CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Final 9/11 Funeral Takes Place; Bush Wants $87 Billion to Fund War in Iraq; Bustamante Leads Recall Polls
Aired September 8, 2003 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone.
Take a moment and think about this. Today, three days short of the second anniversary of 9/11, three days short, there was a funeral for one of the victims, not a memorial service to remember the day he died. Those will come on Thursday no doubt. This was a funeral the last of the 343 New York firemen who died that day was buried finally today with full honors and bagpipes playing.
So much of this week will be spent on the impact of that horrible day. We'll look at how we've changed. We'll look at the progress in the war on terror, the setbacks too, but it seems sadly fitting that the week began with a funeral. We'll have more on the unfinished business of 9/11 coming up tonight but we begin the whip with a follow-up on the president's speech last night.
We're pleased to have our senior White House correspondent John King with us tonight. John, a headline from you.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, the White House acknowledged tonight that to pay for the war in Iraq, that $87 billion the president asked for last night, will add at least $50 billion to an already record federal budget deficit next year. Some Democrats say we'll give you the money, Mr. President. Why don't you scale back those tax cuts. The White House says no -- Aaron.
BROWN: John, thank you.
Reaction on Capitol Hill to the president's request for $87 billion Congressional Correspondent Jon Karl back with us, Jon the headline.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, speech or no speech the president's critics continue to slam his policy in Iraq but none of them have stepped forward to say that they will oppose his effort to spend another $87 billion there and in Afghanistan.
BROWN: Jon, thank you.
And, with less than a month to go until the recall election, things get a little nasty out in California. Kelly Wallace has the duty, so Kelly in Los Angeles a headline.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, a little nasty indeed but a new poll is out tonight, no surprise. All of the candidates are doing a fair share of spinning of those results but according to this poll if this election were held today Governor Gray Davis would be out of a job and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante would be taking his place -- Aaron.
BROWN: Kelly, thank you. We look forward to the details on that, back to you and the rest coming up shortly.
Tonight on NEWSNIGHT, Walter Rodgers joins us again back with the troops in Iraq. In a sense he's an embedded reporter once again and the story of what's going on now in Iraq is providing just how crucial the work is when major combat was going on.
The work that never stopped and won't for quite a while in terms of 9/11, trying to identify still the remains. Beth Nissen met the people doing the work that is both heartbreaking and indispensable.
And, a thing you won't see any time, anywhere, any place, perhaps with good reason too, our look through tomorrow morning's papers tonight, all that and more in the hour ahead.
We begin. Listening to the president last night we're reminded of that old saying you broke it you bought it. So it is with Iraq. Whatever you may think of the war and the reasons behind it the fact is, as Senator John McCain said yesterday, it was our war and now it is our problem.
The $87 billion price tag is not the total just the first year's installment, an enormous amount of money and, while money isn't the only consideration in the discussion of the war up to this point, it does have a way of focusing attention.
We'll talk about it all tonight but we'll start things off with money with our Senior White House Correspondent John King -- John.
KING: And, Aaron, the task of selling that budget request, $87 billion, in detail falls first tomorrow to the number two man at the Pentagon. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz will go to Capitol Hill. One thing he will hear is questions like this.
When will U.S. troops be coming home and the like, but also now with new word out of the White House tonight about the deficit many also wondering how this war in Iraq will affect spending priorities and the economy here at home.
KING (voice-over): Selling his new war budget also means selling a record federal deficit. The administration was already projecting a deficit of $475 billion next year and now says paying for the war in Iraq will add at least $50 billion more in red ink, a record deficit of at least $525 billion, as Mr. Bush campaigns for reelection. One part of the White House sales pitch is to invoke the memories of two years ago this week and assert that Iraq is now central to the war on terrorism. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Afghanistan and in Iraq we gave ultimatums to terror regimes. Those regimes chose defiance and those regimes are no more.
KING: The new $87 billion budget request envisions a lengthy and expensive stay for U.S. troops in Iraq. Fifty-one billion is for military operations there and $20 billion for Iraq's reconstruction. The remaining $16 billion is for Afghanistan and other fronts in a war on terrorism the vice president makes clear is far from over.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good defense is not enough. The problem with terrorist organizations is that even if you build the fences that are 99 percent successful the one percent can kill you.
KING: Senior administration officials said tonight the president would resist any effort in Congress to get him to scale back those tax cuts to pay for the war in Iraq and the administration tonight, even as it increased its estimate for the budget deficit, it decreased its estimate for revenues from Iraqi oil sales to just $12 billion next year, hardly insignificant, Aaron, but hardly enough to pay for the mounting costs of Iraq's reconstruction.
BROWN: Well, particularly when before the war they talked about Iraqi oil at the $50 billion to $100 billion level within two years.
BROWN: On the numbers, and again we don't want to reduce this simply to numbers but it's obviously the key part of the story today, how as a political matter are they going to deal with the deficit?
KING: Well, they will simply say and they will continue to insist that they need to do this, the war on terrorism, and that is why the timing of this week is so important. The president will say this is necessary and that the American people support him.
He will also say that if Congress holds the increase in discretionary spending to about four percent and if the economy, as many predict, rebounds next year that he will be able to cut the deficit back in half within four years. That, of course, would require the president to be reelected to keep that promise, Aaron, still an open question.
BROWN: A very open question, John, thank you, our Senior White House Correspondent John King.
On now to the capital and what might be a paradox under any other circumstance, lawmakers differing sharply with the president on policy but treading especially lightly when it comes to these questions of dollars.
Here again CNN's Jonathan Karl.
BUSH: Our strategy in Iraq will require new resources.
KARL (voice-over): The president's speech did nothing to quell Democratic criticism of his handling of Iraq.
SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA: This may not be Vietnam but boy it sure smells like it and every time I see these bills coming down for the money it's costing like Vietnam too.
KARL: Presidential candidate Dick Gephardt said American blood is getting spilled because of the president's failed policy.
REP. DICK GEPHARDT (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We got kids with their legs blown off, with their eyes blown out, who are heroes of this country and he is not getting us the help that we need.
KARL: But, even the president's toughest critics, like anti-war presidential candidate Howard Dean, stopped short of opposing the extra money for Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you vote on the $87 billion?
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not in Congress. I'm not going to...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the most important matter for the U.S. Congress (unintelligible).
DEAN: I doubt that very much. I'm running for president. I tell you what I'm going to do but I'm not going to tell you how I'd face an issue that is not of my making.
KARL: Democrats in Congress are willing to give the president money for Iraq but they want strings attached.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: What we'd like to find out from the administration is what their timetable is though on the reconstruction, on the rehabilitation, on the turning over of the government and then eventually when Americans will be able to come home and come home honorably.
KARL: Republicans promise to act quickly on the president's request but one Republican Senate leader said she wants the money to get paid back.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: We would expect others to step up to the plate. I think other countries have a stake here. I think they are interested. Many of them are helping already. We can't do this halfway. We've got to do it right. We will put the money up but we must also look to be repaid for most of it.
KARL: The administration does expect to get money for reconstruction in Iraq from oil revenues and from other countries but the White House does not expect that money to be used to repay American taxpayers. Instead, that money is to be spent in Iraq in addition to the money that the president is requesting from Congress -- Aaron.
BROWN: Well, Jon, does anybody, including the Senator from Texas, expect that other nations, nations around the world are going to contribute $87 billion or $100 billion to pay the United States back?
KARL: There are upcoming donor conferences but what I've heard is people expect that if there is money to come from other nations it will be spent in Iraq. It will not be signed over to the U.S. Treasury, although Senator Hutchison said that she hopes to get 70 to 80 percent of the money the president is now requesting paid back. Most people I've spoken to up here do not expect anything remotely like that to happen.
BROWN: Jon, thank you very much, lots of questions out there and we'll get to them across the week. Thank you.
The president was addressing any number of audiences last night, clearly the audience in Congress for one, the international community for another, the Arab street and Main Street too but there is one audience in particular we don't want to lose sight of tonight, the audience of those who really paid the cost of war, those who do the fighting.
Here's CNN's Brian Cabell.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some would say Sam Ross has the right to question if the president is right, if the war in Iraq is worth fighting. He lost his eyesight, some of his hearing, and a leg over there.
SAM ROSS, FORMER PARATROOPER: We have to prove a point. You know, if we pull out that tells the whole world that, you know, we're cowards.
CABELL: He was a paratrooper, 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg. Fourteen thousand soldiers from this post are still over there in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the surrounding region. Soldiers here stateside know they could be next.
SGT. WILLIAM BROWN, 82ND AIRBORNE: I've been in the military now over 15 years and, you know, that's my job. I got to do what I got to do.
CABELL: That's what most soldiers say publicly those who talk to the media but support for the president's policy is not absolute. There are concerns here about the $87 billion price tag, the casualties that lie ahead, the uncertain future.
SPC. MICHAEL VETRE, 82ND AIRBORNE: I'm concerned for my personal safety I really am because, I mean, war. CABELL: Do you want it to be over with?
VETRE: I want the whole thing to be over with.
CABELL: Is this worth fighting for?
VETRE: Honestly to me no it's not.
CABELL: Robin Kelly on her way to dance class with her daughter disagrees. Her husband's deployed overseas. No way, she says, should the troops pull out.
ROBIN KELLY, SOLDIER'S WIFE: If they did not go over there and begin and participate in this I think what you saw on 9/11 would be more and more on our soil.
CABELL: Maybe so but two mothers in Fargo, North Dakota, wives of National Guardsmen whose deployments were just extended, question the president's Iraq policy. "Too many of these part time soldiers" they say "are kept over there for way too long."
NICOLE RUSTAD, SOLDIER'S WIFE: This is infuriating. How can they treat people like this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't happening just to us. This is happening in other states to other National Guard and Reserve troops.
RUSTAD: It's just a huge injustice to treat your Guard troops like this.
CABELL: It's an argument that seems likely to become louder in the months ahead. Is this truly a continuation of the war against terrorism or is it possibly another drawn out inconclusive Vietnam War in the making?
Brian Cabell CNN, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
BROWN: A few moments ago you heard Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa use the "V" word about the situation in Iraq. "This may not be Vietnam" he said "but boy it sure smells like it." The comparison makes for good political rhetoric but how does it square with history?
Here's CNN's Bruce Morton.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In some ways they sound alike, America in far off lands doing good.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since 1954, every American president has offered support to the people of South Vietnam.
BUSH: In Iraq, we are helping the long suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East.
MORTON: Big money involved too.
JOHNSON: I will ask the Congress to join in a billion dollar American investment.
BUSH: I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87 billion.
MORTON: But, in fact, they are very different. Vietnam went on for years, America's longest war.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the decision I have made. In cooperation with the armed forces of South Vietnam attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.
MORTON: Politicians were optimistic. So many talked about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that the poet, Robert Lowell (ph), wrote: "If you see the light at the end of the tunnel it's the light of an oncoming train." Bush has taken pains to say this war won't be easy.
BUSH: This will take time and require sacrifice.
MORTON: But the biggest difference is scale. Fifty-eight thousand Americans died in Vietnam, fewer than 300 so far in Iraq. Then the body bags came home in tens, in hundreds.
Lyndon Johnson's approval ratings sank and sank, 64 percent in August of 1965, 47 percent in August of '66, 40 percent in August of '67, and then Eugene McCarthy's strong run against him in the New Hampshire primary persuaded LBJ not to run in 1968.
Richard Nixon reached a peace agreement early in 1973 and U.S. prisoners came home though the war really ended when Saigon fell in 1975. Nixon had resigned by then but a victim of Watergate not Vietnam.
George W. Bush isn't there yet. His approval rating in the most recent CNN-USA Today Gallup poll is a solid 59 percent and 63 percent said the Iraq War was worth fighting. His problems are with the economy. That could change if the war, the casualties go on.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
BROWN: Ahead on the program tonight, more on the president's speech, the situation in Iraq. Did he make his case? Will the public back him up?
And, later, the painstaking effort to identify the remains of those who died on September 11 and the sad truth that some families may never know for sure.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BROWN: Two takes now on what the president had to say last night. Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the editor of "The Nation" magazine. She joins us in New York here. And, in Washington, writer Reuel Marc Gerecht, he's a former CIA officer, currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. I think we can fairly say we have the left and the right covered tonight, good to have you both with us.
Let me start with you. I will assume that you are not persuaded, the policy, Katrina, of going to war was the right policy but we're there. How can you walk away now?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, "THE NATION": What I think, Aaron, one has to ask when you listened to the president last night was he a leader or misleader? A leader would explain to the American people the reality of the conditions and the circumstances in which we are now in and explain to Americans as citizens whether left, right, or center, how do we now move on to a situation which will enable America to be more secure and the world more secure. This president was evasive, misleading, and not connected to reality.
BROWN: And, Reuel, there were things in the speech you heard that you liked presumably and things that make you a little uneasy I assume.
REUEL MARC GERECHT, FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Yes, I think overall I thought it was a reasonably decent speech. What I didn't like in it was the sort of stampede that you see now on the Republican side. You've seen it previously on the Democratic to get foreign troops into Iraq.
I think the foreign troops that they are most likely, that they want, the Turks, the Pakistanis, Moroccans, Bangladeshis, conceivably the French, would not be helpful in an Iraqi context and could conceivably cause us considerable damage with the Iraqi people.
BROWN: Just quickly on that point I want to get Katrina's point on that as well. I think there are a couple of arguments on this. One is we need, we the United States, need help sharing the burden. The other is to put less of an American face on the occupation and the argument you make is that may sound like a terrific idea but it actually does not help.
GERECHT: No, I think in Iraqi context it's much more likely to hurt. I mean you can just -- you can pick and choose which troops we're talking about. The Turks, I think are an obvious bad choice. The Shiites do not care particularly the Shiite clergy do not care for the Turks at all. The Kurds care for them even less.
Pakistanis have a reputation amongst the Shiites it the south, who represent over 60 percent of the population of being just a little bit below the Saudis in being the most dogmatic anti-Shiites.
Even if you look at the (unintelligible) you look at the French, I mean the French, the Russians have a very bad reputation amongst the Shiites, again in their mind for being pro-Saddam before the war. VANDEN HEUVEL: What is clear if anything is clear is that the policy of this administration is a failed policy. This country needs to admit that it's made a mistake. Your previous setup was about Vietnam. A great country admits it's made an error, changes course.
Real internationalization may not be about bringing more troops in, whether it's international or American, but it's about the U.N. mandate to transfer authority to Iraqis and a detailed timetable which this president doesn't say or ordain to give.
BROWN: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down. Let me try something here. It seems to me they're going to the U.N. to say we want some help and we want the Iraqi Governing Council, which we appointed, the United States appointed, to set a timetable, write a constitution, set a timetable, on and on and on. So, what is it exactly that you want them to do that they're not doing?
VANDEN HEUVEL: The United States, the Bush administration is finally admitting it needs help from an international community it dissed, it alienated in the run-up to war. The U.N. needs a full vital role not a fig leaf role, which I think this administration is trying to do.
It is a tactical change of course. The U.N. needs a vital voice, a political voice, and it cannot be a Pentagon-led administration and it shouldn't be a U.S. appointed council. The sovereignty of Iraqis is paramount. American occupation is the problem. It is breeding resistance and it will lead to staggering costs in resources that this country needs and lives.
BROWN: We got a minute. I'll try to get two more things here. On the subject of the U.N. how nervous are you that the U.N. will take a role that is something other than a fig leaf role?
GERECHT: I don't think it's terribly likely. I mean I don't think, again, I don't think the U.N. has a great -- I think the humanitarian aspects of U.N. aid are quite good. I think a political role would be quite bad in an Iraqi context. I don't think the U.N. has a terribly good reputation inside of Iraq.
I think the important thing is for us to move as fast as it is safe to move to Iraqi control of their own destiny and I think the Bush administration is trying to do that. I think they've made mistakes. I think they should have done a much better job before the war in planning for Iraqi control but I don't -- I don't suspect the U.N. will have an enormous role here.
BROWN: As quickly as you can do you think the president last night bought himself some time with the American people?
GERECHT: Yes, I think he probably did.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think he bought himself some time but I think he mislead the American people, which is a great disservice. His is a misleader. I think what's important is to hold this administration accountable for staggering failure of policy and let us not lose sight of this cost it has inflicted on this country.
BROWN: Points made, good to have you both with us.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
GERECHT: Thank you.
BROWN: I hope you'll both come back.
Coming up on NEWSNIGHT, trying to win the hearts and minds when you don't speak the same language and that's just a beginning, a special report from CNN's Walt Rodgers embedded yet again.
We take a break first, around the world this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: When last we spent time with CNN's Walter Rodgers, Iraq was something of a blur in his video cam. He was barreling through the desert with members of the Army 7th Cavalry or locked in a firefight. At the time the mission seemed simple. In the words of a soldier first we go to Baghdad and then we come home.
Six months later, Walt is back with the troops. He has more or less re-embedded himself, only this time as vital as the mission remains there is nothing quick or simple about it.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Down the barrel of a gun it's not the best way for Iraqis to get to know American soldiers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Search his house.
RODGERS: Nor for soldiers to know Iraqis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come in. Come in.
RODGERS: Last month these soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division shut down a weapons bazaar in this town. Sometimes there are raids looking for Saddam. Today they're backing up Iraqi police come to find alleged illegal gun dealers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police have arrested two of the individuals on their list and the third one is (unintelligible) today.
RODGERS: Two cultures, Iraqi and American, even working together they don't totally trust each other. Soldiers are concerned Iraqi police are really not trying very hard in this raid.
(on camera): A certain amount of cultural antagonism is perhaps inevitable. One young American soldier was overheard to say that the thanked God he had won the ovarian lottery that he was born in the United States not in Iraq. (voice-over): Much here appalls some U.S. soldiers, the poverty and the backwardness, like donkey feces used to form fuel bricks for cooking fires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been to Kosovo. I've been to Afghanistan. I've come here. This is the most primitive one of what I've seen from my views, you know, of the world.
RODGERS: Privately, U.S. soldiers sometimes derisively refer to Iraqis as "hodgies" (ph). Some Iraqis contemptuously call U.S. soldiers infidels or worse, tools of the Zionists the hated Israelis. U.S. soldiers are more welcome in some villages than others.
Do you think some Iraqis see you as a hostile occupying power?
PFC. MIKE PROPECK, 101ST AIRBORNE: Sure, some do. I see it. I see the look in their face, their threatening gestures when we drive by.
RODGERS: On one such patrol, a U.S. soldier saw an Iraqi woman being beaten.
PFC. JOHN CUSHMAN, 101ST AIRBORNE: You just want to jump out and butt stock the guy in the head. You just -- it's not acceptable.
LT. JAY BESSEY, 101ST AIRBORNE: It's very discouraging at times. A lot of times you wonder if you're actually making a difference, if you're helping these people as much as you can.
RODGERS: Yet, daily the Army soldiers on repairing village wells, making ready schools, even bringing in the harvest.
(on camera): These soldiers of the 101st Airborne are doing much that is constructive but they're laboring against overwhelming odds, huge language barriers and cultural chasms.
Do you ever talk to any Iraqis? Do you ever see any Iraqis personally?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.
RODGERS: Would you like to?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.
RODGERS: Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't understand the language.
RODGERS: There is much about the Americans that often rubs Iraqis the wrong way like not sitting down for tea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down.
LT. COL. JOE BOUCHE, 101ST AIRBORNE: I do not have time. I have just a few minutes and I have to be on the radio. RODGERS: Iraqis' work habits irritate some soldiers.
CORP. ANDY BUCHEN, 101ST AIRBORNE: They eat like four or five times a day. In America you get one lunch break.
RODGERS: Then there's learning the Arab Souk mentality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were charging $3, instead of the usual $2. We come down here at least two or three times a week to get soccer balls for the kids. And if they want to charge $3, they lose a little bit of business.
RODGERS: The Bush White House speaks of establishing a Western- style democracy here. U.S. soldiers tend to be wiser. They say the power of Iraq's sheiks and its ancient traditions must be broken first and transferred to a younger generation, even to women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a messy situation at times. And there's not going to be a perfect solution to it.
RODGERS: And U.S. soldiers here say it will take years.
Walter Rodgers, CNN, Nineveh Province, Iraq.
BROWN: A couple of other items from around the world before we go to break, beginning in the Middle East.
The man chosen to be the new Palestinian prime minister is thinking about it. Ahmed Qureia met today with Yasser Arafat to discuss the job. Earlier, he said he'd take the job only if he receives a guarantee of support from Europe and the United States. The European Union was quick to say yes. The United States and Israel tonight continue to hold back.
And in Beijing, a grip-and-grin, if you will. Former President Jimmy Carter met with China's President Hu -- you might ask -- exactly -- Hu Jintao, as it were. Mr. Carter, the former president, was there to promote some work done by the Carter Center in the area of standardized voting in Chinese villages.
Still to come on NEWSNIGHT: Downloaders, beware. The music industry is on your trail and has begun filing lawsuits to stop you. Find out what they're after, whether it will be successful -- after the break.
This is NEWSNIGHT on CNN.
BROWN: With 29 days to go until the recall election, Californians began voting absentee today, as they did, a new poll out showing support for the recall slipping a bit and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante pulling slightly ahead of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Some details now from CNN's Kelly Wallace.
GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Thank you.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the election were held today, according to a poll to be released Tuesday, California Governor Gray Davis would be out of a job; 55 percent of likely voters would support the recall; 40 percent would not, a small change from the last Field poll in mid-August, when 58 percent said they would oust Davis, 37 percent said he should stay in office.
Davis said the numbers gave him reason to smile.
DAVIS: I'm excited about the Field poll. It shows we're making great strides. The last poll had us 21 points behind. Now we're 15 points behind.
WALLACE: Of the replacement candidates, the major Democrat on the ballot, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, leads Republican Schwarzenegger 30 percent to 25 percent, a larger gap than last month, when Bustamante scored 25 percent with likely voters and Schwarzenegger 22 percent.
Bustamante's campaign says it is not popping the champagne bottles just yet. While Schwarzenegger's aides pointed to the other Republicans in the race, State Senator Tom McClintock and Businessman Peter Ueberroth, saying they show they have no chance of winning, a not-so-subtle message that the Schwarzenegger team worries Republicans could split the vote, this as the gloves are coming off.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's team demands an apology after Governor Gray Davis told a supporter a few days ago -- quote -- "You shouldn't be governor unless you can pronounce the name of the state." Instead of apologizing, Davis slammed the actor-turned-candidate for supporting a 1994 initiative banning benefits for illegal immigrants.
DAVIS: We were just joking around, but it's no joke that Arnold Schwarzenegger supported 187, which is perceived as anti-immigrant.
WALLACE: Schwarzenegger tried to turn the Davis flap to his advantage.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He doesn't like the way I say the word California, because I say California, rather than California. But there's many other words that he doesn't like. He doesn't like lost jobs.
WALLACE: And Governor Davis now holding a town hall meeting with voters.
Earlier this evening, Arnold Schwarzenegger held his first town hall meeting with voters. A reporter asked him if Tom McClintock, the other Republican candidate, should get out of the race. Schwarzenegger would only say that the numbers would be better if you did not have three Republicans in the race.
So, Aaron, we are likely to see some pressure building from some Republicans on these other Republican candidates to get out and not split the GOP vote -- Aaron.
BROWN: Well, it's been there pretty much since the beginning, though it's likely to get more intense.
How much support are the other two Republicans getting, McClintock and Ueberroth?
WALLACE: McClintock's support has gone up. In the Field poll in August, he had about 9 percent. That has gone up four points to 13 percent. Peter Ueberroth, the Republican businessman, his support is staying the same, 5 percent last month, 5 percent right now -- Aaron.
BROWN: He's struggling a lot.
Kelly, thank you -- Kelly Wallace, who is covering the California gubernatorial recall.
A few other stories from around the country tonight, quickly, beginning with a rare special session of the U.S. Supreme Court focusing on campaign finance, the law that took effect last fall known as McCain-Feingold. The court heard four hours of arguments on whether limits on campaign donations restrict free speech. The court broke from its usual schedule to hear arguments in the case, which could have an enormous impact, of course, on how the parties raise money in 2004 and beyond.
The law bans unlimited contributions to national political parties, among other restrictions. And a decision could come from the Supreme Court by the end of the year.
Indiana's governor, Frank O'Bannon, suffered a stroke and underwent several hours of surgery after being discovered unconscious at a Chicago hotel room. Surgeons said the next 24 to 48 hours will be critical, adding -- quote -- "We're hoping he's going to recover function. How much, we do not know." Governor O'Bannon is 73 years old.
And when asked last year if terminal illness had taught him anything, Warren Zevon said yes. It taught him that you have to -- quote -- "enjoy every sandwich." The singer and songwriter behind "Werewolves of London" died just as he lived, his wit intact. Mr. Zevon died yesterday of lung cancer. He was 56.
Last week, the world's largest record company tried something unheard of in the fight against online music piracy to win back customers from the Internet. Universal Music Group cut prices. Call it the supply-and-demand approach. Here's another. Today, the Recording Industry Association of America filed against 261 individuals who share copyrighted music online. Some are calling this one-way-to-alienate-your-potential-customers approach. We're interested in how the industry sees it. So joining us from Washington, Cary Sherman, who is the president of the RIAA.
It's good to have you with us tonight.
Just, as broadly as you can, I guess, tell me who it was you sued today. How big a dealer do you have to be to get sued?
CARY SHERMAN, PRESIDENT, RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: Well, we sued the most egregious uploaders, the people who were distributing illegal music files to millions of other people to copy.
The people who were sued by and large had, on average, about 1,000 music files that they were distributing.
BROWN: So you filed 261 lawsuits today. I read somewhere that 57 million people are swapping files. This seems like a long way to go to get back to even.
SHERMAN: You've got to start somewhere.
And the fact is that there is a deterrent effect when you begin enforcing the law. We've spent a lot of time letting people know that this is illegal behavior. And now they have to understand that you're not anonymous when you engage on it on the Internet and that there can be consequences. And these lawsuits are the first stage in letting people know that there really can be consequences.
BROWN: How concerned are you by the way that you are in fact alienating potential customers? Do you care about that?
SHERMAN: Obviously, nobody likes the idea of playing the heavy in this situation.
But people are stealing other people's products, the things that they create that they need to be paid for in order to continue making them. The cable industry has no trouble suing the people who are stealing cable service. DirecTV has no trouble suing people who steal satellite service. Saks Fifth Avenue goes after famous shoplifters. I don't see any reason why songwriters, artists, record labels, publishers, should not be entitled to be paid for their work, too.
BROWN: I don't either, but why is it that you then are perceived -- why it, do you think, you're perceived as sort of the bad guys in this, when, arguably, you have a product that is being stolen from you?
SHERMAN: People really don't understand how music is made, how costly it is to produce, how you have to continue paying people.
They seem to think that it comes out of the radio, and now it comes off the Internet, and it's free for the taking. If they understood that there are thousands of people's jobs at stake, retailers who have been closing, songwriters and artists whose royalties are being cut in half -- everything is collapsing, unless something is done to shore up the support that's needed for creation of music.
BROWN: Obviously, the lawsuit is a stick here. Might not there be a carrot out there somewhere, a better, I don't know, cheaper way to distribute music than you're doing now that somehow doesn't alienate so many people, if in fact that's what's happening?
SHERMAN: Well, the fact is, there is a tremendous carrot out there. And it's already out there in the marketplace. There are now a dozen legitimate services that are offering music in new innovative ways, where consumers can get exactly what they want.
They can a la carte get downloads. They can get music streamed to them on demand. They can buy subscription or buy by the song. They can buy one song on a C.D. instead of the whole C.D. All of the things that consumers have said they want are now being made available legally on the Internet. But those services are not going to be able to survive if they're competing with stolen copies of the same product. That's why we have to enforce our rights, so that the legitimate commerce can survive on the Internet.
BROWN: For as long as I've been alive, and probably well before that, too, the U.S. government has been engaged in a war on drugs, been trying to get people to stop smoking marijuana. And I read the other day that as many people smoke marijuana today as ever. It makes me think these things don't work. Why do you believe, in the end, this will?
SHERMAN: Well, first of all, there are many concurrent strategies at work here.
It isn't just as though there are lawsuits. There's an education program. There are new offerings being made available on the Internet every day. You just talked about the price reductions. There are added values being -- added value for C.D.s now. New formats are coming out with high-density disks, so that people will get higher- quality music with additional content. So, all of these strategies are being employed at the same time to try and get people back into the habit of buying their music, instead of stealing it.
BROWN: Mr. Sherman, we wish you good luck. People ought not be stealing stuff out there. We appreciate your time tonight.
SHERMAN: Thank you very much.
BROWN: Thank you.
As NEWSNIGHT continues: the ground zero puzzle, trying to identify the remains of those killed on September 11, the process that may never be completed.
From New York, this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: A milestone for two families today, the family of Michael Ragusa and the other family he was a part of, the New York City Fire Department. Mr. Ragusa was the last of 343 firefighters killed on September 11 to have a funeral service in his memory.
Over 1,000 firefighters filed into a Brooklyn church today to remember the 29-year-old whose remains were never identified. His family recently discovered that Mr. Ragusa had donated blood to a bone-marrow center, and it was some of that blood that was used for today's burial.
We wish we could say that the Ragusa family was one of the unlucky few who weren't ever able to recover anything of their loved ones from that day. The truth is, more than 1,000 people have gone unidentified. It is the work of the New York City medical examiner's office. They continue to try and identify the remains that were found, trying to give a family something, anything. They are still busy, and they will be busy for a long time to come.
Here's CNN's Beth Nissen.
BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Work here has not stopped since that awful day in September two years ago. Analysts are still trying to extract DNA from fragmentary remains recovered at ground zero, still struggling to match that with the DNA from thousands of victims' hairbrushes, toothbrushes, and razors.
DR. ROBERT SHALER, NEW YORK CITY MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE: Well, this is the largest investigation in the history of the United States. We've identified, as of today, 1,523 people; 785 of those are by DNA alone.
NISSEN: That means the medical examiner's office has identified just over half of the 2,792 missing or dead at the World Trade Center, far less than the city's chief forensic biologist had hoped.
SHALER: Of those other people we can't identify, either we didn't find them or their remains aren't testable.
NISSEN: Medical examiners knew their task would be horribly difficult, given the pulverizing force of the towers' collapse, the fires that burned for three months after. During the long recovery effort at ground zero, remains were further damaged by sunlight, rain, bacteria.
BIANCA BRANDON, NEW YORK CITY MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE: If you look in a biology textbook or in a forensics textbook to see what types of things can damage DNA, pretty much every one of those things was a factor at the World Trade Center.
NISSEN: Standard DNA testing on more than 20,000 pieces of recovered remains showed just how degraded they were.
SHALER: Sixty-one percent of the remains did not give sufficient results to make an identification. Of those 61 percent, 28 percent gave no DNA test results.
BRANDON: This sample right here didn't give us any results at all.
NISSEN: The World Trade Center team refined the tests, developed new software to review test data, and for months now has been retesting remains to glean even partial results.
SHALER: Some of these remains we've tested six, seven, eight times, just in order to coax more genetic information out of them.
NISSEN: But the team is reaching the end of what current science can do.
SHALER: Last month, we had nine identifications. This month, we might have only two.
NISSEN: That is agonizing to many victims' families. The Kelly family has waited two years for identification of James Kelly, who worked in the 105th floor offices of Cantor Fitzgerald.
JOANNE KELLY, WIFE OF WORLD TRADE CENTER VICTIM: It's like you go to work and you don't come home. The only thing left of you is your clothes in the closet, nothing at the center, nothing at the Trade Center. There's nothing of him. There's nothing.
NISSEN: Just two weeks ago, the Kellys learned there was something, enough for analysts to match with DNA found on the razor in Kelly's gym bag and samples submitted by both parents.
MAUREEN KELLY, MOTHER OF WORLD TRADE CENTER VICTIM: They have finally -- for us, it's -- finally have identified some of his remains.
J. KELLY: I have four little girls that ask me all the time, where's daddy? Did they find daddy? Now he's home with me and the girls.
SHALER: Their grief spills over to you and it challenges you. I have to put myself in the place of these folks. And I think, if my son or my daughter had died there, I would want them back.
NISSEN: In the hopes of being able to give more families something back in the future, lab workers are now concentrating on preserving the bulk of unidentified remains, freezing extracts, drying and vacuum-sealing the remainder.
SHALER: I look at the advances we've had in technology over the last five years. And I look five years from now. I fully envision that there will be something come along that we'll be able to apply to these kinds of samples.
NISSEN: In the meantime, his team hopes to combine partial test results and piece together perhaps 200 more identifications over the next year.
SHALER: We haven't moved on. We're still at 9/11. And this is the second anniversary coming up. And there's going to be a third anniversary and they're still going to be working on this stuff. NISSEN: Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.
BROWN: Morning papers after the break.
BROWN: Time now to check morning papers from around the country and the world, though, as someone pointed out the other day, we rarely do the ones from around the world, which is true. I just don't read that many foreign languages.
"The Miami Herald." A lot of the front pages are the same today. I'm warning you now. "The Miami Herald." But we're still going to do this. "Congress to Pay Tab But Wants an Iraq Plan." That's one headline. "Democratic Candidates Criticize Bush Request." So Iraq on most front pages after the president's speech. Also on most front pages today, "Recording Industry Sues 261 Internet Song Sharers. Thousands More Suits Threatened in Campaign."
Somewhere, every lawyer in America is laughing at what a great deal this is. There are going to be thousands of lawsuits. Anyway, that's on a lot of front pages.
"The Hartford Courant" in Hartford, Connecticut. "Online Music Sharers Sued. Trade Group" -- well, you can read that as well as I can. In some cases, you can read that better than I can, right? This is a very good story, a sad one , too. "Crash Victim Overlooked For Hours. Friends want to know why police failed to find a driver lying nearby in the woods." Yikes. That's "The Hartford Courant" today. Go ahead. I'll take it.
"San Francisco Chronicle." "Hundreds of Net Users" -- I can understand why it would be a big story in San Francisco. "Hundreds of Net Users Face Music Piracy Suits." Also on the front page, this is actually a New York-byline story, because it's a New York school. Can you get me a shot of that? "Gay Kids Get Own School. Nation's first public high school for homosexual students opens in New York."
There's a good little quote here. "I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders," said a young man in New York. New York went back to school.
Thirty seconds? Really? Is that all? And I have to look at "The New York Times" for the first time. OK. That's how good I am. "New York Times." "Judges Hear Vigorous Attacks on New Campaign Finance Law."
And let me quickly get to "Chicago Sun-Times." "Indiana Governor Has Stroke in Loop Hotel." The weather in Chicago tomorrow, supercalifragilistic. And they also point out that, now that they have that silly song in your head, they'll tell you the rest of the words, too. We'll see you tomorrow at 10:00 Eastern time. Good night for all of us at NEWSNIGHT.
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