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'Scarborough Country' for May 31

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Michael Reagan, Michael Lohan, Jimmy Jack, Vincent Bugliosi, Willie Geist, Ashlan Gorse

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive.  Lindsay Lohan‘s father talks in his first television interview since his daughter‘s drug bust and very public meltdown.

But first: In what has become the bloodiest month for U.S. troops in more than two years, the U.S. military reports that three more Americans were killed in Iraq, taking the death toll to 122 for May, while suicide bombers again hit in Iraq, killing 20 at a police recruiting station.  President Bush meets today with the Iraqi president at the White House, but the number of dead American troops in Iraq keep increasing at a tragic pace.

Starting tomorrow in Washington state, Fort Lewis (ph) is no longer going to hold individual memorial ceremonies for killed soldiers.  Instead, the Army will post—post will hold one service a month to honor the soldiers in a single ceremony.  Just this month, 19 Fort Lewis soldiers have died in combat.

And while that death toll rises, the clock is ticking in Washington.  Judgment of the president‘s surge plan is due in September, but now the U.S. military‘s second in command in Iraq is saying he may not be ready by September.


LT. GEN. RAY ODIERNO, COMMANDER OF MULTI-NATIONAL FORCES IN IRAQ:  The assessment might be is I need a little more time.  The assessment might be I‘ve seen enough and it‘s effective, or I‘ve seen enough and it‘s not going to be effective.  Right now, if you asked me, I would tell you I probably need a little bit more time to do a true assessment.


SCARBOROUGH:  A little more time?  I don‘t know that Congress or the American public will give a little more time.  Ready or not, funding for the war runs out in September, and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are going to demand proof that this war is winnable before they OK billions more.  The tough sell will be for Republicans, who are now sitting on the fence in Congress, afraid of political extinction.  One report suggests that up to 25 GOP members may vote for a timetable for withdrawal if the situation in Iraq does not dramatically improve in the next few months.

Here now to talk about the deteriorating situation Iraq, Katrina Vanden Heuvel—she‘s editor of “The Nation”—two-time presidential contender and former White House communications director Pat Buchanan and radio talk show host Michael Reagan.

Katrina, the death of U.S. soldiers, as you heard, is increasing at such a rapid rate that one Army base can‘t even hold single ceremonies anymore.  What does that mean for the president, for his war and his ability to keep Republicans on his side as he moves forward?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”:  Well, Joe, think first about the human, the staggering human cost of what is happening in Fort Lewis, Washington.  This has been the bloodiest month since 2004 in this war and occupation.  We now know that the surge is contributing to a base saying they can‘t hold individual ceremonies, burials.  That is an insight into the failure, the disaster.

It‘s also, I think, a problem that America isn‘t seeing the cost.  This is an administration that has done everything it can to keep Americans from seeing the body bags and the coffins return home.  I don‘t think President Bush or Vice President Cheney has attended a single funeral, and that is what moved people like Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina, and John Murtha, a long-time veteran and supporter of the military, to oppose this war.

The country has turned against the war, Joe.  And if you want to listen to the troops, you‘ve seen that poll out of “Stars and Stripes” magazine.  Seventy-two percent of the troops surveyed last year sought a withdrawal, a timetable by this, and we‘re not seeing it.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Michael Reagan, you can talk about polls taken of the troops, but of course, a majority of Americans also wants the president to get us out of Iraq.  Look at these numbers.  This is a Gallup poll.  What would you tell Mr. Bush to do about Iraq?  Focus on an exit strategy, 54 percent: Stay the course or be more aggressive, 25 percent.  And then, of course, some smaller numbers there.

When you‘ve got by a 2-1 margin Americans wanting us to get out of Iraq, what can a president, what can a commander-in-chief, do but abandon a bloody and unpopular war?

MICHAEL REAGAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Shut off the television sets, that‘s what they can do.  I mean, when was the last time you heard a body count on the other side of the war?  You‘d think that our military wasn‘t killing any of the insurgents.  All you hear is about the body count of Americans, not the job that they are doing.

You know, up in northern Iraq, the Kurdistan area is doing absolutely great.  You have actual people visiting Kurdistan.  The Kurds got it.  They understand it.  Bring that into Iraq.

If I was there with the president of the United States, you know what I‘d tell him?  I‘d tell him, Shut off the press, let the military go do what it does best, kill people and break things.  I‘d pull in the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I‘d tell them, Win the war, not politically but militarily, or you‘ll be the ones who‘ll be court-martialed.  That‘s what the president needs to do.

America doesn‘t want a loser.  America wants a winner.  But every night, they‘re inundated with nothing but negative news.  Give them something positive about what these soldiers are doing that are fighting.  Yes, they are dying, but they‘re doing such a fabulous job in other areas of Iraq.  What‘s the body count of the insurgents this week, 10,000?  Let‘s have a count.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Michael Reagan, the problem is, you talk about letting the troops do what the troops do best, kill people, go after the bad guys.  Well, we had that phase of the war.  We set a record...

REAGAN:  No, we haven‘t!  No, we haven‘t, Joe!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... getting to Baghdad.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, though, Michael.  The problem is now we‘ve put them in a position where they‘re engaged in nation building.  We hated it when Bill Clinton did that.  Isn‘t that what George W. Bush is having the troops do now?

REAGAN:  I think there‘s a big difference what we saw about Bill Clinton and Bosnia, Kosovo.  You know, there we hadn‘t declared war on anybody.  Here we‘ve declared war on terror.  We are in a war.  Some days are good, some days are bad.  You‘ve got to win the war.  If we pull out of here, Joe, what you‘re going to give Saddam Hussein and—I know he‘s gone, but what you‘re going to give that group of people is to say, Hey, we beat back America in Mogadishu.  We beat back America in Iraq.  My goodness gracious, we‘re the great ones here.  America is nothing anymore.

Then Taiwan will look at us and say, Excuse me, aren‘t you supposed to be protecting us?  And they won‘t count on America.  Japan won‘t count on America.  If we pull out and not finish the job that we‘re there to do, I wouldn‘t blame Japan or Taiwan to go nuclear because no longer will anybody in the world be able to trust the United States of America.

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to get Pat Buchanan in here, but first I want Katrina to respond to that.  Katrina, how would you respond to Michael Reagan‘s assertion that if we back out of Iraq now, we‘re sending a message to friends and foe alike that you can‘t count on us to carry through the fight to the end?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  First of all, Joe, what Michael Reagan just said about shut down the press is so deeply anti-democratic.  I thought we were fighting for values of democracy.  But we are doing in Iraq with each passing day is creating more enemies.  We are in an occupation.  We are viewed as brutal occupiers.  The Iraqis want their country back.  And I think the disconnect...

REAGAN:  The Iraqis want us there!

SCARBOROUGH:  The disconnect—Michael, may I finish?  The estimates of Iraqis killed are somewhere between 65,000 and 655,000.  Iraqis are telling us how they see this great situation you describe by fleeing their country.  Two million Iraqis, Michael, have fled their country.  Forty-three percent of Iraqis...

REAGAN:  Not because of the United States...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... live in abject poverty...

REAGAN:  ... of America!

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... the second highest—the occupation...

REAGAN:  Not because of the United States of America, Katrina!

VANDEN HEUVEL:  The occupation, Michael, has exacerbated a condition where America, I am sad to report, has been viewed as brutal occupiers.  We need to return Iraq to the Iraqis, and that is what they seek.  And as long as we stay there...

REAGAN:  Return it to the Iraqis...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... instead of regional diplomacy...

REAGAN:  ... and watch a million die, two million?  Is that what you want, Katrina?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  The longer we...

REAGAN:  Just walk away, watch a million people die?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... stay, Michael—let me just finish.  The longer we stay, Michael...

REAGAN:  You‘ll find another reason to hate America, Katrina.  That‘s what you‘ll do.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Michael, I love my country, and I think you have no sense of decency.  Let me finish for one moment.  The longer...

REAGAN:  I think you‘re absolutely wrong.  Excuse me.  I think you‘re absolutely wrong.  I have a sense of decency.  When you talk to the military and they have to go to war every day...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I respect the military!


REAGAN:  ... Monday-morning quarterback, whether they‘re breaking rules or not breaking rules...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Michael...

REAGAN:  ... is sad!

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Michael, support the troops by taking them out of the crosshairs of a sectarian civil war that is at this stage unwinnable, and engage in regional diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, contain the war which is engulfing Iraq in chaos within its borders.  The longer we stay, the more damage we do to our reputation in the world, to Iraq and to the possibility of building a different future to the Middle East.

REAGAN:  We had a...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  And by the way, Michael...


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  We got to have—we have...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... General Batiste and Eaton, Michael...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... one person talk at a time.  And also, we need to bring in Pat.  Pat, you‘ve heard this debate back and forth.  This is really—listening to Katrina and Michael talk, this is what we hear time and time again from both sides.  We‘ve got one group of people saying, We need to get out of Iraq, we‘re causing so much damage to America‘s reputation, another side saying, We‘ve got to stay the course.  We do have a divided America, but if you look at that Gallup poll I showed earlier, it showed that more than two to one, Americans agree with Katrina that we need an exit strategy -- 54 percent say get out, 25 stay there.

Henry Kissinger—I thought Henry Kissinger made a very interesting point comparing Iraq to Vietnam in this aspect, saying that Vietnam and Iraq are different conflicts in different times, gut there‘s one important similarity.  A point was reached during the Vietnam war when domestic debate became so bitter as to preclude rational discussions of hard choices.

And Pat Buchanan, I remember we—didn‘t we have the Weinberger doctrine, and one of those tenets, one of those things we supposedly learned from Vietnam was you can‘t fight a war unless the majority of Americans support that war.  Aren‘t we long past that point?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, the rule is, before you commit the Army, commit the nation.  By and large, Joe, I think the—though I opposed the war, I think the majority of Americans certainly supported the war.  They were enthusiastic when Baghdad fell.  My view is we did not think it through going into this war, and I think it‘s going to be a historic mistake.

But I heard Bob Kerrey this morning, and I thought he was very good on your show.  He said, We got to think it through before we turn around and come out because what Michael Reagan fears will, which is an American pull-out and a collapse of that government and a defeat, will indeed be seen as a victory for al Qaeda, a victory for the anti-Americans across the region.  And I think we will not see the end of the conflict in Iraq except that our side loses.  And I think it could spread.

But there‘s no doubt what Katrina says is also true.  The base in the United States is crumbling.  The only way the president can win this war quickly is put 500,000 men in there, and I think that would take two years, and he can‘t do it.


SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s the issue, though, Pat.  We don‘t have the troops.

BUCHANAN:  We don‘t have it.

SCARBOROUGH:  We don‘t have the troops to take care of Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan.  And as you say, the Middle East is melting down.


SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re going to have Netanyahu elected prime minister of Israel.  He‘s going to start engaging Iran possibly in a war.



BUCHANAN:  Let me tell you what‘s going to...

SCARBOROUGH:  We can talk—we can talk about what happens if we leave, but what happens if we stay?

BUCHANAN:  Well, let me tell you what‘s going to happen.  My guess is by July 4, the Turks will be in Kurdistan.  They‘re already moving to the border right now.  They‘ve had explosions in Ankara, killing their civilians.  They‘ve got their soldiers being killed down there in the Kurdish region of Turkey.  The Turkish army wants to move, and the prime minister is thinking of moving, and they‘re moving tanks and troops and they‘re massing up on the border.

Joe, I—look, the point here is, Bob Kerrey had a very good point.  If we‘re going to—you know, look, if we could walk out of here and it were not a calamity, I would be out of here tomorrow.  We would never have gone in.  I would have been out of here before now.  But I think that‘s the one thing that‘s going to happen in the fall.

And one thing we got to remember is, Bush and Cheney are going to stay with this.  And they‘ll try to put deadlines on that legislation.  They may do it, but they don‘t have two thirds in both houses.  And I think he might very well go with that number two general.

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  But Pat—Pat, it‘s already a calamity, Joe.


SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s bring in Michael Reagan...


VANDEN HEUVEL:  I mean, what would you define as a greater calamity?  The longer we stay, the more we delay, the more American lives, the more Iraqi lives are lost.  This was what the argument was during Vietnam...


VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... Pat, you remember.  If we stayed, it would be...

BUCHANAN:  All right, look...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... it would be chaos and...

BUCHANAN:  All right, we...


BUCHANAN:  One million Cambodians died in the first year of peace, which was 20 times all of the Americans killed in seven years of war.  Do we want that?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  We need to disengage militarily.  We fuel al Qaeda.

REAGAN:  So what you‘re saying, Katrina...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  We do regional diplomacy and humanitarian assistance...

REAGAN:  What you say...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... and we don‘t have this occupation.  The military occupation will simply fuel more chaos.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK. And Michael, I want to...

REAGAN:  And what do you say...


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  I need to ask you a question, Michael, because Pat Buchanan brings up a good point.  You‘re saying stay the course.  There‘s still a lot of Republicans that are saying, Stay the course.  But let‘s look at what‘s happening.  Pat‘s talking about our problems with Turkey going into what‘s going to be called Kurdistan.  You‘ve got Israel that‘s going to probably be engaging Iran.  You‘ve got Pakistan that‘s melting down.  You‘ve got Afghanistan that‘s melting down.  The Taliban is gaining in strength.  The Mahdi Army now has reengaged.  Al Sadr has returned to Iraq.  U.S. helicopters are getting blown out of the sky.

I mean, this battle is long and it‘s bloody, and it seems like things are melting down not only in Iraq but across the Middle East.  Don‘t we need to bring some of those troops out so they can at least be ready to go to other hotspots?

REAGAN:  You know, that‘s a decision the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president of the United States are going to have to make, not you and not me  But again, all that would still be going on whether we‘re in Iraq or we‘re not in Iraq.  If we pull out, the question still remains on the table, Joe.  What does Taiwan do, who we‘re sworn to protect?  What does Japan do, who we‘re sworn to protect?  All those areas of the world who we have sworn to protect, you know, through all of time, what do they then do when they see America back down to the insurgents who are fighting this war in Iraq?

And by the way, we have more people on our side there than against us.  There is a small number of insurgents, yes, doing damage.  But most of the people there support the United States of America.  The government there supports the United States of America.  We cannot abandon them because if we do, like Pat says, it will be a bloodbath, like Vietnam and like Cambodia.  And then what does the world say about America?

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Michael Reagan, I know you got to go.  Thanks a lot.  Katrina and Pat, stay with us.  We‘re going to keep talking about this and how the Republican Party may be turning their back on President Bush and handing Democrats a victory in the war over the war funding.

And remember, I‘m pulling a double duty this week.  You can catch me bright and early for “MORNING JOE” right here on MSNBC.  We‘re going to be simulcasted on WFAN starting at 6:00 AM.  My guests are going to include Tom Brokaw, Cheryl Crow and Bob Ryan from “The Boston Globe.”  That‘s tomorrow morning on “MORNING JOE.”

And later here tonight, a look at Oliver Stone and other conspiracy theorists.  We‘ve got an author here that‘s stopping by to talk about his book, “Reclaiming History,” that debunks all the myths surrounding the JFK assassination.  We‘re looking through the glass here, people.

And then a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive.  We‘re going to be talking to Lindsay Lohan‘s father about her recent meltdown, his trouble with the law and what it means for the future of Hollywood‘s wild child.


SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re back with Katrina Vanden Heuvel of “The Nation” and two-time presidential contender and former White House communications director Pat Buchanan.

Katrina, let me start with you.  With everything that‘s going on in Iraq now, all the bad news coming out of there, you‘ve got a general now who‘s saying that September the deadline may not be met, he may need more time.  There‘s no way Republicans or Democrats in Congress are going to give him that, are they?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  No.  I mean, I think you already see a Republican Party, Joe, waking up.  They don‘t want to be walked over a cliff by a president who wants to save his legacy.  I think you‘re going to see Republicans defining progress not by how many Iraqi children are dying or refugees fleeing out of Iraq, but what the polls look like in their districts.  And I think, come September, those polls are going to be very low and you‘re going to see Republicans fleeing this president, particularly in the Northeast, where there are several Republicans who are in very endangered seats.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat Buchanan, you‘ve said the same thing that Katrina‘s saying.  I say it, too.  I think Republicans are scared to death in the Northeast and the Midwest and the Northwest, across America.  Don‘t you think they‘re not going to give this general or the president any more time?

BUCHANAN:  I think that‘s right.  I think the Democrats are already, as a party, united on timetables to get out of Iraq.  I think what you‘ll get is maybe John Warner and moderate Republicans in the Senate putting some kind of deadline on the legislation to pay for the war, Joe.  And then the question comes, Will the president veto the deadlines.  If he does, I think he still may have one last shot to sustain his veto.  Then the question is, what does the Congress do?  That‘s where we‘re headed in September.

SCARBOROUGH:  Katrina, I want to end—you were—your love for this country was questioned before.  I‘ve never questioned your love for America.

BUCHANAN:  That‘s right.

SCARBOROUGH:  I know Pat Buchanan hasn‘t.  In fact, I think we—even though we‘re on opposite sides of the political spectrum, I think we‘ve agreed on more issues than not, certainly over the past six months or so.  Don‘t you think that‘s where most Americans are?  You look at these polls, it looks like most American agree with what you‘re saying and what Pat Buchanan‘s been saying?

VANDEN HEUVEL:  It‘s an odd place to be in the mainstream, Joe, but I think the right to speak one‘s mind is the hallmark of democracy and a love of the values, true values of this country.  So all we can do is speak our mind and do that as a sign of true democracy.


BUCHANAN:  Joe, if I‘m in the mainstream, I‘ll have to start swimming to the right hard.


SCARBOROUGH:  Buchanan, you—I think somebody once said that you‘re so far right now that you‘re left.


VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... convergence factor.  Pat and I have one issue we‘re fighting, which is to stop postal rate hikes for small publications, so we have a diverse marketplace of ideas.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, so we—so we...


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  So we have you all agreeing on postal rates, on Iraq, and I would guess probably also on Darfur.  We truly are coming together as a country.  Pat Buchanan and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, thank you so much.  Yes,

Still ahead, our exclusive conversation with Lindsay Lohan‘s father, now reaching out to his daughter after her second stint in rehab.

But first, Jay Leno celebrates 15 years on the “Tonight” show with some classic interviews.  Or are they?  Find out in “Must See S.C.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see.  First up: This week, Jay Leno is celebrating 15 years on the “Tonight” show, and he‘s doing it by showing a few more of his memorable celebrity interviews.


JAY LENO, HOST, “TONIGHT SHOW”:  Are there any celebrities here that you would like to kill?

O.J. SIMPSON:  Michael Jackson and Dustin Hoffman and (INAUDIBLE) among others.

LENO:  But what if these celebrities don‘t want to be killed by you?

SIMPSON:  If they don‘t want it, I‘m sure they‘ll probably still get it (INAUDIBLE)

LENO:  (INAUDIBLE) some children to sleep in your bed with you.

MICHAEL JACKSON:  I sleep in the bed with all of them.

LENO:  Good thing you didn‘t videotape any of that.

JACKSON:  We have the footage.

LENO:  I notice you have tape up here so that you don‘t leave any finger prints on the kids?


LENO:  Excuse me for a moment.  Oh!


SCARBOROUGH:  And censors kick it up a notch, as Jimmy Kimmel launches another “Unnecessary Censorship.”


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We must control our borders.  I‘m not talking about some poor Mexican (DELETED) you wants to cross the border to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sorry about the dry-cleaning accident.  (DELETED) your pants.


SCARBOROUGH:  Oh!  And still ahead, JFK conspiracy theories debunked, the massive book that looks at all the facts and says sometimes a grassy knoll, my friends, is just a grassy knoll.

But first, Lindsay Lohan‘s father joins us for an exclusive interview in (ph) hopes his daughter and his own troubled past can teach her in the future.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive:  Lindsay Lohan‘s father joins us for his first television interview she Lindsay entered rehab.  And we‘ll get his advice for Lindsay, as well as him talking about his own troubled past.  But first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Lindsay Lohan‘s father speaks out in a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive.  In his first television interview since his daughter entered rehab, Michael Lohan is here to talk about Lindsay‘s recent troubles and what he thinks he can do to help. 

His pop star daughter was, of course, arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and position of a substance believed to be cocaine.  Here now is Lindsay‘s father, Michael Lohan, and his pastor, Jimmy Jack, who actually spoke to Lindsay just days before her arrest. 

Thank you all so much for being with us.  Michael, have you tried to make contact with her since this arrest? 

MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN‘S FATHER:  Yes, I did.  I tried.  I tried through her assistant, and I was directed to get in touch with her attorney, and my attorneys are handling that correspondence and that communication now between them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  If you could say something to her tonight, what would it be? 

LOHAN:  I love you.  I‘m here for you.  I always wanted to be here for you.  It‘s unfortunate that things worked out the way they did, but I think that there‘s a venerate message in this, and we can totally turn this around if we come together as a family, and put the past behind us, and rely on God, and what‘s in our hearts to right the wrongs and do the right thing.  But we all have to be on the same page and realize that it‘s not about being self or it‘s not about being selfish.  It‘s about being selfless and coming together as a family, regardless of the situation, to be there for you, Lindsay, and your brothers and sister. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jimmy Jack, you actually got a chance to talk to Lindsay Lohan.  Did you try to tell her about God, about your faith, about the faith of her father? 

PASTOR JIMMY JACK, MICHAEL LOHAN‘S PASTOR:  Yes, actually I was in deep prayer, and Mike gave me her number almost three months ago, and said, you know, when you feel led to call her, go ahead.  And even for Mike, it‘s been so difficult to get through to her.  And just spontaneously, which I believe was the providence of God, I said, “Mike, I‘m going to go call Lindsay.  I just feel that I need to tell her that God loves her.”

So I just dialed her number, and she answered.  And I said, “Hi, Lindsay?”  She said, “Yes.”  I said, “This is Pastor Jimmy Jack from Long Island Teen Challenge.  Number one, I want to tell you that your dad is doing well.  We‘re working with him, and he‘s doing excellent.  His heart is changed toward God.”

And I said, “Lindsay, you‘re very special in the eyes of God, and God has a mighty plan for you, and I want to let you know we‘re praying for you.”  And Lindsay was just full of joy, she says, “Thank you so much.  Thank you so much.”  I said, “Your dad is doing great.”  “I‘m so glad he‘s there.  Thank you so much.”  And she was very, very kind, very receptive, and sounded very inspired at the very moment. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael, obviously, she does need a mother and a father and a God in her life, but are you concerned by the friends she surrounds herself with?  Do you think that she‘s had people around her that have enabled her to behave very badly, because they‘re more interested in their own well-being than in your daughter‘s well-being? 

LOHAN:  Absolutely, yes, I do.  As a matter of fact, it started quite a while ago, when Lindsay did reach some success and then became—went to the pinnacle of her career.  And that was always a concern of mine. 

Unfortunately, I feel at this point that Lindsay may be reaping some of the seeds I‘ve sown in my own life, whether it was good or bad.  Unfortunately, right now, people may think it‘s bad, but I think that if we really give it some time, I think Lindsay is a strong enough person, that she does have that seed of God in her heart.  She‘s got an unbelievable heart, and she‘s gifted, and she‘s going to turn this around. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I have people come on talking about Lindsay‘s situation, they invariably talk about her mother.  They talk about how she has a mother that acts more like a friend that likes going out with her to night clubs and, quite frankly, behaves badly, and doesn‘t set a good example for her.  I know that none of us should cast stones, but at the same time do you think that‘s a real challenge for Lindsay when she‘s got a mother that seems to like going out to night clubs as much as she does?

LOHAN:  Look, I‘m not going to judge Dina.  Dina is responsible for her, and I‘m responsible for me.  Right now, I can only imagine what Dina is going through.  I mean, when I saw that newspaper the other day, I thought of Lindsay, I thought of my kids, and I thought of Dina.  And I said to myself, “How does she feel?  She must feel the same way I do.  She must have been brought to tears like I was.”  This is our daughter, I mean, unconscious in a car.  I didn‘t know if she overdosed or even worse than that.  How do you think Dina felt when she saw that?

SCARBOROUGH:  I guess the question then is this:  If she‘s going—if she has her own personal demons, and Lindsay has her own personal demons, and you fought your own personal demons, has Lindsay‘s stardom actually blown apart your family? 

LOHAN:  OK, you know, that‘s a very good question and a very good point.  Ever since—I mean, it goes without saying, and I keep saying this—it doesn‘t take Einstein or the equivalent of someone who puts M&Ms in alphabetical order to really see the proverbial writing on the wall.  When we were a family, regardless of the difficulty we had in our life, you never heard one negative thing, you never saw a negative thing, because there wasn‘t too much negative.  And any negative that we did have, we overcame, through each other and by the power of God, because we did have God in our life.

The problem is, when Lindsay reached the pinnacle of her career, like you said, people came into our life, and they came between us.  And, unfortunately, myself included, first and foremost, I let that effect me.  I handled it the wrong way, and I can very much understand what Lindsay is going through, because I went through it myself. 

The separation of my family caused me to react the wrong way.  I drank.  I went out and partied.  Yes, I did coke, and I made some really stupid, stupid decisions.  But the point of the matter is, we can turn it around, and I think that the separation of my family, which led me to make the wrong choices in my life, is the exactly same separation that Lindsay is suffering from that‘s causing the pain in her life.  And when she has her family back in her life, you will see things turn around. 

JACK:  This was probably a wake-up call absolutely for Mike, for Dina, I think for young people across the world, you know, and that we have to be careful, and we need role models.  We need people.  We need God in our lives.  We need somebody that can guide us.  Thank the lord Mike was here at Teen Challenge when this happened. 

LOHAN:  Absolutely.

JACK:  I looked at Mike, and I said, “Mike, you‘re at the right place at the right time.”

SCARBOROUGH:  If she does finally surround herself with the right people, it may be just in time.  I‘m sure you‘ve heard some of these reports.  A lot of people around her are concerned that she may do harm to herself.  Is that something that you‘re concerned about that, she may do such great harm to herself that she could possibly end up dead? 

LOHAN:  Does it concern me?  Wouldn‘t it concern any father when people were saying these things?  I‘m not with Lindsay when she‘s out at night, but I will tell you this:  By no means do I ever think that Lindsay would intentionally cause any harm to herself or injure herself in any way. 

This is not about myself or Dina anymore.  This is about our children.  It‘s about Lindsay and our other three children.  It‘s time to put all the differences aside, everything on the side, and put our kids first, and to be there for Lindsay, Michael, Ali and Cody.  We need to do this and just deal with things in a very amicable way from here on in. 

It‘s not about building walls anymore.  It‘s about breaking them down and just being there in the right way as parents.  It‘s not about being a husband or wife; it‘s about being parents for our kids, and that‘s the bottom line. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘ll tell you what, that‘s a bottom line that‘s a great message to parents across the country and across the world.  Hey, Michael Lohan, Pastor Jimmy Jack, thank you so much, and know that our thoughts and our prayers are going to be with you and with your family in the days and months ahead. 

LOHAN:  Thank you. 

JACK:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Up next, we‘re going to be talking to the author of the new book of the JFK assassination, which may finally put to rest all those conspiracy theories. 

And later in “Hollyweird,” Nicole Richie explains her party invitation that says, “No girls over 100 pounds.”  Was it just a joke or has “The Simple Life” star simply lost it?


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, JFK conspiracy theories are being debunked.  If President John F. Kennedy were still alive, he would have celebrated his 90th birthday this week.  And while his assassination was more than four decades ago, the controversy surrounding his death just isn‘t going away. 

Now, on one side, the purists, who say Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  On the other side, an endless amount of conspiracy theorists involving everything from the Mafia to Fidel Castro.  And while a recent study by Texas A&M says the evidence that was used to rule out a second gunman is flawed and suggests that maybe Oswald didn‘t act alone, a mammoth new book takes a close, hard look at all the facts and says otherwise. 

Earlier, I spoke with Vincent Bugliosi.  He‘s the author of the new book, “Reclaiming History,” and he told me his conclusion after years of research was that Oswald did act alone. 


VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AUTHOR, “RECLAIMING HISTORY”:  There‘s no question at all that Oswald killed Kennedy.  I‘m positive of that, not just beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond all doubt, not just some of the evidence, not just most of the evidence, all of the evidence, everything he did, everything he said, all the physical evidence, all of the scientific evidence shows that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy. 

In the book, I present 53 separate pieces of evidence pointing towards Oswald‘s guilt.  Anyone who says that Oswald is innocent, to me, he‘s telling me that he‘s totally unaware of the evidence or he‘s just a silly person. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oliver Stone would be so disappointed. 

BUGLIOSI:  Oliver Stone‘s movie was one continuous lie.  I have to amend that, Joe.  He did have the date correct, the location, the victim correct, but other than that, his movie was one continuous lie. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The intelligence community murdered their own commander-in-chief, is that what you said? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll go you one better, Bill.  Maybe Oswald didn‘t even pull the trigger.  Nitrate tests indicate he hadn‘t even fired a rifle on November 22nd.


BUGLIOSI:  The 53 pieces of evidence that I was telling you about, Stone‘s movie was three hours and eight minutes, but poor Oliver, he couldn‘t find the time to put even one of those 53 pieces of evidence into his film. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why have the conspiracy theorists been so effective in pushing this story?  And why do so many Americans seem to want to believe it? 

BUGLIOSI:  The conspiracy theorists have completely dominated the debate.  There have been close to 1,000 books on the case.  They‘re most conspiracy books.  And over a period of time, the shrill voice of the conspiracy theorists finally penetrated the consciousness of the American people and, through their books, radio and TV talk shows, movies, college lectures, they totally discredited the Warren Commission and convinced the majority of Americans that Oswald was either a part of a conspiracy or just some patsy who was framed by some elaborate group of conspirators, ranging from anti-Castro Cuban exiles, to organized crime, working in league with U.S. intelligence. 

The problem is that they have not come up with any evidence at all to show that there was a conspiracy.  All they‘ve done is they‘ve made the naked allegations.  If one of these groups, hypothetically, decided, “Let‘s kill President Kennedy,” they‘re going to go to Lee Harvey Oswald?  Here‘s a guy who was not an expert shot.  He was a good shot, but not an expert shot, had a $12 mail order rifle, notoriously unreliable, extremely unstable.  I mean, here‘s a guy that defects to the Soviet Union, pre-Gorbachev.  I mean, even today, who in the heck defects to the Soviet Union?  He defects to the Soviet Union.  He wants to become a Soviet citizen.  He‘s turned down.  He slashes his wrists, tries to commit suicide.  This is the type of a reliable guy that you‘re going to use if you want to commit the biggest murder in U.S. history? 

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you say to those conspiracy theorists that said this man, acting alone, with this cheap rifle, could have never got off the shots that killed John F. Kennedy that day? 

BUGLIOSI:  They‘ve told one lie after another about this case.  Here‘s a lie right here.  Oswald only had 5.6 seconds to fire three rounds.  Wrong.  The first shot was fired at 160, frame 160 of the Zapruder film.  The third shot, 313, he had 8.4 seconds to fire three rounds.  And actually, when you stop to think about it, Joe, the clock starts running from the first shot, because the cartridge is already in the chamber.  You‘ve got all the time you want to prepare.  So he really had 8.4 seconds to fire two rounds of ammunition. 

And how accurate was he?  He fired three shots.  We assume he‘s aiming at the head.  That‘s the most vulnerable part of the body.  The first shot misses completely.  OK.  Second shot enters the president‘s upper right back, exits the throat, the third shot in the head.  One out of three shots, it‘s not that great. 

SCARBOROUGH:  A lot of conspiracy theorists like to say that Jack Ruby was paid off by the mob to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He‘s been shot.  He‘s been shot.  Lee Oswald has been shot.

SCARBOROUGH:  Who is Jack Ruby?  And why did he assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald?

BUGLIOSI:  I think we just about know why he did it.  He loved President Kennedy.  He idolized him.  He thought he was the greatest man who ever lived.  In fact, the moment after he shot Oswald, he said, “Well, someone had to kill that son of a” blank. 

But there was another issue involved here.  People that knew Ruby very well said, you know, Jack thought he was going to become a big hero over this thing.  The jury that convicted him, several members said he thought he was going to become a hero from his jail cell.  He wanted an agent.  He thought there was going to be a big movie, a big book about his heroic deeds. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What was Lee Harvey Oswald‘s motive for killing the president?  What did you learn?

BUGLIOSI:  He had delusions of grandeur.  He viewed himself in a historical light.  He had a diary, and he called it “The Historic Diary.”  He certainly had a capacity for violence.  Seven months earlier, he tried to murder Major General Edwin Walker. 

There‘s the Castro connection.  Lee Harvey Oswald revered Fidel Castro, strong supporter of the Cuban revolution.  Kennedy, as you know, was behind the Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow Castro.  Obviously, Oswald did not like that. 

I found an entry in Oswald‘s diary, and here‘s what that entry said.  “I‘ve lived under capitalism and communism, and I,” quote, “despise the representatives of both systems.”  So he didn‘t really hate Kennedy, but we do know he hated the United States of America.  He spoke about it all of the time.  Kennedy may very well have been the quintessential representative of a society for which he held a grinding contempt.  And when he shot Kennedy, he was shooting at the United States of America. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you so much, Vincent.  Greatly appreciate your time here. 

BUGLIOSI:  Joe, honored to be on your show.  Thank you so much, sir. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And coming up next in “Hollyweird,” Paula Abdul says she‘s never been drunk.  We think she doth protest too much.  Hey, Paula, “Idol” is over.  Nobody cares.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, tell the paparazzi to leave you alone or you‘re going to go all Sean Penn on them.  It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Nicole Richie says her requirements to a party were just a joke.  Her e-mail invitation she sent her pals said, “Let‘s glorify this day in your sluttiest tops and your tightest pair of jeans.  Even though we have no clue what Memorial Day really means, there will be a scale at the front door, and no girls over 100 pounds will be allowed in, so start starving yourself now.  See you then.”

What was she thinking?  We‘re joined now by Ashlan Gorse to tell us, editor-at-large for “Life and Style Weekly,” and also MSNBC pop culture guru Willie Geist. 

Willie, you know, I‘m not going to even be self-righteous here, but Memorial Day?  It‘s about soldiers who have given their lives for this country.  Kind of bad taste on Nicole‘s part, isn‘t it? 

WILLIE GEIST, POP CULTURE GURU:  Yes, but to Nicole Richie, it‘s about flaunting your eating disorder.  And you have to admire that.  Joe, there was a magazine sitting around our make-up room today.  I looked at the cover and assumed it was a “National Geographic” expose on the starving and suffering in Darfur.  No, it was Nicole Richie on the cover literally with her breast plate falling out of her shirt, which is actually a little bit slutty.  I think it‘s not a good look.

SCARBOROUGH:  That is a little bit slutty.  And, Ashlan, what‘s this woman doing sending this e-mail around to her friends?  She had to know it would get out. 

ASHLAN GORSE, “LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY”:  Exactly.  Well, and the best part is, her excuse was, “Oh, it was a joke.  Doesn‘t everybody notice that it rhymed?”  But yes, it‘s pretty bad.  If anybody else‘s friends sent it out, I could understand, but Nicole Richie, who is really, really skinny, and very unhealthy, she can‘t get away with doing stuff like that.  She should have known it was going to get out in the public.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, first of all, talking about the anorexia, making light of that, and then, of course, Memorial Day, it‘s just unbelievable.  Her good friend, Paris Hilton, is getting a designer cellmate.  Officials at the jail where Paris is heading have hand-picked an inmate who is in the slammer for reckless driving.  Ashlan, I didn‘t think she was going to get any special treatment.

GORSE:  Well, she wasn‘t going to get any special treatment, but, if you think about it, who else would they put Paris Hilton in the jail with?  I mean, they really did have to be careful who she was actually going to stay in with.  And not only did they pick her cell partner, but they actually sent out a notice to everybody working at the jail saying how Paris was supposed to be treated and other things.  So it sounds like Paris is going to get a lot of special treatment while she‘s in jail. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Willie Geist, it is a match made in prison, isn‘t it? 

GEIST:  Joe, Paris Hilton locked in a cell with another woman for 23 days?  Sometimes soft porn just writes itself.  You know, that is going to be good, good stuff. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, Willie Geist, you are so bad that you‘re good.  You know who else is?  Tracy Morgan.  Now, he was reportedly partying hard in Vegas last weekend.  And according to the “New York Post,” he may have been drinking vodka from the bottle, shirtless.  But because of a drunk-driving plea deal, he‘s not supposed to be drinking at all.  Willie Geist, this is a man that American kids have been looking up to for decades now.  What‘s going on?

GEIST:  What kids are you hanging around, Joe?  All I can say about this story is that Tracy stars on a terrific television show on the NBC Universal family of networks.  So like O.J., he was framed.  That‘s all I know. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Somebody else that‘s framed about with drinking, Paula Abdul.  She‘s once again denying that any bizarre behavior on “American Idol” is caused by drug or alcohol use.  She‘s blaming chronic pain.  Ashlan Gorse, what do you say about that?

GORSE:  Well, you know, the other thing she‘s ever denied was she‘s never drank and she‘s never done illegal drugs, but we all forget about prescription drugs.  And we know that she‘s been prescribed these for her neurological disorder that she has, which I know is very painful.  But abusing prescription pills is just the same and the same outcome as abusing, you know, illegal drugs.  It‘s just—which way does it go? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Which way does it go, indeed?

Ashlan Gorse, Willie Geist, thank you so much.  Greatly appreciate it. 

And a reminder, I‘m pulling double duty this week.  You can catch me early for “Morning Joe,” right here starting at 6:00 a.m.  My guests tomorrow include Tom Brokaw, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Ryan from the “Boston Globe.”  That‘s tomorrow on “Morning Joe.”

And that‘s all the time we have for tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Up next, “To Catch a Predator.”



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