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Sen. Kaine, Rep. McCaul on security at stateside military bases; Gen. Hayden reacts to Morell's Benghazi testimony
Written by Chris Wallace / Published April 06, 2014 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Michael Hayden
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 6, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
Pulse signals from deep in the Indian Ocean offer new hope in the hunt for that Malaysian airplane.
And searching for a motive, after a soldier opens fire at Fort Hood again.
DISPATCHER: We have active shooter on Fort Hood. We have multiple gunshot victims.
LT. GEN. MARK MILLEY, FORT HOOD COMMANDER: We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in the unit area.
WALLACE: The investigation is now focused on a dispute with other soldiers as well as the shooter's psychological history. We'll have a live report with the latest, and discuss the security on military bases with the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, and Tim Kaine of Virginia, a member of Senate Arms Services.
Then, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell admits to changing those now infamous Benghazi talking points.
MICHAEL MORELL, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: The changes I made were fully consistent with what our analysts believed at the time, period.
WALLACE: We'll talk with former CIA and NSA director, General Michael Hayden. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.
Plus, 7 million people signed up for ObamaCare. But is it too soon for the White House to take a victory lap?
Our Sunday panel weighs in.
And our power player of the week is now playing Jimmy Carter on stage. But you probably know Richard Thomas best as John Boy from "The Waltons."
RICHARD THOMAS, ACTOR: They say, you know, they never forgive someone who becomes successful before the age of 25.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
It's a race against time in the southern Indian Ocean, as search vessels try to find that Malaysian jetliner before the beacon on the plane's black box goes dead. The head of the search says a Chinese ship has detected pulse signals in a new area and an Australian ship picked up another signal today.
FOX News correspondent Doug McKelway has the latest -- Doug.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
A Chinese ship searching a small patch of ocean off Australian's west coast picked up a single ping on Friday night and another ping on Saturday. They were the same frequency as would be emitted from the plane's electronic data recorder. Also today, an Australian ship carrying sophisticated deep sea sound equipment picked up a third signal in the different part of the search area.
But authorities issued a word of caution about any rising expectations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGUS HOUSTON, SEARCH COORDINATOR: These signals and the objects could not be verified as being related to the missing aircraft at that point in time. That remains the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKELWAY: Though new analysis of the satellite and radar data continue to refine the search area, it remains massive covering 83,000 square miles in an area northwest of Perth, Australia. Up to 10 military planes, two civil planes and 13 ships are assisting in today's search. Weather is good with visibility greater than six miles.
The urgency of the search hasn't been heightened given that the month-long battery life of the plane's flight data recorder is now approaching its end. Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, families of the plane's passengers gathered for a prayer service today. One woman expressed a common sentiment, quote, "I hope all the passengers have a chance to survive somewhere in this world" -- Chris.
WALLACE: Doug, thank you.
Now, a shooting rampage at Fort Hood for the second time in less than five years. Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire at the Texas base Wednesday, killing three soldiers and wounding 16 before taking his own life.
We'll ask two key lawmakers if there's any way to stop the killing. But, first, Fox News senior correspondent Rick Leventhal on the search for a motive -- Rick.
RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Chris, witnesses to Wednesday's shooting say it started with an argument over paperwork. Specialist Ivan Lopez went into an HR office seeking a leave of absence application, according to numerous reports, and when he was told to come back the next day, he got angry, stormed out and returned with his .45 caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun opening fire, first on a supervisor of his unit, a transportation battalion of the 13th Sustainment Command, and then firing at others in that building, shooting more from his car and then firing more rounds in a second building before he was confronted by a female MP. That's when he put the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Texas Rangers and the FBI evidence response team were still processing the crime scene with 150 agents assigned to the case.
Two of the dead were members of Lopez's unit, Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson of Mulberry, Florida. His fiancee says he blocked a door to keep Lopez from entering a room full of more soldiers.
And Sergeant Timothy Wayne Owens, 37, of Effingham, Illinois, try to calm Lopez but was shot five times in the chest.
The third fatality, Sergeant Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, had just celebrated 20 years in the Army and planned to retire soon.
This morning, the victims are being remembered at church services around Killeen, Texas.
And, Wednesday, a huge memorial service is being planned here on post -- Chris.
WALLACE: Rick Leventhal reporting from Fort Hood -- Rick, thanks for that.
Can we find some way to protect our troops on military bases here at home?
Let's bring in Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. And here in studio, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who's on the Armed Services Committee.
Chairman McCaul, any new information on why Specialist Lopez on this rampage and do you see any lapses in the way the military had handled Lopez?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Let me say first as a Texan, as the tragedy hits hard, hits home in my backyard, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. And the community of Fort Hood has responded very bravely, resilient and we're thinking about them at this critical point in time.
Can we stop this in the future? I don't think you can ever 100 percent secure a military base from something like this happening. But I do think it requires a review, re-analysis of the force protection policies that we have at our military installations to see how can we better secure them?
We also need to look at the possibility of whether we can hire more military police at these installations because, Chris, over the past five years, we've seen an uptick in violence at military installations. We have a Navy Yard example recently in Washington involving a mentally ill patient. Fort Hood, as you know, this is the second time. First time by Major Hasan, a terrorist, and now, this time by mentally ill patient.
With respect to the details, we know he was applying for leave to possibly, I think his mother just passed away. He was looking for a leave of absence. Perhaps he was disgruntled about that. But that's not a rational response to go ahead and shoot 16 and kill three others including himself.
So, I think this requires a look at whether or not also, we should be looking at the idea of senior leadership at these bases, give them at built to carry weapons. They defend us overseas and abroad and defend our freedom abroad. So, the idea that they're defenseless when they come home on our bases, I think Congress should be looking at that and having a discussion with the bases about what will be the best policy.
WALLACE: You've given us a lot to chew on. Before I bring in Senator Kaine, I want to point out that there have been about a dozen of these terrible tragedies, shootings over the last five years.
And I want to put up on the screen the worst cases. You mentioned November 2009, Major Nidal Hasan kills 13 in a terror attack at Fort Hood.
March 2013, Sergeant Eusebio Lopez kills two marines in Quantico, Virginia.
September 2013, former sailor Aaron Alexis driven by delusions kills 12 in a Washington Navy Yard.
And then, Wednesday, Lopez kills three and wound 16 at Fort Hood.
Senator Kaine, some of these were political terror attacks. Some of these were personal grudges. Some of them were obviously cases of mental illness.
Do you see any common thread? And do you see any common solution?
SEN. TIM KAINE, D-VA.: Well, Chris, I'll start with where Mike started. Very, you know, horrible thing when you hear about this. We all are connected to the military in many ways and in Virginia, there was a shooting at the Norfolk naval base two weeks ago that was not on the screen. So, we're really feeling this common thread.
So, let's look at a couple. One, some of the recent shootings, there is always an element from the outside world coming on to the base. The two Fort Hood shootings were guns purchased out in the community and brought on in this instance, this week against regulation, the gun that was used.
The shooting at the Navy Yard here was a contractor who was working and there was some questions about should that contractor have had access to the naval base in Norfolk? It was a transportation worker who got on to the base and wrestled somebody's gun away.
WALLACE: So, what are suggesting, tighten the perimeter?
KAINE: Perimeter security is probably a place that we definitely should look. Mental health we should look. When the shooting this week is of somebody who was -- you know, seeking mental health assistance, there were postings overnight about Facebook postings that were kind of strange. We need to look at that.
And the nexus that complicated between mental health laws and gun laws.
And then the last thing, you know, we do need to acknowledge that our military after 13 years of war, that's a stress. It's been 13 years of war, repeated deployments. We in Congress shouldn't stress them further. I think we stress them further with things like sequester and budgetary moves that deprived them of the certainty that they need. And --
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you that question.
WALLACE: Would you vote to raise the Pentagon budget then as a Democrat?
KAINE: Well, depending on the line item, sure. I mean, I'm not -- no blank check. We shouldn't be doing blank checks.
But when we're requiring them to do across the board cuts, we do have to look at the effects of those cuts on mental health services or the affect of those cuts on base security. So, we should, as Mike said, we've got to be having a conversation about OK, these trends happen, what can we learn? How can we fix them?
WALLACE: Well, Congressman McCaul brought up the question of guns. Let's focus on that a little bit, because one of the things that I was so surprised to learn that this week is that guns are more tightly restricted and regulated on military bases than they are in the civilian world.
Let's put up some of those -- soldiers are prohibited from carrying guns on base, unless it's a specific duty they have. And they must register the guns.
And this week, Army chief of staff, General Ray Odierno, stood by that policy based on the belief that the group disputes are more of a threat than the rare mass shooting. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. RAY ODIERNO, ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: We have our military police and others that are armed. And I believe that's appropriate. And I think that I believe that that allows us the level of protection necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Chairman McCaul, you've been talking about arming more soldiers so they can protect themselves and take down a shooter like Lopez. You're disagreeing with General Odierno here.
MCCAUL: Well, look, I think the best thing to do have more military police on our bases. But the fact is the president's budget takes us back to World War II levels. So, I don't see an increase in that kind of funding. Although as the senator said, we should be looking at that.
I think a way to have a force multiplier here is to look at the idea, common sense idea of senior leadership at these bases, officers and enlisted men that you can trust who have defended us abroad. The idea they can at least carry a weapon on the base because when these things happen, this was responded to very quickly. It doesn't take very long to wound and kill a large number of people. I think that would be a deterrent, number one. And number two, a way to have a quick response to any sort of shooter that's come on these bases. Again, the second time I've seen this now at Fort Hood.
WALLACE: Let me bring Senator Kaine in.
Should more soldiers be able to carry their own guns on base?
KAINE: Well, Chris, I trust the military's leadership on this. I don't live on a military base. I don't serve in the military. And for those of us in Congress to say here's what they should do, I worry that it would be a little political rather than really about safety or security.
The military should reassess, you know, everything they do on the security. If they conclude -- now, these bases already have as many weapons per capita as anyplace in terms of people carrying weapons. It's part of their duty on base that that happens.
You just can't carry a personal weapon. You can keep it in your personal home on the base. You can't carry it. But there are duty weapons everywhere.
But, look, if the military reassesses and says that's the right strategy, then I'm going to support them. But I think stopping these at the gate is probably the place that we should most focus our attention.
WALLACE: Let me just quickly say, you've got 100,000 people that are going in and out. You can't -- it's not like an airport with a metal detector.
KAINE: That's very true. I mean, Fort Hood is a huge base. I think there are maybe 50,000 active and another 10,000 or 15,000 civilians, plus contractors. So, it is something that -- you know, you have to have a balance there. But I do think a mental health and perimeter security can do more.
WALLACE: Let me bring --
WALLACE: Because that issue is one of the thing I want to get to before we have to let you go. Recent studies suggest that as many as 30 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans come back with emotional or behavioral problems, an average of seven to nine active duty or veterans commit suicide every day.
Senator Kaine, it's easy to talk about this in hindsight. But you mentioned early, I want to put up on the screen the Facebook post that Ivan Lopez had put up in fact on March 1st, the same day that he brought the gun that he ended up using in all the shootings. "My spiritual peace has all gone away. I'm full of hate. I believe now that the devil is taking me."
Question, should these -- the soldiers' actions and words have set off alarms?
KAINE: I think they should have. You read those and your heart sinks both because -- maybe we missed something. But also again, 13 years of war, repeated deployments, whatever his particular situation. We have put this military under a stress they've never been under before. And we have to own the responsibility for providing the resources.
And, Chris, the last thing I'll say is this, while the instances of mental health are severe, we shouldn't walk away leaving the impression that our folks in active service or our veterans are just a bruised and wounded bunch. Look at the instances of heroism Danny Ferguson who stood in front of the door to protect the lives of others or Petty Officer Mayo who was killed in Norfolk a couple weeks back who protected others.
You know, our military is a resilient bunch of fantastic leaders. These are aberrations. And we need to solve them but don't let them color the view of the way we see our military.
WALLACE: Chairman McCaul, less than 30 seconds. Should alarm bells have gone of given this fellow's treatment and his Web site postings, or is that just sort of 20/20 hindsight?
MCCAUL: Well, it could be 20/20. I think that's something investigation is going to look at. Flags may have gone up.
Let me tell you the suicide rate is twice as high in the military as it is in the general population. We're good at healing broken bodies but not as good at healing broken minds. I'm supporting a bill out there that has -- basically we -- when people enlist in the military, there is a physical check but there's not a mental health evaluation when people enter the service.
I think this will be a good idea to, number one, screen out individuals that may have mental illness problems. Number two, have a baseline so that when they return home, we can compare that to where they are when they come back. I think that will go a long way with this mental health issue.
WALLACE: Chairman McCaul and Senator Kaine, we want to thank you both. Thanks so much for coming in today. We will follow this quickly. Thank you, gentlemen.
What do you think should be done to make our military bases safer? Please let us know on our Facebook page and join the conversation with other FNS viewers.
Up next, it turns out it was the CIA that changed the Benghazi talking points to avoid embarrassing Hillary Clinton's State Department. We'll ask former CIA Director Michael Hayden about it.
WALLACE: Former CIA deputy director, Michael Morell, told Congress this week he changed the talking points used by administration officials after the Benghazi terror attack. Joining us now to discuss this and more, former director of the CIA and NSA, General Michael Hayden.
And, General, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET), FORMER DIRECTOR CIA & NSA: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: I want to talk with you first about the testimony from Mike Morell, who you worked with at the CIA, up to 2009. He says in the days after Benghazi, the station chief in Libya repeatedly told him that this was a terror attack, but he says he overruled the station chief and went with the analyst back at CIA headquarters in Langley who said, no, it was a protest that spun out of control.
Question: how unusual is that to disregard your own man in the field?
HAYDEN: Look, you give a lot of weight to your man in the field. But keep in mind, our man in the field was more than 500 miles away from the incident as well.
WALLACE: Because he was in Tripoli, not Benghazi.
HAYDEN: Exactly right. So, Michael's view was the totality of information that the analyst had turned him towards the analyst's version of event as opposed to the chief of station's version.
Chris, Michael mentioned something very important in his testimony -- that he left the White House and the State Department know that Saturday morning that the chief of station had a dissenting view. In my view, that gave a certain confidence level to the White House and to the State Department and in other words, there were a range of views here.
So, be careful before you put all your eggs in the basket of -- it was a demonstration. I think that's very important that he let them know that.
WALLACE: All right. Let me ask you about another thing. Michael Morell said that he went around his then boss, CIA Director David Petraeus, on the talking points and took out the fact that the CIA had repeatedly warned the State Department about the threat level in Benghazi.
Let's take a look at what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MORELL, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: I simply saw this as a way for CIA to pound its chest and say, look, we warned, therefore, laying all the blame on State Department. I did not think that appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, I know because you and I have talked many times that you see the CIA as a fact agency.
WALLACE: Not a political agency.
WALLACE: How unusual is that to edit talking points because of political concerns about it might embarrass somebody else?
HAYDEN: Yes, I don't think it's political concerns, Chris. Look, I've been following this closely, as you might know.
WALLACE: Political in the sense of interagency.
All right. I think Michael's motivation was far more bureaucratic than it was political. I don't think he was trying to protect the administration, although it did have the indirect effect of protecting the administration.
I think he saw it just the way he described it in the hearing. This is CIA pounding its chest at the expense of state.
Now, you may think that's not a good thing. Maybe I would think that's not a good thing. But as soon as I saw it, as soon as we saw Michael had done that, I understood it. There is a natural instinct there not to walk over your other partners in the interagency.
WALLACE: All right. New subject, the Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a report -- it's going to have to be declassified and which will take some months before we all get to see it -- that says the CIA misled the public about the severity and the success of the enhanced interrogation program. We should point out, almost all of these activities happened before you came on in 2006.
WALLACE: But the report says that more prisoners were abused than we had previously known and that the enhanced interrogation produced little intelligence of significance.
HAYDEN: Yes. I read an article by David Ignatius earlier this week. And he said --
WALLACE: He's a columnist for The Washington Post.
HAYDEN: Right. He said that Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention interrogation would never again be considered or permitted.
Now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on part of the senator. But I don't think it leads you to an objective report.
WALLACE: I mean, forgive me, because you and I both know Senator Feinstein. I have the highest regard for her. You're saying you think she was emotional in these conclusions?
HAYDEN: What I'm saying is -- first of all, Chris, you're asking me about a report. I have no idea of its content. No one responsible for that report has spoken a word of this to me, to George Tenet, to Porter Goss, to anyone else that is involved in these events. But it's very hard for me to make a judgment.
WALLACE: But the fact is that the report says and you know it's been widely leaked, the report --
WALLACE: Well --
HAYDEN: It has been widely leaked.
WALLACE: Right. Well, there are a lot of things widely leaked in this town. It doesn't mean it's true.
The report says that information -- and I want to ask you about the facts here -- the report says that information about bin Laden's courier came from a detainee while he was being questioned by Kurds in northern Iraq long before he was taken to a CIA prison and given enhanced interrogation.
HAYDEN: Sure. And Director Panetta when asked by the Congress to comment on did the interrogation program help with getting us to Abbottabad said very clearly that that information was part of the information, part of the intelligence stream that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden at Abbottabad. Director Panetta went on to say, and we'll never know whether or not we may have gotten that information through another way.
But did he not deny that information from this program helped pin point bin Laden.
WALLACE: But is it a fact that this detainee (INAUDIBLE) --
WALLACE: Right. That he gave up the name of the courier and the fact of the courier while being questioned by the Kurds in northern Iraq? I mean, is it a yes or no?
HAYDEN: Yes. And the real answer is I don't know the details. But, Chris, I am aware that simply learning a fact is not the same thing as learning the importance of that fact. And it was the totality of information, including information from this program that illuminated the path to Abbottabad.
WALLACE: One last question and then we'll move on. The general conclusion, the CIA misled the Congress and the public about the severity and significance of the enhanced interrogation. True or false?
HAYDEN: I think it's false, because, frankly, Chris, although you pointed out this all happened largely before I got there, I was the one who decided to inform all the members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee to move the prisoners out of the black sites to Guantanamo and actually go public with a significant portion of this program.
WALLACE: I understand, but in the years --
HAYDEN: I believe -- I believe --
WALLACE: -- in the years before you, you must have had a sense of what was going on.
HAYDEN: Right. And I'm telling you is what I believe and continue to believe is true.
WALLACE: All right. This week, it became clear the Obama administration is seriously considering releasing Jonathan Pollard, a convicted spy to Israel as part of a Middle East peace deal. Secretary of State Kerry talked about it this week and as you'll see, left the door wide open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: There is no agreement at this point in time regarding anyone or any specific steps. There are a lot of different possibilities in play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy who sold hundreds of classified documents about Arab and Soviet military to the Israelis.
Question: how do you feel about releasing Jonathan Pollard as part of a deal to bring peace to the Middle East?
HAYDEN: Well, certainly, I don't think it's a good idea just to keep some people at the table, which apparently was the purpose of this offer.
The second thing I offer, Chris, is it's almost a sign of desperation that you would throw this into the pot in order to keep the Israelis talking with the Palestinians.
And I'll offer a third view, if this were to take place, the administration would be saying Pollard and everyone in my old community, the intelligence community, would not be hearing Pollard, they would be hearing Snowden. And they would believe that this kind of behavior could actually be politically negotiated away. And that will be a very disturbing message to the people who provide America with intelligence.
WALLACE: Finally, lots to talk to you about. NATO's -- it's a busy world these days. NATO's top commander said this week the 40,000 Russian troops were massed on the border of eastern Ukraine can attack on 12 hours notice and could take eastern Ukraine, his words, within three to five days. Do you believe that Russian President Putin is satisfied with annexing Crimea or do you think he still has more on his plate that he wants to gobble up?
HAYDEN: I think he's more rather than less satisfied. I think he's gotten what he needs internally, politically, for his image, for his poll ratings, frankly. Those troops along the border, you're right. They have that capacity.
I don't know that Putin wants to do that. I think the troops along the border are his table stakes, to keep pressure on the Ukraine, to make, for example, our secretary of state change his travel plans and go back to Europe to meet with Foreign Minister Lavrov. They can take the Ukraine and eastern part of the Ukraine in three to four days. Keeping it is another matter. The Ukraine has a deep history of guerrilla warfare against occupiers.
WALLACE: General Hayden, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. Always good to talk with you, sir.
WALLACE: Secretary of State Kerry says it's reality check time for the Middle East peace process. Are talks with Israel and Palestinians on the verge of collapse? Our Sunday panel weighs in when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: We're not going to sit there indefinitely. This is not an open-ended effort. Never has been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Secretary of State John Kerry Friday before heading back to Washington to meet with President Obama and reassess whether to continue the Middle East peace talks. And it's time now for our Sunday group. We welcome back Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Elise Viebeck of The Hill newspaper, former deputy assistant Secretary of State and Fox News contributor Liz Cheney and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams. Well, it was clear the peace process was in danger of falling apart this week when the Israelis refused to release one more set of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians then applied for membership in 15 different U.N. organizations and protocols. I guess, the question, Brit, is whether there ever was any serious prospect for a peace deal?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think there was, Chris. You know, when you see the secretary of state and the administration make a big push in this area, it usually suggested something about the state of play there has given rise to an opportunity. There was nothing about the state of affairs in the Middle East that made anyone -- except possibly John Kerry think this is a great time to make a big push. So he made a big push and I think predictably it failed. And it has now, I think, plainly failed.
WALLACE: You know, at least this latest impasse has only fueled criticism that Kerry has run into several diplomatic dead ends, the Mideast peace talks, the effort to arrange an international peace conference to resolve the situation in Geneva, his repeated talks all around Europe with Russian foreign minister Lavrov while Russia was taking over Crimea and reportedly even some people within the administration are now second guessing Secretary Kerry.
ELISE VIEBECK, THE HILL: That's right. And the White House has expressed its explicit support. But at the same time, people are wondering how long that will last. Because they know this is a major issue that Kerry wanted to pursue and they are concerned that he just won't let it go until it's quite dead, which some people would argue it's not yet but it does seem to be. And so I think that we'll have to gauge the White House's reaction to them over the next week or so. Because I think we'll see a significant scaling back of their statements as this seems to flounder in the Middle East.
WALLACE: We should point out that there was so much talk here in Washington, so many reports the senior officials were downgrading or dissing Secretary Kerry that apparently in a recent meeting this week, President Obama said to his national security team, I'm the most senior official here. And I think that John Kerry is doing a great job. (INAUDIBLE) 1000 percent behind him. Liz, should John Kerry be blamed for trying?
LIZ CHENEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think, you know, that Secretary Kerry is currently carrying out President Obama's policies. The situation in the Middle East as Brit pointed out is absolutely not a situation where we should be pushing for the Israelis to release Palestinian terrorists. The administration seems to be grasping its straws. They aren't the only administration that's ever tried to use the peace process as a way to sort of try to take them up with some success. But I just come back myself from the Middle East about ten days ago. And across the region you have got real unanimity, frankly, among the Israelis and the Arab governments in terms of saying where is America? Why aren't you helping us in the battle against the extremists? Against the al Qaeda? Why are you choosing now to push on this particular issue when in fact the Iranians are on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon? And when al Qaeda's resurging across the region? So, the notion that there is going to be peace or that we should release Jonathan Pollard and if the Israelis would just release some Palestinian terrorists you would encourage the Palestinians to make a real effort at peace is just frankly fantasy land.
WALLACE: Right. I want to switch subjects. Because as we discuss with General Hayden, the Senate Intelligence Committee this week voted to release its report on enhanced interrogation alleging that the CIA has misled the public about the severity and the success of the enhanced interrogation program. This was obviously a program that your dad was instrumental in supporting and helping to shape up. Here's what chairman -- the chairman of the intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein said this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: It is now abundantly clear that in an effort to prevent further terrorist attacks after 9/11 and bring those responsible to justice, the CIA did make some serious mistakes. And that they haunt us to this day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: She talked about it as a stain on the country. Question, Senator Feinstein, right or wrong?
CHENEY: I think Senator -- I think it's very sad to see Senator Feinstein do what she is doing. From what we've seen in terms of the press reports about this report, it was written entirely by Democratic staffers as General Hayden said. Nobody talked to a single CIA official who was involved in the program. Some of the press reports point out that the staffers relied upon the accounts of terrorists themselves, took those at face value in terms of descriptions of what had happened in the program.
WALLACE: Well, I mean they did have hundreds of thousands, that's one of the arguments, of documents from the CIA if we are counting it for the program.
CHENEY: But this program itself has also been the subject of investigation by the CIA Inspector General at length. We do know, look, this is a program that will be debated clearly for decades here in this country. And I think it's fine to have the debate. But if you're going to say that we should not have conducted the enhanced interrogation program, if you're going to say we shouldn't have water boarded three terrorists, then you've got to say that you're willing to accept consequences of that and you've got to be willing to say how many American lives would you have been willing to put at risk because you didn't want to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and you also have to recognize that we have other documents that have been declassified, frankly, you know, six years ago about the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah that demonstrated clearly the intelligence that was gained from those interrogations that helped to save lives and prevent attacks. And this is a political report, which, you know, we've seen political reports in Washington before.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: So, I think Liz Cheney is the good daughter. And I love her for it. But I think that if you just -- if you view this as an attack on the Bush-Cheney administration, OK, that's -- and you know what? And this morning's "Washington Post" Jose Rodriguez over -- who was at the CIA, who ran the program says he doesn't care what is in the report, he thinks it was the fact that (INAUDIBLE). But the fact is, congress should win this fight, Chris. And the reason Congress should win it is because the American people have a right to know what the CIA is doing to come to a judgment as to whether or not those techniques are moral in keeping with American standards and, secondly, whether they're effective in terms of gaining information that did help us to prevent further attacks to save lives. But what we know right now is that we have a situation where, you know, robust oversight of intelligence has been lacking since 9/11. I think the Congress has run in the other direction and said, oh, you know, if you're critical you can be called unpatriotic. You can be said to be a crazy liberal. So, they have not pursued it. And now you have a situation where you have...
WALLACE: I want you to give Liz time to answer this.
WILLIAMS: I will. But I think now you have a situation where there are insufficient -- is insufficient oversight. We may be headed back to a time where you -- like (INAUDIBLE) like Senator Church had back in the '70s where you have to look at what the CIA is doing.
WALLACE: All right.
WILLIAMS: We have NSA, Snowden, Rand Paul.
LIZ CHENEY: I want to start by agreeing with Juan that we need more congressional oversight of Benghazi, for example. But, look, we've had in terms of oversight, this program when it began back in 2002-2003 when people like, say, David Rockefeller were involved where chairman of the committee, vice chairman of the committee ranking, they were briefed on the program. There has been oversight of this program. There have been intelligence.
WALLACE: Your dad informed me that he repeatedly briefed them on the program.
LIZ CHENEY: Exactly. Briefed on the program, briefed on the techniques. By the way, our own people were put through these techniques in the SEAL program as they went through training. The program saved lives. We've now got a report that is written entirely by Democratic staffers. Nobody is saying we shouldn't have oversight, Juan. But you cannot say you have a report that's been selectively leaked, written entirely by Democratic staffers. If you want to have oversight of a program, you and I can both agree you have got to talk to people that ran the program. You can't have a fair report.
WALLACE: Republicans not only wouldn't participate, they don't want this released. If it wasn't...
LIZ CHENEY: You can't have a fair report that doesn't talk to people that ran the program.
WILLIAMS: I'm just telling you, people, because it's so politicized, because it is viewed as an attack on Bush-Cheney after 9/11 when they were trying to -- legitimately trying to protect us as Americans, nobody is saying anything but that, but the fact is the Republicans wouldn't participate. People not only wouldn't cooperate, they tried to spy on the U.S. Senate.
WALLACE: 15 seconds for the final word and we've got to move on.
LIZ CHENEY: I just want to say I have missed Juan so much.
LIZ CHENEY: Juan has been gone. And I think that I also would like to wish Juan's four-year-old granddaughter...
LIZ CHENEY: Happy birthday today. And you are...
WALLACE: That was worth 15 seconds.
WALLACE: We have to take a break here. But when we come back, over 7 million people have signed up for Obamacare. But is it too soon for the White House to declare victory? Plus, what would you like to ask the panel? Just go to Facebook or a Twitter at FoxNewsSunday and we may use your questions on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over.
OBAMA: The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama declaring victory this week after a late surge helped the White House reach its original target with more than 7 million people now enrolled in ObamaCare. And we're back with the panel. President Obama says the debate over repealing the law is over. Brit? Is it?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, the debate over repealing the law is not over. And by the way, the talk about repeal versus replacement the rest of it, it doesn't make any sense. Because when the Republicans ever get in a position with control of both houses and a willing president to do what they want to do, whether it's replace, repeal, whatever, is a parliamentary detail. They're going to have to do a complete rewrite. They will have to incorporate some things that are in ObamaCare. You know, kids stay on their parents' plans, no denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions and so forth into whatever they do. So parts of ObamaCare clearly will survive. This law, though in this present form, I think, will not survive. It won't even survive -- it hasn't even survived under President Obama who keeps undoing parts of it unilaterally. So surely the debate is not over. In fact, one could argue that the repeal of it is well under way thanks to the president himself.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel. And we got this on Facebook from Mark Bellman who asked, how many of the 7 million were previously uninsured? Should we really be counting people that were previously insured anyway? At least that's the big complaint. We don't know how many of these people were previously uninsured. We don't know how many have actually paid. We don't know how many of the so-called young invincibles that -- 20 to 34 enrolls who they need to make the risk pool work have signed up. How do you answer Mark who says, you know, these numbers, what do they really mean?
VIEBECK: I'll answer him, unfortunately, that we are going to have to wait a couple of years until the census bureau comes out with its official data on the number of uninsured. And that's going to take probably 18 months for us to truly understand what happened over the last six. Obviously, we had about 5 million planned cancellations. Now, some people compare that directly to the 7.1 million number and say, hey, all of those people just immediately went into the exchanges. They were previously insured. That is not the case. Many of those people would cancel plans, immediately signed up for another plan with their insurance company. So we do know a few things about these numbers. So, insurance companies told me that over the last week you've seen a lot of young and healthy people sign up because they were the procrastinators in this system. So, insurance companies have seen that number go up perhaps to about one and three. Which is not the (INAUDIBLE) the administration wanted, but it's OK. And second of all, insurers have said that about 80 to 85 percent have paid and that they are continuing to pay. Now, not everybody will. Either because they think it's too expensive or because they find insurance a different way. Perhaps they can get a job that gives them insurance and they leave the exchanges. So, I think there are open questions here. But at least, that 7.1 million number, I would argue, is the major victory for the administration.
WALLACE: Having said all that and I want to pick up on Brit's point, millions of people have signed up for Obamacare and millions more are taking advantage of its various requirements or advantages, for instance, the fact that you can keep coverage or get coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Which raises the question, Liz, has the Obama administration created an entitlement here? Yes, there may be changes, yes, there may be depending on the political balance of power, but it's an entitlement that is here to stay.
LIZ CHENEY: I think certainly some parts of it. And I think that, you know, from the perspective of the Republicans, it's very clear as both Elise and Brit have said, people have lost their insurance. And the numbers that you hear are, you know, 6 million, for example, have lost insurance. I think that, you know, the 7 million figure it could be at the end of the day, you know, you hear numbers anywhere up to as much as 85 percent of those people were already insured. So, you're not talking about getting new people on to the plan. And this has all not been cost free. We're talking about at least a trillion dollars here for something that the president has repeatedly described as in ways that are not true. So, you know, the notion that now 7 million people who didn't have insurance have insurance and this is a huge victory, I don't think that the American people and certainly the poll numbers show this, the numbers of people that support ObamaCare and like it have been steadily dropping and the latest Wall Street Journal polls show that. They don't have any reason to believe this latest thing. This is from the man that said, you know, if you like your doctor, you can keep him or her. If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. So I think that this will continue to be -- it will be an albatross for the Democrats in this election cycle, and it shows fundamentally the problem with this idea that the government can determine the kind of health care and the kind of coverage people ought to have to select.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on that last point, Juan, because you hear some Democrats now saying, you know, now that people have signed up and now that they're going to sea the benefits of it, maybe it won't be such an albatross and this is their argument, I understand. But the idea that well, you know, Republicans may have problems continuing to make the anti-ObamaCare argument.
WILLIAMS: I think that's exactly right. And I think we're still six to seven months from the election. So what you've got here is something that has diminishing political value for Republicans right now. Even though Republicans in terms of their advertising, in terms of their political messaging, are 100 percent onboard. That that is the way to defeat Democrats in the fall. I think it's a losing formula. But that's up to Republicans. I just don't see it right now having the same power that it did several months ago. And computers were also -- I mean it's -- you would -- and by the way, in terms of the question that you asked Liz, the first time Republicans would be able to repeal or defund or anything would be 2017. By then it's not going to be 7 million, Chris, it's going to be 25 plus million people according to the estimates who receive some benefit, direct benefit from ObamaCare.
HUME: The key question politically here is how many net winners and how many net losers? We know that there were millions of people who were thrown off their health care, and they may have gone on the exchanges and got a policy? How happy are they? Do they like what they got? Could they get their doctor in it? There are going to be a lot of the people in these millions who sign up who are not happy. A lot of people who were not able to find the policy. They're not going to be happy either. In addition to that, we have at some point along the way here we're going to see the effect of the employer mandate postponed. And its effect, though, it was. That's not going to be helpful. I think ObamaCare is a loser for Democrats going through this election cycle. And unless changed dramatically, it will continue to be going forward.
WALLACE: Elise, I want to just pick up on that. Because it seems to me that where we had this big national strike, how many people are going to sign up on the website? Now it becomes much more of an individual experience. Does your individual premium or deductible go up or down? Can you see the doctor? Can you get the service? That that's going to determine how people vote and view this as they get to November how it personally affects them?
VIEBECK: That's right. And Republicans have been so effective at using anecdotes against the law. And the White House has been flatfooted in responding to those. But I think when we think about Republican replacement plans, they are asking for the American people to judge them on exactly what happened to canceled insurance plans in the future when they proposed that.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. See you next week. Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," the Walton's John Boy all grown up and taking on the role of a president.
WALLACE: It was 36 years ago back in 1978 that a president disappeared for two weeks along with two other world leaders to try to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough. That historic effort has now been turned into a play featuring a very familiar face. And he's our power player of the week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD THOMAS, ACTOR: All three of these men had a huge amount to lose. And many reasons to walk away. And the kind of human miracle of the show is they just stayed at it until it...
WALLACE: Richard Thomas is talking about the play "Camp David," in which he stars as Jimmy Carter.
THOMAS: You are going to stonewall this entire time. Making peace requires compromise, painful sacrifice.
WALLACE: In 100 dramatic minutes, it tells the story of how Carter along with his wife Rosalynn spent 13 days at the presidential retreat struggling to negotiate a peace treaty between Egyptian president Saddat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what promises can you make to protect us?
THOMAS: History plays are complicated. You know, they can be like -- they can be didactic, or they can be -- can be like sitting in a classroom or they can be overstuffed with too many people and too much information. And we did the reading of the play, it jumped off the page. And went from being history to being drama.
WALLACE: Thomas as Carter starts off sunny with that famous smile. But as the talks almost fall apart, he turns feeling.
THOMAS: Egypt will be alone, destroyed for generations because of you. You want to become our enemy? You decide right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ...
THOMAS: It's a statement of fact.
Underneath that relaxed we're going to make peace, and we're going to be together, and it's going to be wonderful, there is also that man who is coiled with emission and with the pressures of the world on him.
WALLACE: Now at age 89, Carter came to the play's opening this week.
JIMMY CARTER: I have (INAUDIBLE) prayer for the last 36 years has been to help bring peace to Israel.
WALLACE (on camera): Despite this triumph, Jimmy Carter is generally regarded as one of our least effective ...
WALLACE: recent presidents.
WALLACE: Do you think that's fair?
THOMAS: I think he had -- I think there was a lot of bad stuff that he inherited as well. I mean I think it was a question of time, and every man brings his skills and his limitations to every job you got.
WALLACE (voice over): Richard Thomas got his biggest role when he had just turned 21 as John Boy in the hit TV show "The Waltons."
THOMAS: They say, you know, they never forgive someone who becomes successful before the age of 25.
WALLACE (on camera): How was that, though, hitting it that big that young?
THOMAS: Are you kidding? 21 years old and huge television star in Hollywood? What could be better?
WALLACE (voice over): Thomas has worked steadily ever since. He now plays an FBI agent in the TV series "The Americans." But his first big part lives on.
THOMAS: Still with me every day on the street.
WALLACE (on camera): Do people come up to you?
THOMAS: Oh, all the time, of course.
WALLACE: Good night, John Boy?
THOMAS: Absolutely, all the time.
WALLACE: I think it's fair to say that you have never hit that jackpot, that level of celebrity. Are you OK with that? The fact?
THOMAS: Oh, yeah. I'm working. I love doing what I love. You know, I'm a happy actor. I get to work in the theater. I get to work on TV and it's a wonderful life. And they're going to have to carry me off in a box.
WALLACE (voice over): The play "Camp David" runs at arena stage here in Washington until May 4th. Thomas and the cast hope to take it abroad. And that's it for today, have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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