tv 60 Minutes CBS December 6, 2015 7:00pm-9:00pm EST
captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> it felt like i had a gun to my head. >> stahl: have you told them yet that you had nothing to do with this? >> they almost convince you that... that you're guilty. >> he's talking about law enforcement pressuring him into becoming a confidential informant. and he did. on his college campus, he went to work helping police catch drug dealers. it's a practice we discovered is going on across the country involving young people... >> you can't tell anybody you're working for me. >> stahl: ...sometimes with tragic consequences. >> they shot her five times when they found the wire in her purse and dumped her body in a ditch 50 miles away. >> cooper: bonobos are unique among great apes because they are not dominated by males.
it's the females who run the show. >> here, if you try to be an alpha male, you will be, as the congolese say, "corrected" by the females. >> cooper: not just by one female, but by a sort of alliance of females? >> that's right. >> cooper: bonobos have never been observed to kill each other. the same can't be said of chimpanzees, or humans, for that matter. the screeches are a sophisticated form of communication, and their gestures are unmistakable. >> kroft: i'm steve kroft. >> stahl: i'm lesley stahl. >> cooper: i'm anderson cooper. >> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. >> pelley: i'm scott pelley.
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may be far more common-- young people, many of them college students caught selling small amounts of marijuana, who are recruited by law enforcement to wear a wire and make undercover drug buys in exchange for having their charges reduced or dropped altogether. it's a practice we discovered that's going on across the country, largely under the radar and, in some cases, with tragic consequences. >> jason weber: how's it going today? >> andrew sadek: all right. >> weber: it's your birthday today. >> sadek: yeah. >> weber: probably not what you want to be doing on your birthday, huh? >> stahl: what you're looking at is police footage of the making of a confidential informant. narcotics officer jason weber is recruiting a college student who'd been caught making two small marijuana sales to become a c.i. >> weber: all right. well, you expressed interest that you probably want to help yourself out. >> sadek: yeah. >> weber: we're always trying to go up the chain. and so what we want to do is have them buy from their
>> stahl: weber is the chief of a four-county drug task force in eastern north dakota and western minnesota. how important do you think confidential informants are to your task? >> weber: yeah, confidential informants are really important to law enforcement across the country. they make our jobs easier just because they are already the ones that are out there that know who the drugs dealers are and rely on them. >> stahl: are most of the kids that you're recruiting caught for marijuana sales? >> weber: the big majority, yeah. >> stahl: weber's jurisdiction includes the campus of the north dakota state college of science, with some 3,000 students. marijuana is now legal in four states and the district of columbia, but not in north dakota, where selling even a small amount on a campus is a class-a felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $20,000, or both. this young man, andrew sadek,
confidential informant making two sales for a total of $80. weber has called sadek in before charging him to present a choice-- agree to work as a c.i., wear a wire and make undercover drug buys from three people, twice each-- or be charged with two class-a felonies. >> weber: potentially, the max is 40 years in prison, $40,000 fine. you understand that? >> sadek: yeah. >> weber: okay. obviously, you're probably not going to get 40 years, but is it a good possibility that you're going to get some prison time if you don't help yourself out? yeah, there is, okay? that's probably not a way to start off your young adult life and career, right? >> stahl: sadek took the deal. weber told us most students do. part of the agreement he signed- - keep the whole thing strictly to himself. >> weber: you can't tell anybody you're working for me, obvious... for obvious reasons. >> stahl: an award-winning student of electrical technology, andrew sadek did as
he was told-- never told any of his close friends about being an informant, never called a lawyer, and didn't breathe a word to his parents, tammy and john sadek. the sadeks are a ranching family still struggling with the death of their older son in a train accident years earlier, leaving andrew an only child. if andrew had told you that he was thinking of becoming a confidential informant, what do you think your reaction would've been? >> tammy sadek: we'd have gotten him a lawyer and told him, "no." >> john sadek: we've never heard of such a thing, you know, using college students for snitches or whatever you want to call them, stool pigeons or i don't know what you call them, you know? >> lance block: there's no parent that i know of who would allow their child or want their child to serve as a confidential informant. >> stahl: to set up a drug deal. >> block: yeah. i mean, it's too dangerous. no, i wouldn't want my child to do it. >> stahl: lance block is an attorney in tallahassee, florida, who opposes using young people caught for relatively
informants. >> block: these kids are being recruited to do the most dangerous type of police work. no background, training, or experience. they haven't been to the police academy. >> stahl: so they are basically doing the same work as a trained undercover cop? >> block: absolutely. >> stahl: block says he was unaware police were using young people as confidential informants until he was hired seven years ago by the family of rachel hoffman, a recent college graduate who was caught with a large stash of marijuana and a few valium and ecstasy pills. it was her second marijuana arrest. >> block: she was caught by the tallahassee police department and told that if she didn't become a confidential informant, she was looking at four years in prison. >> stahl: she signed up, and a few weeks later, was sent out to make her first undercover drug buy. it was to be one of the biggest
in tallahassee's recent history- - 1,500 ecstasy pills, an ounce and a half of cocaine, and a gun. had she ever dealt in any of those things? >> block: no. >> stahl: a gun? had she ever fired a gun? >> block: no. rachel was a pothead. and rachel sold marijuana to her friends out of her home, but rachel wasn't dealing in ecstasy or cocaine, much less... of course not weapons. >> stahl: rachel drove her car alone to meet the dealers in the police and a wire in her purse. she was to be monitored by some 20 officers. but then, the dealers changed the location of the deal, so rachel drove away from the police staging area, and that's when things went terribly wrong. >> block: the drug dealers have her out on this road. one drug dealer gets into the car with her... >> stahl: and the 20 cops who were nearby?
>> block: they lost her. >> hoffman is 5'7", 135 pounds. she was last seen... >> hoffman was seen wednesday night at about 7:00 near forest meadows park. >> block: they shot her five times when they found the wire in her purse and dumped her body in a ditch 50 miles away. >> stahl: rachel hoffman's tragic death turned block into an advocate. he sued the city of tallahassee and won a $2.8 million settlement for rachel's parents, and he has argued for more openness and greater protection for confidential informants ever since. do you have any sense of how many confidential informants there are? >> block: law enforcement is loaded with statistics. but you cannot find out any information about the number of confidential informants that are being used across this country, much less the number of people who are being killed or injured. >> stahl: no one's keeping statistics? >> block: no one. it's a shadowy underworld is what it is. >> brian sallee: we want to make more cases. we want to make better cases
that can get prosecuted. informants can do that. >> stahl: brian sallee is a longtime undercover narcotics officer who believes a shadowy underworld is exactly what working with c.i.s should be-- shadowy to protect informants' identities, and underworld because that's where cops like him want informants to take them. >> sallee: who knows the most about the dope trade? is it us working narcotics? no. who is it? the sellers, the dopers. >> stahl: sallee says he's worked with hundreds of informants, and now trains police officers around the country on how best to use them. if you had not been able, personally, to use confidential informants, would you have been as effective? >> sallee: nowhere near as effective. >> stahl: you really feel you need this... >> sallee: oh, i know i would not. i may have to watch a house for days or weeks to establish probable cause. my informant goes in and makes a buy out of it, and i have my probable cause in five minutes. you can get into cases quicker,
easier, in some respects, safer. >> stahl: i'm surprised you say safer, because we've heard about kids who've been killed doing these operations. >> sallee: it's a dangerous trade that they're involved in. >> stahl: yeah. >> sallee: they are in that drug trade. they've always been facing that potential danger. >> stahl: sallee estimates there could be as many as 100,000 confidential informants working with police across the country, and he says, with just a few tragic exceptions, it's a win/win-- a win for society and a win for the c.i. >> sallee: they have agreed to do what they are doing in exchange for something. that's the bottom line. when somebody comes to work for me as an informant, it's their decision. >> stahl: police tell us that this is completely voluntary, and they want to do this to get rid of the charges. >> block: it's not something that college kids are standing up, saying, "i want to be a c.i." it's not voluntary.
they agree to do deals for the police department. >> stahl: and there are some important things they're not being told. so what if you catch me selling $60 worth of marijuana? what do you say to me to become an informant? >> sallee: i'll say, "this is the charge. this is a felony. do you want to help yourself out?" >> stahl: do you tell me that i have a right to talk to a lawyer? >> sallee: no, i do not. i tell you you have a right to talk to a lawyer if i'm going to ask you incriminating questions. if we're talking about your becoming an informant, i don't have to tell you that you have a right to a lawyer. >> weber: all right... >> stahl: that's because, since police often recruit confidential informants before charging them and without arresting them, they're not obligated by law to read them their rights. and weber didn't with andrew sadek. he told us sadek made three successful undercover drug buys as a c.i., half the number he'd been told was required of him.
weber says sadek was warned he would soon be charged if he didn't continue. then one night, a few weeks shy of graduation, security cameras snapped these pictures of sadek walking out of his dorm at 2:00 a.m. on a thursday morning. a day and a half later, he had not come back. >> tammy sadek: we got a call from the campus at about noon on friday. >> stahl: still completely unaware of their son's work as a confidential informant, andrew's parents were soon on campus, making a public plea for his return. >> tammy sadek: we love you, and we want you... we need you to come home. >> john sadek: everything will be okay. >> stahl: there were searches, prayer vigils. and then, two months later, the worst news possible-- andrew's body was discovered in a river near the campus, his backpack weighted down with rocks, its straps tied together across his chest.
did they tell you what the cause of death was? >> tammy sadek: gunshot to the head. >> stahl: a year and a half later, that's about all the sadeks have been told. no one has been charged in andrew's death, and the gun that killed him has not been found. police deny he was involved in any c.i. operation the night he disappeared, and have suggested to his parents that he may have shot himself, a possibility they say is inconceivable. they're convinced their son was murdered as a result of his work as an informant, and they want the confidential recruitment of young offenders as c.i.s to stop. >> tammy sadek: it's ridiculous. ridiculous. stop doing it. slap their hands. fine them. put them in jail. expel them. i don't care. stop using our kids to do your jobs. >> stahl: andrew sadek's death
so neither the state agencies in charge of the case, nor jason weber, would talk about it. but we did ask about putting these kids at risk. andrew sadek was caught selling $80 worth of marijuana. people have said to us, "it's just not worth it. it's not worth putting the kid in any kind of risky situation for that little." >> weber: you know, a drug dealer is a drug dealer, whether you sell a big amount or a small amount, whether you do it once or if you do it 100 times. while it's still against the law, part of our duty as law enforcement is to get the drugs off the streets and to get the drug dealers off the streets. >> stahl: so how successful is what you're doing? >> weber: well, i think it goes back to the point, if we don't try something or if we don't do that, then we're truly losing that... the war on drugs. >> stahl: isn't it more important to go after heroin, meth, cocaine? >> weber: yeah, our agency goes after all them. >> stahl: i'm still trying to get at the equation, you know what i mean? is it worth it, for marijuana? >> weber: yeah.
there again, i got to go back to, you know, as long as it's a crime, it is my duty as a police officer to enforce criminal law. >> stahl: we've spoken to college students who talk about how they were pressured into becoming confidential informants. >> it felt like i had a gun to my head. >> stahl: that part of the story, when we come back. >> cbs money watch update sponsored by lincoln financial, calling all chief life officers. >> glor: good evening. lufthansa says a man was restrained after he threatened to open a plane door. greece has approved a 2016 budget with sharp spending cuts. and the united autoworkers want to vote for represent dentation
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departments that recruit and use the informants. and that, critics say, can and has resulted in overly aggressive recruitment tactics, traumatized and even suicidal c.i.s, and situations where kids are given incentives to entrap other kids. we looked at a case, a narcotics unit, where those charges have been leveled. it's in one of the country's best-known college towns, with the university itself an involved partner and funder. the university of mississippi in oxford, famously called "ole miss," is known for its football, its school spirit, and its southern charm. but less than a mile from campus, housed in this municipal building, is a drug task force focused on the darker side of life here. it's called metro narcotics, and
informants was an ole miss student we'll call "greg," who agreed to speak with us in disguise. his life as a c.i. began one day coming home from class. >> greg: i was met halfway there by men in bulletproof vests, guns, and badges around their necks. my initial reaction was just "keep going. this is no way involved with me." and then... until they held up a piece of paper with my name on it, saying i had sold lsd, and i thought, "what on earth? i had nothing to do with this." >> stahl: greg, who had no criminal record, insists his only encounter with lsd was when a friend asked to leave some at his apartment. then, he says, another acquaintance stopped by-- wearing a wire, it turns out-- and picked the lsd up. >> greg: i was just on the couch watching tv. and he was like, "oh, thanks." and i just said, "i have nothing to do with this. don't thank me." >> stahl: but at the metro
office, greg says two agents threatened him with more than 20 years in prison and a felony on his record for life unless he agreed to become an informant and make drug buys wearing a wire from ten people who he had to find himself. >> greg: it felt like i had a gun to my head. >> stahl: have you told them yet that you had nothing to do with this? >> greg: they almost convince you that... that you're guilty. i was just so scared, i was just putty in their hands. >> stahl: did you think about the idea that you'd become a snitch? was signing and i hated it, absolutely. it just made me sick, but what made me more sick was the thought of spending 20 years in prison. >> stahl: did you know ten people you could buy drugs from when you signed that paper? >> greg: absolutely not. but you don't care at the time, when you sign it. you know, "please don't ruin my life." >> stahl: ten buys sounds like a lot. >> ken coghlan: it's virtually impossible. >> stahl: ken coghlan is a
defense attorney in oxford who has represented many ole miss students who became confidential informants. he says that, because there are no standardized rules, cops can ask for any number of buys, like metro's ten, which he says is so high, it creates a perverse incentive for kids to entice other kids to break the law. he told us he has seen it again and again. >> coghlan: they don't know ten drug dealers. and they're so desperate, they will go to their friend or their roommate or their frat brother, and they know this person smokes marijuana. and they'll say, "i'm out of weed. can i get ten dollars' worth of weed from you?" >> stahl: your personal stuff. >> coghlan: that's entrapment, and that's not allowed under the law. >> stahl: entrapment, because that frat brother with his own marijuana, was only guilty of possession, a misdemeanor under mississippi law. but if he says yes and sells a little to his buddy, he's now
facing possible prison time. >> coghlan: and at that point, we're not catching criminals, we're creating criminals. >> stahl: did you ever get the feeling that you were asking someone else to commit a crime that they wouldn't otherwise have committed? >> greg: yes. i just knew somebody who would provide me with an amount, who wasn't selling, but i just knew they... they would because we knew each other. >> stahl: and you did that? >> greg: yes. >> stahl: so when you say they're creating felons, this is what you mean? >> coghlan: i don't think the cops say, "go out and talk somebody into doing it that wouldn't otherwise do it." it's just what the kids do. and look, there... there are some hard drugs around. but the vast, vast majority of cases are the sale of two grams of marijuana, three grams of marijuana. >> stahl: but those small sales can add up to big numbers of arrests, and numbers, says tallahassee attorney lance block, help drug task forces get grants. >> block: they want to drive up
and it doesn't matter whether they're going after a college kid with a couple of joints in his pocket or whether they're going after a drug kingpin. >> stahl: and the more arrests, the more money? >> block: the arrest numbers-- the higher they go, the better the funding. i mean, law enforcement is addicted to the drug war money as the crack addict is on the street to his drugs. >> stahl: it's a strong charge. we put it to undercover narcotics agent and instructor brian sallee. what they say is that police are in this to lift their arrest statistics to justify the grants and money that they're getting. >> sallee: i'm in it to do what is best for my community. and if having higher stats gets me more money and allows me to do more cases to then impact the drug trade in my community, then that's also a benefit. >> stahl: metro narcotics got nearly $55,000 in federal grants
last year, but most of their budget comes from the city police, the county sheriff's department, and ole miss-- $100,000 each. the head of metro narcotics for the last five years has been keith davis, seen here on an ole miss student newscast defending his unit's work with students as informants. >> keith davis: these are adults, these are 18-, 19-, 20- year-olds. yes, i get it, they have young minds, whatever. but they are out here creating felonies and hurting our communities. >> stahl: we requested our own interview with davis, or any representative of metro narcotics, but they declined. one thing we wanted to ask davis about were charges that he and other agents in the unit were abusive to the c.i.s. >> greg: they call you, and in these calls, they're very aggressive and threatening and saying, "well, we're going to come pick you up and you're going to go to prison," to the point where i was just terrified whenever my phone rang. >> stahl: we heard similar claims from another ole miss
confidential informant after metro narcotics accused him of selling marijuana. >> they say, "your life is over if you... as you know it, if you tell anybody, if you don't help us." >> stahl: did they specifically say, "you can't call your parents?" >> they said, "if you call your parents, we'll take you to jail." >> stahl: once he agreed, he says one of the first things the agent asked him was whether he could buy meth or heroin. he told him he couldn't. >> the first eight months or so, he called every single day at around the same time. >> stahl: he called you every day for eight months? >> every day. >> stahl: we had heard repeated accusations about the aggressive tone of the metro agents, and then got to listen for ourselves when we obtained a tape recording of keith davis and another metro agent yelling at a c.i. recruit they heard had made a threat to find out where they lived. the first voice is that of agent tommy knight. >> tommy knight: i don't give a ( bleep ) where you at. >> yes, sir. >> knight: i'll turn this ( bleep ) in and i'll come beat the ( bleep ) out of you. >> yes, sir. >> knight: get that in your head.
>> stahl: whoa. the tape was made surreptitiously by the c.i. recruit, who brought it to ken coghlan. we listened with him as keith davis made his own threat if the kid ever went to his house. >> davis: come there, it'll be the last ( bleep ) place you ever go in your life. >> yes, sir. >> davis: you feel me? >> 100%. >> davis: it took all i had not to come see you last night... >> yes, sir. >> davis: ...to hunt you down. but i'm trying to calm down. >> stahl: keith davis is the chief of this narcotics unit, and he is making a death threat. >> coghlan: you know, i'm just going to let the tape speak for itself. >> stahl: coghlan sent the tape and a letter to the chancellor and attorney of ole miss more than two years ago, thinking that, as a funder of metro narcotics, they should know how the unit was treating its students. he got no reply, and we could find no evidence that changes were made to the program at that time. greg told us that, as he continued making undercover buys, he became anxious and paranoid.
>> greg: i would have to conceal that i was shaking, because, first of all, i completely detested what i was doing. i didn't want to get anybody in trouble. >> stahl: did you feel ashamed? >> greg: absolutely. >> stahl: because of turning in other kids? >> greg: yes. >> stahl: but keith davis told the ole miss campus reporter that these kids don't deserve that much sympathy. >> davis: let's be clear here-- these people are not these innocent little college kids, plain and simple. the ones that are selling dope are not innocent people, they're selling poison. >> stahl: that may be true for many confidential informants, but it turns out, not greg. after a year and a half, and he says making six of the ten required buys, greg was charged and arrested anyway. that's when his parents found out and hired coghlan, who researched the original evidence against greg and came to the conclusion that the friend who brought the lsd to greg's house in the first place had been a c.i.
so, a c.i. brought the drugs, and a c.i. bought the drugs. >> coghlan: that's the way i understood it to be. >> stahl: coghlan says, after he brought the situation to the attention of the district attorney, the charges against greg were dismissed. all the charges were just thrown out? >> greg: completely. >> block: it's really important that the public have an understanding of what's going on, because it's perverted justice. >> stahl: i've been told that a lot of these kids are not really looking at jail time. >> block: in the vast majority of cases, these kids would be diverted into a drug court program. they'd be on probation for six months to a year, and at the end, if they've done everything successfully, then the cases are dismissed. >> stahl: lance block has been advocating for laws to regulate the recruitment and use of confidential informants across the country, but he says law enforcement lobbies have opposed the reforms. >> block: they want to keep the c.i. system as it is. >> stahl: law enforcement people have told us, "we see it as a
the kids get a reduced or... charges completely expunged, and we get to arrest drug dealers." >> block: but there are kids that are being killed. and they're arresting small-time possessors. that's a lose/lose. >> stahl: we asked ole miss for an on-camera interview while we were reporting our story. our request was declined. we did get a letter months later, saying: "thank you for your part in encouraging a deeper look at the metro narcotics unit," and telling us that, because of "increased attention"-- attention from "60 minutes" and the news organization buzzfeed-- changes were being made, including: "more direct oversight of the program;" "an audit of the program by a third-party organization;" "policies to ensure suspects fully understand they have a choice in whether to become a confidential informant;" and a change in leadership.
at the end of september, keith davis resigned as head of the unit. he now works for the sheriff's department. >> hear from someone who didn't take the deal to become a confidential informant. on 60minutesovertime.com. sponsored by pfizer. your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to a biologic, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can reduce joint pain and swelling in as little as two weeks, and help stop further joint damage. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma, and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts, and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests
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>> whitaker: most people know that chimpanzees are our close cousins. they share over 98% of our dna. but you may not know that we also have another primate cousin just as close. they're called bonobos. they may look like chimpanzees, but they are an entirely their behavior couldn't be more different. bonobos are the only great apes that live in female-dominated groups, and unlike chimps and humans, which are often violent bonobos would rather make love than war. as anderson cooper discovered, they are an endangered species, and only found in one place, the
central africa. congo's been torn apart by war for decades, keeping researchers away, which is why bonobos are the least-understood apes on the planet. >> cooper: the world's only sanctuary for bonobos sits on the outskirts of congo's capital, kinshasa. it's called lola ya bonobo-- "bonobo paradise"-- and for these endangered apes, that's exactly what it is. this refuge was created by conservationist claudine andre. she's belgian-born, but has lived in congo most of her life. if you ask her why she cares so much about bonobos, she'll tell you "just look into their eyes." >> claudine andre: the way they look in your eyes, deeply in your... just like they look in
>> andre: yeah. >> cooper: and it's rare that-- most primates don't... don't maintain eye contact like that. >> andre: yeah, because... don't try to do this with gorilla, you know and... >> cooper: right. it's a threatening gesture, if you do it with a gorilla. >> andre: yeah. >> cooper: but bonobos look right at you. >> andre: oh, yeah. >> cooper: bonobos may have a brain that's a third the size of ours, but they're remarkably intelligent. ( bonobo screeching ) >> cooper: those high-pitched screeches are a sophisticated form of communication, and their gestures are unmistakable. like chimpanzees, bonobos use tools in a wide variety of ways, and are capable of abstract problem-solving. >> andre: she have a baby, so she cannot go deeply... >> cooper: so she's breaking the stick, actually? >> andre: yeah, she... she shows the stick is too short. >> cooper: okay. so she got a longer stick. that's amazing. how deep the water is?
>> andre: yeah. >> cooper: bonobos are unique among great apes because they are not dominated by males. and according to brian hare, a duke university evolutionary at lola, it's the females who run the show. >> brian hare: here, if you try to be in a... an alpha male, you will be, as the congolese say, "corrected" by the females. >> cooper: not just by one female, but by a sort of alliance of females? >> hare: that's right. that's right. and one of the... they... bonobos really violate a rule of nature where, usually, if you're bigger, you're going to be but here, females are actually smaller. by males because they work together. >> cooper: what's more, bonobos have never been observed to kill each other. chimpanzees, or of humans, for that matter. >> hare: bonobos, on the other hand, they don't really have that darker side. so that's where they could really help us is, how could it be that a species that has a brain a third of the size of ours can do something that, with all our technological prowess, we can't accomplish? which is, to not kill each other.
>> cooper: the answer might be found in bonobos' favorite pastime. these apes have more sex, more often, in more ways than any other primate on the planet. their sexual contact is so frequent, brian hare refers to it as the "bonobo handshake". it's not that they want to procreate or have kids; it's not that they even find each other attractive. >> hare: no. >> cooper: it's... it's just... >> hare: no, it's a negotiation. >> cooper: and it's hardly surprising that many of these negotiations take place over food. chimpanzees will fight each other over food. >> hare: that's right. they... >> cooper: bonobos won't necessarily fight each other... >> hare: that's right. so they... so, basically, chimpanzees get primed for competition, testosterone increases. bonobos, they get really stressed out. and if they feel like they're not going to be able to share, they get really anxious, and then that drives them to want to be reassured. and they then happen to have a bonobo handshake to feel better. >> cooper: and males do that with females, males will do that with males, females will do that with females. doesn't matter, even the ages? >> hare: any combination, any age. >> cooper: it's an irony that
being hunted to extinction. though it's illegal to kill or capture bonobos in congo, that hasn't slowed their rapid decline. forest animals are sold in bustling bush-meat markets for food. at the largest in congo's capital, kinshasa, you can buy monkeys, porcupines, even alligators, dead or alive. bonobos aren't openly sold here anymore, but you can still buy them in many parts of congo. their orphaned babies often end up in the only place that can care for them, lola ya bonobo. the babies arrive traumatized, often injured. each is assigned a surrogate human mother, and their job is to raise the babies as their own, showering them with the love and attention the orphan
( shrieking ) >> cooper: it's incredible to see them up close like this. i mean, they are so... >> andre: yeah, human? >> cooper: yeah. >> andre: yeah, you know, i say all the time that, for sure, they are great apes. they are not us and we are not them, but we have a line in the middle of the two world that we cross all the time. >> cooper: baby bonobos are as playful as any human toddler, and just as curious. suzy kwetuenda would know. she's in charge of the bonobos' welfare at lola and oversees their rehabilitation. you have a child of your own? >> cooper: how are they different? no more difference. >> cooper: there's not difference... >> kwetuenda: the same. >> cooper: of course, really have to be a mother to... >> kwetuenda: yes. >> cooper: ...to this baby? time, you need experienced mother to... so, they give love and affection, and this is the only way to save them. >> cooper: that... that's what
saves these babies? >> kwetuenda: yes. and make them in life. >> cooper: they need love? >> kwetuenda: yeah, absolutely. without that, they die. >> cooper: suzy decided to study could teach us a lot about human evolution. after five years at lola, she realized that their behavior is closer to ours than she'd ever imagined. is it hard not to think of them as human? >> kwetuenda: yes. yes, because we share most of time with them. we share time with them, yeah. >> cooper: right, you spend all day with them? >> kwetuenda: all day. >> cooper: and at the end of that day, suzy sees to it the babies are tucked into their hammocks for the night. at 6:00 p.m., it's lights out. do you read them a story? >> kwetuenda: no, they don't need, because they are tired. they spend all the time jumping in trees, playing so much as now... >> cooper: they're exhausted? >> kwetuenda: so that's... yeah, they are very exhausted. >> cooper: by age five, the orphaned apes move from lola's nursery to the kindergarten, where their peers teach them something their human mothers never could.
bonobos. they still crave affection, but they're also more confident, and have started developing their own distinct personalities. >> andre: he's the one who like jump. >> cooper: you want to jump? ( laughter ) i can't work under these conditions. it's very hard to... to conduct an interview like this. ( laughter ) claudine andre came across her first bonobo 20 years ago. the country was wracked by violence and on the verge of a brutal civil war. she volunteered to help at a local zoo, and that's when she saw a baby bonobo, though the zoo director warned her about getting too close. he said, "don't put your heart in this animal." >> andre: yes. "it's a bonobo." a bonobo-- it was the first time for me i hear this word. and he say they never survive in captivity. >> cooper: so he was warning you, "don't... don't fall in love with a bonobo, because it's going to die."
sort of challenge. >> cooper: there are now more than 70 bonobos at lola. many of the original orphans have children of their own. but to save these primates from extinction, their numbers in the wild will have to grow. six years ago, the team from lola decided to try to release some back into the forest. nothing like it had ever been done with bonobos before. they hand-picked nine apes who they thought would do well on their own. they have to be able to get along in a group, as well as be >> andre: yeah. yeah, yeah. it's just like you chose people to go in the moon. >> cooper: it's not quite the moon, but the site they found to release the bonobos is about as remote a place as you can find on the planet. it's a three-hour flight deep into the wilderness of northern the lopori river in a dugout canoe. life along the river hasn't
changed much in centuries. congo is one of the least- developed countries in the world, and has millions of acres of virtually untouched forest. it may look pristine, even peaceful, but many of the people who live in these parts have suffered from years of war. the wildlife here was decimated. so, the bonobos disappeared from this area because of hunting...? >> andre: yes, yes. >> cooper: ... for bushmeat? >> andre: yeah. >> cooper: and also, during the war, soldiers would hunt here. >> andre: yeah. >> cooper: we were taken to the spot where that first group of bonobos was released. for a while, we couldn't see anything, just dense forest spilling over the banks of the winding river. then, claudine began calling out the names of the apes she herself once mothered all those years ago. >> andre: vous etes ou? ( bonobos screeching ) they know it. >> cooper: that's crazy. they respond to you... >> andre: they responding to me. they know i'm here.
claudine. and suddenly, the forest was alive with the sound of apes excited to hear her voice once again. one by one, the bonobos came to the water's edge to see the people who'd saved their lives. >> andre: etumbe! >> cooper: claudine and her team weren't sure releasing bonobos back into the wild would work, adapting, most now seem to be thriving. >> andre: etumbe! >> cooper: that's etumbe, the bonobo claudine is perhaps most proud of. for 17 years, she was trapped in a tiny cage at a kinshasa laboratory. now, she's the leader of the group. >> andre: and she give us a first baby born here, so... is my friend... ( laughter ) ...or my sister. >> cooper: your... your family. >> andre: my family. >> cooper: this is as close as claudine allows herself to get. now that they're wild, she
used to humans ever again. do you still find it thrilling when you suddenly see them after all this time? >> andre: oh, yes. it's also so nice... present to return to the wild and be free. >> cooper: this is what you dreamed of? >> andre: yes. >> your cbs sports update is brought to you by ford. i'm james brown with scores from nfl. the jets dropped the giants in o.t. buffalo snaps houston's four-game win streak. philly hands the pats their second straight loss. carolina remains unbeaten and clinches the n.f.c. south. denver's brock osweiler wins his third straight start. k.c. rubs its win streak to six. for more sports news and information, go to cbssports.com.
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for the past 26 years, he produced a hundred or so stories for this broadcast, including some of the very best. we lost harry this week to cancer. he was 66 years old. traveler on a broadcast of world travelers. he knew where to get the best bouillabaisse in marseilles, and the best barbeque in tennessee. he knew where to go to find a great story and who to talk to when he got there. he was kind and calm, and a great journalist. he took us off the beaten path for a visit to the monasteries of greece's holy mountain, mount athos, with bob simon. >> simon: there's no electricity here, so the icons and mosaics are illuminated only by shafts of sunlight and a few candles. >> kroft: and on a search for the ivory-billed woodpecker in arkansas's big woods with ed bradley. >> bradley: the ivory-billed woodpecker was presumed extinct.
sparling thought. >> kroft: he showed us the plight of christians of the holy land... ( elephants trumpeting ) and elephants in the central african republic... and the art of making whisky on the island of islay. >> cheers, bob. >> kroft: harry never lost his enthusiasm for exploring. >> harry radliffe: i've just always been curious about the world. i mean, it's thrilling to get off an airplane and you're in india. airplane and you're in china. it's thrilling to get off an airplane and you're in, you know, korea. you know, to go off with a camera and be able to come back with a story that you put together and show it to people, i mean, what's not cool about that? >> kroft: he made "60 minutes," and all of us here, better just by having the privilege of working with him. i'm steve kroft. don't go away. we'll be back in a moment with a
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this is a cbs news special washington. good evening. president obama is about to make a rare address to the nation from the oval office. the subject is terrorism. he's expected to tell americans shaken by the attack in san bernardino what he is doing to keep the nation safe. tashfeen malik, a pakistani pledged her allegiance to isis before she and her american husband syed farook opened fire party. 14 people were killed. the deadliest terror attack in the u.s. since 9/11. the president met yesterday with his national security team and he concluded his weekly radio
that americans will not be the address tonight will be only the third from the oval office for mr. obama, a sign of the issue. major garrett is at the white house for us. major? >> scott, the white house knows the nation is on edge. it's easy to understand why. the san bernardino attack was completely different, hamped in secret, it was conceived without u.s. law enforcement having any awareness about it and inspired by isis. in that light, the president will describe the military campaign against isis in iraq and syria and the steps congress can take to improve vij lens and safety, and importantly for this president it will include a call for more gun control. >> pelley: here's the president. >> on wednesday 14 americans were killed as they came together to celebrate the holidays. they were taken from family and friends who loved them deeply. they were white and black, latino and asian, immigrants and american born. moms and dads, daughters and
sons. each of them served their fellow citizens, all of them were part of our american family. tonight i want to talk with you about this tragedy, the broader threat of terrorism and how we can keep our country safe. the fbi is still gathering the facts about what happened in san bernardino. but here's what we know. the victims were brutally murdered and injured by one of their coworkers and his wife. so far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. but it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a per verted interpretation of islam that calls for war against america and the west. they had stock piled assault weapons, ammunition and pipe bombs. so this was an act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.
terrorists since al-qaeda killed nearly 3,000 americans on 9/11. in the process, we've hardened our defenses from airports to financial centers to other critical infrastructure. intelligence and law enforszment agencies have dub-- countless plots here and overseas and worked around the clock to keep us safe. our military encountered terrorism professionals have relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas, disrupting safe havens in several different countries, killing osama bin leadership. over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new face. as we have become better at preventing complex, multifa setted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turn to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society.
we saw at fort hood in 2009, in chattanooga earlier this year, and now in san bernardino. and as groups like isil grew stronger amidst the chaos of the war in iraq and then syria, and as the internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the boston marathon bombers and the san ber dino killers. for seven years i have confronted this evolving threat each and every morning in my intelligence briefing. and since the day i took this office, i have authorized u.s. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because i know how real the danger is. as commander in chief i have no greater responsibility than the security of the american people. as a father to two young daughters who are the most precious part of my life, i know that we see ourselves with friends and coworkers at a holiday party like the one in san ber dino.
i know we see our kids in the faces of the young people killed in paris. and i know that after so much war, many americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure. well, here's what i want you to know. the threat from terrorism is real. but we will overcome it. we will destroy isil and any other organization that tries to harm us. our success won't depend on tough talk nor abandoning our values or giving in to fear. that's what groups like isil are hoping for. instead we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless. and by drawing upon every aspect of american power. here's how. first our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. in iraq and syria, air strikes
are taking out isil leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure. and since the attacks in paris, our closest allies including france, germany and the united kingdom have ramped up their contributions to our military campaign which will help us accelerate our effort to destroy isil. second, we will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of iraqi and syrian forces fighting isil on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. in both countries we're deploying special operations offensive. we've stepped up this effort since the attacks in paris and will continue to invest more in approaches that are working on the ground. third, we're working with friends and allies to stop isil's operations, to disrupt plots, cut off their financing and prevent them from recruiting more fighters. since the attacks in paris we've surged intelligence sharing with our european allies.
seal its border with syria, and we are cooperating with muslim majority countries and with our muslim communities here at home, to counter the vicious ideology that isil promotes online. fourth, with american leadership, the international community has begun to establish a process and time line to pursue ceasefires and a political resolution to the syrian war. doing so will allow the syrian people and every country including our allies but also countries like russia to focus on the common goal of destroying isil, a group that threatens us all. this is our strategy to destroy isil. it is designed and supported by our military commanders and counterterrorism experts, together with 65 countries that have joined an american-led coalition. and we constantly examine our strategy to determine when additional steps are needed to get the job done.
that's why i've ordered the departments of state and homeland security to review the visa waiver program under which the female terrorist in san ber dino originally came to this country. and that's why i will urge high tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice. now here at home we have to work together to address the challenge. there are several steps that congress should take right away. to begin with, congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. what could possibly be the argument for allowing a terror suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? this is a matter of national security. we also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in san ber dino. i know there are some who reject any gun safety measures. but the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement
agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by isil or some other hateful ideology. what we can do, and must do, is make it harder for them to kill. next, we should put in place stronger screening for those who come to america without a visa so that we can take a hard look at whether they've traveled to war zones. and we're working with members of both parties and congress to do exactly that. finally, if congress believes as i do that we are at war with isil, it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists. for over a year i have ordered our military to take thousands targets. i think it's time for congress to vote to demonstrate that the american people are united and committed to this fight.
the steps that we can take threat. let me now say a word about what we should not do. we should not be drawn once more into a long and kosesly ground war-- costly ground war in iraq or syria. want. they know they can't defeat us on the battle field. isil fighters were part of the insurgency that we faced in iraq am but they also know that if we occupy foreign lands they can maintain insurgencies for years, killing thousands of our troops and draining our resources and using our presence to draw new recruits. the strategy that we are using now, air strikes, special forces and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their own country, that is how we'll achieve a more sustainable victory. and it won't require us sending a new generation of americans
another decade on foreign soil. here's what else we cannot do. we cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between america and islam. that too is what groups like isil want. isil does not speak for islam. they are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death. and they account for a tiny fraction of the more than a billion muslims around the world, including millions of patriotic muslim americans who reject their hateful ideology. more over, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are muslim. if we're to succeed in defeating terrorism, we must enlist muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate. that does not mean denying the
fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some muslim communities. there's a real problem that muslims must confront without excuse. muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like isil and al-qaeda promote, to speak out against not just acts of violence but also those interpretations of islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity. but just as it is the responsibility of muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all americans, of every faith, to reject discrimination. it is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. it is our responsibility to reject proposals that muslim americans should show be treated differently.
because when we travel down that road, we lose. that kind of deadviciveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like isil. muslim-americans are our friends and our neighbors. our coworkers, our sports heroes. and yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. we have to remember that. my fellow americans, i am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. we were founded upon a belief in human dignity that no matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of god and equal in the eyes of the law. even in this political season, even as we properly debate what
must take to keep our country safe. let's make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear. that we have always met challenges whether war or depression, natural dises as-- disasters or terrorist attacks by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, and one people. so long as we stay true to that tradition, i have no doubt that america will prevail. thank you. god bless you and my god bless the united states of america. >> pelley: the president of the united states speaking live to the nation from the oval office, a rare oval office speech by the president. the last time he spoke from the oval office was five years ago when he announced that u.s. forces would be ending their combat role in iraq.
importance he placed on this address. the address, however, was mostly a restatement of the president's strategy against isis or isil as he calls it, the terrorist army that now occupies much of syria and iraq, a restatement of his policies that were in existence before san ber dino four days ago and before paris earlier this month. or i should say last month. major garrett is at the white house for us tonight. major, what did you see? >> reporter: it's a speech in two parts, scott. one operational. as you said, resetting the president's agenda, his strategy which has come under a lot of republican criticism on the presidential campaign trail against isis. the president talked about special operations forces but it's important to point out, scott, those are new additions to the strategy, one that with their very presence in syria first, now in iraq is an admission by this white house and the pentagon behind it that the original strategy of bombing from the air was not working effectively.
secondary, the president on the operational side here at home control. that was tried and it failed in the senate last week. maybe the president will try another attempt on that. that is going to be tough with the republican congress. the second part of the speech, the one i think the president was most interested in was the values component of the speech. that the country must come together, that stigma advertising muslim-americans is not only against american values but operationally ignorant because it plays into the isis or isil narrative and undermines u.s. counterterrorism efforts. that is a direct reflection, scott, and people here at the white house openly concede this, to the kind of rhetoric the president has heard from some republican candidates most trump. >> pelley: major garrett reporting from the white house, much. the president also asked on actions. one, to close a loophole that actually allows anyone on the terrorist watch list, the no-fly
weapon in the united states. he says congress should close that loophole. and he asked congress also to take a vote that essentially declares war on isis, to join him in a public statement against isis. the president also asked congress to make it harder to buy assault weapons as major garrett just mentioned. the president made a major appeal this evening to muslims to help in the fight against islamic extremism and also reminded americans that muslims are our neighbors, our friends, as he put it, even our sports heroes and the people who serve in our u.s. military. there will be much more about the president's address and the latest on the san ber dino investigation on your local news on this cbs station. as always, on our 24 hour
in the west tonight on the cbs evening news. i'm scott pelley, cbs news in washington. most of you will be returning to "60 minutes" after these messages. i found a better deal on prescriptions. we found lower co-pays... ...and a free wellness visit. new plan...same doctor. i'm happy. it's medicare open enrollment. have you compared plans yet? it's easy at medicare.gov. or you can call 1-800-medicare. medicare open enrollment. you'll never know unless you go. i did it. you can too. happy holidays switch to cricket wireless and for a limited time, choose from four smartphones, now free
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any other. and if you think your life is complicated, wait till you hear about jack barsky's, who led three of them simultaneously: one, as a husband and father; two, as a computer programmer and administrator at some top american corporations; and three, as a kgb agent spying on america during the last decade of the cold war. the fbi did finally apprehend him in pennsylvania, but it was long after the soviet union had crumbled. as we first reported in may, what makes jack barsky's story even more remarkable is that he's never spent a night in jail, and the russians declared him dead a long time ago. he's living a quiet life in upstate new york, and has worked in important and sensitive jobs. as honestly as a former spy ever can. so, who are you? >> jack barsky: who am i? ( laughs ) that depends when the question
right now, i'm jack barsky. i work in the united states, i'm a u.s. citizen, but it wasn't always the case. >> kroft: how many different identities do you have? >> barsky: i have two main identities-- a german one and an american one. >> kroft: what's your real name? >> barsky: my real name is jack barsky. >> kroft: and what name were you born with? >> barsky: albrecht dittrich. say that three times real fast. >> kroft: just say it once slowly. >> barsky: albrecht dittrich. >> kroft: how albrecht dittrich became jack barsky is one of the untold stories of the cold war, an era when the real battles were often fought between the cia and the kgb. barsky was a rarity, a soviet became enmeshed in american society. for the ten years he was operational for the kgb, no one in this country knew his real story, not even his family. did you think you were going to get away with this? >> barsky: yeah. it. ( laughs )
>> kroft: what barsky did can be traced back to east germany, back to the days when he was albrecht dittrich. a national scholar at a renowned university in jena, dittrich was on the fast track to becoming a chemistry professor, his dream job. >> barsky: didn't work out that way, because i was recruited by the kgb to do something a little more adventurous. >> kroft: spy? >> barsky: we called it something different. we used a euphemism. i was going to be a "scout for peace." >> kroft: a kgb "scout for peace"? >> barsky: that is correct. the communist spies were the good guys, and the capitalist spies were the evil ones, so we didn't use the word "spy". >> kroft: he says his spying career began with a knock on his dorm room door one saturday afternoon in 1970. a man introduced himself, claiming to be from a prominent optics company. >> barsky: he wanted to talk with me about my career, which was highly unusual. i immediately... there was a flash in my head that said, "that's stasi." >> kroft: east german secret police? >> barsky: east... east german secret police, yeah.
>> kroft: it was a stasi agent. he invited dittrich to this restaurant in jena, where a russian kgb agent showed up and took over the conversation. the kgb liked dittrich's potential because he was smart, his father was a member of the communist party, and he didn't have any relatives in the west. dittrich liked the attention and the notion he might get to help the soviets. and what did you think of america? >> barsky: it was the enemy. and... and the reason that the americans did so well was because they exploited all the third-world countries. that's what we were taught and that's what we believed. we didn't know any better. i grew up in an area where you could not receive west german television. it was called the "valley of the clueless." >> kroft: for the next couple of years, the kgb put dittrich through elaborate tests, and then in 1973, he was summoned to east berlin, to this former soviet military compound. the kgb, he says, wanted him to go undercover.
>> barsky: at that point, i had passed all the tests, so they wanted... they made me an offer. >> kroft: but you had been thinking about it all along, hadn't you? >> barsky: that's true-- with one counterweight, in that you didn't really know what was going to come. how do you test-drive becoming another person? >> kroft: it was a difficult decision, but he agreed to join the kgb and eventually found himself in moscow, undergoing intensive training. >> barsky: a very large part of the training was operational work-- determination as to whether you're being under surveillance; morse code, short wave radio reception. i also learned how to do microdots. a microdot is... you know, you take a picture and make it so small with the use of a microscope that you can put it under a postage stamp. >> kroft: the soviets were looking to send someone to the u.s. who could pose as an american. dittrich showed a command of english and no trace of an east german accent that might give him away. he learned a hundred new english words every day.
i... i did probably a full year of phonetics training. the difference between "hot" and "hut," right? that's very difficult and... and most germans don't get that one. >> kroft: did you want to go to the united states? >> barsky: oh, yeah. sure. there was new york, there was san francisco, you know. we heard about these places. >> kroft: your horizons were expanding. >> barsky: oh, absolutely. now, i'm really in the big league, right? ( laughter ) >> kroft: dittrich needed an american identity, and one day, a diplomat out of the soviet embassy in washington came across this tombstone just outside of d.c. with the name of a ten-year-old boy who had died in 1955. the name was jack philip barsky. >> barsky: and they said, "guess what. we have a birth certificate. you're going to the u.s." >> kroft: and that was the jack barsky birth certificate. >> barsky: the jack barsky birth certificate that somebody had obtained and i was given. i didn't have to get this myself. >> kroft: did you feel strange walking around with this identity of a... of a child?
>> barsky: no. no. when you do this kind of work, some things, you don't think about. because if you explore, you may find something you don't like. >> kroft: the newly minted jack barsky landed in new york city in the fall of 1978, with a phony back story called a "legend" and a fake canadian passport that he quickly discarded. the kgb's plan for him was fairly straightforward. they wanted the 29-year-old east german to get a real u.s. passport with his new name, then become a businessman, then insert himself into the upper echelons of american society, and then to get close to national security adviser zbigniew brzezinski so that he could spy on him. >> barsky: that was the plan. it failed. >> kroft: why? >> barsky: because i was not given very good instructions with regard to how to apply for a passport. >> kroft: when he went to apply for a passport at rockefeller center, barsky was thrown off by
>> barsky: specific details about my past, for which i had no proof. so i walked out of it. >> kroft: did the kgb have a pretty good grasp on the united states and how things worked there? >> barsky: no. >> kroft: no? >> barsky: absolutely not. they made a number of mistakes in terms of giving me advice, what to do, what not to do. they just didn't know. >> kroft: left to fend for himself in a country the kgb didn't understand, he got himself a cheap apartment and tried to make do with a birth certificate and $6,000 in cash the soviets had given him. his spying career at that point more resembled the bumbling boris badenov than james bond. so you were working as a bike messenger. >> barsky: right. >> kroft: that doesn't sound like a promising position for a spy. >> barsky: no. ( laughs ) but there were a lot of things that i didn't know. >> kroft: so how close did you ever get to brzezinski? >> barsky: ( laughs ) not very. >> kroft: to get a social security card, which he would need if he wanted a real job, barsky knew he would have to do
some acting. >> barsky: it was unusual for a 30-plus-year-old person to... to say, you know, "i don't have a social security card. give me one." so in order to make my story stick, i made my face dirty so i looked like somebody who just came off a farm. it worked! the lady asked me, she said, "so how come you don't... you don't have a card?" and when the answer was, "i didn't need one." "why?" "well, i worked on a farm." and that was the end of the interview. >> kroft: the social security card enabled him to enroll at baruch college in manhattan, where he majored in computer systems. he was class valedictorian, but you won't find a picture of him in the school yearbook. in 1984, he was hired as a programmer by metropolitan life insurance, where he had access to the personal information of millions of americans. you were writing computer code? >> barsky: right, yes. lots of it. and i was really good at it.
>> kroft: what he didn't write, he stole, on behalf of the kgb. what was the most valuable piece of information you gave them? >> barsky: i would say that was the computer code, because it was a very prominent piece of industrial software still in use today. >> kroft: this was ibm code? >> barsky: no comment. >> kroft: you don't want to say? >> barsky: no. it was good stuff. let's put it this way, yeah. >> kroft: it was helpful to the soviet union. >> barsky: it... it would've been helpful to the soviet union and their running organizations and... and factories and so forth. >> kroft: how often did you communicate with the russians? >> barsky: i would get a radiogram once a week. >> kroft: a radiogram, meaning? >> barsky: a radiogram means a transmission that was on a certain frequency at a certain time. >> kroft: every thursday night at 9:15, barsky would tune into his short wave radio at his apartment in queens and listen for a transmission he believed came from cuba. >> barsky: all the messages were encrypted that they became digits.
over as... in groups of five. and sometimes, that took a good and then another three hours to decipher. >> kroft: during the ten years he worked for the kgb, barsky had a ready-made cover story. when somebody would ask you, you know, "where you from, jack?" what'd you say? >> barsky: i'm originally from new jersey. i was born in orange. that's it. american-- nobody ever questioned that. people would question my... "you have an accent." but my comeback was, "yeah, my mother was german and we spoke a lot of german at home." >> kroft: you had to tell a lot of lies. >> barsky: absolutely. i was living a lie. >> kroft: were you a good liar? >> barsky: the best. >> kroft: you had to be a good liar to juggle the multiple lives he was leading. every two years while he was undercover for the kgb, barsky would return to east germany and moscow for debriefings. during one of his visits to east
a son. did that complicate matters? >> barsky: initially, it wasn't complicated at all. it got complicated later. >> kroft: because? >> barsky: because i got married in the united states to somebody else. ( laughter ) >> kroft: did she know about your other wife in germany? >> barsky: no. >> kroft: did your wife in germany know about the... >> barsky: not at all. >> kroft: so you had two wives. >> barsky: i did. i'm... i was officially a bigamist. that's... that's the one thing i am so totally not proud of... >> kroft: being a spy was all right... ( laughter ) being a bigamist... >> barsky: in hindsight, you know, i was a spy for the wrong people. but... but i... this one hurt, because i had promised my german wife that, you know, we would be together forever. and i broke that promise. and the one way i can explain it to myself is i had separated the german, the dittrich, from the
barsky to the point where the two just didn't know about each other. >> kroft: not only did he have two different identities and two wives, he had a son named matthias in germany and a daughter named chelsea in america. and by november 1988, a radiogram from the kgb would force him to make an excruciating choice. >> barsky: i received a radiogram that essentially said, "you need to come home. your cover may soon be broken and you're in danger of being arrested by the american authorities." >> kroft: barsky was given urgent instructions from the kgb to locate an oil can that had been dropped next to a fallen tree just off this path on new york's staten island. a fake passport and cash that he needed to escape the united states and return to east germany would be concealed inside the can. >> barsky: i was supposed to pick up the container and go on, leave. not even go back home to the apartment, just disappear. the container wasn't there. i don't know what i would have
done if i had found it, but i know what i did when i didn't find it. i did not tell them, "repeat the operation." i made the decision to stay. >> kroft: why? >> barsky: because of chelsea. >> kroft: your daughter. >> barsky: yes. if chelsea's not in the mix, that's a no brainer. i'm out of here. >> kroft: barsky had chosen chelsea over matthias. >> barsky: i had bonded with her. it was a tough one because, on the one hand, i had a wife and a child in germany, but if i don't take care of chelsea, she grows up in poverty. >> kroft: this may be a little harsh, but it sounds like the first time in your life that you thought about somebody besides yourself. >> barsky: you're absolutely right. i was quite an egomaniac. i was. >> kroft: jack barsky was still left with the not insignificant
he was staying in america. in a moment, we'll tell you how he duped the kgb, and how the fbi changed his life. [barks] are those... you there... stormtroopers! turn here. follow them! bb-8! beep, beep! this way! where'd they go? they went that way! that way, they went that way! i can't believe that worked! of course it worked! beep, beep, beep! unwrap the tempting layers of ferrero rocher. starting with a whole hazelnut, dipped in smooth chocolaty cream
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>> kroft: at the end of 1988, jack barsky's ten-year run as a clandestine kgb agent in the united states was about to come to an end. he had ignored soviet warnings that his cover had been blown, and decided to remain in america and not return to his native east germany. he was taking a chance that no one in america would ever find out who he really was. and he was taking a bigger chance that the kgb wouldn't retaliate for disobeying an order. the urgency with which the soviets seemed to view the situation became clear one morning in queens. jack barsky says he was on his way to work in december 1988, standing and waiting for an "a" train on this subway platform when a stranger paid him a visit.
>> barsky: there's this character in... in a black coat, and he sidles up to me and he whispers in my ear, he says, "you got to come home or else you're dead." and then he walked out. >> kroft: russian accent? >> barsky: yes. >> kroft: that's an incentive. >> barsky: it's an incentive to go. >> kroft: i mean, spies get killed all the time. >> barsky: they do. but not me. the entire time, i always had this childlike belief that everything would be all right. >> kroft: so what are you going to tell the russians. >> barsky: well, i... i sent them this "dear john" letter, the good-bye letter in which i stated that i had contracted aids, and that the only way for me to get a treatment would be in the united states. >> kroft: you just wrote them a letter and said, "i can't come back, i've got aids"? >> barsky: there's three things i... i tell people that the russians were afraid of-- aids, jewish people, and ronald reagan. and they were deathly...
>> kroft: in that order? >> barsky: i think ronald reagan took the top spot. they thought he would push the button. >> kroft: the aids letter apparently worked because, in east berlin, the soviets told his german wife gerlinde he wasn't coming back. and told her that i had died of aids. so i think they just wrote me off completely. >> kroft: you were officially dead in east germany? >> barsky: right. after five years, she was able to declare me dead. >> kroft: once the berlin wall fell and the soviet union fell apart, barsky was a man without a country. no one would want him back. he felt his secret was safe in america. he became a family guy, with a wife, two kids, chelsea and jessie, and a job. he burrowed himself into suburbia, keeping a low profile. >> barsky: i was settling down, i was living in the... in rural pennsylvania at the time in a nice house with two children. i was, like, typical middle- class existence.
>> kroft: and his life would have stayed quiet if a kgb archivist named vassal mitrokhin hadn't defected to the west in 1992 with a trove of notes on the soviets' spying operations around the world. buried deep in his papers was the last name of a secret agent the kgb had deployed somewhere in america, barsky. >> joe reilly: we were concerned that he might be running an agent operating in the federal government somewhere. who knows? in the fbi, the cia, the state department. we had no idea. >> kroft: joe reilly was an fbi agent when the bureau got the mitrokhin tip, and the barsky case quickly became serious enough that fbi director louis freeh got personally involved. the fbi didn't know who or where he was, but the best lead seemed to be a jack barsky who was working as an i.t. specialist in new jersey, with a suburban home across the border in mt. bethel, pennsylvania. >> kroft: aside from his name,
was there anything else that made you suspicious and make you think that this was the guy you were looking for? >> reilly: yes. one thing was the fact that he had applied for a social security number late in life, especially someone like him who was educated and intelligent. >> kroft: the fbi began following barsky, and when this surveillance photo caught him talking to a native of cuba, the bureau grew increasingly concerned. >> barsky: there were some indications that i could possibly be the head of a international spy ring, because i had a friend who was originally from cuba. and it so happened that this friend owned an apartment that was rented to a soviet diplomat. so that one raised all kinds of flags and they investigated me very, very, very carefully. >> kroft: fbi agent joe reilly went so far as to set up an observation post on a hillside behind barsky's house. this is a picture he took of his view. >> reilly: i got a telescope and binoculars, as if i was a birdwatcher, but i was looking at his backyard and at him. over time, i learned a great
>> kroft: like what? >> reilly: just watching him. well, i became convinced that he loved his children. and that was important because i wanted to know if he would flee. there was less chance of that if... if he was devoted to his children. and he was. >> kroft: but that wasn't enough for the fbi. the bureau bought the house next door to get a closer look at the barskys. did you get a good deal? ( laughter ) >> reilly: i think we paid what he was asking. ( laughter ) and we had agents living there so that we could be sure who was coming and going from his house without being too obvious in our surveillance. fbi was living next door to you? >> barsky: ( laughs ) no. >> kroft: never saw joe reilly up on the hill with the >> barsky: no. absolutely not. >> kroft: when the fbi finally got authorization from the justice department to bug barsky's home, the case broke wide open. >> reilly: within, i'd say, the
microphones in his house, he had an argument with his wife in the kitchen. and during the course of that dispute, he readily admitted that he was an agent operating from the soviet union. >> kroft: it was all the fbi needed to move in on barsky. they set a trap for him at a toll bridge across the delaware river as he drove home from work late one friday afternoon in may of 1997. >> barsky: i'm being waved to the side by a state trooper. and he said, "we're doing a routine traffic check. would you please get out of the car?" i get out of the car and somebody steps up from... from behind and shows me a badge. and he said, "fbi. we would like to talk to you." >> reilly: his face just dropped. and we told him that he had to go with us. >> barsky: the first words out of my mouth were, "am i under arrest?" and the answer was no. now, that took a big weight off
piece. and the next question i asked, "so what took you so long?" >> kroft: the fbi had rented an entire wing of a motel off interstate 80 in pennsylvania for barsky's interrogation. >> reilly: but on the way to the motel, i remember turning to him and i told him that this didn't have to be the worst day of his life. and he immediately realized that he had an out. >> barsky: i said to them, "listen, i know i have only one shot out of this, and that means i need to come clean and be 100% honest and tell you everything i know." >> kroft: the fbi questioned barsky throughout the weekend, and gave him a polygraph test that he passed. convinced that his spying days were over, and that his friendship with the cuban was just that, the fbi decided to keep the whole thing quiet and allowed barsky to go back to work on monday morning. was he charged with something? >> reilly: no. >> kroft: even though he
confessed to being a soviet spy? >> reilly: yes. >> kroft: that seems odd. >> reilly: well, we wanted him to cooperate with us. we didn't want to put him in jail. he was no use to us there. >> kroft: barsky continued to meet not only with the fbi, but with the national security agency to offer his first-hand insights into the kgb and the russians. >> barsky: i was able to provide them with a lot of valuable information how the kgb operated. >> kroft: the only people who were aware of his secret were the fbi, and penelope, his wife in america, who eventually divorced him. his daughter chelsea, then a teenager, knew only that he wanted to tell her something when she turned 18. that day finally arrived on a four-hour drive to st. francis university. >> chelsea barsky: he started chuckling to himself and he said, "well, i'm a... i was a spy. i was a kgb spy." i was like "what?! really?" >> kroft: jack also revealed to chelsea why he had decided to stay in america.
>> chelsea barsky: he said that, you know, he fell in love with a little baby, and then i cried. >> kroft: did he tell you >> chelsea barsky: no, he he didn't tell me 100% the whole truth. he left some things out, at that point. >> barsky: i told her everything that you can tell in four hours that is age appropriate. she was still a teenager. i may not have told her that i was married in germany. >> kroft: he waited another two dropped another bombshell about his past. >> chelsea barsky: he just looked straight ahead at the tv and he said, "did i tell you you have a brother?" ( laughs ) and i turned my head. i'm like, "what? are you serious?" >> kroft: the half-brother was matthias, the boy jack had left behind in germany. chelsea was determined to find him. jack didn't like the idea. >> barsky: i did not feel comfortable getting in touch with him. i did not feel comfortable with my... acknowledging my german past. >> kroft: after a year of trying
to track him down online, chelsea finally got a reply from matthias. >> chelsea barsky: the subject line said, "dear little sister," and when i saw, "dear little sister," i just started weeping, because that meant everything to me. that meant that he accepted me. >> matthias: and this is me... >> kroft: a month later, visiting chelsea and her brother jessie. they hit it off. seeing his father, then changed his mind. was it awkward? >> barsky: i just remember he stared at me for a couple of minutes. he just stared at me. >> kroft: i mean, he had reason to be angry with you. >> barsky: when i told him the dilemma that i was faced with, he actually said, "i understand." >> kroft: and what's your relationship like with matthias now? >> barsky: he feels like he's my son. >> kroft: gerlinde, the wife in germany who thought he was dead, wants nothing to do with jack today, or with "60 minutes."
year-old daughter. they live in upstate new york, where jack worked as a director of software development for a company that manages new york's high-voltage power grid, a critical piece of u.s. infrastructure. when he told his employer that he had once been a kgb spy, he was placed on leave of absence, and then fired. before becoming an american citizen last year, he had been given a clean bill of health by the fbi and u.s. intelligence agencies. but in the world of espionage, it's often difficult to tell what's true and what's legend. are you telling the truth right now? >> barsky: i am, absolutely-- the truth, as far as i know it. yes. >> kroft: as far as you know it? >> barsky: well, you know, sometimes memory fails you. but i am... i am absolutely not holding back anything. >> kroft: why tell the story now? >> barsky: i want to meet my maker clean. i need to get clean with the past.
i need to digest this fully. >> kroft: the fbi agent who apprehended him, joe reilly, still believes in barsky. and in yet another twist to this story, the two are good friends and golfing buddies. >> reilly: he's a very honest person. and if you want to find out how honest someone is, play golf with them. >> kroft: but you're a former fbi guy and he's a former spy. >> reilly: yeah. >> kroft: what's the bond? >> reilly: it's personal. he credits me for keeping him out of prison. ( laughs ) >> kroft: after nearly 30 years, jack barsky went back to visit a unified germany-- last october, then again in april. >> barsky: so, that was essentially the very beginning of my career. >> kroft: he showed his kids where this improbable tale began, and some other key settings in his odyssey. and he caught up with old classmates who knew him as albrecht dittrich. when you're here in germany, are you albrecht or are you jack? >> barsky: no, i'm jack. i... i am 100% jack. you know, the... i let the
albrecht out and sometimes he interferes, but they... they get along very well now. >> kroft: the berlin wall, which once divided east and west, is now gone except for a section that has been turned into an art display. checkpoint charlie, once the epicenter of the cold war, is now a tourist attraction, full of kitsch. statues of karl marx and friedrich engels still stand in the eastern part of berlin, relics of another era, as is the man who straddled two worlds and got away with it. >> for a look at how "60 minutes" correspondents and producers report our stories, go to 60minutesovertime.com. how do you gift wrap the holidays? do you stick to a christmas list? or wander the aisles? gift for the season? or for the year? shop only for them? or snag a little something for you? gift a card? overstuff a stocking?
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