Face the Nation transcripts October 6, 2013: Lew, Cornyn, Netanyahu

CBS News

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on October 6, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, CBS News' John Dickerson, David Martin, and Juan Zarate, plus Gwen Ifill, Dana Milbank, and Jim VandeHei.

SCHIEFFER: Today on Face the Nation, major news overnight. U.S. forces got a long sought al Qaeda terrorist in Libya and launched a bold raid in Somalia. The SEALs were going after ringleaders of the shopping mall attack in Nairobi. There was a lengthy gun fight. David Martin will have the latest on that and the capture of a major terrorist in Libya who is a key participant in the 1998 East African embassy bombings. Back at home, the House passed legislation to give back pay to the workers furloughed in the government shutdown. Defense Secretary Hagel told more than 300,000 civilian defense employees to come back to work. The latest on that from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. And the number two Republican in Senate John Cornyn of Texas. Plus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's take on a potential thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations. Analysis on that and the rest of the news from the ""Newshour's" Gwen Ifill, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, Jim VandeHei of Politico and our own John Dickerson. The government is shut down, but we're not. This is "Face the Nation."

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington,"Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. And for the very latest on the terror raids carried out by U.S. forces this weekend, we are joined by our national security correspondent David Martin and former Bush administration adviser on Terrorism, Juan Zarate. David, first just bring us up to date, what is the very latest on what happened?

DAVID MARTIN, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Two separate operations in two separate countries, both in Africa In Libya, U.S. commandos snatched one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists off the streets of Tripoli in broad daylight, and he is now in U.S. custody, probably on a ship in the Mediterranean. This guy's name was Abu Anas al Libi. He was wanted for his role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was also one of the original members of al Qaeda, one of the few still at large, but he will now, after he's interrogated, be brought back to the United States and almost certainly stand trial in New York City.

SCHIEFFER: This was a big get.

MARTIN: This was a big get. And it was a risky get, because you were going into a major metropolitan area. The other operation, the one in Somalia, was conducted by U.S. Navy SEALs. And it was -- appears not to have been as successful. They were out to capture a senior leader of al-Shabaab, the group which was responsible for that shopping mall massacre in Nairobi two weeks ago. They got caught in a firefight before they could capture the guy, and had to withdraw to avoid another Blackhawk Down situation. And in withdrawing they were not sure what became of the leader they were after, whether he was killed, wounded or simply got away.

SCHIEFFER: And no Americans hurt in that operation.

MARTIN: No casualties in either operation.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Juan what, is the significance of these two things?

JUAN ZARATE, FRM. BUSH ADMINISTRATION ADVISER: Well, Bob it demonstrates that the U.S.has a long reach and long memory, in particular with the snatch-and-grab operation of Abu Anas al Libi right in the heart of Tripoli, somebody who has been part of al Qaeda since the 1990s. In the context of the Somali raid, I think it demonstrates the U.S. is growing more worried about the growing power of these regional groups, al-Shabaab. And in particular in the wake of the Nairobi attack on the shopping mall, what you see is the U.S. demonstrating that we need to get into the fight to not only go after the leadership of these groups, but to help our allies to disrupt their reach and capabilities. And I think it's an important moment, because both operations signal that the landscape has changed. It's no longer just al Qaeda in western Pakistan and Afghanistan that worries us, it's these regional manifestations, and the U.S. is now demonstrating we're willing to put our boots on the ground in some instances to go after these leaders.

SCHIEFFER: And probably better to get these people when we can capture them alive than to kill them.

ZARATE: Absolutely. And one of the key issues of Abu Anas al Libi, somebody who has been with bin Laden since the 1990s is what can we learn from him? He was in Iran with the senior leaders there for 10 years. He's been in Libya for two years, reportedly trying to establish an al Qaeda base there in connections to other groups. And so we'll want to know what he knows, not just historically, but currently in terms of what al Qaeda is planning.

SCHIEFFER: David, do you think we're going to see more of this now?

MARTIN: Well, I think the first thing that is going to happen is the terrorists are going to start taking more precautions about hiding. I think particularly al Libi in -- he was-- he thought he was safe in Tripoli because it's become such a lawless city. And I think he just stopped taking all the necessary precautions to hide. And now that two guys have targets in one day, I think you're going to see other potential targets be a lot more careful.

SCHIEFFER: All right, well, I want to thank both of you for coming by this morning. Thank you very much. Well, now, on to the big story here at home. There are 10 more days until the October 17. And that's when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says we will run out of money and could begin to default on our loans unless congress raises the debt ceiling. He is with us here this morning. Do you see any hope that this thing can get resolved, Mr. Secretary?

LEW: Good morning, Bob. It's good to be with you this morning. You know, I think that the simple answer is there's a majority in congress that I believe is prepared to do the right thing, to open the government and make sure we don't cross over that abyss that you describe. I hope that a majority will be given a chance to vote. The stakes are really high. The American people have come out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. The American economy is showing its resilience. Our leadership in the world is the strong-- we're the strongest country in the world. Our currency is the world's reserve currency. Congress shouldn't be creating self-inflicted wounds that hurt the economy and hurt the American people. So, I think congress can and should act.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me tell you something, John Boehner was just on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, and he didn't seem to think there's any way to get this started unless you all are willing to sit down and at least talk to him. Here's part of what he said.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: We are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase.


BOEHNER: I told the president there's no way we're going to pass -- the votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit, and the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.