updated 8/24/2005 10:26:54 AM ET 2005-08-24T14:26:54

Guest: Charles “Choc” Harris, Jack Hickey, Bill Maher, Mike McCann,

Candice DeLong, Beth Holloway Twitty

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  Natalee Holloway‘s mother strikes back at suspect Deepak Kalpoe.  We showed you exclusive video of Deepak hanging out in bars.  Now we show it to Beth Twitty.  Plus, a new victim comes forward telling lurid tales about Dutch boy Joran Van Der Sloot. 

And nearly two months since American groom George Smith IV vanishes, tonight, we start demanding tough answers from the cruise lines. 

That‘s straight ahead in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Then controversial comedian Bill Maher is here, talking about Pat Robertson, Cindy Sheehan and Jesus Christ. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, 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.

SCARBOROUGH:  Good evening. 

Now, in just minutes, we are going to have new developments from the Ohio case in the case of the missing model and student Julie Popovich.  She vanished without a trace.  Now her family desperately seeks answers.  What exactly do police know tonight?  Well, we are going to go to the heartland to get the very latest on this mystery. 

But first, new allegations against prime suspect in the case of Natalee Holloway, Joran Van Der Sloot. 

For the very latest news now, let‘s go live to Aruba and NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski. 

Michelle, what can you tell us tonight about this new person coming forward, making allegations against Joran? 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Actually, Joe, today, we found out there have been three young women who have come forward, on the record, and made allegations against suspect Joran Van Der Sloot. 

The first one, an American, went to the FBI, told them Joran was very persistent in trying to get her into his car after a night of drinking at Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s, not a crime.  But she came forward. 

Also, according to a defense attorney, two young ladies went to prosecutors, told stories of a night of heavy drinking, followed by sex with Van Der Sloot at his apartment, again, potentially not crimes, but they came forward.  But it is this fourth teenager, a 17-year-old Aruban, who is alleging a crime against him. 

She went to her attorney, who met with a private investigator and Natalee‘s mother, and they say that attorney told them about her allegations.  She claims that, in the spring, she was drugged and then had unwanted sexual contact with Joran, and she says two other of her friends have similar allegations.  Now, prosecutors and police won‘t comment about this.

In fact, she hasn‘t gone to police yet.  But her attorney says she plans to go to prosecutors.  And prosecutors now say that she will possibly be a new witness in this case.  Now, Joran Van Der Sloot‘s attorneys, we couldn‘t reach them for any comment on this.  And they got some bad news in court today.  They were told they will not get any more access to prosecutors‘ files. 

Also today, some bad news in the search.  Remember, there was that witness at the landfill who claimed he saw a body buried there three days after Natalee vanished.  Well, some polygraph experts who are here on the island, former FBI agents, they gave him a polygraph, and now a private investigator says, not only did he fail it; he failed it in a big way.  So, that puts that search at the landfill that was seen as such a big hope for finding clues on indefinitely hold. 

That‘s all from Aruba—back to you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks, Michelle. 

Now let‘s bring in Natalee Holloway‘s mom, Beth Holloway Twitty. 

Beth, yesterday, we showed everybody for the first time exclusive tape of Deepak going back to the alleged scene of the crime, going back into Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s.  What was your reaction the first time you saw that tape? 

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, you know, Joe, I only saw just a brief clip of it. 

You know, I am just—I am absolutely amazed and it‘s just incredible that he would even enter the establishment under these circumstances.  And it just shows that he just doesn‘t seem to have any regard.  And it‘s really—to me, I am so disappointed.  And Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s, I mean, you know, not only do they allow the suspect that kidnapped Natalee from their establishment to reenter it, and we—you know, it just amazes me.

And here, they have allowed Joran Van Der Sloot to enter it just senselessly under age.  If they had never been in there, this would have never happened to my daughter. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there possibility of a civil lawsuit against this establishment at some point for allowing these underage people to go in there to and prey on young women?  I mean, we are hearing reports now of other young women being preyed upon at this establishment.  Is there a possible civil lawsuit against them in the future? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Joe, I only have one goal right now, and that‘s just to take Natalee home.  That‘s all I have.  That‘s all I came to this island for, and that‘s all I want to go with. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You have got to be angry, though, at Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s, at the very least, for, again, allowing this sort of abusive behavior to continue, allowing underaged kids to go into bars and prey on -on—on locals. 

You said, in fact, that, when you first got there and described this Dutch boy, everybody knew who he was immediately.  So, it‘s not like it was like New York City and they didn‘t know what this guy was doing every night, right? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, oh, exactly. 

You know, we were merely able to just describe, describe Joran with only a part, a portion of his name.  And they knew immediately who he was, and the quote was from an employee that he tends to prey upon European and American female tourists. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And they knew that, and yet they allowed him to continue to go in and prey on people.  And, of course, the results have been so tragic in this case. 

I want to ask you about the other women, though, reports coming forward.  Clint Van Zandt went deep inside the investigation last week, found out that other women had allegedly been complaining about possibly being drugged and raped by Joran Van Der Sloot.  What is your response to this new information coming in? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, I‘m not surprised at all. 

And, you know, Joe, this is courageous of these young women to come forward like this.  And, you know, and it‘s not easy.  And I totally can see why this young girl contacted an attorney first.  You know, my experience, contacting the police first, you know, I really was not treated with any sense of urgency.  So, you know, I think that I know why she went that route.

And I think that, you know, I really respect her for doing this, and I just hope that, once she has received—you know, giving her statement, that she is just treated with respect and dignity and not just interrogated over something like this, or I just—it‘s just—it‘s just very difficult for these young girls to come forward. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Beth, I want you to stay right there. 

I want to bring in right now with you, though, former FBI profiler, MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt. 

Clint, obviously, we have to say right here, these are just allegations.  But what can you tell us about this young woman that is coming forward, that has hired an attorney...

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... that‘s ready to basically break, possibly break this case by talking about what Joran Van Der Sloot, again, allegedly does to young women that go to Aruba? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, Joe, you know, this is something that Beth has been appealing for a long time.  I think that the behavior that is attributed to at least Joran Van Der Sloot and perhaps others—I mean, these guys just didn‘t fall off the turnip truck. 

This is behavior that‘s probably been there for a while, may well have been exhibited with other women.  And now to have, as Beth says, these—at least one woman step forward.  There are others that I have heard of when I was down there that may or may not have had similar experiences.  What it‘s going to take and show to the judge, show to the court, show to the community, that this is not an aberration perhaps on the part of these suspects, that there is a prior consistent type of behavior that is there.

And, of course, if these allegations are true, notwithstanding the impact that it could have on Natalee‘s disappearance, these would be independent criminal violations that they could be charged for, stand-alone, and it may stop the clock as far as turning Joran Van Der Sloot loose within a month.  It could have a tremendous impact on this case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, it could also have a tremendous impact on Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s.  I want to keep going back to that, because I can tell you, if they knew what type of behavior was being exhibited by Joran and the Kalpoe brothers and allowed them to keep coming in, preying on young women like this, it is not going to be a pretty scene, not a pretty picture for that establishment either going forward. 

Beth, September 4 is coming.  Do you hope that this young woman is able to come forward, get her charges on the table and have those charges acted upon before Joran Van Der Sloot possibly walks? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, absolutely I hope that, and not only her.

But I don‘t have as much information about it yet, but I think there are two other young girls that are also wanting to come forward, but, you know, like I said, this is not easy for them to do.  I remember how difficult it was for this young girl to come to me that was 18.  And she didn‘t even have sexual assaults on committed on her from Joran, but just how he is, as far as his predatory-type behavior.

And, you know, how she described him, I am sure it was just—it was almost just identical to what was happening to Natalee in Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s.  And, you know, that was difficult for her to do this, and still did not—and her parents still did not want her identity disclosed to anyone.  So, it‘s very difficult. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s historically been one of the great problems with rape, is you have got victims who are ashamed to come forward.  In this case, though, it is absolutely essential.

Anybody watching this show right now, it‘s essential you come forward for the sake of Natalee, for the sake of her mom, for the sake of her family. 

What happens on September 4, Beth, if Joran is released?  Do you leave Aruba, come home, or do you stay there and keep up the fight? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh.  Joe, I am not going to make any decisions until I experience it.  That‘s just kind of how I have done this—this whole ordeal with Natalee.  And I am just—just going to let things happen each day at a time. 

I just—I—I have not planned anything since I have been here, and just going to just keep with that, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Beth, I have just got to ask you.  You obviously sent your daughter down to Aruba, believing she was going down to a safe place, a safe environment.  And yet you find out, obviously, that Carlos ‘n Charlie—I say obviously—allegedly—allows predators to hover around their bar. 

You find out, obviously, that the police chief doesn‘t seem to be as interested in cracking this case open, as most Americans would like, and the Aruban government and the Dutch government also dragging their feet.  What is your response to this supposedly safe island turning out just, just to be a collection of any parents‘ worst nightmare? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  You know, Joe, what angers me the most is that Deepak Kalpoe, being a suspect, is allowed to enter Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s, where, Joe, I can‘t even keep a poster of my daughter hanging in the establishment.  I can‘t—I have put one up there so many times, and I can‘t even keep one in their bar. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They keep taking it down at Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  I don‘t know who keeps taking down her poster, but we are really trying everything we can to have a resolution for the million-dollar safe return, the $250,000 for her whereabouts, and also act in a preventative and an awareness mode for these tourists that are coming in.

And it just really angers me.  And, Joe, I am entering—Deepak at the Internet cafe and I‘m—and people are all over me.  I just—I just I don‘t get it, Joe.  I don‘t get it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So many Americans, millions and millions of Americans, don‘t get it either, Beth.  But thank you for being with us and keeping up the fight.  And let us know what we can do. 

Clint Van Zandt, thank you so much, not only for tonight, but also what you did last week.  You are really helping move this thing forward, too.  Greatly appreciate it.

VAN ZANDT:  Hey, Joe, you know, one other thing.

SCARBOROUGH:  Sure.

VAN ZANDT:  As you realize, three other women, three other women in the United States have come forward to say that, even though not connected with this case, they have been sexually assaulted in Aruba.  So, you know, you have got to know where you are going and you have got to know your surroundings when you travel outside of this country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Clint, I have said it before.  If the Aruban authorities think they are going to ever be able to sweep this under the carpet, without having their economy devastated by Americans boycotting Aruba, they don‘t understand America. 

Thank you all for being with us.  Greatly appreciate it. 

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you, Joe. 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks a lot. 

Now, coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, this guy has got an opinion on just about everything.  Wait until you hear what he has got to say about Iraq, Barbra Streisand, Jesus Christ, Pat Robertson, everything under the sun.  We got “Real Time”‘s real man, Bill Maher, coming out swinging in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

And 12 days and Julie Popovich‘s family is getting desperate.  The latest on the search for the college girl and model who is missing in the heartland, including late word from police.

Plus, the latest on the honeymoon cruise. 

We are just getting started in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What happened to missing American groom George Smith IV?  Well, we go inside the investigation.  Does the way this case has been investigated mean we are never going to know what happened? 

Stay with us.  We are going to ask very tough questions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Twenty-year-old Julie Popovich has been missing for 12 days from near the campus of Ohio State University.  This beautiful model was due to start classes, but hasn‘t been seen or heard of since leaving a Columbus bar around 1:00 a.m. on August 11. 

She left with a man that her friends reportedly didn‘t recognize.  And reports coming in from local news sources say Julie was reportedly drunk and had hit her head when she fell while dancing. 

Let‘s start by getting the very latest from Holly Hollingsworth. 

She‘s a reporter for our NBC affiliate WCMH in Columbus, Ohio. 

Holly, give us the latest. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLLY HOLLINGSWORTH, WCMH REPORTER:  Well, Joe, several developments to tell you about in the case of Julie Popovich here in Columbus, Ohio, within these last 24 hours. 

First, as we had reported to you yesterday, police investigators had indicated that the Popovich case could be moved from the missing persons investigators to homicide investigators at any time.  That move was made late Monday.  However, those homicide investigators who are now in charge of the case made a point of telling us on Tuesday that, while they are in charge, they are not calling this a homicide investigation, because they say they just do not know for certain if Julie Popovich could be alive yet. 

But they are growing more certain day by day that some type of foul play must have been involved in her disappearance.  They say it is simply out of character for Julie to have vanished without a word to any friend or to any family member.  Police also clarifying to us on Tuesday that the so-called person of interest who they brought up to us on Monday, that person they are looking for is the young man that Julie was seen talking to the night that she vanished.  That was August the 11th at a Columbus bar that is known as Ledo‘s Lounge. 

Police know that that gentleman is a white male, but they say he was very dark-complected with dark hair, and they think he may be in his early 20s.  Detectives say, they emphasize, in fact, that man is not a suspect, but they say they are just trying to learn who he is and what it is that that young man and Julie Popovich were talking about on that night. 

And, finally, the reward being offered for information about Julie Popovich has grown mightily on Tuesday, now up to $50,000, thanks to a donor who has reportedly also donated reward money for other high-profile missing cases. 

That is the latest on the Julie Popovich case here in Columbus, Ohio. 

I‘m Holly Hollingsworth—now, Joe, back to you. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks a lot, Holly.  Greatly appreciate it. 

Now I want to bring in detective Mike McCann.  He is the lead homicide investigator in the case, and also former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, recollect, the author of “Special Agent.”

Mike, let me go to you first.  Walk us through the night of August 11. 

What do you know?  What do we know about the night that Julie disappeared? 

DETECTIVE MIKE MCCANN, LEAD HOMICIDE INVESTIGATOR:  Well, we know Julie arrived at the bar with some friends around 10:00, had been drinking prior to getting to the bar. 

After arriving in the bar, she drank some more.  During that time, she spent numerous amount of time with a male individual that was described earlier.  They seemed to be somewhat enamored with each other and spent a lot of time together.  They were seen last together at almost closing time.  Julie disappeared, as did this individual.  And that‘s basically where she fell of the face of the Earth. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And this young man who is a person of interest, what can you tell us about him? 

MCCANN:  Well, really not much more than that.  We know that she spent a lot of time with him.  We know that she—he followed her around from one corner to the other in the bar. 

She didn‘t seem to be alarmed by him.  And that‘s kind of it.  We don‘t have a car.  We haven‘t been able to confirm that Julie bumped her head or anything.  They just seem to have disappeared together. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Candice DeLong, what are the different scenarios that you would be going through if you were investigating this for the FBI? 

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER:  Well, I would definitely want to find out, you know, as much as I could about men that frequented that bar regularly. 

Bars, especially college bars, Joe, are target-rich environments for sexual predators.  And they go to these places not only because they are going to find a lot of young women there; they are going to find them drinking, and, therefore, impaired, their judgment impaired, and, therefore, making them easy victims to be lured to a car.

Somebody might buy them a lot of drinks and say, you know, you are a little tipsy.  Let me take you home.  This isn‘t a very safe neighborhood.  They feel comfortable with the guy.  They leave, and they are never seen again. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Candice, there is a common denominator.  If you take this case, if you take obviously the Aruban case we were talking about before, where you have Joran Van Der Sloot.  Now it‘s coming forward that this guy actually, reportedly, according to police reports, investigation reports coming out of Aruba, this guy actually preyed on younger women that would go to these bars, who would get drunk...

DELONG:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and actually wait for the last night.  You look at the cruise case, I mean, again, the common denominator, all involved alcohol.  All involved bars. 

DELONG:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You talk about a target-rich environment. 

Go into that a little bit.  Does it just make it—it obviously makes it easy to pick these people off, right? 

DELONG:  It makes it especially easily—easy for a sexual predator. 

One thing that women can do to improve their chances of having a good evening and making it home alive is to always travel in a group or at least pairs.  Leave together.  No one leaves alone.  And no matter how nice a guy seems, if he is offering to give you a ride, you just have to say no.  If you have no friends, take a cab. 

These are—and Cook County jail once a few years ago, Joe, did a study of people that were brought into the jail, how many of them, what percentage were on drugs and alcohol at the time they committed the crime and were arrested.  And it was well over 50 percent.  And I wouldn‘t be at all surprised to hear that, in crimes of violence between strangers or people that barely know each other, oftentimes, the victim is impaired as well. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Unfortunately, a woman especially makes herself so vulnerable if she leaves inebriated with a man who may not be as inebriated. 

Mike, let me bring you back in here. 

Can you tell us anything about this person who has come forward and has increased the reward up to $50,000?  We understand also, reportedly, that he has donated money to other high-profile cases, maybe even the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba.  Do you know anything about him?

MCCANN:  No, actually, I don‘t. 

It‘s my understanding he‘s from Philadelphia, and it was all done through Crime Stoppers here in Columbus.  We...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, but what—what is—what is your next step, Mike?  Obviously, you all know she vanished off the face of the Earth on August 11.  Where do you go from here?  What leads, what active leads can you follow right now? 

MCCANN:  Well, at this point, what is most important to us is time and getting ahold of all the people that were inside of the bar. 

There were approximately 500 people in that bar that evening, and we have talked to a very small percentage.  Because they were college students, young, and some in and out of the area, they are extremely difficult to track down and to get them to come forward.  Once we find them, they are more than willing to talk to us, but getting them to come forward is another thing altogether. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Candice, any final thoughts about where this investigation should go from here? 

DELONG:  Well, the first thing that came to mind when I saw this story the other night is, it‘s been 12 -- 12 days now.  She was last seen alive talking to a young man in a bar. 

She is either deceased or she is being held by someone somewhere.  And so, as we all know, because of, you know, the other stories, not to mention the Elizabeth Smart case as one, she could still be alive with some—being held by someone.  And people need to really, really think that were there in the bar that night who were they talking to and just give the police any information that they have.  She might be alive. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

All right, thank you so much, Candice.  Greatly appreciate it, as always, Candice DeLong.

Mike McCann, also, thank you so much for being with us. 

And still to come, our investigation into the search for missing honeymooner George Smith IV.  Did the cruise line botch the investigation and compromise evidence that could have told us what really happened that night?  And why don‘t they come forward and answer SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY‘s questions?  We are going to keep demanding that the CEO of that cruise line gets on this show and tells the American people the real deal. 

Also, funny man Bill Maher is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, and he comes out swinging.  Wait until you hear what he has to say about Barbra Streisand‘s new anti-war song. 

Stay with us.  That‘s coming up next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER”)

BILL MAHER, HOST:  New rule, there‘s is no such thing as flavored water.  You want flavored water, pour some scotch over ice and let it melt.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER:  That‘s your flavored water.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill Maher comes out swinging against George W. Bush, Pat Robertson and Jesus Christ, but defends Barbra Streisand?  That‘s coming up next. 

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

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Our investigation into what really happened to missing American groom George Smith IV continues, still so many questions about what really happened that night and how the cruise line conducted its investigation.  And we are going to be asking those tough questions coming up—that story in just minutes. 

But, first, the new season of HBO‘s “Real Time With Bill Maher” started last week. And during his time off, Bill published a new book, “New Rules: Polite Musings From a Timid Observer.”  Yes, real timid. 

With me now to join some of those timid observations, we have got Bill Maher. 

Hey, Bill.  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I know you are comfortable in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Thanks for being here. 

MAHER:  I love SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I am going to move there when I retire, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Of course. 

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  And thank you for understanding the irony...

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead.

MAHER:  Thank you for understanding the irony in the subtitle of my book.  Not everyone did. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, my God.  Well, I won‘t bring up any other cable news channels. 

Let me start with the news of the day.  And I would think that this may be enough, what happened today may be enough to drive you to religion, because you got to admit, you have been provided what my grandmother used to call gracious plenty.  Pat Robertson says that we need to assassinate the president of Venezuela.  I mean, it doesn‘t get any better than that for you, does it? 

MAHER:  Yes.  I mean, where is the outrage on the right about this, huh?  I have asked this question about Pat Robertson before, because this is hardly the first crazy thing he has said. 

If this guy was not wearing a nice suit and didn‘t have a television show, he would be a urine-soaked barker on a street corner, the kind of guy who has a megaphone and is just yelling at people on the street. 

So, you know, I don‘t understand why he is taken as seriously as he is.  And, also, you know, if I said something like that, well, maybe you could argue about it, because, as you point out, I‘m not religious, but he‘s a Christian.  It seems very un-Christian-like to be suggesting assassinating people.  I don‘t—I don‘t know as much about Jesus as you do, Joe, but it seems like his image was a peaceful man. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, nothing in the New Testament, from what I have read, since I started going to Bible study at 4 years old, about assassinating leaders that you don‘t agree with. 

What is your take, as a hard-nosed, what would you call yourself, not atheist, agnostic, possibly, on the issue of assassination of foreign leaders? 

MAHER:  Deist. 

SCARBOROUGH:  A deist.  What is your take on assassinating foreign leaders as a policy of the United States?  Support it or oppose it? 

MAHER:  I think it‘s a case-by-case basis.  I am certainly not always against it.  I think there are times when assassinating a foreign leader is a darn good idea.

But, you know, Joe, I am pro-death.  I was pointing that out this week to Phyllis Schlafly on our show, that I am consistent about death, unlike some people.  I am pro-death penalty.  I am pro-choice.  I am pro-assisted suicide, pro-regular suicide.  I am for death down the line. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  And sometimes, yes—sometimes, yes, an assassination is just what the doctor ordered. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I will tell you what.  If you do retire in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, that‘s a heck of a campaign platform to run for Congress on. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  I am for death down the line, baby.  Vote for Bill. 

MAHER:  I‘m a one-issue candidate, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What about Saddam Hussein?  If you had a shot at him in early March 2003, would you have taken him out to save Americans from this war? 

MAHER:  Absolutely. 

Of course, the way we did it was, you know, we blew up the whole country along with him.  And who is left standing?  Him.  And who looks now better than ever?  Saddam Hussein.  Because, apparently, what he was telling us all along, which is that you need an iron fist to hold this country together, turned out to be a little more true than we wanted to believe.  I am not saying that it was a good thing that he was there.  He was obviously a horrible, horrible person, and we are all glad he is gone, but he did kind of have a point.

And I think, on our part, rather the part of the Bush administration, to run into that country willy-nilly, thinking that, just because we were bringing freedom and spreading our freedom dust and waving the American flag, that we were somehow going to be able to keep this country together and put something better in its place, it just doesn‘t look that way.  It doesn‘t look like we are spreading democracy, Joe.  It looks like we are spreading theocracy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Bill...

MAHER:  That wasn‘t the plan, was it?

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Bill, I respect you for a couple of reasons.  One of the reasons is because, when I have been on your show before, and I was pounced upon by a pack of wild dogs, you always save me.  You are always very fair. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  The other reason I respect you is, I have been following you throughout the Iraq war, since we invaded in March of 2003.  And like most Americans, your view on this war has gone back and forth.  You actually have—you haven‘t been ideological about it.  You haven‘t chosen sides. 

When the elections went well, you were like, you know what?  This may not be a bad idea. 

Where are you now, in this new season? 

MAHER:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  Are you having serious second thoughts?  Do you think it‘s time to bring the troops home? 

MAHER:  I think it is. 

You know, there‘s a certain point where, in every young man‘s life, you have to say to yourself, you know what?  I am never going to play Major League Baseball.  And I think there‘s a certain point in every president‘s life when you say, my plan to transform the Middle East, it‘s just not going to happen.  Maybe it will happen some other time.  Sometimes, things take more than one try. 

I had to quit smoking about eight times before it worked.  I think maybe someday, we will be able to bring democracy to the Middle East, but not on this try.  It just doesn‘t—when you read the stories in the newspaper on like page 10, you know, the ones that are kind of buried, the ones from reporters who are in a certain city, like Basra or Mosul, and they talk about what‘s going on, you see that it‘s all tribal factions and it‘s all about corruption.  It‘s all about people taking over on the local level who we didn‘t intend to take over. 

It just doesn‘t seem like, at this point, because we did it so badly -

maybe if we had done everything right—and we certainly didn‘t do anything right—it could have worked.  But the way it is now, I just don‘t think on this try it‘s going to work.  And I know leaving is going to create a horrible situation, but that is what you bought when you bought George Bush.  The best thing I could say about him is that I do admire the intent to solve this problem of Muslim extremism with a long-range approach.  That‘s usually what politicians don‘t do. 

They take the short-range approach.  And George Bush said, no, let‘s do this long-range, as well as—well, I don‘t think he did the short-range very well at all.  But he said, let‘s take a long-range approach to solving this problem.  I admire that.  It just was done so badly and without thinking enough about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I am not sure about that, Bill, but stick around. 

I got a lot more I want to talk to you about. 

And, also, Barbra Streisand has a new video out.  And here‘s a shocker.  She is attacking the Bush administration. 

We will tackle that and a lot more with Bill Maher coming up.

And, later, our investigation into the disappearance of honeymooner George Smith IV with a man who knows how the cruise line really operates. 

Stay with us.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s Barbra Streisand.  And she‘s singing her new anti-war song, “Stranger in a Strange Land.”  Surprise, surprise, an anti-war song from Barbra Streisand. 

Welcome back.  We are still talking to Bill Maher.  He‘s the host of “Real Time With Bill Maher” and also the author of a new book.

MAHER:  Why do you say that like it‘s such a..

SCARBOROUGH:  “New Rules.”

Why do I say what like what? 

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  You say Barbra Streisand has a new anti-war song, typical. 

Why do you say it in that tone? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Don‘t Democrats in Hollywood understand that, every time they go out and Chevy Chase says what he says or Whoopi Goldberg says what she says, it just reinforces what people in middle America think about a lot of these stars, that they are out of touch and that the Democratic Party is—is too connected with Hollywood elites? 

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  Who is out of touch, Joe?  Bush‘s approval rating is about 35 percent now.  Maybe your side is the side that‘s out of touch. 

The people who are defending this war, I notice, have a sort of a bunker mentality.  They will talk about it one way when you are on the air, and when the cameras go off, privately, they will say, yes, you know what?  This is never going to turn around.  We got ourselves into a mess. 

There seems to be a very large gap between what they are willing to say publicly and what they admit privately, and I think that...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I don‘t know who you are hanging—I don‘t know who you are hanging out with, Bill, but I say the same thing off the air as on the air. 

I think this war is a noble war.  I think you are right.  George Bush was farsighted.  Unlike you and unlike Feingold and unlike a lot of Democrats, I think the absolute worst thing we can do now is cut and run.  We can win this war, but you know what?  We are not going to be able to win this war if—if we don‘t stick to it. 

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  I don‘t know.  Win this war, I don‘t—that one, I don‘t know about at this point.  That‘s—Joe, I mean...

SCARBOROUGH:  We have lost—we have lost 2,000 troops.  The question is, the question is, have we gotten to a point in U.S. history where the American people can‘t deal with casualties? 

(CROSSTALK)

MAHER:  Yes. 

In fact, Saddam Hussein said that at the first Gulf War.  And, by the way, this war, I would say to you, is a lot more noble than the first Gulf War.  The first Gulf War was about cheap gasoline.  This war at least had a better idea. 

I don‘t doubt that George Bush is sincere when he says Iraq is one battle in the war on terrorism.  I don‘t think he is correct about that.  But I don‘t understand why Cindy Sheehan wants to meet him so much, because what is he, after all, going to say to her?  Is he going to suddenly change his mind?  No.  He is going to repeat the same trite platitudes he has repeated for the last three years. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What trite platitudes?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Give me a trite platitude. 

MAHER:  We are fighting—we are fighting them there, so we don‘t have to fight them here.  They hate us for our freedom.  Those are the trite platitudes.  And Iraq is one battle in the war on terrorism.  Those are the things he is going to say to Cindy Sheehan, and she doesn‘t believe it, like I don‘t believe it.  We have a fundamental disagreement. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You think George Bush went into Iraq because of Jesus? 

MAHER:  I think everything—every decision George Bush makes is, yes, affected by his very fervent belief in Jesus Christ. 

I think he thinks that Jesus Christ sits on his shoulder, so that any decision he makes he thinks is backed up by the lord.  This is the man, after all, when he was leaving the pope‘s funeral, was asked, what did you think?  And he said, no doubt in my mind Christ, the lord, was sent by the almighty.  Way to keep it neutral for the whole country. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, I—I have got to say, I like the fact that this guy is guided by his faith.  Of course, I‘m...

MAHER:  Sure you do, because it‘s your faith. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I am a little concerned when somebody thinks that every decision they make is blessed by God, but there are a lot of us that think that‘s a good thing. 

I want to ask you...

MAHER:  Yes, but this is—remember...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead. 

MAHER:  George Bush was asked why he didn‘t treat Iraq the way his father did and not go all the way to Baghdad and try to occupy the country.  And he said, I listen to a higher father, implying that Jesus is all about the military invasions.  I don‘t get it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s talk about your new book. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Give us some of your—some of your new rules.  I hate to put you on the spot.  Be funny.  Give us a few new rules. 

MAHER:  OK. 

We have to—new rule, we have to get rid of the baby-changing station in the men‘s room. 

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER:  Let‘s stop pretending that this has ever been or ever will be used.  It‘s just tempting a short homeless man to use it as a Murphy bed. 

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER:  There you go. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m with you on that one.  It worked.  It got a laugh. 

Hey, Bill, thanks for being with us.  Greatly appreciate it.  Look forward to seeing you out in Los Angeles sometime soon. 

MAHER:  You got to do my show soon, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to.  I want to come out.  Like I said, you are always kind to me out there.  And you know what?  In that entire mass of people that you have, you always have one or two conservatives out of 5,000 people.  I feel right at home. 

MAHER:  They‘re your relatives, but we love them anyway. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  That‘s why they are clapping. 

All right, thanks a lot, Bill.  Good luck in the new season. 

MAHER:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, what happened to missing American groom George Smith IV?  We go inside the investigation with tough questions of the cruise line.  That‘s next, so stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now we continue our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation into what really happened to missing American groom, George Smith IV.  As you know, he disappeared from a Royal Caribbean cruise line on July 5 near Turkey. 

And there are so many unanswered questions for the Smith family.  And despite our questions, the cruise line simply refuses to send somebody from the company to come on this show to talk to me. 

Now, earlier today, I invited the chairman of Royal Caribbean, Richard Fain, to appear on this show with me and answer a few questions.  No response to our invitation.  Now, there‘s a shocker.  So, we are going to ask again.  And now I am asking on TV.

Richard Fain, come to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I want to ask you some questions about what happened to George Smith, how he disappeared from your Royal Caribbean cruise line Brilliance of the Sea, and also how you conducted the investigation. 

Tonight, though, I am going to raise some tough questions for Royal Caribbean and Mr. Fain, in the hopes that he will enter SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tomorrow and answer some of these questions. 

If not, we are going to keep answering them, because I think that Americans have a right to know, if they send their loved ones—like, for instance, my parents.  They got a 50th anniversary coming up this weekend.  Before this broke, I was going to send them on a cruise line.  That‘s the last thing I‘d do. 

I need to know, if I send my parents, if I send my children, if I send my friends on a cruise line, is it safe? 

With me now to talk about that, we have got maritime attorney and former cruise line insider Jack Hickey.  And, by phone again, we have got Choc Harris, former security chief with Carnival Cruise Lines. 

Gentlemen, welcome to the show again. 

Jack, let me begin with you. 

If you got the CEO of this cruise line in front of you or across the table in a deposition, what is the first question you would want him to answer about this investigation? 

JACK HICKEY, MARITIME ATTORNEY:  Joe, the first question I want him to answer, although I wouldn‘t put it this way, is, when the cruise line employees are out there scraping up the blood from the awning at 7:00 a.m., three hours, roughly, after—after the thump was heard by Clete Hyman, when they are out there doing that, is this a clean-up or is this a cover-up?  I want to ask him principally about...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Let‘s stop—let‘s stop right there, Jack.

I want to throw it to Choc Harris. 

Choc, sanitizing a crime scene, is that M.O. for cruise lines? 

CHARLES “CHOC” HARRIS, FORMER CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, CARNIVAL CRUISE

LINES:  Well, I am going to tell you something.  They need to quit it. 

They need to do what they are supposed to do.  And...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Choc, you worked there.  Is that what—you used to work on these cruise lines.  Would you all go in and—or would somebody be allowed to sanitize a cruise—a crime scene before the FBI or some other law enforcement officer came on board to investigate? 

HARRIS:  It did happen.  They did sanitize cruise—crime scenes and

or evidence, or people disappeared.  You know, that happens.  And...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Hickey, let me ask you.  Jack, what‘s the next thing we do?  What about video cameras?  You got any questions about surveillance to protect the customers on these cruise lines? 

(CROSSTALK)

HICKEY:  Absolutely.

And that is a huge area that nobody has really resolved yet.  Did the cruise line have, as we all know they did, security cameras on George Smith when he is in the casino, when he is drinking, when he is gambling, when he is winning all this cash?  Did they have that?  What became of that?  Do they still have that?  Have they reviewed that?  What does that show?  Where is it?  Can we have it?  Can you have it, Joe?  Can you go through it?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack, I mean, it doesn‘t seem like it would be that hard in a confined area to have enough video cameras up there to try to figure out and piece together what happened that night. 

It just doesn‘t seem, especially in casinos and bars and discos and all these areas where these people were hanging out, all the key hours of this night where he disappears. 

I want to ask you the next thing about crew members.  What about these crew members that the next-door neighbors to the Smiths are saying, these two crew members that showed up outside of Mr. and Mrs. Smith‘s room at 4:15, 4:20 in the morning, about the same time that Clete Hyman heard this sickening thud?  How important is that for them to come forward and answer that question? 

HICKEY:  Well, I think that‘s real important, because, you know, those crew members, from what I have heard from the accounts, they do match the description of security personnel in general., the uniforms, the description, the backgrounds, what they look like and things. 

What did they see?  Who called them?  You know, who called them?  What were the complaints exactly?  Noises?  Did they see people coming in and out?  Did those crew members ever get inside that cabin?  What did they see?  What does the cruise line know about what those two folks saw and heard?  And why is it that...

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, that is—that is so important, Jack.

Jack Hickey and Choc Harris, thanks a lot.  We are completely packed as far as time goes.  Apologize for not being able to get more to that.  We are going to get you back on tomorrow night to continue.

But if you were on that cruise line and you have information you want to share with us, because you want justice in this case—that‘s all you want—do that by e-mailing me at Joe@MSNBC.com

We‘ll be right back in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, that‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks so much for being with us. 

Say, what about Bill Maher, huh?  I mean, that guy, I mean, he is a live wire.  I disagree with him on so many subjects, but every time he comes on the show, he brings his opinion.  A fascinating guy. 

I know somebody else who is fascinating.  I grew up with him knowing him as the fifth Beatle.  You know him as Tucker Carlson.  Tucker Carlson and “THE SITUATION” starts right now—Tucker. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”:  Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What time is it, baby? 

CARLSON:  It‘s time for me to angry about cutting out of all those royalty deals with the Beatles.  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

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

END   

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