The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I'm Gwen Ifill. Jim Lehrer is off. On the NewsHour tonight: The news of this Wednesday; then, the government rests its case against Zacarias Moussaoui-- we hear from Jerry Markon of the Washington Post and the widow of an airline passenger killed on 9/11; why gas is going to cost even more this summer; a NewsHour report on the lessons learned from the great San Francisco earthquake 100 years ago; no ordinary man, Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of "Hotel Rwanda," talks about the parallels he sees in Darfur; and James Billington of the Library of Congress on preserving the sounds of our political and cultural history.
GWEN IFILL: The government wrapped up its case today in the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. Jurors heard a voice recording from the cockpit of Flight 93. That's the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. It was the first time the tape was played in public. On it, jurors heard passengers try to take control of the aircraft from the hijackers. The defense begins its case on tomorrow. We'll have more on this story right after the News Summary.
Iran faced growing calls today from the international community to stop its nuclear activities. Iran's deputy nuclear chief announced plans to form a large- scale uranium enrichment program. Yesterday, President Ahmadinejad reported Iran had succeeded on a small scale in enriching uranium. Russia criticized Iran's moves today, and the European Union pressed for a diplomatic solution. In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on the U.N. Security Council to take action.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, I do think that the Security Council will need to take into consideration this move by Iran and that it will be time, when it reconvenes on this case, for strong steps to make certain that we maintain the credibility of the international community on this issue.
GWEN IFILL: The U.N.'s nuclear chief, Mohammed ElBaradei, travels to Iran later this week to hold talks on its nuclear program. The Bush administration's assertion three years ago that mobile biological weapons labs had been found in Iraq was based on bad intelligence. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged that today, but he denied President Bush knew it at the time. A front-page story in today's Washington Post reports a team of experts told the government in advance that the trailers had nothing to do with bio-weapons. At the White House today, Press Secretary Scott McClellan denounced the newspaper's account.
SCOTT McCLELLAN: I point out that the reporting I saw this morning was simply reckless, and it was irresponsible. The lead in the Washington Post left this impression for the reader that the president was saying something he knew at the time not to be true. That is absolutely false, and it is irresponsible, and I don't know how the Washington Post can defend something so irresponsible.
GWEN IFILL: In 2004, the Iraq survey group determined there were no weapons of mass destruction produced in Iraq after 1991.
There were reports of four more U.S. troop deaths in Iraq today. Three died in roadside bombings near Baghdad, one died at a base in northern Iraq; 36 American troops have died in the past two weeks, a number that exceeds the 31 troop deaths in the entire month of March. By contrast, last month's U.S. casualty count was the lowest since February of 2004.
Also today, at least 20 Iraqis were killed when a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in Baqouba. The acting speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Adnan Pachachi, said today he will convene the Iraqi parliament next week. That decision was made as Sunni and Kurdish leaders continued their political standoff with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who has refused pleas to step aside. Meanwhile, the trial of Saddam Hussein resumed again today in Baghdad, only to adjourn moments later after handwriting experts failed to show up to testify.
The death toll in yesterday's bombing at a park in Pakistan rose today to 56. The blast happened in Karachi during a religious service attended by 10,000 people. Today, police confirmed, a suicide attacker detonated an 11-pound bomb near a group of Sunni dignitaries. Streets around the city were filled with mourners today as they buried their dead. Security forces were also on hand to prevent a repeat of Tuesday's rioting.
Italy went into post-election limbo today. Romano Prodi insisted his victory in parliamentary elections was safe, but Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demanded a recount. In Rome, police collected at least five boxes filled with marked but uncounted ballots. They were found in the garbage near a polling station. Prodi's margin of victory was narrow, about 25,000 out of more than 38 million votes cast.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 40 points to close at nearly 11,130. The NASDAQ rose four points to close above 2,314. June pointer, the youngest of the singing Pointer Sisters, died yesterday. Her family made that announcement today. She'd been hospitalized in California for cancer treatments since February. The group is known for the 1970s and 1980s hits "I'm So Excited", "Fire" and "Slow Hand". June pointer was 52. That's it for the News Summary tonight. Now: The Moussaoui trial; lessons learned from the quake of 1906, the great quake anniversary; a Rwandan's warning on Darfur; and preserving the sound of history.
FOCUS GOVERNMENT RESTS
GWEN IFILL: Reliving 9/11 at the Moussaoui trial. We begin with this report from NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman. A warning: Some of this may be tough to listen to.
KWAME HOLMAN: The emotions of September 11, 2001, were on prominent display this week in the courtroom where prosecutors are arguing Zacarias Moussaoui should be put to death. Abraham Scott's wife was on board American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the Pentagon.
ABRAHAM SCOTT: Not only sitting in the trial, but also sitting in the room watching the trial, it's just reliving 9/11 all over again.
VOICE: Oh my God!
KWAME HOLMAN: On Monday, prosecutors began recounting the day of the attacks in detail, playing taped recordings of several 911 emergency calls made from the World Trade Center-- one, from Melissa Doi, who was trapped on the 83rd floor of the south tower.
MELISSA DOI: …the floor is completely engulfed. We're on the floor, and we can't breathe. And it's very, very, very hot.
DISPATCHER: Everybody stay calm.
MELISSA DOI: I'm going to die, aren't I?
DISPATCHER: No, no, no, no, no. Stay
MELISSA DOI: I'm going to die.
DISPATCHER: Ma'am, say your prayers.
KWAME HOLMAN: Another call came from Kevin Cosgrove, trapped on the 105th floor of the south tower.
KEVIN COSGROVE: My wife thinks I'm all right. I called her and said I was leaving the building. We're not ready to die but it's getting bad. I need oxygen.
KWAME HOLMAN: Today, prosecutors played the cockpit voice recording, being heard for the first time, from United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Hijackers reportedly planned to fly it into the U.S. Capitol. The tape began with a voice believed to be that of Ziad Jarrah, the hijacker who became the plane's pilot, announcing: Please sit down. We have a bomb on board.' A struggle then could be heard, followed by hijackers yelling: Sit down! Sit down!' Unidentified crew members shouted, "No, no, no," and "Please, please, please don't hurt me. I don't want to die."
Shortly afterward, a passenger urged others to take on the hijackers, pleading, "If we don't, we die." As the struggles continued, there were repeated exclamations in Arabic of "Allah is the greatest." Moments later, the plane crashed, killing all 44 on board. Prosecutors finished presenting their evidence this afternoon. Moussaoui's defense begins its arguments tomorrow.
GWEN IFILL: Only those seated inside the courtroom at the Moussaoui trial today could experience the full effect of hearing those cockpit recordings. Jerry Markon was there. He's a reporter from the Washington Post and joins us from outside the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Rosemary Dillard was there as well. Her husband, Eddie, died on the American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon.
Jerry Markon, as -- as the prosecution rested today, what kind of impression remember they attempting to leave?
JERRY MARKON: They were attempting to leave a very emotional impression. This entire phase of the case is about emotion, and, you know, sort of striking, you know, a cord with the hearts of jurors, and they obviously did that very successfully, I would say. It's not to say what the jury will do. You can never really predict that, but, you know, the cockpit voice recorder today was sort of a good coda to all of this, I think, for them, because it was, indeed, very emotional to hear. And they're you know, 9/11 caused a huge amount of damage, and it shattered people's lives, as Rosemary Dillard will talk about better than me. And since Moussaoui was you know -- lied to federal agents and that was one of the causes of 9/11, according to the jury, therefore, she had -- so the argument goes.
GWEN IFILL: All right. I want to tell our viewers we're having a few little technical problems with you, but I want to forge ahead with one other question. I understand that there was -- that Moussaoui's name itself was never mentioned during the prosecutor's case, arguments during the second phase of the case, is that true?
JERRY MARKON: Ah, not much. I think you're probably right. I can't really think of (network audio difficulty continuing) -- you know, this -- I should tell that you this is sort of a common -- for a federal death penalty trial. It's what's known as victim impact testimony (audio difficulty) for 15 years after it was authorized by the -- and, you know, it's common for victims of attacks to talk about -- more of them here because there's never been an attack like 9/11.
GWEN IFILL: Right. Jerry, you're still breaking up, but I want to turn for a moment to Rosemary Dillard.
Your husband was on board the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. You worked as a manager of flight attendants for American Airlines on that day. What was it like sitting in the courtroom for all of this, this week?
ROSEMARY DILLARD: This entire week has been a very difficult week. You know, I wish there had been some way for the entire nation to have witnessed what went on in that courtroom because my life was changed, and almost 3,000 other lives were changed. You and heard the very dramatic testimony of so many of the victims.
But everybody's life has changed. When you go outside your door now, you expect something, or -- we're all constantly or continually looking over our shoulders. When we get on an airplane, we look at people differently -- even if you go to the grocery store. So it's not just the victims of the three sites that have a difficult time. I think all Americans have a very difficult time.
But sitting in a courtroom, looking at some of the videos that were shown, my heart went out to the jury because them having to see that and having not been prepared or living it the past four years, you know, some people that were not -- were not directly impacted by it didn't follow it, and this is probably the case with most of the jurors that were selected. And it had to have been very, very difficult.
GWEN IFILL: Did you find listening today to the sound of the hijackers on this plane trying to stop the plane from -- from crashing, was that comforting to you, the idea that people tried to fight back?
ROSEMARY DILLARD: You know, it was comforting, but it just left me wondering, did my husband fight back? Did Michelle Heidenberg, did any -- I mean, these other people, we know they had to fight back. We know they were strong people. Chip Burlingame, who was the captain on Flight 77, I mean, you know, he was a naval man, and we know all of these people tried to fight back. But then you sit there and you had asked Jerry how did the trial end? It ended on a very somber note. The prosecutors held up a large board with all of the victims' pictures, aside from 92, and they just showed it for a second and it had a very solemn effect, a very calming effect. It was like we were all stuck in time and didn't know which way we were going to go from there.
GWEN IFILL: Jerry Markon, let me ask you a little bit about what we learned this week. We saw -- we have heard so much, we have read so much about what happened on 9/11 and what the investigation has yielded. Did we learn anything new from this very emotional kind of testimony?
JERRY MARKON: I think we probably more confirmed things that we already knew. You know, the cockpit voice recorder today was a good example of that. I mean, the basic outlines of the story, these passengers sort of seizing control of their fate and, you know, taking over the plane was known. But it had never been played publicly before. It had only been played for a few family members, so I think now sort of the myth of Flight 93 as it goes, you know, became real. And I think there is some significance to that.
I think we probably actually learned more in the first phase of the trial, where a lot of some new information came out about the F.B.I.'s failures to prevent 9/11, and some things that the U.S. Government, you know, wasn't able to do with the information that it had to prevent 9/11. And in terms of the emotional stuff, you know, it's -- I mean, I wouldn't say it was necessarily new, but it certainly took on a new dimension -- certainly for me other ands in the courtroom -- to actually be sitting there in a courtroom with 9/11 family members sitting right there, and you know, confessed al-Qaida terrorist sort of grinning, or looking bored much the time, just put things in a new light.
GWEN IFILL: Jerry, I want to ask you about that.
JERRY MARKON: Yes.
GWEN IFILL: What was the reaction from the jury, the judge, and Mr. Moussaoui?
JERRY MARKON: Moussaoui's reactions sort of vary by the day. Many days he smiled. Yesterday when the attacks on the Pentagon were described in detail, he smiled quite a bit and seemed to be laughing at one point which, obviously, did not endear him to some of the family members, one of whom was sort of glaring at him. But other times he prepared bored, and I would say today was sort of bored mode, for lack of a better word. He, you know, just sort of wasn't really listening to the voice recorder, didn't seem to be living. He looked away. You know, there were monitors showing the transcripts throughout the courtroom. He didn't try to read them. The jurors have been -- I think they've done a remarkable job of sort of being stoic, which probably is their job. You know, once in a while they'll sort of wipe away a tear, you know, and you can certainly see lingering emotion, but there's really been no sobbing. I think the sobbing has been really more, quite frankly, some of the witnesses themselves and some people in the courtroom watching.
GWEN IFILL: Mrs. Dillard, this had to be very difficult for you. Why did you decide to attend this trial?
ROSEMARY DILLARD: I have to see this all the way through. I think if I, as an American citizen, do not take part in it, this means I don't take part in elections. I've learned a lot.
As Jerry said, the first couple of weeks, we learned a lot of things that we didn't know prior to -- even through going through the 9/11 Commission. And I think that there I was to see the process. I was there to see what I want in an electoral, what I want as a congressman, what I need as a president, all the things that we don't have, and to make certain that we -- that wall that was put up, that it's really down because I don't know that it is.
GWEN IFILL: Should Zacarias Moussaoui be put to death?
ROSEMARY DILLARD: I will not answer that. Every family member feels different. And I will go, and I will support whatever the jury has to say.
GWEN IFILL: Jerry Markon, now we get to see his defense. As we watched this last week, he didn't do a lot of favors for his defense attorneys. What are you hearing is likely to happen now?
JERRY MARKON: He's apparently about to do the same thing. He's -- my understanding is he's expected to testify again, possibly as early as tomorrow. He's, you know, insisted on that and like you said, he basically destroyed much of his own case in the first phase. I mean, he talked very calmly from the stand about literally said he wants to kill every American, and you know, by implication, including the jury, and talked about slitting people's throats. He was very matter of fact about it, very almost methodical. And, you know, it's unclear what he'll say this time. He might object to some of the mental health evidence the defense is going to present. The defense is putting on some experts arguing he has schizophrenia and that that's something the jury should consider. Mr. Moussaoui apparently has an issue with that. But, whatever he says, I can guarantee you it's going to be interesting.
GWEN IFILL: OK. Jerry Markon from the Washington Post, and especially Rosemary Dillard, thank you both for joining us.
ROSEMARY DILLARD: Thank you.
JERRY MARKON: Thank you.
FOCUS SQUEEZED AT THE PUMP
GWEN IFILL: Now, what's fueling the high price of gasoline these days? For that, we turn to Judy Woodruff, a familiar face to regular NewsHour viewers until she left for CNN a few years ago.
Well, now, Judy's back, working on a special project exploring the views of young people in America. She'll also be joining us in the studio from time to time, starting right now.
Welcome back, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you, Gwen. It's a little bit like coming home. I appreciate it.
Well, all of us who drive got some bad news from the government this week. The Energy Department forecast yesterday that gasoline will average $2.62 a gallon this summer. That is 25 cents higher than was the average last summer. The American Automobile Association puts the national average right now even higher: $2.70. These high prices come at a time when the price of crude oil is nearing a seven-month high of over $70 a barrel.
To discuss what's behind the higher prices, I'm joined by John Kilduff .He is senior vice president for energy risk management at Fimat USA. It's a global financial services company.
Mr. Kilduff, thank you for being with us.
JOHN KILDUFF, Fimat USA: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So the U.S. Energy Department forecasting $2.52 average a gallon this summer, does that sound about right to you?
JOHN KILDUFF: Unfortunately, it sounds a little low to me. I happened to be on a teleconference with one of their top analysts, and unfortunately, they're not allowed really to factor into their equation some of the real exogenous events that could occur that the open market and the futures markets are pricing in right now to the price of gasoline and crude oil, for that mater.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What sort of events are you talking about?
JOHN KILDUFF: I'm talking about some of the geopolitics in particular that are going on right now: the nuclear showdown with Iran, the continued attempts to bomb oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, and the potential for success on that front. Also, there's a situation in Nigeria where some 600,000 barrels of some of the most precious crude oil in the world is off line right now due to rebel attacks in that country. And there's just a round robin of other countries that fill in this worry gap from time to time that you have to factor in, really, if you're going to be an active market participant. But I think it -- the government is somewhat handcuffed in evaluating that fully.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, how much of all that, Mr. Kilduff, is real, is happening right now? We know the Nigeria situation; that oil is truly offline, as you say. It's available, right?
JOHN KILDUFF: That's right. That's real problem confronting the market right now, in a marketplace where there's no room for error. Nigeria's oil is of a variety that we refer to as being light and sweet in that it's very low in sulfur and is ideally suited for gasoline manufacture, which the American public is just gobbling up at the particular moment.
Other countries coming to the rescue of that, like Saudi Arabia, produce a much heavier sulfur-laden crude that just can't replace that Nigerian crude. So that's a real problem for the market.
And the developments in Iran right now, while they're more imagined because we haven't lost any of their oil, there are just several scenarios there that almost boggle the mind in terms of what they could do to the price of oil.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Even though those are hypothetical?
JOHN KILDUFF: Even though those are hypothetical, Judy, because the president of Iran was elected just last year. H's a hard liner, and he's come out -- he came out right after his election last year and said he would be more than willing to have his country play the so-called oil card,' and by that, he means to withhold oil from the global markets. And if Iran were to do that in the slightest degree, that would send crude oil off to the races even higher than it is now. $80, $90, $100 would be easily eclipsed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So how does all this, as you describe what's going on on the world scene, translate into higher oil prices? How does that work?
JOHN KILDUFF: Well, basically, people in the industry, hedgers, investors who are worried about what higher and higher oil prices can do to their other investments or their operating abilities are buying now ahead of the rush, if you will, or ahead of the crisis. So, as some of these issues come to the fore and then back off, we see oil prices rise, and sometimes fall. I liken it to climbing or scaling back down a real wall of worry over the various country issues that we just discussed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But then, you know, we're talking about oil prices. We started out talking about the price of gasoline. How does this translate to higher prices at the pump?
JOHN KILDUFF: Well, obviously, gasoline is made from crude oil. I like to say that if the flour is real expensive, the cake is, obviously, going to be ever higher in price as well. But what's happening there, separately, because the gas -- the price of gasoline relative to crude is outpacing it. Gasoline is more expensive relative to crude right now than we've seen for a couple of reasons.
Principally, we're still paying the price for the horrific hurricanes that hit our refining sector in the latter part of last year. Our refinery run rate is only about 85 percent. To put that in perspective, it's usually well above 90, sometimes as high as 95, 96. So we're behind the eight ball at a time of very resilient demand from the American motoring public, in spite of very high prices at the pump right now. It's something of a conundrum pardon that overused word these days but for those of us in the oil market.
Secondarily, there's an environmental issue going on right now. The government is eliminating the use of a particular oxygenation additive, clean-air additive called MTBE, and forcing the use of ethanol, which is made from corn. The problem is that there's not enough ethanol being made.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And so just to recap very quickly here, your forecast on the price of gasoline this summer?
JOHN KILDUFF: Most people, unfortunately, will be paying $3 a gallon or more. There could be substantial price increases. And if any of these geopolitical events goes south, look out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, a pretty grim picture. John Kilduff; he is with Fimat USA.
Mr. Kilduff, thank you very much.
JOHN KILDUFF: Thank you, thank you for having me.
FOCUS LESSONS LEARNED
GWEN IFILL: Now, the anniversary of an earthquake, and preparations for another one. NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels reports from San Francisco.
SPENCER MICHELS: San Francisco, April 18, 1906. One hundred years ago, a devastating earthquake shook the city like nothing before or since and set it on fire.
Today, San Francisco is ablaze with remembrances of the catastrophe and warnings of future quakes. At least three major art museums have earthquake shows featuring photos of the devastation, some taken by writer Jack London. Tourists walk through downtown on an earthquake tour.
TOUR GUINDE: That was the Call Building -- that I showed you a picture of -- that burned.
SPENCER MICHELS: Many San Franciscans look upon the legacy of the 1906 earthquake and recovery with pride rather than with fear. Here in Golden Gate Park, they are celebrating the '06 quake with an intricate floral display. This is the park where thousands of San Franciscans, including my own grandparents, came after the earthquake to live temporarily in tents while their own homes were damaged or burned.
As director of Emergency Services, Annemarie Conroy knows how deadly the '06 quake was; her own great, great grandmother died, along with an estimated 3,000 people; 490 city blocks were destroyed. A quarter of a million people were made homeless. Conroy is concerned that San Franciscans don't take earthquakes -- past and future -- seriously enough.
ANNEMARIE CONROY, Emergency Services Director: I think we do find a sense of complacency that we start thinking about '06. And the city survived, and it went on, and what a beauty she is now. That was a horrible, devastating event. Thousands of people were killed, two hundred and twenty-five thousand people were left homeless; half the city was gone. We don't really look at it from that perspective, and people need to remember that was a horrible, horrible catastrophic event. And that could happen again to San Francisco.
SPENCER MICHELS: With seven major fault zones throughout the Bay area, scientists say there's a 62 percent chance of a major damaging earthquake in the next 25 years. If the quake were a repeat of 1906 -- 7.7 with the epicenter just offshore -- there would be almost no time to escape, says seismologist Mary Lou Zoback of the U.S. Geological Survey.
MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey: Within two or two-and-a-half seconds, San Francisco would be enveloped by strong shaking. Within seven seconds, the strong shaking would hit Berkeley. And in 20 seconds, it would hit San Jose. So within 20 seconds, the entire Bay area would be shaking violently.
SPENCER MICHELS: Zoback estimates the number of deaths in the thousands.
MARY LOU ZOBACK: Most people in the urban parts of the Bay area live in homes built prior to modern building codes.
SPENCER MICHELS: And they could collapse.
MARY LOU ZOBACK: They could collapse, particularly the homes that are built over open garages. And many deaths will occur in those homes.
SPENCER MICHELS: This simulation, based on scientific data, shows that the ground shook for 300 miles along the San Andreas Fault and would again in a similar quake, creating havoc far from the epicenter. Engineer Chris Poland chairs an earthquake conference which commissioned the video.
CHRIS POLAND, CEO, Degenkolb Engineering: It shows that we expect strong ground shaking, stronger than we've really experienced before in any of our memories. It shows us that buildings are going to be damaged more than we would have expected, especially the old buildings. The newer buildings will not be usable for a few weeks, a few months, even a few years while they're being repaired, and that's of great concern to us.
SPENCER MICHELS: Poland says today's advanced building techniques can cut down damage, but may be very expensive, especially for old buildings. What's key, he says, is preserving the area's economic vitality by deciding what buildings must be seismically upgraded and how to fund such work.
CHRIS POLAND: I think we have a long ways to go to recognize which buildings we need, which pieces of infrastructure we need, and those are the ones that need to be strengthened so that we don't get caught in a situation like they have in New Orleans right now where the -- the economy just won't start. The city has no money because there's no tax base, there's no economic -- there's no business running, there's nothing going on.
SPENCER MICHELS: Key portions of the Bay area's infrastructure are threatened. Engineers and scientists agree that structures built on filled- in land near San Francisco Bay are the most vulnerable to damage, just as they were in 1989 when a quake much smaller than '06 and centered 60 miles away collapsed homes and started fires.
MARY LOU ZOBACK: Those areas, when subjected to strong shaking, often the ground liquefies and then it can just drop away.
SPENCER MICHELS: Whatever is built on such soil is at high risk, including freeways and the San Francisco Airport. The Bay Bridge, part of which collapsed in '89, is still being reconstructed. And the Bay Area Rapid Transit System needs to reinforce elevated tracks and attempt to beef up tunnels, some of which traverse earthquake faults.
But upgrading buildings or replacing them takes time and money. Chris Poland's engineering firm is working on a new hospital, and is studying schematics showing how various designs would behave in an earthquake.
City-run Laguna Honda Hospital for low income long-term care is being entirely rebuilt in accordance with a state law mandating that all hospitals be safe in earthquakes. The huge TV broadcasting tower, which could collapse with devastating results, is being strengthened. The city is rebuilding reservoirs. And city hall, which had been destroyed in 1906, was closed for three years following the '89 quake. The building was retrofitted with devices that isolate the base from the ground and structural supports.
It is a myth to say San Francisco, even in 1906, had been complacent about earthquakes, says Stephen Tobriner, an architectural historian at the University of California. He pointed to several buildings that survived the '06 quake and still exist today. The old Call newspaper building caught fire after the earthquake, but it remained standing and is in use as an office building. In its basement are 100-year-old structural steel braces that flex when the ground shakes.
STEPHEN TOBRINER, University of California: They're supposed to dissipate energy as they move back and forth. They can't be too stiff or they can shake themselves to pieces because of that stiffness.
SPENCER MICHELS: Despite such innovative construction, buildings collapsed and fire raged. In fact, 90 percent of the deaths in '06 were caused by uncontrolled fire. Fearing a repeat of such a holocaust, 11,000 residents have volunteered for training to help the likely-overwhelmed fire department, like some residents did spontaneously in the '89 quake.
LUDWIG HERMANN, Volunteer Emergency Responder: We've come to realize that we can't depend on the federal government to protect us anymore, especially in light of the Katrina disasters, so this is -- that's been a real motivation for us to do hands-on and do the best we can to take care of ourselves, our neighbors and our community.
SPENCER MICHELS: Firefighters and police have also gotten extra training thanks to money given for homeland security. Exercises like this mock bio-terrorism attack are becoming frequent throughout the area.
But the fire department will need water. In 1906, the underground pipes broke. As a result, San Francisco pioneered an auxiliary water supply system, the only one in the nation that provides high pressure water separate from the drinking water supply for use against fires. Assistant Deputy Chief Lorrie Kalos says the city also installed these pumps to suck saltwater from the bay in case water mains break or there isn't enough fresh water.
LORRIE KALOS, Assistant Deputy Fire Chief: We also have fire boats and we have portable hydrant systems that we can put into place so that we can bring water to where we need it in.
SPENCER MICHELS: Kalos says the department, with 340 people on duty every day, has improved its communications, provided adapters for its hydrants so other departments can use them, and has planned for a major disaster.
LORRIE KALOS: When we get to that ten-point earthquake and the streets sever and there's a separation of four feet, do we think water mains are going to hold in their place? No. Do we have auxiliary plans? Absolutely.
SPENCER MICHELS: But, as many experts have said, older single-family homes built over garages may be the worst problem in a big quake, leaving thousands homeless, perhaps unnecessarily so.
HOWARD COOK, Contractor: It's an absolutely horrible problem. I see Hurricane Katrina repeating itself here in the San Francisco Bay area. I see houses that I can look at from the outside and I can say this house is going to fall down. I know that.
SPENCER MICHELS: Howard Cook, a contractor specializing in retrofits, has inspected hundreds of Bay area homes. Homeowner Jay Tibits asked Cook to check out his house on Twin Peaks.
HOWARD COOK: This is the edge of your floor right here of your house. And if you look, there's nothing really supporting it for back and forth motions like this except air.
SPENCER MICHELS: Cook says California's building codes for homes barely address retrofitting, and that many contractors don't have the training he does to protect homes.
HOWARD COOK: When the floor starts to rock back and forth like that, we're going to hold it right here. And if we hold it right here, the whole front's not going to move.
JAY TIBITS: Okay.
HOWARD COOK: So you're really lucky. Most houses in San Francisco are not like this.
JAY TIBITS: Okay.
SPENCER MICHELS: Still, cook says, it will cost Tibits about $10,000 to retrofit his home. Some San Franciscans scoff at all the concern, saying their city hasn't had a direct hit in a century. But emergency officials and engineers are hoping that the focus on the '06 anniversary, plus Katrina, will wake up the city.
GWEN IFILL: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight: The "Hotel Rwanda" manager on parallels to Darfur and preserving our audio history.
FOCUS NO ORDINARY MAN
GWEN IFILL: The lessons of genocide, from Rwanda to Darfur. Margaret Warner has that story.
MARGARET WARNER: This movie, "Hotel Rwanda" made an international hero out of the hotel manager who saved more than 1200 of his countrymen from the 1994 genocide in his African country. Some 800,000 Rwandans were butchered there in 100 days as the world stood by and did nothing.
ACTOR: Have you printed the bills? Thank you. Now, please erase the register.
ACTRESS: Erase it?
ACTOR: Yes, I want no names to appear there.
ACTOR TWO: Boss, the carpenters are ready.
ACTOR: Tell them to remove all of the numbers from the doors.
ACTOR TWO: And put what?
ACTOR: And put nothing.
MARGARET WARNER: American actor Don Cheadle played Hotel Manager Paul Rusesabagina in the award-winning film.
The real Paul Rusesabagina, who ultimately left Rwanda for Europe, received the U.S. Medal of Freedom last November from President Bush. He has also emerged as an outspoken advocate for international intervention to stop the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region, where 200,000 people have been killed.
Now Rusesabagina has written his own memoir of his life and the dark days of the Rwandan genocide. He called it "An Ordinary Man."
Paul Rusesabagina joins us now, and welcome.
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Thank you.
MARGARET WARNER: You call this book "An Ordinary Man." You say you don't think what you did was at all heroic. Do you truly believe that ordinary men can do what you did?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Actually, I believe that an ordinary man is the one who remains himself.
As a hotel manager, I remained a hotel manager, right from the beginning to the end, as I always have been a hotel manager since I started my career. So nothing changed. To me, an ordinary man is the one who is ordinary, and doesn't change.
MARGARET WARNER: The other mystery, at least reading this book to me was the killers. Why did all your negotiations actually work with them? And there's one scene in which you have just concluded negotiating with this Rwandan colonel for the life of one of your hotel guests, and finally after two or three hours and a case of wine, it works. He goes away. And I wondered if you could just read this reflection you had afterwards for us.
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: I had dozens of conversations like this throughout the genocide, surreal exchanges in which I would find myself sitting across a desk or a cocktail table with the men who might have committed dozens of killings that day. In several cases, I saw flecks of blood on their uniforms or work shirts. We would talk as though nothing was the out of the ordinary as if we were negotiating the purchase of new kitchen equipment or discussing an upcoming special event in the ballroom.'
MARGARET WARNER: What was it about these killers -- and you negotiated with so many of them -- that made them open to your words, that allowed you to persuade them or dissuade them from killing?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: I believe in the power of words. Words can be the best weapons if used for a good cause, or the worst if used for evil. And I believe that each and every heart, even the hardest heart, has got a very small part of it which is soft, and whenever you can play with it, you can always come out with a positive solution to any problem.
MARGARET WARNER: And you found that sometimes that soft spot might be decency. Sometimes it was just insecurity and you could play on that.
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Sometimes, also praising -- you tell someone he is great, he will always agree with you, and then you get what you want.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, if we go to Darfur, where over 100,000 people have been killed over a longer period of time, but what parallels do you see now between what is happening now in Darfur and what happened in Rwanda?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Actually, what happened is happening today in Darfur is exactly what was going on in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, when the rebels on the hills were butchering, maiming, inviting them for meetings, killing them, killing young men, inviting them to join their army, and also the militia, on the other hand, also killing civilians, and the whole world closed eyes, ears, turned backs. They didn't want to see what was going on. Today in Darfur, you have about two million people displaced in Darfur, in that part of the word -- world, and the whole world seems not to care.
MARGARET WARNER: And why do you think that is?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: I think that as human beings, we do not want to face our duties and responsibilities. The world knows that. The day that they were told what is going on in Darfur, a genocide, there would be an obligation to intervene, to go into the Sudanese land, and they feared that. The world fears responsibilities.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, the U.N. is saying, the U.N. member states are saying the African Union is there. We cannot go into Sudan unless the African Union invites us, given the fact that the Sudanese government doesn't want the U.N. either. Is that a legitimate -- valid reason, in your view?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Africa is led by dictators. Have you imagined a dictator fighting another dictator in the name of democracy? It can't be. So we need -- we need the U.N., the international community, to get involved, but not as U.N. soldiers, but rather as NATO, the NATO, for instance; that is the best solution of doing things. Why can't the international community do in the Sudan -- in Darfur what was done in the former Yugoslavia?
MARGARET WARNER: Members of the U.N. -- it seems that if they're heading to anything, it will be as a U.N. transitional force. Now, in this book, the U.N. does not come off very well. You had peacekeepers there, and at one point you say they were not just -- I don't have the exact quote here -- but they weren't just they were worse than nothing because it let the world think something was being done, and in fact they did nothing. Is a U.N. force the answer?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Actually, we never knew what was the meaning of the U.N. peacekeepers until the time when we saw them turning backs, running away, when things became tough; when Rwandans started killing each other, they pulled out. And we saw soldiers just running away, getting into buses, U.N. trucks and going to the airport. Can you imagine a soldier who has come to keep peace who just stands there, unable to defend even a civilian? Their mission, the definition of their mission should be thought about again and reformed.
MARGARET WARNER: So you're saying, if the U.N. was to go in, it would really have to be as a peace enforcement, I mean, with rules of engagement that allowed them to take on the killers in an aggressive way.
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: Oh, yes, definitely. For instance, to stop the Rwandan genocide, it was the easiest thing because the killers, most of the killers had no guns. They were fighting with traditional weapons. You can imagine someone who is not even trained fighting with a knife with a machete that is not really -- that was not really a great deal. It was so simple to stop the killings, but we needed more troops.
MARGARET WARNER: Finally, in Darfur, where these Janjaweed militias are usually on horseback riding into these villages, cutting people down, burning down their houses, do you think there's a way for an ordinary man like you, for other ordinary men to stand up to that?
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: There is always an ordinary man among the Janjaweed who can stand up and tell them to stop, and they will stop. Maybe he cannot stop them all over the country, but at least he can protect his neighbors' land.
MARGARET WARNER: Paul Rusesabagina, thank you so much.
PAUL RUSESABAGINA: You're welcome, thank you.
FOCUS PRESERVING THE PAST
GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight, preserving memorable words and music.
And to Jeffrey Brown.
JEFFREY BROWN: They are recordings that span the last century of American history and popular culture.
Nora Bayes' 1917 rendition of the World War I standard "Over There:"
NORA BAYES SINGING: Over there, over there
send the word, send the word over there
that the yanks are coming... .
the yanks are coming…
JEFFREY BROWN: Calvin Coolidge giving his 1925 inaugural address, the first one ever recorded.
CALVING COOLIDGE: My countrymen, no one can contemplate current conditions without finding much that is satisfying and still more. That is encouraging.
JEFFREY BROWN: And the 1964 Motown classic, Dancing in the Street' by Martha Reeves and the Van Dellas
SINGING: Dancing in the streets, they're dancing in the street
this is an invitation across the nation
a chance for folks to meet
there will be laughter...
JEFFREY BROWN: These are just some of the 50 recordings now added to a National Registry started by the Library of Congress in 2002, intended to preserve sound recordings considered culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. With me to tell me about it is James Billington, the Librarian of Congress. Welcome to you.
JAMES BILLINGTON: Thank you.
JEFFREY BROWN: What's the overall goal here?
JAMES BILLINGTON: Well, the overall goal is to preserve the cultural history of America. Congress has created these boards. We had a film board. Now we have a sound recording board, to find what's culturally historically, and aesthetically important in this medium. And it's very fragile. We have to preserve it in order that future generations will know the songs we sang, the words we heard on radio, all of the recorded sounds, which is in a way the most perishable of all our art media and possessions.
JEFFREY BROWN: And when you say "preserve" what is the process? What are you actually doing with the recordings?
JAMES BILLINGTON: Well, you have to either strengthen the material it's on -- we're a kind of throwaway society, and it's the fact of a democratic society where there can be mass production of things but they are often very fragile and impermanent materials. You can do one of two things: You can either firm up the original material on which it's rerecorded or you can re-record it in a more permanent form. And that's a very complex process, and because there are all manner of recorded tapes and records, and so forth. So it's a very demanding process but it's something that the Library of Congress does more than anybody else. And then there are also other institutions that work on it. But it's a -- we're better at producing and creating things than we are in preserving them.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, you've got a great range of things here. One classic can that a lot of people might be familiar with is the 1938 broadcast of the Joe Lewis-Max Schmeling heavyweight fight. Let's listen to a little bit of that.
SPORTSCASTER: Lewis measures him right to the body, a left up to the jaw, and Schmeling is down. The count is five, five, six, seven, eight. The men are the in ring. The fight is over on a technical knockout. Max Schmeling is beaten in one round.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, how are these recordings selected? Why that one, for instance?
JAMES BILLINGTON: Well, that one, that was heard by more than any other sporting event in history; 70 million people heard it. Schmeling had won the first bout. And, of course, it was a battle between somebody who was a representative of Nazi Germany, in fact, and later fought with it, and an African-American who was a great champion. He had been defeated before. He won this one. You hear the excitement of Clem McCarthy's announcement of the excitement of hearing it on radio when you didn't see it right away on television the way you later did. It was the most exciting film -- I mean the most exciting radio broadcast you -- of the era, but it also represented kind of the victory of American inclusiveness against Nazi exclusiveness. It sort of had a broader suggestion and significance. So it reached a huge audience. There was much expectation, and it all ended in Act I, just a very few seconds in the first round.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now you're also touting this year a new discovery you call it. It's a recording of the jazz saxophone great Lester Young. Tell us a little bit about that, and then we'll hear him.
JAMES BILLINGTON: Well, it's very exciting when you find something in the act of preserving other things, you suddenly find that there's a sort of inadequately labeled something or other in the mix. So we already had it. But in the process --
JEFFREY BROWN: You mean you had it, but you didn't know it?
JAMES BILLINGTON: It's part of a big collection, you see, but it was an unlabeled part; it was very inadequately labeled, so we played it and suddenly they recognized the sound of this absolutely iconic tenor saxophone player, the man who took the saxophone from jazz to be-bop, at a period when we have almost no record of his sound, the sounds he produced in that development of that instrument, and of the whole medium of jazz exploding into a variety of other forms. 1940 recording, thrilling music, affected saxophone players from then on out, and it was a period between when he left Count Basey and when he went in the army for which we have no other records. For people who collect the stuff, and the number of aficionados and lovers of this music is immense all over the world, this is exciting music.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, let's listen to that.
JEFFREY BROWN: I know that last year a recording that you released by a concert of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk became something of a critical and commercial hit.
JAMES BILLINGTON: It was. And that was a discovery -- that was a smooth finished production. This was a jam session in a very noisy and raucous New York nightclub. We don't even know which one. But this is a constant process of discovering the sounds that we've made that our great performers have made and our important political and other figures have made on radio, sounds that were made once but have been at the risk of being lost forever. So we're constantly discovering them. And there's a lot out there, and we hope that our listeners and viewers will inform us and the other institutions that preserve this material so the record of American creativity, which has transformed the sound-scape of the together century, but which we haven't fully appreciated its importance, its reach, and its power.
JEFFREY BROWN: And the public does get to play a role here, right, by submitting selections to you?
JAMES BILLINGTON: Absolutely. The first stage in deciding what goes on the National Registry of Recorded Sound, is public suggestions, what sounds ought to be preserved, made a permanent part of the national treasury that is preserved and made available for future generations. So our web site loc.gov.
JEFFREY BROWN: L-o-c- -- libraryofcongress.gov --
JAMES BILLINGTON: -- .g-o-v -- send us your suggestions. They will be passed on to the board, which is an expert group that advises me for the final selection. But it's your registry. It's the things you want. Make sure the sounds that your children and your grandchildren will be able to hear in the future. This preservation is terribly important but it depends on your suggestions, so we hope we'll get them all for next year's registry.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, James Billington, librarian of Congress, thanks very much.
JAMES BILLINGTON: Thank you.
GWEN IFILL: Again, the major developments of the day: The government wrapped up its case in the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. And Iran announced plans to form a large-scale uranium enrichment program despite calls from the international community to halt its nuclear program. We'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. I'm Gwen Ifill. Thank you and good night.
- The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
- Producing Organization
- NewsHour Productions
- Contributing Organization
- NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Asset type
- Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
- Media type
- Moving Image
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: NH-8504 (NH Show Code)
Format: Betacam: SP
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 2006-04-12, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 2, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-h12v40kn1k.
- MLA: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” 2006-04-12. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 2, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-h12v40kn1k>.
- APA: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-h12v40kn1k