updated 7/13/2005 10:06:58 AM ET 2005-07-13T14:06:58

Guest: Alan Ramsey, Peter King, Steve Zeitchik, Caryl Matrisciana, Vinda

De Sousa, Paul Reynolds

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight's top headline: questions of whether one of the suspects confessed in the Natalee Holloway case. 

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

As the three suspects in Aruba were hauled back into court, a report surfaces that one suspect confessed a month ago that something terrible happened to Natalee.  Her uncle is here with us live with all the details.  Plus, the latest on Joran van der Sloot's effort to get out of jail. 

Then, a theme park ride leaves a teenager in critical condition.  Was it the ride or a preexisting health problem that could have been detected? 

Plus, the two American sisters injured in the terror attacks in London, they are now recovering in a North Carolina hospital.  And we will have a full report on how they are doing. 

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, good evening, and welcome to the show. 

You know, it's been 45 days now since Mountain Brook, Alabama, teenager Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba.  Only one suspect is in custody and no formal charges have been filed.  But, today, there was a major court hearing, as key suspect Joran van der Sloot actually asked the court to let him out of jail. 

Now let's go to NBC's Michelle Kosinski for the very latest. 

Michelle, get us up to date with everything that happened today. 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, as you know, there's been so frustratingly little information coming out on this case, either from the courts or from the search.  Remember, it's been six weeks, and still there's no sign of Natalee Holloway on this island. 

And people had really been looking forward to this big day in court, five appeals before a judge, and now we are hearing from attorneys that there's some new development, some new evidence presented by the prosecution to the judge.  And that has been a tantalizing piece of information. 

We will set the scene a little for you.  We saw Joran van der Sloot arrive for court this morning, not sitting relaxed or smiling in the back seat of a police car.  But this time, his head was tucked down very low both coming and going from the court, below his arms in the back seat.  Also, we saw the brothers Satish and Deepak Kalpoe arrive separately with their attorneys. 

Now, attorneys do tell us that there was just some new information that was presented today.  One told us that it's a new development.  Another said that there were some new affidavits filed that may include new statements from other people in this case.  But, at this point, nobody wants to talk about it. 

All the attorneys say, hey, it doesn't pertain to my client, but, you know, it has to pertain to someone or something for the prosecution to further this case. 


DAVID KOCK, ATTORNEY FOR SATISH KALPOE:  There are developments, but not pertaining to my client. 

QUESTION:  And that is the key question here.  What new evidence is there?  Can you discuss the new evidence at all?  I mean, what...

KOCK:  No.  As it does not pertain to my client, I would rather not. 

QUESTION:  Which client does it pertain to? 

QUESTION:  On what grounds?  What grounds did you have, sir?  Did they say...

KOCK:  I think, once the other attorneys come out, then you might hear from them.  But I would prefer not to comment on that. 

QUESTION:  Primarily Joran?  Can you say yes or no?


KOCK:  ... the question. 

QUESTION:  The public prosecutor has said that there were grounds. 

What grounds were there to hold your client? 

KOCK:  Well, I don't think they are ever going to say there are no grounds and come and ask for an appeal. 


KOSINSKI:  Well, that exchange for you just sums things up.  That is the way we get information on the proceedings.  Remember, up until this point, nothing has been filed publicly because no one has been convicted, so we rely solely on what attorneys will or will not tell us. 

Now, as for these appeals, the prosecution wants the Kalpoe brothers

put back in jail.  And Joran van der Sloot's attorney wants him out of

jail.  We are expecting a ruling from a judge on that on Thursday afternoon

·         Joe, back to you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Michelle, for most Americans, this is shocking, that a case this important not only for the American people, but, more importantly, for Aruba and for their—for their travel industry, is veiled completely in secrecy.  We don't know what went on inside the courtroom, despite the fact this is probably one of the most important cases in Aruban history. 

Do all the proceedings, do all the appeals go this way? 

KOSINSKI:  Yes, up until point that someone is convicted. 

In fact, it's unusual.  In this case, we are seeing the full names of suspects.  Often, in the newspapers, you will see just initials, up until the point that something really happens that will tell you guilt or innocence.  And this has caused a lot of tension because it's easy for Americans to come here and say, you know, this is so closed, this is terrible.

But people here will defend this.  They will say, well, someone's name could be all over the media, all over the papers.  You know, they have television news here, too.  They could be known and then be found to be innocent.  And many people here would rather have that secrecy to protect people's privacy up until that point that they are found guilty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Michelle, thank you so much for the report tonight.  We greatly appreciate it. 

Now, a newspaper in Aruba has reported that, soon after Joran van der Sloot was arrested in June, he broke down crying and told police that he and the Kalpoe brothers had buried Natalee.  But then, soon after, he stopped cooperating with investigators, about the same time his father spoke with him.  And, according to the paper, there was actually a confession in this case. 

With me now is Natalee's uncle Paul Reynolds. 

Paul, thank you so much for being with us. 

I don't want to talk about this Dutch, Aruban newspaper report.  What I do want to talk about is what you and the family were told by authorities.  Did they ever tell you, did any government authorities ever tell you that there was a confession in this case regarding Natalee? 

PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  I know that my sister had a meeting with the FBI June 10, Friday.  And from that meeting, she became convinced that Natalee was no longer alive.  She called her mother and told her that.  And our family was—was—began the grieving process. 

You know, we were told the report would come out the next day.  Later that night, we saw the reports that confessions had been made, that something bad had happened.  Shortly thereafter, it was retracted.  The next morning, there was a report that said Natalee was confirmed dead.  And these reports came from the deputy commissioner.  They came from the spokesperson from the Ministry of Justice.

And then, all of a sudden, these statements and these confessions just disappeared. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And wait a second.  I mean, these confessions were so rock solid that you actually had the FBI coming to you, coming to your family, Natalee's family, saying, we are sorry to tell you this, but there has been a confession.  One of these boys has confessed, and Natalee is no longer alive. 

How do you pull something like that back off the table?  Have you had or has your sister had or has anybody in the family had any explanation from Aruban officials whatever happened to this confession, where they buried it? 

REYNOLDS:  I am not aware of any follow-up information.  You know, this seemed to disappear from sight, these confessions did. 

At the time, we thought that because the investigation is kept secret, we thought it was ongoing, and maybe they just didn't want to release it officially at that time.  But, as we see that the appeals, the hearings are showing there's no evidence, but yet we have these confessions, it doesn't make any sense.  It's as if they are being hidden or taken away. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, you said—talked about June the 10th.  That's when you all were told that the confession had been made, and you said that the family actually started a grieving process.  What did the family do? 

REYNOLDS:  You know, grieving is—it's a difficult process.  We were all notified.  We exchanged phone calls, making sure everyone in the family was notified.  I even had to tell my children, very upsetting to them, very upsetting to all of us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, Paul.  Are you telling me, back on June the 10th, you told your children, based on the confession of one of these—these punks that took Natalee away from the bar, that Natalee was dead?  This was over a month ago.  You had to break it to your family, the entire family, Natalee's entire family, because of the confessions, knew that she was dead, and yet here we are over a month later, and they are still claiming they don't have enough evidence to nail these guys? 

REYNOLDS:  That's absolutely correct. 

You know, the FBI had informed my sister based on the initial interrogations that that was their belief.  That information was given to our family.  And it's just—it's a very difficult thing to go through.  Grieving should only be a process you have to go through one time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Paul, despite that, a lot of legal experts that I have been talking to over the past 24, 48 hours are saying they believe it is possible that van der Sloot may walk. 

When—when this top-secret process—and, of course, now maybe we understand why the process is so top-secret, because there's obviously so much favoritism down in Aruba, that they want to be able to bury confessions, if they need to do that.  They want to be able to play favorites.  You have got a police chief report, from all reports, from what we understand, very, very close.

Government officials have told me, as well as you, that this police chief is best friends with the van der Sloots.  I mean, and yet, we are hearing on Thursday—there's the police chief right there.  We are hearing on Thursday by a lot of people that van der Sloot may walk because of the top-secret hearing that was held today. 

Is there anything you all can do about it if they decide to let him go? 

REYNOLDS:  Well, we feel there are numerous problems with the investigation that question his credibility, you know, the—not taking the suspects into custody, the disappearing confessions, refusal to use the assistance of the FBI, not working with EquuSearch, keeping them from the van der Sloot property. 

There are so many questions.  We feel that the authorities need to bring in an outside investigation to make sure and bring back credibility to this investigation, this process, and let us know what happened. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Paul.  We are going to stay with you, obviously, over the next few days, see what happens.  And I will tell you what.  You are exactly right.  We need answers.  There's a miscarriage of justice that's going on in Aruba right now.  The investigation has been a sham from day one.  We could list 1,000 things that they did wrong.

But the main thing is, it smacks of favoritism.  I told you that the first week.  I am still sticking with it.  Favoritism in Aruba is basically protecting Natalee—whoever abducted Natalee and, unfortunately, what we are hearing from the family, possibly murdered Natalee. 

We are going to be talking more about the Holloway case right after a short break.

I'm also going to be bringing you my recent interview with the mother of the prime suspect, Joran van der Sloot. 

And then, with the new “Harry Potter” book coming out in just days, a movement out there to ban it.  What don't they want your kids to read?  We will talk to you about that later. 

Plus, the White House press corps is out for blood and it's all about Karl Rove.  Could he end up getting kicked out of the West Wing?  And does he deserve it?  We will talk about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, my recent interview with the mother of the key suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  Plus, I am going to be talking to Natalee Holloway's parents' attorney, ask her what in the world happened today and whether Joran van der Sloot is going to walk. 

That's when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at pictures of Joran van der Sloot.  He's in the back seat of a police car with his head down, leaving the Aruban courthouse.  Obviously, Aruba and America focused on this young man, the key suspect in the case.

And, you know, he's—he obviously had a hearing today as part of his effort to get out of jail.  We may know as soon as Thursday if the three-panel judge—the three-judge panel will set him free.

But who is this young man many believe is behind Natalee's disappearance? 

Recently, I talked to his mom, and this is what she had to say about her son. 


ANITA VAN DER SLOOT, MOTHER OF SUSPECT:  Joran is a 17-year-old teenager.  He is a fantastic tall guy.  He's a sporter.  He plays tennis on the island, soccer, volley ball, softball.  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:  What has he told you about Natalee? 

VAN DER SLOOT:  He hasn't told me anything, because, on the Monday, he went to school, like any normal boy.  And he wasn't aware of—he was totally surprised when the police asked him to come to the—or picked him up for interrogation.  He was totally surprised.  He really thought that the girl would be safe in the hotel and there was no reason to talk about her at all. 

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 do 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 we always tell the kids to tell the truth, to—and Joran is not a—he is a good child, but he is, of course, not a model child, because he has his mistakes.  And he cheated, and he kicks his brothers, 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 spend a lot of time talking about problems in the world.  We look at news.  We see things happen that are evil and that are wrong, and we warn the 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 are living on a multicultural island, and we always try to raise the kids with—see what's in the heart of people.  Don't focus on the outside.  Listen to people.  Be respectful. 


VAN DER SLOOT:  If they go out, be careful.  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 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:  I want to bring in Vinda De Sousa.  She's the attorney for the Holloway family. 

Thank you so much for being with us, Ms. De Sousa.

Can you help clear up for us what happened today in court?  I know it's a secret process, something we don't understand here in the United States.  How much information do you have about what went on and when we may find out whether Joran van der Sloot walks or not? 

VINDA DE SOUSA, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY:  Well, like I have said before—good evening, first of all. 

Like I have said before, we do have, through myself, a very close communication with the prosecution, after we filed the joinder victimized party.  And we are kept pretty much up to date of what's going on, as long as it is OK, yes, with the investigation, in order not to jeopardize it.  We were informed of what happened today in court. 

It is a closed hearing, and it's not out of the ordinary.  I must emphasize that, that it's not only in this case, but it's all cases.  As long as you have an ongoing investigation, if I am not mistaken—correct me if I'm wrong—the same as in the U.S.  As long as you have an ongoing investigation, not much information is disclosed.  It's the same thing here. 

These are preliminary hearings.  There is a judge of instruction in first instance that will—to go through all the evidence presented by the prosecution.  It's an independent judge who serves as a—functions as a control mechanism to see if the law is abided by, both for the prosecution and for the defendant.  And they will evaluate all the—the evidence presented and see if it is justified for a suspect to be held any longer.  Now, today, as you know...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Ms. De Sousa, explain to us...

DE SOUSA:  Go ahead. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, go ahead.  Tell me what happened today. 

DE SOUSA:  Go ahead.

Well, today was a panel of three judges.  It's an appeal.  And the panel of three judges went through all the information and all the evidence presented so far.  I must clarify that the three-panel judge today has not been involved with the case before, so any other judge that was involved in the first instance, the judge of instruction, will not form part of the three-panel judge.  So, it's a new, fresh look by new, fresh judges, going through all the evidence and seeing if what the first judge ruled is, indeed, what needs to be upheld. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ms. De Sousa, can you tell us about this confession?  We heard from Natalee's uncle that the family had been told back on June the 10th that one of these boys confessed and that Natalee was dead.  Any information on that? 

DE SOUSA:  Well, you see, I wasn't involved with the case then.  After I got involved with the case, I did ask if there was any truth to this.  As you know, speculations run high.  This is a small island.  Everybody has grown weary.  Everybody wants this case solved. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But the FBI was the one—it was FBI agents were the ones that went to the Holloway family and said that she was dead, that one of the boys confessed.  The FBI—I don't believe they would have made that up.  Do you have any information on that? 

DE SOUSA:  No, because I just heard that on your program, that it was the FBI that went to the family and told them about this supposed confession. 

I have had no confirmation, nor denial, again, if this is true or not, so I will, again, take a look at it.  But from what I understood, there was no evident confession to that part.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

DE SOUSA:  So, I cannot tell you whether it's true or not. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Ms. De Sousa, we are up on a hard break, but I got to ask you one more question.  I know it's a small island, a small legal community.  This may be a difficult question for you to answer, but we have also heard reports time and time again that the police chief and Joran van der Sloot's father, very close friends.  Can you tell us whether that's the case or not? 

DE SOUSA:  Well, I know that, indeed, it's a small community, and everybody knows each other, and they were friends.  But how close, I don't know.  They might have been acquaintances.  I have no confirmation to the fact that they were as close as to, for instance, what has been suggested, to indicate a cover-up by anybody.  I have no confirmation of that, and...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

DE SOUSA:  ... up to this point, I don't have enough—I don't have confirmation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Vinda De Sousa, thank you so much for being with us tonight.  We greatly appreciate you coming on and telling us about your legal system and about the investigation. 

DE SOUSA:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, did you ever say to your kid, turn off the TV and pick up a book?  Well, the new “Harry Potter” book is out this week.  And a lot of kids, millions of kids, are doing it, but there are some people saying it's bad for children.  We will tell you why. 

Then, Jessica Simpson has a new look and she's showing it off.  But here comes the controversy.  We will tell you about the people that want to ban this video. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Another serious injury at Walt Disney on a theme park ride.  We will tell you about that coming up.  Plus, the very latest on the condition of the two American girls injured seriously in the bombings in London. 

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



DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR:  Ron, Ron, come on.  Get out of bed.


RADCLIFFE:  There's something you've got to see.  Now, come on. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That's a clip from the movie “Harry Potter” and the Sorcerer's Stone,” part of the wildly successful “Harry Potter” franchise.  And now Muggles everywhere wait for the next “Harry Potter” book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which comes out midnight on Saturday. 

But there are those who say these “Potter” books are no good, they should be banned.  And some are even out there saying they should be burned, because they promote a pagan witchcraft ideology. 

With me now, we have Caryl Matrisciana.  She's producer of the documentary, “Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, Making Evil Look Innocent.”  Also with me, we have Steve Zeitchik.  He's senior news editor at “Publishers Weekly.”

Let me start with you, Caryl.  What is evil about “Harry Potter”? 


CARYL MATRISCIANA, PRODUCER, “GODS OF ENTERTAINMENT”:  Well, I don't think Harry Potter is evil.  He is a fictional little boy.  He is a 11-year-old witch in book number one.  He is now a 16-year-old in book number six that is due out at the end of this week. 

He is a witch along with 350 other witches at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  He does lots of naughty things.

SCARBOROUGH:  Is he dangerous to kids? 

MATRISCIANA:  Well, I think there are certainly moral and ethical problems.  I mean, Harry lies and he cheats and he steals.  And his teachers say that that's OK and they turn a blind eye.  And so, there is a little bit of indoctrination.  There is definitely vulgarity, vulgar humor, rather gross murders and killings, and, of course, the children that are walking around with headless ghosts and all sorts of eerie and scary things that can scare children.

So, I think one has to certainly see there has to be an age appropriateness to “Harry Potter.”  And when you get children as young as 6 years old being able to listen to the books and the stories and have rather ghoulish and horrible images that linger through their nightmares, then, of course, there are those sides of—there are dangers in that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think—some are out there saying this book should be banned, it should be burned.  Are you among those? 


I think what I take issue with is, it is a book on a very accurate portrayal of witchcraft.  Warner Brothers said of movie number one that it was accurate portrayal of witchcraft.  And, certainly, the lessons that are taught in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are all about the occult, paganism, a lot of things that are taught and practiced by witches.

And we have got to remember that, in 1986, the Supreme Court did make witchcraft a legal religion in the United States.  It is an IRS tax-exempt religion. 


MATRISCIANA:  There are Wiccan chaplains in the military, so it very definitely is a bona fide religion.  And so for this now to be...

SCARBOROUGH:  And you are just saying that these books push the religion. 

Steve, let me ask you, do you think “Harry Potter” pushes the occult?  Do you think it pushes witchcraft on unsuspecting 6-year-old, 7-year-old, 8-year-old kids? 

ZEITCHIK:  Well, a couple of things.

First of all, I don't think it does that. 

I mean, I think, Caryl, you are totally right to say that there's accurate portrayal here, but it's certainly not of witchcraft, as much as it as accurate portrayal childhood.  I mean, people steal and lie and thieve in childhood, as they do in real life.  And to the degree that this book reflects any kind of untoward or vulgar activity, as you put it, it's merely reflecting the ambiguity of the world as we know it. 

And I think that's probably why so many people relate to it.  So, no, I don't think it promotes witchcraft at all. 


MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Caryl, I have got a 14-year-old boy that is going to want to see the next movie that comes out.  I took him to—I guess he was 10 when the first one came out.  Am I being irresponsible as a parent? 


I think the issue, what I take issue with is that this book very accurately portrays obviously a religion.  And it is being read aloud in our classrooms across America, when other religious books have been banned from the classroom. 


MATRISCIANA:  So that's my issue and that is my concern. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, you are saying you can't read the Bible, which promotes Christianity, but you can read “Harry Potter,” which you say pushes witchcraft? 

MATRISCIANA:  Well, it's a very, very accurate portrayal of witchcraft.  It also encourages the children to go into Wiccan Web sites in the classroom.  The teaching aids that come along with it do encourage children to learn more about witchcraft.

And, certainly, if they are allowed to do that, in all fairness, on all religions, then let's have that in the classroom.  But are all religious...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Steve—what do you say to that, Steve?  If this book promotes the occult, if it promotes witchcraft, then why are we letting our kids read it in school? 

ZEITCHIK:  Well, there's a couple of issues here.

First of all, I am not convinced that it promotes witchcraft.  If there's elements of witchcraft in it, you know, there are elements of religions and of—I mean, you read—you read “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you want to talk about something unsavory, “To Kill a Mockingbird” has racism in it.

And “Night” by Elie Wiesel has brutality and anti-Semitism in it.  Certainly, there are unsavory things in the world.  And we still read them in our classroom.  In fact, we encourage our children to read them, because I think it will ultimately help them understand the world better. 

If the message—look, if the underlying message of this book is not one that any person or parent or principal agrees with, then they should not assign it, the same way they should not assign other books.  But the idea that somehow this “Harry Potter” phenomenon, because of its very success, is indicative of an anti-religious crusade or that it somehow connects to a separation of—or a violation of church and state to me just seems totally absurd. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Thanks a lot, Steve.

Thank you so much, Caryl.

We greatly appreciate both of you being with us tonight. 

ZEITCHIK:  Thank you, Joe. 

MATRISCIANA:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now to the storm over the president's top adviser, Karl Rove.  Did he leak classified information to a reporter, and should he be bounced from the White House? 

With me now to talk about that is Congressman Peter King. 

Thank you so much for being with us, Congressman.

It's a fascinating case.  And I just got to start by saying, you and I served together during the Clinton administration.  We attacked the Clinton administration for not taking national security more seriously.  I got to just tell you, I mean, bottom line is, if Clinton's chief of staff or top adviser had leaked the identity of a CIA agent, you and I would be up in arms and say, Clinton had to fire that person immediately. 

Should Karl Rove be treated at the same standard? 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  No, in fact, I think Karl Rove should get a medal, Joe.  I really mean that. 

I think this is much do about nothing, because let's look at the facts very clearly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  For revealing a CIA agent's identity? 

KING:  First of all, it's only a crime if she was undercover, if he knew she was undercover, and he did it deliberately. 

I think, Joe, this thing was such a hoax.  Joe Wilson was a shameless self-promoter.  Everything about his story was either a lie or a hoax or he was incompetent.  And when Karl Rove—even just looking at the e-mail.  If you are talking to a reporter and you have someone like Joe Wilson, who was totally discrediting the president of the United States, unfairly and untruthfully, and you say, how come this guy was sent over to do this?

And to say, you know, looking at the fact that he is—was sent over

by his wife, who was in the CIA.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Congressman.  Hold on.  Let me just stop you right there, Congressman King. 

KING:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you.  Joe Wilson is a joke.  He lied about who sent him over there.  He lied about what he found over there.  And when he came back home...

KING:  Also about the conclusions, exactly.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold it a second.  When he came back home, he lied and wrote a book that, ironically, was called “The Politics of Truth.”

KING:  Right.  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That still doesn't justify Karl Rove or anybody—and we don't know if Rove did it for sure—but justify the outing of CIA agent, does it? 

KING:  It's only wrong if he knew that she was undercover and that the CIA was making every attempt to keep her undercover.  He didn't give her name.  He didn't know she was undercover. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But he said it's Joe Wilson's wife.  I mean, that's the same thing, isn't it? 

KING:  Joe Wilson listed his wife's name in his own bio.  It was on—it was in his Web site.  He listed his wife's name.  So, it was no secret that she was his wife.  And to me...


SCARBOROUGH:  Well, yes, but Joe Wilson didn't say, she's an undercover CIA agent, Peter.

KING:  And neither did Karl Rove say she was undercover CIA agent.  He said she worked for the CIA.  She was working at the CIA headquarters.  It was no secret she was working there, and he brought this out. 

And, to me, if you have someone who is over there, and we are—and we're in time of war and he is actually falsifying what he heard in Niger.  The fact is, nobody in the media is pointing out that the British in the Butler report said that what President Bush said about Niger was true.  They said that in 2004.  Why isn't the media saying that?

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Peter, who else is saying that?  You know who is saying that in the media?  You actually have the publisher of “The New Republic,” who wrote it a year ago, saying that...

KING:  Right.  He did. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That everything that was said was the truth in that report, and if journalists weren't anti-war activists, everybody would have known by now. 

I mean, I am hearing it on news all throughout the day, again, that President Bush lied about the yellow cake uranium. 

KING:  Not at all. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not the case. 

But, again, I want to circle back around.  We can all debate that.  We agree on that.

KING:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, again, I would say, even if everything you say is true...

KING:  It is true.

SCARBOROUGH:  A White House official should not reveal the identity of a CIA agent.  And if that White House official had done it, or let's say they had done it in the Clinton administration, you and I would be calling for the resignation of that official, would we not? 

KING:  No, I wouldn't.  I wouldn't, Joe, because I think this is important. 

If we are in time of war and you want to know what the president said, what the president didn't say, whether it's accurate or not, and you have someone who says, I am sent over there by the vice president of the United States and George Tenet to investigate this, and instead it turns out, he was sent over at the recommendation of his wife, that to me became a key element.

It's not just because you're outing her or you're saying she was in the CIA to take a shot at Joe Wilson.  You are taking it to undermine the credibility of his case, which was attempting to undermine the president of the United States in time of war about a key allegation that was made.  I think once...


SCARBOROUGH:  But, Peter, what I would say if I were a Democratic...

KING:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  If I were a Democratic senator, what I would say was, the last thing you want to do, because you keep talking about the fact we are at a time of war. 

KING:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The last thing you want to do at a time of war is reveal the identity of undercover CIA agents. 

KING:  No.

Joe Wilson, she recommended—his wife recommended him for this.  He said the vice president recommended him.  To me, she took it off the table.  Once she allowed him to go ahead and say that, write his op-ed in “The New York Times,” to have Tim Russert give him a full hour on “Meet the Press,” saying that he was sent there as a representative of the vice president, when she knew, she knew herself that she was the one that recommended him for it, she allowed that lie to go forward involving the vice president of the United States, the president of the United States, then to me she should be the last one in the world who has any right to complain.

And Joe Wilson has no right to complain.  And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove.  Listen, maybe Karl Rove was not perfect.  We live in an imperfect world.  And I give him credit for having the guts. 

And I really—I tell you, Republicans are running for cover.  They should be out attacking Joe Wilson.  We should throw this back at them with all the nonsense that has been said about George Bush and all the lies that have come out. 


KING:  Let's at least stand by the guy.  He was trying to set the record straight for historical purposes and to save American lives.  And if Joe Wilson's wife was that upset, she should have come out and said that her husband was a liar, when he was. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Congressman, I appreciate you being with me. 

And you know what.  The bottom line is the fact, Joe Wilson has lied.  He hasn't been called out on it.  But, again, I think we hold Karl Rove to the same standard that we would hold Sidney Blumenthal or President Clinton's administration. 

Now, I certainly would have been very concerned.  Maybe you wouldn't have been.  But at the time, I would have.

But, Congressman, as always, thanks a lot for being with us.  You know what?  We are going to continue following this story as we move forward. 

Coming up, a tragedy today at the Magic Kingdom.  A young girl lies in critical condition tonight.  And, of course, someone else died on one of these rides several weeks ago.  The question is, did the ride trigger the collapse?  We are going to get the very latest. 

And then, her boots are made for walking, and there are people out there that wish she would just walk into the closet and grab something to cover up. 

We'll give you that story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  Two American sisters who were injured in last week's London terror attacks have arrived back in the United States.  Katie and Emily Benton from Knoxville, Tennessee, remain hospitalized at Duke University Medical Center tonight. 

We want to get an update on their condition.  And I am joined now by their pastor, Alan Ramsey. 

Pastor, what can you tell us about these two young women's condition tonight? 

PASTOR ALAN RAMSEY, YOUTH MINISTER:  Well, at this point, they continue to gain strength each and every day.  And—but it's just been such a difficult situation for them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why is that? 

RAMSEY:  Well, just such a traumatic experience.

SCARBOROUGH:  You mean physically?  Are there physical complications? 

Are you talking about physical complications?


RAMSEY:  No.  I mean, they get better each day physically, but they're still—it's going to involve a lot of time for them to heal, and their wounds, and the surgeries that they just came out of last night.

And so, there's still a lot there for them, as well as just the experience, the traumatic experience emotionally, and what they had to go through. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to ask about the emotional complications.  Are they able to talk about what happened in London?  Are they able to converse with their family on it or is it still too painful?  Or that—or is the trauma still too fresh in their mind? 

RAMSEY:  Well, I think it's been pretty fresh in their mind.  I know, as a family, they have definitely talked through some things, and they have had to deal with that.

But I don't think it's something at this point that they are ready to talk about in the big picture of things.  At this point, it's just the family, I think, and then the physicians there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about their spiritual life.  Obviously, they are involved in your church.  I would guess that's something that they are probably leaning on right now and the family is also leaning on while they are sitting, while they are lying in Duke University Hospital tonight, again, trying to recover physically and also emotionally from these terror attacks. 

RAMSEY:  Yes. 

Yes, they have obviously incredible faith in the lord Jesus Christ, and truly believe that he is their sustaining power and—but what a difficult thing.  And they are wrestling with that and just going each day in prayer, and just believing that God is going to continue to give them the strength to recuperate, to heal emotionally and spiritually and physically. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pastor, you know, have you heard how long they are going to be stuck in a hospital, when they are going to be able to get back home? 

RAMSEY:  Well, at this point, they have been told it's going to be a good week to two weeks at best.  And I know that they are just kind of taking it each day, one day at a time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thank you so much.  Greatly appreciate it, Pastor Alan Ramsey. 

And I just want to say this to all my friends out there, a follow-up on a segment last night.  We had a segment last night where we were talking about political correctness with Steve Emerson, talking about how England and the rest of Europe has gotten so P.C. regarding Islamic extremists, that they risk losing the war on error. 

Now, of course, reports out today—I am sure some of you heard about it already—that the BBC refused to call the terrorists that blew up these young women and others, they are refusing to call them terrorists.  We will tell you about that tomorrow night. 

Now, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY continues, straight ahead, we will get to the bottom of the new Jessica Simpson controversy. 

That's when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Tired of being picked on at work?  You want to be the smartest guy around the office?  Well, you can check out my morning read for the latest hot stories of the day.  You can find it at Joe.MSNBC.com.  It may not get you a raise, but it will make you a pretty smart guy or gal.

We'll be right back.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Oh, boy, I'm going to get fired. 



SIMPSON:  Thank you. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  What seems to be the problem, sugar? 

SIMPSON:  I think something bounced up into my undercarriage. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Shameless.  That's Jessica Simpson in next month's “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Now a Christian group called The Resistance is outraged at her sexy new image.  Remember, now, this is the daughter of a Baptist minister who bragged about remaining a virgin until she was married, but Jessica has a hot sexy new video for her remake of “These Boots Were Made For Walking,” in addition to her skimpily clad role in “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  Take a look. 

I wonder how her Baptist minister dad is feeling about her now.  I am sure he is proud.  So, the question is, has she told out?  Well, The Resistance says yes.  They think that this video should be banned, and very outraged.  Of course, we also had a book banning story earlier in the show.  We are going to bring you the story on “The Dukes of Hazzard” on Jessica Simpson tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Now, we were also going to bring you a story about a Disney ride that caused another serious injury.  Because of technical difficulties, we were not able to bring that to you. 

But that's all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks for being with us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We'll see you tomorrow night.



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