On PBS NewsHour Monday night, former intelligence official Sue Gordon said that the US should consider a "9/11 Commission" for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda abroad against US citizens.
In discussing the response to the riot at the US Capitol on Jan 6., PBS anchor Nick Schifrin interviewed former intelligence official Sue Gordon who previously served in the CIA and various other government intelligence agencies.
Schifrin asked Gordon if the US had done a good job when it came to domestic extremists, and if there needed to be some kind of structural reform in order to deal with this kind of threat.
Gordon answered, "Yes, I think you almost need a 9/11 Commission kind of activity. It's got to be a combination of FBI. It has to include DHS. And you have got to find a way to bring intelligence or the craft of intelligence into it."
Gordon then went on to compare the investigation of the riot to hunting Islamic extremists and suggested methods that were used to combat terrorism abroad be used on US soil.
"You know, as an old intelligence hand, there are elements of this that remind me of the rise of Islamic extremism and what it looks like. And there are probably a fair number of lessons that we learned in the fight against foreign terrorism that can be applied here and some lessons that we probably don't want to apply."
Later in the conversation, Schifrin pivoted to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election when discussing de-classifying documents.
"…and that is the declassification of material that could reveal sources and methods when it comes to Russia's interference in 2016, what President Trump believes would benefit him politically. What would be the impact if that material is declassified?"
Gordon responded "…the question is, does it need to be made unclassified? The second is, what purpose is being served? Because there is always a cost of declassification. Sometimes, it's really good. Election security. A lot was declassified to try and show that threat. But it has to be done purposefully."
Gordon then cautioned against using the information for anything other than "the nation's purpose."
"Which pieces of intelligence are you going to declassify? What part of the story are you going to tell? Do they stand alone? Is it data that has credibility? And so you just can't do this casually. And it should never be done for other than the nation's purpose."
Schifrin then inquired about the possibility of President Donald Trump being denied intelligence briefings after leaving office, a courtesy typically extended to past presidents.
Gordon answered "…this isn't a time that you necessarily have to give him more access to classified information, because there are those who would try and do him harm. And the neat part is, I think I'm seen as relatively nonpartisan even since departure. So I hope it had a weight to it."
Gordon continued by floating the possibility of keeping some information from Trump "… all I was advocating was using the traditional standard of need to know. And my assertion is, I don't think this president needs to know at this time. If he does in the future, the administration can grant it then."