The Washington Times - September 11, 2011, 11:25PM

A number of 9/11 day scares regarding detainments, “tense moments” on airlines and airports have been reported today. The Drudge Report has highlighted these moments with the banner of President Obama’s speech. President Obama is quoted as saying, “America does not give into fear.” Interestingly, though, Mr. Obama’s own top counterterrorism advisor talked about people who “hype” the national security threat to PBS last week.

In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Wooddruf on September 7, White House Chief Counter Terrorism Advisor John Brennan responded to a question from Woodruff about whether or not there’s been too much emphasis on security in the United States. Woodruff went further and asked if a “climate of fear” has been created in Washington since the 9/11 attacks. Brennan agreed that “unfortunately, some people do hype” the security threat.:


JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, just turning some of these last questions - in fact, this whole interview - on its head, there are those who say that there’s been too much emphasis on security, that there - that the American people have been frightened too much, that there’s been even a climate of fear that has come out of Washington since 9/11. Is it possible that - is it possible, I guess I want to ask, to hype the security threat out there?

JOHN BRENNAN: I think, unfortunately, some people do hype it, and they do overreact when there is an incident - if we capture somebody, arrest somebody - and they say, oh my goodness, the system failed; look what happened; he was in Times Square or whatever. I think what we need to do is to make sure that we’re able to convey to the American people that this country is strong, we’re able to deal with these challenges, we’re a resilient nation, just like we were able to recover from the 9/11 attacks, that we’re going to face these challenges and sometimes, you know, some of these terrorists might get through the perimeter of security.

But we need to maintain our focus on them and, you know, rather than screaming for - oh my goodness, I want someone’s head to roll as a result of a - you know, a failure here, I think what we need to do is to get - take away lessons from all of these experiences, do what we can to bolster our security and move forward and, you know, set a shining example for the rest of the world about how we’re dealing with the challenge to our security in a way that respects the rule of law, but also is true to values that are not just near and dear to the American people, but I think near and dear to people throughout the world.

JUDY WOODRUFF: John Brennan, assistant to the president, thank you very much for talking with us.