Mitchell Reports | March 11, 2013
>> day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington and two american families today are mourning terrible losses in afghanistan after another apparent insider attack. led to the death of two u.s. troops . this after president hamid karzai this weekend disrupted defense secretary chuck hagel 's first trip there as defense secretary , with wild accusations about u.s./taliban collusions. what is going on here? joining me is new york congressman peter king , former chair of the homeland security committee . let's talk about two more insider attacks, killing two americans. three afghans, also after a man in afghan police uniform opened fire on the visiting americans. right after chuck hagel had been there this weekend and hamid karzai canceled the joint news conference amid wild accusations. what dot implication force the u.s. timetable withdrawal.
>> it's absolutely disgraceful. it's somewhat personal to me, i lost a constituent corporal buckley. last summer. it's inexcusable. i believe our military should be more forthcoming in exactly what's happening over there. what's being done to those who perpetrate these acts what type of vetting there is. and as far as the timetable, i think our timetable has to be based on what's in our best interests. as to whether or not we're going it leave a total vacuum behind. what we can do, but certainly more of these attacks continue, the harder it is for us to sustain any type of presence there. and karzai has to realize that. he can't continue to play this double game of somehow relying on the u.s. when he needs us and taking cheap shots and vamlessly attacking us and not providing the type of security that our troops need if there's any responsibility he has, his government has, is to at least try to insure that the people who going to be close to our troops can be trusted. and we have such a rash and pattern of these insider attacks, it reflects on them and he should be worrying about that. rather than making up these ridiculous charges about the united states . and to be doing that when secretary hagel was there? maybe he thought was somehow going to divide the american people . whatever problems senator hagel had going through the confirmation process. whe he's in afghanistan, he represents the united states of america . and america is going to rally behind him and the president and the administration.
>> absolutely. he's on his way home safely. having stopped in germany. but certainly not an auspicious first trip as pentagon chief. i also want to ask you about a controversial decision the administration has brought up abu gaith, the son-in-law of osama bin laden after he was taken in an interesting way by the fbi and the c.i.a. in jordan after kurky extradited him to jordan and on his way to kuwait and he ended up in our hands in new york city . the argument from the administration is that he was talking them and giving them useful information, even after he was given his miranda rights and there's no reason why he cannot safely be prosecuted in lower manhattan where we, you know, prosecuted and convicted the blind sheikh . what are your objections?
>> let me put it to the administration and our intelligence, the counterterrorism forces for making this apprehension, it's very important, very significant, i commend them for it. i do disagree with the decision not to treat him as an enemy combatant and not to try him in a military commission . not that i'm not worried about the conviction, i think he will be convicted. i think the security threats in lower manhattan are nowhere near what they would have been if khalid sheikh mohammed was on trial there or the other 9/11 plotters. my concern here is that i believe even though he gave a 22-page statement, when you have someone who was in the bin laden inner circle , someone who was in iran for so many years, and there's a lot more we can gain from him. and i don't care how good the interrogators are, in the brief period of time, i don't think they would have got all out of him that they could have. and that's where the advantage of going to guantanamo. so my main objection in this case would be that to me, there's a lot more information that could have been gotten or potentially could have been gotten and we probably won't know. as far as, also as far as setting a precedent, if someone captured overseas who was in the bin laden inner circle is going to get a civilian trial. i don't know who is going to be tried in a military commission . that's the basis of my objection. it's different if all the of the objections that had the ksm going on trial in new york . mine is primarily rooted in the fact that the interrogations i think would have been more extensive and could have been done for a greater period of time if he were at guantanamo.
>> now on a slightly related subject, the tsa and terror alerts. they have first of all now permitted knives to be carried on board. as you know, the flight attendants initially and others now are all objecting to this. chuck shum your, your democratic colleague in new york has objected strongly. we had an incident where a inspector routine inspection, to see how the tsa employees are doing. got through with a primitive ied hidden in his clothing at newark airport . so what is your rating of the tsa now, you're on homeland security ?
>> actually homeland security committee under my chairmanship and congressman mike mccall's chairmanship has a lot of concern over the tsa. we is not been attacked in 11 1/2 years. having said that, there's no excuse after all of these years for any type of explosive device to be brought on to a plane. there's no room for error here, this isn't where you have to be right most of the time, you have to be right 110% of the time. one explosive device on one air carrier in this country and we're back to september 12th , 2001 . so john pistol has to do a complete top-to-bottom review of what's happening at newark in particular and with the tsa overall on you know these type of inspections. as far as the pocket knives , that was first rolled out, i assumed that john pistol had spoken with the air marshals and the flight attendants because there is some rationale into what he's trying to do, by taking things like pocket knives off the table, if you will, they could focus more on other devices or instruments that we may feel are more lethal. without getting into any types of specifics. but the fact that he didn't and there is such resistance now from the law enforcement community, i think that he should go back and look at that. relook at it before it's implemented. because again, you know maybe a ball-point pen or a pencil can be as lethal as two, you know, two-inch knife. but on the other hand, again, in view of the fact that the professionals who are going to be on the flights are so concerned, i think that, john pistol should go back and look at that again.
>> i just wanted to stop taking my shampoo. finally, i want to ask you about you being in the political ring and now literally in the ring. you apparently were helping a friend out with a fundraiser. and got into the ring. i mean, what was it, two rounds? how did it go?
>> i'm looking at pictures of it now.
>> it went well.
>> i was helping -- what it is is my boxing trainer is also a boxing promoter and there's a local pub, a landmark in my community. and they were promoting fights there and they asked me if i wantsed to box an exhibition, they would have sold a lot of tickets with or without me. i agreed to do it it's like fantasy baseball . some guys play golf with tiger woods , some people play tennis with tennis stars. i had a chance to box a champion in the ring. to me it was a big plus for me, i enjoyed doing it and i was dealing with real people . this wasn't the country club or a ballroom of a hotel. this was real people . we had a large crowd and i was able to hang out there for three or four hours and hang out with a lot of good people and find out what's on people's minds and most importantly i didn't have a heart attack , i didn't die in the ring and my wife, even though it was her birthday and she wasn't overly happy --
>> did you this on your wife's birthday.
>> congressman --
>> i got home in time to go to dinner with her. she wouldn't go to the fight. she boycotted the fight. my wife and my sister boycotted the fight. my brother went to it. it was a split in the family over this whole thing.
>> no kidding, congressman, you did great in the ring. i think you were boxing irish john foley . but i had no idea -- i had no idea it was your wife's birthday. bad, bad, bad.
>> what can i tell you, andrea, i can't be perfect.
>> nobody's perfect. thank you very much, thanks, congressman.