September 12th, 2010
09:52 AM ET
13 years ago

Napolitano: U.S. will never be 'totally immune' from terrorism

(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday that the United States is “never going to be totally immune from threats” to its national security.

One day after the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Napolitano said in an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that the country is safer now than it was then, but added, “there is no 100 percent guarantee” that we won’t be attacked again.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff echoed Napolitano’s assessment.

“We have reduced the risk, we have not eliminated the risk,” Chertoff told Crowley on Sunday.

Napolitano said a small number of American citizens have become “radicalized to violence,” but said that it is “not unique” to the United States, “nor was it unanticipated that that could occur.”

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. save america, vote out republicans

    Republicans have destroyed the unity we had after 9-11. They have attacked the president, those who have lost their jobs in the Bush/republican depression, they are anti health care, anti union, anti police, anti fireman, anti teacher, anti nurse, anti muslim, anti constitution, anti worker, anti middle class, anti social security,anti medicare, and anti green energy. They are for tax cuts for the wealthy and big debt it creates, as well as war against Islam.

    September 12, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Jerry

    I agree, until we get rid of left wing folks like Janet Napolitano our country is in great danger.

    September 12, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. save america, vote out republicans

    Ever notice how republicans attacked Michael Moore for being fat and a liberal instead of congratulating him for his support of the constitution? The right wingnuts have ruined the GOP. Politics used to be about what is good for the country, but now for repubs, it is all about getting big bucks from big oil, big insurance, big coal, big banks and wall street at the expense of the middle class.

    September 12, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. L

    And we should not try....

    The only way to be 100% safe would be to cease being an open society with personal freedoms. Our challenge is to find the right balance point between security and freedoms so that we make it more difficult for terrorists without destroying what makes this nation great.

    September 12, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. rafael

    Looking forward to other articles devoted entirely to truisms.

    September 12, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. vic, Nashville TN

    When we are alert terrorist fail
    Flight 93 (didn’t reach its target) , Christmas day attempt failed, time square attempt failed Government can’t do every thing we have to be alert

    September 12, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |

    correct as long as we havbe a MUSLIM OBAMA setting in the Oval Office of the White House. He must go.

    September 12, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The scary thing is that, even though it's impossible to eliminate all risk, a lot of people, especially Republicans, seem to be willing to crush any civil liberty, and waste any amount of money, in counter-productive efforts to do so. That's one of my two main worries about the GOP taking over Congress in January.

    (The other, of course, is the Republican penchant for trying to impose the tenets, if not the beliefs, of their idiot religion on everyone–something else that repudiates the principle of individual freedom. I just wish I knew why those who offer even the pretence of fiscal restraint also seem to be religious nuts.)

    September 12, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. save america, vote out republicans

    The tea baggers are using the same tractics on the United States that Hitler used to take over German politics. As a vocal wealthy minority, have you noticed how they blame policemen, unions, teachers, workers, muslims and minorities for the failures of the conservative ideology?

    September 12, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. iShane

    ...and never were. And we are in no way safer, that is an impossibility, but heh, great job at validating your jobs existence, A++++.

    September 12, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. vic, Nashville TN

    Some people think only republicans can save us if we look the history republicans friends become our enemies ( Sadam Hussein , Osama bin laden)

    September 12, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    @save america, vote out republicans:

    "Politics used to be about what is good for the country, but now for repubs, it is all about getting big bucks from big oil, big insurance, big coal, big banks and wall street at the expense of the middle class."

    And, for Dems, it's all about getting big bucks for government itself, equally at the expense of the middle class. Both major parties are exponents of authoritarian statism–the only difference is in the details. Dems want to control society directly, the GOP both directly and by proxy. The net result, however, is the same: a reduction in individual liberty and a reduction in individual wealth.

    All of which is why I'm a Libertarian.

    September 12, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. save america, vote out republicans

    One does get tired of responding to "America's Most Ignorant" who call our president a Muslim, who refuse to acknowledge the statement of the republican governor of Hawaii that his birth certificate is legitimate. These mental midgets actually have done more to destroy the country than the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11.

    September 12, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. eldono

    As everybody knows, but is afraid to admit, WE are the only true threat to America. AMERICANS are the only true threat to America. WE caused 9-11 to happen. We let the terrorists learn to fly the planes, and then Clinton was too busy on the golf course when informed that we could have caught Bin Laden, and then, what NOBODY talks about, WE let the planes fly into the World Trade Towers. We have found the enemy, and the enemy is US.

    September 12, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Get A Grip

    Get rid of this inept, clueless, anti-American administration and our chances are we will certainly be safer than we are now.

    September 12, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. malabar

    dems are intolerant tyrannical crybabies. if there were ever a blueprint for attacking and demonizing a President, dems have themselves to thank. they disrespect and disparage conservative politicians and citizens in broad prejudiced strokes by the minute. and conservatives are supposed roll over 4 them? Republicans are not innocent, however, dems failure to recognize their divisive and hateful attitude is the opposite of what they preach and makes their arguments laughable.

    September 12, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. pkb

    It puzzles me why CNN has Michael Chertoff and the former lobbyist Townsend on all its shows as authorities on homeland security. These people are not on the staff of Homeland Security and are not privy to the most secretive workings of Homeland Security under Secy Napolitano. The most likely reason is that they are Republicans and CNN being Republican leaning, must give the Republican drift on everything.

    September 12, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Marcus

    Since there's plenty of people both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the USA that are out to 'change through terror & violence' what they perceive as wrong, as there always was and always will be, then unfortunately you can't honestly believe that there will be an end for such threat against all of us.

    September 12, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Pat-SJ

    Just for the record, Clinton wasn't "out golfing. Htried to stop Obama.but the Republican leaders accused him of "wagging the dog", and said he was trying to divert attention from Watergate. As for those who keep repeating that Dems are all for big government, Clinton shrank the government and Bush explanded it. Repeating lies doesn't make them true.

    September 12, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. ArizonaYankee

    Clearly, the biggest threat to US Security, including illegal immigration is Obama and the totally naive Napolitano. Every time I see them or hear their voices, I cringe for our country. Holder should be impeached and tried as Traitor, and Pelosi / Reid are a flat out disgrace.. Thank god November is coming.

    September 12, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Marcus

    eldono – GOPer historian... gotta love them, NOT. And not even original, Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' quotation?

    September 12, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. the real ib

    save america; republicans aren't the ones cutting funds from medicare. Work in the coal or oil industry and then tell me that democrats aren't trying to destroy our jobs in the name of green energy. I'm all for green energy which we are a long way from but you do not destroy people's jobs and lifes under the name of green energy. The job rate loss under Obama is higher than it was under Bush after Obama being in office for almost two years. Now tell me; it's still Bush's fault because that is the only thing far left liberals know how to say.

    September 12, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Snow

    Yeah, I have to give her that statement, but this administration only makes us more vulnerable.

    September 12, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. bradley

    Doesn't this strike anyone else as completely absurd?

    September 12, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Chad

    So I just read the comments, how un american is it that you censor the comments, I guess the propaghanda ministers at CNN cant have the sheeple thinking for themselves.

    September 12, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
1 2