From Special Report All-Star Panel Monday, November 28, 2011
On whether the NATO airstrike that killed 25 Pakistani troops marks a watershed in relations between the US and Pakistan:
I think we have a watershed every other week with Pakistan.
No, it’s [really] not [a watershed]. It’s a chronic situation. This attack is worse than others because of the number of casualties. If it was an accident, it’s an appalling breakdown of communications. If it was in any way deliberate [hot pursuit], it’s an appalling breakdown of judgment.
But I think it’s chronic. And the problem is that the Pakistanis are playing a double game. Jay Carney is right. We are locked in a loveless embrace with a regime that we can’t trust. It’s too weak to police itself, but too strong — because it has nukes — for us to ignore it.…
But we’re going to have to be extremely conciliatory. The reason is that, as the Pakistanis are choking off our supplies in the south, in the north, Kyrgyzstan, which has the air base that accepts our [cargo] flights that supply our troops in Afghanistan in another way, has a new government. The Russians were instrumental in getting it into power. And it’s speaking of shutting down American access in the near future. That means we have to eat a lot of crow in terms of Pakistan and be humble and apologetic because we have to keep that lifeline going. It’s extremely important that our supplies are able to get through.
On Barney Frank’s retirement:
History will remember him [as] the man who said (September 11, 2003)… “these two entities, Fannie and Freddie, are not facing any kind of financial crisis.” And then he goes on the offense for anybody who might imply that it was [in crisis]: “The more people exaggerate the problems, the more pressure there is on companies, the less we see in terms of affordable housing.”
Well, it wasn’t affordable housing. It was unaffordable housing. And that’s what he was pushing — and trying to deflect those who were trying to reign in these entities.
And of course, given the reward system in Washington, the man who was neglectful — at the least — on the way up [the financial crisis], is the guy who gets to be author of the bill that is supposed to stop it from ever happening again. I would say that the best thing, the most important thing he has ever done to prevent the crash from ever happening again is what he did today — retire.
On congressional Democrats’ election prospects in the House:
I’m not sure they will gain any [seats] but they’re certainly not going to get control of the House….
But don’t rely on me. Look at Frank. Here’s a guy whose whole life is to be a congressman and he decides he is not going to run. Why? (a) he might lose because he has a lot more conservative people in the (redistricted) district. But (b) he knows in his heart that [Democrats are] not going to have control [of the House]. And if you are in the minority in the House, there are few jobs in Washington less important.