'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Rand Paul

PHOTO: Representative Peter King (R) New York, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida, Former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.), and The New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti on This WeekABC News
Representative Peter King (R) New York, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida, Former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.), and The New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti on 'This Week'

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, May 26, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

RADDATZ: Good morning, welcome to This Week.


UNIDENIFIED FEMALE: Why was he killed?

OBAMA: Let me finish, Ma'am.


RADDATZ: The president's reset in the war on terror.


OBAMA: This war, like all wars, must end.


RADDATZ: How will Congress respond? Senator Rand Paul is here. Then?


ALLEN: I was just interested in putting it behind me.


RADDATZ: Retired General John Allen speaks out for the first time since being cleared in the Petraeus investigation. Plus, the IRS scandal intensifies.


LERNER: I will not answer any questions or testify.






RADDATZ: Immigration reform inches forward. And in our Sunday Spotlight, the creators of the hit show Homeland join us. What will they reveal about Season-3?


(UNKNOWN): I've spoiled a little bit already.


ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Now reporting from New York, Martha Raddatz.

RADDATZ: Hello again. George is off today. Great to have you with us. The president declared this week, we're at a crossroads on the war on terror in a speech that both reset his national security policy, and reignited some passionate debates, including on the issue of drone strikes. Our first guest, Republican Senator Rand Paul, has been a key player in that debate since his filibuster thrust the controversy over targeting Americans with drones, back in the spotlight. On Thursday, it sounded as if the president was responding directly to Senator Paul.


OBAMA: I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen with a drone, or with a shotgun without due process. Nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.


RADDATZ: Senator Paul is with us now. Senator, thanks for joining us. Did the president address all your concerns about drones?

PAUL: Well I was pleased with his words, and I was pleased with the -- that he did respond to this. However, there still is a question in my mind of what he thinks, due process is? You know, due process to most of us is a court of law, it's a trial by a jury. And right now their process is him looking at some flashcards and a PowerPoint presentation on "Terror Tuesdays" in the White House. For a lot of us, that's not really due process.

RADDATZ: Well one of the things the president did say is there would be rules for the drone strikes. He said targets pose a continuing imminent threat, only near certainty no civilians hurt or killed and not used to punish terrorists. That seems like a change?

PAUL: Yeah, but a lot of -- a lot of what's very important to myself and others is what the law says, and how you should approach this. For example, it's not good enough for us that he's not using a power. We want him to assert that he won't. That he doesn't have the power. For example, last year we passed legislation that I voted against, and may civil libertarians opposed, and that's detaining citizens indefinitely without a trial, and sending them to Guantanamo Bay. Now the president said he won't use that power. But we think a president who really believes in civil liberties, would have vetoed the bill, and not signed the bill.

RADDATZ: All right. I -- I want to go back to the drone strikes for a moment. They also revealed this week for the first time publicly, that four Americans had been killed in drone strikes, including Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Should he have not been targeted by a drone?

PAUL: My preference would be that when an American commits treason, particularly if they're not actively involved in a battle, if you're an American fighting with the Taliban, you're going to be shot with no due process.

RADDATZ: But -- but...

PAUL: That's what happened...


RADDATZ: ...how do you go after someone like...


PAUL: ...and if you're conspiring against America...


RADDATZ: ...if you can't get him?

PAUL: Let me -- let me finish my point. Let me finish -- let me finish my point so I can -- we can have a discussion. But, if you are conspiring to attack America and you are a traitor? I would try you for treason. If you don't come home for the trial, I would try you in absentia, and then the death penalty has repeatedly been used throughout our history for treason, but a judge looks at evidence. And that's something that separates us from the rest of the world, is that we adjudicate things by taking it to an independent body who is not politically motivated, or elected.

RADDATZ: Let -- let's move back to Guantanamo. The president did speak about closing it. No specifics though. Do you think it should be closed?

PAUL: No. I think it's become a symbol of something though, and I think things should change. For example, I think the people being held there are bad people. What I would do though is accuse them, charge them, and try them in military commissions, or trials, or tribunals. And I think that would go a long way toward showing the world that we're not going to hold them without charge forever.

RADDATZ: I want to move on to the IRS. Do you believe that this was limited to the Tea Party? Targeting the Tea Party? Or do you believe there were other groups as well, targeted?

PAUL: You know, I don't know. I don't know whether people were targeted for conservative religious values, or just conservative political values, and sometimes there's an overlap. I think we have to get to the bottom of this. I think the constellation of these three scandals ongoing, really takes away from the president's moral authority to lead the nation. Nobody questions his legal authority, but I think he's really losing the moral authority to lead this nation. And he really needs to put a stop to this. I don't care whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, nobody likes to see the opposite party punishing you for your political beliefs.

RADDATZ: You -- you...


PAUL: ...using the power in government to do so.


RADDATZ: ...you've called for a special counsel on the IRS. Do you see any evidence that a crime has been committed thus far?

PAUL: I don't think we know so far. The main woman from the IRS that's involved, has taken the Fifth Amendment. She's no longer cooperating. So I have called for her suspension. The president did respond to that, and he has suspended her. However, he's still paying her. So I don't want that to go on forever. I think there needs to be a speedy resolution to this. And I think the president is in danger of losing his moral authority to lead the nation if we don't get to a resolution. Now he said he's going to listen to his commissioner, new IRS commissioner in 30 days.

Well, the investigation's been going on over a year now, so I would think it wouldn't take very long. If he goes beyond 30 days and if no one is fired over this? I -- I really think it's going to be trouble for him trying to lead in the next four years.

RADDATZ: But let -- let's move to immigration. Would you support the bill, the Senate bill that made it through committee this week?

PAUL: I support immigration reform. At this time, I think the bill needs to strengthen border security. It also needs to expand work visas. The main problem with illegal immigration is that we don't have enough legal immigration. This bill, because it was negotiated with the unions, actually lowers the numbers for work visas. That's exactly the wrong direction to go. So I will support a bill that fixes it, and I do want to support a bill. I've talked to the authors of it. If they work with me on my amendment, which is called Trust But Verify, there is a very good chance I can vote for it. But it has to be a better bill.

RADDATZ: And a pathway to citizenship?

PAUL: I would say no new pathway. And I'm a little concerned that some will interpret it, and it may will be a new pathway because they've created a new visa category. My preference would be to change the law that says you can't simultaneously be in the work visa line, and in the pathway to come to this country. As long as somebody who has a work visa is treated the same as a new person in Mexico City, who wants to get in line tomorrow, I don't have a problem getting in the normal line. I just don't want to create a new line, or give a new preference to people who are here undocumented. But I am all in favor of letting undocumented workers become documented workers, and finding a place for them.

RADDATZ: Thank you so much for joining us, Senator Paul.

RADDATZ: Now, our exclusive conversation with retired Marine Corps General John Allen who served most recently as commander in Afghanistan. His retirement last month after turning down a NAO command was understandable given the toll on his family from years abroad, plus being drawn into the controversy over former CIA Director David Petraeus who resigned after revealing an affair.

General Allen was cleared in that investigation. And we spoke with him and his wife Kathy at their home in Virginia.


RADDATZ: You were in the middle of prosecuting a war with so many young people's lives at your hands and the investigation happens

GEN. JOHN ALLEN, U.S. MARINES (RET.): Well, I was notified that e-mails were -- had become known, that was going to require an investigation into the appropriateness of a relationship. And I had to reflect on whether I believed I could remain in command. And I believed I could. In fact, I felt an obligation to a duty to remain in command.

I had to deal with the realities of something that was going on back here.

I won't tell you that there wasn't a lot of pressure in that regard. But my sense of duty to the war effort and more importantly my sense of duty to the troops demanded that I remain focused on that.

RADDATZ: The thousands of e-mails spanning a three-year period were between General Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelly who had gotten to know Allen and his wife when he was assigned to Central Command in Tampa.

Investigators launched an inquiry to see if there was anything inappropriate in the e-mails.

A senior defense official immediately said there were 20, 30,000 e-mails. Mrs. Allen what did you think when you first heard that.

KATHY ALLEN, GEN. JOHN ALLEN'S WIFE: The funny thing is I guess because I got so many e-mails every day from the same person...

RADDATZ: Jill Kelly?

KATHY ALLEN: Yes, that were very -- always very friendly, always -- I always used terms of endearment. He always used terms of endearment, sweety, dear, absolutely. When someone shares an e-mail with her husband, you know, I thought is someone thinking this is a little odd that they're taking this so seriously?

I mean, I have a lot of faith in him. I have a lot of faith in our relationship. My biggest concern was for him. Because I thought, I don't know how he can run a war and have this added pressure.

RADDATZ: Did you ever think on dear what did I say in those e-mails?

JOHN ALLEN: Any time you're investigated, and you have to remember back across three years, I hadn't -- I didn't have any concerns about what was in the content of the e-mails. I was just interested in putting it behind me as quickly as we could.

RADDATZ: You were worried for a time about his health?

KATHY ALLEN: Absolutely. My concerns caused me to have -- you know, I had some issues before because I have autoimmune issues. But when this broke, it really took a toll on me.

RADDATZ: Further adding to your stress?

JOHN ALLEN: Every phone call was pretty grim. And they were getting worse by the minute.

But for many years I had told Kathy as we had dealt with these issues that the day that this becomes too big I will drop my letter the next day. She wasn't going to tell me when I was afraid where this would all end up. And I finally made the decision it was time to go home.

RADDATZ: In late April, a retirement ceremony was held for General Allen, an elaborate and emotional affair. Among the guests David and Holly Petraeus.

JOHN ALLEN: Dave and Holly Petraeus are like family. Given all that he and I had to experienced together and our families had had together I couldn't retire without asking for Dave and Holly Petraeus to be present.

RADDATZ: And I assume you haven't really talked about what happened?

JOHN ALLEN: That's right. It doesn't require that we have a conversation about it.

RADDATZ: What Allen does want to talk about, does want people to remember are the troops. During his retirement, he spoke movingly about those who he lost during his command in Afghanistan.

561 troops you lost. And you said that's a number that you'll never forget?

JOHN ALLEN: That's right. I think about it all the time. And there's a moment of reflection about those 561 empty chairs around dinner tables. When families gather for Christmas from now on or they gather for Easter and some precious member of the family, they're gone forever. And that's a generational loss, because the family will be different. The children will be different. Every one of those losses has to mean something.

RADDATZ: There are some moving images of you at those memorial services. What was the hardest one?

JOHN ALLEN: This particular ceremony was for three sets of remains. And the wife of one of the soldiers was in an adjacent unit. And I'll remember her gripping the coffin, the flag-draped coffin, crying his name in the back of the C-130. I'll never forget that, because there was the catastrophe of the loss playing out in front of our eyes in the belly of that cargo aircraft as we were sending that young soldier home forever.

RADDATZ: The largest loss of life in a single incident came in August 2011, 30 Americans, mostly Navy SEALs, were killed when their helicopter was shot down.

JOHN ALLEN: It was about 4:00 in the morning. The initial call was that we got a bird down, doesn't look good. Then the next call came in and said that it was a catastrophic crash and we probably lost everyone.

The loss was great. And it was a grim night. It was a grim night.

KATHY ALLEN: After the ceremony was over, he went and found the people who prepared those caskets and one by one, he thanked them for what they had done. He said, I know this must have been hard on you. There was a healing that took place.

RADDATZ: When you look at what's happening there now in Afghanistan, we have been taking more casualties of late, what does that tell you about what's happening now?

JOHN ALLEN: Well, I think the Taliban are fighting for that their lives right now. We have seen success by the Afghan national security forces. I think that the Taliban have recognized is that we're not going anywhere. Eventually our numbers will come down, pretty significantly, but there's going to be an international military presence in Afghanistan for a long time.

RADDATZ: And you believe that it's absolutely necessary that we remain?

JOHN ALLEN: Oh, there's no question. The international community will remain engaged, our forces will continue to train the Afghan forces well after 2014.

RADDATZ: But Iraq is a different story.

You spent a good deal of time in some of the toughest periods in Iraq. And you see it today. Are you alarmed to all by what's happen happening there?


My fear is we could see the particularization of the principal elements in Iraq. The increase in violence for all of us that served there, in particular those of us who served in the Anbar Province which was a really violent area. We don't want to see it return to that.

RADDATZ: Would you have liked to have seen the military stay?

JOHN ALLEN: I think we all did. The Iraqi leadership was unable to put together the political will necessary to give us the guarantees that we needed ultimately to station a large force there.

RADDATZ: So you think things would have been better off today, right now in Iraq --

JOHN ALLEN: I don't think there's any question.

RADDATZ: We also asked General Allen about the alarming almost daily revelations of military sexual assault.

JOHN ALLEN: This is a leadership issue. Commanders can't be ambiguous about this. We can't not talk about that. Commanders got to stand in front of their units and tell the people what they expect. Because silence isn't good enough. This is an opportunity to lead and we should be seizing it.

RADDATZ: Allen says leading the many soldiers, sailors, air men and marines has been his proudest accomplishment. The young men and women through generations who we should all be thinking of this Memorial Day.

JOHN ALLEN: This is an opportunity for all Americans to think, not just about the troops in uniform today and all that they're doing every single moment. But what everyone has done. The sacrifices of all of our troops for so long to give this country the quality of life that it has and the freedom that we enjoy every single day.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Cathy and General Allen who's taking on a new role advising Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Middle East peace talks.

Up next the roundtable returns. Is another shoe about to drop in the IRS investigation?


LERNER: I have not done anything wrong. I've been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify.

GOWDY: You don't get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross examination. That's not the way it works.


RADDATZ: That was IRS Official Lois Lerner who's been placed on administrative leave and may be called before Congress again following her performance this week. Let's get into that now with the roundtable.

Congressman Peter King and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz are back. And we're joined by ABC and Fusion Correspondent, Jim Avila and Politico's Maggie Haberman. Welcome to all of you, and to you again.

Let me start with you Congresswoman. Did Lois Lerner do anything wrong? What did you think of that testimony?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well I think we don't yet know and that's why a continuing investigation is imperative. President Obama rightfully asked for and received the Acting IRS Director's resignation. He's called for a deeper dive on whether anyone at the IRS actually did commit any crimes and to see, what can be done down the road to make sure that it never happens again.

At the end of the day, an agency as powerful as the IRS should never engage in any conduct that treats taxpayers less than neutrally and President Obama rightly called the conduct that occurred here outrageous and unacceptable.

RADDATZ: Congressman King, how can you convince anyone this isn't political? How can, how can President Obama convince voters this wasn't political?

KING: I think by letting out all the facts and I agree with Debbie, this was a, as I see it a terrible abuse of power and it has to be fully investigated. The only questions involving the president is how close to his in circle did this get as far as him knowing about when it happened, and what actually was taking --

RADDATZ: We learned his Chief of Staff knew about it this week correct?

KING: Yeah and again is it, not necessarily the time line but when his counsel knew about it, when his Chief of Staff knew about it, when the Treasury Counsel knew about it. And as far as the White House Counsel, I don't think it's the White House Counsel's job to insulate the president. I mean that's what we're hearing second hand, that they didn't want to tell the president because they didn't want him to be brought into it.

I think the White House --

RADDATZ: Should he have told? Should Denis McDonough have told the president about this?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Let's be clear. The reason that the president wasn't informed is because until just like Darrell Issa didn't reveal what he knew all the way through the I.G.'s investigation, giving the president piecemeal, incomplete information doesn't make any sense. You want to bring the president a complete picture. So then the actions that he took, which were the responsible actions to take, can be done comprehensively.

It's important to understand there is nothing that has pointed to any outside influence or any political motivations here and nothing that has --

KING: There is an ongoing scandal, I think the president and his Chief Executive Officer has the obligation and responsibility to stop it. To wait until the investigation is finished, more damage may be done by then, so I think the president should have been told. Unless it involves somebody close to him, which it didn't, if it's an action by a department or an agency, the president should be told about it so he can take corrective action.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Then why Darrell Issa, the Chairman in the Oversight Investigations Committee who knew it all the way through, who was aware of the I.G. investigation, never revealed what he knew. Never brought it before his committee because he said that you don't do that until you have a complete investigation.

KING: He's not the President of the United States. The President of the United States is the one administering the office day-to-day, ultimately.

RADDATZ: Maggie, Maggie, should he have intervened? Should he have told the president and do you think more heads are going to roll here?

HABERMAN: I do think more heads are likely to roll. I think that we don't know, to the question you two are debating of whether there was deliberate targeting or not, we don't know the answer yet. We don't know exactly the scope of what went on. To say that there's no evidence of politics being played per se, we do not know the answer to that. We're not going to know for a while.

I do think you've seen the crush of excitement about this slow down a bit. We're heading to Congressional recess. There will be more after that. I don't think this is going away anytime soon. And I think the problem for Lois Lerner is when you take the Fifth the presumption is always not of innocence right? And that's not fair.

RADDATZ: Even though it's supposed to be right?

HABERMAN: It's supposed to be. But that is the political calculation.

AVILA: I think it's clear too Martha that at the White House, this is the one of the three scandals that the president and the White House really wants to be careful about. You know the press scandal, the people in the country don't really care about us and about who's being investigated.

RADDATZ: Unfortunately.

AVILA: That's not their issue.

RADDATZ: They might care about the information they're not get eventually though.

AVILA: But it's not on their, its not the forefront. And certainly Benghazi is a bit confusing to people. They understand the IRS. They fear the IRS. They do not want the IRS in our business and in other people's businesses when they're not supposed to be.

And the president understood that from the beginning. He did speak out right away and he has taken action there, very decisively. Maybe not to everybody's satisfaction, but there was a clear difference in the way they addressed this.

RADDATZ: Jim let's move to the big issue you covered this weekend, it's the immigration bill making it through committee. A lot of celebrating up on the Hill. Let's take a look.


REID: It's gratifying to see the momentum behind these reforms. That's how we move legislation forward for the greater good, compromise.

GOODLATTE: I must observe that S744 repeats many of the mistakes of the past.


RADDATZ: That's Harry Reid celebrating by the way.


RADDATZ: I think that's as excited as it gets. Jim, what happens now? I think maybe the celebrating will level out a little bit here.

AVILA: Well it was celebration because this was the first step. And it's a long road. The Senate did in fact work. And there was some celebration about that. That there was some government working here. There was compromise among senators here.

There was of course, self-interest in all of this, because the Democrats have a huge, a lot at stake. They promised, they've received support from the Latinos in particular. And the Republicans in order to be, continue to be national party in this country, have to somehow get back some of that Latino support and immigration is the only way to do it.

RADDATZ: Senator Bob Menendez told Univision's Jorge Ramos that they don't yet have the 60 votes needed to avoid filibuster correct?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That is correct. And while this was absolutely a step, and I think there was jubilation about that. At the end of the day, we were talking about it got out of committee. The real work is going to take place on the floor. And this is going to be very messy.

Privately some Democrats will say they do not think they have the votes. They're not certain it will pass. They know they are going to lose some Democrats who are up for re-election in 2014. And it's not really clear what Republican votes they're going to pick up.

AVILA: And that's just in the Senate.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's just in the Senate. Not even talking about the House.

RADDATZ: Let's move over to the House over here as long as we have the both of you here. Where does this go from here? What do you think?

KING: I can only speak for myself. My only concern, my only, my concern is about the security. We're in this position now we're 11 million illegal immigrants because there was not adequate security. Eight guys coming out of a room saying there's going to be security or eight senators, is to me, not enough.

But I do want to vote for a bill. I'm the grandson of immigrants, grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. New York is, as Maggie knows, is immigrants everywhere. And we've just come to accept it. It's part of our tradition. So I want to encourage more legal immigration. And if we can find a way to legalize the 11 million, I just want to be sure that we're serious about security and not just saying it's there. If that can be done, then I would certainly vote for it.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country who deserve a path to legal status, a path to citizenship. It is wonderful and huge process that the Senate Judiciary Committee passed this bill. But the jury is still very much out, you know, Peter King's very conservative Tea Party colleagues have no interest in ensuring a path to citizenship.

And the fight ultimately, whether, I'm concerned that Maggie thinks it may not even get out of the senate. But we certainly have an internecine battle coming in the House. At the end of the day, the Republicans politically need to do this. If they don't, they're going to lose the Hispanic vote for a generation.

KING: It's a question of getting it done right. And again, I don't want to be in a situation five years from now where there's another five or 10 million illegal immigrants here in the country. Yes if we can legalize them fine. But we have to make sure systems are in place and we're not just going through a feel good process where we say there's security and it's really not there.

RADDATZ: I want to move to another big issue. Not just this week but for months and months and months and that's the issue of military sexual assault. You heard President Obama talk about it. You heard Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talk about it. This is a huge issue. You heard General Allen talk about it. That it's a matter of leadership.

But is it more than that? Does more need to happen?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: 26,000 sexual assaults in 2012 alone.

RADDATZ: Many of them unreported.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Right, right. Men and women. The person who was responsible for sexual assaults and there accountability was accused of sexual assault. What has to happen here is legislation to ensure that we can take the reporting out of the chain of command and make sure that reporting can go straight to a military prosecutor--

RADDATZ: The military will argue that will interrupt good order and discipline. That the Commander has to be in charge of those units.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Look, you can't, no woman or man who is accusing someone of sexual assault can be expected to bring it up one above them to the chain of command, especially if that person is the person who --

RADDATZ: You take it out of the chain of command?

KING: I have the same concern Senator Levin does about the chain of command. Having said that, let's agree, we agree on 99.9 percent of this, it has to be done. There has to be legislation. If it has to be fine-tuned in a way to ensure the chain of command is not broken, we have to encourage this, it's not working, it's broken. And anyone who has a daughter or even a son in the military, whatever, or relative, it's absolutely offensive to thing that they could be sexually abused and proper action not taken.

RADDATZ: Jim Avila quickly, I've heard this for 20 years. I've heard leaders say this is going to change, zero tolerance. And it hasn't. Do you really believe it will change this time because of what the president said, because he's made it a priority?

AVILA: Having covered the war as you did in Iraq, I saw the number, it's the numbers Martha. The fact that there's so many men and so few women, I believe. The women are uncomfortable. They're uncomfortable in Iraq. When I saw them in the barracks, it was not a comfortable situation.

They're uncomfortable in the Academy's. And this is terrible for the military. Because what happens is --

RADDATZ: Well sexual assault happens to men too by the way.

AVILA: It does but not in the numbers. And what is bad for the military here is that what's happening is that women, they're not getting the best and the brightest anymore. Because they're not going to want to go in the military. And their mothers and their fathers are not going to want to send them to the Academies. They've got to fix it.

RADDATZ: Final point, the Anthony Weiner, back in a run for mayor. Does he have a chance?

HABERMAN: He has a chance because this field is pretty lackluster and nobody is capturing the imagination of the public. But I have yet to meet a single political professional who thinks that Anthony Weiner is going to be the next mayor. So he has a chance, but a very, very, very slim one.

RADDATZ: And you think he'll change? Do you think he'll be the same old Anthony Weiner in this campaign? Or the same kind of cantankerous guy? Or Mr. Apology?

HABERMAN: He's already been the same kind of cantankerous guy once he's dispensed with the 20 seconds of apologies. So I don't think he's changed very much, no. I think it's the same Anthony Weiner.

RADDATZ: Probably going forward. Okay thanks very much all of you. And Maggie is sticking around to answer your questions for our Web Extra.

Coming up our exclusive conversations with the creators of the hit show "Homeland" revealing hints about season three, next.


RADDATZ: Spotlight up next, after the Sunday Funnies.


KIMMEL: "Time" magazine just published President Obama's prom photos. There he is. The girl on the right side of the screen is his date, her name is Megan Hughes and here's another photo. The other two are his friends Kelly and Greg. He seemed so happy back then. Like he was allowed to eat junk food or something.

LENO: And North Korea has just tested its sixth missile in three days. Experts believe an attempt by North Korea to get the U.S. to give them money. See that shows you how isolated North Korea is from the rest of the world. They still think we have money!


RADDATZ: And now our Sunday Spotlight shining on the creators of Showtime's hit thriller "Homeland." A high stakes drama whose plots parallel many of the national security issues we've been talking about this week. From drone strikes to terror threats at home.

Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa reveal how they came up with those fascinating story lines, plus a sneak peek at Season Three.


BRODY: "My name is Nicholas Brody and I'm a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps."


GORDON: What story could possibly have animated an American soldier in captivity or not, to have become a traitor? Or to have gone to the other side? And the idea of Brody having gotten close to his captor's son.


BRODY: "A drone missile hit and destroyed part of a compound in the mountains of Northern Iraq."


GORDON: For that son to have been killed, among other children by a drone strike, we felt, well that's something that would actually take somebody and make them think twice about who was good, who was bad, what's right and what's wrong.

RADDATZ: You clearly have some strong personal views about, about --

GORDON: I don't, my only strong personal view is that it's a very complex issue. And that there are no good answers to it. I mean war is a messy business.

I'm only a television writer so I don't pretend to be an analyst. I'm grateful some of these choices aren't mine to make.

RADDATZ: I mean you say you're a writer of television. But it's pretty profound television.

GORDON: Well I think, absolutely, what we love to do is present the complexity. Not in a reductive way and not in a, not as a polemic or as a propaganda but simply just sort of present the complexity of the issue and let people do their own thinking. And bring to bear their own, you know, consciences and their own thinking about a subject.

RADDATZ: There's this moral ambiguity --


RADDATZ: In a lot of those characters obviously.

GORDON: In a lot of those characters, yeah. It's based on an Israeli show which was about these two returning soldiers. But we took from that, the idea of how come there's no soldier returning to war on American television? Who's not --

RADDATZ: The perfect hero.

GORDON: The perfect hero or a dark broken guy who's sort of some vigilante on the streets of New York or something? And that was the core of our interest in the show.

RADDATZ: You have "Homeland" so many people like it. And they can incorporate that with watching the news. Is there any part of you that worries that the only place they will see it is on television? In a fictionalized account? I mean do you feel some responsibility --

GORDON: Yes, we do feel some responsibility. We do absolutely search our consciences as a group, as a group of writers and say, if this is untrue in some way, or if this is a dangerous idea or an irresponsible idea. If the story is better told that way, or more incendiary that way, are we being incendiary for the sake of being incendiary?

RADDATZ: Do you ever think, oh President Obama might be watching tonight?

GORDON: You know, I would say so, but I don't think we go into the room saying what if the president, what do we want to tell the president. We just hope he likes it, keeps watching.

RADDATZ: Alex Gansa is co-creator of the show. He spoke to us from North Carolina where the team has just begun shooting the highly anticipated third season.

GANSA: We also tend to be real wonks about this kind of stuff. We love to talk about it and spend, I would argue, more time debating world events than we do actually talking about the "Homeland" story.


MATHISON: "Abu Nassir's bomb maker told me an American prisoner of war had been turned."


GANSA: Ultimately if you would ask me why the show is successful I think it's because of Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin.


BRODY: Do you believe this?

BERENSON: Somebody actually came up with that language.


GANSA: I think those actors and all our cast frankly, you know, are so engaging and so committed, that they're hard to take your eyes off.

RADDATZ: Going forward, I know you're not going to give away any plotlines. Anything you want to say for next season?

GORDON: I'll let Alex do that.

GANSA: The issue in this season is you know, what happens if it were learned that a major attack on the United States was sponsored by a state? These are the big concerns that we're going to deal with in the first sweep of episodes. And then there's the big question about, you know, where Brody is?


BRODY: Back in the woods.

MATHISON: Seems to be our place


GANSA: Does anybody know that Cary helped him get out of the country? And will they ever see each other again?


BRODY: You're not coming are you?


GANSA: And there are a couple more surprises down the pike. I feel like I spoiled it a little bit already.

RADDATZ: Our thanks to Howard and Alex. "Homeland" premiers in September on Showtime.

And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week the Pentagon released the names of three soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out World News with David Muir tonight. We leave you on this Memorial Day weekend with images this morning from Washington's World War II Memorial, remember.