tv Consider This Al Jazeera December 14, 2013 9:00am-10:01am EST
day of the newtown massacre. consider this: 20 children and six teachers killed. a american is actually a spy, despite denials. how will this revelation affect others who are hostages. painkillers and blood pressure medication, how do we balance medical advancement with environmental concerns? and drinker, heavy drinker, was bond, james bond, an alcoholic? >> i'm antonio mora, welcome to consider this. we begin with another school shoot, after newtown, connecticut 27 people including 20 students died. students with their hands up
being fleeing arapaho high school. a female snunt her mid teens was shot, she's in surgery in critical condition. a second student has minor injuries. a third student is hospitalized but it's not known how that happened. the gunman took his own life. one mother described her feelings as she waited for her child. >> scared to death. scared. we moved here right before columbine so i'm really nervous. best thing ever to know she's okay and all of her friends are okay so i'm good. >> meanwhile in newtown, connecticut, families have requested a media blackout for this anniversary weekend. found parents trying to work through their pain and use it as motivation for change. >> here it is (laughing).
>> oh cute. >> at any time care for her dress so much back then. >> joe sil ver lights up as he tells about his daughter lauren about. >> she was always smiling, always happy, she would come up for weekends and like, hi papa. >> along with porters who lost loved ones , j.iles daughter is never far from his thoughts. >> she calmer running around naked and there were five people in front of me and she would say hi, and she disappeared. so that was a funny part i remember that one well. >> she was her father's daughter, never missing a chance at a good laugh. and that humor has helped
his l many mourning. a day he always dreamed of spending by lauren's side. >> yes, i was thinking about it and i always joked with mer about when i walk you down the aisle lauren i said i'll tell you how your first poopy diaper was out of the hospital. that was yucky. she says you're not going osay that, daddy, i said i'll whisper in your ear, that was the joke i was going otell her about the first yo diapers. >> lauren was a teacher universally loved by students and facts alike. >> teaching was what she was playing with mer doll. she was a teacher. and she would line up her dolls and load chairs and she would be in front and would teach them, teach them how to read, how to write and just was very intense on teaching.
she had that from very early on in life. >> and later on in life, many jiles got chance to see his daughter. >> she handled 20 first graders and second graders and they listened to her. >> that morning lauren found that unfathomable courage. >> she took the first bullets, probably. >> knowledge jilesing entered sandy hook promise. >> trying to control it, hopefully, not have as many killing as we had. as we're having right now. >> despite heart felt lobbying efforts by newtown parents including jiles, the senate
failed to pass gun control legislation this year. jiles is undeterred on amission. >> to make lauren proud. >> gianna is heartbreaking to watch. you talked to other people, you walked around town. what was the feeling? >> spent the day with jiles, what a sweet man, talked to people on the street. what a resilient community. i mean these people are so strong, in positive spirits. you see christmas lights up, preparing for holiday season but at the same time, you can still see you know one year later still very much in pain. >> we respected their request for a media blackout this weekend, we're not there as i think most other media outlets will not be. what are they planning on doing? >> really this weekend it's quiet. it's time for families to continue to mourn in private and
spend time with each other and friends. earlier this week there was a vigil in washington, d.c. and press conference in newtown. but really this weekend it will be a quiet weekend in newtown. >> many families in newtown became active in the gun control movement. not all, there were some ton other side as well, despite all the overwhelming reaction after the tragedy and certainly a majorities of americans favored gun control legislation it did not pass. what did you find as you looked throughout the country as to what gun control efforts have happened -- what has happened with gun control around the country? >> definitely. i think it's important to note that sandy hook, those who have lost loved ones have lobbied at a state level as well. if you look at this map, the blue represents the gun control laws that have been passed, 41 in total. and you know obviously the yellow is so much more present
on this map because gun rights laws, 93 have been passed in the last year. i mean huge disparity here. >> the yellow states are the ones that have tighter laws, that some have looser laws? >> yes many, right, exactly. the gun rights laws those that protect gun rights are the yellow. i think it's also interesting to note that gun rides advocates and activists outspent gun control by $10 million. we are seeing polarization, nothing new in this country but even more so now. those states who were gun friendly before the shooting are even more so now. and those who favored stricter gun laws moving further that way. this gap is increasing further polarization. >> thank you very much. after
newtown, relentless focus on improving mental health care. i'm joined by jill reimer, thanks so much for joining us. the newtown families, in an effort to keep the same from happening a year later, asked being media to stay away, you see the shooting in colorado anniversary. do you worry that that might retraumatize the newtown families? >> well, i think that any shooting of this type is trauma traumatizing for many people around the country, certainly many parents. however this one is slightly different in that it was in a school that had older children in it. and i think that one of the issues in newtown was, the impact on younger children and young families. and so there is some slight differences. but i do think that there will be some impact on the families
that lost loved ones last year. >> and you know a lot of those families because you were parts of a crisis response team that went to newtown day staff shootings. you spent several days after that. some team members were there for months. did anything prepare you for something like that? >> no, no. i don't think anybody can ever really be prepared for this. when we received the first phone call, in the beginning information was coming in, we immediately sent down our de-burn team which is a disaster response team understanding there would be a need for a lot of behavioral support help. i went down following morning and really, until you were there on the ground, i don't think you realized exactly what was going on, and exactly how caught up we were all going to get into it, as well as how deep the needs were. and so these teams that go in are trained to go in, subpoenaed few days -- spend a few days,
just get out rapidly and let local providers take care of the needs. in this instance, because of the degree of crisis that occurred, we did have to stay in for about three months trying to get backup plans in place. >> you told the connecticut mirror, there's been a sea change since newtown. what has changed? >> one of the things that changed obviously, there was the debate about the gun laws and, as a part of the public act 13-3, which is known as the gun law, actually, there was resources put into mental health. and the resources focused on a number of different things. one was trying to engage individuals who are difficult to engage in treatment, either because of their illness or because of the discrimination that's associated with mental health and substance abuse problems, there were -- we've put together teams to go out, act teams that will go out into the communities to try and
engage some of these difficult-to-reach individuals. part of the law was to do what is called mental health firsts aid training which is an evidence based trainings that we will be doing in all of the schools but we are extending to communities to be sure there is ongoing education about mental health in hopes again we can impact the discrimination that is experienced by people. and again this idea that people with mental health issues are violent. and that simply is not true. >> right, certainly not all of them are. but snernl most of these major -- certainly in most of these major cases of school shootings and other great tradges in the country, there have been issues of mental health involved, when we look at aurora and the navy yard shootings.
one thing you have talked about is the difference between connecticut and being new york state, passed a law where psychiatrists have to talk, tell police officers if there's a patient who's likely to harm other people when doctors are concerned their patients should be dangerous. you don't think that connecticut should pass a similar law? >> we have laws that address that. if they believe they're a danger to themselves or others then they are expected to either have that patient transported to an emergency room for psychiatric evaluation, call the police and have them transport that individual to an emergency room for psychiatric evaluation and then a decision is made about whether they require hospitalization. so i don't see our law as that dissimilar for that which is done in new york. i think some of the difference is, perhaps the slight
difference is that it's knot necessarily mandated in law. but -- not necessarily mandated in law. but it is certainly expected. if somebody is a danger to somebody else specifically we have to warn that individual. so i think we have pretty tight laws that do take into consideration the amount of dangerousness that somebody might pose to either themselves or others. >> gun rights advocates say that none of the laws that have been proposed since newtown would have kept the shooter from getting a gun. can any of the changes in connecticut's mental health system have kept lanza from shooting others? >> i'm not sure anything that we have done in the mental health situation would necessarily have kept him from doing this. i'm hopeful that through conversations we are having and the increased emphasis on mental health care and trying to intervene earlier in the future we might be able to intervene. one of the issues that certainly comes into play here is that the amount of stigma and
discrimination that people experience, and that families experience, keep them from accessing treatment. so while i don't know anything about adam lanza's psychiatric illness or diagnosis, what i do know, and what has been very public was that there appeared to be money set aside for his treatment. we know nothing about whether that occurred or didn't occur. what that does imply, perhaps is in spite of having private insurance and having the means to access care, for some reason that path was not chosen. i don't know why but i can hypothesize that participant of that is related to not wanting a diagnosis in your record, not wanting your child to be stigmatized at an early age and not wanting people to know what's going on at home. >> patricia reimer we appreciate you joining us tonight. >> thank you.
>> it may be one of the most serious scandals in the history of the cia. retired fbi agent robert levinson was in fact a cia agent according to a new associated press report. for years the u.s. government denied that, claiming levinson was in iran on private business. more than two years have passed
since his family received this video showing him alive. >> please help me get home. 33 years of service to the united states deserves something. >> diswroing u -- joining us frm washington, d.c. is ted bridas, oversaw the story about robert levinson's cia connection. appreciate you joining us tonight. the united press knew for some time, that he was a cia agent but the ap decided to air it now. >> diplomat ic knowledge efforts have stalled. the iranians almost certainly knew he was a cia contractor.
also this was an important accountability story. you alluded to the fact that this was a cia scandal. it was in fact a scandal. the cia analyst should not have been running operatives in the field but that is what they were doing. this was in its heart an important accountability story and until yesterday there had been no public accounting. there had been some people let go from the cia, some people had been disciplined, a $2.5 million payout to the family, and the senate, you know, the cia confessed to the senate that it had initially misled them and told falsehoods about bob and his ties to the cia. >> that was another revelation in the report, that the cia quietly paid levinson's family $2.5 million, to head off a lawsuit that would have revealed all sorts of information about
the cia. several were disciplined. how did it explode into the scandal? >> bob disappeared in march of 2007 during a trip to iran. it wasn't until october of 2007 when his family very diligently searching was able to come up with e-mails that irrefutably tied bob to cia operatives that directed him to iran. told fairly broadly that the cray had no exposure that bob was not working for cia at the time that this was all a private trip by a private businessman. >> that was repeated over and over again but florida being be senator bill nelson isn't pleased with the story. he told you to hold the story and jay carney agreed with him quite forcefully. >> we believe it was highly
irresponsible to publish and when we strongly urged the outlet not to publish out of concerns for mr. levinson's safety. >> your reaction to that,ed the? >> you know we all -- ted? >> we all want what's best for bob, we would all like bob to be released and arrive home. it's easy for the cia not to want a being story published, that exposes a constantly, that had never been told. the ap did not sending bob to iran, that was the government. >> what about the government's role? did not do enough to find him. they say bob is a courageous man who has dedicated himself including risking his own life in service to the u.s. government but the u.s. government has failed to make saving this man's life the priority it should be. he or the family seem to be okay
with you guys publishing all of this. so has the government completely dropped the ball here? >> well, i think family was always sensitive to the risk that this sort of exposure would bring on bob. just as the white house and others. you know, the ap had withheld publishing the story for three years. and in previous instances the administration was able to give to our public, temporal arguments for why we could not at that point publish the story. >> has the government done enough to get him out of iran or where he might be? >> the family is exasperated. they want bob home. we certainly have been for years talking with u.s. government insiders who have tracked down leads, such as they were, who have tried to jump-start negotiations. typically in
vain. has the government done enough? over the last three years, diplomacy has stalled. they have absolutely no leads on how to get bob home. >> do you think, given all the investigating you've done, we have not seen any evidence that he's alive since 2011. do you think he is alive? >> we don't know. no one knows. the government has to imagine, in the absence of evidence, or proof that he's dead, they have to imagine, and operate, under the auspices that he's alive. we just don't know. certainly, in the photos, in the video, that the family received, circa 2010 and 2011, he did not look healthy. >> we can only hope that he is still alive and some way can be found to get him back home. it is a facinate ing story.
thank you for talking with us. thank you. >> roxann is now a reporter for al jazeera america, we are joined by don berelli, formerly a member of the fbi joint task force, working on the levinson case. you were held in iran, what was your reaction to see the associated press out bob levinson as a cia agent, what do you think about others being held by governments around the world? >> my first thought was prisoners in iran, facing accusations that they are a spy for the cia. it is not an uncommon charge in iran. some of these prisoners have been political opposition figures but a lot of them are oftentimes just journalists or bloggers. >> or three hikers that were put into prison and accused of being
cia agents. >> exactly, and they were held for quite a long time. my first thought was this could not help them because their captors could use these latest revelations as justifications against the prisoners. they say, you say you're innocent, the american government said robert 11 sow was in the a cia agent but he was. why should we believe you. >> there are two other prisoners in iran, amir hekma trvegmati. accused of spying and the pastoring accused of proselytizingproselytizing.
>> the being accusation is that he's been setting up house churches. christianity. in the case of amir hekmati, his family says he was in iran visiting his relatives but he has been accused of espionage. his family has said he is not a spy and amir says he is not a spy, sending a letter from prison and getting it secretly published. they say it will not have an effect on amir's case. >> don did you know he was cia then? >> as a former fbi agent to the friends and the family of bob levinson i know there is a lot of current and retired fbi agents working to get answers on that and our thoughts and prayers are with him. did i know he was cia when i first learned of his gone
missing? no, had no idea. >> as the ap report, a rogue cia operation and didn't come out for a while. >> and initially the cia denied he had anything to do with -- i think they did admit he was working in an analyst capacity. that would imply he is doing research, writing reports, not traveling to a hostile country. >> in fact the u.s. government said he was there on personal business. jay carney also had this to say. >> bob levinson was not a u.s. government employee when he went missing in iran. >> why are they saying that now, when it does seem clear he was.under some conditions working for the u.s. government? >> this is the spy business. nobody publicly admits it. we've kicked iranian diplomats out of our country, they have
accused us of spying. neither side is going to admit it. >> won't that hurt people who are not spies and maybe the kenneth baes of world, sarah shourd and her now husband who were hiking in iran, what happens if we automatically deny? >> you don't want to give any more leverage to the iranian government than think already have. certainly the ap story has compelling stories and e-mails about money being paid to the family, correspondence which is way outside of the normal cia play book but still all that evidence if it -- if all of it is in fact true you still don't want to go on official record saying he was working for us and you have to backtrack that statement. >> roxann a, you see
this video of his wife christine, and their son david put out. >> we are not part of any government and we are not experts on the region. no one can help us but you. i am sending this message because we need to know what you want our family to do so that my father can come home safely. >> it is impossible to imagine with it's like for a family but this. what is it like for levinsons? he is the longest held hostage of all. >> i can't imagine how difficult that would be. for my family it was hard and i've spoken to families of other prisoners in iran. it is especially hard with iran because the u.s. does not have formal diplomatic relations with iran, recently the relations have improved but they always have to go through the swiss embassy. you wish your loved ones don't
have to suffer because of you. >> the levinson family had hoped that president rouhani charm offensive with ohave helped, think came to new york during the being iran iranian talks. we don't know who he is, speaking about levinson, we have no news of him. given everything that's gone on with this raproccment, why have we not gotten more information about levinson. >> i think it's a difficult situation on both sides, there are strategic talks on iran, regarding syria, the nuclear program. the bob levinson thing could have been caught in the white wash of that. it's hard to say. the iranians do know what happened to him.
they absolutely believe -- i absolutely believe they knew he was coming, he was operating on their turf without a good operational plan. they are not amateurs. they were meeting with an individual who was probably working with the rawb iranian government and whose activities were being monitored. they know who he is and where he is and it is a matter of diplomacy. >> i hope for levinson family and mr. levinson himself, they get some way for the iran yantsz to find him. thank you for being ton show. time now for what's trending. hermella. >> on saturday many canadians would protest a measure that would bash public sector employees from wearing rfnlings clothing.
from wearing religious clothing. members of the canadian nationalist party told al jazeera that they aim to maintain secularism in quebec. but choosing between god and their career. ton website jay says, no it's not achoice between god and career. it's a choice between cultural traditions around career. and gary said, people can't wear a crucifix either otherwise it's not fair. can you move more at the website america.al jazeera.com. back to you. >> is your tap water coming with a dose of oxycodone? praying to a jesus they have
never seen accurately collective. and should pussy galore have led >> an al jazeera america exclusive... former president jimmy carter reflects on the life and legacy of nelson mandela. >> that spirit of nelson mandela is embedded deeply in the heart and soul of the south africans... >> they worked side by side for freedom, now president carter talks about mandela's global impact. a revealing interview you won't see anywhere else. >> i've never heard him say, that he was grateful to the united states... >> talk to al jazeera with jimmy carter only on al jazeera america imoflt who have done their duty in their efforts to if find job but there are others who do not. it's time to step up and take care of one ever its own. after seven years, our family should not be struggling each day without this loving, caring man we love so much.
the rawrnian government excess they don't know where bob levinson is, the video was sent from a pakistani internet cafe but then the investigation goes cold. randall pinkston, al jazeera. >> trueman national security project and a former marine corps intelligence officer. andrew let's start with what we heard from the government, which has >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
i'm going to pay the last respect for my president. >> he was a global symbol of hope, courage and freedom. >> the world thanks you for sharing nelson mandela with us. >> today was declared a day of reflection and prayer. >> now al jazeera america commemorates nelson mandela from the people who knew him. >> i think all of those people who were inside that stadium were very lucky to be there. >> an emotional look at the life and legacy of nelson mandela. >> only on al jazeera america.
fox news host megan kelly was guiding a panel discussion about the color of santa claus's skin in response to a slate manages op ed piece, when the conversation turned ojesus of nazareth. >> just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change. jesus was a white man too, he was an historical figure, a verifiable fact. >> remarked, would jesus look white? >> you know l jesus wasn't born in bethlehem, pennsylvania, right? >> what color was jesus and does it matter. >> john the author of a face-to-face of our own and paul is a
senior religion editor at huffington post. we've seen it over and over as jesus a light blond blue eyed man. have we gotten it wrong? >> we have gotten it wrong. answering a question by asking a question, when is the first time you met a jewish person who looked like a scandinavian supermodel? when it comes to jesus, there is scholarly consensus that jesus was a dark skinned man, not so surprising he whereas a first century man raised in north africa. if he was standing in a security line in an airport he might be profiled for additional screening. >> he was a palestinian jeu and most writers think he would have had darker skin. why do you think he's portrayed
the way he has been portrayed? >> jesus is a reflection of what people think. the first symbol of jesus was a fish because people didn't want to display any sort of image. but the nostics thought they could change his symbol at will, the cop tics, later he was an apollo figure, a zeus figure. especially when we had christ the king he became an imperial figure. throughout ages, people have tried oreflect their understanding, the importance, that is the important thing. jesus is important, that's the reason why they try reflect an image that makes a point and all of those are very pointed images. >> the most important about how jesus looked liked happened in
2002, where forensic scientists looked at the picture of jesus that popular mechanics put on its cover, very far from a fair skinned jesus. >> you have already said why. it's because i.t. didn't look anything like the renaissance inspired thaidges we have been inundated with. but the interesting thing is, the bible actually says a lot less about jesus's skin color than we have said tonight. the bible is virtually silent on what jesus looked like. what his eye color or nose shape was. i think that is important because i think it's one of the secrets to christianity's broad appeal because it allows christians to say the jeefs they jesus is a jesus for all nations, that their jesus transcends race. >> but in this argument about
what he may or may not looked like. >> people have claimed a certain jesus they want, a jesus to represent them. there was a theoretical movement, the black jesus or the asian jesus. i went to a seminary where black religious theology was very important. what i learned was for african americans to talk about jesus was the black jesus was there with them and helped them with their liberation or their emancipation. it doesn't have to divide us, it expands the area of who jesus is,ivity can be a way of uniting us if we let it to. >> what about author reza asan, he looked at jesus the man, christians believe personified in a human being, and the son of god, who would have no color.
so in the end whoever you are, that it really doesn't matter, that you could assign to christ whatever color you want because he doesn't have one. >> would i have reza as would i have reza do unto me, i won't get into a debate without him being here. he's a fine writer and a fine scholar. there's not a lot of disagreement with scholars there was a first century man who was a jew, whose name was jesus, who was crucified at the hands of roman authorities. every person must look at the evidence and determine if jesus was crucified and risen from the dead. i happen to believe he was, as an orthodox christian. and so do 2 billion others. >> there was an article in slate that talked about how santa
should not be portrayed as white all the time, in fact there is an argument that he should be a penguin. going back to st. nicholas himself, nicholas looked similar to jesus the man. he was in turkey right? >> he was a bishop of turkey and gave out presents and things like this. this is really a crazy conversation. it's much more like the barbie doll conversation. should all barbi barbie dolls be white, no. it's okay to have other santas of different colors. it's fine just as barbie dolls. that's fine. we are a different nation than we were 50 years ago, that's fine, more inclusive. that's really a good thing. we have to talk about now not 50 years ago.
>> the origin of santa claus was a northern european creation as a white santa clause, she had a point mentioning that but people can interpret jesus, any way they want. i have to ask the jesus panel what, would jesus have thought being on that panel? >> he might have said, do you deny me, megan? i don't know. >> don't see him declining that's for sure. thank you for fascinating discussion. great to have you guys both with us. and the show may be over but the conversation continues on our website, aljazeera.com/consider this or on our facebook or google plus pages. also on twitter. see you next time, have a great weekend.
... this is al jazeera. >> hello. welcome to the newshour. our top stories. mandela's final journey. the body of a former south african president arrives at his an cest recall home. >> a referendum on e gyp's new constitution will be held in a month's time. in london with the news from europe including angela merkel prepares for a third time and joining her