tv In the Arena CNN May 16, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
high. had they not opened the spillway the waters here would be higher. right now, they expect the waters to keep coming up over the next couple of days. you see the sign there, no packing on wharf. cars could be down here. one community so far, all of the efforts to keep the waters out of the more populated areas to the less populated areas. we'll continue our coverage tomorrow as we watch the waters of the mississippi rise. we'll see you tomorrow night "in we'll see you tomorrow night "in the arena" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com evening, welcome to the program, i'm eliot spitzer. tonight, the legal peril of dominique strauss-kahn has grown deeper, the head of the international monetary fund may be facing a new sexual assault charge. lawyers for french journalist tristane banon said she will file a criminal complaint about
an incident that allegedly occurred ten years ago. banon caused a sensation in france when she recounted the incident in 2007. meanwhile, dominique strauss-kahn is spending the night in rikers island, a notorious jail. it's a long way from the 3,000 hotel suite. first, a look at the other stories we're drilling down on tonight. the arabs spring. good news -- maybe. but not for israel. the cia veteran says it wasn't democracy you saw in tahrir square. it was islamic fundamentalism and donald trump has been fired by -- donald trump. >> it's my latest decision. >> his latest stunt may boost his tv ratings. but what did it do to the republican party? diplomatic immunity.
e.d. hill asks if it applies to rape. now, the scandal sending shock waves across the world. let's go to rich ordard roth. he joins me live. >> reporter: this man, dominique strauss-kahn used to the high life. first-class airplanes, luxury suites now settling in on rikers island off manhattan. he was transported there after a court hearing several hours ago. a hearing which featured arguments by the prosecutor and defense attorneys for strauss-kahn regarding bail and could he indeed obtain it after that purple luck we had over the weekend and hours spent in police custody. the authorities alleging six criminal counts including abuse, sexual abuse, sexual acts of violence against a hotel maid, in the times square hotel the
sofitel. the authorities argue he is a flight risk, similar to roman polanski, the film director, someone who wouldn't return once he got to europe. >> to the case as it now stands and the potential for additional evidence to be generated, the defendant has additional motivation to flee. we also know that the defendant has personal, political and financial resources to in fact flee. >> reporter: the defense countered by saying he could put up $1 million in bail, and he would be no flight risk. that he could have stayed in a manhattan apartment where his daughter lives. >> he is presumed innocent and indeed is this a very defensible case. there are significant issues that we have already found simply with preliminary investigation and a nonjudgment makes it quite likely that my client will be exonerated. >> reporter: the judge said she's ace fair woman but she's
got to treat strauss-kahn like any other defendant. and she said she agreed with the prosecution, strauss-kahn in her opinion was indeed a flight risk. so now he sits at rikers island. elliott. >> thank you, richard for that update. i'm joined by deborah faeyerick. she has fascinating information. deborah, what did you learn about the evidence? >> what we're learning about the evidence, investigators in sex crime unit they're looking at everything. the key card to access the door. the times that the chamber maid entered. they're looking at the mini bar to see if perhaps alcohol was a factor. they're looking at whether he rented any adult films, pornography. whether that played a role. think about it, this is a man who polls show could have been president of france, instead, he may have been taken down by a chamber maid. linda, you were head of the sex
crimes unit for the manhattan office for 26 years. a very quick check of hotel records would have discovered who was in that room, still, detectives, investigators, special units, they did not blink going after him. >> they're taught to take every victim -- to start by believing everyone coming forward is telling the truth. are there exonerations or cases where the crime has not happened? absolutely. and they would be able to work that out, i think as well. here, the beauty is that this woman reported immediately, which is not always a factor with sexual assault victims. the police were called in immediately. uniform cops refer it to these very specialized and specially trained detectives. and it seems from the outside at this point that everything was done right, most especially crediting the victim. >> reporter: you have a hotel worker going up against one of the most powerful menner the head of the international monetary fund. what sort of evidence needed to be met for police to believe
that something in fact occur? >> that's a great question. obviously, body fluids and where it is. if it's on the bed of the alleged offender may not be terrifically significant. if it's on the clothing of the victim, and i don't know where it is, that's going to be awfully significant. most hotels in this day and age have cam fleras in corridors. is there tape of this woman leaving the room. what condition was she in, both in clothing disarray and emotional disdistress. what condition was he in. >> reporter: will this lady have to testify? >> oh, yes, this case is entirely based on the testimony of the young lady who made the complaint. this case could not proceed without her. >> reporter: investigators and police went immediately to the airplane to get him off the plane. is that an extraordinary measure? >> if the detectives had probable cause, meaning a
witness who they believe told the truth, found evidence to support it which is not needed but icing on the cake, but they did the only thing they could do is stop this man before he left the country. >> reporter: this young lady has been tour terrified. >> this is why they're so good at it, one of the detectives who i saw today in the picture, he's not only a great detective, he's one of the best in the business. they are chosen not only for skilled detective work but because they have the manner to hand hold scared witnesses through this process. >> now, strauss-kahn's lawyer says he plans to plead not guilty. keep in mind, eliot, that fayerstein says that a new package will be presented and he will be able to get out just not on the one presented today. >> somebody of this statue is now sitting at rikers island. folks should know that's what happens when the judge says remand. they go to rikers and they could sit there for weeks and that's
what's going to happen to dominique strauss-kahn until they somehow turn it over. >> this is just the beginning of the process. right now, she had to make an immediate decision. what do we know and what decision do we make. she says, he was on plain and planning on leaving. she had no choice but to make sure he stayed. the amount of money, who's going to vouch for him, whether he can get an electronic bracelet, all of those factors. then she'll make another determination. still has to go to a grand jury, whether or not this can be brought to trial, whether or not there's enough evidence. this is a guy who is in jail, whose reputation is not only on the line, but now he's basically got to reclaim it. >> as a prosecutor for many year, the pressure is on the prosecution to come forth with an indictment. we're talking about an alibi, what do we know about the alibi, how strong is it, obviously an alibi about this could shoot a
hole through the case. >> that's right. that's what we didn't hear about today. his lawyer is saying that the forensic evidence will not be consistent with the attack alleged in this complaint. what does that mean? well, that's what brafman has to prove. what we're learning, apparently, he had lunch with somebody in the nearby area. the reason he was rushing, he had to get to the airport. we're also told this was an itinerary he had planned for weeks. it wasn't he was running to get out the country. in fact he was hurrying, he had to check out of the hotel negotiation to lunch and go to the airport. he also forgot his cell phone. in a way, he led investigators to him, he called the hotel, called security and said, i think i left my phone. could you bring it to the airport. he told a stewardess, by the way, i'm probably going to get paged, they're bringing my phone to him. when they came, they certainly was not bringing the phone to him. >> i think that was a setup. i think the hotel arranged to
set him up. ben brafman, his lawyer is a powerhouse lawyer. this is going to be a battle royale if it goes to trial. a tragedy from every perspective. fascinating stuff. now, to the question of who exactly dominique strauss-kahn is. a short while ago, i spoke with two prominent journalists who covered him for years. for more, i'm joined by reuters editor krista free handand he's in paris tonight, thank you both for joining me. >> great to be here. >> pleasure. >> dickey, let me go to you, does the behavior he's been charged with surprise you or anybody else who has followed his career? >> reporter: it doesn't surprise anybody who's followed him in his career that he's interested in women, very interested and thinks that he's a great seducer. it surprises people that any kind of incident involving him would take this kind of
apparently violent turn. of course, all of these allegations have yet to be proven. but there's one thing to be a skirt chaser, and everybody thought he was one of those. and it's another thing to be accused of criminal sexual assault and attempted rape. that's a whole different ball game. and i think everybody is just stunned by that. >> not to put too far of a point on it, there have been not only rumors but issues of infidelity in the marriage in the past. but none of it, am i correct, had bordered on the violent enforceable? >> reporter: well, there was one allegation that a friend of the family who was 22 at the time found herself in a position where she had to fight him off in a very ugly scene. that supposedly happened in 2002. she talked about it on television with his name bleeped out in 2007. all of that has come back now. but everybody's tried to turn that into a great pattern of behavior. it isn't clear that's the case. what is clear, yes, he had an affair with somebody at the imf
only months after he got there. he's thought to have any number of mistresses and lovers over the years. in french politics, that's not such an unusual thing. but certainly, these allegations of violent aggression against a maid in a hotel, that's something else. >> you know, as it stands right now -- hold on one second -- as it stands right now, he is being held without bail in new york city. krista, what does this do to the political scene in france? >> well, i think it makes it very, very complicated. i did want to source of reinforce what chris has said. i think we have to be incredibly careful to make a sharp distinction between someone who has a history of affairs and saying that person say rapist. these are two very different things. to say, well, because he has a history of sleeping around, that means it's not hard to believe he's a rapist. there was actually a report on
french radio today saying that his lawyers are now claiming he actually has an alibi that he was at lunch with his daughter at the time that this alleged assault happened. so, you know, we have to be careful to prejudge. i think if he emerges from this with some kind of a shad doshgs th shadow, then he's out of the picture as far as french politician goes. there's still a possibility he doesn't do it. if that can be proven, maybe he can go back to france a hero. >> chris, let me ask you point blank. there are rumors out of there conspiracies, what do you make of that? >> well, look, people in france don't like president sarkozy. his approval rating is below 30%. and he's seen as a machiavellian character. all of a sudden, the man to defeat him, all the polls showed
strauss-kahn to defeat him in the election, all of a sudden, that man's career is wiped off the slate. he's no longer a factor in next year's election. cristea is correct, he may be in some cabinet some day as a minister, but he's not able to come back to france anytime to run for the presidency. so he's not going to be president in 2012 which is what most people thought. naturally, they say, uh-huh, sarkozy must have done this somehow. but there's absolutely nothing to support that kind of conspiratorial thinking. >> what if he's proven completely innocent? what if it turns out he really didn't do that? >> well, how long is that going to take to prove that? right now, he can't even get out of jail on bail. if you look at the case of somebody completely unrelated. kobe bryant, an american basketballe star was accused attacking a woman in a hotel in colorado in 2003. in the summer. it wasn't until the fall of the following year that those charges were finally dropped. so i think we're looking at
months of legal proceedings ininvolving strauss-kahn, he's not going to get back and run for the presidency anytime soon. >> i think as somebody who is a prosecutor in the state system here, it's clear that this will take several months barring some unforeseen reversal. the witness recants her testimony, it would take months at least to clarify this. as of now, he's held without bail. he may even be held for some period of time, presumably not forever. chris and cristea, thank you for joining us. >> pleasure. >> my pleasure. coming up next, trump is out, so is huckabee. gingrich is in. romney is thinking tab. the republicans players musical chairs. more on that in a moment. e.d. hill is here. she's been looking at an interesting ainge on the dominique strauss-kahn situation. >> he's a powerful man. the imf is an agency of the u.n. we know there are numerous understandings and agreements
between immunity deals between the u.n. and the u.s. and other organizations. so can he potentially claim immunity. the imf says he wasn't on official business but because he was on a trip from the headquarters in d.c. over to meet wilt german chancellor, stops in new york, could he, if he needs to, claim that and get away scot-free, if he's guilty. we'll find out. >> interesting question. thank you. don't go away. we'll right back in a moment. ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
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the donald is out. donald trump announced that he will not run for president in 2012, ending weeks of speculation and self-promotion. this after former arkansas governor mike huckabee said he will not run. in the clash, who is joining us is republican strategist and romney spokesman kevin madden. and cnn political analyst, welcome, gentlemen. >> thank you. >> kevin, let me start with you, donald duck, as we say, is there a huge breath and sigh of relief from the republican candidates? >> i think from the establishment, that is true. a lot of people are worried that the campaign wanted about issue, the campaign that people wanted to be about substance is quickly coming with distractions like the birther issue being front and center. most candidates want to run on complete, want to run on national security, this is a
campaign that essentially will be a contrast on the issues. >> david, let me ask you this question because kevin mentioned it. health care. which the republican party thought was going to be a slam dunk winner. first romney's medical care, and gingrich and romney have said conflicting things about obama care, romney care, is the republican party flubbing on an issue that they thought would be their path to victory? >> i think it's too early to say that. there's no question that newt gingrich, you know, started i lot of resentment among house republicans by attacking the ryan plan on medicare and has called it right wing social engineering. there's a lot of resentment today in the house. at the same time, mitt romney, it looked like health care would be a real albatross. that was last week. this week, romney is the one, i think, that gets the greatest
benefit from both huckabee and donald trump pulling back. he does now emerge, i think, as a clear front-runner, and today, he had a fund-raiser out in nevada. he raise aed $10 million in one day. are that's a substantial amount of money, compared to four years ago when he ran when he raised $6 million in a similar effort. this time, he raised $10 million. you have to say, i think he's the big winner of huckabee and trump pulling back. >> you know, david, that certainly makes sense, but, kevin, let me ask you this. i'm still grappling with the speech that former governor romney gave last week in which he defended the individual mandate which is the center. piece of obama care as did newt gingrich over the week. it seems that both of them have embraced the point or piece of obama care that the republican party is most upset about. how does that play, the root of primaries, and theoretically into the general election? >> well, i think it's certainly
a challenge. and i think there are many folks in the conservative circles that watched that speech and they weren't satisfied with the answers that they got from governor romney. i think this is not really a debate or issue that's going to be decided just on editorial pages or just amongst the political class. i think, ultimately, health care is a value issue that candidates have to argue out in some of those early primary states. it's very much about what it is you want to see done with health care. we see a calcified level about obama care. many believe it's not the right approach. i think it's up to romney and all the other candidates to describe what they would do differently going forward. i think the arguments that governor romney did is what he would do with the health care in massachusetts and why he thought it was right. but ultimately, what does the future of health care look like in this country? how do we get down costs? how do we increase access? >> david it seems to me there's
an interesting dance going on between the republican candidates for president and speaker boehner on the other side. speaker boehner has to govern, he has to be part of the process of compromise. and yet, the republican candidates want to distance themselves. how will that dance play out? and how will they work together to craft a message for the republican party over the next year or so before there's a clear candidate for the republicans? >> that's a very good question, eliot. i think it's going to require some greater discipline than the republicans have shown so far. especially as we work our way through it the next few weeks on the debt limit. you know, we hit the national debt limit today, and we've got 11 weeks essentially to get a resolution as speaker boehner is essential to that. i think would think that speaker boehner will get support from the republicans and how they crafts this. it's really going to hurt the petition if there are divisions officer that. let me just add, eliot, you
know, it's very early on the national health care debate. a lot of nprs haven't formed on some of these issues yet. issues come and go. already, one feels that pretty kay as important as the seizing and killing of bin laden was, it's not driving the race the way we thought it might two weeks ago. i think we have two more candidates before the race is over. if mitch daniels gets in from indiana and the governor from utah gets in, that could really begin to build a serious national conversation around jobs and government spending that we haven't yet had among the candidates. i actually think it might strengthen the whole republican sense of gravitas. >> david, i couldn't agree more. i'm going out on a limb and predict, romney, daniels and
huntsman. are those four governors able to craft, as david said, he's exactly right as always, economics is going to drive this, not the bin laden bump, will there be a coherent message as jobs and how to bring back the economy? >> sure, what you're seeing right now shgwhat you're seeing many are focused on what the differences are. ultimately, what's going to drive the fundamentals of the republican race where we pick a nominee is what we agree on. i think we all agree on we need to stop taxing. we need to stop federal spending, we need to get the deficit down. and i think the candidate that comes out with the most credible plan on those three issues and how it ladders up to a larger economic argument about creating jobs and more prosperity, that's where the republican electorate is going to produce the best nominee. >> yeah, but, kevin and david, that's what's going to make it so interesting because if john boehner needs to compromise that
now diplomatic immunity was kind of used as a shield when they had to work in different countries. in this case, could it be explained by rape? i'm jimpoined by the assistant n of law. the imf is a specialized agency of the u.n. the u.s. and the u.n. have a headquarters agreement. could this number play here? >> the headquarters agreement was set up after the second world war, it establishes the privileges of immunity in new york. basically, the idea was it would allow it to function. the idea was if every diplomat was subject to u.s. laws it might hamper the conduct of diplomatic interests, particularly when nations not friendly to u.s. interests have their people in the united states. they did an agreement where the u.s. promised it would give diplomatic immunity or official
acts of immunity to the various officials. for example, of the secretary-general of the united nation's. >> so if he were involved in this -- >> totally different. he would be subject to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution and near absolute immunity from any civil trial. >> what about the 1947 imf treaty? >> the articles of the agreement by which the imf was constituted provides for a structure for this organization. as part of that structure, the imf parties agreed that its officials would have immunity in their official acts. so the idea is, as long as they're performing the functions of the job, they can't be subject to criminal prosecution but if they're acting in a private or personal capacity, no immunity could apply. >> is that where this case could get squishy? because the imf is headquartered in d.c. that's where dominique strauss-kahn is listening. he was in route to a meeting with angela merkel, the
chancellor. there is know official business here. if you're a business person and you head off on a trip and you have to stop some place, you're still on that business trip. could he claim he was intransit or anything else or be involved in a business meeting here? >> i certainly think he could argue. i ultimately think he's not going to prevail on those grounds. it would be different, for example, if he were in new york citile driving to a meeting and were in an accident or negligent or ended up killing someone in route to a meeting in the car. that might immunize him from any such criminal or civil prosecution. there was actually a case last year involving the united nations where several female employees of the united nations alleged groping with senior u.n. officials. they brought the suit civilly to the united states. >> so they're u.n. employees, they claim other senior u.n. employees -- a senior u.n. official groped them.
they brought suit. and they said this is an employer/employee relationship at the united nations, we believe this is within the conduct. >> even though it's groping it's within the conduct -- >> because it kurd at a meeting involving the u.n. so it could be broad and beyond were you actually doing the job for which you're getting paid. that said, i don't see this -- it's stretching so far as to cover an afternoon in new york city when he has a meeting the next day in germany. and i think we have to wait and see if there are more facts but it doesn't necessarily seem like he was actually in the movement to germany when the alleged acts occurred. >> so we also -- we won't necessarily see this right away when he's arrested, even when he's charged, his lawyers don't have to immediately claim diplomatic immunity. right now, he's at rikers. rikers is pretty hard core, but that's where you go. he's at rikers, when would he have to, if he's declaring diplomatic immunity, when would he do that? >> i think later this week.
this would flag there's diplomatic immunity which would apply to the secretary of france or not to dsk. >> even though he's the head of the imf? >> right. it's not clear that he'd be able to make those arguments but i do think we'd see it, if they're going to make the argument, i'd expect to see it in the next several days. that said, the state department is not commenting, as far as i can tell on his status. >> what does that tell you? >> what's that? >> what does that tell you? >> it tells me they're hoping this gets resolved in other ways. here's the critical point to remember. it's not his immunity. the immunity belong to the imf. he believes the benefit of that immunity because the imf allows him to focus on the investigation but ultimately it's the imf's decision whether or not they want to maintain it or. >> or waive it?
>> or waive it. >> that case, it may not be. what you don't hear as what you do hear? so they could come out and make a flat statement, we've investigated it, there's no way there's diplomatic immunity here? >> there's certainly precedent when you have these salacious allegations or heinous crime. >> like that one in washington. >> over a decade ago, you had a georgian diplomat driving intoxicated at 80 miles an hour. and he ends up killing i think a young foreign exchange student. he received immunity, and immunized but ultimately delicate communications occurred between the u.s. and georgian officials. they waive the immunity, he is prosecuted and convicted for the crime. >> there are times, of course, the reason why we are part of it, the diplomatic immunity works in our way in pakistan. the u.s. came in and eventually
claimed diplomatic immunity. >> raymond davis, it's unclear what status he had with the united states. >> enough. >> the u.s. government claimed him as their own. pakistanis weren't sure. there, the u.s. was pretty clear, even though he had shot and killed two people we were going to exert his right to be exempt from pakistani prosecution. >> duncan hollis, thank you very much. quite interesting. coming up, the middle east, the demands for democracy may look like good news but maybe not if you live in israel. don't go away. that's next.
now, to violence in israel. thousands of palestinians surged across israel's borders this weekend in an eruption of violence that left more than a dozen people dead. the arab spring has come to israel's borders. and some day soon, we may look back at the 50 years of conflict as the gold old days. that's what the next guest believes michael shourd launched it in the cia, michael, welcome. >> thank you, sir. michael you see this past weekend and the violence on israel's borders as a premonition of what's coming in the weeks and months ahead. explain that to us. >> well, the united states had a strategic policy in the middle east that for 35 years was based on the maintenance of tyranny.
that tyranny allowed us access to oil. it helped us protect israel. and it allowed the tyrants to persecute, prosecute ill tants. mr. obama has been with mrs. clinton been cheerleading the destruction of that strategic policy which i believe was wrong from the start. but nonetheless, it is our policy, and they've gotten off one horse without another horse to get on to. so access to oil becomes chancey. certainly, israel's security has been shattered in the last decade in terms of its external shields. and of course, all of the revolutions we've seen so far have released thousands of islamist militants from prisons in egypt and tunisia and elsewhere. >> michael, there's no question the contract as it were between the united states and the tyrants, and most of us would agree with that word who had dominated egypt or tunisia or
libya and syria, that contract has broken down, it has run its course. where i want to challenge you, though, is your harsh criticism of president obama and secretary clinton, because i would ask you, what was the alternative they had, maintaining that relationship with mubarak, with gadhafi, certainly not possible. so is it all in credible to join forces in the democracy that's sweeping north africa than to be a firewall in support of tyranny. >> i think i'm glad they're gone, it's a benefit to america. but we could have kept our mouth shut. we tend to think that muslims are stupid people. that they're going to forget that the united states supported tyranny for 35 years. and we also have become, at least in our political elite, almost marxist leninists. in our belief that democracy is the answer to everything and that it's going to take hold
everywhere. what we've created here in north america and england is going to be re-created in the muslim world in 18 days. i just don't think it's becoming a president or a secretary of state or the war boys, senator mccain and senator graham to be arguing somehow that democracy is afoot when clearly it's not. >> look, michael, first, i have to disagree in your premise in terms of the overarching view of the islamic world. i think there's a great nuance in the president and secretary and the senators you mentioned trying to craft with the new leadership. everybody understands, do they not, this say moment transition? this is a moment where the old ideology, the old governing structures throughout north africa and the middle east are being pushed aside from what is a general uprising from the grassroots of the populous. nobody knows where they will go, if you listen to the real experts in the region, they all say there is enormous
uncertainty. but certainly, it is better to begin to forge the relationship in the notions of tolerance, secular freedoms but to articulate those views and to be a hands off and let tyranny establish itself. wouldn't you agree with that? >> no, i think mr. zakaria knows exactly about as much what is my chair does. naturally, their analysis is going to be that they're not happening just like mrs. clinton, just like senator graham, just like the president. cnn and bbc interviewed a few score muslims in tahrir square, all of whom were clean-cut, most were professionals and they talked democracy. then he read a few facebooks and twitters and they extrapolated that example to 85 million
muslims, half of whom or more are illiterate. so the west has really got a skewed idea of what's happening in that country, and across the region, sir. it's madness. >> michael, with all due deference to your belief in the region -- >> i'm not saying i have deep deference, 85 million muslims not going in the direction of a democracy they consider irreligious, perhaps even pagan rather than 1400 years of tradition. >> let's agree on something, fareed za fareed zakaria are enormously known in the region. nobody thinks th s thas that je advice is going to pop up.
>> you brought up the tahrir square business. >> michael, i was listening to it. i was here. here's the larger point, what we are saying there is an arc of history and there is movement in a particular direction. and while we don't have any illusions about where we'll end up, and we understand iran and what has happened in afghanistan time and time again, what we're saying, positioning our foreign policy no longer behind the tyrants but in front of the popular movement that george w. bush articulated. that makes sense. i'll give you the last couple seconds. you obviously thing i'm wrong. tell me why. >> i think bush is wrong. clinton was wrong. this guy is wrong. it's just not going to happen in the way you think it's going to happen, sir. even if it did, if we had democracy from more taina to jordan, those democracies would have to reflect popular opinion. what you would have is the greatest anti-israeli movement than you've seen in your life.
israel is hated more than anything in the islamic world. >> michael, time runs short, you're going in a different direction about is israel. a whole different set of issues. i look forward to having that conversation with you in a couple days. michael, thanks for joining us, we will have that conversation down the road. up next, with dominique strauss-kahn in jail, what's the future of the organization he ran and the impact on french politics? i'll ask fareed zakaria to dissect the fallout when we come back. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
now, more on the top story, the news that dominique strauss-kahn, head of the imf, allegedly tried to rape a woman in new york city in a hotel room. it sent shock waves across the financial and political world in a large part because strauss-kahn plays a key role as the keeper of the global purse. what does this arrest mean for the future of the economy and france? for more on that, i'm joined by fareed zakaria. thank you for being here. there's unfortunate news about dominique strauss-kahn. you've known him for many years, obvious question, are you surprised? >> no. i mean, i'm surprised in the sense that i had no idea. he was a very, very good finance minister in france. he actually had to resign for reasons of a kind of scandal, but it was a corruption scandal for which he was then cleared of. there are always rumors of this kind of thing in his life. all one can say, in his professional life he was an
extremely competent finance minister. the deficit shrank. >> his reputation was one of the technocrat. >> because he was a politician, he had a good sense of politics. because of the bailouts, he understand the economics but he also understood the politics. >> in fact he had been a voice for a slightly different approach for the bailout, than perhaps angela merkel. and dominique strauss-kahn a more socialist in his world view said let's not be so tough upon those who depend upon the government. >> as you said, the germans were paying the bill, understandably they were taking that position. strauss-kahn was being generous with germany's money. >> right. >> but within the french socialist establishment, he is
on the right. so one of the things that's going to change in france, i think this is going to cause a real reshuffling of the deck. he would be considered a conservative democrat. everybody else in france is effectively to the left of him, often quite substantially to the left of him. >> if you're handicapping it now, a french election which is over a year away, does this make president sarkozy more likely to be re-elected? he's approval rating is down in the 30s but his most dominant opponent is taken down? >> i tend to think, yes. my thinking is this, this has completely fractured the opposition. and it seems very unlikely that any one candidate will be able to get the kind of momentum and stature that will make it possible. but at the end of the day it means sarkozy is the only large man standing. he's the only guy with real stature. >> and what does this mean for
the imf? what does this mean for an institution that has been central to the rehabilitation of the european economy, olds the e.u. together as a coherent bloc? can the imf survive? or can a institution continue forward without individuals? >> i think the imf will do fine. it's french politics that is upsended. the imf, at the end of the day, it's all the governments making the decisions. as you said, angela merkel in germany is being tough and saying we're not going to accept this bill. no matter who's the head of the imf, if the german don't want to sign the check, nothing happens. to the extent that somebody persuades the germans, it's the french or a couple other countries. the imf runs as a collective body with governments making the decision. he had an important role but it's a very competent organization. they'll be able to get on just fine without him. >> fareed, thank you so much. >> pleasure. up next, new orleans under water. it happened six years ago with
katrina. it could happen again. the way to save the city, flood some place else. we'll explain after the break. ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
the raging mississippi river continues to flood many southern towns. so for the first time in almost 40 years, the army corps of engineers opened these floodgates in morganza, louisiana, hoping to spare baton rouge and new orleans and redirect the water. the consequences risking nearby low-lying towns and forcing thousands to evacuate. cnn's john king visited the affected area with governor bobby jindal earlier today. he's in morgan city, louisiana. >> reporter: john, you saw the devastation from the helicopter today, describe it for us, how ugly was it? >> reporter: eliot, it is just
remarkable. and extraordinary what the state of louisiana, in conjunction with the federal government are trying to do. yes, some homes have been sacrificed but what they're trying to do is protect other communities like where i am in morgan city. you see behind me, that's supposed to be a wharf. you should be able to walk down there. instead, four feet of water, and the water is continuing to rise, as we saw with the exclusive tour with governor jindal, we've flown over the morganza pi spillway. as many as 15,000 homes could be buried, washed away, as they flood those communities. we flew over the morganza spillway, eliot. you could see the water going into the farmlands, rising very slowly. you can see the homes there or communities that will be flooded are still dry, maybe a foot of water. within the next several days, we flew over trees 18, 20 feet high, the head of the louisiana guard said they will be under water within a few days. they've taken a 30-foot high
barge, put it in the middle of the river and sunk it and they're putting rocks in it, especially creating a makeshift dam, to protect towns with tens of thousands of people, sending water into those communities, marshlands, some homes will be damaged. essentially, it's a simple rule, eliot, some case sacrifice a few to protect the many. what this state is doing is remarkable. >> that's an unbelievable decision that's got to be made. who actually makes that decision to open the floodgates and sacrifice the 10,000 to 15,000 homes to save baton rouge and new orleans. who is empowered to make that very tough decision? >> reporter: it is ultimately the army corps of engineers. the flood plans are in control of the federal government, but they've been in close touch with governor jindal. eliot, if you go back to katrina, and bp, there is so much mistrust between the
federal government here and the army corps of engineers. in this case, the governor told me the communication has been remarkable. in fact, when i was on a boat tour with governor jindal, we had to stop our conversation, it was the president of the united states calling governor jindal on how things are going. >> how about the people, the 15,000 homes lost, are they protesting it or do they understand in the grand scale of things this is the right decision for government to make? >> reporter: no question, they are heartbroken. i talked to colonel fleming who is the official going town to town essentially saying you lose so others can win. it's heartbreaking. the one advantage these people have had plenty of time, they've had days to get their belongings out of their homes. a few of the communities they're told might be be buried, he said they're hoping, hoping they might get lucky. a few of those communities might be spared. for e