CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Suicide Bomber Strikes in Jerusalem; Colin Powell Postpones Meeting With Yasser Arafat
Aired April 12, 2002 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone.
If you read the paper this morning, before you turned on "AMERICAN MORNING", you might have seen a mention of Powell's rules written up years ago by the secretary of state. One of them was quoted today below a smiling picture of Secretary of State Powell: "Optimism is a force multiplier," it reads. Something about that line hung over us when we watched what happened today.
For us, it was the morning, of course. For those in Israel, it was just a few hours before Sabbath at sundown. A suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem. You can only guess what the response to this will be. But it's worth thinking about where it all gets us, where it gets both sides. Israel might launch another push into Palestinian towns, bulldoze more homes, tear up more roads. Rounding up some terrorists, yes, but also we suspect turning some moderate Palestinians into radicals along the way. And a young Palestinian like the woman today will destroy herself, she'll kill and injure people she doesn't even know. And, of course, in the process, she will turn a slightly sympathetic Israeli into someone who hates Palestinians, people who live just a few miles, literally, away.
A Palestinian activist today challenged the Israeli rationale saying the infrastructure of terror that Sharon wants to destroy is built on desperation. It seems as if there's plenty of desperation on both sides. And desperation, sort of like optimism, is a force multiplier.
On with "The Whip." We begin at the White House. Today's bombing, a massive complication to the peace process. Kelly Wallace is working to pull all of it together. Kelly, what's your headline?
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, the suicide bombing force Secretary of State Colin Powell to cancel tomorrow's meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Now whether Powell will meet with Arafat on Sunday or at all remains an open question. And U.S. officials have issued what appears to be a condition for such a meeting: a public condemnation by Arafat of today's violence -- Aaron.
BROWN: Kelly, thank you. We'll be back with you very quickly.
To Jason Bellini next. Jason has only been in Israel a matter of days and found himself in the center of it today. So, Jason, a headline from you, please.
JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, 65 (sic) dead plus the suicide bomber and 65 injured. I was very nearby when the blast occurred, working on another story. I have for you in just a bit video that I shot. We kept the camera rolling the entire time for the first 15 minutes after the blast. We'll show that to you in a moment -- Aaron.
BROWN: Jason, before I let you go, give me the numbers again on the number of people who died and were injured?
BELLINI: Six died plus the suicide bomber and then 65 injured. That's the latest.
BROWN: Thank you, Jason. And we will be back to you. It's been a long day.
From Boston next, defiance from the cardinal of Boston, Cardinal Law. Frank Buckley is working the sex scandal Boston story. Frank, a bit more than a headline from you tonight, please.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Aaron. After days of speculation and calls for his resignation, Cardinal Law finally issuing what may or may not be the final decision on this matter. For the moment, however, he is staying -- he will stay on in his position as the archbishop at the Boston archdiocese.
He issued his decision in the form of this letter today that was sent out to his fellow priests here. In it, he said briefly that my desire is to serve this archdiocese and the whole church with every fiber of my being. This I will continue to do as long as God gives me the opportunity.
Already some strong reaction in this community. Some people believing this is the right decision, that the cardinal can continue to help heal the community here. Some people saying this is a terrible decision and this is a story that will continue to go on -- Aaron.
BROWN: Frank, thank you. Frank Buckley in Boston. And later in the program, we'll talk with Marjorie Egan of "The Boston Globe", has strong feelings about what the cardinal should do or should have done and what comes next in that.
Also coming up tonight, the towers of light here in New York. Tomorrow they will be lit no more. A memorial of the World Trade Center, a fleeting one but the memory and the impact will go on for a long time. We'll take a last look at the lights tonight. There they are. That's something tonight.
And something I haven't been tortured with in quite awhile. The staff thought it was high time to bring back the old mystery guest. For those of you new to the program, this is where they pick a guest, whisper about it all day, chuckle a lot. And I don't know who it is until the moment the guest walks into the studio. Generally, it is fun. And if I may be so bold on this Friday, given the events of the last few weeks, four minutes on fun on the program seems fair. All of that ahead.
There is nothing fun in our lead tonight. Some have called it an attack on the peace process, a direct challenge to Secretary Powell's mission and that may be. But before getting to what it all means, here's what it was. A young woman blowing herself up in a crowded marketplace full of ordinary people trying to do some last minute shopping before the Sabbath. Six people are dead, at least five dozen wounded. This is part of the madness that Secretary Powell is trying to end.
We have two reports on this tonight. We go first to the White House and CNN's Kelly Wallace. Kelly, good evening.
WALLACE: Good evening to you, Aaron. It was just about eight hours after that suicide bombing when we learned Secretary Powell had canceled tomorrow's meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, postponing the talks until Sunday at the earliest. But tonight, U.S. officials are telling us that there is still no guarantee Powell will meet with Arafat. The secretary and President Bush, aides say, have made it very clear they want to see Mr. Arafat speak out publicly against terror first.
(voice-over): Just moments before Secretary Powell took off for a tour of Israel's northern border, he learned about the deadly attack in Jerusalem. A complex diplomatic mission suddenly got increasingly more difficult.
Back in Washington, President Bush learned the news in the middle of his national security council briefing when an aide handed him a note. The president, through his spokesman, immediately condemned what he and his aides now choose to call a homicide bombing.
ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These are not suicide bombings. These are not people who just kill themselves. These are people who deliberately go to murder others with no regard to the values of their own life. These are murderers.
WALLACE: And the administration, trying to step up the pressure on the Palestinian leader, said Mr. Bush expects action and now from Yasser Arafat.
FLEISCHER: The president believes that Yasser Arafat needs to publicly come out and condemn today's attack, that this is terrorism, this is murder, and Yasser Arafat needs to renounce it and renounce it soon.
WALLACE: But so far, Mr. Bush's demands on Arafat have not been answered. And now, U.S. officials have materials which could link Arafat directly to terrorism.
The Israelis have given the U.S. documents, documents the Israelis say they seized from Arafat's Ramallah headquarters and show Arafat's top aides financed attacks by Palestinian militants. The Israeli military has made some of the documents public on its Web site. U.S. officials say they are trying to determine if the documents are authentic, but do say there is broad agreement within the administration that Arafat's top aides and possibly Arafat himself were involved in the purchase of weapons that may have been used in terror attacks.
(on camera): The Palestinians say those documents are either forgeries or they have been taken out of context. Now the U.S. is continuing going through those materials to draw its own conclusions.
Meantime, Secretary Powell faces a big decision, whether to meet with Yasser Arafat. The Israelis charge that such a meeting would only be rewarding acts of terror while the Palestinians say Arafat, as the leader of the Palestinian people, deserves a meeting with the United States secretary of state -- Aaron.
BROWN: Kelly, walk away from one this if you want, OK. Is it the secretary's decision on this meeting or is it the White House's or the president's decision on this meeting?
WALLACE: Well, I think that's a very, very good question, one we have been asking U.S. officials throughout the day. And they are saying, ultimately, it is Secretary Powell's decision. Senior officials say the president has great faith in Secretary Powell's judgment, that he is the one on the ground talking to the parties. Ultimately, it will be his decision.
Clearly, the president of the United States is weighing it and his advisers, but the word we are getting, even privately, is that it is Secretary Powell's decision, Aaron.
BROWN: I love when they say the same thing publicly and privately, Kelly.
WALLACE: I like that too.
BROWN: Thank you. Have a good weekend, Kelly Wallace at the White House tonight.
Someone once said chance favors those who are ready for it. When the bomb went off today, Jason Bellini was ready and not far away as it turned out. So we go back to Jason now at the end of what has been a very long and difficult day for him. Jason, good evening to you.
BELLINI: Good evening, Aaron. It's almost morning here now. It was 4:00 in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day in Jerusalem and the market, as I was walking around, was bustling with people. And the reason I was there because I was working on a story, just trying to find just average people to talk to. Lots of people were in the market doing their last-minute -- making their last-minute food purchases before the Shabbat holiday.
And I was standing up, doing what we call a stand-up, standing in front of the camera. My translator was actually holding the camera and that's when the blast -- that's when we heard the blast. Take a look.
By this point...
Grab the tripod. Grab the tripod! Grab the tripod!
(voice-over): We felt the blast. We knew we were close to whatever it was. But the first 60 seconds, as we made our way in its direction, was surreal in its commonness. We were less than half a block away. People continued to carry their groceries as they exited the market.
I called CNN's international desk. Not knowing yet what to report, but I wanted to get them on the line.
(on camera): Let me get a little bit closer to see what's going on. There was a loud explosion, happened about four minutes ago. What's the name of this market?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mahane Yehuda (ph) market?
BELLINI: Mahane Yehuda (ph) market.
(voice-over): Outside the market barrier, on Jaffa Street, we looked around, trying to figure out where all these injured bloody people were coming from.
(on camera): Now I see the blast. It looks like a bus. It was a bomb. Do you want me to do a beeper?
(voice-over): As I was preparing to do on the air, Ben guided me with my camera in the bus' direction.
The shattered windows made it easy to assume this was another bus bombing. We began, though, reporting what we knew.
(on camera): Hi, Paula. I'm in central Jerusalem. Less than 10 minutes ago, there was a huge blast right near the market area.
(voice-over): At this point, Ben was doing the shooting. He captured rapid medical and police response.
(on camera): There appear to be some bodies around the bus. Only now are ambulances -- ambulances just arriving, and they are taking stretchers out, pulling people away. I've seen four people so far, but more people are coming in this direction. There are other people, though, who are the walking wounded, who appear injured who are being helped right now by civilians here on the street.
(voice-over): By this point, many other cameras arrived and we were pushed further and further back from the scene. Ben and I had been separated for about 15 minutes. We finally met up again. I decided to stay and sent him back to CNN's bureau with the tape. (on camera): Take the tape to CNN right now. Take it to CNN.
(voice-over): We knew that by chance, through good or bad luck, depending on how you look at it, we had captured a horror unimaginable, and to us very real.
BROWN: Jason, what, it's been about 12 or 13 hours since it happened. What has that been like for you? If you had a chance -- I know you have talked about it endlessly and you've written about it some, have you had a chance to think about it a whole lot?
BELLINI: It's been a frantic 12 hours, if it's been that. It has been a bit of a whirlwind, to be honest with you and I have lost track. I was just thinking while I was watching the story about a moment that stuck in my mind -- because I haven't really had time to really contemplate the entire event, but it's funny how sometimes just minor details will stick out in your head.
And one that I remember was when I got a glimpse of the bus, right where the explosion had occurred, I saw this watermelon that had split in half -- and I mean it was clear you could see the inside of this watermelon -- and when I saw that I realized that someone was bringing that home for, to have with their meal that night, and I also thought if that could tear through the skin of a watermelon, imagine what that did to people. And I certainly saw some bodies that were torn through, shredded in some awful ways.
BROWN: It was a couple of weeks ago, I guess, maybe three weeks ago, we sat in my office here and talked about sending you over there and what you might do, what you might experience. I'm curious if you have had a chance to think at all how this changes your perspective on the situation there?
BELLINI: Tough one to answer. Again, because I need a little more time I think for this one to settle in, for myself and for all the journalists who are working on this. I think that perhaps we -- I think that perhaps we are now -- we now feel story the more. Does that make sense? That it's sometimes easy to be walking around doing the story, you get thrown into something and you go around interviewing people, but then when you actually witness something and you smell what victims have smelled, if you have seen it yourself, it certainly, as I said, at the end of my piece makes it seem more real and even more moving.
BROWN: Jason, as you know better than anyone, I beat you up all the time. I am very proud of you today. Nicely done. We are all proud of the work you did. Thank you. Jason Bellini.
Still ahead on NEWSNIGHT -- young Jason, as we call him around here. We'll hear from both sides in this conflict. Later on, the story of the temporary memorial at ground zero, the two lights which go out tomorrow. A look at lower Manhattan on this Friday night. This is NEWSNIGHT from New York.
BROWN: I'll admit this to you now -- though perhaps you have already noticed. There's an element of frustration whenever we talk to the parties in the Middle East. Frustrating that everyone speaks so well, no one is ever less than civil, but no one will concede not even in the slightest that the other side might have a point or that their side must do something to make this end as well. We plow ahead, but sometimes we think that the questions themselves aren't even heard. This has nothing to do with our guests tonight, it's just a thought that has been building and needed an outlet.
First, though, Dore Gold, a close adviser to Ariel Sharon. We spoke with him earlier today before sunset and the beginning of the Jewish sabbath.
BROWN: Let's deal with news of the day first. Kind of get the feeling somebody doesn't want there to be a cease-fire.
DORE GOLD, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: You know, every time General Zinni used to arrive in the Middle East, he was appointed by President Bush and Secretary Powell to try and bring about a cease- fire between Israel and the Palestinians. He would arrive, and we would have a whole new series of bombings. Clearly somebody doesn't want the U.S. to succeed.
BROWN: Why -- it's almost counterintuitive. Why would Mr. Arafat, who wants a meeting with Secretary of State Powell, why would he be a part of this today?
GOLD: Well, we are trying to understand it from our Western perspective. What's clear about Yasser Arafat is that back in October of 2000 he took a strategic decision to use terrorism as part of his -- as part of the political process with Israel. He believes that the only way he will force Israel to withdraw is to use violence and terrorism, and now we have tied him to that with documentation we found in Arafat's headquarters.
BROWN: All right. Let's talk about the documents. There was a story in "The Times" today about documents. You have some with you. These are documents that the Israeli government says were found in Arafat's compound. They show what?
GOLD: Well, let me be very specific. Next to Yasser Arafat's office is the office of Fuad Shubuke (ph), who is the chief financial officer of Arafat. He controls his money. Fuad Shubuke (ph) was the mastermind of the purchase of that ship that brought Iranian weaponry through the Red Sea which we intercepted, the weapon ship, the Karin A.
Fuad Shubuke, in his office, we found documents in which the Al Aqsa Martyr Brigades, that's that same Fatah unit which is responsible for the bombing today in Jerusalem, we found a request of the Al Aqsa Martyr Brigades to Shubuke to pay for a variety of services, a variety of expenses, including bombs. BROWN: How do I know they are authentic?
GOLD: We presented these documents using Israeli military intelligence. Now, I would say even if the political branch in Israel would go for it to the international community with these documents, I think it would be -- Israel is a serious country.
But our military intelligence has relationships with the entire world international intelligence community, with the CIA, with the variety of American intelligence agencies, with the British, the French and others. We don't make up fake documents. We have an international reputation in the international intelligence community to protect. And in any case, if somebody has any doubts and they don't want to look at this photocopy, we would be glad that any military attache serving in Tel Aviv in any embassy, come to the Israeli army headquarters. We'll present the originals.
BROWN: One more question on the documents. In the view of the Israeli government, in your view, this is the equivalent of the smoking gun? There's no -- I mean, if we accept them, we cannot say that Arafat is not responsible in some way?
GOLD: It's worse than that. (AUDIO GAP) maybe the financial officer did it but Arafat didn't know. Well, now we have a document with Arafat's signature on it approving payment of $600 to three separate Tanzim, that's Arafat's Fatah militia, that three of his activists, including one who we know was responsible for an attack in Hadeira, Israel on a 12-year-old girl's bat mitzvah. So, these are people directly involved in terrorism and Yasser Arafat's signature authorizes payment for their services.
BROWN: Just as I was coming up, Secretary of State Powell said he was going to postpone the visit with -- meeting with Arafat for at least until Sunday. Any change in the way the Israelis want to react to a meeting at all?
GOLD: Well, here's the problem. I mean, we are in a very clear dilemma. You know, the international community believes that Yasser Arafat still represents the Palestinian people because he was elected. Well, you know, a lot of people were either elected or head different governments and they have caused tremendous damage to international interests. Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe. In this case, Yasser Arafat is directly involved in terrorism.
So what do we do? Do we negotiate with him? Do we revive him? Do we pump him up with air, diplomatic air again to try and bring him back into the process? We have already negotiated. The United States has negotiated 10 separate cease-fire initiatives with Yasser Arafat. They have all failed. So do we try an 11th, a 12th, a 13th? We simply think he is really -- has very little to contribute at this point and, in fact, he's hurting both your interests and ours.
BROWN: Well, it's nice to see you. Appreciate your time.
GOLD: My pleasure.
BROWN: Thank you. Hopefully something good will happen soon.
GOLD: Let's hope.
BROWN: I hope so too. Thank you.
That's Dore Gold. We talked with him before sunset, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath today. Joining us now from Washington, Hasan Abdel Rahman, the chief Palestinian representative to the United States. It's nice to see you sir.
I want to talk about the documents in a moment. Let's try and do a couple of other pieces of business first. Kelly Wallace reported a few moments ago that, in some form, a meeting with Chairman Arafat is conditional on Mr. Arafat publicly condemning the attack today. Is that an unacceptable condition?
HASAN ABDEL RAHMAN, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: Well, you know, no sane human being will be pleased to see civilian people getting killed, whether they are Israelis, whether they are Palestinians or anyone. But as a matter of principal, everyone in this world knows that Israel committed a massacre in Jenin in the last week, 400 to 500 people, mostly civilians, that were killed by the Israeli army. We didn't -- the PLO...
BROWN: Sir, respectfully, I know you want to talk about Jenin and I understand that. I just -- if we can keep it on this one point for just a moment.
BROWN: Is it unacceptable condition to say what happened today in Jerusalem was wrong? Why is that so hard to address in and of itself?
RAHMAN: Mr. Brown, please let me finish. And when I finish, if I don't answer your question, you can come back to me and say you did not answer. I was coming to answer your question...
BROWN: OK. I'm sorry. I apologize.
RAHMAN: ... but I wanted to make this introduction. I am saying that there were massacre committed against the Palestinians, 400 to 500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, children, men and women killed by Israel. We did not hear any condemnation. Yasser Arafat, every single Palestinian is willing to condemn this action today if the United States and Israel will condemn this massacre that was committed against the Palestinians. Is that fair?
BROWN: Well, I think I understand the answer. It's not my place to judge whether that's fair or not. The answer is as -- you tell me if I'm wrong -- that unless the other side does something, you will not act first. That's the answer.
RAHMAN: No. There are two things that I'll require from the United States, from Israel, Mr. Brown. First, there was an international resolution by the security council that called on Israel to halt its attack against the Palestinians and we do. Israel neither halted nor withdrew its forces. So Israel is in violation of international consensus and in violation of the position that was declared by the president of the United States. So here's one.
The second is that all international media that had access, and I myself watched it on Al Jazeera network, Israel deliberately demolished homes over the heads, buried people alive in their own homes. This is a war crime. We want to know if Palestinian life equal Israeli life. If Palestinian life is as valuable as Israeli life, then I assure you you will have condemnation from every single Palestinian including Yasser Arafat.
But when we see that the whole Israeli society, including Mr. Sharon, the United States government, the American media is reluctant. I did not hear you, with all due respect, Mr. Brown, I have a great deal of respect for you, not once ask Mr. Dore Gold about the atrocities committed by the Israeli army in the last two weeks in the Palestinian territories.
BROWN: Let's talk about things we did talk with Mr. Gold about. This isn't, respectfully again, this isn't a place for me to defend or argue questions that I asked or didn't ask, OK?
RAHMAN: Well, I'm just reminding you.
BROWN: That's why I'm walking away from this one. I want to go to the documents. If you take the documents at face value, they are very condemning, to your side and Chairman Arafat in specific. Do you believe they are fake? You do believe they are fake?
RAHMAN: They are fake. They are out of context, and I challenge Mr. Dore Gold to present. He spoke about one document, and I was paying attention, that Yasser Arafat made the contribution of $600 to three individuals, that Israel claims to be part of the Tanzim. Do you know how many members of Fatah there is in the West Bank? I'm a member of Fatah. Yasser Arafat is a member of Fatah. Abu Allah (ph) is a member of Fatah. Abu Manzin (ph) is a member of Fatah. So what is wrong with that?
Fatah is the legitimate national liberation movement of the Palestinian people. There are members of the Tanzim who ask Yasser Arafat for assistance. Maybe they are students. Maybe they need the money because 60 percent of the population are unemployed. So Mr. Dore Gold wants to us believe that Yasser Arafat is supporting terrorism because he pays $600 to three Palestinians? That's absolute nonsense.
BROWN: Mr. Rahman, let me -- we're going to end this. I'm a little uneasy. I want to make clear, I think you know this any way from other conversations with us, we have nothing but respect and understand how hard it is for either side to come on and answer all these questions. We appreciate your time tonight.
RAHMAN: Thank you. BROWN: Thank you, sir, very much. Hasan Abdel Rahman, the chief Palestinian representative here in the United States. We'll be right back. This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: There's an old cliche that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. For our purposes, that might read one person's objectivity is another person's bias. That is why we like to do what we call "Their News." And tonight is a perfect example.
You know the facts of the bombing today in Israel. You know the impact it has already had. Here is how the story was reported to the Arab world. Listen carefully. Listen to how things are said, where the emphasis is. "Their News" tonight is al Jazeera, the Arab television network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR (through translator): Six killed and about seventy Israelis injured in an attack in West Jerusalem by a young Palestinian girl, a member of the Martyrs' Al Aqsa Brigade. The White House condemns this attack, and Powell is reconsidering to postpone his meeting with Arafat till Sunday.
The Israeli army is closing Jenin to the outside and destroys two blocks in the refugees' camp completely. Powell is calling to restrain Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel and Hazai (ph) asked Beirut for restraint on the same issue.
Talks between Iraq and U.N. about allowing U.N. inspectors in Iraq is postponed.
Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claimed responsibility today for the attack that killed 6 Israelis, and about 70 others were injured, some in serious conditions. Israeli police said that a Palestinian freedom fighter blew herself up in a bus near a crowded Jerusalem market.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (voice-over) (through translator): Following the massacres of the Israeli army has carried out in the occupied territories against Palestinian civilians, an attack has been carried in West Jerusalem against Israeli targets near one of the largest markets in West Jerusalem. The attack killed 6 people and over 70 were injured, while Israelis were preparing for Shabbat. Minutes after the attack, ambulances rushed to the scene to carry out the injured and the dead to area hospitals.
The attack came minutes after the Israeli occupied city of Jerusalem mayor, Olmert, has just left the area. The accident scene was sealed to outsiders. Israeli police said the Palestinian freedom fighter was heading toward the markets, and she noticed the security was tight at the entrance. She blew herself up at the bus stop near the market. The Palestinian side said that attack came as a result to massacres that Palestinians are enduring at the hands of the Israelis. Shehi Esseen (ph) said this attack is a proof that the resistance is continuing. If Israel think that they can kill people in the street and arrest thousands and think they will not be punished, they are mistaken. This is part of the punishment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They should wait and see. More is coming. And Israel, like usual, put the blame immediately of this attack on the Palestinian authority and on Yasser Arafat, who is under siege in Ramallah.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (voice-over) (through translator): A spokesman for Sharon said that the attack [SOUND DROP-OUT] Israel that coincide with Mr. Powell visit to the region.
UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR (through translator): How will this affect the Palestinian cause?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (through translator): We can say that Israel is still working to finish their mission here. When it comes to the political atmosphere, there's still oppression and occupation. They are still demolishing homes and offices. They are still searching everyone, and the curfew is still continuing. The bombing is still going on, and Israeli forces are still going house to house. Even a Palestinian cabinet member's home was searched.
Israel seems like it will take advantage of the latest attack and hijack American efforts to put an end to the violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Al Jazeera's coverage, the Arab television network, al Jazeera's coverage of today's bombing in Jerusalem, one man's objectivity.
Later on NEWSNIGHT, a mystery guest. Boy, do we need that tonight.
Up next, Boston and the cardinal who says, despite it all, he's staying on.
This is NEWSNIGHT on CNN.
BROWN: You can wade through the venom, and we're not exaggerating here. The messages on the Web sites of the Boston papers that are calling on Cardinal Law to resign are something else to read. But there is in all of that one dissenter, and that note read like this. Quote, "The Catholic church has never been a democracy, and it will never be." It's almost as if the cardinal wrote it himself.
Frank Buckley told us earlier Cardinal Law insisted today he will stay on after a very difficult week, a week of pain and shame for the Catholic leadership in Boston. We're joined again by tonight by Margery Eagan of the "Boston Herald."
It's nice to see you again. I gather you're surprised...
MARGERY EAGAN, COLUMNIST, "BOSTON HERALD": Hi, Aaron.
BROWN: ... at the very least, that the cardinal's hanging in.
EAGAN: Well, I thought he was gone for sure, maybe not today but over the weekend, maybe at Sunday mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral. I was -- I was shocked, floored. But you know, there is, to those of us like myself -- who do want the cardinal to go because I don't believe he can be part of the solution at all -- there is one up side, and that is I think it's so enraged many people today, it kind of fueled the fire.
And it'll be very interesting to see how Catholics respond in mass this Sunday. Do they keep giving their money to the parish, even though the parish claims it doesn't have anything to do with...
EAGAN: ... any lawyers' funds or slush funds, or do they begin to withhold it just out of disgust?
BROWN: I got to tell you, I'm not sure how, honestly, that's an up side. I mean, if the up side here is a lot of really angry Catholics in what is essentially a non-democracy anyway, their options are -- strike me as all down side, which is to believe less in their church.
EAGAN: Well, you know, as I said the other night, I'm Catholic. I've got three kids who are Catholic. I don't want to become an Episcopalian. You know, I don't want to leave my church. And so I think -- one of the things Catholics do not do very well, Aaron, is protest. I mean, the most we've raised is 500 signatures saying that Law should leave. We had a very kind of small, couple hundred people protest around the cathedral, when he said mass on Good Friday. We've not organized. And priests have not come out in any great number.
What I'd like to seep happen, and maybe it will begin to happen -- you know, a lot of things come down to money. Catholic Charities in Boston, which is a huge social service agency which does so much good work for the poor, is hurting. People are withholding their money. The appeals that the diocese does every year -- people are taking back pledges they've already made, $100,000 dollars out of one church in Sharon -- it's just incredible -- taken back.
If people began this Sunday to go into their local parishes, put a little note in the box...
EAGAN: ... and say "Not one more dime until Cardinal Law leaves" -- you know, money talks... BROWN: You know, I...
EAGAN: ... even in the church...
BROWN: You know, I...
EAGAN: ... Aaron.
BROWN: About 30 seconds here. I assume the cardinal sees the account sheets also, and he gets it that money's not coming in. Doesn't seem like money's necessarily what's going get it done.
EAGAN: Well, you know, a lot of people think that this is just a ploy for time, that he doesn't want to look like he was pushed out because, as you said, the Church is not a democracy. He doesn't want to look like he's bowing to the whim of the public, that some offer will come from the Vatican and that he will leave. He is not saying mass this Sunday, as he usually does, at the Holy Cross Cathedral. He's not in the chancery. We don't know where he is. So maybe this is just a ploy for time.
But you know what? The amount of money that has been lost has not been significant yet because his annual Cardinal's Appeal has not even begun.
EAGAN: So when he begins to ask Catholics to give money to him, I think maybe you might see some -- I hope so because we've not -- we've not organized a very effective protest, I don't think, at this point.
BROWN: Literally yes or no. You going to church on Sunday?
EAGAN: I am going to church on Sunday, and I'm putting the envelope -- I can't give money even to my own parish anymore because I feel like I'm complicit. I feel like what is the example...
BROWN: Got it.
EAGAN: ... you set to your kids? What do you say to them, giving money? And you know...
EAGAN: ... when he says, Aaron, he's part of the solution -- yeah?
BROWN: Yes, thank you. Thank you. That was a...
EAGAN: You're welcome.
BROWN: ... long yes or no. Thank you, Margery Eagan, in Boston.
Before we're done tonight, we'll go back to ground zero, the memorial there. And up next, the mystery guest. This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: All right, time for the mystery guest. Staff gets its revenge. It's been a while since we have done this. I have nothing to do with choosing the next guest, which pretty much annoys the control freak that I am. On top of that, no clues allowed in this until he or she walks onto the set. They talk about it. It goes on and on. They find this really amusing, and sometimes I do. And on a day like today, we need it. So here we go. Roll the prompter to a page I have never seen before.
If you watch a lot of cable TV, you will probably be familiar with all those great infomercials ...
BROWN: And this is one of our favorites, the perfect pancake. Joining us now...
BROWN: ... is the creator of the perfect pancake, Al Sesona. How'd I do? did I pronounce your name right?
AL SESONA, CREATOR OF THE "PERFECT PANCAKE": Very good. Very good.
BROWN: Nice to meet you.
SESONA: Thank you, Aaron.
BROWN: Yeah. Can I see it?
SESONA: Aaron, how'd you like to make a...
SESONA: ... great, fresh pancake...
BROWN: I would love one.
SESONA: ... a perfect pancake for every day the rest of your life?
BROWN: Sit down. Come on. Sit down for a second. Have you seen this commercial? This thing is on, like, 1,000 times an hour. How many of these things -- well, how you did you come up with this crazy idea?
SESONA: Oh, this goes back a long way.
SESONA: Yes, it does. I started working with pancakes in 1959. BROWN: Is that right?
BROWN: So you're, like, really into pancakes. I mean, more than most people, I guess.
SESONA: Yeah. Pancakes are my passion.
BROWN: Yeah. And I -- so we're actually running the ad behind you. But clearly, everyone in the world -- al-Jazeera's probably running it. And when did you invent this thing?
SESONA: This came on stream, oh, maybe about six or eight months ago.
BROWN: And basically, it's just...
SESONA: And that's a -- this is a -- this is a spin-off from that.
BROWN: It's like a waffle iron for pancakes, isn't it?
SESONA: Yeah, a sophisticated frying pan.
BROWN: Yeah. But wait, there's more! Oh, no. And then did you invent that little doo-dad that sprays the batter into the pan?
SESONA: No, no. That's commercial.
BROWN: That's just marketing.
SESONA: Sure. Yeah.
BROWN: Yeah. How many of these have we sold here?
SESONA: Quite a few.
BROWN: A million 10 million, 50?
SESONA: Yeah, give or take.
BROWN: Yeah. So you've made a fortune on pancakes.
SESONA: Not really.
SESONA: No. The marketing people make it.
BROWN: The marketing people? You're from Boston?
SESONA: Used to be.
BROWN: Used to be. Where do you live now?
SESONA: In Florida.
BROWN: How old are you.
SESONA: I'll be 76...
BROWN: Is that right?
SESONA: ... in just a couple of months.
BROWN: And you got any more great inventions in you?
SESONA: Really good shape for the shape I'm in.
BROWN: You look fabulous for a guy that eats pancakes all the time. If I ate that many pancakes, I'd weigh, like, 500 pounds.
SESONA: Not these, you wouldn't.
BROWN: Why? What do you mean, "Not these"? Are they diet pancakes?
SESONA: No, this is -- this is nice, natural, all natural flour, no preservatives, all natural...
BROWN: Wait a second! You didn't -- wait, you got to see these pancakes because they are monogrammed. And who in the life has not wanted a monogrammed pancake? You know, this -- are these edible, by the way?
SESONA: Oh, yeah.
BROWN: That which I'm holding? Would you like a bite? It seems rude of me to not offer you a pancake.
SESONA: I think -- I think somebody has that here.
BROWN: Oh, my goodness! There's even more. Wait. There is more! Let me just say that as much as I like this gag, if you paid me, like, $10 right now, I would not -- oh, they're warm! What were you, in the back cooking.
SESONA: Of course. Of course.
BROWN: Really? So this gadget really works, huh?
SESONA: Yes, it does.
BROWN: Yeah. And what else can you do with it, besides making a pancake and perhaps, like...
SESONA: Use it for a fly swatter?
BROWN: ... pounding a nail or something? Yeah.
SESONA: Right. You can make wonderful omelets, and you can build the omelet, you know, while you're on your stove.
SESONA: You can keep adding your ingredients and...
BROWN: You know what my reaction to this, when I first saw it?
SESONA: What is it?
BROWN: There's a product out there that's used to make hot dogs. And I thought if you're not smart enough to figure out how to make a hot dog, you shouldn't be near a stove. And I kind of feel the same way about pancakes. It's not that hard, even without what is obviously a fabulous invention.
SESONA: Well, you know, for the longest time, when anyone said pancakes, the slogan was "80 percent cussing and cleaning, 20 percent eating and enjoyment."
BROWN: I can't tell you how many times I've heard that. Al, nice to meet you.
SESONA: Take care.
BROWN: Thank you. You're a good sport.
SESONA: Thank you very much.
BROWN: Do I get to keep this?
SESONA: Yes, you do.
BROWN: Good. We'll be right back.
BROWN: You have no idea how many times I've seen that commercial and rolled my eyes.
Finally tonight, a tribute in light. They were first lit on the 11th of March, six months after September 11th, two towers of light restoring, in a way, a brutally damaged skyline here in New York -- quiet, simple, powerful and temporary. The lights will be turned off tomorrow, an uneasy good-bye for city that needed some comfort and found it in these two beams of light so simple and stunning.
Here's Beth Nissen.
BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since March 11th, they have filled the gaping void in Manhattan's skyline, two slender beams of light, ghost images of the twin towers rising a block from the ruins of the World Trade Center. What is called "The Tribute in Light" has filled avoid in many memories, many hearts, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's unbelievably beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They remind me of the World Trade Center.
SASKIA LEVY, PROJECT ORGANIZER, MUNICIPAL ART SOCIETY: It's been really nice to remind myself of where those buildings stood in our skyline. And I think for me, and for a lot of people in New York, it's been a chance to say good-bye.
NISSEN: New Yorkers will say what for many is a reluctant good- bye to the towers of light on Saturday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people will be looking to see it, and then it'll be off.
NISSEN: But those who created and developed the project say it was always ephemeral in both nature and lifespan.
LEVY: One of the reasons that we were able to put this project together was that it was temporary. That was the premise.
NISSEN: Because the tribute in light was to shine for only a month, the Battery Park city authority gave the installation free use of a paved parcel of land.
Philanthropists, foundations and corporations donated $1 million in goods and services for the construction of two 50-foot-square platforms, for maintenance staff, for short-term rental of the 88 giant searchlights that beam into infinity, lighting up the blizzard of dust that still fills the air in lower Manhattan. Con Edison ran a temporary hook-up to the site and paid the electric bill, $300 dollars per night. GE donated special 7,000-watt light bulbs costing more than $1,000 apiece.
After a month, there have been virtually no complaints or negative comments, although people are occasionally unnerved to see a passing jetliner fly into the towers of light. For most, the lights are comforting, even spiritual.
GUSTAVO BONEVARDI, TRIBUTE IN LIGHT ARCHITECT: I've heard interpretations of it as a sort of metaphor of the souls rising, of the victims. I've also heard it referred to as a almost window from heaven shining down.
JOHN BENNETT, TRIBUTE IN LIGHT ARCHITECT: It also has a universal kind of hope to it. It's something which is optimistic.
NISSEN: Something which has given a city reason to look up, given millions a few more chances to see the images, revive the memories of those two improbably high towers so improbably gone.
Beth Nissen, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BROWN: We'll leave you with the towers and our wishes for a wonderful weekend. Good night.
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Postpones Meeting With Yasser Arafat>