The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
JIM LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight: Our summary of the news; a look at President Bush's anti-terrorism mission to Southeast Asia; a debate over allowing a Florida woman to die; the latest conflict in the Senate over judicial nominations; and a roger Rosenblatt essay about all kinds of fans.
JIM LEHRER: President Bush tried to shore up support for the war on terror today in the Muslim world. He made a stop on Bali, Indonesia. One year ago, nightclub bombings there killed more than 200 people. Mr. Bush lauded the heavily Muslim nation for battling terror. He also met with religious leaders and told them that Americans do not believe all Muslims are terrorists. We'll have more on this in a moment. On a related matter, the president said he disagreed with remarks by Army Lieutenant General William Boykin. The Pentagon intelligence official had said Islamic radicals hate the United States because it's a Christian nation and, he said, they worship "an idol." Mr. Bush said that did not reflect his opinion or U.S. Policy. A Pentagon spokesman said today there were no plans to fire the general. North Korea has rejected a U.S. Plan for ending its nuclear weapons program. The plan called for five nations to give written assurances that North Korea won't be attacked if it scraps the nuclear effort. But late Tuesday, a North Korean statement said, "it is a laughing matter and is not worth considering." The statement again demanded a formal non-aggression treaty with the United States. Later, in Bali, President Bush said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il needs to get the message. .
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: It will determine whether he's serious or not. He wanted to have dialogue. We're having dialogue. He wanted a security agreement. We're willing to advance a multiparty security agreement. Assuming that he is willing to abandon his nuclear weapons, designs and programs. We'll just stay the course.
JIM LEHRER: Later, Mr. Bush flew to Australia for the last stop on his six-nation tour. En route, he praised Australian Prime Minister John Howard for sending troops to Iraq despite large antiwar protests. Hundreds of people marched in Sydney today, protesting the visit. Iran promised today to submit key nuclear documents to U.N. inspectors by midnight. The U.N. nuclear agency demanded that step to clear up suspicions about Iran's nuclear program. Yesterday, Iran agreed to tougher inspections of nuclear sites and a temporary halt to enriching uranium. U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan faced new questions today from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "U.S.A. Today" reported he sent a memo to top Pentagon officials. In it, he wrote, "it is pretty clear the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it will be a long, hard slog." Late today, Rumsfeld said the war on terror is also a battle of numbers.
DONALD RUMSFELD: How many young people are being taught to go out as suicide bombers and kill people? That's the question. How many are there? And how does that inflow of terrorists in the world get reduced so that the number of people being captured or killed is greater than the ones being produced?
JIM LEHRER: Rumsfeld said he raised those questions in the memo to spark new thinking. In Iraq today, there were more roadside bombings in Fallujah and Baghdad. No U.S. Troops were killed, but the overall U.S. Commander confirmed the attacks have increased in the last three weeks. Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said the number had spiked to 35 a day, up from 20 to 25. An independent report today found U.N. officials ignored threats and rejected U.S. Protection in Iraq. It said those failures caused unnecessary casualties in the bombing of U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad; 22 people died in the August attack and 150 were injured. France and Germany ruled out giving more rebuilding aid to Iraq today. The French said first the Iraqis must regain full sovereignty. Tomorrow, a conference of potential donor nations opens in Madrid, Spain. The U.S. Is seeking up to $ 36 billion in reconstruction funds for Iraq. Israel insisted today it will not stop construction of a security barrier on the West Bank. Last night, the U.N. General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution demanding the barrier be dismantled. We have a report narrated by Louise Bates of Associated Press Television News.
LOUISE BATES: Made of concrete and barbed wire, the barrier will eventually zigzag across more than 90 miles, dividing the Palestinian Territories from Israel. But late Tuesday, the United Nations voted to tear the wall down by approving a resolution demanding Israel halt its construction and dismantle a section already built. It threatened possible U.N. Action if Israel failed to comply.
HANAN ASHWARI: It's very clear that Israel has shown total disregard and disdain for international law and the will of international community.
LOUISE BATES: Israel insists the barrier will provide security and create an atmosphere conducive to peace talks.
DANIEL TAUB: The general assembly is a clearly political body. It's not authorized to make legal determinations. We've seen how political it is today. It's absolutely ridiculous to try and analyze whether the fence is a proportionate response to terrorism without seriously considering the terrorism that it's trying to stop.
LOUISE BATES: The United States was one of four countries against the resolution; Britain and Germany were among the 12 who abstained from voting.
JIM LEHRER: In the Middle East today, Israeli troops and security guards killed three Palestinian gunmen in a series of clashes in the West Bank. India offered new steps today to improve relations with Pakistan. The plan would reopen air and rail links between the two nuclear powers. It also envisioned a bus service connecting divided Kashmir. And for the first time, India offered to meet with separatists in the Indian half of Kashmir. Pakistan welcomed the travel ideas, but it called again for direct talks on all issues. A brain-damaged Florida woman was back on a feeding tube today. A court order had allowed the tube to be removed from Terri Schiavo a week ago at her husband's request. But yesterday, the state legislature voted to keep her alive. Governor Jeb Bush then ordered the feeding to resume. Schiavo's husband promised the legal fight would continue. We'll have more on this later in the program. One of the suspects in the Washington-area sniper case decided to stop acting as his own lawyer today. John Allen Muhammad had won that right on Monday, as his trial was opening in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Yesterday, prosecutors complained Muhammad was getting too much help from his standby counsel. On Wall Street today, stocks fell after several companies turned in disappointing earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 149 points to close at 9598. The NASDAQ fell more than 42 points, or 2 percent , to close at 1898. That's it for the News Summary tonight. Now it's on to: Asian terrorism, the right-to-die scrap in Florida; the judiciary scrap in the Senate; and a Roger Rosenblatt essay.
FOCUS FIGHTING TERROR
JIM LEHRER: President Bush addresses terrorism in southeast Asia. Gwen Ifill has our story.
GWEN IFILL: President Bush's whirlwind six-nation Asian-Pacific tour this week focused on a top U.S. priority: The post-9/11 war on terrorism. Amid tight security, the president spent only three hours today on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, just a few miles from the site of last year's deadly nightclub bombings, one of the worst terrorist attacks since 9/11. Authorities have since blamed the car bombings, which killed 200 people, most of them Australian tourists, on the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, an organization linked with al-Qaida. At a joint press conference today with Indonesian president Megawati, Mr. Bush praised her efforts to combat terrorism in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: President Megawati has confronted this evil directly. She was one of the first leaders to stand with me after September 11. Under her leadership, Indonesia is hunting and finding dangerous killers. America appreciates Indonesia's strong cooperation in the war on terror. America believes that freedom and democracy are critical to defeating terror, because free nations that respect human rights do not breed hatred, resentment, and the ideologies of murder.
GWEN IFILL: President Bush also stressed that he believes Islam is a religion of peace, not of terrorism. While in Bali, he met with a group of Muslim clerics.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Americans hold a deep respect for the Islamic faith, which is professed by a growing number of my own citizens. We know that Islam is fully compatible with liberty and tolerance and progress, because we see the proof in your country and in our own. Terrorists who claim Islam as their inspiration defile one of the world's great faiths. Murder has no place in any religious tradition, must find no home in Indonesia.
GWEN IFILL: In Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries, several polls have indicated anti-U.S. sentiment is at an all-time high. While acknowledging that some tensions do exist, President Megawati pledged continued cooperation with the U.S.
PRES. MEGAWATI SUKARNOPUTRI: Despite the fact that we do not always share common perspective, but we both continue to hold mutual understanding, that it is to the interest of the two countries to maintain consultation and cooperation in the pursuit of global peace.
GWEN IFILL: While the Bali attack was the most devastating act of terrorism in Southeast Asia, it was hardly the first. The region had been a breeding ground for Muslim militants even before 9/11. In 1995, Philippine authorities foiled a terror plan to hijack 12 transpacific airliners and assassinate the pope during his visit to Manila. Since then, rebel groups have launched bomb attacks in Indonesia and Malaysia, and have kidnapped western missionaries in the Philippines. The U.S. response has included sending American troops to the southern portion of the 7,000- island Philippine archipelago to help battle the Muslim extremist group Abu-Sayyaf. And the Bush administration has carefully nurtured relations with leaders in the region, treading carefully through minefields of resentment and rhetoric. While at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, the president said he privately scolded Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad after Mahatir made remarks at an Islamic summit which were widely viewed as anti-Semitic. At the Bangkok meeting, Mr. Bush asked APEC to support U.S. efforts in Iraq and North Korea. The president concludes his trip abroad with a two-day stop in Australia, a key ally in the war against terrorism.
GWEN IFILL: Now to assess the progress of the war on terror in Southeast Asia, we're joined by: Zachary Abuza, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Simmons College-- he recently authored the book "Militant Islam in Southeast Asia"; Endy Bayuni, deputy chief editor of the "Jakarta Post" in Indonesia- - he's in the U.S. on a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University; and Jeffrey Winters, Associate Professor of Political Economy at Northwestern University-- he specializes in Southeast Asia.
Zachary Abuza, we know that the president went to... on this trip with his major priority being about terrorism and worldwide, global terrorism. Is that also what's on the priority list of the nations he visited?
ZACHARY ABUZA: Well, I think in all of these countries that he went through, it's important to note that it's a very important electoral year. And the war on terror is going to be a very important political issue in all these states. In the Philippines, his visit certainly is going to bolster President Arroyo. Conversely here in Indonesia, I don't think that it really is beneficial for Megawati Sukarnoputri. No one really wants to be tarred in Indonesia as being a supporter or a lackie of the Americans especially when so much resentment at the popular level is taking place... is being directed at American policies.
GWEN IFILL: Professor Winters, what is your take on that? Is there that much resentment and does it affect the world view about whether terrorism should be at the top of the list?
JEFFREY WINTERS: Sure, the resentment is very deep. I mean, prior to Bush's arrival in Indonesia, the vice president referred to the president as the king of terrorists. A group of 32 leaders of quite moderate Muslim organizations called him a perpetrator of state terrorism and a criminal who is destroying other nations. Mind you, this is coming from relatively moderate figures, so with Bush's arrival in the region, he's coming into a situation where the level of negativity is at unprecedentedly high levels. I mean, just to give you an example, the Pew Charitable Trust has been doing surveys in the region for many years. Three years ago, 75 percent of those surveyed in Indonesia had a positive view of the country. Today it's dropped to 15 percent.
GWEN IFILL: Mr. Bayuni, so what is the state... given the public opinion there, what is the state of play, I suppose, of the war on terror in Southeast Asia right now? We know that there have been arrests made. We know that there have been people who have been prosecuted for the Bali bombings and others. What is your sense?
ENDY BAYUNI: Well, as far as Indonesia is concerned, I think they have done everything that is expected of them. Like you say, they have made some arrests and they have also prosecuted and convicted some of the bombing suspects. Sure, they can do a lot more but, you know, these things take time. And as far as Indonesia is concerned, they have done a lot that they expected to do but they also realize that the threat of terrorism is still there so we still need all the help and the cooperation that we can get from our friends in the region and also from the United States.
GWEN IFILL: Is that why perhaps that even though there are these under... these grumblings that we've heard the other two gentlemen speak of, that the president was still a welcomed guest in some respects?
ENDY BAYUNI: Well, in the East we are taught to welcome all guests and the same President Bush went with the intention of expressing his gratitude for Indonesia's participation in the global war on terror. So he was welcome in that sense and also it was also an opportunity for some of the religious leaders to express their concerns about the other aspects or some of the aspects of the policies of the U.S. Government.
GWEN IFILL: Professor Abuza, let's talk about what some of those religious leaders had to say. The president had a meeting with these Muslim moderates as they were described, these clerics today or yesterday depending on what time zone you're in. They apparently lectured him. I think the term that Condi Rice used was that the president did a lot of listening as they told him about their complaints. What was the purpose of having that meeting?
ZACHARY ABUZA: Well, this is not a war that the Americans can win militarily or through intelligence. This is really a war within Islam. And we certainly need the support of moderate clerics in Indonesia or Malaysia or southern Philippines around the Muslim world. It's very difficult though when we go out and recruit these and ask these moderates to go out and speak to their communities, to speak to their constituencies and give them an alternative to the radical views, the Jihady views that are being espoused by militants. The problem is we go out and we expect them to support American policies when we go off and invade Iraq, which was so unpopular across Indonesia. It seems that even though we rely on these moderates to support us, we undermine them at every turn.
GWEN IFILL: What is the value... I'll continue with you, Professor Abuza, what is the value then of this trip? What is the value if indeed you're telling me that a lot of the moderate leaders aren't necessarily in President Bush's corner is that a lot of the leaders of these countries are perhaps engaging in a little polite lip service, what is the gain and how important is the Southeast Asian terror war in the big picture that the president is trying to make?
ZACHARY ABUZA: Well, certainly getting the support of these moderates is important. We need to get an alternative out there from the Jihadists. The moderates that were speaking were not anti-American. I think they could be easily categorized as friends of America. They're just trying to be... give us some helpful criticism that, where we are perhaps creating greater resentment across the Muslim world. Southeast Asia is a very important corner. It's gone from being a very marginal area in the war on terror to being one of the center points, central battlefields, if you will. The Bali attack was the must lethal attack after September 11. The Marriott bombing on the 5th of August this year had the potential to be much greater than it was. And we should expect that Southeast Asia will continue to be prime breeding grounds. I am very afraid that right now even though there have been some 200 arrests around the region, we are making them faster than we are arresting them.
GWEN IFILL: Professor Winters, I guess I'll just ask that question: Are we making them faster than we are arresting them?
JEFFREY WINTERS: Well, that raises the question of what role the United States plays in all of this. One of the difficulties that the United States has in the region is a credibility problem. We are on the one hand known to be proponents of democracy, freedom, due process of law and so on. And this is taken very seriously in a region like Southeast Asia and among a population like Indonesia. And yet when it comes to the handling of people who have been arrested for terrorism, we have avoided due process of law. In fact, we've trampled on those principles and the Indonesians are openly calling us hypocrites. At the same time also, we are turning to militaries and security forces in the region that have a proven record of human rights violations without any... anyone going to jail, anybody really being tried. Yet now we are once again turning to those same militaries, getting close to them as in the case of Indonesia -- all in the claim that we need to stop terrorism. And the list goes on. I mean, the problem we face is that we talk one thing, for example, cooperation. We want cooperation internationally in this war on terrorism, but we won't cooperate with the Indonesians who have been asking for three months to see a man named Hambali who is one of the key architects of terrorism in the region. If an American were captured by another country, the United States would demand right away an opportunity to see its citizen, interview, perhaps interrogate. So we want cooperation but we don't cooperate. We have a terrible problem in our policy.
GWEN IFILL: Mr. Bayuni, I want to bring up another subject that's happened this week. It's been an interesting exchange of rhetoric on both sides. On the one hand we have an American general who has been accused of saying things which were interpreted as being anti-Muslim in support of his own Christian faith. On the other hand we heard the president of Malaysia who is accused of saying things that were anti-Semitic in support of his own Muslim faith. It seems that that pretty much describes the kind of clash that we are going here as the United States attempts to seek friends for this war.
ENDY BAYUNI: Yes. There were times that the global war on terror launched by the United States carries some anti-Islamic overtones, not necessarily coming from the words from the mouth of the president but from some of his staff. This creates concerns in Indonesia and I guess also in Malaysia that this war on terror could turn into a crusade against Islam. And I think this concern was actually relayed to President Bush by the various leaders during the meeting in Bali this morning.
GWEN IFILL: Is this wide... is this a widespread belief or are these just extremists we're talking about who believe that the war on terrorism is a war against Islam?
ENDY BAYUNI: Well, it's a widespread concern even among the moderate Islamic leaders because we have heard statements that seem to support the notion that there's an anti-Islam element in the... some of the policies coming from Washington.
GWEN IFILL: Professor Abuza.... go ahead --
JEFFREY WINTERS: Could I?
GWEN IFILL: Go ahead.
JEFFREY WINTERS: Could I just add to that? We heard in the clip, in the joint statement between President Bush and Megawati once again a reference by President Bush to evil. He's many times used the word evil doers. Evil is a religious term. And so on the one hand you can't say this is not about a clash of religions, it's not about some sort of clash between good and evil and then inject words like evil into the discussion. If you say someone is evil, then there's nothing more to talk about. They are just... it's almost congenital. All you have to do is round them up, kill them. But if you start being a little bit more complex about it and not saying that... their actions may be evil, but it takes away the question, what are the motivations behind what's going on? Until we get to motivations-- and I think this is something Professor Abuza was saying-- until we really start getting to the fundamental issues, we're not going to be able to deal with this problem with the security approach or through public diplomacy and propaganda.
GWEN IFILL: So Professor Abuza, is the fundamental issue here, is it about Islamism, or is it about nationalism, what is the real clash in priority at work here?
ZACHARY ABUZA: Well, I think one thing that we're seeing across Southeast Asia which was traditionally seen as the Islam fringe is that the radicals around the region are really seeking to actively identify with the greater Islamic world and cast their jihad in the context of a global jihad. They believe that their religion is under direct attack by the Americans from southern Philippines or Indonesia all the way to Palestine. So there's a much greater emphasis placed on trying to actively identify with the global Islamic cause.
GWEN IFILL: Professor Abuza and other gentlemen, thank you both very much.
ZACHARY ABUZA: Thank you.
JIM LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight: The Florida right-to-die case; judicial wars of the Senate; and a Roger Rosenblatt essay.
FOCUS RIGHT TO DIE
JIM LEHRER: Ray Suarez has our Florida story.
RAY SUAREZ: The legal fight over Terri Schiavo began in 1990 when her heart failed, cutting oxygen to her brain. She was 26 and lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. Court-appointed doctors said Terri would never recover from the brain damage, and for the last 13 years, she's needed feeding and hydration tubes to stay alive. That's against her stated wishes, says Terri's husband Michael. He's been battling her parents in court, seeking to allow her to die.
MICHAEL SCHIAVO, Husband: Terri has been through years and years or rehabilitation. There's no more improvement for Terry.
RAY SUAREZ: Last week, after Florida's Supreme Court refused to block a lower court ruling in Michael's favor, doctors removed the tubes, expecting Terri to die of starvation within two weeks. Her parents and siblings objected strongly, saying she never told them her final wishes. And she left no written directive.
SUZANNE CARR, Terri Schiavo's Sister: Terri hasn't had any chance to recover from her injury or whatever happened to her that night. And we believe she would want a chance at that. We don't believe Terri would have any wishes. We think she would never want to die a starvation death.
RAY SUAREZ: Late yesterday, Terri's family cheered when Florida lawmakers passed a narrowly worded bill allowing the governor to order the tubes reinserted. Governor Jeb Bush issued that order soon after.
GOV. JEB BUSH: It was required given the nature of the situation. And they responded appropriately. They did the right thing I think.
RAY SUAREZ: So Terri Schiavo went from hospice care to a hospital for IV fluids. The feeding tube would come next. As for Terri's husband, his lawyer George Felos says the legislature violated the constitution.
GEORGE FELOS, Lawyer for Schiavo's Husband: She was literally absconded from her death bed in the middle of her dying process. It's hard to think of a worse intrusion of someone's privacy.
RAY SUAREZ: Felos failed yesterday to have the order blocked, but he has five days to file additional arguments.
RAY SUAREZ: For more on this controversial case, we're joined by speaker Johnnie Byrd of Florida's House of Representatives-- he is also a lawyer-- and Kenneth Goodman, the founder and director of the Bioethics Program at the University of Miami. Speaker Byrd, why did you and your legislative colleagues in both the Florida House and Senate intervene in this case?
JOHNNIE BYRD: Well, something had gone terribly wrong with this process. The vast majority of the legislators in Florida and thousands of Florida citizens were -- completely lost confidence in this process that seemed to be replete with conflicts of interest between the husband and the best interest of this beautiful lady. So, we had to intervene to give a clear signal to the Florida courts what the legislative intent and the public policy of Florida would be in cases such as the Terri Schiavo case.
RAY SUAREZ: Professor Goodman, is there anything wrong with the legislature stepping in when it finds it can't abide a court decision, when it strenuously disagrees?
KENNETH GOODMAN: It's not merely a court decision but a series of decisions made by physicians and others over 13 years. It's been through the courts quite a bit. And it has been the topic of extensive debate during all that time. It seems to a lot of people-- and with all due respect to Representative Byrd-- I think a lot of Floridians are actually quite troubled that the idea that, in fact, this process might run its course naturally be intervened with at the last minute is actually troublesome. We agree completely that this is a beautiful woman. She's undergone an extraordinary and difficult ordeal, but the right thing to do-- and I think the legislature while it may have believed that was actually on the wrong side-- the right thing to do is after 13 years of permanent unconsciousness that she be allowed to die with dignity. I think most Floridians would support that.
RAY SUAREZ: In your reading of the law, Professor, what should have happened in the years after Terri Schiavo first was diagnosed as having severe brain damage?
KENNETH GOODMAN: Well, in fact, what should have happened is I think what happened. Certainly nobody was in a hurry to deprive her of life support. It has been 13 years. A number of neurologists and others have examined her. Whenever you have a family dispute though, this is something we try and teach our students everywhere, and I assume representative Byrd agrees, the idea that all of us should take away is make clear that your loved ones know what your wishes would be. There's a dispute about whether or not her husband, who according to the law of Florida, would be her surrogate -- has some conflict-- something I'm not competent to address. Normally people want their spouses to make those decisions for them. In fact, a lot of people think that the parents of adult decisions actually don't make particularly good surrogates for a bunch of reasons.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, what does the law say though? Has there ever been any challenge to Michael Schiavo's legal standing as his wife's guardian?
KENNETH GOODMAN: Not as such, only the allegations against him in particular. The law puts after, for example, a court-appointed guardian, the spouse of someone who is unable to speak for him- or herself as the primary proxy to make those kinds of decisions. That's true in Florida. It's true in many other states. The problem, of course, is when you have a family disputeand of course everyone's heart goes out to the Schiavo family-- when you have a dispute like that, courts are sometimes clumsy mechanisms for resolving it. But the best process that anyone could think of went forward and did over the last several years.
RAY SUAREZ: Mr. Speaker, is the professor right when he says that this is sort of complicated by the fact that there was no written end of life directive, that there was no document codifying Terri Schiavo's end of life wishes?
JOHNNIE BYRD: Well, certainly Floridians as well as Americans have the right of self-determination. Yes, if there had been a written declaration in this case, this case would not be here at all. The problem is is a very cloudy section of law. The legislators, three out of four legislators, thought that the courts had gone off on a tangent. Above all, I don't think you can cast this as just an inter-family dispute. Here we have loving parents who want to take care of their daughter -- their daughter. And if you look at these videos, I think you cannot characterize her as being in some sort of a coma. She responds to her parents. The testimony I think in this case was is that she could have therapy and live a higher quality of life. It's not for us to say whether her life was worth living. We just need to err on the side of life. And I believe now with this new law, we will have another guardian ad Litem appointed, someone who has no conflicts of interest, you know, there were monetary incentives, I understand that Mr. Schiavo has another lady that he lives with and maybe even a child or one or more children by this other person. And so I think to say that Terri Schiavo would like for her husband to make a decision to have her die a terrible death now -- that assumes a whole lot that I don't think the people of Florida see, nor that does the legislature. I think the bottom line is we're going to stop; we're going to make sure that she has a chance to live and that hopefully her parents, who love her very much, can take care of her. And I think that a new objective guardian would be a good first step.
RAY SUAREZ: But in debating this bill, in writing it down and getting it through the House and Senate, were expert witnesses called to explain Terry Schiavo's brain scans, people testify on her condition, that kind of thing because you've expressed your impressions of the videotapes that the family has distributed.
JOHNNIE BYRD: I think that's the whole point is that, you know, the more facts that come out of this case, each fact, each excruciating fact that came from this case led to a conviction by both legislators and lay people and citizens in Florida that something terribly had gone terribly wrong with this case, that there was a lawsuit in which the husband promised that he would take care of her for the rest of her life if only he could recover these dollars. Then, you know, after the dollars had been recovered, all of a sudden he's saying that she wanted to die. And I think that, you know, there's something to this case that is disturbing to most people as these facts came out. I think that the only thing we could do is make a decision to respect life. You know, we're talking about a human life. We don't have any second chances on this case. And slow this thing down and let's let another guardian take a look. I think that we did the right thing. We protected life in this case.
RAY SUAREZ: But it wasn't for the legislature a medical decision, was it?
JOHNNIE BYRD: No. The legislators make public policy. I think, you know, if the step back away from this case, you know, we have three branches of government. I'll say that the legislatures have maybe, you know, delegated their authority too much to the court system. We've relied too much on the judicial system to make public policy when, in fact, the judiciary is very good at resolving disputes but very poor at making public policy. So in this case I think some in the judiciary, some officers of the court, lawyers, have been somewhat... had maybe apoplexy over the fact that the legislature actually stepped in and said wait a minute, the public, what we meant when we passed this statute was this and that the public policy of Florida should be in cases like Terri Schiavo, that she does have the right to life and a right to a quality of life. It is not for us to judge the quality of that life. It is for us to protect that life. And so I think what you've had is a very clear signal from the legislature as to what our legislative intent was when we passed this law.
RAY SUAREZ: Professor, you've heard the speaker refer to weaknesses in the system as it existed in adjudicating these cases. Are these matters, like, for instance, his objections to the way the courts have acted in this 13-year saga a call to Florida to sort of address these so that every time there's a right to die case, it doesn't end up in the governor's lap?
KENNETH GOODMAN: Well, the question of where right to die cases should end up is itself quite an interesting one. I actually agree with Speaker Byrd that the legislature thought it was doing the right thing. Unfortunately, I think the legislature was mistaken for a number of reasons. And it's going to produce some very interesting constitutional questions that legal scholars will need to sort out. One thing that needs clarification in boldface is that the withdrawal of artificial hydration and nutrition does not produce a terrible death. If that were the case, then Florida law and the law of 49 other states would not permit it. In fact, it's done all the time at hospitals around the country and it can be done with dignity and it can be done in a way that shows as much respect for life as anything that we can imagine. Surely no one can say that after 13 years that we've been hasty in these sorts of decisions. In fact, a lot of reasonable people in cases where there's confusion I think would say-- this is what I hear from ordinary Floridians I speak to-- "for heaven's sakes we're really concerned about this. We wantto make sure that this is not a debate about partisans trying to hustle the legislature. But now I'm worried. I mean, is there something I need to worry about -- about the refusal of hydration and nutrition?" The answer is absolutely not. Once again there's obviously conflicting testimony in any kind of court case. But the courts ruled that the evidence before them from neurologists and other experts was that poor Terri is in a persistent vegetative state. What that means is she's not having any conscious actions or thoughts or anything else. She's not seeing. She's not hearing. And she's not feeling. Respect for life is something precious. And we all do agree that it's important for courts and legislatures to protect it. On the other hand, the right of people to say no to burdensome treatment has also been protected heretofore by Florida statute. The concern here is a dispute about, one, whether or not the diagnosis is accurate and, two, whether or not the husband is a good surrogate or not. But as I say, I think most reasonable people, a direction by the way the Florida statute takes elsewhere, would say that after 13 years of unconsciousness with the best experts saying there's no alternative, surely morality makes room for that kind of treatment to be removed. That's what the law says. That's what ethics say, and, by the way, it's what most of our major faith traditions say.
RAY SUAREZ: Professor, Speaker Byrd, thank you both.
FOCUS ON THE RECORD
JIM LEHRER: Now, another potential U.S. Senate battle over one of President Bush's judicial nominees. Kwame Holman begins.
KWAME HOLMAN: Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has presided over dozens of congressional battles over federal court nominations, most recently the aborted nomination of Miguel Estrada to the federal court of appeals for the District of Columbia.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Miguel Estrada, in my opinion, was treated shamefully by this committee.
KWAME HOLMAN: And so this morning, as he opened the confirmation hearing for Janice Brown, President Bush's replacement nomination for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Senator Hatch issued a blunt statement intended to put politics squarely on the table.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH: She is a conservative African American woman, and for some that alone disqualifies her nomination to the D.C. Circuit widely considered a stepping stone to the United States Supreme Court.
KWAME HOLMAN: To illustrate his point, Hatch held up an editorial cartoon found on a web site devoted to black journalists, which he said was intended to smear Brown's nomination.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH: It maligns not only justice brown, but others as well. Justice Thomas, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. It's pathetic.
KWAME HOLMAN: And Janice brown asked to respond.
JANICE BROWN: People have said to me, you know "it's not personal; it's I just want to say that it is personal; it is very personal to the nominee and to the people who care about them.
KWAME HOLMAN: But Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin noted there was politics involved in the decision to nominate Brown in the first place. While welcoming Brown and recognizing her seven years of service on the California State Supreme Court Durbin wondered why President Bush looked 3,000 miles from Washington to find a nominee for the Supreme Court of appeals.
SEN. DICK DURBIN: Perhaps it's not hard to understand. There are only 71,000 members of the D.C. Bar who might have been considered. I am told it is rare for a president to appoint someone to the D.C. Circuit who does not practice in Washington and is unfamiliar with federal agencies. I don't think there is any sitting member of the D.C. Circuit at this point who has had no background in the D.C. Government or with federal agencies.
KWAME HOLMAN: Durbin then explained why dozens of environmental women's and minority groups, including the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus, oppose brown's nomination.
SEN. DICK DURBIN: They say you are a result oriented judicial activist who fashions her opinions to comport with the politics. You are a frequent dissenter in a rightward direction, which is quite a feat, given that you serve on a court with six appointed Republican judges and one Democrat.
KWAME HOLMAN: Brown's critics cite her dissent on a court ruling that overturned a law requiring minors to get a parent's or judge's approval for an abortion, her contention that repeated racial slurs in the workplace were protected by the right to free speech, and another case, in which she likened affirmative action to racial segregation. Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold questioned Brown about her opinion in a case involving the right of age discrimination victims to sue.
SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD: Do you really believe that age discrimination does not stigmatize elderly Americans, and that this kind of discrimination not only should be tolerated in our society, but is actually natural and justifiable?
JANICE BROWN: My statement that it doesn't have the stigma simply reflects the reality that we all know and love people who are old, and if we have a long life, we are going to be people who are old. We all pass through that stage. So in that sense, it is different from being a racial minority or gender discrimination.
KWAME HOLMAN: Chairman Hatch focused on a search-and-seizure case in California that he said Brown's opponents have chosen to ignore.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH: In this case you would have suppressed drug evidence obtained from the defendant whose only apparent crime was riding a bicycle the wrong way down the street, is that right?
JANICE BROWN: That's correct. That was one of those cases which Sen. Durbin pointed out in which I was the lone dissenter. But I was the lone dissenter because it's very clear that what was happening here is that these minor traffic infractions could actually be used to justify these very broad searches. And I argued very strenuously that to give that kind of discretion to law enforcement was likely to lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.
KWAME HOLMAN: But members' questions went beyond brown's court opinions. Several said they were troubled by her personal opinions delivered in speeches, which they said revealed a general mistrust of government. Vermont's Patrick Leahy quoted from a speech Brown gave to the Federalist Society.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: When government moves in, community retreats. Civil society disintegrates. Our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is families under siege. War in the streets. Precipitous decline of the rule of law. The rapid rise of corruption.
KWAME HOLMAN: Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY: Your hostility is so extraordinary in these kinds of statements.
JANICE BROWN: What I am talking about there is really where the government takes over the roles that we used to do as neighbors and as communities and as churches. I think it's important for us to preserve civil society, but I am not saying there is no role for government.
KWAME HOLMAN: California Democrat Diane Feinstein:
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Your views are stark. So they question Ihave, is that the real you?
JANICE BROWN: I may speak in a very straightforward way. I am very candid and sometimes I am passionate about what I believe in, but often I am talking about the Constitution, and what is being reflected in those speeches is that I am passionately devoted to the ideals on which I think this country is founded, and I try to get people to recognize how important that is.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Then you would say that the quote which I read to you yesterday-- and I'll just read one part today on government-- is that, "the result of government is a debased, debauched culture, which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." You really believe that?
JANICE BROWN: Well, as we discussed yesterday, I am myself part of government. I think there are many things that the government does well, many things that only government can do. But I am referring there to the unintended consequences of some things that government does.
KWAME HOLMAN: Dianne Feinstein said she hasn't made up her mind how she will vote on her home-state nominee. In fact, few senators would go on the record today with pledges of support. A committee vote is expected within a few weeks.
JIM LEHRER: Margaret Warner has more.
MARGARET WARNER: And for more on how the Brown nomination fits into the larger battle over President Bush's judicial picks, we're joined by NewsHour regular Jan Crawford Greenburg of the Chicago Tribune. She was at today's Senate hearing.
Welcome back, Jan. First of all, what are the Democratic senators saying about Janice Brown and why she among all the roster of the Bush nominees is now in their sights?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, they say that her opinions and her speeches show that she is a right wing activist who would curtail civil rights, programs that have benefited women, minorities, the environment, the disabled and she would ignore the law to reach that desired result. But that's not all that's motivating this. I mean democrats have approved conservative nominees in the past or voted for them. They are acutely aware that if she is confirmed to this very influential federal appeals court that she would be on a very short list for the U.S. Supreme Court.
MARGARET WARNER: Now put this nomination in the context of the whole Bush administration slate of judicial nominees. Where does the scorecard stand?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, that depends on who is keeping the scorecard. The Democrats say that they've approved a number of Bush nominees, more than 150 to the federal trial and federal appeals courts. But the Republicans focus on their record at the federal appeals court level and the extraordinary use of a filibuster to defeat federal appeals court nominees. Keep in mind Miguel Estrada was forced to withdraw just last month. Two other nominees are subject to filibusters on the Senate floor. Two others are expected to be filibustered when their nomination gets to the floor.
MARGARET WARNER: You mean there are two others that have been through the committee that haven't gone to the floor but they too will be filibustered?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: That's right.
MARGARET WARNER: This of course is just the tip of the iceberg what we just watched, these hearings. There's a lot of lobbying, a lot of interest groups on both sides. How much influence do they usually have?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, there are a number of groups on both sides particularly on the left that do extensive preparation to get ready for these hearings. They describe in detail the nominees' records, their opinions, any paper trail that they can provide. They provide that, of course, to the senators. Senators do their own research o these nominees are very well vetted by both sides.
MARGARET WARNER: And how does the White House try to counter it? Say if you have in this case the traditional women and black groups, for instance, opposing a black woman. What does the White House do to counter that and try to pull over some Democratic senators?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Sure, while the White House turns to groups of its own to offer support. They solicit support from other organizations. Of course, the White House and Republican lawyers on the hill and in the Justice Department prepare these nominees very well for these hearings. They know the kind of questions that they can expect. So both sides are very well prepared for what we saw today on the Hill in these questions of this nominee.
MARGARET WARNER: From your reading, we heard Kwame say that no one, very few wanted to declare where they were. From your reading and from the past sort of track record, what's your assessment about whether she will be subjected to a filibuster on the Senate floor?
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: The Democrats today questioned her more aggressively than I've seen them question nominees in the past that they have subsequently filibustered. So based on their positions today I would say it's shaping up to be a 10-9 vote along party lines. And that's been the test. When the Democrats are united at the committee level that has been the test for whether or not the nominees will then be filibustered on the Senate floor.
MARGARET WARNER: Jan, thanks a lot.
JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: You're welcome.
ESSAY THE FAN
JIM LEHRER: Finally tonight, as we approach game four of the World Series, essayist Roger Rosenblatt contemplates fans of all kinds.
ROGER ROSENBLATT: See them in the uniforms of their favorite teams, the numbers of their favorite players: Ordinary citizens in the stands at baseball, football, basketball games, screaming, stomping, high-fiving for the team of their choice. The fan is part of the game. Radio's Bob and Ray used the old joke, "I don't know why it's so hot in the ballpark today with all these fans." But the fans can blow an ill wind, too. Year after year, game after game, they erupt from their seats in a frenzy of happiness, or in a rage at a call. They are ready to transform the game into a civil war, all because they care so much, they love so much. They live for the Red Sox, the Mets, the Miami heat, the LA Lakers, the football Giants, Packers... the cubs. Oh, the cubs. And that now-famous game six in this year's national league pennant series when a fan in the stands snatched away a foul ball from Moisus Alou. The cubs lost the game. They might have won but for the fan who, at game's end, had to be protected by security guards from other fans. It's a potentially lethal group- - a mob. Americans find horrific the scenes of European soccer or football fans, wild in their fury-- they kill one another in stampedes-- yet we often come close ourselves. A bad movie had it right: In "The Fan," Robert de Niro pursues Wesley Snipes, a ball player, with deadly enthusiasm. It's not just sports. Who will forget Kathy Bates' tortured zeal as James Caan's biggest fan in Stephen King's "Misery"? (Screaming ) misery, indeed. "Fanatics have their dreams," wrote John Keats, "in which they create a strange and parochial paradise." Fans are fanatics made colorful and acceptable, but their blood is as hot. Nobody is right but the objects of their affection.Everyone is wrong but the ones they favor. It spills over into politics, into culture, into public life. I hate Bill Clinton or George Bush. I love Jay Leno or David letterman. John W. Hinckley stalked Jodie Foster, then turned his mental torment on a president. Mark David Chapman was John Lennon's biggest fan, and he killed him.
SPOKESMAN: The Beatles! ( Cheers and applause )
BEATLES: Close your eyes...
ROGER ROSENBLATT: They say that it's all fairly harmless, this transference of self-love to love of a shortstop or an actor or a rock group. For the most part, it is harmless. Yet it is scary, too, under the skin. People in a mass become something other than people, a reversion to a prior life form. The bobby soxers who lost themselves in old blue eyes' blue eyes, the Beatles fans, the fans of the rolling stones. By their eagerness to be as one with the ones they adore, they love in excess, they love too much. I used to enjoy going to ball games, but I do it rarely now. Part of the reason is age, part is that I don't like the fans of whom I am one. When I talk of lethal zealotry, I can feel it in myself, and so, in a self-civilizing act, I prefer to watch my teams at home on TV, where I can cheer or boo within nearly acceptable limits. What makes the fan murderous is that he knows no limits, wants no limits. He is of the all-or-nothing mind, the black and white, the love 'em or hate 'em-- the most dangerous mind in the world. I'm Roger Rosenblatt.
JIM LEHRER: Again, the major developments of the day. President Bush tried to shore up support for the war on terror during a stop in Bali, Indonesia. And in a new memo, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld warned the struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan would be "a long, hard slog." A note before we go: The Online NewsHour now has a new science site. You can find more information there about our science unit's past and future reports, including the hydrogen fuel story we aired earlier this week. We'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
- The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
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- This episode's headline: Fighting Terror; Right to Die; On the Record; The Fan. ANCHOR: JIM LEHRER; GUESTS: JEFFREY WINTERS; ZACHARY ABUZA; KENNETH GOODMAN; JOHNNIE BYRD; JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG; CORRESPONDENTS: KWAME HOLMAN; RAY SUAREZ; SPENCER MICHELS; MARGARET WARNER; GWEN IFILL; TERENCE SMITH; KWAME HOLMAN
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Identifier: NH-7782 (NH Show Code)
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- MLA: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” 2003-10-22. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-dn3zs2m06g>.
- APA: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-dn3zs2m06g