Guests: Heather Gilmore, Curtis Sliwa, Davidson Golden, Pat Brosnan, Robert Jensen, John Fund, Catherine Galdun, James Vigilante, Ben Shapiro, Holly Phillips, Adrian Havill
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Thanks so much, Rita.
And right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the shocking murder of a young grad student. Tonight, new questions about the bar where she spent the last night of her life. This isn‘t the first time that the family that owns that bar has been close to an infamous murder case.
Plus, the Taliban on campus. New troubling details about an Ivy League university star student. Should he be in class or in GITMO?
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: Thanks so much for being with me tonight. We‘re going to get to those stories in just a minute.
Also high school kids putting the president of the United States on trial for war crimes. Do you know what your kids are being taught in public schools?
Plus, we‘re going to be remembering Dana Reeve, whose life was cut short by lung cancer, even though she says she never smoked. What you need to know about the silent killer that‘s killing more Americans every day.
But first tonight, a major new development in a murder case making headlines. The Associated Press is reporting tonight that Imette St. Guillen, the graduate student who was raped, strangled and dumped along the side of a road, was seen arguing with the bouncer now being questioned in the brutal killing. Investigators are waiting for forensic results that could link the 41-year-old convict to the grad student‘s murder.
Let‘s go right now to MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby, the host of “LIVE & DIRECT”, for the very latest in the case. Rita, what‘s going on with the owners of that bar?
COSBY: Well, a lot of people are outraged because we‘re hearing word, and there‘s a number of different—we‘re hearing it from a number of different directions, that apparently the bar owner and somebody working the bar, i.e. a bartender of some sort, had information about this argument and that this guy Darryl Littlejohn, the gentleman who is now the sort of potential possible suspect in the case, as you‘re looking at a mug shot here—this is an older mug shot—that apparently he escorted her out and that there was some sort of argument. Well, there‘s also some reports out there that there was some sort of muffled scream in the background.
All of this information apparently was not told to authorities. And then about a week later, authorities put some pieces together, went back to the bar and said, “Look, things don‘t quite fit.”
And what we‘re gathering is that that‘s when they confronted the bar owner and also this bartender, and they kind of basically fessed up to the fact that they had not released this information before.
It brings a lot of questions about, you know, were they covering up because they knew they had a parolee basically working with them? Do they not want to get involved? Is there something more to the story?
But a lot of people are outraged at the fact that, indeed, if they indeed heard some sort of a muffled scream or something of that nature, some sort of an argument, you know, gave a week to this case where someone could have been hiding evidence, doing something. A week is a long time in an investigation, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. Thank you so much, Rita Cosby.
There a lot of questions right now that are being raised. “The New York Post” this morning broke news. Let me bring in “New York Post” reporter Heather Gilmore.
Heather, what can you add to that part of—that part of the story about apparently these lies that have held up this investigation possibly for a week?
HEATHER GILMORE, REPORTER, “NEW YORK POST”: That‘s right, Joe. As you said, “The New York Post” revealed today that the Dorrian family owned actually another bar that was linked to another infamous murder.
I don‘t know if you recall in 1986, the preppie murderer, Robert Chambers, he was a regular at their Upper East Side bar called the Red Hand. And the owner, Michael—sorry, John Dorrian, Michael‘s father, he cooperated with police at that time. But his son, Michael Dorrian, who owns The Falls, was not so forthcoming, as Rita just said.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, it seems to me, again, we‘re hearing that the bartender may have possibly lied to the police or the owner may have lied to the police over the past week. Do they believe that he may have actually obstructed this investigation by trying to cover something up?
GILMORE: Well, there is no doubt they withheld the information for six days. Michael Dorrian told police at the time of Imette St. Guillen‘s disappearance that she was seen at the bar until closing drinking two rum and cokes. And then he said that she left the bar and that was the last time she was seen on Lafayette Street.
As it‘s been uncover this evening and what the “New York Post” reveals today, that is not the case. And Michael Dorrian withheld information and, in fact, told another story to cops during first interrogation.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you what. If that‘s the case, that is extraordinarily troubling, that they have that type of information about hearing a muffled scream in the alleyway and not reporting that to police officers and saying, “Oh, she just had two drinks and then she went on her way.”
Stay with us, I want to also bring in right now “New York Sun” columnist Davidson Golden, who‘s been following this story closely. We also have radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa and Pat Brosnan, retired New York City police detective.
Curtis, I want to go to you first. What‘s up with this family? I mean, these problems that are connected to them, what kind of—what kind of bars, what kind of restaurants do they run? And especially in a case like this, where this guy supposedly heard a muffled scream and withheld it from police officers for six days? What‘s going on?
CURTIS SLIWA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, there‘s no question this is a real extreme case. But I‘ve got to tell you, since we‘re focused on the bouncer, and we say, how could they have possibly hired a guy who has a felony record a mile long?
Well, when you look at the nightclub scene, the gin mill bar scene, they hire a lot of people who are street smart, who basically—they have window shades on their eyes. They don‘t want to know about their record. They just want to know if they can sniff out 5-0, the cops. Because oftentimes they‘re dealing drugs, Ecstasy, Special K...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second, Curtis. I mean, most people believe that bouncers are there to protect the customers that come into clubs. Are you telling me that the bouncers are actually there to sniff out cops?
SLIWA: Well, they do—look, they do both. They pat down guys, make sure that no one is carrying a gun. Or if someone‘s unruly, they‘re going to toss them right out on their backside.
But they‘re also there with their antenna up to look for 5-0, undercover DT‘s. Because let‘s face it, they find drugs being dealt in the club or around the club or being used in the bathroom, they could padlock your club. You lose your liquor license. You‘re out of business, you know? You‘re not going to be making that moolah-shmoolah, lots of money, selling Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola to a young adult crowd.
SCARBOROUGH: What‘s the word on the street about this family, about the type of bars that they run?
SLIWA: Oh, come on. This goes way back to Geraldine Ferraro‘s son, you know, the kid from Dartmouth who was selling literally pounds and ounces. I mean, they‘ve run some wild clubs over the years in which they‘ve been pick up clubs for young guys and young gals. And always a dollar short and a day late in terms of providing information.
But this, I mean, this is an extreme case. We‘re not talking 24 hours. We‘re talking an entire week. And we‘re talking people here who basically had a zipper on their mouth and basically cotton balls in their ears and window shades on their eyes refusing to cooperate with the authorities.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Brosnan, how much does that screw up a police investigation when you have somebody that‘s withholding evidence or possibly covering up a crime for six days?
PAT BROSNAN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: First of all, it may very well fall into a hindering prosecution charge, just to start out with. You mentioned earlier obstruction. I would say that‘s at the absolute minimum, hindering.
But again, what you have here, Joe, is a situation where the owners of the bar and the personnel at the bar underestimate the ferocity and the tenacity of the Brooklyn homicide detectives. They do not stop. There was no stopping this. This is a heinous crime. These guys were not going to cease their inquiries until they had the answers, until everything fit correctly.
And when the owners had their epiphany, when they had their re-enlightenment and they decided to come clean on an eyewitness and an ear witness account, which is a material contribution to the fact pattern on this matter, with a seven-time convicted parolee who‘s the last person with Imette St. Guillen. This is a horror show.
SCARBOROUGH: It is a horror show.
Let me bring in “New York Sun” columnist Davidson Golden.
DAVIDSON GOLDEN, COLUMNIST, “NEW YORK SUN”: Hey, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Davidson, the man police are describing as this potential suspect in the murder has a criminal record going back to the 1980s. In ‘84, he committed first degree robbery. In ‘87 he was found with drugs and stolen property.
In ‘91 he was busted for drugs. In ‘95 caught again with a controlled substance. And in 2004 he committed first degree robbery.
In fact, the parole board, Davidson, called this guy in 2004 a menace to society. And yet he‘s hired at a bar. Isn‘t that a crime in and of itself? Forget whether he killed this girl or not. If you hire somebody that is violent, that is out of control, that has a criminal record, you as a bar owner are breaking the law, right?
GOLDEN: Joe, there‘s no question. As I said earlier today, that if you want to have a drink at the Falls, I suggest you go soon. Because with all the heat on this bar, it‘s very unlikely that the Falls will be open very much longer. Just one point we‘ve been talking...
SCARBOROUGH: They‘re going to shut it down, aren‘t they?
GOLDEN: It seems that way. There‘s one thing to point out. Before we go convicting Michael Dorrian of obstruction of justice, we should just say I‘m told by some very senior city officials that that‘s the wrong name. That Michael Dorrian—that Michael Dorrian, at least, had nothing to do with it. That maybe another family members who didn‘t provide all the information.
What we do know that whether it‘s the owner of the bar or somebody in the Dorrian family, another owner or a manager, certainly they withheld information from the police. And it wasn‘t until somebody tipped off the cops to go back and look that the owners or the managers fessed up. And certainly that‘s despicable. But whether we should go convicting this particular individual, I think that that might be the wrong name.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. So that‘s still up in the air right now, Davidson. But what is not up in the air is the fact that they hired a guy, a thug that had been convicted, who a parole board said in 2004 was a menace to society.
Here‘s what they said. “Your violent and out of control behavior shows you to be a menace to society. Your continued incarceration remains in the best interest of society.”
And yet not only did they not continue to incarcerate him, he was let out. And Davidson, he‘s allowed to go to the bar, supposedly to protect customers. So regardless, they‘re busted. Right?
GOLDEN: It seems ridiculous. And you know, Curtis was talking about what the role of a bouncer is. One question here is the role of the bouncer to be a security guard or to simply as he put it, look out for cops.
Because in New York, there‘s a law that, if you work in security, then you‘ve got to undergo some sort of background check. Of course, the bars will say, “Oh, they‘re not really there for security. They‘re just there to sort of keep an eye on things.”
And I think certainly by the time this is done, we‘ll probably see something, probably what will wind up being called Imette‘s Law, in which bouncers will need to undergo some sort of background check.
We do know that, while the bar certainly shouldn‘t have hired him, he shouldn‘t have been working there in the first place. Under the terms of his parole, he had a 9 p.m. curfew seven days a week. We do know. And this is what he‘s being held up for on Riker‘s Island. He certainly was violating his parole.
SCARBOROUGH: And you know, Curtis, again, the bar owners, regardless of what they did or did not tell the police, violated New York law, because you can‘t hire somebody with a record.
And again, a simple background check. Let me read this again. The parole board, New York parole board, said to this thug in 2004, “Your violent, out of control behavior show you to be a menace to society.” Just a simple background check.
If this guy ends up—and it‘s a big if—if he ends up being the guy that killed this poor young girl, a simple background check would have saved her life. So what should happen to the bar owners? What should happen to the bar?
SLIWA: Well, Scarborough, you don‘t think they were issuing this guy a W2? He was being paid under the table. This is part of the great underground economy of the night life in not just New York City, but most major cities, where a lot of people like bartenders, bouncers and others get paid under the table. There‘s no record of their employment, because it‘s a cash and carry business.
And let‘s face it: if they had no problem—you don‘t think that this guy was being hired because he graduated the Dale Carnegie School of how to win friends and influence people. He‘s a muscle head.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, is that how it works?
BROSNAN: No—well, Curtis brings out some very colorful points, but I‘ve got to correct David Golden—Davidson Golden. Imette‘s Law, as he referred to, has actually been in effect for a decade. It‘s called the Security Guard Act of 1994.
And it‘s not even a simple background check. The New York State Division of Licensing is extraordinarily clear on these points. They regulate extremely closely all personnel hired in establishments that are regulated and controlled by the state liquor authority.
There would have been a federal—federal criminal records check, a state check, identity verification, an education verification, a Social Security verification. All of these factors would have come into play the second that he comes in there and he gets issued a unique identification number, a UID number, by the state. Without that, the owner is completely remiss and irresponsible and also subject to fines and possible criminal charges.
SCARBOROUGH: So Pat, they‘re in big trouble, aren‘t they? This bar owner, this club is going down.
BROSNAN: I wouldn‘t plan on booking any parties there in the near future. The place is done.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much, Pat. Greatly appreciated.
That you Heather Gilmore, Davidson Golden, Pat Brosnan, and Curtis Sliwa. Great discussion.
And straight ahead, Yale University kicks the military out, but lets the Taliban in. What‘s happening to our schools of higher learning? Have they learned nothing from the war on terror?
Plus, is a liberal agenda trickling down to high schools? One student tells us what it‘s like to put the president of the United States on try—on trial for war crimes. Yes, you‘re paying for that, too. We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Yale University, another elite institution‘s kicked the U.S. military out. But they welcomed the Taliban with open arms. Do they think we‘re stupid? And do they think we‘re going to keep funding their radical agendas? Well, we‘ll talk about it when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back.
Coming to a campus near you soon, the Taliban. Yale University is now under attack for letting this man, a former spokesman for the murderous Taliban regime, that rules Afghanistan with an iron fist, well, they allowed him to take classes on its campus. The story made the front page of the “New York Times” magazine last month.
And this Taliban spin doctor was even featured in Michael Moore‘s film, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: The Bush administration welcomed a special Taliban envoy to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have imprisoned the women. It‘s a horror, let me tell you.
SAYED RAHMATULLAH HASHEMI, FORMER DEPUTY FOREIGN SECRETARY OF TALIBAN:
I am very sorry for your husband. He must have a very difficult time with you.
MOORE: Here‘s the Taliban official visiting our State Department to meet with U.S. officials.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Hashemi fled Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks but now says he wants to serve as a bridge between the United States and the Muslim world.
With me now to talk about it, University of Texas professor Robert Jensen. We also have John Fund from the “Wall Street Journal‘s” OpinionJournal.com. He met Hashemi during his trip to the United States on behalf of the Taliban in 2001.
Professor Jensen, do you think it‘s OK for Yale to admit spin doctors for the murderous Taliban regime to their campus?
ROBERT JENSEN, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Well, first of all, the way you introduced the segment, Joe, is highly misleading when you say that Yale kicked off the U.S. military and allowed the Taliban in. Of course, first of all, Yale isn‘t allowing the Taliban as a force or as a government or as an institution.
SCARBOROUGH: They‘re allowing—they‘re allowing the spin doctors in there. If you want to change the subject, you can.
JENSEN: It‘s allowing a man who has renounced most of the positions of the Taliban as a student in an open university, which I think is appropriate. And the United—Yale University hasn‘t kicked off the military. It‘s asked the military to hold to a nondiscrimination position, which Yale.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. You know what? You guys tried that last night. We‘re not going to even try it again. I had two different people come on here and try to tell me this was about gays in the military.
Let me tell you: radicals have been trying to kick off our military off of college campuses since 1968. Let‘s not waste five more minutes of our viewers‘ time tonight. Let‘s talk about the Taliban. Why should the Taliban members be able to come on college campuses? Forget about renouncing it. That‘s what the Nazis did at Nuremburg. We didn‘t invite them to Harvard in 1946, did we?
JENSEN: Actually, the U.S. cultivated many former Nazis, both scientists as well as military officers when they were of use in U.S. foreign policy post-World War II.
But let‘s leave that aside and remember that this young man has changed. And I thought that the whole point of open university...
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, he changed now that he has to leave (ph) his country.
JENSEN: ... the liberal university in the broad sense of the word was, in fact, to encourage and to invite people in for that kind of intellectual change. So I don‘t exactly see what the concern is. But more important, I think this is a typical...
SCARBOROUGH: How would you feel—how would you feel if a leader of right wing death squads in Columbia wanted to come to your school and take classes at the University of Texas? Or neo-Nazis that—that hate minorities, that hate Jews?
I mean, the Taliban, my God, they‘re one of the most repressive regimes in modern—in modern world history. And this guy was an apologist for them. You‘ve got no problem with that at all?
JENSEN: Well, I think what—first of all, again, you‘re missing a bit of history, which the United States has harbored members of death squads. It‘s harbored terrorists who committed—acknowledged terrorists against the Cuban people, for instance, all sorts of, you know, really unsavory characters. I wanted to answer...
SCARBOROUGH: I heard what you‘re talking about. No, wait a second.
Wait. You‘re saying that we—we‘ve harbored terrorists at Harvard?
JENSEN: No, I‘m talking about the U.S. government allowing into the country. So I think there‘s a bit of hypocrisy here. But I think the important thing...
SCARBOROUGH: No. There‘s not a bit of hypocrisy. The thing about—the difference here is Yale is proud of the fact that they could get a member of the Taliban. They did not bring him in under cover of night. They didn‘t hide him out in scientific labs.
Let me show you what Yale University‘s dean of admissions said to the “New York Times” about bringing this terrorist to campus. He said this, quote, “The interview was one of the most interesting I‘ve ever had. I walked away with a sense, whoa! This is a person to be reckoned with and who could educate us about the world.”
You know, Professor, the difference here is there‘s just no sense of shame. They are proud that they have a murderous thug working on their campus.
JENSEN: Joe, apparently...
SCARBOROUGH: Going to school on their campus.
JENSEN: Joe, apparently, you didn‘t read the rest of this story, in which this young man renounces the most extreme positions of the Taliban.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, my God, that‘s what the Nazis did at the Nuremburg trials in ‘46.
JENSEN: But isn‘t—isn‘t that what education is about? Isn‘t that what the power of your philosophy is about, the ability of people to transcend and become different? Now, isn‘t that what education is about?
But mostly, this is just a typical right wing diversionary tactic...
SCARBOROUGH: Right wing diversionary tactic. The fact is—you know what?
JENSEN: ... to focus on something when the United States policy around the world is failing. U.S. policy in Afghanistan is failing. That‘s the real issue. Not a former Taliban...
SCARBOROUGH: What does this have to do with U.S. policy in Afghanistan?
John Fund, I want to bring you in here. You‘ve been shut out of it.
You know, when we‘re talking about the Taliban, we‘re not talking about—I mean, there‘s no subtlety to what the Taliban did. They would go in, they would beat up—according to the “Times of London,” they would beat up infants in front of their parents who would not support the Taliban. They would rape young girls if a father couldn‘t find a gun to turn over to the army. They would rape wives in front of their husbands if they wouldn‘t join the army. They would cut off hands of women if they tried to write, if they tried to read, if they tried to educate themselves.
They were one of the most bloodthirsty regimes in modern world history. And yet, we‘re supposed to allow a guy that was a chief apologist for this bloodthirsty regime to say “I‘m sorry” and then let him into Yale?
JOHN FUND, OPINIONJOURNAL.COM: Well, Mr. Rahmatullah Hashemi obviously didn‘t do those things, but he was the propaganda minister for those people, and he bears some responsibility.
You know, Professor Jensen keeps wanting to cast this as an issue of right versus left. It‘s an issue of right versus wrong. He is relying on the “New York Times” for Mr. Hashemi‘s repentance. But I‘ve done other research.
Just three days ago Mr. Hashemi gave an interview to the “Times of London” in which he‘s asked about these stadium executions of women for no crimes at all. And he says, well, that‘s just another wing of the government that did that, the vice and virtues stuff. And guess what? There were executions in Texas at the same time.
In his web site in December of last year, a few months ago, Mr. Hashemi is quoted. These are his words: “Israel is America‘s al-Qaeda, a dagger pointed at the Middle East. And as for the Taliban, they were very devout, religious, honest people. Whether their ideas were right or wrong, that‘s another subject we can discuss another day.”
This man has not repented. He has been carefully coached in sympathetic interviews, but if you look at what he actually says when he doesn‘t have spin doctors of his own around him, he has not repented.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, John, you met this guy, didn‘t you, in 2001?
FUND: Yes. I did.
SCARBOROUGH: What was your impression when you met him?
FUND: After 90 minutes of listening to this man apologize for this butcherous regime, I felt I was looking into the face of evil.
SCARBOROUGH: Professor Jensen, my son would like to attend a god university. He‘s applying right now, would love to go to an Ivy League school. Do you think it would help him if he maybe joined a right wing death squad in Columbia or maybe tried to find a Ku Klux Klan organization that was still open somewhere in the southeast? Do you think that might stimulate discussion at Harvard or Yale or Columbia or Princeton?
JENSEN: Well, I take it that‘s not a serious question. I agree, this isn‘t a question of right versus left. This is a question of whether a university...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, no. It is a serious question. The only thing this guy had going for him to gain admittance into one of the best universities in America was the fact that he was a spin doctor for one of the bloodiest regimes around.
JENSEN: Now, I think what the young man has going for him is, whatever you think of his past, he‘s clearly, at least from what I‘ve been able to read, a thoughtful man who‘s trying to understand the connection between east and west, between his country and the United States. That is, in fact, I think something we should encourage.
But the question is, are universities going to be open places for us to come together?
FUND: Excuse me. I believe—I believe...
SCARBOROUGH: Open to murderous goons? I hope not. John Fund?
FUND: I believe universities should be open even to people like Professor Jensen. Look, Professor Jensen is very sincere in his views. But let‘s be clear where he‘s coming from. He wrote in the “Hindu” newspaper, which is India‘s largest daily, “The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that‘s a good thing. I welcome the U.S. defeat for a simple reason. It isn‘t the defeat of the United States but of that empire, and it‘s essential that the American empire be defeated.”
Now, Professor Jensen...
JENSEN: In fact, I‘ve made that case in many places. The U.S. illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, in fact, is a crime.
FUND: Professor Jensen, there is a reason why Yale won‘t send anyone to defend this man. There is a reason why no one else will come on any of these programs to defend this action. It‘s because frankly, you‘re part of a very insignificant minority that doesn‘t like American foreign policy, doesn‘t like America itself and is happy the United States ha, in your words lost...
SCARBOROUGH: OK, enough. I‘ve got to let professor—hold on a second. We‘ve got to get out of this segment, but Professor Jensen, I have to have—let you respond to that. Did you really write in this newspaper article that you were glad that America lost the war in Iraq?
JENSEN: I was making the point that the U.S. has lost the war in Iraq and it‘s quite obvious.
SCARBOROUGH: And that‘s a good thing? You think that‘s a good thing?
JENSEN: That the illegal war—It‘s a good thing that the United States empire be stopped. To say that I oppose U.S. foreign policy is true. To say that I hate the United States or oppose the United States is ridiculous. It‘s a typical claim when citizens engage in democratic politics, who critique their own government. This is often the right wing response, to say that one hates the United States.
FUND: I didn‘t say you hated the United States. I didn‘t say that.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘re going to have to leave you there. Professor Robert Jensen and John Fund, thank you for being with us.
I think most Americans would believe, though, and I love having the professor on. He‘s earnest in his beliefs, but I just hate what he believes. And to say that he‘s glad that America has lost the war in Iraq? I just think most Americans would think that is very, very shameful.
We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, we‘re going to be talking about the tragic death of Dana Reeve, a spokesman for her husband‘s cause until he passed away. She died of lung cancer, despite the fact that she, like so many others out who are dying of lung cancer, never smoked. We‘ll get to the bottom of it and figure out why this disease is one of the biggest killers in America.
But first here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: Christopher Reeve‘s widow, Dana, loses her battle to cancer at the age of 44. What you need to know about a cancer that‘s killing more and more nonsmokers every day.
Plus, a high school basketball team losing a game on purpose. We‘ll bring you that story of why a whole team threw the game.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We‘ve got those stories and a lot more coming up, straight ahead.
But first, there‘s a disturbing new trend in our nation‘s high schools. A teacher in Colorado has been put on leave for comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler. And today in a New Jersey school, the war crimes trial of President Bush came to an end.
One high school teacher put himself and his students at the center now of a national debate when he decided to try Mr. Bush for the following war crimes, quote, “crimes against the civilian population of Iraq and Afghanistan and inhumane treatment of prisoners.”
So what‘s going on with our schools and the kids that are being taught there? With us live tonight, we‘ve got from New Jersey, Robert Jennings, who‘s been covering this for the “Daily Record,” a New Jersey newspaper.
Thank you so much for being with us, Robert.
ROBERT JENNINGS, “DAILY RECORD”: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the controversy and how it wound up today.
JENNINGS: Well, today the trial wrapped up. There was no verdict taken. That was part of the compromise that was reached in this case. But the latest development is that the Morris County freeholders is preparing a resolution. They‘re apparently going to be condemning the mock trial. It would be the first time in New Jersey that a county government condemned a class project.
SCARBOROUGH: So talk about this class project. Why is it—not only has it struck a chord in New Jersey, but all over America. Because we‘ve been deluged with e-mails, people talking about how liberalism that they see on big college campuses seems to be filtering down to our public high schools.
JENNINGS: I think it touches on a lot of hot button issues. It‘s not just a class project that ties into the war in Iraq, the cultural debate and a whole lot of other issues that really resonate. Most of the feedback I‘ve gotten has been from outside of New Jersey on this issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, and so what‘s going to happen with this teacher?
Is he gone or is he still going to be in good standing?
JENNINGS: The principal said that the teacher, Joe Kyl (ph), cleared this project with him in advance. The school board‘s president and the superintendent said he did nothing wrong. They said the principal did nothing wrong. And the resolution by the county freeholders does not call for any disciplinary action. So it appears that the teacher and the principal should be fine here.
SCARBOROUGH: Wow. Thanks so much, Robert Jennings.
JENNINGS; Thank you. Greatly appreciated. Isn‘t that something, that a teacher can have our students try the president of the United States for war crimes and nobody bats an eye?
Now, the big question remains here for me, are liberals with an agenda indoctrinating our children with your tax dollars without them knowing it? Here to talk about it, we‘ve got Katherine Galdun. She‘s a student for the prosecution. So glad to have her here. We also have James Vigilante, vice president of the Parsippany, New Jersey, town council and member of the Air Force reserves. Also with us, Ben Shapiro. He‘s the author of “Brainwashed.”
Let me start with you, Katherine. You prosecuted the president for war crimes. What was the chief cause of bringing this prosecution against the president and do you believe that the president of the United States is, in fact, a war criminal?
CATHERINE GALDUN, STUDENT: I‘d say that the chief piece of evidence that the prosecution looked at was the International Red Cross allegations that—of inhumane treatment of prisoners in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, my personal views really have nothing to do with the trial. In fact, I don‘t think that there is enough evidence to prove that he is guilty; however, there is certainly enough evidence towards having the trial and to have a legitimate defense and a prosecution.
SCARBOROUGH: So what about—what about the rest of the students that are in your class? Are you all split? Are there really a number of you that believe that the president of the United States, the commander in chief in the time of war, can possibly be a war criminal who should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity?
GALDUN: Well, I think that most of the students in my class are about on the same page as me. Not many of them think that George Bush would be declared guilty of war crimes. However there is a lot of evidence, and we brought it up, and I think we have discussed it in a balanced way.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Catherine. Thank you so much.
Ben Shapiro, let me bring you in here. We obviously have the case in Colorado where the teacher compares George Bush to Adolf Hitler. A slight difference. George Bush didn‘t execute six million Jews, didn‘t send them to Auschwitz, didn‘t send them to Dachau, didn‘t try to exterminate Jews in Europe.
And—and—but my gosh, we‘ve got high school teachers across America who we‘re paying their salaries here. That‘s the big problem. They‘re teaching our children that the president of the United States is a war criminal. What‘s going on?
BEN SHAPIRO, AUTHOR, “BRAINWASHED”: Look, the only thing that‘s surprising for me here is that the National Education Association didn‘t file an amicus brief with the prosecution in this war crimes trial.
The national teachers in high schools across America are very much to the left, just the way that they are on college campuses. I can‘t tell you how many e-mails I‘ve gotten since “Brainwashed” came out, my book about liberal bias on college campuses, just telling me that I should write another book about high schools.
And the bottom line is the reason that you‘re getting this much leftism in the high schools is because you have little local control. The more federal control you have, the more top down bureaucratic control you have, the less local control you have. And I think that‘s exactly what you‘re seeing here. This is a pretty conservative area with regard to this New Jersey school.
And yet, you‘re seeing radicalism in the classroom. And look, some of these questions are just plain offensive. You can paint anything as an educational experience, as Yale is proving by bringing in something from the Taliban as one of their diversity quotients.
But the bottom line here is that, simply by putting something in the classroom, you can be not only offensive, but unpatriotic. I mean, what are we going to do—have Saddam Hussein teach high school classes for the educational benefit?
SCARBOROUGH: And I‘ve got to tell you, let me bring in James Vigilante. I‘ll tell you, the thing that offends me the most is there are people in your community that are busting their tails every day. They go to work. They come home. They play by the rules. They love this country.
They are paying property taxes that are paying for the teachers‘ salary and the principal‘s salary and the school board members‘ salaries that are saying it‘s OK to teach our children that the president of the United States should be tried as a war criminal.
Are you not a shamed of what‘s going on under your nose with your citizen‘s tax dollars?
JAMS VIGILANTE, PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY, TOWN COUNCIL: I‘m not ashamed of what‘s going on. Everybody has to take the focus off of Bush being on trial and the lesson learned by the children. You are talking about 17 and 18-year-old children. And I‘ve got to say, from the comments of most of the kids, although I don‘t agree with the lesson plan myself is the fact that they exercised their right to free speech.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait a second. The right to free speech, they‘re 16-, 17-year-old kids. And the mere fact—I mean, that‘s like me saying, “Well, why don‘t we have an experiment? Why don‘t we try you for the rape of a 6-year-old child. She we‘ll do that for a week. We‘ll put it in the newspapers and guess what? If people decide at the end of the week you didn‘t rape a 6-year-old boy, hey, it‘s a great learning experience. No, it‘s not.
VIGILANTE: You saying that 16 and 17-year-old kids shouldn‘t have the right to free speech?
SCARBOROUGH: You shouldn‘t be slandered like the fact that we‘re even trying you for the rape of a 6-year-old girl.
Just like the president of the United States is being slandered for this trial. This is not about free speech. This is about slandering the commander in chief at a time of war. And you don‘t see a problem with taxpayers in your community paying for that?
VIGILANTE: I pay the same taxes everybody else does. I just think that == I‘m sworn to uphold the Constitution as a reservist and also as a councilman in my town. And that is the right to free speech.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, boy.
VIGILANTE: And I don‘t think we aim that we should censure their government.
The right to free speech. I mean, I‘d just like to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes and probably one of the most famous justices later. And he said in 1892, there is a right to free speech, but there‘s no right to be a policeman. And I think that same sentiment applies here with regard to a teacher.
There‘s a right to free speech. There‘s is not a right to say whatever you wanted in a context being paid by the state to do a job. No one is arguing that these can‘t say what they want to outside the classroom. No one‘s saying they can‘t say what they want to inside the classroom.
We are arguing whether the professor, or the teacher, in this case, can pose a question in such a way as to slander the president of the United States on the taxpayer dollar.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. Thanks so much. I appreciate everybody on the panel being with us.
Friends, let me tell you what I think. We‘ve got a system across America, where you‘ve got school teachers, you‘ve got liberal unions. You‘ve got liberal principals. They‘re going in and they‘re polluting our children‘s mind and guess who‘s paying them to do that? You‘re paying them to do that, and I‘m paying them to do it.
Meanwhile you‘ve got people sitting back like the town council who are saying, “Hey, you know what? It‘s free speech.” No, it‘s not free speech. It‘s perverse. It‘s completely wrong.
I mean, why don‘t they try our Founding Fathers for crimes against African-Americans? Oh, wait. This teacher and this principal and this school district is doing that next. They‘re going to try our Founding Fathers for war crimes against humanity. They are a disgrace.
And you know what? If you sit back in your chair and let your local school district do this type of crap, then you get what you deserve. And I know you‘re not going to do that. I know that‘s why you‘re watching this show. Because we‘re going fight back. We‘re going to change our high schools. We‘re going to change our colleges. We‘re going to change our country. We‘re going to take back our educational system.
Now, coming up next, we‘re going to talk about a woman who stood by her husband after he was paralyzed and faced one of the toughest fights of her own life. We‘re going to talk to somebody who knew the remarkable Dana Reeves (sic). That‘s coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: Americans are mourning the passing of Dana Reeve. She is the 44-year-old widow of Christopher Reeve. Now, Dana led a remarkable life and so many of us admired her strength, after her husband‘s tragic riding accident left him paralyzed. She turned, though, you know, their personal tragedy into a hope for so many Americans who are suffering from spinal cord injuries.
With me now to talk about this brave woman, her life and her battle with lung cancer. We have Adrian Havill. He‘s the author of “Man of Steel: The Career and Courage of Christopher Reeve,” and Doctor Holly Phillips.
Dr. Phillips, let‘s start with you. Let‘s talk about what‘s going on here. I was reading a—let me tell you a story, actually. In fact I think it was at your hospital. I had kidney stones. They did a scan. They saw that I had a spot on my lung. I said, “I don‘t have to worry about it, because I‘ve never smoked.” And then I saw the news that Dana got cancer, and I got very nervous.
What‘s happening to all these nonsmokers that are getting lung cancer and dying?
DR. HOLLY PHILLIPS, PHYSICIAN: It‘s important to know that there risk factors for lung cancer even for people who don‘t smoke. Again, lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in both the United States and the world. It kills more people than other two, number two and number three causes of cancer, combined.
SCARBOROUGH: And you don‘t—you don‘t have to smoke to get it, do you?
PHILLIPS: The vast majority of cases are in smokers, by some estimates more than 90 percent, but that leaves a lot of people who have not smoked who end up with lung cancer.
There are other risk factors. Radon is one. Asbestos is another. But then there‘s a group of people and it sounds like Dana fell into this group, where we really don‘t have any cause. It‘s like many other types of cancers. We just can‘t figure out exactly why it happened or what was going on. There are some thoughts that is a genetic component to it, meaning some familial, sort of hereditary components and even some hormonal components. But we really don‘t know what causes lung cancers in these people.
SCARBOROUGH: It is a mystery and Adrian, she was such a champion for Christopher‘s—for Christopher‘s causes. But when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, she retreated. Why is that?
ADRIAN HAVILL, AUTHOR, “MAN OF STEEL”: Well, I think, Joe, that she felt that she needed to be with her son. She knew what the statistics are on lung cancer, that 85 percent die within five years.
So she knew that she may only have a short period of time left. So she only had one son. Her mother was dying at that time of cancer herself. Her mother died a month after she announced that she had lung cancer. She died of cervical cancer. So there‘s been a lot of tragedy in the Reeve family.
Dana‘s father is a doctor. So I think Dana pretty well knew the medical statistics that she was up against.
SCARBOROUGH: But she was a remarkable woman. Wasn‘t she?
HAVILL: Yes, and actually Dana and Chris is one of the great love stories of our time, really. If you look at when they met and the tragedy and the fact that she—you know, a lot of the dirty secrets, a lot of marriages bust up after what Christopher Reeve, you know, when he became paralyzed.
And not only did she stay with him, she enhanced his legacy by raising
helping him raise millions of dollars for his foundation and putting a foundation there that some day hopefully will cure or reduce the chances of paralysis after you suffer the kind of an accident he did.
SCARBOROUGH: You all stay with us. We‘ll be right back to talk more about this remarkable woman and also about this deadly killer disease that‘s killing more Americans all the time. We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Dana—we‘re talking about Dana Reeve, remembering her.
She was 44 years old when she passed away.
Dr. Holly Phillips, talk about the loss, not only to those who knew her and loved her, but also to the medical community.
PHILLIPS: Joe, you know, so many people in the medical community are actually really mourning the loss of this woman whom we actually didn‘t know personally. Her foundation and the foundation, really, that she founded with her husband made such great strides for spinal cord research. And also just to improve the lives of people who suffered bad spinal cord injuries. They really did amazing things. And so her loss will be felt throughout the medical community.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Adrian, for being with us.
And Dr. Holly Phillips, thank you, also for being with us. Lennox Hill Hospital, just a great institution.
We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Finally tonight, a high school basketball team from Ridgefield, Connecticut, lost a game on purpose last month so they could face easier competition in the playoffs. So how did the Tigers fare in the game they wanted to play?
Well, after an investigation, the Tigers had to forfeit and go home with their tails between their legs.
That‘s all the time we have for tonight. The Tucker—Tucker Carlson
is on vacation, so stay tuned for “HARDBALL.”
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