(CBS) BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on Face the Nation, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and the latest on the missing intern from D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey.
Secretary of State Colin Powell just finished the Bush administration’s highest-level talks to date with Chinese officials. Did he make any headway on a missile defense system or on human rights? Can the United States do anything about the latest violence in the Middle East? All of these are questions for the national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.
Then we’ll turn to the case of the missing intern and talk with D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey and with two reporters who’ve been covering the story, Tom Squitieri of USA Today and Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee.
Gloria Borger’ll be here, and I’ll have a final word on role models. But, first, Condoleezza Rice on Face the Nation.
ANNOUNCER: Face the Nation, with Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer. And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.
SCHIEFFER: And we turn now to that story that just won’t go away, the story of the missing intern Chandra Levy. Joining us this morning, the District of Columbia Chief of Police Charles Ramsey.
SCHIEFFER: And we’re joined now by two reporters who have been covering the case, Tom Squitieri of USA Today and Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee.
Michael, criminal elements, investigation, all of that beside the point, it is appearing now that the career of Gary Condit as far as a politician, in my view, is pretty much over.
MICHAEL DOYLE, Modesto Bee: Well, I’m not sure that’s the case, and we certainly don’t know that that’s the case in the congressman’s own mind. I think we have to look at what’s happening in Washington and what’s happening in Sacramento. In Washington there are at least five members who called for his resignation and a chief ally, Charlie Stenholm, who has denounced his actions.
In Sacramento, the Democrats are now redistricting. And what happens in those two places and in Mr. Condit’s district will be shaping over the next month or so, I would say, his future.
So, I don’t think we could say that his future is over.
SCHIEFFER: But, isn’t all of this scrutiny on his office and the operations in his office, aren’t there a lot of things now coming to light that might otherwise have not come to light?
DOYLE: I think that is one byproduct, that when one thread is pulled, other threads start coming out. And there is a certain unraveling. And we reported yesterday about charges related to campaign spending not done by any Condit employee, but it was a byproduct of the search into Chandra Levy. And certainly there have been other stories about the congressman’s raising questions about the behavior. And so, that is one threat to his political career if those stories will be continuing.
BORGER: Tom, you’ve been looking into the FBI profiling of Chandra Levy. This is something they do when they try to get into her mind, what mindset she was in when she disappeared. What has the FBI learned about Chandra Levy?
TOM SQUITIERI, USA Today: Well, clearly, what they have learned is that the woman who came here last fall is not the woman who disappeared in April or May. That a security-conscious person, obsessed with security, somehow that lowered her threshold in what she had to do every day, whether she was really caring about security.
For example, Gloria, you know, missing interns may not tell tales, but former mistresses and angry relatives do. And from these people, the relatives of Chandra Lvy and the other women who have alleged similar relationships with Congressman Gary Condit, the law enforcement authorities are able to paint a pattern of this sort of cult-like mentality that Chandra Levy may have been caught up in.
BORGER: What do you mean by that?
SQUITIERI: Well, we have reported and others have about the rules that Congressman Condit imposed on her behavior, both entering the apartment, who not to talk to. And one of the key ones is you withdraw from your relatives, for the most part, and your friends. If you look at comments by Chandra Levy’s friends, they were concerned about her not opening up to them like she used to when she came to Washington. That’s a sign of withdrawal, and that means you’re not always on your game.
SCHIEFFER: This is kind of interesting to me, you’re comparing this to some kind of cult. Because in a sense – and I would ask what you think about this, Mike – you also see some of that sort of developing in this office, where you have these loyal aides. It now turns out that the aides are dating some of the same women that Congressman Condit is dating. What about that, Mike?
DOYLE: Well, “cult” is a term for it. Another term is loyalty. And the congressman actually has had, in some respects, an awfully loyal staff. Six of his 16 employees now have been with him for more than a decade. Some of them are now being questioned, or about to be, by investigators.
So as to whether it’s a cult, maybe one way to look at it. Another is simply these are people who have worked with the congressman a long time and trust him.
SCHIEFFER: Are Democrats or Republicans, is there any movement out there in the district now of people going to run against him?
DOYLE: Right now there is a city councilman, Bill Conrad, who ran against him in 1996 and was thrashed soundly. There’s a state senator, Dick Monteith, who has so far said that he would run if there were an open seat. But Republicans are holding their fire right now, waiting to see what unfolds.
BORGER: Tom, hasn’t this loyalty question really led to now questions about obstruction-of-justice charges against some of these loyal aides?
SQUITIERI: Absolutely. I mean, what’s being looked at in the aftermath, as Mike said, is whether these aides lied about Congressman Condit’s behavior and where he was at certain times. For example, denying that he had a relationship with Chandra Levy, perhaps driving him for this drop-off over in Virginia of this watch case.
That is the peripheral – as Mike said, the other threads are being pulled now, but the loyalty – when you are loyal to somebody and do actions that may be improper, they’re still improper whatever your reason for doing them.
SCHIEFFER: Gentlemen, we have to stop here. Remembering what the chief said again today, they are no nearer now to finding Chandra Levy than they were in the first miutes of the case.
Thanks so much to both of you.
I’ll be back with a final word in a moment.
SCHIEFFER: Finally today, I was looking at what’s playing at the movies, and it made me wonder, are people getting tired of people?
Think about it, the summer’s first big hit was “Dr. Doolittle Two,” an add-on to the old story about a doctor who can talk to animals, at least the ones who speak English.
Next came “Cats and Dogs” about a conspiracy of cats who were trying to take over the world, only to be foiled by a secret army of dogs.
Then “Jurassic Park Three,” yet another chapter in that story about dinosaurs, opened last week.
And now, what must be the fourth or fifth version of “Planet of the Apes,” which features, this time, Charlton Heston as an old monkey with mixed feelings about guns, and also includes the first interspecies kiss on the lips between a human and an ape played by Helena Bonham Carter. Hey, I’d kiss an ape if she were Helena Bonham Carter.
Anyhow, I have no idea what has caused this trend, but in this age when our sports heroes are so spoiled, our elected officials fail to inspire, and the corporate code for advancement is driven only by the bottom line, it is good that we can look to animals as our role models. They are today’s rarity – loving, loyalty, hardworking and almost never duplicitous.
And for the record, I have always admired beagles.
Well, that’s it for us. We’ll see you next week right here on Face the Nation.