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CNN Larry King Live

Osama bin Laden's New Taped Message/The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Aired September 07, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the world's most wanted terrorist is back in what looks like the new first Osama bin Laden videotape in three years released today. We're going to talk with a former CIA officer who bin Laden mentions by name in the tape and with men who have interviewed bin Laden face-to-face.
And then, the parents of missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann now named suspects. Her family says the mother was offered a plea deal -- two years in jail if she confesses to accidentally killing her own daughter. And reports new DNA evidence show Madeleine's blood in a car her parents rented 25 days after she was reported missing. One shocking new twist after another, and we've got all the latest from Portugal.

Plus, friends who have spoken with the McCanns, today including Elizabeth, Smart's father.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

That voice you heard on the intro was mine, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Still fighting a tough infection here, the sinuses, and hope to be better by Monday.

We have an outstanding panel to discuss the Osama bin Laden tape.

Here in New York is Paul Cruickshank, the investigative journalist, a fellow at Center on Law & Security at NYU School of Law, featured on CNN's special, "In the Footsteps of Bin Laden." And he collaborated with Peter Bergen on the book, "The Osama Bin Laden I Know."

Mike Scheuer is the former chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit. He's the author of "Imperial Hubris" and "Through Our Enemy's Eyes". By the way, his upcoming book is "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq". And he was mentioned in the Osama bin Laden piece today.

Peter Bergen is CNN's terrorism analyst.

Peter Arnett is the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, former correspondent here, who interviewed Osama bin Laden in '97.

And Noah Feldman, senior fellow on the Council On Foreign Relations, professor at Harvard Law and author of the forthcoming book, "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State."

We'll start with Peter Cruickshank.

What do you make of it?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, TERRORISM ANALYST, NYU CENTER ON LAW & SECURITY: Well, Osama bin Laden is showing that he's alive, that he's well. This is the man that's the inspiration for the global jihad. He's key to the unity of the global jihad. He's proven that he's still in business. We've seen attempted terrorist strikes in Germany in the last few days. Al Qaeda regenerated a lot of its capabilities and now its leader is in a new videotape.

KING: Mike, what was it like to have yourself mentioned?

MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER CIA OFFICER MENTIONED BY NAME IN BIN LADEN TAPE: You know, I thought it was a useful thing, sir, simply because my book is simply based on what the enemy has said. And it's always good to think about the enemies' convictions on the basis of what they say.

And what bin Laden said today was exactly what he's been saying for 12 years, that this war is not about elections or liberties, democracy or women in the workplace. It's about the impact of our policies in the Islamic world. And because we won't talk about that here in America, we're not adequately defended.

KING: Peter Bergen, he takes on the Democratic Party, as well.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Yes, it was kind of a strange speech, because usually he dresses -- dresses these things up with a lot of religious rhetoric. There wasn't much of that. It was sort -- sort of -- he mentioned Noam Chomsky at one point. And, in fact, it was like a neo-Chomskylike critique of the American body politic, talking about how giant corporations are controlling American politics. He even mentions the Kyoto Treaty at one point. Kind of a bizarre speech for him, unusual for him. But, obviously, you know, the main message is he's alive, he's well and he's still out there.

KING: And Peter Arnett, what do you see as the point of it?

PETER ARNETT, FORMER CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, INTERVIEWED BIN LADEN IN 1997: Well, what struck me, Larry, was that a lot happens in 10 years. When Peter Bergen and I interviewed him in the White Mountains of Afghanistan in March of 1997, he was very much the field commander, very direct in his attacks on the United States, challenging American power in the Middle East. This recent tape struck me as more like him being a CEO. Now, this doesn't mean to say that he's not, you know, involved very much in Al Qaeda today. But he seems to be, you know, pulling back from his direct role of 10 years ago.

KING: And what, Noah Feldman, is he attempting to do?

What would please him as a result of this?

NOAH FELDMAN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: He's trying to set it up so that if and when we withdraw from Iraq -- which he perceives happening sometime in the future -- he will be able to say that it's because of him. He'll be able to say he has changed the course of world history and that our failures in the world are the direct results of his provocation. And last but not least, he never fails to mention that just like the Soviet Union collapsed after withdrawing from Afghanistan, so we, the United States, and what he considers our global empire, will also collapse after we've withdrawn from -- from Iraq.

KING: Late today, President Bush responded to the tape.



GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The tape is a reminder about the dangerous world in which we live. And it is a reminder that we must work together to protect our people against these extremists who murder the innocent in order to achieve their political objectives.


KING: How has he been able not to be caught, Paul, and to do these tapes?

How does he pull it off?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, he's been very, very careful. You know, one thing is, he's not released too many tapes, so there's not much of a signature out there. But he's, you know, hiding, one thinks, in the mountains of Pakistan. It's a very large area. The terrain is very difficult. It's difficult for U.S. Special Forces to go in. They have to get Pakistani permission, often. So he's a difficult man to go after. He has a circle of people around him who are very, very loyal to him. Taliban commanders have said in recent times that there may be five or six people around him, very loyal bodyguards, and they're protecting him.

KING: Why, Mike, has he done so well?

And he has, obviously, done well.

SCHEUER: He's a, you know, he's a very tough character. I think we forget sometimes he's been at this business for 20 years. He's an experienced insurgent and an experienced terrorist and he's a tough, dedicated man, Mr. King.

I would make one point, though, on what Dr. Feldman said. There's always lacking in bin Laden's speeches very much ego. If he wanted to claim that he was the victor, that would be a good thing for us. But when we're defeated in Iraq and when we leave Afghanistan defeated, what he will say is that Islam triumphed, that Allah triumphed. He's about the least egotistical world figure you're ever going to run into.

KING: Interesting.

Peter Bergen, is he -- he is then, therefore, truly a religious man?

BERGEN: Yes, I mean if you asked us -- if bin Laden was on the show and you asked him directly, Larry, what this is all about, he would say this is the defense of true Islam, that he's part of a vanguard defending true Islam, that God will punish him if he isn't doing what he's doing. He -- you know, he's a religious fanatic. I mean that's the only -- the most powerful explanation of what he's doing. That's based on -- you know, I've talked to his family and his best friends from the university, etc. And they always come up with sort of more or less the same explanation, that this is a guy who firmly believes that he is doing God's will.

KING: Does that, therefore, Peter Arnett, make him an even tougher foe?

ARNETT: I would think so, Larry.

I remember in our interview, he pointed out very clearly, as he said, indeed, in the recent interview, that he and his forces -- followers -- were able to destroy the Soviet Union. He claimed that Soviet defeat in Afghanistan led to the overthrow of the Soviet Union. And he said the next great power to go, basically, is the United States.

So he had illusions of grandeur. And, you know, what impresses me, he's succeeded in certainly scaring the world, because I've been lecturing in China recently and I can talk about Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro. But when I flash a picture of us meeting bin Laden on the screen, there is usually a gasp of surprise and horror from all of the audiences, Larry.

KING: Noah Feldman, the title of your forthcoming book, "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State," how much of a rise?

FELDMAN: So far, the Islamic states that have come into force in the Middle East haven't done all that well. And I think that's mostly because they haven't been able, so far, to put together governments that satisfy ordinary people, that they're really delivering political justice.

On the other hand, the existing, mostly secular states in the Middle East, are also, for the most part, doing a pretty poor job. And so as long as that continues to be the case, there will be people in the Muslim world who look either to bin Laden or to more moderate Islamist figures and say what we need Islam. Islam is the solution that we need to improve our own lives.

KING: Back with more of this outstanding panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE following these words.



BUSH: We will not allow ourselves to be terrorized by somebody who thinks they can hit and hide in some cave somewhere. (END VIDEO CLIP)


TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He did not just hijack planes, he's hijacked a country.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I was full of regret that I didn't get him.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, June 18, 2004)

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we will get Osama bin Laden. Eventually, we'll run him to ground.



GEORGE TENET, CIA DIRECTOR: When he escaped, how he escaped, I don't know. And I wish we had caught him.


KING: We're back.

Paul Cruickshank informs me that Osama bin Laden watches this show.

CRUICKSHANK: That's right, Larry. You know, after 9/11, bin Laden met a Pakistani journalist and he said to him,

I'm running a big war and I need to be informed of the enemy. So he watches -- he watched your show at that period, even after 9/11. And bin Laden more generally really believes that the media part of the war is absolutely crucial. He told Mullah Omar once that that was 90 percent of the battle. So the timing of this tape, on the sixth anniversary of 9/11, he knows he's going to get the maximum of impact.

KING: So what, Mike, would he get out of watching this now?

SCHEUER: Well, I don't know if he'll get much out of it now, sir. I think he knows that the people on this panel know what he's up to. I'm -- he's very -- I'm very confident he wants American politicians to know what he's up to. But it's not going to work. We've heard Secretary Chertoff and Miss. Townsend and the president continuing to talk about evil and the war against our civilization.

You know, there was a comment the other day about Mr. Paul marching to Al Qaeda's drummer. Well, the truth of the matter is that it's all of the Democrats and the Republicans except, perhaps, Mr. Paul and Mr. Kucinich, who are marching to Osama bin Laden's drum. KING: Peter Bergen, based on all this, does the war on terrorism ever end?

BERGEN: Well, I mean the war on terrorism is not going to have a, you know, a treaty signing with bin Laden declaring the end of the war. We're just going to manage -- the way to, you know, to win is essentially to manage it back into the situation where terrorism is really a nuisance, where basically you don't invite this panel on the program because Al Qaeda is sort of out of business. And that, you know, that is going to take some time.

Of course, the Iraq War has reenergized them. But in the long- term these guys have strategic problems. They've killed a lot of Muslim civilians. They don't have a positive vision of the future. They keep adding to their lists of enemies and they don't really enjoy mass political support.

So, in the long-term, the prognosis is pretty good. In the short and medium-term, I think the prognosis, Larry, is not so good.

KING: Aesthetically, Peter, what do you make of the darkened beard?

BERGEN: You know, personal vanity is everywhere.

KING: Peter Bergen, would you agree?

ARNETT: Yes. That was -- that was Peter Bergen. That was Peter Bergen speaking.

Yes. I agree. You know, when we interviewed bin Laden 10 years ago, he looked much older than he does look now. So I think it's an interesting point.

Earlier, you mentioned, you know, you talked about watching your show on CNN. I notice some have been saying that there's a lot of punditry in this recent tape by bin Laden. That may be the reason -- he's been watching your show a lot, Larry.

KING: Yes.

Noah, what goes on?

Does he -- where does he go from here?

FELDMAN: I think that he realizes that spectacular terrorist attacks are so difficult to carry out that he can't rely on them to get him major, major attention. And he's trying to take credit for the insurgency and, indeed, even for the civil war in Iraq, with the hopes that he will be able to describe what happens in Iraq -- whatever happens in Iraq -- as the result of his, at least his movement's, basic view of the world. And that enables so say he's on the world stage, even if he doesn't have spectacular terrorist attacks which are, of course, the things that got him on the world stage in the first place.

KING: Paul, in a sense, has the Iraq War benefited him?

CRUICKSHANK: The Iraq War has really benefited bin Laden. You know, around the time of Tora Bora, bin Laden was very depressed. He felt that the Americans had basically routed him in Afghanistan. The Iraq War gave Al Qaeda new legs.

A study that I did with Peter Bergen found that there's been seven times more jihadist terrorism around the world after the Iraq War.

KING: Mike, would you agree?

SCHEUER: Oh, yes, sir. The war in Iraq broke our back in terms of coping the and keeping contained the Islamist problem. We, unwittingly, I hope, fulfilled the predicate for a defensive jihad. We're an infidel power that invaded a Muslim country unprovoked with -- and then occupied it and tried to put in secular laws. It's exactly -- according to the Koran, the responsibility of Muslims in that situation is to respond violently against the occupier.

KING: Peter Arnett, what a new administration change things much?

ARNETT: It would change things in Iraq. I don't think it would change much in the war of terror, unless the U.S. did redirect its energies toward Afghanistan. You have a resurgent Taliban at the moment. This must, in the short-term, help bin Laden.

So maybe you'll see a redirection of effort if the Democrats got in power, Larry.

KING: Peter Bergen, optimistic or pessimistic?

BERGEN: In the long-term, quite -- quite optimistic. In the medium and short-term, somewhat pessimistic. I mean Al Qaeda is regrouping. The Taliban is regrouping. Al Qaeda in Iraq is somewhat strong. You know, the Frankfurt operation, which was averted, if it had succeeded, would have killed a lot of Americans. This is a group that is not back to where it was on 9/11. But it's certainly capable of attacking in places like London, as it did on July 7th, 2005.

KING: And, Noah, Osama goes where?

FELDMAN: I think that because his message is basically a religious message, he's can essentially continue to make it indefinitely. I mean the real core of his message is that the world ought to be a religious place, that Islam is the best of religions, though he says that Christianity and Judaism are sort of second -- second best in that. And for that reason, there's no limit to how long he can make these kinds of arguments.

And, by the way, Larry, I think that's actually the reason that he's dying his beard. He wants us to think that he's around for the long-term, also.

KING: Thank you all very much.

An outstanding panel. An Incredible story.

Up next, nonstop shocking news all today in the case of the missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann. Her parents are now suspects in her disappearance. And we're going to hear from the little girl's aunt, who broke the news of the mother's plea deal today. And she's next when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. A surprise twist. The parents of missing Madeleine McCann named suspects in her disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A stunning turn of events in the investigation into the disappearance of 4-year-old Madeleine McCann.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're being told that detectives have offered a deal if she admits to her guilt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We haven't heard, until now, about possible blood found in a rental car used by the McCanns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sudden and astonishing shift in the case of Madeleine McCann.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Her story begins innocently enough. Kate and Gerry McCann, a British couple, take Madeleine and her twin 2-year-old brother and sister on vacation to a resort in Portugal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, Gerry, we're on holiday.

COOPER: On the evening of May 3rd, after the children were asleep, Kate and Gerry left their ground floor room and the kids alone to have dinner at a restaurant about 300 feet away. A short time later, Kate went to check on the kids and says she discovered Madeleine was gone.


KING: And that story continues to get more bizarre all the time.

Joining us in Liverpool, England is John Corner, a friend of the McCanns, parents of the missing little girl, godfather to Madeleine's younger twin siblings. And he has been speaking with Madeleine's mother, Kate.

In Salt Lake City is our friend, Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped and recovered. He's become a friend of the McCanns and has spoken with the father, Gerry.

In Portugal is Robert Moore, the ITN correspondent who's been covering this from the start. And on the phone in Scotland is Philomena McCann, who is Gerry's sister and who broke the news today that there was some sort of plea bargain offered to the mother.

What can you tell us about it, Philomena?

PHILOMENA MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S AUNT: Well, just what I said, you know, (INAUDIBLE) she would confess to a claim that she (INAUDIBLE) would be given a sentence, you know, very reduced, like two years or even less, if she just said that she accidentally killed Madeleine, something that she's never going to say because there's no truth in it whatsoever.

KING: What do they tell you, your brother and your sister-in-law, about all of this?

MCCANN: Well, just that they -- as much as possible they've been helping the police. And they can't believe how this has turned right around with them becoming suspects in this case and the fact that all of their attention now seems to be focusing on them, and Madeleine has not been looked for with the vigor and intensity that they want.

Madeleine is still missing. They're still looking for her and yet the police are not.

KING: What do they think happened?

MCCANN: Well, the police are trying to suggest that some kind of ridiculous accident and then that they have kept Madeleine's body hidden, to move her around 25 days or so later, and put her somewhere else. I mean the speculation is utterly stupid. And not just that, it's insulting. Gerry and Kate have been watched by the world media since the day that started. To even suggest such a ridiculous story beggars belief.

KING: Philomena, remain with us.

We're going to call on you for a few more moments here, in addition with our panel, if you can hang with us.

Robert Moore, you've covered this from the start.

Is that -- are they both through with being questioned?

ROBERT MOORE, ITN CORRESPONDENT IN PORTUGAL, HAS INTERVIEWED BOTH PARENTS: Yes, they are now. They both have gone home and have left the police station. But, yes. I'm hearing the same from my sources here, essentially, it is extraordinary how the Portuguese investigators have handled Kate McCann, in particular. They simply said to her if you confess to killing Madeleine, we can guarantee that you'll have two or three years in prison. They even suggested that she'd be out free again after a year, she'd be able to see her twins grow up.

And Kate just was shocked by that and completely rejected it out of hand. She sees it emotional blackmail, as intimidation. And she is adamant, as is Gerry, that they are innocent of all connections to the disappearance of their daughter.

KING: John Corner, you're a friend of the McCanns.

Isn't it logical, though, for the parents in a case like this to be initially suspected?

JOHN CORNER, GODFATHER TO MCCANNS' TWINS, HAS BEEN SPEAKING WITH MOTHER: Yes, you're right, Larry. It's procedure. And right at the beginning of Madeleine's abduction, both Kate and Gerry were very, very carefully and rigorously questioned. And you get a sense that you're questioned, it's cleared, you can move on and you can start the actual campaign, the search, the fight to find Madeleine, who is missing, who is still missing.

And to have come full circle in this way, after four months, is bizarre, quite frankly, and flies in the face of common sense.

KING: Ed Smart, as I remember it, you were -- well I don't know if you were ever a suspect. You were questioned, though, in the disappearance of Elizabeth, were you not?

ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART, SPOKE WITH GERRY MCCANN TODAY: Oh, yes. I mean family members -- I was considered a potential suspect. You know, it's not unusual at all. I mean that's the first place they've got to check.

The thing is that this has gone on for, what, over 100 days. And, you know, the -- I spoke with Gerry this morning and he was absolutely outraged that the police could come to this point, when they haven't really done any of the things they should have done. Initially, there was a person who said they saw a man carrying off a young girl. And they could have done a forensic artist's rendering on that and that has never been done.

When Gerry and I spoke before, I said, you know, Gerry, have they brought in a specialist?

Have they brought someone to take a look at the whole investigation and see where somebody might have overlooked?

And he said no, they wouldn't even consider that.


SMART: That wasn't even a possibility.

KING: How have you become friends with them?

SMART: One of my friends at the National Center put us in touch. And in July, we talked for some time. And we've been in touch. I've been in touch with them two or three times in the past week. And I mean my heart just goes out for them. I just think this is outrageous.

KING: And you have complete belief in their story?

SMART: I have complete belief. I mean why would a parent, one, subject themselves to the criticism of having left their children and then to stay on in Portugal for four months -- for four months looking for her?

If they were a suspect, why wouldn't they have just gone home and kind of let this die out and not care?

They care very much. And I know, I know in my heart that they are absolutely not the ones. And, you know, somebody's got to get in there and be able to help the police see that they cannot have the tunnel vision that they have, because they are missing what could be out there.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with lots more on this.

Don't go away.


JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": This is a small police agency in Portugal that has never dealt with a case of a missing child, has very limited resources, is having all kinds of scrutiny from the media throughout the world. It's not unusual for them to focus back in on the family when they're frustrated and don't have any other suspects.



KING: Philomena McCann, we're going to let you go because I know how tired you are, but one other thing. Did your sister-in-law, Kate, say anything to you about the possibility that she would be charged?

P. MCCANN: She just said that it remained a possibility, but -- and that was all she knew. But she wasn't about to be charged. And I'll tell you that's totally underestimated Kate. She's not going to take this lying down. She's going to continue to fight and hunt for Madeleine, and they'll be fighting the Portuguese police if they have to because it's an outrage.

KING: How are the twins doing?

P. MCCANN: The twins are doing plenty well, actually. And my mother's been out here helping and my sister, and they just love having the extended family around them. The kids are coping remarkably well.

KING: Thank you. You're doing a noble job. Philomena McCann.

We welcome now to our panel John Corner, Ed Smart and Robert Moore remain, Dr. Cyril Wecht, the famed forensic pathologist and attorney, former coroner of Allegheny county, and Candice DeLong, former FBI profiler joins us from San Francisco. Dr. Wecht, what do you make about this blood report in the car?

DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, it is possible that blood from a garment or some other inanimate object could have been transferred to a car subsequently. I have read -- been told that the car was not rented until 25 days later. The point that I want to make here, Larry, is this. A dead body is not something that you flush down the toilet, throw in a garbage can, burn like a piece of paper or hide as if it were some piece of paper, a document. A dead body decomposes. It gives off a powerful odor. These people were under scrutiny. The news media were there.

The timeline is very tight. Did this accidental death occur before they went to dinner? How much time elapsed from the time that they were last seen before they went to the restaurant? With whom were they dining? What was the time that elapsed from the time that they left the restaurant until they got back and they called into the police? Where is this dead body?

There was limited time presumably for them to have disposed of the body, and so there's a geographic area that certainly should have been searched with utmost meticulous scrutiny.

KING: Does this mean, Dr. Wecht, that you doubt their guilt?

WECHT: Yes, I do. Where was this body for all of these days? And they were remaining there, and there is no way that they could have taken a little jaunt and thrown that baby somewhere, from the little I know about the Algarve area. This defies my olfactory senses as a forensic pathologist.

KING: Gotcha.

What does it do to our former profiler Candice DeLong? What do you make of this case?

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, a lot of the information we're talking about tonight really has not been confirmed by the police. One of the things that I would like to say is regarding this lengthy interrogation that the parents are now suspects, the parents didn't just become suspects. They've probably been -- should have been at least considered as possible suspects from the very beginning. And Larry, the reason for that is, in the vast majority of cases of missing children of this age, not all, the vast majority, it turns out that they are missing and were murdered by a parent. Approximately 75 percent.

KING: Wow.

DELONG: So that's why the parents always have to be looked at. That certainly does not mean they did it.

KING: What's the typical motive?

DELONG: Well, oftentimes what we see when very young children -- and we're just talking here, we're not talking necessarily about Madeleine -- when they are murdered by a parent, the motive more often than not is that it was an accident. Oftentimes we see children that are murdered by a parent were hit so hard that they died having to do with blunt force trauma to the head. And what you're looking at when you see a child killed that way is the results of a parent that lost control of their temper and hit a young child way too hard. And sometimes the parents that this happens to, they call the police, and sometimes they stage the crime scene and try and make it look different. And sometimes they try to get rid of the body.

KING: The longer this takes, Dr. Wecht, is it going to be harder to find who did it and find her?

WECHT: Yes. Larry, to be realistic, I believe this amount of time having passed, that it is extremely unlikely that the remains will ever be found. And what remains may be found if they are not out in the ocean will skeletonized. You will not likely find a cause of death. And after this amount of time and assuming that the search has been done with some diligence and thoroughness, it doesn't seem that the body is going to be found.

And I just want to point out, too, and I don't say this because I'm a physician. Physicians can and have been guilty of some terrible crimes. But these are both physicians. And with regard to the comments that were made with which I agree, remember, blunt force trauma inflicted to the head by physicians is an injury that they would be quite cognizant of. And to inflict that kind of severe trauma such as to produce death from an intracranial bleed is something that you just would not expect from physicians.

KING: Thanks, Dr. Wecht. Thanks for joining us. As always. And when we come back, John Corner, Ed Smart, Robert Moore and Candice DeLong remain. Don't go away.



GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE'S FATHER: Never, never, ever jeopardize the investigation. And I think it's critical for people to realize that.

KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE'S MOTHER: We will do anything to cooperate with the police to get Madeleine back.

G. MCCANN: We hope and pray for her every single day that today will be the day that Madeleine will be found.

K. MCCANN: We beg you to let Madeleine come home.


KING: Robert Moore, how is the -- before we meet some other panelists joining us -- how is the Portuguese media treating this?

MOORE: Well, frankly, we're a tidal wave of rumor. And frankly, many of the Portuguese newspapers are openly saying that they believe that Kate and Gerry are involved in the disappearance of Madeleine. You know, I spoke to a source close to the investigation. I was asking how Gerry has dealt with the questioning. And she said, well, just imagine how an angry Scot is defending the honor of his wife. In other words, Gerry is giving as good as he gets to the Portuguese detectives.

There have been some very, very angry exchanges in this police station behind me. You know, certainly it's becoming a high-octane questioning of both Kate and Gerry. They are trying to defend themselves every inch of the way now.

KING: We're joined by two of our legal regulars, Stacey Honowitz, the Florida assistant state attorney. She is in Miami. And in Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, the criminal defense attorney. Mark, how does this look to you? Does it look like a railroad or what?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, actually, it happens so often, it's surprising to me that it's not publicized more often. The reason that most people aren't jumping on the bandwagon in this case is because both of these people have acted right, if you will. I mean, generally, if you don't act right, that's when the police start to focus on you, and then that's what the media starts to kind of blitzkrieg you, if you will. In this case there hasn't been anything anybody's ever suggested where either one of these people have ever acted differently than they should have, and consequently, I think that's why there's been so much support. Clearly, the -- anybody who's at least watching what's going on, some of the things that have been suggested, at least by the police in the investigation, just appear to be ludicrous on their face.

KING: Stacey, how do you view it?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, I think what viewers have to remember is they're not charged with anything yet. They're just listed as suspects. And under Portuguese law, in order to go from a witness to a suspect, you have to be declared a suspect because that will forge you more rights. Because if they want to ask you deeper questions, which they think might incriminate you, you have a right to remain silent, as we do here, or to have a lawyer assist you.

And in this case, although they are questioning them more thoroughly, they did get lawyers, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be charged with a crime. So right now all we have is rumor. We don't know what the evidence is. We're going to have to wait and see what comes out of this.

GERAGOS: Yeah, but Stacey, having defended thousands of people, I can tell you something. It's extremely difficult, once you've been named a suspect, to ever get that back, especially if the case is never solved.

HONOWITZ: Mark, I'm not -- listen.

GERAGOS: That follows you around the rest of your life.

HONOWITZ: I'm not saying that they won't always be listed or people might think that they were involved, but that doesn't mean they're going to be charged with the crime. You can never get your reputation back, that's true.

GERAGOS: Why do the police have to reveal it? Why do they have to let this out? Why is this something that needs to be out there in the public realm?

HONOWITZ: Quite frankly, I don't know if they did reveal it. They went to them early in the week. I think on Monday they called them and said we want to question you more thoroughly. That's -- and then on Wednesday, the lawyer went and said, we're going to go in and represent them. I don't know what the police did.

GERAGOS: Right. In response to the leaks.

KING: Let me get in one more question for Candice DeLong who is going to be leaving us. Candice, do you believe this case will be solved?

DELONG: Well, I agree with Dr. Wecht. The longer it goes on, the less likely is that it will. I do believe that if Mrs. McCann had nothing to do with this, and certainly she -- I can't see this as the type of person that would say -- will take a plea agreement just to end it, if she is truly innocent. It's pretty unlikely, statistically, that Madeleine was taken by a stranger for some kind of nefarious reason.

KING: Huh.

DELONG: But we'll see.

KING: Thanks, Candice, as always. We'll come back, John, and Ed Smart. Will rejoin us and be heard from again. Stacey and Mark Geragos, as will Robert Moore. Right now let's check in with Randi Kaye sitting in for Anderson Cooper tonight. She'll host AC 360. Randi, what's up?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Larry, thanks. We'll also be hearing some of the new Osama bin Laden tape. The two alternatives he delivers for Americans and President Bush's reaction from Australia. Also tonight, a 360 special, "Fallen Prophet: Polygamy on Trial." A jury is getting ready to decide the fate of Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader and former fugitive. Tonight, a look at the case against him as well as chilling words from the star witness for the prosecution. A brave young woman now under police protection. That's all tonight right here on 360, Larry.

KING: Thanks, Randi. That's at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. By the way, if you missed our interview with President Bill Clinton Wednesday night, download it at or on iTunes. We talked about everything from Senator Craig and the 2008 presidential elections to the president's new book, and the campaign about how you can change the world. Download a great podcast at or on iTunes.

We'll be right back.


JUSTINE MCGUINNESS, MCCANN SPOKESPERSON: She's a loving and caring mother. And anybody who knows Kate would know that she wouldn't hurt a fly.

JOHN MCCANN, MADELEINE'S UNCLE: Put the facts on the table. Let's see what they are. Because anybody who knows Gerry and Kate knows that to implicate them in any way is ridiculous.

SUSAN HEALY, KATE MCCANN'S MOTHER: What everybody forgets is there's a missing child. There's a child that's taken from an apartment. Who's doing anything to find this child?


KING: John Corner, does it hurt you to the core when you hear an FBI profiler say that the odds are 75 percent that the parents did it?

CORNER: It's very unusual to listen to, Larry. It's more unusual to listen to them talking about Madeleine as a dead body because we truly believe she's out there, and she's still alive. And certainly Kate is holding on to that belief and so is Gerry. I can just say, though, I think as far as the investigation goes, I think there's a tremendous amount of hindsight going on.

Nobody could have ever imagined that the media profile would have become as huge as it is. And I think it's becoming a national embarrassment for the Portuguese. I think there's a real pressure on the police to wrap it up. And there's also a cultural difference as well because the Portuguese mindset is very much that this is a British problem that's been imported into their country. And I think this focus on the family is part of that, that cultural attempt to wrap it up as a British issue.

KING: Ed Smart, you, too, had to listen to reports of your daughter's death.

SMART: I did. And Elizabeth was and is alive. And Gerry truly believes that Madeleine is still alive, and this is diverting the attention from where it needs to be. And this morning when I spoke with him, he was so concerned that the Portugal police were under such pressure, he says, "Ed, I would not be surprised if they, you know, don't plant evidence in the car, you know, to have them think that there's DNA in this car that I rented after the fact is just outrageous, and what could they possibly have? There's no chance in the world." And you know, he is just ...

KING: Boy. You'd go berserk if you didn't do it.

SMART: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I really feel in my heart there's not a chance that they were in any way involved. You know, the police have got to wake up and realize that they have got to focus where the focus needs to be, and they need to do this forensic artwork this they need to get the picture out there. The public is what creates awareness, what brings children home. And if they are focusing on things that are nonproductive, which is what they're doing now, then, you know, Madeleine is somewhere.

KING: Mark, have you ever defended a parent accused of killing a child?

GERAGOS: Yes, as recently as last week.

KING: And if they were innocent, isn't that the hardest thing to live through, not only is your child gone, but you're being accused?

GERAGOS: Well, it's twofold or maybe even threefold what the problem is here. First of all, you're being accused. No parent, as we've discussed before countless times, ever wants to even imagine that their child is going to die before them. I mean, it's the worst thing you could ever have.

Then when you have the police -- when you cooperate with the police and then when the suspicion starts to get focused on you or the accusation's on you, that compounds matters, and it compounds just the sense of confusion and shock. But then when you're this far removed from that initially and you see that they're wasting their time and their resources on you, you want to reach out and choke somebody. It's just ridiculous at a certain point.

KING: Stacey, is the prosecutor between a rock and a hard place in something like this?

HONOWITZ: Well, I think what we really are losing sight of is the fact that when you are doing an investigation, if certain leads come up, for instance, this alleged blood evidence found in their car, you have no choice but to go down that avenue. Once again, I'm going to tell you, they're not charged with a crime, Mark.

GERAGOS: Wait a second.

HONOWITZ: They are not charged with a crime.

GERAGOS: OK. Can I just ask you a question here, Stacey?

HONOWITZ: Wait. They have to be able to investigate.

GERAGOS: If they found blood in that car, how are they going to say at this insipient stage of the investigation we know it was an accident, we're going to offer you two years? If they honestly believe that this woman had something to do with it, why are they offering her, you'll be out of this in a year? And how insulting is that that if she didn't do it, she would take that one year and put it behind her? Why? Because she never wants to find her child again? So the investigation will stop? How stupid. It's utterly stupid.

HONOWITZ: I'm not saying what the police did by saying to her, listen, take this plea and we'll get it all over with, I can't tell you why they did that.

GERAGOS: Because they're brain dead.

KING: Let her finish, Mark. GERAGOS: They're brain dead.

HONOWITZ: People are asking questions, why are they interviewing the parents?

GERAGOS: Because they're desperate.

HONOWITZ: If they focus in on the family, they have to. OK?

GERAGOS: They already did. They've had four months. They've had four months to do it. It's obviously pure desperation.

HONOWITZ: Can I ask you one question? Do we have any idea if any of the statements between the mother and the father, and I don't know so I'm not saying -- do we know if there were inconsistencies?

GERAGOS: Of course there's going to be, yes.

HONOWITZ: There could be evidence that we don't know about.

KING: We've got to get another break, folks. Hold it. We'll be right back.

GERAGOS: Of course there are inconsistencies. Nobody's going to be ...

KING: We'll be -- the dynamic duo returns after this.


K. MCCANN: Please, please don't hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her. Or put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is. We need our Madeleine. Sean and Emily need Madeleine, and Madeleine needs us.



KING: Robert Moore, has the public generally supported this couple in Portugal?

MOORE: Not necessarily in Portugal, but certainly they have in Britain, as you'd expect. I think the key point tonight in many ways, Larry, is we just don't yet know the strength or the consistency of the forensic evidence. You know, but what is clear is two sets of people under supreme pressure. Most, obviously, Kate and Gerry McCann, but also the Portuguese police here. They don't have a body yet. They've been making a lot of accusations. So the forensic evidence had better be pretty good.

KING: Think we're going to solve it, Mark?

GERAGOS: No, I don't think they are. I think -- well, are they going to solve it correctly?

KING: Yeah.

GERAGOS: That's probably a better question. They may solve it, and I'm not so sure that the way they solve it will be the correct way.

KING: Stacey?

HONOWITZ: I don't think anybody knows anything. I hope they find the child alive, that's the bottom line to all of this.

KING: Ed Smart, are they confident -- are the parents confident?

SMART: The parents are very confident that she's still out there. And with that confidence, I hope they're able to move forward and focus on what needs to be focused on and find this girl.

KING: Did you remain confident throughout?

SMART: I did. I felt like Elizabeth was out there. I had these impressions, and I could not give up. And I know that Gerry and Kate feel the same way.

KING: John, you think we're going to find Madeleine?

CORNER: I absolutely hope so. I think Ed's got it spot on there. I think in the U.S., you're world experts on child exploitation and being able to deal with these abduction issues. I think Europe is absolutely decades behind. One thing that will come out of all of this, whatever happens, is that Europe really has to wake up and do something about its boundaries and Pra de Luce (ph) is a very, very sleepy place. It doesn't even have a police force. And I think Kate and Gerry were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

KING: Well said. Thank you all very much. By the way, don't forget to check out our Web site, You can download our newest podcast, President Bill Clinton. Or you can e-mail upcoming guests or participate in our quick votes. You can even sign up for our newsletter all at

Next week, Suze Orman will be with us and Rachael Ray. And Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters and Dr. Phil. And now in for Anderson Cooper to host AC 360 is our very own Randi Kaye. Randi?