By Tony Romm - 01/02/10 02:13 PM EST
The fallout from the U.S. intelligence community's failure to stop the
attempted bombing of Flight 253 will migrate to the airwaves on Sunday,
when top voices on national security canvass the weekend's talk shows.
President Barack Obama has already ordered a thorough review of all the evidence compiled prior to the attack, but the White House has nonetheless acknowledged the Christmas Day terror plot constitutes a "systemic failure" of its counter-terrorism operations.
Brennan, formerly the chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, also doubles as the White House's special adviser on homeland security. He is sure to face tough questions about the intelligence community's role in the planned Christmas Day attack -- including what evidence was available to federal officials before suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded the plane, how much warning they received and how the Obama administration reacted to those early signs.
Flanking Brennan will be a number of current lawmakers and former cabinet officials, many of whom are clamoring for additional investigations, new security regulations and tighter intelligence community reforms.
NBC this weekend will host two former intelligence chiefs -- former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden. The two advisers, who served under former President George W. Bush, will evaluate the Obama administration's record on counter-terrorism since taking office last year.
Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif) will join ABC for a debate over what the Flight 253 attack means for the country's future security.
The discussion is likely to be tense, as both political parties have excoriated each other for trying to score "political points" off the attempted bombing. Hoekstra, in particular, has occupied center stage throughout this side debate, in part because he incorporated his criticism of the White House's counter-terrorism efforts into a fundraising petition last week.
Lieberman and Collins are important players too. The chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the pair was the first to announce they would hold a hearing on travel security following the Flight 253 attack.
Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will join host John King on CNN's "State of the Union" this Sunday. The focus will likely be on DeMint's decision earlier this year to block a confirmation vote of Erroll Southers, the White House's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration.
Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 commission, will also field questions on CNN about the Flight 253 attack. Already, Kean has faulted the intelligence community for the same communication lapses that were evident prior to the 2001 terror plot. Michael Scheuer, formerly the CIA's point person tracking Osama bin Laden, will appear late on the program.
Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will offer his perspective on Fox News Sunday.
CBS's "Face the Nation" will recap the just-concluded year, with the help of the show's regular political experts.