tv America Tonight Al Jazeera September 11, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
♪ >> welcome to al jazeera, here are tonight's top stories. new york and i is wrapping off day of remembering on the 12th anniversary of september 11th attacks. right now the tribute and lite is shining from near where the twin towers once stood. other ceremonies were held at the pentagon and shanksville pennsylvania. the five permanent members of the u.n. security council met to talk about a draft resolution, on overseeing and destroying syria's chemical weapons. two french proposal would give them 15 days to declare their weapons and make them available for inspection. secretary of state
russian foreign ministerser guy lav avenue will immediate tonight to talk about the proposalled to disarm syria. officials say they want to outline a proposal to destroy the weapons p one year after an attack killed chris stephens and three other americans in benghazi, they are investigating the car bomb that exploded in the same city. from group has claimed responsible. california lawmakers have approved a plan aimed at reducing the state's population. america tonight is coming up next. on america tonight. tapping in, new disclosures about a government phone tracking program, a wide ranging web, and whose calls may have been picked up.
>> also tonight, remembering september 11th, with the man who relied on the wisdom of solomon to determine the value of a life. >> she goes go away, i lost my son, and you are here to talk about money. and flies in the face of history. the stars, stripes, and stories you never knew about the star spangled banner. >> here is the question, say can you see, he cannot see the flag by dawn's early light. time and date has not
hamed of the wounds of september 11th. on this the 12th anniversary there are new signs of the legacy of that day. today we learns more about the intrusion into our communications and why they happen t a all. just a few weeks ago, form governor con track leaked top secret details of a program that collects and stores information nearlier phone call made in the united states, and only under pressure, the government agency admits the data web was far wider than it needed to be. in newly released documents the government admits that nsa analyst routinely broke rule ruleso access phone records. less than 2,000 of them were sus pi enough to indicate links to terrorism. as to why that p had, the government says it was in large part, because get this, no one at the nsa knew how the program was supposed to work. they didn't know the rules.
now that drew a sharp response from a judge that oversees the nsa, that says the explain nation strains yesterday duality. repeatedly submitting inaccurate descriptions of how it determined which numbers to add to the alert list, and indicated that he, remains skeptical of. pros to clean up the agencies act saying, no one inside or outside of the nsa can represent with adequate certainty whether it would stop misusing phone records. all the data is reflected in public response to all this, a new poll finds that nearly 60% of americans oppose the data collection. to help us understand the impact of the program, and what it means to all of our phone calls we turn tonight to nate c cardosa. let me try to get an explanation from you, though, wider than acknowledged originally,
but look, this has to do with length of phone calls, just that the phone calls were made, not specific information contained in them, why is
this important. >> well the december closure is important because now we know that the nsa violated its on ruled, and lied about it to the court, was repuked strongly by the court, and even more than the, the court itself, this is a secret court that meets in washington, d.c., the court said that it had no way of knowing whether the nsa was complying, and the nsa lad lost the court's confidence. those are pretty startling revelations. >> so the other part of that was the motion that only 10% actually fell into the standard, 10% of the thousands of phone calls. how could that discrepancy exist. >> your guess is as food as mine, and it sounds like it was because the nsa literally didn't know what it was doing.
what it turns out they were doing, this is for year, by the way, they were conducting fishing expeditions to look into your phone calls. to look into tens of thousands of americans phone calls to gather suspicion, that they would then use to look into your phone calls. the if that sounds circular, it is because it is. >> everyleahey has already stepped up and said look, this
is the sort of bulk collection of data that has to be stopped is there any indication that any action can be taken. or that the nsa is willing to do it. >> mooring's, the electronic frontier foundation, as well as organizations as well as the constitutional rights are suing to stop that bulk collection. representatives senson parenner who is the original author of the patriot act, has joined our lawsuit and said as a friend of the court, and said this was not the intent of the patriot act. so yes, there is something we are doing, and there is something that hopefully the courts will be able to do to put
an end to this. >> is there any indication and all the indication that you have seen, and i understand you have been going through with a a fine tooth comb, is there an indication that other agencies may be involved in some way back door supporting the collection? >> well, it seems like the nsa is getting support from industry. from people
within the united states, people like verizon and at&t. the nsa is also sharing its data. we know it shares data with the ceo, with the fbi, with the drug enforcement agency, and today we learned that they share unfiltered raw data with israel. this is data that they aren't even allowed to share with the nsa. >> that is so say they are turning other the records isn't the response be that's the courts order we have so. >> so for the fist six years there were no court
ordered at all, there was no othersight, and the companies were complying. now, yes, there is a court order saying that they have to, it's argued that the company really should fight these illegal unconstitutional court orders. i have is seen google started to fight them, but the telecoms at&t and verizon, and the like, certainly have not pushed back. >> nate from the electronic frontier foundation, appreciate your insight into all this. >> thank you for having me on. >> ahead here, a historic recall election. colorado lawmakers kicked out for supporting tighter gun restrictions, we will get that story, ahead.
that's okay. we will fight another day, and fight fight fight. they may have won the battle but they are not going to win the war, because people are dying for real, and we need to stop that. >> that was colorado's senate president john morris on losing a seat in a historic recall election out there. morris one of the two lawmakers kicked out of office for backing tighter gun laws. the other state senator who is ousted by voters in the pueblo area, they are the first state lawmakers in colorado history to be recalled. angered by new limits on ammunition, magazines and expanded background checks gun rights activists tried to recall a total of four lawmakers. the nba said this election sent a clear message that they should protect gun rights and be accountable to their constituents. this recall could have a chilling effect in other stays where determines have been encouraged be i the president to pass stiffer gun control laws including background
checks limits on magazines and other measures as well. so how did all this unfold, and what does it mean beyond colorado as well? state senator angela joins us now from denver, we appreciate your being with us, and i have to ask you, if you have any regrets for what happened? >> you know, absolutely not. that's the thing why i can have peace today, is that we did such historic things, not only on gun safety legislation, but voter access, on civil unions, in state tuition, we had a historic session, and we did everything that we could to beat this. but we just were -- the courts peat us, wouldn't ahow us to have mail ballots which most people in colorado might have had a mail ballot for the last two decades. and that's what happened here. >> let's talk a little bit more about the gun control law, specifically, a rather a
raft of this kind of legislation, did you see that as being the ultimate test for you here? >> no, you know, we all know in this country that 90% of americans believe that background checks, univery background checks are a good thing. we want to keep the guns out of the hands of criminal. that's what we did here. that's an agreement across this country. and the other one is to limit the magazine capacity to 15. police carry that, so those were very common sense, legislation, and if our voters would have been able the vote, i think they would have supported us, like they have across this state and in this country. >> what do you think the impact was then of the nra's involvement in this particular election? >> i think some fear mongers and they had a very easy message that said we are going to take guns out of the hands --
we were trying to take general's guns. very easy message, and we had to go in and say, do you know what we did here. we wanted background checks for gin who was buying a gun, and we limited magazine capacity. and then you would hear people at the doors or in their living rooms that said, oh that's what you did. so people weren't aware, and it was just a simple message, it took us a lot more time to be able to really say what happened and what this election was really about. >> but would you say, then, it's nra money that was the influence here, that they were more effective in cliffing the message? that they were more effect i in bringing out their communities? >> what i think here, is it was voter suppression. as i said, the access to the ballot was so deminnished here, because for two decades we had some of our voters being able to cast that bat roll. i was knocking on doors and being invited into
living rooms for people who had for 20 years has been getting a mail ballot. and i ran into people who were on their way into the hospital that were going to be out of the county, or the state, that weren't going to be able to vote in this election, and it was the most costly election that our voters will have seen in their county's history, and yet their voices weren't heard. >> i guess i'm confused i would have thought you feel that the nra had a bigger impact on your losing this election? >> that's what got us to this point, is that extremism, and being able to distort the truth. so that's what got us into i think the recall election, but in here, we could have fought that because we really were on the drowned, and talking to our voters to be able to let them know, but there was voter confusion, if you can imagine in the united states of america, we were a week photograph out from the election, and we didn't know what the rules were. two rules continued to change, what i was saying
three months ago to my voters i was two or three times different things then i was saying a week photograph out. so it was rampant voter confusion, and that was a challenge for our voters. >> let's talk then about the national picture, you referred to the polling and the interests of voters around the country. put let's face it this hasn't happened at the federal level either. >> right, and that's why i think when you look at the v that was in this race, in this state that came across from all around the country, and it really was, the nra's involvement and i think a little bit of this smoke screen, which i don't want this to be able to continue that they have the kind of influence, and to put the fear in legislatures no t to do the right thing. we know that's what is happening on the federal level. when 90% of americans believe in universal background checks and yet
we can't get that done in congress in the united states. and so it is. but i don't think that citizens are doing to continue to allow this. and the pons of our kids and our communities being save. >> thank you. joining us from denver. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> when we return, hear more diplomatic maneuvers and now questions about what lies ahead for syria. from the millions of citizen who is have been forced from their homes. looking ahead to thursday, on america tonight, michael ocou, our correspondent reports from the louisiana bayou, we have all seen the video of the massive sick hole but it continues to grow, and the concern is not actually about what is being swallowed it is about what is being spit up. >> so this is the beautiful bayou, but rally it is a reservoir for gases and
hydrocarbons. >> absolutely. the approach in south louisiana has been to allows the companies to be self-regulated. that doesn't work. >> there is risk, every single day that these companies are operating, there's risk that something terrible can happen. >> it goes beyond risk, i think in some cases it is a gamble, you can't unpiet 24 apple. this thing has been -- it took thousands of years to create, now you probing it. and you may change an entire community. ç]
stories making headlines on "america tonight." pink slime back again. about 2 million pounds of it, now this ground beef filler was criticized pretty heavily last year, by those who were concerned it contains amoan yo to kill germs. former u.s. marine jailed in iran on charges is writing to secretary of state john kerry. 230-year-old says that he is being held hostage by the iranians, secretary kerry recently demanded
that he p released. the anniversary of the attack on the u.s. consolate has been marred by car bomb blasts at libya's foreign ministry. this was destruct i but no one was killed. thele booing comes one year after al quaida stormed the consolate killing four americans including the u.s. ambassador. day after dramatic diplomacy, a military strike in syria, albeit temporarily, the united states is considering a new option for dealing with syria's use of chemical weapons. secretary of state kerry is set to meet with his russian counter part for two days of talks tomorrow, on the table forum is a russian deal to oversee the hand over of syria's chemical weapons. the obama administration says it will take a hard look at the russian proposal, but it would not commit to a deadline. >> they don't have a time loin to give to you, what i can say is that it
obviously will take some time, there are technical aspects. involved in developing a plan for securing syria's chemical weapons, and verifying their location, and put egg them under international control. >> meanwhile, a u.n. inspectors are reportedly expected to deliver their report on last month's chemical weapons attack outside damascus. 20 the u.n. security council, sometime next week. if the inspectors report does show that toxic gas was used a question here, will it be proven that bashar al assayed was personally responsible and for that can be the case, if that can be proved, question h be held accountable. as we saw in our live town hall in this program last night, the debate about a clear solution is far from settled. >> between the u.n. and the regime -- >> you will only answer one question, you only answer whether chemical
weapons were asked or not, you are not allowed to answer the more important question -- >> just trying to undermine the u. intermountain -- >> two really important things -- >> sheila. >> go. >> they can look at the delivery devices, they can see what -- >> we recorded video -- >> hillary, hillary, let sheila go here. >> let her go, one at a time. >> we brought the inspectors we said here is the delivery devices please take them with you, they are like no we can't do this. >> i am going to get up and separate the two of you. >> according do u.s. and united states and human rights watch, syrian president committed a war crime on august 21st, when more -- close to 1500 people of his own people were killed with chemical wells. but will asaad ever face an international criminal court, the leading international human rights lawyer is here now to shed a little bit of light on this issue. and help us understand what is happening. when we talk about chemical weapons can it be linked to an
individual? going directly to that question. if we can conclude that there were chemical weapons used is it clear that the leader is solely responsible, or at least largely responsible? and question be prosecutors. >> first of all, chemical weapons are such prohibit sod the very use of chemical weapons constitute as war crime. but criminal liability is a bit of a more complex question, because the question is who issued the odder was it with is knowledge, or his brother, we also have to remember that from a humanitarian point of view, it doesn't matter whether you kill a civilian with chemical weapons or with artillery, and all the use is an important issue, 100,000 civilians have been killed and it's in that much broader context that we have to understand the criminal responsibility.
yes are involved in very important cases do either of these environments offer you any sort precursor to what might happen here? >> as in the case that sudan as in the case of libya, refers this matter to the court. but with the russian veto that is not likely to happen. >> as a practical matter. >> but not just the russian veto, i don't know whether the western powers including the quite, the united kingdom are eager to create a situation where bashar al-asaad does not have a graysful exit. so it is a tension between peace and justice. it is clear that people will be responsible for mass murder, have to be prosecuted.
what if we can get him to step down, and go into exile. >> just do clarify, now that syria has acknowledged the presence of the stock piles which it had not done, does that -- is he grandfathered in. he now agrees yes, okay, we have these weapons. is there anyway to prosecute him based on that? >> well, the mere possession of the weapons may not be a crime, it's their use really that is the crime. but as i said, if we are going to refer this mat tore the court, the court isn't going to ignore the mass murder of 100,000 people and look at one incident. we have had entire cities that have been reduced to rubble. we have had systematic execution as rain of
terror that has lased over a year and a half. so i think it is more of a security issue, because of the indiscriminate effect, put from a humanitarian point of view, we can't say that the killing of 100,000 civilians is insignificant, but the killing of 1,500 is the only issue we should be concerned about. >> it seems to me you are one of those people in that conflict, you are a lawyer, human rights lawyer, you must look at things within their legal deaf nixes and yet there is that emotional need, to have some satisfaction. about what the true justice, and there seems to be a disconnect there when it comes to prosecuting. >> sadly for crimes of that scale, no punishment is nothing. how do you punish someone for killing one huh
thousand people. how do you punningish the gnat sees. >> but the point, is we need to deter such crimes, we need to show the international community and political leaders that they cannot engage in mass murder, and get away with it, because a culture encouragings over leaders elsewhere to use mass violence as an instrument of power. >> thank you very much. i just want to make a little note to our viewers we did receive information that president putin is releasing a response in the new york sometimes in which he responds to some f the comments made -- apparently responding to some of the comments made by president obama in his speech to the nation last night. and he points out from his point of view, we must stop using the use of force, and return to diplomatic settlement, new opportunity to avoided military action has emerged in just the
past few days, russia and members of the international community must take advantage of the willingness to place the arsenal under international control. my working and personal relationship with president obama is marked by growing trust, and i appreciate this. comments from russian president putin, in an opinion editorial that he had writing for the new york times tomorrow. more than 100,000 syrian refugees have now arrived in hanover germany, the refugees who had fled syria to escape the war, part of a program, the gentleman government plans to accept 5,000 refugees this is the largest relocation program so far in the world. these victims of war are getting second chance, but for millions of other whose have fled the conflict, they are now living in camps and their hopes for a better life are quickly fading. jane has more from jordan.
these are his first steps into the arms of his proud father. he is learning to walk in jordan. he was only a month old when his parents brought him here. two area near damascus that a few months later would become known as the site of a chemical weapons attack. >> my sister died in the attack in huta. she and her husband, on television, they said there were 1500 that dies but there are more. there are people under the buildings that one could get to. >> the family home is shrunk to this one room, the trailer donated by the saudi government. but here too they are surrounded by their former neighbors. the youngest of the children, were born here. he was a cement truck driver here he plays with the kids and worried about the news. it's true that we are
against the regime, but we are also against a strike, because if they are going to hit syria, how would america know where it is. it is going to expand, and they are going to hit civilians. >> the women work hard at keeping the family fed and clothed. everyone buys groceries from jordanian run shops with vouchers distributed by the u.n. $10 a month for each person. there's frozen chicken, fish, and beans. after that, it is an almost hour long walk back to the trailer. when she was a girl, his wife dreamed of being a flight attendant. she is pregnant again, but says she has no dreams left. in this situation, i can't expect anything. i can only expect the worst, because no one is
watching out for us. we are really exhausted here, and in syria they are more exhausted than us. we can't count on anything from anyone. >> he says it is difficult to take care of the children here, even difficult to wash, and home is so far away. we thought it would be a few small incidents, and a few protections and strikes. and then bashar would leave syria. he would then keep his position and kill innocent people and children. i didn't think this would happen. to save money, the women maked cracked wheat with dried yogurt, almost everybody here has a painful story. he is mother mourned from her son, killed in syria at the age of 19. her neighbor 20-year-old son a medical student, was killed by government fors in april. they all let lush farmland around damascus
for this camp in the dessert. this was empty dessert just five miles from the syrian order. but 120,000 people live here now. and the camp has grown into jordan's fourth largest city. the camp is a year old but it is beginning to feel perp innocent. thousands of children, you can buy anything here from wedding dresses to live chickens. like the earlier waves of refugees people here first thought they would be home in a few months, they now realize it is not the case. >> half of the refugees are children, but only a quarter of them go to school. the rest run wild. no one knows what will happen to their country. these youngest refugees have already lost any chance of a happy childhood. dispatched from our reporter, and still to come here,
after two planes werears flown into the world trade center, another one hit the pentagon, another collapsed in a field the effects are still felt. u.s. foreign policy discussions are still rooted in the reactions to that day. >> and today hundreds of families gathers for another day of mowning and quieted reflection. the names of the 2,983 people that died that day were read. president obama joined observances and elsewhere across the united states. there were smaller but truly heart felt gathering. in that time of raw confusion, and untimely loss, excruciating pain, there is a stranger who tried to forge a relationship with victims and their families certainly under the worse circumstances possible. ken has managed compensation funds for nearly every national tragedy over the past 12 years, one of them of
course being neff. recently i spoke with him about what he has learned in the after math of that fateful day. >> well, it thought me first of all that compensation is a pretty poor substitute for loss. over and over again, people who have lost loved ones or who have been physically injuries will say to me, mr. fine burg, you will willing to give me $1 million, bring my wife back. keep the million. bring my daughter back. bring my son back. or after the boston marathon, where i visited an amputee victim in the hospital. mr. jens, you are going to receive $1,100,000 tax free. keep the money. give me my limb back. this is what you len that even though money and compensation is a very important part of the way
we distribute loss in this country, it is a poor substitute for the harm that's been suffered and the damage that's resulted. >> what is your answer when people challenge you in this way? >> i don't have that power, mrs. jones, or mr. jones i wish i did. allky do, and it's pretty small solace, is provide you a check. >> given that awareness and that reality, if you could go back in time to that moment of 9/11, and that moment when you were giving your special appointment in this way, would you recommend it again? is that the appropriate thing to do, to ask somebody to have the wisdom of solomon to put a price on life? >> no, i think the then victim compensation fund was sound public policy. it was the right thing to do. policy makers realized that something had to be done because of this unprecedented historical
tragedy in american history. but i wouldn't rep he kate it. i wouldn't do it again. >> why? >> the idea that you are going to take public taxpayer money, and compensate just these victims. bad things happen every day to people this this country. there wasn't a katrina compensation fund. there wasn't a tornado or a hurricane compensation fund. no. i think the then fund should be viewed for what it was. a success. sound. don't ever do it again. not with public money. >> most of the 97% or so of the people who could have made claims did. what about that last 3%. >> well, almost all of the last 3% opted voluntarily to file a
lawsuit. against the world trade center, the airplanes, mass port, or the port authority of new york. most of those who didn't come into the fund voluntarily, went the tray diggal rout. and they went and sued they ought settlinged their cames. only two people did nothing. they didn't file a lawsuit. and they didn't come into the fund. >> did they explain themselveses to you. >> overcome by grief. >> could not do it. >> they were paralyzed they just couldn't make the decision. they let the clock run, the statute of limitations was triggered and they never did anything. they sat on their rights and neither sues more came to the fund. >> and you tries to bring everything onboard. >> i tried. i went to one lady, a 71-year-old who had lost her son, i said mrs. jones, you only have three weeks be ever the statute expires, i'll
help you fill out your form. to get compensated. she goes do away. i lost my son, and you are high to talk about money? please, mr. fineburg, leave the application on the kitchen table, and thank you. she never filed. >> in the wake of everything that happened with 9/11, you became the man, the do to guy on such tragedies. think of aurora, newtown, think of boston, think of the b. p. spill, over and over again, the country backs to you and says, can you help folks out here. can you compensate us. is it right in these other cases does it make sense where you have private funding to have a special master of this sort? >> sure. if it is private money like the boston marathon, over 100,000 people sent in money. $60 million. to compensate the victims. that's the american way. that's the charitable impulse of the american people, which i find amazing.
>> and in those cases you didn't divide in the -- in the solomonistic way you made a more even distribution. >> there's still major decisions you have to make. $60 million, how much of that $60 million should be reserved for the four families who lost a loved one as a result of the pommings. how much should be set aside for double amputees, single amputees. pain damage. out patient treatment. you still have to make and do rough justice, you have to come up with a formula, that says this much will be reserved for family whose lost loved ones this will be reserved for double amputees and you do the best you can. i don't think it's rocket science, i think there are thousands maybe millions of mens that could do what i do. i was asked to do it, i do it to the best of my ability. >> is there a different
value for acts of terrorism, than acts of natural disaster, or man made disaster? is there a different calculist in that way. >> i don't know why, but the american people may see a difference. acts of god, hurricanes, or acts of nature, earthquakes, tornadoes, you don't see that much private money come in. i think the american people recognize that natural disasters happen to every -- to people every day. and you don't see that type of outpouring that you get when it's a boston marathon, or a virginia tech shooting. or a b.p. oil spill, or a neff terrorist attack. >> we would like to think that god forbid there should ever be a disaster of the then magnitude, again, in this country, but if there is, and knowing everything that you know, and believing as you do, things don't
necessarily work out the way people want. >> if somebody says we need this incident, and we need ken, would you do it again? of course, wouldn't you, wouldn't thousand of americans if ask bedty president of the united states, or the attorney general of the united states, or a mayor, ken will you do this. i'm a citizen. i want to help, and i would do what i think thousands and thousands of americans would do if they were asked. >> we hope they don't have to ask you again. >> i heard that. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> also marking this anniversary, a group of veterans arrived in new york city today, for 9/11 ceremonies, after making a 1600-mile journey from key west by jet ski. the journey began as a fund raise projects and a a way to commemorate the
attacks. the challenge turned into much more than that. >> they are considered elite combat veterans, some wounded in action, while serving in iraq and afghanistan. six days ago they set out on a mission, that started here. in key west florida. traveling at the eastern seaboard to their finish line. >> say hi, daddy. >> new york's battery park where the twin towers once stood. >> the last six days -- spending time with some of the best of the best, in our military, disabled and active, can't ask for anything more. >> on the team navy seal boat, he lost his left leg and eventually his right, for richen beck rob easily making the journey wasn't easy. >> i have to use my arms
for everything. it keeps me on the jet ski, there's no other people can stand up so when they are hitting waves like that, they have some sort of shock absorption, i don't have that, it just constantly hurts. >> their mission was to raise money for veterans and their families but at the heart, this has been a more personal journey, for some of these that lost limbs during batter, traveling on a jet ski has given them a sense of freedom. >> it is freeing. without legs here obviously i need a wheelchair, i have to worry about things. out there i can just go wherever i want. >> a freedom he hasn't had since 2012 that's when he stuck on an explosive device. now his mission is to help others. the groups attitude, that they will never quit fighting to take care of their own. and that report from correspondent.
all remember that amazing image of the new york firefighters raising a flag in the rubble of the world trade center. symbolizing the grit and determination, as well as the patic way that swept the nation, well, that flag went missing within hours of the picture being taken it has never been seen since. which brings us to the story of the first most famous flag, we do know where it is. 200 years ago this week, it was raised over fort mchenry. a flag that would inspire our national anthem. america tonight adam may has its story. ♪ o say can you see . >> it's a song that's familiar to americans as a babies lullaby, we all know the words at least the first verse, but how did the star spangled banner become such a part of the fabric of america?
>> the anthem gets the flag more publicity, and the flag makes the anthem more famous. >> ranger vince base has devoted his life to history. >> so we are standing on a reconstruction of the gun deck that was here during the war of 1812. >> he is the chief of interpretation as fort mchenry national monument. his mission is bringing our distant past to life. >> this is the power of place. because here is the thing, people love the anthem, they love the flag, but what they need to understand is that fort mchenry where they both come together. and i mean literally on the exact original ground in which you and i are now standing. >> the so called star spangled bannered flag is turning 200 years old. the american society has remed the original flag and is recreating it as accurately as possible right down to the last stitch.
>> and then actually being able to take it and say can you do this. >> i didn't necessarily want to do it if i couldn't fly it. i wanted to fly it. i think that is really important for something like this. and the away we went. a team assembled and took the work, assists by visitors from all across the world, wanting to contribute a stitch. there was a natural divvying up of the duties who works on the stripes and who sews the starts. >> the stripes are pieced together. and sewed in honk strips. two stars are ally kade on top. so there's two different kinds of sewing one is piecing things together and the other one is putting one piece on top of another and sewing it
down. >> well, she is stars and that's stripes. that was our nickname throughout, because she is responsible for stars i was responsible for stripes. >> get your hand underneath, and you want to be a quarter inch from where the threat has come through. you go down and touch your finger underneath. four using your thumb and finger you bend the fabric in half and it pops pack up, and that's a stitch. you are going to let me put a stitch in this. >> absolutely. >> straight down. >> now you put it all the way through so you don't get to bend it now. >> i made a mistake. >> that's what happens. >> i'm ruining the star bangled panner. >> there we go. >> 200 years ago, baltimore was a boom town in a new nation. but the british has not given up the idea of getting their former colonies back in line. and the impressment of american sailors america declared war on the
british and what is known as the war of 1812. >> so this is what they were shooting? >> yeah, that's an 18-pound ball, as you can see it does not explode. >> right. >> they didn't even call them cannon balls what did they call them? >> shot. >> the pattle of baltimore would become a defining moment in america's history, and inspire a national anthem. >> but the beginning of the war wasn't clear sailing. >> we aren't doing to weal in the war at this point this time, so to have a symbol of the country very visible to the british, who are in the chesapeake bay, all of 1813 is really important. basically just to say we are here. we aren't going anywhere. it has a. >> the commander major judger armstead wanted to raise a flag, 30 feet by 42 feet, large enough to be clearly visible to the armada of british ships acorred in the river.
armstead commissions local flag maker, she was paid $405.90. that's a lot of money, today it would be almost $6,000. >> she is not making a flag that she thinks is going to last 200 years and be in the smithsonian, she is making a flag for a fort. how many times has she done this. she expects it to last two or three years. >> she didn't have the luxury of working in a big automobiled tore i am, instead she worked in a small hall outside of baltimore. they worked for six weeks straight, piecing together the flag, sometimes working by candlelight so they could meet their deadline. >> the fabric is something that i don't think anybody here has ever handled. >> . sometimes i have thought that mary would say something like, i know six-year-olds that sew peter than this. >> the material called bunting used to make
today's flag costs about $12,000. add in labor cos for the almost 2,000 people who have worked on it over the last six months, and you have a price tag in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. talk about inflation. but there could have been even more work involved if the state count has been accurate. >> 15 stars and 15 stripes, so at this point in time, when there's a new state added to the union each new state gets a new star and a new stripe. a piece of trivia, however, is that in 1812 there are actually 18 states in the union, not 15, they just hadn't gotten around the getting the new stars and stripes on the flag. they don't change the flag until 1818, when this' 21 at the time. >> then what does it go to. >> at that point they take it back to 13 stripes, for the 13 original states and then they continue to add stars for each new state. this is the only flag in our history that has more
than 13 stripes. >> sailing on a scooper at dawn between baltimore, brings america's pass within arms reach two, hundred years ago next year will mark another important american anniversary, the star spangled banner was written, in ode to the flag, and to the possible of a wartime victory in the face of the british bombardment. >> ironically september 11th is when two british responded. >> how do they react? that must have been extremely intimidating to see all of these ships coming. >> there was three times as many ships as in the united states navy. almost like the shot in all of the 19th century. >> francis scott key a lawyer and a poet had gone out to a ship in the river. he was negotiating a prison release from the british fleet when the battle of baltimore began. he was four miles away from fort mchenry, today, that spot is marked with
a buoy, what many don't know is that frances scott key could not see the outcome of the battle p. >> it is muddy. it is raining, the americans are feeling helpless, you have the smoke from all the guns, tear gas, say can you see, he cannot see the flag by dawn's early light, can you see the flag by dawn's early lite. and then he flecks so proudly we hailed at twilight's last dreaming so out on the water, where today we see the key bridge, key wrote a poem, it was originally called the defense of fort mchenry. setting the words to the tune of a favorite song. >> he had a real thing for british drinking song called a new castleacrian in heaven. >> he was really into a drinking song. >> yes, he really lightenings the tune, and i think he composed other poetry to fit it. but he definitely had this in mind. >> you know the song. >> yes, i do. >> will you sing it for
me? >> i'll try. >> we'll do our pitches. to in heaven, as we sit in full glee, the true sons of harmonies went a petition ♪. >> o say can you see by the dawn's early light, at the twilight's last dreaming whose broad straights and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪. >> do you see the flag differently now? yeah. this is just so personal. this is my flag. this is our flag. this flag is doing to fly soon and people are going to go that's our flag. and it's just very emotional. >> it was the first true national symbol that we had. we didn't really have say national architecture, we didn't -- we couldn't
rayly say we invented the english language, so what do you have. well, you have this flag, this red, white, and blue, that represents what the country stands for. >> a flag, flying in the face of an enemy, a symbol with simple beginnings whose power has lasted for 200 years. >> just the star spangled banner, long may it wave, or the land of the free and the home of the brave. >> great story, but they missed some stars on the fist flag? that was america tonight, and the flag will be on display this weekend at fort mchenry, in a special ceremony. that it esit for us, remember if you would like to comment on any of the stories yo uh have seen here tonight, log on to our website. you can meet our team, get previews of other stories we are working on and tell us what you would like to see. also join the conversation with us on twitter or at our facebook page, good night and we will see you tomorrow.
welcome to al jazeera. here are tonight's top stories. the secretary of state and russian foreign minister are heading to geneva to talk about syria's chemical weapons. both are bringing experts with them to talk about the details of putting the weapons under international controls. five permanent members wrapped off meeting tonight the discussion to create a syrian chemical weapons draft resolution. reports say the french version would give syria 15 days to declare their weapons and make them available for information before they are destroyed. tonight in new york the annual tribute in light shines into the sky to remember and honor the