'This Week' Transcript: John Brennan, Reps. Hoekstra, Harman, Sens. Collins, Lieberman

MORAN: All right. Well, there has been an Al Qaida surge, it seems. And, Congresswoman Harman, let me ask you about that and about what Congressman Hoekstra said about some of the origin of -- of this violence of these plots coming out of released detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Would you say to the administration that the time has come at least temporarily to stop the release of Yemeni prisoners -- of whom there are more than 90 in Guantanamo Bay -- back to the chaos and extremism of Yemen?

HARMAN: Well, I have been to Guantanamo Bay three times when I was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I think with Pete Hoekstra on some of those visits. And I am planning a visit soon. I believe the prison should close, but I also believe we should review again where we're going to send the detainees. I think it is a bad time to send the 90 or so Yemenis back to Yemen.

I support the administration's actions to open a -- a new prison in Illinois. I hope that happens. I hope Congress will fund it. We do a good job of keeping prisoners, many convicted terrorists, including the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, behind bars in the supermax prison in Colorado. And if we are going to say we live by the rule of law, we have to apply it to those we detain, both abroad and in America.

Let me add a couple of other things. I think the Al Qaida threat is different from what it was on 9/11, but I think it is extremely strong, especially in Yemen. I agree with the comments that have already been made. I'm glad the president decided in the last few days to focus more assets on Yemen.

But this is a global problem. The vice president, Joe Biden, is right that we need a global counterterrorism strategy. And as we fix the specific problem that allowed a 23-year-old Nigerian kid with well-hidden explosives and a U.S. visa to board a plane, let's not just fix the last problem. Let's be imaginative and have a layered system that anticipates new problems.

And, finally, there is a homegrown terror problem in the United States. We have to understand it. We have to work against it more adroitly. We've had a few successes recently with Zazi and Headley and others. Joe Lieberman just mentioned them.

But as we do that, I think it is past time for the president to stand up the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board that the four of us put in the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act, which is the cornerstone of our effort to fix our intelligence capability. That Civil Liberties Board is responsible for doing something we must do, which is to factor in the protection of our Constitution and law-abiding Americans as we develop new and harder-hitting policies against the bad guys who are trying to attack us, both domestically and internationally.

MORAN: Well, let me ask Congressman Hoekstra about something else Senator Lieberman said, and that is the pace of the Al Qaida operational tempo this year accelerating and some missed signals already in the Little Rock recruiting office, essentially. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, also known as Carlos Bledsoe, he was the subject of an FBI investigation. At the Fort Hood military post, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, of course, also the subject of a federal inquiry. And on Northwest Flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was also the subject of FBI -- of the intelligence community's attention.

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