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


JOHN BRENNAN: I-- I think we're looking-- to prevent those strategic attacks. The large-scale attacks that Al Qaeda core, the-- the bin Ladens of the world are still determined to try to carry about. But we'd also be very vigilant about those small-scale attacks. Any terrorist of the ilk of bin Laden or others are people that we're going to continue to go after, continue to keep pressure on. They will be brought to justice. We're determined to that. So, we don't want to look at one area to the exclusion of others. We have to always be looking at the different areas where they are emanating from. And so, whether it be Yemen, whether it be in Africa, whether it be in South Asia-- this is something that we have to constantly keep our-- watch on.

DIANE SAWYER: Was WikiLeaks a profound wound in dealing with President Salah of Yemen?

JOHN BRENNAN: It was quite unfortunate-- that-- the WikiLeaks cables that were out there-- were released. Obviously, it was-- a criminal act-- whoever it was-- who was responsible for releasing these in an unauthorized fashion. I've-- discussed the issue with President Salah. We'll continue to work very closely with the Yemeni government. The two partnerships-- are able to get through these-- challenges. So, we're-- we're confident that-- our partners in Yemen are going to continue to stay focused on the terrorist threat.

DIANE SAWYER: I have a question for the three of you, which was-- it's from an intelligence official. Who phrased it this way, Can American intelligence-- is American intelligence now good enough to know if nuclear weapons from Pakistan or we presume, eventually, Iran, or now North Korea, can get in the hands of terrorists and head towards us?

JAMES CLAPPER: Well, as I said--

DIANE SAWYER: This is-- a bad (UNINTEL)?

JAMES CLAPPER: I would say this is something we are very, very-- attuned to, very sensitive about, and very concerned about. And we have-- wrapped up the-- the collection analysis against that very problem. That has been clearly been identified as-- a major area of concern. Two of the organizations that I oversee, the National Counter-- Counterterrorism Center and the National Counter Proliferation Center are both very, very focused on-- on this very issue. Which are organizations, by the way, that didn't exist-- ten years ago.

DIANE SAWYER: As of today, are you confident that you can make this assurance to the American people?

JAMES CLAPPER: I'm-- I'm con-- I'm-- yes. I am-- I am confident. I-- again-- never would say we'll bat 1,000, but I am-- I am-- I am very confident. Much more so than I was in the intelligence committee ten years ago than-- than I was then.

DIANE SAWYER: And just to run through a few things that were on the list ten years ago. Cargo. Not yet solved. In ten years, not yet solved?

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