REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING: Bob, I agree with what you just said. I think it would be very impractical to have it done. Now maybe on some general policy issue where the court is going to make a decision, perhaps, you could bring in an advocate. But, no, on day to day, life-and-death decisions I believe absolutely not. And also I think we should keep in mind and somehow people say this is secret, this goes against all our traditions. Grand jury proceedings are secret. There is no adversary lawyer allowed into a grand jury room and also any other-- whether it's drug cases or organized crime cases, child pornography cases, the government obtains warrants from judges without advocates being there for the other side. This is a legitimate role of government, and when we're talking about life and death and having lived in New York through 9/11 I know what life and death means. We cannot afford to have this become a debating society. We need decisions made quickly, yes or no, up or down, because lives are at stake.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask both of you, I'm sorry--
REPRESENTATIVE DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER: Sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --Congressman Ruppersberger, you wanted to add something?
REPRESENTATIVE DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER: No-- no, I'm fine.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I just want to ask both of you about this. These embassies that we closed last week are now opening today. There was some criticism of this decision to close them that maybe there may have been an overreaction to that. Do you-- do you think that was--
REPRESENTATIVE DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER: Absolutely, not. No, there was strong intelligence information, and any time an American is put at risk in the world or in our homeland, we have to deal with it. We have to be cautious. It wasn't just one incident. There is corroboration it's-- it's occurring and there was strong intelligence, especially in Yemen, you know, we have done a good job in Afghanistan and Pakistan, dealing with the core of al Qaeda, but al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula is getting stronger and their focus has been the United States. If you recall, awlaki who was brought to justice, targeted on the United States; the shoe bomber; the cartridge bomber; and they keep focusing on the United States. So we have a lot of work to do. And it's not just us. It's also our allies who are working together on these issues. Do you think they overreacted, Congressman King?
REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING: No, Bob, I don't. I agree with Dutch. The intelligence that I saw here was at least as powerful as anything I have seen since 9/11. Probably, the closest to this would have been the liquid explosive plot out of London in 2006. But this was very credible. It was corroborated and it spoke of a massive attack and to me it was the right thing to do. Now, I think we should stay on this. If we do get through this without there being an attack, I do think we have to be more aggressive. We should be doing more interrogating to try to-- to head these off in the future. But, no, the President did the right thing. And I think we should try to put partisanship aside here-- and I've been very critical of the President on certain aspects. I have-- when it comes to this, we can't be critical of Benghazi because there was not enough protection and now to say we're being critical because there's too much. It's best to opt to secure American lives, especially in this situation. This was really out of the ordinary. In an-- in an extraordinary world, this was the most extraordinary I've seen in at least the last seven years, and I think--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well--
REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING: --Dutch would agree with that.
REPRESENTATIVE DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER: Yeah. I would.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Can-- can either of you give me a little more detail on-- on why you thought it was so serious, Congressman Ruppersberger
REPRESENTATIVE DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER: I can only say. Look, we can't give out sources and methods but we say that we got a lot of intelligence from high levels in al Qaeda, both with their leadership and also in the Arabian Peninsula. We also just got other sources of information. We check corroboration, and, clearly, the people of al Qaeda and the terrorists and jihad, they'll be-- they are out there planning every day to kill us, and that's why it's so important that we do the best we can. The best defense against terrorism is intelligence. We have men and women who work at the NSA, work at the CIA. They get up every morning thinking they're helping their country. They do it pursuant to the law and we have checks and balances but we have to do better and we will. We will have some more legislation but we're not going to hold people's hands behind their backs and say that you can't do this, you can't do that. But we have to do it pursuant to the law and deal with this perception. And I'm happy that the President has made this an issue.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Congressman King, what was it, if you can say, that convinced you that this was the most serious thing since what we were finding out about in the days after 9/11? Is there any specific thing?
REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING: Yes, there were several. This was not a case of connecting the dots. This was clear, explicit intelligence, and evidence, and that's as far as I can go. But if I could add on to what Dutch said, these people in the NSA are patriots. It's probably what's annoyed me the most over the last several months is people casually using words like "spying," "snooping." What is the NSA up to now? Does anyone really think that General Alexander wants to snoop on Americans or is listening in on private conversations? I think that has really demeaned the whole political dialogue and that's why I wish the President be more outgoing before this war and defended the NSA a lot more than he did because this has really been a slander on the thousands of good men and women who every day dedicate their lives for our country. And, particularly, General-- General Alexander, who is as patriotic as anyone I has ever met in government or anywhere. And this is-- there is too much loose talk here. Again, every time I hear snooping and spying, it just drives me crazy. Because we know, Dutch and I know-- know what these men and women are doing and they're absolutely dedicated patriots.