May 29, 2008
During an appearance at a Long Island bookstore last month, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was asked by a member of the audience why the United States has not been hit again since 9/11.
"I honestly don’t know," Gingrich replied. "I would have expected another attack. I was very, very worried … when we had the sniper attacks, because the sniper attacks were psychologically so frightening. … I was amazed that the bad guys didn’t figure out how to send ten or twelve sniper teams.""This is … one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration," Gingrich continued. "The more successful they’ve been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we’re in danger. And therefore, the better they’ve done at making sure there isn’t an attack, the easier it is to say, ‘Well, there never was going to be an attack anyway.’ And it’s almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us."
Gingrich then recommended splitting the FBI into a domestic crime unit, which would respect civil liberties, and a "small but very aggressive anti-terrorism agency" with "extraordinary ability to eavesdrop."
"I think that your liberties in a domestic setting are paramount," Gingrich explained. "I would rather risk crime than risk losing my civil liberties. But I would not rather risk a nuclear weapon. … I think the greatest danger to our liberty is to actually have the country end up in the kind of attack that would lead us to favor a dictatorship for security."
This video is from C-SPAN 2, broadcast April 29, 2008. The full video can be viewed here.