Transcript: Top Security Officials Talk With Diane Sawyer About the Nation's Safety

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JAMES CLAPPER: Well, I think some of these articles-- are-- are a little bit-- histrionic-- if you will. I-- I don't know that I-- I understand or agree with the computation of these large number of-- of agencies as is characterized in the current article-- who are-- apparently acting in an uncoordinated manner. I do think-- that the effort is coordinated. The chart you held up is-- it reflects the 16 components of the intelligence committee, which I'm responsible for-- for leading and coordinating. And then-- Secretary Napolitano obviously has a huge responsibility for coordinating the efforts of-- the federal interlocutors with the state, local, tribal, and private sector.

DIANE SAWYER: Another article today--

JAMES CLAPPER: And we--

DIANE SAWYER: --they have all these doubts of 4,000 local agencies, some of them are-- are local law enforcement officials who seem to be using fairly-- according to this random deployment of $32 billion of--

JAMES CLAPPER: Well, I would argue that it's important to have that grassroots-- level of observation that-- that is provided by-- local-- law enforcement.

JANET NAPOLITANO: Let-- me-- ask-- let me get away from a story-- in-- one newspaper, and talk about-- how-- what changes have been made, and what are we creating here in the homeland. We know we have terrorists who seek to attack us from abroad, we know we have a growing incident of homegrown terrorists. We know that-- the federal government alone-- is not responsible-- in a sense. We need to be able to collect information, and share information across the country. Particularly with state, local, tribal law enforcement. That's why we have-- created what are called fusion centers across the country that have analysts from the federal government in them, so that information can be shared, and information can be received back. That's why we have enhanced-- training-- for the private sector on things to watch out and prepare for. And the ability to respond. That's why a lot of the grant money that we dispense, which is valuable taxpayer money, is really-- we're really looking at how it will really help in the preparation and response capabilities.

DIANE SAWYER: And you stand behind the cost effectiveness of these domestic-- of the $3 billion I believe in the last year that was spent.

JANET NAPOLITANO: Yeah. I think-- if you went-- if we went and-- and I could-- go dollar for dollar through the monies that have been dispensed through the grant process, we would be able to show you how that was used. Now, it goes to states, and states then can marry that money with other things, which is why-- it's important that we have good coordination with the state governments, with the local governments. But one of our primary goals is to make sure that there's a homeland security architecture out there that appreciates and encompasses what state and local law enforcement can bring to the table.

JOHN BRENNAN: Diane, I think this-- this point of homeland security and national security is complicated, absolutely, it is. I mean, government is a very complicated business that's had to bring together the federal, the state, the local, move information around at the speed of light.

DIANE SAWYER: But--

JOHN BRENNAN: And so the engineering that goes into this is rather complicated.

DIANE SAWYER: But a year ago, the complications, and the failure to coordinate was a problem.

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