tv Face the Nation CBS April 15, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EDT
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," tornadoes, sex is and the secret service, korean missiles and the mommy wars. just another american saturday night. least 100 tornadoes tore across the midwest overnight, leaving death and destruction. we'll get the latest from dean reynolds in wichita, kansas. what is going on with the secret service? 11 of the best of the best who were sent to colombia in advance of the president's visit were recalled after a report of wild parties and prostitutes. we'll get the latest on that from congress' top investigator, darrell issa, of the house oversight committee. reports overnight of multiple bombings in afghanistan. we'll ask john mccain, the ranking republican on the armed services committee, about that. and his trip to the syrian
border. >> we think it's going to require military action on the ground. >> schieffer: for sure, we'll follow up on what he means by that. then we'll turn to the campaign, taxes, and the economy. we'll get treasury secretary's timothy geithner response from mitt romney's latest charge. >> did you know that all the jobs lost during the obama years, 92.3% of them are women. >> schieffer: we've got analysis on the so-called mommy wars from white house correspondent norah o'donnell and ruth marcus of the "washington post," and finally, perspective on the murder charges filed this week in the trayvon martin case. we'll hear from mark strassmann, the reporter who first brought the story to national attention, and we'll broaden the discussion with georgetown university professor michael eric dyson, author and "time" magazine columnist, and cbs news legal
consultant jack ford. this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning, again. but it was a bad night across the middle of the country. over 120 tornadoes it tore through the midwest. the death count stands at five this morning, but will likely go higher. our dean reynolds is joining us from wichita, kansas. dean, bring us up to speed. >> reporter: well, the cleanup crews, bob, are out in the wichita area, which was spared major damage, although there was some damage to mcconnell air force base, and some trailer parks in the area. but the real problem was about 200 miles south of here in a little town called woodward, oklahoma, where the five fatalities were reported. and where the siren transmitter
was knocked out by the twister that hit shortly after midnight. so the people who had been hearing the sirens on earlier twisters were left completely unprepared. even then, though, the warning from the national weather system for woodward came out only three minutes before the actual twister touched down. as i say, damage is being assessed in the wichita area. kansas had the brunt of these tornadoes. 120 tornadoes, you mentioned, about 100 of them happening here in kansas. and the storm is not over. >> schieffer: so that was my next question, what happens now? what do we expect now? >> reporter: well, of particular interest are the states of minnesota, iowa, wisconsin, and michigan as the storm moves to the northeast from here. but, also, it has such a large footprint, that areas of texas
and louisiana are also at risk. so people in that very wide scope of land should be alert today. bob. >> schieffer: all right, dean reynolds who has seen a tornado or two. thank you very much, dean. and we turn now to the other big story overnight, the secret service announced late yesterday that 11 of their agents who had been sent to colombia in advance of the president's visit were recalled and placed on administrative leave after reports of a wild party that involved prostitutes. our white house correspondent norah o'donnell is with us here this morning, along with darrell issa, who is chairman of the house overnight committee. norah, i know you were talking to officials earlier this morning. what's the latest on this? >> reporter: well, the white house says the president's security was never endangered, because of this. but the number one job of the secret service is to protect the president when he's in a foreign country and when he's in the united states, and less than 48 hours before the president arrived in cartagena, there were
reports of wild drinking and prostitutes. the secret service acted very quickly. they recalled at least 11 agents, also five members of the military may have been involved there. they're also being disciplined. the issue here, according to officials that i spoke with, is concerns that one, this is, you know, bad conduct, certainly immoral conduct. but also concerns about potential blackmail or espionage if a woman can get in a secure zone that is supposed to be protected by the secret service and others. what does it say about security. so that's one of the big concerns. >> schieffer: congressman issa, you head up the house oversight committee, kind of the basic investigative arm of the house. what can you add to this? what have you found out? >> well, first of all, we think the number might be higher, and we're asking for the exact amount of all the people who were involved, but this kind of a breach is a breach in the federal workforce's most elite
protective unit, and they don't just protect the president, of course. they protect cabinet members, the vice president, first families, candidates. so when you look at this, you realize if you can have this kind of breakdown, one that could lead to blackmail as norah said and so on, we have to ask where are the systems in place to prevent this in the future. the reason that the investigation will not be about the 11 to 20 or more involved. it will be about how did this happen and how often has this happened before? things like this don't happen once if they didn't happen before. >> schieffer: well, when exactly did this happen? do we know? >> reporter: we did. it was about wednesday evening when there was a report. anyone who comes into the secure area, this hotel where many people are staying, they have to sign in their guests. this agent allegedly signed in a guest. those guests are supposed to leave by 7 a.m. in the morning. when that guest had not left, this prostitute, the hotel then and knocked on the door and
there was an altercation about whether she had been paid for her services. so that's part of the altercation that went on and then the embassy was alerted and they found other guests had been there. >> schieffer: mr. chairman, what we're hearing is at no time was the president in danger. are you satisfied that that's the case? >> no, no i can't be. in this particular case, the from may not have been in danger, but that's-- that's to beg the whole question of what happens if somebody six months ago, six years ago, became the victim of their own misconduct and is now being blackmailed? what happens when a force that historically we've-- we've heard about these wheel-up parties when the president leaves. this is a pre-wheel-down. the question is, is the whole organization in need of some soul-searching, some changes, or before-- before the president, the vice president, members of the cabinet are in danger. >> reporter: but, bob, there are no reports this involved the presidential protection division. the agents, very elite agents that protect the president are the body men that you see around
the president. i think it's also worth noting that they worked on this very quickly, according to the secret service. they removed these 11 agents quickly, and they were immediately replaced. >> schieffer: have you decided yet whether this will require hearings? >> well, whether it requires hearings hasn't been decided, but we will participate in an over-the-shoulder investigation and questions with how-- because the management team of the secret service is very stable, very nonpolitical. so the question is how are they going to make these changes in discipline and perhaps polygraphs and other items being intensified so that this can't happen in the future. again, norah said it well-- it's not about whether the president was in danger this time. it's whether or not you need to make changes so the american people can have confidence in all of their workforce from the g.s.a. to the secret service. >> schieffer: congressman i want to thank you for coming in on short notice. we appreciate it. >> thank you, bob. >> schieffer: thanks to both of you, you it too, norah.
all of this during the week when north korea defied world opinion and testifiered an intercontinental missile that exploded after takeoff, not to mention multiple bombings overnight. we're told the american embassy in afghanistan is in lockdown right now. there was new artillery shelling in syria. someone who knows about all of that, the ranking republican on the armed services committee john mccain is with us now. and thank you, senator mccain, for coming in. let's talk about this afghanistan deal. it sounds pretty serious. what do you know? >> well, i think that it's probably a manifestation that the taliban still has some strength. i think part of it is due to the fact that we have continued to send messages that wa are leaving. the president as soon as he announced a surge of troops in afghanistan, announced the withdrawal date, continues to emphasize withdrawal. and that's the bad news. i think the good news is that we have gotten rid of two major issues that stand in the way of
a strategic partnership agreement-- night raids and the issue of detention of detainees. by the way, senator lindsey graham has done a tremendous job in that area, which i hope would send a message that the united states is going to be there in a strategic partnership with afghanistan in 2014 and beyond. but every time the president announced another withdrawal, his military commander said it increases the risk. that's what we're seeing here. >> schieffer: i want to shift to the other side of the world because you're just back from the syrian border. you were in turkey. you talked to people over there. syrian army this morning we're told is again shelling the city of homs. when you had a little news conversation over there with our isa ward, you said something-- i unit of the to play what you told her. >> well, i think it was a failure from the start. most of us knew because there
was no pressure for bashar al-assad to actually stop the killing. so we think it's going to require military action on the ground. in order to get him to leave. >> schieffer: so i want to give you a chance to talk about that. >> sure, absolutely. >> schieffer: are you talking about sending american troops? >> of course not. i have said and lindsey graham and joe lieberman and i have said no boots on the ground, no unilateral action but for the united states to sit by and watch this wanton massacre is a betrayal of everything we stand for and believe in. >> schieffer: so what do we do? >> we, along with other countries -- and we lead for a change, lead. not lead from behind but lead from in front. over there, they are waiting for american leadership. we have announced that we are now providing them with nonlethal equipment. that doesn't do very well against tanks and artillery. we met with the free syrian army leadership. we met with the syrian national council. in the refugee camps, we heard
the stories of the murders, of the torture, of the rape that's going on. and kofi annan's proposal-- by the way, among other things-- if it were enacted does not call for the removal of bashar al-assad. and the president's policy is supposed to be the removal of this massacre of his own people. so we need to get a sanctuary for the free syrian army. we need to get them supplies. we need to get them weapons. and there are many ways to get weapons to them. we showed that in libya. we showed that in afghanistan and many other times. it's not a fair fight. it's not a fair fight. >> schieffer: but, i mean, are you talking about somehow supplying them with tanks and things of that nature? >> oh, no. antitank weapons might be very useful for them. >> schieffer: and what about troops on the ground? >> of course not, of course not. >> schieffer: of any kind? u.n.? >> i think we saw in libya that there were other countries that did some work on the ground that are willing to do so.
there's many countries in the region that are ready to act that are fed up with bashar al-assad. and we can lead and help coalesce a group of nations it. and by the way, again, russia and china continue to veto any significant effort that comes cs from the united nations. how many times are we going to push that reset button? it's time for the united states to lead. we went to bosnia because ethnic cleansing was anything on. we went to kosovo because ethnic cleansing and massacre was going on. that was under president clinton. we regretted we didn't do what we could to stop the massacre in rwanda. well, the massacre is is going on as we speak. >> schieffer: let's talk about another major development that happened this week, and that is the north koreans defied world opinion earlier this year. we thought we'd made a deal with them to give them food in exchange for them dialing back
on their nuclear program. they fired, basically an intercontinental missile which could be used, most people say, to put nuclear weapon all the way to the united states' west coast if that happens some day. i mean, we hope it never does. but the thing blew up on the-- shortly after taking off. have we handled this right? >> for 20 years now, we've been going through this groundhog day exercise. confrontation followed by negotiations followed by aid followed by confrontation. i mean, it is-- it is remarkable how many times we have seen this movie. and, meanwhile, the north koreans continue to make progress on-- now we're going to hear there's going to be another nuclear test. and by the way, the iranians will be paying attention to what we-- how we react to another chinese nuclear test. and finally, the key to all of this-- >> schieffer: north korea. >> execution me, as to the north
koreans, if they do a nuclear toast. >> finally, key to this again is china. china is the only country that can really exert influence over in north korea, and why they continue to prop up a regime that has 150,000 people literally eating grass in a gulag. so we worry about north korean behavior as far as development of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. there's also, tied to iran on terrorist acts in the bush administration administration we lifted restriction against them in the hope that they would be coming back to the table. this is a failed policy by numerous administrations. and it, again, what would we suggest? make sure that china understands that this is a key issue in our relationship with china. >> schieffer: let's talk a little politics. i can't let you go without that. >> sure, sure. >> schieffer: you know, mitt romney really stirred up some stuff this week when he said that 93% of the jobs lost since
president obama became president were women's jobs. tim dwight america the secretary of the treasure is coming on. i interviewed him earlier this week and he had a response to that. but do you think that there is somehow a-- obviously, the women's vote is going to be very, very important this time around. do you think there is a way for mitt romney to close this gap because right now, it looks like-- well, most polls show that the president has about a double-digit lead over him, and there's no question the women's vote is going to be crucial. >> absolutely. and i do believe that anne romney was right when she said the women she talks to and the women i talk to traveling around my state are interested in jobs and the economy. and i don't know the exact percentage, but there's no doubt that a lot of women have been hurt very badly in this recession, and jobs and the economy is their number one
priority. now, they have other priorities, obviously. but feeding their families and being able to stay this their homes in my home state of arizona this their highest priority. mitt romney will be addressing those issues, and this business of going around demagoguing the buffet rule when we all know if you're really serious, if you are really serious about fixing this economy, you'd say okay here's the simpson-bolls commission. i'm prepared to fix the tax corrode, clean it up, and give the people a few deductions and you wouldn't have to worry about rich people paying less taxes. >> schieffer: do you think governor romney should release all of his income taxes to way back. >> i don't think it's necessary. >> schieffer: he gave them to you. >> he gave that to me and it was confidential and so did a lot of other people we agreed with everybody considered that would remain confidential. john kerry only introduced two years, mitt romney did, i did, two years is sufficient. and frankly, i'm not sure that's the key issue americans are
>> schieffer: we welcome now to the broadcast the secretary of the treasury, timothy geithner. mr. secretary, thank you so much for coming. let's just get right to it. i think if we didn't realize before now that both sides think the women's vote is going to be crucial in this election, we certainly found it out in the last 10 days. governor romney was on the stump with what he saw as some major headline news. here's what he said-- >> the real war on women is being waged by the president's failed economic policies. this is an amazing statistic-- the percentage of jobs lost by women in the president's three years, three and a half years, 92.3% of all the jobs lost during the obama years have been lost by women.
92.3%. >> schieffer: so, is he right? is that true? >> it's a ridiculous and very misleading way to look at the recession. you have to look at the whole duration of the recession. the recession started in 2008, earlier in that year. it was a year in the making before president obama came into office, and it was very damaging to everybody, to families, men and women across the country. and the early job losses were felt mostly by men because they happened in construction, in manufacturing across the economy. and as the crisis intensified over the course of the wave and the government started to feel the pressure, they had to cut back on teachers. a lot of women are teachers. you saw the later effects as the crisis spread to women, too. of course it was very damaging to family. >> schieffer: basically, you're saying that is right, most of the jobs that have been lost recently have been lost by women. >> but it's a meaningless way it look at the economy because it starts artificially at a time when the president came into office and the crisis was still building momentum.
as you know, the economy was shrinking at an annual rate of 9%, worst crisis since the great depression, when he came into office and it had lasting effects. it had a lot of momentum them. and although he moved very, very quickly, to arrest damage, stablize the financial system, restart economic growth and we've had four million jobs in the private sector created we have a ways to go. >> schieffer: you said basically-- the word you used was ridiculous way. >> misleading and ridiculous. it's just a political moment. you know the quality of political debate on economic policy is really terrible. it's not surprising given it's a campaign. but we have to govern in facts. >> schieffer: i'll be back shortly with this we'll week's commentary and more of the interview with treasury secretary tim geithner.
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major league ballpark across america, every player will be wearing number 42, jackie robinson's number. because today marks the 65th anniversary of the day that jackie robinson stepped out of the brooklyn dodgers duckout and became the first african american to play in baseball's major lesion. they called it america's game, but until robinson came along, only some americans got to play at the top level. a brooklyn baseball executive named branch ricky changed that because he thought it would be good for the game. he knew there would be fierce opposition, so he picked robinson to break the color line, not because he was the best player in the old negro league. he probably wasn't, but because he thought robinson had the character and the courage to withstand the hatred the first black player was sure to face on and off the field, and he was right. some of robinson's own teammates refused to play alongside him, and opponents were unmerciful.
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. >> schieffer: we're back now with page two of "face the nation" and more of my interview with treasury secretary timothy geithner. here's what he told me when i asked him where he thought unemployment would be on election day. >> well, if the economy continues to gradually strengthen like it's been doing, then the unemployment rate will be lower and more americans will be back to work. you know, growth is-- it's-- it looks pretty broadbased. most of the available evidence has been pretty encouraging but, you know, we still live in a dangerous, uncertain world. europe is still going through a really tough economic crisis and iran is still a risk fact north oil markets. those things could hurt us still but if you look at the economy as a whole against all the available evidence, not just the job growth you're seeing pretty encouraging signs of resilience. you see manufacturing pretty strong, energy pretty strong, agriculture pretty strong,
high-tech pretty strong, and those are encouraging things but we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. >> schieffer: would you put a number at where you think it would be? >> i wouldn't. >> schieffer: let's talk about the plan that the president says that anybody, the so-called buffet rule, anybody who makes over $1 million a year should pay at least 30% in income taxes. you know, people on the other side, the republicans, even one independent analyst told us that this could actually wind up hurting the economy by stifling investment and growth, that this is going to discourage people from starting up new business because basically what it is is raising the capital gains tax and raising the tax on investments. how do you respond to that? >> no-- no credible basis for that argument, in my judgment. if you just look at the economics of it. let's talk . substances, merits of that argument. we face a lot of challenge as a country. we have to get the economy
growing, repair the damage from the crisis, get more people back to work and have to make sure we put in place a balanced plan to bring dun our long-term deficits. as that is right of that we're going to have to cut spending across the government. we committed cut $2 trillion in spending. this that only goes part of the way. we need to go further, do more with less across the government. but we do not see a feasible, economically fair way to do this and preserve room for investments in education and infrastructure, help protect the safety net, help strengthen medicare for seniors without asking the richest americans to pay a somewhat larger share of their income in taxes and we think the most effective way to do that is limit their ability to take advantage of deductions and exclusions, and that's what this rule would do. i don't think there is a plausible path to tax reform, not a plausible path to fiscal reform that doesn't recognize the reality we cannot afford to extend these tax cuts for the most fortunate americans. we just can't afford to do it. we can't afford to borrow to do it ano more and we have to preserve room for these other
priorities. again, we're going to propose to raise modest amount of additional revenue from the most fortunate americans. >> schieffer: the truth is, you and i both know this has absolutely no chance of passing the senate and even less chance of passing the house. isn't it just kind of a publicity stunt to get the republicans on. >> reporter: as being against it? >> i've heard that concern, but i toned're don't understand it. just because they oppose this be doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do and we're going to keep pushing-- >> schieffer: i didn't mean to say if was or wasn't the right thing to do. i'm just saying-- >> remember, they fought us on the payroll tax. that was the right thing to do. they're resisting funding infrastructure, that's the right thing to do. they've resisted all the things we do to take the economy out of crisis, and restart economic growth. those were the right things to push for. if we don't push for things that make sense then we're not governing. that's our responsibility in this case. again, you're going to find broad support for this across the american people because there is no other way to meet the broad challenges of the country. >> schieffer: you actually hold out some hope that this would pass this year gicertainly
hope it will but i know it's a political moment. it's a tough thing to do. but, you know, extending unaffordable tax cuts for the most fortunate americans is not a populist thing to do. it's not a fiscally responsible thing to do. it's not an economically necessary thing to do. we did that in the economy across the board, even if we face continued opposition from the president's opponents. >> schieffer: mr. secretary, thank you very much. it's always a pleasure to have you. >> thank you. >> schieffer: are you planning to stay past the first term, by the way? >> you know, the president asked me if i would stay, and i said i'd stay to the end of the first term. >> schieffer: and that's it? >> that seems like the right amount of time for me. >> glor: all right, thank you very much. >> nice to see you. >> schieffer: so he's out of here, actually, we taped that on friday. we want to bring in "washington post" editorial writer ruth marcus now, andure own norah o'donnell is back because i want to talk to you both a little bit about this whole mommy wars
thing that kind of cropped up. it was have interesting to me when-- when mitt romney made that remark, and then we had hillary rosen coming back from the democrats talking about anne romney, and said she'd never worked a day in her life. the interesting to me was i think the obama people jumped on hillary rosen before the romney people could get to her because they really wanted to separate themselves from that remark. because they know how important this women's vote is going to be. what about it, ruth? what was your take on all that? >> well, i thought it was-- actually, i wrote that, the morning the whole thing after the night before was exploding, that one of the things that was remarkable was the degree to which david axelrod, the campaign manager, and then mrs. obama, then the president himself did their best to distance themselves from hillary rosen for exactly the reason that you say. the mommy wars are, to some
extent, a silly but very-- silly because they're not real. workwomen and stay-at-home moms face a lot of the same issues and stresses. but it's such a sensitive subject they wanted to say hillary who? hillary who? and i thought that was a little sill, especially the suggestion that it was illegitimate for her to talk about anne romney because i'm sorry. the candidate appointed her his official ambassador to the strange foreign land of women. so it's fair to ask what qualifications she has. >> schieffer: norah. >> reporter: women make up 53% of the voting electorate. so women vote in big numbers, and they will decide this election. we currently don't have a gender gap. there is a gender canyon. president obama is leading mitt romney by 19 points according to one poll. mitt romney will not win if it continues to have that big of a canyon of support. so mitt romney's campaign
successfully was watching hillary rosen and jumped on those comments to make it look like this particular democratic advisers and others don't like stay-at-home moms. they even sort of put out this bumper sticker that say, "moms drive the economy," in which they used to sort of raise money, the mitt romney campaign. so this was one where the romney campaign tried to score some political points. but i don't think it's a manufactured controversy as some have called it. these controversies really pick at a scab of something that's really pulsing in the american electorate, a debate about women's rights, about women's role. we had the debate about contraception. and i think this is going to continue throughout this election because women not only make up 53% of the electorate, but they're also 50% of the workplace now. >> schieffer: ruth, you wrote today that there might be more constructive ways to wage this battle on both sides. >> exactly. i think that while the issue of stay-at-home moms versus working moms is a sensitive subject, the
fact of the matter is, that there's these fascinating numbers from heart land national journal poll that show 44% of working moms have taken time off not simply on their maternity leave but at other times. i know i have during my career. so to some extent, the mommy wars are a sort of false issue. women who stay at home and women who work and men all think it's better that we overall, a significant majority think it's better that women are now part of the workforce, and we're here to stay as part of the workforce. so the real things that we should be talking about are the kinds of things that secretary geithner was talking about, and there are some issues of particular salience to women, social issuees, contraception, workplace flexibility, violence against women act-- all sorts of stuff where we really could have a useful discussion. >> reporter: i actually looked this up this morning because i wanted to know. in fact, 70% of mothers in this country are working outside the
home. that's according to the bureau of labor statistics. that's a very large number. so this is going to be a debate that people are talking about. but the issues are what are going to decide this election, not whether the comment that people make. mitt romney has called for the end of federal funding of planned parenthood. some people agree with that. some people disagree with that. scott walker, the republican governor of wisconsin, who mitt romney has called a hero, has quietly repealed an equal pay law. mitt romney has been asked whether he supports equal pay. he says yes, but he hasn't said whether he supports the lily ledbetter act which makes it easier for women to sue on equal pay. there are a lot of interesting issues that i think moms who work inside the home and outside the home are going to be looking closely at. >> schieffer: i want to have both of you back to talk about that as we get on down the trail. when we come back we'll have our panel on the trayvon martin case and the reporter who brought it to national attention. am are
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[ junior ] ge capital. they're not just bankers... we're builders. [ junior ] ...and they've helped build my business. >> schieffer: from time to time with our new expanded format we're going to bring in the reporters who break big storieses storieses and we begin that today, i'm proud to say, with cbs news correspondent strauss of our atlanta bureau. he ran across the story in florida in early march. it had actually happened in february, that he thought deserved more than just local attention than it was getting and he brought it to the attention of "cbs this morning." here's his first report. >> reporter: there's a family inside this quiet subdivision both grieving and frustrated. their unarmed teenaged son was killed here and what they can't understand is yet gunman is still free when he admitted pulling the trigger. >> he was lying right here. >> schieffer: and mark strassmann is with us here today. mark, what-- what caused you to notice this?
i mean, you're watching things all across the south. you ran across this story. nobody had done much about it. >> reporter: you're right. it just sat there as a local orlando story. it was the shootingave teenager on a rainy sunday night. and we wee got a phone ball cawl about 10 days after it happened from a guy aligned with the family, a contact of ours, producer chris st. peters in our atlanta bureau and he said please take a look at this. we described 'd described it to us. and we set up a conference call with tracy martin, trayvon's father, and attorney crump, they walked us through the case and we contacted the police department and essentially this was a story crying out fair second look and we came along and gave it one. >> schieffer: of course you did the story and the wire services caught on and before you know it, it became the national story. it was this week, of course, we saw the third-degree murder charge filed against mr. zimmerman. and so we'll see where the thing goes from here. jack ford is our legal analyst for cbs news.
these philadelphia this morning. i want to ask you, jack, just from a legal standpoint, this la very difficult case to prove. >> it's difficult, bob, for the prosecution. first of all, the prosecutor also has the burden of proof in any case, but here, the burden of proof is essentially multiplied because not only does the prosecution have to prove the elementes of a second-degree murder-- there's no premeditation alleged. that would make it first-degree murder-- but second-degree murder is essentially you wanted to hurt somebody. you didn't want to kill them but you wanted to hurt them so badly that they'd die. the prosecution has to prove all of those elements plus you introduce this interesting law that the state of florida has-- a number of states have them now-- the stand your ground law, which essentially says you don't have to retreat on the street. they made it similar to your house, inside your house, bob, if somebody breaks in you don't have to run out the back door. you can use deadly force to defend yourself in the house. florida says the same thing on the street. you don't have to retreat if
there's a reasonable fear for your own safety before you use deadly force. so now, the prosecution has to deal with that combination of factors here that the defense has said they are going to bring up. so there's a lot going to be taking place in this-- inside this courtroom if, indeed, they get that far. >> schieffer: we want to broaden this discussion out to two men who have already spoken out for it in various form, georgetown university's michael eric dyson, who has been our guest many times on this broadcast. he's a professor and author. and "time" magazine columnist, terey. michael, first to you. why should we be talking about this, this morning? >> well, first of all, an egregious offense against justice has occurred. an unarmed young man with only skittles and iced tea in his hand is walking back to the gated community of which his father and his fiance are at home, and he's returning home. and he is assaulted and murdered. we know he's murdered.
as jack ford just indicated, we don't know the events surrounding it, but what we do know is we have 9/11 tapes of this man pursuing this young man and thinking certain things about him so that the collection of stereotypes that prevail, he looks like he's up to no good. he looks as if he's suspicious. give us a cue that there's a racial animous at work here and roiling beneath the surface is a collection of viewpoints that have informed his understanding of this young man and then urges and motivates him to take action, despite the fact that the police have indicated to him that he shouldn't pursue it. which indicates to us, that many white americans, or at least non-african american people take police orders as recommendations, whereas many african american people take them as law. >> to that same point, this has become like the o.j. simpson case where we see the racial divide, two americas at work, where black america is experiencing tremendous pain because of the situation not simply because, you know, a boy was dehumanized and his body
destroyed, and the local justice system shrugged. but then weto scream so loud and so long just to get the powers that be just to take a serious look at whether or not we should have the justice system involved in this. and then we had to have trayvon martin and his family prove to be almost perfect americans, with almost blemishless past, and the parents had to be strong and show that they had character and seem that they were together that it's not another broken black family. if and we didn't have all that, we we would not be integritying for justice. >> schieffer: let me just be the devil's advocate here and say is it possible that this is-- as tragic as it was-- that this was just a case of mistaken identity. oftentimes when people have guns they make mistakes. >> surely it's the case of mitaken identity in that an isn't black boy walking home is viewed as a criminal as if being a criminal and a young black man
are synonymous, which of course is not the case. >> and let's look at the predictability of the pattern here. this is not the case that young white men in hoodies have been stalted or who you are dressed in an inappropriate fashion. don't forget, bob, that dress for african american people has always signified beyond. how we dress is an indication of where we stand in society. remember right after slavery, black people got dressed in extravagant fashion and that caused great resentment for white americans who believed black people were being uppity because they were trying to out-dress their status. now it is the case, whatever hoods we wear, sagging pants become the forelower of american racism because it signifies to white america that this is a hood, this is a thug and the suspicion cast not only on trayvon martin. look at the president of the united states of america. he went to harvard, he's the president. look at the ready-- the steady stream of racism-- >> john brewer. >> the stereotypes that prevail. right. i'm afraid of him.
he's a moron. he's an orangutan, he's an animal. >> we see when george zimmerman is talking to the 9/11 operator, he's threatening, he's on drugs, he's got his mands his pant, err go, he's got a gun. and see theconsider constantly, young black men are used as threatening, something to be feared, on drugs, out of their mind. they are they're dehumanized quickly, and this is profiling, which was note right away. it's mistaken identity in that you're mistake an innocent person for a criminal. >> absolutely. that's america's history. in sanford, the history, there has been a lot of suspicion by the minority community in sanford toward the police department. a couple of years ago, a homeless black man had been beaten up on videotape for three weeks. nobody was arrested and it turned out the assailant was the police lieutenant's son with the sanford p.d. there was change at the top of sanford p.d., and now you have the new chief dealing with many of the issues the old chief had to deal with-- that is the racial tensions that have existed in this town and that is
where we are today. >> schieffer: let me ask you, what happens if you get a not guilty in this case? >> well, there are a number of ways that that could happen, bob. one is that, indeed, the defense prevails on this argument. and as michael said we don't know the facts yet and it's dangerous to speculate. but if they walk by courtroom-- not guilty can happen in two ways. there's an extra layer in the process in florida here. before they go to trial, george zimmerman is entitled to a hearing in front of a? >> j-- a judge, not a jury-- and if that judge determines based on facts that indeed he had a reasonable fear for his safety, and that the stand your ground defense applies, that judge can throw the case out completely before it ever gets to a trial. there's that possibility and a trial also is ray possibility for a not guilty. >> schieffer: do you think there's a possibility that they nay may, as they say in court, plead him down? they charged him with a murder charge and if he would degree to a manslaughter charge then it
wouldn't go to the jury? >> they certainly have to look at it. as a prosecutor you charge the highest count you think you can prove but sometimes it gives you room to negotiate. as a defense attorney you might look at this and say we've got a real good shot at a not guilty here but if i'm wrong and we lose, and you're convict of murder two, you're going away for at least 25 years. that's a recipe for discussion, bob. get both sides together and start to talk about is there something in between we can do here? >> look at the role of race even in this. the collection of evidence has been infected by the virus of racism because it was presumed that trayvon was the guilty partner here. we didn't look perhaps at the angle of the bullet from the gun, a paraffin test on mr. zimmerman. the collection of evidence itself has been so contaminated by the preexisting continues of racism that we can't even collect enough proof to prove, perhaps, if this is the case, that mr. zimmerman acted with reckless disregard for this young man's life. >> trayvon has tested-- toxicology to see if he's on
drugs, and george zimmerman is not right away. but if this is found not guilty, there will be tremendous, lasting pain, at least in black america, behind the situation. it will be a scar it's soul of america. >> schieffer: all right, well, i want to thank all of you, and mark, thanks again for getting this story out where people could see it. >> reporter: sure. >> schieffer: we'll be right back with our "face the nation" flakback. ,,,,,,,,,,
>> schieffer: finally we want to you know 50 years ago tomorrow walter concrete began anchoring the cbs evening news. that is today's "face the nation" flashback. >> good evening, from cbs news headquarters in new york. civil war... >> peter: evening news lasted only 15 minutes in 1962, and technology was premative. but by the next year, it had expanded to a half hour and with walter cronkite in the chair, a new era came to be. walter was, even then, an old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporter who thought the best
way to cover a story was to go where it was. >> good evening, from paris. reporting from moscow. from the great wall of china. reporting from madrid. >> schieffer: he interviewed every president of his time from truman and eisenhower and kennedy to lyndon johnson, nixon, and ford, to carter and reagan and bush and clinton. he rarely expressed personal opinions, but surveys showed him to be the most trusted man in america, and when he concluded that america could not win the war in vietnam, lyndon johnson said, if i've lost walter, i've lost the country." >> from dallas, texas... >> schieffer: he guide us through our worst moments. >> president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. 2:00 eastern standard time. some 38 minutes ago. >> schieffer: he loved sharing with us the good times. >> the eagle has landed.
>> whew, boy. >> schieffer: it was during walterary time that television became the place where most americans got their news and one rain for that is that they believed walter and what he told us. over the years, i have been asked many times, "what was he really like?" i always reply, "he was off camera exactly the way he was on camera." there are not many of those, but he was just the way you would want him to be. our "face the nation" flashback. transform your investing with the all-new e-trade 360 investing dashboard.
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