11.  Does getting back to normal mean making a buck off the attacks?  Well, just ask Richard Clarke.  We‘re going to be debating that after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke has been the media‘s darling after attacking the Bush administration.  And he‘s set to make millions of dollars off his book.  But not everybody‘s happy about Clarke‘s testimony or his accusations, including some 9/11 victims‘ family members.

In a letter published over the weekend, family members said—quote -

·         “We find Mr. Clarke‘s actions insensitive considering the fact that there was always a high probability that the 9/11 Commission could be used for political gain.  He decided to risk the actual and perceived impartiality of this important process to maximize book sales.”

               

With us now is Rosemary Cain.  She‘s a mom who signed that letter to Richard Clarke.  Her son, firefighter George Cain, was murdered in the attacks of 9/11. 

Thank you so much, Ms. Cain, for being with us tonight. 

ROSEMARY CAIN, SON KILLED IN SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Explain to our viewers why you think Richard Clarke may be profiteering over the tragedies of 9/11. 

CAIN:  Well, he‘s clearly profiting over the tragedies of 9/11, writing a book and coming out and timing it with the commission hearings and just giving it all the publicity that he‘s been getting.  And when questioned about it, every answer that he gives is prefaced with, my book, my book, my book. 

So it‘s quite obvious that he‘s looking to promote his sales, and I think it‘s sickening that anybody would make money over the tragedy and the murders of September 11 and all the horror and the tragedy that it‘s brought to the families; 3,000 families practically are suffering to this day.  They‘ll be suffering—God only knows how long they‘ll be suffering.  There‘s a hole in every family‘s heart, and this is not something that somebody should look to go out and make money on and profit from. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, in his testimony last week, Richard Clarke apologized on behalf of the U.S. government.  And this is what he said. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER:  Your government failed you.  Those entrusted with protecting you failed you.  And I failed you.   

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Then, of course, he went on to apologize.  The media praised him for that apology.  I‘m just curious, since you‘ve written this letter to Richard Clarke...

CAIN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Has he called you or contacted any other victim‘s family and apologized to them? 

CAIN:  Well, no, he has not called me personally, and I am not aware of him having called anybody else. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Have you heard of Clarke discussing this letter with anybody, and, again, discussing your concerns about the fact—the perception among victims‘ families that he‘s profiteering over the 9/11 tragedies? 

CAIN:  I have heard no response whatsoever from Mr. Clarke, and as far as I have heard, I have not heard from any of the family members that he‘s responded.  So, as far as I know, he hasn‘t responded to it.  He‘s just going on with his agenda.  And I think his apology was 2 ½ years too late. 

I think if anybody is sincere in an apology, you don‘t wait 2 ½ years to apologize for something.  We all know that there were failures in the system.  He doesn‘t have to apologize on that end.  We know that there were failures in the system.  What the families would like to see is that all of the failures are remedied, that it never has to happen again, that nobody else in this country ever has to live through another terrorist attack. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But the bottom line is that you and these other victims‘ families believe that he dropped this book, released this book at a time right before this testimony to maximize the profits and make I guess it‘s being reported now $1 million-plus off of this book, right? 

CAIN:  Well, I think if he‘s sincere in his heart of his apology, then maybe he should take all the profits from this book and give it to charity.  Maybe he should set up some scholarship funds for children or make some kind of a worthy cause of it.  If he‘s sincere in his apology, he won‘t be looking to make any money out of it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Rosemary Cain, we‘ll leave on that very high note.  In fact, we‘ll try to contact Mr. Clarke and see if he‘s interested in doing exactly that.  There are a lot of great 9/11 charities and you‘ve given us good food for thought tonight.  Thanks a lot for being here. 

CAIN:  Thank you, Joe.  Thank you for hearing from the families. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Now let‘s bring in our panel.  With us now is former Navy Secretary John Dalton, a good friend of Pensacola, also Jack Burkman.  He‘s a Republican strategist who questions the timing of Clarke‘s allegation. 

Mr. Secretary, you just heard from Rosemary Cain, who of course tragically lost her son on 9/11.  She believes that Richard Clarke timed this book to profit off of the 9/11 tragedy.  What‘s your response? 

JOHN DALTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:  Well, I don‘t know Dick Clarke personally, Congressman.  And I think he has raised some issues that need to be answered, as Senator Chuck Hagel said.  I‘ve never worked with him personally, but I know a lot of people from the first Bush administration and from the Clinton administration that worked with him and had good things to say about him as being a hard-working, tenacious, get-the-job-done kind of guy who was truly loved by his staff.

And clearly Condoleezza Rice must have thought highly of him because she put him in the chair to manage the crisis on 9/11, which was the worst tragedy our country has suffered since Pearl Harbor.  And President Bush thought highly enough about him to give him a handwritten note thanking him for his dignity and honor of service to the country. 

So I think the important thing here is not the messenger, but the message.  There‘s some particular facts that are important for us to learn from this tragedy.  And it‘s very important that we learn from the tragedy and that we don‘t make the same mistakes again. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, Jack.

I want to play you something, because Richard Clarke went on “60 Minutes” and he testified before the 9/11 Commission.  He‘s set to make $1 million on his book, but he thinks he‘s the victim.  This is what he said.  Actually, this is what he said on “Meet the Press.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “MEET THE PRESS”) 

CLARKE:  They‘re engaged in a campaign, people on the taxpayers rolls, dozens of people on the taxpayers rolls are engaged in a campaign to destroy me personally and professionally, because I had the temerity to suggest that the American people should consider whether or not the president had done a good job on the war on terrorism.  The issue is not me.  The issue is the president‘s job in the war on terrorism. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Burkman, respond.  Does the Republican National Committee have a hit list and is Mr. Clarke on the top of it? 

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Not to my knowledge. 

And I‘ll tell you, he‘s learned from Clinton.  He‘s already making himself out to be a victim.  He‘s playing all the angles.  But I will say this, Joe.  If this guy felt that what he had to say was so darn important that the American people had to hear it because it could be instrumental in preventing another attack, why would he wait 2 ½ years to say it? 

If I held, if you held, if anybody holds information, if their motive is pure, if their motive is to help the people, you would release that information two years ago.  You wouldn‘t release it now.  I don‘t know how anybody could look at this and see anything but bad motives given the timing.  And you can say the same thing for Madeleine Albright with her testimony.  It was much the same story. 

I‘ll tell you something else about Richard Clarke.  I very strongly

suspect that he has committed felonies in his testimony by releasing

classified information.  No one has looked into this, but the things that

he cites could only have come—and I‘d bet if you go through that—if

the Justice Department goes through those transcripts, you‘ll find several

instances, each one is a felony count where this guy has committed crimes -

·         felony count, where this guy has committed crimes. 

And I‘ll tell you something else.  For a person who served in the Clinton administration, and you remember December 9, 1998, when impeachment was on the Hill and you were there, that team bombed Iraq committing what I argued then, will still argue now was nothing but blatant treason, the use of American military force.  He was a part of that.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jack, we don‘t want to get off on too many sidetracks here. 

I do want to play the secretary, though, another quote from “Meet the Press,” because over the last week the media‘s been portraying Richard Clarke as a long time Republican and some have said he‘s even a hawk.  But Richard Clarke answered for himself yesterday on “Meet the Press.” 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “MEET THE PRESS”)

TIM RUSSERT, HOST:  Did you vote for George Bush in 2000? 

CLARKE:  No, I did not. 

RUSSERT:  You voted for Al Gore? 

CLARKE:  Yes, I did. 

RUSSERT:  In 2004, you‘ll vote for John Kerry? 

CLARKE:  I‘m not going to endorse John Kerry.  That‘s what the White House wants me to do.  And they want to say I‘m part of the Kerry campaign.  I‘ve already pledged I‘m not part of the Kerry campaign and I will not serve in a Kerry administration. 

RUSSERT:  Will you vote for him? 

CLARKE:  That‘s my business. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Secretary Dalton, obviously, you worked in Washington for a long time during a contentious period during the Clinton administration.  Is it impossible for anybody to come forward with this type of testimony and not be blasted as a partisan or a political hack? 

DALTON:  Well, you know, I don‘t like to question anyone‘s motives, Joe. 

I think the point is that this man has raised some serious questions

that need to be answered.  And that‘s just not my opinion.  Senator Chuck

Hagel, a very respected, distinguished leader of the United States Senate,

thinks that.  And you know, to try to blast the messenger and—I don‘t

think that‘s productive.  This is a very important hearing.  What we‘re

trying to learn from this hearing

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  But is it important hearing? 

(CROSSTALK)

DALTON:  I do think we should hear from Condoleezza Rice.

BURKMAN:  This is not an important hearing.  And I‘ll tell you why. 

What‘s the worse thing we could learn from this hearing?  We could learn that there‘s blame for 9/11.  If there‘s any blame to be levied, it can‘t be levied against George Bush.  He was only in office for seven months.  If there‘s any blame for 9/11, you have to go to the preceding eight years.  So I have problems—when you say these are important hearings.  Why?  Are they looking into criminal behavior?  No.  Are they looking into allegations of wrongdoing?  No.  What are they looking into? 

They‘re looking at an issue of presidential judgment, which is really not for the Congress.  It‘s for the voters and it will be very much on the ballot in November. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Secretary, I‘ll give you the last word. 

(CROSSTALK)

DALTON:  If I could respond to that, this is very important.  This is the worst tragedy that‘s happened to this country in over 60 years.  And this is not a blame game.  We‘re not trying to find out who did what and why.  We‘re trying to learn from mistakes that were made and make sure that this country does not make the same mistakes again. 

BURGER:  Clarke is laying blame.  You says it‘s not a blame game. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Well, listen, we‘re going to have to leave it there. 

Mr. Secretary, good to see you, as always. 

(CROSSTALK)

DALTON:  Joe, nice to see you.  Thank you, sir.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jack Burkman, appreciate you being with us also. 

BURGER:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And coming up, we found Saddam Hussein in a spider hole, but before that he was living the high life with billions of dollars from a kickback scheme that‘s now rocking the United Nations.  Do you even have to ask if the French are involved? 

But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you remember when Saddam sympathizers in the United Nations accused America of starving Iraq‘s to death with sanctions?

Well, it turns out that the United Nations may actually have blood on its hands, blood from the money hundreds of U.N. employees allegedly got from Saddam Hussein.  New allegations are blowing the cover off the $100 billion oil-for-food scam, and the investigation into widespread bribery and kickbacks may even take down Kofi Annan.

Raghida Dergham of “Al-Hayat” newspaper spoke with Kofi Annan and says we shouldn‘t rush to judgment about the United Nations.  Congressman J.D.  Hayworth thinks this is more proof that the U.N. is dangerously out of touch. 

J.D., explain what‘s happening in this scandal that is unfolding at the United Nations.

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA:  Well, we talked about it being food for oil.  What it turned out to be was money for Saddam and death to the Iraqi people. 

Let me quote one figure that comes from UNICEF, the United Nations‘

fund for children.  They estimated that because of the malfeasance here,

100,000 Iraqis per year died, 60,000 of those under the age of 5.  And of

the $100 billion you mentioned earlier, Joe, $63 billion went into the

pockets of Saddam Hussein.  You know

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait.  J.D., hold on.  Are you telling me that a United Nations agency is saying, because of malfeasance in this program, that thousands of Iraqis died? 

HAYWORTH:  One hundred thousand Iraqis a year, 60,000 of those under the age of 5. 

(CROSSTALK) 

HAYWORTH:  So all the tripe we heard about America starving the Iraqi children was just that, total tripe. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  So the U.N. has the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqi children on their hands? 

HAYWORTH:  Not only that.  We also see the money being diverted, Kofi Annan‘s son Kojo working for a consulting group taking money, kickbacks, as detailed today in Bill Safire‘s column in “The New York Times,” the fact that our erstwhile allies, the French and Russians had a piece of the action here. 

This is very serious business, and it calls for incredible reform of the United Nations, reform that France and Russia and the U.N. itself probably not keen on getting done. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Raghida Dergham, let me bring you in here, because a Baghdad newspaper published the names of 270 people, including Kofi Annan‘s right-hand man, who got vouchers to buy oil at a discount in exchange for keeping quiet about corruption. 

And “The New York Times” William Safire wrote this in his column today

·         quote—“At least $5 billion in kickbacks went from corrupt contractors, mainly French and Russian, into the pockets of Saddam and his thugs.”

Raghida, is the U.N.‘s credibility going to be destroyed by this scandal? 

RAGHIDA DERGHAM, NBC FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST:  Let‘s wait for the investigation.  And it may be correct. 

And if that is the case, then there is, of course, a credibility problem for the United Nations.  But there is no investigation yet.  As to what the congressman just said about his figures, his figures are absolutely right.  The trouble is with what he said is that these figures relate to the impact of sanctions, sanctions imposed by the United States and other members of the Security Council on Iraq.  This is exactly what sanctions have cost the Iraqis; 5,000 children were dying a month.

That is according to the UNICEF figures that the congressman is

talking about.  So I think there‘s a little bit of a problem here.  It

isn‘t about

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  Sir, there‘s no such thing as UNICEF figures saying that these deaths amount to—or these deaths are related to the corruption allegations by the United Nations, none whatsoever.

HAYWORTH:  Well, look at what we found in the wake of the war, Raghida, hundreds of mass graves and the deaths of people that regardless of their age on the hands of Saddam Hussein. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAYWORTH:  Here‘s the crucial matter, Raghida.  The fact is Saddam was emboldened by this scam to continue on, rather than preserving.  The United Nations empowered Saddam Hussein to continue his terror. 

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  With all due respect, Congressman, I beg to differ with you, because I—with all due respect, your information is totally...

HAYWORTH:  Sure.  Saddam is a wonderful man.  He was a wonderful man,

Raghida.  Try to sell that to

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  Don‘t railroad me here, Congressman.  Please don‘t.  I did not say any such thing.  We‘re talking about the United Nations. 

You are saying that the United Nations is the organization that really brought about the misery to the Iraqi people, and, in a way, you are right.  It is because of the sanctions imposed by member states of the United Nations, including the United States. 

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  Secondly—please, sir, in terms of Saddam Hussein having been responsible for the death of many Iraqis, you‘re right, but this has nothing to do with this so-called scandal and allegations. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAYWORTH:  It has everything to do with this, Raghida.  The fact is,

what happened is, the United Nations, through kickbacks to its own members,

through contracts going to the French and Russians, and to the general

misconduct, to put it mildly, of Saddam Hussein

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  You don‘t know that, Congressman.  You don‘t know it.

HAYWORTH:  We don‘t know it? 

(CROSSTALK)

DERGHAM:  No, you don‘t. 

HAYWORTH:  Well, I‘ll tell you what.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Raghida, one at a time.  Hold on.  Hold on.  One at a time. 

(CROSSTALK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Raghida, hold on.   

DERGHAM:  OK.  Surely.

SCARBOROUGH:  One at a time. 

I‘m going to play you—I‘ll read you what Secretary-General Kofi Annan said when he flipped sides last week and agreed to an outside investigation.  He said—quote—“It is highly possible that there has been quite a lot of wrongdoing.”

Now, look, on one side, you say, sure, there‘s been a lot of wrongdoing.  But on the other side of it, you seem to be saying here tonight that the $5 billion to $10 billion that even the U.N. is saying was probably skimmed off of this program didn‘t starve little children that wanted the money that needed the food. 

DERGHAM:  Here‘s what I‘m saying, Joe.  Here‘s what I‘m saying. 

I am saying, if the United Nations officials and governments and countries and companies belonging, be it to the French or the Germans, are indeed involved in this bribery charges, indeed have skimmed the Iraqi people of their money that was supposed to be for food, then they should be accountable.  And I think William Safire is doing the world a favor by holding their feet to the fire.  So I am all for it.

But what I‘m against is jumping to conclusions before there is an investigation.  I would like to say that this investigation should not be only by Kofi Annan, that he is the jury and the judge of the executioner.  It should be much more independent.  And I think it‘s healthy to do this investigation.  And I‘m all for it. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.

J.D., three Iraqi investigations showed the corruption was so bad that Iraq knowingly spent millions of dollars on rotten food and useless medicine just to get kickback money from U.N.-approved companies.  Is Congress going to hold the United Nations‘ feet to the fire by saying we‘re not going to continue giving you 25 percent of your budget unless you account for where all of this money went? 

HAYWORTH:  You‘ll recall I brought an amendment to the floor dealing with appropriations for the U.N. last year that my friend, Steve King, managed in my absence, as I couldn‘t be there that day.  But I‘ll bring it back again this time, and I welcome the fact that the International Relations Committee, Chairman Henry Hyde, absolutely has to move forward with hearings. 

When it comes to the U.N. investigating itself, listen, the French, the Russians, and a lot of other folks are going to work overtime to ensure there is not a thorough investigation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

HAYWORTH:  The United States has to lead the way also.  On June 30, sovereignty day, look for the new Iraqi government to have millions of documents currently under seal and they will also have a hand in this as well. 

SCARBOROUGH:  J.D. Hayworth, you‘re exactly right.  Raghida Dergham, as always, thank you for being with in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

And coming up next, “The Passion of the Christ” opens in the Middle East.  Is it causing anti-Jewish violence, like critics feared?  Stay tuned to find out. 

And then you‘re not going want to miss how these California legislatures treat visitors to the Capitol.  The Stanford men‘s basketball team doesn‘t even deserve this.  Ouch. 

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge:  What Oscar will “The Passion” be ineligible for?  Is it, A, best adapted screenplay, B, best cinematography or, C, best foreign language film?

The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked: 

What Oscar will “The Passion” be ineligible for?  The answer is, C, best foreign language film?  “The Passion” is in Aramaic.  Since there‘s no country that currently speaks Aramaic, no country can submit it in that category.

Now back to Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Got that one right.

“The Passion”‘s making headlines around the world.  The anti-Semitism charge is front and center in Kuwait and France, but it‘s topping the box office in London and it‘s leaving them crying in Damascus and it‘s getting the bishop in Manila.  Were “The Passion”‘s critics right in predicting an anti-Jewish backlash overseas or was the fear overblown? 

With me now, we have Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of “The Private Adam,” Jennifer Giroux of seethepassion.COM, and MSNBC entertainment reporter Dana Kennedy. 

Let me begin with you, Rabbi.  A top Shiite cleric urged the Kuwaiti government to let “The Passion” be shown in the conservative Muslim nation because he said—quote—“It reveals crimes committed by Jews against Christ.”

Rabbi, is this exactly what you were concerned about

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, SPIRITUAL ADVISER:  Well, I was concerned about anti-Semitism, defamation, not only abroad. 

Before we even look at the Arab response to the film, let‘s just look here in the United States as well.  Jennifer Giroux has been on this show several times saying that she wants Jews to see this movie and to convert to Christianity.  Now, if that‘s not an assault on our faith, God almighty, we live in an era and in a society of religious openness, religious tolerance.

And we‘re supposed to believe in mutual enrichment, that Christians and Jews can actually learn from each other instead of replacing each other.  So some of our worst fears have been materialized even on this show.  But, of course, in places like the Middle East, it‘s far more serious, because these are countries that are dedicated to the physical destruction of the Jewish nation and the Jewish state in Israel. 

Now, Jennifer seems—you know, she seems not as dangerous, of course, and innocent enough and she‘s like a fun fanatic.  But at the end of the day, to get on national TV in the year of 2004 and say you want all Jews to convert to Christianity, like this new book by Tim Lahaye from the “Left Behind” series which says that when Jesus comes all Jews will convert to Christianity.  And the book has 144,000 Jews converting on television, or so I hear, and this book will sell millions of copies. 

I‘m a Jew and I‘m here to stay.  And it‘s time that people who advocate for this movie understand why the Jews have been so concerned.  But we are here to stay and we will stand up and speak for our rights, even if there is no violence, just because it is a lie and it‘s defamatory.  We did not kill Jesus.  The Romans did, period. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer Giroux, are you a fun fanatic that wants to spread anti-Semitism in America and abroad? 

JENNIFER GIROUX, SEETHEPASSION.COM:  Well, Joe, let‘s talk about what happened over there with the Shiite cleric. 

The only part of his statement I agree with is they should lift the ban and all Muslims, all Jews, and all Christians should be allowed to see this movie, because what really has been lacking in that region over there is the message of love and forgiveness that Christianity emulates.  That is the message of this movie.  The attacks by the rabbi only tell me he fears people seeking the truth. 

Unfortunately, what‘s going to happen is, people like this Shiite person is going to use “The Passion of Christ” to further their own agenda, as I feel the rabbi is doing on this show.  This message, I stand by it is true to the Gospels.  And just because one radical person invokes it in a harmful way, it does not make us walk away from the good that has been done.  You cannot deny that we have reports of a man who has now stepped forward and had admitted to a murder down in Texas. 

We have someone admitting to two bombings in Norway because of the compassion that they felt that Christ suffered for them.  This is all the truth of what is going on and you cannot deny it.  We are simply saying people are going to be—we have evidence on our Web site, conversion stories of people who have gone to the movie and have come out converted and changed. 

BOTEACH:  Jennifer, do you want all Jews to become Christians? 

GIROUX:  I believe everybody needs to seek the truth, Rabbi.  You sound like you‘re afraid of that.

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  Jennifer, does Judaism have any truth as a world religion? 

GIROUX:  You know what, Rabbi?  It sounds to me like you‘re very...

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  With all due respect, what makes you different to Osama bin Laden, who says that his truth is the only truth?  Now, as I said, you brought the fun back into fundamentalism.  I don‘t see you, God forbid, driving planes into building.  But you‘re saying on national TV that we have no truth.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Rabbi, you asked a very explosive question. 

Jennifer, respond. 

BOTEACH:  Rabbi, I think that everyone should seek the truth at all times and seek their on conversion to emulate the message that this movie so clearly provides for all of us, the message of love and forgiveness. 

I‘m hearing that you‘re afraid for people to do that.  All I‘m saying is that people should be given the right to go into this movie, see it with their own eyes, and come out of that and find their own understanding of what their relationship with God is and where they should be.  Now, many people speculate, because of how the Muslims hold Mary in such high esteem, this movie and Mary herself could lead them to a better understanding of Jesus as the son of God.  That‘s nothing to fear.  That‘s a beautiful thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Dana Kennedy, there have been some remarkable reactions in America and across the world.  You know, when three Jewish brothers in France petitioned the court there to ban “The Passion” because of anti-Semitism, the judge in the case refused to stop the premiere this week and said this—quote—“The film in question cannot be considered an indictment to hatred and violence against Jews or an affront to their dignity and security.”

You know, we‘ve got court cases in France.  We‘ve got Yasser Arafat coming out talking about this.  We‘ve got Muslim clerics throughout the Middle East discussing “The Passion.”  Talk about the international response it‘s had not only at the box office, but also the public outrage or support for this movie worldwide. 

DANA KENNEDY, NBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR:  Joe, you know, I think the headline as far as “The Passion” as a global phenomenon, has moved away a bit from anti-Semitism to the fact about how much money this movie is making and what a phenomenon would become. 

Who knew that a story like this would become like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s movies overseas?  In England, it made two million pounds this week.  And that is a record for a subtitled foreign film opening there.  I understand Australia is one of the few places it‘s not as big a hit as it is around the world.  And I think what people really are struck by now is just how much money this is making and what kind of phenomenon it is. 

I do think that the anti-Semitism as a subject has died down a bit. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Rabbi, we‘ve got 15 seconds.  I‘ll give you the final word. 

BOTEACH:  Well, look, come on, Joe, are we really surprised this movie did so well?  Mel Gibson took out a huge insurance policy.  It‘s called baiting the Jews.  History has shown, if you attack the Jews, you get a lot of publicity.  It‘s why Zionism equals racism is the most famous U.N.  proclamation.  It‘s the reason why Adolf Hitler is the most famous man of the 20th century. 

(CROSSTALK)

GIROUX:  Mel Gibson did a very brave thing.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Actually, you just threw more flame on the fire. 

Jennifer Giroux, I‘ll give you the last 15 seconds. 

GIROUX:  Well, I just think Mel Gibson did a very brave thing.  He put himself and his family on the line, open to all kind of criticisms to bring to the big screen and preserve for all time biblical Gospel truth.  Thank you, Mel Gibson.

Settle down, Rabbi.  It‘s just a

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, thank you, Rabbi.  Thank you, Jennifer.  And, as always, thank you, Dana Kennedy. 

Still to come, things are a little bit different in the state of California and the legislature now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor.  But is one assemblyman taking things too far?  We‘re going to have the rest of this painful story next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks about God and foreign policy and weighs in on Richard Clarke.  I don‘t think the rabbi will be in for that one.

More SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Are you sick of funny politicians saying, I feel your pain? 

Well, we caught one dishing out pain.  A group of Buddhist monks from China visited the California Capitol to perform what they call feats of strength.  The former speaker of the assembly, a Democrat, is here kicking one of the monks right between the chopsticks.  Now the monk know how it feels to be a California taxpayer. 

And this wasn‘t painful enough, here‘s another example of the monk‘s mind over matter.  He‘s demonstrating what it‘s like to be a Republican in Congress.  Ouch. 

Don‘t miss our show tomorrow.  He didn‘t stay on his feet. 

Don‘t miss our show tomorrow night.  We‘ve got former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  She‘s going to talk about how God influences America‘s foreign policy.  And we‘re going to ask her what she thinks of the Richard Clarke fiasco. 

And, hey, if you got comments about the show or anything going on in the flyover country that we call SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, send me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com.

Thanks for visiting SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night. 

And, Dad, happy 70th birthday.  Get feeling better.

END   

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