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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 10, 2021 4:30am-5:00am BST

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the us justice the usjustice department has filed a lawsuit against the texas government about a law on abortions. they say it is unconstitutional and that all americans should fear its consequences. president biden sets out a series of radical measures to get more americans vaccinated against covid 19, following a surge in cases of the fast—spreading delta variant. federal government workers or those at companies with more than a hundred employees must get the jab. washington praises the taliban for being businesslike and flexible after more westerners were airlifted out of afghanistan. more than a hundred passengers were on the first flight carrying foreign civilians since the us troop withdrawal. british and dutch evacuees were among them.
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now on bbc news, hardtalk. it's 20 years since the twin towers of the world trade center were reduced to dust and ash. on 9/11 in new york, osama bin laden inflicted a grievous wound on the united states. this week, the us is again immersed in memories of the attack and what came after. a decade ago, on the 10th anniversary of september 11, stephen sackur spoke to the man who was mayor of new york city on that fateful day, rudy giuliani. his response back then earned him the title america's mayor. ten years after 9/11, a new tower, the freedom tower, has risen from the ashes of ground zero. right here, osama bin laden inflicted a grievous wound on the united states. and in this tenth anniversary week, americans have been
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remembering and reflecting. my guest in this special edition of hardtalk is the man who was mayor of new york city on its darkest day, rudy giuliani. how have he and his country been changed by 9/11? rudy giuliani, welcome to hardtalk. good to be with you. this is an incredible spot. it is. here we sit right on the edge of ground zero. and ten years on from 9/11, i just wonder what emotion you bring to this anniversary week. wow. it's very hard to look at. i don't even know because i haven't gone through it yet, you know?
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every year it's very difficult, because it was the worst... ..worst experience of my life, worst day of my life, worst day in the history of my city, worst attack, and it was the greatest day. it was a day of tremendous heroism, a tremendous sense of unity as an american. i don't think america, in my lifetime, at least, ever was as united. we got tremendous help. i mean, it was... it would almost make you cry to think of all the people that just came and volunteered and helped and they were putting themselves at great risk. i probably had some pretty good knowledge of how dangerous this all was, meaning the recovery effort. i was very afraid for four months when i ran it that we would lose somebody because they were so overanxious to do a good job. and we can see now what has been achieved already. but i actuallyjust want to stick with the moments, the hours around 9/11 itself. sure. i mean, you were over
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there on the north side. you were trying to get as close as you could to what had happened. the command centre was over there. how intensely do you recall what happened, what you saw, what you felt at the time? because, after all, it was ten years ago. yeah, i remember it really very well. you know, probably because i've recounted it a lot, i've talked about it a lot, i've written about it. but does that give you a distance from it? it helps me to talk about it. it helps me to get over the emotion of it and deal with the emotion of it — and i'd counsel other people to do that, to get it out and talk about it. but some of the memories are just with you forever, you know? some of them just stand out asjust pictures in your mind. like the first time i saw somebodyjump, 100, 101st floor, first man that threw himself out that i saw. i think there had been ones before that. that was maybe one of the most shocking experiences of my life — to watch a man up 100 storeys flee the fire behind him
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and throw his body down. never saw anything like that before. and it convinced me at the time, this is the worst experience that we're ever going to have to deal with, and we betterjust do as good a job as we can. and ijust wonder, as mayor, as the leader of this city, whether at that time you, if you are honest with yourself, thought, "i am losing control of this city." you know, "there are things happening around me that i could never have imagined, and that mean that i, frankly, cannot do a job here." right, that thought was there. it was there somewhere. you know, is this... panic? ..there? sure, it was — occasionally it would just flash up into your head, you know? "can we handle this? is this beyond us? can i handle this? is this beyond me?" and then i'd just force it away. i mean, i'djust say, "can't think that way. ijust got to do the best i can.
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i've got to get through it." so, my father gave me advice when i was very young. "if you're ever in an emergency, remain calm. and if you're not calm, pretend that you are." so maybe i was pretending somewhat also. and afterwards, you know, you already talked about stuff that stays with you. and there are a lot of people who've suffered post—traumatic stress who were very close to the events here. have you? i mean, have you had dark nights when...? no, i haven't. i've never dreamed about it. i find that strange i've never dreamed... i think about it a lot. one time i got a colonoscopy, and i was given this medicine that makes you kind of go into a sleepy state, and i started talking about it. and my wife, judith, who's a nurse, was with me, and the doctor, and they heard me giving out orders to people to flee the building and get away from the building and move north. but i consciously don't remember a dream about it, but i do think about it a lot and i do talk about it a lot, and i credit that with having me avoid some of the things that could happen. and here's where it gets difficult.
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i just wonder whether you have some specific regrets because you were the leader of the city. you'd led the city for almost eight years. and there were some things afterwards, discussions about, for example, whether 3113 firefighters needed to die in the operations that surrounded the twin towers, and whether you and others in the administration had made some mistakes which contributed to that. i don't think so. i mean, i think that the 3113 firefighters was probably less than would have died if the command hadn't been as effective as it was. i think, if you read the 9/11 commission report, you'll see that it says that 96% of the people that could be saved were saved. what i regret is not anticipating, specifically, that kind of an attack. let's talk, in a way, about the ten years since. has new york city
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healed, do you think? i mean, there's still the scars here, but has the city... the city has done remarkably well. even better than i thought it would. i asked the people of this city the night of september 11th to be stronger as a result of this, and they've more than exceeded my expectations. i think that, however you judge a city, this city is a stronger and better city now. more people come here, more tourists come here, more people live here. the economy of the city is doing better than the economy of the country, which is pretty unusual for a major city in any country, so i think this city has healed to the extent that it can. but is it a city that lives with apprehension? i mean, i guess it has to. associated press reported just a couple of days ago that 1,000 new york city police officers, day by day, on average, are assigned to counterterror operations. i think it would be
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more than that. it'd be more than 1,000. of course, the city realises it's the number one target, along maybe with washington, dc — and, as a result of that, i think this city does more to prepare. and i think people feel more secure here because they realise its police department is probably the best in the country. but a police department, which, again, according to this recent report, has set up a secret police unit — they call it the demographic unit — which uses undercover operations to monitor the lives of new york city's muslim communities secretly. is that what you believe should be done in new york city? of course, not the muslim community, but the... but that's what it's about. no, it isn't. it's looking at muslim business, mosques. well, who should they...? it's police who, undercover, are monitoring a community on the basis that that may well be where the next threat might come from. well, isn't that where the threat is? i mean, the threat isn't from, you know, the garment section.
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the threat isn't from, you know, the people who live near kings county hospital. the reality is what the police are doing is what is sensible police work. they are looking at where terrorism has come from, and they are focusing on people who are suspected terrorists. now, it turns out they're muslim, but they're not focusing on muslims. they're focusing on suspected terrorists. remember, in 1993, the first attempt to take those two buildings down, or one of the buildings, was put together in a mosque in union city, newjersey. so when you know something like that and you know that there are certain mosques — not all of them — that are used to plan terror attacks — well, you're not going to go look in a church. you're not going to look in a synagogue. you'd just be wasting your time. it would be stupid police work to do that. but i used that word "healing". and ijust wonder, for example, whether a city can be truly healed when such a raw and passionate argument was provoked by the plan,
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for example, to put the muslim community centre, which would have just been a couple of blocks down there. which a benefactor, a muslim benefactor, said was all about delivering a message of peace from the muslim community. you called it, quote, "a desecration". is that a healed city? this guy wanted to put a mosque here and 90% of the family members say, "it's going to hurt me, it's going to create pain for me. it's going to really create a tremendous amount of psychological damage to me." and this guy is healing people and he's going to put the mosque there? that's not a healer, that's a divider. the reality is — and it might be hard to face this — but almost 3,000 people were killed here under the banner of distorted islamic religion. it wasn't under the banner of christianity orjudaism. that was the banner. these people were distorting that religion. but, mr giuliani, when you call a mosque a "desecration", when you say it is right
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for the police to focus a lot of their undercover counterterror efforts on the muslim community in this city, i just wonder how tens of thousands of patriotic, peace—loving muslim residents of new york city will feel? well, they should feel perfectly fine if they're peace—loving, decent muslims, just like peace—loving, decent italian americans could have felt really fine... may they not feel victimised? not if they aren't involved in terrorism any more than italian americans should have felt victimised when i went after the mafia, because there were a percentage of italian—americans who were involved in organised crime. police work can't be irrational. it can't be politically correct. it has to be based on logical, sensible inferences that you draw from people's behaviour. and the reality is that mosques — not all, some — have become the source of terrorist planning. and for the police to ignore that in the name of political correctness because it'll make you happy would be a dangerous thing to do.
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if i may, i now want to turn to the sort of bigger canvas of american national security beyond this city and its boundaries. with the benefit of distance and hindsight that comes with ten years, do you think that america misjudged its national security response to 9/11? no, i think america misjudged before 9/11. i think america discounted the islamic extremist terrorist threat to this country, even though they had attacked us numerous times, even though they had attacked us here at the world trade centre, in africa twice, on the uss cole. i think we were minimising the islamic terrorist threat against us and sending them signals that we were weak and, therefore, they took advantage of us on september 11th. i think the proof is in the pudding. they took advantage of that, maybe, but, in the end, is it not important, first of all, to remember the scale of the horror and the number of victims,
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but also to remember who did it and how it was done? i mean, it was, in the end, 19 hijackers on 9/11. i believe their budget amounted to less than $1 million. they were ordered and commanded from caves in afghanistan by a small number of fanatics. they succeeded on 9/11 in achieving their objective. but was it really war? was it a war that needed a response from the bush administration, which took them notjust into afghanistan, but into iraq as well, and cost the nation up to $4 trillion? and in ten years, there's been no attack like that again. when every single intelligence source warned me on the day of september 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th, that we would be attacked dozens of times. if it wasn't for president bush and his courage to deploy our military the way he did, i am absolutely convinced that this country would have gone through four or five, or six major terrorist attacks between then and now.
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and if it wasn't for president 0bama continuing it. in fact, the attempts at terrorist attacks have increased in the last two years. i can count 42 attempts by extremist muslim terrorists to conduct terrorist attacks in the united states that have been stopped since september 11th. if we hadn't heightened our alertness to this, if we hadn't gone on offence, some of those attacks would have happened. but my question was a question about the broader response. in the end, the bush administration decided to take up this war, notjust specifically against the al-qaeda network, but, of course, it went much further. it went further in afghanistan and it's still there in afghanistan with a desperate effort to destroy the taliban. but, in particular, it also went into iraq. and i just wonder whether, sitting here today, ten years on, you are ready to acknowledge that that was a mistake. no — why would i acknowledge it as a mistake? well, what did it have to do
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with delivering security for the people of new york city in the united states? what it did was it gave us an enormous amount of intelligence that we wouldn't have had if we weren't present there. it tied up the people that were planning to attack us and to harm us in activities there so they couldn't conduct those activities here. with the loss of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those countries. i mean, you know that... first of all, i think that number... in iraq and afghanistan together. there are various different projects and body count organisations across the world who've put the number into the hundreds of thousands. well, i think that's a grossly exaggerated number. but in any event, the reality is... this was an attack on the united states of america organised from outside the united states of america. that's an act of war. we'd had numerous acts of war against us. we'd had war declared against us by bin laden, and we didn't respond. and when we didn't respond, we were continually attacked. when we finally did respond, we kept our homeland safe.
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that's the responsibility of the president of the united states — to keep the united states safe. but can you ever... the responsibility of our military is to help keep us safe. and if it weren't for our military, i don't believe that this country would have been safe over the last ten yea rs. can you ever truly win a military victory over a set of fanatical ideas? yes. you can? sure. didn't we defeat hitler? didn't we defeat... ? well, that is, i suppose, the point. can you compare the threat posed by al-qaeda and its network ofjihadi terrorists with the threat posed by nazism and hitler? well, i think, if you ask the family members of people who died here, they would tell you that, from their point of view, the threat was just as bad. do i think they have the capacity to invade and capture all of europe? no, but do they have the capacity to kill significant numbers
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of innocent people? well, since the 1960s, they've already demonstrated that. see, it's interesting because there is a debate about this. i mean, very recently, a former head of the m15 intelligence service in the uk, eliza manningham—buller, she specifically said she believed america had been wrong to turn this into an all—out war in the way that the bush administration did. she said in some ways that simply served to give kudos, status to the warriors, the jihadis whom she believed should have been confronted by forensic anti—terror. well, thank goodness she wasn't president of the united states because, cos if she had been president of the united states, we probably would have been attacked a dozen times between then and now. the one thing you can't argue with is that president bush and now president 0bama have kept the homeland of the united states safe. 0bama, of course, is no bush, and his strategy, i think it's fair to say, is somewhat different. you have written this in the last couple of days. you've written, "one of the lessons of 9/11 is that america requires a long—term
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presence in those parts of the world that continue to endanger us." does that mean you believe that talk of a drawdown in afghanistan, for example, the pull—out of all combat forces from iraq, that these are fundamentally mistaken moves ? not if we're going to keep troops there. what i believe the issue... the idea is to get combat troops out of iraq. if we don't... and get all the combat troops out of afghanistan by 2015. well, it shouldn't be by 2015. maybe we can do it in 2013 or 2016. this is totally unknown to national security or war to do these things on irresponsible political timetables. here's the objective in afghanistan. the objective in afghanistan is to make sure that afghanistan is left in a situation where it isn't dangerous to us any more. that's the reason we're in afghanistan, to protect the people of the united states primarily. if we're convinced that we've
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accomplished our goal in afghanistan, then we should leave afghanistan. if we're not, we should remain there. the point that i'm making is we have to be ready to maintain a significant military presence in the middle east, just like we did in germany, just like we're doing in south korea. when and if people in that part of the world stop plotting to kill americans, then we can leave. but mr giuliani, when you ran for national office, when you wanted to make a bid for the white house in �*07, you found the american public wasn't responding to your message, which was primarily a national security message. i wonder why you think that was? the american public didn't get a chance to respond to that message. i was in a republican primary, and somebody had a better national security message than i did and beat me — john mccain. so, to me, that's a totally wrong analysis of what happened. john mccain won that primary because he seemed to have the strongest and best ideas on national security. i was, at best, second—best or third—best.
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but if we look at, for example, the republicans today, they look at the challenge of afghanistan and a number of them running for the white house now — i'm thinking ofjon huntsman, thinking even of mitt romney and some of the things he said — are suggesting that, given the state of the us economy, given the parlous nature of the public finances here, america has to make some important decisions, which will involve drawing down on some of its commitments overseas and then, to use 0bama's phrase, focusing on the nation—building here at home. well, the reality is that you can never put a limit on how to defend yourself, how to protect yourself. one of the reasons... no matter what the cost? well, unless it's irresponsible spending, unless it's fraudulent spending, irresponsible spending, of which sometimes it happens in the area of national defence. but we're not in the economic condition that we're in because of our defence spending. not even close to that. 0ur defence spending is roughly
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the average percentage of our gdp that it's always been for the last 40—50 years. in fact, it's a little less than it's been at certain points, so that's a totally erroneous analysis of our economic situation, our budget situation. we're out of control because we can't control the cost of health care. but the reality is we need to be present in the middle east for a long period of time, and leadership requires explaining that to the american people and developing the patience that we developed during the cold war when we kept our troops in germany and in south korea. that will keep us safer. if that's what leadership requires, are you prepared to put your hat in the ring and tell the american public you want to be their leader in the white house? well, i'm not sure that would be the right answer, or maybe somebody else would be better at it. well, you're thinking about it. sure, iam. are you partly thinking about it because you worry that, even on the republican side of the fence, people are not issuing this message that you are when it comes to the front and centre importance of national
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security, being there as long as it takes? there are some people that are running on the republican side who understand that. some who understand it better. my whole decision will be based on whether i think that one of those candidates can win and do the rightjob for the country. if i think that, i'll support them. if i don't, then i'll probably make the decision to run. and it may be — you might quibble with this — but it may be that you'll have to convince the republican party that you are as socially conservative as they would like their next... well, that's — now you've sort of located the actual reason why i didn't win. the reason i didn't win had nothing to do with national security. as i said, john mccain had the same views on national security and continues to do as i did. the reason i didn't win is because i'm too... i'm considered too socially moderate for a party that... so is rudy giuliani prepared to dance to the republican pa rty�*s current tune? no, i'm too stubborn. i can't, i can't change.
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then you telling me you're thinking about running for the white house isn't going to go anywhere, is it? well, it might. what has to happen is that people have to decide that these other things are more important, which sometimes happens. all right. but i can't. .. but my views are my views on the social issues, and i'm going to remain that way. before we end, ijust want to return, in a way, to thinking about the meaning of this particular place where we are right now. everybody in america seems to be talking about extracting the meaning from 9/11. some argue that, actually, although it felt — and i was in north america at the time, too — although it felt like the world had fundamentally changed forever on that terrible day, maybe the world didn't change quite as much as we thought as a result of 9/11. well, i don't think the world changed at all on september 11th. i think september 11th allowed us to perceive more clearly realities that were going on in the world since at least the 19605, 19705.
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i mean, this wasn't the first terrorist attack. it was maybe the 500th terrorist attack. it wasn't the first attack on america. 1993 was. the attack on the israeli team at the munich 0lympics goes back to 1972, after all. so i think what this did was it didn't change anything that was going on in the world. it changed our appreciation of the world. i think someone attributed to bin laden — i think i'm right about this, i think it was bin laden or somebody, one of the terrorist leaders — that maybe this whole attack turned out to be a mistake because it awakened a sleeping giant. and i think, in a way, this was a terrible mistake for them because, even if it's going to take 20—30 years, islamic extremist terrorism will eventually be destroyed. rudy giuliani, we have to end it there, but thank you very much for being on hardtalk. thank you, thanks a lot.
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hello there. the past 2a hours have seen the downpours arrive and the heat ebb away. but with fewer showers yesterday across some eastern parts of england, we saw temperatures getting up to 27 degrees in suffolk, very warm for this time of the year. it was 26 in cromer, 25 in the east midlands. charterhall, though, in the scottish borders was 29 degrees on wednesday. thursday was 10 degrees cooler, as the rain arrived. and earlier in the night, we had some torrential thundery downpours in northern england. that led to some flash flooding in some areas. but the worst is now over, the showers are heading
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their way northwards into scotland. many places will start dry, i think, on friday morning. as you can see, it's warm. it's also muggy, hence some mist and fog around following those downpours in the north. that will lift, though, with still a lot of cloud around during friday. and as you can see, those showers are going to develop more widely, turning heavy and possibly thundery. maybe fewer showers for wales and the southwest, but more showers than we saw on thursday for eastern parts of england. but despite that, temperatures still could reach 23 or 2a degrees. elsewhere, it's going to be nearer 20 or 21 celsius — still pretty good, though, for this time of year. now, the fifth test match should be starting at old trafford on friday. there may well be some heavy showers around, mind you. the weekend does look drier, but it will be cooler as well. now, low pressure has been moving across the uk. that's brought the drop in temperature with those heavy, thundery showers, but the low is moving away towards scandinavia this weekend, so things will turn drier, but it does mean we'll introduce more of a northwesterly breeze. and that will bring with it some cooler air from the north as well. we've still got some wet weather around on saturday across northern most parts of scotland. the rain could be quite heavy here, actually.
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but elsewhere, there are fewer showers, lighter showers, many places will be dry. some sunshine coming through now and again and some quite light winds as well. but temperatures are dropping away in scotland and northern ireland in that cooler air, so 17 degrees. still quite warm, though, across england and wales, especially towards the southeast. now, on sunday, it's dry from northern scotland, there are very few showers again on sunday, probably a fair bit of cloud. got to keep an eye on this developing rain towards the southwest, perhaps, but the cooler air will be pushing down across more of the country, with a high on sunday in the southeast of 21 celsius.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm victoria fritz. nojab, nojob: the vaccine mandate for 100 million us workers among new measures as president biden toughens his stance against those who haven't had the jab. we have been patient, and our patience has been wearing thin and refusal has cost all of us, so, please, do the right thing. the us federal government launches a legal attack on a new abortion law in texas. it says the state's near—total ban is unconstitutional. 20 years later and 9/11 still claims lives. 0n the eve of the attacks anniversary, we speak to some of those suffering the long—term effects.

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