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

That was an act of war. He should be treated as a prisoner of war. He should be held in a military brig. And -- and, in fact, he should be questioned now and should have been ever since he was apprehended for intelligence that could help us stop the next attack or get the people in Yemen who directed him to do what he did, so, yes, we -- we should follow the rule of law, but the rule of law that is relevant here is the rule of the law of war.

And I agree with what Pete Hoekstra said before. I'm one who believes that Guantanamo should not be closed. It -- it is a -- I know it has a bad reputation. I know the president promised during the campaign that he would close it. But the president is in charge of what happens at Guantanamo now, so some of the abuses of the past are not going to happen.

You could not find a better, more humane facility when it comes to a detention center in the world. It seems like a waste to me to take these people to Illinois.

But one thing we better learn from this case on -- on December 25th, it would be irresponsible to take any of the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo and send them back to Yemen.

MORAN: You agree with that?

LIEBERMAN: We know from past experience that some of them will be back in the fight against us. The leader of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula broke out of a jail there until we killed him, apparently, in the raid Christmas week.

So we've -- we've got a lot to investigate. But I think we've learned a lot already about how to close some of the holes. I believe, incidentally, that we ought to take a look at taking that visa application and admission responsibility from the State Department. It doesn't really fit with foreign policy anymore. And in an age of terrorism, I think the Department of Homeland Security ought to be handling visas abroad.

I also think that we ought to be very much tougher about terrorism watch list. If somebody -- somebody's father comes in and -- and says he may be an extremist, he ought to go on a list that is -- is alerted any time he approaches, as Abdulmutallab did...

(CROSSTALK)

MORAN: That will be part of the (inaudible) if you know, no question about it. And I just want to turn, Congresswoman, to the -- to the political issue. These -- these disagreements about Guantanamo Bay and the response of the administration raised the political stakes undoubtedly and inevitably in Washington.

The former vice president, Dick Cheney, had this to say in a statement. He said, "We are at war, and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe. Why doesn't he want to admit we are at war? It doesn't fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn't fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency, social transformation, the restructuring of American society."

Do you think that's an appropriate comment from the former vice president?

HARMAN: No. I respectfully disagree, and I've been disagreeing with the vice president for years. I think the -- the -- the label "war on terror," which Pete Hoekstra himself has said was a kind of ridiculous label, is a war on a tactic.

We're at war with Al Qaida. And I think President Obama has been very clear about this from day one and has made a lot of progress against the Al Qaida target, as did the Bush administration.

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