updated 11/4/2005 10:27:40 AM ET 2005-11-04T15:27:40

Guest: Sigi Gonzalez, Duncan Hunter, William Slemaker, Pat Rutherford,

Karen Lejuez, Jossy Mansur, Gil Davis, Robert Mintz, Christopher Kennedy

Lawford, Ted Poe

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  Tonight, a bombshell in the Natalee Holloway case.  Wait until you hear what Dr. Phil says he believes happened to her.  He says she's probably still alive.  And we're going to get to that stunning claim in the Holloway investigation in just a moment.

But we begin with our LIVE AND DIRECT investigation, the crisis at America's borders, Americans murdered and kidnapped on the U.S./Mexican border by dangerous drug terrorists.  You will not believe the dangers that are coming across the line, headed our way.

Last night, we showed you the heartbreaking story of an American father, William Slemaker, whose own daughter, Yvette, has been missing now for more than a year since she crossed the border into Mexico.  It's believed that she was one of hundreds of Americans caught in the middle of a war being fueled mainly by drug money.  It's a most extraordinary situation on our border, and yet no one seems to be able to put a stop to it.

I recently went down to the u.s./Mexican border to see the situation for myself.  I toured some of the most dangerous areas in the middle of the night with members of the Zapata County sheriff's department.  And what I saw with my own eyes was truly incredible.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY (voice-over):  The drug wars raging along America's borders are out of control and getting worse by the day.  Rival drug cartels operating just minutes away from the U.S. Border have turned a once thriving Mexican city, Nuevo Laredo, into a battlefield.  And as soon as the sun goes down, the region turns into the Wild West.  Traffickers smuggling drugs, illegal immigrants and terrorists are waging a vicious campaign to stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

I rode along with Texas sheriff Sigi Gonzalez and his men as they risked their lives to keep this war from bleeding over into the United States.

(on camera):  How bad has the situation gotten for you?

SHERIFF SIGIFREDO GONZALEZ, JR., ZAPATA COUNTY, TEXAS:  It's gotten worse.  It's gotten a lot worse.

COSBY:  As you drive along, Sheriff, what kind of security do you have with you?

GONZALEZ:  Right now, I've got one pistol and I've got one automatic weapon.  You know, I always carry a weapon with me, but now it's a weapon that's visible.  I want to make sure that people know that I am, in fact, carrying a weapon.

COSBY:  As we're driving along, what are you looking for?

GONZALEZ:  Right now, I'm just seeing what vehicles may be next to us in our rearview mirrors.  And when we're making a stop at a traffic light, I want to make sure that I know who is around me or what type of a situation I can see.  I know right now, (INAUDIBLE) safe because I got—I know the person that's behind me (INAUDIBLE)  But other than that, I would be more cautious.  I would be looking in the mirrors more often and see who's behind me.

COSBY (voice-over):  We are traveling from Laredo to Zapata, a 50-mile journey along this dark and perilous border.  Amazingly, we see no other law enforcement our whole night other than Gonzalez's men.  That's because they have to patrol nearly 1,000 square miles.  At any given time, only five deputies are actually on duty to cover that much terrain.

Texas congressman Ted Poe spearheaded our border journey and was also stunned to see it for himself.

(on camera):  You know, as we're driving along tonight, are you surprised how bad it is here?

REP. TED POE ®, TEXAS:  I think most Americans are really unaware of the war zone here in the Texas/Mexican border, especially in this location.

COSBY:  Are you surprised when you see it firsthand?

POE:  Oh, you're always amazed how much activity there really is.

COSBY (voice-over):  We arrive at our first destination, the broken-down fence that's supposed to keep illegal immigrants and drug smugglers out.  Clearly, it's not working.  These makeshift paths are heavily traveled and wide open for anyone to enter.

(on camera):  What is this?

GONZALEZ:  This here is an area that is used for—by human and drug smugglers.  This is a footpath here which (INAUDIBLE) use so much by human and drug smugglers bring their loads across, as you can see.  It's so used so much.  You can actually see some here, where they dumped their water bottles.  Look at that.  That's from Mexico.  That's not a U.S. brand, it's Mexican.

COSBY:  So they're literally walking from where, down here and coming in?

GONZALEZ:  They're walking from here, human smugglers again or drug smugglers.  There's supposed to be a fence here, and the fence is really actually all tore down already.  The wires on here—there's one strand left of a fence that's supposed to be here.

POE:  How long has this fence been broken?  Does it get replaced?

GONZALEZ:  No, it never gets replaced anymore.  (INAUDIBLE) replacement.  What for?  It's going to be torn again—not even 24 hours later, it'll be down again.

COSBY (voice-over):  As we sneak through the brush, we quickly learn the dangers these men face every night.

GONZALEZ:  The reason we're (INAUDIBLE) is that somebody could be behind us.

COSBY:  We're now told to wear bullet-proof vests because deadly traffickers could be hiding anywhere and aren't afraid to shoot anything that gets in their way, especially law enforcement.

(on camera):  You're always armed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, yes.  Yes.  When you come here, you got to be armed.  You have to be armed.  You know, just imagine coming over here and meeting just 10, 15 guys bringing down—bringing 3,000 pounds (INAUDIBLE) across the river.  They're going to be armed.

COSBY:  What are you carrying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It's an AR-15.

COSBY:  And is this even a match for what you're up against?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  This is not a fully automatic weapon, and they have fully automatic weapons.  We'd like to carry fully automatic weapons, but the department doesn't always have enough funds.

COSBY (voice-over):  Sadly, police say they're overwhelmed, easily outmanned and outgunned.  Narco-terrorists are loaded with cash, drug money which enables them to buy the most sophisticated weapons, shoulder-fired missiles and even GPS devices, which they use to track down cops.

At this point in our dangerous journey, we're told to turn off our camera lights and use only the night vision that we at MSNBC brought along.  The sheriff fears we could become the next targets.

(on camera):  You were told basically what you guys have is child's play.

GONZALEZ:  Oh, yes.

COSBY:  How so?

GONZALEZ:  Well, I mean, we're dealing with people with automatic weapons, grenade launchers, all kinds of equipment that can locate us and know where we're at, night vision.  We don't have any of these things.

COSBY:  It's now 2:00 o'clock in the morning, and at this hour, it's easy to see why this border is so porous.  Where those lights are right over my shoulder is Mexico.  It's less than half a mile away.  It's believed that on any given week, about 20,000 people enter the United States through Mexico illegally.  More than half of those are not Mexicans.  They originally come from other countries, and those are the ones that law enforcement fear the most.

GONZALEZ:  You walk in here blind.  One time I was in a place like this, just doing this stuff with the flashlight, just doing like this, and then I heard somebody running.  Of course, I hit the ground.  I hit the ground and grabbed my pistol and just waited to see what's coming.

COSBY:  Congressman, why are we worried about the non-Mexicans coming through?

POE:  It's a great concern mainly because two of reasons.  One, drug trafficking.  These borders bring in lots of drugs, especially right here in Laredo area, the number one port, inland port in the United States.  And the second most important reason is we know that the next terrorist attack will be probably because somebody came through the southern Texas border...

COSBY:  When you look here at the lack of deputies, lack of border patrol agents, just because of a lack of staffing, it is shameful.  How are we going to prevent another 9/11 attempt?

POE:  As we learned this morning and tonight, the drug dealers have better equipment than our own police officers do.  And it's time that we understand that this is a major national issue and we have to deal with it on a national basis.

COSBY:  These guys are extraordinarily dangerous.  What are some of the things you've heard that some of the drug lords have done?

GONZALEZ:  Put people through grinders (ph) (INAUDIBLE) and then the feed the meat to dogs.  We've also heard that they've got vats with acid, filled with acid, and they dump bodies in that acid.

COSBY:  These are the kind of people that your guys, just a few of you, are up against.

GONZALEZ:  Yes.  It's dangerous.  It is dangerous on the border.  (INAUDIBLE) we're all watching out for.  You have a deputy sheriff working out in the street or on the highway, 20 miles or, you know, 30 miles from backup, by himself or by herself.  And you make a traffic stop (INAUDIBLE) people, who knows what'll happen.  It's dangerous.

COSBY (voice-over):  Law enforcement say the odds are way against them.  It's unlikely they'll actually catch smugglers as they cross, since there are so few officers to man this massive stretch of land.  On this night, all we found were these unsuspecting partiers caught on our night vision.  But soon after, at this very same spot, called Paradise Point, sheriffs seized a quarter ton of marijuana in broad daylight.

Mexicans I spoke with say day or night, it's no secret how easy it is to cross into America, especially since at some points, the Rio Grande is only 75 yards wide, shorter than a football field.

(on camera):  Why is it so easy to enter illegally?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator):  There's very little law enforcement.  The river is shallow, and there are parts people could cross through easily.

COSBY:  Can they enter all the time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator):  Yes, all the time.  Anytime. 

People get caught, but they'll try again.

COSBY:  How do they enter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator):  The majority pass through the river.  The river is long and has shallow parts, so it's easy to pass through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And we're joined now LIVE AND DIRECT by Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has a controversial plan he just announced a few hours ago to fix the many of the problems that we just showed you.  Congressman, what exactly are you proposing?

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER ®, CALIFORNIA:  Well, actually, it shouldn't be controversial because we've already completed part of it, and that, very simply, is the answer to what you just showed in Texas.  That's what we had between Tijuana and San Diego.  Ten years ago, that was a no-man's-land.  We had the robbing, raping, murdering.  We had gangs that roamed that area between America and Mexico.  And we had that scraggly barbed-wire fence, like the one that you showed near Nuevo Laredo.

Now, what we did was build a triple fence.  And that is, we had a steel fence right on the border, built out of Desert Strom-type landing mat (ph).  Then 50 yards into the United States, we built a 15-foot high fence with a major overhang that Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't climb on his best day.

COSBY:  But Congressman...

HUNTER:  And then we had a second border patrol road and then a third fence.  And we found out it was so effective, we didn't even need the third fence.  And we—we are prosing...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  That was what I was going ask you.  Is that what you're asking for, the whole stretch, all 2,000 miles?

HUNTER:  Yes, we propose to extend that fence all the way the 1,800 miles from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros (ph), Mexico.  It could be done quickly.  You can start the sections in different places.  For example, you could start a section—what we ought to do with the murder and the killing and the violence in Nuevo Laredo is to immediately build a triple fence on the American side of the border and cut that route off to the drug industry, which is using Nuevo Laredo as a jump-off point.

COSBY:  Real quick.  What could that cost?  What's the pricetag on that?

HUNTER:  Well, we can build this fence, a triple fence, the contractors, private contractors bid around $1 million a mile.  If they did that across the 2,000 miles between San Diego and Brownsville, Texas, you're talking about $2 billion.  Right now, the drug trade and all of the costs of criminal aliens are upwards of $40 billion or $50 billion a year, if you count the total cost of having an unsecured border.

We offered this bill today, and it basically extends the San Diego border fence—I wish you'd show a picture of that because it's a very effective barrier.  And if you go out there, the border patrol manning that will tell you they can drive a high-speed vehicle between those two fences, and unless everybody's out at the Dairy Queen, people cannot get across that double fence or the triple fence that preceded it.

COSBY:  Yes, in fact, I've seen that firsthand.  Congressman, if you could, stick with us because our special border crisis investigation is going to continue.  We're going to talk with you more after the break.

Also, a father whose daughter is missing is outraged after seeing my interview last night with the mayor of Laredo, where she claimed the daughter may not have been such an innocent victim, after all.

And that's not all that's coming up tonight.  Still ahead, Dr. Phil drops a bombshell theory in the Natalee Holloway case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. PHIL MGRAW:  Natalee Holloway is alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And that's not all he had to say.  Wait until you hear what he believes could have happened to the missing girl.  Is it even possible?

And do these men think they are moments away from a sexy rendezvous with a teen they met on line?  But boy, are they wrong.  It's all caught on tape.  That's next on LIVE AND DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Tonight: There is a major crisis on the U.S./Mexican border.  Last night, we told you about a heartbreaking story of an American father desperately looking for his daughter, who has been missing since she went to a concert in Mexico just over the border over a year ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM SLEMAKER, DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED IN MEXICO:  I believe she was picked up on the orders of one of these bosses.

COSBY:  One of the drug lords?

SLEMAKER:  Yes.

COSBY:  Where do you think she is now?

SLEMAKER:  Oh, that's a $1 million question.  I wish I knew.  If I knew, I'd go and break their door down myself.  If somebody told me she was at the devil's house, I'd go down there and knock his door down and get her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And after our interview with William Slemaker, I interviewed the mayor of his hometown, Laredo, Texas, last night.  She made some very fiery statements, implying that the victims of these crimes, including Slemaker's own daughter, are tied to drug runners.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR ELIZABETH FLORES, LAREDO, TEXAS:  These young ladies went at 11:00 o'clock at night, were kidnapped somewhere around 4:00 in the morning in another country.  So were the other 20 Americans that they've been talking.  All—all of these folks somehow are directly or indirectly tied to these—to this war on drugs.

COSBY:  How so?

FLORES:  The war that you're watching there...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  But Mayor, I got to interrupt you because you made some comment earlier on another show, where you said that they were drug-related kidnappings.  Are you suggesting that these folks were involved in drugs?.

FLORES:  Yes, ma'am, I am.  All these folks were not innocent victims, and that's what you have to understand and tell the rest of the country because it is also very irresponsible to be saying that there is violence or murder on the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And joining us now to respond to that controversial interview is William Slemaker himself.  By the way, we did invite the mayor to come back on our show tonight or to provide us with any evidence that Slemaker's daughter had drug ties.  She did decline.

Mr. Slemaker, you know, we're not going to take sides in this, but what do you make of the remarks by the mayor?

SLEMAKER:  Oh, it's saddening to see that she continues to slap us in the face after—after a year and two months gone by.  I wish that if she had the evidence to prove that they were involved in drugs that she'd present it to the district attorney and let them handle it.  And if she doesn't, I really would like for her to shut up because she causes a lot of pain and anguish to my family, and it's uncalled for.  And I'm not going to stand around and take it any longer from her.  She's done it twice already on national TV, and I only wish I had the money to hire an attorney and sue her and the city of Laredo for slander.

COSBY:  Mr. Slemaker, is it possible that your daughter was involved in drugs?  Do you have any evidence?  Is it possible that maybe you just don't know it?

SLEMAKER:  No.  No.  No, no.  My daughter was not involved in drugs.  She went to a concert.  Yes, it was late at night, at 11:00 o'clock at night.  But that's the time they hold the concerts.  They advertise this.  They're celebrating the independence of Mexico.  And what they need to understand is that that's the time they hold the concerts, you know, and it's something that's advertised.  They invite people to come to these concerts.  So she makes it sound as if she was doing something wrong, and she wasn't.

COSBY:  What do you think the mayor's motivation is?  What do you believe is behind her comments?

SLEMAKER:  Oh, I don't know.  I feel it's the economy, tourists.  I feel she should sell (ph) Laredo.  Sometimes I wonder if she's Laredo's mayor or Nuevo Laredo's mayor.

COSBY:  Which is, of course, the town on the other side of the border, where there's been, what, 145 murders so far just this year.  You know, Mr.  Slemaker, do you feel just the U.S. government in general, whether it's local leaders or higher-ups, that they're doing enough to help your daughter?  I know that there's, what, more than 20 others that are also missing.

SLEMAKER:  Well, I can tell you that our local leaders are not doing enough.  They're not doing anything.  You know, we have a congressman, Henry Cuellar (ph), who's been trying to get help and trying to ask our government to pressure the Mexican government.  But I do feel that our U.S.  government could do more.  I mean, we are the children of this nation.  We have 23 of our children missing, and nobody's doing anything about them.  I mean, it's scary.  You know, today it's my daughter, tomorrow, God forbid, it might be yours.  And one thing I can assure you, there's nothing being done about it.

COSBY:  And it is a desperate situation, and I hope us doing the story brings some attention to your daughter's case and that of some of those others, too.  Mr. Slemaker, thank you very much.

So how do we fix this crisis?  Let's bring in Congressman Ted Poe, who was with me for my dangerous journey to the Mexican border and also saw those challenges there firsthand with me.  And back with us also is Congressman Duncan Hunter, who is proposing that 2,000-mile-long fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Congressman Poe, you know, you and I were out there in the middle of the night.  I'll tell everybody, you were a real trooper because it was 2:00, 3:00 in the morning and we were up there.  But you left very angry, right?

POE:  No question about it.  Our borders are porous.  We know, of course, that drug dealers come across.  Those coyotes that bring human beings over to the United States for money, they sneak into the United States.  And of course, we're concerned about the terrorists that could come across the border.  And when our own sheriff's department can't even go down to the river without bullet-proof vests, M-16 rifles, SWAT teams, there's something wrong here.  And so we certainly need to make this a national issue because it is the duty of government to protect its sovereignty, and that includes protecting the sovereignty of its borders.

COSBY:  You bet.  You know, one of the things that we both learned—and this is astounding.  I want to show this.  This is what the deputies make in Mexico, and it's no wonder that a lot of them are paid off and bought up.  The average salary there, $23,000 a year.  They get, if they get involved in these drug pay-offs, according to the sheriff that we rode along with, $30,000 to $40,000 a week.  How do you combat this, Congressman?  I mean, what do you do?

POE:  Well, we have to admire the deputies and the sheriffs that patrol the border.  They...

COSBY:  Yes, boy, are they real heroes!  You know, you and I saw that firsthand.  These guys have guts.

POE:  Well, they do, and they're passionate about America.  And as one of the sheriffs, Rick Flores, said, that this is a red, white and blue issue.  This is not a partisan issue, to protect the borders.  But our sheriff's department, the deputies, they're outgunned.  They have less money.  They don't have as good of equipment as the enemy does.  And it's a real crisis on the border, and it is becoming a war zone to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the United States.

COSBY:  And Congressman Hunter, you know, how big of a concern—one of the things we talked about with Congressman Poe—we saw this in the piece—is not just illegal immigrants, not just drugs.  We're talking about maybe weapons of mass destruction getting through the borders.  It's so easy to get through!

HUNTER:  Well, Rita, you're exactly right.  This year, I just looked at the statistics, and we had 155,000 people who were apprehended coming across the southern border who were not from Mexico.  Some of those people were from North Korea, the ones that we caught.  Some of them were from Iran.  Some of them were from Yemen.  So we have people who have realized now that if you want to get into the United States, you don't come in through LA International Airport anymore, or Houston, you come across a land border.

And what we have to do here is build a border fence.  And we've been through all of this before in San Diego.  We had a no-man's-land, just like they have between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.  We had the gangs.  We had the robberies, the rapes, the murders, the massive drug cartels.  We had 300 drug trucks a month running the border at Tijuana, just running right across the border and coming up to where the freeway started and getting lost in that traffic.

We built the triple fence.  And incidentally, we started that when the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, and the full House of Representatives voted, mandated that that 14 miles of fence in the San Diego/Tijuana smuggling corridor—that triple fence shall be built.  So they voted for it once.  We have a Republican majority in the Congress right now.  They're going to vote for it again, and the first smuggling corridor I would recommend fencing in Texas is the Nuevo Laredo/Laredo smuggling corridor.

COSBY:  You bet.  I saw that firsthand.  You know, Congressman Poe, you were right there with me.  One of the things I found astounding—you told me this—you actually timed those cars.  If we can actually show the border where the cars are kind of going down the border?  You timed how long they're checking documents to see if folks are legal.  This is going through the legal mechanism.

POE:  That's right.  Some people try to come into the United States through the port of entry there at Laredo.  And the average stay of a car, the inspection, is 22 seconds.  So we have a border agent that has to look in the car, determine if these people are citizens or legally coming into the United States, takes 22 seconds.

COSBY:  Real quick, Congressman...

POE:  That's why every...

COSBY:  ... what are you pitching?  I know you're pitching (INAUDIBLE)

I want to make sure we get to that.  Real quick.

POE:  Everybody that comes to the United States should have a passport.  They do it in every other country except the United States.  We don't require passports for Mexican citizens, people from the Caribbean islands and Canadians.  So it's time that we have passports so we know who comes in the United States.  Passports don't discriminate.  And that way, we can record who comes in the United States.  We don't even record the people who come across the border who we think are here legally.  So it's time for a passport for all.  Everyone coming in the United States should have a passport.

COSBY:  Well, we're going to be watching how that act proceeds, and also your issue, Congressman, about the fence line.  Thank you, both of you, very much.  And Congressman Poe, thank you for allowing us to join you on that trip.  We appreciate it.

And still ahead, everybody: These guys thought they were moments away from meeting a young teen home alone, but they got a rude awakening.  Wait until you see what happens when they get inside.  It's caught on tape.

And why did Dr. Phil tell Jay Leno that he thinks Natalee Holloway could be alive?  The shocking theory some say is possible is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Big-time shocker to report tonight in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  It's been five months since the Alabama teen vanished, but one talk show host isn't giving up.  Dr. Phil now says he has evidence that Natalee could still be alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TV PERSONALITY:  We have a reasonable belief and some credible evidence that Natalee Holloway is alive. 

JAY LENO, HOST, TONIGHT SHOW:  Is alive?

MCGRAW:  Is alive.  We can't - we cannot prove that at this point, and we don't know where she is, but, you know, there is a huge sex slave underground in some of those countries down there.  Young women have disappeared from that part of the world before.  And we have reasonable cause to believe that she may well be alive. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, while many people hope Dr. Phil's comments are true, just how likely is it that Natalee Holloway is now part of some sort of sex trade?  LIVE & DIRECT tonight is private investigators Pat Rutherford.  He's the president of Worldwide Tracers. 

Mr. Rutherford, is it possible that she's alive and involved in this sort of sex trade over there? 

PAT RUTHERFORD, PRESIDENT, WORLDWIDE TRACERS:  Well, we've had cases where exactly that happened.  I was a little shocked when I heard Phil said that, but, yes, very definitely, it could be possible. 

COSBY:  You know, give us a sense of region.  I want to show a comment that Dr. Phil said, talking about where his crews were out and about.  Let's play that, and I want to get your reaction. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGRAW:  We've had to extract a few of them recently—I had to send a private jet in for a couple of them just recently in Mexico, because things were getting really hot.  And, you know, maybe we're getting close. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Mr. Rutherford, is it possible she'll be in Mexico?  Is it possible even Venezuela?  That was one of the theories I was hearing while in Aruba, because it's so close, you know, to Aruba, Venezuela right there. 

RUTHERFORD:  We had one in Mexico.  A 15-year-old that was down there with her missionary parents was kidnapped, taken to Mexico City, put on drugs.  Next thing you know, she's in prostitution.  And then she started doing pornographic films.  That's the way we found her. 

She was in a magazine.  And the person I was working with down there happened to see the magazine.  And next thing you know, we got the parents down there.  And she had been so brainwashed in the year that she'd been missing that she wouldn't go home with them. 

COSBY:  Wow.  So but she was so entranced by these people? 

RUTHERFORD:  So it does happen.

COSBY:  In the case of Natalee Holloway, with the proximity, again, to Aruba, do you believe it's Venezuela?  Would it be another country if, again, this is true? 

RUTHERFORD:  We had a kidnapping case in Venezuela, too.  So, sure, it's true down there.  It's like justice gone wild.  Nobody's controlling anything. 

You know, crime is running rampant.  And I thank God that we only do after family members and such, because I can't imagine even you on that border.  By the way, if you don't like your job, we've got an opening, because we only hire women. 

COSBY:  Thank you.  I'm hired, after you saw me in the bullet-proof vest there, right? 

RUTHERFORD:  You're good.  Boy, you got a lot of nerve. 

COSBY:  I've been told I had some guts.  Thank you. 

RUTHERFORD:  You've done a good job.  You bet. 

COSBY:  Thank you.  Hey back to...

RUTHERFORD:  So keep that in mind. 

COSBY:  Thank you.  It's good to know.  Good to know. 

In terms of the Natalee Holloway case, how tough is it to track this down?  You know, we talked about—we talked now—you may have heard this story of this father looking for his daughter in Mexico.  You know, it's just overwhelming for him. 

How tough is it—say Natalee Holloway is missing.  Say she's in some sort of sex slave trade.  How tough is it to track her down? 

RUTHERFORD:  Well, honestly, you've got to have a team.  And you've got to involve the people that are on the ground there. 

There is good Mexican people.  There is good Venezuelan people.  And there is good investigators.  And we always study the case, put a team together, and that's the way we solved the one in Mexico. 

If we hadn't had the person on the ground searching for the girl, we would have never found her.  But we work as a team.  We put it together.  So that's what you got to do. 

COSBY:  Pat Rutherford, thank you. 

RUTHERFORD:  It's not an individual thing. 

COSBY:  No, it sounds like it's a case-by-case basis.  And it's amazing work you guys are doing and really admirable.  Thank you very much, Mr. Rutherford.  We appreciate your insights. 

(CROSSTALK)

RUTHERFORD:  Hey, enjoy talking to you.  The job is still open. 

COSBY:  Thank you.  I will keep it in mind.  I appreciate it.  Thank you, sir. 

And those explosive comments that you heard from Dr. Phil about Natalee maybe being in the sex trade come on the same day that Natalee's mom, Beth Holloway Twitty, meets with Aruban officials.  On the phone tonight from Aruba is Helen LeJuez.  She's the attorney who's representing Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty.

Helen, first of all, what do you make of these comments that Natalee may be alive and in some sex trade? 

HELEN LEJUEZ, TWITTY FAMILY ATTORNEY:  I hope they're not true. 

COSBY:  You do, but what about the fact that maybe this is a good sign that she may be alive? 

LEJUEZ:  Well, the fact that she is alive, I hope that.  That could be true.  But, well, people talk about this, but we have not heard about these things happening in Aruba. 

COSBY:  Does the family put any credence in this comment from Dr.

Phil? 

LEJUEZ:  I didn't hear your question.  Could you speak...

COSBY:  Does the family put any credence—do they think that this could be possible, what Dr. Phil is saying? 

LEJUEZ:  Not to my knowledge. 

COSBY:  Not from your knowledge.  I want to show a comment, if I could, Helen.  This is from Chief Dompig.  We had him on our show exclusively last night.  And I want to get you to react.  This is the chief. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEROLD DOMPIG, DEPUTY POLICY CHIEF OF ARUBA:  I still believe that these boys have been lying.  They're still lying.  And everybody knows that by now.  So there's no doubt in my mind that they know something, they're guilty of something. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Helen, what's the reaction from the family?  The chief even—

I asked him—he said to me on the phone, “They are guilty as hell.  I just have to prove it.”

That's a pretty strong comment from the chief.  Where do you see the investigation at this point? 

LEJUEZ:  Well, that is a strong comment.  And if that is true, and if they can prove what the chief is saying, then these boys will be behind bars pretty soon.  That's what I learn from what he said, and I hope that is true. 

COSBY:  Well, let's hope that's the case if, indeed, they are guilty. 

Thank you very much, Helen.  We appreciate it. 

And meanwhile, some interesting developments.  Protesters took to the streets of Aruba today.  Their target, a surprising one:  Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty. 

LIVE & DIRECT tonight is Jossy Mansur.  He's the managing editor of Aruba's “Diario” newspaper. 

Jossy, tell us about this protest.  Why against Beth Twitty?

JOSSY MANSUR, EDITOR, “DIARIO”:  Not against her personally, but it was against whatever negative publicity the island has been receiving because of this case.  And a small portion of the island—it's not widespread on the island—but a small portion of the people are a little disgusted with this negative aspect of the case. 

COSBY:  What is the mood there about, because Beth is there on the ground?  How is she being received? 

MANSUR:  Well, I think good, because the majority of the people sympathize with her, sympathize with her cause.  They know that she lost a daughter, that she is very interested in getting some answers as to where she is or what happened to her.  But you always have—in any community, you have a small group of people that love to go to the streets and protest against anything. 

COSBY:  You know, we were just seeing some pictures—those are the new pictures of her coming there.  Jossy, what do you—you know this case so well.  Do you put any stock, any credence to the new words from Dr. Phil saying that there may be some sex trade, that Natalee may be alive?  Have you heard anything? 

MANSUR:  No, I don't believe so.  I don't know where Dr. Phil got this information from.  He must have some basis to say that. 

We cannot rule out the possibility that she is still alive or that she is no longer alive.  We don't have any hard evidence to prove any one of the two.  But I think it's highly improbable that that is the case. 

COSBY:  All right, Jossy, thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

And still ahead, everybody, what were some men expecting to find when they arrived at an upscale suburban home?  I bet they were not expecting to see TV cameras.  It's ahead, LIVE & DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Tonight, turning the tables on some alleged Internet sex predators.  The U.S. Justice Department says one in five children ages 10 to 17 has received unwanted sexual solicitations online. 

A “Dateline NBC” investigation is shining a glaring light on some men who not only thought they were chatting with some young teens, they thought they were about to meet up with one of them.  Here is NBC's Chris Hansen. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HANSEN, “DATELINE NBC” CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  More than a few men arrive at this house believing a minor is waiting alone and willing to have sex. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you bring condoms? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

HANSEN:  Enlisting the help of a watchdog group called Perverted Justice, a “Dateline” hidden camera investigation catches a string of men trolling chat rooms and apparently trying to meet kids for a possible sexual encounter. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I got a house.  Are you still going to be up for tonight? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We'll see. 

(LAUGHTER)

HANSEN:  You won't believe what this man does for a living.  He's a rabbi.  After talking graphically about sex online and sending naked pictures of himself, he shows up expecting to meet a 13-year-old boy.  But he's in for a big surprise. 

(on-screen):  So how I can help you?  What are you doing here? 

RABBI DAVID KAYE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, PANIM:  I'm not telling you. 

This isn't good. 

HANSEN:  Not good?  I think that's kind of an understatement, isn't it? 

(voice-over):  This man is a teacher.  At first, he says, he thought he was chatting online about sex with an adult. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, he said he was 23.  What's the problem? 

HANSEN (on-screen):  I have the transcript.  That's what the problem is.  Brandon said he was 13. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thirteen? 

HANSEN:  Thirteen. 

(voice-over):  Some make a run for it. 

(on-screen):  Hey, how are you? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good.  How about yourself?

HANSEN:  Good, why don't you have a seat right over here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, thank you. 

HANSEN:  I'd like to ask you some questions. 

(voice-over):  He makes a b-line out to the garage, barely touches the stairs, and runs down the driveway.  One man even strips naked. 

(on-screen):  Could you explain yourself? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I'm sorry? 

HANSEN (voice-over):  Nineteen men in three days, from the down and out to pillars of the community, show up at this house.  Most give us a story about why they really weren't doing anything wrong. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE)

HANSEN:  You decide. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  Incredible stuff.  “Dateline NBC” correspondent Chris Hansen joins me now live with more of his investigation. 

You know, Chris, this is stunning.  In fact, one of the guys, what, was caught twice? 

HANSEN:  That's right.  The guy you saw, Rita, who came in naked with a 12-pack of beer wanted to meet a teenager.  He leaves.  You would think that would be the end of it. 

The next day, our computer volunteers are online.  They see him again in a chatroom talking to someone he thinks is 13.  Again a meeting is set up.  He goes to a fast-food restaurant nearby hoping to meet this 13-year-old boy and, of course, I'm there with the cameras.  And I confront him again.  That's twice in two days. 

COSBY:  You know, one of the other things that's surprising, you know, a lot of the guys caught, but one of them is a rabbi? 

HANSEN:  That's exactly right.  Rabbi David Kaye who spent hours online with a decoy who he thought was a 13-year-old boy.  Graphic pictures were sent.  There was graphic language.  He talked about two meetings, one in the afternoon, one in the evening.  He showed up and, of course, I was there to greet him and ask him about it. 

COSBY:  You know, Chris, what's going to happen to these guys who were caught on tape? 

HANSEN:  Well, they'll be on “Dateline” tomorrow night, number one, and on programs like yours before that.  The group who was doing the computer work, Perverted Justice, they have already turned over the transcripts of the online chats, the pictures and the information to the police department in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

We've interviewed authorities there.  And we know that they're investigating these cases.  And I'm fairly confident that, not long after our story airs, we'll start to hear, you know, who, if anybody, is prosecuted here. 

COSBY:  It'll be interesting to see.  We'd love to have you back for the follow-up, too, Chris. 

HANSEN:  It'd be my pleasure. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

HANSEN:  Anytime. 

COSBY:  And, everybody, to see Chris Hansen's full hour—you've got to watch it, it's incredible stuff—“Hidden Camera Investigation:  To Catch a Predator,” be sure to tune to “Dateline.”  That's tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on NBC. 

And still ahead, everybody, the vice president's top aide told a judge he's not guilty of lying to federal prosecutors.  And wait until you find out who he has picked to defend him. 

And a member of the Kennedy clan is here to tell us what it was like growing up in the middle of the rich and famous.  That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Well, the only person charged so far in the CIA leak scandal pleads not guilty.  The vice president's former chief of staff, Scooter Lewis Libby, faces charges of lying in the investigation into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. 

Joining me live is former federal prosecutor, Robert Mintz.  He knows both the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, and also Libby's attorney, Ted Wells.  Also with us is Paula Jones' former attorney, my old pal, Gil Davis.

Good to see you, Gil, too. 

GIL DAVIS, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR PAULA JONES:  Good to see you.  I'm being interviewed by the greatest investigative journalist in television. 

COSBY:  And I pay you very well to say that.  Thank you, Gil.

Mr. Mintz, since you didn't give me that compliment, I'll start with you anyway.  This new attorney who he on board, Scooter, Ted Wells, I've seen him from the Mike Espy, former ag secretary days. 

What do we know about this guy?  How good of an attorney does Scooter have now? 

ROBERT MINTZ, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Well, if you ask any criminal defense lawyer in the country for the top three white-collar lawyers, Ted Wells is going to be on every list.  He represented Espy, Ray Donovan.  His track record is really unparalleled. 

COSBY:  How is he going to go up against Patrick Fitzgerald, who seems like a real, no-nonsense, straight shooter, well-prepared special prosecutor? 

MINTZ:  He is.  Pat Fitzgerald is as good as it gets from the government side.  He's sort of a by-the-book guy, built his case one brick at a time, kind of a no-nonsense type of guy.  It's going to be a real fair fight between these two. 

COSBY:  Now, Gil, what do you expect is going to be ahead?  Because, you know, Libby is not charged with the actual leak.  No one is at this point.  It's the cover-up.  It's the perjury.  It's the false statements. 

DAVIS:  Always, it is, it seems.  A couple of troubling things about the indictment, one is if there was no crime, why continue the investigation?  I'm not saying that there was no crime here.

But the second part is, what about just letting your indictment speak for itself and not go through a press conference of two hours where it's pretty wide ranging, and not just taint the potential public, who's going to be your jury? 

COSBY:  Now, Gil, do you think there might be some sort of plea deal struck here? 

DAVIS:  Well, there certainly could be, because perjury is a serious crime.  And if Mr. Libby committed that crime, he's likely to serve some time.

COSBY:  What do you think?  What do you think, Mr. Mintz?

MINTZ:  Initially, I thought that this is probably a case that's going to wind up in a plea, but he's brought in the big guns.  And the signs right now indicate this case is going to go to trial.

COSBY:  Yes, and if you listen to the word of Ted Wells today, he said, “We're going to fight this to the bitter end.  We want it to go to trial.”  Is he the kind of guy who wants to take it to the bitter end?

MINTZ:  He's the guy who takes it to the bitter end.  And he's had great success.  So if you're Lewis Libby, you got the right guy in your corner. 

COSBY:  Gil Davis, what about in terms of where the investigation stands?  Because there's so much today, particularly if you read the “Washington Post,” where there's some word of, you know, White House aides saying,  “What's going to happen to Karl Rove?  Should he apologize?  Should he stay on board?”

Where do you think this investigation is, in terms of Karl Rove and what should he do? 

DAVIS:  Well, I think it came pretty close to an indictment of Karl Rove, from everything that you read, and that the prosecutor decided to wait because he got some new information, apparently from the defendant or one of his lawyers.

And so, I would say, if he was inclined to indict, it may not take much to push him back into that mode, so there's some real danger here. 

Secondly, this is the top adviser to the president of the United States.  And it ought to be wrapped up, one way or the other, fairly soon.  I understand the prosecutor said in 30 days he'll have something definitive.  But I think it needs to be resolved in the national interest. 

COSBY:  What do you think, Mr. Mintz, wrapped up soon or still going? 

MINTZ:  Absent some new evidence, it's wrapped up for Rove. 

COSBY:  All right.  Both of you, thank you very much.  We appreciate it.  Both of you, thanks so much.

And, Gil, thank you for the nice compliment.  We appreciate it. 

And still ahead, everybody, Christopher Lawford Kennedy is speaking out about what it's like growing up in the Kennedy household.  He's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Glitz, glamour, and politics, just a few of the words that could have described the childhood of Christopher Kennedy Lawford—he's laughing here—the nephew of President John F. Kennedy. 

He also grew up around some of Hollywood's most famous faces.  LIVE & DIRECT tonight is the author of a brand-new book, “Symptoms of Withdrawal,” Christopher Kennedy Lawford. 

It's a really raw, exposing book.  It took a lot of guts to write this. 

CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY LAWFORD, AUTHOR, “SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL”:  Yes,

it was very cathartic.  It took me about a year.  It was...

COSBY:  Why did you decide to write it?  Why now? 

LAWFORD:  Well, I got a call from a guy who was writing a book about the Kennedy men.  And I asked him, why in the world did the world needed another book about the Kennedy men?

And he told me about one of my cousins needing to tell this amazing story.  And I said, “The only reason my cousin needed to tell—the world needs to know that story is that my cousin needs to tell it.”  So I decided that I needed to tell my story. 

COSBY:  What was the hardest thing about growing up?  You know, a lot of people always think, “OK, you live this cherished lifestyle.  You grew up in a wealthy, powerful family.  It's all, you know, roses.”  Not the case?

LAWFORD:  Well, I loved my childhood.  There was nothing really hard about it.  I mean, to me, the circumstances that I grew up in were just my circumstances.  I didn't really realize until now, until later in life, how extraordinary they were. 

I mean, there was a lot of turmoil, obviously, when you have two members of your family killed publicly.  It's a pretty big deal. 

COSBY:  And then you went into a cycle of decline yourself. 

LAWFORD:  Well, yes.  You know, I was 13 or 14 and I started down this very dark road of substance abuse, which a lot of the book is about.  And I've been sober 19 ½ years now and spent a lot of time talking about recovering. 

COSBY:  Good for you.  Good for you.  Now, you had some amazing experiences growing up.  Tell us about who taught you to dance, which is one of my favorite stories. 

LAWFORD:  Well, I grew up in this house that Louis B. Mayer built on the beach in California.  Marilyn Monroe taught me how to do the twist when I was 5 years old.  I remember when I was...

COSBY:  Did you say, “Oh, my god”?  Was she gorgeous, even to a 5-year-old?  Did you say, “This woman's gorgeous”?

LAWFORD:  No, you don't really realize how Marilyn Monroe is doing it, but the look on the adult's face was what got my attention.  Yes, she was a pretty amazing woman, in her essence. 

Frank Sinatra was my sister Victoria's godfather.  I had godfather envy from a very young age.

My uncle, Jack, got the Democratic nomination when I was 5 years old in Los Angeles.  I was at the convention.  I went to bed that night in his bed in the hotel room, and he came in that night and looked down and said, “Christopher, I have been nominated to be Democratic candidate for president.  I'm going to run for president.  Will you help me?” 

And I looked up at him and said, “Sure, Uncle Jack.  But can we do it tomorrow?  Because I'm tired right now.” 

COSBY:  What is the reaction from the folks, you know, the Kennedy clan?  I understand—you told me just before the show—you talked to Eunice Shriver, who was having some health problems. 

LAWFORD:  Right, I just saw my Aunt Eunice.  She was at UCLA.  She's doing great.  But he had my book with her, and she's very supportive. 

She was actually a few months—about three weeks ago, wheeling my mom around the cape, going to all the book stores, and asking them—reminding the book sellers to put my book in the front of the store. 

COSBY:  And she had a stroke, I'm told, recently.  But she's doing OK, from what you saw? 

LAWFORD:  Yes, she's doing great.  Yes, yes. 

COSBY:  Overall, what do you think folks can learn for you? 

LAWFORD:  I think, you know, the most important thing for me in this book was anybody—is to find yourself, no matter what circumstances you're born to.  And certainly, with people that suffer from substance abuse, never to give up on them. 

This is the number-one health issue in this country, according to the federal government.  And it's an issue that's not spent—we don't spend nearly enough time or enough money on it.  And the important thing is not to give up on the people that need help. 

COSBY:  Good for you.  And I hope other people are inspired by this book.  Thank you so much.  It's a great book, too. 

LAWFORD:  Thanks, Rita.

COSBY:  It's got good inspiration and some good, juicy details, too. 

Thank you very much.  Glad to have you here. 

LAWFORD:  Thanks, Rita.  Good to be with you.

COSBY:  And that does it for us, everybody.  But coming up, tomorrow night, we're going to have an in-depth look inside the international sex trade, showing you how thousands of women are forced into sexual slavery.  Remember, there's this theory now that Natalee Holloway may be in slave trade, according to Dr. Phil.  We're going to explore that more tomorrow night.

And that does it for us on LIVE & DIRECT, everybody.  I'm Rita Cosby. 

Joe Scarborough starts right now - Joe.

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

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

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