Guest: Jack Burkman, Ian Williams, John Loftus, Joel Mowbray, Craig Unger, David Dreier, Jerry Brown
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s hop headlines: Kerry and Bush both lay claim to the values issue. The “Real Deal,” some values are better than others.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed.
In the battle for the White House, both sides came out swinging today, fighting to be the ticket of values. We‘re going to take a close look at what it means in the Bush and Kerry showdown. We are also going to show you some low blows from the candidates.
And then “Fahrenheit 9/11” opens in Europe today. We‘ll tell you about the reaction there. Next stop, the Middle East. Hezbollah has already given it a thumb‘s up. Terrorists use Michael Moore‘s movie to promote their cause. We‘re going to debate it.
And secret documents reveal the U.N. knew Saddam was robbing the blind and that kickbacks bought old Europe‘s protection from Saddam‘s regime. We are going to tell you all about the classified documents.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: John Kerry and John Edwards made a bold move for the electoral high ground today, claiming to better represent the values of middle America than President George W. Bush.
And for his part, the president disagreed and painted the Democratic ticket as too liberal for anywhere but Massachusetts. We‘ve got Congressman David Dreier. He‘s from California. We also have Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.
David Dreier, let‘s begin with you. I will tell you what. They went after the president swinging last night in a fund-raiser for John Kerry. Today, they‘re saying he doesn‘t have the values it takes to be president of the United States. What do you think?
REP. DAVID DREIER ®, CALIFORNIA: Well, Joe, it is amazing to me.
When they are in the heartland, they are talking about these conservative values. About the only issue they throw out is the deficit. And we had $40 billion in unanticipated revenues because our economic growth package which John Kerry and John Edwards both opposed. And then when—and we haven‘t gotten a release of exactly what was said last night, but there‘s some things that I found really offensive.
And, Joe, neither you nor I and I know Jerry Brown is not a prude, but this term likening Hispanic Republicans to roaches, referring to the president of the United States as a thug, when they are so proud of embracing these values. And you look at issues like the ban on partial-birth abortion, which had overwhelming bipartisan support, and both John Kerry and voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion.
The Laci Peterson law making it a federal crime for a mother, an unborn mother, if they are murdered, they opposed that effort.
SCARBOROUGH: But, David, I want to go back to this. Last night, it‘s shocking. It really was shocking, some of the things that were said at this fund-raising event.
And then John Kerry got up last night after the performance and when there was some things that would shock middle America—maybe not you or me, but a lot of people in middle America—work in Washington. And he got up and said that he basically agreed with them.
DREIER: The heart and soul.
DREIER: What he said specifically, Joe, was that every single performance represented the heart and soul of America.
And I just—I haven‘t seen exactly what it was that Whoopi Goldberg said, but based on my reading of “The New York Times” piece and “The New York Post” piece, it sounds a little raunchy. I don‘t know. Did you see anything of it?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, no, I didn‘t see anything of it. Certainly, I‘ve read some things and talked to some people that were there. And they tell me that it was not something that would play well in Peoria.
DREIER: Here‘s the thing. They talk, Joe, about putting this positive message forward. And George Bush offers a positive hope for the future. He is barely mentioning these guys.
And yet, as President Bush said when he first announced his candidacy, anger is not a platform. And here we‘ve got the guys engaging in vitriolic attacks on the president.
SCARBOROUGH: And, David, that doesn‘t sell in middle America either.
I want to play you John Kerry and John Edwards and what they said represented American values today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This campaign is going to be a celebration of real American values.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Values are also how as the commander in chief you choose to send young Americans into harm‘s way. This president fails that test in Iraq, abused the process of the presidency, chose to go to war, violated the values of trust of an America and a president to the Constitution and to the people of this nation.
And I‘ll give you a value. The value is, that when you are entrusted with the presidency, you are not entrusted to go on one-quarter of your term‘s vacation. You‘re not entrusted to take the time away from the effort to serve the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And President Bush responded in today‘s values fight by saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I‘ve got a proper perspective of government and its relation to the people. The great strength of America is in the hearts and souls of our citizens.
Just last weekend, he even tried to claim he was the candidate with conservative values.
BUSH: I know. I know. But I‘m quoting his own words. It‘s exactly
· believe it or not, that‘s what he said. It‘s hard to square that statement with his previous statement when he said, I‘m a liberal and proud of it.
The senator is out of step with the mainstream values that are so important to our country. Senator Kerry is rated as the most liberal member of the Senate. And he chose a fellow lawyer who is the fourth most liberal member of the Senate. Back in Massachusetts, that‘s what they call balancing the ticket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Jerry Brown, I‘m going to go back to something, first of all, that John Kerry said. He attacked the president, said he abused the process by going to war. But this was a war, was it not, that both John Edwards and John Kerry voted for.
JERRY BROWN (D), MAYOR OF OAKLAND: Well, you know, I haven‘t followed all their votes all that closely, but I think this whole values talk is a little off the mark here.
These four individuals, four men, essentially have the same values from my point of view. There are some very different policies. And the decision to go to war, its basis and its consequences, I wouldn‘t really call that a value question. I would call it a leadership or a policy question. What should America be doing in the world? The Democrats are saying that war is bogging us down. It‘s a mistake. The basis wasn‘t there.
So I think that is what I would call a difference about an important, very important political policy. Come back to domestic issues. What should be the support for education, for housing, for the minimum wage? I think those are not so much values as they are principals or policies.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Governor, why are they trotting out these values issues? And you know what? You are taking the high ground. And thank God.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. I just want to thank you for taking the high ground, because I know these people. And they are all good people. And yet, they‘re trying to beat up each other with this billy club saying, we‘re good, you‘re bad. Why are they doing it?
BROWN: Well, for one thing, you have got a long campaign. And I have been in the presidential campaign, only in the primaries. And you very quickly run out of stuff to say, so you have to give new verbal twist to essentially the same message.
There‘s only a couple of issues here. Is Bush right about this war or is it a big mistake? And what is Kerry going to say about it differently? The big issue may be the most important one. And secondly, is there something you can do about energy? Can we get independent from these Middle Eastern oil folks. Can we go to renewables? What is Kerry‘s point of view? What‘s Bush‘s point of view?
Next question is the environment and domestically, can you do more to bolster the income of Americans? That‘s about it. I don‘t know that it‘s about values. It‘s about how you want to use government. That‘s really the issue.
DREIER: Jerry, you just talked about a couple of other issues. You talked about education and you talked about housing.
And the interesting thing is, the No Child Left Behind legislation, which has been funded, was a top priority, continues to be a top priority for this president. It enjoyed bipartisan support. Senator Kennedy was on board in support of that. And, of course, when it comes to Section 8 housing, which I know you as a mayor are very interested in, clearly, the major reform proposal that has come forward from this administration is designed to help the underclass have an opportunity at that housing.
SCARBOROUGH: David, I want to go back this values issue, because after Whoopi Goldberg gave that performance that some were saying was an X-rated performance, Hollywood heavyweights called Bush stupid and a thug. And Kerry called it an extraordinary evening.
And this is what he said. After the president was called a thug, after Whoopi Goldberg‘s X-rated performance, he said, “Every performer conveyed to you the heart and the soul of our country.”
Don‘t you think this may just be another Massachusetts liberal that just doesn‘t get it?
DREIER: Well, the president just said that.
And I will tell you that what he does get is this attempt to be all things to all people. Obviously, everyone in Radio City Music Hall last night seemed to enjoy engaging in this kind of base, very vicious, vitriolic attack. And yet when he is in Pennsylvania or Ohio, he is making an attempt to paint himself as something other than that.
And I think, whether you like George Bush or not—and I don‘t agree with him on every issue. I know that you don‘t, Joe, and you certainly don‘t, Jerry, on every issue. But you know where George Bush stands. You just were rhetorically sort of asking questions, Jerry, as to where Bush stands on these things.
On energy, he today at the rally that he held in York, Pennsylvania, made it very clear his support of an energy bill which helps us obtain domestic energy self-sufficiency.
BROWN: I do have to say, I think you are wrong on that one. I think
we‘re so dependent, much more—Jimmy Carter wore his cardigan and said
we‘ll never go over 50 percent dependency and we still are. And there
isn‘t a real
SCARBOROUGH: Governor Brown, before we go into an energy debate, I want to stay on values one more time.
BROWN: David Dreier won‘t let me talk about values. I‘d love to.
SCARBOROUGH: John Kerry talked about values in his speech today when he started this values war. And he talked about basically saying the president seemed to be lazy, that he had taken off a quarter of his term. It seems that John Kerry is suggesting that Bill Clinton and Democrats never go on vacation, never go to Martha‘s Vineyard, never go up to Camp David. Should Americans be concerned that George W. Bush is taking too much time off?
BROWN: Well, I think the other side. I think they spend too much time in Washington.
SCARBOROUGH: I agree.
DREIER: Yes, exactly. You got it, Jerry.
BROWN: ... points of view.
SCARBOROUGH: So why is he doing that, though? Why is he going out
when he knows
BROWN: Wait a minute.
The Republicans put out a thing that Kerry was missing all these votes. So Kerry had to say, well, George was missing in Washington. It is just tit for tat. That‘s all.
BROWN: ... give it a lot of weight one way or the other.
DREIER: You know that George Bush was doing his job. Frankly, going
to Crawford, Texas, is not to any of the three of us considered to be a
great vacation. And I know that he works constantly
BROWN: He probably likes Crawford.
DREIER: Yes, I know, I know.
BROWN: David, you may like that sunshine in San Diego.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks so much. We all can‘t live where you guys live.
Thank you so much for being with us tonight.
DREIER: Have a good weekend.
SCARBOROUGH: We appreciate it, Congressman.
Governor, thank you so much.
And, also, Michael Moore was bashing George W. Bush for being up at Camp David too much. Of course, he actually showed a shot of Tony Blair there with him. Obviously, some work was getting done. They weren‘t playing cricket in the backyard.
Now, coming up, speaking of Michael Moore, could “Fahrenheit 9/11” be used as a terror training tool in the Mideast? We‘re going to find out because it opens over there is next week. And we are going to be talking to you about that with an all-star panel coming up.
And then, the chocolate maker and croissant eaters of old Europe let Saddam bilk the United Nations out of billions of dollars. Secret documents reveal more than one new reason to hate the French. Oui, oui. I love the French. What are you talking about?
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” opens in the Middle East this coming week. The question is, will it be used as a terrorist recruitment tool?
We‘ll talk about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: “Fahrenheit 9/11” opened in Great Britain today. How will Michael Moore‘s movie play in a country that that‘s been America‘s biggest alley in the war on terror?
Here‘s NBC Charles Sabine.
CHARLES SABINE, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moore‘s assault on George Bush opened today in movie theaters in Britain. As in the U.S., it was given a wider release than would have been expected for a documentary because of the row over its distribution.
So how popular would the movie be with citizens of the U.S.‘ closest ally?
(on camera): So far it looks as though “Fahrenheit 9/11” is not going to be the same kind of box office draw here in Britain as it‘s been in the United States, but of those who have seen it, the vast majority seem to hold the same opinion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s time that something like this was made and the people in Britain got to see the real truth behind the deception of war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will show that the politicians are not America.
The government is not the people of America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it will be interesting to see how overall it makes an impact, because I think it‘s important for things like that to be talked about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will tell everybody to go and see it, especially the young ones.
SABINE (voice-over): But are they all simply the converted being preached to or will the movie really affect America‘s reputation?
Charles Sabine, NBC News, London.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks, Charles.
Now, beside the impact “Fahrenheit 9/11” could have on Great Britain and on Tony Blair, some say it could also be used as a terror training tool in the Middle East.
With me now is Craig Unger, who appears frequently in Michael Moore‘s movie and is the author of “The House of Bush: House of Saud,” and Joel Mowbray, who is a member of “The National Review.”
Joel, let me begin with you.
It is opening overseas. How do you think it is going to impact Tony Blair and also in the Middle East?
JOEL MOWBRAY, AUTHOR, “DANGEROUS DIPLOMACY”: Well, look, I think it is going to have the same impact that it has had here in the United States.
It is going to make some people laugh. It‘s a few people who, unfortunately, are too quick to trust someone like Michael Moore believe certain things they didn‘t believe for. I don‘t think it is going to sway many votes in the end. It is very heavy-handed. It‘s obviously heavy-handed, deceptive, and it has lies in there.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, you and I have both been very critical of not only this administration‘s relationship with the Saudis, but others. Despite that fact, I think that this thing is filled with lies. It is overly simplistic. What is your take on it as somebody who has been a harsh critic of the Saudis and the Bush administration?
MOWBRAY: I think it‘s more amusing than anything else, for example, that Hezbollah has endorsed this movie.
I don‘t think it‘s going to be a terror training tool. I don‘t think Michael Moore‘s movie is going to inspire people to jihad against the United States. Whether or not he has the ability to morally discern between jihadists and Bush, I don‘t know. He seems to hate Bush at least just as much as he does, if not more than he hates the jihadists.
But, look, I look at it with a certain amusement. I think that, in the Arab world, propaganda sells. You have a lot of conspiracy theories there. And Michael Moore‘s movie is a perfect fit for the culture of the Arab world. And I think it will be a runaway smash success. And that says a lot about the quality of “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
SCARBOROUGH: It certainly does.
Craig, we want to show you a scene from the movie where you appear with Michael Moore outside the Saudi Embassy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “FAHRENHEIT 9/11”)
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: How much money does do the Saudis have invested in America, roughly?
CRAIG UNGER, AUTHOR, “HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD”: I have heard figures as high as $860 billion.
MOORE: What percentage of our economy does that represent? That seems like a lot.
UNGER: It‘s roughly 6 or 7 percent of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, do you believe, as Michael Moore suggests, that the bin Laden families bought off George W. Bush, that he sat there reading a book for seven minutes worrying about Americans finding out just how close a relationship he had with the bin Ladens?
UNGER: Well, I think that Bush has really turned a blind eye to Saudi terrorism. And I traced a total of $1.4 billion in investments and contracts going from the house of Saud to companies in which the Bushes and Cheney‘s had a major position.
And they have been long friends for a long, long time. Prince Bandar has been a very close friend of the Bush family. So you have this relationship going over 20 years. And I think the Bushes simply never asked the tough questions. And there you have President Bush with Prince Bandar on September 13 at the White House, just two days after 9/11 and that‘s when the flights began, when they started going from Tampa to Lexington and later out of the country.
And you had 142 Saudis, two dozen members of the bin Laden family. People should have been retained as material witnesses. They should have had formal—massive formal criminal investigations should have begun here. And instead they got whisked out.
So I think the Bushes really been soft—President Bush has really been soft on terrorism. He‘s not gone after the real culprit.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, what about the fact that Michael Moore a year after 9/11 was still saying that he thought that Osama bin Laden was innocent until proven guilty?
UNGER: Well, I can‘t speak to everything he said or not said. I haven‘t—I never heard that quote. That‘s new to me.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, he actually said in a debate with Christopher Hitchens. And he also—and, again, because you know this—again, I want to tell you, I think what‘s interesting here, I think we all are in general agreement with this relationship between the U.S. government and the Saudis, that it‘s a disturbing relationship.
But I want to pick up, though, on one of the conspiracy theories at the beginning of the movie that you did not hatch. I want our viewers to know, this was all Michael Moore. But do you really believe, do you believe, does anybody here believe that the bin Laden family started George W. Bush‘s first business in Texas?
UNGER: Well, I think there is an unanswered question there that‘s very serious.
And you‘re referring to James R. Bath, who was a friend of George W. Bush‘s in the Texas Air National Guard. And in 1974, Salem bin Laden and Khalid bin Mahfouz, two very wealthy young Saudis—Salem bin Laden of course was Osama‘s older brother. They came over to the United States and this was the birth of the Saudi-Bush relationship.
And they did bail Bush out through the years. I‘m agnostic as to whether that money actually went into Bush‘s first company. But if you look at Harken Energy, the Saudis bailed out George W. Bush there and they helped make him a lot of money there. The Carlisle Group, the bin Ladens invested there had and the Bushes of course had financial interest there. So there‘s been a long, long relationship and I think it has played a role in the way that the Bushes looked at the Saudis.
I think they have never asked the tough questions about the role of extremist Wahabism and how it has fostered Islamist terrorism.
SCARBOROUGH: Joel, respond.
MOWBRAY: OK, look, I respect Craig Unger, but I think what Craig does
a lot of times is, he is like a Jackson Pollock painting. He throws a lot
of splatter, a lot of paint against the canvas, so he has all these dots
and then he says, see, you can connect the dots or at least leaves the
The title of the book, “House of Bush, House of Saud,” as if there is a connection. You have a very big bin Laden family. It‘s like the Arab West Virginia, though. You have cousins. They marry cousins of cousins and they all just—they get bigger and bigger. They breed like flies. What can I say? There are a lot of bin Ladens out there. So to say that some had bin Ladens had connections with businesses tied with Bushes or any Texas oil people, duh.
But then I think what you really have to look at is, what kind of real influence has it had? And Bush actually has done very little for the Saudis, when you compare him to past U.S. presidents. The only thing that Bush has really done is drive around in a golf cart with Crown Prince Abdullah. That‘s symbolic at best.
The real favors for the bin Ladens, for the Saudis, general comes not from President Bush, not from the White House, but from the State Department. Let‘s look at the source of the favoritism for the Saudis. It is the U.S. State Department, or even Richard Clarke, for example, being behind the flights of bin Ladens to leave the country after 9/11. That was Richard Clarke. That was not George W. Bush .
SCARBOROUGH: Which, of course—and we have got to go to break—which, of course, though, Richard Clarke told that to the world and the filmmaker decided he was going to leave that out, while he was spinning all these conspiracy theories.
MOWBRAY: ... convenient, of course, for Michael Moore, because why
would he want the facts in there
UNGER: It‘s much more complicated than that, in fairness, if you want a real answer to that.
MOWBRAY: He‘s worried so much about people criticizing him, he has a team of lawyers ready to sue people for libel and slander, when this is a man, who among other things, has tried to call you, Joe Scarborough, a killer without any factual basis.
UNGER: I interviewed Richard Clarke about that. And it‘s far more complicated than that.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Craig. We‘ll get back to you about that and much more with my guest in a minute.
And, by the way, Joel, I‘m from West Virginia. Just joking.
How did Saddam Hussein afford to build all those beautiful palaces? He stole money from the United Nations. And there are classified documents now that are revealing that the United Nations knew all about it. We‘ll tell you how when we return.
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” opens in the Middle East this next week. The question is, will it help recruit terrorists? Hezbollah apparently thinks so. We‘ll talk about that when we come back.
But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, we‘re back now. We‘ve got Craig Unger, who wrote “House of Bush, House of Saud.” And we also have Joel Mowbray, who wrote “Dangerous Diplomacy.” And we also want to bring in Raghida Dergham of the Arab newspaper “Al-Hayat.”
Raghida, let me bring you in first.
And I want to read you what Michael Moore wrote in an open letter on his Web site in April. He said: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not insurgents or terrorists or the enemy. They are the revolution, the Minutemen. And their numbers will grow. And they will win.”
And he went on and HE said this: “The majority of Americans supported this war once it began and sadly that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe, just maybe, God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.”
It all sounds like stuff that may play pretty well on an Arab street that‘s not fond of the United States right now, huh?
RAGHIDA DERGHAM, NBC FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: Not necessarily because, first of all, the Arab street is not monolithic. There are different points of views. Some will look at the movie with humor. They will just simply have a good laugh at it.
Others are going to say, hey, look, we have known this is how this administration has wanted the war and the pretext of the war. And then there will be some who will say, this is good that the United States is debating the issue more openly than it did practically a year ago, now that dissent is allowed and there is now a decoupling of patriotism with support of the administration.
I think you will have different shades, but certainly it will not be a recruitment for al Qaeda.
SCARBOROUGH: Why is Hezbollah interested in this movie, then?
DERGHAM: I think it‘s because it says it shows American the president responsible in a way, and I think it‘s because Hezbollah is probably a little—is quite different, actually, from al Qaeda, because they are part of the Arab-Lebanese society. And the people do go to movies, whereas al Qaeda‘s recruits I think hardly have the time to just take this movie as a call for—to take arms.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, also, they will look at Osama bin Laden‘s videotapes.
MOWBRAY: Hezbollah and al Qaeda are cut from the same cloth. They are both bloodthirsty terrorists.
DERGHAM: Not really.
MOWBRAY: Hezbollah, before September 11, was responsible for more U.S. deaths than any terrorist organization on Earth.
DERGHAM: Well, that is not correct.
MOWBRAY: The fact of the matter is that George W. Bush is portrayed as probably worse and more evil than Saddam Hussein in Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Let‘s not forget that Michael Moore shows the images of the Americans beating and torturing the Iraqis, but then he shows Iraqi children playing in the streets before the war in Iraq started.
I mean, he doesn‘t show the torture chambers, the rape rooms. And I understand his opinion journalism. He is allowed to do that. I am OK with that. But let‘s take a look at what that opinion is. That opinion is that George W. Bush is morally inferior to the butcher of Baghdad, a man who killed 100,000 of his own people in a single month in August of 1988 and killed 300 Shiites after the end of the Gulf War.
MOWBRAY: We can‘t look at this and say, well, gee, Michael Moore is just a talented filmmaker. He‘s a crude propagandist. And we have to look at what the propaganda is, because it‘s disturbing.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, Raghida, Richard Cohen, who is a liberal writer obviously with “The Washington Post,‘ said much the same thing that Joel just said here, that when you saw pictures of Saddam Hussein‘s Iraq in Michael Moore‘s film, there were pictures of kids flying kites, coming down slides, playing on swing sets. Michael Moore said he‘s never done anything to America. He‘s never done anything to any of us.
SCARBOROUGH: And here is a guy, again, Raghida, that‘s responsible for the death of a million Arabs.
UNGER: If I may jump in here.
DERGHAM: No, please, let me answer the question. Let me answer the question. You have been jumping in all the time.
Look, I certainly disagree with painting the picture of Saddam Hussein as he was running a kindergarten in Iraq. He was definitely a man who killed his own people and transferred the Iraqis into poverty. And I think absolutely I disagree with the notion Iraqis lived well under Saddam Hussein. They really needed out of this tyranny.
Now, having said that, in the Arab mind, altogether, this is one issue. The other issue is, what did the president of the United States go for the war in Iraq and why this war and for what purposes. There‘ a lot of skepticism. It‘s quite unclear as to the reason and as to the outcome.
And I think I want other repeat it‘s a very good thing that we now can debate this soberly, differ, and respect each other‘s point of view. And I think this is what Michael Moore brought about.
SCARBOROUGH: Raghida, I cannot let you say on my show that Michael Moore debated anything soberly or he brought—he elevated the level of debate. He has taken it into the sewer by suggesting that the president of the United States was bought off by the bin Ladens, that we went into Afghanistan for an oil pipeline deal that was actually killed in 1998.
I don‘t have time to go through all the lies. I‘m going to in a second, but it‘s Craig‘s turn to go.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, go ahead.
UNGER: With regard to the Saddam Hussein thing, let us say one thing that I think the picture does elevate the debate is that it reminds people that among the great supporters of Saddam Hussein was Donald Rumsfeld, who in December of 1983 on behalf of the Reagan-Bush administration, went to Iraq and assured Saddam that we knew he was using chemical weapons, but you know what, that is just fine.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, that‘s 1983. Let‘s talk about now.
UNGER: This was a policy.
SCARBOROUGH: This is a canard.
SCARBOROUGH: He killed a million people, didn‘t he, Craig?
SCARBOROUGH: He killed a million Arabs, didn‘t he?
UNGER: And it was supported by Donald Rumsfeld and
SCARBOROUGH: Answer my question. Did he kill a million people, yes or no?
DERGHAM: No, no. Who killed a million people? Who did
UNGER: He was a mass murderer and the policy was supported...
DERGHAM: Joe, who killed a million people?
SCARBOROUGH: Saddam Hussein; 400,000 mass graves have been found so far. He invaded Iran, a war that cost a million Arabs their lives. He invaded Kuwait. It is unbelievable. I want to get back to Craig, though.
DERGHAM: We don‘t know the millions.
DERGHAM: You can‘t throw this around.
SCARBOROUGH: You don‘t know this? You don‘t know that there have
been 400,000 mass graves found in Iraq right now? You don‘t know that the
Iran-Iraq war killed close to a million Arabs? You don‘t know that
DERGHAM: There was a war that the United States was a partner in, the war against Iran.
SCARBOROUGH: The United States was a partner.
SCARBOROUGH: This is propaganda. That‘s unbelievable.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, I want to go back to
UNGER: She is absolutely right on that.
UNGER: This is a piece of history she‘s absolutely right on.
SCARBOROUGH: Craig, can I ask you a question?
UNGER: Go right ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you think—because everybody wants to talk about Ronald Reagan. I want to talk about this administration, George W. Bush. Are you saying that this president, George W. Bush, Halliburton, and all these other things, all these loopy conspiracy theories, do you think they were involved with the Iran-Iraq war or winking and nodding while the Kurds were gassed in 1988?
UNGER: There is no question that Donald Rumsfeld
UNGER: I didn‘t say—Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, all supported the...
SCARBOROUGH: The gassing of the Kurds?
UNGER: Saddam Hussein during that period. And they did it for seven years after knowing it, from 1983-1990.
SCARBOROUGH: Joe, I have got to go to a final question here, because what we have heard tonight is that Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell supported the policy of gassing Kurds and invading Iran.
UNGER: Supported Saddam Hussein and they knew what he was doing.
MOWBRAY: Bottom line, Joe, is this. Yes, Donald Rumsfeld was sent as an envoy in 1983 to Saddam Hussein. We know the famous picture, the handshake.
As early as 1985, Richard Perle and the so-called neoconservatives, the ones that you have all these conspiracy theories about over at the Defense Department, these—this group of people was actually opposing Saddam Hussein back in the ‘80s after Don Rumsfeld went to Iraq.
I have a memo that was authored by Cap Weinberger—to Cap Weinberger from Richard Perle in which Richard Perle states that Saddam Hussein is a problem, he‘s a menace, and we should not associate with him. It was in January of 1989, five months after the worse use of chemical weapons the world has seen since the end of World War I, when Saddam killed 100,000 people, the Kurds, in a single month, in August of ‘88, that the State Department wrote a top-secret memo to Bush, the new incoming President Bush, that we need to have closer ties with Saddam because he‘s a bastion of stability.
It is the same State Department that today supports the Saudis and during the mid-‘90s supported the Taliban after they took over Afghanistan in 1996. Let‘s talk about the real culprit here, Joe. It‘s the State Department.
SCARBOROUGH: And I‘ll tell you what. It is disturbing to me that here we have got a debate and people can‘t even step up and admit the basics, that Saddam Hussein killed a million Arabs. He killed more Arabs than any other leader in the history of the Middle East. And yet nobody wants to admit that.
Instead, it‘s blame America for somehow, we were responsible for Saddam Hussein gassing Kurds. Somehow, we were responsible for Saddam Hussein invading Iran? I have never heard that until tonight. Somehow, I‘m sure we‘re going to be blamed for Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait.
I‘ve got to tell you, I don‘t understand it. But I appreciate all our guests being with us.
We‘ll be right back on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute. Stick around.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Mike, how you doing, buddy? You‘re looking sporty there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my Friday shirt.
SCARBOROUGH: Weren‘t you wearing that shirt the last time we were on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I was wearing this shirt, so thank you very much.
SCARBOROUGH: You are looking very good. I got a little upset—a little upset last segment. I‘m glad that everybody is wearing a festive shirt today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do what we have to do to make you cool and easy.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, well, it‘s not working tonight.
Anyway, this isn‘t going to make me any happier. We‘re talking about the U.N. secret meetings, clandestine agencies and government conspiracies. It sounds more like Oliver Stone than reality, but secret U.N. files reveal how rogue states in old Europe helped Saddam swindle billions from the mouths of Iraqi kids under U.N.‘s massively corrupt oil-for-food program.
With me now is John Loftus. He‘s a former federal prosecutor now working with intelligence agents to declassify military secrets. We have Ian Williams, author of “Deserter: George Bush‘s War on Military Families,” who is also with “The Nation” magazine. And we have Republican strategy Jack Burkman.
Let‘s begin with you, John Loftus.
General Tommy Franks has said that the U.N. oil-for-food program is so corrupt, it should be called the oil-for-palaces program. Tell me, how did the scam work?
JOHN LOFTUS, INTELLIGENCE EXPERT: Well, it is really easy to understand. The oil-for-palaces scandal is a “Godfather” movie.
We have Saddam Hussein who goes to the chief of the U.N. police, Kofi Annan, and makes him an offer he can‘t refuse. Saddam says, we want to steal $5 billion off the oil coming in. We want to steal another $5 billion off the food for children going out. And, Kofi, your cut is going to be 2 percent. Kofi says, great, what do I do?
So Saddam the godfather says,you have got to have a corrupt guy in New York, your buddy Benon Sevan. And he has to rig the contracts going out. And I want you to put your son on the delivery end, so he can sign off on the edible Mercedes or the drinkable French perfume that we‘re bringing in, instead of food for children. Kofi says, no problem.
So one of the great scams in history. Of course, there‘s an investigation, the untouchables. The Americans and the British come in, going, the 661 Committee for Oversight saying, this stuff is outrageously corrupt. But Saddam is the head of the five families. And apart from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they‘ve got the French mafia, the Russian mafia, the Chinese mafia. And they have three votes, because France, Russia, and China are the top three exporters of Iraqi oil, so their hands are in the pocket. They are also members of the oversight committee. In fact, it‘s the French bank, Paribus, that‘s handing all the contracts. This thing is hilarious.
SCARBOROUGH: So they have got all the angles covered.
Like you said, it is like a mob scene here, where you‘ve got all these families working together. How much money have they stolen not only from the Iraqi people, but since we fund 25 percent to 33 percent of the United Nations every year, how much money could this cost American taxpayers and the Iraqi people, the kids especially, that had the money stolen from them?
LOFTUS: Well, the toll keeps climbing, just the paying for the cost of the investigation.
First, we had Chalabi. He was going to investigate it. And, all of sudden, his house got raided. His filed disappeared. Then the new guy, Ihsan Karim, was put in charge of the investigation. Now he sleeps with the fishes. Just a coincidence. So now who is running the investigation in Iraq? The Board of Supreme Audit. Oh, wait a minute. That‘s one of Saddam Hussein‘s groups from when he was in charge.
So now we come back to Volcker. The chief of police, Kofi Annan, says, oh, Paul Volcker will do it. Volcker, where have I heard that name? Oh, yes, wasn‘t he the guy appointed to investigate the Swiss banks for helping the Nazis steal money from Jews? So it‘s not like there was a conflict of interests or anything. It wasn‘t like he was on a Swiss company with ties to Swiss banks.
Oh, wait a minute. Volcker, yes, he was on the board of Nestles. Well, anyway, ask any Holocaust survivor, him good a job did Volcker do getting to the bottom of that one? I ain‘t holding my breath.
SCARBOROUGH: Ian Williams, this is a multinational scandal. We‘re talking now maybe from anywhere to $10 to $50 to $100 billion. How concerned should Americans be that the tax dollars have been swindled by the United Nations?
IAN WILLIAMS, “THE NATION”: No, we‘re not talking about $100 million. We‘re talking about much smaller amounts of money. This is a scandal, but it‘s not the U.N. scandal. The oil-for-food program was set up at the instigation of the British and Americans at the United Nations.
They said that we wanted to do this, in the teeth of opposition originally from Saddam Hussein, because the sanctions were starving Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein didn‘t care. And at times, it seemed like the Americans didn‘t care, if you remember Madeleine Albright‘s famous thing, it‘s a price worth paying.
WILLIAMS: What happened then was that the U.N. Security Council eventually agreed with the British and the Americans to set up this program, which ended up feeding 27 million Iraqis.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Ian, are you blaming the United States for this food-for-oil scandal?
WILLIAMS: They were part of it. The secret documents that you were talking about, every single member of the Security Council, including the United States and Britain, got a copy of every one of those documents.
SCARBOROUGH: Was the money being funneled to the United States? Because I haven‘t seen any documents suggesting that America got a dime of it.
LOFTUS: That‘s not true.
WILLIAMS: Some of this maybe was definitely siphoned off by Saddam Hussein.
It was done because the U.S. and the U.K. and the other members of the
Security Council said that the sovereign Iraqi government—whether it
should have been is another story—but the sovereign Iraqi government
negotiated these contracts with outside companies. And those documents,
JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: But, Joe, that doesn‘t justify the corruption.
BURKMAN: Even if everything Ian is saying is true, that doesn‘t in
any way justify the corruption. What he is saying is, the Americans were
in favor of starting this program. That might be true. It doesn‘t justify
SCARBOROUGH: Let Jack talk.
BURKMAN: It doesn‘t justify the U.N. corruption.
Joe, what this really points up is, we have known for some time the U.N. is useless. Now we see they‘re a large transport corruption. Why is the United States still even a member of the United Nations? If you see this story against the backdrop of other things going on—there‘s been some good reporting by “The New York Post” and others that have shown where Kofi Annan‘s son has basically gotten kickbacks as a lobbyist, gotten some bogus Swiss contracts. We know that is the case.
There is a lot of corruption in Kofi Annan‘s office. What is the U.S.
· there is this mistaken notion out there that if something is unilateral, it‘s somehow good. The U.N. was set up to serve the interests of peace and to represent the interests of world peace and the world.
Today, the only thing it represents is its own interests. It‘s a corrupt bureaucracy. It‘s like a state in and of itself. It serves no purpose. Everybody is talking about, send the U.N. into Iraq. Let the U.N. handle it. Well, the U.N. couldn‘t handle Iraq, at least it couldn‘t handle it without the contingent, the garrison of American troops there.
SCARBOROUGH: Jack, you are exactly right. The U.N. proves again that they can‘t handle problems not only in Iraq. They botched Rwanda in the 1990s. They botched Sudan in the ‘90s. They are botching Sudan now in the 21st century, too.
John Loftus, Ian Williams, and Jack Burkman, I appreciate you being here tonight.
I got to tell you, there‘s a recurring thing. You got billions of dollars stolen from the United Nations. It goes to other countries and we don‘t get a dime, and we still find somebody that can figure out a way to blame the good old United States of America. Ain‘t that funny?
Still to come, a former cleaning lady from Massachusetts won $294 million in the lottery. What does she have in common with Ben Franklin and members of the Hun Dynasty in China?
And also, do you think maybe John Kerry may dump his wife for this Massachusetts multimillionaire?
We‘ll talk about it when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. He could.
SCARBOROUGH: A new reality TV series exploits Amish teens. I‘m not making it up. We‘re going to be talking about that Monday night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
But stick around. We got more straight ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: Today, we learned that a 68-year-old Massachusetts woman won last Friday‘s $294 million Mega Millions jackpot. The former cleaning lady won the second biggest lotto jackpot of all time.
And “Here‘s the Deal” on the lottery. Some of the oldest recorded lotteries date all the way back to 100 B.C. in China. And, in this country, Benjamin Franklin actually used lotteries to finance cannons for the Revolutionary War. And in some of the country‘s finest universities like Harvard and Yale, well, they were also funded by lotteries.
In the 1800s, corruption led to the end of America‘s love affair with the lottery and Congress actually banned lotteries around America, that is until the state of New Hampshire introduced the first legal lottery of the 20th century in 1964. And other states around the country still followed suit. The largest jackpot ever is $363 million. That was the payout four years ago shared by two winners from Michigan and Illinois.
For more information on today‘s Mega Million winner, log onto MSNBC.com.
We‘d like to say bye to Pete McCarthy (ph), who is going to back to Boston, probably going to live on Beacon Hill, and marry Gerri (ph).
We‘ll see you Monday night.
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