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PBS NewsHour for February 17, 2016 - Part 1



Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill>


successor. Apple opposes a judge`s order to unlock the iPhone used by one

of the San Bernardino shooters, saying the ruling would undermine

customers` privacy. An apartheid-era police official is now helping the

people he once brutalized. Political charges and countercharges fly in

South Carolina. The man who composed the music for the movie "Carol"

scores his first Oscar nomination.>

Feinstein; Supreme Court; Bernie Sanders; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton;

Ted Cruz; Marco Rubio; San Bernardino; Terrorism; FBI; Apple>

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I`m Judy Woodruff.

GWEN IFILL: And I`m Gwen Ifill.

JUDY WOODRUFF: On the "NewsHour" tonight: an epic battle on Capitol Hill. We hear from two high-ranking senators about the fight over nominating Justice Antonin Scalia`s successor.

GWEN IFILL: Also ahead this Wednesday: Apple opposes a judge`s order to unlock the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters, saying the ruling would undermine customers` privacy.


ADRIAAN VLOK, Former South African Minister of Law and Order: I am guilty. I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?

JUDY WOODRUFF: A story of reconciliation: how an apartheid-era police official is now helping the people he once brutalized.

DINAH SEKESE, Volunteer Relief Worker: And they say, can you believe Adriaan Vlok can change? I said, I believe what I saw. What I see is what I believe, and then I am ready to tell that Adriaan Vlok has changed.

GWEN IFILL: All that and more on tonight`s "PBS NewsHour."


GWEN IFILL: Turkey`s capital city is alive with fear and anger tonight, after a car bomb killed at least 28 people and wounded 61.

We have a report on the blast in central Ankara, from Juliet Bremner of Independent Television News.

JULIET BREMNER: Moments after an explosion was heard across the Turkish capital, flames leapt into the night sky. The bomb had hit a convoy of military buses that had been taking soldiers home from their barracks.

In the chaos immediately after the attack, the governor said that he believed the bomb had been left in a car. It was rush hour. Commuters broke their journey home to try and help move a parked car that was blocking the emergency services. Unable to access the vehicle, they smashed in through the window and drove it away.

The buses were targeted close to the Turkish Parliament. The prime minister, president, and security minister were in the middle of a security meeting about Syria when the bomb went off. This is the fourth terrorist attack on Turkey in recent months.

Last October, more than 100 peace activists were killed during a rally in Ankara. On that occasion, the so-called Islamic State were blamed. On this occasion, early indications suggest it could be the work of the Kurdish separatist group the PKK, striking at the heart of Turkey days after their army had hit Kurds across the Syrian border.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And in Syria today, convoys carrying humanitarian aid made their way to besieged parts of the country. It is part of an agreement between the Assad government and the U.N. One convoy arrived in Madaya, a town west of Damascus that has been sealed off by government forces for months. Locals say dozens of people have starved to death.

GWEN IFILL: Pope Francis spent this final day of his visit to Mexico near the U.S. border. He journeyed to Ciudad Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and once a cauldron of violence and drug trafficking.

The pontiff`s first stop was at a prison, where he embraced inmates and preached a message of redemption.

POPE FRANCIS, Leader of Catholic Church (through translator): The one who has suffered the greatest pain, and we could say has experienced hell, can become a prophet in society. Work, so that this society, which uses people and discards them, will not go on claiming victims.

GWEN IFILL: The final event of the papal trip was a huge outdoor mass this evening.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tensions in the South China Sea escalated today, as U.S. and Taiwan officials confirmed that China has deployed advanced surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island.

The batteries are on Woody Island in the Paracels claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, but controlled by Beijing.

WANG YI, Chinese Foreign Minister (through translator): China`s move of setting up limited, necessary and self-defense facilities on the islands and reefs where Chinese troops are stationed is in line with the right of self-defense endowed by international law to any sovereign state. Therefore, there is nothing wrong about it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But the United States sharply criticized the move.

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in Washington as he met with Poland`s foreign minister.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. Secretary of State: When President Xi was here in Washington, he stood in the Rose Garden with President Obama and said China will not militarize in the South China Sea. But there is every evidence, every day, that there has been an increase of militarization of one kind or another. It`s of serious concern.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The news came just a day after President Obama called for a peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea.

GWEN IFILL: Iran pushed back today against a proposal to limit supply and boost prices. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar said yesterday they would cap oil output at January levels if other major producers do likewise. But Iran said today that, with international sanctions easing, it will increase oil exports. It called for the other producers to pump less.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Despite Iran`s statement, the price of oil traded higher today, and that kept Wall Street`s rally alive. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 257 points to close near 16454. The Nasdaq rose 98 points, and the S&P 500 added 31.

GWEN IFILL: And there`s a new top dog in the land. A German shorthaired pointer named C.J. took best in show last night at the Westminster Dog Show in New York. The 3-year-old champion beat 2,700 canine competitors over two days. He`s only been showing for six months, but he has already won 18 best in show awards, culminating at Westminster.

Go for C.J.

Still to come on the "NewsHour": top senators weigh in on the next Supreme Court nominee; should Apple grant law enforcement access to iPhone data?; political charges and countercharges fly in South Carolina; and much more.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia has unleashed a political battle of epic proportions that is reverberating from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill. President Obama has made it clear he will nominate someone. But, in the Senate, most Republicans say he shouldn`t, and, if he does, they won`t confirm.

We hear now from two senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which first considers any nominee.

First up, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. She joins us from San Francisco.

Welcome, Senator Feinstein.

So, what is your response to your Republican colleagues who say this should be left to the next president?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), California: Well, I would say this, Judy.

Fourteen nominees have been confirmed in the final year of a presidency in history. And, as a matter of fact, Ronald Reagan presented Judge Kennedy to become Justice Kennedy, and he became that and was confirmed in the last year of Reagan`s administration.

So, it is a well-established fact that this can happen. I mean, I remember back. One of my very first confirmation hearings was Justice Ginsburg. And both the chairman of the committee today, Senator Grassley and Senator Hatch, voted for her. And I remember their statements to this day about a president being entitled to his nominees, provided they were qualified, provided they had the requisite skills, the integrity, the moral compass to be enacted.

And they both voted for Justice Ginsburg. I wish we could go back to those days, because what`s happening now is very destructive of the process.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me just cite quickly what Senator Hatch has said. And I`m going to be talking to him in just a minute. He said the Senate has never allowed a term-limited president to nominate someone this late in his term.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, the record reflects that 14 have been confirmed in the final year. We`re well able to do it in the time that remains.

Now, why not do it? Because what is left are several very important cases, whereby, if there is a tie vote, the appellate court decision takes precedence, therefore, shorting the justice system for whoever it was that was on the other side of the appellate court decision.

And we shouldn`t do that. That, I think, is destructive to what is, you know, a very well-put-together system of justice.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Just quickly, two other questions. Republicans say it was the Democrats who politicized this process with the way they went after Robert Bork, the way they went after Clarence Thomas, that the Democrats started this.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Yes, well, I wasn`t here then, so I really can`t comment.

But whoever it was, it seems to me the time has come to end it. And I had hoped that we were in the process of ending it. We have confirmed 11 judges last year. We have 78 pending. And it shouldn`t be that way. And, you know, Barack Obama has almost a full year left. Are you saying then that his hands could be -- should be handcuffed and that he can`t make appointments in that full year of his presidency?

I think that`s a mistake. And one thing, one more thing. What goes around comes around. And I re-read Orrin Hatch`s statement after the Ginsburg hearing. And regardless of what has happened since then, I think he was absolutely right.

And so the ability to process a nominee becomes very important and I think very significant. And I would hope that Orrin would remember that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, Senator Feinstein, how far to the center should the president lean in choosing a nominee? Should he try hard to find somebody who is going to appeal to Republicans, as well as Democrats?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, I think the answer to that question is yes, if you want to get someone confirmed, I think somebody that has gone through the confirmation process -- and there are several who are well- qualified on that score -- or somebody that would be seen as outstanding by both sides of the aisle.

And if either one of those were to happen, I think the chances of confirmation would be very high.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator Dianne Feinstein joining us from California, we thank you.


JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to a Republican view, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. He`s also on the Judiciary Committee, and he joins us from Salt Lake City.

Welcome, Senator Hatch. So the Republicans are in the majority. The president has said he is going to nominate someone to fill the term or to take the place of Justice Scalia. What is going to happen then?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), Utah: Well, the president has an absolute right to nominate whoever he wants to. And I would vote to protect that right.

But the Senate also has an absolute right to confirm or not to confirm. And so I do support Senator McConnell in saying, but, look, let`s get it out of this terrible presidential brouhaha that is going on, and let`s get it over to the next year, and be fair to both sides, because what would happen is whoever wins the presidency is going to be able to make this nomination.

Usually, you never nominate anyone during the last year of a president. And the reason for that is because -- well, there are many reasons, but one reason is because there`s always a very contested Senate primaries and also election, and, secondly, generally, one side or the other is going to get very, very upset about it.

I would rather get the Supreme Court out of that type of a condition.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we just heard Senator Feinstein say that there are now 14 examples of nominations to the Supreme Court that took place during the final year of a presidency.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, in the last 80 years, there haven`t been. And I`m talking about 80 years, and except for -- except for Justice Kennedy. But Kennedy was nominated in the prior year. And that was only after a bruising set of fights that resulted in basically a choice of Kennedy that both sides went along with.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me just come back to you with what not only Senator Feinstein has said, but so many others, including the president.

He still has almost a year left in office, that it is the duty of the Senate to consider the nomination. Senator Feinstein pointed out that when you supported Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Senate, who clearly was someone whose views were different from yours, you said the president...

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: That`s right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: ... should -- choice should be respected.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, I think the president`s choice should be respected. That doesn`t mean you have to have -- you have to accept that choice.

And, in this situation, just think about it. They are already voting in the primaries. We`re already in full swing in the presidential election, at least the primaries. It`s contentious as can be. It`s the most obnoxious political system, series of problems that I have seen in the whole time I have been in the United States Senate.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator, are you saying that -- then that the majority of Republican would not hold hearings on the Judiciary Committee?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, I think if you are not going to allow it to come up in this brouhaha year, where there`s all kinds of infighting and screaming and shouting, yes, I don`t think any reason -- there wouldn`t be any real good reason to have hearings.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And is there any precedent for that, for the Senate ever having refused to consider the president`s nominee to the Supreme Court?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, I don`t know about that, whether there is any precedent.

JUDY WOODRUFF: I mean, when the president himself didn`t withdraw the nomination.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, we`re talking about Nino Scalia. We`re talking about his successor.

We`re talking about something that every Republican -- person, every Republican revered and many Democrats revered, by the way, because they knew what a great jurist he really was. And we`re talking about having a system that doesn`t become the brutalized system that occurred in the Bob Bork nomination, one of the greatest legal minds in the history of this country, and they just brutalized him.

And then look at what they did to Clarence Thomas. The fact of the matter is, I would like to get it out of that type of brouhaha, and get it into the next year, where there should be no brouhaha, and whoever is president should be able to pick whoever that president wants.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you are saying, just to be clear, Republicans would sit on this nomination, not act on it?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, I`m saying the Republicans shouldn`t act on it, because the proper way is to get this done in a way that cools the whole process around electing judges, and in particular justices to the United States Supreme Court.

I just don`t want the court politicized. And this would be the biggest politicization the court in history. And that is saying something, because there have been some other times that certainly would come close to matching this.

But, in all honesty, I just don`t want to see the court denigrated any further than it would be in this very caustic election year with the way things are going right now.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Even with a centrist choice?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, who knows whether it will be centrist or not. We will have to see.

Yes, the president might pick somebody that everybody can agree with. That`s another matter. I hope he does.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator Orrin Hatch, we thank you very much.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH: Well, thank you.

GWEN IFILL: The battle over privacy vs. security is back front and center, as Apple digs in against the FBI and the courts over the issue of access to data on its phones.

December 2, 2015, that`s the day Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, went on a murderous rampage in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people. Hours later, they were, in turn, killed by police. Ever since, the FBI has been trying to read the contents of a cell phone Farook used.

JAMES COMEY, FBI Director: We still have one of those killers` phones that we have not been able to open. And it`s been over two months now. We`re still working on it.

GWEN IFILL: Last week, FBI Director James Comey told a Senate hearing that the Apple iPhone`s encryption has made it impossible for the agency to access its content.

Now a federal judge in California has ordered the company to create software that will do just that. But Apple CEO Tim Cook forcefully rejected that order early yesterday, writing in a letter addressed to Apple customers: "In the wrong hands, this software, which doesn`t exist today, would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone`s physical possession."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest disputed that, saying the government wants access only to the single device associated with Farook.

JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: We`re not asking Apple to redesign its products or to create a new back door to its products. This is a much more specific request that the Department of Justice has put forward.

GWEN IFILL: Apple stepped up its protections after NSA leaker Edward Snowden exposed government surveillance of phone traffic in 2013.

One feature can even erase the iPhone`s contents after 10 failed attempts to unlock it. Prosecutors say they are worried that this feature could be on the phone Farook used. And unless Apple devises a way to unlock it, they could lose all its data. The company now has five days to make its formal response in court.

Now for a look at the wider stakes surrounding this case, we turn to Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney who focuses on digital civil liberties for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He joins us from San Francisco. And Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush administration and former general counsel at the National Security Agency. He`s now in private practice at Steptoe & Johnson.

Stewart Baker, Tim Cook says that building this access, this back door access to the iPhone, as he describes it, would permanently weaken privacy. Is he right?

STEWART BAKER, Former General Counsel, National Security Agency: No, I don`t think he is.

The order says you must defeat this one security feature, which is the automatic erasing of all the information on the phone. And that`s not building a permanent back door into anything. That`s one phone, one order, one security feature.

GWEN IFILL: So, Nate Cardozo, if it`s just one phone, one order, one security feature, what is the huzzah all about?

NATE CARDOZO, Electronic Frontier Foundation: Well, it`s not about one phone and it`s not about one security feature.

The FBI chose this case to get the precedent, right? We know who the shooters were. We know who they were talking to. The FBI already has the metadata. They chose this case because they want precedent that they can order a company to design a particular feature at their whim.

So, when you hear Stewart or the White House press secretary say it`s only this one phone, that is simply disingenuous.

GWEN IFILL: Well, are we talking about precedent here, Stewart Baker?

STEWART BAKER: Well, there is longstanding precedent, 200 years old, that says that if someone has an obligation to help law enforcement to take action, then the government can order other people to help that person carry out his obligation.

If somebody jumps into a cab and says there is a bank robber up ahead, follow that car, the phone -- the cab company has an obligation to follow that cab.

GWEN IFILL: What is the government standing to make such a request like this?

STEWART BAKER: So, there is an All Writs Act that has been around for almost 200 years that says that essentially the government can ask someone who is in a uniquely -- unique position to help to assist in carrying out an obligation that law enforcement has.

GWEN IFILL: Nate Cardozo, what slippery slope do you envision here?

NATE CARDOZO: Well, it is more than a slippery slope.

Stewart, as you well know, no court in the United States has ever approved an order of this breadth under the All Writs Act. No court has ever ordered an American company to compromise the security of all of their customers. No court has ever ordered a safe maker to make a master key.

And the courts that have addressed it, the Inray (ph), the company, case that, I`m sure, Stewart, you are aware of, the court found that OnStar could not be ordered to subvert its emergency phone system and turn it into a wiretap act.


NATE CARDOZO: This isn`t just -- this isn`t just a slippery slope. If the FBI is permitted to get the order in this case, that is it. They will be permitted to get a back door order in every case going forward.

And more than that, Apple will be unable to resist identical demands from China, from India, from Russia. And that is the end of secure devices.

STEWART BAKER: I have to say that the concern here that Apple has is, they have said this phone cannot be cracked. And now it turns out that may not be true. And they would like to suppress that possibility, because they`re afraid China or Russia might order them to use that capability.

China and Russia are perfectly capable of ordering Apple to do that tomorrow, whether they have help from a court in this case or not.

GWEN IFILL: You talk about China and Russia. And I want to ask you both this. How -- since you brought it up -- which is, how do international actors see this kind of discussion that we`re having here? Does it make us look weak?


NATE CARDOZO: I think authoritarian regimes around the world are salivating at the prospect of the FBI winning this order.

If Apple creates the master key that the FBI has demanded that they create, governments around the world are going to be demanding exactly the same access.

STEWART BAKER: Whether or not they do that in response to this order, if it`s possible to build that capability, then the Russians and the Chinese are going to order Apple to do it sooner or later, and probably sooner, whether or not the United States tells Apple to do this.

GWEN IFILL: Can I ask you both to be -- to make one thing clear? Do you both agree that Apple is capable of doing what they are being asked to do and they`re just resisting it on principle, Nate Cardozo?

NATE CARDOZO: We think that Apple is capable of doing it for this generation of phone. The phone at issue is an iPhone 5c, which I guess is two generations back at this point. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, it is our belief that Apple is probably not capable, at least not capable of using this exact technique to unlock.

But we think they are capable of unlocking the 5c.

GWEN IFILL: And you think that is true, Stewart Baker?

STEWART BAKER: That is what it appears from what Apple has said, that they think they can do it. They choose not to do it, notwithstanding the stakes for terrorism in San Bernardino.

GWEN IFILL: So, if you are the owner of one of these phones which could be unlocked if Apple decided to go along with this, how much do -- how worried should you be, Nate Cardozo, that your privacy is about to be compromised?

NATE CARDOZO: Well, you know, every individual should create, should do their own threat assessment.

If you have particularly sensitive data, if you are a human rights worker in Syria, if you are an LGBT activist in any country around the world where you may be persecuted for your orientation or beliefs, make sure to tune up your security in response to this. Use a pass code longer than four digits.

GWEN IFILL: Well, I hope that everyone is doing that anyway.

Stewart Baker?

STEWART BAKER: Yes, I -- certainly there are times when everyone wants to worry about security. But the idea that the desire for security could trump a lawfully obtained search warrant to find out whether we`re at risk of other people who conspired with the San Bernardino shooters right now strikes me as odd.

And for Apple to say well, it interferes with our business model and our consumer trust to help the U.S. government find out about this possible additional attacker doesn`t make any sense.

GWEN IFILL: This security vs. privacy argument, it sounds to me like it is just going to continue, Nate Cardozo

NATE CARDOZO: You know, it`s not security vs. privacy. This is security vs. surveillance. This is security vs. security.

Before Apple instituted this level of encryption on devices, when devices were stolen, they were susceptible to any run-of-the-mill hacker opening it up. And that is what the FBI wants Apple to return to? That`s crazy.

GWEN IFILL: OK. Well, we`re going to have to leave it there for now.

Nate Cardozo of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Stewart Baker, former deputy assistant secretary at Department of Homeland Security, thank you both.


NATE CARDOZO: Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us.

Coming up on the "NewsHour": a notorious apartheid leader seeks penance for his wrongs; and the man who composed the music for the movie "Carol" scores his first Oscar nomination.

But, first, in the race for the White House, tensions are heating up in South Carolina.

Our political director, Lisa Desjardins, reports.

LISA DESJARDINS: The Republican 2016 race, already full of twists and turns, took one more today, when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced she is endorsing Marco Rubio, four days before the state`s primary.

Otherwise, the contest has become a blur of blistering attacks, starting with the man at the top, Donald Trump, target, Ted Cruz. Cruz has said that Trump is not truly conservative. Cruz has a series of anti-Trump ads that make the point.

Today, in Bluffton, South Carolina, Trump again shot back.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: You can`t lie about people like that. It`s just incredible. And, again, I have been in business and I have dealt with some pretty rough hombres, much tougher than Cruz. But I have never dealt with anybody that lied so much.

LISA DESJARDINS: As for Cruz, consider it the third law of politics. Every Trump attack gets an equal and opposite counterattack.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Presidential Candidate: Look, ethics matter.

LISA DESJARDINS: Today, the Texas senator went after Trump`s attempt to block his ads.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Mr. Trump has sent me a legal cease and desist letter saying, stop telling the voters my record. Now, that is, objectively, legally frivolous.

LISA DESJARDINS: But this is not a two-man war, and Cruz is also targeting fellow Senator Marco Rubio.

SEN. TED CRUZ: When you have Donald Trump and Marco Rubio repeatedly putting forth fabrications with no evidence, no basis whatsoever, just trying to throw mud and attack.