Guest: Thomas Condit, Tim Strausbaugh, Travis Montgomery, Hans Reimer, Rob Jacobs, Tony Blankley, De Lacy Davis, Rod Bernsen
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Police officers chasing down suspected criminals, but now the P.C. police are coming after them, possibly putting police officers and your family at risk.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required and only common sense allowed.
Police officers have been confronted with beating scandals before, but now, are Los Angeles cops being hung out to dry as the City of Angels is hit with new charges of racism and police brutality?
And politically charged hate mail from kids. Some sixth graders in New York send letters to an American soldier, attacking U.S. armed forces overseas. So why is New York‘s mayor defending their attacks?
And MTV‘s partner Rock the Vote is now trying to whip up teenage support against the president‘s Social Security agenda. Is it about politics or do they just hate the president?
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Chaos is brewing in the City of Angels. Now, in the early morning hours of February 6, an LAPD cop shoots at a car during a chase, killing the driver, 13-year-old Devin Brown, allegedly driving a stolen car. And the LAPD and the FBI are now investigating, trying to determine whether the shooting was justified.
But Los Angeles has seen two weeks of protests and outcry from leaders in the African-American community. Maxine Waters has come out swinging hard, saying—quote—“Once again, the police in our community act as judge, jury and executioner.”
And now the victim‘s family has hired Johnnie Cochran‘s law firm and filed a big-bucks lawsuit against the City of Angels and its finest. Yesterday, Cochran‘s team called it police abuse and accused police officers of endorsing a culture of violence.
With me now, we have got Sergeant De Lacy Davis. He‘s the head of Black Cops Against Police Brutality. And we also have Rod Bernsen. He‘s former LAPD sergeant and broadcast journalist.
Rod, let me begin with you.
Is the police force as racist and out of control as Johnnie Cochran‘s law firm and some L.A. politicians are suggesting?
ROD BERNSEN, FORMER LAPD SERGEANT: No. Clearly, Congressman, they are not out of control. And I can tell you that from personal experience, both as a reporter and as a 17-year veteran of the LAPD. You know, I think somebody needs to answer a question for me.
These outrageous charges that are being cast out on these officers, what‘s the difference—when this investigation hasn‘t been completed, what‘s difference between these outrageous charges of racism and a culture of violence and what happened in the ‘20s and ‘30s in the Southern part of the United States, when an African-American man was suspected of committing a crime and they were taken from the jail and lynched without any investigation?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, wait, but that‘s what Maxine—that‘s what Maxine
· that‘s what Maxine Waters is saying is happening now, that police officers in L.A. are acting as the judge, the jury, the executioner, and now they‘re claiming a new law has been passed that won‘t allow police officers to stop people that are basically in hot—they‘re in hot pursuit of. What do you say to that?
Actually, 30 years ago, when I joined the police department, the policy was, you can‘t shoot at moving vehicles. Generally, you don‘t shoot at moving vehicles. And the reason for the policy was, is, you‘re probably not going to hit what you‘re shooting at. Thirty years later, the policy is still the same. The policy change that the police commission just instituted narrows the language a little bit.
It reminds the officers, don‘t place yourself in a position of disadvantage. Move out of the way if you possibly can.
SCARBOROUGH: De Lacy Davis, let me ask you, are L.A. cops racist and does this new proposal, this new plan put cops and also law-abiding citizens at risk?
DE LACY DAVIS, FOUNDER, BLACK COPS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY: First of all, let me say condolences to the family of Devin Brown. Let me say my colleague is out of place and off-base.
The reality is, the organization and culture of law enforcement is white male-dominated, racist, sexist, homophobic and then you might find the good cops.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait. And that‘s not out of place? You are now accusing cops of being racist, homophobic.
DAVIS: I said the culture, not the cops. You need to listen up. I said the culture, not the cops. And I didn‘t interrupt you.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re saying the same thing.
DAVIS: It‘s not the same thing. But, if you feel the pain, then you understand my sting.
SCARBOROUGH: What does that mean?
DAVIS: The social reality is that white children steals cars every day. White children commit crimes every day, and we don‘t gun them down. They don‘t end up in death.
And the last time that I checked, as an active-duty police officer, the penalty for being in a stolen car was not the death penalty.
SCARBOROUGH: So you are actually saying...
DAVIS: So, we don‘t accept that behavior in our community.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re saying this 13-year-old was shot down because he was black?
DAVIS: I didn‘t say that at all. Those are your words. However...
SCARBOROUGH: Those are your words. You said, if he were a white boy, he wouldn‘t have been killed.
DAVIS: Are you going to listen or are you going to talk and defend the culture?
SCARBOROUGH: Are you going to just chatter or are you going to actually respond to my questions?
SCARBOROUGH: You said, if he were a 13-year-old white boy, he would not have been shot dead.
DAVIS: That is not what I said.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s what you said.
DAVIS: That is not what I said.
What I said is, white children steal cars every day and we‘re not gunning them down in the streets. I‘m a veteran officer and I‘m on the force. You retired. I‘m still here. And we don‘t gun down white children, because we understand the consequences politically and in the community.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, help me out here. Help me out here.
SCARBOROUGH: You say you‘re a police officer. Hold on a second.
DAVIS: No, I don‘t say it. I am.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, you say you are a police officer.
DAVIS: No, I don‘t say it. I am.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘ve been on duty. And so it‘s 4:00 a.m. in the morning. You‘re chasing after—let me ask the question.
DAVIS: What‘s your point?
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask the question.
DAVIS: What‘s your point?
SCARBOROUGH: I know you want to talk.
DAVIS: What‘s your point?
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re afraid to hear this question, because you know I‘m right.
DAVIS: What‘s your point?
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s 4:00 a.m. in the morning and what happens is, you‘re chasing down a car.
DAVIS: What is your point?
SCARBOROUGH: You can‘t see inside and, all of a sudden, you shoot.
DAVIS: First of all, I‘m a...
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
DAVIS: Ask a question. Ask a question.
SCARBOROUGH: Are you—are you so afraid of this question and so afraid of the facts that you can‘t let me finish the question?
DAVIS: You could speak in simple sentences.
SCARBOROUGH: Four a.m. in the morning, there‘s no way a police officer is going to be able to tell whether the person in the car in the middle of the night is black or white. But you just automatically come on this show and you‘re say they‘re racist.
Tell me, look at the screen, if you can. Is there a white person or a black person riding in that car?
DAVIS: I can‘t tell you what you are, but I know that your culture and your response says what the dominant culture says is policing in poor communities. And that is just what you said. I can‘t tell what color he is.
The reality is, if he‘s 13 years old and he‘s not 6 feet tall, you know it‘s something small. I teach firearms. And we teach target acquisition. And we also teach cover and concealment. Why would he fire 10 times at someone that‘s not shooting at him? But his partner, who‘s also was armed, she never fired her weapon, because she didn‘t feel it was a threat.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait. And we‘re looking, again...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold it a second. Hold it a second.
We‘re looking at a car right now on the screen. You can‘t tell whether the person inside that screen is black or white. And yet people are willing to say, at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, they know these police officers shot this 13-year-old because he was black.
DAVIS: No one is saying that.
SCARBOROUGH: I want you to listen, if you will, to Johnnie Cochran‘s law firm. This is what they said at the press conference yesterday, Rod.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN DUNN, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: This is the aftermath of one of the worst cases of police abuse that our city has seen. We haven‘t seen anything that this little boy did that has given this police officer a reason to kill him. And that is why we have brought this lawsuit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Rod, the worst case—one of the worst cases in LAPD history. Respond to that.
BERNSEN: You know, Joe, back to my original point, how do we know what happened?
The LAPD has not completed their investigation. The district attorney‘s office has not completed an investigation. The FBI has not completed an investigation. And I dare say, investigators from Johnnie Cochran‘s office hasn‘t even begun an investigation.
And there you have that kind of hyperbole, that kind of outrageous, over-the-top kind of comment that actually has meaning. It hurts people. It hurts the investigation. It misleads people. And let me tell my colleague in East Orange, New Jersey, just how wrong he is.
LAPD doesn‘t shoot white boys for doing this? I‘m sorry, Mr. Davis.
Two months ago...
DAVIS: Listen, listen...
SCARBOROUGH: He didn‘t interrupt you, De Lacy.
BERNSEN: Two months ago—let me finish my point. Two months ago, a young man from Malibu, California, home of the movie stars, was shot dead at the end of a pursuit, similar circumstances, but not exactly the same.
Your kind of rhetoric, this is old school. It‘s shopworn and it‘s tired. People in the community—and I know, because I worked South Central Los Angeles as a police officer. I went back there as a sergeant. I know those people. I know they want the L.A. cops there.
DAVIS: What‘s your point?
BERNSEN: I know that they appreciate those officers.
My point is, is that people like you and other people like Maxine Waters and lawyers, for goodness sakes, coming out, prejudging, automatically assuming that somehow we are racists and we‘re going to gun down children.
DAVIS: I don‘t think you‘re racist. Are you? I don‘t know that you‘re racist. Are you? Are you?
BERNSEN: You should be ashamed of—you should be ashamed of yourself.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, De Lacy, it‘s amazing. De Lacy, you made charges and then you back up.
DAVIS: First of all, I never...
SCARBOROUGH: And your only response is, what‘s your point? What‘s your point?
DAVIS: My point was, I said that the organizational culture of law enforcement. I never say that the individual...
SCARBOROUGH: What does that mean?
DAVIS: It means that there is a culture in policing. We have a code of silence. We had a behavior that‘s expected of officers that‘s unwritten and there‘s a way of enforcing...
SCARBOROUGH: What sort of behavior, racist behavior?
DAVIS: Like codes of silence, like officers not telling on other officers, like the Rampart Division, that kind of...
SCARBOROUGH: Is that—is that a racial culture or is that a police culture?
DAVIS: It‘s an organizational culture.
SCARBOROUGH: Whether they shoot a white person or a black person?
DAVIS: I never said—I never distinguished between black and white officers. We find black abusive officers just as abhorrent as white, Latinos and any other race. We‘re talking about the culture of policing, not the color.
SCARBOROUGH: De Lacy Davis, Rod Bernsen, thanks for being with us.
You know, you can call it whatever you want to call it, but, in the end, it‘s race-baiting. It‘s dangerous. It‘s dangerous for L.A. cops and it‘s dangerous for your family.
Now, coming up, an American soldier serving overseas gets a lot of letters from home from New York sixth graders, but only to find out that they rip him and the U.S. military to shreds. We‘re going to be talking to his father next.
And coming up, a strange political partnership, to say the least, between AARP and MTV‘s former partner Rock the Vote. They join forces to go after the president‘s Social Security plan. Why are they going after him? We‘re going to ask one of their leaders coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: Six graders in Brooklyn send hate mail to soldiers serving overseas. And New York City‘s mayor steps forward to defend the kids and the letters. Where have you gone, Rudy Giuliani?
That‘s coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ve been following the story of a sixth-grade class that sent politically-charged hate mail to U.S. soldiers overseas. The letters to PFC Rob Jacobs stationed in Korea contained inflammatory remarks such as—quote—“You‘re being forced to kill innocent people” and “I strongly feel this war is pointless.”
Another sixth grader accused the soldiers of—quote—“destroying
holy places like mosques.” And one student even asked Private Jacobs if he
enjoyed killing civilians. The kids‘ teacher and the New York City
Department of Education have issued apologies. But, remarkably, New York
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who declined to be on our show tonight, defended
the students and their hate-filled letters, saying this—quote—“I
think most of the soldiers overseas believe that freedoms that we have,
like the freedom to write critical letters, are protecting them and putting
· that‘s why they‘re putting their lives at risk.”
With me now to talk about this is PFC Jacobs‘ father, Rob Jacobs Sr.
Rob, I‘ve got to tell you, first of all, it‘s very obvious. These kids, these sixth graders were indoctrinated to write these letters. But what offends me even more than that is, you have got the mayor of New York City, no Rudy Giuliani, actually defending the letters. How does that make you feel? How does that make your son serving overseas feel?
ROB JACOBS SR., FATHER OF U.S. SOLDIER: Well, I‘ll tell you, Joe, thank you for having me on.
Because of military, I‘m not allowed to comment on my son‘s feelings, so I will just tell you how I feel, if I could. I was outraged when my son told me what happened, very angry, obviously, and continue to be upset, especially this morning. This has never been a free speech issue. These are 11-year-olds. We don‘t have the freedom to say what we want whenever we want to whoever we want to.
They wrote letters not even—they knew they were writing to my son. They knew where he was. He‘s at risk. He‘s 10 miles from the North Korean border. And to write these kind of letters—and they are not all inflammatory—but to write these kinds of letters if unconscionable. And for the mayor to say, we can‘t censor them, when I was 11 years old, I was censored every day in school.
SCARBOROUGH: But, you know, the most remarkable this is, you read these letters, and let me tell you something. I‘ve got at 17-year-old son. I‘ve got a 14-year-old son, both of them very smart. But I can tell you, when they were 11 years old, they were not writing letters regarding geopolitical realities in the Middle East. I mean, this is so—this smells so badly of indoctrination.
JACOBS: And the thing that makes me the saddest—we‘re in New York City. I was born here. I worked downtown on 9/11. If this had happened in San Francisco or in Berkeley, it would be still horrible, but more understandable.
This is New York City. The mayor should not be saying, well, we have
· they have the right—they have the right to write this. They don‘t.
Or, they have the right to write it. They don‘t have a right to send it to my son.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. And, again, can you imagine—again, being through 9/11, being at ground zero, can you imagine how Rudy Giuliani would have responded had he been in Bloomberg‘s position?
JACOBS: No, I can‘t. I can‘t. The fire and brimstone would have rained down on that school.
So, so, you‘ve talked to your son. Obviously, you can‘t respond politically. Does he know that, again, this was just a politically charged act by a teacher out of control and by some reckless students? I mean, does he understand how much Americans support what he‘s doing and what other troops are doing overseas?
JACOBS: Yes, he does. He‘s a great kid. He‘s our only son. He does understand that. He was upset, obviously. Well, I shouldn‘t say that. He was upset originally, because he‘s a human being. The support he‘s been getting since this has happened has been very heartwarming toward him.
SCARBOROUGH: What‘s next?
JACOBS: I—I would like the Board of Education to apologize to my son. No one has apologized to me or my son.
I would like the Board of Education to institute a policy that says this will never happen again.
SCARBOROUGH: And this was an assignment for these kids, right? These kids were assigned it by a teacher, mandatory. Is this teacher suggesting that he never read these letters?
JACOBS: He will not comment one way or the other, but the cover letter indicates that he did read them.
If he did not—he sent them all himself. They all came in one envelope. If he didn‘t read them, he was derelict. If he‘s the teacher that did the assignment, of course he read them. But he won‘t comment one way or another, I guess because he‘s afraid of being sued. I‘m not suing anybody.
I‘m not on a vendetta. I want this to change. I don‘t want any other parent or any other soldier to ever have to go through this from the home front.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, I‘ll tell you what. It‘s a total cover-up. And the fact that our troops—I have got so many friends that are serving overseas. And, as you know, it is so draining. They‘re so concerned about not seeing their loved ones again, not seeing their fathers, their mothers, their daughters, their sons. And to get this, it just—it just has to knock the breath out of them.
JACOBS: It does. They love getting great letters.
If you can‘t say—I‘ve said this before. If you can‘t something nice here, zip it. These kids are keeping the savages away from us. If you can‘t support them, just let them alone. They don‘t expect to be treated as heroes, although they are. But they certainly don‘t want to be in geopolitical discussions with 11-year-olds that they don‘t know.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, unbelievable.
Well, listen, Rob Jacobs Sr., thanks so much for being with us tonight. And please tell your son that everybody in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY sends him our best wishes.
And, listen, if you want to send him an e-mail, send it to us first. I will screen it. Joe@MSNBC.com. And we‘ll pass it along and let him know how you really feel.
Now, let‘s turn on to a bit of a lighter story and talk about strange bedfellows, and I mean strange. I was in Washington, but this has got to be one of the oddest political partnerships. AARP, which, of course, lobbies for seniors and Rock the Vote, which is best known for its voter education efforts on MTV, now, they have joined forces to blast President Bush‘s Social Security plan.
And what I want to know is, why are they doing it? Why are they pretending this is anything but a blatant partisan attack on the president?
With me now to answer that is Hans Reimer. He is the political director of Rock the Vote. And this is—actually you know what? There is a thread. There‘s a perfect segue here. You have got 11-year-olds writing on geopolitical issues and now you‘ve got teenagers and Rock the Vote concerned about Social Security.
How did you guys dream this up?
HANS REIMER, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, ROCK THE VOTE: Well, we‘re the AARP for young people. So it‘s a natural partnership. We‘re really excited that the AARP is willing to actually take a stand and protect benefits for young people.
As one of the most powerful organizations in Washington, we think it‘s good to have them on our side. And we share an interest, which is actually protecting the incomes, the amount of money that young people will have to spend when they get older.
SCARBOROUGH: But, I mean, come on. You know, teenagers don‘t care about Social Security. This is about Rock the Vote hating George Bush.
REIMER: No, no, no. It‘s got nothing to do with that.
SCARBOROUGH: You know—you know that‘s...
REIMER: Got nothing to do with it.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re trying to sidetrack his top domestic policy.
REIMER: Politicians don‘t like it when young people get involved in the process. But this is the president‘s No. 1 issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Of course.
REIMER: Rock the Vote is an organization that actually is about political power for young people. And we get active on the issues of the day.
So, it‘s perfectly natural that we would do this. Now, we‘re not necessarily trying to block the president‘s initiative. What we want is a good initiative. And what we‘ve heard, a lot of details we‘ve seen are very bad for young people. And we‘re trying to stop a ripoff.
SCARBOROUGH: Hans, are you telling me teenagers—are you telling me teenagers care about Social Security?
REIMER: Oh, actually, they do. You might be surprised.
But we have teenagers coming into our meet-ups on a monthly basis now starting to say, look, I hear we‘re doing Social Security. That‘s the big issues. And I‘ll tell you, when the president of the United States says, this is my No. 1 priority, everybody follows, young people, old people, everybody. So, young people are going to get interested in this issue.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, let me show you a February 5 “Newsweek” poll that says young people have little faith that Social Security is going to be there for them. And they‘re the most willing to overhaul the system.
The poll said that 53 percent of 18-34-year-olds say the best way to run Social Security is by—quote—“using the government to direct workers‘ money into the stock market in an effort to generate a higher rate of return on retirement savings.”
I mean, all groups, except for young people, oppose this Social Security plan. So, the people that you are aiming your efforts towards, they‘re the group that support the president‘s plan the most.
REIMER: Well, actually, they don‘t care about private investments.
That‘s the big fallacy of the groups that are hoping to win young people.
SCARBOROUGH: Is “Newsweek” lying?
REIMER: No. Look, if I call you up and say, would you like a tax cut, you‘re going to say yes. Everybody is for that.
But if I say the cost of the tax cut is, your tuition is going to go through the roof for college, then I don‘t want a tax cut. Same thing with Social Security. If I call you up and say, I want—do you want to invest your money? Sure. But if it means government debt, if it means cuts in the Social Security program, no, I‘m not interested.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
REIMER: That‘s the issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, thanks, Hans. We appreciate you being with us again.
SCARBOROUGH: You didn‘t convince me tonight, but I thank you for being involved in the process and trying to get young people involved in the process.
Personally, just my opinion, just my opinion, I still think it‘s about stopping the president‘s top domestic policy. And, by the way, just for everybody‘s interest, I‘m against it, too, because it cost $2 trillion.
Anyway, coming up next, it‘s time for a “Flyover” of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. These are the stories that the mainstream media misses as they fly from New York to the left coast.
We begin tonight In Ohio, where this hairdo turned into a major hair don‘t for one high school student. The 14--year-old freshman was expelled because of his Mohawk. The principal says the new do is disruptive. The boy says other students tattoo and have lip piercings and those are just as bad. For now, Mr. Mohawk is being homeschooled. And remember when parents used to make their kids cut their hair? Not in this case. His parents are planning to sue for the do.
We‘re going to stay tuned to the Buckeye State for our next stop. A student at Ohio State University is auctioning off the school‘s president, Karen Holbrook, on eBay. He was surprised to learn that there were so many takers. The seven-day auction attracted 64 bids. The student says delivery of the item could be a problem and that the ad was really a joke. Please don‘t screw with my grades. The school calls it—quote—“a little mean-spirited.”
And coming up next, a Christian rock band is banned from an anti-drug rally. Man, is this high school really that afraid of Jesus?
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, what did a Christian rock band do to get banned from an anti-drug rally? Really, nothing other than being Christian. Also, we‘ve got the killers B‘s coming up, Buchanan, Blankley and Barnicle.
But, first, here‘s the latest news your family needs to know.
SCARBOROUGH: As Iraq continues its march towards democracy, the man most likely to lead that country says he wants U.S. troops to stay there for as long as possible.
But back at home, a new Harris poll has 59 percent of Americans saying they want to see our troops home within a year.
With me now to talk and this and other pressing issues are the killer B‘s, who buzz their way once again into SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s nasty.
Buchanan, Blankley and Barnicle. That‘s MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. We‘ve got Tony Blankley of “The Washington Times” and Mike Barnicle of “The Boston Herald.”
Pat, we‘re going to start with you.
What are these inflicting—the polls and in the Iraqi leadership?
Should we stay or should we go? What‘s it say to you?
PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Jaafari makes all the sense in the world. He‘s a Shia. He‘s going to be the leader of the government.
And the American army is his army. The American army is fighting his war. It‘s after the Sunni insurgency. It‘s after the terrorists. And it‘s doing a good job. And he wants them to continue doing that job while his own army is trained.
As for the Harris poll, I understand that. The American people saw that election. Thigh think it was a good election. And they think it‘s time we turn this over to the Iraqis, the military responsibility, political responsibility, and come home. This is—this makes all the sense in the world, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Tony Blankley, you know what doesn‘t make sense, though? Well, actually, it does if you peel the onion a couple of layers, the Sunnis. We‘re right now negotiating.
There was a “New York Times” article yesterday saying we‘re negotiating with Sunni insurgents. And part of their negotiations are not that the United States leave. They‘re actually saying they want us to stay, because the Sunnis believe, if we go, the Shia are going to kill them, too.
So, isn‘t it bizarre that here we are a year and a half, two years into this so-called occupation and the Shia and the Sunnis and the Kurds want us to stay?
TONY BLANKLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON TIMES”: Well, it looks pretty good to me, actually. I don‘t take much account of the polls. It would have made more difference if the polls were before November 2 of last year.
Bush is obviously going to ignore any polls on this. He‘s like Reagan on Central America. We never had more than 25 and 40 percent public support on that, but Reagan pushed through. And, obviously, Bush is going to push through, too. I think it makes all the sense in the world that both sides want us to stay there to make sure that they evolve into a functioning country. It‘s vastly in our interests to do so. We‘re not fighting the Shia‘s war. We‘re fighting a war that‘s in our national interests.
Obviously, Pat and I have disagreed about that over the years and probably will. But I view this as very positive that we are not going to get kicked out prematurely. We‘ll go when the job is done.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Barnicle, how do you explain to families of kids or of loved ones that have been over in Iraq for nine months, 12 months? Some of these people have been over there for 15 and 18 months in a war zone. How do you explain to them, hey, your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife may be in Iraq for another five years?
MIKE BARNICLE, NBC ANALYST: Yes, well, that‘s a tough one, Joe. And it‘s also probably the biggest aspect of this story.
I mean, human nature is universal. The Iraqis, the leadership of the new Iraqi government or the soon-to-be Iraqi government, they are no different, I would think, off of the sentiments expressed, than any resident of any crime-infested, violence-plagued block in any big city in America. They like cops. They like to see the cops. They want the cops around. They want the United States Army around.
The problem is going to be that the American military right now is like a rubber band being stretch and stretched and stretched too thin, and, eventually, it‘s going to snap. Now, the question is, how long can we continue to deploy the amount, the numbers of troops that are deployed in Iraq with everything else that is going on in the world around us? The answer to that is, I don‘t know.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan?
BUCHANAN: You know, I think that‘s right.
And let me pick up on what Tony said. I think these elections were tremendously dramatic. I think a revolution is going on in this part of the world. But I do believe that the United States should indicate we are leaving. And I will tell you why. Don‘t give them a date certain, because that says to the Sunnis who are fighting us because we‘re invaders and they don‘t like us around, it says, look, don‘t attack the Americans. They‘re going to be gone.
Get into the political swing of things. You‘ve got to fight in politics for your future. If you can peel off that part of the insurgency, which basically is anti-American, but wants to run its own country, I think that is helpful. And I do think that you‘ve got to let them that know we‘re getting out eventually, because, otherwise, I think that nurtures the insurgency.
SCARBOROUGH: You know...
BUCHANAN: I think—go ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, I‘m sorry.
You know, I think you‘re exactly right. I think we‘re seeing—I think that election, we‘re starting to see the results of it. I think absolutely revolutionary, where you‘ve got the Sunnis now that are saying, you know what? We‘ve better sit down and talk with the Americans. And, in fact, we want the Americans to stay as long as they can to protect our minority rights, because they know that we Americans will protect minority rights, unlike the Iranians next door.
But look at President Bush. Now, as President Bush continues his peace tour of Europe, he took time out to visit the troops in Germany.
Tony Blankley, you know, if every move has a message, what message has the president‘s trip sent, not only to our troops over there, but also to the Europeans? Is it, we‘re right, you‘re wrong?
BLANKLEY: No, look, I made this point earlier today to someone that, when your president goes on a trip, each event is supposed to visualize some part of their verbal message theme.
And after he told all the Europeans how he‘s for diplomacy, he went into a rally of his troops based in Germany. I thought it was very symbolic to remind Europeans that diplomacy is fine, but we better pick up the pace apiece.
Mike Barnicle, tell me, do you think a revolution is going on right now in the Middle East? You look what‘s happening in Iraq, you look what‘s happening in Afghanistan, compare it to five years ago, and now look what‘s happened, obviously, with Gadhafi.
And now in Lebanon, you‘ve got Syrian thugs that are talking about possibly leaving that area because of democratic protests. Is Tom Friedman right? Was this election basically the Middle East‘s version of the Berlin Wall coming down?
BARNICLE: Well, it could well be, Joe.
But part of our problem might be cultural. I mean, the assassination of the former prime minister in Lebanon could be a huge and pivotal event down the road, the next five or 10 years in the course of Middle Eastern history. But because of the way we view things here in this culture of ours in America, instantaneously, talking about on our cable TV, wanting a resolution before “Desperate Housewives” comes on this evening or some other evening, we don‘t have the chance to look at things in a grand perspective.
Sixty years ago this week, this month, we were in Iwo Jima, where 6,000 Marines killed. If we had cable TV and if we talked about conflicts then the way we talk about conflicts now, we would be having polls, should we withdraw the Marines from Iwo Jima before the flag is flown in Suribachi? We are an instantaneous society, now looking and thinking about issues that are going to take decades to play out.
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, Mike, you know, Mike, what‘s interesting about that, I read “Flags of Our Father,” which is just an incredible book.
BARNICLE: Great book.
SCARBOROUGH: Incredible book about Iwo Jima. And they made the point that the flag was raised and Americans thought, we won Iwo Jima.
But, in fact, the bloodiest fighting lay ahead. It‘s just like Normandy. But, D-Day, people thought the war was going to be over in a few months. And if there had been cable television back in 1944, Roosevelt would have caught holy hell.
BLANKLEY: Let me get in. That‘s one side of it.
But the Internet, cable news, 24-hour rhythm is not only being caught
by us. It‘s being caught by people around the world.
BLANKLEY: And so that something in the olden days in the Middle East, moving from one event to another might take years. Now the people in Lebanon are watching the votes in Palestine or watching the votes in Iraq, and they‘re all in the same rhythm. The whole world is picking up the pace.
And I think we have some hope that it‘s not only us that‘s running ahead of the normal pace.
BARNICLE: Well, and it‘s also—Tony and Pat and Joe, it‘s also because the Internet gives them a window into something that they‘ve never really experienced, freedom. And freedom is contagious. And that‘s an ultimate hope of ours.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, were you not surprised—talking about Arab media, Pat Buchanan, were you not surprised that a lot of these outlets that are just violently anti-American, the day of that election, they chose, for the most part, to ignore the attacks? And they‘ve been talking about democracy. They‘ve been talking about freedom. They‘ve been talking about the hope of toppling some of these tyrants.
BUCHANAN: Well, look, I will tell you what. Some of those tyrants are our friends.
This is the point I‘m making. We‘ve unleashed revolutionary forces in that part of the world and we are on the side, in many cases, on the side of monarchs and, frankly dictators, and autocrats. And the forces that are going to be unleashed aren‘t simply democracy, you know, something like the Rose Revolution and the Ukraine. It‘s Islamic fundamentalism. It‘s anti-Zionism. It‘s anti-Americanism.
The forces over there are enormous. There‘s—it‘s like this 30-years war in Germany that‘s going to break out in that part of the world, Joe. I don‘t think we know the outcome, but I do agree, the Iraqi elections and the American invasion have ignited a fire in that part of the world. The president is right there.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, Mike Barnicle, from the Middle East to Harvard. Talk about what‘s happening to Larry Summers right now. And I think this may be the beginning of the end for political correctness on college campuses.
SCARBOROUGH: Am I just dreaming?
BARNICLE: I would hope you‘re not dreaming, Joe.
I mean, if the president of Pomona Junior College out in California, said the same thing, no one would notice. Larry Summers is the president of Harvard. And he‘s now the potential victim of the academic version of a drive-by assassination, a politically correct assassination.
I read the text of Larry Summers‘ remarks to a small group of people, academics. If you read that text, basically what Larry Summers is saying is, yes, women are different and they sometimes very often don‘t get the same pay or same respect in the workplace as men do for a logical reason. They have babies. They‘re nurturing. They sometimes take pregnancy leaves. They leave the office. They don‘t put in the 80-, 90-hour work weeks that you do, Joe, or that I do.
And Larry Summers made sense in what he said. He offended people, tenured professors, who are basically—all they have to get up in the morning and draw a breath. They don‘t get fired. And it‘s an outrageous distortion of what the president of Harvard said. And I would hope that it would lead to the end of the political correctness.
SCARBOROUGH: I hope so. And I really think it—I think it will. I think Larry Summers has been on the cutting edge for the past two, three, four years. And I hope he keeps doing what he does. I don‘t—you know, I don‘t want him to discriminate against women at all.
But when you go into a forum and you say, let‘s talk about the reasons, I may offend some of you, but let‘s open it up for debate, so we can discuss it, that‘s what academic are all about.
To all the killer B‘s, Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle and Tony Blankley, thanks a lot for being with us tonight. You guys are the best.
Coming up, I‘ve got issues with the guy who secretly taped President Bush. And I will tell you why. It has to do with cash. And get this. A Christian rock band gets banned from a high school anti-drug rally because they‘re Christians. I‘ll talk to them about that coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ve got friends in low places and they‘ve got tape recorders. Maybe that why I‘ve got issues.
First of all, I‘ve got issues with Doug Wead. Wead released secretly recorded conversation he had years ago with President Bush in which the then-governor confided with his so-called friend. Wead has said that he recorded the tapes for posterity and that he never intended to try to profit off his old friend.
Funny, because, in today‘s “New York Post,” Cindy Adams reported that Wead actually played segments of the audiotapes for potential book publishers in order to squeeze a bigger deal worth more money. The heat was on. So, today, he wrote a letter to this network. And Wead said that he had come to realize that personal relationships are more important than history. He also added that he regretted causing the president any distraction. And he also planned to donate future profits from the book to charity.
You know what, Doug? That‘s great, but I would still expect an IRS audit next year if I were you.
I‘ve also got issues with Barbara Walters. Barbara Walters appeared on “David Letterman” last night to plug her upcoming Oscar special. And, at one point, Letterman joked that he would like to be on her special sometime sitting next to Oprah and Martha Stewart. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”)
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: You know what I think it should be? You and Oprah and Martha, the three of us on the couch.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: I‘m there, sister. I‘m there. I‘m there.
LETTERMAN: I‘m there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Let‘s take another look.
Now, Letterman goes for an Ali G fist pump and she swats it. Come on, Barbara. Newt Gingrich, C. Everett Coop, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and other old white guys all know what an extended fist means. Maybe it‘s time for you to get with the program.
And, finally, I‘ve got issues with gazillionaires getting millions of taxpayer dollars from you in the form of government subsidies. Now, according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group, Ted Turner got almost $500,000 in subsidies for farms that he owned in three states, and, of course, for not planting crops in those three states, all the more money for Ted to give to the United Nations.
Another recipient for not planting crops, David Rockefeller. And as you may guess from the name, he probably didn‘t need the $530,000 he received from the government for not planting crops on a farm he owns in New York. Likewise, former Chicago Bulls‘ Scottie Pippen probably wouldn‘t have gone hungry without the $210,000 in farm subsidies he received from your tax dollars for not planting crops in Arkansas, three good examples of why I voted against farm subsidies when I was in Congress and why Republicans are on the wrong track, along with their Democratic friends today.
Now, imagine getting hired and fired because of your religious beliefs. That‘s what happened to a Christian garage band named Pawn. The band was tapped to play at an anti-drug rally at Rossford High School in Ohio. But here‘s the catch. Rossford is a public school. And some school officials were concerned about having Pawn play because of their Christian-based lyrics. The band says their First Amendment rights were violated and now they‘re suing the school for $1.
Now, we contacted the school‘s attorneys. And all they said was they had no comment.
We‘re joined now by two of Pawn‘s band memories, Travis Montgomery and also Tim Strausbaugh, who‘s a student still at Rossford. And also with us is Pawn‘s lawyer, Thomas Condit, who‘s with the Rutherford Institute.
Let me start with you, Thomas.
Now, do I understand this correctly that this band was banned from playing simply because they‘re Christian?
THOMAS CONDIT, THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE: Well, Joe, I would say, as I sit here now in late February and looking at everything I‘ve seen and heard from the school district dating back to December, their message is a little bit muddled.
But let me read you a direct quote from the superintendent, who said back in December, “Although the message was going to be anti-drug, anti-alcohol, it was going to be delivered by a Christian rock group, and because this is a public school, there is some question as to the message being delivered.”
SCARBOROUGH: Travis, respond to that. I mean, did you get the feeling that you were being discriminated against simply because you were a Christian or were you guys going to go in there and try to save 500, 600, 700 teenage kids that night?
TRAVIS MONTGOMERY, CHRISTIAN BAND MEMBER: No, actually, I do feel discriminated against.
The fact of the matter is, is that it would actually hurt our band to go in there and try to, I guess, minister to a bunch of kids in a public school system, after we‘ve already given our word that we weren‘t going to do so.
SCARBOROUGH: Tim, how does that make you feel? You still go to this school. And simply because you believe in Jesus Christ—and that‘s what the school district said. Because you believe in Jesus, they were uncomfortable having you play. And they didn‘t even suggest that you guys were going to be playing Christian music, did they?
TIM STRAUSBAUGH, CHRISTIAN BAND MEMBER: No.
Actually, I mean, we just feel discriminated against. I mean, we actually—we weren‘t going to play any songs that had direct reference to God or Jesus Christ. And we were just strictly just going in there to give an anti-drug, anti-alcohol message, which is what we were asked to do.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Thomas, what‘s next? Do you think you‘re going to prevail in this lawsuit against the school district?
CONDIT: Well, of course, we think there‘s great merit to the case or we wouldn‘t have filed it.
And to pick up on your earlier comment, Joe, we sued for $1, which is nominal damages, which is recoverable any time.
SCARBOROUGH: You just want to make a point, right?
CONDIT: Well, more importantly, the damage claim is $1 because this isn‘t about the band and the kids wanting to recover money.
The more important part of the lawsuit is a claim for injunctive relief and a declaration of rights, so that the constitutional issue can be flushed out here and the rights of these Christian band members can be defined and vindicated.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
CONDIT: The dollar really has nothing to do with it.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, thanks for being with us.
Now, imagine if this had happened to an atheist. You talk about the ACLU crawling out like cockroaches.
Well, listen, stick around. We‘ll be right back. We‘ve got something you‘re not going to want to miss.
SCARBOROUGH: Venom-spewing Professor Ward Churchill is at it again, this time in Hawaii. And, again, you are paying this guy‘s salary.
We‘ll have you that story when we come back.
SCARBOROUGH: University of Colorado‘s radical Professor Ward Churchill this week in Hawaii lost it when a reporter questioned his claims to be a Native American. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO: Yes, I am an associate enrolled member of the Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. If you got questions about that, don‘t quote another journalist. Call the office. Act like you got some integrity of your own and your professional standards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Looks like the good professor can dish it out. He just can‘t take it. And you know what? The best part of it is for you, friends, you are paying for this guy‘s salary.
Thanks for watching tonight. Make sure to be back here tomorrow night, when I talk to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.
Have a great night. See you tomorrow.
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