Guest: Brian Clayton, Frances Kissling, Fess Parker, Peter King, Ellen Mariani
PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST: Is a pre-9/11 memo to President Bush the smoking gun his critics have been looking for? Or is it another case of media misrepresentation and hype?
Then, a shaky cease-fire in Fallujah today, as more foreigners are kidnapped in Iraq. The question now, how do we get out of this mess?
And John Kerry supports abortions and civil unions for gays, two things the Catholic Church adamantly opposes. So how is Kerry running as a Catholic candidate for president?
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Pat Buchanan. Joe has got the night off.
Parts of that controversial presidential daily brief from August 6, 2001, have been made public. Critics are saying President Bush was alerted to the bin Laden threat and did nothing to protect the nation.
Today, President Bush responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Had they found something, I‘m confident they would have reported back to me. That‘s the way the system works. And whoever was the acting FBI director, had they found something, would have said, Mr. President, we have found something that you need to be concerned about in your duties to protect America. That didn‘t happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: With me now is Congressman Peter King, Republican from New York and supporter of the president, and Ellen Mariani, a 9/11 widow and an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
Ms. Mariani, thanks very much for coming on. We appreciate it.
Also, Congressman King.
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: Thank you, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Let me go to you first, Ms. Mariani.
Having read that August memo, do you not think that was more in the way of explaining to the president what the al Qaeda and bin Laden had done and really did not alert him to the fact that there was some imminent, grave threat?
ELLEN MARIANI, 9/11 WIDOW: Pat, why did it take 2 ½ years to get this August briefing, which was a weak briefing.
I am told and I have been made aware that there is a May, June, and July briefing that gives over 4,000 warnings. Presidential briefings, bring them on. We didn‘t need 2 ½ years of wasting taxpayers‘ money to hear the weakest briefing that he had.
BUCHANAN: All right, well, let me ask you. I want to show you an excerpt of the president‘s daily brief from August 6, 2001, because in my judgment, it tends to exonerate the president.
Here‘s what it says. It says: “The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin-Laden-related.”
Now, Ellen, isn‘t that—if you‘re the president of the United States and you‘re being told in your daily brief and you‘ve asked what bin Laden is doing and al Qaeda is doing, and the CIA says, the FBI has got 70 field investigations of this crowd, isn‘t that a memo of assurance they‘ve given the president, wrongly?
MARIANI: I‘m going to go back to what I said. Let‘s bring in May, June and July, and then we can really bring it all to the table and tell the truth. Right now, we‘ve only got a little bit and it‘s weak.
And I object to this panel of the 9/11 Commission asking very weak questions to our president and the Cabinet. They need to be tougher now.
BUCHANAN: All right, Peter King, it seems to me, looking at that memo, frankly—I‘m not the president of the United States, and neither is Peter King, of course—but if I had gotten that memo, it seems to me that the CIA and the FBI have a real measure of responsibility here, because that‘s a memorandum that does not talk about some imminent, grave threat, when, where, how, but gives the president in effect assurance: We‘ve got 70 investigations out there on this thing, sir.
KING: Well, Pat, you‘re absolutely right. This memo shows the president did exactly the right thing.
And first, let me say, the Oliver Stone crowd has been saying for two years, wait until the August 6 memo comes out. It‘s going to show everything. Well, the fact is, now that it‘s out, they‘re saying, oh, there‘s other memos that are hidden somewhere. The fact is, this is the memo that everyone was talking about for the last two years. Now it‘s out. What does it show?
It shows the president that whatever activity there is in the United States, the FBI is conducting 70 field investigations. What that‘s telling the president is that the situation is under control. Now, that may have been wrong, but there‘s no way that President Bush was going to know that. He was relying on the best estimate from the CIA. This was the best memo they could put together. This was the best information they had.
And, by the way, the information turned out to be wrong. It said there was going to be an attack with explosives. There was no attack with explosives. It said that citizens of the United States were going to carry out the attacks. No American citizen carried out the attacks. And it said that federal buildings were under surveillance and no federal building were attacked.
So the fact is, this was a memo that was very sketchy. And, if anything, I were president of the United States, or if Pat Buchanan were the president, this reinforces the president‘s thinking that this law enforcement is monitoring what‘s happening. And it‘s really to me wrong to take the most tragic event that ever occurred in our country and try to turn it into some type of UFO investigation or Oliver Stone movie.
BUCHANAN: All right, Ellen, let me pick up on that.
MARIANI: Can I say something here?
BUCHANAN: Yes, I want you to say something here.
BUCHANAN: Go ahead.
MARIANI: Go ahead.
Jamie Gorelick, who also is a board member on the 9/11, had plenty to say. It was so bad that it would set your hair on fire. Let‘s hear more from Jamie Gorelick. Or will we? She‘s on the board.
BUCHANAN: Look, Ellen, I agree with you. It looks to me and I think it looks to Congressman King, the president is being reassured here. These guys are on top of this. There‘s 70 investigations out there. The FBI is looking at it, sir. If I were the president, I would have said, our guys are really on top of this thing.
Now, that memo, it seems to me, exonerates the president more than it indicts him in any way. What do these other three other memos you‘re talking about, April, May or June, no one has referred to them that I‘ve seen.
MARIANI: May, June and July, sir.
And I have another question, too, that I believe Attorney General Ashcroft, John Ashcroft, is going to be questioned this week. Why did he stop flying in the summer of 2001? And then he will not declassified threat assessments and the briefings to us Americans, who warned him to not fly. That question, I want the panel to ask Mr...
BUCHANAN: Well, wait a minute, Ellen. You‘re not suggesting foreknowledge of this kind of attack on the part of the attorney general, are you?
MARIANI: Who warned him not to fly, him and his family both? Those are the questions that the panel should be not softly asking. These are deaths, my loved one, plus thousands of others. Yes, we want answers and we don‘t want to wait 40 years either.
BUCHANAN: All right.
KING: Pat, this is the insanity that taken over.
Listen, it was a tragic loss that Ms. Mariani suffered. I‘ve known many people, many friends and neighbors of mine who were killed also on September 11.
But that doesn‘t allow someone to raise these ridiculous charges. And what she is that someone told John Ashcroft in advance, that John Ashcroft knew in advance that there was going to be an attack by planes, and that John Ashcroft stopped flying. He didn‘t tell the president, didn‘t tell the secretary of state, didn‘t tell the FBI, didn‘t tell the CIA, but he kept it to himself. And this is the type of nonsense, if the commission even gets into that, then they‘re wasting...
MARIANI: And he didn‘t tell my husband either. Neither did he tell my husband either.
BUCHANAN: Helen, hold it now. What happened to your husband is obviously a horrific tragedy. It happened to 3,000 others that day, folks in the Pentagon, folks in that plane in Pennsylvania, folks in the World Trade Center.
But you are not suggesting, are you, that someone in the government of the United States as high as the attorney general or Condi Rice or the president had some advanced knowledge that these attacks were going to take place and let them happen for some horrific reason, are you?
MARIANI: Let‘s ask him when he‘s questioned this week.
BUCHANAN: Well look, he‘s going to be questioned...
KING: Pat, can I say something?
BUCHANAN: Go ahead, Pete.
KING: Yes, Pat, if I could just say, we owe it to the memory of those who died to ask intelligent questions and carry out a real investigation, so this doesn‘t happen again.
I agree with you. I think the CIA dropped the ball. I think the FBI dropped the ball. I think the system we had with the Congress and the executive, all of that dropped the ball. There‘s much work that has to be done, so this never happens again. But if we‘re going to go off on crazy theories that the attorney general of the United States was an accomplice of...
MARIANI: That‘s not crazy, sir. And I want to tell you, I was flying that day, too.
KING: It is crazy.
MARIANI: It is not crazy.
KING: So was my wife.
MARIANI: And I was flying that day, too.
KING: By the way, so was my wife flying that day. And my son-in-law was working across the street. So let‘s not get a monopoly on grief. And I lost many friends and neighbors.
MARIANI: I will give that way.
KING: And many constituents.
MARIANI: We need firm questions, not soft questions, sir.
BUCHANAN: With due respect, I thought Condi Rice got very, very tough questions from all four Democrats on that panel. And the other Republicans did probing questions. I thought it was good testimony all the way around.
Let me talk—Pete King, look, in reading this thing, if I were the president of United States and I reread that August memo from the CIA about the FBI on top of it, I would say heads ought to role, because somebody is really pulling my chain, telling me this is being taken care of, when it wasn‘t being taken care of, when people weren‘t on top of it. Why have no heads rolled?
KING: First of all, I think heads should roll.
As far as the director of the CIA, I think the fact that the war was starting a month after September 11, we needed the CIA director in place. But, as far as I‘m concerned, George Tenet, the FBI, all those top-level, middle-level people have a lot to account for. They dropped the ball here. I think the president sooner rather than later should start moving people out. And that‘s what I‘m hoping the 9/11 Commission does come up with solid recommendations in that regard.
And, again, if there he‘s any criticism at all of the administration, is, the president hasn‘t been tough enough on those who failed him. He did his job. He did a great job. He asked for this report and he got it. And the gave the report, which obviously, they were wrong and the FBI was wrong. But the fact is our intelligence operation broke down. And that‘s where—that‘s why I feel strongly this commission has to go forward, not asking conspiracy questions. Those things are ridiculous.
What we have to do is get down to reality and find out what went wrong and go after them. And I agree with you, Pat. Heads I think should roll at the CIA and the FBI.
BUCHANAN: All right.
MARIANI: Now let me talk.
BUCHANAN: Go ahead, very briefly, yes.
MARIANI: Jamie Gorelick said it in her own words. May, June and July will tell the truth. There‘s over 4,000 presidential briefings, 4,000 that would make your hair stand and be on fire. So let‘s get to Jamie.
BUCHANAN: All right, let‘s get to Jamie.
Thank you very much, Ellen Mariani.
MARIANI: You‘re welcome.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Congressman King. Appreciated your joining us.
KING: Pat, thank you.
BUCHANAN: OK, coming up, John Kerry calls himself a Catholic, but turns his back on church teachings. Will he get away with it? We‘ll debate that.
Then, Disney‘s movie “The Alamo” makes Davy Crockett out to be a coward, but it‘s bombing at the box office. And was it accurate? We‘ll ask Fess Parker, who played the king of the wild frontier on that popular ‘50s TV series.
We‘ll be right back.
BUCHANAN: Is John Kerry a good Catholic? We‘re going to find out right after this break.
Don‘t go away.
BUCHANAN: Senator John Kerry attended Easter mass Sunday in Boston and took communion. The senator‘s abortion votes have led some Catholics to demand that Kerry should be denied communion or even excommunicated.
Frances Kissling, president of Catholics For a Free Choice, sees a double standard here at work against liberal Catholics. But William Donahue of the Catholic League says John Kerry is defying Catholic doctrine.
Bill Donahue, Frances, thank you very much for joining us this evening.
Bill, let me start with you.
John Kerry went to communion. He‘s an ex-altar boy. The bishop of Boston, O‘Malley, has not denounced him for doing so. Why isn‘t he a good Catholic?
WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Well, the fact of the matter is that John Kerry has been told by Archbishop O‘Malley not to present himself for communion, that is to say, to put the burden over on Kerry himself.
There‘s nobody in the United States Senate who has a more radical voting record on abortion than John Kerry. He‘s never found an abortion that he couldn‘t justify. The fact of the matter is, he has a 100 percent rating by NARAL, a 0 percent rating by the National Right to Life. He‘s also against the Catholic Church‘s teaching on embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, right down the line on the life issues. The only argument he could make is possibility capital punishment.
But, Pat, the big news is not the disjunction between Kerry and the teachings of the Catholic Church. The disjunction really is this. Is Kerry married to his first wife, Julia Thorne, in the Catholic Church in the eyes of the Catholic Church? The reason I say that is that there‘s no evidence he ever got an annulment from his first wife.
BUCHANAN: All right, let me—well, let me go right to the question.
He has the identical record as Senator Kerry, who‘s also up in Boston.
BUCHANAN: Who also goes to communion, who also—and Senator Mikulski. But they‘re from Massachusetts, Frances. I want to get them in.
If in fact Kerry and Kennedy are basically trampling all over Catholic teaching and doctrine right there in the Archdiocese of Boston, why does the bishop do nothing and why does Cardinal McCarrick in Washington have to study this issue with a commission before he decides what his Episcopal duties are, Bill?
DONAHUE: Well, Canon 9:15 talks about some very grave manners in a manifest way. And so I guess there‘s some room for wiggle room in terms of what is the right procedure, how to follow that. But paragraph 1,650 in the Catholic Catechism is not murky on this issue.
It says explicitly that a Catholic who gets remarried without getting an annulment from his first marriage cannot receive holy communion. And that‘s the real issue for John Kerry. Is he—did he, in fact, get the annulment? There‘s no evidence that he ever got the annulment from Julia Thorne.
BUCHANAN: Let me bring in
FRANCES KISSLING, CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE: You‘re now giving Bill Donahue two questions. So I guess it‘s now my turn to have a little something to say about this.
BUCHANAN: Right. Go ahead first.
KISSLING: I‘ve got two nice burly Irish guys there picking on John Kerry.
BUCHANAN: Go ahead.
KISSLING: And I think it‘s time to let a woman have a little something to say here.
BUCHANAN: The fact of the matter is that there‘s no Catholic doctrine or teaching on how to vote on any single issue. A Catholic who decides in his or her prudent judgment that making abortion legal or making abortion legal would indeed do greater damage than making it legal has every right to have that and to be a good Catholic.
BUCHANAN: No, let me ask you a question. It‘s a question for you.
BUCHANAN: Now, I read you—this is a short passage from Vatican I,
KISSLING: Vatican I.
BUCHANAN: Vatican II, Vatican II, not Vatican II back in the 19th century.
KISSLING: Oh, I thought we were going to talk about whether we were going to burn Kerry at the stake, never mind whether he should have received communion.
DONAHUE: Well, you have survived, haven‘t you? They didn‘t burn you yet.
BUCHANAN: Here it is, Francis from Vatican II: “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception. Abortion is an abominable crime.”
BUCHANAN: Now, if abortion is an abominable crime and participation in it, according to Vatican II, is automatic excommunication, how in heaven‘s name can John Kerry vote five times for partial-birth abortion, which is basically killing the unborn child as it is leaving the womb, and call himself a good Catholic?
KISSLING: Well, first of all, I don‘t know whether one is a good Catholic or a bad Catholic is a judgment that is really within the purview of each individual and within the purview of their confessor.
The fact of the matter is that John Kerry has a Catholic and he has a right to the sacraments. And no matter what we may say about this, the fact is that no voting—voting is not a matter of doctrine. Voting is a matter of prudential judgment. And if the bishops—and, obviously, the majority of the bishops agree with me because few of them—few of them have taken this step.
BUCHANAN: All right, well, quick question. If you were a German bishop, could you vote for the Nuremberg Laws and tell your Catholics it‘s OK to vote for the Nuremberg Laws that discriminate against Jews and it‘s OK to vote for the laws by which they were sent to concentration camp?
KISSLING: Well, let‘s be clear if we want to go down that road and we want to talk about the German bishops in World War II and their record on anti-Semitism, then you‘re going to go down a road that you don‘t really want to go down.
KISSLING: And the question really is a generic question, or it‘s a generic response. Catholic policy-makers have always had the right to use prudential judgments in terms of how they best believe they can deal with the church. Most of them say they agree with the church‘s position on abortion.
BUCHANAN: Let‘s get Bill back in here now.
Bill, I want to read you something, John Kerry‘s own statement. He said: “My oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic church by Pius XXIII and Vatican II, which provides for freedom of conscience with respect to these choices.”
What‘s wrong with that statement?
DONAHUE: Well, first of all, the guy is an idiot. He doesn‘t even know there never was a Pius XXIII in the first place.
BUCHANAN: Twelve is as high was went.
DONAHUE: John XXIII, all right? He doesn‘t even know that.
DONAHUE: But, look, I‘m serious about this. Somebody in the media has got to ask him this man and put the question. He refuses to answer the question and so does his staff. “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” “Providence Journal Bulletin” and “The Catholic News Service” have all put the question to him: Did you get an annulment from your first wife?
KISSLING: What we really need to do is stop this journalistic lawyerism.
DONAHUE: If he didn‘t, then he is in sharp contradiction to what the
BUCHANAN: Bill, we‘ll put that question to him, but let me put another question to bill.
BUCHANAN: Hold it, Frances. I‘ve got a question for Bill.
Bill, look, obviously, I agree with you. The two Irish gentlemen as Frances Kissling calls us, we both agree on this. But the problem, I see it, is, why in heaven‘s name, what is the problem with the Catholic bishops, the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church, that they cannot stand up and say exactly what we believe, which is, if you vote for a process which we believe is a direct killing of innocent unborn children, you are excommunicated? Why cannot they say it?
KISSLING: Because it‘s not their job.
DONAHUE: I got the question. Wait a minute.
They should be more clear about it. In 1993 and in the year 2000, they condemned Frances Kissling‘s group as a fraud, because there‘s nothing Catholic about it. She excommunicated herself when she promoted abortion rights.
KISSLING: But they didn‘t condemn Frances Kissling.
DONAHUE: They should come out more specifically on this.
But I‘ll tell you what. Paragraph 1,650 of the Catechism is very clear about John Kerry. If he didn‘t get this annulment, this guy is cooked, let me tell you.
BUCHANAN: Frances, I‘ve got a question for you.
KISSLING: Listen, we‘ve got to get—what‘s going on here is, we‘ve got to get journalists out of the confessional and out of the bedroom.
This is really the most unseemly way of conducting political life. We need
BUCHANAN: I know we are. I know we are.
KISSLING: Come on. This is really disgusting.
DONAHUE: No. He calls himself a practicing and believing Catholic. And everybody wants to know from me, is Mel Gibson a good Catholic? If we can ask about Mel Gibson being a good Catholic, damn it, we can ask about John Kerry.
KISSLING: I don‘t think we should ask about either one of them.
BUCHANAN: Frances, I‘m going to break in here and I‘ve got a question for you.
BUCHANAN: I know what your opinion is and you‘ve stated it very succinctly and clearly. Let me ask you, though, as a practical matter, isn‘t this going to come up in the campaign?
BUCHANAN: I think Bishop O‘Malley is going to have to say something. The Catholic bishops are going to have say something. My guess is, the Vatican is going to say something. And this is going to be a blazing issue in this campaign, would you not agree?
KISSLING: I think it‘s going to be a blazing issue.
But I think that what we‘re already seeing is that the Catholic bishops are absolutely not prepared to take an illegal step, which is to deny communion to politicians who disagree with them. They will continue along the lines they have used all along. Catholic politicians will not get to speak in Catholic parishes. They will not get awards. They will not be honored.
But the bishops, God bless them, actually believe in church teachings. They believe that the sacraments are sacred. And using the sacraments as punishment for political votes would so seriously backfire on them and so discredit the church that they‘re not going to do it. They‘re not going to do it.
BUCHANAN: OK, Bill Donahue, would it backfire on the bishops or would they at long last be exercising the moral authority that they seem to have lost in the last 20, 30, 40 years?
DONAHUE: Oh, I think they‘re going to get it back.
And, see, this is the problem for Kerry. Catholics are justly angered about the scandal in the church. And so what they want is bishops to stand up and be counted. We do have people like Archbishop Burke in Saint Louis, who said he would deny Kerry this.
DONAHUE: And I think you‘re going to see a growing sentiment on that regard.
KISSLING: One of 300 bishops.
BUCHANAN: Hold it, Frances. Let him speak.
DONAHUE: But the fact of the matter is, it‘s all moot, because, if this guy never got the annulment, he‘s still married to his Julia Thorne. And, wow, wait until this comes out.
KISSLING: So, Bill, what do you want to do? You want to burn him at the stake?
DONAHUE: No, I don‘t think we need to do that. But they should have done that to you a long time ago. You survived.
KISSLING: Exactly. Great. This is good.
DONAHUE: The fact of the matter is, we need him to answer a question.
DONAHUE: If he‘s a practicing and believing Catholic, let him answer the question.
KISSLING: Show the people who you really are.
DONAHUE: Who I really am? What do you think I am, Bugs Bunny?
KISSLING: A guy who wants to burn people at the stake.
DONAHUE: Oh, no, listen, you survived.
BUCHANAN: Metaphorical, Frances, metaphorical.
KISSLING: I doubt it.
DONAHUE: You‘re not even a member of the Catholic Church. They threw you out.
KISSLING: Nobody threw me out. I‘m a Catholic in good standing.
DONAHUE: Your promotion of abortion rights, you were excommunicated.
BUCHANAN: My guess is—it‘s my certitude you‘re going to be back on JOE SCARBOROUGH soon, both of you. Thank you very much for discussing this issue.
DONAHUE: Yes, we‘re not going to give up on this.
BUCHANAN: Well, and I think this issue is going to be with us all the way up until November, whatever it is.
DONAHUE: Oh, yes.
BUCHANAN: OK, thank you, Frances Kissling and William Donahue.
Still to come, folks, one of the bloodiest weeks in Iraq ended in a cease-fire. But more hostages were taken today. I‘m going ask two combat veterans how they would end the Fallujah standoff.
Then, he‘s known as the king of the wild frontier. And he defended the Alamo, so why does a new movie claim Davy Crockett was a coward? Will get to the bottom of that.
BUCHANAN: The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq says we need more troops. Here‘s General Abizaid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN ABIZAID, CMDR., U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: What I‘ve asked for is essentially to have a strong mobile combat arms capability. And that‘s about probably two brigades worth of combat power, if not more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: Right now, there‘s a fragile truce in Fallujah, but the Marines are gearing up to deal with radical Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr, who is leading the resistance in the south.
Colonel Ken Allard and Colonel Jack Jacobs are here with me. Both are MSNBC military analysts who have concern about our tactics.
I want to thank both colonels for volunteering for duty this evening here.
BUCHANAN: Ken and Jack, thanks very much.
Jack, I want to start with you up at MSNBC in Secaucus. They‘ve asked
· General Abizaid has asked for two brigades, two brigades.
Let me start with you, Ken. Is that enough to do the job?
COL. KEN ALLARD, NBC MILITARY ANALYST: It‘s enough to begin, OK?
It‘s not enough to finish the job.
And what you‘ve got to remember is that you‘ve got 1,250 Marines that we‘re talking about putting in Fallujah. Fallujah is a city of 250,000. Now, how do you flood a city of 250,000 with 1,200 Marines? I don‘t care how good they are. This is the dilemma of U.S. policy. We don‘t have enough troops on the ground. We had enough to take the country, but not enough to pacify it.
BUCHANAN: Let‘s talk about Fallujah. You have got 1,200 Marines there. Fallujah has exploded. Ramadi has exploded. Sadr‘s people, they‘re not all of the Shiites, thank goodness.
BUCHANAN: But his people have taken over Najaf and a couple of smaller cities. And we‘ve got a couple of them back. And you‘ve got trouble in Sadr City in Baghdad. The Iraqi battalions, one of them wouldn‘t fight. The Iraqi police, a few of them ran away and deserted or defected.
Look, if the army we had in place was just handling what we had and now we‘ve had these 12 days of explosions, you cannot do this with one or two more brigades, can you?
ALLARD: As I was listening to you rattle that off, I kept thinking, when do we say, well, Mrs. Lincoln, other than that, how was the play?
Because it is a really grim situation, Pat, because it really underlines the fact that we had enough troops in there to handle the situation as long as everything was cool. Well, everything is no longer cool, because of the reasons you have just mentioned. That country is right now very much on the brink. And we‘re not going to know at least for the immediate future just how close it is. And that‘s why I say, if in any doubt, that‘s where you need to have the ground troops.
You have the ground troops because they are the perfect hedge of your bets against the unexpected, against the unforeseen.
BUCHANAN: All right, Jack Jacobs, the ground troops are not only a hedge. Under the Powell doctrine, it was American military policy, if you‘ve got to go fight, you go in overwhelmingly with force to win the battle and get it over with. You don‘t put it in by packets, as we did in the late war in Vietnam.
How many troops do you think we will need to win this war and crush the resistance?
RET. COL. JACK JACOBS, NBC MILITARY ANALYST: Oh, between 200,000 and 300,000, which is, not surprisingly, what General Shinseki had said over a year ago. And he was totally correct.
ALLARD: Yes. Yes.
BUCHANAN: Is General Shinseki, Jack Jacobs, owed an apology?
JACOBS: Oh, I think there are probably people apologizing to him right now if they can find him out the backdoor.
But a public apology, the government doesn‘t apologize in public to anybody. But 200,000 to 300,000 is the right number. But we don‘t have them to stick in there. I can tell you that.
BUCHANAN: Well, wait a minute, now. If we don‘t have them to stick in there, then what we‘ve got is a sort of bloody constant stalemate. The terrorists and the insurgents, whatever you want to call them, they‘re losing people and we‘re losing Army people and Marines continually. And we cannot win the war unless we put them in there. And you don‘t believe we have them? Do you believe the president will put them in there?
JACOBS: Well, I think we‘re going to put more troops in there. I think, first of all, the 1st Armored Division is going to stay there for a while. I think at least the brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division is probably going to come back. I think some of the 82nd might come back.
And, most significantly, I think we‘re going to be sending some special operations troops in some significant numbers back into Iraq to assist and go get these bad guys and decapitate some of these movements in the Sunnis in the south.
BUCHANAN: Ken, go ahead.
ALLARD: Yes, but, you know, Bush has got Hosni Mubarak sitting down there with him in Austin right now. If I were George Bush, I would really putting the arm on Mubarak, say, hey, you‘ve got some perfectly good troops. They happen to be Islamic. They happen to be well adapted to the region. We need to have your guys in there in strength.
You get the Egyptians, Jordanians, South Koreans, and as many of them as you can find. Oh, by the way, the NATO allies, they need to be heard from yet again.
JACOBS: Well, I think it‘s a great idea. And I bet you he‘s trying to put the arm on him, but I doubt seriously if Mubarak is going to respond, not matter what the president says.
BUCHANAN: I am inclined to agree.
And let me ask you, Jack Jacobs, you used the term decapitate. That‘s get to Muqtada al-Sadr, this sheik who was sort of a thug and a receding figure, but how is now sort of a big honcho because he‘s killed some Americans and he‘s called for going after the great Satan.
Do we have to kill or capture him, even if we are risking by that a real blowup among the Shiites and really Sistani denouncing us?
JACOBS: Well, I think that we need to do that. And I think General Sanchez said today or yesterday, that‘s exactly what we‘re going to do. We‘re going to kill or capture him. And if we capture him, we‘re going to turn him over to the Iraqis, who are ultimately going to try him on this bench warrant that was issued.
Are we going to risk having Iraqis irritated at us? Well, we‘ve already got Iraqis irritated at us. And I think the longer—it‘s a bit like bad news doesn‘t get any better with age. The sooner we clean this up, the better off we‘re going to be.
BUCHANAN: All right, what Jack Jacobs is saying is, look, hearts and minds are fine, but we‘ve got to win this war. Is that right?
ALLARD: The only metaphor that comes to mind is the young Napoleon, OK, was put into a French city that was revolting against the revolution. He was an artillery officer. He fired one battery of artillery, cut about half the crowd down. The rest of them got to their feet.
BUCHANAN: Was that
ALLARD: And Napoleon said, hey, the revolution has had its vengeance.
Go to your homes. They get up and. Of course, he then fired the second round. The man knew exactly how to quell that kind of situation.
BUCHANAN: OK, we‘re sort of running out of time here.
Jack Jacobs, I want to ask you, just looking at what you‘ve seen happen in the last 12 days—I know it‘s speculation, conjecture—how long are American ground troops going to be fighting in Iraq to pacify this situation?
And then Ken Allard will take it after you.
JACOBS: Oh, yes, well, I think our plan was to be in Iraq for a long, long time, years to start with. In terms of actually pacifying the situation, you can expect that we‘re going to be in there fighting, doing the ground work long after the keys to the kingdom are turned over on the 1st of July.
BUCHANAN: It will be long, everybody will agree, after the 1st of July.
ALLARD: I absolutely agree with that. And, as a matter of fact, I think you‘re likely to see oak leaf clusters given out on the Iraqi occupation medals for a long period of time in the American Army and in the Marine Corps. That‘s just the way it‘s going to be.
BUCHANAN: All right, now, this is a political question. Look, the American people were behind invading Iraqi, getting rid of the weapons of mass destruction, get rid of the thug, get rid of the terror threat, get rid of him. I don‘t think they‘ve signed on to building democracy in Iraq if it means losing we‘re 70 guys in two weeks or maybe 150 a month.
ALLARD: When I wrote my book about Somalia, there was one phrase that I used. The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius understands limits. We need some limits in this issue right now. It‘s very, very clear that we‘re not going to succeed to the extent that we thought we once would.
We need to say, what are going to be the intelligent limits of
American self-interest here and how can we get out and how can we
BUCHANAN: But if you say there‘s limits, quickly, Jack Jacobs, what you‘re saying is, we accept the possibility we may not ultimately win.
JACOBS: Well, I think we‘re going to stay there long enough to say that we‘ve won and get out, as Senator Aiken once said.
BUCHANAN: OK. Declare victory and get out, as I recall from White House days.
ALLARD: We‘re dating ourselves.
BUCHANAN: OK, thank you, Colonel Jack Jacobs and Colonel Ken Allard, for coming over here this evening.
JACOBS: My pleasure. Thank you.
BUCHANAN: Straight ahead, folks, why did Disney paint an American hero as a coward? It‘s certainly not to break the box office bank. We‘ll talk about that new movie “The Alamo” with the man who played Davy Crockett for years on the popular 1950s TV show.
ANNOUNCER: Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett was not a member of which party? Was it, A, the Whigs, B, the Democrats, or, C, the Republicans?
The answer coming up.
ANNOUNCER: In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked, Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett was not a member of which party? The answer is, C, the Republicans. Crockett left the Democratic Party to join the Whigs after a falling-out with President Andrew Jackson.
Now back to Pat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Davy, Davy Crockett, the king of the wild frontier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: That‘s the theme song from “Davy Crockett,” the famous 1950s series. But, apparently, Disney would like us to forget the Alamo where Davy was the hero.
In the new movie “The Alamo,” Davy Crockett is portrayed as a coward. And the historic two-week siege is distorted to look like a battle that is not even worth remembering.
With me now, actor Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett on that famous TV series, and Brian Clayton, author of “Suppressed History.”
Thank you, Fess Parker and Brian Clayton, for joining us.
Fess Parker, I think every baby boomer who grew up in the 1950s, when your series was on TV, remembers you as Davy Crockett. And they say, I think, the raccoon population was pretty well decimated for all those hats that were made in that period. Have you heard about this new movie?
FESS PARKER, ACTOR: Yes, I have.
BUCHANAN: Well, have heard that Davy Crockett is portrayed as somewhat of a coward, someone who wanted to get out of the Alamo and who was captured at the end of it and executed, rather than dying heroically?
PARKER: I have heard that.
And, you know, I am unconvinced that any historian can prove without a doubt how Davy Crockett died. And I think Walt Disney, when they chose Davy Crockett and the Alamo to film back in the ‘50s, he paid attention to some of the best moments in Crockett‘s life, Congress and so forth. But, I mean, he was in the entertainment business. He wasn‘t trying to be an educator or what else could I call it? That‘s it. He was interested in the symbol.
BUCHANAN: Well, you were Davy Crockett, of course. And in the film back there, 35 years ago or so, or maybe longer, John Wayne played Davy Crockett in “The Alamo.” And Richard Widmark I guess was Jim Bowie. And Laurence Harvey was Colonel Travis. But they were portrayed very heroically.
Why would Hollywood—and the movie is apparently bombing a little bit. Why would Hollywood portray Davy Crockett as someone who was unheroic, if not cowardly?
PARKER: Well, if you‘re asking me, you know, I don‘t understand it.
It‘s really a footnote. And I think that anything that represents from someone was represents a major symbol in our history, if there‘s a footnote, put it down at the bottom of the page. Don‘t put it on the top of the page. And I think you can feel that something is lost when you try to portray people realistically, according to revisionist history.
BUCHANAN: All right, Brian Clayton, let me take up on that point.
Revisionist history. I don‘t think anyone knows exactly what happened inside the Alamo. I do know there are a couple of stories out that the Mexicans did execute, I think, a handful of those who survived the Alamo. What is Hollywood doing here? You‘ve seen the film.
BRIAN CLAYTON, AUTHOR, “SUPPRESSED HISTORY”: Yes, this new film—
Fess Parker is absolutely right. Davy Crockett is a symbol of American heroism. He‘s an American hero. There‘s no question about it. His coonskin cap even symbolizes that as well.
And what I‘m upset about his film, this revisionist history, this political correctness, is even based upon a forgery. It‘s based upon a fraud and it‘s based upon a lie. The one document they have that they cling to saying that somehow shows Davy Crockett was captured and executed at the Alamo, did not go down fighting heroically, is known as the diary of Jose Enrique de la Pena.
But the handwriting expert Charles Hamilton proved that the de la Pena diary was a forgery by John Laflin. You‘ve got the two leading Alamo historians in the country saying that, Thomas Ricks Lindley and also William Groneman III. And you also have Court‘s TV crime library at CrimeLibrary.com which states, under John Laflin, that John Laflin was a prominent forger and that he had forged Jose Enrique de la Pena‘s document on the battle of the Alamo. So they‘re basing this on a forgery and a fraud.
BUCHANAN: All right, Brian, this raises the question. Why in heaven‘s name would Disney take the Alamo, one of the great myths, legends, stories in American history and the great story in Texas history, and use a forgery to portray a hero like Davy Crockett as a coward, when the result is the movie is a bust and they could lose millions of dollars? What are they doing?
CLAYTON: OK, you remember Michael Medved did the research. He proved that P.G. films on average makes more money than R films. But the Hollywood elite, because of their left-wing ideology, keep pushing more R-rated films on us.
They say Mel Gibson‘s film won‘t make any money, so “The Passion” should not be distributed by Miramax, which is under Michael Eisner‘s Disney corporation. But, as you see, they were wrong. It‘s not purely about making money in Hollywood. It‘s about a politically correct revisionist agenda. And I would ask you, Pat, the same question about a textbook by Prentice Hall on American history and the National History Standards that left out the Wright Brothers, who invented the airplane.
It‘s the same thing.
CLAYTON: They want to destroy American heroes, destroy Davy Crockett, strip him of his coonskin cap. If you watch this film, Billy Bob Thornton as Crockett is executed without his coonskin cap. There‘s no coonskin—he‘s not wearing the coonskin cap. He tells Bowie in the film, well, I never really wore that cap. It was just an actor on a stage that wore it. I really don‘t wear it much. So it‘s just this tearing down of symbols and tearing down of American heroes.
BUCHANAN: All right, Fess Parker, you acted in, played in this role. As every kid growing up in the 1950s, we‘ve all heard that song. We could all sing that song. And it was a very positive thing.
Has Hollywood changed dramatically in that time in its attitude about American histories? And, if so, why, when your show was such a success and “The Alamo” with John Wayne was such a triumph?
PARKER: Well, I don‘t know that I can answer that, but I can tell you something positively. Walt Disney‘s version of this Alamo sent me to 13 foreign countries and 42 countries in America. And I personally witnessed the appreciation of the symbolism of courage that the Alamo presented. In Tokyo, and in Sweden, name one of the countries, throughout South America, it was a big hit.
BUCHANAN: Well, you‘re saying it was a worldwide story. It was the American West. It was the best of the West. It was heroism in battle, a handful of people standing up for independence and liberty, going to their death for it. They loved it all over the world.
And now Hollywood is doing dirt on it. And Disney is doing dirt on it under Mr. Eisner, but he isn‘t making any money. And that for me—that‘s what I don‘t understand. If they‘re making all the money in the world, you could understand the motivation.
PARKER: Well, it‘s pretty interesting.
The fellow in “The New York Times,” Elvis Mitchell, made a reference to the Disney film in a very—he said it was a poisonous portrayal. The only thing I can figure out is that he was born, you know, probably in 1985, or a fairly young man and never had any opportunity to see that film. I don‘t know what was poisonous about it. It certainly wasn‘t poisonous around the world.
BUCHANAN: Brian Clayton, your final thoughts on what will be the reaction, do you think? If this bombs, as it appears it‘s going to, what‘s the message it‘s going to send to Hollywood? Will they get it or do they put the revisionist history and the ideological agenda even ahead of making money?
Hollywood time and time again has put the revisionist agenda, their political agenda, even ahead of making money, which is just horrible. And I think they should stick with the truth, stick with Susanna Dickinson. The only adult Anglo survivor of Alamo, as she walked out, saw Davy Crockett‘s body with the 17 or so dead Mexicans around it that he had killed and his coonskin cap lying by his side.
Stick with Rafael Saldana (ph), Sergeant Felix Nunez, the witnesses that saw Crockett go down heroically. They should stick with the facts of the firsthand witnesses and not a forged account in the de la Pena diary that surfaced out of the blue in 1955.
BUCHANAN: OK, thank you very much, Brian Clayton. Thank you, Fess Parker.
CLAYTON: Thank you, Pat.
BUCHANAN: It was good seeing you again, Fess.
PARKER: Thank you, Pat.
BUCHANAN: And I hope we‘ll see you again, both of you.
OK. And you stick around. There‘s more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY straight ahead.
BUCHANAN: Join MSNBC tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for President Bush‘s first press conference of the year. And we‘ll have a full wrapup for you at 10:00.
More SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY right after this break.
BUCHANAN: Tomorrow night, President Bush holds his first news conference of the year. MSNBC coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
You can see a full wrapup here at 10:00 on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
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