updated 11/3/2005 10:24:37 AM ET 2005-11-03T15:24:37

Guests: Robin Holloway, Connie Grinstead, Michelle Malkin, Juan Avila, Andy Messing

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Now, tonight‘s top headline in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY:  Gangs of America are getting training in urban combat from the U.S. armed forces.  That‘s according to an NBC station investigation.  They uncover accusations that gang members are joining the military to learn urban warfare.  The question is, are gang bangers infiltrating our own armed forces, pretending to be patriotic warriors?  That‘s tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown.

Then, a new look at the memo-gate story, that story that tarnished CBS News‘ sterling reputation—well, really, Dan Rather‘s.  Now the producer of that report is telling her side of the story, and former CBS News man Bernie Goldberg is here to talk about media bias and ask the question, why is Dan Rather still working at CBS? 

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:  Hey, thanks a lot for being with me tonight.  I really appreciate it. 

Now, we are going to have those stories in just a minute, and later, the search is on tonight for beauty queen-turned-teacher Tara Grinstead.  She‘s missing from her Georgia home and has been missing 10 days.  And we are going to be talking to her family, also a veteran FBI agent, about it. 

But, first, an NBC report that is surprising a lot of people from the West Coast.  Are gangs sending their members to enroll in our armed forces for urban warfare training? 

I am joined right now by Damian Trujillo from KNTV.  It‘s our NBC station in San Jose. 

And, Damian, I will tell you what, a lot of people questioning this report, not questioning the authenticity of it, but the possible ramifications of it.  Tell us how you got this story and what you learned. 

DAMIAN TRUJILLO, KNTV REPORTER:  Well, it‘s pretty scary, Joe. 

Here‘s the deal.  A friend of mine is an undercover gang cop here in the San Francisco bay area.  He had told me that he had just gotten back from a training where he was warned that gang members could be joining the military to learn urban warfare, so we set out to investigate, and this is what we found. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUJILLO (voice-over):  America‘s pride, men and women who put on the uniform and swear to defend the Constitution at any cost.  But are their ranks being infiltrated from within by a homegrown enemy?  Here‘s an expert who thinks so. 

(on camera):  Nortenos and Surenos in the military? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, sir. 

TRUJILLO:  What does that mean for the military? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It presents a—a big problem. 

TRUJILLO:  Richard Baldemar (ph) is a Vietnam vet.  He is a 30-year vet of the L.A. County Sheriff‘s Department.  He is a recognized gang expert, a key expert witness in a ‘90s federal case against the Mexican mafia.  Now he travels the country lecturing and teaching police departments about gangs, warning of a new enemy on the street, military-trained gang bangers, Nortenos and Surenos, Bloods, Crips, skinheads. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There is some talk among law enforcement people and the military police that some gangs are actually encouraging their members to join the military, for its training and for its access to weapons. 

TRUJILLO:  And with the current emphasis on urban warfare, Baldemar (ph) says it all plays right into the street-fighting mentality of gangs.  Army recruiting headquarters in D.C. dismisses it all as urban myth.  The Army won‘t go on camera.  Its spokesman does say Army background checks are extensive, even looking for tattoos on new recruits.  The Marines, no camera there either, say: “The Marines Corps takes very seriously any gang activity or association with gangs by Marines, but it‘s not a problem in the Marine Corps.  If an applicant is a member of an inappropriate gang or affiliation, it will be revealed during the police check or background investigation.”

SERGEANT JUAN AVILA, U.S. MARINES (RET.):  Maybe that lifestyle you had before, you change.  You change for the positive. 

TRUJILLO:  Former Marine Sergeant Juan Avila agrees gangs are not a problem.  Some of his boot camp buddies had been low-level gang members, but they left that lifestyle behind after signing up. 

AVILA:  It‘s very physical, very mental.  You know, they will weed you out.  You know, they will weed you out. 

TRUJILLO:  Gang expert Baldemar (ph) has one high-profile example, former Camp Pendleton Marine Sergeant Jessie Quintanilla.  In ‘96, a military court sentenced Quintanilla to death for killing his executive officer and wounding his commanding officer. 

(on camera):  Court documents show that, when interrogators asked Quintanilla why he did what he did, the Marines said it was for—quote—

“his brown brothers.”  Quintanilla then stood up, took off his coveralls,

lifted his shirt, and tattooed on the chest was the word Sureno, a

reference to a California gang. 

(voice-over):  Baldemar (ph) says Pendleton brass called him after the shooting asking him about the tattoos. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And we explained to them, that‘s Hispanic Southern California allegiance to the Mexican mafia. 

TRUJILLO (on camera):  Scary? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

TRUJILLO (voice-over):  On the East Coast, Fayetteville, North Carolina Detective Hunter Glass, an 82nd Airborne veteran, works closely with military police at Fort Bragg, the huge base at the edge of Fayetteville, where he was assigned with the 82nd.  He says M.P.s confiscated all these pictures from active soldiers. 

DETECTIVE HUNTER GLASS, , FAYETTEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Came across the 18th Street gang members Web site out of New York.  And, in this, there was a character here, El Caspar (ph), which I have highlighted his hand, in which he is doing an 18th Street hand sign. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is a concern for the FBI. 

TRUJILLO:  The FBI says Baldemar (ph) and Glass could be on the right track.  There may be a problem here. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When individuals go into the military, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive tactics and the use of a lot of other sophisticated techniques.  They take that out onto the streets with them.  This is a legitimate concern for law enforcement. 

TRUJILLO:  Richard Baldemar (ph) says he will keep warning cops around the country about the new-generation gang member.  He only hopes the military, while focusing on the enemy outside, will keep an eye on the enemy within. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TRUJILLO:  Now, no matter how you feel about this issue, it is important to mention that these trainers are out there training our police officers, police departments around the country, warning them to watch out for military-trained gang bangers—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Damian, it seems to me that the most frightening thing is the fact that we are now having to train our men and women to be really just ruthlessly efficient in killing people in urban warfare settings, obviously because of the war in Iraq and what we are going to have to be doing in the next 20, 30, 40 years. 

That‘s got to really frighten men and women on the streets of major American cities, because they are going to be going up against some killing machines, if this report is, in fact, proved to be accurate, in the coming months and years, that probably have more extensive training in urban combat than any cop on any force in America.  How are they going to fight that? 

TRUJILLO:  Well, you know, that‘s a good question, and there‘s a prime example, a gentleman named Andres Raya out of Ceres, California, near Fresno.  He went up.  He is a Marine.  And he is an alleged gang member.  He went up against the police officers in that city, and he took care of business. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I will tell you, very frightening. 

Hey, thanks so much for being us, Damian.  That‘s a heck of a report. 

I know a lot of people out there are very interested in it. 

Let‘s bring in right now Major Andy Messing.  He‘s retired from the Army special forces, and now he is executive director of the National Defense Council Federation, and also retired Staff Sergeant Juan Avila, who was in the Marines for 12 years. 

Major, let me begin with you.  You actually believe that this is not just a problem in the United States.  You say this has been a problem for some time, where you have people that have been trained in this type of urban combat in South and Central America, and now they are coming to the United States.  Explain that to our viewers, if you will. 

MAJOR ANDY MESSING, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES (RET.):  Well, in particular, the war in El Salvador, we trained thousands of Salvadorian soldiers to be effective combatants against the communist insurgency down there, and some of these trained soldiers who got out of the Salvadorian army later migrated to the United States, either legally or illegally, and some of them joined gangs.

And they are highly trained, trained by American special forces, and by their own people, who were trained by us, and they wound up going into gangs.

But I have to point out that this is just a small percentage.  You have to put this into perspective.  In the historical sense, I mean, after World War I, a lot of our returning veterans came back and joined street gangs and, you know, were part of the roaring ‘20s.  After World War II, the same thing, Korean War, Vietnam War, it goes on and on.  Any time you have highly skilled professional soldiers who have been wetted in combat come back—vetted in combat—come back and don‘t have jobs, or have some sort of dysfunction, they wind up going into a criminal element, and they take their skills with them. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And, certainly, they are being trained.  And the skills that they are being trained right now, again, because of the type of war that we are having to fight in Iraq, obviously makes a more efficient killing machines than, say, after World War I or after World War I, where you are training is sort of a battlefield, a Western Europe battlefield technique, or even after Vietnam, where you are teaching people to fight jungle warfare, guerrilla warfare, much different than where you are teaching people how to go through...

MESSING:  Well, not necessarily. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  How to go through Baghdad, how to go through these other towns.

MESSING:  Well, not necessarily. 

I mean, look at the battle for Hue, for instance, the battle when we went into Germany, and we were doing house to house fighting.  So, I mean, there are a lot of people...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I mean, we were doing some house-to-house fighting obviously in late ‘44 and ‘45, but at the same time, nothing on the level of these guys having to patrol Baghdad and Basra and other cities day in and day out.  You have got to admit, we are taking it to a new level now, aren‘t we? 

MESSING:  Well, in some respects, we are, because we are merging more highly proficient weapons and technological elements, so, you know, that‘s part of it.  But...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Juan.

Let me bring Juan in for a second. 

You know, Juan, I want to show you some pictures of these so-called gang bangers.  They are making symbols, obviously symbols of gangs that they are members of.  But, Juan, you actually think it is a very positive thing for gang members to get into the military, because you believe when they get into the military, military discipline ultimately will win out.  Tell us about that. 

AVILA:  Well, based on my experience, I enlisted in ‘79, and, you know, I served with some of these guys from East L.A., New York, and back then, a lot of these guys used to tell me, hey, I am glad, you know, at that time, it was either going to jail, or the judge sentenced me.  He says, go to jail or go to the Marine Corps or military.

And a lot of those guys told me that they were glad they did that, due to the fact that they would be either dead or messed up on drugs.  I know the times have changed, and like I believe the major said, it‘s a low percentage of people going into the military, and then coming back and going back into their hood or going back to their barrio and saying, hey, all this training that I learned, I am going to go apply back out on the streets.

And, again, you know, a lot of us that are not gang members joined the

military and we are not going out there and applying all that we learned in

there and doing, you know, bad things.  So, again, I am not saying it has -

well, obviously it has happened, but a low percentage. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, yes, let‘s certainly hope—like you said, let‘s certainly hope that it remains a low percentage, but I want to thank KNTV reporter Damian Trujillo and Major Andy Messing and Juan Avila for being with us tonight.

And let me just tell you, I have got to underline this fact, that right now, even though the FBI is concerned, and we have got this remarkable report from our San Jose affiliate, right now, the Army and the Marines are saying that this isn‘t a big problem, that they are going to do their best to screen.

But, friends—it is just me being blunt—I was on the Armed Services Committee—I live in a military district down here.  We have got five bases in Northwest Florida.  I can tell you, and I saw it in the ‘70s, through 2005, that when you have trouble recruiting, sometimes, you lower the bar.  You don‘t ask as many questions.  You don‘t.  The screening is not quite as tough, and right now is the time when we need more people.

The Army and the Marines have been having some trouble meeting some of their recruitment standards.  The standards, they may drop in the future, and we have got to make sure that we screen all of the men and women that go into our armed forces and make sure they are going in there for the right reason. 

Now, coming up next, the fired producer of that CBS memo-gate story is talking out now, and now Mike Wallace is also getting involved in the fray.  Coming up next, we are going to have former CBS News man Bernie Goldberg asking why Dan Rather still is hanging out at the tiffany work.  That‘s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Natalee Holloway‘s parents write a letter to Aruban authorities, and they are making demands.  I will tell you, it‘s sounding like an ultimatum.  Things may start to get ugly in this case very soon.  We are going to be talking about that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back. 

You know, it‘s been a year tonight since George Bush was reelected. 

Of course, he got reelected in the shadow of the CBS memo-gate story.  Right now, though, a year later, Mary Mapes, the producer of that segment, is fighting back. 

And a lot of people are asking, why is Dan Rather still working at the tiffany network? 

Let‘s bring in Bernie Goldberg.  He‘s obviously a best-selling author, and—but more importantly, he is the guy who back, I believe it was in 1996, he is the one that first exposed CBS as being a liberal network. 

Bernie, I would love to talk to you about how much things have changed since that article first came out.  I think they have changed dramatically, but, at the same time, a year after memo-gate, Dan Rather still has his job. 

BERNARD GOLDBERG, AUTHOR, “100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP AMERICA”: 

Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is Dan the ultimate survivor? 

GOLDBERG:  No, I don‘t think he is.  I think that Dan Rather, the day the four other people got fired, or forced out, I think Dan Rather was fired that day also, except it‘s just going to take effect a little later on down the line, when his contract is up. 

This is not ending well for Dan Rather.  Here‘s a man who covered every major story of the past 40 or 50 years.  He risked his life many, many times.  And he is going out with his dignity being dragged through the mud. 

I mean, people do interviews in magazines, including people like Walter Cronkite and Mike Wallace, and they say negative things about Dan, and now this latest thing, where Mike Wallace has publicly, on NBC‘s “Today Show,” said that Dan Rather should have resigned after memo-gate.

For whatever it‘s worth, I think Mike Wallace is absolutely right.  Dan Rather should have resigned.  You know, there‘s a—and I think so should the president of CBS News, Andrew Heyward, have resigned.  And they should have done it not just because it would have been the right thing to do.  They should have done it for their own sake. 

What have they gained by not resigning?  Their reputations are in tatters and they could have gone out as heroes.  They could have gone out as champions.  They could have gone out as men of principle, people like the captains who go down...

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, you are talking about Dan Rather here, right?

GOLDBERG:  I am talking about Dan Rather and also his nominal boss, who—the outgoing president of CBS News, Andrew Heyward.  But...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think, Bernie, there are other people at CBS who obviously—you know, the great reporters there, like Bob Schieffer, Mike Wallace—in fact, I want to play you Mike Wallace—what Mike Wallace had to say to Katie Couric about Dan Rather.  Take a listen. 

GOLDBERG:  OK. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what?  I want to play you that.  But they don‘t have it cued up. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We saw it.  We all know what he said.  But they are embarrassed too, aren‘t they, by what Dan Rather did? 

GOLDBERG:  Dan Rather isn‘t wanted at “60 Minutes.”  They have made that very clear. 

And when Mike Wallace goes on “The Today Show” with Katie Couric and says Dan Rather should have resigned, it‘s just—you almost—and I want to emphasize the word almost—feel sorry for Dan.  If he had, in fact, resigned, as I say, you know, he used to sign off the broadcast for that week early on, when he first took over, he used to sign off with the word courage.  Well, he could have shown some courage by resigning. 

When a captain—when the ship is going down and the captain helped run the ship into the iceberg, he goes down with the ship.  That‘s a noble thing to do.  There‘s a fine tradition.  I am not saying it‘s easy, but it‘s noble.  It‘s courageous.  It‘s what a man like Dan Rather should have done. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Should have done.  And speaking of courage...

GOLDBERG:  For his own sake, for his own sake, because, by not doing it, he has only bought another year, and it‘s going to be a miserable year. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  No doubt about it. 

Now, speaking of courage, we have got the Mike Wallace clip, I am told, and I have got the courage to actually throw to it again and believe they are going to play it.  Let‘s take a look. 

GOLDBERG:  All right. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE TODAY SHOW”) 

KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST:  Do you think Dan Rather should have resigned? 

MIKE WALLACE, “60 MINUTES”:  I do.  It seems to me that Dan should have said, if they go, I go.  If the people on whom he depended are fired, lose their jobs, he was the guy on camera.  Absolutely, he should have resigned. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, it‘s so tough for him because, again, you got to know that professionals like Bob Schieffer, that Mike Wallace, the guys in front of the camera, they have got to be upset by what Dan Rather did.  But now you have got Mary Mapes that‘s coming out firing at Dan Rather also and these other people that got pushed aside by CBS.  They have got to feel abandoned by this guy also, don‘t they? 

GOLDBERG:  Who feels abandoned by him? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, the producers that got fired because of Rather. 

GOLDBERG:  Oh, sure.  Yes. 

I mean, they feel as if they have been had.  I can tell you that.  I know this from firsthand information, having spoken to people.  They think that, you know, Rather was the correspondent on the story.  The president of the news division was in on the story.  He was in on the meetings.  He knew what was going on, and the only people who at the time got canned were the executive producer, the producer, who should—the producer should have been fired—and the vice president, and the second in command on “60 Minutes” Wednesday. 

These people feel as if they were cut loose very unfairly.  Some of them were cut loose unfairly, and some, I think two of them, I think, should have been fired.  But the fact that Rather, right after this happened—and this is in my book, “100 People Who Screwed Up America”—wrote an e-mail to the entire staff, saying, this was a bad thing, and now we have to move on. 

Sure, that‘s easy for him to say.  He has got a job.  He says, we have

now he moves on, and they lose their jobs. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

GOLDBERG:  But I want to repeat, Joe, I am pretty convinced that he lost his job the day the report came out.  They just didn‘t announce it that day, but he got fired that day also, and it will take effect in about a year, when his contract is up.  They will not renew it.  There‘s not one person at CBS News who thinks his contract will be renewed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And even though it took a while to get Andrew Heyward out the door, he was dead man walking as soon as that report came out also. 

GOLDBERG:  It‘s absolutely true. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Final question, Mary Mapes has written that the so-called fat cats at CBS, the executives, were pleased this happened, because they were able to push Rather and these other people out the door.  What do you have to say about that? 

GOLDBERG:  Well, I mean, why do they need a scandal to push an employee out the door?  And, by the way, if Dan Rather were number one in the ratings on the evening news, this memo-gate scandal... 

SCARBOROUGH:  He would still be there. 

GOLDBERG:  Absolutely.  This memo-gate scandal would have—these other guys would have been canned, and Dan would have still been anchoring “The Cbs Evening News.” 

But people—this is incredible.  Executives were afraid of Dan Rather.  They were afraid to make a decision.  They were afraid to have a replacement ready to go, because Dan might have found out about it.  I mean, I have been told that from people inside. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  No doubt. 

GOLDBERG:  It‘s—they like to talk at CBS News about it being a family.  It is.  It‘s the Manson family. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Bernie Goldberg, we will have to leave it there. 

Thanks so much.  I appreciate you being here. 

I got to say this, though, friends.  I don‘t know that I would say that it‘s the Manson family.  Again, there are some good people over there that have been great reporters for so long and given so much to this country and also to this profession.  You talk about Mike Wallace, that is a tough guy.  I don‘t know whether he is liberal or conservative.  Same thing with Bob Schieffer.  I don‘t know whether Bob Schieffer is a liberal or a conservative.  I don‘t care.  I just know they are great reporters, and they have served their profession proudly and served this country proudly.

And it‘s just a shame, unfortunately again, the way things went down a year ago. 

Now, coming up next, we have got a desperate tonight for a beauty queen turned teacher who vanished without a trace.  Do police have any suspects?  Well, her family is going to give us the very latest on that search. 

And Cameron Diaz, hot Hollywood star, or poster child for the liberal elite?  That depends on who you ask.  Well, tonight, we are asking Michelle Malkin, who doesn‘t really think too much of Ms. Diaz.  I don‘t know why.  I can‘t wait to ask her. 

That and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  A schoolteacher and former beauty queen disappears without a trace.  We are going to be talking to her family and get the very latest when we return.

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

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  These devout Muslims claim they were profiled for praying at an NFL game.  We will get the latest on that.  And commentator and author Michelle Malkin will be in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about it, and she says the police were well within their rights, and she will tell you exactly why.  We will be talking about her latest book, too.  You‘re not going to want to miss that.

Plus, Natalee Holloway‘s family is going on the attack after their investigation in Aruba.  What is the latest drastic action?  We are going to get at that, also.

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Great to have you with us. 

Those stories in minutes.

But, first, what happened to Tara Grinstead?  She was a former beauty queen and Georgia schoolteacher who vanished on Saturday night.

As NBC‘s Mark Potter reports, her family and students are fearing the worst. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK POTTER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Six years ago, Tara Grinstead was the winner of a local beauty contest, on her way to the Miss Georgia Pageant, talking about a new career she loved. 

TARA GRINSTEAD, TEACHER:  I am an 11th grade history teacher at Irwin County High School, and I also have a cheerleading squad of junior varsity cheerleaders, ninth and 10th graders.  I just completed my first year of teaching, and I loved every bit of it. 

POTTER:  Now, to her students, she is not so much a beauty queen, but an inspiration. 

LINDY LUCKE, STUDENT:  I love Tara.  She was my friend, and, like I said, it‘s not the same without her. 

POTTER:  Ten days ago, Grinstead disappeared, prompting an intensive search in rural Georgia on foot and all-terrain vehicles.  There were even 80 searchers on horseback. 

SONYA POPKEN, SEARCH VOLUNTEER:  This is just a hometown girl.  It‘s important to find her, either way. 

POTTER:  Volunteers in Ocilla, Georgia, have put up thousands of flyers, and there is a find Tara Web site.  Police say they have no clues, but her family suspects foul play. 

CONNIE GRINSTEAD, STEPMOTHER OF TARA GRINSTEAD:  We know this is so out of character for her, to not go to work, to not call in, and to not have gotten in touch with somebody. 

POTTER:  The 30-year-old woman was last seen heading home from a late-night dinner with friends.  At her house, decorated for Halloween, police found her cell phone inside and her car in the driveway.  Evidence technicians found no signs of a struggle or forced entry, but did notice her purse and keys were gone. 

ANITA GATTIS, SISTER OF TARA GRINSTEAD:  I think she left on her own accord, and it turned into an abduction after that. 

POTTER:  Her students are frightened and perplexed. 

DANA WILDER, STUDENT:  I was one of the last people to see her. 

POTTER:  Including one, whom Grinstead had helped hours before she disappeared, working at, of all things, a beauty pageant. 

WILDER:  She was in a wonderful mood.  She was doing something that she loved.  She loved doing hair and makeup for girls and pageants, and she loved going to the pageants. 

POTTER:  Police say they have no proof of an abduction, but, as time passes, their concerns grow. 

DONNIE YOUGHN, IRWIN COUNTY SHERIFF:  Not good.  Not good.  We don‘t have any leads. 

POTTER:  Tara Grinstead‘s family says now is the time for faith. 

T. GRINSTEAD:  I am a Christian, and I believe in the lord. 

POTTER:  Six years ago, the beauty queen expressed the same sentiment when she explained how she overcomes trouble. 

T. GRINSTEAD:  I know that the lord is going to see me through. 

POTTER:  Mark Potter, NBC News, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  With us now on the phone from Ocilla, Georgia, is Tara‘s step mom, Connie Grinstead. 

Connie, thank you so much for being with us tonight.  I know it‘s got to be a terribly difficult time for you.  And know, just right out front, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family tonight. 

Can you tell us what your latest—what latest information you have on Tara and the disappearance?  Do you all believe tonight still that this could have been an abduction? 

C. GRINSTEAD:  Well, of course, we know that this is a possibility, and until, you know, we find some evidence or find Tara, then we have to, you know, just consider everything as a possibility. 

There is an anonymous tip line set up, and tips are starting to come in, and of course, every one of them is checked out, but so far, none of them have led us to Tara. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Are there any suspects?  People have been talking about a former boyfriend.  People have also been talking about a student that may have been—may have had an unhealthy attraction to her.  Can you talk about some of the people that the police are looking at and that you all are concerned about tonight? 

C. GRINSTEAD:  Well, I don‘t think anybody at this point has been considered a suspect.  I think that what they are doing in the investigation is just interviewing anybody who had any connection to Tara, whether it was in her personal life or through her job, or just, you know, whatever manner they knew her, and they are just continuing those investigations. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let me ask you this, Connie.  What can we do?  You talked about the tip line.  Is there anything else that people that are watching tonight can do to help you all out? 

C. GRINSTEAD:  We just want to keep the word out there.  We want this anonymous tip line phone number posted, and we just feel like somebody knows something, and we are just hoping and praying that somebody will come forward and give information that will lead us to Tara. 

They don‘t have to give their name or any information, except what they know about Tara‘s disappearance. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Connie.  We really do appreciate it.  And, again, we are thinking about you and your family and praying for you.  And also, we will put that tip line up on our Web site.  Thanks so much. 

C. GRINSTEAD:  Thank you.  Thank you for having me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

You know, moving on, Americans are obviously getting slammed at the pump.  Oil companies, as you know, are making record profits.  Now, friends, we have talked about this last week.  We are going to be talking about it in the future.  I am a capitalist.  I believe in supply and demand. 

I believe in Adam Smith‘s “Invisible Hand.”  I believe in keeping government out of businesses‘ business.  But, still, I can‘t help but be curious as to whether massive oil profits are a result of supply and demand or price gouging.  See, this is what I don‘t understand.  If oil costs more for oil companies to buy, then obviously gas should cost us more.  But, why in these tough times, the toughest times at the pumps, are oil companies‘ profits exploding at record rates?  Why are the percentages of profits going higher? 

Now, when I talk to my friends in the oil industry, they always go back to the same thing, refineries.  We had “Mad Money”‘s Jim Cramer on last week.  He was talking about refineries, but, friends, answer this question for me.  Why is it that is costs more to refine oil that comes in at, let‘s say, $70 a barrel, instead of refining oil at $30? 

Now, I mean, is there a chemical makeup in that oil at $70 a barrel that is different and more difficult?  Because they are not pumping—we know, they‘re not pumping more oil through those refineries.  I don‘t think $70-a-barrel oil makes the refinery equipment heat up any more, doesn‘t break down more. 

But I will tell you what is breaking down, the logic in this case.  And it‘s something we are going to keep investigating.  I am going to—I am offering the invitation again.  I want anybody in the oil industry to come on our show and explain to me.  I am not being a smart aleck.  I was going to say something else, but my mom is watching tonight. 

I really do.  I want to know the answers, because, as I said, I am a capitalist.  I believe in profit.  I want oil companies to make a lot of money, but I don‘t want corporations to make money on the backs of working-class Americans, and I certainly don‘t want price gouging, and until somebody comes on this show and explains it to me, I have just got to come to the conclusion that, as far as economics goes, this just doesn‘t add up. 

Now, coming up next, Natalee Holloway‘s family, they have been polite for months, even as Aruban investigators made major mistakes, but not anymore.  Tonight, they are taking off the gloves.  They are going on the offensive, and they are shaking up this case.  We are going to tell you about it.

And, also, devout Muslims pulled from an NFL stadium for praying.  Our next guest says, there‘s nothing wrong with that.  And I agree.  The always feisty Michelle Malkin in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY with the always feisty Joe Scarborough—a feisty segment coming up in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  A major shakeup in Aruba today.  Natalee Holloway‘s parents fired off an explosive six-page letter.  They say they are absolutely fed up with the investigation.  And they want new people on the case and they want them there now. 

With us on the phone is Natalee‘s stepmom, Robin Holloway, who signed the letter, and also MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt, who was in Aruba this summer, did some remarkable report. 

Let me start with you, Robin. 

It sounds like the family is finally fed up.  What was the triggering event to make you all write this remarkable letter to Aruban authorities? 

ROBIN HOLLOWAY, STEPMOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Hi, Joe.  And just, I apologize for my voice.  I think I am losing it, so I hope you can understand me OK. 

But just, five months, I mean, we are going on half-a-year.  And there‘s still no answers.  As far as we know, they are still no closer to finding out what happened to Natalee.  We are just hoping some fresh faces will bring new answers, and that there‘s—we know there‘s witnesses that need to be re-questioned or re-interviewed, and hopefully, a new team could help solve what happened to Natalee, because, right now, almost half-a-year later, we are still no closer. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But obviously, the family has been so frustrated for so long, but you all have had to bite your tongues because you had to work with the Aruban authorities, but, again, at this point, you have just had enough, haven‘t you? 

HOLLOWAY:  Oh, yes.

And, of course, I mean, everybody that has talked to Dave and interviewed Dave, they know how patient he is.  But just—it‘s been so long with just—just so much needs to be focused back onto the three suspects, not these questions about is Beth related to Hitler?  No, she is not, but, if she was, just that has nothing to do with what happened to Natalee. 

Just we need to get our perspective back on the three witnesses and what they know and what they did with her.  And just—we don‘t know what else to do now. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, and that‘s a great point.  It seems to me that everybody in Aruba, Clint, they are trying to make this about Beth.  They are trying to attack Beth.  You were down there. 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  Sure. 

SCARBOROUGH:  These guys have been running an extraordinarily sloppy investigation, haven‘t they? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, I think so, Joe.  You know, I understand the family‘s frustration, as you say, having been there, having talked to Beth and the investigators, the private investigators working the case. 

I mean, they are all frustrated with it.  There was mistakes made from square one.  I think, for most people, it looks like this case has ground to a standstill without any solution.  So, from an investigator‘s standpoint, it‘s time for new blood. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Beth is—or this letter at least is saying that it appears that the chief investigator‘s goal right now is to incite anti-Beth feelings. 

And if you look at some of the statements Dompig has made over the last several days, it certainly looks like they are trying to turn the people in Aruba against Beth.  It‘s going to get ugly down there pretty soon, isn‘t it? 

Clint?

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, I think it is already, Joe.  I think that there‘s this animosity that is building.  I think the Aruban government and people want this case to go away.  You know, as Americans, obviously we don‘t. 

But, you know, one of the things that I would advocate on this, Joe, is that the reality is that the Aruban police have really lost their credibility in this whatsoever.  They have done a terrible investigation.  They do basically terrible interviews.  I have seen the results of the interviews when I was down there doing some reporting for you and your show, and it‘s just not consistent with what we see internationally. 

Were it me down there, I would say, hey, let‘s—you know, the FBI can‘t go down and take over the case.  I mean, whether the Holloway-Twitty family wants that, the reality is, it‘s not going to happen.  But the Dutch can.  The Dutch are very good investigators in Holland, good homicide detectives, good interviewers.  Were it me in the Aruban government, I would say, let‘s bring a team in from Holland, kind of a cold-case squad.  Let them start from square one and let them take the case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And that would make a big, big difference. 

Clint, thank you so much, as always.

Robin Holloway, greatly appreciate you joining us by phone. 

Coming up next, Michelle Malkin has a new book, and if you are politically correct, beware.  She is coming after you.  And she is here to talk about it and share some incredible tales from the left. 

Stay with us.  That‘s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Racial profiling or post-9/11 precaution?  At the Hurricane Katrina football game between the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, five Muslim fans say they were harassed and removed from their seats for praying. 

The FBI questioned the men, they say, because they were congregating near a main stadium air duct.  The men were freed, but say they haven‘t ruled out suing the authorities. 

With me now, we have Michelle Malkin.  She‘s the author of the new book “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.” 

Michelle, always great to talk to you. 

Want to talk about your book, but let‘s talk first about this case in New York, which certainly feeds into a lot of the political correctness you talk about.  You think authorities did the right thing at Giants Stadium? 

MICHELLE MALKIN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  I certainly do. 

It‘s amazing, Joe, that there are so many people in this country who seem to have forgotten a small event called September 11.  These people live in an alternate reality, and someone needs to bring them down to planet Earth.  I mean, the fact is that this inconvenience that these men suffered was not a human rights violation.  And a lot of these civil liberties absolutists run around like chickens without their heads on, getting ready to sue for any small delay or inconvenience or questioning.

And the authorities did absolutely the right thing, and this is an example of liberal hindsight hypocrisy, because these liberals will always come around after the fact, after there‘s a catastrophe and say, yes, law enforcement should have done this and should have done that.  And it‘s not until after people are dead that they come around to accepting what needs to be done preemptively to make sure that we don‘t suffer another September 11. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Michelle, what if these were five Roman Catholic guys from Staten Island that decided they want to pray are in the same area?  Obviously, the police wouldn‘t have arrested them for making those prayers.  What do you say to people who say, it‘s just not fair; you have got to treat everybody the same; you have got to treat Muslims like you treat Catholics, like you treat atheists, like you treat Southern Baptists?

MALKIN:  Well, if it was 19 Roman Catholics who were screaming the Hail Mary when they drove those planes into the World Trade Center, yes, they would be subject to that kind of profiling, and I would be criticizing them if they were complaining about it now. 

I mean, come on, face the facts about the kind of people who are committing terrorists acts all across the world and particularly in this country.  They fit a certain profile.  And I don‘t think we should be handcuffing our local, state, or federal law enforcement and telling them they can‘t take these factors into account.  The fact is that the ACLU wants to hamstring our efforts to fight terrorism in this country.  They want reverse profiling. 

They want anybody who actually fits this behavioral profile, this national security profile, to get a pass.  They want grandmothers and toddlers to be subjected to this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.

MALKIN:  And they oppose behavioral profiling, racial profiling, random searches, everything.  They don‘t want to fight this war. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Michelle, 95 percent of Americans are just so outraged by that type of behavior.  It really makes no sense.  And it‘s almost like we aren‘t a serious society.  It‘s almost like we haven‘t learned the lessons from September 11.

I want to talk about—again, this—you have covered this, not only in this book.  You also covered—obviously, as you know, I am a big fan of your columns, read them all the time.  But talk about in your book—one part that I don‘t get, you talk about Cameron Diaz.  I have always seen her as fairly helpless.  But you say that she is one of the more offensive Hollywood types.  Tell us why. 

MALKIN:  She is certainly unhinged. 

Right before the election, she gave an Oscar-winning performance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” ostensibly to get young people out to vote, but what she said was really, really over the top.  She basically said that, if you didn‘t vote and, tacitly, implicitly, didn‘t vote for John Kerry, that rape would be legalized in this country.

Now, you could dismiss this as just sort of one fringe Hollywood lunatic, but the fact is that you get a lot of that same over-the-top, overblown rhetoric from Democrat Party leaders.  And we are seeing that this week.  Look at the reaction to the Samuel Alito nomination.  Harry Reid seems like he is reading from the same script as Cameron Diaz and a lot of these NOW feminists and NARAL people, talking about women‘s rights being thrown out the window if Samuel Alito is nominated. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Michelle, it looks like David Brooks was actually reading from your book when he wrote a column on Sunday talking about this same exact thing, that they seem so unhinged in Washington, D.C.

But, my gosh, what is it about Hollywood that makes these liberals in Hollywood, again, seem so unhinged, so out of control? 

MALKIN:  It‘s something in their Perrier, I think. 

(LAUGHTER)

MALKIN:  But also, I mean, there‘s—it‘s just such a self-reinforcing atmosphere there.  There‘s absolutely no dissent.

And you hear from the lone Hollywood conservatives all the time that these folks are not exposed to reality.  And what my book is about is turning the mirror and shattering a lot of myths, the myth of liberal tolerance and liberal civility and liberal understanding.  Again, it‘s not just Hollywood.  It‘s every enclave of the Democrat Party establishment, from the grassroots to the mainstream, academia, Hollywood, the anti-war left, and the top of the Democrat Party leadership. 

I give them a friendly intervention with this book, and I hope they take some of my advice. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I hope they do, too.  We need a strong two-party system, but as long as they are unhinged—and they really are—as long as they are unhinged, they are only hurting themselves.  There‘s so much hate speech out there.

But, Michelle, thanks for being with us.  Greatly appreciate it.  The name of the book is “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”  I really appreciate you being with us tonight.  Greatly appreciate it.

MALKIN:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it was really great being with you tonight.  I appreciate you joining SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY again. 

Right now, stay tuned, because “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” starts right now. 

Hey, Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight, buddy? 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  A lot going on tonight, Joe.  It‘s been a busy couple news weeks.  And we are grateful for that.

Thanks.

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

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