updated 6/16/2005 9:44:43 AM ET 2005-06-16T13:44:43

Guest: Peter Beinart, Randall Terry, Montel Williams, David Holloway, Pat Brown, Ruben Trapenberg

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline, developing news in the desperate search for Natalee Holloway, as police converge on the home of the 17-year-old suspect who was seen with Natalee the night she disappeared.  But did the new search bring police any closer to finding Natalee? 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required and only common sense allowed. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Hey, good evening.  You know what?  We have got a packed show tonight. 

Thank you for being with us. 

You know, right now, Natalee is America‘s daughter.  But we‘re going to be talking tonight to her father.  Also, he‘s down in Aruba.  And I had an interview with him.  We‘re going to be talking to the prime suspect‘s mother about the tragedy in their family.  We‘re going to be talking to a criminal profiler who says the news just can‘t be good.  Now, we‘re going to ask her, is there any hope left to find Natalee Holloway? 

I am also going to be talking about the outrage that I have about the way this investigation has been conducted from the very beginning and how an American girl can disappear in Aruba, an island, let‘s face it, that depends on U.S. dollars and, yet, they‘re shutting the FBI out of the investigation, not allowing them to step in and do what they do best, instead, letting local authorities handle it.  And let‘s face it.  These local authorities, they may handle one or two homicides a year.  It just doesn‘t add up.  Nothing hasn‘t added up from the very beginning. 

And that is why, tonight, Natalee is still missing. 

Well, today, family, friends and volunteers have continued to look for Natalee Holloway.  But the police are focusing on the three young suspects last seen with the 18-year-old girl from Alabama.

And, in a minute, we‘re going to be talking to Natalee‘s father and stepmother.  And they‘re asking the three suspects to tell police everything they know.  They‘re begging them.

But, first, let‘s go live to Aruba, where NBC‘s Martin Savidge has the

very latest

Martin, it has been a busy day down there.  Get us up to date on it. 

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  It has, Joe.  Almost every day seems to be busy now.

And another indication that the search is going on, as is the investigation, even after darkness.  Just around sunset tonight, we saw a government helicopter up in the air.  We took note of that because it was hovering in the same area that is behind us here that was the focus of the attention of investigators yesterday. 

Now, there have been reports that government helicopters were possibly going to use infrared to help search the island.  We don‘t know exactly how they would use that imaging. 

Meanwhile, the investigation was more down to earth outside of that suspect‘s home, 17-year-old Joran Van Der Sloot.  For the second time, authorities went through that house.  They collected more evidence.  They were seen leaving with white bags.  And they are also bringing in search dogs.  It‘s the first time we‘ve seen that in the premises there.  And they took away two other cars.  They were described as family vehicles.  The young man lives, of course, with his parents. 

And then, finally, this unusual circumstance you have with the father.  Paul Van Der Sloot is an official on this island, a judicial official.  And he has been trying to see his son, but he has been denied access by authorities.  Normally, both parents would be allowed to visit this child.  He is, after all, a child.  He‘s under the age of 18. 

But, in this particular case, because he is linked to the judicial system, well, the investigators have said they don‘t feel comfortable with that.  Maybe he might influence his son or coach him on how to respond to investigator questions.  So, for this moment now, we‘re waiting to hear what a judge is going to rule, as to whether a father can visit his son in jail—Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, Martin.  Greatly appreciate it. 

Now, as we have talked about, there are serious questions about how the Aruban government has been handling this investigation.  I‘ve been critical of them from the very beginning.  I still don‘t know why the three young men who were seen leaving the bar with Natalee the night she disappeared were allowed to roam free for over 10 days, allowed to get their stories straight, allowed to clean up their cars, allowed to clean up any evidence. 

Well, they finally got arrested, finally got taken to jail, but the question is, did they—did they basically get rid of all evidence that would have helped authorities and helped the FBI, if they ever let the FBI do their job, find Natalee Holloway? 

Well, earlier tonight, I asked these questions of Ruben Trapenberg. 

He is a spokesperson for the government of Aruba.


SCARBOROUGH:  Is the prime minister disappointed with how this investigation has been going? 


You can imagine that he wants this case resolved as much as the family does and as much as the whole public, the whole country of Aruba wants.  Everybody wants to—for life to go back to regular.  Of course, they‘re doing their everyday things, but people will spontaneously go out and look at areas that they know best, because why?  It‘s such a highly unusual case.  It‘s such an unusual event, that everybody wants to have it resolved.  Whatever happened to Natalee, we need to find her. 


And, you know, again, obviously, the prime minister, part of the—a big part of the prime minister‘s job is encouraging tourism to your island.  Everybody that I‘ve ever known that has gone down to Aruba has wonderful things to say about the island.  Is he concerned that the way that the authorities police may—well, I don‘t want to botched the investigation, but may have made some tactical errors in the early days of the investigation could hurt tourism if he doesn‘t address them head on after this investigation is over? 

TRAPENBERG:  Well, you can imagine, Joe, that this will be the most highly scrutinized case.  Every minute and every part of this investigation will be checked after it‘s all over. 

But we don‘t know if—at this point if any mistakes have been made.  What is causing speculation is exactly the reason why we are in this situation, meaning, we don‘t hear the details of the investigation, because, if we did, the case would be in trouble, meaning not only the investigation, but at the—at the later part, the judge could just throw it out because it was improperly handled. 

You don‘t want to have cases that we have heard about where investigations went haywire.  You don‘t want that situation here.  So, there are professionals working on an investigative team, people who have experience.  And they got international help from the FBI, from Holland.  So, it‘s just not the local police doing this.  And they know that everything they do is scrutinized. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let me bring in right now criminal profiler Pat Brown.  And let‘s—let‘s provide some more scrutiny on this investigation. 

How serious was the fact that they let these three suspects roam free for 10 days?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER:  Well, you were right, Joe, when you mentioned all the things you mentioned before.

There were many things that weren‘t done as well as they could have been done.  Yes, they should have gone after these guys right up front.  Every investigator will tell you, if you lose the first 24 to 48 hours, you usually lose the case, because you‘re having a hard time at that point finding any of the evidence.  You cannot simply let the suspects walk away and have all this time to work out everything, until you finally get around to arresting them.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, stay with us.

BROWN:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  I am going to ask you the tough question in a minute.  I am going to ask you if there‘s any possibility at all in your mind, as a professional who‘s done this before, whether Natalee is still alive tonight, whether there‘s any hope at all.

Well, earlier tonight, I spoke with Natalee‘s father and stepmother.  And I asked them what the investigators are telling them about the search for their daughter. 


DAVID HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE:  Basically, what I know is that the investigation is continuing and it is moving forward very quickly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Can you tell us how you spend your days in Aruba, how you‘ve spent the past week or so down there? 

D. HOLLOWAY:  Well, we—when we arrived on the island, we went to the police station and got a briefing on what had happened.

And then my family and friends split up and we did a ground search of the immediate area.  Then we got on four-wheelers and searched some broader areas.  And then I spent, along with my brother and another friend, approximately four hours in a helicopter just crisscrossing the island to see if we could see any visuals and to expand on our search areas. 

And now we‘re in—to a point where it‘s getting more and more difficult to find areas to—to search. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Robin Holloway, let me ask you about the days and the nights in Aruba that you and Dave and some of your family members have been going through.  Are there any times that you do just give up hope and just feel like you can‘t—can‘t continue? 

ROBIN HOLLOWAY, STEPMOTHER OF NATALEE:  It‘s been a long 17 days.  I mean, it‘s time for resolution.  We want to go home, but we don‘t want to go home without Natalee.  And we have got two little girls at home.  And they‘re having a hard time.  Brooke (ph) is 7.  And it‘s every day, just mama, when are you coming home?  And that just breaks my heart.

But she understands we‘re here to try to find Natalee.  And she wants Natalee home as bad as we do.  And—but, yes, it‘s tough with them, too.  You know, the children don‘t understand.  But—and it breaks my heart to watch Dave—what Dave is going through.  And each day, are we going to get that phone call?  Where is she? 

I mean, we believe the three boys know.  If they would just tell us, I mean, we just want to go home with Natalee.  That‘s frustrating.  Yes, it is.  But we‘re—you know, we keep plugging—I mean, I‘m with him every day.  And we‘re out there looking.  And to be a small island, I believe it‘s 18 miles long, six miles wide.  It‘s a lot area out there.  So, we have seen that personally.  So...


Have you had a chance to speak with the father or the mother of the Dutch young man who‘s a prime suspect in this case? 

D. HOLLOWAY:  No, I have not. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Are you concerned that favoritism may have been shown because of his position of authority in Aruba? 

D. HOLLOWAY:  I could not speculate on that, because it would only be speculation. 

We‘re here.  You know, my daughter‘s missing.  And we came on the island.  I didn‘t even know any of the names or who was involved or whatever.  My primary goal was to find my—find my daughter.  And I had mentioned it earlier to someone.  You know, when your child gets out of the house or whatever, and you momentarily lose them, you go into a sheer panic.

And that is what I‘ve gone through for a number of days until I finally calmed down and could get over that initial fear.  And, you know, I continue to plug away.  I want the police to do their investigation without any interference from us.  And then we‘ll continue doing the search.  You know, we‘re—we‘re here to work together and—and—and not do any interfering or anything like that. 

So, if everyone works together, I think we‘ll end up concluding this. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  It‘s so painful.  You know, though, it‘s hard to remember tonight that there‘s pain on both sides. 

Now, we have heard from Natalee‘s father.

Coming up next, we‘re going to be talking about the 17-year-old Dutch boy who may hold the key to finding Natalee.  And we‘re going to be talking to his mother. 

And later, should marijuana be legal for medical use?  Today, Congress said no.  But talk show host Montel Williams is going to be in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us why people in pain should be able to use marijuana.  It‘s a hot topic.

Stay right where you are, because SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is just getting started. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, the mother of the prime suspect in this case comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and talks about her son, Joran Van Der Sloot.  Could he lead police to Natalee?  Natalee‘s says, yes, that he wants him to start talking.  We‘re going to be talking to Joran‘s mother when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.

You‘re looking right now at more video of the police.  They were searching the home of Van Der Sloot.  Today, questions on whether this search is bringing investigators any closer to finding Natalee. 

Criminal profiler Pat Brown is back with us right now.

Pat, I got to ask you the tough question.  They can search and they can search and they can search, but is it possible at this point that they‘re ever going to find Natalee Holloway alive? 

BROWN:  It‘s not very likely, Joe.  Unfortunately, pretty much, that would be the situation the very first day. 

Most of these cases, people who are abducted and people—when something bad happens, as was said, you don‘t have her hidden in a basement in some kind of dungeon.  She wasn‘t taken into white slavery in this particular area of the world.  So, there is really very, very little chance that she would be alive. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, do you think there would have been a much better chance if the police had acted more quickly...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... to get moving to find her? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Or do you think that she was dead on the night that she was abducted? 

BROWN:  I think something happened probably right after she left with the gentlemen.  Something happened right then and there that went wrong.

As I said, I think it was probably the case that maybe more was expected of her than a certain person might have gotten and he might have gotten angry at this.  We don‘t know this yet, but that‘s usually the scenario, that, sometimes, people feel they‘re entitled when a woman goes with them.  They‘re entitled to get what they want from her.  And when she says no, they get angry. 

But I do think the police have a couple of things they can be doing right now.  One is, of course, they have got two sides to fight against each other, the brothers against Van Der Sloot.  So, they can pull them against each other, offering them deals and see who comes up with it.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what, Pat?  We have got the FBI down here.  Unfortunately, the United States of America has more than its fair share of murders every year the FBI investigates.  You have got a bunch of Barney Fifes down there that have maybe one homicide every two years. 

Why in the world won‘t they get the heck out of the way and let the FBI do the job and find out what happened that night? 

BROWN:  I suppose it‘s ego.  That‘s usually what it is.  It‘s that, hey, we are the police here.  We are the law in the land.  We know what we‘re doing. 

And it‘s true.  If you haven‘t had a lot of experience, you really could use all the help you can get, especially from people who have done a lot of this.  So, it would behoove them to accept the expert—experts coming down and doing something with them.  But, I‘ll tell you, one of the things they are doing right now, at this point, at least, is that they are looking in the Van Der Sloot home, because there might be evidence there. 

They need to start looking at all the different haunts that this man would go to, because when people commit a crime like this, and they are trying to do something, for example, to dispose of a body, they usually go to exactly the places they‘re comfortable with.  They don‘t go someplace they have no idea who is down that road, who might see them.  They will go where they‘re comfortable.


BROWN:  So, if they start looking at all of his patterns, where he knows and where the brothers know, places that they would go to, that‘s where they‘re most likely to find some evidence. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, unfortunately—yes, unfortunately, Pat, as you know, they waited 17 days before they searched his home. 

BROWN:  They did.

SCARBOROUGH:  They waited 11 days before they searched his car.  They waited 17 days before they searched his parents‘ car. 

BROWN:  That‘s right. 


SCARBOROUGH:  They waited 11 days to arrest him.

BROWN:  Exactly.  And that was really ridiculous.

SCARBOROUGH:  So many, so many mistakes. 

Pat, stay with us.

BROWN:  That‘s correct.

SCARBOROUGH:  Because, you know, you know, a lot of police focus, as we have been saying, has been on this 17-year-old Dutch boy, Joran Van Der Sloot.  And he‘s seen here being led away to jail. 

But, recently, I had a chance to talk to Joran‘s mother, Anita.  And she told me about the son that she knows. 


ANITA VAN DER SLOOT, MOTHER OF SUSPECT:  He is a boy who will come out of his bed and give his mom a hug.  And, hi mom.  How are you?  Have a nice day.  He is a very warm young boy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, the eyes of America and Aruba are on your son and the other men who have been arrested in this case.  How is he doing right now through this ordeal? 

VAN DER SLOOT:  It is really tough.  It‘s—I got a chance to talk to him for 10 minutes this morning, 10 minutes only. 

He had a very pale white face.  He was complaining about a toothache, because we had an appointment at the dentist he couldn‘t go to.  And you much understand, he got picked up by the police on the very early morning of his graduation day.  So, we were all preparing for him—sorry—to get ready. 

I had his robe hanging there.  And we would have a nice celebration yesterday night.  And, of course, I know it‘s important.  The investigation is important.  We cooperate totally.  Joran is very open.  He wants to do anything to help.  But that was very tough on him.  And that brought up a lot of emotions.

He is very strong, because he says, mom, I‘m—that, I‘m innocent.  I know I‘m innocent.  I know the truth will come forward or the girl will come forward.  And he tries to hang in there.  But it is really tough.  And we cannot approach him, none of us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, there are a lot of parents obviously that obviously would never want to be in this sort of situation.  But, if you are in this sort of situation, what do you, what does your husband tell your son to get him through these difficult times? 

VAN DER SLOOT:  You know, we have three children, two in teenage ages.

And I—we always tell the kids to tell the truth, to—and Joran is not a—he‘s a good child.  But he is, of course, not a model child, because he has his mistakes.  And he cheated and he kicks his brother, and he does things any ordinary 17-year-old teenager would do.  But we always try to talk. 

We are a very close family.  We—we spend a lot of time talking about problems in the world.  We look at news.  We see things happen that are—that are evil and that are wrong.  And we warn our kids about drugs, about alcohol, the consequences that are there.  Throughout the education at the international school, a lot of time is spent there, too, to make the kids conscious about all kind of risks they can take or not—they cannot take and about responsibility, about respect for others. 

We‘re living on a multicultural island.  And we always try to raise the kids with—with—see what‘s in the heart of people.  Don‘t—don‘t focus on the outside.  Listen to people.  Be respectful. 


VAN DER SLOOT:  If they go out, be careful.  Don‘t—don‘t go out alone.  Always go with friends.  Be aware that things can happen. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Anita Van Der Sloot.  We greatly appreciate it.  I know this is a—has to be a terribly difficult time for you, but we appreciate you coming out and telling us about your son. 

VAN DER SLOOT:  Thank you. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, it is a painful situation.

But the bottom line is, the police have to make this boy crack.  How do they do it?  What do they need to do, if they let the FBI to step in, or if they—if they will just ask the FBI, hey, how do we do this, guys?  What do they tell them?  What do they do to make this boy crack?

BROWN:  Well, I think what the—the most important thing is, they have got to keep him separate from the other two, because I really believe there were probably not three people involved in what happened.  I think there was probably a couple of people that went and took a walk. 

In other words, you know how you get with someone.  You say, hey, guys, you know, could you take a walk for a little bit and come back later?  Something to that effect.  And they came back and something had happened.  I believe that is probably why they were willing to go along with whatever had happened, because—and try to cover up, because what would you do if you were in that situation and you were with somebody?  Oh, my God.  We‘re here with him.  Now what do with we do? 

So, I can see where the cover-up started.  But after time goes on and you realize that you can‘t cover it up any longer and you may go down as well, then you‘re going to start talking.  And Van Der Sloot has to realize, if he did do something wrong, that these two brothers are eventually going to say something, because they don‘t want to go down as total accomplices.  They would rather go down with a little bit less of a sentence.  And if it‘s vice-versa...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, what if—what if we—what if we have a he—what if we have a he said/he said/he said?

What if Van Der Sloot has one story, blames it on the brothers?  And you know the brothers are going to stick together.  And they come back, say, no, listen, we dropped Van—in fact, word is, they‘re already saying that.  We dropped Van Der Sloot off.

BROWN:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The next thing we learn, the girl—man, she was dead. 

BROWN:  Well, the problem with Van Der Sloot‘s story is a little strange.

He‘s actually saying that he picks up this girl.  The girl‘s with him.  And yet he leaves the girl he likes with two other people with his car?  I mean, it doesn‘t really quite ring quite true.  The other way works a lot better.  So, I think he‘s going to have a harder time fighting the story.

And it is a he said/they said, so it is two to one.  That‘s why the police should have, in the very beginning, gotten them in, separated them all to see whether the brothers had the same story as well.  But once you have that time go by, yes, people can gang up and work together.

But I still think they have a chance, if they keep them separate and start working on them, to go for the very little details, because, in the details, there may be those discrepancies.  They should be the same.


BROWN:  That‘s where they‘re going to find...


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  That‘s where they always crack. 

BROWN:  Right.  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And it doesn‘t matter whether—yes, it doesn‘t matter, Pat, whether these two brothers have had 11 days to talk to each other.

BROWN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  If you let the FBI get in and do their job, they will, over time, figure out a way to break them down. 

BROWN:  I think so.  I think they will. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Pat Brown, thanks a lot, as always, for being with us tonight...

BROWN:  My pleasure, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Great insight, tragic insight, but, you know, unfortunately, I‘m afraid this investigation may be coming to an end and it may not be a happy ending. 

Coming up next, speaking of unhappy endings, her death divided the nation.  And, today, the word finally came out on the autopsy, results for Terri Schiavo coming up next, and what the doctor said it means. 

And then, a talk show host who became a wealthy man, but his body now is failing him.  Montel Williams enters SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about his life, his pain and why the use of medical marijuana should be the law of the land. 

That‘s next.


SCARBOROUGH:  The Terri Schiavo autopsy completed, and the doctor came out today, talked about what was going on.  Still a lot of questions.  The case still not resolved, and her family darkly raising the possibility that they still don‘t know how she died, pointing fingers at the husband. 

All that and a lot more, but, first, here‘s the latest news that you and your family need to know. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Now, finally, after two-and-a-half months, doctors in Florida today stepped up to the microphone and released the autopsy for Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who died in March after a heated battle, of course, that went all the way to the White House.  They held a press conference earlier today. 

And this is what they came out with.  They said, when she died, Terri Schiavo, before she died, of course, had no brain activity.  She was blind at the time of her death, said she wasn‘t strangled, was not abused, said they still don‘t know what caused her to collapse, but also said, most importantly, she had no capacity for recovery. 

With me now, we have got Randall Terry.  He‘s the president for the Society of Truth and Justice.  And he was the Schindler family—family spokesman during Terri‘s final days.  Also with us, Dr. Bernadine Healy.  She is MSNBC contributor and, of course, the former National Institutes Of Health director.  And also, Peter Beinart, he‘s the editor of “The New Republic.” 

Let‘s begin with you, Randall.

Obviously, you have been very close with the family throughout this entire process.  I got to tell you, you look at the report, no brain activity.  That‘s what the husband said before.  Blind at the time of death.  Not strangled.  Not abused.  But, most importantly, again, she had no capacity for recovery.  It sounds like this autopsy straight down the line makes the husband to be—you know, makes the husband out to be—be right.  And it makes you and Terri‘s family out to be wrong. 


In the last month of Terri‘s life, you had innumerable friends and family go in to see her.  And one by one they came in front of the camera and said, Terri did this.  Terri responded to this story. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you believe them? 

TERRY:  Well, that‘s what you get to.  Either all of them were lying or they were witnessing the activities of a brain-dead person. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Would you lie to save your daughter‘s life? 

TERRY:  I‘m sorry?

SCARBOROUGH:  Would you lie to save your daughter‘s life?  I would.

TERRY:  It‘s not just the family.  They would have—every single one of those people would have had to have been involved in a lie.  And I was there.  I was on the ground.  I was talking to them. 

The assertion that they were lying or that she was brain-dead is ludicrous.  There‘s so much about the human brain that we don‘t know.


SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Your assertion is then, Randall, that this doctor is lying.  If we follow...

TERRY:  No. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no.  If we follow your argument that she was alive, that she was waving at everybody that came in, then the doctors that came out today issuing this report had to be liars, had to lie to the world. 


What you could have is, you could have this.  You could have a doctor who‘s not a specialist in the brain.  You could have the reality that the brain is still so uncharted in so many areas.  It‘s an art, partly, not just a science.  This—you can have it both ways.  You can have—there are parts of the brain—you know, I feel silly talking about the brain with a doctor.  So, we‘ll let her talk about the brain‘s capacity to rewire itself. 

But the bottom line is, I believe that those witnesses were credible.  I know that the attorney was credible.  There‘s no way that that female attorney who came out and talked about Terri, saying that she wanted to live, there‘s no way that that woman was going to risk her career by committing perjury. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Doctor...

TERRY:  It‘s not going to happen.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s go ahead and bring in the doctor.

Dr. Healy, we heard today, we learned today that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state.  Does that mean this case is closed? 


In fact—and I have a copy of the report here.  And I actually spoke to Dr. Thogmartin extensively this afternoon.  The—they were very careful.  They said, we cannot assess brain activity on a dead brain. 

TERRY:  Right. 

HEALY:  It‘s as if you took an X-ray of a skull.  You can‘t tell if that patient‘s asleep or talking or—you have no way of knowing brain activity. 

What they can do is see the extent of structural brain injury.  It was extensive.  We knew that.  And I think the issue is not whether or not, tomorrow, Terri Schiavo was going to wake up and ask for Cheerios.  That was not a level of awareness that was possible.  It was a question of whether or not she had a minimal level of awareness of environment, so she could feel pain or joy, be aware of her parents. 

But, remember, the fact—and a very important fact—Joe, you

pointed it out—the fact that they said it looked like she couldn‘t see,

·         and one of the doctors who saw her several years ago was concerned about visual problems—that would have made it even harder for her to be able to demonstrate awareness of her environment. 

Remember those balloons they had her tracking. 


HEALY:  Well, if you‘re blind, you can‘t track it.  So, you can‘t say, see, that shows she‘s not aware.  In fact, she was blind.

So, I think, if anything, the identification of the massive problem with her—the visual cortex suggests that she may have been more aware.

SCARBOROUGH:  Could have been more...

HEALY:  And doctors were mistaking it because she couldn‘t see. 



And, Peter Beinart, let me bring you in here tonight.

You know why we‘re debating this tonight, Peter?  You know why there are still questions out there tonight.  Because the husband would not allow any independent doctors to go in and review the autopsy.  Don‘t you think that Mr. Schiavo has set himself up for second-guessing for the rest of his life, because, once again, as he was throughout the entire case, he was too stubborn to let somebody come in who is independent that the family asked to come in, and, again, just to review it and make sure everything was in order?


He did exactly the right thing.  This was adjudicated through the courts, which is where it was supposed to be adjudicated.  That‘s how our system works.  He said, she wanted to die.  She told me that, in this kind of circumstance, she would want to die. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do we know that?

BEINART:  If she wanted to die, she has the right to die. 

The court is the right one, the right institution in our society to make that decision.  And that—and the process was fair.  That‘s all that matters here.  Whether she was actually in a persistent vegetative state or not is not the question. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Peter, the courts are always right?

TERRY:  Whoa.  Whoa.  Whoa.  Whoa.  Whoa.  Whoa.  Whoa.   


BEINART:  No.  The court is empowered—the court is empowered in our system to make that decision.  And there are higher courts to review it if they think they made egregious mistakes.  That‘s the way the system works.  And it‘s much better than a bunch of politicians looking for the next election, getting involved in passing laws about it. 


TERRY:  You know what?  That is ridiculous.

The issue is whether or not she was in a persistent vegetative state.  What you just said leads us to kill off, starve to death the severely handicapped in our society. 


BEINART:  It‘s outrageous for you to say that.  That‘s exactly not what I‘m saying.  That‘s outrageous for you to say it.  You should know better.

What I‘m saying is, someone, once they have lost the ability totally to function and have to be kept on life support, should have the right...

TERRY:  She was not on life support. 


BEINART:  Do you believe in living wills?  People should have the right...

TERRY:  She was not on life support.  Don‘t lie.  She was getting food and water. 


BEINART:  Excuse me.  Excuse me.  First of all, don‘t accuse me of lying. 

TERRY:  She was not on life support.

BEINART:  Second of all, if you—we believe in this society that you have the right to fill out a living will and, if you haven‘t filled out one, to say to people around you, here‘s what I would like to happen.  And I bet that is what you would want at the end of your life.

And then, if there‘s a dispute about what someone wanted, it‘s up to the courts to make the decision about what they really wanted. 

TERRY:  We recognize the way our system of government works.  And we also recognize that there‘s a lot of people who get a raw deal in court.  And there‘s a lot of unjust judges. 

BEINART:  And that‘s why we have appeals for those people. 

TERRY:  Yes, I‘m sorry.  When you‘re going up to Justice Kennedy on a life issue, you might as well appeal to Santa Claus. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Dr. Healy, let me bring you in here.

You know, that thing that has frustrated me throughout this entire Schiavo case, it‘s the same thing about when people debate evolution or when they debate global warning.  It seems that, whenever you bring science into the equation, actually, the debate gets more intense.  There are no clear-cut answers here.  There aren‘t any clear-cut answers.  There weren‘t clear-cut answers before her death, aren‘t clear-cut answers tonight. 

We‘re still debating this issue.  In the end, I guess it all comes down to whether a feeding tube is life support.  Where do you fall on that issue? 

HEALY:  Well, I think that, clearly, the feeding tube was enabling her to continue to be a living person.  And by withdrawing the feeding tube, she became dehydrated and she essentially died of extreme thirst, desiccation, dehydration, whatever you want to call it. 

But, you know, Joe, I think that where this case fell down was because they did not appropriately use medicine and science in the courtroom. 

TERRY:  That‘s right. 

HEALY:  In fact, all of those court hearings were not about the medicine.  In fact, no doctor, no neurologic evaluation had been done since 2002. 

And that was at the time when neurologists for the first time came up with guidelines for this new thing called persistent minimal consciousness.  It‘s when they suddenly said, wait a minute, these are not all vegetables.  Some of them do have awareness.  We haven‘t been smart enough to pick it up. 

So, she was not treated with modern neurologic care since 2002.  So, when she died in ‘05, for some silly, silly reason, they refused to do a serious reevaluation neurologically.  Again, that didn‘t mean they would say she‘s going to wake up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

BROWN:  That wouldn‘t mean they would say she was suddenly going to be transformed.  But we would have gotten answers we will never have.  They should have, at the minimum, done an EEG, a brain wave test. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you so much, Dr. Healy.  Greatly appreciate it.

Peter Beinart, thank you.

Randall Terry, as always, we appreciate you being here, too.

I‘ll tell you what, friends.  Of all the issues that have come up since I have had this show, since I was in Congress, I have never seen an issue that has divided America more than this issue.  Very reasonable people—and we‘ve had them here—whether you‘re talking about Al Franken or other people—where we can agree to disagree on other issues, there‘s something about this issue, this Schiavo issue, that‘s divided America more than any other that I‘ve experienced. 

Coming up next, an issue that‘s also dividing America tonight, medical marijuana.  We‘re going to be having in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Montel Williams talking about why he needs it to get through the day and get through the night. 

You‘re not going to want to miss this SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY interview next.



SCARBOROUGH:  Well, the debate over medical marijuana continues to rage today.  The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly, not to legalize medical marijuana, 264-161.  It was a big setback for proponents of medical marijuana. 

And one of those, one of the most influential is talk show host Montel Williams.  I talked to him earlier and I asked him why he needs medical marijuana so badly. 


MONTEL WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST:  I happen to use it from neuralgic pain from M.S. 

I, along with a lot of other people who have diseases like this, fibromyalgia and other kind of illnesses, suffer from a strange form of pain that just is persistent and doesn‘t go away.  There are several different kinds of pain medications that are out there and are available.  I have been written prescriptions for all of them.  And it‘s the reason why the drug manufacturers make over 190 different drugs for different pain things, because they know that less than 25 percent of the people can be affected by any individual drug. 

So, medicinal marijuana won‘t work for everybody, but it works for me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I would be skeptical, but for the fact, last fall, I had about as severe back pain, I think, as possible.  And your story sounded so much like mine.

I would wake up in the middle of the night.  I would have shooting nerve pains down both my legs.  I would be screaming at the top of my lungs.  I was on 1,000 different narcotic type of drugs.  Nothing touched it.  Now, luckily, for me, Bextra did, which, of course, is now illegal.  It‘s an anti-inflammatory. 

But you know what?  You literally could have shot heroin into my arm.

WILLIAMS:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You could have shot Valium into my leg.  It wouldn‘t have touched this pain. 

And, unless you go through that, I mean, people just can‘t relate to it.  Tell me how marijuana, tell me how that affects this pain, how it touches this pain, where all these other pharmaceutical drugs just don‘t do it? 

WILLIAMS:  Well, I think what we need to understand is, let‘s talk about marijuana itself. 

Up until 1937, marijuana was a legal drug all over the world.  It was used.  And several U.S. pharmaceutical corporations made prescription medications that you could get from a pharmacy before 1937 with marijuana in it. 

Currently, right this second, for the last 25 years, our government has been distributing marijuana to—it was 12, now seven people who are stricken with various forms of pain and other forms of illnesses.  They have been distributing this for 25 years through a program at the University of Mississippi, where we grow it.  It goes and distributed once a month, I think the 17th of every single month, distributed under a USDA stamp of approval, 50 marijuana cigarettes to people, who they have been using and testing for over 25 years. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s talk about you specifically.


SCARBOROUGH:  What does marijuana do for you at night before you go to bed that helps ease that pain, helps—helps to take away what you‘re going through? 

WILLIAMS:  The same thing—the same thing that a person who might take Vicodin or OxyContin. 

For me—and I‘ll tell you something.  I could take six OxyContin and get the same relief.  But then I‘m just going to drool in the corner and possibly urinate on myself this evening.  I could take seven or eight or nine or 10 or 11, 12, 13 or 14 Vicodin, OK?  I have taken up to four at a time at the same time together to get the same kind of pain relief. 

It‘s—believe me, see, what people—the misconception is that there are a lot people sitting around smoking a joint.  Marijuana can be eaten.  It can be drank in a liquid form.  I utilize it and eat it the same way as I would take a pill about an hour and a half before I go to bed.  And then it gives me about four or five hours of relief while I sleep.

If I wake up in the middle of night and it kicks back him, I can take another pill or I can take another piece of a cookie and go right back to sleep.  And it‘s the same thing as if somebody else took any other any opium-based drug that they sell or get from a pharmacy.

Look, I have a doctor right now who can write me a prescription for morphine, OxyContin.  And guess what, Joe?  I can get a prescription of cocaine that‘s given to me from the pharmacy right down the street, because it‘s a schedule two drug.  If we think our doctors are smart enough to prescribe cocaine, morphine, other barbiturates and amphetamines, why is that same doctor not smart enough to be able to prescribe marijuana, if he thinks it works? 

It is the most ridiculous thing on the planet that we have something else that is available.  And believe me, it doesn‘t work for everybody.  There are probably only 25 percent of people out there who suffer from the type of pain that I have, suffer from, that medicinal marijuana will work for.  But why not make it available to those that it will work for under a doctor‘s supervision?  That‘s where the ignorance in this is all about.

And if our government has been sending it out for 25 years, spending taxpayer dollars, investigating this drug‘s efficacy at the University of Mississippi for 25 years, and they haven‘t figured it out yet, then, first off, anybody involved in the program should be fired.  And, secondly, we ought to be able to sue the federal government, because we can say that, after 25 years, if you have not figured that this works, how could you have been poisoning people if you didn‘t think it works?

And we know it works.  The argument is so ridiculous.  That‘s the reason why the Supreme Court had to decide this time on an interstate commerce ruling.  And the lead justice even said that this is an issue that should be brought before Congress and the will of the people will be heard.  Look, 70 percent of the people polled in America today will tell you that, if their child, their mother, father, sister, brother was laying in a hospital in pain and the only drug available to relieve that pain was medicinal marijuana, they would all agree to give it to their child.  I don‘t understand what the problem is. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Montel Williams, thanks a lot for being with us.

WILLIAMS:  Thank you. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, this debate is going to be raging in Washington for some time. 

WILLIAMS:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We appreciate you being here tonight.  We hope you will come back with a follow-up discussion on this topic. 

And know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

WILLIAMS:  Any time.  Thank you so much for having me, sir. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you. 

WILLIAMS:  Yes, sir.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know what?  I‘ve always been against medical marijuana, but he actually moved me on that issue in that interview. 

Coming up next, Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a very rude welcome when he tries to speak to the next generation at his alma mater.  We‘ll show you the boos, let you hear them, coming up next. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up this Friday, a special Father‘s Day edition of the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.  Hey, you think your dad deserves to be champ?  Just drop me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com.

We‘ll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave his first commencement address yesterday as governor at his alma mater, Santa Monica College.  And he received a lot of cheers, but he also got a very rude response from some. 

During his 15-minute speech, the governor was subjected to booing, jeering and catcalling from a small minority in the audience.  But some professors even turned their backs on the governor.  I got to tell you what.  It was absolutely disgraceful.  I would say that if that‘s how people treated a Republican or a Democrat. 


GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER ®, CALIFORNIA:  I kept that goal in mind.  That was my vision.  I was very clear.  And I knew that one day I would achieve that, because I saw myself as champion.



SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, come on.  I mean, these people are idiots. 

Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Again, whether you agree with him or not, this guy is an immigrant.  He came to America broke.  And he is a rags-to-riches story.  He became governor of the largest, most powerful state in America.  And they are booing him?  An absolute disgrace. 

These people should be ashamed of themselves.  And, obviously, their parents wasted all of their money on their college degrees. 

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  My son better not do that when he graduates. 

Hey, speaking of disgrace, make sure to watch Imus tomorrow morning. 

Just joking, I-Man. 

We‘ll see you tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.



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