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Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack: 'Domestic Production of Oil in America has Peaked'

You've said that people don't often talk about the potential threat of nuclear terrorism. Could you elaborate, first of all, on whether you think such an attack could happen in the United States, and if so, where the material would come from, and how the US could prevent this from happening?

I think it's important if we're talking about homeland security to recognize the most serious set of circumstances and consequences to people in this country, and to ask how we work toward a zero probability of that occurring. When the Soviet Union collapsed, 22,000 nuclear weapons vanished and we're not sure where they are all are. We know where many of them are and we know that some of them are still less secure than they should be. We know the potential for harm is great, and we know that we have a border where today we're building a fence to keep unauthorized immigrants from coming into our country. I think we ought to be as concerned about somebody crossing the border with a suitcase full of nuclear material and parking it in a major metropolitan area and killing not 3,000 but 300,000 or 3 million. Everything we do in homeland security should be focused on that more serious and significant risk, how we would prevent it, mitigate it, and deal with it. That involves an acceleration of the Nunn-Lugar process of securing nuclear weapons. It involves accelerating technology to figure out if there's a way in which we can produce nuclear power without producing waste material that ends up being turned into a bomb. It involves a continued conversation about what nonproliferation truly means in today's world, whether or not we need to think more broadly or differently about what that precisely means, and how, as an international community, we're going to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It's a huge issue, and it's one that's not been adequately addressed by this administration. You cannot be serious about an issue like this when you're focused on duct tape, warning systems based on color coding, and three ounces of liquids on airplanes! It's a much more serious business than that, and there needs to be recognition of that. That's why relationships are so important. In order to prevent that type of situation from occurring, you have to prevent a North Korea, for example, from being able to sell that technology to someone who might use it. You have to know through intelligence and through relationships around the world who might be doing this, who might be thinking about it, who might have the potential, and how you stop it. If you don't have relationships, you don't have intelligence, you don't have information, and you can't prevent it. It really is all about relationships. They're so important, and so ignored in this administration. We've essentially alienated most of our friends and unified our enemies, as I said earlier.

But you don't think that the fear of nuclear terrorism and the places it might originate from should leave open the possibility of US military intervention in either Iran or North Korea?

I don't know that you would necessarily, as a part of your diplomatic efforts, want to take any option off the table. But it is clear to me that there needs to be a more aggressive effort diplomatically than there has been.