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JIM LEHRER: Good evening JIM LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight fixing the global economy with Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and the finance ministers of Chile and Hong Kong; our regional commentators' take on the House impeachment process so far; and a Charles Krause interview with the new president of Colombia. It all follows our summary of the news this Tuesday.% ? NEWS SUMMARY
JIM LEHRER: President Clinton wants urgent steps to stop the global economic crisis from spreading. He spoke today to the world's financial leaders at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. Mr. Clinton said the industrialized nations must better coordinate their efforts to restore world economic stability.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: We must find a way to temper the volatile swings of the international marketplace, just as we have learned to do in our own domestic economies. What is troubling today is how quickly discouraging news in one country can set off alarms in markets around the world. And all too often investors move as a herd, with sweeping consequences for emerging economies, with weak and strong policies alike.
JIM LEHRER: We'll have more on this story right after the news summary. President Clinton led off his address today with words on Kosovo, the southern Serbian province. He said it was a powder keg waiting to explode into a wider Balkans conflict if the nations assembled did not intervene. Secretary of Defense Cohen faced quizzing from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Kosovo today. He said U.S. ground troops might be needed to restore order, but he's not urging that now. Senator John McCain asked how such a mission would compare with the current deployment in Bosnia.
SECRETARY COHEN: We do have, I think, a different situation between Kosovo and Bosnia. And frankly, I don't believe that it would take that kind of presence that we have in Bosnia in Kosovo. So I think that there's been a recognition on everyone's part, including yours and other members of this committee, including members of the House. Action has to be taken to prevent 50,000 people from freezing or starving to death. And we would like to take that action but limit it to the air operation.
JIM LEHRER: Republicans and Democrats traded words today over the proposed impeachment inquiry against President Clinton. The House Judiciary Committee approved such an inquiry last night in a 21 to 16 party line vote. The Republican proposal is to go before the full House on Thursday, where passage is expected, thus initiating only the third presidential impeachment inquiry in U.S. history. The new White House press secretary, Joe Lockhart, had this to say.
JOE LOCKHART: I think whether you're Democrat or Republican later on this week you're going to have to decide which way you vote. But I think - it is just our view here that the process, rather than being designed to be fair and somber and befitting of the constitutional importance it takes, has been driven more by politics, maybe not politics but partisanship.
JIM LEHRER: Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott defended the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Henry Hyde.
SEN. TRENT LOTT: I have absolute faith in Henry Hyde, in the fact that he, you know, has a job to do, and that there is a process laid out by the Constitution and precedence of the past. And he will work very hard to make it a fair proceeding and, you know, as little partisanship as possible. But, you know, that depends on both sides of the aisle. The Democrats can't be hollering about it's partisan when they're the ones that are making it partisan.
JIM LEHRER: We'll have more on the impeachment story later in the program. Secretary of State Albright said today her talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders have been inconclusive. She spoke with both Israeli Prime Mister Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Arafat on the first day of a two-day visit. She said both sides had to make tough choices to reach a West Bank accord. She appeared at a news conference in Jerusalem with Netanyahu.
SEC. MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: I think we all know that time is not on our side, and if we don't move quickly, we might find ourselves without a process of peacemaking, without an agreement, and without the hope of achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I can say categorically that if the Palestinians do their part, we shall do our part. And we shall have an agreement. That is why I think in many ways having that reassurance from the Palestinian Authority would I think increase significantly the chance of the success and the conclusion of a successful agreement.
JIM LEHRER: Later, Albright met with Arafat in the West Bank. His spokesman said this:
SHA' ATH: A lot depends really on Mr. Netanyahu. I am surprised, you know, at sometimes his rhetoric that depends on us. I don't know how it could possibly depend on us. We accepted the American initiative. We accepted a lot of flexibility. He has not moved one inch towards honoring his own commitment.
JIM LEHRER: President Clinton intends to hold three-way talks with Arafat and Netanyahu in Washington later this month. And that's it for the News Summary tonight. Now it's on to fixing the global economy, our regional commentators on the impeachment inquiry, and the new president of Colombia.% ? FOCUS - GLOBAL CRISIS
JIM LEHRER: Phil Ponce has the economy story.
PHIL PONCE: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- commonly known as the IMF -- officially opened their 53rd annual meetings in Washington today against a backdrop of global economic crisis. After beginning in Thailand a little more than a year ago, financial turmoil struck other Asian countries including South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, where it led to the downfall of President Suharto. The "Asian Flu" -- as it became known -- spread to Russia and now threatens some Latin American countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil. In recent days, the bad economic news has continued. Last Wednesday, the IMF released its biannual world economic outlook predicting the global economy will grow only 2 percent this year, compared to 4 percent last year. The report states: "International economic and financial conditions have deteriorated considerably in recent months. Chances of any significant improvement in 1999 have also diminished, and the risks of a deeper, wider, and more prolonged downturn have escalated." On Monday, the head of Japan's central bank told U.S. Government officials that his country's banking system is in deeper trouble than once believed. And in the United States, last week's interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve Board did not stem the fall of the U.S. stock markets and others around the globe. As of today -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 17 percent from its all time high in July. As the world's economic leaders meet this week, they find themselves facing a growing backlash against the free flow of capital in global markets. Last month, Malaysia, for example, imposed controls on the buying and selling of its currency. In addition, the IMF's own methods and effectiveness have come under renewed fire. Although the agency has provided record levels of aid, nations receiving these funds continue to face severe economic turmoil. This morning, President Clinton addressed the IMF and the World Bank.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: As we are all acutely aware, today the world faces perhaps its most serious financial crisis in half a century. The gains of global economic exchange have been real and dramatic. But when tides of capital first flood emerging markets then suddenly withdraw, when bank failures and bankruptcies grip entire economies, when millions in Asia, who have worked their way into the middle class, suddenly are plunged into poverty, when nations half a world apart face the same crisis at the same time, it is time for decisive action. The IMF and the World Bank have been vital to the prosperity of the world for the past half century. We must keep them vital to the prosperity of the world for the next half century. Just as free nations found a way after the Great Depression to tame the cycles of boom and bust in domestic economies, we must now find ways to tame the cycles of boom and bust that today shake the world economy. The most important step, of course, and the first step, is for governments to hold fast to policies that are sound and attuned to the realties of the international marketplace. No nation can avoid the necessity of an open, transparent, properly regulated financial system; an honest, effective tax system; and laws that protect investment. And no nation can for long purchase prosperity on the cheap, with policies that buy a few months of relief at the price of disaster over the long run. We must address not only a run on a bank or a firm, but also a run on nations. If global markets are to bring the benefits we believe they can, we simply must find a way to tame the pattern of boom-bust on an international scale. This task is one of the most complex we face. We must summon our most creative minds and carefully consider all options. In the end, we must fashion arrangements that serve the global economy as our domestic economies are served, enabling capital to flow freely without the crushing burdens the boom-bust cycle brings. While we must not embrace false cures that will backfire and lead, in the end, to less liquidity and diminished confidence when we need more of both, we must -- we must keep working until we find the right answers, and we don't have a moment to waste. applause
PHIL PONCE: Joining me now are three officials attending this week's meetings: Donald Tsang is the financial secretary of Hong Kong, now a special administrative region of China; Eduardo Aninat is the minister of finance of Chile; and Lawrence Summers is deputy U.S. treasury secretary. Gentlemen, welcome.Secretary Tsang, we just heard President Clinton say that this was the worst global economic crisis in 50 years. From the vantage point of Asia, where it all began, how does it look to you?
DONALD TSANG: Well, I think it is an accurate description of a situation, although last year very few of us, hardly any one, us have been able to focus on the gravity of the situation. But as the whole thing evolved, it became extremely clear to us that we are facing something very, very serious, and we not seen since World War II. The crisis, which first emerged in Thailand, has been spreading very quickly in Asia, then spreading to Russia, and now you can see in Latin America. The financial markets in the world have gone really frighteningly global in a very short space of time. In effect, because of the financial infrastructure affecting all of us, all markets, we are now literally living in the same boat.
PHIL PONCE: Minister Aninat, a frightening perspective from South America?
EDUARDO ANINAT: No. I will not say that. I think the speech by President Clinton is clear cut that action is needed. Coordination of policies in an enhanced way is also requested, and mainly here, I think we are facing an issue of leadership throughout the world. I think decisive actions have to be taken regarding the IMF and World Bank funding, and a better understanding of how these financial flows are proceeding throughout the markets, basically because this is an issue of expectations and confidence building. I am positive that action will come. It is necessary, but I do reckon that the crisis has globally occurred.
PHIL PONCE: And Mr. Secretary, how does one fix it?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: It's not - it's a tough situation, but it's a situation we can work our way through and come out stronger. To do that, the industrialized countries have to do their part by focusing on growth as they recognize. That means especially Japan has to get to work on its banking system and get to work on stimulating its economy, which is still the largest economy by far in Asia. Countries that are caught up in this need strong policies if they're to have the capacity to attract capital. And we in the United States need to do our part by passing the IMF legislation so that the IMF has the capacity to fight these fires. It may be that it is the case there are important changes that need to be made at the IMF. But this is not the time to take away their funding. That's like cutting off the water to the fire department at a time when there are fires burning in a number of places. And finally, and this is something the president put a lot of emphasis on his speech today, even as worry about this current crisis , we need to think about how the system operates, how we can prevent these kind of crises in the future, and how we can respond more effectively to them, because unless we have a global financial system that works for people who have been caught up in all of this, people who have reached the middle class and who have been caught up in the this and now are findings their lives shattered by what has happened. Unless we can make this start to work for them, the consequences are going to be grave, indeed.
PHIL PONCE: You're talking about some the long-term plans that the president alluded to as far as getting rid of the boom and bust cycle. But sticking with the short-term for a minute, you would say that the top priority is what, spurring economic growth at this point?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Global market, strong policies in the emerging markets, IMF funding, strong IMF support to counter the bank run that's coming from contagion on many of these countries.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Tsang, Secretary Summers just alluded to something the president said, and if I can quote the president, he said, the health of Asia and, indeed, the world depends on Japan. Japan is that big of a lynchpin, in your opinion?
DONALD TSANG: It is true, because it is at least in terms of total size of economy, it is about 60 percent of entire Asian economy, providing a lot of liquidity in the market. So if the Japanese economy is sick, every one of us will be in serious illness. So what we have seen so far is the drying up of liquidity, the money in the rest of Asia because Japanese is in trouble. It is important, as Larry said, and we have to a much more active, a much more lively Japanese economy to revive the whole of Asian economy. But at the same time we have to deal with afar. There a fars that we need to tackle. And IMF is equipped to do it, and I agree with Larry too, we must deal with the question, the problem in Brazil, we must deal with a problem in Russia, and I think IMF should be equipped to do those things.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Tsang, following up on the issue of Japan, there's some suggestion that there simply is not the political will in Japan to do the kinds of things that need to be done. What's your assessment of that?
DONALD TSANG: Well, let's be fair. They've begun to do it. Even the last prime minister, Mr. Hashimoto, produced a very - I think a decent banking, a viable plan whereby the U.S. produced bridge banks, which would buy off the non-performing assets of the banks - introducing general liquidity into the system, and I think that was a good start. And I hope I have just heard that the Japanese Diet is going to deal with this very effectively, I hope before the coming recess in November. If that's the case, that's the beginning of a sign of light in the end of a tunnel.
PHIL PONCE: Minister Aninat, what Japan may be to Asia, some people say Brazil is to South America, and right now Brazil is going through its own woes. How do you assess what's happening with Brazil and what needs to be done?
EDUARDO ANINAT: Well, there has been a major event in Brazil, which is Sunday's election. President Cardoso has had a landslide victory and I think that is crucial to the continuity of the reforms that the present team have been developing in Brazil. Brazil represents 40 percent of the Latin American economies, and, therefore, it's a big player that has to be observed, analyzed, promoted, and supported. I have an optimistic view of Brazil. They have been privatizing all public enterprises. They have started a lot of reforms in the financial arena. They are opening up the economy. So I think that the support from the multilateral agencies come, if the new team puts in place a fiscal policy package like they're planning to do, and designing to do, I think that there is a chance that things can become better.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Summers, there are reports that Brazil is in the process of lining up anywhere from 30 billion to 60 billion dollars' worth of assistance. What can you tell us about that?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Well, the Brazilians are charting their course. President Cardoso has made clear his determination to pursue strong economic reforms, and certainly it's clear from what the president has said , what Secretary Rubin has said, what Manager Camdessus at the IFM has said, that the international community wants very much to be supportive of Brazil, because Brazil's economic destiny is very important for Latin America, and, indeed, important for emerging markets generally, and for the global economy. We'll just have to see how that evolves, but it's certainly an intense area of focus.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Tsang, you talked about leadership in dealing with this problem. Do you sense that someone is in charge, that someone is coming up with a plan to deal with the situation in Asia, in South America, in Russia?
DONALD TSANG: Well, it's - we do not talk about problems in regional terms. What we are facing is a global issue. I think we have a common problem. We have a common purpose, and we need a common strategy.
PHIL PONCE: Is there a common strategy right now?
DONALD TSANG: Well, at least we will have global ones. I am hopeful - the fact that, for instance, yesterday when President Clinton rounded up 20 odd countries, large and small, sitting together, talking very frankly informally what needs to be done, setting out the short-term, short-term strategy, the medium-term strategy, and the longer-term ones. And I'm hopeful - it won't be easy - it is tough - but I think we can work things out together.
PHIL PONCE: Mr. Minister Aninat, do you sense that there is the kind of leadership that Secretary Tsang says is needed?
EDUARDO ANINAT: Well, I think I would call more forcefully, perhaps to some of the European leaders as well. We have to speak of Europe here in terms of the leadership to grow. If Europe, the U.S., and Canada do not grow persistently next year and the other year, then this term can last longer, so basically, what we need here is responses to the crisis as it is evolving in this day. Time is running out, but I do see a will for more coordination. I do see a common diagnosis of the problem, and I am positive about the outlook, although I reckon that the timing issue is crucial.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Summers, is everybody on the same page?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: I think we've seen some important consensuses emerge in the last few days. We've seen a very clear consensus now that the priority in the world right now isn't fighting inflation. It's achieving growth. I think we've seen an important recognition that this is importantly a problem of confidence and that we all need to take steps to restore confidence. I think we've seen an important recognition that this is a global problem and that we all need to pursue solutions that are in the global interest, not protectionist strategies, not better thy neighbor strategies. I think that's an important understanding. I think we've seen a recognition that this is a problem that's going to require the public and the private sectors to work together to do things like restructuring the large problems of over-leveraged chaebols in Korea where banks that are in serious trouble in Thailand, and I think that's a consensus on - that is a significant one as well. So I think we're seeing a framework evolve in which we can all, working together, work our way through these problems. But these problems weren't made in a week or a month or a year. And they're not going to be solved overnight. But I think what's important is that we begin the process of making ourselves stronger and cooperating better. And I think that's where you saw some of the elements start to come into place this week.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Summers, one of the elements to spurring growth in a lot of people's minds is the reduction of interest rates. Is that sort of a nuts and bolts kind of thing that you'd like to see different countries do?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: We don't comment on our own independent central bank, or the central banks of others, but I do think that it's - I will say this - it's important to remember that growth is the priority now, rather than fighting inflation.
PHIL PONCE: How about something else Secretary Summers just raised, Secretary Tsang, the issue of a backlash, are some economies taking steps to sort of protect themselves, maybe at the expense of the free flow of investment, the free flow of capital?
DONALD TSANG: Well, I have some sympathy what individual soften economy which to do to protect itself but this is a consequence of not having an opportunity to work together as a team, and I think we have to focus on the issue at hand, and work together, then we will see a lot less of this closing up economies so that we can work together.
PHIL PONCE: Minister Aninat, one of the things President Clinton talked about was orchestrating things - a new architecture for the next century - economic architecture -- so that there is still a free flow of capital, and yet, there's not the boom and bust. How can you have the free flow of capital, markets operating with relative freedom and at the same time protecting capital from going where it wants to go?
EDUARDO ANINAT: Well, I think here the crucial thing is very strong bank supervision. The moratorium of the financial system, the early warnings, the transparency in the data, the screening of all that in a global basis is one of the crucial things. Perhaps in some of the Asian experiences there was some part of a problem there. There is a consensus in that sense, and what we need is to have these multilateral agencies, the big agencies, the sort of coordinators of the financial system, tackle this much more decisively, as they have had.
PHIL PONCE: Secretary Summers, one of the things Secretary Tsang said earlier, this all happened very quickly. Are the current institutions -- is the current system, was it up to all the new things happened?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: I think we've got a lot of work to do to modernize that architecture. That's something that President Clinton has been stressing since the Naples summit. One crucial area is one Minister Aninat mentioned, which is working to make sure that bank supervision functions better. Another very important one is transparency and fighting corruption.
PHIL PONCE: And by change, what do you mean?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: I mean this. I mean accounting statements. I mean knowing how big your country's reserves are. I mean knowing what a company's accounts are when you ask people to invest in. I mean knowing where a bank's assets are invested before it's able to take deposits. You know, if you look at the history of the development of the American capital market, I don't think there's any single idea that was as important as the idea of generally accepted accounting principles. And we have to do much, much more of that internationally.
PHIL PONCE: Gentlemen, I'm afraid that's all the time we have. I thank you all very much.
JIM LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight, our regional commentators on the impeachment inquiry thus far, and the new president of Colombia.% ? FOCUS - IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY
JIM LEHRER: Kwame Holman sets the stage for our regional commentators' discussion.
KWAME HOLMAN: At about 7:30 last night members of the House Judiciary Committee began wandering back from the House floor following a series of votes unrelated to impeachment. The committee had been in session since 9 a.m.. Each member got the opportunity to speak his or her mind on the impeachment process. They heard an analysis of the Starr Report from committee investigators. They debated and defeated two Democratic proposals to limit the scope and length of any impeachment inquiry. Their last piece of business was a vote on the Republican plan to allow an inquiry that would extend as long as necessary, necessary to be defined by the Judiciary chairman.
REP. HENRY HYDE: The committee will come to order.KWAME HOLMAN: With committee Republicans holding a 21 to 16 advantage, approval of their plan was assured. Nevertheless, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee pleaded that they do otherwise.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE, [D] Texas: And I'm just stunned that although we have had the tone of bipartisanship, the minority has not been able to gain the goodwill and good faith of this majority to, in fact, draw us together around some issues of commonality. Can we come to an agreement about the conclusion or working toward a reasonable time certain not to cover up, not to deny my colleagues on the other side of the aisle their fair assessment of the facts, but recognizing where we are, Mr. Chairman, in this process.
REP. HENRY HYDE: Let me just ask you to accept the fact that we want to move this thing along. I announced my New Year's resolution that they have it over by then, but I can't tell how cooperative people will be that we find necessary to depose or have testify.
KWAME HOLMAN: As expected, the Republican proposal for an open-ended inquiry was approved, with all 21 Republicans voting for it.
SPOKESMAN: Mr. Kobel votes aye.
KWAME HOLMAN: And all 16 Democrats voting against us.
SPOKESMAN: Mr. Meehan votes no.
KWAME HOLMAN: A few hours earlier, Democrats had presented their own plan, which set Thanksgiving Day as the target for ending an impeachment inquiry. But once again, the vote and debate on that idea followed party lines.
REP. HENRY HYDE: This resolution gives us 17 days to investigate it.
SPOKESMAN: Mr. Chairman -
REP. HENRY HYDE: That is not - you should pardon the expression - due process.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: If you would yield - as I understood you to say yesterday was you're about three weeks beyond us, so if, in fact, you think that all this has to happen, were you serious then about thinking you were going to get it done? What did you mean when you said we were going to end by the end of the year?
REP. HENRY HYDE: I truthfully can say I don't understand your question.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: Well, let me rephrase it.
REP. HENRY HYDE: No, no, no.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: How can you -
REP. HENRY HYDE: Oh, no. I understand it.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: How can you end by the end of the year?
REP. HENRY HYDE: All right.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: How can you end by the end of the year?
REP. HENRY HYDE: I don't know. If you will cooperate and we'll get some stipulations, we can end before then.
REP. BARNEY FRANK: So the 17 months is irrelevant.
REP. HENRY HYDE: But if you will change the pattern of delay and stall ball and lost records - not you - not you -
REP. BARNEY FRANK: Mr. Chairman, I have to ask you one more time. I object very much to this charge of stalling. We got this report from Kenneth Starr nearly a month ago, and this committee has done nothing but been the publicity transmission belt until then as a committee, and some of us tried earlier to get some of this process started. So it is not our responsibility that a month has gone by and nothing has been done until today to start to resolve this.
REP. HENRY HYDE: I will accept charges that have some merit to them, but we're almost out of breath we've been running so fast to move this thing along. Nobody wants it to be delayed 10 minutes, I can assure you that.
KWAME HOLMAN: Throughout yesterday's long session members were able to make their points without raising the decibel level to any great degree. For a committee widely regarded as one of the most partisan in Congress, only a few statements seemed to approach histrionic.
REP. BOB BARR, [R] Georgia: We are witnessing nothing less than the symptoms of a cancer on the American presidency. If we fail to remove it, it will expand to destroy the principles that matter most to all of us.
REP. ROBERT WEXLER, [D] Florida: I am not proud of this prosecutor, Ken Starr, who has turned government in upon itself, distorted our system of justice in a politically-inspired witch hunt that rivals McCarthyism in its sinister purpose.
KWAME HOLMAN: Such strong rhetoric was the exception, however, despite votes on committee resolutions that all broke along straight party lines.
JIM LEHRER: Elizabeth Farnsworth in San Francisco takes it from there.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And now our regional commentators on the Judiciary Committee proceedings. Robert Kittle of the San Diego Union Tribune; Lee Cullum of the Dallas Morning News; Patrick McGuigan of the Daily Oklahoman; and Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Constitution. Joining them tonight is Susan Albright of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.Bob Kittle, did the Judiciary Committee make the right decision yesterday?
ROBERT KITTLE: I think it did, Elizabeth. You know, we're really facing some very serious questions here, and the Judiciary Committee has an obligation, despite the - you know - understandable impatience of the American people to get this over with, to examine whether this president committed felonies while in office, and if he did, to then move on to determine whether those are impeachable offenses. You know, these are not minor matters that we're talking about. It's perjury. It's obstruction of justice, and it's witness tampering by a sitting president. Just within the last decade the House impeached a federal judge in Mississippi and the Senate convicted him and removed him from office for lying to a grand jury. So these are not minor matters, and I think the Judiciary Committee was wise to move ahead as expeditiously as possible but not to set an artificial deadline, which would simply invite more stalling from the White House. I think despite the unfortunate partisan nature of the vote yesterday, the Judiciary Committee has done the measured thing and done the right thing.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Okay. I'll come back to whether it was partisan or not. Cynthia Tucker, do you agree that this was the right thing to do?
CYNTHIA TUCKER: Well, I think the vote was inevitable. I think it has been pretty clear that the Republicans were bound and determined to move the process forward, but I also have to say that I think that at this point this is probably the best chance that the American public has for having any sense of faith in the presidency restored. Lots of charges have been thrown back and forth, and Bob Kittle is right, serious crimes have certainly been alleged here. And I think that - given what has happened - given the president's own conduct, which has certainly left a lot to be desired, perhaps the best way that we can restore faith in the process is to at least have the inquiry proceed.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Pat McGuigan, best way to restore faith in the process?
PATRICK McGUIGAN: Well, I certainly think it's a good first step, and I agree with the observations of both Bob and Cynthia. I find myself in this somewhat unusual position of agreeing with recent observations of both the New York Times and the Washington Post when they said that to artificially limit the time or the extent of the process would be a disservice when there's still emerging evidence, there's still information that's being put on the table almost daily, and I agree with what Bob and Cynthia said.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Susan Albright, first on the decision to have an inquiry and then on whether it should have been limited.
SUSAN ALBRIGHT: Well, we didn't think that they should have an inquiry. I don't think all misdeeds are the same. One of the things that bothered us about David Schippers, the counsel for the majority, one thing that bothered us about his comments were that, first of all, he inferred the worst case picture, and then he suggested that all misdeeds are similar. We don't think all misdeeds are similar. I think Abbe Lowell was correct when he said they're wrenching the words from the factual content. He used words like "conspirators" and "abuse of power," "aiding," "abetting," and so forth. We are talking about two people trying to keep an affair secret, and you can't get rid of that.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Lee Cullum, where do you weigh in on each side's case?
LEE CULLUM: Well, Susan, I thought that each said made the best possible case for itself. I thought that David Schippers presenting the possible articles of impeachment - I thought he managed very, very well. I liked the things that he pared away from the Starr Report. I see no reason to charge the president with obstruction of justice for trying to defend himself. But the matters that he set forth he did very well and very forcefully. And I thought that Abbe Lowell did as well as he possibly could with his material. You know, I was listening to Susan, and she's right, we are talking about a relationship that was -that tried to remain secret, that those involved in it tried to keep secret, and that's very difficult material for the language of the law. But I thought that Abbe Lowell did as well as one could do in framing those matters in courtroom style.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And, Lee, what did you think of the process yesterday? Did you find it fair?
LEE CULLUM: I thought the process was fair. I thought that Chairman Hyde was very even-handed. I thought he was right in not allowing David Schippers' remarks, personal remarks, at the end of his presentation to be incorporated into the record. That was when Mr. Schippers spoke passionately about truth in the law, and it's not that one would disagree with him, it's just that that was not his role, and Chairman Hyde was quick to associate himself with the objections of the Democrats. That was completely fair, I thought.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Susan, what did you think? Did you find it fair?
SUSAN ALBRIGHT: Well, I didn't really find it fair. I mean, look what they rejected. They rejected Howard Berman's proposal, which would have overlaid the one that the Republicans had to first see - if you took all of Starr's accusations and said, okay, they're all true, would that reach a level of impeachment? And then, if so, proceed with the inquiry. They wouldn't even do that, and it seems to me that to have an open-ended inquiry, which could go into any matter for any length of time, makes no sense if they haven't even determined whether these charges, if true, would rise to the level of impeachment. And I don't think they would.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Pat, looking at it all, I mean, looking at it for fairness and also the level of partisanship, they are sort of the same and yet not quite the same, how do you judge both?
PATRICK McGUIGAN: Well, in terms of fairness, not to be too cute, but I guess it depends on how you define the word "fair," fairness does not mean without legal, ethical, moral, or other content. It doesn't mean not having an opinion about where something should go, especially if you're the guy in charge. Now, given Henry Hyde's predilections, his career, all of the things we know about him, I think this stood four square in his tradition, and that is he tried to give each side a chance to vent, if you will, and in that sense he was fair. I did disagree - I must say - with his suppression of the counsel's remarks, Mr. Schippers. And the reason I disagreed is I've watched this process and it seems as if it's okay for the Democratic members of the committee and for even staff to say anything they want about Ken Starr, to compare him to some kind of Torque Amada. But on the other hand, for Mr. Schippers to make an illusion to this is an important process that you're embarking on and previous generations, as well as this generation, are counting on you to do the right thing, to have that suppressed as if it's some kind of a vicious, partisan comment just struck me as a little bit odd.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Okay. I'll come back to you on the partisanship. Cynthia, what do you think about that? Was that the wrong thing to do, and did you find the proceedings fair?
CYNTHIA TUCKER: Well, Elizabeth, I certainly thought it was fair in a political context. I mean, what do you expect here? This is a political matter. Fair in the courtroom sense? Certainly not. These procedures would never take place in a courtroom. But this is a political process. Henry Hyde did his best, I thought, to be even-handed. But if you look at the vote at the end, all the Republicans voting to proceed, all the Democrats voting not to proceed, it's clearly very partisan. And in that way, it differs fairly dramatically from Watergate, when the House Judiciary Committee took a unanimous vote to proceed. So these proceedings are very partisan, fair, as I said, only in the political sense. The Republicans are clearly in a majority in the House, and they intend to use their political advantage.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Bob Kittle, very partisan, and is there anything wrong with that? What's wrong with being partisan?
ROBERT KITTLE: Well, what's wrong with being partisan, Elizabeth, I think is that you want a broad consensus for any actions as serious as approving articles of impeachment against a president or if it comes to that, action by the Senate, a vote by the Senate to remove him from office. You don't want that to be done along narrow partisan lines. And, unfortunately, that's exactly the way this debate played out in the Judiciary Committee yesterday. I am hopeful that when this reaches the floor of the House in the next couple of days, that Democrats will reflect on the importance of this and see some merit in going ahead with an impeachment inquiry, just an inquiry, not one that prejudges the outcome, but to move ahead and examine these issues, because if it becomes on the House floor a straight party line vote, then I think it cheapens the process. It certainly gives it political overtones and doubts about the legitimacy of it, if it's strictly along party lines. That's not the way to proceed here.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Pat McGuigan, did you find yesterday - very partisan - I know the vote was partisan, but what about looking at the whole event - too partisan?
PATRICK McGUIGAN: I don't know. I think there was a lot of partisanship from the Democratic side. To the extent that there were any nuances, if you will, they were along the lines of what Bob just expressed by the one gentleman - I'm sorry, I can't remember his name - from the Carolinas, who indicated that he wasn't sure where all this was going to lead and if he would, in fact, vote to impeach, that is to, in essence, indict and send the thing on to the Senate -
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: You're talking about Lindsey Graham, Congressman Graham.
PATRICK McGUIGAN: Yes. Thank you. He was not reaching a conclusion on that issue, but he was saying the question is just as Mr. Hyde indicated, do we look further, or do we look away, and the Judiciary Committee made the right decision, and unfortunately, the right decision broke along partisan lines, look further. And I think that was a wise decision. I think it was a statesmanlike decision, not a partisan one by the majority.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And, Susan Albright, do you think that, or do you think that the partisanship is - there's too much partisanship?
SUSAN ALBRIGHT: I'm dismayed at the partisanship. Impeachment is a very serious thing. And I think what the Democrats were actually trying to do yesterday was to bring us back to what scholars of the Constitution would tell you about what the founders meant. They haven't explored that at all, and I think if you do look at what scholars have said - and Rep. Scott from Virginia did some town hall discussions of this a week or so ago - you would find that it has never been applied to a situation like this.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Lee Cullum, where do you come down on whether these proceedings were just too partisan?
LEE CULLUM: Well, Elizabeth, of course, they were partisan. We have a political disagreement here. It's obvious the two parties see the Clinton-Lewinsky matter very differently at this point. I think Bob Kittle is right when he suggests that some Democrats may, indeed, vote for the inquiry to go forward on the floor of the House. I suspect they will. And if Democrats do not cross over and join Republicans in this matter, as time goes on, then it won't get very far. But I don't think we're going to see all the Democrats voting no on Thursday, if that's the day that the vote is taken on the floor of the House. We may see some non-partisanship before it's over.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Okay. Thank you all very much.% ? NEWSMAKER
JIM LEHRER: Now an interview with the new president of the South American nation of Colombia and to Charles Krause.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Andres Pastrana was elected Colombia's president last June, after a hard-fought campaign that turned on three central issues: The first issue -- how to end 30 years of a deadly insurgency that's left nearly half of Colombia in the hands of leftist guerrillas; the second issue -- how to reduce the power of Colombia's drug cartels, which supply 80 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States and have bought protection by corrupting Colombia's government; and finally, Pastrana's promise to reactivate Colombia's depressed economy. A former television journalist and mayor of Bogota, the new president was born into Colombia's economic and political elite. Now 44, his father was Colombia's president when he was a teenager. Yet Andres Pastrana campaigned as a good-government reformer and has demonstrated since his election that he's prepared to take risks to carry out his program. In July, shortly after the election, Pastrana met at a jungle hideout with the leaders of Colombia's largest guerrilla group, the FARC. It was an unprecedented meeting that resulted in a pledge by both sides to begin formal peace negotiations before the end of the year. While still president-elect, he also traveled to Washington for talks with President Clinton at White House. The meeting was intended as another clear signal that the United States is pleased Pastrana won the election. Pastrana was inaugurated in August, succeeding Colombia's outgoing president Ernesto Samper, whose years in office were badly tarnished by allegations that he'd accepted campaign money from Colombia's drug cartels. Samper denied those charges, but the U.S. didn't believe him. It imposed economic sanctions on Colombia, after finding that Samper's government was not a reliable partner in the fight against drugs. At the heart of the U.S. anti-drug program in Colombia is aerial eradication---spraying coca and poppy fields to reduce the supply of raw cocaine and heroin. But many of the fields are located in guerrilla-controlled territory -- and the guerrillas have opposed the spraying efforts in part because they receive money from the drug traffickers. Pastrana has promised the U.S. his full cooperation on the drug issue. But he's also made clear that his first priority is to restore peace to Colombia by ending the guerrilla insurgency -- which has intensified in recent months. We interviewed Pastrana last month, shortly before he addressed the United Nations in New York.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Mr. President, thank you very much for joining us. Do you share the concern of military and intelligence analysts who say that if something is not done quickly, Colombia could be overtaken by the guerrillas and the drug traffickers within three to five years?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA, Colombia: Definitely. I don't - I don't share that point of view. We know that we've been having problems with the guerrilla movements in Colombia for the last 40 years. They have not increased as people sometimes think about. I think right now we should have - you know, the guerrilla movement's nearly 20,000 men. But at the same time, that's why they're working very hard and looking forward to achieving a peace process in the next four years.
CHARLES KRAUSE: How difficult will it be for you to reach an agreement with the guerrillas?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Making peace is not easy. Peace has a lot of enemies, even inside of our country. But I think that for the first time the FARC - for some people it's 85 percent of the guerrilla movement in Colombia - for others it's 75 percent, is the largest group, is the largest guerrilla movement. I met with them. And we agree that the first 90 days of my government, we will sit at the table of negotiations, or we will find out the strategy to sit at the table of negotiations. We are almost 50 days from that. The second step will be sitting - really, really sitting at the table of negotiations. They will appoint their speakers in the table of negotiations. My government would appoint also the speakers and people are going to be in charge of managing the peace process, so we may said that we are almost at 90 days to sit at the negotiations with the FARC. So I think that - I'm positive - I think that for the first time we have seen it - a will, the interest, the insurgents, to sit in the table of negotiations.
CHARLES KRAUSE: At the same time there are paramilitary groups - right wing paramilitary groups, who are said to be organized by and connected to the army. How are you going to deal with it now?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: First of all, fighting them. We are putting a lot of pressure to the army to fight the paramilitary groups. I've said very clear that they have to go into the law, respect the law, respect the constitution, but we'll put in all our efforts to end the paramilitary groups in Colombia. I've said that there are going to be two tables of negotiations, one of the guerrilla and the other with the paramilitary, never mixed 'em. So my purpose at this moment is seeing the guerrilla to try to achieve piece and at the same time putting all the efforts of the army to eradicate the paramilitary groups. And when we started the process with the guerrilla, I think it is the time to start the process with the paramilitary.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Now you've talked about trying to or continue to eradicate coca crops and other crops in the rural parts of the country. How do you propose to deal with the drug cartels, with the manufacture and export of drugs?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: The same strategy that we've done in the last years. We will keep our eradication program, fumigation program, the eradication of - in Colombia but at the same time why don't we try for the first time a different approach to try to eradicate these illicit crops.
CHARLES KRAUSE: And yet it is said that the guerrillas and the drug dealers have an alliance and that the guerillas are not going to allow the eradication to continue and at the same time agree to a cease-fire with government.
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: You remember that I met with the guerilla leaders in the middle of the jungle of Colombia and they gave me ten points. One of them was the eradication of illicit crops.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Did they approve of that?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Oh, yes, and they said to me, look, give us money, and we will eradicate the crops, or do it with the government so we're working in what I have called type - type of is not the word but it's type of like a Marshall Plan - alternative development in these areas where you have illicit crops and also guerrilla presence, so that's why we are creating a new fund to invest in what, in infrastructure, invest in agri-industry, invest in generating new employment, investing in social investment, in education, and water supply, and we hope to get nearly six hundred to eight hundred million dollars to be invested in this type of Marshall Plan. So that's why we are asking the international cooperation that if we have funds, we are going to eradicate the drug problem of Colombia.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Has the United States agreed to contribute to that fund?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Yes, yes. In our first meeting with President Clinton the 3rd of August, when I was only elected president of Colombia, proposed the development of this alternative development of these areas through the AID. We started a new program, a very small amount of money at this moment, but it's the will of the government. It's so the government has shown that they want to work with us, they gave us nearly $1/2 million for this first step, and we're looking forward to get more money and cooperation from the United States.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Do you think the United States needs to do more to stop drugs entering this country?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Definitely. The U.S. needs to do a bigger, very bigger effort to control the demand in the United States and I think that's something that the U.S. Government is starting to do - creating the consciousness that it's not only looking into the policing aspect of the problem, repression, I think that for the first time there's a lot of new investment in creating the culture of prevention and education of the young kids going into drugs, and I think that's one of the purposes of the U.S. Government.
CHARLES KRAUSE: And finally, Mr. President, I have been reporting from Colombia for 20 years. I knew your father. I used to talk with him when I was in Bogota. And we were talking about exactly the same issues then as we are talking about today, the drug dealers, the drug traffickers, the guerrillas, property, the problems of security and all the rest in Colombia. What makes you think that you will be able to do what your five predecessors since then have been unable to do, which is bring peace to Colombia?
PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: I think first were the guerrillas. I think that for the first time the meeting we had in the middle of the jungle of Colombia showed the will of them to go into a peace process. You have more commitment of the people of Colombia. You remember in the past elections, on October 12th, ten million Colombians vote for a mandate for peace for the new government. The church is involved in the peace process. The labor unions are involved in the peace process. The parties is involved in the peace process, the private sector, so I think now, Colombia, you have a complete new environment regarding peace, and I think everybody's willing to do something to bring peace to my country. Second, regarding drug lords, I think that we will put all the efforts to try to really eradicate these problems from Colombia and from the world, but we need the international cooperation.
CHARLES KRAUSE: Mr. President, thank you very much for joining us.% ? FINALLY - LISTENING TO BASEBALL
JIM LEHRER: Some final thoughts tonight about the magic of baseball from NewsHour regular and the poet laureate of the United States Robert Pinsky.
ROBERT PINSKY: There's too much high brow writing about baseball. And the idea of baseball as a bit sacred is corny, I know. But still, this splendid season reminds us that there is something about the game. Baseball combines the predictable, the ordinary, with the extraordinary in a way that more obviously exciting sports don't. In this poem Gale Mazer uses a bit of baseball language, a bit of language that's somewhat divine. "Listening to Baseball in the Car for James Tate." "This morning I argued with a friend about angels. I didn't believe in his belief in them. I cannot believe they're not a metaphor. Our argument, affectionate, lacking an animus, went nowhere. We promised to talk again soon. Now, when I'm driving away from Boston and the Red Sox are losing, I hear the announcer say, 'No angels in the sky today' - baseballease for a cloudless afternoon, no shadows to help a man who waits in the outfield staring into the August sun. Although I know the announcer is not a rabbi or a sage, no, he's a sort of sage, disconsolate philosopher of batting slumps and injuries. Still, I scan the pale blue sky through my polarized windshield, fervently hopeful for my fading team. And I feel something a little foolish, a prayerful throbbing in my throat, and remember being told years ago that men are only little lower than angels. Floating ahead of me, at the Vermont border, I see a few wispy, horse mane clouds, which I quietly pray will drift down to Fenway Park, where a demonic opponent has just slammed another Red Sox pitch, and the centerfielder - call him 'Jim' - runs back, back, back, looking heavenward, and is shielded and doesn't lose the white ball in the glare."
JIM LEHRER: For the record, the agony of Red Sox fans lives on. Their team lost in the first round of the American League playoffs. The second round begins tonight.% ? RECAP
JIM LEHRER: And again, the major stories of this Tuesday, President Clinton said urgent and coordinated steps must be taken to stop the spread of the global economic crisis. He also said the southern Serbian province of Kosovo was a powder keg waiting to explode into a wider Balkans conflict, and Secretary of Defense Cohen told Congress U.S. ground troops might be needed to restore order in Kosovo, but he's not urging that now. We'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
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Episode Description
This episode's headline: Global Crisis; Impeachment Inquiry; Newsmaker; Listening to Baseball. ANCHOR: JIM LEHRER; GUESTS: EDUARDO ANINAT, Finance Minister, Chile; LAWRENCE SUMMERS, Deputy Treasury Secretary; DONALD TSANG, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong; SUSAN ALBRIGHT, Minneapolis Star Tribune; PATRICK McGUIGAN, Daily Oklahoman; CYNTHIA TUCKER, Atlanta Constitution; LEE CULLUM, Dallas Morning News; ROBERT KITTLE, San Diego Union Tribune; ROBERT PINSKY, Poet Laureate; PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA, Colombia; CORRESPONDENTS: MARGARET WARNER; PHIL PONCE; KWAME HOLMAN; ELIZABETH ARNSWORTH;CHARLES KRAUSE; MARGARET WARNER
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Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
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Chicago: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 1998-10-06, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
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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