TSA chief: Screening will be minimally invasive
Sunday Rundown: A quick wrap-up of the Sunday talk shows.
UPDATED at 3:26 p.m.
The Associated Press reports that TSA administrator John Pistole has softened his position following his CNN appearance earlier Sunday, in which he said there would be no change in the agency's passenger screening policy.
The head of the federal agency responsible for airport security says screening procedures should be as minimally invasive as possible, shifting his position that there would be no change in controversial scans and pat-downs.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, said in a statement Sunday afternoon that the agency is constantly evaluating and adapting security measures and there is a continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure air safety.
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - TSA chief: No change to pat-down policy
Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole acknowledged that new TSA screening procedures are "invasive" and "uncomfortable," but he denied that the agency is considering changing its policy. "No," Pistole said. "Not going to change."
Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, said he is "encouraged" by the results of last week's NATO summit in Lisbon. He singled out the agreement that the Afghan government would assume responsibility for internal security by 2014. Mullen said he is "confident" that a drawdown of NATO forces would begin in 2011. Mullen described the U.S relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai as having "had its ups and downs," and reiterated President Obama's comments that "we need to listen to him, but he also needs to listen to us."
Mullen described reports that North Korea has unveiled a new nuclear plant as "belligerent behavior" that "validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium, which they've denied routinely." On a new U.S.-Russia START treaty that is currently facing Republican opposition in the Senate, Mullen said "here's an opportunity to get this done now. And from a national security perspective, I really believe we need to do that." Mullen said Marine Commandant James Amos -- who has said the military should not lift its ban on allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly -- would be in lockstep with the administration if the law changes.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Clinton: Ratify START by end of year
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that last week's agreement among NATO leaders on an exit strategy for Afghanistan "was a great vote of confidence in President Obama's strategy for Afghanistan." On the issue of the new START treaty, Clinton said that the administration is "continuing to work with all of our Democratic and Republican senators to try to get to a point where we can hold that vote this year." Clinton also defended the civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani, the terror detainee who was convicted last week on only one of 285 counts, saying that "more terrorists are serving time in prison right now because of Article III courts than military commissions." And asked whether she's done with elective office, Clinton responded, "I am."
Texas governor and incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association Rick Perry discussed the authority of the federal government. Perry said that it's important to "devolve power out of Washington, D.C., back to the states," which he called the "laboratories of innovation." Perry also took aim at Social Security, calling it a "Ponzi scheme," and charged that Washington "made a serious mistake" in bailing out failing banks and businesses. Asked about a study last week that showed millions of jobs were saved or created by the GM and Chrysler bailouts, Perry pointed to the fact that Texas created 850,000 jobs during the last decade. Perry also said that he disagrees with George W. Bush on "what Washington's role should be," and reiterated that he's not running for president, because "the action is down here in the states."
NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Jindal says no to 2012 bid
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the decision on whether to ratify the START Treaty "goes beyond politics; this should be nonpartisan, not just bipartisan." On Afghanistan, Clinton reiterated that the transition to Afghans taking the security lead "begins next year in 2011." Clinton also weighed in on the recent TSA screening controversy, saying that the "vast majority" of flyers are "law abiding citizens," but that "terrorists are adaptable;" she added that she's "absolutely confident" that the process will get "better and less intrusive." Clinton also again pushed back on the notion that she may one day run for president, saying that she's "out of politics."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said that he's not running for president in 2012, but he didn't rule out the possibility of serving as the Republican nominee's running mate. "I'm not gonna turn down something that's not been offered," Jindal said, noting that he's running for re-election as governor in 2011. Jindal sharply criticized the TSA's new screening process, charging that the Obama administration "rolled this out right before the busiest travel time of the year, never making their case to the American public." He also took aim at the administration's response to the Gulf oil spill. "The frustration was actually getting a response, actually getting moving assets on the ground," he said.
ABC: THIS WEEK - Mullen: START ratification is a national security issue
Mullen said North Korean President Kim Jong-Il is "predictable in his unpredictability" and "constantly desires to destabilize the region." Mullen said North Korea has defied multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and described reports that the country has a new nuclear plant are "a huge concern for all of us." He added that "the assumption ... is that they continue to head in the direction of additional nuclear weapons." Mullen described the new START treaty as "a national security issue." He said he was comfortable with virtually all aspects of the agreement, but declined to accuse Senate Republicans of playing politics by holding up ratification of the treaty. However, "the sooner we get it done, the better," he said.
Mullen said he "absolutely" supports repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said it "belies us as an institution." He said he would prefer that Congress pass a law to end the policy rather than leaving it to the court system.
CBS: FACE THE NATION - Hoyer: Create civilian courts at Gitmo
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said "there is no doubt the START treaty is in the interest of the United States." She suggested that she is not surprised the treaty is facing opposition in the Senate. "It's always difficult to get these treaties through," Clinton said. "It always takes a lot of presidential effort." Clinton said Afghan President Hamid Karzai is "fully in support" of the NATO strategy in his country following the NATO summit. She said "the very legitimate questions" Karzai's raised with his recent criticism of the U.S. military's use of night raids is getting "blown out of proportion." She said the White House is listening to Karzai's concerns. Clinton said she would not submit to a TSA pat-down if she could avoid it. "I mean, who would," Clinton said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he thinks the government could create civilian courts at Guantanamo Bay and hold civilian trials there. He said bringing high-profile terror suspects to the United States for trial is "probably not going to happen" given the current political climate. Hoyer said he is willing to work with Republicans to reach an agreement on extending middle-class tax cuts. He said that he would have run for minority leader if Pelosi hadn't, and he thinks he would have won.
CSPAN: NEWSMAKERS - Clyburn: Rangel was treated fairly
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the incoming Assistant Leader, said that it's not "essential" for the Bush-era tax cuts to be extended, because "you've got a big deficit reduction taking place, which is also a good thing." He said that he hoped both parties would soon reach an agreement on extending the cuts, adding that he is "not going to budge" on providing a middle class tax cut. On the ethics trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Clyburn said that he believes Rangel would agree with him that "for the past two years, things have gone along relatively fairly" in the trial; he also said that Rangel is being held to a higher standard due to his standing as former Ways and Means Committee chairman.
Clyburn also argued that Democrats lost the House by a total of less than 250,000 votes, and promised that many Democrats who were defeated earlier this month will be back. "I guarantee you that if we can speed up this recovery from 25 miles-per-hour to 55 miles-per-hour and we keep growing the private sector as we have been, we will have the wind at our backs two years from now, and a lot of these people will be back," he said. He defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her a "very focused organizer," a "prolific fundraiser" and a "great tactician."
Matt DeLong and Felicia Sonmez
| November 21, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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