tv PBS News Hour PBS December 26, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the u.s. is rushing missiles and surveillance drones to iraq after a surge of violence from al-qaeda-linked insurgents. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is off this thursday. also ahead: from the shadows to the spotlight-- we look back at u.s. government spying programs revealed in 2013; plus, a battle over keeping the waters of lake tahoe clear. >> the blueness comes in large part from just the incredible cleanliness of it. and the trick is how do we keep that quality and keep using it.
>> woodruff: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> 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. >> woodruff: american retailers opened their after-christmas offensives today, hoping to salvage the season. pre-christmas sales have been down from a year ago. meanwhile, ups and federal express faced angry complaints after thousands of gifts failed to arrive for christmas. the companies blamed bad weather and too many last-minute orders. the dow jones average gained 132 points. the nasdaq rose more than 11 points to close at 4167. the united states has begun sending new weapons to iraq to battle renewed
violence by al-qaeda militants. reports today said the weapons include surveillance drones and hellfire missiles. we'll get more details on the u.s. assistance and what it means right after the news summary. an american kidnapped in pakistan two years ago pleaded today for president obama to negotiate his release. 72-year-old warren weinstein was taken from his home in lahore in august of 2011. his al-qaeda captors released a video message from today, the first in more than a year. >> nine years ago i came to pakistan to help my government. and i did so at a time when most americans would not come here. and now when i need my government, it seems that i have been totally abandoned. and forgotten. >> woodruff: al-qaeda has demanded the u.s. halt air strikes in afghanistan,
pakistan, somalia and yemen, and release al-qaeda suspects around the world. the white house has insisted it will not negotiate. african leaders arrived in south sudan today, trying to broker an end to nearly two weeks of fighting. the president of kenya and the prime minister of ethiopia flew into juba, the south sudanese capital. later, they met with south sudanese president salva kiir. meanwhile, a u.n. envoy said additional peacekeepers should arrive within 48 hours. next door to south sudan, six african union peacekeepers have died in the central african republic. the soldiers were from chad. the a.u. says the group was attacked on christmas day by a christian militia in the capital city of bangui. the country's majority christians accuse the chadian troops of supporting fellow muslims who seized power nine months ago. in thailand, the government rejected calls to delay elections now set for february
after street battles erupted in bangkok. a police officer was killed and hundreds injured as anti- government protesters fought with police. the demonstrators threw rocks and bricks at police, who fired back with tear gas and rubber bullets. protests in ukraine gained new intensity today after an opposition journalist was brutally beaten. tetyana chornovil was chased down in her car late last night and attacked by several assailants. today, thousands of people surrounded the interior ministry in kiev, holding pictures of chornovil and demanding justice. >> i've been expecting for a long time that they will do something that will wake everybody up and make people understand that they cannot live like this any more. we do not deserve such treatment. they don't have any right to beat people up. they don't have any right to ignore us. >> the protests began after the government rejected closer ties with
the european union, turning instead to russia. a truce was in effect today in a rebel suburb of damascus, syria, to allow in supplies of food and medicine. the syrian military agreed to the halt in fighting after the rebels agreed to hand over heavy weapons and raise the syrian flag. locals say they'd been shelled and starved for nearly a year. a pennsylvania appeals court has overturned the conviction of monsignor william lynn for mishandling a sex-abuse scandal. he was the first roman catholic church official convicted of moving predator priests from one parish to another, but the court ruled he cannot be held legally responsible. for now, lynn remains in prison. prosecutors promise to appeal today's ruling. the alleged gunman in the shootings at los angeles international airport pleaded not guilty today. paul anthony ciancia is charged with the murder of a security screener and other felonies. authorities say he had a grudge against the transportation
safety administration. his federal trial is set for february 11. president obama signed the bipartisan budget deal today on his holiday vacation in hawaii. the bill restores some of the automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. the president also signed a defense bill that includes a military pay raise and new rules governing sexual assault cases. still to come on the newshour: the u.s. rushes military aid to iraq; worries about the waters of lake tahoe; how government spying moved from the shadows to the spotlight; journalist george packer on inequality in america; plus, dignity for those who lived and died in society's margins. two years after u.s. troops left iraq, its government is battling sunni muslim extremists, and now the pentagon is sending over fire power to help in the fight.
hari sreenivasan reports. >> reporter: scenes of carnage have become all too common for the people of iraq this year. all told, the united nations estimates, more than 8000 iraqis have died in a surge of violence not seen since at least 2008. the latest came christmas day when at least 37 people died in car bombings that targeted christian areas of baghdad. now, "the new york times" reports, the u.s. is rushing to bolster iraq's ability to battle al- qaeda insurgents behind many of the attacks. iraqi prime minister nuri al- maliki appealed for the help when he met with president obama in washington two months ago. during that same visit, he detailed his nation's dilemma. >> ( translated ): terrorists came back to iraq when the conflict started in syria. groups like al-qaida and the nusra front found there's another chance to benefit from the political conflict and create terror in iraq. so, the terrorists found a second chance.
the u.s. assistance being sent to baghdad includes: "hellfire" missiles to supplement the iraqi government's nearly exhausted supply. and "scan-eagle" reconnaissance drones to help map and track the militant network. they'll be concentrated in iraq's western desert, near the syrian border region. >> well, they do need the weapons, what they need is the capable. because iraq has a substantial ground force and police force. but what they really lack is the capability to go after mobile terrorist targets. and what's happening in western and northern iraq is al qaeda of iraq has reconstituted itself under another banner and it's moving around in caravans. it's taking over towns and cities, intimidating the population and even has training camps and staging areas in western iraq. an with that an air to
ground capability which they've have very limit one, they can't take on this threat too well. >> is what we're giving them enough? >> there's a good question about that. i think what we're giving them is probably not enough. it's probably what each political system allows. you know, if you really wanted to go after this threat in a serious way, if american forces were still in iraq, for example, with air and ground forces, what you would do is go after them with air strikes, attack helicopters. you would use armed drones as we've used in other parts of the world as a perfect target for that it's an al qaeda franchise, after all. but we're not giving them armed drones even though the iraqi foreign minister floated the idea of requesting them because of formal request for the drones hasn't come from iraqi prime minister and also i think the white house is reluctant to take that step so we're giving them kind ever a work-around capability. >> so this is what wer's willing to give and it seems they're also buying from the russians and others.
>> it's what we're willing to give and what they're willing to ask for at this point in time. i mean asking for an american air strike in western iraq is a big step for the iraqi prime minister. so what they're asking for, they're actually buying them. we're not giving them. they're buying 75 hell fire missiles an they're attached to sort of a cessna plane, it's almost like a goldberg contraption which flies in on a target which basically they'll be told about mainly through american intelligence and then they'll have some tactical drones to refine their targeting. and the intent is to give them the capability to go after a lot of these al qaeda camps in western and northern iraq. >> so how much of this is a military-only solution. and the analysts and the u.s. government when you are speaking to them, how much is a political solution on the prime minister working out a situation or a solution between the sunnies and shi'as in iraq? >> well, that's a good question. a substantial portion of this problem is military. i mean with the withdrawal
of american forces from iraq, al qaeda of iraq or as it is known as the islamic state of iraq an-- now able to reconstitute itself it had been largely defeated through the surge. they moved into syria and established a base in syria and in iraq, and from syria they're launching suicide-- sending suicide bombers into iraq, 30 to 40 a month which are being directed at shi'a and sunni targets. so a substantial part of this problem is military. if they had more military capability and if the americans were directly involved, this threat would be much reduced. but there is a political division-- dimension to it which is that al qaeda is taking advantage of detention-- the tensions between the sunni population and shi'a dominated government and the reluctance of the iraqi prime minister to share power with the sunnis and that's created grievances on the part of the sunnis which al qaeda has been able to take advantage of a certain extent to recruit volunteers.
>> so this is the same faction of al qaeda that is operate that both assad and the free syrian army are fighting there and also having operations against the u.s. in iraq. >> what they seem to have done is they've carved out an area of syria and iraq which is there califat so to speak or their zone of control and influence. they've actually controlled territory now. it's basically, basically the same, the same group. they don't respect the bordersor boundaries. and they go, you know, back and forth. >> all right, michael gordon of "the new york times", thanks so much. >> thank you. >> next to i a very different fight back here in the u.s.. there is a contentious battle over how to protect the iconic blue waters of lake tahoe which sits on the california nevada border. the agency that overseas development in the area has proposed a new set of rules for construction. the sierra club and other
groups have challenged the plan in court. arguing it favors economic growth over environmental protection. gabriela kiro/kqed san francisco reports. > ok. we'll go around the island, we'll look at the waterfall, we'll look at some osprey nests and then well go fast. >> reporter: lake tahoe's famous waters are the clearest of any large lake in the united states. they attract 3,000,000 visitors to california and nevada each year. >> the blueness comes in large part from just the incredible cleanliness of it. what's pretty wonderful is that you're really living in an environment that does have all the hallmarks of a national park, but anybody can come here, anybody can live here. and the trick is, how do we keep that quality and keep using it? >> reporter: that question has guided scientists like geoff schladow and hounded policymakers ever since the
1960s, when researchers at the university of california at davis first documented a decline in the lake's clarity. the university's brant allen takes measurements every ten days. >> when we try and translate lake clarity to the public, what they want to know is how deep into the lake can they see. and so i'll be lowering the secchi disc down into the lake until it disappears, getting our clarity reading for the day. >> reporter: allen lets a frisbee-looking device called a secchi disc sink until it disappears. >> eighteen meters, or right around 60 feet. and that's pretty typical for a summertime reading, since the secchi does vary seasonally. >> reporter: since 1968, the lake has lost 20 feet of clarity, mainly due to uncontrolled urbanization in the 1950s and 1960s. ( horn blown at winter olympics. ) >> reporter: the 1960 winter olympics raised the lake's profile and encouraged development, as did frank sinatra, who hosted celebrities
at his cal-neva casino. sierra club volunteer laurel ames witnessed the development boom first hand as a young woman growing up on the lake. >> when i was in college, i came home one weekend and my parents said "oh, you should go down and look at what they're doing to the swamp." >> reporter: what some residents considered a swamp at the south end of the lake was actually a large wetland. replaced in the 1960s by a maze of houses and canals called the "tahoe keys", the wetland was no longer available to filter dirt and pollutants out before they flowed into the lake. the threat of development in a pristine corner of the lake led citizens to organize. they pressured california, nevada and the federal government to enter into an agreement, or compact, that would regulate development around the lake. >> they agreed that tahoe was threatened, and that tahoe needed to be protected by a planning agency, a regional planning agency.
starting in the 1980s, the tahoe regional planning agency restricted all new construction. scientists had discovered that dirt eroding and washing in from urban areas contributed more than any other pollutant to clouding the lake. >> it's due in large part to very fine particles, things like dust that's coming from the roads. and also steep dirt surfaces. they're very prone to erosion. >> reporter: hard surfaces like roads and parking lots can keep transporting dirt years after they're built. so even though development slowed down, the lake continued to lose clarity. >> the ultimate goal is to restore clarity to what it was back in the, in the 1960s. that's a secchi depth reading of about 97 feet. right now, we're at about 70 feet, so that's a, that's a large change. if we can cut off things like pollutant flows into the surface, then we would estimate
that in something like 20 to 30 years the lake's clarity could be restored, if all the right things were done. >> reporter: but doing the right thing comes with a hefty pricetag. $1.6 billion in federal, state and local funds have been spent over the last 15 years on wetlands restoration and other improvements. and the tahoe planning agency requires visitors and locals to follow strict, and often expensive, rules. private contractors like rob basile make a living helping homeowners comply. >> everyone needs to pave their driveway, first off, so when it rains, it doesn't wash sediment off your compacted dirt driveway and into the creek. and then you need to capture and treat the storm water runoff from your roof and from your driveway so that it doesn't leave your property. >> reporter: the new channel in his driveway is costing brad kohler $2,000. >> i personally don't mind at all doing it, and not only am i willing to do it, i think its really important to put in these
filtration systems. >> reporter: but even though this rule has been on the books for 20 years, only one third of residential and commercial property owners have complied. the tahoe regional planning agency wants to change this, says public information officer jeff cowen. >> meeting property owners at the door with a list of "you're gonna have to do this," and "you're gonna have to do this," and "you're gonna have to do this" has resulted in very little progress in environmental restoration, on the private sector. so we are trying something new. >> reporter: in the first comprehensive overhaul of its rules in the last 25 years, the agency has loosened some of it's building restrictions hoping to entice property owners to put in filtration systems. the planning agency holds up the edgewood tahoe golf course, in stateline, nevada, as an example of what it would like to achieve. >> most of the new hotel project will be located on the ninth fairway. >> reporter: in exchange for permission to build a 200-room hotel on one of their fairways, the golf course owners agreed to remove a parking lot and two
buildings that had been built on wetlands. edgewood executive vice president patrick rhamey explains. >> so the investment in the hotel allows us to invest back into the land, and do better for the lake. and have the financial flexibility to add more wetlands and storm water controls. >> reporter: but the sierra club and several lake tahoe environmental groups filed a lawsuit in february to stop the new rules, which they argue will add more dirt to the lake. >> when you increase density you increase people. when you increase people, you increase cars. and when you increase cars, you have to add parking. so you add asphalt. >> there isn't going to be an explosion of growth in lake tahoe from this plan. there isn't going to be a sudden explosion in land coverage, and certainly nowhere near the lake. >> reporter: the lake clarity is really the life blood of any business that's here at lake tahoe. its about the lake.
that's the reason why people come here. the battle will play out in court over the next year. so far, scientists believe that efforts to keep dirt out of the lake are paying off, at least during the wet winter months. >> in winter, there actually has been an improvement because of many of these storm water projects that have gone in. >> reporter: still, nearly every summer, the lake continues to get cloudier. scientists now suspect that warmer summer waters, brought on by climate change, are making the lake more prone to algae, a problem that could prove even more intractable than dirt. to find out more about dlim at change and other threats like invasive species could affect lake tahoe you can watch kqed documentary lake tahoe, can we save it, find it on our home page.
given the dizzying amount of coverage it's hard for many of us to keep track of what we learned about the secretive agency and its activity. tonight we take a look back at the major disclosures of the spying programs, the fallout and what might be changing as a result. >> the nsa was once >> woodruff: the n.s.a. was once so secret, even its existence was not officially acknowledged. no more. in june, the u.s. agency was thrust into the international spotlight by edward snowden. >> because even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. >> woodruff: the former n.s.a. contract employee turned fugitive unleashed a flood of leaked material documenting surveillance of everything from phone calls, to web searches to
e-mail. >> to where it's getting to the point you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed >> woodruff: the first of many reports based on snowden's information came in the british newspaper "the guardian". on june 5th this year it reported on a program known as "prism". it collects so-called "metadata", or data about data, from u.s. phone companies, on millions of calls by foreigners and american citizens. early on, president obama said the effort did not target u.s. citizens, and initially defended the n.s.a.'s actions. >> by sifting through this so- called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism. >> woodruff: public and congressional sentiment supported that stance at first, but the leaks kept coming. on october 14, the public learned the n.s.a. collects hundreds of millions of contact
lists from personal emails. and ten days later, that the u.s. has monitored phone calls of allied leaders, including german chancellor angela merkel. the director of national intelligence, james clapper, defended the need to learn foreign intentions-- even if it means spying on allies. >> it's one of the first things we learned in intel school in 1963, that this is a fundamental given in the intelligence business. >> woodruff: the very next day, it came out the n.s.a. has collected information from hundreds of millions of user accounts by tapping google and yahoo data centers. that was followed this month by disclosures that the agency also gathers nearly 5 billion records a day, tracking the whereabouts of cellphones around the world. in response, eight major u.s. tech companies demanded tighter controls on surveillance. and one week later, a u.s.
federal judge ruled the collection of domestic telephone records was probably unconstitutional. two days after that, a presidential review panel recommended a list of curbs on surveillance. last friday, the president addressed the issue again. but this time, he suggested changes may be coming. >> we need this intelligence, we can't unilaterally disarm, there are ways we can do it potentially that gives people greater assurance that there are checks and balances, that there is sufficient oversight, sufficient transparency the environment has changed in ways that i think require us to take that into account the man who started it all, edward snowden, resurfaced this week from his asylum in russia, telling "the washington post", "i already won." >> hi and merry christmas. >> woodruff: and yesterday, he issued a two minute video
message, warning that today's children will never know what privacy is. >> we have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. think about what this means for the privacy of the average person. director clapper and other intelligence officials argue the disclosures let loose by snowden have done great damage to national security. but at year's end, public pressure is growing on congress to investigate the surveillance programs and possibly rein them in. for his part, the president says he'll make what he calls "a pretty definitive statement about all of this", in january. >> woodruff: the former nsa contract employee michael hayden was director of the nas-- nsa when many of the programs revealed by snowden was are first launched. james bamford is an awe thofl-- author and
journalist he has written extensively about the nsa and dmitri alperovitch is from crowd strike, a cybersecurity company. and welcome all three of you to the newshour, again, thank you. let me start with you james bamford what is the main concern you have about what we have learned that the nsa is doing? >> one of the main concerns is the fact that some of of this stuff was being done in absolute secrecy and once you start showing, putting a little light on it like from this judge leon who took a look at it, the white house panel who took a look at if, we started seeing that all this becomes what they're calling unconstitutional or illegal. and i think that's the big problem. one of the things that i discovered in looking at some of the documents was the fact that the nsa was beginning to look at the question of visiting porn sites, who was visiting which porn sites and using that against the people to destroy their reputation.
>> woodruff: against which people. >> against people who they considered radical. they weren't even people who were considered terrorists. and that was done in the 1960s by j. edgar hoover against a radical at the time who was martin luther king, so i think without any kind of proper oversight, you start moving along those lines, and going back to where we were back in the '60s and '70s. >> woodruff: so you are saying it is much more targeted at what individuals are doing than what the nsa-- within that is what they were proposing. and that's again going sort of back to what we were doing in the 60s which again were tebl things that we did back then. and without proper oversight we start moving again back into those bad habits. >> are you saying that is happening now. >> that was one of the documents. that was in brazil, i was with glenn greenwald and i saw one of the documents that indicated that they were starting to follow who's going to what porn sites and then talking about
using that to discredit radicals in future, not currently but in the future. >> woodruff: general hayden what about the overall complaint about what is going on including a specific point that he just made. >> well, jim said this is being done in absolute secretary resee. i think absolute is too big a word. i will accept secrecy because espionage is usually done in secret. but absolute, not so i mean this program, the things that have been revealed were fully known by both oversight committees in the house and in the senate. they were authorized by two presidents, two actually incredibly different presidents. and. >> woodruff: bush and obama. >> right. and for a big chunk of the activity that has been revealed, we've also had oversight by the vice accord, the foreign intelligence act accord. i would suggest to you that that is kind of the madisonian trifecta when it comes to not being overly secret. look, the great compromise in the 1970s after some of
the abuses at that time was that intelligence couldn't be done publicly but it needed oversight. and what we created at that time were these two oversight committees in the congress, and the vice accord. they knew all about this. >> woodruff: so james bamford, you hear what the general is saying, that spying is what surveillance agencies do, but it's being done with oversight. >> it's funny, general hayden brought up james madison because judge leon mentioned james madison in his opinion. and he said-- . >> woodruff: this is the federal district judge who sus ruled. >> exactly. he said james madison would be aghast at government enkochlts on privacy like he was discovering. so you i don't think that this would be approved by the founding fathers, and i don't think it's approved by the american public now that they are finding about it. >> even with the oversight. >> the problem with the oversight is the accord has
come out numerous times saying in secret that the nsa wasn't obeying what it was directed to do and it was collecting more information than it was allowed to collect. >> woodruff: general, how do you respond? >> yeah, i mean these are complex tasks. and the commission report that i'm sure we'll talk about before we're done here pointed out there were no abuses in any of these programs. now it is difficult to do what nsa is doing. and when nsa discovered, self-discovered, i might add, what it was they were doing might be beyond what had been authorized by the court, they self-reported to the court and corrected whatever was wrong. >> woodruff: an when did that happen. >> it happeneds routinely. there were several instances when because of the complexity of the task, whether it had-to-do with metadat, the prison program or content, when different selecters are put in, perhaps they hadn't narrowed the search appropriately. in one case, i will give an example. in one case, and this is
reported publicly in the press with much fanfare i might add, the nsa violated privacy 3,000 times in the course of the year. and you go over the details of that report, let me give you one example. they said there were overly broad search terms used by nsa going after the data it had already lawfully collected. and that during a quarter that had happened 160 times, that is 160 over 63 million inquiries that had taken place during that quarter. >> woodruff: i want to bring mr. alperovitch in in a moment. but quickly james bamford what is your response to that? >> well, again, in terms of oversight, we were just talking about the fisa court, let's look at congress. >> woodruff: that will were so few instances out of all the data collected. >> the point is they've got enormous amounts of data. there was one report here they had 35,000 instances o of-- of abuse that came out. >> no, i'm sorry, i don't mean to interrupt.
abuse is one thing, making an error in a complex task is quite another. >> woodruff: i want to bring dmitri alperovitch in, because you've looked very closely. he you talk to these tech companies whether google or the others. what is it that you have found has taken place in the relationship between these companies that are in the middle of all this, and the u.s. government, the nsa? >> i think judy one of the most tragic things out of this entire situation is the impact that it has on cybersecurity which has been really damaging. if you look at the last 12 months we started the year with so much hope. president obama mentioned cybersecurity for the first time never the state of the union. we started to rea line our entire policy. which is has damaged significantly economically and if you will recall from a tiny perspective president obama's meeting with the president of china that weekend in june and cybersecurity was at the top of the agenda. the leaks come out and the entire agenda is now in shambles and we can no longer have moral high ground to confront the
chinese on these topics. >> woodruff: go ahead and finish your point. >> yeah, from the impact on a private sector there is great concern amongst the private sectors of companies like google, apple and others from companies saying we can no longer trust the government and work closely with the government as we have in the past. >> woodruff: general. >> yeah there are three bode as of folks out there worried about this program. one is foreign governments. i really don't have a great deal of concern about that. the other are privacy advocates. although they're very serious, i actually think the commission report points out there have been no abuses an therefore i'm quite willing to have that discussion. >> woodruff: no abuses. >> no, no. >> woodruff: you mean in terms of the dealings with the tech companies. >> no, no, just in general with regard to privacy. but dmitri points out a very important and very sad fact. and i do agree with dmitri. the ones who have suffered the most because of these revelations, the ones who have the greatest amount of grievance with regard to that is american industry. because these revelations are being used to, i think very unfairly, expose
american industry to criticism abroad and hurt their competitiveness. when american industry does for the american government the very same things that other national industries do for their governments, but the fact that the american intelligence enterprise has been made public punishes american industry. >> woodruff: so given that, dmitri alperovitch what needs to change. we know the president is going to come back supposedly with some recommendations in january. what needs to change in terms of the nsa's relationship with these tech companies? >> well, i think a lot has already changed for a lot of these companies that want to have a relationship with ns, a. and that's certainly can be impactful to our national security. if the next time if you recall google approached the u.s. government when they got hacked by the chinese in 2010 for help, i'm not sure they would do that again and that would hurt both the private sector and the government because you would not be able to collaborate and share information as in the past. >> woodruff: how does that affect national security if the companies don't work with the government.
>> oh, look, i'm an air force officer, almost 40 years in the air force. the american airs to is the military expression of the american aviation industry, right. the american intelligence enterprise, american cybersecurity are the espionage and military expressions of the american telecommunication and computer industry. i mean these two things are wedded. and if for one reason or another these are separated, american security is harmed and american commerce is equally harmed. >> do you think that could happen. >> yes. >> absolutely. >> it's great. >> james bamford to you. what needs to change? i mean you came with a long list of abuses that you believe need to be fixed. what are the main ways it needs to change? >> well, what i think has to happen is we did this in 1975, we had the church committee. it took a very comprehensive look at the entire intelligence community and looking at the abuses that took place back then. we haven't had such a
comprehensive look at the intelligence community since then. and in that time we've had allegations-of-torture, allegations-of-eavesdropping on so many communication and so forth, picking up all the telephone data. i just think there needs to be one maybe year-long comprehensive look that is equivalent to the 9/11 commission report. that's really the only way we can get to the bottom. >> what is-- what's one of the main changes that you think though should be made. >> well, the panel that the white house found came out with i think 45 of them, i think that were very useful. the main changes, i think, you've got to have far more transparency. i mean the information is out now that the nsa does this kind of activity. and i think you have to have more transparency. and i think you have to have far better oversight than we've had in the past in terms of the fisa court and congress. >> woodruff: what if that happens, what if there is a lot more transparency. >> first of all there need be more transparency to give
the american people confidence in their espionage services, that they are acting consistent with the values of the american people. now look let's not kid anyone that will shave points off of operational effectiveness. there is no way to give the american people deeper knowledge without giving our adversaries deeper knowledge too. but i any that line has moved and we will have to become more transparent. now i should add though, all right, that he just mentioned the church commission and what it suggested. and it put in place oversight. the oversight the church commission put in place is the oversight that has been watching the nsa these past several years. the fisa court, and the two intelligence committees, that's correct. >> but the problem was the fisa court was weakened a few years ago in the fisa amendment act, they took a lot of the powers away from the fisa court and we see from the court's reports that they were chastising the nsa constantly about
abusing their authorities. >> woodruff: just very quickly dmitri alperovitch, general hayden we heard him say that if these changes take place, if the relationship between the tech companies and the government is prayed-- afraid, u.s. security is hurt. what dot companies feel, what do they think about that? >> well, it's very problematic because for a long time we've been sort of waiting for the government to step in in this field of cybersecurity an protect us from threats, would you never expect in the physical world for companies to defund themselves from threats from pla, from-- in russia or whatever you but in cyberspace that's the situation. and today i think the reality is the legislation on the hill that has been considered for the last number of years is the idea of information sharing between the government and private sector is no longer acceptable to the american people so as a result i think we'll all be less safe and the private sector is realizing they're on their own. >> we're in a new world, when all this is taken together. we thank you all for pulling it together. general michael hayden, james bamford, dmitri all
perreault very much, thank you. >> thank you. >> wooduff: even as the u.s. economy continued its recovery, 2013 was yet another year that raised sobering questions about inequality and the nation's ability to tackle some of its biggest problems. some of those issues, and an unusual perspective on four decades of history, are at the center of one of the year's most notable books. jeffrey brown has our conversation a a disenchanted washington lobbyist, just some of the american pros file add long with well-known figures like oprah colin powell and sam wallton in this year's national book award winner for nonfiction, the unwinding, a story of american institutions and people coming undone amid large scale economic and social changes. author george is a staff
writer, join us now and congratulations. >> thank you. the unwinding in broad terms, it's a breakdown of institutions, right? things that used to work but no longer do. >> and social contract that sort of underwrote all of them. a contract that said if you work hard, if you essentially are a good citizen, there will be a place for you, not only an economic place, you'll have a security life, your kids will have a chance to have a better life but will it be recognized as part of the national fabric? and over the generation of my adult life going back to the late 70s, that fabric has come unraveled and the contract has essentially been torn up. >> brown: how what happened? >> it's complicated. some of it was these giant blind forces like technological change and globalization. some of it was decisions made in centers of power like washington and wall street where the idea that
you couldn't afford to have an underpaid workforce or a workforce that felt imperiled because you needed to have them at the table with you, that began to disappear. and instead workers became disposable. their wages flattened out. and the benefits of our free enterprise system went more and more to the top. and so we have more of a society of winners and losers. >> so large scale changes but you being a reporter your way is through individuals. >> yeah. >> so you profiled many average americans, i guess we would call them, little known people. you mentioned factory workers, for example tammy thomas is one of them, right. >> yeah, she's a black woman in youngstown, ohio, who all the characters in the book are essentially the same generation. they are in midlife. they've lived through these changes over the last generation. she was born in the mid 60s. her mother was a heroin
addict. she was raised by her great grand mother who instale-- instilled a sense of responsibility and work ethic in her. and she somehow in spite of the problems of being a teenage mother and of youngstown disintegrating around her with the collapse of the steel industry in the late 70s, she nonetheless by getting one of the large good blue collar jobs in an auto parts factory, she raised three kids by herself and shielded them from the winds buffeting and as she said to me over and over, she did what she was supposed to do which means she was able to provide a decent life for her children. >> until she couldn't. >> and then the auto parts manufacturer did what so many manufacturers have done, began outsourcing the jobs to mexico, declared a kind of strategic bankruptcy in order to get out of its labor contracts and then she found herself in midlife without a job, without a direction. and she remade herself. >> you know n many ways it's a familiar story.
it's one we look at a lot in this program of what happened to rust belt areas. one of the things you're doing, though, i guess is making the decisions-- well, you're starting the disconnection. one thing that interests me is you say there is more freedom in a sense in america today, but that freedom is a negative t is disconnected. >> yeah, i mean we have more freedom. we have more choices. we're overwhelmed with choices. we have more inclusiveness. we have a more tolerant society. more americans have the theoretical chance of being sort of admitted into the world of opportunity. but we're also more stratified. so social equality, growing economic inequality at the same time. and to understand it i wanted to find stories from very different parts of the country. the rust belt from the rural south, from washington and government and from silicon valley. because it really is a kind of division into those who are making it very well and those who in spite of working hard and in spite of
their own inventiveness find themselves really struggling. >> woodruff: . >> brown: and one of the things that connects all of those places and the institutions is a it is a breakdown of institutions but it's also money that connects a lot of them. but money without the kind of social contract or ethic that you are saying once was there. >> yeah, i mean the gains, the potential gains are so huge. we no longer blink at the notion of a brand-new start-up being sold to a company for a billion dollars, without any profits, with hardly even revenues. and on the other end, there is a family in tampa that i wrote about, the hartsols are the entire mainstay of that family is a part-time job stocking produce at wal-mart for $8.25 or 8.50 an hour which for 25 hours a week you cannot live on that. so and there's a sense in which the family is totally alone, the institutions that might have once taken care of them are public schools,
civic associations and neighborhood organizations, local government, a corporation that might have provided a secure job, those are all gone. and they're on their own. >> brown: i know your work from the new yorker and you have written other nonfiction works, i didn't know you have written fiction, playing, this book is kind ever a mosaic of styles in some sense, right, the profiles of people, some famous people. you include headlines, song lyrics to sort of characterize or portray a moment. what, how do you think about approaching this as a writer? >> that was the hardest thing. because a lot of good books have been written about the fraying of the social contract, about inequality in the middle class. i didn't want to add to that. i really didn't have anything to add to it i don't have a new theory. i don't have a lot of new data. what i thought i could do is get the reader into the nervous system of americans over the last generation. and to do that it meant not
just finding these ode people in forgotten places but also conveying what it's like to be a celebrity. what it's like to be at the top of our society. so oprah is a character in my book, newt gingrich is a character in my book. and to write about them, i didn't go and try too interview them because there are just too many layers of pr between me and him and i wouldn't have gotten much out of testimony. instead i use their words, writings, and interviews and wrote in a sort of style that you might call free and direct discourse which is a technical term for it, which kind of mimics their way of talking about themselves. it uses their language. their rhythms, in order to show what they're doing to the language and how, for example, newt gingrich invented a vocabulary of political polarization in order to help candidates get elected. >> it tells us something about this moment. >> it becomes a cultural indicator and i have these mashup of headlines and songs as you said to get at what was the collective
mind-set like at a particular moment. and i owe something to the novels of john dospasos because i had all this material, and all these different american stories. and to figure out a structure was the hardest part of all. and i finally decided why not something really kind of innovative, something that you don't find in traditional nonfiction writing. and i turned to a fictional source for inspiration. >> all right, we will continue this conversation on-line, for now the new book is is the unwinding. george pack cert winner of the national book award, congratulations, thanks for talking to us. >> thank you. s >> woodruff: finally tonight, the holidays are a time when families gather to celebrate and often remember loved ones no longer with us. fred de sam lazaro reports on one group trying to revive the legacy of relatives forgotten at a mental hospital in minnesota
>> one solitary cross is all that suggests that this is a cemetery and perhaps that's fitting. there are several hundred people buried here spent most of their lives invisible to the outside world. there are no headstones in this burial ground-of-a former minnesota mental institution. the graves are marked not with names, just numbers. the relatives had to go through historical archives to find her number. a few years ago a disability rights group began working to change this their project is called remembering the dignity. >> we're here today to remember and honor albertine an i have to make sure i say her name right potrus. >> recently on a chilly minnesota morning they gathered at the cemetery to honor the long departed great aunt.
he only learned that she existed a few years ago while doing a genealogy search. then he confirmed it with his 89-year-old aunt who was a niece. >> you go through different emotions. you go how come your family member didn't even tell you about this person. and then just to be buried as a number. >> i remember her. she lived with us out on the farm. >> that memory is all this family has. there are no photographs of her, born in 1898 with mental retardation. in 1932 as families struggled to survive the depression she became a burden neither her aging parents nor her siblings could endure. >> we had-- hired, she always thought the hired men would take advantage of my aunt because she was feebleminded. >> at 34 she was committed to the school for the
feebleminded. in minnesota. she became a ward of the state. >> the facility name has changed over the years reflecting society's evolving views of people with mental illness an retar nation. in the 1800 it is what the school for deaf, dumb, blind, idiots and imwe styles, feeble mend amed in the early 1900 and in the 50s the state hospital. node it is a minimum security prison. it was considered an innovation when it was founded, an attempt to educate the mentally disabled. but in time remembering the dignities mary kay kennedy says that early mission was forgotten. >> the piece of population at this site was in the 1950s and it housed 3,355 people which was about 45% overcapacity. so there is no education. so it really turned into a
facility that was taking care of the physical, basic physical need its of the people who lived here. >> for people who died here, funerals were basic business-like affairs. blair says notice of albertine death was sent not to the family first but to the welfare department supervisor. >> dear mr. cayler this is to notify huh that albertine died at 8:25 p.m. on february 4th, 1958, in the institutional hospital. cause of death, was cerebral hemorrhage. ten hours, ar tearial sclerosis, 20 years, mentally deficient, idiot, cause undiagnosed. >> they didn't treat us people very nice, they didn't treat us people with no kindness, no respect or nothing. >> at the cemetery former residents reflected on their
time there, larry spent ten years here. he was moved to a group home as mental health care shifted away from large institutions. dorothy anderson was committed as an infant. >> i didn't know my mother. or if she was married. or my grandma. i didn't-- and i didn't have no pictures to remember them by. >> this group successfully lobbied minnesota's legislature which in 2010 officially apologized for the past treatment of state hospital patients. >> the apology extends to family, professionals advise people to break ties with the family. and there were no other services. so if you had a child or someone with a severe disability t wasn't like today where you could get services in the community. >> others have a more nuanced view of how the treatment of mentally disabled people has shifted over the years.
gene's sister barbara died here in 1958 at the age of 5. >> i any when you look at the state of minnesota and some of the needs of the homeless who are mentally ill, institutions might be a good thing for them it i don't think everybody belongs in an institution. i think there is a happy medium but i done think society has found it yet. >> there's very little disagreement about adding names and gravestones to the numbers here. >> a jewish saying is that you die twichlts you die, once when dow die but the second time you die is when your name isn't spoken any more. >> so far the group has installed almost 7,000 personal grave stoerns on the 13,000 numbered graves they've discovered across the state until now. with funding from minnesota's legislature. wchx a version of fred's story aired >> wooduff: a version of fred's story aired on the pbs program
"religion and ethics newsweekly". his reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. again, the major developments of the day: retailers opened the after- it was widely reported the united states has begun sending hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to iraq. the government there has asked for help to battle renewed violence by al-qaeda militants. and in a video message, american warren weinstein appealed to president obama to negotiate his release from al-qaeda kidnappers in pakistan. he was abducted more than two years ago. on the newshour online right now, 2013 produced some landmark cases at the u.s. supreme court. what major decisions can we expect for the new year? legal analyst and newshour regular marcia coyle tells us what she'll be watching for in 2014. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening, with mark shields and michael gerson, among others. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
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