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tv   Sino Tv Early Evening News  PBS  February 10, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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and ♪ >> welcome to the journal iran dw-tv. i am brian thomas in berlin. >> and i have the business news. >> our headlines, expectation and confusion in tahrir square in throughout egypt amid growing reports of president hosni mubarak is about to hand over power. the egyptian army council is in continuous session right now, and a leading generals is all protest their demands will be met. ♪ >> egyptian president hosni mubarak is expected to address the nation any time now and give
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what is widely expected to be his resignation speech, following 17 days of nationwide protests, calling for an end to three decades of authoritarian rule bit of the country's supreme military council has been holding discussions throughout the day. in a televised announcement, the military said it would start taking necessary measures to protect the nation in support the legitimate demands of the people. it was made as the pressure mounts on mubarak. professionals, including lawyers and medical workers, have been increasingly joining the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of people calling not only for political changes but also for economic changes, including more jobs and lower prices as well. for the latest, let's go live to our cairo correspondent. can you give us an idea of what mubarak is likely to say in a little bit of time? >> we do not know if he is speaking in the first place.
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the only thing we know for sure is that the supreme military council met a few hours ago. that is the highest council of the military in egypt. normally, this military who is heading this is hosni mubarak himself. we know hosni moved far it was not present, and it was a very important and very interesting thing. even his vice-president, omar suleiman, was not present in this meeting. in this meeting, they decided that this council is going to permanently meet now in the military communique number one. this is the sign that they say they meet permanently ended the get the communicate's numbers, which means others will follow, more numbers. and means that they are really going to be thinking they will be in charge. which means that probably this military council took over power now from mubarak himself. or at least the military wants to show that they make
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independent decisions from mubarak. that is the minimum. >> is it the situation in cairo but also throughout the country and with the military? >> it is for the whole country. what is going on with mubarak is very contradictory. there are reports saying that he is on his way to some kind of internal exile. there are other reports saying he might have left the country. the egyptian television says he is meeting omar suleiman and his prime minister. but of course, looking at of my window, seeing the the presidential guard is occupying the state television, they are dictating to state television what they have to say. so a lot of contradictory things. we do not know where mubarak is. we do not know if he is going to speak. it looks like he is no longer in charge. what is not clear is what is
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happening instead of him. because of course, at tahrir square, there were first scenes of celebration. now it has become more quiet. there's a certain fear that the military might take over and move on into some kind of transitional government, but demonstrators on the square do not forget that they want a change of the system, not a change of the face at the top of the state. the question is, is the military fulfiling the demands? will the military get into a dialogue with demonstrators or not? all open questions. i did it is a very open situation in cairo and egypt right now. it looks like it is the last hours of mubarak. what is coming after him is very unclear. >> we're looking at these live pictures right now from tahrir square. our the protesters responding to the military, and say, ok, we're holding on to power and we are going to replace in the interim government? >> well, their voices from the
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square saying of this is the case, if the military takes over and not moving on to a transitional time, we're going to stay at the square. so those are the first voices on the square. we have to see how this whole thing is going to develop. >> live from cairo as these events unfold tonight very quickly. in other news, here in germany, chancellor angela merkel and her former foreign minister have been facing tough questions about a nato airstrike in afghanistan back in 2009 in which 140 two people, mainly civilians, were killed. a parliamentary committee is trying to determine at what point in about a high level of civilian casualties. the air strike has been described as the current defense minister as militarily inappropriate. >> angela merkel is the last witness to the question by the committee. as the then head of government, she was the last in the chain of
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responsibility for the kunduz heirs bright -- airstrike opposition says she knew more about civilian casualties then she let on. >> on the morning of september 4, the chancellor knew it was highly likely civilians had died. what happened next? how could the defense minister walk around for days claiming the exact opposite? >> ipad september 2009, a german commander in afghanistan ordered an air strike on two tanker trucks that had been hijacked by taliban militants. more than 100 people were killed, many of them civilians. it took months before the government presented a coherent version of the event. earlier, there were tough questions for the foreign minister from that time. the senior social democrat denied he had acted wrongly, a claim rejected by a leading conservative member of the committee. >> senior relatively early on that there might have been at
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civilian victims. but he saw no reason to personally inquire take any formal action. >> in her testimony, angela merkel denied accusations of a cover-up. the committee is expected to initial it -- issued the final report on the incident by summer. >> our political correspondent has been following the story closely. what did the chancellor have to say today >> what i should explain briefly is why this is such an emotional issue for germany. it was up until september 2009 that this tragic incident happened in conduce be the most of the german public view the presence in afghanistan as being almost aid workers, the presence of german troops. this conduce into that made them realize this is something like four in all but name. and there were civilian casualties. this suggestion has been made, particularly by a number of
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opposition politicians, that the government deliberately could have been involved in election and deliberately tried to suppress the information, keep it from the public. what angela merkel said today, the most important thing she said was she had telephone conversations on the saturday. the incident occurred on friday. on saturday, she had three telephone conversations with the defense minister, in which she is told by him that the provincial governor, as well as the afghan president hamid karzai, was saying that there were no civilian casualties and he trusted their sources. she counseled him in his telephone conversations not to rule out the possibility of civilian casualties because the information they were receiving was so contradictory. she did give a very good performance. i think she did persuade the committee that she had advised
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that defense minister, the then defense minister, not to exclude that information, and on monday, in fact, he corrected his position. and of course, he took the political consequences. he resigned in hiding angela merkel has emerged very strongly from disappearance. i think she has not been harmed by the incident at all. >> thank you for the insights. the events unfolding tonight in tahrir square are creating yet more global ripples, including in the world of commerce. here is that story. >> thank you. the events in egypt could affect markets. we spoke to our correspondent on wall street. i asked how traders in new york were reacting to this possible power shift in cairo. >> what i am hearing is that it is a factor and we could recover from steeper losses from earlier. i mean, there's still a certain degree of uncertainty in how the
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power shift will actually happen. but i am told here on the floor that it is a factor that we could recover from a steeper losses. we have not seen a big reaction yet on the commodities market. oil only for a moment came down a bit but then went up to where it stood before. still a certain to amount of uncertainty. but i am hearing that egypt is a factor, that we recovered at one. most of the losses that we saw earlier. >> thank you so much for that update. in other news, no comment on the future until he has spoken personally with chancellor angela merkel. he was touted as next in line is that of the european central bank. eu sources ruled that out on tuesday, claiming that he once -- he once opposed it joined the bank -- at deutsche bank. >> the bank that is tight-
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lipped, refusing to comment on the reasons why he might leave next year or what his future plans are once he does. >> i spoke to the german chancellor, and i assured her that i would not make a statement on that until we have been able to meet for fresh conversation. >> that is news to the chancellor. she was expecting to have a high profile german candidate for the ec be president. now appears he will not be available. he is not denied rumors he is moving to deutsche bank. that has sparked criticism. >> if he wants to move from the bundesbank did deutsche bank, he would have to wait at least one year. he was responsible for oversight. so he knows details about other banks which cannot be used by private institute. >> so it appears his critical style of economic governance
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will not affect the purell in the future. is not taking part in franco- german economic talks on friday. >> for more on this and an update on the market, our correspondent sense as this report from frankfurt. >> it was one of these days at the stock market's when traders have not been able to focus on their core business. of course there has been a lot of discussions going on about the chief of the german bundesbank and his future. also, there is the merger between the stock market of frankfurt and new york. shares of the doors to gained by up to 7%. this shows that people appreciate or would appreciate if this merger really would become true. at the end, it was speculation about hosni mubarak and his probable step-down that lifted
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shares and helped the dax to reach a new year high. >> let's take a closer look as some of those market numbers now. in frankfurt, the blue-chip dax closed up words, 7340. euro stoxx 50 finished down, 3025. across the atlantic, the dow jones is currently going down towards -- it is not appearing. there it is. 12,203. and the euro is treading and $1.3627. back to you. >> the big night in berlin. the berlin film festival is kicking off in just a few minutes before the next 10 days, fans across the german capital can get their fill of movies, with nearly 400 films. movie buffs have been getting ready always to snap up the tickets. 16 films are going for the top honor, the golden bear. italian actress isabella
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rossellini is part of the jury. "true grit" opens the festival, but it is screening out of the competition. our entertainment correspondent is it down there at the edge of the red carpet. hello. jeff bridges continues his career role, playing the one- night sure of that cannot quite shoot straight. what can you tell us about the film. >> well, jeff bridges, last time he was here, he was playing the dude. now he is playing the duke, for pricing their road john wayne played in the original film. i think this is a bit better. it is really a classic western, i returned to mershon representative read a lot of people thought was dead. the cohen brothers revived it in a credible way. a very horrible movie. i think it will be a huge
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success with western fans and all film fans in berlin. >> letter people sang about the iranian director. he was there toa member of the jury but was banned from travelling abroad by the government of tehran. what is the word? >> the jury press conferences morning, there was an empty seat next to the jury president. and it was for the iranian director. of course, he is not here in britain -- in berlin. he is sitting in an iranian jail. he was banned for making movies for another 20 years. berlin has responded by programming a retrospective of his film. so there will be his films all over this festival. there will also be public protests against his imprisonment and calling for an end to state censorship in iran. while the director will not be here, his spirit certainly will be. >> what about controversy this year? it is no stranger to that. any controversial films out
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there? >> there quite a few actually. brolin love to have political controversy in its election. -- the berlin gloves to have political controversy. there's a german film about one of germany's most famous terrorists. there have been a lot of films made about her. but this one is different. it looks at the time before she became a terrorist. it is actually a love story about her and her husband. it will be controversial. i think it will be the film that germany's chattering glasses will be talking about this festival. >> ok, thank you for now for the festival. recapping our top story, egyptian president hosni mubarak looks likely to step down. we're getting is live pictures right now from cairo. more than two weeks of protests. but the islamist brotherhood opposition says it looks like there might have been a military we will of course be keeping you up-to-date on the evidence as
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they unfold throughout the evening. stay with us here at dw-tv. ♪ ♪ [speaking foreign language]
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>> welcome back. we return now to egypt, where there are increasing signs that egyptian president hosni mubarak may be relinquishing power in the hours that this evening the egyptian military has made a televised announcement, saying that it would of a good start taking necessary measures to protect the nation in support the legitimate demands of the egyptian people." that statement made on state television came as pressure mounts on, 82 years old, to end his 30-year old rule. yes rejoined now from cairo by our correspondent. can you tell us, what is president mubarak likely to do in the next few hours? can you fill us in at all? there's a lot of confusion. >> there is a lot of confusion and a lot of rumors.
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first of all, he is supposed to appear on state television to give his third speech in the last two weeks. there rumors already about that. is it a pre-recorded message or is it live? nobody knows. is he still in cairo or is he elsewhere? people say he might have already left the country. nobody really knows what is going on. there were all so confusing signs coming from the regime. there was the information minister who said earlier that mubarak was not going to step down. and everything we have been hearing on the the media was rumors. then we heard this on badrawy, the newly elected secretary, saying he was expecting mubarak to hear the demands of the protesters and that he would step aside. it is a lot of confusion, but it looks very likely that mubarak might step down today. but you never know. people have expected this also
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the last two times to $1 and the air. and there were badly disappointed. so we really have to see what the next few hours will bring. >> what is the mood in the epicenter of the popular uprising in tahrir square? are people still singing and chanting or is their attention? >> i think they are celebrating. as far as i can tell, and i hear them in a celebratory mood. they think they have achieved something really, really big. this news that mubarak coming on television today and all these rumors flying about has brought the crowd up, and they really hope that today is the day where egypt, as they say it, egypt is going to be liberated. that is what they are calling it. but there's also this kind of tension, you know, because nobody really wants the military to take over. if this is going to be a military coup, which was also a rumor, this is something that people would be very upset about and very angry about.
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because this is not what they want. all the tweets i have been falling in the people i talk to say we want the civilian state. we do not want a military state. we do not want the military to take over. they will accept the military to be, you know, part of a transitional time to safeguard the security of the country. but not the military to really take over and make it a military -- put it under military law. this would be something that people would really be against. they also would not accept omar suleiman to take over as president, if this is of the that mubarak will say later. >> ok. >> that would not accept that. >> we have to leave it there. thank you for that update in those insights. we were just hearing from our reporter there about omar suleiman. here's more about him. he is the man most likely to
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assume the reins of power in egypt. the vice president. he is well known and liked by politicians in the west, especially in israel, the u.s., in britain. but he is the longtime head of the country's intelligence agencies, so is tied to the practice of torture and political dissidents and would be acceptable for many opposition figures and protesters only as a short-term interim figure. he is also reported to be seriously ill. here's more on the man likely to be the next leader of egypt's 88 million people. >> it is just over omar suleiman a week omar was sworn in as egypt's vice-president, the first of mubarak's presidency. the 74-wrote said he wanted to maintain peace and stability but was also open to reform, ready to talk to the muslim brotherhood. but on tuesday, he struck a more ominous note, warning a military coup if talks fail.
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>> the dialogue must be continued. we will work out a plan from the loose agreements. also, we need a precise time frame for clearing the way for an orderly and peaceful transition of power in egypt. >> suleiman is highly regarded in both washington and israel. i enter islam two years ago, he met with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. they've had friendly relations. during his 13 years as egypt's intelligence chief, suleiman cultivated close relations to israeli officials. in 2003, he acted as a go- between for israelis and palestinians during talks in suleiman ramallah in worked behind the scenes. he told us our era of that cairo would give the palestinians aid in exchange for political reform. but back at home, suleiman has not been especially like.
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his desire for stability is seen by many as a desire to maintain the status quo. but that is in the age of protesters desperately want to change. >> the white house says the administration's top priority right now remains an orderly transition to free and fair elections in egypt. the white house has been both supportive of president mubarak, and at the same time, voices backing for the democratic aspirations of the egyptian people. barack obama has pushed the government in cairo to make meaningful changes, while warning that a sudden shift could bring chaos. >> the revolution began on january 25. tens of thousands of egyptians took to the street, fed up with president hosni mubarak's regime. the police cracked down. scores of people died or were injured. but the people were undeterred and returned the next day. hundreds, thousands, the streets of cairo teamed with protesters.
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then the military intervened. demonstrators welcomed them with cheers and applause, hoping for protection from the police and security forces. the army said it would refrain from using force, but it did send several fighter jets to sweep low over tahrir square. people prayed for the victims of the brutal crackdown on for their own safety. the death toll was now in the hundreds. the protesters refused to give ground. tahrir square remains the center of the uprising. hundreds of thousands gathered there on february 1. people of all walks of life. demonstrating against the embattled president. suddenly the mood changed. more thugs believed to be mccourt supporters waited into the protests.
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even more victims. the military finally threw up checkpoints to stop the man from getting to the square. there, the protesters went beyond, said in an improvised camp. supporters brought supplies and cared for the injured. again and again, protesters called for an end to mubarak's regime. the refused to leave until the president quits. >> and recapping that story at this hour, in egypt there are increasing signs that president hosni mubarak may relinquish his post. their pictures from tahrir square in the center of cairo, the epicenter of the countries represented of the head of the u.s. cia leon panetta says there's a strong likelihood that mubarak will step down this
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evening. stay with us here dw-tv for more on this story throughout the evening. thanks so much for joining us. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪ ♪
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♪ - hi, this is bob scully, and welcome to another edition of the world show, the authors series. as you know, we do a lot of authors and therefore books on this show, but this week is special. i'm going to recommend this book heartily. one of the best i have read in years. one of the best done, i think, in the realm of public affairs
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in america in years. you can see you'll have a great time reading it. you can take your sweet time reading it. it's 700 pages long. it's called the death of american virtue. the author tells you why he calls it that on page 614, but you'll enjoy the 600 pages before. it's called the death of american virtue: clinton vs. starr, a story you may think you know--and you do; you know the major events in there--but dean gormley, who is dean of law at duquesne law school in pittsburgh, wrote his book the old fashioned way. he went out and interviewed directly, himself, most of the principals. and because of that, there are so many revelations in the book--twists and turns-- that they can't possibly be summarized here, but it makes for an incredible page-turner. here's a taste of that with author ken gormley. dean gormley, this book, the death of american virtue: clinton vs. starr, is the best, the most thorough, treatment that i've ever read of this episode in american history, and it's impossible to summarize, of
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course, 700 pages, but i'm going to jump to the end of chapter 51, when all of this is sort of becoming resolved in a way, and i'm going to pick two paragraphs that tell us something about the two protagonists. quote: "as ken starr stood silently in the conference room, where he had presided over one of the longest and most divisive investigations of a sitting president in american history, he thought to himself, 'this is right. this is the right disposition, and we are finally closing the matter.'" two paragraphs down: "his final act on saturday, january 20th, however, dealt neither with pardons, nor executive orders, nor transmitting greetings to a new president. bill clinton's last piece of presidential correspondence was a handwritten note addressed to marge mitchell in arkansas, his mother's close friend of 50 years, the woman whose home had always been open to him as a boy while virginia clinton worked endless shifts as a nurse to keep her family afloat. the departing president wrote to his mother's birthday club friend, just as he had
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promised, in a steady hand. 'marge, i am on the way out the door. how i wish mother could have seen this whole ride. best, bill.'" and you can't help but feel that ken starr is the one who is leaving deeply embittered. he's hiding it for the sake of dignity, but he's frustrated, dissatisfied, and it just hasn't worked out the way he thought it would, whereas bill clinton may have some bitterness, but he's kept a sense of humour and his serenity, and you get the sense that he's onto maybe not bigger things, but better things, which indeed seems to have happened. is that a fair assessment? - i think that is correct, bob. those are two very interesting passages. no one has asked me about those since the book has come out. and i do think they highlight that you have two extremely talented men, both of them self-made men, as you see from the beginning of the book, born in very modest means within a couple hundred miles of each other within a month
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of each other in the south, and they rise to the height of their respective professions, and then they collide in this train wreck. and it's really a tragic story, so when you get to the end, i hope the readers feel a sense of discomfort that it came to this, that our country was forced into this battle to the death that really didn't benefit anyone. it didn't benefit ken starr and bill clinton individually, it didn't benefit their careers or their legacies, it didn't benefit the country, so it's almost a wistful ending there, wishing that things could have been different in each case, knowing that their legacies will forever be tied to a certain extent to this titanic struggle between the two of them, but relieved, at the end, as the country was relieved, that we had finally,
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finally moved on. - and the whole story, the saga, it's like watching a prizefight, because you've documented it very well. the in there, as a matter of fact, that you got from the documentation, from the previously sealed records, from the principals themselves, and you expose that as we go along, and so it's like watching a prizefight where there's no knockout. you know the judges are keeping score, but you can't be sure what that score is from round to round. all you know is each side is landing punches. and in the end, once again, in your epilogue, you go back one last time to a lot of the principals, and bernard lewinsky, monica lewinsky's father, who's not a major character, says this: he says, "if i came up to clinton, i would tell him i respected him as a president, but not as a man. however, if i happened upon ken starr, i would say much worse. i would tell him he was a pervert". and so, once again, even though you don't know what the judges have scored round to round, when the total comes up,
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it would seem that bill clinton was a little bit less scarred, less battle-bruised from the whole thing than ken starr. - well, it was written on purpose, bob--i have often said it's like a rorschach inkblot test--where you can look at it, and different people will see different things. in fact, if you look at the front of the book, you see bill clinton's face, but from the back it's not as immediately evident, and if you hold it six feet away, you see it's a mirror image of ken starr's face. so people did witness these events and felt very strongly in different directions as to who was responsible for this mess, and i do think that, certainly, when you look at the progression of events, there are a lot of things--and there is a lot of new information, as you know, in the book never before disclosed--but certainly a lot of things do support president clinton's assertion that,
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to a certain extent, folks were out to get him, people were out to destroy him politically, and they lost their compass in doing this, and really went overboard. for instance, you have the starr report that really backfired because it just went into so much salacious detail-- it really helped president clinton, because people were horrified by this. so i do think that president clinton, although not unscathed, can point to certain aspects of this story and say that they vindicate him, but likewise, ken starr and his prosecutors can point to portions of this story, because, certainly, you could not have had the end result of this catastrophe without president clinton's conduct contributing to it. and so it really is, to a certain extent, up to each reader to make that
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judgement. certainly neither one of them can feel particularly happy with the roles that they played in this entire saga. - also, i found your title ambitious, and significant, and definitive. the death of american virtue. that's very strong stuff, and you consider it a watershed, obviously, in american history. i've read some historical commentary going in a different direction, saying this was the culmination of a process of partisanship that had been building since robert bork, and throughout the reagan years, and it had been building and bubbling up--maybe even since the watergate years--and it just culminated with that. others say, no, no, this was only the second impeachment in american history, and therefore it is a watershed. - yes, it's funny, a lot of people have seized upon the title. some people don't like it, and, i have to say, i came up with the title. it lodged itself in my head fairly early
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on. let me say just a couple of things about that. first of all, i was talking about a notion of public virtue, although you can again read it in a lot of different ways, because lots of things were lost here. but it's the notion--if you go back to people like archibald cox of watergate fame, whose biography i was privileged to write, and elliot richardson, the attorney general during watergate, and many folks of that era-- there was a built-in sense, bob, that restraint was an essential ingredient in exercising power and authority responsibly, and i think that that notion was lost by both sides here, and it just turned into a fight to the death, just to bloody the other side, to prevail at any cost. and that was not good for our country. i think that that is evident. and so if you go to the portion of the book where that title comes from, it is
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referring to a notion of public virtue, and although i think that some people view the title as overwrought, it is the beginning of something. if you go back and look at the examples you gave--for instance, watergate, the bork confirmation hearings, iran-contra-- you certainly had angry divides in the united states, and you had people debating issues very heatedly, but when you think about it, bob, those were mostly done at a sort of elite level, in washington, in collages in universities, and so on. - yes, i recall you had senator sam ervin quoting shakespeare, so it really was very elegant. it was almost like from another century. - yeah, right. but now let's stop and look at this episode. this is the first time, i believe, in american history where you had the popularization of this anger and this divide, so that you could go into any
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supermarket in the country-- and actually in canada we had followed this, and a lot of folks in canada followed this very carefully--and you would have people arguing and pointing fingers, and their veins bulging out of their necks, saying that clinton was responsible, or starr was responsible. and this is, in my view, the beginning of red states and blue states in the united states--of liberal and conservative television stations and radio stations. so this was the beginning of something that exists to this day, and you witnessed recently with the angry--dysfunctional, really--debate having to do with healthcare in the united states. so i do believe that it is quite unique. am i saying that american virtue is dead, in any sense? i never said that, if you read the passage carefully. but certainly this has pushed us forward toward a place we do not want to go, i believe. - and since you know...
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...watergate well, i can't resist asking you, what about this widespread theory that a lot of budding historians love to drum up and peddle, to the effect that, because so many of the protagonists in this story-- hillary rodham clinton, henry hyde, sam dash--so many of them came of age during watergate, and actually some of them had a role in it as young people, young lawyers--that this was basically payback for watergate. this was the pendulum of history crashing back. - well, you know, there was a certain amount of truth to that. when i interviewed henry hyde, who was the head of the house managers and really propelled forward the impeachment, he told me quite explicitly that he came into office just as richard nixon had been forced to resign, and that he would never forget those moments, and that he said to himself as this was moving
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forward, "well, by god, richard nixon was forced out of office for his conduct, and bill clinton should be forced out of office as well". so i think there was a certain amount of that. very honestly, watergate was a piece of it; iran-contra, even more so, in my view. there was a lot of anger by republicans about the investigation of president reagan and vice-president bush having to do with iran-contra, and finally, when they achieved control of the house and senate, i think there was a sense of "hey, we can play this game too. we can begin investigations". and so you had almost a perpetual investigation of bill clinton from the time he walked into the whitehouse, and that's what angered him so much, and to this day, i think, angers him. - and there are so many times in that battle where it could be coming to a conclusion--whether
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it's at the whitewater stage in arkansas, or the paula jones stage, or even the lewinsky stage--it could peter out, and then something always happens to light the fire again--a spark is thrown in. for instance, one famous case, the diskette: somebody at the oic, at ken starr's office, decides--all kinds of things come together, and it gets puts on diskette, and therefore is disseminated widely by congress, and the oic pretends they never expected that, and so forth, and one prosecutor, ms. sullivan, i think, is totally disgusted by the behaviour of her own office. i mean, these are things that propelled everything forward, and there's always something like that lurking. - yes, i like your questions, bob, because you've picked up some very subtle but important points, and that was a very significant factor. the internet was a huge factor in moving this scandal forward. without the internet, this could not have happened. we never would have gotten to an impeachment.
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you had matt drudge, who scoops the story having to do with monica lewinsky from michael isikoff of newsweek, and if you did not have the starr report on the internet, this whole thing would have moved in a totally different direction, and i don't think you would have had the momentum-- at least within some quarters in the united states-- to drive toward impeachment. but you're absolutely right. that only became possible because, unlike in watergate, for instance, where you had leon jaworksi turning over a barebones little outline to congress of potential impeachable offences and saying, "now it's your job under the constitution to investigate this", you had this starr report with all of these very, very detailed accusations and salacious details having to do with the sexual aspects of things, and it's handed over in disc form, and so within two
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days, someone pushes a button in congress, because no one wanted to touch this hot potato, and the whole world had it. that was a key moment in this whole story, and someone certainly made the judgment to turn over that disc. - some things remain a mystery, and i wonder if they're a mystery for you, or if you could maybe dispel that. for instance, ken starr's animosity, or lack thereof, towards the president. did he or didn't he have it? you can see hickman ewing, jackie bennett, all those people working for ken starr, who are or who become rabid clinton haters, as president clinton's lawyer would say. that is obvious. not so obvious, though, with ken starr. you have that famous scene in the map room after the deposition where they do extend--they can't speak to each other, but they do shake hands, wondering what in the world they're doing, but they do it. so it's not clear that the animosity ran deep with ken
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starr, as it did with his other prosecutors, and we never know exactly where he stands. - yes, well, let me say a thing first about the "clinton hater" concept. you had people like hickman ewing jr., who ran the operation in arkansas for much of the time. i spent a lot of time with hickman. he's a fine prosecutor, a fine man, as is jackie bennett, who ran a lot of that operation. part of this, you have to understand, bob, was that as whitewater moves along, and as these other investigations move along, they come to believe that bill and hillary clinton are stonewalling them. so you do have to recognize a piece of this puzzle is that the whitehouse was taking an aggressive posture against them from the start--not just the president and mrs. clinton, but a lot of the aides around them--and so they felt--the prosecutors felt--that they were holding back, and that they were being blocked at every turn, so that contributing to it,
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so i don't want to suggest that they come into this just hating the guy. but you're right--ken starr, much more deferential to the president. i had his own prosecutors tell me that they thought he was being too weak when it came to the president. i've spent a lot of time with ken starr. he's a gentleman, he's a lawyer's lawyer, he's now president of baylor university, i'm sure doing a fine job. he's a very thoughtful person. i think this was a very difficult time for him too, to be thrown into this and to be focused on a president of the united states. i think that his makeup--that was very troublesome to him. and so i do think his biggest problem was he was miscast in this role. he had no prosecutorial experience. he didn't innately understand it, as someone like archibald cox did, and so what did he do? he deferred to his prosecutors, who by this point were super aggressive because
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they distrusted the clintons at every turn, and so he let them make the big decisions like, we're going to wire linda tripp, we're going to expand into this just powder keg, you know, the monica lewinsky matter. and so it was because he was the wrong person for this job from the start that in the end he gets dragged into it, and it really does, i think, change his legacy as a lawyer and a public servant in a way that he in hindsight wishes hadn't happened. - we discussed earlier the starr report, how it overreached-- not only in some of the things it said, but how it was presented to congress and then disseminated over the internet. the whole thing was an overreach, but wasn't the biggest overreach of all the fatal one earlier than that-- the sting on monica lewinsky at the ritz-carlton hotel in virginia? wasn't that the key mistake that dogged starr and his people throughout? and you have a lot to say about that. - yes, well, that's one
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of the new revelations in the book, and i can tell you that's a piece of it that the starr prosecutors were clearly unhappy that i uncovered, but i determined that there was an investigation of the investigators, if you will, that was conducted by jo ann harris, the former head of the criminal division, at the request of robert ray, who replaced ken starr as special prosecutor, to look into their handling. there were many allegations of abuses by ken starr, but the most significant was their sting of monica lewinsky at the ritz-carlton hotel. the harris report remains under seal. it's one of the only things in this whole saga that remains hidden from public scrutiny. jo ann harris felt it was important for the american public to know what was in that report, and i felt that was the case as well, and so she told me everything, essentially, that was in the report. ken starr's office did not come out looking good
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in their handling of the monica lewinsky matter. as jo ann harris said, she would not have touched that with a ten-foot pole. after monica asked to talk to her lawyer, frank carter, not once but multiple times, the problem was this was where, again, the starr prosecutors had some to so thoroughly distrust the clintons, they saw this as a chance finally, as jackie bennett said to me, "to get ahead of the curve" to get clinton. that's, unfortunately, not the job of federal prosecutors--to get ahead of the curve--so they really lost their perspective here, and went full bore after monica lewinsky, really mishandling that in many, many ways. and it's a tragic piece of the story, as you know, bob, if you read that chapter of the sting at the ritz-carlton. it's still chilling to me to see it as they are interrogating monica and trying to get her to give up information on bill clinton. she said to me quite
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sincerely that she was thinking about jumping out the window. - linda tripp is another famous character and another famous enigma, and you take pains to show both sides of the battle, and within each warrior you should both sides. you do that with ken starr, and you do that with linda tripp, but somehow i'm not sure that we like her any more after reading that than we did before. - well, i went to her horse farm in virginia. spent time with her. she made homemade spaghetti and meatballs--those were good, i can tell you. but she was a very complex character. the interesting thing, bob, is if you were to sit down with her at her kitchen table, as i did, you would not say, "boy, this is a treacherous, manipulative person". very intelligent. clearly an aspect of paranoia-- whether that came before or after all these events,
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or both, i don't know, but i do think there was an aspect of her that felt strongly that she had an obligation, once she learned of this deep character flaw in bill clinton in having this relationship with a 22-year-old young woman, that the american public needed to know, and she was the person destined to make this public. so there was that sense. i think she was conflicted from start to finish, that she felt that that needed to come out, but she clearly distrusted, detested, the clintons from the start, as you may have spotted there. she told me she worked outside the oval office for the bush whitehouse before clinton, and was moved, and she told me she believed hillary had her moved because she thought bill would hit on her. so, you know, the-- - because she looked better at the time. - yeah, that's what she said, that she was more attractive
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at the time. so i don't know what to make of it. she is a likeable person. it's just, i conclude that she is a victim of a tragedy of a scandal that she set into motion. - these were, of course, the clinton years, the clinton vs. starr years, but they were also the clinton-gingrich years, and the gingrich years, period. he's a major player here too. he is swept into power in '94 at the midterms by the american people who buy into his contract with america, and he is swept out of power just as decisively in 1998--the other midterms. and that coincides with this whole period, and you can't help but conclude: this was the opinion of the american people on the whole episode. - yes, it was. newt gingrich bet the farm on the fact that they could make president clinton the
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issue in the midterm elections, as we were in 1998 before the impeachment proceedings gear up. and he lost that bet, and clearly the republicans lost just decisively in the midterm elections, and so he was swept out of power, then bob livingston is brought in to replace him, and larry flynt outs him in terms of his relationships. he called larry flynt, i think, a bottom-dweller, and larry flynt said to me, "yes, and look what i found down there on the bottom". so, yeah, this is carnage everywhere you look, bob. this is a tragic story, because there are bodies littered across the road everywhere. but clearly that was a repudiation of the newt gingrich approach to politics. - well, dean gormley, it's a tragic story, but a great story, and you tell it in stellar
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fashion. congratulations, and thank you very much. - thank you, bob. it's been a pleasure. - ken gormley, dean of law at duquesne university in pittsburgh was here this week in the authors series to speak about his book, the death of american virtue, and that's our program for this week. i'm bob scully. thanks. closed captioning by sette inc.
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