Congressman Hoekstra, what is happening here, eight years after 9/11, a failure to connect these dots? Or is it just as many terrorism experts say, time that we have to face the fact that maybe we won't be able to stop every potential attack?
HOEKSTRA: Well, I think it's a reality, it's very, very difficult to stop every single attack. It doesn't mean that we should stop trying to improve the mechanisms that we put in place.
Now, the four of us worked very closely together to put together the intelligence reform bill back in 2004 which enabled us to make very important strides in improving our defensive and offensive capabilities against Al Qaida. But Al Qaida continues to morph and to change.
And the really striking difference now is the emergence of more Americans as part of this process in Al Qaida. It means that they do have a higher priority placed on attacking the United States, and they don't need -- and they haven't set as a criteria that they want to do something as big as 9/11. They are satisfied with the kind of successes that they saw at Fort Hood and what they anticipated would happen on Christmas Day.
I think where we now need to go with intelligence reform -- and I think the four of us are probably in agreement -- in 2004, we -- we focused on making sure that we were collecting all of the information that we needed to collect. We wanted to make sure that that information would be shared among the community so that we could connect the dots, but that the challenge that we now face is that we are collecting so much information, we are sharing it, we now need to develop the capabilities to do a better job of analysis.
We had the dots here. And the problem was that we did -- that the systems aren't in place to connect the dots. This is the part of the transformation we still need to see in the intelligence community.
MORAN: So let me turn, actually, to the subject of passenger screening, which -- which has been raised. And is it time to profile passengers on the basis of religion or ethnicity? Or is that completely contrary to our ideals and our values as Americans?
COLLINS: The problem with profiling is, if you take that approach, you're going to miss the Richard Reids, who do not fit the profile. But what we have in this case was a failure to act on a very credible report from the terrorist's father that should, at the very least, have caused the State Department to revoke his visa.
To me, that is the biggest question. Why wasn't this individual's visa revoked once we had such a credible report that he posed a threat? That, to me, is an even bigger failure than the failure to screen him effectively.
It's also obvious that we need to employ technology better in the screening systems. It is -- it is unacceptable that nine years or eight years after Richard Reid used the exact same explosive that we still don't have a system in place that can detect that kind of explosive.
MORAN: And now that Abdulmutallab is in custody, Senator Lieberman...
MORAN: ... should he be brought to trial in -- in federal criminal court?
LIEBERMAN: No. I think that's a very serious mistake. Look, President Obama said yesterday, Abdulmutallab was trained by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, equipped by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and directed by them to get on that plane and attack the United States of America.