'This Week' Transcript: Napolitano, Gibbs, McConnell

What the president has asked for as a result of this incident are two look-back reviews. First, on our watch-listing procedures, did the government do everything that it could have with the information that they had? Understanding these procedures are several years old. Did we do what we needed to with that information, and how can we revise watch listing procedures going forward to ensure that there is no clog in the bureaucratic plumbing of information that might be gathered somewhere going to the very highest levels of security in our government.

Second, obviously we have to review our detection capabilities. The president has asked the Department of Homeland Security to, quite frankly, answer the very real question about how somebody with something as dangerous as PETN could have gotten onto a plane in Amsterdam. I think those are the two things that -- two reviews that have come directly out of this.

But Jake, the president is very confident that this government is taking the steps that are necessary to take -- to take our fight to those that seek to do us harm. And I'll go through a few things that he's done. First, we're drawing down in Iraq, and focusing our resources on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the places in the world where attacks have previously been planned, and where this planning goes on now. We've strengthened our partnerships and cooperation with a number of countries, including Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, as I mentioned before, and used all elements of our American power to seek to eliminate heads of Al Qaida, and we've had great success in all three of those countries.

TAPPER: Let me ask you a question. Knowing the president -- I've been covering him for a few years -- I can't imagine that he would hear this guy's father reported to the U.S. embassy that he has extremist religious views, and within a matter of weeks, he boards an airplane with explosives on his person and is not subject to additional security. I can't believe that he would not hear that information and say, "that's nuts." Why did that happen?

GIBBS: Jake, he's heard that information and heard it not long after it was brought to the situation room. That's what has precipitated both a watch listing review and a detection capabilities review, to ensure that one, the information that we have goes through the process the right way and surfaces to those that have to make those decisions. Again, we have a watch list that this individual was on, that contains about 50 -- 550,000 names. So this individual was listed in November of 2009 on that database based on that information. The no-fly list and the selectee list...


TAPPER: But who's watching him? If he's on that watch list, who's watching him?

GIBBS: Well, again, Jake, I think if you read the papers this morning, you'll find that the name was listed, concern was brought, but the ability...

TAPPER: Brought to who? Anybody can just write down a name. I mean...

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