CHARLIE ROSE: When you took this job, that day, and after being confirmed
and moving in, versus today, what is the most surprising thing you know
that you didn’t know about the threat to the United States?
And when you’re at something for quite a while you think you know a lot.
And one of the things I’ve come to appreciate is how the threats to the
United States are perhaps more serious from many more directions than the
public at large understands or appreciates.
And that there are many things that we do, I use aviation as an example
where right now consternation and the concerns now are about what’s
happening at the reports. But the plain fact of the matter is that what
happens at the airport at the gate is the last layer in a many layered set
of activities that occur, all designed to make sure that somebody can’t get
on a plane and blow it up.
CHARLIE ROSE: And then more effort put at the site where they depart from
wherever they’re coming from.
JANET NAPOLITANO: That’s right, that’s right. And exchange of information
about passengers and routes and the like.
And without getting into all the detail, these are all costs now being
borne by the system. And as President Obama was indicating in the clip,
this is part of the security apparatus that we have because of the ever
changing nature of the security threat we have.
CHARLIE ROSE: You said a very interesting thing. Part of your job is to
know what they’ll be thinking in the future. So what will they be thinking
in the future?
JANET NAPOLITANO: Well, I think they’re going to continue to probe the
system and try to find a way through. I think the tighter we get on
aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or
to train or maritime. So what do we need to be doing to strengthen our
And then I think what we also, what we as a country need to be thinking
about is what is the role in prevention. In other words, what is the
process by which a young man in the United States goes from becoming
radicalized to becoming radicalized to the point of leaving the United
States to going to a camp somewhere for six months or whatever and then
coming back with the intent of murdering his fellow citizens?
CHARLIE ROSE: So what do we know about that now?
JANET NAPOLITANO: I think that’s where we need and can do more work. And
when I speak with my colleagues in other countries, I think we all believe
JANET NAPOLITANO: How do we get out of this, hang ever increasing
apparatus because of the fear of terrorist attack? Now, I think having a
better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist would be
CHARLIE ROSE: What do we know now? Tell me what we know now.
JANET NAPOLITANO: We don’t know much. If you ever try to divide template
about what connects this terrorist to this terrorist and how they were
raised and what schools they went to and their socio-economic status or
this or that, it’s all over the map.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, but we don’t have the resources to do that, shouldn’t
we and the contacts to do that and the intelligence to do that. I mean
JANET NAPOLITANO: I think there’s some important work that’s being done on
CHARLIE ROSE: Is it slow, is it not fast enough? Does the secretary of
Homeland Security not have the insight she needs?
JANET NAPOLITANO: The secretary of Homeland Security cannot wait for that.
My job, the job of our department has to do everything we can to prevent,
to identify, to prevent, to mitigate risk, and to do that in a variety of
environments. The men and women in our department have dedicated to task,
and that’s what we do.
In the answer to your question, however, about long term, I think long term
understanding and better understanding of what causes someone to go from
radicalization to violence is something that’s worth study.
CHARLIE ROSE: Essential, wouldn’t you say?
JANET NAPOLITANO: It’s very important.
CHARLIE ROSE: If you can get into the country from Mexico, isn’t that a
place that should scare us with respect to future terrorism?
JANET NAPOLITANO: I know that border very, very well.
JANET NAPOLITANO: That’s why you’re asking me the question.
And the fact of the matter is that you cannot seal a border. It’s too big.
It’s vast, both borders, southern and northern. What you can do is make it
more difficult to cross and to try to force more and more people through
your ports where you have the potential of picking up somebody who is
trying to cross illegally. And that’s really the strategy that we have
And the plain fact of the matter is where borders are concerned and
securing borders, we have seen over the last two years more manpower
technology, more seizures of drugs, of cash, fewer attempts at illegal
immigration than at years upon years upon years.
I mean, everything that needs to go down is going down. Every measure that
needs to go up is going up.
CHARLIE ROSE: So we’re making progress with respect to the southwest
JANET NAPOLITANO: Absolutely. And not only that we’re also making
progress on enforcement because we have really focused on identifying and
moving from the country those in the country illegally who have committed
other crimes as well. And that turn of the strategy in prioritizing that
removal has resulted in the fact we’ve actually removed from the country
more people here illegally than any two-year period in our nation’s
history. And we’re going to remove more this next year as well.
CHARLIE ROSE: I know you do. That’s why I asked you.
that understanding that process better is important.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
charlierose:napolitano on creation of terrorists,border