And in the exercise scenario, a nuke went off in Indianapolis, killed thousands of people, and then you take all the leaders of the departments, and say, OK, what do we do? How do we respond? And it turned out maybe there was enough to make a second bomb in Los Angeles. One of the CIA men said there might be a third bomb.
And people I talked to who were at this exercise said that, you know, we're not ready. We don't know what to do. It was all in the -- it was an exercise where the government dealt with other arms of the government, the public, the media, the Congress played no role.
Now, imagine something like that happening in the media and the public and the Congress playing no role. I mean, we would -- you can't factor that out. And they did in this case, and some participants said, you know, this is -- this is the nightmare. And are we ready?
SAWYER: And you indicate they know that -- they seem to know that Osama bin Laden is still out there and he is still in contact and he is still -- he is still a sponsor, if not the -- the prod, for more action for more missions.
WOODWARD: This was last year in the Riedel review of Afghanistan/Pakistan, where the CIA veteran was called in personally by Obama and said, "Look at this." And Riedel is an expert, and he had -- they put him on Air Force One when President Obama was going out to do the Jay Leno show in California, and so he had time with Obama alone.
And he said, look, I've looked at the intelligence, and Osama bin Laden is still communicating. They're still plotting, and they're still recruiting. It's as dangerous as it was on September 10, 2001, the day before the big terrorist attack. So...
SAWYER: And then the president goes on Jay Leno and has to do what he's...
WOODWARD: What presidents do and everyone does on Jay Leno. I wouldn't fault him for that. It's...
SAWYER: No, I just mean the contrast of having to be...
WOODWARD: But to go back to Pakistan and -- I keep drumming on this, because they kept drumming on it in these meetings in secret...
WOODWARD: ... intelligence. Bruce Riedel, who knows as much about Pakistan as anyone, said to President Obama, said that you have to change Pakistan, what he calls their strategic calculus. You have to get them to think differently. They're living this lie of they fight some of the terrorists, and they sponsor and support some of the others.
SAWYER: But that's changing a history, a culture, essentially.
WOODWARD: This is Riedel's point. He said it may take decades. And then he said -- in a quite direct way -- he said you may never be able to do it.
SAWYER: Just a question again about everything you unearthed. Even you can be rolled, right? Even you can be spun? How can you believe this? These are people who are willing -- who are willing to tell you about private meetings at the White House. How can we believe this?
WOODWARD: Because I have gone over notes. I have seen the documents. I talked to not one person or two, but dozens, and at some points talked to eight or 10 people at these meetings. This happened, that happened.
SAWYER: Does it keep you up at night worrying that some part of it's wrong?
WOODWARD: This is not an engineer's drawing. It's journalism. But it is an honest, intense effort to tell what's really going on.
SAWYER: Anybody going to come after you?
WOODWARD: Oh, always. You know, welcome to our business. You just never know who it's going to be.