tv PBS News Hour PBS August 6, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: facing the threat of a potential al qaeda attack, the state department today urged all u.s. citizens in yemen to get out of the country "immediately." good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the newshour tonight, the warning came just hours after reports that suspected al qaeda members were killed by an american drone strike in yemen. we get the latest on the terror threat there. >> ifill: then, it's the dawn of a new era at one of america's landmark newspapers. we have an exclusive broadcast interview with the chairman and c.e.o. of the "washington post's" parent company, donald graham. >> warner: "i am the shooter," declared army major nidal hasan at the start of his trial in an attack that killed 13 at fort hood, texas.
we look at today's opening arguments and early testimony. >> ifill: the pentagon eased financial pain for its employees by cutting unpaid furlough from 11 days to six. ray suarez discusses the budget cuts and terror threats with deputy secretary of defense ashton carter. >> our effort to deal with the current budget situation, we believe, has to be driven by strategy. that is, a view of the future. terrorism is one of those things that's going to be around. >> warner: and more than 1.5 million people have fled the bloody syrian civil war. we have an on-the-ground report from the world's second largest refugee camp in jordan. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> 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. >> warner: the terror threat that's already shut down u.s. embassies across the muslim world zeroed in on yemen today after the state department urged american citizens and many u.s. government personnel to depart.
americans and other foreigners streamed to the airport in sanaa after the state department warned of an "extremely high" threat level. and at the fortified u.s. embassy, nonessential staffers were ordered to leave, flown out by the u.s. military. but in washington, state department spokeswoman jen psaki would not call it an evacuation. >> let me just make clear what this is and what this is not. this is a reduction in staffing. this is... we still have a presence in yemen. we are continue to evaluate. we don't have any updates on when staff may return. >> warner: it was reported that today's order to leave, coming after widespread embassy closings and a worldwide travel alert, was triggered by a communication between al qaeda's leader, ayman al zawahiri, and nasser al wuhayshi, the chief of
its affiliate, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, or a.q.a.p. the yemeni government objected to today's u.s. order but did cite specific intercepted threats. >> ( translated ): there were attempts to control key cities in yemen. the plot was planned by al qaeda for the 27th day of ramadan. the aim was to control two important ports by dropping in al qaeda members wearing military uniforms who would pretend to ask for ramadan tips owed to them, and then they would attack. >> warner: a.q.a.p. has tried to mount operations outside yemen, too-- the failed 2009 christmas day bomber and the 2010 plot to ship explosives in printer cartridges to the u.s. the u.s. has launched multiple drone strikes in yemen, including one today that killed four suspected al qaeda operatives. for more on the threat posed by yemen and emanating from yemen we turn to gregory johnson.
he was a fulbright scholar based in yemen now at princeton university. welcome. >> the u.s. has been pounding away at a.q.a.p. intense i have beenly ever since the christmas day bomb attempt in 2009. is al qaeda stronger or weaker than it was then in the arabian peninsula. >> right. i think this is one of the really frustrating things for the united states because as you point out they had been carrying out several air and drone strikes. they killed people like the american-born cleric there in yemen. they killed a.q.a.p.'s number two. yet what we've seen over the past three-and-a-half years is that a.q.a.p. has gone from a group of about 200 to 300 people on christmas day 2009 to, according to the u.s. state department, more than a few thousand fighters today. >> warner: and what explains that? >> i think one of the things that explains it is that the u.s., not all of these strikes that the u.s. carries out are
successful. so there are some mistaken strikes. there are strikes that kill civilians. there are strikes that kill women and children. and when you kill people in yemen, these are people who have families. they have clans. they have tribes. what we're seeing is that the united states might target a particular individual because they see him as a member of al qaeda. but what's happening on the ground is that he's being defended as a tribesman. so you have people flowing into al qaeda, not necessarily because they share the same ideology of al qaeda but just so that they can get revenge for their tribesmen who has been killed in a drone or air strike. >> warner: how widely can a.q.a.p. operate outside of yemen? >> well, this is a group that, as you report, showed, i mean, they were able to christmas day 2009 to send a would-be suicide bomber from yemen on to a plane bound for the u.s. in 2010 they sent a pair of
cartridge bombs which were thankfully uncovered before they could be exploded. last spring in 2012 the organization developed almost an underwear bomb 2.0, one that was generations beyond what they had created in 2009. thankfully that one they gave to an undercover agent. this is a group that has shown itself to be determined and also to have the technical capability to ship bombs to the united states. >> now reportedly this latest iteration of the threats and the warnings came from some sort of intercepted communication between the head of a.q.a.p. and al zawari head of al qaeda central of course believed to be based in pakistan. to what degree does the head of a.q.a.p. take direction from the central al qaeda? >> right. that's an excellent question, margaret. so al wuahyshi, the head of a.q.a.p., he has a great deal of operational independence. so he's deciding when these plots are going to be launched,
when they're not. what it appears that another leader is doing is he's putting pressure on wuahyshi and saying, look, you need to carry out a strike. you need to do this. this is something that he did just last week in an open video to groups in egypt as well. it's something quite common in al qaeda. we often saw owe osama bin laden putting pressure on affiliates in different places to carry out attacks but the final word on something like this is going to come from the people on the ground, the people in yemen, people like wuahyshi for the reason we're seeing today. communication back and forth between yemen and pakistan is easily intercepted. >> warner: and that probably explains the intensified u.s. drone strikes in yemen over the past week. finally, how aggressively is the government of yemen and this new president going after a.q.a.p. both on its own and in concert with the u.s.? >> right. well the new government under president hadi who was just in
the u.s. last week meeting with president obama, president hadi has given the u.s. a green light to carry out strikes in a variety of different places at the times of the u.s. choosing. he's doing this because he has a lack of domestic support within yemen. so he needs the u.s. to make up for that lack of domestic support. so there's an open communication which is much different now than it was from when the former president was in charge. but we have to remember that the central government in yemen is incredibly weak. there's a separate insurrection that's going on up in the north. there's calls for secession in the south. there's the al qaeda threat. the economy continues to collapse. people in yemen are struggling on a daily basis to put food on the table and water into their cups. when all of that is taking place, al qaeda tends to drop down on the list of priorities for a country like yemen. >> and at the same time they put
fertile ground for al qaeda. gregory johnston of princeton, thank you so much. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: an exclusive interview with donald graham of the "washington post"; opening arguments in the fort hood court martial; deputy secretary of defense ashton carter; and inside the world's second largest refugee camp. but first, with the other news of the day, here's kwame holman. >> reporter: two u.s. senators urged egypt's interim leaders today to release jailed members of the muslim brotherhood. republicans john mccain and lindsey graham visited cairo in a bid to help resolve the stand- off between the military-backed government and supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. >> we believe they should treat each other with respect. we also urge the release of political prisoners. we also urge strongly a national dialogue, a national dialogue that is inclusive for parties
including the muslim brotherhood. >> reporter: senator graham said the interim government risks jeopardizing relations with the u.s. if it excludes brotherhood members from political negotiations. a spate of car bombings around baghdad killed more than 50 iraqis today as the recent surge of violence showed no signs of easing. the attacks began just before sunset and continued into the night. more than 650 people have been killed in iraq during the muslim holy month of ramadan. in syria, rebels claimed they've captured a key air base in the northern part of the country. the base is in the northern aleppo province and has been under siege since last year. video from the site showed rebels apparently inspecting the area near the turkish border. syrian state tv insisted government troops still are fighting there. the new president of iran announced today his country is ready for "serious" talks on its nuclear program. hassan rohani held his first news conference since taking
office sunday. we have a report narrated by alex thomson of independent television news. >> reporter: "transparency" is a favorite rouhani buzzword, so he duly appeared in front of the packed media. the national anthem, prayers and the foreign media got down to business. iranian and foreign journalists asking about the nuclear deadlock on the anniversary of hiroshima. russia said today she wants talks next month. president rouhani says a deal is doable and doable soon if the west, as he put it, stops the threats and starts engagement. >> ( translated ): we are willing with seriousness and without time-wasting to enter serious and substantial negotiations with our counterparts. if our counterparts have the same willingness, i am certain that the concerns of both parties will through talks be eliminated, and in the not too distant future. the root of this achievement has
to be discussions, not threats. that is the key to this issue. >> reporter: the man who spent years as a key iranian negotiator on the nuclear deadlock said the war mongering of another state was imposing its agenda on america. he didn't mention israel by name, but he did send them a message today, saying iranians are not interested in threatening or intimidating any other country. >> ( translated ): the worst approach is to shout sharply then act slowly. we hope to make long strides in action, but calm ones in expressing ourselves politely, with wisdom, with all of the world, so that the world believes we have no intention of threatening anyone. >> reporter: he spelled out yet again iran seeks nuclear power, not nuclear weapons. this is a man who has persuaded his country in the past to suspend the nuclear program to help talks in 2005. it got nowhere. iran since then has been repeatedly accused of hiding elements of it's nuclear program.
>> reporter: in washington, a state department spokeswoman said iran now has a chance to "act quickly" on concerns about its nuclear program. the latest look at rising military suicide rates concludes there is little or no connection to combat. instead, the study at the naval research center in san diego blames depression and alcohol problems, among other things. researchers tracked more than 145,000 active duty troops and veterans from 2001 to 2008. the findings were published today in the "journal of the american medical association." former president george w. bush underwent a successful heart procedure today in texas. doctors at a dallas hospital placed a stent in a blocked artery. the blockage was discovered on monday during the former president's annual physical. mr. bush is 67 years old. he's expected to be released tomorrow. president obama has renewed his push for mortgage reform. in phoenix today, the president called for phasing out fannie mae and freddie mac, the government-backed mortgage giants.
he said taxpayers should not have to suffer when lenders make poor decisions. >> we've got to encourage the pursuit of profit but' era of expecting a bailout after you pursue your profit and you don't manage your risk well, well, that puts the whole country at risk. we're ending those days. we're not going to do that anymore. ( applause ) >> reporter: the president said he wants the private sector to assume most of the risk while continuing to offer the popular 30-year mortgage. wall street gave up ground today over warnings of weaker profits. the dow jones industrial average lost 94 points to close at 15,518. the nasdaq fell 27 points to close at 3,665. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: people in newsrooms and at water coolers across the country were abuzz today with word that the flagship paper in the nation's capital is about to be sold to an internet pioneer.
>> nobody knew it was for sale. >> ifill: washington residents and the newspaper industry were still reeling today over news about the news that amazon founder jeff bezos is buying the "washington post." publisher katharine weymouth, part of the family that owns the paper, said bezos will pay $250 million for the "post" and its smaller publications. today, she explained the decision to a "washington post" interviewer. >> this is a transition to a good owner who has a lot he could bring to us. and we weren't on the auctions block and just auctioned to the highest bidder. >> ifill: the purchase will end nearly eight decades of ownership by the graham family. patriarch eugene meyer bought the "post" at auction in 1933. his daughter, katherine graham, led the paper as it rose to national prominence beginning in the 1970s, first with its coverage of the pentagon papers under executive editor ben bradlee and then watergate, and bob woodward and carl
bernstein's pulitzer prize- winning reporting that brought down president richard nixon. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> ifill: her son, donald graham, followed in her footsteps. subscriptions peaked in 1993 at more than 800,000, but, like many other papers, the "post" has faced declining circulation and ad revenue in the digital age. >> i've been a subscriber before, but i don't really subscribe to anything any more. i read everything online. >> ifill: enter digital giant bezos. former executive editor leonard downie says the bet is that the online shopping pioneer can ensure the "post's" survival. >> jeff bezos understands this new world that we're in and that all news organizations have to adapt to, whether its channel 7 or the "washington post." >> ifill: the post is hardly alone in seeking buyers with deep pockets. over the weekend, "newsweek" magazine was sold to i.b.t. media, the publisher of "international business times." red sox owner john henry bought
the "boston globe" from the "new york times company" for $70 million. and the tribune company's newspaper division, which owns the "los angeles times," "chicago tribune" and the "baltimore sun," is also on the block. donald graham is chairman and c.e.o. of the "washington post" company. he joins me now. full disclosure, i worked for you for the "washington post." >> i was going to ask if you disclosed your terrible conflict. >> for seven great years in the 1980s. ruth marcus one of your leading columnists said that this is a brave and painful decision for your family to make. was it also a necessary one? >> well, we thought so. the publisher of the post now is catherine way mut. that's a job that i held when you were on the paper. i held it for 21 years. but catherine and i sat down at the end of last year, the end of 2012. we looked at how how the paper
had done in 2012 and what we could reasonably expect going forward. 201 is the 7th consecutive year the paper has been down in revenues so what do you do when you have less money coming in the door? you try to innovate. we've been pretty successful at that. but not successful enough >> ifill: 44% decline. you're going back over several years there. but that's right. and mostly we have had to cut costs. the year of the financial crisis, 2009 was a very challenging year for us. catherine and her team then brought the paperback to cash flow profitability the last three years. we certainly wanted to remain profitable, but around new year's day of this year we started to ask yourselves for the first time whether it was possible that there was another owner who would be better for the post than our company had
been >> ifill: when you say that, does that mean that there are things that you did or didn't do over the last several years you wish you had that you didn't have the vision to see? >> well, the one sentence that i think everybody in our building and everyone in this building would agree with, gwen, is every year in the future a few more people, a higher percentage of people, will read their news online or on mobile devices just like the woman whose video clip you showed at the start of this segment. and slightly fewer people will read in print. the post print circulation remains abnormally high for metro daily for the number 8 tv market in the country. but our paper is basically tied for first in print circulation with the los angeles times which is in a much better market. you know, we started to think to
ourselves, for example, the technology sophistication of somebody like jeff bezos far surpasses mine. when i started on the paper when we were still using lead type not altogether dpis similar from what ben franklin was using in the 18th century. >> among your suitors of which there were more than a few, jeff bezos was appealing to you because he's a digital native. is that a part of it? >> well, i've known jeff bezos for 15 years. he is and is known to be an extraordinarily decent man. i got the joy of getting to know his wife a bit. it starts with that. he's principled. he's also a reader and a very good writer, as a statement to our staff which has been widely
quoted reflects. he wrote that himself. he writes amazon's annual shareholder letter by himself. he's known for being a very patient long-term investor, as he was with amazon itself, as he was with the kindle and has been many other times so... and i don't want to appear to be speaking for jeff but he did speak for himself in his letter yesterday. he's not going to walk in the door with solutions. but he will walk in the door ready to try things. if you're jeff bezos or his peers, the founders or ceos of great internet companies, you know a lot of great technology. >> in fact your publisher and your editorial page editor and your executive editor will stay in place now. >> jeff has asked the whole management team to stay on. that includes catherine and marty and fred hyatt the editorial page editor who has been on your program. >> you know, i worked with four
newspapers altogether over time. i'm not the only one in the business and out of the business who wonder whether this isn't a turning point when a great family-owned newspaper hands itself over toone who doesn't have anything to do with journalism. at least doesn't have any history in that. >> i hope it is. jeff had fully as much to do with journalism and his previous career as eugene meyer my grandfather who bought the post in 1933. having never worked a day on a newspaper and never having owned a business. but he had great mid 20th century skills. his skills were financial. he had been an veferror. he had made a lot of money on wall industry. then he had been a senior government official. because his ethics were pretty high he stayed in government bonds during the depression so his ethics not his investing skill got him through. he tried things. he died to improve the paper. he tried to make it better. tried to grow circulation, tried to grow advertising. jeff, who is also a very skilled
businessman, is going to come in and as the word he used was "experiment." >> ifill: i heard you tell your staff you've been in that building in some job or the other for 42 years. >> i first was in the "washington post" building in january 1949 to see harry truman's inaugural parade when i was three. >> ifill: there you go. so, tell me. what do you think this means or not just you but what's happening with tribune and these other papers. what does this mean for the future of newspapers as we have come to know them some. >> the post is in a different position from other newspapers. we have a slightly different business than they do because ear in the nation's capital. we have an internet following that's pretty large relative to the size of washington. we're in the capital free world. we try to report on what goes on here and what goes on around the world that is relevant to decisions in washington. we're an independent newspaper. our editorial page is not consistently down the line with either the democratic or the
republican parties. so our business is a little bit different. but i think what it means is that the post is going to be an extraordinarily exciting place to be. i can't imagine a news organization being more exciting place in the immediate future >> ifill: what does it mean that we see so many print properties being sold to wealthy individuals rather than to multigenerational families. >> jeff is more than a wealthy individual. he is somebody who had an idea 15, 20 years ago, crazy idea that he could successfully sell books on the internet. he's a reader. he's a writer. unusually out at amazon meetings don't start with slide presentations or power points. at jeff's request they start with whoever convenes the meeting writing an essay.
the first ten minutes everybody sits down and reads what the person conducting the meeting wrote. why? because he thinks writing requires thought. so that is a little tribute to the power of the written word. this is a very fine business executive. warren buffet has called jeff the best ceo in america. he's also... he's extraordinarily thoughtful but obviously, gwen, for you and for me our future is integral. >> ifill: i want to put on your big thinking hat and tell me whether you think there is a generational shift going not only among readers of the newspaper but also owners of the newspapers. >> again, i hope so. i'm 68 years old so i'm not going to be, you know, i'm going to be... soon to be renamed "washington post" company for quite some time i hope.
but, you know, by bringing somebody like jeff bezos in as the owner of the "washington post" we're i think creating an opportunity for the readers of the post, for those who work there. it could become, i think it will become, a very exciting place. we're going to keep doing what we've done. we have the skills of the people in the building plus the skills of jeff bezos >> ifill: let me ask you a blunt question. >> do you want to know about your pension plan? >> not really. i want to know, one media analyst said you lucked out in getting jeff bezos because you may save the people. is that what you're doing now? >> no, i think the paper would have survived if we had not sold the paper it would have survived fine under our ownership under the current company. we would have had to keep cutting expenses as long as revenue fell. and our aspirations for the post have always been way more than
survival. you want to succeed, you want to expand, we want to be a great place. in the way that i think means something to you >> ifill: don graham of the ceo of the soon to be renamed "washington post" company. thank you so much. >> thank you so much, gwen. good being with you. >> warner: the court martial of the army psychiatrist who opened fire on scores of fellow soldiers in 2009 got under way today at fort hood in texas. major nidal hasan is charged with many counts of murder and attempted murder for the attack that killed 13 people. and wounded more than 30. in an opening statement, the prosecutor said hasan had tried to "kill as many soldiers as he could." in his opening statement, hasan, who is representing himself, said, "the evidence will clearly show that i am the shooter." "los angeles times" reporter molly hennessey-fiske is covering the trial and joins us from fort hood.
molly, welcome. let's start with that, the most dramatic moment of today which is colonel hasan admitting he was the shooter. what was that moment like? what else did he have to say? >> well, there were a lot of open questions going into these opening statements. it wasn't clear since major hasan, as you mentioned, is representing himself, what he was going to say, whether he was going to use opening statements as an opportunity to make a statement and go beyond acting as his own attorney. but he kept it brief. he only spoke for several minutes. he did talk about the facts pointing to him being the shooter. he made some other statements about his allegiances on how to be in the army but switching sides and then talked about viewing himself as a huge ha dean but was very brief. later on in the day we several witnesses speak but major hasan
declinedded to take the opportunity to cross-examine largely. there were some instances where he did but again that was fairly brief. >> warner: he was responding, of course, to the opening statement by the military prosecutor. what kind of a case did that prosecutor lay out against him? >> well, the prosecutor talkd at one... or one of the prosecutors talked in opening statements about wanting to prove not only that major hasan committed the shooting but also his motive that these shootings... the charges, premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder that it was premeditated that he had motive. so some of the witnesses that we saw earlier in the day had to do with that. the individual who the prosecutors were saying had sold the weapons, the guns to major hasan, a gentleman from the shooting range where he apparently had practiced target shooting with silhouettes and the silhouette shapes instead of
target shapes and then some individual who had known him from his apartment complex and also from the mosque that he attended here. >> warner: if major hasan is admitting he was the shooter, why didn't he just plead guilty or negotiate an agreement there? >> well, in military court in capital cases like this one where he is facing the potential, if convicted, of facing the death penalty, he's not allowed to plead guilty. he had also trieded to mount a different kind of defense once he took over as his own attorney and argue. it's called the defense of others defense where he was arguing that he had done the shooting but that he had done it in order to protect individuals overseas. he tarring heed... he said he targeted soldiers who were preparing to deploy because he wanted to protect members of the taliban who he saw as allies. but the judge thus far has rejected that sentence so it's sort of unclear what defense
he's going to pursue, what defense strategy. >> and then how did it come about that he is representing himself? >> well he had had civilian lawyer in the beginning. he had fired his civilian lawyer. then he had military lawyers and he had requested to represent himself in recent months. and the judge allowed that. he had not initially want his military lawyers to stay on but the judge asked that they stay on as a stand-by counselor or a military legal add viedzor. so those layer... lawyers are there. two of them sit at the deten table with major hasan and a third sits in the gallery. they are there to offer him advice on military law. there was one point today where he sort of paused to consult with them on a particular matter. >> and was there a determination made about his mental competence? >> to serve as his own lawyer, i guess to stand trial? >> there was.
that happened early on. there was also a sort of secondary evaluation done where they took into consideration his physical status in terms of being physically able to represent himself because he's in a wheelchair. he was shot during the attack and is paralyzed from the chest down. that was a consideration but he insisted that he was strong enough to do it. that he could take breaks. but it's okay with sitting for long periods of time, that it's going to require for this trial because the judge has already estimated that it's probably going to take at least a month and possibly several months >> warner: finallying of course, this is a military trial not a civilian criminal trial. what difference does that make in the way the trial is conducted, the rules of evidence and of course the diswrir? >> well, there's a lot of differences. you have a jury that is made up of 13 individuals who are of major hasan's rank or higher so you have a major, similar to major hasan. then you also have colonels,
three colonels and nine lieutenant-gols which is a high-ranking crowd. these are elite individuals who served in command posts. i think 11 of the 13 have served in commands. a number of them have served overseas in afghanistan and iraq. these are, you know, skilled individuals with a lot of, you know, burnished records. one of them, at least one of them attended west point. a lot of them haved advanced degrees. in terms of a verdict, they have to have unanimous verdict in order to have a death sentence. what happens is they make a vote by secret ballot on what their verdict is going to be. if they can't achieve a two-thirds majority then they end up quitting so it's significantly different from a civilian trial. >> warner: molly hennessey-fisk of the los angeles times, thank you.
>> ifill: the pentagon pushes back against what they describe as crippling budget cuts. ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: the defense department announced today it was reducing the number of days its employees would have to take as unpaid furl owe from 11 to six. earlier this year, the defense department launched a review to figure out what to cut to live within the budget constraints imposed by sequestration and federal budget cuts. the pentagon has completed that review. with me now is deputy secretary of defense ashton carter who led it. welcome to the program. >> good to be here suarez: before we talk dollars and cents earlier in the program we talkd about the closure of foreign missions, the evacuation of american personnel. we've been pounding... the united states has been pounding al qaeda in the arabian peninsula from the air for years. how come they're still so able to launch attacks against american interests and assets. >> we have been pounding them for years.
but we're taking the situation we face right now very seriously. you see that in the posture that we have. this problem of terrorism, you know, al qaeda and so forth, is something that is going to be part of our strategic future. that's one of the things we considered in the review. as long as there's human society. now there's always going to be the problem of the few against the many. so those of us who have the responsibility for security are always going to need to be concerned about counterterrorism. it is an enduring mission of the department of defense. as we in the review looked at all the things we needed to do in the future and began this great reorientation of the department of defense from iraq and afghanistan which had been the principal thing that has been preoccupying us for the last decade to the future, as we look at those problems you see, yes, terrorism will need to stay good at counterterrorism. you see the growing importance
of the asia-pacific theater. we're spending a lot more attention as a department of defense on that. you see new things like cyber... entirely new things. that's why our strategy or our effort to deal with the current budget situation, we believe, has to be driven by strategy. that is, a view of the future. terrorism is one of those things that's going to be around. >> now that the review is completed, you still don't know exactly how much money you're going to have to spend in the years to come. but what effect has sequestration have to day-to-day operations, what you've been given to do by the american people? >> well, unfortunately, see crest traition is the worstate way to cut our budget. we have taken reductions already in the defense budget. what the review showed clearly was that they can over time get to the budget-cut levels called for by sequestration. and we can do that in a
strategically and managerially sensible way but it takes some time. why is that? well, it takes some time to cut things, to let people go, to stop doing things. all the sensible things you do. what happens in sequestration is, boom, we're hit very hard very steeply. that drives you to do things that weren't strategic and mag ally sound like stand down readiness, just stop flying. because you can't afford to do the flying. well, if we stand down the air force units that are supposed to be flying, that means that they're not training for: 00 contingencies for which we might need them. that's a serious step to have to take. it's one you would never take from a strategic or managerial point of view but it is forced upon us by sequester. if we can get some time that we can deal with these budget cuts much better than if they just come down on us in a way that thwarts good management >> ifill: there are people
sitting in their homes watching this broadcast who think, well, if they take a small haircut like every federal department had to, that's from a very high level. we spend a multiple of the amount of money of the next several militaries in the world behind us. give us some examples, specific examples of what you had to do without in the near term because of these budget cuts. >> because of sequestration, very specifically, we have had to stop training for both ground units and air units. stop sending ships on patrol and having them train and be ready for conflict. what we've tried to do is take all of the money we've got and put it into things that are most obviously and immediately necessary, like the war in afghanistan. nuclear deterrence. taking care of wounded warriors and so forth. what that means is all the rest
of the bill has bulged into other things. these things aren't unnecessary. they're just places where we can get our hands on the money very quickly. and the principal one that concerns us has been training. the second one is furl owing civilians. our civilians are very important to us. these are great people, great patriots, more than half of them are veterans. we've had to furl owe them. these are not things that you do if you had the time to make a budget change in a sensible way. it's the speed of sequester that makes it so difficult. you mentioned other agencies of government. i'm not the only manager around town who is trying to do these things. you know, we depend upon science and engineering in defense to keep the technological edge. we depend upon an educated work force because we have an all-volunteer military. we depend upon sound infrastructure. wech depend on all these other things, all the other parts of government. the fact that everybody is being
forced to do these things that are managerially nonsensical is a shame for us. and the other thing is is the tax payor, they only should give us the amount of money that we need to protect them. i understand that. and also very importantly we should only, we should make sure that we make good use of every dollar they give us. sometimes we don't. that's something very serious to me. that's why an important part of our review is to make better use of the tax payor dollar. we're prepared to change. we actually have to change, ray, because the war in iraq is over and the war in afghanistan is winding down. we have to change and face the problems that are going to define our future. we're ready to change and know that we need to change strategically but unfortunately sequester is is not the way to do it >> suarez: i want to continue this conversation online. but deputy secretary of defense ashton carter, thanks for
joining us on the program. >> good to be with you. >> warner: we'll be back shortly with a report on syrian refugees fleeing that country's bloody civil war. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support, and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air. >> ifill: for those stations not taking a pledge break, we take a second look at how a front man of rock is charming new audiences with classical music, yet still jamming for his fans after three decades on the road. jeffrey brown has our profile. ( cheers and applause ) >> brown: it's not where you expect to see the lead guitarist of what's widely seen as rock and roll's leading jam band. ♪ but there was trey anastasio best known for his work with the band phish, performing arrangements of his music with the national symphony orchestra in washington.
and even for a man used to playing for thousands in huge arenas, this was exciting. ♪ >> when you stand in that spot next to the podium and the orchestra is playing, the sound is... >> brown: it's pretty amazing, isn't it? >> oh, my god, it's in 3-d, and it's coming in every direction. my knees get weak. ♪ >> brown: it turns out that anastasio's love for classical music is long-standing, going back to his youth. he credits a college composition teacher for showing him how to write large-scale pieces modeled on symphonies, big band arrangements and more. >> we used to talk a lot about not getting so hung up on styles but being much more focused on content, so that you could sneak harmonic elegance into rock and roll. >> brown: you felt that from the beginning? >> from the beginning, absolutely. ♪ >> brown: in 1983, anastasio
formed the band that would become phish with three other musicians in burlington, vermont. and over 30 years, with a brief breakup in 2004, the band has developed one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in rock and roll, making their name not on number one hits but for their live performances featuring extended improvisations, the "jam." ♪ "rolling stone" magazine dubbed phish the "most important band of the 1990s" and anastasio himself one of the 100 greatest guitarists in rock history. and the community of hundreds of thousands of phish fans is as rabid as ever, many following the group from concert to concert. and that, says anastasio, is fundamental to the band's identity. >> a lot of the people that come
see us have been coming for 20, 30 years. i have-- as strange as this sounds-- relationships with people who stand, like, ten rows back and dance that i recognize. i walk on stage, say hi, and it's a good feeling, and we start playing and i've never spoken a word to them. >> brown: but what many fans may not realize, anastasio says, is all the hard work that goes into what they see on stage. for one thing, phish is addicted to practicing. >> the way i see it, the freedom comes with an enormous amount of discipline first. there's lots and lots of hidden work in practicing that gets you to the point where you can play like that. one of the things that we used to do as a band with phish is that we would do jamming exercises. we didn't want it to be a big mush of, you know, navel-gazing, self-indulgent solos. >> brown: you wanted it organized? >> we wanted organized jamming, yes. so, we would do very elaborate
listening exercises where we would go around in a circle, and each musician would start a phrase, and then the other three would have to join in harmony or rhythmically. so a lot of it had to do with being in a group of people and coexisting and being a community. ♪ >> brown: that word, "community," is clearly important to anastasio and his bandmates. and the security of the band has allowed him to pursue other interests. in addition to his appearances with many leading orchestras around the country, he tours with his own band and recently wrote the music for a broadway production. >> i always like to keep in the child mind-- i mean, "child- like," but not "childish," meaning a beginner's mind. i like learning. i like being the beginner. >> brown: you do? >> yes. and i like the challenge. i like getting up in the morning and learning something new. the other thing is that you learn stuff that you then take back to phish. >> brown: oh, really? it works that way?
>> definitely. you might be in a big arena, and there is some kind of music going on or some kind of guitar solo or something, and i think, wow, i wish i could get to the level that i heard with, you know, the pittsburgh symphony that night, when the brass section was playing. that kind of thing. you know, it opens your mind. >> brown: performing with the orchestra, ansastasio says, is a way to re-imagine pieces he wrote for phish, but to do so in a way that's challenging and fulfilling for the musicians, as well. ♪ >> the idea is that there is nothing as rhythmically tight on god's green earth as an orchestra. the strings usually act in a percussive way, so we didn't want to put a drum set up there. there is nothing as harmonically elegant and there is nothing as texturally elegant as an orchestra. and we wanted to take advantage of all those elements. >> brown: in the meantime, phish goes on, having survived decades
of incredible change in the music business. >> i will say one thing here-- it may sound insensitive or whatever-- there is no free ride, you know. >> brown: meaning? >> sometimes i think people think they are going to get into music because it's a way to not work, which is completely the opposite of the way i've always looked at it. if you love it, you are going to get up at 7:00 a.m. every day and play all day long and work and find gigs. >> brown: so, this is a job, it's something you work at. >> you've got to love it. >> brown: you've got to put in your 10,000 hours, and then you've got to put in another 10,000 hours. >> but you know, if you love it- - which i do-- it's easy. >> brown: the band is once again on the road this summer, touring the country. and phish fans everywhere will be glad to hear that a new albu.
♪ >> warner: online, you can watch jeff's full interview with trey anastasio. >> ifill: finally tonight, to syria. more than 100,000 people have died in the two-year civil war, according to the united nations, and the conflict has caused misery beyond the country's borders. more than a million people have fled the fighting, many of them to jordan and the world's second largest refugee camp, known as zatari. lindsey hilsum of independent television news spent 24 hours there reporting firsthand on the human cost of the war. >> reporter: it's ramadan, and dusk is falling over the biggest refugee camp in the middle east. a year ago, this was a dusty patch of desert; today, it's home to 120,000 people.
i'm with kilian kleinschmidt, the man who is trying to turn chaos into order. >> well, you're seeing here this cable, which is pulled by somebody who has been selling it to the people in this area because they technically don't have electricity. >> reporter: the camp has grown more quickly than the u.n.'s capacity to connect all the tents and trailers. they have no idea what the bill's going to be, so, now, he's put in a new transformer and got the bootleg engineers to protect it. the guys who were doing all these things illegally, you're getting them on your side? >> we're getting them on our side because we're not saying "stop it"; we're saying, "let's work together and improve it." >> reporter: bright lights, almost big city. they call this the champs elysees. the goods on sale might be a bit
different, but the point is that this is a street in what increasingly looks like a town. in the last couple of months, zaatari has taken on an air of permanence. the syrians here might not want to admit it, but they know they're not going back tomorrow or next week. not next year, either. >> in the winter, this will all get muddy and full with... >> reporter: walking around, we came across a group of 16-year- old girls. they told me they hated life in zaatari but had no hope of going home to deraa in syria. >> ( translated ): what can we do? assad is still going strong. >> reporter: the boys, like boys everywhere, were playing shoot 'em up computer games. but for them, violence isn't abstract. in fact, they see this as practice.
>> ( translated ): these kids were bombed and saw battles and destruction, so ideas began to develop in their minds. they started dreaming of becoming part of the resistance, of fighting and defending their country. >> reporter: killian is talking to the elders. now it's dark; they've broken the ramadan fast. >> i would like to do more. we can do more, but we need to work together more. >> reporter: they complain to him about water pollution, although, on occasion, refugees have smuggled out in mud-covered stolen tents inside the tankers. it's not always easy to build trust. early morning, and the bread van arrives. bread's distributed for free,
but now bakeries are springing up in the camp. it's usually the children's job to collect the family supply. there are 60,000 kids in the camp; only a quarter of them go to school. they roam around chucking stones. >> ( translated ): when you want to be happy, when you want to be happy, what do you do? >> reporter: a project to help children reconnect with their emotions. war and exile have robbed them of all sense of risk, for themselves or anyone else. >> these children have lived for a particularly long time in levels of stress that are incredibly profound. so, when that happens, there's a part of your brain that goes, "you've experienced too much." and it's like a sim card in a phone; it turns itself off. you go into survivor mode. >> reporter: as if to prove the
point, one lobbed a stone at the aid workers' vehicle as they left. water is a scarce resource in the camp, but the kids aren't worried. dusk is falling again. for the children, the years stretch ahead in the camp that became a town in the desert in jordan. soon, syria will be just a dream. >> warner: again, the major developments of the day. the state department urged all u.s. citizens in yemen to get out of the country "immediately" in the face of a potential al qaeda attack. and the court martial of army major nidal hassan got under way at fort hood, texas, in the 2009 shooting rampage that killed 13 people. >> ifill: online, as the affordable health care act kicks into gear, the government begins to woo young adults. kwame holman has more.
>> reporter: the obama administration wants millions of young, healthy people will sign up for insurance under the affordable care act in order to offset costs of caring for the sick and elderly. we asked our younger viewers how the new law affects them. read their responses on our homepage. and cracking down on the rising meth trade. we have a report from our partners at fronteras and san diego's kpbs. watch the story on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. margaret? >> warner: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at the fight to ensure that people with disabilities get the opportunities the law requires. i'm margaret warner. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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