On the new airport-screening standards which are supposed to be “intelligence-based”:
No, I’m not persuaded. How targeted can it be if you have a ton of suspects out there, on which you have a ton of information and a ton of criteria? So they’re going to — it’s going to be a wide net. How much are you adding? How is a screener at an airport going to assimilate all of the possible elements of criteria of all of the possible suspects?
On the other hand, if you make [the criteria] extremely narrow, so that only a few specific, very high-alarm suspects are included — for example, which would apply to the guy who did the Christmas attempt, a Nigerian between the ages of 20 and 25 who had been in Yemen — the problem there is that a lot of the screening is run by airlines, and a lot of airlines are in countries which have a large population of [Muslims] some of whom are jihadi and — by statistics — you’re going to have a couple of people who are getting all this information who may be sympathetic to our enemies and it will leak.
So, I’m not sure what exactly is being added and why are we now eliminating the criterion of looking carefully at people from countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, where we know you’ve got active jihadi elements.
On the threatening letter to the nation’s governors warning them to leave office or be removed:
Oh, come on, I get e-mails like that every week. And, you know, I don’t hold any office. . . .
The FBI is saying, they are announcing all of this because it could inflame people who are really weirder out there. And why would you announce it? If you announce and then you spread the word — it might actually increase the inflammation.
On what do about Iran’s training of and material support for the Taliban:
The original sin here lies with the Bush administration, because it began in the Bush administration — in Iraq, with agents of Iran, arming and, in fact, killing Americans. And we did nothing.
Now, I understand the motive. He [George W. Bush] didn’t want to widen the war. But once you allow it to happen, it’s really hard to then react later. It’s the way the Israelis tolerated attacks out of Gaza into Israel for a long good time and then it had to do a big [Operation Cast Lead] campaign, which looked disproportional.