updated 7/1/2005 1:33:27 PM ET 2005-07-01T17:33:27

Guest: Wilbur McCauley, Alicia Jacobs, Mark Bowden, Jody Powell, Arlene Ellis-Schipper, Linda Allison, Paul Reynolds

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  One month without Natalee Holloway and growing anger over the investigation.  Tonight‘s top headline:  U.S. officials wage a secret war of words against Aruban officials.  We are going to have an inside story in a special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation. 

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My feeling is, there‘s a possibility that others are involved, including—you know, obviously, the judge, knows more than what he is telling. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  A moment of silence marks one month since Natalee disappeared.  But cries for action are growing at home, as SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY uncovers Senate documents demanding immediate action from Aruba.  With Congress finally involved, will Natalee‘s family get the answers they need? 

Shocking allegations about the new president of Iran.  Was he a terrorist who held Americans hostage for 444 days?  We‘ll talk live with a man who was at the center of that storm during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, President Carter‘s press secretary, Jody Powell. 

Then, a new report you will see here first, with terrifying details of what really happened the night Roy Horn was mauled.  The tiger went for his neck.  Audience members‘ lives were in great danger as trainers tried to make the big cat go.  Was the super show part of a Las Vegas cover-up? 

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Good evening and welcome to the show. 

You know, it‘s been one month to the day since Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba, and there‘s still no sign of the Alabama teenager, and, tonight, shocking results from a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation on Washington‘s secret war of words with Aruban authorities.  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY has obtained Senate documents blasting the Natalee Holloway investigation as—quote—“a dead end,” while FBI officials are bitterly complaining that they have been shut out by Dutch authorities. 

Now, we are going to have a lot more on that exclusive report in one minute.

But, first, let‘s go live to Aruba to NBC‘s Martin Savidge for today‘s latest developments. 

And, Martin, I‘ve just got to start with the question, what‘s been the reaction to your explosive interview with the chief prosecutor last night? 

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, you know, the number one response that you‘ve had from people across the island and even outside of Aruba is that they are amazed as to how much that prosecutor opened up to us.  They really were surprised that she had so much to say when she started talking. 

Ms. Janssen is a woman that is known on the island to be as tough as nails and a woman who doesn‘t say a lot usually, especially to the media, and they were very surprised how she opened up, but, in many cases, very pleased about what they heard from her, that she was straight-talking and that she was not trying to sugarcoat anything about how the investigation was going. 

Let‘s talk about other things going on today on the island, the searching.  It has been dwindling over the past couple of days for a number of reasons.  But, today, we did see Dutch Marines out again on the search for the first time in a couple of weeks.  They were there with the Aruban police. 

The EquuSearch people, they have been scaling back some.  They say they are in the middle of a transition.  They hope to have more people arriving by the weekend to supplement those who had to leave.  Remember, they are volunteers, so they do have day jobs to go back to.  The van der Sloot family, Paul and Anita, for the first time today in a while, they had the opportunity to go visit their son.  That is at the prison where their son is now located, at the opposite end of the island.  KIA is how it‘s referred to.

Paul van der Sloot is not allowed to go visit his son.  He does, of course, drive his wife there.  Only Anita is allowed to go in and talk to their 17-year-old, who continues to be a prime suspect in the case.  It was a day of solidarity throughout the island of Aruba, but especially around this particular area, where the tourists are so heavy, the American influence is felt, and, of course, where the family of Natalee Holloway waits for word on the fate of that young woman. 

They had a special ceremony that took place late in the afternoon.  And it was quite moving to watch, as hundreds of people, those involved in the tourist industry, those who are just Arubans that wanted to be there, and, in many cases, tourists who stopped the vacation for the moment to join hands, to have a moment of silence, to listen and take part in a prayer, and be as one, as they thought about Natalee Holloway exactly one month since her disappearance. 

One very poignant sign, too, about the feelings of the United States and Aruba, there‘s a very tall hotel on the edge of the strip here.  Almost every day, it has an Aruban flag flying atop.  Today, something different, a huge American flag, a sign of solidarity—Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Martin, thanks so much.  We greatly appreciate your report. 

Now, tonight, disturbing reports out of Washington regarding this case.  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY has obtained documents from a powerful U.S.  senator that was sent yesterday to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Aruban prime minister, letters demanding a more aggressive investigation into Natalee‘s disappearance. 

Now, copies of those letters were provided to Natalee Holloway‘s family and also members of the Dutch Embassy.  Senator Shelby‘s office refused any comment tonight, but they did confirm—and this is all they would confirm to me—that the letters had been sent. 

The letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reads in part—quote—“Dear Madam Secretary, I am writing today regarding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  I request you engage the Aruban government in dialogue regarding their ongoing investigation of Ms.  Holloway‘s disappearance.  I am told that, while Aruban government officials initially invited the FBI to the island, the government did not grant the FBI sufficient investigative authority over the case.  I believe that it is essential the FBI be allowed to participate in a meaningful and substantive way.”

The letter to the prime minister of Aruba is also equally blunt.  The senator wrote—quote—“Dear prime minister, I believe the government of Aruba should invite the United States‘ Federal Bureau of Investigation to become an active participation in the ongoing investigation in a full and substantive manner.  The FBI was initially invited to Aruba to observe the investigation into Natalee‘s disappearance.  However, they had no clearly defined role, nor were they granted sufficient investigative authority over the case.”

The letter goes on to say this: “It is troubling to think that our governments are not working together to resolve this investigation.  It is my hope,” the senator says, “that the government of Aruba will formally request the assistance of the FBI and grant them full access to all evidence and information pertinent to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  I believe you will agree that it is imperative this case be resolved quickly and that it‘s done with the FBI‘s active involvement—unquote. 

Now, friends, I have learned much more.  U.S. officials also told me today that FBI agents in Aruba have grown increasingly frustrated with this investigation, with one agent complaining—quote—“They have not allowed us to do ‘blank,‘ anything.”  You fill in the blank. 

U.S. officials also complained tonight that the Dutch government is calling all the shots in this—quote—“incestual investigation” and all the power does not lie in Aruba.  All the power lies in the Netherlands.  An official told me—quote—“Everybody down there is protecting their friends.”  That‘s how one Washington official summed up the entire Natalee Holloway investigation. 

Now, some in Washington say it‘s because the Dutch police chief is—quote—“best friends” with Paul van der Sloot.  With much of official Washington seemingly convinced that the Dutch government is engaging in a cover-up of the investigation, what can the Alabama teenager‘s family do to find justice in this tiny Caribbean nation? 

Well, with us now, let‘s bring in a member of that family.  I believe we have with us Paul Reynolds. 

Paul, obviously, we have been following this story for some time.  But talking to you, here we have now a U.S. senator getting involved, taking the secretary of state of the United States to task and taking Aruban officials to task for not letting the FBI participate in this investigation.  What can you tell me about this senator‘s involvement and the letters? 

PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  We are very glad to hear that response.  We think it‘s certainly needed.  When we hear reports that the father went on Dutch television and said that he was not even interrogated, we lose confidence in the system that‘s there and what‘s been happening. 

We thought the FBI was coming in to assist in the beginning.  We were very comfortable when they started arriving on the island.  You know, we were hopeful that the concerns we had about the preferential treatment they might be receiving on the island, that would be alleviated.

But it just—it—we don‘t see that.  Time...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Paul, you know, I am hearing two things today, Paul. 

First of all, I get a copy of these documents from the senator‘s

office.  The senator, of course, won‘t talk to us.  But we get these

documents that were mailed out yesterday.  And, in the documents, the

senator is clearly saying the FBI is not involved.  Then we talk to an

official in Washington, D.C., who tells us that the FBI is bitterly

complaining—quote—“We are not allowed to do ‘blank.‘”

Very angry, and the FBI is angry.  Does the family share the FBI‘s anger, and has the family heard from the FBI that they are being cut off at the pass every single time? 

REYNOLDS:  They don‘t actually say that to us, but we can certainly see that in the activities that are going on.  They are simply not involved.  The fact that they were leaving the island, most of the agents were leaving in the middle of the investigation, certainly was a signal to us that they weren‘t being allowed access. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Paul, you have also, of course, had—what are they?  EquuSearch, I think it is.  EquuSearch has been involved in this.  They are out of Texas.  They went down there.  I have also been getting reports out of Washington today that they have been frustrated, that they haven‘t been given all the resources that they needed.  What can you tell us about that search?  Are they getting frustrated?  And are they about to come home because the Dutch authorities are standing in the way? 

REYNOLDS:  I haven‘t actually heard those reports.

But in seeing the past activity, that would not surprise me at all.  Every aspect of this investigation has been delayed and postponed, and, you know, it‘s just not effective. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Can you tell me, Paul, how angry the family is tonight with the Dutch authorities?  And do you think the real problem here lies with the Dutch authorities, as I have been told today from all my sources in Washington, D.C., or is it with the Aruban authorities? 

REYNOLDS:  It‘s hard for us to differentiate, but certainly we can see that Aruba is not cooperating. 

I saw in one of the local newspapers today that they are forming a committee to protect the image of Aruba.  I don‘t think their priority is appropriate here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We don‘t think it is, Paul.  Thank you for being with us.  Paul Reynolds, as always, we greatly appreciate it.  And thank you so much for all the hard work you are doing.  We are going to continue reporting on this. 

Friends, let me tell you something.  This is an incestuous investigation.  That‘s what Washington officials are saying.  I have got to tell you, it‘s so obvious.  You look at this.  You have the Dutch government.  And I was told—another source told me today, if you really want to know what‘s going on in Aruba, if you want to understand why we can‘t get to the bottom of anything, you know what?  You can‘t search for answers in Aruba.  You have got to follow it, follow that trail all the way over to the Netherlands, because that‘s where the real power of this investigation is.

And they are the ones that many in Washington, D.C., believe are covering up this investigation.  We are also hearing that, obviously, from agents in Aruba. 

Now, we are going to be back live in Aruba for more on the Natalee Holloway case.  We are going to have Natalee‘s aunt, Linda Allison.  She will be here to join us about the family‘s struggle just to get the facts and to keep the investigation going.  We are going to be asking for her reaction to today‘s developments.

And, later, they were held hostage for 444 days.  Now some U.S.  hostages are saying one of their captors is the new president of Iran.  That‘s right, the same president who said he was going to make that country go nuclear.  How should the U.S. handle this latest crisis? 

And, later, what really happened the night the tiger attacked famed illusionist Roy Horn.  A new report says it could have been much worse.  We are going to have the inside details on that.  You are not going to want to miss it.

Hey, friends, we are just getting started tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Growing anger among U.S. officials that there may be a cover-up going on in Aruba in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  We will have that report and much more when this special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY continues. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  While the search for Natalee continues, the questions remain.  Are the authorities in Aruba doing everything they can to resolve this case in the mad search for Natalee Holloway?  Are they keeping information from the FBI and Natalee‘s family? 

With us now live from Aruba, Arlene Ellis-Schipper.  She‘s an attorney down there. 

Arlene, thank you so much for being with us. 

You know, there‘s growing anger in America over what many consider in Washington, D.C., to be a cover-up.  But there also seems to be growing anger in Aruba.  Yesterday, you have the prosecutor come—coming out and delivering a somewhat harsh attack on the father.  What is going on down there?  Is there a growing impatience with this investigation, with the judicial system? 

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY:  Well, first of all, Aruba‘s reputation is on the line here.  Aruba has absolutely nothing to gain by covering up anything.  So, I am sure that it‘s not happening. 

Frustration?  I think on all parties have frustration about this case.  We all want this case resolved as much as possible as you do.  So, I think you are right that there‘s frustration both on the camp of the prosecution office and in the states, yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I talked to law enforcement officers in America and Washington, D.C., today.  What they told me was that, when they talked to the prime minister, the prime minister was saying that this investigation is being run out of the Netherlands.  When they talk to Dutch authorities, they say, no, no, it‘s an Aruban investigation.  Help us out here. 

Who is in charge of this police investigation?  Is it the Aruban prime minister, that government, or is it the Dutch government? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  No. 

Aruba, like any other country in Europe, has a division of powers.  We have what we called by Montesquieu the trias politica.  We have the executive power.  We have the legislative power.  And we have the judicial power.  The judicial power includes the police and the prosecutor.  They lead the investigation. 

Now, what was the minister, president, referring to is the Dutch

Marines.  If you want help of the Dutch Marines, that is something of the

Dutch government, because, as you know, Aruban—Aruba is part of the

kingdom of Holland.  And our defense, including the Dutch Marines, is run

by the Dutch government. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  So, the Dutch are in charge of the investigation. 

What can you tell us about the...

(CROSSTALK)

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  No, no, no, no, no, no.  I‘m—I‘m sorry. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead.

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  The Dutch are not in charge of the investigation.  I am saying the judicial power in Aruba, including the police and the prosecution, those are in charge of the investigation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  If you want help from Dutch Marines, that is Dutch. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Well, that—I will tell you what.  That clarifies something that goes against what I heard today from a law enforcement official. 

What can you tell us about the Dutch Marines?  Do they usually like to go it alone, or do you—can you give us any insight as to why the FBI may not be able to help as actively in this investigation as they would like?  Would it be unprecedented in Aruba for the FBI or a foreign investigative agency to come in and take part in this type of investigation? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Of course it‘s unprecedented, like it would be in the U.S. for a foreign country to take part in an investigation. 

The FBI simply doesn‘t have jurisdiction in Aruba, as the Aruban authorities have, of course.  The FBI has an advisory role in this part—in this—in this country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Arlene, thank you so much.  We greatly appreciate your insights and shining a light on some of these questions we have.  As always, we appreciate you being with us. 

Now let‘s bring in former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.

You know what, Clint?  I am just going to tell you the truth, OK?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  Yes.  Yes.   

SCARBOROUGH:  This young lady, she is an attorney.  She doesn‘t represent the Aruban government.  She doesn‘t represent Dutch authorities.  I am not going to invite her on and beat her up.  She can‘t answer for them, but I can tell you what I learned today.  I learned the FBI is mad as hell.  They are being shut out.  They are swearing.  They are saying, we are not being allowed to do anything. 

And I am also hearing from Washington officials that this is an incestuous investigation, that everybody knows everybody down there, and Americans are being kept at an arm‘s length.  I tell you what, something smells in Aruba.  What do we do?  What can the FBI do tonight? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, Joe, every time as an FBI agent that I have been in a foreign country, it‘s somewhere between, “Go into a hotel room; stay there; if we have anything to tell you, we‘ll tell you; otherwise, don‘t leave the hotel room,” to, “Get your gun and come with us; we are going out to arrest terrorists, and you are part of the team.”

So, every country is going to do it different.  As your last guest suggested, it may be unprecedented in Aruba, but there are a lot of countries that would at least allow FBI agents to physically sit in the same room and be part of the actual interview team that‘s interviewing the suspects.  In this case, the Aruban authorities said, no, best-case scenario, FBI, sit in another room, watch it on closed-circuit television.  It‘s our country.  We‘ll tell you what we can do and can‘t do. 

That‘s why you see the FBI team has been reduced.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Clint, though—hey, Clint.

VAN ZANDT:  Yes.  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, man, this is like Disneyland down there.  They had one homicide last year, and they are telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation, thanks guys, but no thanks.  We don‘t need your help. 

Come on.  I bet there were more murders at Disneyland last year than in Aruba.

VAN ZANDT:  Well, you know, Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what do you do if you are an FBI agent and you know it‘s an incestuous relationship down there, you know there‘s a cover-up going on?  What do you do?

VAN ZANDT:  Well, you got a couple of choices. 

One, you could go in and get everybody upset, and they expect you are going to come in with the big FBI boots on, and they are not going to let you do it.  Otherwise, you kind of finesse your way in.  The finessing hasn‘t worked.  That‘s why you see the team from about a dozen agents down to one or two agents, because I don‘t think the FBI is going to sit there and pretend they are doing something, when the Arubans are not allowing them to do it.

And, Joe, Joe, we are 30 days behind.  Things could have been, should have been, would have been done, you know, you can‘t back that train up.  So, the Arubans, if they solve it, good.  If they don‘t, they got to take the hit on this one. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Again, you know, I talked to somebody in—up in Washington today, another person who told me that everybody is trying to protect everybody‘s friend. 

Well, Clint, you talked about 30 days passing by, nothing getting done, all of these mistakes happening, these boys being released for 11 days, the father being allowed to stay away for, what, three weeks? 

VAN ZANDT:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, let‘s face it.  Give me—give me—you have done this your entire life.  Give me your professional advice.  If these officials had wanted to botch this investigation, if they wanted to protect a friend‘s son, if they wanted to stop Natalee from ever being found, could they have planned it any better than these Aruban authorities have planned it? 

VAN ZANDT:  I hear what you are saying, and I would like to heap coals on their head, Joe.

But I think part of it is just the lack of experience.  And Arubans are proud of that.  They will say, we are proud that we don‘t work homicide cases, like FBI agents and NYPD does.  But the flip side of that is that, when they do an interview, they say, OK, what do you have to say?  Thank you very much.  Close the notebook and walk out, where the FBI is ready to play good cop/bad cop, ready to psych them out, ready to play their words against each other. 

They don‘t do it like we do in our league, Joe.  It‘s a while ‘nother country, and that‘s part of it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN ZANDT:  It is another country.  And they do it different. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s minor leagues, Clint.  It‘s minor leagues. 

Clint, as always, thanks for being with us and helping us understand what‘s going on in this case.  We really appreciate it. 

VAN ZANDT:  Thanks, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, let‘s go back live to Aruba.  I want to talk to Natalee‘s aunt once again, Linda Allison.

Linda, thank you for being with us tonight.

Obviously, you have got a United States senator, you‘ve got secretary of state, you‘ve got a lot of law enforcement officers very angry about what‘s going on down there in Aruba.  Tell me, why did you all get the United States Senate involved? 

LINDA ALLISON, AUNT OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, I think, obviously, the more voices that are being heard throughout the United States, that that just helps us in our case of not knowing anything.  And this has gone on for 30 days and we still don‘t know anything from the day one that we were here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Are the Dutch officials covering up this investigation, covering up the facts on what really happened to Natalee? 

ALLISON:  It would be hard for me to speculate at this time.  The Dutch law is so different than it is in the United States.

And, of course, the FBI are not considered to be part of the investigation, only an advisory role.  And what I understand with the prosecuting attorney‘s office is that they play a few cards.  This is like a poker game, so that, when they hold the three suspects, in order for them to hold them, detain them longer, they just allow as little information as possible, only because they don‘t want the defense—the defense attorneys to be able to have time to react to the information that they do have once it comes to trial. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Linda, let‘s hope that‘s the case. 

Stay with us, Linda.  I want to talk about the FBI.  I also want to talk about the ongoing search, but we have to go to a quick break. 

Coming up, they were taken hostage in 1979.  Now, 30 years later, they say one of their captors is the new president of Iran, yes, the same president who wants to bring nukes to that country. 

We‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We are going to be going back to Aruba in one minute to continue with Natalee‘s aunt.  That‘s next. 

Also, heartless thieves with a pick of the litter stealing a dozen helpless puppies, it‘s all caught on tape.  That story also coming up. 

But, first, here‘s the latest news that you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  A solemn prayer walk this morning in Aruba, as family and friends mark one month since the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. 

Let‘s go back to Aruba and talk to Natalee‘s aunt, Linda Allison. 

Linda, I want to ask you about a strong statement Senator Shelby put in his letter to Condoleezza Rice, our secretary of state.  He said the investigation is in Aruba is—quote—“at a dead end,” and that‘s why he said the FBI needs to be brought in.  Do you agree with that assessment? 

ALLISON:  I would tend to agree, because we are 30 days into this investigation, and we still don‘t have information.

And, if they truly do not have homicide, if that is what this case is going to be, they should have contacted the Dutch government in the very beginning.  If they don‘t have the experience here on the island to handle this case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Linda, final question.  What can we in America do tonight?  Do you want us to write our senators, our congressmen, our president?  How can we help you? 

ALLISON:  Well, obviously, any voice out there would be helpful in any way. 

I do know, on another note, that the prime minister‘s office has been in contact with me since Sunday evening.  And I made a specific request for us to utilize the Dutch Marines with the EquuSearch group.  They told me yesterday afternoon they had completed the paperwork, and all of that type of information was completed, and that the—it was just a matter of getting the logistics of the Dutch Marines out.

And then we learned this afternoon, after making a few phone calls, that the police chief is actually the one who can activate the Marines because of the way, again, the governmental structure is here.  The prime minister doesn‘t have control over the Dutch Marines.  It‘s actually the police authorities.  So, they actually were activated this morning by van Straaten, and not to any of our knowledge.

And I don‘t know why they chose not to start doing an additional search with the Dutch Marines, after we had requested that the Dutch Marines be working with EquuSearch.  So, there‘s a lot of miscommunication going on here. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  A lot of miscommunication, a lot of unanswered questions, and it all adds up to a tragedy. 

Linda, thanks again for being with us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  And, again, we are behind the family.  We will continue praying for you and also for Natalee. 

ALLISON:  Thank you so much. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD SHARER, FORMER U.S. HOSTAGE IN IRAN:  When you are in a life-threatening environment and somebody is threatening you, you don‘t forget their face.  That is burned into your memory. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, there‘s another story out there that has a lot of people talking today, five men taken hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held for 444 hellish days now say that one of their captors is the newly elected president of Iran. 

They all got to talking right after the election, and they are sure it‘s the same man.  Listen to what they had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES SCOTT, FORMER U.S. HOSTAGE IN IRAN:  When I spotted him, I stopped dead in my tracks and said to my wife, I know that guy.  He was one of them.  There are certain things that were permanently burned into your psyche and your memory. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Of course, the Iranians tonight are denying the whole thing. 

With me now to talk about it, we have got former press secretary for President Jimmy Carter Jody Powell.  And also with us by phone is Mark Bowden.  He is the author of “Black Hawk down” and also the author of “Among the Hostage Takers,” a fascinating article about Iran in the recent edition of “The Atlantic Monthly.”

Jody Powell, let me begin with you.  You know, you went through this, obviously, albeit from Washington.  You went through those 444 agonizing days.  What are your emotions tonight, looking at this man now running Iran who may have been at the center of the hostage crisis? 

JODY POWELL, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER:  Well, my first thought was that, if this proves to be true, then it faces the current president with a very serious dilemma. 

On the one hand, you cannot countenance people who do violence and crimes against our diplomats.  On the other hand, we have a very serious challenge there in what is apparently the policy of the Iranian government to develop nuclear weapons.  So, he is going to have to figure out a way to balance those two and come up with a policy that is in the best long-term interests of the country and then the political courage to—to implement it. 

I saw a president face challenges and come up with what he thought was in the best interests of the country and show time and time again the political courage to implement it, even when it hurt. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mark Bowden, you have written about these people, these terrorists that took over our—our embassy back in 1979.  Tell me about the hostage takers.  Tell me about this one man.  If he was a hostage taker in 1979, what does it say about him?  What does it say about new leadership in Iran? 

MARK BOWDEN, AUTHOR, “BLACK HAWK DOWN”:  Well, I think Ahmadinejad was one of the central figures in the takeover of the embassy. 

And, you know, I have been reporting, researching this story for four years and have been to Tehran twice to find the original hostage takers.  And, really, before Ahmadinejad became a prominent candidate for president, I was able to put together a list of the primary—or the prime movers in that group, and he was definitely one of them. 

The takeover of the embassy is a crime.  There‘s no other way of looking at it.  It was denounced by the U.N.  The hostage takers were condemned by the International Court of Justice.  Everyone who respects the need for diplomacy as an important method of peacefully resolving disputes has to regard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and these fellow hostage takers as criminals. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But this new leader says that he wasn‘t part of it.  He said that he was worried at the very beginning that the whole world would invade them because of what they did.  Is he lying to us today? 

BOWDEN:  Well, I think that you have to look carefully at what his denial says.  It‘s probably true that he had misgivings about doing it, because I think anyone with common sense could see that this could be something that would result in a disaster.

And I think it has for Iran.  And he also has not denied being a part

of the student group that took over the embassy.  He has denied actually

personally holding hostages, which may be technically true, because it was

·         you know, they had a lot of minions who actually guarded the hostages and handled them.  He was a member of the sort of controlling governing group of students who made the decision to do it and ran it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds like a difference without a difference. 

Jody Powell, let me bring you back in here. 

I just got to ask you a question.  How could the Bush administration not know that this man that was obviously in the running to run one of the so-called members of the axis of evil, how could they not know that he had connection to the 1979 taking? 

POWELL:  Well, I have to assume that they do know.  And I certainly hope that assumption is correct. 

The alternative would be a much more frightening and discouraging proposition.  So, I really hope our government knows more than it‘s admitting right now and is—is hard at work sorting through a very thorny problem over how we—how we—how we deal with it. 

I just want to underscore what Mark said earlier, that the fundamental fact of diplomacy is that no government can protect its diplomats all around the world with any high degree of certainty.  So, you have to rely upon the host governments to do that.  That is a huge principle in relations amongst nations.  And when individuals or governments—and it was the government in this case in Iran—violate that, then there can‘t be pardons and impunity.

There has to be reckoning.  And, as Mark said, there has been a huge reckoning for the Iranian people. 

(CROSSTALK)

POWELL:  What they suffered in consequence of that has just been—has just been horrendous.  All the Iranian mothers who lost sons by the hundreds of thousands in the war with Iraq, if they want to look at the people responsible for that, most responsible, look at those who planned and executed the taking of those hostages and the holding of them for those 400-plus days.  That‘s what brought that war on. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You are exactly right.  Thank you so much, Jody Powell. 

We greatly appreciate you being with us.

Also, Mark Bowden, we appreciate your insights to this fascinating, and I will tell you what, dangerous story. 

You know, since 1979, Iran has been the epicenter of terrorism around the globe.  Now the fact that we have a man who was involved in the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, the implications that he now says he is going to take this country nuclear is absolutely frightening.  And it has to be perhaps the top concern now on the Bush administration‘s foreign policy list. 

Coming up next, changing gears completely, the tiger attack that made headlines around the world, well Roy Horn nearly mauled to death.  But, tonight, we take you inside the investigation, with new details about what really happened and maybe how you should think twice before you take your family to a show like his. 

Also, caught on tape, a dozen dogs scooped out of their cages and stolen for cash. 

We will show you what happened when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, it‘s been 21 months now since Roy Horn was attacked during his Las Vegas show, leaving him paralyzed.  This week, incredible new details have been revealed.  The government report on the incident is now public. 

In its 233 pages, the report still can‘t explain why the tiger attacked.  One eyewitness to the report described that night, said—said this, said: “Roy let go of the leash.  And the tiger started to walk toward the audience.  Roy signaled the tiger to come back.  At that point, the Tiger grabbed Roy‘s hand.  Roy smacked the tiger on the nose, but the tiger would not let go. 

“Roy smacked the tiger several times, not with great force, with the microphone he had in his hand.  At that point, the tiger grabbed Roy by the leg, which caused Roy to fall, losing control of the tiger.  The tiger then appeared to grab Roy by the upper arm and neck and started dragging him across the stage.  I will never forget the fear in Roy‘s face when the tiger made him trip to the ground and Roy realized had last control.”

Another eyewitness to that night said: “He was dragged off stage by the cat.  I heard his screams over his microphone and across the stage.  The blood, it was  mess.”

With me now to talk about the bloody scene that night are Wilbur McCauley.  He‘s a federally licensed animal trainer.  And also Alicia Jacobs, she‘s a reporter for KVBC in Las Vegas. 

Let‘s begin with you, Alicia.  You, of course, are a reporter out in Las Vegas.  You have seen this report, heard about it.  What can you add to it?  What can you tell us, what they are saying out in Vegas about it? 

ALICIA JACOBS, KVBC REPORTER:  Well, of course, those of us here have been living with this story since 2003.

I have to tell you, though, I have known Roy Horn for a long time.  I have covered Siegfried & Roy.  I have been there to do an interview.  And I have seen with my own eyes Roy meditating with these tigers.  It‘s truly one of the most remarkable sights I‘ve ever seen.  And given that and other things that I have borne witness to, for instance, I mean, he is practically a midwife when these cubs are born.

He‘s there from the moment they come into this world.  The relationship is phenomenal.  It is my belief, and those who are probably closer to Siegfried & Roy, that, whatever took place that night, Montecore, however it happened, believed he was saving Roy.  Roy stumbled.  Of course, he was correcting the tiger in an appropriate way, stumbled.

And Montecore, in his own mind, thought he was saving Roy, picked him up the only way he knew how to, and tried to drag him to safety.  I think we all know that if he were trying to kill Roy, it would have happened within five seconds.  I mean, who are we kidding?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, obviously could have killed Roy very easily. 

I want to go to page three of 233.  On page three of 233 pages, the report says this—quote—“There is no barrier to protect the animals from the public or the public from the animals.  The tiger was not under direct control during the performance.”

Wilbur, would you agree with that?  And, if that‘s the case, how can we ever mix tigers and trainers and audiences in a show like this together? 

WILBUR MCCAULEY, FEDERALLY LICENSED TRAINER:  Well, when you are doing a show like that, your first priority is to keep the audience safe.  Your second priority is keep your employees safe.  And your third priority would be to keep the animals safe. 

Now, there should be some kind of barrier or structure that would keep the cat from coming out into the audience.  This would protect the audience. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You mean like a cage? 

MCCAULEY:  It could be a cage.  It could be a moat, like you would see in the zoos as a—I run a sanctuary, and we are required to have barriers to keep the public from getting close to these animals. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Alicia, you know, the—I guess the most disturbing thing for a lot of people that went to that show that night and a lot of people that are reading the report now is, they still don‘t know what happened.  It‘s still a mystery.

And if Roy lost control of that tiger, what would have stopped the tiger from going into the audience and killing some of the audience members? 

JACOBS:  That‘s a very good point. 

And because of that, there are some other local magicians, Rick Thomas, for example, who is here in Las Vegas, who is now going to have safety devices, cables and invisible wires, with his animals, because, truly, if this could happen to someone like Roy Horn, it could happen to anyone.  So, if anything good could come of this, I think these safety precautions are really a great thing.  And, hopefully, they will be followed by all magicians who do work with animals. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wilbur, have we seen the end of shows like Siegfried & Roy? 

MCCAULEY:  I don‘t believe so, because people out there want to see wild animals.

Unfortunately, these animals are performing and they are going to be in close contact with the audiences, but they are dangerous animals.  They are wild by nature.  They have instincts that can not be removed.  Anyone tells you they can remove these instincts, you are going to see more of these incidents like this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You are exactly right. 

Hey, Wilbur, thanks for being with us. 

Alicia, greatly appreciate your report.  We‘ll see you later. 

Coming up next, what they needed there was a guard dog.  Caught on tape, a dozen puppies stolen.  Coming up next, find out what the joke may be on the thieves. 

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, caught on tape, pathetic puppy thieves. 

That‘s next.

And, also, if you want to be the smartest person at work tomorrow morning, well, you can get a good start by reading my morning read at Joe.MSNBC.com. 

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And, finally tonight, outraged dog owners all over Central Florida are on the lookout for these two pathetic puppy perpetrators.

They were caught on camera robbing an Orlando puppy store on Wednesday.  A Web cam in the store caught the masked thieves scooping the puppies up from the crates, taking 12 puppies in all, mostly the smallest breeds in the store.  Now, cops believe they were stolen to sell on the street.  What these dumb criminals didn‘t realize is that, while the puppies are cute, they don‘t have a high street value without documentation. 

Now, in the store, these little guys would fetch about $5,000.  But, without papers, they are worthless.  The store‘s owner is offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the return of his lost pups.  He is obviously very upset. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYLER THOMPSON, STORE OWNER:  I just feel sorry for those dogs, because they don‘t deserve those dogs to come in and steal.  How are they going to take care of them? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  A real-life “101 Dalmatians.”

Well, that‘s the all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks for being with us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Stick around, because “HARDBALL” is next.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,