tv PBS News Hour PBS June 22, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: a philadelphia priest was found guilty of endangering a child's welfare today, becoming the first u.s. catholic official to be convicted for covering up sexual abuses. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the newshour tonight, we'll have the latest on the split verdict, which included acquittals on two other counts. >> brown: then, from syria, we go behind the front lines with the opposition forces, and look at who the rebels really are. >> suarez: paul solman talks with journalist and author rory o'connor about privacy concerns and social media web sites. >> its he a social network
that didn't abuse our privacy and could be trusted comes along, we abandon facebook. >> brown: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> suarez: and i sat down with veteran reporter lindsey hilsum. her new book chronicles the revolution in libya. >> i spent a lot of time up and down the desert roads reporting on the rebels. they were probably the worst guerrilla army i've ever come across. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> growing up in arctic norway, everybody took fish oil to stay healthy. when i moved to the united states almost 30 years ago, i could not find an omega-3 fish oil that worked for me. i became inspired to bring a new definition of fish oil quality to the world. today, nordic naturals is working to fulfill our mission of bringing omega-3s to everyone, because we believe omega-3s are essential to life.
>> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: a jury convicted a u.s. church official for the first time for the handling and cover-up of sexual abuse claims. 61-year-old monsignor william lynn of the archdiocese of philadelphia was found guilty of child endangerment. prosecutors said he recommended reassigning priests accused of abuse to unsuspecting parishes
when he served as secretary of the clergy from 1992 to 2004. the jury acquitted him on one count of conspiracy and another of endangerment. he could face up to seven years in prison. the jury could not agree on a verdict for his co-defendant, reverend james brennan. he was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1996. after the verdict, district attorney seth williams had this to say. >> what happened here was unspeakable. people knew that these were predators, who were much more concerned with the institution than the victims of sexual assault. they failed to recognize that the church is its people. the most important thing i think is that this monumental case in many ways will change the way business is done in many institutions, be they religious institutions, educational
institutions, day camps, whatever. where people will not protect predators any longer. >> brown: we look at this case and its wider implications with barbara blaine, founder and president of the survivors network of those abused by priests; and thomas plante. he served the past four years on the national review board, which was created by the u.s. conference of catholic bishops to prevent child sexual abuse by clergy members. he's a professor of psychology at santa clara university. we invited officials from both the archdiocese of philadelphia and the conference of catholic bishops; they declined to join us. kbar bra blaine i'll start with you. what do you see as the significance of this conviction. >> there's a great deal of relief and a feeling of vindications for victims in this case. and this shows that these heinous crimes when covering up predator priests must be stopped. >> brown: thomas plante what
dow take from this? >> well, it's a major case, of course. we have heard about the philadelphia story for many, many months now. and this is the first time t appears that someone other than a clergy offender but rather a church official has been convicted for a crime. but we have to be mindful that this is a monsignor, no not a bish 70. there would be a big difference between the two. >> brown: explain, mr. plante, why was it important to have a conviction of someone on the enabling or the covering up part of this? >> well, i think part of the-- it depends on your perspective. from the victim perspective versus the rank and file catholic perspective, but having someone like the monday senor be convicted it is sort of like the assistant manager of the starbucks, not the manager of the starbucks, something like that. so in other words, we often hear that there hasn't been adequate accountability over the many years in terms of
the church, in terms of leadership and things of that nature. and this is the first case, it appears, where someone who is a decision maker, even though he's not the bishop, is held accountable for decisions that he made. >> brown: barbara blaine what would you add to that, on the question of the breaking the baferier in terms of-- barrier in terms of responsibility? >> well, as well he should be monsignor lynn put in jail and convicted today. these cover-ups and enabling the predator priests go on all across the united states in every diocese. and i think that it would be wrong to think that philadelphia is an anomaly. i believe that what happened in philadelphia is the norm. and i think it's time that church officials should be held accountable for enabling the predators who preyed on us when we were
children. the vast majority of us who were victimized wouldn't have been had the church officials done the right thing. and i hope that this will send a strong message to every diocese that they need to stop covering up and enabling the predators. >> brown: ms. blaine what dow expect? do you think that more cases would be brought because of what happened in philadelphia, because of this case? >> well, i think that this case will have an-- offers hope to many victims who have not yet come forward. that if they were to do so there might be something good that could come from it. so i'm trusting and hoping more victims will speak up. and i also hope that more prosecutors now will look into their laws of their state and jurisdictions and then look at the behaviors of the top ranking church officials an their dioceses. and investigate whether there should be indictments in their jurisdictions as
well. >> mr. plante, what do you think about that? what are the limitations of going to other places after philadelphia, their statute of limitations in many of these case cases, i understand, but are there other limitations that might prevent other cases? >> it's a great question. now i have to remind that you i'm a psychologist, not an attorney. and so i have to look at this from a particular perspective that's not based on legal precedent and legal issues and so forth. but i think what's critical here if we nuance this a little bit further, is that monsignor lynn was in charge, as you said in your introduction, between the early 1990s and 2004. and what's critical here is what decisions were made after 2002, after the dallas charter put forth by the u.s. consullate catholic after the "boston globe" investigative report on father gagon and
cardinal law in boston. and so decisions that were made way in the past, we have to be mindful of what was the best practices, what was the best clinical science at the time. what kind of consultation was given. certainly any decision that was made post 2002 is especially problematic and especially egregious because we had policies and procedures in place to handle these cases much, much better. >> brown: on that subject, mr. plante, just following up s it your sense generally that practices that awareness, that all the things really have changed? >> oh, absolutely. i mean since 2002 in particular the ten years during this times there's a variety of things that are very, very different. i've been involved with this area for 25 years and to see what has been done in the last ten years is really quite a remarkable change. we have the dallas charter, again this is the policies and procedures put forth by the u.s. consulate catholic
bishop of child protection. we have zero tolerance for abuse. we have safe environment training for all church workers, parents, kids and so forth, audits of parishes throughout the united states. so a lot has been done that is very positive and very good. however, there's more that still needs to be done. and i think any reasonable person would say that any institution that has children with unsupervised contact with adults has to be mindful of a variety of these policies-- these kinds of policies and procedures in order to keep kids safe. and so-- . >> brown: a brief last word from you, ms. blaine. >> just last year the same grand jury that indicted monsignor lynn found 37 accused predator priests working in the archdiocese of philadelphia. and currently right now there is a bishop under indictment in kansas city
who are endangering children just like monday senor lynn and he has not stepped down. he's been able to maintain his position and i think that if there were investigations like this in other jurisdictions, we may find the same type of behaviors there. i think it's wrong to think that this is a problem in history because i believe it's ongoing today. >> all right. we will leave it there. barbara blaine and thomas plante, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you >> suarez: still to come on the newshour: an inside look at rebels fighting in syria; the risk factors for facebook; shields and brooks; and covering the war in libya. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: a 12-hour taliban assault in afghanistan ended early today with 18 people killed. most of the victims were civilians. they died when insurgents stormed a lakeside hotel north of kabul, killed the security guards, then opened fire on the guests.
one survivor described the scene. >> i told the manager that i think suicide attackers have entered here. before i finished talking with the manager, they fired on us. the manager hid behind his desk but other guys who were security guards and waiters >> holman: police said all five of the gunmen were killed. in iraq, a pair of bombs exploded in a crowded market in baghdad. at least 14 people died and more than 100 others were wounded. the bombs went off within minutes of each other in a largely shiite muslim neighborhood in the northeastern part of the capital. so far this month, attacks in iraq have killed more than 160 people, mostly shiites and iraqi security forces. lawmakers in pakistan elected a new prime minister today amid continuing political turbulence. he is raja pervaiz ashraf, the information minister in the previous government. he replaces yousuf raza gilani, who was ousted this week by a decree of the country's supreme court.
gilani ran afoul of the court when he refused to initiate a corruption investigation of pakistan's president, asif ali zardari. crowds of egyptians thronged cairo's tahrir square today to rally for the muslim brotherhood and its presidential candidate. they demanded election results that now have been delayed indefinitely. mohammed morsi, the muslim brotherhood candidate, said the rallies would go on, but he insisted they'll be peaceful. >> i announce and promise in front of all of you that there will not be any discrimination or any confrontation or violence to disrupt the security and stability of the country. this is all rumor about any violence. >> holman: the muslim brotherhood has said its count shows morsi won the presidential run-off last weekend. but his rival, former prime minister ahmed shafiq, insists he won. the ruling military council said today the brotherhood moved too quickly in declaring morsi the winner. the death penalty was thrown out
today in arkansas. the state supreme court ruled the state's capital punishment law is unconstitutional. it said only the legislature may set execution policy, namely the chemicals to be used in lethal injections. the 2009 law gave that authority to the state department of corrections. there have been no executions in arkansas since 2005. on wall street, the stock market staged a comeback after thursday's big losses. shares in j.p. morgan-chase and other big banks were higher, even after moody's cut their credit ratings. the dow jones industrial average gained 67 points to close at 12,640. the nasdaq rose 33 points to close at 2,892. for the week, the dow lost nearly 1%; the nasdaq rose more than half a percent. the miami heat and lebron james savored an nba championship today. the franchise finished off the oklahoma city thunder last night in game five of the finals. it was the second title for the heat, and the first for james,
who was named most valuable player. the championship wrapped up a season that was shortened by owners locking out the players in a labor dispute. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: we turn to syria. a turkish air force jet went down in syrian waters today. the office of turkey's prime minister said syria was to blame. in a separate development, syria's government accused rebels of killing more than 25 men. a gruesome video-- we're just showing one still frame-- captured corpses, some in military uniforms, dumped on a road near the northern city of aleppo. the state-run news service said the victims were pro-regime gunmen. government troops have launched an offensive in recent weeks to take back ground captured by the opposition. tracey shelton of our partner globalpost was embedded with a group of rebels recently.
she filed this report. >> reporter: snipers take aim at a syrian army checkpoint on the outskirts of the northern city of benin. government forces have shelled the city continuously for the past week, and this is a free syrian army mission to take out one of the regime's positions. after exchanging gunfire for about an hour, the fighters retreat, saying they hit three soldiers. missions like this one have become an almost daily routine. how many have you killed? >> ( translated ): many. >> reporter: khalid is a father of four who was trained as a sniper in homs by the assad regime, but then defected nine months ago. jamal studied political science at a university in aleppo before joining the uprising mid- last year.
they serve in the al muhahjereen wal ansar battalion in the mountains of jabal al zawiya, a syrian rebel stronghold. asad al-ibrahim has led the unit since the beginning of the uprising in march last year. >> ( translated ): of course, i am proud. the braver i see my men become, the closer i see our victory. >> reporter: al-ibrahim commands 80 men on a base not far from the home shared by his parents, wife and three children. like some two-thirds of his men, he had no military experience before picking up arms against the regime of president bashar al-assad. >> ( translated ): we must demand our rights and fight for them as others have done. there is no doubt about this war-- it is our right. everyone has seen the injustice with their own eyes. >> reporter: eight battalions based in these mountains work together under one central command. they form part of a network of rebel groups dotted throughout the country, but essentially they answer only to their regional leader. they're waging a guerilla war with whatever weapons they can
get, many brought from the enemy. this new batch of arms was purchased from a corrupt government official the previous night. the fighters check them for booby traps. >> ( translated ): this is a good bullet. these are bashar's bullets to explode our guns. two of our guns have exploded so far and two men were injured. this is gun powder. good. this is tnt. >> reporter: the men also manufacture their own explosives, from bombs the size of a grenade to those big enough to take out a t62 tank. here, a team stands watch over a buried anti-tank bomb. when assad's forces approach, they'll detonate the explosion with a garage door remote. during the long wait, former music and sports teacher ahmed harmeen says he sees his job within the battalion as not only a fighter but also an entertainer.
♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the men say moments like this help raise morale in a deadly fight. >> suarez: for more on just who these armed revolutionaries are, we turn to randa slim of the new america foundation. she's in regular contact with the syrian fighters. welcome, how does what you just heard from tracy shelton match up with what you know of these irregulars in the field? >> the video provides a
snapshot of the different groups that make up the syrian armed opposition. they are the military soldiers, the military defectersment and they are now in the range of 40,000 to 100,000 depending on who you speak with on the ground. there is increasingly the formation of local armed militia consisting of civilians who have taken up arms to defend their neighborhood and their families. and these sometimes operate in collaboration with the army and sometimes they are independent. and then finally there the jihadi it's not clear yet how much do they represent of the syrian armed opposition. what we know to date is that the majority of them are syrians. there is not the foreign element that we have seen in the past in iraq, for example. the majority of them do not espouse al qaeda ideology of
a global jihad against the west. and for the jihadies this is a fight pitting sunnies against-- . >> suarez: so are we seeing now a common cause among these disparate groups until that is some day in the future they might win and then we'll see the disagreement start tow merge? >> there are disagreements among them in terms of the leadership and but the common cause right now is the common enemy which is the asset regime. and as long as they are fighting, the regime, as long as they are in the struggle against the regime they will keep the ranks as united as possible. in the future as we have seen in libya, there is a possibility that divergence of opinions, that fights over leadership will emerge,
yes. >> suarez: we caught just a glimpse of this globalpost report and only a small bit of actual operations in the field. but as the syrian conflict drags on, is this getting better at fighting? >> it is getting better organized. the free syrian army still lags the command and control structure to make it more effective. it's getting better. we are seeing now the emergeence in different provinces in syria of military counsel. these military counsels are trying to bring the different armed factions in a particular province under their leadership. they are becoming better at it. it all depends on how the flow of weapons inside the rebel ranks is getting organized because who will control the weapons will be able to-- will be in a
position to impose order. >> it somes that in the 21st century having a media operation is part of running a guerrilla army. how would you say the press relations have come along? is this rebel army effective at speaking to the outside world? >> not only the rebel army but all of the opposition factions that are operating inside syria have grown increasingly sophisticated they are becoming increasingly sophisticated at the views of social media technology to shape the narrative at home and abroad about the opposition, about-- they look at what, at how this media helps in egypt, how it helps in libya, how it helps in yemen and there are applying these lessoned learned from those uprisings. and the more, and recently
based on conversation i've had with activists on the ground, there is an increasing awareness in the ranks that public relations is in the battle for public opinion is an integral component of the struggle against the regime. >> one narrative that the outside world has pressed on to the syrian opposition is that it really can't unify. it can't get its act together. whether it's the deeply factionalized political opposition which is outside the country or, indeed, the armed forces that are inside syria. >> that is correct. and they still are divisions inside both the political opposition as well as you know, the different groups inside syria. however the common cause which is uniting them. i mean they all agree that they all agree on the regime change. they all now agree except
political opposition group that still operate inside syria on the need for military intervention. they all agree that-- that they need to unite. however they are lacking the skills and the platforms to really get their act together. there is right now-- being undertaken by the arab league to bring the political opposition united around a common platform, around a common vision for a post-- syria. >> thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> brown: and we turn to social media and personal privacy. much of the recent talk surrounding facebook and other companies has focused on whether they can earn enough profits to justify their stock prices. newshour economics correspondent
paul solman looks at whether concerns over privacy violations may be an even bigger threat. it's part of his ongoing reporting, "making sense of financial news." >> reporter: it was one of biggest i.p.o.s in history, one of the most hyped, and one of the most disappointing. after the i.p.o., shares of the social networking giant facebook swooned and are still down substantially. but in his new book, "friends, followers and the future," filmmaker, author, and longtime media blogger rory o'connor argues that facebook faces even bigger problems in the long run. >> i think it would be a mistake to focus on the day-to-day fluctuations of the stock market, if you will, because there's really something much deeper and more structural that's happening here. and that's what investors and the rest of us need to focus on. >> reporter: so what's happening? i mean, i thought facebook was the new google, the new greatest company in america.
>> well, facebook is the new google, the new greatest company in america, but that doesn't mean it's going to stay that way anymore than... you know google was the new microsoft, let's not forget. so these are tools, and if a better tool, if a better mousetrap comes along, if a better search engine appears tomorrow, we would all abandon google. if a social network that didn't abuse our privacy and could be trusted comes along, we will abandon facebook. >> reporter: they've invaded our privacy how? >> well, both google and facebook have repeatedly taken private information from their users and made it public for their own benefit. the most prominent example for google was when they were creating their google buzz social network, the predecessor to google-plus. so, for example, i know a fellow who dealt with a lot of dissidents in europe, and they were on his email list, and he woke up one morning to find that that had been broadcast to the world without his consent, even
without his knowledge, thanks to google. >> reporter: what has facebook done that's broken trust with people? >> well, you know, most immediately, we found out that facebook was still, after you log off and leave facebook, facebook is still monitoring every web site that you visit, and taking that data back to facebook and keeping it and using it. and that's only the most recent in a long series of privacy violations. for example, the f.t.c. has now got facebook under a consent agreement where they've agreed not to violate user privacy in the future, to have independent third-party audits for decades. nonetheless, facebook is still engaged in the same behavior. >> reporter: so isn't it in some sense invulnerable? >> absolutely not. facebook, i think, is very vulnerable at this point. facebook is facing exactly the
same issues that were now seeing on the front pages with google-- privacy and anti-trust. >> reporter: what could take facebook down? >> someone's going to come along with a social network that, you know, technically works just about as good as facebook, but doesn't steal your information and use it for private gain. for example, there is a new social network called diaspora, which is just to mention one. there's another one-- everyme. people are now seeing that there's a... perhaps a business opportunity in going up against facebook and saying, "hey, we're the guys you can trust; we're the guys who will work with you; we're the guys that, if you give us information and we sell that, first of all, we'll ask you for your consent and, hey, guess what. maybe we'll even give you a cut of the proceeds." >> reporter: but i'm sure lots of our viewers are like me and have not heard of diaspora, and that there are hundreds of examples of competitors or would-be competitors that die on
the vine every year. >> yes, but i'm sure there are other new ones that your viewers have heard of. instagram, for example, which was just bought by facebook, was a photo sharing network. so there are things that are being organized around different activities like photo sharing. there are things that are being organized around different groupings, smaller groupings. so, yes, there are hundreds of these that are being invented every year, and not all of them are going to stick around, but many of them are and are frankly being valued quite highly. >> reporter: is the fact that the initial public offering of facebook has been a disappointment suggest that the market had the same insight that your book has, that a company like this is actually vulnerable? >> i don't think it does. i think it was probably for technical reasons. maybe morgan stanley didn't do a good job in the initial pricing or whatever. now, lets not forget the fact
that a company called amazon, it had an initial public offering and, like facebook, the shares went down subsequently. well, in time, they went up quite a bit. i've seen no recognition by the marketplace thus far, frankly, of these very large and structural issues that i'm referring to, such as privacy and anti-trust. and i think that, if there's any market failure here, it's not in the i.p.o., but it's not looking deeper and looking towards the future. >> reporter: rory o'connor, thanks very much. >> my pleasure. >> brown: and that brings us to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. >> this is friday, you're here, right. >> congressional committee voted to recommend a
citation-- john boehner says will bring it to the full house next week but hasn't specified the day, what is going on. >> was's going on is a really dubious policy that opened up a lot of questions called fast and furious which basically ram guns out there with the expectation, full expectation that they would be bought by straw purchases and then end up in the custody of members and they-- gang members and then they could be traced for the prosecution of more serious crimes than just buying guns. it went awry. an agent of the alcohol tobacco firearms was killed in a shoot-out. and the question is the republicans in the house want a fuller explanation the department of justice expend-- is very much on the defensive. john edwards case they lost,
the stevens case they lost. they haven't prosecuted anybody. wall street who brought the nation to its knees so, there is a certain lack of kind of support and enthusiasm for it but at the same time it smacks of election year politics, darrell issa the chairman of that committee has been dying for an issue. he think he has one. >> hypoer partisan politics. >> well, it's supposed to be. that is what we are designed for. that we have an opposition to scrutinize and they do it for political gain. that is the way the system would built. so people with partisan incentives go after the opposition and the party in power. >> they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. >> i'm in general-- i think it is important for an administration to have conversations about policy that will be private so they can have a normal deliberative process. in this case whether legally the administration on solid ground are invoking it, that is a gray area. politically i think it's stupid. >> this is the president acting this week.
>> right. >> saying we're not going to release these further documentsment and i think politically it's too big. because it is one thing if you are invoking privilege over national security issue. this is a policy everybody thinks is profoundly stupid. why are you not saying this was a stupid policy, let's get it out there and figure out how it came about. >> the contempt charge itself, do you think -- >> yeah, you know-- that's politics. i think i have some qualms about it because it escalates, it's traditional. every president gets it some more, some less. these wars with congress over turf. this escalates a little more and makes it seem a little stupider. >> it smacks of part san politics but you don't like that. >> no, i love partisan politics. you know, that's what i don't like about independents. they want to take the partisanship out of politicsment but know, i think there is one other political angle here and it should not be ignored. and that is since the founding of our country we've been about expanding the franchise.
only white property, only males could vote. and then it was expanded to include slaves and then later it was women. and men without property. and finally to african-americans and 18-year-olds. and its make no mistake about it, in the last two years it's been a real effort by republicans organized in state to restrict the franchise. to make it more difficult to vote. and eric holder has been, quite frankly, the stalwart opposing those laws and challenging them. and i think that fuelshe political fires even more. >> really, you're suggesting they going after him for larger reasons. >> i think that's part of the fever of partisanship. and i think the white house figured that nobody can move the fight but the house republicans. because in every poll they are slower, and i think this may be wrong in this one. >> what do you think about that, going after him for larger issues.
>> the government was running guns this is profoundly stupid policy. you can imagine, oh we'll be clever, stick them in there but it is like anyone with a half a distance from the process says wait we're running gun, let's not do this. so i think that is sufficient enough. the cause force partisanship against the administration, darrell issa, they are mani does fold. i'm not sure-- i don't believe that. >> and the politics of this for both sides? >> i think it is a winner for the republicans. it's funny t hasn't really registered for the country yet what the government has done. when if it gets out, wait, they were sending guns to mexico, i think it's such a thing that will startle people, i think it's just a clear winner for the republicans. what the obama administration wants to do with executive privilege, get it lost in the court system, push it past the election and hopefully it will go away. >> so the fallout this week from the president's announcement last week that he would allow young illegal immigrants to stay in the country and to get work permits, both president and mitt romney spoke this week, actually yesterday and today, right, to a latino group of
officials. the other group from each of them. >> some people have asked if i will let stand the president's executive order. the answer is that i will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. as president i won't settle for stopgap measures. i will work with republicans and democrats to build a long-term solution. >> the question we should consider this, was providing these young people with the opportunity for a temporary measure of relief the right thing to do? i think it was. it's long pastime that we gave them a sense of hope. now your speaker from yesterday has a different view. in a speech he said that when he makes a promise to you he will keep it. well, he has promised to
veto the dream act. and we should take him at his word. >> now last week mark you said that the president had really put it to romney. sort of forced his hand in this. how has romney responded. what do you think. >> one of the few times-- here we are a week later and he still -- >> mark the calendar. >> that's right, please. >> those at home, please note that i was right once. >> i done think there is any question that he has ducked, bobbed, weaved and he still hasn't answered it, here a week later it started on face the nation last sunday with bop schieffer and every venue he's been in where he has been asked, he then refused to answer or not answered it as he did yesterday. he's going to put in term, place a long-term solution. because it's only good for two years. you know, if you are an undocumented immigrant here in this country, brought here before the age of 16,
finished high school, thinking about joining the service, or going to college, and under the age of 30 and haven't broken any laws, you still can only stay here for two years. it has to be renewed. so you have to go out and lay that before the authorities with the understanding or the fear that this fellow is going to win in november and come in and repeal the whole thing. and he just can't choose between constituents. he doesn't want to-- he doesn't want to be blamed by the right, his own republican party that nominated him for going soft on illegal immigration. and he is still at the same time doesn't want to totally alienate latino voters. >> how is it with you a week later. >> i agree that romney is in a horrible position for the exact reason mark says. he knows where he stands, where his heart probably is. and he can't get there. and if he's going to try to get in a bidding war for latino votes he's to the going to get it. on the other hand, though to rain on mark's end zone dance over there-- (laughter) >> you knew that was coming,
didn't you. >> it is not clear to me that this is a useful political winner for the president. you look at the polling and say the most extreme piece of legislation on immigration is arizona. 58% of americans sport that thing. including half the latino voters. so the general public on optimism gration if it is going to play on the election is not a clear let's be more generous, let's be more comprehensive. so it's not, to me it is not as clear as the winner. and the final thing t this is not a political winner, i like giving people a chance. i hated the way he-- did it i don't know if that is going to play. there were laws. we passed laws. he said there were laws. and with a stroke of a pen to ignore the laws, is just, you can't-- it's very bad idea to have a good policy imposed by bad means. and that is what he did. >> i disagree with david. first of all, the polling
and i think you will see it, continue to see it this week, and seen it in most recent polls support what the president has done. that this is a fair and reasonable policy for people who came here, were brought here without their-- and lived by american laws. >> i think the president has the popular political position but more important than that, this is not a question of polling t is a question of character for mitt romney. what barack obama couldn't stand right now say straight up or down referendum vote on do you think he's has been a good stewart of the economy. no. probably not. but is it is the contrast with somebody who will stand up and say this is where i stand, and when romney is back and forth and vacillating, this just plays into that narrative of romney. and i think it's a real problem. >> so what does romney do. does he just try to hope it goes a what, change the subject what? >> well, if it were up to me would do the comprehensive thing. and his strongest point this week has been listen, the president promised you
immigration reform. where has he been for the last three years. he hasn't really raised the issue. it has been a low priority. and that is his strongest case. if he came back with something bush-like, george w. bush's comprehensive plan or what marco rubio has been work on which is sort of messed up by all this sort of a bipartisan thing, then cotake car of securing the border and do something bigger than the dream act. and that would be, that would be the way to get on top of all this. but as mark says, he would have to do a-- he would have to repeal and rescind what he has been saying throughout 2008 and 2012. if it was senate republicans, stopped the dream ago. that is who it was. the administration and democrats did support the dream act. and it was the senate republicans that stopped it. >> brown: in our last minute or so here. we don't often look ahead but we are all looking ahead, we have been waiting for the supreme court. next week is the final week of the court so it's clear some very important things are going to come. one is the immigration case,
you mentioned earlier. the big one is health care. how important do you think this will be. >> to me the interesting thing, say they strike down the mandate and leave other parts or say they strike down the whole thing. the next legislative year has already got huge tax issues. huge spending issues. taking essentially the funding mechanism out of health-care bill was throw another gigantic issue on to the legislative agenda next year. it would make what we call a-- it would take that times ten and create this incredible legislative juncture which would have either a great effect on the american political system or more likely a really -- >> a the affordable care act is not popular. they have they ever been able to persuade the majority of the country to support it but provisions of it are. i mean obviously including children to the age of 26 under the parent's coverage. the free existing condition that people without-- with a disability can be, insurers
have to cover. these are important and popular positions. and if it is struck down, the republicans don't have an answer as to what they're going to do. and there's no way of provide og coverage without a universal, individual mandate. and i think the ball then goes to the republicans. they're on the defensive. they have to come up with something and it energizes democrats who would be up-- up set with this overture. >> we will meet back here next friday and talk more about it. mark shields, david brooks. thank you. >> suarez: next, a look back at last year's revolution in libya. campaigning for the first national election in a generation kicked off this week, even as the nation struggles to more forward after the uprising and the ouster of moammar qaddafi. i talked recently with a journalist who's written an account of the war and its aftermath.
>> i cannot get out of the house. if you go outside you're going get shot. mercenaries shoot to kill. >> reporter: it was a time of chaos in libya. the people rose up to defy 40 years of dick state-- dictatorship and qaddafi. lindsey hilsum was there covering the conflict for britain's independent television news, delivering reports that also appeared here on the newshour. hilsum entered certificate rep at thisciously before foreign reporters were allowed in, that is why her face is blurred in these shots as she road with the rebels just days after they helped liberate the eastern city of benghazi from government control. the revolution spread. and hilsum followed, reporting from the front lines as the rebels advanced. >> this is the last rebel check point before no-man's land. >> suarez: an retreated. >> hundreds of families and fighters are fleeing heading down the road towards benghazi and we're going too. >> suarez: often at great personal risk. >> the people say that firing was snipers.
they're still fighting in the buildingment they don't know exactly where. >> suarez: hilsum covered the entire war from benghazi in the east to the mountains it in the west. after the fall of tripoli, she penned her reflections on both the revolution and libya's uniquely influentialal role in world events from the end of colonialism to the war on terror. hilsum was in washington recently on book tour. and we sat down to talk about her book and her reporting. lindsey hilsum, welcome to the broadcast. it's nice to have you in our studio facilities instead of in some really bad place in the world. it's great to you have here just now during this stretch of days when we're speaking. hosni mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison and egypt is still sizzling and not settled in the post mubarak era. syria is sliding into civil war. but libya after the overthrow of qaddafi we just
haven't heard very much about what is going on there. has it settled down? >> no, i don't think you could say libya has settled down yet. i don't think that it would be possible to glide seamlessly from 42 years of dictatorship to democracy overnight. the future of libya really does hang in the balance at the moment. because after the revolution libya has got such disparate views on what they want. some people want a secular state. some people want a an islamist state. and those young men who we saw during the revolution firing their weapons into the air and-- they don't want to give those weapons up. and the central government such as it is, really is very week. it has little legitimacy. >> and your book reminded us just how thinly populated and how fast an area this country really is. is it harder to make common cause, harder to make one country out of a place with
the peculiar demographic and geographic challenges of libya? >> well, i really think the libyans have got a lot going for them. as you say, small population, 6 million people. they're rich. they've got oil & gas. an many of them are very well educated. one of the things that i found when i was over there reporting and later researching the book was how many libyans had been educated in britain or in america. so they should be able to make a go of it. they have all of those advantages. but what happens in the years of dictatorship is qaddafi managed to convince the libyans really to be more loyal to their own family or tribe or town than to the country. for example, people of miss rattee, misurata was under siege for several months. they fought incredibly bravely there. but they really feel, they really feel that they got rid of qaddafi alone and all the other libyans were just sitting around drinking teament they really don't
give credit to anybody else. and you'll find that all over. that there are all these big forces to try and split people apart. >> you were back and forth across this countryment this archipelago of cities near the mediterranean coast. but this sounds from your reporting that there was some time when it was impossible to know what was really going on. >> well, i think that that is always true, isn't it, when you are reporting a revolution or a war. because a lot of the time you can just see what's happening where you are. so i was, for example, i spent a lot of time in the east of the country. i spent a lot of time hurtling up and down that desert road reporting on the rebels who, they were probably the worst guerrilla army i have ever come across. they were really no good at all. and they would not have prevailed if it hadn't been for the nato intervention. but i would see what they were doing on one particular
day and know what was happening in tripoli, for example. and one of the joys of going back to libya to write this book was to be able to put all those dichb pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together as well as to meet again some of the people who i had interviewed when i was doing television reporting. and find their full story, to go back and find out what had happened to them in the years of dictatorship as well as an intense moment when i met them. >> in the anals of war reporting i think it's the only time i have ever heard a reporter ask -- >> does your mother know are you here. what does she say? >> to which he replied yes. and she's very proud of me. >> one thing that comes through loud and clear is that libya was a bizarre state in many ways during the qaddafi years. but one that was not without aiders and abetters in the rest of the world. if you have a lot of oil &
gas, you have to sell it to somebody. and they have to be willing to do business with you. can the world-- at leisure now that qaddafi's gone? >> well, i don't know if repent at leisure is the right phrase. i mean i think that what's interesting is that zigzag trajectory as qaddafi, you know, at one point he's that mad dog of the middle east, that is what ronald reagan called him. he is seen as the biggest terrorist in the world and he certainly did sponsor terrorism in all sorts of different places all over the world. but then after 9/11, when he, his enemies were jihaddees, from fundamentalist muslim and so you got to a situation where our enemy's enemy is our friendment and i think it's completely understandable given what was going on at the world at that point that that happened. but what western countries did was that they chose to forget some of the appalling
things that this man has done. they chose to forget the human right as becausement they chose to forget that in the prison in 19961,270 men were gunned down in cold blood, herded into a courtyard, soldiers put on the roof around and they were gunned down. and eye witnesses i spoke to saw the walls of that courtroom turn red with blood. now our leaders decided it was expedient to make friends with qaddafi for other reasons at that time. and they forgot all about that massacre. i have to say one of the things that got criticized after the journalists, i didn't know about that massacre. and i think that because qaddafi was such a bizarre character, in some ways we turned him into a joke, and i think that that blinded us to the truly terrible things that he did when he was in power. >> suarez: the book is sand storm, libya in the time of revolution. lindsey hilsum, good to see you.
>> thank you very much, lovely to be here. >> brown: and we close with a look at caring for america's wounded warriors and their families. that's the subject of tonight's edition of the pbs program "need to know." in this excerpt, a veterans administration nurse offers help to the wife of a vet suffering from chronic pain, a brain injury and p.t.s.d. the correspondent is scott simon. >> this was when i think it was the day that chris graduated from basic trainingment we were at a denny's and he just could not stop laughing. >> luce is 27 years old and hasn't been able to take a job since her husband came home from afghan tan-- afghanistan three years ago. under this caregiver program she is spade a small sty pent for the care she provides. she receives practical training for everything on managing medication to understanding the intricacies of a brain injury. she's also offered any counselling she might need. >> it's been difficult. it's taken its emotional and
mental toll. i had a lot of depression in the beginning. and it was kind of like okay, it's him and the kids, him and the kids. i never really had time for me. >> she says while she's grateful to have her husband back alive, it's undeniable that his traumatic experiences changed him and changed their lives once he got back. >> well, all of you know that that was not scott simon. nursing the wounded is on tonight. >> suarez: again, the major developments of the day: a philadelphia priest was found guilty of endangering a child's welfare. he's the first roman catholic official in the u.s. to be convicted for covering up sexual abuses by the clergy.
>> holman: margaret warner offers a preview of stories you can see on air next week. mexico is getting ready for elections a we can from now amid a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives in the last five years. monday we'll look at why mexicans seem ready to re-elect the old ruling party they threw out just 12 years ago. then we'll explore the murder capital of the world juarez. through the eyes of local photographer julian cardofa. and we'll take you to the country's economic powerhouse to see how local leaders are fighting the drug violence now threatening their city too. >> holman: that's next week on the broadcast. find her earlier blogs on the world page. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. ray. >> suarez: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll examine rulings at the supreme court. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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