Neil Cavuto: Meanwhile on sort of the same issue here, is 'see something say something' really doing nothing. The FBI is calling on Americans to speak up on any possible terrorist threats around them. Sounds good, but a whole lot easier said than done. Terrorism expert Steve Emerson says much more needs to be done to stop these attacks on the homeland from happening. And I guess 'see something, say something' doesn't do it.
Steve Emerson: It sounds good, but I don't know what it's ever produced. I don't think the government has ever actually produced the statistics about anything that's been found as a result of that [program]. The only reason that axiom has been used is because the government is afraid to use the word[s], 'if you see someone, say something.' Because if you use those words then the possibility is you might accuse somebody, a person, of being a terrorist. And God forbid that happens you might be accused of being an Islamophobe.
Cavuto: Or that we're profiling someone. But I always wonder because I'm just around the block from Times Square, everything you see warrants saying something because I don't know, I don't know where to draw the line here. So what is a good rule that people should exercise whether they're doing it overtly or not? What do you look for? What do you do?
Emerson: There are standards they always use in terrorism classes. You see somebody at an airport and it's 90 degrees and they're wearing a heavy jacket or they're sweating heavily, or there's no baggage and they're going on a long trip or something. Things that stand out obviously like that, that's very conspicuous. But again, it's very hard to judge those types of things that sort of stand out. If you see a package in the middle of the street that no one has picked up or in the middle of an airport, then of course you want to report that to the nearest security officer. But, again, most people are afraid to say something. And if they do, it's good they do.
Cavuto: Well they're afraid of being labeled racist if they - look what happened in Minnesota and those states because the argument was wait a minute these guys just don't look right. But if they said that, they're deemed instantly racist.
Emerson: It's not just that. There have been probably a dozen examples where airline passengers have pointed out people that say that they think look suspicious. They pointed them out to the airline employees or to the pilots. The pilots in turn have talked to the airport security, to the police. The police have gotten involved and then the passengers who has been designated as suspicious have sued the airports, have sued the pilots, have sued the airlines and won.
Emerson: So people get intimidated. The reality is that [there exists] an intimidation factor and [thus] nothing works. I'm glad to see that the FBI director says, 'if you see someone, say something.' But you know what? In the end it's undermined by the fact that the Attorney General issues guidelines that says you can't use religious criteria. You can't use the word Islamic terrorist. You can't use the word jihad.
Cavuto: Steve, thank you very much.
Emerson: You're welcome.