August 31, 2014— -- Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on August 31th, 2014. It may contain errors.
ANNOUNCER: Global terror alert: the UK sounding the alarm
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Increased the threat level to severe.
ANNOUNCER: Warning an attack is highly likely. What has authorities so worried?
Plus, more Americans signing up to join the jihadist army. Who are these recruits? And why are they now targeting teenaged girls? This morning, breaking developments from our team around the globe.
Then, are you ready for some football? The NFL commissioner admits a mistake. Does the league's new domestic violence policy go far enough?
And we're teaming up with Facebook, tracking the stories you're turning into trends. Time to reveal our first Facebook find of the week.
From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.
MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning, I'm Martha Raddatz.
There are fast moving developments in the battle against ISIS, including a breakthrough for the Iraqi army against the terror group as the U.S. launches another round of airstrikes and humanitarian drops.
Plus, new fears just 48 hours after the UK warned an attack there is highly likely. We're covering every angle this morning. Let's start off with ABC's senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. Good morning, Pierre.
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
Threat level severe, likelihood of a terrorist attack high, that's the blunt British assessment.
THOMAS: In Great Britain, signs of stepped up police patrols, hard evidence that the Islamic radicals terrorizing parts of Iraq and Syria are a direct threat to the UK, the U.S., indeed all of the west.
CAMERON: This is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore.
THOMAS: According to U.S. intelligence, and estimated 12,000 foreign fighters have gone to Syria, more than 100 from America, but 1,000 from Europe.
CAMERON: And you're dealing not just with ISIL, you're also dealing with other al Qaeda-linked franchises in Syria and indeed potentially in Iraq.
So that's the reason for the threat level change.
THOMAS: American intelligence sources say they've identified no specific plots, but British authorities are likely responding to chatter from radicals in Syria and Iraq talking about targeting England, radicals whose travel documents give them easy access to Europe and the U.S. are the most urgent threats.
Just in recent months, an American blowing himself in Syria, another dying on the battlefield fighting alongside ISIS, a Brit beheading American journalist James Foley -- a Syria-based threat that top U.S. officials have been warning about for months now tangible.
Homeland security secretary Jay Johnson.
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Syria has become a matter of homeland security.
THOMAS: The FBI director.
LOUIS FREEH, FBI DIRECTOR: They're coming back. They're coming back to Europe, they're coming back to North America.
THOMAS: Attorney General Eric Holder.
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's more frightening than anything I think I've seen as attorney general.
THOMAS: We caught up with Holder in London as he was sounding the alarm with his European counterparts.
How concerned should Americans at home be about ISIS.
HOLDER: It's just a matter of time before they start looking outward and start looking at the West and at the United States in particular. So this is something that we have to get on top of and be on top of now.
THOMAS; Those words are now more urgent by the day. And Martha, remember, you have two distinct threats flowing out of Syria, al Qaeda affiliated radicals who want to get a bomb on a commercial plane, and ISIS barbarians who appear capable of anything.
RADDATZ: Thank you, Pierre.
Now let's go to London where those new terror warnings have a city on edge. ABC's Jeffrey Kaufman is there for us -- Jeffrey?
JEFFREY KAUFMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, it is being called fortress London as police are deployed to defend the British capital against a terrorist strike. The problem here in the UK is this, what to do if some of the world's most extreme terrorists carry British passports.
As Pierre just noted, the UK estimates 500 young British Muslims are estimated to have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the fear is that those same militants will come home to the UK to inflict terror here.
It is not an abstract concept. Britons well remember what they call 7/7, the July 7, 2005 suicide attacks that saw four British Muslims detonate bombs simultaneously on three underground trains and a bus, killing 52 civilians and injuring 700.
In the London papers today, top Muslims clerics in Britain declare a fatwa forbidding British Muslims from joining extremist groups. Tomorrow, the British parliament reconvenes after its summer recess. And at the top of its agenda, measures to revoke the passports of Brits traveling to join the Jihad and measures to block British jihadis from returning home -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Jeffrey.
Let's break all of this down now with our experts. Dick Clarke directed counterterrorism efforts at the highest levels for several administrations. And Jane Holl Lute was deputy secretary of Homeland Security until just last year.
And Jane, I want to start with you. Britain has not raised its terror alert in almost five years. So there is clearly something very specific going on. What kind of attacks do you suspect ISIS to launch?
JANE HOLL LUTE, FRM. DEPUTY HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: There is something very specific going on. They've got hundreds of individuals who have gone and become trained in Syria and Iraq with ISIS in a particularly bloody kind of terrorism, bloody kinds of attacks, who have the freedom to travel back home as we saw in those clips. And they will.
So we could see all the kinds of things that are terribly familiar to many of us and to many of those in Great Britain who experienced terrorist attacks. And they could bring them home.
And Britain is also hosting the NATO summit later this week. And so everyone is on alert.
RADDATZ: Dick Clarke, you heard all the dire warnings, and yet President Obama said at a fundraiser the other night that we are in much less danger than 20 or 30 years ago. Which is it?
DICK CLARKE, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: I think he's wrong. We're much more capable of defending ourselves. Now we have the Department of Homeland Security, we have a lot of resources going into counterterrorism, but the threat has also increased. And I think the threat has probably increased more than the defenses.
This new group, DAISH (ph), or ISIS is highly capable. It has a lot of money. It has people from many, many countries. And our fear is it may have people in its ranks that we don't know about.
We have the names of thousands of people, and we can stop them if they try to get into this country, but if we don't know their names, and we don't know they're involved, they can get in.
RADDATZ: Jane, when you were at Homeland, you knew the names of many of those people on the watch list, so just tacking on to what Dick said there, how many more -- were they 80 percent that you worried about? How many so-called clean skins, people who could get in with passports who you didn't know about -- exactly what he's saying? What percentage?
LULE: Dick knows more about this than anybody else. There were many that we did know about, but there were many, many more that we -- many more that we didn't.
You know, this is a group that has money and a message. They are drawing angry, young, mostly men from everywhere who will travel anywhere because they feel like they belong nowhere.
RADDATZ: So what more can you do to prevent it in the homeland? If you had an unlimited budget, what do you think we could do?
LULE: I don't even think it's about unlimited budget. I mean, to begin with, in the United States the public is an asset not an obstacle to joining together for problems like this. If you see something, say something, sure.
The other thing the government should do is I was the lead negotiator for the United States with the European Union on passenger name record exchange, a big data agreement that shares terabytes of travel information. We need to expand that system and that process to other countries in the region.
RADDATZ: Dick Clarke, quickly, what do you think more could be done to protect the homeland?
CLARKE: I think working with the Islamic communities in our major cities. As Jane said, our best defense are our own American Muslims who have been very cooperative. They don't want anything to happen like this again in this country.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks to you both.
Now to the latest on the ground in Iraq, breaking developments, word of a big breakthrough for the Iraqi army in the battle against ISIS. ABC's Alex Marquardt is tracking it all from the region this morning. Good morning, Alex.
ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha. That's right just a short time ago Iraq's military said it had broken through a more than two-month siege by ISIS around a town where the United Nations had warned of a possible massacre. The town of Amerly (ph) is home to some 15,000 members of the Turkmen Shiite minority, surrounded by the radical Sunni militants of ISIS who had cut off their food and water.
The Iraqi military had been trying to evacuate the desperate residents. Helped in the mission this weekend by U.S. air strikes on ISIS positions and who, along with several international allies had dropped humanitarian aid on the town.
Despite the setback, ISIS still controls a huge stretch of territory in Syria and Iraq and has proven they are a growing sophisticated wealthy fighting force, many of whose top commanders were once in the army of Saddam Hussein -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Alex.
Let's take on the strategy against ISIS with our ABC contributors. Colonel Steven Ganyard is a former Marine corps fighter pilot and state Department official. And Admiral Robert Harwood is a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command that covers all these areas. Welcome, gentlemen.
Steven Ganyard, I want to start with you. We talk about the zealotry of ISIS, the barbarism, and yet one-third of the leadership of ISIS are former Saddam army members. So, what do you have here? And is that why it's so dangerous?
COL. STEVE GANYARD, MARINE CORPS (RET.): Well, it looks very much, Martha, like light infantry. They train, organize and equip very much like a conventional military. This is very different -- if you look at al Qaeda, they're focused on the far threat. They're focused on attacking western targets. But ISIS is thinking about creating a caliphate. And to do that, you need a conventional military.
Ironically, that plays right into our hands. Our strengths are in surveillance. Our strengths are in...
GANYARD: -- air power, in hitting these very precise targets.
RADDATZ: So -- so Admiral Harward, you've done a lot of this over your career. You've been in Iraq, in Afghanistan. You were the first Special Forces into Afghanistan.
So how do you fight this army?
And let's just say for now in Iraq.
ADMIRAL ROBERT HARWARD, FORMER DEPUTY COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Well, the first thing you do is go back and reestablish those relationships we established over 10 years. So we have deep ties throughout the organization and with the people of Iraq.
So we'll go back with those guys who are on the ground fighting and establishing those ties, those guys who are providing leadership.
How do we mentor them?
How do we assess what they need?
How do we...
RADDATZ: We've been doing that for eight, 10 years and it...
HARWARD: No, remember, we left. We left...
RADDATZ: So you have to...
HARWARD: -- there were...
RADDATZ: -- start all over again?
HARWARD: Well, you don't start over, but you -- you get back in there and you reestablish those ties, you assess what they need, share intelligence, provide capabilities that they don't have...
RADDATZ: Do you need Special Forces?
RADDATZ: Just exactly like you did in Afghanistan?
RADDATZ: Special Forces, indigenous forces and air power?
HARWARD: But there's a -- it's going to take all the capacity that we can help -- intelligence, political mentoring to help the new prime minister succeed. Operational, the guys on the ground fighting, what can we give them and help them to do their job?
RADDATZ: Let -- let's -- let's talk about Syria.
What do you do in Syria?
We don't have indigenous forces in Syria.
Just air power?
Does that work?
GANYARD: It -- it could work. If we look at -- if we look at Iraq, just step back to Iraq and you think about what the admiral did in Afghanistan, and that is using indigenous forces on the ground, using Special Operations air controllers and using U.S. air power. That model could work in Iraq to push ISIS back out of Iraq.
In Syria, the president has made it very clear that he has no intention of working with Mr. Assad. The Free Syrian Army is not reliable, so we would probably have to do a de -- something more like that early part of Desert Storm, where we go in, where we would pick targets and we would slowly attrit ISIS on the ground.
Not quite as effective, but air power has a real role to play in both conflicts.
RADDATZ: Admiral Harward, you've heard everyone say all -- all around the government, we've got to get in there fast, we've got to go. We've heard people on the Hill say we've got to get into Syria quickly. The president is taking his time.
Does it matter that we're going slowly now militarily?
HARWARD: Well, you want to be smart, first and foremost.
Are we tied with the right folks?
Are we getting them what they need?
So I think we want to be very deliberate. And it's ironic to think of Syria as someone like the Fatah (ph), the enemy is using that as a safe haven, where they know they're safe somewhere and harder for us to get them.
We've learned a lot in dealing with safe havens the last 10 years.
So we'll get them, but you want to be smart in how you go into those areas.
RADDATZ: Steve, very quickly, best case in Syria right now, in U.S. involvement.
GANYARD: The best case in Syria is that we go in with a coalition that there are plenty of other countries that need to play in this. This is not just the US' problem. Let's go in with air power and attrit ISIS within Syria.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much for your expert analysis.
Coming up, more of our in-depth coverage of the ISIS threat. The jihadist army's surprising recruiting techniques to lure Americans to their side -- why is one Midwest city a prime target?
Plus, the fallout for President Obama after those "no strategy" comments.
And later, we kick off our brand new partnership with Facebook.
What's our Facebook find of the week?
We're back in just two minutes.
RADDATZ: Now our closer look at a new development alarming senior U.S. law enforcement -- the ability of ISIS terrorists to recruit Americans into the jihadist army's fold.
As ABC's chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, tells us, one American city has become a top target.
BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This Midwest city is reeling from what's happening in the Mideast. Of the estimated 100 young American men now fighting with Syria's brutal terror groups, authorities say almost a dozen of them have been recruited in a pipeline from the Minneapolis area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been recruiting their friends and friends and friends. And that's becoming a -- a bigger network of how to recruit young men.
ROSS: Community leaders describe them as vulnerable young men who have become angry, often after run-ins with the law, like ISIS recruit Doug McCain, who had several minor scrapes before heading to Syria, where he was reported killed this week.
As a student at Robbinsdale Cooper Robbinsdale High School in suburban Minneapolis in the late 1990s, McCain became friends with Troy Kastigar, who also became a jihadist with the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, where he encouraged, in this video, other Americans to join him.
TROY KASTIGAR: This is the real Disneyland.
ROSS: Kastigar was later killed in battle, like his friend, McCain.
Authorities say social media is a big part of the recruitment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a land of jihadist. ROSS: And surprisingly, ISIS also uses rap music appeals to foreign fighters, despite its otherwise rigid rejection of all things Western.
Listen to this American voice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This goes out to all my soldiers, freedom fighters, equalizers. They slaughter us like animals, now it's time for that (INAUDIBLE), black flags we worldwide, Syria to Atlanta.
ROSS: With increasing concern about the threat from the American recruits if they return home, the FBI in Minnesota has issued a public plea for help in trying to identify them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of times these individuals are -- are fairly adept at -- at covering their tracks.
ROSS: And now the ISIS recruitment has expanded to include women, who the group says make effective fighters. This week, one family in the Twin Cities reported that their teenaged daughter had gone missing and is now believed to be with ISIS in Syria.
For THIS WEEK, Brian Ross, ABC News, New York.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RADDATZ: Let's take this on now with our experts.
John Cohen just stepped down in July as counterterrorism coordinator for The Homeland Security Department.
Brad Garrett is a former FBI agent who has worked numerous international terrorism cases.
And Mubin Shaikh is a former jihadist who went on to work with Canadian intelligence agencies.
And I want to start with you, John Cohen.
They're recruiting like nobody before. Your concerns -- and is it just social media?
Why is this so huge?
JOHN COHEN, FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM COORDINATOR, HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT: Well, I think that the -- the piece really illustrates one of the reasons why we're so concerned about ISIS and the other extremist organizations operating in Syria. They are very sophisticated in their use of social media. They have Westernized their message. They're specifically seeking to either recruit or inspire Westerners, and in particular, people in the US.
RADDATZ: That rap music was incredible.
COHEN: It's -- they -- they have Americanized their message.
So we have to be concerned and we have to take steps to -- to neutralize that. And it's not just countering their message, it's understanding why their message is resonating and what we can do in the community to lessen the impact that that message has.
So police are a big part of it. But police working with faith leaders, community leaders, social service providers, mental health professionals, so that as we start identifying kids who may be going down the path of -- of -- of reacting to what they're hearing from ISIS and from these other groups, that we can come together as a community to stop them from carrying out an act of violence.
RADDATZ: Mubin, I want to go to you. You self-radicalized. And this was 20 years ago, close to 20 years ago?
MUBIN SHAIKH, FORMER JIHADIST: (INAUDIBLE) in 1995.
RADDATZ: You went to Pakistan.
How did this happen to you?
And then you recruited others.
What was it about you that was willing to go along with this?
SHAIKH: I think it's the same case for many of these individuals, identity crises. You don't know. You're trying to navigate the space in the West, how Muslim am I supposed to be and how much does -- how Western am I supposed to be and how much does that conflict and contradict with one another.
And you're going to go towards those who welcome you with open arms. That's really what it comes down to.
When you're dealing with angry, young disenfranchised -- or at least feel that they're disenfranchised. They may not even be discriminated against. Like I wasn't discriminated against. But they'll feel that my people are under attack. And you have vicarious suffering. You start to feel that their suffering is my suffering.
RADDATZ: Brad, I want you to jump in here. And you've seen this, you know there's a difference between al Qaeda and ISIS. Talk about that.
But then once they find these young men or young women, what do we do with them? Do they go from their computers, then they walk into Syria. I know they do sometimes across Turkish border. How is this organized?
GARRETT: Because there is a grooming period that occurs, and primarily it starts with their recruitment via very slick multilingual almost Hollywood style videos that promote excitement, weaponry, empowerment, all of these things -- revenge. And maybe the most important community. We built a new society, come to us no matter where you are from -- Canada, the U.S., the Brits.
And what's -- it's like every other radical extremist group, whether it's a cult or otherwise, they narrow the trough. And that's all you hear day in and day out. So eventually that is your reality.
RADDATZ: But they're so far ahead right now, 10,000 fighters over there, more than 10,000 fighters. This seems like a life long problem for us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if there's any good news, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security has been working for the last several years with state and local authorities, with faith organizations around the country, with community groups.
And interestingly enough, a big part of our national strategy is locally focused. It's supporting efforts the community level to empower those communities to better recognize, better detect those individuals who may be potentially a threat and then to work together to deal with them.
RADDATZ: Moving very quickly, will it work? Can we stop it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can work, we can do something, but the horse has bolted from the farm.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much to all of you.
Up next, is there a split in the Obama cabinet over his response to ISIS?
Then, football season kicks off, and the St. Louis Rams make a big decision on Michael Sam's future.
Plus, we debut our partnership with Facebook. Tracking the top political trends you're talking about online.
But first the powerhouse roundtable's big winners of the week. Back in just two minutes.
RADDATZ: The latest video of airstrikes against ISIS as President Obama this morning weighs additional military options against the terror group, but it was his choice of words describing those options that grabbed all the attention this week. Here's ABC's Jeff Zeleny.
JEFF ZELENY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It was news the president wasn't looking to make: a turn of phrase when asked whether the U.S. was poised to launch strikes against ISIS, it got everyone buzzing.
OBAMA: I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet.
ZELENY: Those six words, "we don't have a strategy yet," sent the White House rushing to clarify.
But the Pentagon is still drafting a plan for any potential military campaign in Syria.
It tapped into criticism of the president's foreign policy. And Republicans pounced.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The peace of the free world requires presidential decisiveness, not dithering and debating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think General Patton had a strategy before he went to battle?
ZELENY: President Obama is dismissing his critics and striking a reassuring tone, telling supporters at a New York fundraiser Friday night things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago. His view of ISIS far more measured than some in his war cabinet.
CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else.
ZELENY: Those mixed messages could complicate any effort to win congressional approval. Liberal Democrats and Libertarian Republicans are skeptical.
We caught up with Senator Chris Murphy, one of the democrats who opposed Syria action last year.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: Well, the American public doesn't have an itchy trigger finger right now when it comes to military intervention, especially the kind and scope of which is being contemplated to take on ISIS.
ZELENY: For This Week, Jeff Zeleny, ABC News, Washington.
RADDATZ: Our thanks to Jeff.
RADDATZ: The roundtable is here now. ABC's political analyst Matthew Dowd, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and our own Cokie Roberts.
All kinds of pushback from the White House this week. When all of us said, what? Did he just say there's no strategy? Is there a strategy?
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I applaud the President for accidentally saying the truth of this.
I think this has been a problem for us in the United States for almost 20 years, which is, is we haven't really had a real, formal vision and strategy on foreign policy. It's all been a debate over tactics. We've had a plethora of tactics and a paucity of vision and strategy in the midst.
And in the midst of that, both sides debate -- should we do this tactic? Should we do this tactic? Should we do this tactic? Should we do this tactic?
So I congratulate the president. He said we don't have a strategy, we don't have a strategy.
And part of the problem is we're using military action -- and this has been the problem--
RADDATZ: Now one of the things he says he didn't have a strategy for military action in Syria. So can anybody name the strategy that we have?
COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the White House says the strategy is that Secretary Kerry is now in the region and trying to put together the countries in the region who don't agree on anything except that ISIS is a danger, is a threat, and that that is the strategy.
But it is clearly something that the congress isn't buying. And even Senator Feinstein, the chairman of the intelligence committee, is saying the president is cautious, perhaps in this case too cautious.
RADDATZ: Can you name the strategy?
RILL RICHARDSON, FRM. GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO: Well, I think the president probably should have said we're developing a policy, a new policy.
I applaud him, too. I think this is a potential 9/11 moment. These are very serious foreign policy issues.
I mean, look at this president. He's been faced with the Arab Spring, explosion all over the Middle East. Let's do a new policy carefully, let's learn more about ISIS.
Yeah, we're learning more. They're bad. But what is their goal? Can they reach the American homeland? Can they -- are they a regional power? Obviously they are a threat to the Kurds. They're a threat in Iraq.
But at the same time, Martha, I think you can't go it alone. You have to build--
ROBERTS: But the president's own national security advisers are all saying they're a terrible threat, that they have to be gotten rid of.
RICHARDSON: But you do have to have a coalition.
The good news here is that a lot of entities fear these people, like Hezbollah, like Iran, like Iraq, like Turkey, like Qatar, like the United Arab Emirates. So there's great potential to build a coalition.
My point here is let's do it right. Let's get the Congress involved, let's take this to the Congress.
REP. TOM COLE, (R) OKLAHOMA: Here we are.
RADDATZ: And speaking of the Congress. Lots -- lots of talk that he has to move faster.
You heard everybody in all the pieces this morning say we have to act now.
COLE: Well, I think frankly there's way too much emphasis on acting now and doing something immediately instead of being smart about what we do.
I think the elements of a strategy are already there. We know we're going to use air power. We know we're going to use special operators. We know we're going to have to build alliances on the ground. That's a very doable things, as the governor said.
And we know probably -- we'll be involved in training and supplying and equipping indigenous forces.
So those things are there. They're tougher in Syria than they are in Iraq. We don't have any preexisting relationships there. But I think at the end, look, I think there's a consensus that we are going to do things. But, again, being a little bit thoughtful...
RADDATZ: And I want to say this, too. I was in Iraq in January. And in January, they were talking about how bad things were there and the danger of ISIS. And it wasn't just January. It was...
RADDATZ: -- back last year.
So why don't we have a strategy...
COLE: First of all...
RADDATZ: Syria has been going on for years.
COLE: First of all, I want to say, I think it's awful ironic that we have a group now that has -- treats women as second class citizens, ISIS, and has done horrible things to women and children is -- but is named after a female deity from Egypt, which I think is very funny.
I think, actually, if you take a look at this and this is an awful tragic, awful situation, but I actually think it's a -- there's a bright spot in this for us as a country in our foreign policy.
And that's this. For too long, we had war as a concept. War was a war on terrorism, which is a concept. It never works when you don't have a specific country or a specific enemy, and, therefore, you don't know what the definition of victory.
Now, to me, this ISIS is now in Iraq and in Syria is like what happens in a room. You put all the cheese in a room and all the rats come run into the room and you know where they are...
ROBERTS: Well, and that's...
COLE: For the first time...
ROBERTS: -- that's what we heard our experts saying...
COLE: -- we know where all the rats are...
ROBERTS: -- saying earlier, that there's -- but Congressman Cole, what you just said sounded so rational and I wonder about your colleagues in Congress.
COLE: Well, look...
ROBERTS: They have not been rational (INAUDIBLE)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could spend a lot of time pointing over how we got here. Where I -- I do think the president made some bad mistakes and so did former Prime Minister Al-Maliki, in pulling out of Iraq and, you know, not taking this threat seriously earlier.
Having said that, again, I still think the elements are there to be successful. And I think there can be a bipartisan support...
RADDATZ: And -- and what about -- if we start going into Syria -- and you did hear our experts talk about that -- it's -- it's probably just air power, not more than that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well...
RADDATZ: -- are we -- do we just keep...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we...
RADDATZ: -- at them?
RICHARDSON: -- we need better intelligence about their objectives, their capabilities...
RADDATZ: But how -- how do you get better intelligence...
RADDATZ: -- if you're not on the ground?
RADDATZ: That was one of the problems...
RADDATZ: -- in Iraq.
RICHARDSON: I -- I think we have our intel capabilities are substantial. And I think you bring allies into the picture, too, to get -- collect that intelligence.
But at the same time, I think you -- you've got to be careful. This is a momentous decision. And, again, I think the president was right to say, OK, well, we're going to do the airstrikes. We're doing them in Iraq.
Do we do them in Syria?
I would advise him probably yes. But let's do it in a targeted way. Let's not help Assad. Remember, you don't want to help Assad with this. And Assad is also against these guys.
RADDATZ: And -- and in many ways...
ROBERTS: But you know what...
RADDATZ: -- you have to take the emotion out of this...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, and I think...
RADDATZ: -- we lost a journalist in a horrible way and that's when everybody started...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it certainly made the point pretty dramatically, to say the least.
But I think the important thing for the president here is to move with Congress, that is, to not do this on his own, to make everybody put their fingerprints on the decision and say yea or nay and go home and justify it.
If they skip doing that, then I think that he'll have missed the chance to get the American people behind him in a bipartisan sense.
RADDATZ: And clearly, that's what he was doing in that press briefing this week, at least -- at least it seemed that way.
Lots more ahead, including the debut of our brand new partnership with Facebook.
But first, our Powerhouse Puzzler. We're shaking it up this week.
Congressman Cole has the question for the roundtable.
COLE: Well, my question is this, what political figure is the only person to ever be the most valuable player in the Orange Bowl twice?
RADDATZ: Got that.
Back with the answer in two minutes.
RADDATZ: This week's Puzzler from Congressman Cole.
What political figure was named MVP of the Orange Bowl twice?
Let's see your guesses.
ROBERTS: Well, I heard the cameraman, but it's also...
RADDATZ: I -- I know.
RADDATZ: -- the cameraman kind of gave it away.
ROBERTS: But I do remember...
RADDATZ: But we're excited.
ROBERTS: -- I do remember Congressman Rodjack (ph) from Oklahoma. So that was a help.
RICHARDSON: I'd say Steve Largent, Congressman.
RADDATZ: He was not listening to the cameraman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- a wise man.
RADDATZ: And the answer is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: J.C. Watts.
RADDATZ: Bonus points, what position did he play?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quarterback.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quarterback.
RADDATZ: You got that right.
Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts was named MVP in 1980 and 1981, after back-to-back Orange Bowl victories over Florida State. He did play quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Back in 90 seconds with the debut of our brand new partnership with Facebook.
RADDATZ: Now the debut of our brand new partnership with Facebook. Our Facebook Find of the Week. We're excited to team up to track the biggest political stories that you're talking about online.
Each week, we'll spotlight one of the top topics starting to trend on Facebook pages. this week, it's a shocking video reigniting the sharp debate over gun control.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Trending right now, our Facebook Find of the Week, what's burning up news feeds, the firestorm over kids and guns.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: At home, a debate tonight prompted by a video of a 9-year-old girl at a gun range in Arizona learning to shoot a powerful automatic weapon.
RADDATZ: A tragedy captured on video...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, go ahead and give me one shot.
RADDATZ: This girl firing an Uzi at a shooting range...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five.
RADDATZ: She loses control of the gun, accidentally killing her instructor. No federal law prohibits kids on gun ranges, but now, new calls for restrictions on the weapons they should be handling.
So is a 9-year-old too young to fire an Uzi?
Let's take on our Facebook Find of the Week.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RADDATZ: And the roundtable is ready to weigh in.
I'm going to start with you, Matt Dowd.
Should a 9-year-old be able to handle an Uzi or be able to touch an Uzi or any gun?
DOWD: Well, the obvious answer to that is no to the Uzi. I mean I've shot an Uzi on fully automatic and a -- and I had a hard time holding it...
RADDATZ: Because of the recoil.
DOWD: -- because it -- well, it automatically pulls up and over and that -- I've also shot a Gatling gun, but that's a whole another other story and I wouldn't recommend a Gatling gun to a 9-year-old either.
ROBERTS: Or any gun.
DOWD: Well, I think -- I've -- I've -- I have boys. I've trained them on BB guns first and then .22s. And you do all that (INAUDIBLE)...
RADDATZ: And they do that across the country, certainly.
DOWD: And target shooting. But there's no real purpose in an Uzi, other than -- there's no hunting purpose in it or target person -- purpose in an Uzi.
What I think is amazing about this, this is a place called Bullets and Burgers, um, which is an amazing thing. It's almost like and -- it's one the side of the road. It's like a fireworks...
RADDATZ: A drive-thru gun...
DOWD: And they said they were going to give gun safety and gun education on that. It's almost like going to a fireworks stand...
DOWD: -- on the side of the road and expecting to get fire safety regulations. I think this is an awful tragedy for her and the guy that got killed.
RADDATZ: Everyone agrees, it's -- it's a terrible, terrible tragedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
RADDATZ: But will it be viewed as an accident that will never happen again or -- or do you think something broader will come of this?
ROBERTS: No. I -- this gun control debate is not happening in this country. It's just not. And the -- we have New Mexico, Oklahoma here. They can tell you, it's not happening in their states. And a -- and I -- I think it's outrageous for a 9-year-old...
ROBERTS: -- to have an Uzi in her hands.
RICHARDSON: But I think at the same time...
RICHARDSON: I think there are a lot of questions that need -- I'm -- I'm a Westerner, NRA endorsed when I was running for office.
But I think it's reached the point where it's not just common sense, but you're not going to deal with this issue nationally. The Congress isn't going to touch it. So it has to be states.
Now, Arizona won't do a thing, I can tell you.
RICHARDSON: But, for instance, Connecticut has had a limit on kids using firearms.
But I think there's some more basic questions, Martha.
Number one, where were the parents in all this?
Secondly, this entrepreneur...
RADDATZ: Apparently, they were right there.
ROBERTS: Right there.
RADDATZ: Apparently, they were right there.
RICHARDSON: No, my point was where were the parents?
Why did they permit this?
Should a child at nine have access to an Uzi?
And these, you know, gun tourism entities -- I mean it's a free market.
ROBERTS: And the kids...
RICHARDSON: And they're very popular...
RICHARDSON: -- in the West...
ROBERTS: You can get on a Ferris wheel...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think, frankly...
ROBERTS: -- in a lot of places.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- you know, again, obviously, a tremendous tragedy. I agree with the governor. I think this is probably something that's dealt with at the state level and the local level. I think you'll actually see a lot of people, you know, doing best practices at gun ranges and probably stopping this sort of thing.
But I don't think this is an opening for some big sweeping national federal gun control.
RADDATZ: I want to move on to immigration.
President Obama, it looks like, may be putting the brakes on using executive power, changing immigration laws in any big way until after the midterms.
And, Bill Richardson, this may be why. Take a look at some of these quotes in "The Washington Post" from Democrats in tight Senate races.
"To me, securing our borders has to be the priority and that should be the president's focus."
Senator Hagen, "This is an issue that I believe should be addressed legislatively and not through executive order."
Is this what's behind the potential delay?
RICHARDSON: Yes. I think politics is behind the potential delay. Needless to say, I want to see all those Democrats reelected. But I also, not just because I'm an Hispanic, I feel the president should move with executive order to halt deportations, to reduce them. I -- I think he kind of made this commitment.
I think it will also, policy-wise, it makes sense because the Congress has been unable to pass comprehensive immigration, not just pass it, but not even consider it.
RADDATZ: But (INAUDIBLE)...
RICHARDSON: Some elements...
ROBERTS: No, politically, it also makes sense. Look, the people who are going to vote against Democrats on the basis of liberal immigration are already going to vote against Democrats. You're not going to change a vote on this. What you might do is get voters out who are disillusioned with the president on the issue of demo -- immigration. And that is...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- this is a long...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- term political problem for the Republicans in...
ROBERTS: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- they may win this small battle of nothing happening this year. But the long battle of this country and the growth of the Latino population presents itself in a very bad way for Republicans in the midst of this. And they cannot win -- they may win a midterm.
And what I think is going to happen, I think it's going to happen for many voters on immigration and a lot of things, it's going to be like kids excited around for Christmas, but they wake up on Christmas morning after Election Day and realize they didn't get what they wanted.
And that's what most voters are going to feel after this election.
RADDATZ: OK, I...
RICHARDSON: -- to Republicans is 2016.
RICHARDSON: The Hispanic voters are going to remember this.
RADDATZ: A quick thought...
RICHARDSON: -- and they're...
RADDATZ: -- Congressman?
COLE: Look, the president is never going to get immigration legislation when he acts unilaterally.
First of all, he is undercutting Congressional authority and he is breeding enormous distrust on the other side. And you think, well, if we make a deal with him, he won't keep the deal.
So I think the president is wise to pull back here. He's clearly doing it for short-term tactical reasons.
But I think if he wants a bill before the end of his presidency, he won't act unilaterally, he'll actually work with Congress. He hasn't done that so far.
ROBERTS: He's not going to...
RADDATZ: And some final thoughts on the -- on Senator Gillibrand's new book.
Senator Gillibrand has this new book. And a people magazine expert -- excerpt includes this. "While I was on the elliptical machine, many of my older male colleagues felt compelled to offer advice such as this gem, 'Good thing you're working out, because you wouldn't want to get porky.'"
I'm starting with you, Cokie Roberts.
ROBERTS: Look, do -- are you...
RADDATZ: Would that happen on the Hill?
ROBERTS: News just in -- men are sexist on Capitol Hill?
Wow! This is a -- a brand new revelation.
I -- I'm sort of surprised they didn't say anything about her weight, but, you know...
RADDATZ: Did that surprise you, Congressman?
COLE: I'm astonished.
COLE: I mean really...
COLE: And she -- they -- these guys are so lucky. She could have ended about half a dozen political careers.
COLE: And probably should have, you know, if that's going to be the attitude...
RADDATZ: Put your name up?
COLE: -- and rhetoric.
ROBERTS: No, we -- you know, I -- I...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so, because it impugns -- when she doesn't name them...
RADDATZ: All of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I think it shines a great lens on the institutions of this country that we think we've -- we've grown so much and we're so past all this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not past all this. And some of the worst criticism...
RADDATZ: It's -- it's not just the Hill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the worst criticism...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- is women on women. If you ever...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- sit in a room and watch how they talk...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- about other women...
ROBERTS: Oh, come on.
RADDATZ: Come on.
ROBERTS: That's not true.
RADDATZ: Come on...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She should have named names.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She should have named names.
ROBERTS: Since things are a whole lot better...
RADDATZ: All right...
ROBERTS: -- at least their hands weren't on her knee when they were saying it.
RADDATZ: OK. Thanks, Cokie.
RADDATZ: Coming up, a court strikes down new restrictions on abortion clinics in Texas. Both sides weigh in on what's next.
RADDATZ: It's a heated debate across the country. And this week, the focus turned to Texas. A federal judge ruling new restrictions on abortion clinics there are unconstitutional. Both sides weigh in on what happened next, after the background from Alicia Menendez of our sister network, Fusion.
ALICIA MENENDEZ, FUSION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thanks to strict new Texas laws, this San Antonio abortion clinic was preparing to be one of only a handful of clinics still open in the state starting tomorrow. But late Friday, that all changed when a federal judge threw out the new rules, calling them unconstitutional, writing, "The overall effect of the provisions is to create an impermissible obstacle to women seeking abortions."
A victory for Andrea Ferrigno, who we spoke to before the ruling.
ANDREA FERRIGNO, FORMER ABORTION CLINIC OPERATOR: So this is an operating room.
MENENDEZ: Her organization was forced to close two clinics that did not meet the standards. She showed us some of what was required.
FERRIGNO: Vacuum pump and boiler, generator...
MENENDEZ (on camera): Surgical area.
(voice-over): The sweeping new rules, known as House Bill 2, were passed last year. They had two parts.
First, all clinics had to be outfitted as ambulatory surgical centers, another requirement already in effect. Clinic doctors had to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In 2013, there were 41 clinics in Texas. When the first set of the new standards was put in place, that number dropped to 20. Had a law stood, the state was looking at only an estimated seven clinics remaining.
Ferrigno said the costs were overwhelming.
FERRIGNO: To operate an ambulatory surgical center, we're talking about an increase of $40,000 per month.
MENENDEZ (on camera): I think there are a lot of people who would say $40,000, that must be going toward increased quality of care.
Are they right?
FERRIGNO: Absolutely not. It does nothing for safety.
MENENDEZ (voice-over): The restrictions sparked a heated political debate in Texas, where State Senator Wendy Davis shot to prominence with a filibuster trying to block them and a national legal debate, too, with judges so far blocking similar restrictions proposed by pro-life supporters in Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas and Wisconsin.
Dr. Joe Pojman, a proponent of the Texas laws, says they have been watching other states closely.
DR. JOE POJMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR LIFE: We are moving forward as, little by little. It's baby steps, but we are consoled by the fact that abortions are in the decline and we are seeing that, like never before, there are an enormous number of pro-life pregnancy resource centers. And that's a big advance than -- in the pro-life movement.
MENENDEZ: He also told us the goal of the new rules was safety for women.
POJMAN: The motivation for House Bill 2 is to assure that women are not treated at a lower standard of care than a woman who has a surgical procedure for a miscarriage.
MENENDEZ: But prominent medical groups like The American Medical Association and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is absolutely about restricting access. It is not about safety.
MENENDEZ: And abortion providers say limiting access to clinics poses its own health risks for women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they self-inducing?
Are they looking for drugs in the, you know, in the markets or looking for providers that could do this procedure illegally?
MENENDEZ: The San Antonio clinic already sees patients from three states. We asked one patient, what if this clinic wasn't in the town where you live?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then it just wouldn't happen. It just wouldn't happen. I have two children, one that's a toddler and one that's in elementary school. And regardless of anything -- and I have a job, a full-time job.
MENENDEZ: Dr. Pojman says his organization will continue to push for stricter clinic rules.
POJMAN: My goal is that in five years, far more women who are pregnant are choosing childbirth because they know it's the best option for them.
MENENDEZ: For THIS WEEK, I'm Fusion's Alicia Menendez.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
RADDATZ: Thanks, Alicia.
Joining us now, Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life, and David Brown from the Center for Reproductive Rights. He was also an attorney on the Texas case.
So I want to start with you, David Brown. You were part of that legal team. Governor Rick Perry pledged an appeal right away. What are your chances?
DAVID BROWN, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: We think our chances are very good. We know that for the past 42 years, the federal courts have consistently reaffirmed the rule laid down in Roe V. Wade that abortion is a fundamental right of women to choose in this country. And we expect that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, if and when they get this case, will apply that rule of law.
RADDATZ: Carol Tobias.
CAROL TOBIAS, NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE: They are arguing that this is undue burden on the women. It's actually an undue burden, at least that's what they would see it as, on the abortion facilities. They do not want to meet even the minimum of safety and health regulations established for other surgical centers.
RADDATZ: But you heard in the piece that the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists say these standards are not needed for safety.
TOBIAS: But it's not up to the state -- or at least it shouldn't be up to the state to make it easier for women to kill their unborn children. And that's what is happening here.
RADDATZ: And this is about restricting access, is that what you -- is that what you believe is happening here? Restricting access? Or is it about safety?
TOBIAS: It's about both.
We want to protect unborn children from death, but we also want to protect the women who are going to be harmed by abortion. It might not be an immediate physical reaction, but there's long-term physical consequences, there are long-term mental and emotional consequences to abortion, this is about protecting women and children.
RADDATZ: Is there a link between closing these clinics down and stopping abortions -- David?
BROWN: Absolutely there is. You heard Carol say it just now that the goal of these laws is to shutter abortion clinics. And as your introduction made clear there's no medical reason behind this law. Carol, your own legislative director said at your annual conference this year that abortion is one of the very safest medical procedures a woman can have.
TOBIAS: No, she was pointing out the figures -- she was pointing out the figuresÉ
BROWN: Éshutter abortion clinics using health as an excuseÉ
TOBIAS: ..figures that they would use to--
BROWN: Going ahead and relying on made up health--
TOBIAS: --figures -- no, they're not made up. She was--
BROWN: --close the great majority of abortion clinics in the state of Texas.
TOBIAS: --used. But she is not referring to the immediate -- the long-term consequences both physical and emotional.
RADDATZ: Do you worry if people can't get abortions, as you saw in the piece of Alicia, that they'll go elsewhere that's less safe?
TOBIAS: There are pregnancy -- thousands of pregnancy resource centers in this country that will help a women -- free help during a difficult time in her life. It's the abortion advocates that are trying to shut them down. They're trying to help the women.
BROWN: None of these resource centers provide abortions. And so of course by shuttering clinics where women can get safe, legal abortions--
TOBIAS: But you're trying to shut down the facilities that would help women.
RADDATZ: Does this end up in the Supreme Court? David, quickly.
BROWN: It's difficult to say. We know that there are many cases that they can take regarding abortion, but we're confident that if one of these cases does end up in the supreme court, the court will do what it has done consistently for the past 42 years, which is reaffirm the right to choose abortion.
RADDATZ: Just quickly, Carol, does it end up there?
TOBIAS: It will probably end up there, but we think the Texas law has a very good chance of being upheld.
RADDATZ: Thank you very much for joining us this morning.
We're back after this from our ABC stations.
RADDATZ: That's the dramatic video that sparked so much outrage. Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice shown dragging his then girlfriend out of an elevator after punching her in the face. Rice was suspended for just two games. And this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that was too short.
The roundtable is back now to weigh in.
Bill Richardson, did the NFL have to make that change because of the outrage over Rice's actions?
RICHARDSON: They had to make that change. You know, sports, they're -- they sometimes get behind the times on a lot of stuff. On domestic violence, this seems to be a persistent problem. I think the commissioner was right to say I didn't go far enough.
RADDATZ: Not a man who usually admits mistakes readily.
RICHARDSON: No, no, he doesn't. But I thinkÉ
ROBERTS: Major mistake. I mean, this was an absolutely outrageous. And it is absolutely also true that too many people get away with domestic violence in this country. Women are killed every single day in this country by their partners. And the idea that sports figures just get a slap on the hands gives other men permission to go ahead and do it.
RADDATZ: Was this all maybe to appease female fans? It's about 50 percent now.
COLE: Yeah, we have the fastest growing part of the NFL who watches it are female fans.
I think that the commissioner has been slow to act on a whole bunch of things. He was slow to act on head injuries, very slow to act and very little that he did at first on that until forced to do.
This one is another one. And we had a conversation about sexism in the Senate, sexism in the football -- sexism in NFL and he needs to do much more.
RADDATZ: Congressman, just quickly, Michael Sam was cut.
RICHARDSON: I think (inaudible). Look, he's a great player. He had several sacks. That team is just deep at that position. But he's got a future.
COLE: Redskins -- the Redskins should pick him up, that would totally complicate--
RADDATZ: Of course you can't say Redskins.
COLE: That would you know what -- that would totally complicate the political correctness if Michael Sam got picked up by the Redskins.
RADDATZ; That would be a tough one.
Thanks to all of you, thanks for joining us on Sunday.
And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.
This week the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.
That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. And don't miss our friend David Muir making his debut as anchor of World News Tonight with incredible reporting from the Syrian border. The children caught in the crossfire.
And we'll see you right back here next week. Have a great day.