Face the Nation Transcripts October 12, 2014: Frieden, Panetta, McCaul

The latest on the fight against ISIS and the efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak

(CBS News) -- Below is a transcript of the October 12 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included: Dr. Tom Frieden, Rep. Michael McCaul, Dr. Jon Lapook, Leon Panetta, Debora Patta, Elizabeth Palmer, Vicente Arenes, Peggy Noonan, David Ignatius, David Rohde and Susan Page.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm Bob Schieffer. And today on FACE THE NATION, overnight news. A second case of Ebola confirmed in Dallas. Word this morning that a health care worker who treated Thomas Duncan has been diagnosed with Ebola. We'll get details from the head of the Centers for Disease Control, Doctor Tom Frieden; House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. And we'll have a report from Liberia where U.S. troops are in place to help fight the deadly disease.

We'll go to Iraq for the latest on the war with ISIS. We'll talk to former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta whose withering criticism of the President's strategy has stunned official Washington.

Plus, an all-star panel, including Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, David Rohde of Reuters, and Susan Page of USA Today. Sixty years of news because this is FACE THE NATION.

And good morning again. We want to go first to Atlanta and the CDC Director Doctor Tom Frieden for the latest on this new case of Ebola, which was confirmed in Dallas overnight. Doctor, thank you so much. The authorities at the hospital are saying that the person who has now been diagnosed as having Ebola was a health care worker. They don't give the gender, and was exposed to Duncan, the man who died down there on his second visit to the hospital. Obviously, he was showing symptoms by then. But that the worker had been considered at that point in a low-risk situation and they say he was following CDC protocols. In other words, wearing the gown, wearing the gloves, and all of that. Doesn't this make this even more serious than we thought it was?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN (CDC Director): We are deeply concerned about this new development with a preliminary positive in a health care worker who cared for the index patient in Dallas on multiple occasions after his diagnosis. I think the fact that we don't know of a breach in protocol is concerning because, clearly, there was a breach in protocol. We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients. The fact is that the individual who became ill was as per protocol self-monitoring, immediately when they developed symptoms, they isolated themselves, they were promptly isolated at the hospital so that any further spread from that individual was stopped. And, fundamentally, at this point, there are four things that we're doing. First, is to make sure that that individual is cared for safely and effectively. Second, we're identifying that individual's contacts and our CDC team lead for this investigation on the ground in Dallas interviewed that individual in detail. Third, we now consider all of the health care workers who cared for the index patient potentially to have been exposed and we'll be rostering those individuals and determining which require active follow-up in addition to their self-monitoring. And, fourth, we'll conduct a full investigation of what happens before health workers go in, what happens when they're there, and what happens in taking out-- taking off their protective equipment, because infections only occur when there's a breach in protocol.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me just make sure I understand what you're saying here. Are you saying that somehow or another by accident or otherwise that one of the protocols was violated or not followed and-- and that's how this happened, not because there are other ways that you can get this disease? Is that basically what you're saying, Doctor?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: That's correct. We know from many years of experience that it's possible to care for patients with Ebola safely without risk to health care workers. But we also know that it's hard that even a single breach can result in contamination. And one of the areas that we look at closely are things like how you take off the gear that might be infected or contaminated. Another that we'll be looking at closely in-- in the investigation is the-- the interventions that were done to try desperately to keep the index patient alive. This included dialysis and intubation. These are two procedures which can result in the spread of infectious material.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And how many of these workers are you now monitoring, Doctor?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: We're now looking at all individuals who cared for the index patient and we'll be determining how many of those may potentially have had contact that would have resulted in a breakdown of protocol and possible contamination.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But, I mean, approximately, is that two dozen people? Is that ten people? How many people are you monitoring down there at that hospital?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: Yeah. I can't give you an exact number. These are late-breaking developments. We got the preliminary positive test last night, less than twelve hours ago, late last night. And our team is intensively working with the hospital on both understanding what happened, identifying other health care workers who may be at risk and also making sure that protocols are followed in the care of this individual.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor, let me ask you this: And I'm asking you just because I would be interested to know. It seems that the authorities are being very secretive as if they were dealing with top secret information or something like that. I-- I just wonder there must be a reason for that.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: I-- I don't think we're being secretive at all. Within two hours of the index patient being diagnosed, we had a press conference. Late last night we heard of this patient's preliminary positives and we're speaking to the press now. We want to give more rather than less information.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I understand. But--

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: We also want to make the information we give is accurate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --I don't-- I don't mean this as criticism, but I mean the fact that you can't even tell if-- if it's a man or a woman. There must be a reason that you're withholding that information.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: You know we really try to protect individual patient confidentiality. So sometimes that may seem excessive but if you were sick or a family member were sick, you'd really want the information coming from the individual or a family. There may be co-workers who would be able to identify who the individual is if they knew the gender, so, you know, we-- we would rather err on the side of safety and the side of respecting and protecting patients.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor, thank you very much. And we certainly appreciate you're taking your time to talk with us this morning. Thank you.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN: Thank you very much.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Officials at that hospital in Dallas have also announced they are shutting down the emergency room there until further notice.

DR. DANIEL VARGA (Texas Health Resources): We have put the emergency department at Presbyterian on diversion until further notice because of limitations in staffed capacity. That means ambulances are not currently bringing patients to our emergency department.

BOB SCHIEFFER: There are also reports, as I alluded to, in the interview with Doctor Frieden, that the health care worker, the identity of that person is that she is a female nurse. We're going to go to the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul, who is in Austin this morning. Mister Chairman, you held hearings down there. Let me ask you about that first. Have you been able to confirm, is this a female nurse who was infected?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL (Homeland Security Committee Chairman/R-Texas): We-- we have confirmation that it was a nurse at Dallas Presbyterian, I don't know the gender of the nurse, probably most likely female, but, you know, this really raises the issue of protocols and proper protocols and procedures. Remember, Mister Duncan when he was first admitted said he came from Liberia, had a hundred-and-three-degree temperature, and then was released on to the streets, which also causes a-- a threat to other people out in the community, and so we believe that the hearing was brought out with CDC and Homeland Security officials and state and locals that they need to start following better protocols. You know I'm very saddened to hear about the-- the nurse being exposed as well because, as I understand, the nurse was wearing the protective gear and there must have been some breach of that protocol.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, it sounds as if, like, for example, that this may have happened when this nurse was taking off the-- the gloves.


BOB SCHIEFFER: That they wear or something of that nature, but, clearly, it does underline the sensitivity. Our Doctor Jon LaPook who is going to be with us later in the broadcast has been talking to officials at the CDC and he tells us that they are now considering sending Ebola patients to just one of the four designated facilities, in Emory, at Emory, in Atlanta, at NIH, at Montana, and in Nebraska. Do you think that's-- that's a wise step there, if they should do that? Is that necessary?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL: Well, I think that may be wise because they are best-- they have the expertise to deal with this very horrific virus and we had five cases. Mister Duncan passed away, unfortunately. Now we have a new case and so I do think that's important and also it's important that we eliminate the source or threat at the source and the source really is in Africa where it's spreading like a wildfire. We have now over eight thousand cases of Ebola spreading throughout Africa and West Africa, four thousand deaths, and I think we need-- there is a lot of talk about banning flights. I think we need to target more the individual themselves and look at the idea of potentially temporarily suspending the thirteen thousand visas that would be coming out of this region, allowing health care workers to go in, because they have to contain the threat, but then when it comes to the sort of the original population out of West Africa, leaving-- I think until this gets under control, that's a measure that policymakers ought to be looking at them.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we have, as you well know, started screening at five airports now in this country--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --where most of the passengers from those three West African countries come from. Do you think that's going to help?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL: Well, I think it will help a great deal. We do screen at the point of origin, and then the point of entry within the United States and the top five airports where they would potentially come through. They are secondarily screened automatically. They come from the country of origin and coast guard medical officer will do an evaluation, including a temperature analysis. Now, this is a virus that incubates for twenty-one days, so that still leaves the possibility that somebody could actually still get through that process.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister Chairman, we are going to have a lot more on Ebola in the second half of our broadcast. I want to thank you for joining us this morning. We will also have a report from Liberia, by the way, but we want to turn now to the other big story, the war against ISIS. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer is in Baghdad this morning with the latest on that. We will have more on Ebola in our second half hour, including a report from Liberia, but we want to turn now to the other big story, the war against ISIS. CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer is in Baghdad with the latest on that.

ELIZABETH PALMER (CBS News Correspondent): ISIS is now on the attack in a kind of half circle around Baghdad from the north around the west, and down to the south. At the closest point their fighters are in an outer suburb called an Abu Ghraib, which is about eight miles from the perimeter of Baghdad International Airport. There are now twelve teams of American military advisors on the ground with the Iraqi forces whose are charged with protecting the capital and America is also carrying out airstrikes nearby, mainly to the west and to the south. Now, nobody expects a major assault on the city anytime soon, but it's likely ISIS will keep up the pressure with a bombing campaign by slipping through the many army and police checkpoints in the city and even civilian security checks that have been set up in all public places, including in mosques. In fact, yesterday more than thirty people were killed in three separate bomb attacks. Now, outside the city, ISIS is in control of some major sections of highway and also key towns. The Iraqis security forces fighting them are holding their own, but only just. There have certainly have been no major victories in the past few days.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Elizabeth Palmer reporting from Baghdad this morning. Thanks, Liz. And joining us how the former secretary of defense, the former CIA Director Leon Panetta. His new book is just out. It is called Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace. Mister Secretary, we are glad to have you.

LEON PANETTA (Former Defense Secretary/Worthy Fights): Nice to be with you, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You just heard Elizabeth. Do you think Baghdad is actually in danger of coming under attack now?

LEON PANETTA: I don't think we can take anything for granted with ISIS. They are-- they are moving against Kobani, on the Syrian Turkish border. They are moving in Anbar Province, as we have seen. This is a well-trained, a well-armed and, frankly, they are well commanded in terms of their ability to conduct war and I think we just have to be very aware that they represent a significant threat.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We have now been conducting airstrikes for what nine weeks and, yet, as you say, they continue to advance. In some ways they seem stronger rather than weaker. Is this strategy working?

LEON PANETTA: This is a strategy that is going to demand a lot of patience. I think the President has taken the right steps. We have got troops to try to help the Iraqis get their act together in terms of their security force. We are conducting these airstrikes. We are trying to train and arm the rebels in Syria. We have built a coalition force. But all of this requires great leadership on the part of the United States. We're going to have to keep this together and we're going to have to be very patient, we are going to have to be very determined. These airstrikes can help to a degree. I think they have helped kind of stifled some of the momentum in ISIS. But to make these airstrikes work, you have got to have information on targets and you have got to be able to pin point where the enemy is located and that's something, frankly, it is going to take time.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Basically, what you are saying, we have to have some kind of people on the ground here.

LEON PANETTA: You have got to have boots on the ground. Maybe doesn't have to be American boots on the ground, but you have got to have people on the ground who can identify targets and who can help us develop the kind of effective airstrikes that are going to be needed if we are going to be able to undermine, destroy this vicious enemy that we are dealing with.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The President's national security advisor Susan Rice was on television this morning and she said if I understand it there has been no recommendation from military commanders that the United States would combat troops in Iraq. Does that sound right to you?

LEON PANETTA: Well, the one thing I know about our military commanders is they are going to be looking at every possibility of how we effectively deal with ISIS. And I don't know what recommended-- recommendations they have made or not made. But I will say this: I think the President of the United States has to be open to whatever recommendations are made in order to ensure that we are effective in going after ISIS.

BOB SCHIEFFER: She said flatly this morning we are not going to get involved in a ground war in Iraq, we are not going to troop-- put troops in there. Should she be ruling that out?

LEON PANETTA: I've always felt that the-- the President of the United States ought to keep every option available in dealing with this kind of enemy. It doesn't mean that we need to invade. It doesn't mean we have to, you know, as Susan Rice said, have combat troops on the ground. But I think you want to protect every possible option, because we are dealing with a very resilient enemy and the only way you deal with a resilient enemy is with flexibility, adaptability, and the kind of determination that we're going to need if we're ever going to win this war.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We're going to take a break here. We'll come back and talk some more about this in just a minute.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Back now with Leon Panetta. Mister Panetta, in your book you talked about how the dysfunction that is now set in-- in Washington. You've all talked-- also talked about how control has been so centralized in the White House that cabinet officers, including the Secretary of Defense, sometimes were-- were told not to deal with Congress, for example, that all of those things would be handled in the White House. What's gone wrong here in this administration? I mean, for one thing, they can't seem to catch a break here, and-- and is it their fault? Is it just what's happened? What's-- what's the problem?

LEON PANETTA: Bob, there are--you know, having been in this town close to fifty years, you know, I've seen Washington at its best and Washington at its worst. And right now I think it's Washington at its worst because of the-- the gridlock and the stalemate that's involved in this town. A lot of things have contributed to it. But I worry about that and that's-- that's really one of the reasons. In the book I try to identify my concerns because we're looking, regardless of what happens at this election, probably two and a half more years of stalemate. If that happens at a time when we're facing the kind of crises we're facing abroad, at-- at-- at a time when we're facing major issues in this country, there is a certain sense that both parties have kind of given up on going after those issues and dealing with them. And this country cannot tolerate another two and a half years of stalemate. The President can't tolerate it. If he wants to be able to get the things done that he wants done, and I respect him for-- for what he wants to get done, he has got to get into the ring. Everybody's got to get in and fight to make sure that we do the right thing for the country.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what do you think there are some suggestions that he might be considering some major staff changes after the election? Do you think that'd be a good idea to just kind of clean house and start over? Other Presidents have done this in the second term.

LEON PANETTA: I always think it's a-- a good idea to bring new life into the White House. The problem with the White House is, as you mentioned, is-- is isolation. You isolate the President from a broad range of views. And-- and I understand this has developed over the years, more concentration of power in the staff of the White House. And, as a result, the President doesn't get exposed to a broad range of views that he needs in order to make the decisions. So bringing new life in, bringing new views in would be very helpful to giving the President that greater exposure to a lot of different options that he's going to have to consider if he's going to get things done.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You say in the book that sometimes he doesn't seem to show the passion that one needs to show that he approaches things as-- as a law professor.

LEON PANETTA: You know-- you know, look, I don't-- I don't mind Presidents who have the quality of- of a law professor in looking at the issues and determining just exactly, you know, what needs to be done. But Presidents need to also have the heart of a warrior. That's the way you get things done, is you-- you engage in the fight. And in this town, as difficult it is-- as it is, and it is difficult. I mean you've got Tea Party members in Congress who basically want to shut the government down and tear it down. He still has to have the ability to engage and to try to work with people up there who want to get things done in order to make sure that we just don't stalemate as a country. This country is strong. It's powerful. I think we could have a great future. But if all we do is operate by crisis after crisis after crisis, then we are going to weaken this country.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the President is now preparing options for closing down Guantanamo and doing it by executive order. That would be doing it without Congress's approval. Good idea, bad idea right now?

LEON PANETTA: Well, I-- I think the President was right to want to close Guantanamo. I-- I-- I respected that. And-- and, frankly, we took steps to try to do that. Congress put up barriers to that. But this is a big step and if it's going to be done right, I think the President has to engage with the Congress in trying to provide the kind of transition that's necessary to make it work right. We're in another war. We're going to be getting enemy combatants. We've got to think about how we're going to deal with all of that, and the only way to do that is working together on what is a major issue that-- that is going to have to be confronted.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Leon Panetta, it's always a pleasure to have you.

LEON PANETTA: Nice to be with you, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you so much. And we'll be back in a moment. I'll have some personal thoughts.


BOB SCHIEFFER: How many weeks I have lost count, but it was another awful week. Two cases of Ebola, one fatal have now been confirmed on U.S. soil; and ISIS is on the move in northern Iraq and Syria. American warplanes were in the air again, but it was hard to judge their impact. And now the United States and its ally Turkey are at odds over how to confront the terrorists.

The stock market had a bad week and China finally passed United States as the world's largest economy. Not surprising, then, that a Chinese company bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel, the iconic New York landmark where Henry Kissinger entertained Chinese officials when the two countries first resumed talking back in the seventies. Now the Chinese own it. I guess this is just another example of the interlocking global economy, but with Russian billionaires buying up New York's luxury apartments, and now this, somehow it makes me a little sad. I have got to believe it's not what Rodgers and Hart had in mind when they wrote that great old song that says, "We'll have Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, too. It's lovely going through the zoo." No, they'd be surprised by all of this, but it is a great song and we still own the zoo.

Back in a minute.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now, but for most of you we'll be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including an update on the new case of Ebola in Dallas and we'll have our panel. So stay with us.


BOB SCHIEFFER: And welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We want to get an update first on the condition of the Dallas Ebola patient, the new patient. CBS News correspondent Vicente Arenas is outside Texas Health Presbyterian. Vicente.

VICENTE ARENAS (CBS News Correspondent): Good morning, Bob. Listen, ninety minutes after that (INDISTINCT) detected, they had a fever. They ended up here at Texas Health Presbyterian. We're told that nurse is now in stable condition. The Texas Department of Health conducted the initial test here. Now the Centers for Disease Control must confirm the diagnosis. The name of the worker is not being released and a spokesman says the worker came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan during his second visit here. Duncan died from the virus last week. The worker who has now tested positive, we were told, was wearing full protective gear, including a gown, glove, mask, and a shield. A spokesman said he was very concerned that a worker could still become infected even with all this protection. The worker had been under a self-monitoring regimen prescribed by the CDC and forty-eight people are in what's considered a self-monitoring pool. Part of that process includes checking themselves for temperatures or for a fever at least a couple of times a day and, as I mentioned, less than ninety minutes after this nurse did that, they ended up here at Texas Health Presbyterian. The worker was in what is considered a low-risk pool and had not been to work in at least a couple of days. Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you so much, Vicente.

U.S. forces have now arrived in West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic. CBS News reporter Debora Patta is in Monrovia, Liberia, and here is her report.

DEBORA PATTA: The death toll from Ebola has reached four thousand but experts here in Liberia warn that it is probably much higher as there are still many unreported cases. Community awareness is key to halting the spread of the infection but Western support is also crucial. Last week another group of soldiers arrived in Monrovia. They are being deployed around the country by General Darryl Williams from an emergency operations center at a beachfront hotel boardroom. The Liberian government has welcomed the U.S. presence in Liberia but there has also been criticism that this is too little, too late.

MAJOR GENERAL DARRYL WILLIAMS (U.S. Army Commander): Well, what you need to understand, Debora, is that the government of Liberia, the ambassador's leadership, A.I.D., the U.N., CDC, a host of other non-government organizations have been here for some time dealing with this. And so we were brought in to provide our unique capability, logistics, engineering, training to fill a gap.

DEBORA PATTA: And in terms of filling that gap, do you think you can reverse the trend?

MAJOR GENERAL DARRYL WILLIAMS: And so it's a whole of government approach and we're just filling that small gap. The U.S. military is not here to solve Ebola.

DEBORA PATTA: The U.S. military has already set up mobile testing labs which can cut the time down to confirm whether a sick person actually has Ebola from several days to several hours. This will free up beds a lot more quickly. A short drive away a one-hundred-and-fifty bed U.S.-funded Ebola treatment unit is under construction. It will double the capacity to deal with the disease. But now there is a new concern. Liberian health workers are threatening a slowdown on Monday. They want danger pay and safer working conditions. The government says it is doing everything it can to resolve the dispute quickly but aid organizations are concerned that a potential strike could severely setback Ebola containment at this critical juncture.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. CBS News reporter Debora Patta in Liberia this morning. Our chief medical correspondent, Doctor Jon LaPook is here with me.

DR. JON LAPOOK (CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent): Hi, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor, I want to get back to this what they are calling a breach of the protocol. What does that mean? It sounds like they-- as they describe it, we have now confirmed it was a nurse that somehow or another all the things that the nurse was supposed to do apparently the-- the nurse made some sort of mistake, maybe taking off the gloves. What do you-- what do you read into this?

DR. JON LAPOOK: Well, it says to me that, you know, you really have to rethink where exactly these patients who are diagnosed with Ebola should go in the best of circumstances.


DR. JON LAPOOK: So there, as you pointed out earlier, there are four medical centers around the country that are specifically set up for these high-risk infections and they're in Emory, Nebraska, NIH, and Montana and of the six patients who have-- who had Ebola, treated in American-- now they're seven, I guess. Three of them were at Emory, two at Nebraska. In Emory and Nebraska, two of these high-risk centers they're specifically trained to deal with it, no health care worker has been infected. And so I asked the first thing this morning, I-- I reached out to Tom Frieden who is the head of the CDC and I said what about considering, you know, an abundance of caution, of course, every hospital has to be able to diagnose it but once you are diagnosed being sent here. So I just got this back a few minutes ago and this is what I heard back from the CDC. The developments in Dallas are caused to double down on all our efforts to make sure health care workers and hospitals are properly trained and that they meticulously follow guidelines-- guidelines while triaging potential Ebola patients or providing care to Ebola patients. Any hospital across the U.S. must be prepared, however, as we continue our outreach efforts it may be prudent, it may be a prudent measure to suggest certain hospitals which have specifically trained personnel and which have exercised their Ebola response plans thoroughly be prepared to receive first. So I am reading this as saying, yeah, that may be a good idea to once you have a diagnosed patient move them to these high--

BOB SCHIEFFER: To-- to these four different hospitals.

DR. JON LAPOOK: Well, and they have run through the drills, you know, in-- in fairness to places like Dallas and-- and places all over the country. We have not run through these drills in the way that these high-risk centers have so when do you make the mistakes--


DR. JON LAPOOK: --in the first couple of times you see the patients?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean do you-- is it your surmise and it can't be anything more at this point that maybe what happened this worker, this nurse took off the gloves or something and that's how this was passed on.

DR. JON LAPOOK: I think-- I--

BOB SCHIEFFER: You don't think this means there is some new--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --mysterious way that we didn't know about before to get this?

DR. JON LAPOOK: No and I know Doctor Frieden said the same thing.


DR. JON LAPOOK: This is a great time not to have magical thinking. There is forty years of experience treating Ebola. We know how it's transmitted. There is no evidence from the huge New England Journal of Review a couple of weeks ago that this virus is any different than any of the previous viruses that it's mutating or anything like that. We know that to protect the community it's a public health measure. So the individual patient sadly died in this case, but what protects the community is the public health system, isolating the person, making sure you track down their contacts. And I have to say after some missteps at the beginning where the apartment wasn't clean, people weren't moved out, the health care system did a very good job responding to this and, in fact, it took only forty-eight hours for the CDC to track down all forty-eight contacts in this case.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We have to move on. But let me just ask you this, my-- my sense of it is probably dialysis might be the most dangerous part of this test.

DR. JON LAPOOK: I agree with you. When I heard, and people are saying they didn't do a full-out effort, when I heard that they gave him dialysis that involves probably people have not seen what that involves a lot of body fluids. You're filtering the blood and also intubation when they put in a breathing tube. So that meant they were going all out and there is a potential to get exposed to fluids when you are doing these dangerous procedures.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay. Doctor Jon LaPook, thanks so much. We will be back with our panel in just a minute.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Time now for some analysis on all of this. Peggy Noonan, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal; David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post; and we have Washington bureau chief for USA Today, Susan Page; and David Rohde of Reuters. Peggy, you said you found Secretary Panetta's book obnoxious.

PEGGY NOONAN (Wall Street Journal): Yes, I did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What did you think of his performance today?

PEGGY NOONAN: Non-obnoxious. Actually I thought it was-- he said something important that gathered together some thoughts in his book and he said words that I think are going to prove to be memorable. A President needs the heart of a warrior. A President needs someone to feel passion and execute plans in a very personal and on the job and focused way. So I think he made that-- that point rather strikingly. He also made his points about ISIS and the possible need for boots on the ground over there. I found the book itself to be obnoxiously partisan and-- and, frankly, ultimately, unhelpful in that way. I always want the older and more accomplished and impressive members of our government when they come forward and rightly share their thoughts in books and memoirs. I always want them to be a little above the battle and appreciative of those they have had arguments with. So I don't feel I saw enough of that but I thought he was impressive today.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I-- I, frankly, don't agree with you on-- on-- on the first part of your analysis. I thought it was-- I found the book very helpful. David, what do you think of it?

DAVID IGNATIUS (Washington Post): I thought we were seeing the-- the real Leon Panetta. He is a passionate man when he said that the President needs to have the heart of a warrior, when he said he needs to get in the ring and fight. That's--that's Leon Panetta talking. But I think he does believe this is Barack Obama's last chance to be a decisive President. I think that's one explanation for this book that struck so many people was a kind of an assault on the President and the White House. Panetta believes deep down that it's crucial the President respond. He said one other thing that struck me today, which was the need for patience. This strategy has really just been out there a month. It's going to take some months to train up the people who can do the fighting in Iraq and in Syria to make the strategy work. And I did hear Panetta, this-- this strong, experienced voice saying be patient, wait for this to-- to-- to go forward, and I think he is saying people will be patient if they feel they have a strong, decisive, warrior President who is telling them he knows what he is doing.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, as we were putting together this broadcast, you know you always have to do what do we put first, do we do this or do we do that? And it occurs to me that both of these stories are really about national security in a very different way but really both about the health and security of the American people.

SUSAN PAGE (USA Today): And, you know, I think both these stories, the Ebola virus and the threat from ISIS are feeding into a sense that a lot of Americans have that the world is not only a dangerous place but that the government is not competent to handle them. Even the Secret Service controversy I think contributes to that sense. I think that's a very dangerous thing for President Obama, the sense that his administration is not competent to protect the American people that is the most fundamental job of a U.S. President. And I think it's a big factor in the midterm elections. I think it is increasingly-- that set of issues are-- are contributing to a sense that Republicans in particular are trying to tap as we go into these final weeks before the election.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you get the sense and maybe Congress ought to be in town dealing with all of this. I mean people say, well, it's an election year. I always go back to 1964. They did some pretty important things in 1964, including passing the Civil Rights Bill. Why isn't the Congress here?

DAVID ROHDE (Reuters): That's a good question. I agree there is sort of a growing, you know, feeling that the government can't handle this. One other trend that we saw, we just did this special report this week at Reuters, the White House is centralizing decision making. We looked at Syria but it's happened, then we talked about this earlier, both Republican and Democratic Presidents are trying to control things and you can't do that in a world where in one summer you have an Ebola crisis, you have the Russians going into Ukraine and you have this new crisis in Syria. You have got to delegate to the CDC, the Pentagon, you know, Secretary Panetta, and the State Department more. And our politics are so savage, frankly, and unrelenting that Presidents kind of get in this bunker mentality and that's what we are seeing.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But I mean if ever there were a case where everybody should come together and recognize we got a real problem here, I think it would be this Ebola situation. You can disagree or agree on whether airstrikes are helping, but I mean, a disease, you know, the-- the possibility that we may have, you know, some sort of epidemic, I don't think we are anywhere close to that right now, but we could have. One would think that that is where the two sides would come together, Peggy.

PEGGY NOONAN: Yeah, it shouldn't by any means be a political argument or a partisan one. Susan mentioned the word competence, that there is an anxiety about the government being competent to handle these real assaults of Ebola, ISIS, et cetera. It seems to me part of the competence question is connected to the word candor. I do think the American people hear the government talk and it incessantly talks and it talks in a concentrated way from a few people in the White House, as they hold on to their sort of concentrated power, but there is a lack of a sense in so many of these stories that you are getting it straight. That they are telling you really what they know, that they are telling you what you can do. There is always a sense, especially with the Ebola thing that they are trying to keep you calm. And it has that patronizing sound of we don't want you little people to get nervous. Look, nobody wants the American public to get nervous but we would all be less nervous if we had a sense we were getting it straight from our governmental bodies.

DAVID IGNATIUS: No, I think people do want to-- want to hear the--the truth. I'm struck, I read something this week that said the virus is multiplying on virus time. You know it just grows exponentially, it is a thousand and it's two thousand and it's four thousand and it's eight thousand. And our response is growing on program time, on bureaucratic time, on political time. And there is a mismatch. There are two clocks, and one is running really fast and the other is running normal speed. I don't think that this has been politicized, thank goodness. I do think that government officials are worried about panicking the country which is not a crazy fear given some of the responses you see. So I think they need to be careful, they don't want to talk down to people. They want to be candid, but they need to be careful not to fuel a public panic. So-- but I think that the deeper problem is until you get the two clocks in sync and then slow virus time this is really going to look like it's out of control.

PEGGY NOONAN: But if they don't seem more candid, I mean I understand your point about panic but they have to seem like they are telling the truth by telling the truth, then there will be no paranoia and sense of, oh, we are not getting it straight, they are not telling us. It's really a part of keeping people calm. It's being candid with them.

SUSAN PAGE: So maybe we need more Leon Panettas who are, you know, lots of-- lots of criticism this week of Leon Panetta for writing a book that's critical of a President still in office. It seemed to me that, number one, Leon Panetta has a long history. If you ask him a question, he gives you the answer what he thinks, which is just the kind of thing that gives people reassurance in their government. The second thing is Leon Panetta makes a point that there is still one-fourth of Barack Obama's presidency to go, his presidency is not over. We have got two-- more than two more years and I think he is making the case that-- that it is possible to change course on some of these things that have been so problematic on the centralization of power that David talks about, on the failure to listen to other points of views and sometimes to kind of talk an issue to death instead of-- instead of acting decisively and that seemed to me to be part of his motivation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: David, you were about to say?

DAVID ROHDE: Just that-- well, we got the feedback from administration officials is we were doing the story is that there's a feeling both for George W. Bush and Barack Obama staff that the smallest of mistake is going to be pounced on by your political opponents and they're just going to ravage you. And that--that the nature of, you know, of our politics now, so, frankly, complain about the media, the 24/7 onslaught, the instant need for an instant position, it's very hard for them to handle, and they are afraid of taking risk. And I think that's very bad for our system, you know, in the long term.

BOB SCHIEFFER: David, you made a-- wrote a column this week suggesting, and I must say I am sort of hearing the same thing, but not from many great sources but that the President may be looking at making some staff changes after the election. He would not be the first President who do this about halfway into his second term?

DAVID IGNATIUS: No. Well, in fact, Leon Panetta is a perfect example of how a President who is in real trouble, Bill Clinton was in terrible trouble in 1994. His White House was a mess. He had a very nice genial man named Mack McLarty who was presiding over chaos and he brought in Leon Panetta who cracked the whip and said everybody reports to the President through me and that's it. There is going to be no more separate deals and the Clinton White House began to calm down. So it shows what he can do. George W. Bush did it just the same way with Josh Bolton in the second term. So I think this White House is thinking we have two more years, how do we get enough bandwidth, enough intellectual capital to deal with what we know are huge problems. We have been talking about them--ISIS, Ebola, I mean that's just the beginning, China, and-- and so I think they are looking, I think they are trying to think who are the people who would-- who would help, bring in General John Allen, a retired Marine general, widely respected is described to me as the first sign of what you will see a lot more of after the November election.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And-- and we would also add that Ronald Reagan made some significant changes in his White House.

PEGGY NOONAN: Wholesale during and after Iran-Contra, oh, my goodness, he sold off-- everybody got canned and very serious and substantive people took their jobs and these were people who could push back very seriously against anything they didn't like. I understand what everybody is saying about maybe the President will make personnel changes. I rarely disagree with that, but my sense is, as David says, if you don't change the procedures that are not working, it's not going to matter so much that you have new people.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you mean?

PEGGY NOONAN: If everything is coming out of the White House and the executive agencies are lacking autonomy and freedom and become, therefore, passive vessels with names of subjects like energy, et cetera, if it is left like that, even a change of personnel won't work, if the President eases up and lets the agencies come back, help develop policy, it gives people outside a very small circle a voice that will help him.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Does the President simply need to talk to more people?

SUSAN PAGE: I think-- I think he needs to talk to more people and he needs to talk to more people who will talk back to him and one of the things we have seen is that the people with the greatest standing to talk back to him have left, you know, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, Leon Panetta, and they have been replaced by and large with people who are, tend to be more loyalists. People who-- who, whose stature comes from him. So I think that it makes him more reluctant to disagree with him when he might be considering a big decision. And, you know, besides the problems he is facing, he is going to have a different Senate, a different Congress, most likely, after the November midterms. He is likely to have a Republican-controlled Senate. And that's going to be something I think that propels as well changes in the administration to try to make these last two years something that really counts.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let's talk about that a little bit. Do you agree, Republican--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --controlled Senate.

DAVID ROHDE: I think he will-- George W. Bush got shellacked in, you know, the 2006 election and made major changes as well. The President needs to talk to more people. He also needs to delegate more, but again when we brought up sort of specific issues we had someone, a former White House official say that they admitted that White House now watches embassy security worldwide in the wake of Benghazi and, obviously, there is a huge, you know, controversy about Benghazi. They see it as an honest mistake where they let the State Department handle it and a tragic event happened. And they said we cannot delegate but I think they need to delegate and they need to sort of fire people if things go wrong. The President has been hesitant to, you know, clean house. He should delegate and remove people if they don't do their job.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Quickly, David.

DAVID IGNATIUS: I think the President will be wise to bring in some prominent Republicans among the new talent that he brings in after the November elections. He is likely to face a Republican House and Senate. He has got to deal with that reality, and if he is going to govern amidst crisis, he needs some allies around him who will help him gets them accomplished.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thanks to all of you. And I want to thank you and we'll be back in just a minute.


BOB SCHIEFFER: And that's all the time we have for today. We want to thank you for watching FACE THE NATION. We will see you next week.



Jackie Berkowitz, berkowitzj@cbsnews.com

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