The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; Libya vs. Britain, Crime Statistics, Missouri Caucuses, and Old Pros
ROBERT MacNEIL: Good evening. Here are the top stories in the news today. The economy grew faster in the first quarter than economists expected. The FBI said crime showed the biggest drop in 23 years. The standoff at the Libya Embassy in London continues. Walter Mondale had an easy victory in Missouri. Jim?
JIM LEHRER: We're giving special attention to three of those stories tonight: the Libya-Britain standoff, with British television coverage and with an American expert on the vagaries of the man Qaddafi; a crime story with an expert to explain what the new numbers really mean, and Kwame Holman report on a special kind of crime in high-techland; the political story with a Missouri reporter to explain what the caucus results mean and don't mean; and, at the end tonight, some words about two aging but gifted athletes, last names Jabbar and Rose.
MacNEIL: The American economy grew even faster in the first three months of this year than government or private economists expected, but none of them saw today's figures as a cause for concern that the economy is overheating. The actual growth was 8.3% from January through March, more than a full percentage point above the government's flash estimate last month. Administration spokesmen sought to dampen down any fears that the economic growth rate would lead to higher interest rates and inflation. White House spokesman Larry Speakes said, "We expect a moderation of growth in the second quarter. It's obvious that the economy will remain strong with low levels of inflation. Undersecretary of Commerce Sydney Jones called the first-quarter figures "a temporary acceleration in the pace of the economic expansion." Some private economists were less optimistic. Wall Street reacted at first with falling prices, but recovered to close with the Dow Jones industrial average up 1 1/2 points at 1158.08. President Reagan left the White House this morning on the first leg of an 11,000-mile trip to China. Today he stopped in Tacoma, Washington, where he told a group of exporters and importers what he hoped to do in Peking that could improve trade relations with China.
Pres. RONALD REAGAN: The United States is now China's third-largest trading partner, and we have over 100 American companies with offices there, and the United States is now China's leading foreign investor. We want to further improve the investment climate. We've already signed a series of bilateral agreements with China covering trade and financial matters, and when we arrive in Peking next week I'll continue our talks on agreements involving taxes and financial investment. There are other trade issues that we're still resolving with China, and I know that, as in any relationship, there are going to be some growing pains. You know as I do that occasionally the interests of diplomacy and the interests of American industry sometimes seem to collide. Well, I see it as our job to reconcile the two and to make it easier for American businessmen to open up new markets on a fair footing.
MacNEIL: The President then went on to his ranch near Santa Barbara, California, to spend three days. He'll go to Hawaii on Sunday to spend two days, then to Guam for a night, and will arrive in Peking a week from today. Jim? Libya's Foreign Relations
LEHRER: The impasse between Britain and Libya continues. London police remain in position around Libya's People's Bureau, or embassy, in St. James's Square. They've been there since Tuesday when a machine gun fired from the Libyan building wounded 11 demonstrators protesting the government of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. A British police-woman was shot to death in that incident. Today Qaddafi said the British were responsible for the violence. In an NBC interview he claimed British police in helicopters attacked the embassy and the policewoman was killed by shots fired by British police during that attack. It's version termed "totally false" by the British Foreign Office. Qaddafi said nothing else, but a lifting of the British siege of the embassy would end the impasse, while Britain maintained its demand that police search the embassy building and question the Libyans inside. John Hale of Visnews reports on today's events in London and Tripoli, Libya.
JOHN HALE, Visnews [voice-over]: British police staked out the People's Bureau for a third day while diplomatic moves towards a solution got off the ground. As the police shift changed in St. Jame's Square, Britain's Foreign Office was suggesting that the diplomatic spotlight had moved to Tripoli. Police marksmen remained alert, just in case there was any resumption of Tuesday's gunfire. A British flag flying on a building close by was lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect for the dead policewoman. Food supplies and newspapers were delivered to those inside the bureau, but the central London square remains closed to all but the police and security forces.
In Tripoli, several hundred Libyans took part in what was described as a spontaneous demonstration outside the British Embassy. Although they shook their fists and waved anti-British banners, it was generally a good-natured protest.
LEHRER [voice-over]: Libya's charges against Britain were repeated in a number of different countries by Libyan diplomats.In New Delhi, India, the head of Libya's embassy there said his country does not want to escalate the situation, but would not hesitate to defend its prestige, honor and dignity.Here in Washington the action was mostly anti-Qaddafi. Most demonstrators against him wore masks to avoid being identified by Libyan officials, but one protestor did not share that concern.
ALY ABUZAAKOUK, Libyan dissident: We want a real protect against this kind of practices. We should not give into terror. Giving in to terror only gives him a chance to make more terror. But if we stand firm against this terrorism and against his terrorist acts, we think it is an opportunity for us all.
LEHRER: British television obviously is devoting major coverage to this story, and we have a portion of tonight's edition of the BBC's Newsnight program that dealt with the nature of the Libyans in and outside that embassy building.
DONALD MacCORMACK, BBC Newsnight: Members of the anti-Qaddafi movement in Britain who actually organized Tuesday's fateful demonstration have some fascinating insights into their opponents' attitudes, and David Tindall has been meeting some of them. Because they are Libyan dissidents, their voices as well their appearances are disguised in this film.
DAVID CINTINDALL, BBC Newsnight [voice-over]: This man is one of the organizers of Tuesday's demonstration. He's a member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, the biggest opposition group to Colonel Qaddafi's regime. He's one of 5,000 Libyan students in Britain, and his organization claims that 80% of them are in sympathy with its aim of overthrowing the present government. Understandably, they have to operate in secret. They say that spies have been planted in the student community to identify them and that there are about a dozen hit squads out to assassinate them. Were we to show this man's face, he says it would be tantamount to a sentence of death.
The National Front's activities are clearly hurting Qaddafi. Last month's bomb attacks in Manchester were directed aginst them. The National Front is financed by Libyan businessmen in exile and claims considerable success in spreading anti-Qaddafi propaganda inside Libya. The organization's clandestine radio station in neighboring Sudan is certainly a thorn in Qaddafi's side. Last month he ordered an air strike to wipe it out, but they say he got the wrong station. Qaddafi knows there are more than 20,000 Libyan students outside his country, in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and in the Middle East. His fear is that the men who may well become the professional backbone of Libya in years to come are already being organized and subverted abroad. A revolution by remove.
The students we spoke to today are senior members of the National Front.For obvious reasons they didn't want to use their real names or be identified in any way. They've been afraid and still are afraid of the pro-Qaddafi students, who they believe are hit men controlled from within the People's Bureau.
MEMBER, National Front for the Salvation of Libya: First of all, they're not actually genuine students. They are sent specially by Qaddafi to come into the country under the disguise of students. They register in various schools and colleges all around the country where there are a large Libyan students, and use their student status as a disguise. But actually their real activities is follow the students, monitoring their activities, collecting data about them and monitoring all the opposition work. And then they use this information against us.
CINTINDALL [interviewing]: Can I ask you what you know for certain, pretty certain, about the people presently inside the People's Bureau, the embassy, in London?
NFSL MEMBER: The people inside the embassy at St. James's Square are divided into three main groups. There's a military group, there is the revolutionary group, and there is the sort of clerical, ordinary embassy staff. The military group is also a revolutionary group. They are the hit squads.
CINTINDALL: How many?
NFSL MEMBER: We reckon there are at least eight people there of highly trained, specially trained hit squads.
CINTINDALL: And do you think it would be one of these people who probably did the shooting?
NFSL MEMBER: Yes, it's most likely. And these people have different conception in what Qaddafi wants or what the revolution is all about. And they are the ones who are pushing for militant action. They will stand, you know, firm against all British authorities' efforts to get them out, and they will probably be even prepared to die. There are some of them who are on suicide missions here. The other people, of course, are now just stuck with it, and they will probably be the ones who are trying to bring the other people to their senses, and say, "Look, let's get out of this and let's handle it in the proper and ordinary manner rather than in a militant manner." So I reckon that there is some sort of difference going on at the moment, difference of what do to about what to do.
CINTINDALL: What about weapons and explosives? What do you know about that inside the embassy?
NFSL MEMBER: I think it's an established fact that there is a large arsenal of weapons of all types inside that place, and explosives. These weapons have been smuggled into this country since 1979, 1980. And, in the recent bombing attacks in London and Manchester, some of these devices were actually brought into this country, especially from Libya through diplomatic bags and by embassy personnel and airlines officials.
CINTINDALL: Well, how do you know that for sure?
NFSL MEMBER: We know that from our own sources who are in contact with what is going on amongst the revolutionary committees. We have infiltrated the Qaddafi system to a certain extent, and we have some first-hand information about what is going on.
CINTINDALL: It would appear that there are widely disparate groups within that embassy. What's the fears of a shoot-out between them? They can't agree over what to do next.
NFSL MEMBER: Yes, considering the psychological atmosphere that is building up there and the strain and the stress that must be growing inside that place, I think that is a very likely possibility. These people might turn against each other because there is very little love lost between them, and now if they are cut off from contact with Qaddafi in Libya, they will be at a loss as to what to do next, and there will be differences of opinion and there will be disputes inside that place, and it can very easily turn into an internal shootout amongst themselves.
MacNEIL: The man who is calling the shots, at least figuratively in Libya, and presumbably inside the Libyan Embassy in London, is Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. For more on that controversial Libyan leader and his vocal opponents, we turn to Lisa Anderson, assistant professor of government at Harvard University. Professor Anderson is considered one of the leading academic authorities on modern Libya in this country. First of all, listening to those students, did what they describe as suicide hit squads, arms imported through embassies and explosive, does that square with what you understand of how Qaddafi is proceeding against his opponents overseas?
LISA ANDERSON: Yes, I actually thought that was a plausible account of what's likely to be happening in the embassy. It's certainly consistent with what we know about the last several years of efforts to eliminate dissidents overseas.
MacNEIL: Does he just regard it as perfectly within his right to proceed violently against people overseas who don't agree with him?
Prof. ANDERSON: Yeah, I think it's probably best understood as an export of the civil war, that this is taking place on foreign territory. But from his point of view it is a domestic matter that he has the right to deal with opponents to his regime as he sees fit, and that, really, foreigners, as he sees it, should not intervene in that and should not be involved.
MacNEIL: And he's unorthodox enough to consider that using his own embassy that way is perfectly legitimate?
Prof. ANDERSON: Sure, that's an appropriate --
MacNEIL: Now, how serious a threat to him do the Libyans overseas present?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, they're clearly an annoyance, and they're an increasing annoyance to him. It is, in a sense, however, exile politics. It's unlikely to waft back into Libya in a serious way, but it embarrasses him, it annoys him. The opponents to his regime that are in Egypt and the Sudan, for example, are broadcasting into Libya, and that kind of thing, and it bothers him.
MacNEIL: How do you read what's been going on in London for the last few days?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, I think this is an extension of the activities of the hit squads and the efforts to intimidate and/or eliminate the dissidents. But it's gone further, I think, than Qaddafi himself would have intended it to. In other words, firing out of the embassy makes it quite clear that there's a government connection there, which is probably -- the people in the embassy probably took something into their own hands somewhat, and in that sense I think he would view it as having been a mistake. On the other hand, I think he's going to back the people there.
MacNEIL: There was a report today by ABC that U.S. intelligence had picked up -- intercepted a radio broadcast from Libya to Britain before this incident instructing the embassy to use force against the dissident demonstrators outside. Does that seem plausible to you?
Prof. ANDERSON: Yes, it does seem plausible to me. I don't think, once again, that they intended to have someone fire from the embassy, because that creates an international incident of such magnitude that I think it was going too far from their point of view.On the other hand, they did want to get the demonstrators away from the embassy because it is an embarrassment to the regime.
MacNEIL: Now, with the situation there is now, Qaddafi saying there is no solution but for the British to let them all go and take the siege of the embassy away, are the Libyans determined enough, do you think, just to hold out and resist and resist and resist in this case? How do you imagine what's going to happen?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, I think there are two aspects in this. One is that I think Qaddafi is quite determined to not cave in from his point of view. I mean, he doesn't hold international law in very high regard, and in that sense, from his point of view there's no particular reason why he should try and accommodate the British. I think it's also true that the people inside the embassy -- and this was discussed by these students -- are in quite a jam themselves, because on the one hand they are depending on Qaddafi's support; on the other hand, the chances are that if they go back to Libya they're going to be in a fair amount of trouble.
MacNEIL: You mean they're not going to be regarded as heros?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, they'll go back and, in the first instance, be heros and, within about three or four days after that sort of welcome, then they're going to be in a lot of trouble.
MacNEIL: Presumably they know that?
Prof. ANDERSON: Yes, I think they know that.
MacNEIL: Which would increase the tensions inside the embassy?
Prof. ANDERSON: Exactly. Exactly. So there are some holdouts there who do not want to be released and sent back to Libya.
MacNEIL: I see. Is it conceivable it could come to a shootout?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, I think that's --
MacNEIL: I mean from their point of view.
Prof. ANDERSON: Yeah, I think that's possible. I do think that there are very likely people in the embassy who are in trouble.
MacNEIL: Do the British not have a great deal more to lose if it can't be solved peacefully in this, given that there are 8,000 British citizens living in Libya?
Prof. ANDERSON: Well, I think that the British are in some difficulties right now, because it's true, they have 8,000 people in Libya, and they have fairly substantial economic interests there, which they could not close up immediately and leave. So that I think what they would prefer is some sort of resolution that permits them either to continue relations with Libya or certainly have some time where they can bring their people out peacefully.
MacNEIL: But if they were to achieve their ends, the British end, and get to search the embassy for arms, they might then uncover actual evidence of the Libyan -- of Qaddafi's forces proceeding against --
Prof. ANDERSON: Oh, I'm sure they would.
MacNEIL: -- which would be Qaddafi's motive for not letting them into the embassy.
Prof. ANDERSON: That's right.That's right.
MacNEIL: Well, Ms. Anderson, thank you very much for joining us. Jim?
LEHRER: Lebanon, once a daily dateline, rarely shows up in American news reports anymore, ours included. Many predicted that would happen once the U.S. Marines pulled out, and that's turned out to be correct.But that does not mean the story has ended. There were two significant and related happenings there today. Another ceasefire was declared, and the leaders of the Christian Druse and Shiite Muslim militias all vowed to observe and enforce it. It came as Lebanese President Amin Gemayel went to Damascus for talks with Syrian President Assad. Here is a report from Phil Davis of Visnews.
PHIL DAVIS [voice-over]: For Lebanese President Amin Gemayel it was a second visit to Damascus in two months. But this time a real agreement is in sight. The two leaders discussed the final touches of a reform program likely to please Gemayel's Muslim opponents and the Damascus government. The Lebanese president hopes the plan will clear the way for a government of national unity.The president has said the deal will represent something of a personal triumph, the creation of a pro-Damascus government in Beirut, and the end to any Washington-imposed settlement in Lebanon.
LEHRER: And to finish out the foreign news of the day: in Vienna, NATO offered a way to end a 10-year deadlock over reducing ground forces in Europe.It proposed to Communist-bloc negotiators that only ground combat soldiers and their support troops be counted, leaving out service and air forces. The problem in negotiating reductions up 'til now has been on the initial count of what each side has. Communist negotiators said they would study the new idea.
In Nicaragua the U.S-backed contra guerrillas pulled out of San Juan del Norte, the small town they occupied Friday.They gave no reason for the withdrawal, but presumably it was to avoid attack from government troops. And the ambassador of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua wanted to send to the United States has been rejected by Washington. Nora Astorga is her name; during the regime of dictator Anastasio Somoza she enticed a high-ranking officer to her bedroom so revolutionaries could kill him. That made her a national heroine in Nicaragua, but a State Department official said today, "She is not the type of person we want here."
[Video postcard -- Mesquite Flat, California]
LEHRER: On March 16th, 1978, a super oil tanker went aground in a storm off the coast of France. Some 68 million gallons of oil spilled out into the Atlantic Ocean, creating an oil slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long, and eventually killing thousands of birds and fish and leaving 100 miles of French beaches covered with black tar. Today in Chicago, six years later, a federal judge ruled the owner of that ship -- Standard Oil of Indiana and two subsidiaries -- are liable to the French government for the damage. The next step is to set the amount of the damages, and lawyers estimate claims from the French and others could total more than $3 billion.That makes it the largest maritime lawsuit in history. Robin? Crime Drop: What Do the Numbers Mean?
MacNEIL: The FBI announced today that the number of serious crimes reported to police dropped 7% in 1983. That was the second significant drop in two years, and the largest one-year decline since 1960. Attorney General William French Smith said, "This marvelous news proves we are beginning to win the battle against crime with some of the most significant initiatives and results in years. The crime figures, which are preliminary and thus subject to revision, showed that murder dropped by 9%, rape was down 1%, robbery down 9%, and aggravated assault down 3%.In the list of property crimes burglary dropped 10%; larceny and theft, 6%; and auto theft, 6%. To analyze what these numbers do and don't mean, we have with us a journalistic expert. He is Michael Serrill, former editor of Corrections magazine, who currently covers criminal justice issues for Time magazine. Mr. Serrill, what's the significance of these statistics to you?
MICHAEL SERRILL: Well, I think they show a long-term demographic trend of crime downward that a lot of criminologists have been expecting to happen for a decade. They predicted it wrong a couple of times back in the mid-'70s, but they think now that the decline in crime that they've expected is finally happening.
MacNEIL: What do you mean by demographic trend?
Mr. SERRILL: Well, what the criminologists say is that a lot of the crime that we saw in the '60s and '70s, and especially in the late '60s and early '70s, was due to this swelling of the population, of the youthful population, because of the post-World War II baby boom, during which time something like a third of the American population was born. And when they began to reach their teenaged years around 1960, crime almost immediately skyrocketed.
MacNEIL: Because statistically most crime of this nature is perpetrated by young men in their late teens and 20s? Is that it?
Mr. SERRILL: Exactly. Yes.
MacNEIL: I see. And is that decline expected to continue demographically?
MacNEIL: Criminologists are saying that the decline could continue as long as a decade, but they're being very cautious about that, because they're not exactly sure what other factors have gone into the decline in crime. While they say that demographics may be a dominant factor in raising and decreasing crime rates, there are a lot of other factors that they can't quantify.
MacNEIL: Now, granted that presidents are entitled by tradition to claim credit for anything good that happens while they're president, is the Reagan administration entitled to claim credit for this decline, as you've just heard me quote William French Smith as doing?
Mr. SERRILL: Well, in fact this administration has done a lot less in terms of fighting crime by giving local police money than its predecessors, and the Nixon administration especially, and the Johnson administration. During those years the federal government was giving as much as a billion dollars a year through the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to local police departments to start innovative projects. During the Carter administration and, finally, during the Reagan administration that program was allowed to die.
MacNEIL: Well, what does the attorney general mean by when he says, "We're winning the battle against crime with some of the most significant initiatives and results in years?"
Mr. SERRILL: Well, he's using a royal "we" there.He may mean we, the law enforcement community. The law enforcement community has taken credit for at least some of this decrease, which, again, the criminologists think is a risky thing for them to do, because if they take credit for its decrease, then later on they may have to take credit for whatever increases there are.
MacNEIL: I see. So you don't think the Reagan administration is entitled to credit for these figures? Or the people you report on don't believe that. Is that correct?
Mr. SERRILL: I don't -- I haven't seen any evidence.
MacNEIL: All right. What about the attorney general -- he also said that the decline is partly due because a lot more criminals are locked up in jail now, and those who aren't can expect to be more than in the past?
Mr. SERRILL: That's a matter of controversy among the people who study crime and crime statistics. It has long been felt by criminologists that there was no relationship between crime rates and rates of imprisonment. But now, because the number of people in prison and the rate at which people are going to prison has increased so drastically during the last 10 years, the experts are saying that it's hard to believe that there isn't some connection, at least in a marginal way, between the crime reduction and the rate of imprisonment. But, again, it's very difficult to quantify, and you can talk about two states to illustrate why it's unlikely that the rate of imprisonment is having a major effect on crime rates. For instance, North Carolina was constant, had about the same crime rate. North Carolina imprisons people at five times the rate that Wisconsin does. So that would indicate that the cause of crime or the reason that crime is at the level it is in Wisconsin has to do with factors other than imprisonment.
MacNEIL: How reliable are these FBI statistics? The Justice Department had a survey awhile ago in which it said that maybe as many as a third of violent crimes are not reported.
Mr. SERRILL: Well, actually the survey showed that only a third of crimes are reported.
MacNEIL: All right, I've got it the wrong way around.
Mr. SERRILL: Yeah.
MacNEIL: Now, these are figures that come from local police departments sent up to Washington, right?
Mr. SERRILL: Yeah, the Uniform Crime Report, which is the raft of statistics that was released yesterday by the FBI, are crimes reported to the police. There is an alternative survey called the National Crime Survey, which is done by the Bureau of the Census. And what they do is they interview households, 160,000 households around the country, to find out how many people were victimized, which is a much more accurate way of determining how many crimes there were, and that survey has found that only one-third of the crime was reported. However, it also found, since it began in 1973, that crime is not reported in a very consistent way. For instance, the number of robberies not reported every year is about 50%, which would indicate that the FBI statistics, according to the revisionist view among people who used to criticize them, are a fairly accurate indicator of trends, but by no means completely accurate.
MacNEIL: So the American public could have confidence that crime is going down overall?
Mr. SERRILL: The experts that I talk to say that they can have that confidence. There may be some glitches in the chart; it may not be as drastic a decline, or it may not happen as rapidly as some are now predicting that it will, but --
MacNEIL: It is going down?
Mr. SERRILL: -- they think it is going down.
MacNEIL: Well, Mr. Serrill, thank you for joining us.
Mr. SERRILL: Thank you very much for having me.
MacNEIL: Jim? Drugs in Silicon Valley
LEHRER: And there's the problem of drug abuse on which the crime statistics are mostly silent, but which most law enforcement officials say leads to much of the counted crime, particularly the violent ones like murder and armed robbery. But police and others are also increasingly concerned about the economic and personal losses drug use causes in the American workplace. And none are exempt, not even the most sophisticated of them, like the factories in Silicon Valley, the concentration of high-tech computer firms 30 miles south of San Francisco. Kwame Holman reports.
KWAME HOLMAN [voice-over]: This desolate section of road near Highway 101 in San Jose, California, is within easy driving distance of many high-technology companies. It's an area where employees reportedly go on their lunch hours to buy and use drugs.
WALT TIBBETT, undercover agent: It's a real common place in the afternoon to go to score cocaine from people in the electronics industry. It's an excellent place for a meet because it's out in the open.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Walt Tibbett is an undercover officer with the San Jose police department. He showed us this location with Beverly, a high-tech engineer and a former drug dealer.She now works as an informant for the police.
Mr. TIBBETT: The blue van that we're looking at has been identified as a known source of supply, individual who could possibly have at least a couple of ounces of cocaine.
"BEVERLY", engineer and former drug dealer: There's somebody out in that van.
Mr. TIBBETT: Yeah, I know. Anybody use any signals out here?
Mr. TIBBETT: What's his signal?
BEVERLY: Some of them are lights, opening the hood, leaving your car door open.
Mr. TIBBETT: All signals now that they're looking to buy?
HOLMAN: Exactly how much drug use went on at the companies where you worked? One out of 10 workers, five out of 10?
BEVERLY: I'd say about eight out of 10 people. For every 10 people there were eight that used.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Employees who use drugs usually do it secretly so there are no hard statistics on the problem. To measure it one has to rely on the first-hand experiences of those who work and live in Silicon Valley.
BEVERLY: It's rather a lot 'cause there's a lot of pressure, and engineers, technicians, supervisers, they work really long hours, and in order to keep up with the hours and the pressure, they need drugs to go -- to keep them going.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Joseph MacNamara is chief of the San Jose police department.
JOSEPH MacNAMARA, chief, San Jose Police Department: We have some drug abusers who are in programs locally who claim that the rate of use in some of these corporations runs from 60 to 80 percent. And while we're questionable in terms of just how large it is, we do know from cases that law enforcement has made and from information from informants that the drug abuse in Silicon Valley runs the gamut from the assembly line worker right up to the top management levels.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: But many top managers say the problem is not as serious as Chief MacNamara suggests. Jerry Sanders is president of Advanced Micro Devices, a maker of integrated circuits and employer of 5,000 workers.
JERRY SANDERS, president, Advanced Micro Devices: I don't think that we have a disproportionate drug problem to a cross-section of the same age group as any other industry. As you probably have heard from some of my colleagues at Advanced Micro Devices, people are our most important resource, so anything which, you know, impinges upon their well-being, we're interested in.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Drugs are a problem in many industries, but high technology is not just another industry. Tiny semiconductors like these are vital to missile guidance systems, kidney dialysis machines and the NASA space shuttle. The work that goes into them must be precise.If workers are using drugs and produce defective semiconductors, the consequences can be very serious.
BEVERLY: After awhile I was doing so much drugs that you don't see mistakes, and a mistake just gets larger and larger and larger until it gets down to where the company has, like, spent, say, $5,000 to have these boards built up, and spent money and find out they don't work because of an engineer default. And it wasn't because the engineer wasn't smart enough; he was just burnt out.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Dick Hesenflow is a former narcotics detective. He now works as a drug consultant to several Valley companies.
DICK HESENFLOW, drug consultant: If you're testing for military application, and you have 100,000 pieces you have to test and this person is stoned, his judgment is impaired, he doesn't know if he tested those things or not.What if that went into your pacemaker or your father's pacemaker, and then suddenly, a year and a half or six months down the road it began to fail? And you don't know why, and you can't lay the blame on anybody. That's why it's so important.It affects all of our lives somewhere along the line.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: There are several kinds of drugs that workers use -- cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana -- and the prices vary. Those who use cocaine frequently can spend $200 a week on the drug, encouraging some of them to steal from the company in order to support their cocaine use. Integrated circuits, or ICs, are in great demand today. Some ICs can bring as much as 10 times their normal price on Silicon Valley's flourishing grey market.
ED LOYD, former security director: Ninety percent of the theft that takes place, I would say, is directly attributed for drug use.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Ed Loyd is a former director of security for one of the Valley's larger employers.
Mr. LOYD: If you steal the ICs to give to a drug dealer that takes the risk out of your hands. You have a supplier.You don't have to worry about the police catching you on the sting. The drug dealer sells to a supplier who goes for the sting operation.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: These videotapes are from a sting operation run last year by the San Jose police department. The police opened a bar near a residential neighborhood expecting to buy stolen household items. They were surprised when many of their clients walked in with computers, disk drives and integrated circuits.
Chief MacNAMARA: We frequently recover stolen property, and we found in the last sting operation, for example, most of the people arrested were coke users, according to police officers who dealt with them. And so the employees steal. We have one statement, for example, that virtually everyone in the company had stolen a computer from a company that manufactures computers.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: The responsibility for keeping drugs out of the workplace is shared by industry and the police, but Chief MacNamara said he doesn't have enough manpower to fight the problem and that industry is lax in policing itself.
Chief MacNAMARA: Even companies where the executives are against drug abuse, it seems to us, are not sending out the right message.There is sort of a laissez-faire attitude in which they say, well, what the employees do is their own business."
Mr. SANDERS: We're very definite about what our attitudes are toward any kind of drug abuse. I mean, specifically, if anyone is selling or using drugs on company premises, it's an immediate dismissal. There is no appeal.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: In some companies, we are told, management didn't know they had a drug problem because the word never reached the top. Supervisors didn't report it because they were users themselves. In other companies management made it clear that they didn't want to know.
Mr. LOYD: Who wants to have the reputation of having drug users in your corporation?Your board of directors and stockholders, they feel, would not appreciate it. And definitely your quality control would be questioned by people buying from you. That's probably the biggest reason. It's not a very positive reason, but that's probably the biggest reason they deny it.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Ed Loyd quit his job at one of the Valley's leading companies because, he says, he couldn't get managment support to fight the drug problem.
Mr. LOYD: I could no longer condone turning my back and saying it doesn't exist when I knew it did. The good employees out there were asking for help. I was a director of security. They were asking me for help.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Loyd's company finally did have some employees arrested; other companies are taking a more progressive approach. Advanced Micro Devices has hired a professional counseling firm to help its employees deal with all kinds of personal problems.
EMPLOYEE, Advanced Micro Devices: The feeling that you get when you do some good coke and it kind of picks you up a little bit, makes you feel better, you know. It's like when your adrenaline starts flowing, you know, and you start feeling really good about yourself. And --
SUE TANENBAUM, director, employee relations, Advanced Micro Devices: You feel good about yourself.You feel high, you feel on, you feel competent.
EMPLOYEE: Right, but you know --
Ms. TANENBAUM: How long does that last?
EMPLOYEE: Not long.
Ms. TANENBAUM: Our employee assistance program is designed to help employees who have problems, and the deal that we work with the employees, quite frankly, is, you know, "If you want to retain your job, we're willing to work with you on this. We're willing to work with you through the counseling system, but you have to be willing to take that step."
HOLMAN [voice-over]: No one can force a company to fight drugs. Chief MacNamara found that out recently when he sent letters to over 100 high-tech firms offering to help with drug-related problems. Initially only two accepted. A few more have accepted since then. That kind of response worries MacNamara. He says the drug abuse uncovered so far may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Chief MacNAMARA: There have been companies now that are under federal government scrutiny for producing inferior goods for defense contracts. We know what drug abuse does, and when we see these kind of conditions we know that the productivity of the company has to deteriorate. We see a lot of companies going out of business on almost a monthly basis here in Silicon Valley. Certainly not all of that related to drugs or to crime or to those kind of problems, but we think maybe more of it is related than ever comes out, given the picture that we're seeing here.
[Video postcard -- Loveland Basin, Colorado] The Missouri Vote
ROBERT MacNEIL: Walter Mondale, encouraged by another delegate victory yesterday in Missouri, campaigned today in Ohio and turned his attack from Gary Hart to Reagan delegate economic policies. He said the administration hoped to dance past the election before the American people hear the bad news. Gary Hart, on a five-city tour of Texas, attacked Mondale, saying, "I don't think those of us who are Democrats can afford to go back to Walter Mondale's policies of the past, because those special interest policies have already been rejected in the election of 1980. Jesse Jackson, in Greensboro, North Carolina, continued his attack on two-tier primaries and other practices he says limit black participation. Judy Woodruff has more on what happened in yesterday's Missouri caucuses. Judy?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Robin, the results in Missouri were enough to put a big smile on Walter Mondale's face. With 74% of the vote counted, the former vice president had 56% to 22% for Hart, 18% for Jackson, and the remaining 3% uncommitted to any candidate. Missouri Democratic officials estimated the results would ultimately give Mondale about 55 of the 75 national convention delegates at stake last night. Spokesmen for Senator Hart said he never expected to win Missouri because it was a caucus state, in their words, "heavily labor oriented," where Mondale had a big advantage in organization. Hart aides have insisted that their best states are yet to come, most of them in the West. Mondale, meanwhile, said that he thinks his win in Missouri improves his chances of wrapping up the nomination before the Democratic National Convention begins in July. Joining us this evening from St. Louis to analyze the Missouri results is Les Pearson, the political editor of a major Missouri newspaper, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
Mr. Pearson, Senator Hart's people have said that they weren't surprised at all by these results. Were you surprised?
LES PEARSON: No, I really wasn't, Judy. The signs were there from the beginning that Mr. Mondale would do very well in Missouri. He has a great deal of organized labor support here, and has been -- he's been here three or four times, and his workers have been very active in trying to make certain that they turn out everybody at the caucuses that they could get out. I think one thing that surprised us was the size of the Jackson turnout in some parts of the metropolitan area in St. Louis, and to a lesser degree in Kansas City. They really cranked out the people.
WOODRUFF: How do you account for that?
Mr. PEARSON: Well, Jackson was here during most of the last three or four days. There's a convention of black mayors in St. Louis right now; he was here and spoke to that group. He was in the middle of Missouri on a couple of rallies, which attracted, curiously, the attention of a group called the American Agricultural Movement, where a group of small farmers joined in his rally in a couple of places, in Columbia, Missouri, which is right in the middle of what used to be called Little Dixie in the old days in this state. And it was a curious sight happened in Missouri. And the turnout for Jackson in some of the areas of St. Louis County was just phenomenal, and St. Louis city as well.
WOODRUFF: Your overall turnout was up. Do you think that's mainly attributable then to the Jackson support.
Mr. PEARSON: Oh, Jackson and the labor unions spent a lot of time trying to get out their vote. The United Auto Workers, very strong here. Senator Hart irritated the Machinists Union and others at McDonnell Douglas by saying he would cancel F-18 and F-15 contracts, and that employs about 10,000 people in the St. Louis area. They don't like the idea of their jobs being cut off by a cancellation of the contract. That's part of the problem.
WOODRUFF: Was it really labor then that mainly accounts for Mr. Hart's not doing any better than he did? I know Hart's staff said that it's all labor, and they sort of dismissed Missouri and said, "We didn't expect to win."
Mr. PEARSON: No, I don't think it's all labor.It is the entire Democratic establishment -- Senator Thomas Eagleton, the mayor of St. Louis, most of the Democratic congressmen in this state, of which there are six, the former governor, Joseph Teasedale -- most of the Democratic establishment was for Mr. Mondale, and they are not for Senator Hart.
WOODRUFF: So you don't really see the scenario whereby he could have done much better than he did?
Mr. PEARSON: Who, Senator Hart?
WOODRUFF: Mr. Hart, that's right.
Mr. PEARSON: No, I don't think he could have done much better.
WOODRUFF: Your own newspaper published a poll, I think it was yesterday, indicating that in a matchup against President Reagan, Senator Hart was virtually tied, whereas Mr. Reagan would have beat Mr. Mondale. Is that an indication that these caucuses are really not very representative of Missouri votes overall?
Mr. PEARSON: Well, I think it's an indication, Judy, that the caucuses are not representative of the independent voter in this state, of which our poll, that poll, showed that, you know, that about 50% of the sample, 51% of the sample are people who consider themselves to be independent voters. They do not want a party label and reject one. They were, I think by 46 to 26 percent, Hart supporters, the independents. On the other hand, the Democrats were, by about the same margin, Mondale supporters. If you --
WOODRUFF: Well, what does that -- excuse me.
Mr. PEARSON: If you mix them up in the sampling of non-Republican voters, then Hart comes out on top for that group.
WOODRUFF: What does that say then about the caucus process, that it's really not a very repesentative procedure?
Mr. PEARSON: I think the caucus process is not a representative procedure. It has been the only procedure that Missouri has ever used, to my knowledge, at least in modern day. And I don't see much sign that we'll go to a primary. But the caucus is dominated by the organizations, and it has the additional problem of being something in which, you know, a guy has to stand up and go from one part of the room to another part of the room and join a Mondale caucus or join a Hart caucus or join a Jackson caucus, and he is seen by all of his peers to do that, and if he's in a different position than they are, then, you know, unless he's a strong individual, he may not go. He may do what they want him to do rather than what he wants to do.
WOODRUFF: And one last question, quickly. What's your best guess about November? If Mr. Mondale is the Democratic nominee, how do you think he'll do against President Reagan?
Mr. PEARSON: Well, In Missouri, I don't yet think that Mr. Mondale will defeat President Reagan. The margins are about the same from polls we've had in the past. I just think President Reagan is not defeated as far as Missouri's concerned. A lot of things can change between now and November, but if the election were today, I think President Reagan would defeat Mr. Mondale.
WOODRUFF: All right, good.Thank you, Mr. Pearson, for being with us.
Mr. PEARSON: Thank you very much.
LEHRER: To Robin.
MacNEIL: Researchers on both sides of the Atlantic say they are ready to announce they now have strong evidence that a cancer virus is the cause of the deadly disease AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome. For the last year researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the National Cancer Institute in Washington and the Pasteur Institute in Paris have been studying the blood of AIDS victims for traces of a type of leukemia virus. In a series of papers soon to be published by the journal, Science, the researchers report that at least 80% of the victims tested have evidence of that virus in their blood. In comparison, less than 1% of healthy Americans show signs of that virus. The virus attacks white blood cells essential in fighting infection. This could explain why AIDS victims are defenseless against infectious diseases. Still, the researchers cautioned that further work is needed to confirm absolutely that the virus is the cause of AIDS and not just another one of the many bugs that take advantage of victims' weakened immune system.
To review the top stories of the day, the American economy grew faster than economists expected in the first quarter of this year, but few saw the figures as a cause for concern about inflation.
President Reagan left the White House on the first leg of a trip to China, and outlined plans for improving trade with the Chinese.
Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, said the British were responsible for the violence at the Libyan Embassy in London.The British police maintained their siege.
NATO offered the Warsaw Pact countries a new proposal to end the deadlock over reducing ground forces in Europe.
And the FBI announced that the number of serious crimes reported to police dropped by 7% last year.
Jim? Two Great Players: Jabbar and Rose
LEHRER: And, finally tonight, a story about two old men who still play young men's games. If you're a sports fan their names are familiar: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, superstar basketball player; Pete Rose, superstar baseball player. Jabbar just became the all-time leading scorer in the history of professional basketball. And on Monday he turned 37 years old. No one in his game now is older. Rose celebrated his 43rd birthday last Saturday, the day after he became the second player in his game's history to have made 4,000 baseball hits. For those who know of either or both and for those who don't, some words about them now from superstar sports journalist Larry Merchant.
LARRY MERCHANT: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Pete Rose are not your run-of-the-mill great athlete who routinely performs deeds of derring-do. In their styles as well as their achievements they set themselves apart and above. Kareem, the calm natural in the midst of basketball's hurley-burley; Rose, the hurley-burley in the midst of baseball's natural calm. In recent days both of them have passed significant milestones in their sports, each in their special way.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, widely regarded as the best offensive player in the history of basketball, confirmed that regard when he broke the career scoring record held by Wilt Chamberlain -- 31,419 points. The achievement was greeted with universal applause, as though the record rightly belonged to him. He has been a star for 20 years, 15 as a professional. And yet, at the advanced age of 37, the 7'2" Jabbar is still performing at a championship level in a fast-paced, young man's game. He plays with a panache unheard of for a big man before him, and still rare. His favorite shot, called the sky hook, has the graceful, controlled sweep of ballet. It's the sort of shot everyone who can bounce a basketball tries to imitate. The basket that broke the record was typical. With fans cheering wildly for him to go for it, he first appraised the situation, looked for Los Angeles Laker teammates to pass to, then went for it. Intelligence in action. Having learned the game in the crucible of Harlem playgrounds and gyms, later refining it under John Wooden at UCLA, Jabbar has reduced basketball to its simplest textbook equation. If two or more men try to defend him, which is not unusual, he finds the open teammate. If one man covers him, he shoots unstoppably.That blend of unselfishness and skill has earned him countless awards, and this, the highest praise: he would be a star even if he were a foot shorter. If you can almost see Jabbar thinking on the court, off the court he's been something of an enigma. During the tumultuous '60s he refused to play in the Olympics as a political protest, and then he became a Muslim. It's only in recent years that he has come out of his shell to reveal his thoughtful, sensitive, and even the whimsical side of himself.
ANNOUNCER [airline ad]: With enough room for anybody.
WILT CHAMBERLAIN: Even if you're 7'1".
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR: Or taller. [unintelligible]
MERCHANT: In contrast to Jabbar, Pete Rose never met an interviewer he didn't like.
PETE ROSE: First of all, you have to know your capabilities. And you have to know what you can do on a field.Then it's a matter of doing what you can do. Don't try to do something you can't do.
MERCHANT: Interviews, commercials, life, baseball. Pete Rose frontally assaults them all.He has done so for 22 major league summers with unwavering zeal. It is this passion day after day and long season after long season, that enables him to compete at 43 with players who weren't born when he started out with the hometown Cincinnati Reds. It has enabled him to get one hit after another after another until he became the second player to amass 4,000 hits. Ty Cobb was the original. Rose once said he had studied Cobb's career so closely that he felt that he knew him. Like the fiery Cobb, he makes every at bat a personal crusade. Crouching at home plate, he is a bald fist in an open-gloved pastoral world, anxious to explode. Many players are satisfied to blend in with the slow pace of baseball.Rose bends it to his will. A child's energy and glee burst from him at bat, in the field, on the base paths. He won an all-star game in extra innings with a full body slide that perfectly summed him up. Few ballplayers would risk injury to win an exhibition game. Rose's peers recognize his irrepressible qualities, identifying him simply but eloquently as a winner. He won two championships with the Reds, then sparked the Philadelphia Phillies to their first-ever championship. Now, in a final tribute, the talented but frustrated Montreal Expos have called upon him in the twilight of his career to lead them to victory.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Pete Rose will be remembered for what they did and how they did it. But they have performed at such a high level for such a long time in such personal ways that, in a sense, they have transcended their games. Like a Tip O'Neill in politics or a Jack Nicholson in the movies, their images can be plucked out of the air even by non-fans. Inspired by kingly riches and personal goals, they have turned their golden years into truly golden years. For them and us.
LEHRER: Larry Merchant. Good night, Robin.
MacNEIL: Good night, Jim. That's our NewsHour tonight. We will be back tomorrow night. I'm Robert MacNeil. Good night.
- The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
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- This episode of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour begins with Robert MacNeil introducing today's news. The top features include a story about the standoff between British and Libyan forces during the 1984 Libyan hostage situation, a story on crime statistics and related coverage of drug abuse in Silicon Valley, the results of the Missouri Caucuses, and a profile of basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and baseball player Pete Rose. Guests include Lisa Anderson, expert on Libyan foreign relations; Michael Serrill, Time, and Les Pearson, St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Byline: in New York: Robert MacNeil, Executive Editor; in Washington: Jim Lehrer, Associate Editor; Judy Woodruff, Correspondent; Reports from NewsHour Correspondents: John Hale, Visnews, in London; Donald MacCormack, BBC Newsnight, in London; David Cintindall, BBC Newsnight, in London; Phil Davis, Visnews, in Damascus; Kwame Holman, in Silicon Valley; and Larry Merchant.
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- Copyright 1984, Educational Broadcasting Corporation and GWETA.
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Editor: Lehrer, James
Editor: MacNeil, Robert
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
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Identifier: NH-0164 (NH Show Code)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Identifier: NH-19840419-A (NH Air Date)
Identifier: NH-19840419 (NH Air Date)
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- Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; Libya vs. Britain, Crime Statistics, Missouri Caucuses, and Old Pros,” 1984-04-19, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 18, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-1g0ht2gv3t.
- MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; Libya vs. Britain, Crime Statistics, Missouri Caucuses, and Old Pros.” 1984-04-19. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 18, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-1g0ht2gv3t>.
- APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour; Libya vs. Britain, Crime Statistics, Missouri Caucuses, and Old Pros. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-1g0ht2gv3t