Highly decorated former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik tells Newsmax that failure to renew the Patriot Act would place Americans in “serious jeopardy” and could lead to a “catastrophic attack” in the U.S.
Kerik, who was President George W. Bush’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security before he withdrew his name from consideration, also said the detainees at Guantanamo Bay who could be released into the U.S. remain determined to “create the demise” of America.
Newsmax TV’s Ashley Martella noted that FBI Director Robert Mueller has urged Democrats to renew the Patriot Act, which is set to expire in December, and asked how important the intelligence-gathering measure has been in keeping the U.S. safe since 9/11.
“I think it’s one of the most important tools we have in combating terrorism,” said Kerik, who was police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks.
“Director Mueller’s request is something that should be seriously considered by Congress. At the end of the day, being as responsible as they must be, I don’t think they’re going to have a choice but to renew the provisions and ensure the safety and security of this country. Without those provisions, I think we’re seriously in jeopardy.
“You have to look at what happened on 9/11, why it happened, how it happened, the intelligence that slipped through the cracks. The criticism that came out of the 9/11 Commission hearings [was] about the lack of coordination, cooperation and intelligence gathering between our own agencies. We didn’t even have the ability for the FBI and the CIA to communicate.
“So we now have the ability, from a state and municipal level to a federal level to an international level, for all that intelligence to be gathered, analyzed, and disseminated to the people that need it to protect us.
“But if we lose these provisions, those elements and others will be lost, and I think the country will be in serious jeopardy…
“If we fail, you could see a catastrophic attack in this country or on our soft targets abroad, and we can’t afford that again, particularly right now with the economy as it is today.”