Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Council staffer Rand Beers were Wednesday's guests. They discussed their new report, prepared at the request of Democratic congressional leaders, on combating terrorism. Here are excerpts from their remarks:
On the Bush administration's counterterrorism efforts:
(Albright) "Our national security decisionmaking system is in disarray. The United States, frankly, does not have an effective and comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that will adequately protect us."
On their recommendation for the creation of a new domestic intelligence agency:
(Beers) "[The FBI] is just not able to actually take over the domestic terrorism function - they are structurally and culturally not able to take over that. The culture as a whole is still a law-enforcement, and not an intelligence, culture."
On recent tough criticisms of Bush foreign policy, especially by Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Powell:
(Albright) "Some of the statements underline my deepest fears about a decisionmaking process that has been hijacked by - as General Wilkerson has said - a cabal. And it means that there is not an organized decisionmaking process in order to really deal with the most serious issues."
On President Bush's coming trip to Latin America:
(Albright) "We haven't paid attention to Latin America. I am glad the president is going."