Interviews

Man reportedly sneaks into cockpit at Philadelphia airport

Former NYC Mayor Giuliani weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Hey, you hear the one about the fake pilot who gets into a plane's cockpit?

Only, this isn't a movie and this wasn't Leonardo DiCaprio. This was a real-life fraud who managed to sneak right into a real plane's cockpit. Forget how Philadelphia Airport officials finally caught on to this guy and apprehended this guy. How the heck did they miss this guy? And how things could have ended up very, very differently, let's say if this were, oh, I don't know, an Al Qaeda guy.

To Rudy Giuliani here again to remind us, as if we should need the reminding, we have to be up on this stuff all the time, because the bad guys have to be right, right, Mayor, just one time, right?

RUDOLPH GIULIANI, R - FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Well, I mean, that's the reality of it.

Here we have done all this to secure airports and we have done an incredible amount of work, right, I think good work, all of the screening that's done and the rules with regard to the cockpit, and here you have a guy that got through.

CAVUTO: He used fake I.D. He had a pilot's jacket on. So he looked like the real McCoy, I guess, right, but...

GIULIANI: You would think in this day and age we could stop this 100 percent.

Now, this makes the point that President Bush always made, which is we have to be 100 percent in dealing with these things. Otherwise, we can have a horrible incident, and it's impossible to be 100 at anything.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

GIULIANI: It's impossible to be 100 percent secure.

Airplanes are probably 99.5 percent secure. But things like this can happen, which gives you a sense that the threat is still out there. And when people get annoyed at the delays at the airport and having to be searched, have a little patience. It's still there. And these people, as we were talking about before, they have an unusual, weird fascination with airplanes.

CAVUTO: Why? Why?

GIULIANI: Just think of how easy it would have been for them to bomb smaller targets over the last 12, 13 years, right, a shopping center, a building or this or that.

Somehow, it's -- going back to the beginnings of Islamic terrorism, going back to the ‘60s, they have been to this plane hijacking, plane explosions, Lockerbie. Just think of it. This is their attack of choice.

CAVUTO: But have we forgotten that? I always think now with the Department of Homeland Security sort of letting the Saudis decide on an expedited security system to check who gets here and who doesn't get here. And I'm remembering most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.

GIULIANI: We may have lost a little of our concentration, a little of obsessiveness about it because...

CAVUTO: It's been a while.

GIULIANI: ... because it's been a while, and we do have such a good system in place.

But that system can't be 100 percent effective, which this situation shows.

CAVUTO: Well, do you think in the case of the Saudis sort of policing their own and who they give security clearance to and the rest, knowing that so many of the attackers on 9/11 were of Saudi origin, does that make you uncomfortable?

GIULIANI: Sure it makes me uncomfortable.

I don't know -- I don't know the details how much due diligence was done to make certain they have got the right people and the right systems and they can't be infiltrated. Look, the Saudis don't want this kind of an attack. The Saudis are more concerned about terrorism than just about anybody in the Middle East.

So in that sense, they're a pretty good gamble. But, look, whenever it's out...

CAVUTO: You just hope that all the authorities in place there are all on the same page. Right?

GIULIANI: You never know right, because then inside Saudi Arabia there also are the extremists.

CAVUTO: Yes.

GIULIANI: So, yes, it makes me nervous and I hope this was very well-considered and I hope we have some checks and balances on it.

CAVUTO: You know, I know I sound like I'm digging with a bone here on this whole issue what happened with this guy.

But if that had been a bad guy, and he had made it to the cockpit, he could have slammed the door behind him, and he could have piloted that jet to God knows what, right?

GIULIANI: Absolutely, then off and running.

CAVUTO: How quickly in this day and age would authorities been able to stop it if he was intent on ramming it into something?

GIULIANI: Don't know. I don't know if they would have stopped him.

And of course the choice of taking a plane down when you have innocent people on the plane, that's a heck -- Dick Cheney had to face that choice when I was running around Lower Manhattan.

CAVUTO: Right.

GIULIANI: Dick Cheney was sitting in the White House trying to figure out, do we take planes out? There were about seven, eight, nine specific planes.

CAVUTO: But our official position is that we would, right, if it came to that?

GIULIANI: Yes. Yes. Yes. But that's a -- you don't want to have to make that choice, because suppose you make it wrong and then you just killed 100, 200 innocent people.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Even if you make it right, you kill 100, 200 innocent people. They're probably going to die anyway.

CAVUTO: Since the whole sequestration dust-up, Homeland Security has been pointing out we have to get rid of a lot agents. You're going to be waiting longer.

GIULIANI: Haven't we figured out this is a total fraud at this point? That a 2.5 percent cut in an increase doesn't mean that anything serious has to change?

CAVUTO: But what about these layoffs that -- they haven't happened yet, but the threat is that they will.

GIULIANI: Well, but this was a reduction in an increase. All they don't have to -- at most it should affect them. They can't hire more people.

If I'm spending X amount of money on my operation right now, and next year I'm going to spend more money on my operation, but a little less than the amount that thought, I don't have to get rid of...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: It's draconian, Mayor. It's draconian.

GIULIANI: I don't have to get rid of the people that I have.

Maybe I can't hire as many people as I was planning to hire next year or the year after. So somebody has got to explain this honestly. This is a cut in an increase. It's not a cut in the baseline of the budget. So, the baseline, you shouldn't have to lay off anybody. What you have to look at is, you expected X amount, you're actually getting less than X next year, so you can do a little less next year.

But it should not affect ongoing operations. If it is affecting ongoing operations, and I was the mayor or the president, I would have a new director of homeland security.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Wow. All right.

Good seeing you again, Mayor.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much.

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