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tv   The News Hour With Jim Lehrer  PBS  November 18, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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>> woodruff: good evening, i'm jim lehrer. on the newshour this wednesday, the lead story, afghanistan on the eve of president karzai's inaugural. secretary of state clinton makes a surprise visit. gwen ifill has our coverage. then after the other news of the day, gwen looks at corruption in the afghan government. judy woodruff examines sarah palin's rising book and political stars. >> sarah palin is an instinctual politician. she's extremely impulsive. >> lehrer: kwame holman reports on senators' tough questions for attorney general holder about the fort hood massacre and trying 9-11 defendants in new york. jeffrey brown talks to ken auletta about his new book, "googled: the end of the world as we know it." >> google today is where microsoft was 10 years ago. >> lehrer: and kira kay tells the story of a fragile nation, bosnia and herzegovina, formerly part of yugoslavia.
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major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by: >> we are intel, sponsors of tomorrow. >> this is the engine that connects abundant grain from the american heartland to haran's best selling whole wheat, while keeping 60 billion pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere every year. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> what makes us an engine for the economy? plants across america. nearly 200,000 jobs created. we see beyond cars.
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>> chevron. this is the power of human energy. and monsanto. grant thornton. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: secretary of state
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clinton flew to afghanistan today for the inauguration of president karzai. and, she called again for the afghan government to reform itself and clean up corruption. karzai will be sworn in tomorrow for a second 5-year term. gwen ifill has our lead story report. >> ifill: secretary clinton arrived in kabul today at a critical moment, what she called a window of opportunity for the u.s. and afghanistan. >> hello everybody >> ifill: clinton headed into a locked-down afghan capital, where fear of inauguration- related taliban strikes has closed roads and limited travel. there were other, behind-the- scenes tensions as the secretary, joined by the u.s. ambassador and commanding general, greeted president karzai and afghan officials. >> congratulations on your inauguration. >> ifill: speaking to u.s. embassy staffers, clinton made clear that karzai faces tough new expectations.
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>> we stand at a critical moment for president karzai and his government to make a new compact with the people of afghanistan to demonstrate clearly that they're going to have accountability and tangible results that will improve the lives of the people who live throughout this magnificent country. >> ifill: still, there was a fresh reminder this morning of the extent of official graft in afghanistan. "the washington post" reported the minister of mines allegedly took a $30 million bribe to grant a chinese mining company rights to a huge copper deposit. on monday, the afghan government launched a new anti-corruption unit, the third in as many years. and at a news conference that day, the u.s. ambassador, karl eikenberry, said it was time for "deeds, not words." karzai has insisted he understands the need for action. but in an interview with the "newshour" last week, he also
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pushed back against western officials who have pressed for big changes. >> the west is not here primarily for the sake of afghanistan. it is here to fight the war on terror. the united states and its allies came to afghanistan after september 11. afghanistan was troubled like hell before that, too. nobody bothered about us. >> ifill: afterward, published reports said those remarks rankled american officials as they wrestle with sending more troops to afghanistan. president obama has been weighing options for months, and today, in china, he talked about it with cnn. >> i will announce that decision certainly in the next several weeks. the pieces involved number one, making sure that the american people understand we do have a vital interest in making sure
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that al qaeda cannot attack us and that they can't use afghanistan as a safe haven. we have a vital interest in making sure that afghanistan is sufficiently stable that it can't infect the entire region with violent extremism. >> ifill: that decision will come as public support for the afghan war continues to fall. a "washington post"-abc news poll published today found 52% of americans now believe the war has not been worth fighting. support for the war in other nato-member nations is lower still. but the alliance said today it plans a meeting next month to discuss sending in even more troops. >> lehrer: gwen will look at corruption in afghanistan later in the program. >> lehrer: in other news today, senate democratic leaders got the word on how much their
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health care bill would cost: $849 billion over ten years. it was widely reported majority leader reid got that estimate from the congressional budget office. the reports said the bill would insure 31 million americans who don't have coverage now. senator robert byrd marked a milestone today. he became the longest serving member of the u.s. congress ever. the west virginia democrat has spent 56 years, 320 days serving first in the house and then in the senate. during that career, he's cast more than 18,000 votes and witnessed the election of 11 presidents. byrd spoke on the senate floor this afternoon. >> i am grateful simply grateful to an almighty god for having had an opportunity to serve my state of west virginia and to serve our great nation.
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>> lehrer: byrd turns 92 on friday, and he's had a series of health problems. but he said today he looks forward to serving another 56 years. iraq's plans for january elections have run into new trouble. the sunni arab vice president vetoed part of a newly adopted law for organizing the vote. he said he wants more seats in parliament allocated to iraqis living abroad. and kurdish lawmakers vowed to boycott the election unless they're given more seats. iran has made its strongest statement yet against a un proposal on its nuclear program. the foreign minister said today iran will not export enriched uranium to other nations for processing. the goal was to cut into iran's stockpile. after a year, the uranium would be sent back as fuel rods, which cannot easily be used to make weapons. president obama arrived in south korea today, after a 3-day visit to china. it will be the final stop on his
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week-long tour of asia. hours before mr. obama arrived, police in riot gear confronted dozens of anti-war demonstrators. they had gathered outside the us embassy in seoul. the president's agenda in seoul was expected to include trade talks and north korea's nuclear program. in u.s. economic news housing starts plunged more than 10% in october. that report, from the commerce department, stifled any chances for another rally on wall street. the dow jones industrial average lost 11 points to close at 10,426. the nasdaq fell 10 points to close at 2193. >> lehrer: and still to come on the newshour tonight: the palin book; the attorney general in the hot seat; a google book; and a young nation's struggles.
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that follows gwen ifill's look at corruption in afghanistan. >> ifill: as president obama approaches a decision about the u.s. role in afghanistan, one question looms. amid the reports of continuing corruption, what kind of partner will hamid karzai be? joining us to tackle that question are mariam nawabi, an attorney and native of afghanistan who came to the u.s. in 1979. and alexander thier, the director for afghanistan and pakistan at the united states institute of peace, a nonpartisan group that promotes conflict resolution. he returned from afghanistan last week. since your return from afghanistan last week, mr. thier let's talk about this. how real are these allegations of corruption? >> they're very real. corruption goes from the highest to the lowest levels in afghanistan. you hear about problems in corruption p/e street level with people trying to get driver's licenses, going into court, being asked for bribes, going
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through roadblocks and things like that, but it also goes to the very highest levels of the government--. >> ifill: like the $30 million bribe we read into in the paper today. >> that's right. there was also a story going around kabul that a minister was given money to send pilgrims to mecca. you also have reports about other officials and brothers of key officials in afghanistan who have been skimming off the top. so it's really a problem that goes from top to bottom in afghanistan, and we need to deal with it from both ends. >> ifill: mariam nawabi now there was a report out that said afghanistan is now the second most corrupt country in the wrorld after somalia which doesn't have a working central government. how real is that to you. and who, if that's true, who is behind this? >> that is an indicator after establishments are done on the ground. it is a real indicator. the problem has grown actually since 2001, but part of that has been the large influx of foreign
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aid dollars that have come into afghanistan, sometimes without the accountability that's needed to monitor the aid. so part problem is the contracting system donors have, and we have the narcotics trade growing since 2001. these are both adding to the corruption problem. >> ifill: is it the donor money that taps into natural resources we're talking about? we're talking about copper mines and poppy production. is that what it is, or does this mindset for corruption, i suppose, exist prior to this donor money? >> afghanistan, if we look back to the 60s and 70s, the central government existed, and it didn't have these problems of corruption back then. there was a system of family honor and name, and after 30 years of war, you have the legal institutions that were destroyed for the most part, and there is a sense of survival of the fittest. there's a warfare type of environment and people did what they could to survive. but now with influx of large amounts of money that don't go to those investment projects-- those are from private
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companis-- they're for the contracting. from the money we're spending to try to provide security, some of that is ending up in the wrong hands. >> ifill: mr. thier, if this goes all the way to the top, there is rumors of the karzai family being involved in some of this. how legitimate a partner hamid karzai for the u.s.? >> i think you have to look at karzai through two lenses. on one hand, we've had should tremendous successes with the afghan government over the last few years. youpsci%ís have program like nav solidarity program, national health program, that take donor funds, are managed by the afghan government and have delivered services effectively, often more effectively than we can do ourselves. the other part of that story-- if that's the good karzai, there's the bad karzai. the karzai who brings warlords into his government. he brought in others to support his vote. and so i do think that we can work with karzai, but the
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central demand in working with karzai has to be that the leadership, not only that he show, but that the people he appoint, to key ministries and key governorships have to be clean. because when that happens, it multiplies the number of actors that we can work with successfully. we don't want to put all our eggs into the karzai basket when he was good twasn't a good idea. and now that we've seen him bad, it's not a good idea. so by appointing new leaders, it allows us to work with a variety of people and to prove the chances that we'll have an effect that ultimately turns out well for the afghan people. >> ifill: mariam nawabi, to what extent is one man's patronage another man's corruption? we. >> i think we have to keep in mind that there are different levels of corruption. if we look at the lower end where someone is taking some
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bribe here because the prices in kabul have skyrocketed, just to survive, that's one element of the problem. but at the top level, where people don't need to survive and they're doing it just to line their own pockets, definitely, there has to be strong action taken. and of course, afghanistan has its sovereignty but where we have troops and money in the country, i think that we can use that as leverage to ask for benchmarks to be achieved in order to continue to assist the country. so i think there are assistance programs for rule of law and also accountability for how we are spending our money. we have to keep in mind, most of the funds that go to afghanistan are not directed to the afghan government. they're spent by u.s. contractors. there's that problem with how are we spending our money and how can that be improved to reduce corruption? >> ifill: if that's true, i wonder how do you impose benchmarks when the source of money is coming from so many different places, the delicate political swaugz we see hillary clinton attempting to manage now on the ground. how much should the united states and should president
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obama tie his decision about troops to the elimination or benchmarks about corruption? >> i don't think the decision about troops is about corruption. i think that the most important thing about the president's decision is not about the number of troops. it's about the other types of assistance this we're going to provide to afghanistan, the civilian side of the equation. >> ifill: for instance? >> well it would something new for the you uts government to demand the level of accountability of the afghan government that we've been discussing now. it's simply not something that we have been doing for the last eight years. so getting serious about counter-corruption-- we mentioned in the beginning about putting a counter-corruption commission in place. but the past efforts to do this have faced two problems. one, they haven't been properly resourced so that they didn't actually have the capacity, and it's not just money. it's also about us providing our resources, our intelligence resources, technical assistance to make something like that work. >> ifill: is this new commission a real commission? >> well tcan be.
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it remains to be seen. i mean, we need to have the political will, along with president karzai, to make this work. when you look at the story that came out last week that we've been complaining, the international community has been complaining that karzai's brother in the south is involved in the drug trade, and yet it was revealed that he may be on the c.i.a. payroll. so we also have to hold ourselves accountability. but if we're going to demand of karzai that he take action against people, we also have to make sure that we are also taking action against people even if we found them useful. >> i disagree. i think that the decision to accepted troops should definitely be tied to these indicators because if we send more u.s. troops in a situation where there is rising corruption the drug trade continues to rise, and the afghan people will begin to wonder what the united states is there for and start targeting, you know, u.s. troops and kind of blaming them for the problem as well. so i think we have to have a comprehensive approach.
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the money in afghanistan has been allocated mainly for military spending. that's been one of the major problems. we have one of the most poor countries in the world. we need to help the people and we can use our resources more wise lees to do that. on the legal front the commissions have been around and they've been use to go against opponents and some use prosecute read taken off the hook. i think we need international assist apse, judges who come from outside who help and make sure these decisions are fair so when these prosecutions happen, people can have confidence that they are going against the right people and that those decisions will be held and the people will be accountable. >> ifill: mariam nawabi, alexander thier, thank you both very much. >> lehrer: we have a conversation comparing the afghan war with vietnam on our web site newshour.pb.org. >> lehrer: and to the sarah palin story, on the road again, promoting her memoir, judy
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woodruff reports. >> sarah, sarah. >> woodruff: a year after she drew larger crowds than john mccain as number two on his ticket, sarah palin is drawing crowds again this time, as she launches her book tour. people eager to catch a glimpse of the former alaska governor lined up in grand rapids, michigan, early this morning for a book signing set for tonight. >> well, she just represents everything that i believe in: she's just like me and my buddy sitting at the table talking politics about how we think things should be. >> woodruff: for the next three weeks, palin plans to visit at least 23 states, stopping in selected cities to promote "going rogue," her new memoir. in washington, d.c., a city she's not visiting, the first shipment of palin books sold out quickly. staffers were busy restocking more. >> i'm really interested to hear
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more about her life and some of the decisions she has made recently, especially her deciding to run for vice president and what that entailed. and then i'm interested to know what she is planning and how that may affect what happens nationally. >> i'm very much interested in reading it. i don't agree with her politics, but i think she's a fascinating person. >> woodruff: but some in the store weren't impressed. >> it's a very serious time. i'd rather read more serious works on serious issues in terms of the economy or society. >> woodruff: despite divided opinions, the book is having no trouble selling. high pre-order sales have put it in the one slot on amazon.com for weeks. >> i think the perspective of republicans after the campaign about her was a question mark. >> woodruff: former g.o.p. congresswoman susan molinari says while the party makes up its mind, palin seems to be targeting people with her tour who might support her in another run for office.
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>> when you hear that she's not going to the metropolitan area and more of the small town, red areas, politically red, maybe she is you know trying to develop her cadre of followers while she is selling a book and advocating and testing out messages and testing out what works and doesn't work and moving forward. >> woodruff: which raises the question: what does sarah palin want to do next? some conservatives say it should not be a run for the white house. >> i don't think she's at all qualified to be president. >> woodruff: others say she could be a contender; it all depends on what she wants. matthew continetti of the "weekly standard" is the author of "the persecution of sarah palin. >> i think she wants to continue to have a career in politics as someone who is influencing politics. whether that is something that she does from within a political office, i'm not sure even sarah
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palin knows at this point. sarah palin is an instinctual politician. she is extremely impulsive. at times it makes her appear reckless. and it also makes her very hard to pin down as a political figure. she can go from one political persona to the other. >> woodruff: that shifting persona could carry palin anywhere from public office to a quiet life back in alaska. fred malek, former national finance chairman for the mccain campaign, spent time with palin on the campaign trail. he says her decision to write a book doesn't answer the question whether she'll run for president. >> i have no idea whether she intends to run for office or not, i really have no idea, but you have to look at this through the prism of a mother of five, with also a grandchild living at home, with mounting legal bills and a need to create a better life and a secure life for herself and her family. >> woodruff: continetti agrees that money was a strong factor
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in the decision to write the book. her advance was reportedly in the millions. >> she had to pay for a lot of these legal bills rising from the ethical complaints that greeted her when she returned to alaska. she had to pay them out of her own pocket. and which the palins weren't poor, they weren't exactly rich either. well, now she's rich. >> woodruff: some of the book's harshest words are reserved for mccain campaign senior staffers who palin feels steered her wrong. >> look, she was not treated well as the campaign came to its final days and thereafter. there were people who were saying things that were not right and to my way of thinking, lacked chivalry, lacked honor, lacked integrity, and in every conceivable way were distasteful. if she wants to kind of come back at some of that stuff, more power to her. >> woodruff: but today senator mccain came to his staff's defense; he told reuters it's time to move on. and then there's the news media.
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all week, palin has splashed across tv, her first big interview was with oprah winfrey. >> i think it'sa-- it sums it up better than perhaps i'm summing. he said, "she's not retreating, she's reloading." >> reloading. >> yes. >> woodruff: barbara walters also sat down with palin on abc. >> will you play a major role? >> if people will have me, i will >> woodruff: in every interview, she's asked about what palin herself admits was a bad interview last year with cbs's katie couric. >> i'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point, specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation. >> i'll try to find you some and bring them to ya. >> my fault, my bad they answered the way they answered. >> woodruff: palin defenders say the media continues its unfair treatment of her in this week's "newsweek," where she's pictured on the cover in running shorts.
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palin called it sexist on her facebook page. but conservative david frum says she has brought it on herself. >> this is a woman who got into a position of leadership by sending very powerful sexual signals. and we see that in the way that men like her much more than women do. >> woodruff: palin's re-entry comes as the gop starts to recover from the body blow it took in last year's elections. but susan molinari says palin needs to move beyond the party's base. >> neither political party gets to be the majority if all we do is keep that tent really small. >> woodruff: matthew continetti, a palin fan, agrees: >> and the central thing that she would do if she wanted a future in elective office is to embrace a message that is not necessarily directed at the base of the republican party, but it's directed at the independent voters who determine elections.
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>> woodruff: fred malek, another fan, believes palin can be a catalyst for a republican comeback. >> i think for us to be a winning party on the national level, we have to be big enough to encompass sarah palin on the right to olympia snowe, the moderate, and everyone in between. >> woodruff: but divisions persist. david frum says palin is hobbled by her focus on the past. >> i think there's a thin-ness of skin, and an anger and a vindictiveness that is very dangerous. the question i look to in a republican president is "do you have that kind of resource as to really hold the line when things get tough?" and not just to talk tough, but to be tough. and not just to punch back, but actually to have the ability to keep going without punching back--while restraining yourself and your emotions. >> woodruff: regardless, the manager of one washington bookstore does not expect the hype over the palin book to last long. >> my instinct tells me that this will sort of flame hot and burn out quickly.
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i think we'll move onto the next thing, whoever the next guest on oprah is. >> woodruff: maybe, but palin's shown a knack for attracting attention that whether she runs for office or not could keep her a figure of interest for a long time to come. >> lehrer: now, tough questions for attorney general eric holder over trying the 9/11 suspects in new york city.wñ he faced them today at a hearing of the senate judiciary committee. newshour congressional correspondent kwame holman has our report. >> holman: it was the attorney general's first appearance before congress since he announced last week that khalid sheikh mohammed and four other suspects would be tried in federal district court in manhattan. mohammed claimed direct credit
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for masterminding the airliner attacks of september 11th. the others allegedly helped train and finance the attackers. but the partisan divide over holder's decision was obvious in opening statements by committee leaders. >> they committed crimes of murder in our country, and we will prosecute them in our country. >> khalid sheikh mohammed is a terrorist, is alleged to be a terrorist. the correct way to try him is by military tribunal. >> holman: in his opening statement, the attorney general laid out the thinking that went into his decision. >> i am a prosecutor. and as a prosecutor, my top priority was simply to select the venue where the government will have the greatest opportunity to present the strongest case and the best law. we need not cower in the face of this enemy. our institutions are strong, our infrastructure is sturdy, our
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resolve is firm, and our people are ready. >> holman: under questioning, holder played down republican concerns that mohammed might not be convicted and whether he'd be free to go if he's found not guilty. >> failure is not an option. failure is not an option. this, these are cases that have to be won. i don't expect that we will have a contrary result. >> i don't know how you can make a statement that failure to convict is not a an option. >> i have thought about, you know, that possibility. and one of the things that this administration has consistently said-- in fact, congress has passed legislation that would not allow for the release into this country of anybody who was deemed dangerous. >> holman: holder clashed with republican jon kyl of arizona when kyl pointed out mohammad already had agreed to plead guilty to a military tribunal. >> how could you be more likely
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to get a conviction in federal court, when khalid sheikh mohammed has already asked to plead guilty before military commission and be executed? >> i don't know what khalid sheikh mohammed wants to do now. and i'm not going to base a determination, on where these cases ought to be brought, on what a terrorist-- what a murderer-- wants to do. he will not select the prosecution venue. i will select it. and i have. >> holman: republicans also argued there is considerable public concern about bringing the detainees to the u.s. mainland and about the potential financial and emotional costs of a trial. and, there was more. >> i'm telling you right now, we're making history and we're making bad history. >> holman: south carolina's lindsey graham raised concerns that giving the suspects legal rights in criminal courts will undermine efforts to get them to tell what they know. >> you've made a fundamental mistake here. you have taken a wartime model that will allow us flexibility when it comes to intelligence gathering, and you have compromised this country's
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ability to deal with people who are at war with us. >> holman: even before the attorney general arrived here at the capitol, president obama already had weighed in before leaving china. in a series of interviews, he gave his answer to those who've taken offense at trying khalid sheikh mohammed and the others, in federal court in new york. >> i don't think it will be offensive at all when he is convicted. and when the death penalty is applied to him. people will not be offended if that's the outcome. i'm not prejudging, and i'm not going to be in the courtroom. that's the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury. >> holman: for the most part, judiciary committee democrats at today's hearing agreed with the justice department's decision. maryland's ben cardin. >> it gives us an established process that has been used before. it gives us the credibility of our system, which is internationally understood and respected. and it gives us the ability to showcase that we are using the american values to hold the terrorists responsible.
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>> holman: and illinois' dick durbin said few republicans complained when zacarias moussaoui the alleged 20th hijacker of 9/11, was tried and convicted in federal court in virginia. durbin quoted former new york mayor rudy giuliani, who opposes the upcoming trial in new york, but praised the moussaoui trial. he said: "at the same time, i was in awe of our system. it does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial; that we are exactly what we say we are. we are a nation of law. i think it's going to be a symbol of american justice." >> holman: relatives of some of the 9/11 victims attended today's hearing. some said the 9/11 suspects don't deserve the same legal rights as u.s. citizens. in turn, rhode island democrat sheldon whitehouse cautioned against holding prosecutors accountable to public opinion. he called it "a very dangerous bellwether". for now, the transfer of suspects to new york still is many weeks away. and there's no indication of when the trial might begin.
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>> lehrer: next tonight, searching for the meaning of google, jeffrey brown examines a new chronicle of the internet force. >> think of google as a verb, something millions of us do routinely when we need some bit of information, or as a noun, the 11-year-old company founded by two stanford students or a brand. the new book, "googled, the end of the world as we know it," explores all three of these. its author is ken auletta, longtime writer of the can the new yorker" and numerous other books on media and guess business. welcome to you. you went into this knowing this couple company was a phenomenon, what you call a wave maker. after all the reporting, what's the key to its success? >> well, i think they sart from an attitude that things are done
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inefficiently, particularly in the media world, be it advertising, television, or microsoft, packaged software. andhen the engineer comes in and the engineer is really key, they're the martin scorsese, the content creators, the ones who--. >> brown: engineer is king at this place. >> they are. and they start with the single question which is why? why can't we sell ades more cheaply and tell the advertiseer who they're reaching with those ads and charge them only when they click. why can't we do google news online and get away from the costs of the newspapers and distribution systems. why do we have to sell software like microsoft does. why can't we have cheaper telephone service. >> brown: staying within the company here, i mean, 32 this ethos of almost intellectual play which you describe, letting the engineers ask these
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questions at the same time as growing a business. >> i mean, i would sit in engineering meetings at google, and they were talking swahe'll tow me. i didn't understand half of the words. i had the luxury of time to figure out what the words meant. but the truth is, the two cofounders-- err. >> schmidt is the c.e.o., he's an engineer. they understood every word they spoke and they could challenge those engineers. you think if you're in a digital company, you're in any company dealing with the digital world and you don't speak the lingo of engineers, you're doomed. >> brown: what about also the-- well, there's the motto, right, don't be evil. this sense that we're not in it just for-- well, not even in it for money tsounds like. they're in it to do good, to change the world. they talk this way. is it real? >> it is real, and it's self-righteous, both. they skarted out, these two founders, with the yr idealistic
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notion of making all the world's information available. for the first two years they made no money. they had no clue how they would make money. they finally came up with an advertising plan. think about it. they refused to run ads on their home page. they refused to lock sbou google search. they didn't create a portal-- you have to stay in our portal to get information. so they win the trust of consumers with that, and it's free-- let's not forget that, very important. they've been wondrous things and it's one of the reasons google is one of the most trust brands in the world. then they go to china in 2004, and they say you are going to do a search on tiananmen square, no thanks. we don't want to show any unpleasantness and they cave. >> brown: and the ethos bumps up against reality. >> if you close the office as they did in late '98 in phoenix, the people who worked in the
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phoenix office did they think that was an evil act or not? evil is in the eye of the beholder. it becomes a self-defining phrase that they love and peoplerally around in google, and they feel it, but is it totally real? no. >> brown: speaking of bumping up against reality, the other thing you spend a lot of time on is the sense of bumping up lots of new and old media. there's a line you say, the google wave has crashed into entire industries-- advertising, newspapers, book publishing, televisions, teleforngz movies, software-hardware makers. this is a company disrupting a lot of these old and new media. >> totally disruptive. i asked larry page at one point, i said, "is it true you'll bump into traditional media." and without being gleeful about it he said, "not times, always." they know that. they know they're bumping into some of these companies, some they do business with-- in fact many they do business with. inevitably, it's a much more
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efficient way to do things. if you were decimating newspaper can they be replaceed by the blogosphere? i don't think so. that's one of the questions you have, what replaces the old? does the new replace it factly. >> brown: one way of thinking about it is this company's impact on this industry and companies and the other way is the impact on it as it moves forward, right. because the other thing you're talking about is the way it is more vulnerable it as crashes into these other places. >> and one of the problems with google-- that google has is their great strength-- as we talked about a moment ago-- are their engineers. that's their virtue. their vice is it the flip side of that. engineers lack emotional intelligence often. they don't see things they can't measure. for instance, they don't know how to gaej fear. i covered the microsoft trial 10 years ago. microsoft got in trouble with the government in part because bill gates and his minions couldn't anticipate why the
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government would be concerned about their concentration of power. or why today google is not acutely aware of why issues like privacy or copyright, both of which they affect profoundly, would be of concern, not just to the government and not just this government, but governments all around the world, but to other businesses. so google today is in the crosshairs the way microsoft was 10 years ago. >> brown: and while microsoft is a good example, because you wrote about that, is the question now is google different because of the-- because of its culture, because of what it does than a microsoft, say, or others that once seemed invisible? or do you see it sort of 10 years from now we're kind of saying what's the next one and google's just another-- not just another, but still just a big company. >> i think google is both different and similar. different in the sense-- when i was doing microsoft, i came away thinking microsoft is populated by co-businessmen.
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when i do google i find them populated by cold engineers. the difference is the cold businessman wants to kill the competition. google is not interested in killing the competition. they just want more efficiencies but inevitably you do i kill some of the companies and there's a social cost for that. i think there's much more idealism there, and they do things that are more dmobl in many ways than microsoft did. the similarity is, there's a certain level of hubris that creeps in when you're that successful for a long period of time. you miss things that are happening. but also you live in a kind of cloistered world of free food and free medical and free buses and free medicine and free car washes on thursday, and you start saying, "hey, i'm guy." and, you know, hubris sets in, and you start losing people, and you-- so you have a drain of talent. and then the thing that you have out there is you have new competition. bill gates said to me inate 98
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when i interviewed hill, i said, "bill, what do you worry about?" he said, "i worry about someone in the garage inventing a new technology i never thought about." the new technology in '98 was google. what's the new technology today that threatens now? one could be a site like facebook. when you think about a search, you do a search, and you get thousands of answers. that's very inefficient--. >> brown: social media allows you to target it. >> target 15 of your friends-- not that camera, buy this camera. hi it. you will trust your friends. that becomes what's called a vertical search which is very potent. >> brown: so the world remainings in flux. the book is "google, the end of the world as we know it." ken auletta, thanks so much. >> my pleasure. >> lehrer: finally tonight, another of our stories on fragile states around the world.
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special correspondent kira kay reports on bosnia herzegovina the eastern european nation once part of yugoslavia. >> reporter: amira and sabahudin garibovic are pioneers: bosnian muslims who have returned to land they were expelled from in the early 1990s during their country's brutal ethnic war. they and their then infant son had survived a year in a detention camp. when they moved back a few years after the war ended, they found little more than ruins where their home had been. >> ( translated ): it was terrible. we didn't know whether to laugh or cry. we were happy to be back, but it was really very difficult because we didn't know where to start. >> reporter: today the garibovics have rebuilt their home and restarted their lives, but they are now minorities, their town of kozarac is one of the few muslim communities inside the serb-controlled part of bosnia. once devastated by the war, life is now slowly returning to the streets. the air is full of the sound of new construction and the muslim call to prayer.
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unemployment is still very high here and residents say discrimination continues, but that kozarac exists at all today is proof that bosnia herzegovina is moving away from its bloody past. 100,000 people were killed in the civil war here. a war that taught the world the term ethnic cleansing. but 14 years ago, american and european diplomats persuaded bitter adversaries to sit down at an ohio air force base and agree to stop the bloodshed in what has become known as the dayton accords. 50,000 nato troops helped secure the peace and extensive investment by the international community quickly followed. and to many peoples surprise, the peace has held. today, most of the country has been physically repaired. the capjv, sarajevo, still carries some scars of its three- year siege, but otherwise feels like a normal bustling city. the nato operation has been replaced by a much smaller
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european union mission of only 2000 troops. and there have been some major structural reforms here. >> all these things were done in the first half of, of this decade, tremendous progress. >> reporter: american diplomat raffi gregorian is second in command at the office of the high representative, the international body created by dayton to supervise the country until it can stand on its own. >> there were still three former warring armies here in bosnia herzegovina, today there's one. there used to be three intelligence services, now there's one. there were several different taxation systems here, today there's one and so on. >> reporter: but these improvements masked a fragility in the political structure of the country, one that 14 years of peace have not fixed, one that now risks plunging bosnia herzegovina back towards failure just as life in places like kozarac was beginning to feel normal and just as the international mission here was hoping to leave. the dayton agreement carved the
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country into two autonomous ethnic entities, a serb majority area called republika srpska, and a federation predominantly of bosniak muslims and catholic croats. on top of this sits a national layer of government with its own ethnically based structure. this has been called the most over-governed countries in the world. there are three presidents here, each one representing a different ethnicity. there are 13 administrations, from the state down to the local level, with 160 ministers on the payroll. and the cost of all this government? a whopping 50% of the country's g.d.p. >> dayton peace accord was a monster, i mean, it created a monster country. >> reporter: srecko latal writes for the balkan investigative reporting network. he says this weak and complicated political system is now being manipulated by a new wave of nationalist politicians. >> bosnia herzegovina right now is facing the most difficult crisis since the end of its war. we have come into a situation
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where local leaders don't want to make it work. i mean they deliberately block the work of joint state and entity institutions. and as a result we are facing a major deadlock on almost a complete level. >> we do have the political tensions and that's because of two divergent concepts: the one is of multicultural country and the other is of divided ethic country. >> reporter: haris silajdzic is a veteran bosniak muslim politician who now serves as one of the country's three national presidents. he says he wants a more unified government. >> all of us haven't done enough in the last 14 years to promote the positive values of what we call a modern society today. bosnia herzegovina should be a normal, democratic country with the priority of becoming a full member of nato alliance and a member of the european union.
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>> reporter: reform of bosnia's political system is a requirement for the high representative to leave and for bosnia's ultimate prize, european union membership. but silajdzics plan is a one- man-one vote system that would have the side effect of putting greater power in the hands of the more populous muslims, something bosnias serbs say they will not allow. republika srpskas capital, banja luka, has also come a long way since the war, there is some extra money to spend here, from deals the serbs have made on their own with countries like russia. and the glistening new government headquarters sends the message: the serbs plan on holding onto their autonomy. gordan milosevic is an advisor to the serb entitys prime minister. >> reporter: is there a difference of opinion between what the republika srpska wants this country to look like and what the federation wants this country to look like? >> well it is obvious, that's not a secret for anyone who
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knows bosnia, that main intention in republic of serpska is for bosnia herzegovina to remain strongly decentralized country in line with dayton peace agreement. those who are insisting on one man, one vote system, they are basically trying to provide for circumstances that would allow for only one people in bosnia to rule this country and become a dominant group. >> reporter: milosevic accuses the international community, through its office of the high representative, of siding with the bosniak muslims to undermine serb authority. he says the situation is unacceptable. >> if there will be a foreign authority still imposing law after law changing reality of this country, without even consulting us about that, what is our option? to pretend ignorant, and to follow imposition after imposition? or to say, ok, if that's the game you want to play, please run this country then, but without us.
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>> reporter: republika srpska prime minister milorad dodik has gone even further, threatening to call an independence referendum. the office of the high representative says it isn't biased against serbs, but raffi gregorian insists it is dodik's government that is undermining the future of the country. >> the republika srpska which most proclaims that they want us gone are the ones who are doing the most to block completion of these objectives and conditions. if they had a, we could have been gone two years ago in 2007 for example if they hadn't been talking about independence and secession. if they hadn't been blocking progress on the things that need to be done. >> reporter: as the political disagreement degenerates further, the rhetoric has also begun to take on a poisonous ethnic tone. last year, president silajdzic called republika srpska a reward for genocide. but it is recent comments by serb prime minister dodik, accusing muslims of staging some of the biggest wartime attacks against them, that has created the greatest outcry. >> it doesn't help when you have the republica serbska prime
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minister claiming that um, horrible war crimes for which people have been sentenced to, to life in prison were in fact manufactured by the, by the bosniaks in order to make the serbs look bad. >> these tensions and animosities that were for all the past years, present mostly only political level among local politicians now are slowly effecting ordinary people and that is what is really dangerous. there is no material for a larger scale conflict, uh there are no more, so many heavy weapons in this country. there are no more so many soldiers in this country but there is enough for a major trouble that could and would continue shaking this situation in all of the europe for the coming years. >> reporter: even though american and european diplomats have tried to mediate in recent
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weeks, it seems unlikely that an internal consensus can be reached anytime soon over the future structure of the country. gordan milosevic offers a stark perspective. >> reporter: do you think its ever possible to have political discussion in this country that doesn't involve ethnicity or will this always have to be the structure of the country? >> it will always be the structure of this country because this is such country, but it shouldn't, people shouldn't try to neglect reality. the way to deal with situation is to recognize situation. as long as someone has illusions or ideals that it can be changed, we will be nowhere. >> reporter: back in kozarac, you get a different picture of bosnia's current crisis. one where the problem isn't rooted in ethnicity, but in the halls of government. sabahudin garibovic thinks a secure future is possible only if leaders stop playing political games: >> ( translated ): only if
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something changes in this country; starting from the authorities that obstruct everything good for the people of this country. they simply do not wish to help people have a better life. >> reporter: and for all of bosnia herzegovina, the lasts steps in their transformation from fragile post-war state for now on hold, as politics spin further out of control. >> lehrer: you can learn more about other fragile states online and watch stories on east timor and congo. those are part of our partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting. find them and teaching materials by following a link from our web site newshour.pbs.org. >> lehrer: again, the major developments of the day: democratic leaders in the u.s. senate got the estimate on how much their health care bill would cost $849 billion over ten years.
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>> we all acknowledge this legislation is a tremendous step forward. why? because it saves lives, saves money, and protects medicare, makes medicare stronger. secretary of state clinton flew to afghanistan for tomorrow's inauguration of president karzai. she called again for the afghan government to clean up corruption. on newshour.pbs.org an online- only feature tonight. a look at affordable health care for artists who are uninsured. that's on our art beat page. >> lehrer: we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. i'm jim lehrer. thank you and good night. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by:
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>> what the world needs now is energy. the energy to get the economy humming again. the energy to tackle challenges like climate change. what is that energy came from an energy company? everyday, chevron invests $62 million in people, in ideas-- seeking, teaching, building. fueling growth around the world to move us all ahead. this is the power of human energy. chevron. and by toyota. and monsanto. grant thornton.
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