Today's Lauer to author Suskind: "[B]y talking about" DHS inadequacies, "don't you risk emboldening our enemies"?

››› ››› ROB MORLINO

Interviewing author Ron Suskind, whose new book found the Department of Homeland Security to be "nonexistent" and "basically a joke," NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer asked Suskind if he risks "emboldening our enemies" by "talking about some of the weaknesses in policy and procedure" in the U.S.

On the June 19 broadcast of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer interviewed Ron Suskind, author of The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (Simon & Schuster, June 2006), an examination of the U.S. response to terrorist threats following the September 11 attacks. Stating that Suskind's book found the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be "nonexistent" and "basically a joke," Lauer then asked Suskind: "[B]y talking about some of the weaknesses in policy and procedure that we face in this country, don't you risk emboldening our enemies as opposed to keeping them at arm's length?"

Citing administration and law enforcement officials, Suskind reported in his book that Al Qaeda had planned to attack New York City subways with cyanide gas in 2003, but terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called off the plans for reasons as yet undetermined.

From the June 19 broadcast of NBC's Today:

LAUER: Real quickly here, Ron. You say in the book Homeland Security -- I'm paraphrasing here -- basically a joke.

SUSKIND: Yeah, right. Yeah, basically. Yeah.

LAUER: You say it's nonexistent. And so the second part of that is, by saying that and by talking about some of the weaknesses in policy and procedure that we face in this country, don't you risk emboldening our enemies as opposed to keeping them at arm's length?

SUSKIND: Matt, I checked to the fare-thee-well -- everything in this book is stuff that Al Qaeda has known, in many cases, for years. There is nothing, nothing in this book, be assured, that advantages Al Qaeda in any way. Everything here, for the most part, they already know and in some cases have responded to.

Posted In
Government, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Matt Lauer
Show/Publication
Today Show
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