Return to Transcripts main page
GOP Candidates Face Off; Britney Spears Escorted to Hospital; Family Copes with Muscular Dystrophy
Aired January 31, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE BROOKS, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, McCain and Romney rip it up at the Reagan Library.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sort of falls in the kind of the dirty tricks that I think Ronald Reagan would have found to be reprehensible.
BROOKS: Dirty tricks or power politics? We`ll have some answers.
Plus, the meltdown continues. Britney Spears taken from her home and escorted to the hospital by dozens of LAPD`s finest.
Kix Brooks if country music`s Brooks and Dunn is here. The music legend will talk about his trip to Iraq to visit the troops.
All this and more, tonight.
BROOKS: Hello, America. I`m Mike Brooks, sitting in for Glenn Beck.
The race for the Republican nomination has been a boxing match so far. But it`s quickly turning into a street fight. Here`s John McCain and Mitt Romney, trading blows over who`s the real conservative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: There are a number of pieces of legislation where -- where his views are out of the mainstream, at least in my view, of conservative Republican thought. So, those views are outside the mainstream of Republican conservative thought. And I guess I`d also note that, if you get endorsed by "The New York Times," you`re probably not a conservative.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Senator McCain?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me note that I was endorsed by your two hometown newspapers who know you best, including the very conservative "Boston Herald." They know you better than anybody. So I guarantee the "Arizona Republic" will be endorsing me, my friend.
I`m proud of my record, and I`m proud of reaching across the aisle and getting things done. That`s what the American people want us to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: It looks like the gloves are off. That was from last night`s debate, where third-wheel Mike Huckabee took a swing at both men.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I want to make sure everybody understands; this isn`t a two man race. There`s a guy would like to say down here on the far right of the stage. If you want to talk conservative credentials, let me get in on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: So, who was the last man standing? Let`s ask John Ridley, a political commentator from National Public Radio. Liz Chadderdon is a Democratic strategist, and Josh Green, senior editor at "Atlantic" -- "The Atlantic."
Guys, welcome. I want to start by showing you one more of the more heated moments from last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Why -- why do you insist on not using the actual quote? That`s not what we said.
MCCAIN: We don`t want them to lay in the weeds until we leave. That is the actual quote. My fact checker...
ROMNEY: What does that mean?
MCCAIN: It means a timetable for...
ROMNEY: Senator, let me -- maybe...
MCCAIN: Let me jump in. The quote that I have...
ROMNEY: Is it not fair to have the person who`s being accused of having a position he doesn`t have be the expert on what his position is? How is it that you`re the expert on my position when my position has been very clear?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: I want to go right into John Ridley. I mean, this was, the gloves are off. It was just like there were two guys, and then there was the two guys down at the other end who kind of, you know, hey, we`re here, too, we want to talk. But is this just a lot of nitpicking over timetables, John?
JOHN RIDLEY, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: I think so. You know, you didn`t play Ron Paul`s response to that, and I think Ron Paul actually had one of the best responses yet all night. Why are we getting into this he said-she said, or he said-he said about semantics of who said what when, when there`s still substantive issues about Iraq that need to be dealt with?
And I`ve got to tell you, in that exchange, maybe Mitt Romney got the applause, but I don`t think either of them looked particularly presidential in that moment.
BROOKS: No. They really didn`t. And I think he -- Huckabee almost seemed like John Edwards was in the last debate. Like, "Hey, you know, I have a voice here, too." And then you had Ron Paul kind of taking up the rear.
Liz, what did you think about the whole debate?
LIZ CHADDERDON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I thought it reminded me a lot of the debate in Myrtle Beach about a week ago with the Democrats, where the two front-runners were kind of wallowing in the mud, duking -- duking it out. And then there was another guy sitting there, saying, "Hey, maybe I`m actually the best guy."
I thought that the whole answer last night on the war was really crazy. And I think Mitt Romney, who doesn`t have an answer on the war, was just trying to hide that fact. I mean, John McCain`s answer may not be what everyone wants to hear, but at least he has an answer. He says stay and fight.
Mitt Romney won`t tell us. Stay and fight or leave now. He`s just trying to cover up that he doesn`t have a point of view. And I think both of them ended up looking crazy last night.
BROOKS: John, do you think both of them looked pretty crazy last night?
RIDLEY: Do I think they did?
BROOKS: Josh. Josh.
RIDLEY: Josh, I`m sorry.
JOSH GREEN, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes, I do, for the most part. And you know, John McCain has the momentum going into February 5. It was Mitt Romney`s job last night to change the discussion, to change things.
I mean, yes, they both looked petty, but ultimately, McCain comes out the winner, because, you know, nobody`s talking about anything different than they were the day before. McCain`s still the frontrunner. Romney has done nothing to change the dynamic of the race.
And even the squabbling and fighting, the tone of voice he uses is the tone of voice you`d use to order a good bottle of wine from a nice restaurant. He seems incapable of genuinely kind of getting angry at McCain and having some kind of passion. So I think he lost.
BROOKS: Does anybody feel sorry at all for Mike Huckabee? You know, he was -- he was the media darling there for awhile. And now he`s kind of like the bastard step-child of the debates.
Josh, what do you think? You feel sorry for him at all?
GREEN: No, not in the slightest. I mean, look, Mike Huckabee came into this with no real organization, no money. He won in Iowa. He had an ample shot to take control of this race and become the nominee. He wasn`t able to broaden his coalition. And so he`s back to being kind of a second- , third-tier candidate on the outside.
He got a fair shot. He didn`t seem to be able to take advantage of it. So, you know, he`s certainly welcome to stick around. He plans to, through February 5, but you know, I think he`s right back where he belongs.
BROOKS: John, do you think -- do you think he should be staying around at all? Or you think he should pack it in and say, "OK, I give. Here, I`m giving my delegates to whomever"?
RIDLEY: I`m in favor, honestly, for anybody who thinks they can stick around, has the wherewithal to stick around, to do it. I like the idea that everybody`s got to fight for these votes, and whether it`s Democrats or Republicans, it`s not a coronation. It`s not a march to the sea.
And he`s going to be relevant at some point. He is going to have some delegates. He could possibly stand in Mitt Romney`s way in some of these southern states. And to make all of these candidates have to earn their votes. That`s not a bad thing.
BROOKS: Now, do you think he`ll split the social conservative vote and hurt McCain if he stays in there for Super Tuesday, Liz?
CHADDERDON: He could. But I just want to say, I feel terribly sorry for Huckabee. I actually think he`s the best of the three candidates, and I`m a little surprised that he`s not doing better.
His answer last night to the question of, would Ronald Reagan endorse him was the best answer anybody gave all night. I actually almost wanted to vote for Mike Huckabee after that, and I`m a Democrat. So, I`m a little surprised that Huckabee isn`t doing better.
I do think he`s going to continue to take a big conservative chunk of the vote. And it wouldn`t shock me if we see him considered for the VP slot.
BROOKS: Well, yes. It should be interesting to see who -- when he drops out.
Now Ron Paul. Why is he still here? Any of you?
GREEN: Because he`s got more money than anybody.
BROOKS: Where`s he getting the money? You know, where is he getting all this money?
GREEN: You can`t pay him to go away, because he`s got more money than you do.
There`s an excited activist core of people I still don`t really understand who send Ron Paul an awful lot of money. And, you know, as long as he`s got the resources to stay in the race, he seems to be sticking around.
BROOKS: Now, today, it looks like McCain picked up another endorsement. He got Rudy Giuliani last night and Schwarzenegger today. John, you know, is the rest of the party going to rally around McCain, or, are they just going to wait and see?
RIDLEY: Now this is -- it`s tough. Because you look at some of the people who are endorsing him: Giuliani and Schwarzenegger. These are not, you know, hard core Republicans. I don`t think whether that`s going to rally...
BROOKS: No, but Schwarzenegger is extremely popular in California.
RIDLEY: No, listen, he`s going to -- I mean, that`s going to help with the moderate Republicans. It`s going to help with the independents. But the problem, is these two guys, Mitt Romney and John McCain, keep trying to show their really conservative credentials. So is this going to help coalesce the base? I don`t know.
But I keep hearing all the time that the real hard-core conservatives, they`re going to stay at home. They may not end up voting for Romney or McCain. To me, that`s a doomsday scenario. What happens if McCain wins and the base doesn`t turn out? It makes them irrelevant. So I don`t know what kind of a strategy that is, either.
BROOKS: Well, the other question is, who is the real conservative? But that`s another question for another day. John, Liz, Josh, thanks.
Don`t forget Glenn`s live political coverage of Super Tuesday. Three hours of his unique take on this race, at 7, 9 and midnight, right here on Headline News. Don`t miss it.
Coming up next, Britney`s late-night trip back to the hospital. We`ll find out what`s really going on with the troubled pop star.
And, I`ll talk to one half of the superstar country duo Brooks & Dunn. Kix Brooks joins me to talk about his recent trip to the troops in Iraq.
BROOKS: The Super Bowl is right around the corner. But is the big game a big target for terrorists? We`ll take a look at security matters in just a bit.
But first, last night must have seemed like old times for Britney Spears. A huge entourage, a police escort, helicopters hovering overhead. Too bad she wasn`t on her way to a red carpet event.
After her lawyer secured a new psychiatrist, a judge signed a 5150 order that put Spears on a three-day hold at the UCLA Medical Center. That means she`s been deemed a threat to herself and others. According to TMZ.com, there`s a good possibility Britney`s stay will be extended to 14 days.
Here with more is Kim Serafin, senior editor of "In Touch Weekly".
Kim, what`s the latest on this train wreck?
KIM SERAFIN, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Oh, well, you know what? At least she`s getting the help she needs. I think for a long time, people have known this was spiraling downhill.
And according to a lot of sources and a lot of reports, this has been kind of in the works for a while. She had reportedly been seeing a psychiatrist, been seeing a therapist. This had been all planned out.
And as you just showed that B-roll, you know, you saw there was, like, a convoy of police officers and police cars and police helicopters bringing her to the hospital last night.
BROOKS: Yes, you didn`t see that circus like we saw last time with the paparazzi out in front of her house and the two ambulances, one with her, one with her son. We didn`t see that last night.
SERAFIN: Right, right. Well, there had -- there were a lot of paparazzi. But at least the police had been informed. At least this was for her safety, but also for the safety of a lot of cars on the road here. I mean, I`m sorry you see a lot of the videos, the paparazzi chasing Britney, Britney going through red lights, paparazzi going through red lights. It`s a danger to people even on the road here.
So, it sounds like she is in the hospital now, as you mentioned, for a three-day hold. Could be extended to 14 days, depending on how things work out. I mean, she has been deemed a threat to herself. And I think we`ve seen that, in a lot of the reckless behavior lately. The way she`s been driving around.
BROOKS: What`s the difference -- right. Recently, didn`t she just buy a new car, and got lost and they had to take her home?
SERAFIN: Yes, yes, she got lost up in the Hillshire House. She had to have a paparazzi, one of the photographers who follows her around, jump in the car to kind of get her out of there. Reports also, where that she hadn`t been sleeping. She hadn`t slept since Saturday. She hadn`t been eating.
And I don`t know how much this trickles out to the rest of the country. I know it does. But certainly, here in L.A., I mean, we get daily reports on the local news. The story of Britney, you know, has been just the local news.
The first story of her outings, you know, 5 a.m. in the morning, seen at Rite Aid; 3 a.m. in the morning, seen at numerous gas stations, you know; five trips to Petco in a day. You know, it`s just -- it`s sort of been this manic behavior.
And, of course, the reports are that she might be -- have bipolar disorder. That hasn`t been confirmed. But that is what people have been talking about.
And, you know, her companion, manager, friend, Sam Lufti, who`s been in the news a lot, and he called into Barbara Walters on "The View" earlier this week, saying that she had some mental issues. She`s dealing with them.
So it does seem like she`s getting the help she needs. The people around her, at least, recognize this. And one of the great things is that her family is there now. Her mom did come in and was there at the hospital last night. Her father was there. So, it does seem like people around her really care and want to get this straightened out.
BROOKS: You know, and that`s the important thing. I think she needs a good support system. But what about this paparazzi boyfriend? What`s up with him?
SERAFIN: You know, he was there last night. And, in fact, he took a car with her mother, Lynne Spears, to the hospital. So, the family at least, seems to be embracing him for now. There were rumors that they had broken up. Then they were back on again.
She apparently had been with him at the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday, went back to her house. There was some fighting. The psychiatrist came. It sort of all went down from there. And then, of course, at 1 in the morning was when she was taken to the hospital. Police had been called about 10, 11. The police helicopter was hovering about.
And you know, Adnan, the paparazzi boyfriend, does seem to be in the picture, still. You know, where this will go, we have no idea. You know, some days he seems to be out; some days he seems to be in.
SERAFIN: But it does at least now seem like people do care about her, and are not kind of making fun of her. They recognize that this is a serious disease and that she needs some help.
BROOKS: Right. And hopefully she will get the help that she really does need. But this story, we haven`t heard the last of it.
SERAFIN: Yes, thanks.
BROOKS: Joining me now for the legal implications on Britney`s forced hospitalization is Wendy Murphy, New England School of Law professor, former prosecutor, and author of "And Justice for Some."
Wendy, good to be with you.
WENDY MURPHY, LAW PROFESSOR: Nice to see you, Mike.
BROOKS: Thanks. So what are the legal implications? Tell us about this 5150 order, to begin with.
MURPHY: Well, you know, we did go through this, about a month ago. And at that time, on this very program, I said, well, 5150 is a temporary hold, a civil commitment, if you will, someone who`s struggling, either because of dangerousness issues or mental health issues. Basically, they`re either going to hurt someone, themselves or they just can`t take care of themselves. And in those circumstances, basically every state has something like this, Mike, where you can be committed.
BROOKS: Oh, absolutely.
MURPHY: For your own good. And the real question back then was, would she have to face those next 14 days in the hospital, as well? I predicted then, wrongly, that they would keep her for 14 days. It didn`t happen. She got out, I think, after 48 hours.
I think this time, given the brevity -- I mean, we`re talking about less than a month now, they`re probably going to keep her for 14 more days for a couple of reasons. One, obviously, she needs it. And, this -- the hospital now has to worry about their own liability. If they are going to let her go again, and say something happens, lawsuits will be flying. They don`t want that to happen. I bet they`re going to keep her.
BECK: I think they will, too. I mean, when I was a cop, there`s many times that I could articulate to someone was a danger to themselves and others. I could write them up, take them right over to St. Vincent`s Hospital in Washington. They keep them for a 72-hour hold.
You know, and then after that, though, if they let somebody out, I mean, I had -- I had a couple times where I let someone who attempted to jump off of a tower out. They let him right back, he`s right back up there. So again, you`re right about the liability.
Now, she`s 26 years old. What role does her parents play? Can they have any say in this at all?
MURPHY: Interesting question, Mike. I mean, we don`t know yet whether there are ongoing court proceedings around guardianship. But that`s what you`re talking about.
Although she`s an adult, there are times when people literally lose the cognitive ability to care for themselves. And, in those kinds of cases, a parent, even a boyfriend, I suppose, could be appointed by the court as a guardian, a caretaker, someone with power of attorney.
Not for the rest of her life. But for this period of time when she needs be making important decisions about how to manage her affairs, how to care for herself, how to keep herself safe.
I don`t know that that`s going on, but I hope that her parents, if they`re this involved at this point, which is a good thing, I hope they take that next step and say, come on, just give us extra authority and power over her. Look what she`s done over the past month. She obviously is incapable of taking care of herself.
BROOKS: Right. It`s just like someone who has Alzheimer`s who has their kids take care of them, and they have power of attorney, because it seems like she can`t care for herself. She can`t take care of her personal affairs.
Now what about the kids? What`s going to happen? After this 72-hour hold, maybe 14 days later, will she have any standing at all to try to get at least partial custody of the kids back?
MURPHY: Absolutely. She`s never going to lose her -- well, I shouldn`t say never. It`s highly unlikely she will lose her parental rights forever related to this type of stuff. I mean, people with mental illness, maybe they can`t care for their kids while they`re ill, but then you hope they get better and they do establish relationships that are healthy with their children.
I think the judge knows that she`s not well. And you don`t want to punish a person who has mental illness by saying, you know, damn you with your mental illness, lose your children. I mean, that could actually make her worse. Nobody wants that.
So I think what they`ll do is offer it up as a carrot. Stay in for 14 days, you get some phone contact. Stay in a little longer, do better, you get, you know, visits.
BROOKS: Now who will have say of when she gets out? Now, you know, is it going to be the psychiatrists who`s going to have to say, well, yes, she`s OK to go back out. But will they then notify the courts, who say she`s OK. She`s under treatment, and will she continue the treatment? That`s the question.
MURPHY: Well, look. Both the mental health care providers and the court system are going to be communicating with each other, and they both have an interest in making sure that she gets well. They`re not necessarily in charge of each other. So, I don`t know that anyone`s going to run to court to tell.
She needs a really good lawyer who cares about her, and not just that she wins against K-Fed.
MURPHY: My hope is that the judge, who should care, first and foremost, about the well-being of the children, will find a way to extract them from the situation, send them to a safe place.
MURPHY: And wait until she gets better and then bring them back together. I think that will happen. Might take a long time.
BROOKS: Well, you`re absolutely right. And, again, this is to be continued.
Wendy, thanks. Back in a minute.
BROOKS: You`re about to see an incredible story about a very special family. A story of unconditional love in the face of unthinkable hardship. They face more challenges in a day than most of us face in a lifetime. But you`d never know it from the smiles on their faces and the happiness in their home.
Here`s Glenn with their story.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): If you talk to Russell Clark, chances are, you`ll talk hunting.
RUSSELL CLARK, BORN WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: Actually got, chased it down a couple more times and got two more shots of at him and he was out there, like, way far away.
BECK: By the time Russell and his brothers were hold enough to hold a gun, their dad was teaching them to hunt. But times have changed. You see, all four boys have muscular dystrophy, and their days of running around outside are now just memories inside a photo album.
Muscular dystrophy is a slow deterioration of the muscles. The disease has put all four boys in wheelchairs and weakened their muscles. Ironically, it`s had the opposite effect on their spirit. The inner strength of this family has grown tremendously. And they all agree, it comes from one place.
ROY KLINGLER, UNCLE OF BOYS WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: One thing that really keeps this family going, the kids, is my wife.
BECK: Chances are, you won`t find Ruth Clark without a smile on her face. I never have. If not for the photos above her desk, you`d never know the tragedy this woman and her family has already endured.
RUTH CLARK, MOTHER: It was hard when she got sick, because we weren`t expecting that, you know? The boys had their health issues. We weren`t expecting this with Rebecca. And then she got sick with some rare genetic disease, and it just slowly took out body functions.
BECK: Ruth and Rick lost their daughter Rebecca when she was just a teenager. Their four sons lost their baby sister.
RUSSELL CLARK: To see that picture, just, of her, kind of makes me, you know, get through my day easier, just -- I don`t know, it`s kind of giving me that, you know, thinking that she is, you know, here, around, you know, watching after us.
BECK: It`s hard not to ask why. Why this family? Why so much heartbreak in one home? You can ask that, but the Clark family won`t. This family feels blessed. Their modest home is literally bursting at the seams with love. And, of course, animal mounts. Whether it`s Layel`s love of drag racing.
LAYEL CLARK, BORN WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: I got hooked on drag racing. After that, I went to drag racing snow machines.
BECK: Or Chris`s love of camping, there`s something about the outdoors that embodies the spirit of the Clark family. And it`s the boys` Uncle Roy who puts it best.
KLINGLER: It`s freedom. You know, as they are more and more confined to the wheelchairs, they love to be outdoors, because, not only, you know, the openness, but they don`t feel confined.
BECK: From tragedy comes hope. Sometimes life`s greatest blessings are found in the most unlikely places.
BROOKS: Glenn is hosting a benefit tomorrow night near the Clark family`s home in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to raise money to renovate their home so that it meets their unique needs. If you`d like to help, log onto the ClarkFamilyBenefit.org for details.
We`ll be right back.
BROOKS: Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn swings by, fresh off a visit to Iraq. I`ll speak to him about his upcoming tour and what`s it like to perform for our troops, in just a bit.
But first, earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff gave an interview to the BBC about the continuing threat from Islamic extremists. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at the map of the world, where does the biggest threat come from, for America?
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, I think one of the things we`ve become concerned about lately is the possibility of Europe becoming a platform for a threat against the United States.
We`re obviously mindful of the Madrid bombings, the attempted bombings in Germany, the airplane plot of 2006. And that suggests to us that the terrorists are increasingly looking to Europe, both as a target and as a platform for terrorist attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: He didn`t single out Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan. He singled out Europe. So, let me ask you. As Americans who have now been told by your own head of homeland security that extremists may be looking at Europe as a staging ground for attacks, is this what headline you want to read in a British newspaper? "Government Renames Islamic Terrorism as Anti-Islamic Activity to Woo Muslims."
So, the British government is more concerned with renaming the violence than stopping it? That should work out well.
Mark Steyn is the author of "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It."
Mark, thanks for joining us.
The government has now officially renamed Islamic terrorism as anti- Islamic activity. You know -- I was with the FBI`s joint terrorism task force for six years. I don`t know what to think of this. What`s the motivation?
MARK STEYN, AUTHOR, "AMERICA ALONE": Well, I think they -- they feel that it`s a way of reaching out to their Muslim populations. And it has a kind of logic about it. You could, in a sense, enable -- name Pearl Harbor an act of anti anti-Japanese activity, in the sense it gave the Japanese a bit of a bad name.
But the -- but the reality behind this is something more difficult. It`s the difference between the struggle against radical Islam for America and for the Europeans is that, for the Europeans, this is a civil war. It was a Hamburg cell that pulled off -- from Germany that pulled off 9/11.
The shoe bomber was a British subject. The four guys who blew up the listen London tubes were British subjects born and bred. This is not something caused by yak herds -- yak herds deep in -- deep in the Hindu Kush. If he was, it would be a lot easier to do.
It`s actually -- the main cells are driven by the most westernized Muslims, the ones who have been exposed to our world for a long time and decided they don`t like it.
BROOKS: And those are the one who can best infiltrate any American groups, and because they know how we are. How is this political correctness going to hurt Britain, the U.S., and, you know, they want to bomb us back to the Stone Age?
STEYN: Well, I think -- I think the way it hurts us is that we actually -- it means we actually -- we actually can`t talk about it openly.
I`m very sorry if Muslims are hurt and offended by the terrorism that`s committed in their names. But that`s actually not what`s at issue here. It`s -- it`s almost like a parody of multicultural victim culture, to say that the first thing that happens when a train explodes or a bus explodes or someone flies a plane into a skyscraper is that you should then seek to reassure the population in whose name it was committed.
And this has been going on almost since September 12, 2001. If you remember, back then, every single president and prime minister in the western world, the first thing he did was jumped into his car and went to a mosque for a photo opportunity. It`s all very well reassuring moderate Muslims, but that`s not what this is about in the long run.
BROOKS: No. I mean, this whole political correctness, especially when it comes to terrorism, in my opinion, has got to cease and desist.
BROOKS: Today, we had an al Qaeda leader killed in Pakistan. Now what does this political correctness say to al Qaeda? You know, and how does it move our enemies?
STEYN: Well, it says to them, basically, we`re the wimp culture. You bomb us, and we want to try and figure out a way to apologize to you. And it gets to the heart of the problem.
You know, the United States is great when it comes to devising high- tech security systems, planes, bombers, tanks. We do that kind of stuff very well. But at bottom, this is an ideological struggle, and you`re not going to win it unless you confront the ideology.
And this parody of appeasement that her majesty`s gotten and is going in London, is completely ludicrous. It`s an Orwellian distortion of language, which is disgusting anyway, but it`s self-defeating Orwellianism, in that it`s something that`s patently absurd. So all it does is actually destroy the public`s faith in what the government is telling them.
BROOKS: Right. Mark, I can tell you, I know the people over New Scotland Yard. I`ve worked with them before from SO-13. They want to do the right thing, but they don`t have the backing of their -- the politicians. They can`t do the job.
Now, while we`re talking about homeland security, the most frightening day of the year for me is the State of the Union address. And I`ve been involved in security planning for a number of them.
You have the president, the vice president, all the cabinet members, the Supreme Court, joint chiefs and the entire Congress all in one room, with only one person kept away in case the worst happens.
But in a close second place for biggest target of the year is Super Bowl Sunday. With thousands of people in attendance and a live worldwide television audience, encompassing hundreds of millions more, the only people watching Phoenix more closely this weekend than terrorists are the police: federal, state and local. And that might just make it the safest city in the country right now.
Craig Gundry is the vice president of special projects for Critical Intervention Services and a counterterrorism expert.
Craig, thanks for being with us.
CRAIG GUNDRY, CRITICAL INTERVENTION SERVICES: My pleasure.
BROOKS: Now, security planning. What are they doing right now?
GUNDRY: Well, the planning process actually started long before -- long before this week. It`s been going on for months. Coordinating the efforts for a large number of different agencies, both federal, state and local.
It was a large entity of private sector security personnel. In order to design both an effective proactive security strategy in order to prevent incidents from occurring, as well as designing various different types of contingency plans and making sure that preparations are in effect, so, if something does occur, we can mitigate the effects as effectively as we can.
BROOKS: Now with all these millions of people watching it, why is the Super Bowl a target?
GUNDRY: There`s a variety of different reasons. Keep in mind, when we talk about terrorist groups, there`s a variety of different criteria that they look at, as far as selecting an ideal target. One of which is, symbolic value.
If you look at the Super Bowl from a symbolic perspective, the Super Bowl is an American institution. It`s a symbol of American culture. Then, there`s the density of people that are present. For terrorist groups that seek mass casualties, the Super Bowl is an ideal venue.
And then you`ve got the news factor, as it were, with the media coverage factor, with all the news cameras that are present. All it takes is a small incident. One doesn`t even need to create a very grand effect to draw a tremendous amount of media attention. If you look back at the Centennial Park, for example...
BROOKS: I was involved in that investigation.
GUNDRY: Yes. We had 24-hour news coverage for weeks.
BROOKS: And we would, too. I mean, you know, the tools of terror. But OK. Walk me through the different types of threats that we`re talking about for such a huge event. Or, they call this a special security event.
GUNDRY: Sure. Well, as far as the various spectrum of threats, as it were, obviously, we`re concerned about more conventional types of threats that we encounter with any type of large venue: things like improvised explosive device attacks, IEDs, perhaps a suicide bomber or suicide bombers transporting devices into a facility or perhaps a hand-carried device.
But and there`s also the possibility of an armed assault, perhaps one or more individuals carrying weapons into the facility that when then use those to attack people.
And then there`s also more nontraditional types of threats that also look at, too, such as chemical and biological attacks. Both airborne attacks as well as even simpler forms of attacks, such as contaminated food and beverage, as well.
BROOKS: Well, I can tell you, during the Million Man March a number of years back in Washington there was a threat. You talk about airborne threat. Some people were overheard in a cafe up in Maryland, talking about possibly driving a plane over, when we had the whole big anthrax scares.
GUNDRY: Sure. Absolutely.
BROOKS: We`re talking all kinds of scary stuff here. If we`re -- what are we talking, though, in terms of security, planning, and preparation for this. What`s -- I know it started last year. It started after the last Super Bowl.
What`s going on right now on the ground, in Glendale?
GUNDRY: Right now -- right now, they`re in the process of doing final preparations, making sure that the personnel that are going to be deployed out to the field know exactly what their very specific roles are, exactly what their role, both in terms of proactive security as well as a response to different types of emergencies.
The various different types of technology support that`s going to be implemented, that`s being put in place right now and tested out. The command and control centers, as it were, for both the state and federal, as well as local authorities, are being set up, put in place. People in the process of testing out everything from communication systems to CCTV.
BROOKS: Right, OK. I`m a lucky guy, or woman, and I`ve got a ticket to the Super Bowl. I`m sitting at home right now going, OK, Mike, OK Craig, I`m going to the Super Bowl. What should I be looking for? And I always talk about vigilance alerts. What can people be looking for if they`re going to the game?
GUNDRY: Sure, well, you know, going to -- going to a venue like this, there`s certain things that people should always keep in mind. Doesn`t matter whether it`s a Super Bowl or any other type of location that can be a potential terrorist target.
First of all, be aware of the behavior of people that are in the environment. Keep in mind what`s normal. At an event like the Super Bowl, you`re going to have people there to have a good time. You`re going to have people that are psyched up about their team, a lot of people talking and joking and things like that.
Look for anything that looks unusual. Anybody who`s too serious, perhaps. Anybody who might be dressed unusually for the environment. Maybe somebody whose, you know, behavior indicates some type of nervousness or tenseness.
BROOKS: Sure. Craig, we got to wrap this up. We appreciate the great information. The bottom line, if your gut tells you something is wrong, let somebody know about it.
Country music legend Kix Brooks is coming by, next.
BROOKS: Even though it`s not at the top of the news cycle these days, there`s still a war going on in Iraq, and the morale of our troops over there is a huge concern.
So, when we heard country superstar Kix Brooks from Brooks and Dunn was just returning home from a USO trip over in the Persian Gulf, we asked him if he would stop by and give us his impression of how they`re holding up.
Kix, thanks for all you do, and thanks for being with us. And welcome back to the U.S.
KIX BROOKS, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Thanks, it`s good to be home.
BROOKS: I bet it is. How long were you over there for?
K. BROOKS: About a week.
BROOKS: Where did they take you?
K. BROOKS: Well, we started in Kuwait. We went into Baghdad City, saw the bombed palaces and all that stuff. And we were at a couple of camps there. I won`t mention where they are for security reasons.
K. BROOKS: And then we headed a little further south, got into some really, you know, parts of -- parts of Iraq that had been hit really hard. And you could, walking around that camp, and, seeing the pictures on the wall and going through there chapel, you really got a feeling for what all they`ve been through in the last few years.
And then we came back to Kuwait, met with the troops that were actually fixing to go into Iraq, like had been there four days and were just about to see their first action. And that was -- that was an eye- opener, too.
It was really all good. I was -- I was thoroughly impressed.
BROOKS: I bet. Because you get to see the troops. You get to see the troops that are there in the action. You get to see the ones, the men and women who are getting ready to go over there. It had to really tug your heartstrings, knowing what they`re going ready to get into and just left there.
K. BROOKS: Yes. Big time. And, you know, the one common denominator was the -- was the enthusiasm and the focus. And the, we want to finish this mission that I got from all the troops.
You could tell difference in the troops that hadn`t been and ones that had. But they all seem to have the same positive attitude about the mission. And it was a real eye-opener for me, because it`s -- it`s hard sometimes just being a pedestrian, just watching the news, trying to get a feel.
And especially at this point in the confrontation, but I learned a lot from -- the thing that impressed me the most was, since the surge, which I was somewhat familiar with, but -- but talking to quite a few of the commanders, the amount of violence.
In one particular area, they had in incidences, at their height that were almost 600 a day. And that`s time in the cash (ph) or being shot at, or a bomb blowing up. But 600 a day for this one camp is now down to four.
BROOKS: Well, I know they appreciated you being over there. Let them have a little levity, a little entertainment.
K. BROOKS: It was fun. The plan was great. You know, they sang along with the songs. And you could tell, they were up for a good time, you know? And then they were headed for the Humvees.
BROOKS: Well, now you`re back here in the U.S. Now, we`re getting ready to go to Australia. What`s -- what`s going on down in Australia?
K. BROOKS: We`re going to go play some hillbilly music down there, you know? My partner, Ronnie Dunn, and I, I mean, we`ve been looking to get down there for a long time. And we`re going -- we`re hitting three cities. We`re going to Melbourne and Sidney.
And we put a show up in Brisbane. We sold out almost right off the bat. We`ll put up another one, so we`ll be doing five shows instead of three. We`re looking forward to it.
BROOKS: That`s your first time down there?
K. BROOKS: It is.
BROOKS: That`s great.
K. BROOKS: Fired up.
BROOKS: I bet you are. Now, are you taking your tour bus with you? I heard you got kind of a real shabby tour bus.
K. BROOKS: Oh, yes. The ships are already headed out with our tour buses. And no, no, we`re not going to. We`re not even taking guitars. I swear. We`re renting everything. We`re just going to -- we`re just going to take what we got.
BROOKS: Really? You`re renting guitars?
K. BROOKS: We are.
BROOKS: Wow. I bet the rental people down there will be happy to hear that.
K. BROOKS: You know, I don`t want to lose them. That`s a long way to go with all that stuff. And they got good guitars in Australia, I`m sure.
BROOKS: You think they would. All the cows they got.
K. BROOKS: They got to. Keith Urban came from Australia. They got to have good guitars.
BROOKS: That`s right. Now, what`s your relationship with Ronnie Dunn like? How do you complement each other, and who takes longer to get ready?
K. BROOKS: Oh, he does. He takes longer to get ready. We`re getting along great. We`re grown men. We got our own buses. So you know, when we tour, there will be a lot of days we won`t see each other until we hit the stage. But that makes it fun.
BROOKS: I bet it does.
K. BROOKS: There`s a reason we`ve been together for 17 years, and we`re still having a good time making music.
BROOKS: And you`re still making good music.
K. BROOKS: Thanks.
BROOKS: I`m a big fan. Now, I hear that you`re kind of getting into something else now besides just country music. You`re starting up a little wine business?
K. BROOKS: Oh, yes.
BROOKS: Tell me about that.
K. BROOKS: Well, we`re having a ton of fun. I`m -- I`m a big fan of wine anyway, and I ran into a guy we turned out to be really good friends. And he makes great wine. And we talked about it enough. Three partners, actually, are in on this. It`s called Arrington Vineyards.
And it`s funny. We`re going to introduce our wines in New York City on Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday. We`re having a big kick-off party.
BROOKS: That`s great.
K. BROOKS: Looking forward to doing that. And we make a whole array, 12 different wines, you know, from a dry cab to a raspberry that`s just nutty. So yes, we`re into it, having a ball with it.
BROOKS: Where are the vineyards in Tennessee?
K. BROOKS: They`re just south of Nashville, about 30 minutes south of Nashville. And we`ve got probably 20 acres of vines, but we import a lot of grapes from California, Oregon, New York.
BROOKS: Well, thanks for all you do. Thanks for being with us.
K. BROOKS: Appreciate it. Thank you.
BROOKS: Coming up, one devoted fan pleas for tickets for the big game of Super Bowl Sunday, and the trade he`s prepared to make. Stick around.
BROOKS: If you`ve just landed tickets to the Super Bowl, you might have trouble finding a place to stay.
However, if you feel like giving up those tickets, there`s a Patriots fan who will give you a place to stay for a whole year. Christa Delcamp with WHDH in Boston has the details.
CHRISTA DELCAMP, WHDH, BOSTON: So, this is it.
RICHARD DELUCA, OWNER, DELUCA PROPERTIES: This could be home sweet home.
DELCAMP (voice-over): And it could be home sweet free home. That is, if you make Richard Deluca the one offer he cannot refuse.
DELUCA: I wanted to get into the Super Bowl. So I was looking some way to take something that I have that somebody else might want and vice versa.
DELCAMP: Call it a Super Bowl barter. Two tickets for him, one year of free rent in a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment like this for you.
(on camera) Have you gotten any takers? Do you think you`ll get any takers?
DELUCA: I`m waiting for that -- I`m just hoping, waiting for that one person that it`s going to fit. And when it does, it will all come together.
DELCAMP: When you say one person that`s going to fit, what do you mean by that?
DELUCA: A person that needs an apartment, happens to be looking for something on the South Shore, happens to be looking for a one bedroom. And happens to have Super Bowl tickets.
DELCAMP (voice-over): Do the math, and Deluca says it`s a $12,000 value.
(on camera) Some of these Super Bowl tickets are going for that apiece, and you want two tickets.
DELUCA: I`m not looking for the expensive ones. I`m just looking to get in the door.
DELCAMP (voice-over): And this landlord who is looking for a deal is also sweetening it tonight.
(on camera) Anything else you want to throw in? Or...
DELUCA: Well, I`ve been thinking about it, and I thought that I would even throw in, if the Patriots win, I`ll throw in a high definition TV.
BROOKS: You hear that, Tom Brady? Forget about another ring. There`s a TV riding on this.
From New York, good night, everyone.