tv PBS News Hour PBS February 11, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the trial intensifies. democrats wrap up their argument against former president trump asking if what he did is unimpeachable, what is? violence persists 10 years on and remains that democracy remains elusive. and the longest war. an afghan air force pilot searches for a new life in the u.s. after running afoul of both the afghan government and the telegram. >> either the afghan government
wants to arrt him or the taliban want to kill him. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> before we talk about your investments, what is new? >> audrey is expecting. >> twins. >> we would be closer to the twins. >> a change in plans. >> at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. >> consumer cellular. johnson and johnson. b and s avenue railway. the candida fund, committed to restoring meaningful justice.
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house of representatives to make their case against former president trump, that he incited an assault on the united states capitol. senators serving as the jury at his impeachment trial heard that the mob on january 6 had no doubt about why they were there. white house correspondent yamiche alcindor reports. yamiche alcindor: today, house democrats, acting as prosecutors, zeroed in on the argument that, on january 6, rioters believed donald trump wanted them to invade the u.s. capitol. colorado congresswoman diana degette. rep. diana degette: many of them actually posed for pictures, bragging about it on social media, and they tagged mr. trump in tweets. folks, this was not a hidden crime. the president told them to be there, and so they actually believed they would face no punishment. jennifer ryan: i thought i was following my president. i thought i was following what we
were called to do. he asked us to fly there. he asked us to be there. so, i was doing what he asked us to do. yamiche alcindor: maryland congressman jamie raskin said the armed siege at the michigan state capitol last april was proof that the former president knew the power of his words. rep. jamie raskin: this trump-inspired mob may indeed look familiar to you, confederate battle flags, maga hats, weapons, camo army gear, just like the insurrectionists who showed up and invaded this chamber on january 6. the siege of the michigan statehouse was effectively a state-level dress rehearsal for the siege of the u.s. capitol that trump incited on january 6. yamiche alcindor: and raskin had this warning for senators, who will decide president trump's guilt or innocence and whether to bar him from running again. jamie raskin: president trump declared his conduct totally appropriate. so, if he gets back into office and it happens
again, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. yamiche alcindor: presentative ted lieu of california also pointed to the former president's lack of any public remorse over the violence. rep. ted lieu: on insurrection day, january 6, president trump did not once condemn the attack, not even once. even when he finally asked the violent extremists to go home, which was three hours after the attack began, he sends this video, and he ends it with: "you're very special. we love you." yamiche alcindor: moreover, diana degette said the former president's response has led to other serious consequences. rep. diana degette: look at the price we have paid, the price that we're still paying. it's not just dollars and cents. this capitol has become a fortress, as state capitols have all across the country. yamiche alcindor: prosecutors
also argued that harm has been done to congress and the democratic process. rep. david cicilline: this mob was trying to overthrow our government, and they came perilously close to reaching the first three people in line to the presidency. it wasn't just the vice president and the speaker. rioters were prepared to attack any member of congress they found. yamiche alcindor: and they spoke of the traumthat remains for those who witnessed that day firsthand. david cicilline: for many of the black and brown staff, the trauma was made worse by the many painful symbols of hate that were on full display that day. one member of the janitorial staff reflected how terrible he felt when he had to clean up feces that had been smeared on the wall, blood of a rioter who had died, broken glass and other objects strewn all over the floor. he said: "i felt bad. i felt degraded." yamiche alcindor: representative david cicilline of rhode island also requested senators to remember all the police who were seriously injured trying to
protect the capitol. david cicilline: injuries to the u.s. capitol police and the metropolitan police department include concussions, irritated lungs, serious injuries caused by repeated blows from bats, poles, and clubs. capitol police officers also sustained injuries that will be with them for the rest of their lives. yamiche alcindor: the house managers yesterday had already laid out a detailed timeline of the capitol insurrection. it included chilling new video evidence from inside the siege. it captured everything from the moment the angry mob stormed the building to scenes of vice president pence and lawmakers being evacuated to safety just feet from the angry mob. but it's still unclear if that powerful evidence has swayed any republicans to vote to convict the former president. at the white house this morning, president biden weighed in on the trial during an oval office event. president joe biden: i think the senate has a very important job to complete. and i think my
guess is, some minds may have been changed, but i don't know. yamiche alcindor: starting tomorrow, president trump's defense team will have up to 16 hours to make their case. but they said today they expect to wrap up their arguments by tomorrow night. in that case, the vote, guilty or not guilty, could come on saturday. judy woodruff: and yamiche joins us now from the capitol, along with our lisa desjardins. so, hello to you. lisa, i want to come to you first. you were there. you were both intently paying attention to this. what stood out to you? and what did you see in the senators' reactions? lisa desjardins: it's clear that senators were more tired today. but, judy, they were still listening, both parties listening very carefully. and i want to talk about what democrats feel they did today. democrats feel very strongly about their case. they feel they made their case. exiting the chamber, representative madeleine dean said that: "we have made our case." this is what they did today on two levels. the emotional level is something that we have all been talking about, the video, the impact of that video. but there were a lot of important
legal arguments that democrats are making today, high among them about the president's intent. they took the timeline tay and yesterday of the president's actions to try and show his actions before january 6, his words before january 6. and then, on january 6, his lack of getting involved, his lack of stopping the mob shows the president's intent to allow and actually help foment that riot. that's a legal argument that they have been making today. also, i want to say that their case is so strong that senate democrats are telling me they don't think any witnesses are needed. we will see if house democrats make that decision or not. but that seems to be some momentum from senate democrats. one other piece of this democratic case thatas noteworthy to me today, judy, was words by ted lieu, the house manager. he said he's not worried about president trump running again. he's worried about president trump running again and losing. that's not about intent. that's about the impact of this trial and the
danger that democrats are trying to tell republicans exists if they do not convict and prevent present trump from running again. one republican, senator mike rounds of south dakota, told me he thought that was very powerful, that he and other republicans wrote that down, that statement. he still seems unconvinced. but that was one thing he was chewing on. judy woodruff: really, really interesting. and to yamiche. we know we're going to hear tomorrow from president trump's defense team. you have been speaking with them. what would you say their mind-set is after seeing the house presentation and then seeing the senate reaction? yamiche alcindor: well, despite the powerful presentation put on by house impeachment managers, president trump's lawyers, former president trump's lawyers feel very confident that the president will, in fact, be acquitted. they feel as though this is really something that they knew from the very beginning. i just spoke to two of the president's lawyers, bruce castor, who told me, again, very confident when i asked h how confident he felt. david schoen,
another attorney who felso confident that he was doing tv hits during the trial, said that president trump is upbeat. he also said that, in fact, this should really have been over before it was started. he also said he's only going to take about three hours, the trump impeachment team, the trump defense team, tomorrow to make their case, feeling as though that they don't have to use the 16 hours that they are allotted. now, why do they feel so confident? it's because the senators that i talked to today and that lisa has been chasing along with me, they are not really changing their minds if they're republicans. i spoke to lindsey graham, marco rubio, ted cruz. they all told me the same thing, which is that they feel like, yes, house impeachment manners are showg powerful video, but that that is not tying -- that these attacks, the siege on the capitol, directly to president trump. they're saying instead that this is a political activity, this is political theater, and not actually proving their point. interestingly, though, tommy tuberville, the senator who president trump called during the riot to try to slow down the vote certification, he told me
that he is undecided. he said that he's going to look. he has never been a jury before, he -- he has never been a juror before, he said. that bei said, there's a real feeling, though, that tommy tuberville will still vote to acquit the president. and one other big thing. even if the president is acquitted, what i'm hearing from democrats also is that they feel like their audience is beyond the senate chamber. sitting in there today, i can tell you that they were really making the case that white supremacy and systemic racism, that that is the danger that they are fighting as they are putting on this impeachment trial. judy woodruff: all right, three days down and one or more one and more to go. lisa desjardins, yamiche alcindor, thank you both. judy woodruff: and we turn now to one of the jurors in this trial. he is democratic senator mark warner of virginia. senator warner, thank you very much for joining us again. so, tell us, what do you think the strong elements and maybe the weaker elements have been in the presentation by the house managers?
sen. mark warner: well, i think the house managers made a very compelling case. and i wish every american would spend a couple of hours, whether they were supporters of biden or supporters of mr. trump, and watch the presentation. yesterday was very emotional, kind of reliving january 6. i was on the floor that day. we saw the mobs trashing the capitol, seven people dead, 150 law enforcement officers hurt. today was i didn't think it would reach the same emotional pitch, but, in many ways, it did. the idea that somehow this would have happened without donald trump just makes no sense to me, the kind of "but for" argument, but for donald trump calling this mob together, but for him inciting them, urging them to go to the capitol, his failure then to call them off, since this is a man who definitely knows how to use twitter, and instead
being supportive of this crowd, and then showing no remorse even as the tragedy and the fact that he was actually putting his own vice president in harm's away. regardless of how people end up voting, i don't think there are many of my republican colleagues who in their heart don't know that donald trump was responsible for what happened on january 6. and what i am hoping is that many of them will think beyond the next two weeks, the next six months or even the next election cycle in two years, and think, how do they want to be judged by history? there was an analogy made on one of the shows yesterday that this is, in some way, equivalent to what happened with joe mccarthy, the anti-communist red baiter in the early '50s, when he was riding high. and then the senate, i think, came to its senses. and those who stood by mccarthy were forever had their reputations forever tarnished. what donald trump has done makes
what joe mccarthy did in the early '50s look like child's play. this is exponentially worse, poses a long-term threat to our democracy, has i think one of the concerns i have, as somebody sitting as chair of the intel committee, the amount of damage this has done to our reputation abroad. and i just hope that my republican colleagues will think about that and ponder that. and, again, i think the house made a very compelling case. and those who are gog to hide behind a legalistic argument, such as the constitutionality or due process, it is pretty flimsy, and it may be an excuse, but it's not something i think in their hearts they actually believe. judy woodruff: senator, so you are saying that you think most of your republican colleagues are going to be voting based on what is good for their own reelection the next time, assuming they're running? mark warner: i'm saying it is toearly to say. i don't i know there are some on the republican side who are all in with trump, all in with
these anti-government extremists. i'm not sure. they have pinned their political future, i think very crassly, to that kind of america that i don't think, frankly, represents the republican party. they are trumpistas. they are not republicans. but i think there are an awful lot of men and women that i work with consistently i'm very proud of the fact that every bill i have ever worked on in this job, i have had a bipartisan partner. i'm proud of what we have done on the senate intelligence committee, bipartisan. these are good american patriots. but they have got to be having some really challenging times over the next 24, 48, 72 hours, until we vote, because i am not sure that any of them could look me in the eye or look you in the eye and really say donald trump did not cite that crowd to come and bring violence upon the united states capitol in a way that not only caused death and bodily harm, but destroyed something
that represents more than any of us who work there, the notion of our democracy. and those images that are still being used by china and russia to diminish our democracy, those images are not going away. judy woodruff: senator, it sounds like you have made up your mind. you do plan to vote to convict; is that right? mark warner: again, i'm going to ask i'm going to listen mr. trump's attorneys. i have some pretty firm views, obviously. but i can't ask my republicans colleagues to listen to the house managers and then make their final decision until they hear from the opposition. but i don't know what mr. trump's defense could be that will change my mind or change what i saw or lived through myself or have seen as chair of the intelligence committee, in terms of how these images are being used against our national interests all around the world at this point. but to be kind of honest to my the same kind of oath i ask them
to take, which is to be to listen to both sides and then reach a verdict, but the evidence is overwhelmingly compelling, in my mind, at this point. judy woodruff: very quick, in just a few seconds, senator, how closely do you think your constituents in the state of virginia are following this? how much attention are they paying? sen. warner: probably not very much. but i think this is this is for the historical record. i do think that we will be better served if virginians, regardless of who they supported, were watching this, and they all would reach their own independent judgment, because i think anyone that would look at a couple hours of this testimony, i will trust them to probably come to the same conclusion that i have. judy woodruff: senator mark warner of virginia, we appreciate it. thank you. senator warner: thank you, judy. judy woodruff: and joining me again tonight are two experts on
the senate. they are elizabeth chryst. she's a 26-year veteran of the upper chamber, serving having served as a republican senate secretary during the impeachment trial of president bill clinton. and melody barnes of the university of virginia's democracy initiative, miller center and law school, she was chief counsel to the late massachusetts senator edward kennedy, when she helped broker the rules for president clinton's impeachment trial. welcome again to both of you. very good to have you with us. melody barnes, to you first. how do you assess the overall, the strength of the case made by the impeachment managers and, in particular, this focus on not just on punishing former president trump, but on making sure that this doesn't happen again? melody barnes: well, first of all, it's great be with you, judy, and to be withlizabeth again. i think it was another very strong day for the house managers. they felt like that a student that was extremely
well-prepared and wanted to get everything in the report that they shared with the teacher and shared with the class. but i think it's because they believe that they have a real uphill battle to persuade the number of republicans and make sure the democrats feel that they have the evidence that they need to convict the former president. i also think that they played to the senators' sense that they are the upper body you just referred to the upper chamber that they at least in the past, there was a sense of a club, for better or for worse, and the sense of what happened to their staff, what happened to the capitol police, what happened to the capitol itself. i think they wanted to wrap all of those things together, and then to point the senators toward the future. this isn't just about punishment. this is about prevention. this is about the constitution. i think about raskin's wrap-up of when he told them to think about what this meant for democracy. judy woodruff: and, elizabeth chryst, how would you size up
the presentation by the impeachment managers? elizabeth chryst: well, i think they me a strong case about senate jurisdiction, but i think they were weak on the president being responsible for january 6, and they were also weak on him violating his oath of office. and let me say this, judy. i think there were way too many references to trump's mob or to trump's armed insurrectionists. it made it feel like to me it was a political exercise, maybe to shore up what might be a rocky 2022 midterm election. those midterm elections are usually pretty brutal when it comes to the president's party, averaging sometimes as many as 30 losses. so, i sort of fell like it might -- i sort of felt like it might be a little bit like that. i would agree with melody, though. maybe we could figure out a way for this not to happen again. maybe the president's
lawyers could mention that there should be a blue-ribbon panel, a commission that could study what security how did this happen? how did the security fall down, should what to do to make sure this doesn't happen in the future. and i really hope the president's lawyers condemn the violence as strong as possible. and i am expecting them to bring up other member members of congress' words that are also inflammatory. that wouldn't surprise me at all. and it wouldn't surprise may if there were democratic members. judy woodruff: and, melody barnes, is there something to elizabeth's point that maybe this was too political, that they tried to call it trump's mob too many times? and in connection with that, how good a job did they do of anticipating what the pushback, the defense is going to be tomorrow? melody barnes: well, a couple of things.
i believe that the references to trump's mob were in part because they were starting to lay the groundwork to create an unfriendly environment for the argument that former president trump's lawyers plan to make tomorrow, and connecting the dots between everything that has happened and the fact that to a person after person, individuals who have now been arrested, the arguments that their lawyers are making to defend them that indicate that they were there because the former president called them to be there. and i don't think that you can look at the tape, look at that security footage from yesterday, and not refer to this as a mob or as a riot or as an insurrection. but, in addition to that, i think that they were making the arguments that they knew were going to be raised tomorrow, both about the first amendment issues thahave been addressed by the best of the legal community from theeft and from the right, as well as this incitement argument, and working
their way through the elements, and connecting that to the words that and to the tapes and to the information that we have all now seen over the last two days. and to make sure that people understand that not only are the are we looking at the facts, not only is this a horrible thing, but this also meets the element of incitement that they want to prove, based othe article of impeachment that was brought before the senate. judy woodruff: elizabeth chryst, i would like for you to comment on any of that. but i'm also curious to know. you are a republican. you have worked for republicans in the senate. do you think what we have heard and seen over the last two days does damage to former president trump? elizabeth chryst: there is no doubt it would this will damage him some. there is no doubt about that. there are going to be people all throughout history that are going to say that this was something that he caused, or he certainly could have foreseen
it, stopped it, slowed it down, all of those things. will it drive a wedge between some republican senators sking reelection and their base or some of their voters? there will probably be issues after they have their vote, after they conduct their vote on whether this to be guilty or not. but this will cause issues with them. but, again, i think the connecting of the dots by the house leadership, the house managers was a little over the top. and, again, i mentioned this many times. members of congress are so worried about social media posts or a picture or anything like that going viral and really harming them. and i think, in a lot of cases, they can take a lot of what happened as far as some of the video that was shown and then some of the posts and some of the awful language a all of that, that was set all during it in the video that was shown to be more of this, oh, this is
this viral stuff. so, i think it hits home with them. it was certainly very, very emotional, but, overall, i think that tomorrow will be a better day for the president, hopefully. and if all is right, they will wrap up in one day, and we will have some kind of vote saturday afternoon or saturday evening. judy woodruff: well, we are so glad to have the two of you watching along with us. elizabeth chryst, melody barnes, we thank you both very much. melody barnes: great. thank you. elizabeth chryst: thank you. judy woodruff: and now we want to move away from washington for a few minutes to get a sense of how the impeachment trial is being seen and heard across the country. we turn to two political reporters who share what they are hearing, in phoenix, yvonne wingett sanchez of the arizona republic, and, in ann arbor,
michigan, tim alberta of politico. very good to have you both with us. we appreciate it. tim alberta, i'm going to start with you. you have been talking to people. are they i asked senator warner this. he said he didn't think his constituents were watching it that closely. but what are you hearing from americans, from people you talk to? tim alberta: judy, i think senator warner deserves credit for his candor, because he's right. in my experience, there are not an awful lot of americans paying attention to this. and, frankly, you can see why, because, if members of the u.s. senate aren't going to take this terribly seriously, than why should the average american voter? why should their constituents? so, i agree with senator warner that, by and large listen, the second impeachment trial is never going to be as compelling as the original, right? the sequel is never quite as good. and all in all seriousness, i think that you have a lot of americans, regardless of whether
they supported president trump or opposed president trump at the ballot box or over the last four years, they are simply not terribly interested in continuing to litigate his presidency, his twitter feed, his behavior and rhetoric anore. i think a lot of folks are sort of welcoming this little bit of a down period now, judy. and the idea of having to dive back into the news cycle for more arguments pro and con vis-a-vis donald trump is just not something that is terribly appetizing to a lot of folks. judy woodruff: yvonne sanchez, let me broaden it out a little bit for you. how much, in your experience, people you talk to in arizona, are they have they been paying attention since the attack on the capitol on january 6? did that get a lot of attention? and have people been focused on it ever since, one way or the other? yvonne wingett sanchez: so, here in arizona, it felt as though there was maybe
several-day window, maybe a week-long window where people really sort of seemed to be paying attention, and it sort of wore off. people here are much more focused on the next covid relief package, how they're going to pay their mortgages, getting their schools on their virtual classrooms, and making sure that they can have some sort of date that they can look forward to, to sending them back to school. hardly anyone, any sort of normal person who lives outside of the political bubble, is really talking even about the impeachment trial, particularly because it seems as though both of our senators, and kyrsten sinema and mark kelly, there seems to be little suspense about where they are going to go, and the senate more broadly. judy woodruff: and to that question, in part, to you, tim alberta. republicans you talk to in the state of michigan, what are they saying about not just how their senators vote, but how republicans in the house and the
senate are approaching the impeachment and conviction decisions on the former president? tim alberta: well, judy, the michigan republican party just held its annual convention last weekend. ad i can tell you, having coved republican politics for quite some time, and having done it at the grassroots level, as well as at the national level, there has never been more clarity in these republican proceedings internally than there is now. and the question is not one of ideology. it's not one of policy. it is not one of any specific tactical or strategic disagreement. it is very broadly and very plainly, are you with donald trump still, or are you getting cold feet? are you giving in to this pressure from the left, from the media, from some of these weak-kneed republicans
like liz cheney and adam kinzinger and mitt romney? or are you holding the line and are you staying loyally behind this president, who did so much for you and so much for the party and so much for the country? it's awfully black and white, judy. i wish i could be more nuanced, but it is actually quite simple. and i do believe that, even if, over time, there is a sort of a slow movement away from trump-style republicanism, it's going to take awhile. and it's not going to happen in with the sort of snatch of a finger that many -- snap of a finger that many republicans were hoping for post-november 3 and certainly post january 6. this idea that donald trump is just going to go awaand that his support is going to diminish rapidly, it is just not it's just not reality. judy woodruff: and i should have said that michigan played a central role in the impeachment trial today. we have seen more video of the takeover of your capitol in the state of michigan, the reminders about the plot to kidnap the democratic governor, gretchen
whitmer. but back to you, yvonne sanchez. what about the repubcans in the state of arizona? how are they talking about, what are they saying about what their expectations are of elected republicans in washington and president trump? yvonne wingett sanchez: well, it depends on who you talk to. i mean, just as tim has described, the rift here within the republican party is deeper than it has ever been. and it has been deep for some time. this is the state republican party that censured former senator john mccain. they doubled down on their tactic to go after thoseho were not completely with trump just a few weeks ago, when they reelected kelli ward as their party chair. she has been one of the most outspoken, loyal activists trying to help trump spread his message, the stop the steal
message. and we have freedom caucus members, andy biggs, paul gosar, two congressmen who also have been very active in the stop the steal movement. and we have the mccain family and governor doug ducey on the other side, very conservative, sort of traditional-style republicans who are on the outs of their own party. and i don't know when this will when this fever will break, but it seems as though it is going to get a lot deeper and a lot worse before it gets better. judy woodruff: i want to quickly ask both of you. we have got about 40 seconds left. but what do you how do you think this trial will affect president trump's political strength, when all is said and done, tim alberta? tim alberta: you know, judy, i will just tell you that thfear a lot of republicans he is that trump will be made into a martyr here and that, actually, in some backward, counterintuitive way, that his grip on the party will be even stronger because of these
proceedings. and that remains to be seen, obviously, but that is the fear a lot of republicans have going into 2022. judy woodruff: and, yvonne sanchez? yvonne wingett sanchez: yes, there seems to be a sentiment that the president, the former president, will emerge stronger than perhaps he entered this phase of the trial. judy woodruff: well, we are all watching it very closely. and we so appreciate hearing from both of you in arizona and in michigan. we thank you, yvonne sanchez, tim alberta. thank you. tim alberta: thanks, judy. yvonne wingett sanchez: thanks. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie psy with newshour west. we will return to the show after the headlines. president biden announced the federal government has bought another 200 million doses of vaccines but he did knowledge to
his administration is still play in catch president spoke at the national institutes of health outside washington and he blamed president trump for doing little to lay the groundwork. >> he did not order enough vaccines. he did not mobilize enough people to administer the shots. he did not set up a federal vaccine center where eligible people could get their shots. when i became president, america had no plan to vaccinate most of the country. it was a big mess. it is going to take time to fix. stephanie: the president said he hopes to have enough vaccine to cover 300 million americans by the end of july. schools in chicago began returning to in person learning today. the mayor visited classrooms and said the public schools worked hard to address teacher concerns about safety. >> we absolutely understood them
and $100 million has been used to open up schools. and all of the other mitigation efforts that we have used to open up schools. that was all about recognizing teachers and other people in school communities concerns. stephanie: president biden warned the u.s. must rebuild its transportation systems from rails to roads to compete with china. he said, if we don't get moving, they will eat our lunch. he shared his infrastructure plans with senators and discussehis phone call last night with the chinese president. in afghanistan, gunmenilled five more policemen today in a growing wave of violence. the victims were escorting a u.s. convoy east of kabul. violence has spiked as peace talks with the taliban have stalled. fresh protests gripped myanmar's cities in a six day of outrage
after a military takeover. thousands of people lined the streets with banners and flags. the general who led the military coup said this had to and because of the coronavirus. >> people continue to assemble in public places. it is urgent to avoid these gatherings. it is also essential to accelerate the pace of tests to contain the virus. stephanie: hundred the protesters rallied outside of the chinese embassy in myanmar accusing beijing of backing the junta. a massive pileup on an icy interstate in texas killed at least six people and injured at least 65 more. police said more than 130 vehicles crashed into each other on i-35 in -- near fort worth. 10 million acres of land said to be released for mining are being preserved for now in the
interest of the sage grouse. a federal judge overturned a trump administration action to lift a prior ban on development saying the move failed to consider the impact of mining on the struggling bird species. this affects six states. chick corea has died. he was known for his avant-garde approach. he won 23 grammy awards. his website says he passed away tuesday after suffering a rare form of cancer. chick corea was 79 years old. a french nun, sister andre, served -- turned 117 today. the sister who is blind now celebrated with a prayer and her favorite dessert, baked alaska. at her retirement home in southern france. sister andre also survived the great flu pandemic a century ago
and is believed to be the world's second oldest person. still to come on the newshour, democracy remains elusive in the middle east a decade after the arab spring uprisings. and an afghan air force pilot searches were a new life in the u.s. amid deteriorating security for his family. >> this is the "pbs newshour" from w eta studios in washington. judy woodruff: ten years ago today, longtime egyptian dictator hosni mubarak was deposed. the egyptian revolution wathe high point of what became known as the arab spring, the idea of democracy spreading across the mdle east. but, as nick schifrin reports, for many egyptians and much of the region, the intervening decade has seen winter instead.
nick schifrin: where there was fearless and victorious revolt, where there was jubilant hope. mohammadamal: people are celebrating the love for the country and wanting to change and wanting to become a better country. nick schifrin: -- today, there is failure and fear. mona seif: for the first time in my life, i actually want to be out of egypt. nick schifrin: ten years ago, mona seif and millions of egyptians rewrote history in tahrir, or liberation, square, liberated from the dictator they deposed, liberated, they hope, from the oppressive regime he led and the corruption and poverty it bred. egypt was the arab spring's zenith. the momentum began in tunisia, and toppled dictators in tunisia, libya, egypt, and yemen. today, tunisia has a dysfunctional, but durable democracy. but libya and yemen are mired in civil war. and egypt, where the taste of spring was perhaps most sweet, the arab winter is most bitter.
mona seif: we were defeated. we tried to overthrow mubarak's regime and deconstruct the machine that is mubarak's machine, state security, police, military, all of this, and we failed. nick schifrin: that was not mona seif's message five years ago, when we last met. mona seif: in every area, once people realize their lives and the future of their sons is at stake, they start mobilizing. and we have to be there and enable that. nick schifrin: back then, she was carrying on with the family business, campaigning for justice by documenting egypt's 40,000 political prisoners, including her brother al asad air base, imprisoned for being a symbol of the revolution, and her sister sanaa, imprisoned for demonstrating when few were willing. mona also was a prisoner. at one point, she and alaa appeared together in court. has anyone in the family ever questioned whether your work was worth it? mona seif: questioning whether it is worth it? i don't think
so. i think it's always, always very obvious that it's worth it and that it needs to be done. nick schifrin: back then, abdel fattah el-sisi had been president for two-and-a-half years, since overthrowing muslim brotherhood leader and elected president mohammed morsi in a 2013 coup. sisi's regime massacred muslim brotherhood supporters, and it reenergized the machine of oppression. today, there are even more political prisoners, at least 60,000, including, once again, alaa, who's in worse conditions, and has been tortured in prison, and sanaa, arrested last summer when the seifs were outside alla's prison, and has since been charged with inciting terrorism. mona seif: the current regime is intent on squashing any kind of remaining voices. and our family is one of the few remaining voices. and so, for the first time, 2020, i started thinking, ok, i want out. i want my siblings out. i want them to be out and safe. and then i think i want out and to see how can i resume
a semi-normal life. nick schifrin: does that mean you have lost hope for the future of egypt? mona seif: i no longer function on hope. osamah khalil: what egypt has learned is that you can start an uprising, but turning an uprising into a revolution is very difficult. nick schifrin: osamah khalil is a professor of history at syracuse university. he says egypt's and the region's protesters failed to overthrow repressiveecurity structures. but the problems that sparked protests, persist. >> i think it's tempting to think about the arab spring as a failure. but i think the reality is that it's really still under way. many of those same issues that brought the protest to a head and the challenging of those of the different arab governments still exist. >> the middle east has some of the world's highest youth unemployment. there is still corruption and the stifling of political participation. that helped lead to what some scholars called arab spring 2.0. from 2019 to 2020, protesters filled streets and deposed
leaders in algeria, sudan, iraq, lebanon, and, multiple times, tunisia. but the arab spring also birthed brutality and barbarity, the grinding war in syria, the spread of isis, and the largest movement of refugees since world war ii. >> the example of syria, in addition to being a tremendous humanitarian catastrophe, it has an additional catastrophic effect. it's a winning argument in the hands of authoritarians who want to forestall any appeals for democratic change. nick schifrin: tarek masoud is a professor at harvard's kennedy school. he worries that war and chaos delay democracy by teaching dictators to destroy dissent and reducing people's appetite for unrest. but populations often only stay silent if the autocrats fulfill promises of security and prosperity, which are absent. tarek masoud: public patience with the kind of regime that egypt has right noonly extends so far as that government is able to produce material improvement in people's lives. and so, if it's covid-19 or if it's something else that causes
egyptians to feel that the current bargain isn't working, we could absolutely see a return of some of the sentiments that prefigured january 25, 2011. nick schifrin: so, president biden may have to choose how much support to provide future protesters. in january 2011, vice president biden chose the status quo. pres. joe biden: mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things that he's been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region. i would not refer to him as a dictator. nick schifrin: khalil hopes biden has changed. osamah khalil: are we going to rely on the traditional status quo reliance on these authoritarian leaders to maintain american interests in the region? my hope is that biden will look at american ideas and values. >> masoud is more skeptical. >> the average arab's diagnosis of u.s. involvement has to be that everything the united
states has touched in the region since 2011 and probably well before has turned to ashes. nick schifrin: which means that collective demand for self-determination 10 years ago, is still up to the people. that dream remains. but, for now, it's a dream deferred. for the "pbs newshour," i'm nick schifrin. ♪ judy: returning now to afghanistan and our series of longest war. thousands of afghans that worked with the u.s. or for the u.s. face threats or death for their service. special correspondent jane ferguson and emily kassie bring us the story of one pilot who found american pledges to help him and his family leave theam
-- become a barrage. >> naiem asadi had a dream job as a helicopter pilot. he was part of an elite club of aviators trained by americans. >> as a soldier and a fighter, it is our responsibility and job to risk our lives to protect someone else's. >> now, his life is in danger in ways he never planned for. abandoned by america. hunted by the taliban and threatened with jail from his own government. >> initially, when i started and was going to the bottles, i was scared. after a few missions, it was normal for me. >> in many ways come he was the image of america's efforts to build the afghan military skills. >> after i graduated in 2013 come i became an instructor to other pilots for two years. in 2015, the government cided
to send us to the battlefields. within a couple of months, we had covered nearly all the provinces. we had a good relationship with the americans. everything i have learned and have today is from the americans. >>'s work featured here in a department of defense video took him all of the country rejecting afghan and american soldiers. in 2018, when there was a serious threat in the capital, he was ready. >> i was flying on that day and on the radio i heard there were mortar attks on the presidential palace. they told me to find the location of the attackers. i located them and we engaged with them. after this mission, i was approached by american colleagues and they wanted to interview me. >> the media team put together this video praising his actions that day. the video was picked up by local media in afghanistan also. that is whenis life changed. >> the threats started.
a few months later, my father received a call from the taliban . they threatened him and said --we know your son is a military pilot. >> once he told his american colleagues, they appli for a special visa to the u.s. last october, he got the call that his family should pack their bags and drive to an american base bound for a new life in america. in the car on the way, he got a call he could not believe. with no explanation, u.s. immigration had canceled his reset. kimberly is a human rights lawyer representing him. >> i cannot tell you why he was suddenly abandoned in the way that he was. i know it was unfair. and frankly, immoral. >> they gave him no explanation. >> immediately afterwards, still in the car come he got another car. -- another call.
this time from the afghan military. >> they said -- we know you are leaving. you need to come to us to explain. >> he says his visa to the u.s. had become a politically and diplomatically sensitive issue. with the afghan government, a pilot could be granted a visa. he and his family had no choice but to seek refuge at the american base. >> they lived there for several weeks under the protection of the u.s. military. for whatever reason, with no explanation, the u.s. said or decided to contact u.s. immigration and say we are no longer going to sponsor this reset. >> that was the most painful moment for me. they told me to leave the base and report back to my work. i never would've thought the u.s. government would make a promise and break it. >> since then come he and his
family have been living in hiding terrified that either the taliban or the afghan government would find him. he qualified for pentagon sponsorship. this was not simply because he was under such threat from the taliban but because come up according to him and his lawyer come head saved american lives including rescuing at least one crashed and stranded pilot last year. >> i have saved the lives of many afghan soldiers that were fighting. on that day i acted quickly and felt lucky to have participated in that mission where i could save an american pilot. >> because of his work and his relationships, american service members agreed to help him and his family when they arrived. >> i have over 10 former and current milita members willing to sponsor him in america. they recognize his bravery. i have never had a case like this. >> although his case like his
career are unique, there are thousands of afghans that have worked with the u.s. military who are waiting and trying to get visas that they were promised when they took the jobs years ago. thousands of translators are stuck. as vas ground to a halt in recent years, they are all targets. the translation visas -- years of bureaucracy and tough immigration policies have stalled the process. last week, the biden administration issued an executive order on immigration policy and refugee acceptance into the u.s. saying -- the special immigrant visa programs for iraqi and afghan i -- allies -- to nationals experiencing an ongoing and serious threat because they provided faithful service to the united states including its troops serving in their country, the federal government will proceed without
delay. however quickly these visas can become a reality come it will come too late for some. in the months that naiem asadi was kicked off the u.s. base, several other translators and others have been killed. the afghan government has argued that u.s. visas could demoralize afghan forces and encourage more to leave the country. >> emotionally, they are mad at him for wanting to come to america and having the audacity to want his family to live in safety. unfortunately, the afghan government cannot protect him. they know that. they are not saying -- come back and we will protect you. they are saying -- he is in a difficult situation.
he goes back in the afghan government will want to arrest him or the taliban will want to kill him. he is not safe anywhere. >> safety is no longer a possibility for he and his family. if you had one message for joe biden, what would you say to him? >> i would urge him to give me a visa and allow me to leave. these are honorable people of the united states. >> for the "pbs newshour" i'm jane for distant -- jane ferguson. judy: we know -- we hope this story has a good ending. that is the newshour for now. watch our gavel to gavel coverage of the second impeachment trial of former president donald trump starting at noon eastern tomorrow. friday, check your local station. you can also find it online and on our social talent --
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♪♪ >> as you might guess, today is all about great spanish wine and delicious food. i'm here in the heart of la rioja in northern spain with my good friend restaurateur and wine lover angel pérez. we're visiting rioja alta winery, one of the oldest wineries in the area, to taste delicious wine and make grilled lamb chops in the fireplace. then we'll visit one of the very best local restaurants and my personal favorite, la vieja bodega. we'll taste some wine in a wine cellar that dates back to the 1600s. back in my kitchen, with my friend chandler, we'll make piquillo peppers stuffed with tuna and drizzled with garlic mayonnaise, an olive-and-red-wine flatbread, and red-wine sorbet.