This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 10, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Republican Senator Kit Bond says President's Obama's top counterterrorism adviser should be fired. Why? Senator Bond went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.
SEN. KIT BOND, R - MO.: Thank you, Greta. It's nice to see you in person. We watch you all the time at home.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's good. Always -- always happy to have viewers. So you're making headlines today, calling for the termination, the firing of Mr. Brennan at the White House.
BOND: I have a couple of concerns about him. John Brennan, as head of intelligence for national security, should have been setting up an interrogation process last year when the president back in January said the CIA can no longer interrogate. But he didn't do it. And instead, he's come out as a political spokesman for the White House. He went on national television and said I and other congressional leaders -- there are about eight of us who'd been briefed -- obviously knew that Abdulmutallab was going to be Mirandized. We did not. That's not true.
But what my real beef is with the administration that seems to be going back to a pre-9/11 mentality, where they treat terrorists as ordinary criminals. That was deadly in the past, and I'm afraid it will be again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's sort of interesting because Mr. Brennan -- when President Obama first came into office, it was thought that he would be named director of the CIA, but liberal were concerned about him being director of the CIA because he had been sort of -- he had been associated with interrogation, enhanced interrogation techniques. So now it's sort of interesting that he's now getting -- you know, the Republicans now don't want him.
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BOND: Well, I know he had a great record of service in the past. But what he's done and what he hasn't done really concerns me. That's part of the policies that the administration has set forth. And they're just policy after policy that's not the way you fight when the terrorists have declared war on us and want to bring in people to bring down airplanes, blow up buildings.
We have got to take a proactive stance, and that means asking a guy like the underpants bomber immediately after you get him all he knows about Yemen, the people who taught him, because they're teaching more, and what knows about others who may be coming.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, now, they say that he's talking. Does that make any difference to you, or do you think the administration sort of, you know, got lucky that he's talking, that he's giving information, or do you doubt the value of the information he's giving?
BOND: Two points. They're bragging about how valuable the information is, now that they brought his family in and got him to talk. But that's five weeks after -- afterwards. And both Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Brennan said, Oh, we got all the information we needed questioning for 50 minutes. Anybody who knows intelligence knows that's just ridiculous. You can't get the information you need.
Now, as far as the information they got, I was told by the CIA -- excuse me, the FBI director, that it was so sensitive he was talking, they only briefed eight members of Congress. We were absolutely forbidden to talk about it. Yet the next afternoon, the White House proudly said, Hey, look at all we've done.
And they blew it. Not only did they blow it, but by telling there was a family involved, they put a big bullseye on the back of his family who were cooperating with us, which sends a message not only is deadly for them, sends a message to other sources that maybe the White House will brag about what you told us about a terrorist group.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is -- are you -- is the -- is Capitol Hill, the Senate, the appropriate committees -- are you being informed about what he's saying? I realize that it's classified and we can...
BOND: We -- we did...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... but are you satisfied you're getting straight information?
BOND: I think once the -- and I think when the FBI comes in to brief us, they give us the best information, and the CIA does, as well.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is it...
BOND: I'm worried...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... good information? Is it -- I mean, you know, is it -- it is quality information?
BOND: Well, we think -- we think it's quality information. We're still -- we're still looking at it and watching. Part of our oversight, they have to make -- they have to get the information. We have to find out what they're doing. We're following that. So my quarrel is not with the people who are getting the information. My quarrel is with the policy that comes from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting. I remember Christmas Day, and it seems to me -- and it's almost like a little bit "Who's on first" because that information about what happened in Detroit -- the president wasn't notified for several hours later -- not the president's fault, but the people who were obliged to notify him. I don't think Secretary Gates, the secretary of defense, was brought into any of the decision-making. So it almost seems like we don't know the process once something very suspicious, some terrorist activity, you know -- you know, it's almost like we don't know what we're supposed to do in terms of the process. That's distressing!
BOND: Well, I know what we're supposed to do. We should have had an interrogation unit, the high-value detainee interrogation unit set up. That was not set up for almost a year after the president took away that responsibility from the CIA.
The intelligence community should and must be consulted before somebody decides to Mirandize a suspect and say, You have a right to remain silent, we'll give you a lawyer. That shut him down for five weeks. Now, the person who made the decision was the attorney general. He's admitted that. But the people who are left out, the director of national intelligence, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, and obviously, Congress and the secretary of Homeland Security.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it doesn't almost -- it seems to me that, you know, from this day forward, what we should do is that the minute something like that happens, the president should be notified immediately, the attorney general, director of CIA, secretary of defense, Homeland Security, I mean, everybody immediately. It shouldn't be that we're getting Fox News alerts on our BlackBerries ahead of these important people -- so that we can decide what's the most prudent thing to do.
BOND: Well, I agree with you. I love the Fox News alerts. I get those -- I got that on my BlackBerry. But before they make...
VAN SUSTEREN: We'll take that advisement!
BOND: Listen, I'm trying to -- I'm trying to -- you got -- you got an SUV to bring me in today in the snow, so I got to plug you all I can.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK!
BOND: But the intelligence community should be consulted to determine whether he has intelligence that they need right away. They needed that intelligence right away. It's perishable. They lost five weeks.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the White House says, essentially, you're being political at this, that...
BOND: Hey, listen, I'm not the one who decided for political reasons -- and their statements indicate it was to answer political criticisms. Now, the Bush administration was criticized. They didn't release classified information or sensitive information. They released it, claimed they had a great success, but that put at risk the family who talked, the future sources. And it also meant that our terror fighters who should have been going after those sources, following up that information in Yemen, had their cover completely blown.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any other Republican senators or Democratic senators joining you to ask the president to get rid of Brennan?
BOND: I haven't -- I haven't been back very long to talk...
VAN SUSTEREN: The snow?
BOND: We've -- we're in "snowmageddon" up here, and I'm just lucky I got to come in with the four-wheel-drive vehicle today, or I wouldn't have gotten here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you very much. And good luck getting home, sir.
BOND: Well, that's -- we got our fingers crossed. Thank you, Greta.
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