tv Consider This Al Jazeera August 2, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
seattle. >> i'm richelle carey. a program note, watch gaza, witness to war. 11 eastern, 8 pacific. "consider this" starts right now. >> israel's long struggle with palestinians has led to some surprising changes of heart. a former israeli soldier who has major reservations about the country's military joins us. hello, i'm antonio mora, welcome to "consider this," that story and much more straight ahead. >> for terror organizations around the world kidnapping is big business. >> this has become a cottage industry. >> a government report says the money is the main source of funding. >> and their pockets are lined with money from western governments. >> and corporations paying ransom in secret.
>> putting people on the terror watch list. >> they can put people under suspicion who have no actual connection to terrorism. >> deeply flawed. >> you can imagine what it's like for the living. >> new theory suggests that dinosaurs died off because of bad timing. >> due to rising sea level and volcanic activity. but had they survived humans would not exist. >> mid east tensions are still very high as israel and hamas go back and forth on a long term peace deal but while an overwhelming number of israelis back the situation in gaza, let's go to tel aviv and yehuda shaol. the co-founder and director of breaking the silence an israeli veterans group that works to expose injustices and abuse of
palestinians by the israeli military. good to have you with us. your group's executive director wrote about her time in the service in the guardian on monday saying i believed with all my heart that we were doing what needed to be done. things have changed and now, i can no longer have that certainty. how have things changed? >> i think when uli, my comrade, wrote that things have changed she doesn't necessarily say that things have changed on the ground. i think when she says things have changed, is she changed, the way she sees and the reality how things stand. the same for me, during the second intifada, towards the end of my service, when i was able to start thinking like a civilian that i started questioning. and i started realizing the way
i justify things to myself throughout my service didn't make sense anymore. >> your group's point is that the israeli military acts not just what's happening in gaza to control palestinians to break their will to let the palestinians know that israeli forces are always going to be there and they should be afraid to stand up for themselves? >> we oar group of almost 1,000 israeli veterans who served in combat units from the second intifada to today. and we basically believe in a very skimp thing, our instrument of defense and not an instrument of oppression. we are trying to hold up a mirror and demand from our society to take moral and civil responsibility for what's being done in our name. and what's being done in our name is a prolonged occupation that is built and designed to maintain itself. and the way to do it is
basically make palestinians fear you. once they get used to the level of fear, they have to increase it and increase it. this hole has no bottom. what we want to see happening is climbing out this hole and ending the occupation. >> you say that it's designed to do that and that this leads to all sorts of abuse he that it's -- abuses that it's institutional and the abusive policy is policy set by the israeli defense forces? >> look, one of the main things i've done during my service is what we call in the military making our presence felt. what does it mean? the concept, the idea i the is that palestinians, they will be afraid to attack so to make them feel this way you make your presence felt. i served over a year in hebron, which is the largest palestinian
city in the west bank. you start your night parole, 10:00 to 6:00 in the morning, eight hour shift. you l choose a random house, i was a sergeant, wake up the family, tear apart the place, finish searching the house go out to the street knock on another house a random house, bump into the house, wake up the family, search the place. that's how you pass your eight hour shift, 24 hours a day seven days a week until today didn't stop for any second. the idea is that every palestinian will feel the military is right here. you never know how it's going to start how it's going to end. it is what we call in the military to create the feeling of being pursued. these were phrases we used in our briefings. >> how do you respond to an i.d.f spokesman?
any of the bad behavior your group has uncovered had been reported to the i.d.f that the soldiers who did those kinds of things would be behind bars? >> look, this tactic about making your presence felt is an official policy that the i.d.f spokesperson before approved, that is one of the things they do and that's one of the thing we dough so that's not one rogue soldier. that's the mission. now the other thing i would say is, i don't on a very, very deep level i don't believe the problem is the i.d.f. i believe that is the political mission the i.d.f is sent to carry out. when your political mission is to maintain a prolonged over a confined people, we had operation autumn cloud, we had operation federal defense and you ask yourself where is it
going? that's the idea, that's the big strategy that every two years we'll have an operation. every operation will be more aggressive than the previous one and the death toll will just rise and we're going just for another operation. actually, what we need to do is to rethink our strategies and to look for a different way out. >> so you think this operation would have heapped happened even if hamas hadn't been shooting 100 rockets a day into israel? i do want to end by asking you i guess a final question, is israel doing what it can? do you believe it's doing what it can to avoid civilian casualties in gaza and on the other hand, do you think the palestinians are putting their civilians in harm's way by putting missiles and other armments in populated areas? >> look, you're not going to hear good words of hamas from my mouth. no doubt sadly enough i don't
believe israel is doing everything we can to avoid civilian casualties. just look at this new tactic that has basically in this operation turned to be like a big strategy and up front admitted by ministers and generals which we call this knock on the roof. you take a house which is a house of a hamas activist, somewhere in the middle of gaza and that suddenly turns this building into a legitimate target, even though it doesn't pose a direct threat to our forces there and you basically throw a small missile on the roof or call the family and ask them to leave and after ten, 20 minutes you bomb the place even though you know there's civilians inside. this idea because you ask civilians to leave the building and they haven't listened to you they deserve a death penalty is outrageous. and i think that just shows us that every operation we tend to cross another more red line that we haven't crossed before and
slowly slowly we get used to this. because this is something that happens to us as a society, 47 years of occupation we are not able to feel empathy with palestinians or equally human beings. just i as a soldier the first palestinian house i burst into i still doubted and the face of the children broad brought -- brought me to ask questions. we are here also. the first operation in gaza we were shocked but the number of death toll of civilians is just rising up and we were just not willing, we're not able as a society to understand and realize and put question marks. and that's very, very sad thing for me. >> yehuda shaol from breaking the silence group thank you very much for joining us. the backlog of deportation charges continuing to grow. the justice department, giving each can child a hearing within
three weeks. mean while the congressional caucus, holding a hearing, of the children who fear returning to their previous lives. i'm joined by congresswoman judy chew. congresswoman good of you to join us. you've just come from the hearing where you've heard stories about unaccompanied migrant kids and others. there's a big concern that if conscious doesn't act the departments of homeland security and health and human services would run out of money to deal with the crisis when congress is on vacation. the president has asked $3.6 billion, speaker boehner has offered 659 million through end of the fiscal year.
is this acceptable to democrats? >> this is not acceptable. there's a huge need and we have to address all aspects of this crisis. speaker boehner's proposal primarily gives money to border patrol. they do need the money but so does health and human services, so does the immigration system need funds for more immigration judges. we also need to address the root causes that is making these children go on this very, very dangerous thousand-mile journey. >> and you've seen that in person. you went down to the texas border last month. when you came back you said the 2008 law that allows unaccompanied central american kids to stay in the united states until they have a legal hearing about their status, you want that law to stay as it is. but republicans and some democrats even have argued that the law is partially responsible for the surge in migration because kids know and their parents know that they'll be
able to stay here. >> what the republicans are saying about that law is patently false. actually, if their theory was true that the obama obama administration's policies are causing this migration then why aren't people coming from nicaragua or coas costa rica or beliz? the countries they are coming from have extreme violence and that's causing the children to flee. >> you have said, this fast moving deportations were not the solutions. but that's what president obama has asked for that. >> that's right, i don't think that's the solution, we have to have a well rounded solution, one that looks to whether there is a legitimate claim pertaining to violence and persecution. if that system were to be done
correctly, we'd have the immigration judges we need. right now there's only 243 in this entire nation to take care of these cases. that's why there's such a huge backlog. also these children are not represented when they're in court. that's not acceptable. >> you've also written what you call the theatrics. , texas governor perry sending a thousand national guard troops to the border. your point which is well taken is it will make no difference because kids are happy to turn themselves in. what needs to be done? how do you secure the border? do we need more physical barriers? >> children turning themselves in, that wouldn't solve that problem. but i directly can the border patrol whether there should be national guard at the border, they said well, they could help with some of the paperwork but they are not trained to work at the border nor to process these
kids. it is a theatrical move that would serve no purpose. >> how do you sop stop to flow into the united states? once they have stepped on this ground they have all those rights so is there no way of stopping them from getting onto u.s. territory? >> what would help is a functional immigration system. if we had a system that could hear these case necessary a timely manner then we would know who actually qualifies to stay here and who needs to be returned back to the country. but right now, the cases have such a great backlog that it could be five years before their case can even be heard. that's not right. >> now a new poll from the public religion institute nis 70% of the country thinks unaccompanied migrant kids should be allowed to stay in the country if it's proved that it's too dangerous for them to go back home. are you surprised there's that
much support? >> america is a land of immigrants and it just cheers my heart to know that americans have the compassion to ensure that kids will not be sent back to be murdered in their own countries glrp congresswoman judy chew of california. we appreciate you coming. thank you very much for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> "consider this" will be right back. this would happen to us >> athletes going for the gold >> i've had a lot of people ask me... why didn't you scream?... why didn't you yell?...kick... why didn't you go tell your mom? >> betrayed by those they believed in the most >> there's bad people out there in youth sports >> could this happen to your child? >> my sole purpose in coming forward, is to help change the culture of sports >> an america tonight investigative report only on al jazeera america
conversations in the days before the watergate scandal. s douglas brinkley joins us in new york. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> israel dominating the headlines. one of the tapes you've transcribed, brings up an interesting conversation that nixon was having with bob haldiman. take a listen. ... they had no problems. it's wrong for the policy in the middle east to be made by a jew. >> talking about henry kissinger, whether he should be involved in mideast policies. >> keep in mind, kissinger has
this voice activated system. so everything gets recorded. they're worried that kissinger may be pro-israel. henry is trying to prove he's not. nixon tells h haldiman, because of world war ii, to emotionism and everything like that, an ugly way that nixon describes that. >> you say the guard was being down, it was voice activated. very few knew it existed. the few who knew it existed probably let their guards down. >> nobody knew, kissinger particularly was a young guy back then, smart guy from harvard, he is now one of our great states craft people but in
these tapes he doesn't come out so great. >> in that context let's listen to something henry kissinger said about discussing juice in russia. ... for the treatment of negroes. it's not their business how they treat -- >> real callusness there. >> a real callusness, big power, toughness, all of this. the down side is very little on human rights and humanitarian concerns. and in this case kissinger is saying let the soviet union do what they want, we'll turn a blind eye to it. it comes off as you said callus. >> one other striking incident
mountain book is involving vietnam. let's listen to that. interthree years ago ... national hero ... crass traited 2 million south vietnamese catholics, these little brown people so far ... >> little brown people castrating millions of catholics, horrible stuff. >> nixon had a hatred of india. he wanted to punish the indians all the time, backed pakistan. in his opening to china some of the more enlightened
transcripts, how are nixon was doing the china rapprochement. i won't get into it on your show. >> your fellow historian criticized can white house, he said in the new york times that the appalling vulgarity, permanently tarnished the thecy. but is that fair? because lyndon johnson was no shrink violet. neither was john kennedy. we are looking at this in a 21st 03 lens. what's appropriate now might not have been appropriate then. >> to a degree. but keep in mind, nixon was breaking laws right and left. dealing with a president that was forced to flee the white house because there was so much
thuggery going on. breaking into the brookings institute, you are catching all of that in that language. lbj used a lot of barn yard language but kennedy, when he was in a statesman mode, during the cuban missile crisis, nixon foolishly grabbed everything. >> talking about that, this also does capture some of the brilliance of nixon. this was again pre-watergate scandal breaking. and it was really after salt 1 and the rapprochement with china. he's seen as a very successful president, in fact he won the election with 61% of the vote. if it hadn't been for these tapes which led to his resignation in watergate, do you think we would see him as a great president even though a recent poll shows americans think he's the worst president,
in the modern era, it's about like asking mrs. lincoln, how was the play. >> as you said his first term, neil armstrong went to the moon and created the environmental protection agency and the clean air and water act. and he had the big break through to china, a great accomplishment. but vietnam was his downfall. nixon kept manipulating that the incursion into cambodia and laos undid him. the incursion of the watergate tapes has nixon ranked in the bottom rung of the presidents. >> the supreme court changed all that we just unfortunately skimmed the surface of what's in there but there's fascinating stuff in this book and i know
you're planning to do more later. >> the second volume picks up in '73 and alexander haig made them pull the tape system out and his presidency collapses. >> we look forward to that. the nixon tapes is available now. a recent poll says a plurality of americans consider richard nixon the worst president since world war ii. most forget that until watergate nixon had been a popular president and a man that had come back from devastating losses to lead america. joining me from washington, d.c, to discuss nixon, is syndicated columnist and author patrick buchanan. pat, great to see you. before we can talk about nixon's
come back, let's set up what he was coming back from. he was a very successful politician early in his career. congressman, senator from california. became the second youngest vice president in history under eisenhower. but lost to jfk. their televised debate is still infamous. the miss first loss ever in california, and the title of your first chapter in your book, he was a loser in a party of losers, because the republican party was in at tha at that tims after barry goldwater's defeat in 1964. >> that's right. we had a shattered party in 1964, down to basically one half size of the democratic party in both houses and when i joined nixon in 1965 they were talking about the end of the republican party. three years later antonio,
richard nixon is taking the oath of office as president of the united states in that phenomenal come back. what the book tells you is how this man did it. a noncharismatic figure who had lost those two elections badly. said i'm through with politics. moved to new york. there he was president of the united states. and it's a great story. >> it is a great story. after nixon lost the california governor's race he said he was ending his political career. he famously told the press, think of all the fun you'll be missing, you don't have nixon to kick around anymore because gentlemen, this is my last press conference. do you believe he thought he was done? >> he went to new york to practice law. but i do believe this antonio, after he got to new york or soon after, he sauce goldwater running for nomination and going down for defeat, worked for goldwater, harder than goldwater
did himself, i think he saw himself as potentially coming back. i know i did after that lerks that's why i went to join him and visit him at a cocktail party in bellville, illinois in 1965. i said, if you would like to run again in '68, i'd like to get aboard early. i thought he could make it at that point and i think he must have thought so too. >> you really did go to him very early before he had really started getting anything together for 1968. in fact you pretty much were his first campaign staff employee. >> exactly. but what i saw, and i'm sure he saw it too, and what i began to work on in 1966, from january on, was the fact that the goldwater people who had been routed in the general election had captured the republican party. barry goldwater had captured the republican nomination. then you have the nixon centrist
that was loyal to him. they thought he was a loser they liked the man they respected him, honored hymn and i felt that if mr. nixon could pull together that goldwater wing of the party with his own wing of the party we could deny the party to anyone left of nixon. the conservative in california named ronald reagan. >> as you were saying in the mid terms in 1966, you know he really as you said he worked at uniting the different factions. goldwater, romney, mitt romney's dad back then, all these different warring factions including the liberal wing of the party with nelson rockefeller. how different was it than today, the tea party, the moderates, the libber teara tearan lib te ?
>> tea party said he ran a bad campaign as it was said nixon ran a bad campaign. i think what they have to do in '66 is go out and campaign for all elements and people in the party from whatever, from the right to the moderate center to the left bring them together then run for the nomination in a way that can unite the party. but what i could see in '66, '67 was a potential national coalition because the mighty democratic party which was the overwhelmingly dominant party was crack apart into four parts, george wallace, bobby kennedy on the left, joining the social revolution and lyndon johnson in the center.
i don't see the possibility for any more 49-state landslides like nixon got in 1972 but i do think there's a narrow path to victory in 2016. >> one last question about nixon. we recently had doug brinkley on the show, to talk about his new book, how callus nixon sounded about the juice, japanese, and those from india. you paint a much more compassionate picture than what some of those tapes show. was he any more callus than some of his predecessors and sit fair to judge him by today's standards? >> i'm sure lyndon johnson used language in his private moments that would shock nixon. you mention negative comments about jewish folks in the oval
office. at the same time richard nixon launched the air lift that saved israel in the yom kippur war. golda maier said richard nixon was the best friend israel ever had. so there's no doubts that there are moments in there with haldeman and er ehrlichman. he desegregated the entire south. did he make bad comments about african americans? probably not as bad as johnson. but his achievements were astonishing in the first term. >> you bring up israel, the 1967 war, whatever responsible for what we're -- somewhat responsible for what we're seeing in that war. what do you think the u.s. role should be?
>> i think u.s. role should be to end the war as soon as we can, to off the what's going on especially -- to stop what's going on especially in gaza. 1440 dead, you've got 80% of them civilians. i think enough is enough, the israelis, i hope this temporary humanitarian ceasefire lasts, but i don't see a very bright future to be honest. i think the israelis are not going to get off the west bank, i don't think bibi netanyahu is going to get off the west bank, divide jerusalem. i'm not very optimistic in the long run but i hope in the short run we can stop the worst of what's going on. >> what about ukraine, you wrote we should being isolate putin, but that was more dangerous, he responded the better metaphor
was like a roving tiger, we need to control putin and not let him run rampant. aren't you concerned that he is trying to create a sort of miniature soviet union. >> big power politics but with regard to eastern ukraine he has not invaded. he is aiding the rebels. i think he's in a box. would i like to see him get out of it but in the long run i worked for ronald reagan and richard nixon and both of them tried to bring russia more and more closer to us to end that cold war. i don't want to see another cold war. reagan turned russia under his ten you a became from an evil empire to basically a place where he could go through red square being patted on the back. i believe russia belongs with the west. i still thank putin for all the things he's done, which are mostly reactive, i think he is a
man we can deal with, which i hope so, because i think driving russia outside the west is a horrible strategic mistake and an unnecessary one. >> only have a couple of minutes left, what do you think nixon would think about your positions today given that he was so engaged with the world? >> take a look at, read nixon's speech on guam in 1969. in future wars united states should stay out of them as far as our ground forces are concerned. we should provide help and assistance to those who are fighting but they should do the fighting themselves. there was some, i mean nixon that surprised me in those days of the cold war and i think nixon would not want to involve us in syria. he would not want to involve us in the ukraine and i don't think he would have gone to war in iraq. now does he agree with pat buchanan on everything, no. i think woe have thought i would
>> the u.s. government has added more than 1.5 million names to its terrorist watch lists in just the past 5 years. and getting on the watch list is a lot easier thank getting off. according to the counte counterterrorism watch list guidance, an american or foreign national can be added to the list without concrete facts, only reasonable suspicion required and for some people not even this. for that, i'm joined by jeremy skahill. an article entitled black listed, a secrete government list. >> we have got the terrorist database the no fly list and the
t list with requires more intense scrutiny at the border whatever border you're trying to enter the united states through. why has the government been so determined to keep this secret when it's not even classified? >> essentially what we're looking at here is what amounts to a shadow or a parallel legal system but we're not allowed to know what the rules of that law are, a kst, known or suspected terrorist. it could be that you are actually engaged in a terror plot and there's good reason that the government wants to monitor you but the standards they use to place people including american citizens on this list is called reasonable suspicion, the same for stop and frisk. it's like a global stop and frisk program. >> have loose program. >> it's a pyramid, you have a classified database called tide. stuff the cia has gotten clan
destinely, stuff coming in from foreign governments, watch lirs and so forth. when you dril down there are thousands of people on the terrorist database. then the no fly list that means you are not going to be able to board a plain to the u.s. and the t list, every time you check in to a flight you are going to pulled aside for terrorism screening. >> just last year more than 450,000 people were nominated to be on these lists. how is there any way to have any kind of quality control to get put on these lists? >> on the one hand you can make a civil little bit request, there's no effective way for anyone to know if they're on the list and it's almost impossible to get off of it, even though you're on the list.
only an internal review process. the courts really don't have any role in this. there isn't a system of checks and balances and once you get sucked into the vortex it's impossible to get yourself out of it. >> ted kennedy famously had the same name as somebody else and he kept getting stopped. >> nelson mandela was on the watch list when he was president of south africa. a boy scout who had the same name as someone who was on the list, i was talking to someone today whose search-year-old son has a name similar to a that t o suspect. >> thrown under the bus as a result. >> of course. i actually laughed out loud. it was some kind of a typo but it is true. a deceased spouse of a known or
suspected terrorist can be placed on the watch list after they died. this is not a known or suspected terrorist. this is the spouse of. what kind of an imbesill, osama bashar al-assad's wife just died. i guess she'll be flying to detroit. >> the definition of a terrorist, the threshold is very low in what terrorist activity could be? >> it's a one-2 punch. let's say your number pops up in the telephone of someone who is a known or suspected terrorist. you could be put on the watch list, if you post something on facebook, you could end up in the watch list just based on an uncorroborated account of something you said on facebook. something that was sarcastic, somebody who doesn't get it in the intelligence community, says, oh we've got to watch this
person. the government has this if you do something wrong it can be popping up. this could be used in court proceedings. you could get pulled over and this to me -- >> that really struck me when you wrote about this. that you get pulled over by a policeman for a driving offense and somehow your name gets checked against these lists? >> look at the case we've seen of racial profiling. often muslims people who are arabs or pakistanis, they are being targeted. imagine you are an arab man, with a beard, the sheriff approach the car and run it and what pops up on the screen is you're a known or suspected terrorist. in combination with that microreality, the much bigger picture of racial religious profiling, that's a much more dangerous situation for the person in the car. >> wu had a military member on
this show who was on the no-fly list and he was never able to get on an airplane in this country which restricted his ability to get work. final question for you, the flip side of it. people will say hey better safe than sorry, if somebody has to go through a bit of a hassle as a result of trying to keep the american public safe -- >> the average american would think that's reasonable if that's what's happening here. we didn't just talk to the aclu and civil little bit proponents. they are drowning in information -- >> for 5,000 people day -- >> to track actual or suspected terrorists. i think at the heart of this is not actually keeping us safe. the reason they want so many names in this is to use as leverage to flip informants. to cover their butts. who didn't put someone's name on the list.
the so-called underwear bomber's name was in the intelligence community, but not nominated onto the list. after the underwear bomb plot didn't succeed but almost did, we want all the information, collect it all, so actual counterterrorism agencies are trying to find a needle in a haystack. >> taking time away from their time to combat real terrorism. consider this will be right back.
countries that are paying the most for their citizens to be released. a foreign correspondent for the new york times who reported and wrote an article about paying ransoms, europe bankrolls al qaeda terror. it is a fascinating article and alarming article. you're talking about obscene amounts of money, going to the terrorists, you believe 125 million from western european governments, you also talk about the u.s. structure has hit 160 million since 1965? >> 165. the assumption are phenomenal. and what came through in the research that i was able to do in the last couple of months is, we weren't clear where these ransoms were coming from before. we always heard they were coming from europe. it is crystal clear to me now that it's european governments, not just european enl entities t
governments that are paying this. >> they keep denying it though. >> they keep denying. the first ransom was in 2003, which is a little known jihadist group. they succeeded in grabbing 32 tourists, most of them german. after holding them six months, german government were desperate, didn't know what to do. and finally decided after one of the women died of dehydration in the desert they decided to take the money and give it to the president of mali where they had been taken to mali at that point and the president of mali agreed to move it to the jihadists. germany was able to say that it was an aid payment and mali you know -- >> used it to help out, to get these people freed. >> exactly. >> but what you point out is that money ended up to be the
seed money for al qaeda in the magr rvetionb whicmagreb which t group. >> i found thousands pages of governments that a al qaeda's north african branch had left before they fled that area. the number 2 man in that area talks about a number of things. he gives the following advice to his brothers in africa. he says ransoms are an easy spoil. he goes on to say in yemen, half of his operating cost is being funded by ransom. we know the yemeni part of al qaeda is considering -- >> loom business plan for them. >> absolutely. >> they are looking at this as a big way to make money. most of it has been in africa but you are saying it is happening in syria and yemen now. also what's happened is the
ransom money has increased dramatically. first it was supposed to be a country hundred,000 per person now it's over a million per person. >> yes. it's created a kidnap mentality among the hostage takers. the europeans themselves cannot go to meet them so they need to employ government negotiators or intermediintermediaries. there is an incentive to like up the amount. >> get more money. >> exactly. >> part of the problem here the governments i'm sure are under pressure not odo this. >> absolutely. >> but the pressure to do it is tremendous. what you found in cases where the governments don't pay, specifically the u.s. government and british government, people end up getting killed.
americans and british are getting executed, including some who were with western europeans who were freed. >> exactly. the most dramatic is the kidnapping of edwin dire. he happened to be grabbed with three other europeans. two from switzerland and an austrian. i'm sorry, two from switzerland and a german. they made it clear that they would not pay a ransom. he told britain don't tell them that. can you have this policy of not paying ransoms but you can't tell them that. they sent the message gnaw, they killed edwin dire, they killed him. and the other western europeans paid. >> what we can cover what's happening in these places. a pleasure to have you with us. thank you. >> we'll be back with more of
>> the question of what killed the dinosaurs has long been a hot topic of debate. was it an asteroid? volcanos, did the food change collapse? new research says all three tid- tied together by bad luck for the dinosaurs. don't be sad for them. their luck may be the reason we're here today. a paleontologist from ontario, an author of an article published, paleontologists have been argue about this for a long time about what killed the dinosaur 65 million years ago. the leading theory over the last few decades was that it was an asteroid or a comet that hit the earth where mexico is today. even if that event had happened
earlerrier or later the dinosaurs may have still been around. >> yeah, this is one of the biggest questions about dinosaurs. it is the mystery that got me looked into dinosaurs when i was a kid. that question of what happened to these things. and we've done some new research. we've compiled a lot of new data how dinosaur diversity changed over time and we came to the conclusion that dinosaurs went extinct very quickly, this asteroid that hit was the primary reason they died out. but that asteroid seems to have hit at the worst possible time for dinosaurs. >> von volcanic activity had created conditions where the dinosaurs weren't as strong as they had been before that time? >> it's never a good time i don't think to get hit by a six mile wide asteroid but for these dinosaurs it just oso happened
to hit at a time when they were in a little bit of a rut in their diversity. not a big rut but if you were looking at the dinosaurs that were alive when the asteroid hit. you would think they were doing well. but one big dinosaur in particular, the plant-eating dinosaurs, the triceratops type of dinosaurs, those dinosaurs for a few million years before the asteroid went into decline. there were fewer of them. since they were the base of the food chain they were fundamental, key of the species, that food chain was more vulnerable to collapse. maybe if the asteroid hit a few million years earlier, when there were more of them, the dinosaur wots have had -- would have had better chance to
survive. >> the ecosystem that was in decline, was a double whomy, media effect massive fire and then after-effects? >> that's what it seems like. dinosaurs certainly weren't declining for tens of millions of years before, they weren't waning away, wasting away, that was an idea that people used to have. but now about 35 years later, after the asteroid impact idea was first proposed, and there were so many debates about it, we have so many more issues about dinosaurs, our evidence is always increasing so we're pretty confident dinosaurs weren't wasting away for a long time. then the asteroid came down and you would have immediate devastation, tsunamis, as id rain, dust block out the atmosphere, just a horrible horrible time to be on the
planet. >> then cold, right? so you had this perfect storm that was very unlucky for the dinosaurs but if that hadn't happened you argue that we likely wouldn't be here today. >> i think that's the way that we probably have to look at it. and i know the idea kind of can tie your brain into a pretzel thinking about this. but the story of the dinosaurs really is our own story because when the dinosaurs went extinct this is the cataclysm. because out of the cataclysm was an entirely new group to rise to dominance. ma'amammals probably wouldn't he had the opportunity, bats and whales and dogs and cats and humans probably would never have evolved. >> fascinating look at these incredible animals and look at the world's hifs.
steve, a pleasure to have you with us. >> that's all for now. the confidence continues on al jazeera slshe/consider this. you can see us next time. bl >> let us bow our heads for a word of prayer. our father and our most gracious god. as this family, the murdough family and their friends, as they gather, we ask that you send your comforter, your holy spirit, your guide, to be with them. >> queens, new york. jerome murdough's family is laying him to rest. four months ago, 56-year-old jerome was arrested for