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Need to Know, June 11, 2010

On this episode of Need to Know, in our continuing coverage of the Gulf oil spill, we turn our attention to the company behind the disaster, BP, through a conversation with Abrahm Lustgarten from ProPublica about the company’s shaky safety and compliance record.

Also, the story of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy killed in the West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers. Rather than seeking vengeance, the boy’s parents turned their sorrow into a gift of hope for six Israelis by consenting to donate Ahmed’s organs.

Need to Know explores the recent historic Supreme Court decision that teenagers who have not committed murder cannot receive a sentence of life without parole, with first-hand accounts from one of the plaintiffs, a lawyer who took his case all the way to the Supreme Court, and former juvenile offender who transformed his life after spending nearly nine years in adult prison.

Plus: An interview with Charlaine Harris, author of the books on which the hit HBO show “True Blood,” is based.



  • JimI

    Maybe BP should be forced to buy all affected fishing boats from the fishermen for a fair market value. Then they should be forced to build and finance big fisermen owned fish and shrimp farms and train the fishermen to raise the seafood they use to catch. That would keep all the sea food retailers going until BP cleans up and restores the area sea and wildlife to near what it was and they should be forced to do that too. It’s like BP just droped a massive bomb in the gulf. Some countries go to war when they get a bomb droped on them.

  • jan

    This was probably one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a long time.

    The Palestinian family’s ability to transcend grief, sorrow and take the chance to save other people’s lives was inspiring. The father’s attempt to follow up and reach out to the recipients of his son’s gift of life was also inspiring.

    Watching him in the apartment of Menuha’s parent’s made me realize how huge the gulf is between the Palestinians and Israelis. I have to wonder if it will be crossed on a regular basis sometime during my grandchild’s life.

    What I missed was a solid discussion about possible solutions. You might want to consider that next time.

  • Daniel

    “Of course I would prefer him to be a Jew.”
    The human capacity to hate in a what should be such a desperately grateful situation astounds me.

  • Carol Stewart

    I am sorry but as soon as I saw that child was being taken to an Israeli hospital I became tense with conflicting emotions right away; good the the Israeli hospital could save the child but I am a shamed to say I thought they could also benefit from his demise. Maybe that’s because there’s no way Gaza can provide the level needed to save lives.

    I and America have had a shock, seeing the Aid ship attacked and those on board killed. Then I was alarmed at Gaza’s devastating existence since a four year blockade. If the aid had been even allowed in the world would never have known about what was going on in Gaza.

    Thank you for bring attention to this interminable situation of suffering and I vow I will study up and form my own opinion from now on, because had anyone known; media or diplomats they were not informing the citizens of America either historically or currently on Israeli’s behavior toward Palestinians which I believe to be genocide. In closing I wish to say that the beautiful, beautiful young girl who received his heart makes , “the Heart of Jenin,” profoundly beautiful and humbling.

  • Cindy G

    Missed Andy Borowitz – hope he comes back soon from S.Africa!

  • Jim Rankin

    Words are important. Your voiceover person referred to the West Bank as disputed territory. Please lets use correct language: occupuied and colonized. The way out is for Israel, the U.S. and others to pour economic aid into the West Bank and Gaza and put people to work. Putting the Gazans on a starvation diet as Sharon proclaimed led to counter moves. Tit for Tat. What would you expect? And then the raid on the Flotilla at 3am. Killing people bringing food, etc. Could Israel get any more self destructive?

  • Horace B.

    Re: Oil Disaster
    Meacham asked the investigator from ProPublica why the “regulators” didn’t take stronger steps to strengthen environmental and safety requirements before the disaster ever happened. But the much more important question is why did President Obama not make sure the regulators took those steps. Did the $77,000 contributed to Obama’s presidential campaign by BP employees (Wash Post, 5/6/10, p.A17) encourage complacency? Those are the questions that need to be addressed. But this and prior “Need To Know” programs never dared to ask them.

  • Fr Francis Kelly Scheets,

    Re: Palestinian Father of killed son:
    Awesome: This is one of the great stories of pushing the teaching of Jesus regarding forgiveness, reconciliation, and going the extra mile that I have ever come across. I was so taken
    by the father’s actions that I twice preached about it on Sunday. Clearly, the offer of
    his son’s organs to the Jewish hospital for possible transplants was pre-planned — in the
    event a child of his was ever killed. Further, his efforts to visit each of the families of the
    recipients was his struggle to promote reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews.
    Thanks for showing the decumentary!