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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Trust for America's Health Says the Entire Country is Flirting With Catastrophe; Latest Batch of Documents Released Indicate Abuses in Iraq Were Widespread
Aired December 14, 2004 - 22:00 ET
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.
We've no doubt done hundreds of stories on terror and security since the awful day of 9/11. It is the issue of our lifetime in so many respects. Walking through an airport today, I saw the most obvious examples.
But, as we said to Larry, much of the program tonight deals with that which we cannot see, either because it is far less obvious than increased security to get on an airplane or because it simply hasn't been done three years later. In some cases, it seems more about bureaucracy.
We begin tonight with our worst fears, bioterror, and a report issued today by the Trust for America's Health. It is not encouraging. Progress, yes, but the country vulnerable absolutely.
Here's CNN's Bob Franken.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly every locale suffers from what the report calls serious vulnerability to biological, chemical or radiological attacks. The authors say the entire country is flirting with catastrophe.
DR. SHELLEY HEARNE, TRUST FOR AMERICA'S HEALTH: There are some big gaps out there. We need to take this seriously and get the job done.
FRANKEN: Among the worst off, Washington, D.C., which has already struggled with anthrax and ricin attacks and is working to improve amidst the intense security of the January inauguration.
DR. GREGG PANE, DIRECTOR, D.C. DEPT. OF HEALTH: I didn't need the report to heighten my sensitivity to the importance of this issue nor the planning of the inaugural.
FRANKEN: The survey rated factors like spending, coordination, the public health workforce and laboratory quality. The best prepared states, Florida and North Carolina, close behind Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Virginia.
The scores plunge downward through a total of seven levels of readiness, near the bottom, in addition to D.C., Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. Alaska and Massachusetts are identified as the worst prepared.
The report cites the chaos that followed the flu vaccine shortage as an example of how unprepared the nation is. Even with drills like the one recently in Los Angeles with its massive seaport in nearby Long Beach, the problems remain.
MAYOR JAMES HAHN (D), LOS ANGELES: Seaports asked for, you know, three times the amount of money that Congress appropriated for port security. Congress needs to see the threat coming into our seaports.
FRANKEN: The new report blames an overall decline in federal funding and frequent misuse of money at the state and local levels. Just a week ago, the outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson warned about the food supply.
TOMMY THOMPSON, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECY.: We need better technology. We need more inspectors.
FRANKEN: Federal officials insist there has already been a huge increase in spending.
(on camera): Still, the report's authors call bioterrorism the weakest link in homeland security, which could cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.
BROWN: And much of this has to be managed by the director, the secretary of Homeland Security and we have some late word tonight on the search for the person who will replace the nominee, Bernard Kerik.
CNN's Senior White House Correspondent John King has been working sources for days on this and joins us late tonight for what he has learned, John good evening.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Good evening to you, Aaron.
CNN tonight has learned that Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut said no when he was approached in recent days by the Bush administration and administration emissaries about whether he would be interested in becoming the new secretary of Homeland Security. It would be a Democrat in the Bush cabinet, a prominent Democratic, sometimes critic, sometimes supporter of this president in the Bush cabinet.
But we are told Senator Lieberman has told the White House he was flattered. One source says he was quite conflicted but he told the Bush White House that he believes it is best for him to stay in the Senate, at least for now.
Senator Lieberman not offered the job formally, we are told, but approached and clearly told he was the frontrunner or would perhaps be offered that job if he would indicate a willingness to accept it.
And, as the Senator said no to being considered for Homeland Security secretary, we're also told this is the second time he has said no to the Bush administration. He was also approached about whether he might be interested in being the United States ambassador to the United Nations and, again, Senator Lieberman said thank you but no thanks, at least for now -- Aaron.
BROWN: That one, the U.N. one is a little easier I think in some respects to understand. It's a bit less prestigious and there are a lot of issues between the administration and the U.N.
Homeland Security on the other hand is an interesting one, any specific differences between the Senator and the White House in policy areas in homeland security?
KING: Remember very early on when they were creating the department there were issues about whether you could fire the workers in the department, labor issues that organized labor, other union groups were very adamant about. The unions lost that fight in the end. There was a compromise but the unions mostly came out on the losing side.
Senator Lieberman was among the Democrats, against the administration at that point but no major differences that we know. The two have sparred from time to time and Senator Lieberman has been among the Democrats who during the Bush reelection campaign among those who said that this president too often played up the politics of homeland security.
One of the things Bush administration officials say might have been a benefit, if you will, of having a prominent Democrat in that position in the second term because it would certainly provide a buffer, if you will, to anyone suggesting the president was playing politics with that very sensitive issue.
BROWN: Nice work tonight, John, nice scoop.
KING: Thank you.
BROWN: Nicely done, John King our Senior White House Correspondent.
Now on to the money and the Department of Homeland Security, this all seems tied together tonight. The department gives billions of federal dollars to states and local governments for all kinds of anti- terror projects, not just bioterror.
The way it works doesn't always seem to make perfect sense and some say much of the process makes no sense at all or is infected with pork barrel politics but, in any case, there are questions. We'll ask a few pointed ones later in the program. First, though, someplace that is not getting the money, if you will. Take note of it. You may be traveling there soon.
Here's CNN's Jeanne Meserve. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little Orlando magic captured on home video by the Duffield Family of Vineland, New Jersey.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there's my mom and dad.
MESERVE: Fun, absolutely, but even here the threat of terrorism is with them.
KIM DUFFIELD, VINELAND, N.J.: We're from the northeast area, which is near New York and Washington, D.C., so I think we live with that all the time the fear.
MESERVE: The Orlando area is the number one family tourist destination in the world, home to Disney World, Universal Studios and scores of other amusements. Local emergency officials worry about security a lot and they are dumbfounded that Orlando is not getting any urban security grant money this year from the Department of Homeland Security.
SHERIFF KEVIN HEART, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Quite frankly I was flabbergasted.
MESERVE: Flabbergasted because theme parks have been mentioned as possible terrorist targets, the threat seen as great enough to permanently restrict air space over Disney World.
HEART: I go to bed worrying about it at night and I wake up every morning worrying about it and it's time that they start worrying about it in Washington, D.C.
MESERVE (on camera): The Department of Homeland Security says it considers a variety of factors in awarding the grants, including the number of threat investigations in a city, the amount of critical infrastructure and, most important, the population.
JOSH MILLER, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, the way we do the population numbers is specifically within the city limits, the legal boundaries of the city.
MESERVE (voice-over): Under this formula, Omaha, Nebraska got $5 million. Omaha does have twice the population of Orlando but the metro Orlando area has twice as many people as metro Omaha and far more visitors.
REP. RIC KELLER (R), FLORIDA: For the Department of Homeland Security to say "We only look within the city limits, 185,000, and we ignore the 1.6 million in greater Orlando and we ignore the 43 million tourists is absolutely brain dead.
MESERVE: Brain dead, says Keller, because local emergency personnel have to protect everyone, not just citizens. Orlando area officials are asking DHS to change its mind and its funding formula, which they say relies too much on math and not enough on common sense to keep families like the Duffields safe as well as happy.
Jeanne Meserve CNN, Orlando, Florida.
BROWN: Later in the hour, we'll talk to two people intimately familiar with the process and the mistakes, if you will, at least in their view, mistakes that are being made in assembling this database, spending the money to protect all of us.
On to Iraq, there were more attacks at checkpoints today, more IEDs. Checkpoints are soft targets. It's hard to protect them. Military convoys in Iraq, while by no means safe, at least do have alternatives and clearly now the Pentagon is exploring the alternatives, even doing away with the wheels on the ground entirely. There are lessons of war and this one is learned and refined we see almost daily.
So, we turn to the Pentagon now and CNN's Barbara Starr.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another roadside bomb detonates a typical attack that has killed or wounded hundreds of American troops. The insurgent's camera keeps rolling as U.S. soldiers help those wounded in the Humvee. CNN asked military expert James Carafano to look at the video to see what can be learned.
JAMES CARAFANO, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: It's good for the Americans to know that there could be somebody watching them when they do these things and that it's good for the Americans to look at to see how they respond to it in looking for things the bad guys might see in the way the respond to it.
STARR: U.S. troops are stepping up countermeasures. Every attack is analyzed. Convoy routes are changed often. There is more reconnaissance. Military officials emphasize that armor alone, the subject of so much controversy, is not the total solution against improvised explosive devices.
BRIG. GEN. DAVID RODRIGUEZ, JOINT CHIEFS STAFF: You're looking at every place by how the thing was put together, how it was detonated, what type of material was used in it, what type of technology because people design things differently.
STARR: New intelligence indicates explosives set off to the side of the road are proving very deadly. Part of the longer term solution, new armored vehicles are being tested on the streets of Iraq that can better survive attacks, including a new version of the armored Humvee with a mounted laser that can destroy explosives up to 250 meters away.
New armored security vehicles are with U.S. military police units. They can survive 12-pound blasts under each wheel. Many convoys now carry jammers designed to keep remotely detonated devices from exploding but some convoys still travel dangerous roads without these high tech packages.
(on camera): As the attacks continue, last month the Air Force increased cargo flights into Iraq by 30 percent keeping another 400 trucks and 1,000 military personnel off those dangerous roads.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
BROWN: If all these efforts succeed, and we can only hope that they do, Iraq may become safer. It might become more stable, could be on the way to better things. It could but success in Iraq may hinge on more than just that. In Bethesda, Maryland, on the other hand, the equation is simple and success is measured in a different scale.
Here's CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From their hospital beds at the National Naval Medical Center, two badly wounded servicemen lend new perspective in the political battles over body armor and vehicle protection.
Marine Corporal Ryan Groves, 24 years old, his left leg amputated above the knee, just about every bone in his right leg broken.
CORP. RYAN GROVES, U.S. MARINE CORPS: In the blink of an eye, I saw the flash and it hit right behind me.
TODD: October, 17th at a Marine camp outside Falluja, Corporal Groves, a squad leader, is getting ready to greet some newly-arrived Marines. A rocket explodes right next to him. Recalling the attack, he keeps his emotions level until he relates how close he came to dying.
GROVES: Five or ten seconds, you know, later I would have dropped gear and put it in my seat and turned around and walked right toward where the rocket came from, you know.
TODD: So, you came pretty close, you think?
GROVES: Very close.
TODD: A lot of guys like Corporal Groves were treated by Navy Corpsman Joseph Worley. For seven and a half months his job was to patch up and evacuate wounded Marines from the battlefield until one chaotic day in September on a bridge outside Falluja.
Worley is running toward an exploded Humvee. In the span of less than a minute, a roadside bomb explodes next to him, a rocket- propelled grenade tears through his left leg but doesn't explode. He hits the ground and immediately takes five gunshots to both legs. Then he takes over.
CORPSMAN JOSEPH WORLEY, U.S. NAVY: I rolled over and I put a tourniquet on my leg because I was bleeding so bad and I shot myself up with morphine.
TODD: As he shows us a left leg, amputated above the knee, this 23-year-old also shows an incomprehensible spirit.
WORLEY: I realize how close I came to dying and knowing that, you know, if it wasn't for having the presence of God there giving me the strength to do what I needed to do to survive, I wouldn't have been able to come back and be with my wife, my beautiful wife and my daughter that I've not even met yet.
TODD (on camera): Corpsman Worley and Corporal Groves were both wearing body armor at the time they were wounded. Both say they couldn't have survived without it.
(voice-over): Both these men say their units had plenty of body armor. When we asked if they had enough vehicle armor, a hospital official interrupted each time and wouldn't let them answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I prefer, you know, as far (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to talk about your incident and what happened to you.
TODD: When I asked one wounded serviceman on the ward if his unit had enough vehicle armor he said, "Not even close," meanwhile, just a couple of rooms apart two young men who can't move grateful for what armor they did have.
Brian Todd CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.
BROWN: Ahead on the program tonight, after 25 years, the federal government's new voice on civil rights. We'll talk with Gerald Reynolds a little bit later.
Later on still, her story wasn't the only one like it, not by a long shot it turns out.
And, in a word, Google, the company has big plans and libraries well certainly will never be the same. We'll take a break first.
Back in New York this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Iraq isn't the only country in the Middle East with elections coming up. Saudi Arabia will hold its first elections in almost 30 years in February. Voters will choose half the members of local councils. The other half will be picked, handpicked by the royal family. It isn't called the kingdom for nothing.
But there are stirrings in Saudi Arabia, a growing chorus for real democracy, real elections, real power, real freedom, which of course has created real concern among those who have the power now.
Here's CNN's Nic Robertson. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On his family's computer, Amir al-Faleh shows me a picture of his father Matrouk before he was arrested. It's been nine months and the family is wondering when he and two colleagues are going to be freed.
JAMILA AL UKA, WIFE: Still there is no clear charge for the last trial. The judge, he told my husband also this is -- I did one charge for you because you write this article.
ROBERTSON: A political science professor at King Saud University, Dr. Matrouk al-Faleh sent a petition calling for reforms to the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Abdullah, signed by more than 100 people, the petition calls for basic human rights, a constitutional monarchy, an elected parliament, an independent judiciary, amongst other demands.
AMIR MATROUK AL-FALEH, SON: It's not about one or two persons or three persons think we need reforms. The people say we need reforms.
UKA: He's not against any one of the royal family.
ROBERTSON: At the Supreme Court, mother and son have been denied access to the four hearings that have so far only resulted in the judge passing the case to a lower court.
(on camera): What confuses may people, they say, are the mixed signals they think they're getting from the government, one day encouraging open dialog, another day penalizing it often, they say, without crossing any clearly defined line.
(voice-over): Harvard educated human rights lawyer Bassim Alim was one of five lawyers banned from defending al-Faleh and his colleagues. He also signed the petition. He considers the charges that include holding meetings and claiming to represent the majority nebulous and unfounded and worries government backsliding now could ultimately backfire.
BASSIM ALI, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: I fear that the future holds a great period of confusion and upheaval because society today is not society that we knew ten years ago or 20 years ago. It's more educated. It's a youthful society.
ROBERTSON: Last August, I asked the Saudi labor minister about the detention of reformers like al-Faleh.
DR. GHAZI AL-QUSAIBI, SAUDI LABOR MINISTER: Now, there is a big improvement in dealing with dissent and I think anybody who knows Saudi Arabia will acknowledge that but you cannot just say go ahead from now on and say whatever occurs to you.
ROBERTSON: For Jamila waiting for that day and her husband's release is a worthwhile sacrifice.
UKA: Since we love our country, you know, this is the price. This is the price for him and for us.
ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson CNN, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
BROWN: The Pentagon insists, and did so again today, that it is open about the treatment and instances of abuse of prisoners in the war on terror that it's not trying to hide bad actions. That said, we note, it took a freedom of information request by the ACLU to get the latest batch of documents on abuse and, as you'd expect, it is not a pretty picture, 9,000 pages, plenty of questions.
BROWN (voice-over): The documents add more weight to the question was the abuse of prisoners an extension of U.S. policy or was it an aberration, a few bad apples acting out?
AMRIT SINGH, ACLU ATTORNEY: This material reveals that the abuses of -- the abuses that took place were widespread and systemic and operated within a culture of secrecy.
BROWN: The latest material obtained by the ACLU was Navy documentation about interrogations conducted by U.S. Marines in Iraq. Among examples the ACLU cites as torture, a detainee's hands were covered in alcohol and set on fire severely burning them; shocking a detainee with an electric transformer causing the detainee to dance; ordering four Iraqi juveniles to kneel while a pistol was discharged to conduct a mock execution. The question of mock executions came up at the Pentagon briefing.
LAWRENCE DI RITA, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: You're doing exactly what I said, I predicted you would do, which is here's something I've got and now what can you tell me? I don't happen to have at this instant in time the disposition of that individual case. When we get it, we will provide it.
BROWN: Publicly, at least, the Pentagon insists it is encouraging openness on these issues.
DI RITA: People will still ask for things that we may not have for whatever reason released but the general policy is one of transparency and this is an important issue in which there be transparency consistent, as I said, with operations, with security and all of the other things.
BROWN: But the ACLU argues otherwise and says it is continuing to press for more information.
SINGH: We continue to believe that the most important documents that show who is ultimately responsible for the abuse are still being withheld by the government.
BROWN: More to come and more to come from us tonight. Back to the question of your security, we'll talk to two experts about what needs to be done to make soft targets safer should terrorists attack us again.
And, a sad fact, Laci Peterson just one of hundreds of pregnant women murdered every year, a break first.
This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: For 25 years, Mary Frances Berry chaired the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She did so with a reputation for speaking her mind no matter who was in office, Republican or Democrat.
Last week, she either resigned or was fired, depending on who you talk to. In any case, the president replaced her with Gerald Reynolds, a lawyer from Missouri and safe to say a departure from Ms. Berry. Mr. Reynolds, we're pleased is joining us tonight from Kansas City, nice to see you, sir.
Do you think it's fair to say that you view issues of race and discrimination in the country differently from the way most African Americans in the country see them?
GERALD REYNOLDS, U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION CHHM.: No, I wouldn't agree with that description. I think that -- well my position I've stated on numerous occasions. I believe that discrimination is something that we're going to have to deal with until the end of time and that's why we will always need vigorous enforcement of our anti-discrimination statutes.
Now, after saying that though, that doesn't mean that all of our current policies are working. I think that we need to revisit some first principles. I think that we need to open up a debate. We need to welcome diverse viewpoints in terms of what the focus -- what the focus of civil rights should be in the 21st Century.
BROWN: And just -- not to beat this question to death, honestly, it's not the most important question in the world certainly, but in that regard positions you hold and positions you believe in, isn't it fair to say are different from what the large body of African American leadership in the country, no one's making a judgment here about rightness or wrongness, but your views differ from their views, fair?
REYNOLDS: Well, it depends on their, who are you talking about? If you're talking about traditional civil rights organizations, then I agree with your assessment but, if you're talking about the rank and file, if you look at a survey that's produced by the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, if you look at studies produced by the Pugh Foundation, many of the views that I hold are commonplace in the black community.
BROWN: One of the things I find most interesting in looking at issues of race in America at this time is we seem to be at a moment of generational shift of leadership from, if you will, the grievance generation, those leaders who grew up, came through the civil rights movement of the '60s and the '70s, to a different group in both parties and you're clearly a young man and of an age after the grievance generation.
REYNOLDS: Well, I don't know if this is a matter of age. For example, Cosby, Cosby came before me but he has looked at these issues with a fresh pair of eyes and he has voiced many of the same concerns that I have about many of the social ills that are in existence in black communities.
And again, I'm not talking about -- well, no one is talking about suspending enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes. We need the state, federal and local governments to vigorously enforce anti- discrimination statutes. But we also need to visit issues like -- for example, black, young men killing each other. I think that that is a problem of the heart. I think that we need to try to address that issue. And I also believe that the federal government is not suited to deal with that problem. We have to ask what we can do in our communities to deal with problems of the heart.
BROWN: Pretty eager to get to work?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I am.
BROWN: Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks, nice job.
BROWN: Thank you. New head of U.S. Civil Rights Commission. And people should be judged on their performance, and I'm sure he will be.
When we first reported the Peterson verdict a few weeks back, a staffer made the remark, there was nothing unusual about what Scott Peterson did to his unborn child and wife. Spouses kill spouses. It's a reality. Husband kill wives, an ugly fact but a fact nevertheless, one repeated almost daily.
Here's Frank Buckley.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As disturbing as Laci Peterson's murder, she was not alone. The leading cause of death among pregnant women in the U.S. is murder.
JACQUELYN CAMPBELL, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. SCHOOL OF NURSING: One of the things that's happened in this country, is other causes of death to pregnant women, have decreased substantially because we do a better job in terms of medical care, et cetera. But unfortunately, homicide has stayed the same.
BUCKLEY: A 2001 medical study showed of 247 women in Maryland who died during pregnancy, 20 percent were homicide victims. Cardiovascular disorders, the second-leading cause of death. (on camera): The study was in line with other studies that concluded the same thing. But some researchers caution against jumping to what they believe would be the wrong conclusion -- that being pregnant increases your risk of becoming a murder victim.
RICHARD GELLES, UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK: It's not pregnancy that makes women at risk or puts women at risk of domestic violence and homicide, it's the fact that young women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence and homicide. And they happen to be more likely to be pregnant.
BUCKLEY (voice-over): Advocates for domestic violence victims, say doctors and nurses can be among those who can help reduce the numbers of such murders by asking women about domestic violence when they come in for pregnancy checkups. And then knowing how to help them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That we talk to her about the kinds of things she can do to keep herself safe. And that we also check her, again, after the baby's born and see what's happening in that relationship.
BUCKLEY: But it's not always a history of domestic violence. Some murders may never be explained.
Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.
BROWN: Still to come tonight -- back to the question of security, yours. Tough questions. Can our nation's infrastructure be made safer?
We'll talk to two people who have thought a good deal about this.
And later will librarians go the way of the dinosaur now that Google plans to digitize their books?
Around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: We open the program in a familiar place, three years into the new normal, which raises questions, serious ones, about why, three years on we're still, in many ways, asking the same questions and having the same debates. We'll not settle things tonight, though not for a want of brain power or savvy.
We're joined tonight from Portland, Oregon, by Dave McIntyre, who teaches out of Texas A&M University.
And in Washington tonight, Jim Woolsey, former director of the CIA.
We're glad to have them both with us tonight. One member of Congress, Mr. Woolsey, looked at this report or this data base that Homeland Security has put out and said this is a joke. This is a bureaucrat's work project.
Are we looking at the whole thing wrong?
JIM WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, may be that you need to make a list of all your vulnerabilities, but the next thing to do is to prioritize them, and to look at the places -- you have to think like a terrorist, in a sense. The places where they could get the most leverage. What is it, attacking the electricity grid, attacking toxic chemical production and delivery? And you need to build resilience into the parts of these networks that service all of us, that could be the most devastating if they were attacked. You may guess wrong.
This is, in a sense, sort of fighting a war domestically. You know, we guessed wrong in 1944 and didn't defend Ardennes Forest against the battle of the Bulge. The Germans came in a place we didn't expect them. And the terrorists may do something like that in attacking us. But at least you just don't make the long list. You have to do some risk assessment and go with priorities on which you work on the resilience.
BROWN: Mr. McIntyre, one of the things that you said to us earlier today, is we need not simply figure out how to prevent. We need to spend more time in how to respond. And I think this was pointed out in this whole bioterrorism study that came out today, as well.
DAVE MCINTYRE, PROF. OF HOMELAND SECURITY, TEXAS A&M: Yes. Working this for about five years, and trying to build curriculum and decide what to teach people. I've about come to conclusion that figuring out how many targets you need to protect and protecting them, may be undoable. And so maybe we ought to look at the limited resources and prioritize them, as the director just said. And think about priorities, not only in terms of protection, but think of in terms of response.
The truth is, that most local responders, cities, counties and so worth forth, they're going to have to make do for about two to three days in a major event. It's going to take that long right now to get federal supplies and reinforcements on the ground. Maybe we ought to be thinking harder about that and less about security of football stadiums. Leave that to the local officials.
BROWN: Mr. Woosley, I want to try to cover a bunch of things quickly if I can. Do you believe there is in place -- I mean, clearly, where there has to be a private/public partnership here, private industry and government. Do you believe three years into the new normal, as we call it, that that partnership seriously exists?
WOOSLEY: It just getting started in some areas. Again, take the electricity grid. You really need to get the utilities and the federal regulators and the state regulators, and for that matter, the Canadian national and provincial regulators and utilities together. We have one grid, at least in the eastern part of North America. And we have to figure out what incentives you can give for people to stockpile transformers, modular transformers, or any other components that might be taken out in a terrorist attack, so you can get back up working quickly. You can't do that without public/private partnerships. Because much of the infrastructure is, of course, in this country, in private hands. And sometimes people are reluctant even to work on solutions, because if they write papers and talk about their vulnerabilities, they're afraid they may end up in court if there's a disaster, and lose lawsuits.
BROWN: Mr. McIntyre, as you've studied this, do you think there's some inherently -- there's something about government itself, the way government works that's going to make it harder for government to find solutions here?
MCINTYRE: There's something about the way government works. But more to the point, the point that was just made, there's something about the way our economy works. A business has to turn a profit in order to stay alive. And if we put security requirements on them, if we ask them to cooperate in a public/private partnership, and they do so, and another competitive business does not, and consequently has a lower cost, then the guys who are cooperating get forced out of business.
We've got to, as Mr. Woolsey just said, we've got to find a way to bring incentives to bear.
The government does tend to default to a checklist. I mean, it's just part of how bureaucracies work. How can I organize this? And how can I apply some formula and pump out a set of priorities from one through whatever. But to engage the private industry, we are going to have to find some dual uses, some ways to make it to their advantage to bear the security costs that this is going to take.
BROWN: Gentlemen, thank you. We do this a lot. It feels like we write short chapters every night in the most important story we have going. We appreciate the work you did in that regard tonight. Thank you.
WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.
BROWN: Thank you.
In a moment, the implications of a single word. Just one little word. Not plastics, Mrs. Robinson, but Google. What happens when you or your school-age child can Google everything, instead of going to the library?
And later -- a little something with one foot in the 17th century and one foot in tomorrow. Yeah. Morning papers are back. And so are we, in New York. This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: I love this. We have a pretty simple rule around here -- nouns that have become verbs get on the program. Because a noun becoming a verb has made it to the big-time, in our lives and sometimes in our own way of life. We Xerox documents for example. And the world is a different place because of it. We TiVo "The Sopranos" and television is changing.
So what happens when Google carries out a plan it put forth today, making it possible to Google the contents of some of the largest, greatest libraries in the world? We're joined by Omar Wasow, who lives and breathes this stuff, and stops by from time to time to make sense of it. Nice to see you.
Explain simply what it is that they're going to try and do here, or what they will do? Because they don't try anything, they just do it.
OMAR WASOW, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: I think the thing that's hard, given that we're all so enamored of the Internet, is to realize that the Internet kind of has a short-term memory. It really -- most of what's on it is stuff that's relatively new. And there's this vast library of information in books that goes back hundreds of years that's not on the Internet.
WASOW: Yeah, imagine. And so, what Google is saying that they're going to digitize 15 million books and make the contents of those available to people searching on the Internet.
BROWN: Now, just, let's talk about what that means and what it doesn't. Does that mean if instead of going to the library and checking out -- because I've been hearing people talking about "The Da Vinci Code." Everybody's talking about, instead of going to the library and putting my name on a waiting list to check it out, I can just Google it, download it and read it at home.
WASOW: It doesn't mean that, because "The Da Vinci Code" is copyrighted. And so what you would be able to do is see a few pages, to sample it, and then be linked to either a library or a bookstore.
For anything that's not copyrighted, anything that's over 100 years old, you could go and you would be able to access the full text.
BROWN: How will it impact the physical plan of a library? You're young, but you know, people my age actually had to learn things about the Dewey decimal system.
WASOW: I've used card catalogs.
BROWN: Yeah. I mean, is that now -- well, I don't even know if they use card catalogs now, to be honest. But is that stuff dead?
WASOW: I think this is a nail in the coffin of card catalogs. It's not a nail in the coffin of libraries. Libraries, we'll still going to need to be able to look at actual books, particularly for things that are new, things that are fiction.
Books are portable. They have a level of convenience that electronic media still doesn't. But we also want to go to libraries for community. You know, bring kids, to have a reading. We go for quiet, to have peace of mind. So libraries will continue to persist and thrive, I think.
BROWN: Google's a business. This is at some level a business story. How does this enhance its business?
WASOW: Well, it costs them about $10 a book. They're doing more than 15 million books. So they're talking about spending in excess of $150 million. And the way it helps their business is...
BROWN: Those guys carry that in their wallet now.
WASOW: Yeah, right, that's chump change for them. It helps them compete with Microsoft and Yahoo! It says we have something exclusive that they don't. It also helps in terms of marketing. Clearly, people say, hey, I want to go to the place that has this vast library.
BROWN: But is there anything that stops Microsoft and Yahoo! from doing the same thing?
WASOW: It's not an exclusive deal. So these other companies could do it as well. It does require an enormous amount of both human and you know, sort of technical capacity.
BROWN: Is it hard technically to take all of the books in a library and put them on computer?
WASOW: It is. I mean, it's time-consuming. They're not going to be able to do this overnight. It's going to take years. And the scanners that scan the books have gotten very good. The quality of what's called optical character recognition, that can digitize the page and makes it interpretable has gotten very good. But it's still going to be a very labor-intensive process.
BROWN: You're a tech guy. Do you have like an Ipod on your desk to read with, or do you have a book on your bedstand?
WASOW: I still am fond of print and magazines and newspapers and books.
BROWN: They're very cool, you know.
WASOW: Yeah, text, I'm a big fan of it.
BROWN: Thank you. It's good to see you.
BROWN: Have a good holiday.
Quickly, we have more ahead, but here's a look at what's coming up at the top of the hour on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Thanks, Aaron. Coming up next here on CNN, why immigration officials can't keep up with the flow of illegal aliens into this country. And your right to know is under assault. We'll focus on preservation of the First Amendment in just a few minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: That's coming up at the top of the hour. Morning papers are coming up next. We'll be right back.
BROWN: OK. Time to check morning papers from around the country and around the world. Our fine director just said to me, are you ready? As I'll ever be, Chris.
Here we go. We start with "The Christian Science Monitor." "Parties Grid for Epic Judicial Battle, with abortion, gay marriage and other core issues at stake. Democrats and Republicans angle for any possible advantage."
Let me explain this -- the Republicans have the advantage right now. They have the votes in the Senate. It's going to be a heck of a battle anyway.
"Stars and Stripes" leads thusly. "DOD Announces Newest Deployments in Terror War." Makes sense as a lead for "Stars and Stripes." "Stateside units involved, troop levels in Iraq, Afghanistan unchanged." For now.
You should lead local when you can is a basic rule I think in the newspaper business. "The Park Record," out of Park City, Utah, just got snow all over it. Except for this story. Is this a great headline or what -- "Dogcatcher May Sue County Over Resignation." Eghlin (ph) County forced him to resign. Edmonds (ph) now in control. I had no idea that the dogcatcher anywhere could make the front page of a paper. But there it is.
"San Antonio Express News" -- this is a very good story. I'd put this on the front page. I was down in South Florida last night, talking about some of these issues. "Uprising Against Israel a Mistake." "Leading Palestinian presidential hopeful makes clean break with Arafat stance on the intifadah." We'll see if this moment for the Palestinians, a change of leadership, we talk about generational change, if it brings a change in policy, too. But "San Antonio Express News" put it on the front page.
The hockey lockout still goes on. Hockey players now being asked to give back all of their salaries, and the league says no. Hasek -- that's Dominic Hasek, right, one of the great goal tenders of all time, can't skate on mall rent. The guy's only made about $50 billion playing hockey, right, but he's closing his retail store.
In Detroit, this case got some attention nationally. "Jury Doesn't Buy Seaman's Story." It's a domestic murder in reverse, if you will. It's a wife who killed the husband with a hatchet, kind of a Lucy Borden thing out there in Detroit. It made the front page.
No such unpleasantness in "The Burt County Plain Dealer" out in Nebraska. Though there is some unpleasantness, I must say. "Local Math Scores Are Lagging," is the lead. And by the way, if you're in the area, there's a school concert on December 16th at the high school in Burt County, Nebraska. So good for them.
What do I like about this -- "The Atlanta Journal Constitution." "Can We Talk? Rules on Jets May Change." Now -- I don't know why I said that, I hate when people say that, like. They're going to have cell phones on planes, where you talk all the time. Which the value of my noise suppression headphones just went way up is the way I see it. The guy next to you is going to -- like in a restaurant now.
"The Oregonian," good local story on the front page. "Disability" -- Portland, Oregon, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) city, "Disability Claim Draws Fire." "Portland officials cut off payments to a firefighter serving in Iraq." Don't know the details. But that's the kind of story you can hardly pass on.
By the way, I love this one, too. The weather in Chicago tomorrow, thank you. Spunky. Kind of describes NEWSNIGHT, doesn't it? We'll wrap it up in a moment.
BROWN: Bill Hemmer's on the road. So is "AMERICAN MORNING." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Aaron, thanks. We're in Japan again tomorrow at "AMERICAN MORNING." The biggest issues of the day facing Japan and the United States, as we talk to the Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, exclusively here in Tokyo. The prime minister is taking a bold, new approach to Japan's national security, as the country now on the verge of a military reawakening. One of the many topics we'll have for you with the prime minister tomorrow, as our coverage continues live in Tokyo.
Hope to see you tomorrow morning, 7:00 a.m. Eastern time, here on CNN -- Aaron.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Thank you. Good to see you all again. Nice to be back. Have a good evening. Lou Dobbs next. Good night for all of us.
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