'This Week' Full Transcript: Dec. 13, 2009

And for me, the main problem is the same problem I had with his West Point speech which is when he said that my job is to protect the American people from threat. Of course, everybody would agree with that. But he has not defined what the threat coming from Afghanistan are. And he did not define the strengths in the West Point speech. He did not define them at any point. And that's really at the moment, the main problem with his credibility because where are the threats coming from? The Taliban? The 100 al Qaeda left in Afghanistan?

And remember in 2002, he gave this defining speech that in many ways is responsible for his being president, which was against the war in Iraq, when he said, "I'm not against all wars, I'm against a dumb war." And right now, Afghanistan is the gold standard of a dumb war, immoral and unnecessary.

PODESTA: Well, I think that I find it ironic that the conservatives all embraced the speech. It seemed to be a repudiation of conservatism. They made the argument that because America was exceptional, the rules didn't apply to us. This was really rooted, I think, in post World War II. This sounded like FDR to me, that he was saying that constraining our power, following the rules of the road, not torturing people, applying the Geneva Conventions was the source of American exceptionalism, that we led the world towards that.

With respect to Arianna's point about what the threat is, I think he was fairly clear that in the context of both the speeches that he gave, that we need to go after the people that attacked us. And I think that they've done that. They've done that. You could argue about whether this is the right strategy to do that. They're effectively using predators in Pakistan, they're doing more in Pakistan over the last 10 months.

HUFFINGTON: You now sound like George Bush, you know that the people who -- the people who attacked us are not...

PODESTA: That's the first time I've been accused of that.

HUFFINGTON: The idea that the people who attacked us are in Afghanistan.

PODESTA: Are in Pakistan.

HUFFINGTON: But they are going to Pakistan.

PODESTA: Well, I would beg to differ.

HUFFINGTON: We're not sending 30,000 more troops to Pakistan. PODESTA: I said you could argue about the tactics. But I would beg to differ that we're not going Pakistan.

HUFFINGTON: The announcement he made --

STEPHANOPOULOS: There was a drone strike just this week which took out the number four or five member of al Qaeda.

HUFFINGTON: Right, but that's not what he announced. The collection is in Afghanistan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And this gets to an important point, April, and you've been covering the White House all this year. It turns out that in this last 11.5 months, President Obama has launched more drone strikes in Pakistan than in the entire eight years under President Bush.

RYAN: Well interestingly enough, this president wants to show this country and the world that he is actively trying to prevent any type of attack on the homeland.

And yes, drone attacks are something different from actually sending troops because number one, that territory, that land is something that is not traditional battlegrounds. It's mountainous. It's very hard to get through. And drone attacks I guess are better to do than doing troop movements where lives would be lost.

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