Guest: Nancy Pfotenhauer, Stephen Hayes, Drew Pinsky, Melanie Redman, Jack Rice, Jeff Miller
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to terminate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don’t. Don’t shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to terminate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No mas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No mas. No mas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: “Tell them to terminate,” the shocking videotape of the 2001 shootdown of a missionary plane over Peru. And now a government cover-up.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required and only common sense allowed.
Innocent Americans shot out of the sky. Why has the investigation been dropped? It seems like somebody doesn’t want you to know what’s really going on, but we are going after the full story tonight with a congressman who represents those affected.
And then, remember all those Democrats who said they would beat a path to Canada if George Bush got reelected? Well, “The New York Times” tells us, some of them are actually doing it. We’re going to talking to one of them tonight.
And your kids in danger, another young teacher charged with having sex with a student. The very latest on this growing epidemic tonight.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome to the show.
Your children are in danger at school, and nobody is doing anything about it. It’s time for tonight’s “Real Deal.”
Now, yesterday, the police busted a female teacher in Tennessee for having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy. Pamela Turner was booked on 15 counts of sexual battery and 13 counts of rape.
And last week, I gave you the shocking stats from a recent federal study that suggested almost 10 percent of children attending public schools are sexually abused by their teachers or instructors.
You know, we are deluged daily with images of defrocked priests who use their position of power to abuse children, but rarely do we get more than a fleeting glance of the almost daily procession of young female teachers who seduce young middle school boys or high school boys. And the size and the scope of the sexual abuse in American’s public schools dwarfs the Catholic priest scandal. But the press either buries the stories or they fail to connect the dots.
Now, why is that? Well, first of all, as you know, attacking religious figures has long been a pastime of the mainstream media. So when beasts that are in clerics’ uniforms get in trouble, it plays right into the media’s bias against faith. But, secondly, and I think more troubling, the teachers union remains one of the most powerful unions in America.
And their refusal to face up to the subterranean scandal proves once again that too many union bosses are more interested in protecting teachers’ jobs than making sure your children are safe. And as one major figure in teachers unions once said, when asked if he would ever put students’ needs above the teachers, the response was, sure I will, when kids start paying dues.
Well, it’s time to make unions and their offending teachers start paying their dues. Magnify the Catholic priest scandal by 100 and maybe then you can understand just how massive this problem is. It is time for parents to wake up and tell the school board members enough is enough. And while they are at it, they can tell their state reps and senators it’s time to toughen up laws involving sexual abuse in public schools.
We pay for those schools, and we ought to be assured that our children are safe when we drop them off in the morning. There is an epidemic, but nobody is taking notice. It’s endangering our kids, and it’s tonight’s “Real Deal.”
Now, last night, we told you about the tragic case of a 2001 CIA mission gone horribly wrong in the jungles of Peru. The result was the murder of Christian missionary Roni Bowers, a Baptist missionary, and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity. Now, after four long years, the Justice Department has suddenly decided to drop secret investigation.
But we are going to take you through the series of events that led to what may be a government cover-up, beginning in 1994, when Bill Clinton authorized U.S. military action against suspected drug flights in Peru to stem the flow of narcotics coming across U.S. borders.
On April 20, 2001, a Peruvian military jet under the supervision of CIA agents mistakenly identified a missionary plane for drug runners. And with the Bowers family aboard, the Peruvians shot down the aircraft, killing Roni Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity.
Later that year, a joint U.S.-Peruvian investigation blamed poor communications and shortcuts in procedures. Several months later, a Senate investigation found that the CIA failed to properly oversee the anti-drug operation in Peru. And in the wake of that Senate investigation, the Department of Justice opened up a secret inquiry into whether CIA agents involved lied to Congress in order to cover up details of what went wrong in the murderous affair.
And, in July of 2002, the Bush administration paid $8 million to survivors. Were they admitting wrongdoing? We may never know, because just last week, the investigation was dropped by the Justice Department. No charges were ever filed, and all involved are still employed by the CIA, and they’re not talking, and neither is the Department of Justice.
Now, months after the shooting, the State Department released surveillance video of the plane being shot down.
Here’s NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski and how he reported the story in August 2001.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four thousand feet over the Amazon, a single-engine Cessna carrying American missionaries flying in the crosshairs.
In this dramatic video taken from a CIA survivor plane, the unarmed Cessna mistaken for a drug runner is suddenly shot down by a Peruvian fighter jet, the terrifying screams of the missionary pilot picked up on radio.
“They are killing me. They are killing us,” the pilot shouts in Spanish. In the CIA plane, chaos, as the American crew desperately tries to halt the attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to terminate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don’t. Don’t shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to terminate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No mas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No mas. No mas.
MIKLASZEWSKI: But it’s too late. Baptist missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity, are killed instantly. Her husband, a son and the pilot survive.
The shootdown was part of an aggressive program by the U.S. and Peru to intercept, and, if necessary, use deadly force to stop drug runners.
(on camera): But a State Department report released today says that safeguards supposedly built into the operation failed.
(voice-over): One problem, the CIA pilots were not fluent in Spanish.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure it’s (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Are you sure?
MIKLASZEWSKI: The Americans repeatedly warn that the target may not be a drug runner and try to slow down the operation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we don’t want to—hold it. Hold it.
MIKLASZEWSKI: But the Peruvians press ahead, rushing through the normal procedure. The CIA pilot sensed disaster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we are making a mistake. But...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with you.
MIKLASZEWSKI: Shot in both legs, his plane on fire, missionary pilot Kevin Donaldson makes a miraculous landing on the Amazon. Today, Donaldson blames both the U.S. and Peru.
KEVIN DONALDSON, PILOT: There were good procedures put in place in ‘95, when this was started. But through the years, they got sloppy, and procedures were not followed on the part of the Peruvians or the Americans involved.
SCARBOROUGH: And that was Jim Miklaszewski back right after the attack.
Now, with me now to talk about this case and where it’s headed is Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida. He actually replaced me in Congress. And we both know the Bowers.
This is a personal tragedy, but more importantly than that, Jeff, it appears that there’s a cover-up going on. “The New York Times” said this was the most important investigation of the CIA since Iran-Contra, and yet were you ever notified of what was going on in this investigation?
REP. JEFF MILLER ®, FLORIDA: No, not a bit, Joe, and I think that the fact remains that, even as a member of Congress, I feel like we probably should have been notified.
But the fact of the matter is, Charity’s grandparents and Roni’s parents weren’t notified either. They had to find out about it through the press.
SCARBOROUGH: We understand, though, that, again, there were members that believed the CIA agents were lying to cover up their mistakes.
As a United States congressman who represents those grandparents whose daughter and granddaughter were killed, shouldn’t the Justice Department give you any answers?
MILLER: Well, I think the important thing is that we should be transparent. Something went terribly wrong. That’s obvious by looking at the video that you just showed.
In fact, the parents and the husband have seen it over and over again. And something was not right. The fact of the matter is, the Justice Department now has just said, we are going to drop the case. They haven’t said why. If they would come out and just say, here’s the reasons, but they won’t even do that. I called this afternoon, tried to talk to somebody. And they said they had no comment. We’ll see.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Congressman, I was going to say, we’ll see. I’ve got a feeling that, knowing you, you are going to track this down. What’s the next step? Do you twist arms at the Justice Department? Do you talk to the administration? What do you do?
MILLER: Well, actually, I have talked to the chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, who, as a matter of fact, was the congressman for the Bowers. The church itself was in his district, so he is intimately aware of what went on.
And I told him, I said the troubling thing is that, if in fact, there is no criminal activity that took place, the Justice Department needs to say that. But they haven’t. And somebody on the Senate side is saying that they felt like the CIA was in fact lying. And that’s why the investigation was started. And now, all of a sudden, it’s mysteriously dropped.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, it has been mysteriously dropped.
Well, Congressman, thanks so much for being with us tonight. We know you got a vote, but we appreciate it. And we are going to stay with you on this case and as it moves forward and get you back when you start getting answers from the Justice Department.
MILLER: Thanks for taking up the cause, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, thanks a lot, Jeff.
Now I want to bring in Jack Rice. He’s a former special CIA agent.
Jack, how can this be? The CIA agents accused of lying in a closed session with the United States Senate. It’s referred to the Justice Department. The Justice Department conducts a secret investigation. “The New York Times” reports it makes the CIA angry, and they basically tell them to drop it, and they drop this case. I mean, you got a 7-month-old shot to death in a CIA operation and a 35-year-old mother bleeds to death in front of her 6-year-old son. What’s going on here?
JACK RICE, FORMER CIA SPECIAL AGENT: Joe, it’s absolutely horrible.
When I listen to this, I think about this as a father of four, as a former CIA officer, and as a former prosecutor. When I listen to some of this, what I think about is the obstruction charges that probably should have been filed federally in a situation like this. At the same time, listening to this operation, what I am most struck by as a CIA agent is that, whose operation was this? Was it the Peruvians or was it the Americans?
The Americans should have been running this op in the first place. They should have had competent people in the airplanes, those who could speak Spanish, and making sure there were sufficient protocols to make sure that the Peruvians were doing what they were supposed to do. Apparently, there were failures at multiple levels here.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, the CIA obviously very angry, telling the Justice Department to drop it. They say that these type of investigations prevent CIA agents from doing what they do best, from going out and being very aggressive in trying to stop drug running and other activities. Do you agree with that, or do we as Americans have a right to know why a 35-year-old missionary and her 7-month-old baby were shot to death?
SCARBOROUGH: As a CIA agent, you tell us, how does that impact you from doing your job?
RICE: Very simply. There’s a difference being aggressive on one side and being competent on the other.
You can still be aggressive. You can still get out there and do what it is you need to do, especially in the post-9/11 world. We have to acknowledge that. And yet, at the same time, there’s a requirement that you be competent and make sure you are doing everything in your power to make sure there aren’t mistakes being made. The question from an intelligence perspective is exactly that. Were they following that point?
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Jack Rice, thank you so much. We are going to ask you back also, because we are going to be following this story in the future.
Now, if you are as concerned about this as I am, you can send e-mails to Joe@MSNBC.com, and we will make sure that your comments get to Congressman Miller and other members of our government.
We’ll be right back in a second.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, remember all those people who said they would leave for Canada if President Bush was reelected? Well, praise the lord and pass the ammo. They’re doing it. I’ll be talking to one of them coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: You remember back in the day when Alec Baldwin promised to leave the country if George Bush won the election in 2000? Well, it’s five years later, and he’s still here. George Bush is in his second term, but more and more people are actually leaving for Canada.
Here’s NBC’s George Lewis.
GEORGE LEWIS, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lorraine Wright, originally from California, has pulled up anchor and headed to Canada.
(on camera): Do you think you will spend the rest of your years here?
LORRAINE WRIGHT, CANADIAN RESIDENT: Absolutely.
LEWIS: As a Canadian citizen?
LEWIS (voice-over): Wright, who runs a hotel and tour company on Quadra Island, British Columbia, says Canada is more in tune with her liberal views than the USA.
WRIGHT: You know, they have gun control and universal health care and no death penalty.
LEWIS: She is not alone. In Bellingham, Washington, Charles Key, a Vietnam veteran, is planning his move to Canada.
CHARLES KEY, FUTURE CANADIAN RESIDENT: America no longer reflects my political and social values.
LEWIS: Spoken by a man whose ancestor, Francis Scott Key, wrote this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Land of the free.
KEY: The land of the free and the home of the brave to me always meant that America was supposed to stand for freedom and diversity and tolerance. And I don’t think that it does anymore.
LEWIS (on camera): So far, Canadian officials say they haven’t seen any huge exodus of Americans moving to Canada, but they do note that since the U.S. election, thousands of Americans have been checking out the Canadian official immigration Web site.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I’m registered.
LEWIS (voice-over): More than 300 people in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco paid $25 apiece to attend seminars hosted by Canadian immigration lawyer Rudolph Kischer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush has been great for business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good riddance.
LEWIS: On a show televised in Canada, Charles Key noted there are plenty of Americans who think the idea of moving north is plain stupid.
KEY: And it’s reflected in words like good riddance and don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
LEWIS: Lorraine Wright says some may think of expats like her as traitors, but says all of us are entitled to the pursuit of happiness.
WRIGHT: I found my dreams in Canada.
LEWIS: And, as she spots a bald Eagle, she jokes that even America’s national bird is taking a serious look at Canada.
George Lewis, NBC News, Quadra Island, British Columbia.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, one of those people that are planning to leave her home in the Seattle for the great white north is Melanie Redman. She is going to join her boyfriend, Philip (ph), in Toronto.
Melanie, thanks for being with us tonight.
MELANIE REDMAN, MOVING TO CANADA: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: I have got a question for you. Would you have left America had John Kerry won?
REDMAN: Yes, I probably would have. I have been thinking about it for a long time, and I think that, overall, Canada just reflects my values.
I did consider living in New York. And Philip, my partner in Canada, did think seriously about moving to New York with me. But after the election, it was painfully clear what the choice was. But I had considered the move previously.
SCARBOROUGH: There are less Republicans in Canada?
SCARBOROUGH: People like me, offensive, knuckle-dragging, right-wing Neanderthals.
I understand you got hate e-mails from quite a few people.
REDMAN: I did.
SCARBOROUGH: From quite a few people when they read your name in some of the newspapers.
REDMAN: I did, indeed.
But I have to say that for every hate e-mail I received, I also received an outpouring of support from people all over Canada and the U.S. sending me wonderful e-mails of support, people saying that they wish they could join me.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, this is what I don’t get. Republicans are sending you hate e-mail. Everybody I the see on those screens—on the screen in that package, they don’t look like people who voted for me. So what I don’t understand is why Republicans aren’t cheering your departure. That’s part one. But the second part of it is, why don’t you stay and fight?
I had to endure eight years of Bill Clinton. You ought to be able to get through eight years of George Bush.
REDMAN: Well, I think that it’s a quality-of-life issue for me, and this is the only life I have.
But I will say that I think the issues we face in the U.S. right now are global issues, and I think that, wherever I live, I will have to be engaged in the struggle for social justice, as I am here in the United States.
SCARBOROUGH: So, you don’t feel like you should stick it out? You live in Washington, right?
REDMAN: I do, indeed.
SCARBOROUGH: A Republican lost the governor’s race in Washington by, what, 40 votes?
SCARBOROUGH: I will guarantee you there are going to be more than 40 people heading from Washington to Canada. So aren’t you dooming your political party to possibly losing the next time there’s a governor’s race?
REDMAN: Again, I think that it’s a quality-of-life issue. And I have to make the choice to live my values. And I am choosing to do that in Canada. I don’t think—I love the U.S. personally, but when Philip and I had to make a decision, did we want to live our lives and raise a family in the United States or would we prefer Canada, and when we weighed the quality-of-life issues, and we weighed where our tax dollars would be spent, frankly, I am not interested in supporting the Bush administration with my tax dollar.
SCARBOROUGH: Melanie, thanks for coming to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Good luck on your move.
And, folks, Melanie joins many celebrities who said they would leave the country if George Bush won the election. Of course, Pearl Jam’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder, said this: “I am going to move to a different country if Damien II gets elected.” Alec Baldwin, of course, made his famous pledge to leave. And his then wife, Kim Basinger, said that she would have to leave if George Bush were elected also.
Barbra Streisand said, “I don’t think you will see me around here for at least four years if Bush wins.” And Pierre Salinger said, “If Bush wins, I am going to leave the country and spend the rest of my life in France.” I can’t believe these people.
And now it’s time for a “Flyover” of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, of course, some of the stories that mainstream media misses when they fly from New York to the left coast directly over your house.
And we start our trip in Virginia, where state legislators have approved a bill that would fine people for wearing those revealing low-riding jeans, fine them, made famous by trendsetters like Britney Spears. Can we fine her for singing? Cops could slap a $50 fine on anybody caught exposing their underwear in a—quote—“lewd and indecent manner.”
Exposing their underwear? My son is in trouble. Here’s hoping That Britney’s next tour brings her to the Cavalier State. You’re busted, Britney.
Next stop, West Hollywood, California, where a proposed city ordinance is for the dogs, literally. The city’s mayor is trying to save the pets from the city from the horrible embarrassment of plastic surgery. The new law would make popular pet procedures like tail-docking and ear-cropping illegal. Note to Paris Hilton: You may want to stick with Beverly Hills for Tinkerbell’s next tummy tuck.
In Cleveland, Ohio, where an NBA game turned downright painful for one referee. Bill Kennedy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ball careened off of one player player’s foot and hit him right in the, umm—well, it just hit him. And Kennedy hit the deck after experiencing every man’s worst nightmare, but a little ice got him back on his feet and with a smile on his face.
And, finally tonight, we take you to India’s version of “Flyover Country,” where some chefs have come up with a new way to raise money for tsunami victims. This giant pizza took 550 pounds of flour, 264 pounds of cheese, 31 gallons of ketchup, and one old big vat of love. Proceeds from the pizza on steroids will go to the country’s tsunami relief fund.
And coming up next, another case of a female teacher arrested for having sex with a teenage student. It’s happening more and more. We are going to be talking to Dr. Drew Pinsky about that.
And we’re going to meet a rubber band man, a contortionist who gets himself tied up in knots. How does he do it? I’ll tell you when we come back.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, friends, here’s a shocker, media bias in some of the country’s top papers over President Bush’s budget. Now, I am not surprised at their attacks, but they can’t even agree on what to criticize him for.
But, first, let’s get the latest news that your family needs to know.
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: Now, if you look at this morning’s papers trying to get to the bottom line of the new Bush budget, well, tough luck.
All major papers bashed the president for a variety of reasons. First, there was The “L.A. Times,” who provided one of those dreadful front-page editorials that they always describe as analysis in the subheading. But it provides a stinging rebuke, usually for politicians that don’t fit their paper’s ideological leanings.
In this case, “The L.A. Times” actually described the budget as bloated, saying that its release ushers in a new era of big-government spending. But “The L.A. Times”’ East Coast sister in arms, “The New York Times,” attacked the president in their lead editorial, rightfully placed on the editorial page, as offering cruel cuts to farmers, to vets, and to the working poor.
So, if you’re scoring at home, “The L.A. Times” whacks the president for spending to much. “The New York Times” attacks him for not spending enough. And then there’s the “USA Today,” who on its screaming front-page headline talks about the president and his big cuts and how it’s going to scare away Democrats and some Republicans.
Now, of course, inside the “USA Today,” there was another vertigo-inducing twist when the paper bashed Bush for, you guessed it, not taking the budget deficit seriously enough. So, if you are confused, you are not alone. But at least there is one predictable strain running through all of these articles. They are all critical of George W. Bush.
You know, it’s nice to know, in this crazy, confusing world, that at least some things never change.
Now I am joined by Stephen Hayes of “The Weekly Standard.” We’ve got Nancy Pfotenhauer of the Independent Women’s Forum. And we also have MSNBC analyst Flavia Colgan.
Flavia, since you are so down the middle...
SCARBOROUGH: Let’s ask you first. Does this budget spend too much, like “The L.A. Times” says, or does it not spend enough, like “The New York Times” says? Can’t have it both ways.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look Joe, if you were going to lecture me on fiscal responsibility, I would probably listen,, because you have a record to prove it and you voted that way.
But, for me, hearing Bush talk about fiscal responsibility barely passes the laugh test. This is a man who walked into government with over a $300 billion deficit. He’s been spending like drunken sailor, mismanaging money all over the place, most recently $9 billion gone in Iraq. And all they can tell us, or haven’t audacity to tell us, is, oh, we can’t have great accounting practices during war.
So for him now to keep his reckless tax cuts in place, to still have the minimum tax, which is, again, if you are rich in America, the Bush administration is the administration that just—the gift that keeps on giving. For him to put it on the backs of working people, of vets, which is most shameful, police and fire, I think is outrageous.
SCARBOROUGH: Nancy Pfotenhauer, let me ask you to respond to what Flavia said. She said a lot. But, again, what a lot of people are keying in on is that the tax cuts remain in place, and yet there are cuts to veterans benefits. There are cuts to health care for the poor. Is this fair?
NANCY PFOTENHAUER, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT WOMEN’S FORUM: Well, let’s start with the overall. The overall is that there’s actually a 3.6 percent increase in 2006 spending than there was in 2005.
Now, I will agree with Flavia on one thing. And that is getting a dose of fiscal discipline from the Bush administration is a bit like getting dieting advice from a friend who gained 20 pounds last year. But he does a few things very, very correctly. One is, he freezes nondefense discretionary spending, a long time coming on that. The second is, he does reduce and eliminate some 150 programs, many of which frankly do not speak to what was designed as the federal government’s role when this country was envisioned.
Thirdly, they go after the biggest corporate welfare funded by taxpayer dollars, and that is reforming our farm subsidies.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, my gosh. You are exactly right, Nancy. It’s been unbelievable.
PFOTENHAUER: Two-thirds of that money goes to 10 percent of agribusiness and farmers.
And, finally, let me strongly disagree with your previous speaker, and that is, I think making the Bush tax cuts permanent is a huge plus.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, let me ask you, Stephen Hayes—well, first of all, Nancy, you attacked me personally by talking about people gaining 20 pounds last year.
SCARBOROUGH: I don’t appreciate it, but we are going to move beyond that, because I’m bigger than that. I’m bigger than that.
PFOTENHAUER: Literally. Literally.
SCARBOROUGH: I’m literally bigger than that. But I’m reading that book by that French lady that says eat like French women do.
Stephen Hayes, let’s bring you in here for a second and stop the insanity. Let’s talk about a new “USA Today” poll that was just released, and it talks about George W. Bush and says his approval ratings up. Two weeks ago, he was at 51 percent. Over the weekend, it jumped up to 57 percent, saying they approve of his job rating. That’s his highest job approval rating probably in a couple of years. What’s going on here?
STEPHEN HAYES, “THE WEEKLY STANDARD”: Well, I think it’s clearly a reflection of the Iraqi elections, the perception that those elections were successful, that they went well, despite the violence, that the process of democracy in Iraq is moving forward.
I think people were paying attention to that. And I think, as we talked about once before on your show, Joe, there was this sense that nothing was going right in Iraq, that there weren’t any people in Iraq, none of the Iraqis were in favor of the kinds of things that the president was talking about. And here we have seen a turnout of 60 percent, give or take, people embracing democracy, people braving possible death to vote.
I think that reflects well on the president and suggests that some of his critics may have jumped the gun when they declared the Bush doctrine dead.
SCARBOROUGH: Flavia, are Democrats like Ted Kennedy making a mistake by seemingly standing in the way of history while the rest of America and the world rejoices at what went on in Iraq last Sunday?
COLGAN: No, I don’t think trying to match up rhetoric with reality on the ground and realizing that this is a very—one step in a very long process—and I am not surprised at all.
In fact, on your program last week, I predicted that Bush’s numbers will go up. One, even though he is not the best friend of the English language, he does have a way of connecting emotionally with people. And it’s helped to inoculate him...
SCARBOROUGH: You are insulting me, too.
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead.
COLGAN: Against some very legitimate attacks on domestic and foreign policy.
And, as Stephen said, the images that we saw coming out of Iraq were a lot more positive than we thought they would be. But the problem for George Bush in terms of those numbers not evaporating like a Britney Spears wedding, whatever, or marriage, is that the fundamentals on the ground in Iraq have really not changed that significantly.
And it’s far too early right now to see how this is all going to shake out in terms of how quickly can we spend the reconstruction money, how quickly can we train the Iraqi troops. I mean, they were able to keep security with a complete lockdown, but what’s going to happen? Are we going to have another Mosul, another Najaf, another Fallujah, when they can’t do the job?
PFOTENHAUER: We should not be surprised that the president’s poll numbers have come up. And it’s because the media was finally dragged kicking and screaming to cover some of the positives of what’s gone on there.
And the president did make and continues to make a very passionate moral argument for why we are engaged there. And what we saw was finally the cameras and the commentary had to show the benefit of our engagement.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Nancy, it’s interesting that you say that, because that’s what struck me the most.
We remember back during the war when you had embedded reporters with
the troops and seeing what an incredible job those men and women did, we
got more positive news. Then they came home or got stuck in the Green Zone
and they go back over there and they report on what’s going on. And,
again, you could see it overnight. The second these correspondent landed -
· I was watching another news network, Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper.
I will tell you, the night after the elections, there were practically tears in their eyes.
PFOTENHAUER: Right. Right.
SCARBOROUGH: They were so moved by what they saw.
But the soldiers and Marines I have been talking to have been saying they have been moved like that over the past 18 months.
And all the women leaders that we are working with on the ground out in Iraq, who are incredibly brave and continue to be incredibly brave to step forward, we heard the same thing from. They are desperate and hungry for democracy. And I think what America saw was that there really was a strategy here. This was a strong vindication of the president’s strategy. We saw that this could, in fact, make us in our country safer.
HAYES: Well, Joe, and let me just add, I have to disagree with Flavia.
I do think we have seen a significant shift on the ground in Iraq. If you look at the number of people who signed up to join the Iraqi National Guard in the days shortly after the election, there was a flood of people signing up to protect Iraq, Iraqis to protect Iraq. You are talking about front-page pieces in “The Washington Post” talking about...
SCARBOROUGH: Three days in a row, very positive.
HAYES: Yes, talking about this shift in mentality among Iraqis who believe now that there are others like them, who, too, believe in democracy, believe that this can go forward. You are seeing the Shiites reach out to the Sunni.
Now, I will say I will agree with Flavia that it’s far too early to declare this a success. And we should all be careful. I think cautious optimism is the right frame of mind here. But to say that nothing has changed on the ground I think is just not accurate.
SCARBOROUGH: Flavia, I will give you the last word.
COLGAN: You know what? I liked how Nancy sort of very covertly brought the two together, as if this is vindication of an Iraq policy where we have lost 1,400 lives, 30,000 wounded, and almost $300 billion because there was going to be a mushroom cloud over New York.
This does not vindicate the policy. I would be churlish to say I don’t applaud our men and women in uniform, as well as Iraqi police and the Iraqi people. And I think it’s wonderful. But to say that this vindicates a mismanaged and incompetent invasion into Iraq is just absurd, in my opinion.
SCARBOROUGH: Nancy, I will give you the last word now.
PFOTENHAUER: I have never been accused...
SCARBOROUGH: Because your name was brought up. Go ahead.
PFOTENHAUER: I have never been accused of being covert or subtle at any point in my life, so I will take that as a compliment, Flavia.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, thanks so much. We greatly appreciate all of you being with us, Nancy, Flavia, and Steve. Thank you.
Now, I’ll tell you what. If you don’t watch—if you don’t read “The Washington Post” every morning, you need to go on to www.WashingtonPost.com, because they are talking about how the Sunnis and the Shia are coming together and making history, even while other newspapers ignore it.
Now, coming up, I have got issues with actor Harrison Ford on his latest choice of movies. Talk about hypocritical. That story coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, I’m Joe. I don’t have tenure, but I’ve got issues.
First of all, I’ve got issues with Ward Churchill. The University of Colorado professor has refused to apologize for comments he made, calling the victims of 9/11 little Eichmanns and saying that more September 11s were necessary. Today, after the university canceled a Churchill appearance due to security concerns, the professor actually went to a judge to stop the cancellation. Churchill’s lawsuit says—quote—“The speech cancellation is nothing but effort to stifle me and not let me speak on a matter of public and personal concern.”
Hey, Professor, I think you have had enough subsidized speech for one lifetime. Now, in addition to that cancellation, Eastern Washington University has also canceled an April appearance by Professor Churchill, but the university is going ahead with next week’s scheduled appearance by porn star Ron Jeremy. Your tax dollars being used for good purposes.
And, of course, I have got issues with Harrison Ford. I like Harrison, but you know what? The actor was an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. Fine. And he slammed American policy abroad when publicizing his last big flop, “Hollywood Homicide,” in 2003. Not so great when you criticize your country overseas.
But this is what he said: “I’m very disturbed about the direction American foreign policy and where it’s going. I don’t think military intervention is the correct solution. I regret what we as a country have done so far.”
Hey, Harrison, say that in America, not overseas promoting a film. But now Harrison is set to star in a movie based on the battle of Fallujah, one of the many war theme movies on the Hollywood horizon. For Harrison Ford to criticize the war and then use the battle of Fallujah to revive a career and make lots and lots of money, well, that’s not so smart, Jedi.
And, finally, I have got issues with Dennis Rodman. The bad boy of the NBA is featured naked in a new anti-fur ad for PETA under the slogan, “Ink, Not Mink.” And Rodman wears nothing but tattoos and a lot of piercings. It looks painful.
Rodman joins a number of other celebrities featured in PETA ads, including Pam Anderson, Charlize Theron, Alicia Silverstone and Richard Pryor. But my issue with Rodman, hey, keep your clothes on, Dennis. Spare us. Your 15 minute of fame, over, gone.
And this week, a Tennessee teacher has been arrested for having sex with one of her students. Pamela Rogers Turner was charged with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape for what authorities say is an ongoing sexual relation with a 14-year-old boy.
With me again, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He’s the author of “Cracked Putting Broken Lives Back Together.”
Thank you so much for being with us, Dr. Drew.
This seems to keep going on. You can look in the newspapers every day across the country and there’s another incident of this happening. What’s going on out there in our public schools?
DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, “CRACKED”: Well, it’s amazing, isn’t it, Joe? And one of the things is, we are more aware of it. We are talking about it more.
But the other thing is that our young people are coming out of an exploitative family system with poor boundary systems. And so somebody that comes out of a family system like that is more likely to either, A, be a victim, or, B, become a victimizer. And we live in a time when—it seems to me, my own personal opinion is, there’s a breakdown in the basic covenantal agreement of society, which is that big people, or people in authority, take care of little people.
And people in authority are responsible for people for whom they oversee. That’s the basic fundamental covenant in society. And that covenant somehow is porous now. So it becomes porous in the family and then it becomes porous at the workplace, porous at school, porous in the government. And we need to all stand up and really take a good look at this and react against it, because these laws that we are seeing so often in the news now being adjudicated are there to protect the young people.
This isn’t a funny thing. It isn’t, oh, my God, this 13-year-old gets the chance of a lifetime. These 13-year-olds end up disturbed. It screws them up to be involved in these kinds of relationships.
SCARBOROUGH: What is it that drives a 30-year-old woman who is married, in some cases, has kids, lives a suburban lifestyle, to go out and have sex with a 13-year-old kid?
You know, everybody—again, like you said, everybody makes jokes, hey, the lucky guy, the lucky kid.
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, it destroys them in the long run.
But what is it about—what is inside the mind of a 30-year-old who has a husband, kids, to prey on a 13-year-old boy?
PINSKY: There are three common clinical scenarios that I personally have dealt with in these sorts of circumstances.
One is somebody with manic depression, polar disorder, an acute manic state where people really have impaired judgment. No. 2, addiction. People are on drugs. Again, their judgment isn’t functioning normally, and this is part of the addictive process.
And then three, and the—most commonly is themselves having been the victim of some kind of abuse in childhood. There’s about a 60 percent probability of a victim of abuse becoming an abuser. So, the very child for whom our heart goes out for now has about a 60 percent probability of being the person who we are so angry with as an adult when they perpetrate these acts.
I don’t blame the individual that perpetrates as much as the society that allows these things to happen, that doesn’t address them very aggressively, because the people who have been victimized need help containing these behaviors. They need to be identified for the risk that they have and treated appropriately.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you see a trend in your practice? Are you seeing this happening more and more of older people preying on younger children? Or is it, again, like you said, there’s just a growing awareness, that newspapers report it, we pick it up, we talk to you, we warn parents? Trend or just more awareness?
PINSKY: No, it’s growing. It’s growing, Joe.
Listen, if somebody is a perpetrator of this kind of abuse on children, they don’t do it just one time, OK? They do it multiple times. And once somebody has been the victim of this kind of abuse, they themselves become a perpetrator more than half the time. So it has exponential growth built into it unless we all do something to put a stop to it, to help contain these people from their actions.
So, it is something and absolutely is building. I will tell you, in my—I run a chemical dependency program. And it’s so common now to have been the object of this kind of victimization that, in my program, if you have serious enough addiction to need in-patient hospitalization, there’s very nearly a 100 percent probability that you yourself were a victim of sexual or physical abuse in childhood. That’s how common it is now.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. You know, it’s amazing to me—and I have said this to you before, Dr. Drew. You can predict this.
When I listen to your radio show, somebody would call in and talk about all the problems they had. And your question would be, when did your father start abusing you? Unbelievable.
PINSKY: How old were you? That’s it. Yes.
Well, Dr. Drew, as always, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I can’t tell you what a great service you are doing for parents and educators and everybody else out there. We greatly appreciate it.
PINSKY: Well, I appreciate that, Joe. Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, and still ahead, you are not going to believe your eyes. The rubber band man, he’s not just on commercials anymore. And why is he doing this? And how is he doing it? Actually, I have got a cameraman that is doing it right now, emulating it. That’s a good move.
We’ll be right back in second in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Don’t go away.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up next, you think Hillary Clinton can change positions quickly? Wait until we show you some clips of this contortionist coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Like I said before, we are going to stay on that story. We are going to make sure that you as parents and grandparents and just citizens know that public schools are going to protect our children when we drop them off at school in the morning. I will tell you what. Like Dr. Drew said, the situation is getting worse every day.
Now, last night, a rubber band man contortionist performed at the halftime show of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks basketball game. Take a look.
Walking backwards, yes, I could do that before my back injury. Oh, my gosh. Hey, wait a second. Those are my sweatpants. It’s the pants. Nice. That hurts my back so much, friends.
But thanks for being with us. That’s all we have tonight.
But make sure to catch the I-man tomorrow morning, when his special guest will be—hey, look, that’s Tim Russert. I am going to be watching that one.
We’ll see you tomorrow.
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