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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Massachusetts Supreme Court Says Civil Unions Do Not Go Far Enough; Democratic Candidates Continue Campaigning; Interview With Tom Kean
Aired February 4, 2004 - 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.
Sometimes I think the Vietnam War will never end. Should John Kerry win the Democratic nomination the war will certainly become a part of the campaign good and bad.
He was a real hero and no one disputes that as far as I can tell. He was also a leader of the anti-war movement when he came home and that still upsets as many people as it impresses.
On the other side, we found ourselves dealing with the president's service during the Vietnam Era. We didn't bring it up. It was brought up by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa last night.
But it's out there whether it ought to be or not and we will deal with it all again tonight and probably not for the last time. Vietnam is still with us, still an open wound, still provoking anger, still, more on that later.
We begin the whip with two important and very different takes on the issue of gay marriage in the country, David Mattingly with a headline first from Atlanta -- David.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, a landmark court ruling for gay marriages in Massachusetts, a victory for one side, a call to action for the other as more states are now looking for ways to beef up their own laws against gay marriages -- Aaron.
BROWN: David, thank you.
Next to the White House and a decision to give the independent commission investigating the attacks on 9/11 time to complete its job, Suzanne Malveaux has the story tonight, Suzanne a headline.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, this is the second time the White House has changed its tune on how to handle an investigation. First it was pre-war intelligence, now it's 9/11. The question is what gives?
BROWN: Suzanne, thank you.
In Washington, D.C., Candy Crowley is back following the Democratic campaign today, Candy a headline tonight. CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, to the winner, and last night that was indisputably John Kerry, goes the momentum, the money and a day off. Everybody else who was still in the race is back on the trail -- Aaron.
BROWN: Thank you.
And now to Florida where information has been coming in all evening in the case of a missing 11-year-old girl, Susan Candiotti has been tracking it so, Susan, a headline.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Aaron. Tonight a good break, police say a suspect is in custody, bad break according to a law enforcement source. So far he is not cooperating and there is no word tonight on where alleged kidnapping victim Carlie Brucia is.
BROWN: Susan, thank you. We'll get back to you and the rest shortly.
Also coming up tonight on our program we'll talk with the head of the September 11th Commission, the Republican, former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean about the decision today to extend the deadline to finish the commission's work. He had some very interesting things today to say about what has been found so far where this is heading.
Later, another in our special series "Look at it this way," segments on still photography and a wonderful love story, an early Valentine's gift.
And for the big finish and every program ought to have one a check of your morning newspapers. Last night in case you missed it we almost broke the paper counter, really. Wasn't that exciting at two in the morning, all that and more in the hour ahead.
We begin, if there's any doubt it's gone now, gay marriage will be an issue in the election campaigns ahead. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts pretty much sealed that deal today when it told legislators there that civil union, sort of an almost married, weren't enough that gays, like straights, are entitled to equal treatment under the laws of the state.
Massachusetts is where we being this tonight but it is only that a start on a story that grows more complicated by the day. Here's CNN's Maria Hinojosa.
MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once again Massachusetts highest court has said that state must grant gays and lesbians the right to marry and nothing less.
Rejecting a proposed civil union law being considered by the Massachusetts legislature the court said: "Because the proposed law by its express terms forbids same-sex couples entry into civil marriage it continues to relegate same-sex couples to a different status. The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal."
That means that Hillary and Julie Goodridge's 16-year-old relationship might just be about to make history.
HILLARY GOODRIDGE, PLAINTIFF IN SAME SEX MARRIAGE CASE: Twenty years ago if you had told me that we were going to be standing here talking about, you know, marriage I would have told you you were crazy.
HINOJOSA: The Goodridge's and six other gay couples won the right to marry back in November when the court said it was unconstitutional to keep gays from getting married. The state legislature had wanted to remedy that problem by allowing civil unions.
MARY BONAUTO, GAY LESBIAN ADVOCATES AND DEFENDERS: The court has now clarified that equal means equal. The government cannot deny marriage rights to same-sex couples and the legislature now has the choice of embracing that or they can go out of their way to write discrimination into the Constitution.
HINOJOSA: Legislative leaders in Massachusetts are convening a constitutional convention next week to try to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman but both houses would have to approve that in two consecutive sessions. If it passes, it would face voter approval no earlier than fall of 2006. Meanwhile, the Goodridge's are free to marry.
MATT DANIELS, ALLIANCE FOR MARRIAGE: What happened today essentially closed the door on the last remaining option for some sort of Democratic resolution to the situation in Massachusetts and now we're going to see lawsuits to force this on every state in the nation.
HINOJOSA (on camera): The court has told the Massachusetts legislature that gay couples must be allowed to marry by May of this year. Thirty-eight states already have bans against recognizing same- sex unions, a ban that will also be challenged in court.
Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.
BROWN: The decision in Massachusetts came a day after Ohio spoke on the issue. Ohio's voice could hardly be more clear and more different. Yesterday, lawmakers there passed one of the strictest bans on same-sex marriage in the country.
Here again is CNN's David Mattingly.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Ohio Governor Bob Taft is expected to sign into law sweeping restrictions making Ohio the 38th state to prohibit same-sex marriage. REP. BILL SEITZ (R), CINCINNATI: We won't have to worry about our courts deferring to the novel and unorthodox definitions of marriage that we're seeing in states such as Massachusetts.
MATTINGLY: Limiting marriage to one man and one woman, the Ohio law goes further than others by not recognizing gay civil unions or marriages from other states and it would prohibit state agencies from providing benefits to domestic partners of any unmarried employee. Gay marriage advocates are preparing for a long fight.
EVAN WOLFSON, FREEDOM TO MARRY: For a time there will be a patchwork in which some states will move toward equality while others resist it but when the dust settles people are going to see what the Massachusetts court said that allowing marriage equality will help families while hurting nobody.
MATTINGLY: But in anticipation of more court challenges, constitutional amendments prohibiting gay marriages are reportedly in the works in at least nine other states, including Massachusetts and in Congress with President Bush using his State of the Union to voice his support.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: He was warning the court in Massachusetts that if the courts continue to push the envelope on this and thrust this upon the American public then action, such as a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be necessary.
MATTINGLY: According to recent polls, more than half of the nation's potential voters say they are opposed to same-sex couples being allowed to marry and the message is not lost on the campaign trail.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I also do not support the gay marriage and they know that.
MATTINGLY: While a majority of the Democratic candidates for president, including frontrunner John Kerry, support civil unions and legal protection for gay couples. Only Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich endorse gay marriage.
MATTINGLY: The question now is will all of these new state laws and amendments hold up under judicial scrutiny? Some legal experts say maybe not. That's why many now are looking to Congress to propose a national amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically designating marriage as something between a man and a woman -- Aaron.
BROWN: David, thank you, David Mattingly who is reporting from Atlanta tonight.
On now to 9/11 and the search for truth, every now and then it seems to us, at least, common sense in fact prevails. It did in Washington today. Monday the White House was resisting the request of the 9/11 commission for another 60 days to do its work, today a 180.
Why the change? Call it common sense. Call it political reality. Call it what you want but tonight, at least, the country stands a better chance of knowing what really happened that day and how to better prevent another day like it than it did this morning.
From the White House tonight, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): After resisting the idea for months, President Bush has agreed to give the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks more time to do its job.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is pleased to support the commission's request and we urge Congress to act quickly to extend the time table for an additional 60 days for the commission to complete its work.
MALVEAUX: Last week, the commission's leadership formally asked Congress and the White House to extend their deadline until late July to hold hearings and submit its report. The administration balked, sources say because the White House feared damaging information could be released just four months before Election Day.
But many Republican on the hill were inclined to support the commission's request for a two-month extension and the families of 9/11 victims were lobbying to push the deadline beyond that into 2005.
KRISTEN BREITWEISER, FAMILY STEERING COMMITTEE: We don't care about politics. We never did. What we care about is finding out why this nation was so vulnerable to terrorists on the morning of 9/11. What we care about is making sure that something like that never happens again.
MALVEAUX: A bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed allowing the commission to release its findings on its own time table before next year. One warned against candidates using a final report for political gain.
REP. VITO FOSSELLA (R), NEW YORK: To those who view this vehicle or commission's work as, again, a political pawn and a game to be used in the presidential election, the American people are watching. The victims' families are watching.
MALVEAUX: Others push the administration to cooperate fully with the panel.
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Getting it done right is far more important than following any arbitrary deadline and any delays that the commission has experienced we hope will end and we hope they will have access to all the information they need.
MALVEAUX: Now, commission sources say National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will be interviewed by the 9/11 commission on Saturday that negotiations have already begun for private interviews with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former President Clinton, and former Vice President Gore -- Aaron.
BROWN: Suzanne, did Mr. McClellan explain at all why the administration reversed itself?
MALVEAUX: Well, he simply said that they were listening to the families. They were listening to those on the commission and that they decided they need the two months. They would give that to them. But here's the political calculus here.
The thinking is, is that they go for something that is not necessarily the number one option, whether or not it's the time table or the broad scope of these investigations or the other option, of course, is that they face the criticism from Democrats again and again during election season. Option one is considered less costly than option two.
BROWN: Suzanne, thank you very much, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House tonight.
Later in the program we'll hear from the chairman of the 9/11 commission or one of the co-chairmen, Republican Tom Kean, the former governor of New Jersey, who asked for the extension a week ago. He has been unbending and an unrelenting force on this matter. This commission has done some good work and you'll enjoy this conversation later in the hour.
Politics next, Democratic presidential candidates are fewer today. Only six remain. The Senator who won five states yesterday gave himself a day off today. His opponents, all but Al Sharpton, gave themselves no such luxury.
A week from today, five more states will have had their say, a lot of campaigning to do between now and then, a lot of work for CNN's Candy Crowley.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Winless and broke in a primary environment hostile to centrists, a still smiling Joe Lieberman offered parting advice to those he leaves behind.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Work your heart out but stand to the tradition of the best tradition of the Democratic Party, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, stay in the mainstream.
CROWLEY: For the others what matters most now are time and money and they are running out of both.
WESLEY CLARK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How is everybody this morning?
CROWLEY: Wesley Clark's staff voted unanimously to forego salaries so the campaign can put ads on the air in Tennessee and Virginia for next Tuesday's primaries. On the ground the general is playing off his outsidedness, his rhetoric downright Dean-like.
CLARK: They're criticizing the tax cuts. They voted for them. They're criticizing the war in Iraq. They voted for it.
CROWLEY: Like Clark, fellow southerner John Edwards is virtually seeding this weekend's northern caucuses in Michigan, Washington and Maine, e-mailing supporters with a plea for money. The Mr. Sunshine of this race is looking south, using his trump card, he cares about people like me category in the exit polls.
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people understand that protecting America also means protecting American jobs doesn't it?
CROWLEY: New Englander Howard Dean had the northern border to himself Wednesday, 0-9 he searches for a breakout state.
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to win the Washington caucuses on Saturday.
CROWLEY: Though no longer the high-flying, big spending campaign, Camp Dean still pulls in enough Internet cash to keep going but time is of the essence. Dean is hand holding restive big union endorsers, publicly supported, privately worried about Dean's survivability.
DEAN: We picked up some delegates. We have the second highest number of delegates, at least according to the "USA Today."
CROWLEY: For Dean, for Edwards, for Clark the object now is to make it through Wisconsin February 17 to emerge as the only obstacle between John Kerry and the nomination. Oh, and about the frontrunner, he took the day off. The others can't afford it.
CROWLEY: John Kerry will be up and at them tomorrow and unlike anybody else he can play in every area of the country because he has enough money and some endorsements so you will see him in both the south and the north -- Aaron.
BROWN: If they're going to cherry pick this way, just go to those places where the climate is the most favorable, how do the rest of us read the returns? How do we keep track of really who is winning and who is not winning?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, look I don't think there's any doubt right now that John Kerry is the frontrunner but the long term strategy, I mean a win is a win right but the long term strategy is to get to Wisconsin at this point.
What they -- because after Wisconsin in early March, New York, California, you know, huge delegate states, so everybody wants to get everyone else out of the race except for John Kerry because that seems impossible right now, and at the end of the Wisconsin primary be the person standing there head-to-head with John Kerry.
So, a win pushes everybody forward. Wipeouts continue to make the money dry up, the endorsements dry up and the endorsers get very skittish when your guy doesn't win.
BROWN: Yes, they do, don't they.
BROWN: I've learned that. Thank you, Candy, Candy Crowley.
Still ahead on the program tonight, politics and the war, the Vietnam War that is, why a 40-year-old conflict is still being raised on the campaign trail.
And later, new developments in the case of a Florida girl kidnapped on her way home from a sleepover, a break first.
This is NEWSNIGHT on CNN.
BROWN: As we said at the top tonight, Vietnam is still with us and seems more likely than not to be a part of the campaign ahead, not a debate over the war itself, we suspect, something less dramatic or at least more nuanced than that.
It will be a debate over who served and who didn't and why. This was not much of an issue back four years ago when Vietnam Vet Al Gore took on then Governor Bush but there is something about now that seems different.
We begin with CNN's Barbara Starr.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial more than 58,000 names, the dead and missing from a war that began 40 years ago. Today as war hero, John Kerry emerges as the Democratic frontrunner. He invokes a conflict that tore America apart.
KERRY: I'm standing up to Richard Nixon to stop the war in Vietnam, to stopping...
STARR: Now, President Bush and Republicans unexpectedly forced to deal with Vietnam at a political moment of patriotism and controversy over the war in Iraq.
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Amazingly, Vietnam is back. This is an issue that I think many times we thought was in the past. After all it's a generation and a half away. But it was such a searing experience for most Americans that we can't seem to get rid of it.
STARR: Vietnam veterans are getting involved in the election, not necessarily because of John Kerry but one expert says because of their concern that today's young soldiers get treated better than they did.
MOKIE PORTER, VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA: They are more excited about this election, more involved in this election than any other that I can recall in part because of what they see happening to the people who are serving in Iraq.
STARR: While it's clear the military records of President Bush and John Kerry will be used in the campaign, how that drives voters may depend on their age.
SABATO: Young people who were not politically aware during the Vietnam War obviously have no memory of the war and when you speak of it they look at you as though you're talking about ancient history.
STARR: For some young voters it is military service that matters not Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think service, I think dedication to your country, service to your country is definitely an important issue in this campaign.
STARR: The shadow of a long ago war continues to haunt American politics at a time when the nation is again at war in a faraway place.
Barbara Starr, CNN, Washington.
BROWN: Don't you hate when ancient history is in your lifetime? So, how should we think about all of this if indeed we should think about it at all? Is Kerry's service relevant to today? Are his anti- war activities when he came home fair game?
And what about the president, he managed to find one of those coveted spots in the National Guard at a time, different from today, when that was very much a safe haven from Vietnam, does that matter? Does his attendance record, a matter of much debate, matter? Does all of it or any of it matter?
We're joined tonight by James Webb. Mr. Webb served as secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, a graduate of the Naval Academy and a decorated Marine. He is also an author of some note. We're pleased to have him with us. Is it fair game all of this stuff, Senator Kerry and the president's time 30 years ago?
JAMES WEBB, FORMER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: I think it's not only fair game but I think there are considerations that are at play here that because they illuminate larger issues of credibility could really make this kind of nasty in a surprising way.
You have John Kerry who by all accounts served very well when he was in Vietnam. When he came home he, as you mentioned, was involved in the anti-war movement, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which was a very small group of maybe 7,000 veterans at the most, Vietnam veterans and gained a lot of antipathy from people who served in Vietnam because of his role as a spokesman in what was called the winter soldiers or the winter crimes tribunal, which was involved in laying out a long list of allegations against the people that really hurt, stigmatized the people who served.
He also was one of the architects of the (unintelligible) with communist Vietnam which, on the one hand, was good but on the other he gained the anger of a lot of the Vietnamese American community leaders because he never consulted them when he was dealing with the communists, so John...
BROWN: And -- I'm sorry, and the president?
WEBB: And George Bush did none of those things, George W. In fact, he did nothing. I mean he apparently was able to get his father's political influence in order to get him in to the Texas National Guard in 1968 at the height of the war at a time when being in the National Guard virtually guaranteed that you wouldn't have to go into combat.
He later transferred over into the Alabama National Guard. As you mentioned there is some question about his attendance records. The White House has responded in a rather confusing way by saying that these records have been lost.
I can tell you having spent three years as assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs in charge of the guard and the reserve programs it would be very unusual to lose these records.
They are important for monitoring pay, also for the credit that you get for drill that goes against satisfactory performance in the guard and these sorts of things, so there are a lot of questions out there.
And, at the same time, this is taking place against the backdrop of a war that a lot of the people who served in have sons and daughters serving in now and view as unnecessary.
BROWN: Let me -- let me ask the question this way. Whatever each of them did back then or didn't do back then they were a little bit more but not much more than kids. I mean they were, you know, 20, 21, 22, 23 years old. What does that tell us really about who they are today and how they would deal with the issues of today?
WEBB: Well, I think that's a really good question first of all and a valid question because first of all we make decisions all through our lives that we have to live with for the rest of our lives. And, second, the most important question really is who is the least dangerous in terms of the situation that we're in right now?
I say that because there's an enormous amount of concern about what the Bush administration has done in terms of the Iraq War and I personally would never even have thought that large numbers of Vietnam veterans would be moving toward John Kerry because of the anger toward him from before but you're seeing this happen now largely just because of concern over the management of the Iraq War. BROWN: Do you think that, you know, some day our kids are going to be sitting around talking about his that this will never go away or is there something about the moment that we're in, this kind of odd moment we're in where this may be the moment where we really do as a country come to terms with Vietnam?
WEBB: Well, you know, first of all I think that all historical events that are major events in a life of a country become assimilated. They don't go away. They become a part of the national dialogue forever and that's going to happen with Vietnam.
I had two ancestors die fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War. That's something that still resonates through the communities and the families. But the situation now is different, as you said.
The issue of Vietnam when Bill Clinton was running was different because it was sort of intergenerational. He was running against World War II veterans. This issue the last time around with Al Gore I personally think that both sides were sort of holding back heavy artillery.
They didn't want to throw it out there but there is some volatility in both -- on both sides. Both of these people have some negatives that could hurt them and since Kerry's record is already out there, he's got a long record, everybody knows what he did in the anti-war movement and this sort of thing that it's natural for the Kerry campaign strategically to go after what George W. Bush did because their guy's stuff is already out there.
BROWN: Mr. Webb, good to have you with us tonight.
WEBB: Thank you very much.
BROWN: You took pretty clean shots at both of these guys and that I think framed the argument and I suspect it's going to be an argument pretty well for months to come. Thank you again, sir.
WEBB: Well, I think we're all struggling with it. Thank you.
BROWN: We are indeed. We welcome you back. Thank you.
Coming up on NEWSNIGHT, the September 11 Commission, our conversation with the chairman of that commission Thomas Kean about trying to get to the bottom of what happened on that awful day and later, and better in its own way, a love story in still life, a break first.
Around the world this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Forty years ago, it was the Warren Commission and the Kennedy assassination. Tonight, it's the 9/11 Commission, the task no less important. The panel has already interviewed nearly 1,000 people. It's collected some 2,000 -- rather, two million pages of documents. There have been seven public hearings, and there's still much to be done. That's according to the chairman, former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, a Republican. We spoke with him earlier today.
BROWN: You're obviously pleased by the White House's decision to allow your work to go on past May.
THOMAS KEAN, CHAIRMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION: Yes. It's very, very helpful, because we really couldn't have done the job the American people asked us to do in the timeframe as set out. So the fact we've got that extra 60 days is going to be very important.
BROWN: Is 60 days enough?
KEAN: Sixty days should be enough.
Before we accepted any agreements, I met with the staff and talked to the leadership of the staff in particular and said, look, can you do it this time and can you do it well this time? And the answer was, yes, we can.
BROWN: You are a political person. Is it at all upsetting to you, galling to you, that the concerns that seem to be voiced about the extension really had at their core a political motive?
And I understand that, because I've been in politics. And I understand that the presidential election is about the toughest time to do anything in Washington. So I understood all the concerns. But we just couldn't be bound by them. This is a report, as far as we're concerned, that's for history. This is the authoritative report on one of the most serious tragedies that ever could have happened to the country.
And part of it is going to be recommendations to make this country safer for the future. So either to truncate it or to hold it, so the American people didn't get to see it, I thought either one was equally mistaken.
BROWN: You said sometime back -- and it caused much stir -- that you thought this might have been avoided, this tragedy might have been avoided. Can you talk a little bit about how you got to believe that?
KEAN: Now I think there's more evidence out there to back up what I said at that time.
I mean, we just recently had a public hearing where we learned that there were people who came into this country whose visas were not valid, whose passports were forged, who were on watch lists that weren't given to the airlines. And so many other -- I mean, that didn't need to happen that way. A lot of these people did not need to get into the country.
And if everything had been followed, they wouldn't have gotten into the country. We found out, for instance, that, probably, those famous box cutters, they may well not have existed. What did exist were knives. And the hijackers brought the knives, and -- because the airline regulation was anything under four inches. Well, you can stick a knife pretty far into somebody in four inches.
KEAN: Now, that's a very dangerous weapon, and that's what the hijackers used, as well as mace. There were a lot of things that happened along the way. And if any number of them had happened differently, a lot of those hijackers would not have been in this country and would not have been in those planes.
BROWN: How much of the story do you believe you now know?
KEAN: I think we now know a lot of it, because we've done so much work. We've got over two million documents. This is the largest investigation ever done...
KEAN: ... of the United States government. So we've got over two million documents we're going over. We have been refused nothing.
Now, we had to negotiate for a lot of it, and we haven't got every member of the commission to see every document yet. But some members of the commission or the staff have seen every single document that we requested, including the most sensitive documents available to the United States government, things that Congress has never, ever seen.
BROWN: Will we be -- all of us -- be angered by what we learn, do you suspect?
KEAN: I think it will depend on the person.
You'll certainly be informed. We are finding out things that are not the official story.
KEAN: So, as you read our report on 9/11, you'll find out some things that you didn't know. And there will be some frustrations, obviously, as we see these kind of things that didn't need to happen that way.
But I think the most important part, or one of the most important parts, is not only going to be just to tell the historic story, but we're going to make recommendations to make the American people safer.
KEAN: And if we do that well, that could even be more important than the part of the report that tells the authoritative story.
BROWN: Forty years later, most Americans do not believe the Warren Commission. Do you worry that, four months from now, 40 years from now, people will look at what your commission has done and not believe it?
KEAN: It's a worry, but I think all we can do is do the best job humanly possible.
We've got five Republicans and five Democrats. We're working together. There hasn't been a partisan vote yet on the commission, where we've divided between the parties. I think we all have the same objective. We've got a staff that was picked because of their credentials, not for any other reason. And they're working seven days a week, in many cases now. And we're going to produce the best possible report we can and do it with integrity.
And there will always be somebody -- I'm sure there will be somebody who will say -- question it in this way, question it in that way. But all we can do is get every fact out there. That's why we have insisted that we had to see every single document, we had to interview every single person. That's been our insistence. That's what has gotten us into trouble sometimes with the authorities.
But we'll see everything and we'll make, draw conclusions to the best of our ability. And my hope is that most Americans are going to read it and understand not only 9/11, but some of the things we can do to prevent a 9/11 in the future.
BROWN: We wish you nothing but the best of luck.
KEAN: Thank you very much.
BROWN: The former governor of New Jersey and the co-chairman, along with Lee Hamilton, of the 9/11 Commission.
A quick look at some of the other stories that made news around the world today. In London, Parliament was briefly suspended when several anti-war protesters screamed at Prime Minister Tony Blair from the gallery. Usually, the screaming comes from the seats there. Mr. Blair was discussing weapons of mass destruction, or the lack thereof.
To Pakistan and a scandal involving that nation's top nuclear scientist. Today, he admitted on state TV that, yes, he did sell nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya.
And finally, elections in Iran, not a smooth or easy process, this, but reformists scored a victory today over the hard-line clerics when the country's supreme religious leader agreed to a formula that is expected to reinstate thousands of candidates for Parliament. This battle led to scores of sitting members of the Parliament, reformers, to resign.
Next on NEWSNIGHT, an update on the story that has been developing all evening long, the arrest of a suspect in the case of a young girl kidnapped, apparently, in Sarasota, Florida.
We'll take a break first. This is NEWSNIGHT from New York.
BROWN: How does TiVo know that?
There has been a break in the kidnapping case we reported on a bit last night. An abduction of a child, of course, is horrible, this one especially chilling because it was captured on a surveillance video. We saw the pictures yesterday of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia being approached by a man who then takes her arm or grabs her arm and leads her away. Tonight, a suspect is in custody. The search for the child is still on.
Reporting tonight, CNN's Susan Candiotti.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No word on where Carlie Brucia is, but police have someone they say they hope can lead them to her.
BILL BALKWILL, SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF: At this time, we do have a suspect in custody. His name is Joseph P. Smith.
CANDIOTTI: CNN has learned from a law enforcement source that Smith from Sarasota is being questioned, but, for now, is not cooperating. The break came after flooding the airwaves with this surveillance video showing the missing 11-year-old being taken by the arm by a man as she took a shortcut home through a car wash parking lot Sunday night.
JEFF BELL, LEAD INVESTIGATOR: He became a suspect in relation to the phone calls that we did receive from the community. And we have strong evidence to suggest that he is, in fact, the perpetrator.
CANDIOTTI: Investigators are going over Smith's car, a 1992 station wagon, for evidence. Police say they believe the car was used in the alleged abduction of the sixth grader.
Smith, it turns out, was already in custody for an alleged probation violation on drug charges. He has a lengthy record of arrests, including aggravated battery in 1993 and drug charges, including heroin possession in 2001, for which he did a little over a year in prison. His most recent prior drug arrest came in January of last year. Police will say nothing more.
COL. TERRY LEWIS, SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: That gives us another 12 hours to get deeper and deeper into this very dynamic moment.
CANDIOTTI: Carlie Brucia's parents have been notified, their home displaying signs offering encouragement.
BELL: Please consider this as a focus now to find Carlie and bring her home.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CANDIOTTI: The FBI and Florida State Police are also lending a hand. So is NASA, which has been using its sophisticated computers, the same one used to look into the Columbia tragedy, to try to enhance the images from that surveillance camera.
And finally, Aaron, we have no word tonight on why police are so convinced that Smith may be involved in this alleged kidnapping. Do they perhaps have physical evidence from his car? -- back to you.
BROWN: Well, we'll wait on that.
It's hard for me to tell on these monitors, but when you look at the mug shot and you look at the picture from the surveillance video, does it appear to be the same guy?
CANDIOTTI: Hard to tell.
CANDIOTTI: But, beyond that, apparently, they have that descriptor about the tattoos on his arms.
CANDIOTTI: Remember, it was a phone call that led them to him.
BROWN: Susan, thank you. And, hopefully, they'll find this child. That's the main point here now.
Turning now to the business world, the Martha Stewart trial, which continues to captivate New Yorkers, particularly the tabloids here. Today, the defense got its crack at the government's star witness. In his second day of testimony, former stockbroker assistant Douglas Faneuil said Ms. Stewart ordered the sale of her ImClone shares after he tipped her off that the company's co-founder was doing the same thing. The judge then allowed defense lawyers to question Mr. Faneuil about his drug use and other matters.
Mad cow now. Government officials have two competing recommendations to chew on, if you will. An international team of veterinarians appointed by the U.S. agriculture secretary said today, there is a -- quote -- "high probability" of at least a dozen new cases a year. That conclusion clashes with a Harvard University study saying there was minimal risk of mad cow occurring in the United States.
Finishing up on Wall Street, the Nasdaq had an awful day, very nasty, the worst day since September. The Dow and the S&P were down as well, not a very pleasant week on the market so far.
Still ahead tonight on the program, a little pre-Valentine's Day treat, a look at a great love story through the eyes of a still photographer.
This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: We began the hour with a debate over marriage, what it should constitute, whom should be able to enter into it. Segment seven tonight is about marriage as well, one that seems to speak perhaps to the one thing both sides in the same-sex marriage debate might agree on, the sometimes singular love between two people.
Nan and Arthur Kellam did something few have actually ever done, though many have thought about it. They left the world behind and built a world for two on an empty island. We found them fascinating, and so did photographer David Graham. His book, "Alone Together," tells The Kellams story as we "Look At it This Way."
DAVID GRAHAM, PHOTOGRAPHER: This project is -- it's called Alone Together. It was a series of photographs about a small cabin on a small island off the coast of Maine, where Nan and Arthur Kellam lived for the better part of 40 years alone together.
They came in 1949, when they were each 38 years old and in the prime of their lives. And it's interesting to think that, at that age, when many people are really at the peak of their careers, that they chose to walk away and to go to the island by themselves. When you go to the island, you get off a larger boat into your own little dory. And you take it up to the beach and drag it up on the shore, and then walk up into the woods.
And, immediately, it's just very quiet, because the spruce trees just deaden the sound. And, of course, underfoot from all the needles and stuff, it's very soft, and you just feel as though it's right out of a children's book story.
There was evidence of a farm there, a foundation, and they rebuilt the house on the foundation of that old farmhouse that was there. When they poured the cement for the living room floor, Arthur put down her much smaller foot to the right in the wet cement. So you have a pair of footprints, but one by Nan, one by Arthur.
I think what captured me was that, oh, the fullness, the richness of their life, that it wasn't just one picture could tell it. Upstairs, in the bedroom, there was a table that overlooked the woods, a very beautiful little spot, a pair of binoculars. There are stacked letters, books, and a number of pictures. Clearly, they seemed to all have been taken when visitors had come to visit them, Nan and Arthur going for a boat ride with friends or having a picnic on the beach. They took the requisite snapshots and then brought back copies at a later date.
There were elements of real beauty to the design of this simple cabin. And one of them was a little loft that came off the upstairs bedroom that overlooked the workshop. Arthur was let loose in the workshop area. And I just loved the intensity of all that stuff and all the little details about life there.
One of my favorite shots is a picture of these safety goggles that he had made out of parts of a bicycle innertube and some string and so on. It's really wonderfully inventive in a very crude way. They also built another cabin later that was right on the edge of the ocean, which they called the bandstand, to spend time by themselves in privacy in the presence of a beautiful view.
And there's little notes that you would find when you went into the main cabin where they lived saying, oh, I'm in the bandstand or, I'll be back soon. There is a very touching note that was on one of the kitchen Cabinets. And at the bottom is a little hand-drawn heart with initials and the nickname "Bear." And that's pretty sweet, after 35 years of living in the same cabin, to still be writing little love notes to each other.
BROWN: Isn't that nice?
Morning papers after the break.
BROWN: Time to check morning papers from around the country.
And last night, I think we did 11 of them. We'll do fewer tonight. That, I can assure you. And I'm still kind of troubled by that TiVo thing, how TiVo knows when you rewind something or how TiVo knows anything else. I'm sure it's innocent, though. There's an innocent explanation to this. They're not spying on you.
"Pittsburgh Tribune-Review." I'm becoming Andy Rooney all of a sudden. How did that happen? It leads with a local traffic story. "Paving the Way For Tie-Ups, Penn., the DOT will tear up Parkway West This Year." That's probably a big deal there. I don't know Pittsburgh well enough, though I lived not far from there once.
"Rumsfeld Hangs On to Claim Iraq Had WMDs." The secretary of defense went to Congress today and said, hey, they might still be found. Intelligence wasn't bad. It could happen. And he could be right. But he's not right yet.
"The Philadelphia Inquirer," on the other side of the state, to me, this is absolutely a front-page story, but, then, we led with it. "In Mass." -- Massachusetts -- "Gays Get Right to Marriage. State's highest court said civil unions were not enough. The ruling clears the way for same-sex weddings by May." That's the lead. They also put Secretary Rumsfeld on the front page. "Rumsfeld: Iraq Weapons May Still be Found." I guess, what else can you say about it?
Now, here's a different way to deal with the may -- the gay marriage story -- or the may garriage story, if you're me. "The Boston Herald" leads this way. It's in their backyard. "Wed Lock: Supreme Court Secures Rights of Gays to Marry," a pretty straightforward headline there. "The Detroit Free Press." Both Detroit papers play politics on the front page, because of the primary coming up. "Kerry's Lead Puts Rivals on the Run. Two Candidates Won't Even Try in Michigan." But I really like this story. "A Sad Song, But Just For Now. Vandalism Aftermath. Public Helps Teens, Teachers Fight Back at Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts." It's one of those, like, stupid things people do. They go tear up and break down a bunch of musical instruments. Anyway, the community is getting involved in making it better.
And I hope it works out. "Kerry Rout Costs Michigan Its Stage" is the way "The Detroit News" led the political story.
And we'll end with "The Chicago Tribune" -- no, "The Chicago Sun- Times." "The Chicago Tribune" doesn't send us the paper. If it did, we'd end with that maybe -- or maybe not. Oh, they got the TiVo story. "While You Watch TiVo, It Watches You." Great minds think alike. The weather in Chicago tomorrow is "ugh."
BROWN: That's morning papers. We'll wrap up the day in a moment.
BROWN: Before we go, a quick recap of our top story, two very different decisions concerning same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court in Massachusetts ruling that civil unions aren't enough, that gays deserve equal treatment under the law. That means marriage by this May for couples seeking it in that state, the ruling coming just after Ohio passed one of the strictest bans on same-sex marriage in the country, an election-year issue for you tonight.
Tomorrow on NEWSNIGHT, the uproar over the refusal of a pharmacist to fill a perfectly legal prescription for the morning- after pill for a woman who had been raped -- that story and all the day's top news, the morning papers and all those other things we do tomorrow right here, 10:00 Eastern time.
Before we leave you, Soledad O'Brien with a look at what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Aaron.
Tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," shocking statistics on Americans who die in hospitals not because they're sick, but because the doctor or nurse made a fatal error, doctor and author Robert Wachter (ph) on the show tomorrow. He says there's an epidemic in America of medical mistakes. We'll tell you how to protect yourself, CNN tomorrow, 7:00 a.m. Eastern -- Aaron, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Thank you. She stays up so late just to do that. Isn't that cool?
"LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" for most of you.
We'll see you tomorrow at 10:00 Eastern time. Good night for all of us.
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Far Enough; Democratic Candidates Continue Campaigning; Interview With Tom Kean>