The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, told CNN Sunday ISIS poses a threat to America and "there will be plots to kill Americans."
She said the United States needs to "build" its intelligence to "disrupt a plot in this country."
Earlier this year Feinstein criticized efforts to stop surveillance by the National Security Agency. She said data collection programs are necessary because “I know they will come after us if they can."
“Those of us who support the call records program do so with a sincere belief that it, along with other programs, is constitutional and helps keep the country safe from attack," she said in December.
“It is my belief we live in a world with serious jeopardy to this nation. And those of us on the intelligence committee see this frequently. Therefore, this program, in conjunction with other programs, helps keep this nation safe," Feinstein said.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday there will probably be another 9/11 and warned “the next time, it will be with far deadlier weapons than airline tickets and box cutters.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul sharply criticized Cheney and the Bush neocons for the crisis in Iraq. "I don’t blame President Obama," Paul told NBC News. He said the Bush neocons were incorrect in their predictions and about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "They didn’t, really, I think understand the civil war that would break out," Paul said.
Paul told CNN on Sunday U.S. policy in the Middle East has created a safe haven for radical Muslims. “We went into Libya and we got rid of that terrible Qaddafi, now it’s a jihadist wonderland over there,” Paul said. “There’s jihadists everywhere. If we were to get rid of Assad it would be a jihadist wonderland in Syria. It’s now a jihadist wonderland in Iraq, precisely because we got over-involved.”
Cheney has criticized Paul for urging a hands-off policy in Iraq. “Rand Paul, with all due respect, is basically an isolationist,” Cheney told ABC News. “He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved in that part of the world. I think it’s absolutely essential.”
Others in Congress have also characterized ISIS as a homeland threat. "The seeds of 9/11s are being planted all over Iraq and Syria," South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said last Sunday. "They want an Islamic caliphate that runs through Syria and Iraq…and they plan to drive us out of the Mideast by attacking us here at home."
Ret. Gen. Peter Chiarelli told ABC News "all Americans should be concerned" by ISIS. "I guarantee you: this is a problem that we will have to face and we’re either going to face it in New York City or we’re going to face it here."
Michael Morell, the former acting CIA director, told CBS News Americans will become a target if the United States helps a floundering Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraq Prime Minister. "The more we visibly get involved in helping the [al-Maliki] government fight these guys, the more we become a target,” Morell said.
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