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And joining us now to discuss the -- -- issues highlighted in the president's speech this week to members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Democratic congressman Adam -- And Republican congressman -- thorn -- thank you both for being here today that our congressman -- all start with you there's a lot of talk of the president's narrative about winding down the war on terror.
Which begs the question are our enemies doing the same.
Well I think our enemies have changed in the sense that we have seriously degraded the core of al-Qaeda and I think the president's speech was a recognition of that the likelihood that al-Qaeda can launch the kind of attack we -- on 9/11 has been -- seriously diminish.
Instead we have now these franchises these spin offs these one offs like we saw in Boston like the British saw when that tragic attack this week.
And I think the president saying it would that needs an adjustment in terms of how we use our drones in the strategic impact of those.
It also means that we have to take a look at some of the broader.
Strategic problems we face of the black guy that we have from Guantanamo.
So I think the -- was right to say who we -- at a different point than we were on 9/11.
That's -- call for different tactics going forward and I think he laid out pretty sensible plan.
-- in congress and we're very to the point about Guantanamo Bay which present wrapping your colleague as well.
The president -- it's become a symbol around the world that America -- -- -- I don't think that's true the president has been arguing we should close it for his whole presidency but he's never really put forth a plan on how to do that and even in the speech last week what he said was if we're committed to closing it.
Then we can work out the details later about -- out what happens to these guys.
Another thing he said is okay we're gonna take some of these folks from Guantanamo once -- -- back to Yemen.
Then he says Yemen is the place were the greatest danger to our homeland emanates right now.
And by the way they don't have very good record -- keeping people locked -- I think there's some inconsistencies.
It it is absolutely true as -- said that the threat has evolved.
But as you are degrading the core of al-Qaeda that may not be the best Tom to let up.
As a matter of fact I think this notion that we can just say okay we've -- a terrorist we can go back to the way things were before 9/11 is a dangerous notion.
And to that point congressman -- -- Senator McCain talking about -- said he found parts of the speech incredible what the president was suggesting he said.
Al-Qaeda has been expanding for Molly to Yemen hot spot we talked about and everywhere in between it's not the time to back down.
But the president isn't isn't saying it's time to back down I think that's in the statement with -- was talking about but he is saying that the threat has changed.
And -- that are approaching the threat also has to change.
Yes we had they focused on al-Qaeda wherever it exists but it's not the same accord leadership it's not the same top down architecture that it had on 9/11.
And that means that we have to shift our approach to.
And I think the president has also signaling to that the drone campaign and Guantanamo at some approaches we've views.
Post nine elevenths have also had their costs yes seizing knowledge that -- -- their benefits and the president isn't curtailing the drone program he is raining it and but he's saying also there's the strategic impact.
As the drone program as one -- those other things normally take people off the battlefield but also create new regime Heidi should go after is that use that as a rallying cry.
-- so I think he's re calibrated approach in places like Molly.
He wants to use more indigenous forces turned it over to -- Our training role rather than more American boots on the ground there and all over the world I think he's signaling that the large American occupation places like Afghanistan and Iraq has to be a thing of the past.
Wanna make sure that we have you both weigh in on this have been -- is well we continue to learn new information house of course is -- major role as several hearings there.
It tried to get to the bottom of of what we know a timeline for what happened and who knew what when.
Congress and are very are you.
Satisfied with that the answers you've received so far what pieces of information if any are still lacking for you.
Well I think there continues to be.
As a matter of fact we were both in a hearing this week where I learned new things about what went on that day.
And so whether it's exactly who denied the repeated requests for increased security before the attack and why they did not -- Two questions about the military chain of command -- things did -- did not happen during the event.
And and the political spin afterwards I think -- -- there's more to come and it's not.
Just about as the temptation will be we've got -- RS scandal eap scandal is to turn our attention away from being -- But for the families of those who lost their lives.
But also those people who are serving our country all around the world in embassies potentially expose like this I think we have an obligation.
To get to the bottom of the matter and learn why why it happened so it.
Doesn't happen again.
Do you think there's still questions to be -- They are there are but they're not the questions that we've been asking unfortunately the most important things -- guys in my view or where are we in the hunt for those responsible.
And what are we doing to implement the recommendations of the accountability review board.
To improve our security around the world those are important questions -- a fortune and those are the ones -- paying attention to.
Instead we're having endless hearings about talking points and that the remarkable thing to me about the most recent hearing we have intelligence committee this week mr.
-- on the talking points is.
That what he said was basically what we heard from intelligence agencies from the beginning witches.
They created the talking points yes they made changes to them they weren't driven by the White House they weren't driven by political spin.
And the most significant flaw in the talking points the idea that they began as a protest.
-- something that the intelligence community got wrong.
So I don't know how many times you wanna ask the same question about the talking points and get the same answer but I think -- pretty well exhausted that what that part of the issue it's.
You know from and a number of sources there was input from the administration with regard to why we wanna -- members of congress ammunition against us those kinds of things.
Congress -- are very quick power to you.
Yeah I think there's there's more to learn here and and the political spin afterwards is just one of the issues that we need to pursue but but there were decisions before during and after that are important that we get the interest.
Gentlemen we thank you both for your time for coming in today thank you.
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