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16 September 2001

Transcript: Powell Welcomes Support of Pakistan in Anti-Terrorist Effort

(Secretary of State appears September 16 on CBS's Face the
Nation)(3160)
The government of Pakistan has been "supportive and forthcoming," with
the U.S. government following the September 11 terrorist attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Secretary of State Colin
Powell said in a September 16 televised interview.
Speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, Powell said he had spoken several
days before with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, "and he
indicated full support. We provided him a list of things that we might
be needing in the days ahead, and they said they would provide that
support," Powell said.
He added that President Bush spoke with Musharraf September 15 "and
got the same kind of assurances, so we're very pleased with the role
that the Pakistani Government is playing," Powell said.
Asked about a press report that says Pakistan has told the Taliban to
hand over Usama bin Laden, the terrorist leader the U.S. considers the
prime suspect behind the bombings, Powell said "we're working hard to
confirm it. But it is a press report at the moment, and we'll be
confirming it in the course of the day with the Pakistani Government."
Asked about the sensitivity of the situation in Pakistan, a nation
with nuclear capability and many Islamic fundamentalists, Powell said
"We are very sensitive to that, and I know that President Musharraf is
very sensitive to that.
"So in our conversations with the Pakistani Government in the days and
weeks ahead, we will be mindful that they have internal problems that
they are dealing with. But that was part of his calculation as he and
his senior advisors and military leaders sat down and examined this
earlier in the week. And they came to the judgment that even with the
difficulty it might cause them internally, this was such a problem,
such a crisis, and the need to show solidarity with America and to
help America and to help the rest of the civilized world, that was so
important that they were willing to take risks. And I compliment them
for that."
The United States received "a rather forthcoming statement" from
Syria, he said, adding that "perhaps there are new opportunities with
respect to Syria, not just going after the Taliban and al-Qaida and
Usama bin Laden, but perhaps also dealing with other terrorist
organizations that they have been supporting in the past."
Iran "made a rather positive statement, for Iran," Powell said. "We
have serious differences with the Government of Iran because of their
support of terrorism, but they have made a statement and it seems to
me a statement that is worth exploring to see whether or not they now
recognize that this is a curse in the face of the Earth. And of course
Iran has always had difficulty with the Taliban regime in
Afghanistan."
"Just about every country has come forward, with a few exceptions" to
the U.S. requests for help in building an international coalition
against terrorism, Powell said.
One exception is Iraq, "and we wouldn't expect it to come forward," he
said. However, "at the moment, we see no fingerprints between Iraq and
what happened last Tuesday."
The campaign to find those responsible for the September 11 attacks on
the United States, and to wipe out terrorism will be "integrated" and
"comprehensive," Powell said. "[I]t will take the international
community. It will require intelligence actions, legal actions,
financial actions, military actions, diplomatic and political actions
-- all part of a comprehensive campaign not to go after just one
person but to go after a network, the al-Qaida network and to go after
other terrorist organizations that are practicing this kind of evil
upon the civilized world."
Asked if there might be a need to reinstitute the draft in the United
States, Powell said he saw no need for that right now. "The armed
forces are strong and with our very, very capable, loyal and so
patriotic reserve faces I think we probably have enough without
considering reinstitution of the draft," he said.
President Bush has authorized the calling to active duty of up to
50,000 reservists, and the Department of Defense has announced plans
to call up 35,000 reservists immediately.
Following is a transcript released by the State Department:
(begin transcript)
Interview on CBS' Face the Nation
Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
September 16, 2001
MR. SCHIEFFER: Secretary of State Powell is here. Mr. Secretary, thank
you so much for coming.
SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning, Bob.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Let me start with this report from Pakistan this
morning where the government, I understand it, has told the Taliban
that they are going to send a delegation to Afghanistan, and they have
told them to hand over Usama bin Laden.
What can you tell us about that?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I have seen that report. I can't confirm it
through our Embassy at Islamabad, but if it is an accurate report,
then I am encouraged that the Pakistanis continue to play such a
positive role in moving this campaign forward against those who might
have been responsible for the tragedies of the 11th of September.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Well, isn't that a little odd that, if, in fact, this
report is true that the US Government hasn't -- doesn't have any
information about it yet?
SECRETARY POWELL: I can assure you we're working hard to confirm it.
But it is a press report at the moment, and we'll be confirming it in
the course of the day with the Pakistani Government.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you, this obviously is what we want the
Pakistanis to do, but by announcing this as they have, is there
another side to this that perhaps they're telling Usama bin Laden you
better get out of town?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I can't speculate on that. All I can say is
that for the last several days the Pakistani Government has been very
supportive and forthcoming. I spoke to President Musharraf several
days ago, and he indicated full support. We provided him a list of
things that we might be needing in the days ahead, and they said they
would provide that support. We'll have to get into the details of it
over time.
And yesterday, President Bush spoke to President Musharraf and got the
same kind of assurances, so we're very pleased with the role that the
Pakistani Government is playing.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Was this, in fact, one of the things we asked them to
do?
SECRETARY POWELL: We asked them for a variety of things, and I think
it's best that we keep those between the two governments at this time
until we have an opportunity to see their reaction, and then it will
all become public.
MS. BORGER: Let me just add one more question to this. If the
Pakistanis did get Usama bin Laden, what would we want them to do with
him?
SECRETARY POWELL: Oh, I can think of many things. But I think let's
wait and see if they do get him. I hope that they will. If they do get
him and he is available in a way that would allow justice to be
served, then I would want to see justice served. There are all sorts
of UN resolutions and other statements out there, other requirements
out there to bring this kind of terrorist to justice, to get it to
stop -- to get terrorism to stop, to bring these sorts of people to
justice.
MS. BORGER: A war tribunal?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, we'll see. It remains to be seen what charges
can be placed against him and what Pakistani law might be and what
Pakistan might do if they get this individual into their custody. But
let's not over-speculate before anything has really happened.
MS. BORGER: Mr. Secretary, you have told Americans to be prepared for
war, the President has. What will this war look like?
SECRETARY POWELL: It will be a campaign. It will be an integrated,
comprehensive campaign. We're not fighting an enemy that is located on
a battlefield where we all can see the enemy and just go after him.
This is an enemy that intends to remain hidden. It's a very
resourceful enemy. And so we have to attack on all fronts and we have
to do it with a broad coalition because this enemy is spread out
across the world.
And it will take the international community. It will require
intelligence actions, legal actions, financial actions, military
actions, diplomatic and political actions -- all part of a
comprehensive campaign not to go after just one person but to go after
a network, the al-Qaida network and to go after other terrorist
organizations that are practicing this kind of evil upon the civilized
world.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Explain what the al-Qaida network is.
SECRETARY POWELL: Consider al-Qaida as something of a large holding
company. And the head of that holding company is Usama bin Laden. And
within that holding company you have got groups of terrorist
organizations that are located in countries throughout the world that
are loosely and sometimes tightly knit into Usama bin Laden. But
there's no doubt that the support for all of them, the essential
nervous system for all of them flows up what is all al-Qaida. And at
the top of al-Qaida is Usama bin Laden.
MS. BORGER: Should Americans be prepared to send ground troops?
SECRETARY POWELL: We should be prepared to do whatever is necessary to
deal with this threat. We are at war, the President said. But let's
not speculate on what particular type of military response might be
required.
MS. BORGER: Well, should we be prepared to kill civilians in this
process?
SECRETARY POWELL: You don't want to kill innocent civilians. But if
civilians are terrorists and they have made themselves the object of
our wrath, as the President and Vice President have said.
MR. SCHIEFFER: You have already said -- or we already know that the
reserves are being called up. Do you think that under any conceivable
circumstances there would be a reinstitution of the draft?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't see any need for that right now. The armed
forces are strong and with our very, very capable, loyal and so
patriotic reserve forces I think we probably have enough without
considering reinstitution of the draft.
MR. SCHIEFFER: You have been focused in recent days of putting
together this coalition. How is that going? Who is in it and who is
not in it yet?
SECRETARY POWELL: It's going very well. I'm just deeply grateful for
the responses we have received, whether it was NATO invoking Article
5, the mutual defense article of the NATO treaty, the Washington
treaty; or the United Nations passing a very strong resolution both in
the Security Council and General Assembly; the Organization of Islamic
Conference is making positive statements; the Organization of American
States making a statement and now getting ready to have a meeting in
Washington to take further action. I have been very pleased. On a
bilateral basis, so many of our friends and allies have come forward,
whether it's Israel, whether it's Saudi Arabia, whether it's Japan,
Australia.
I don't want to offend anybody by leaving them out, but just about
every country has come forward, with a few exceptions. One, of course,
is Iraq, and we wouldn't expect it to come forward. It is that kind of
regime that causes so much trouble in the world. And there are one or
two others that have not yet been heard from, but we've heard from
such nations as Syria, for example, which we have always said is a
state that sponsors terrorism. But they provided a rather forthcoming
statement, and perhaps there are new opportunities with respect to
Syria, not just going after the Taliban and al-Qaida and Usama bin
Laden, but perhaps also dealing with other terrorist organizations
that they have been supporting in the past. Let's see if they
recognize that terrorism does not belong in the civilized world.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Is it because they now see the Taliban as a threat to
their regime?
SECRETARY POWELL: I hope they see terrorism as a threat to the entire
world, but I am not under any illusions about the nature of the Syrian
Government. But let's see if there is an opportunity here to work
together on the elimination of terrorism as a cause of violence in the
Middle East and everywhere else around the world.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Is it, in fact, true that we have made approaches to
the Government of Iran for help on this?
SECRETARY POWELL: Iran made a rather positive statement, for Iran. We
have serious differences with the Government of Iran because of their
support of terrorism, but they have made a statement and it seems to
me a statement that is worth exploring to see whether or not they now
recognize that this is a curse in the face of the Earth. And of course
Iran has always had difficulty with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
MS. BORGER: On the other hand, Saddam Hussein of Iraq did not make a
positive response to this. In fact, he said the American cowboy is
reaping the fruits of its crimes against humanity.
SECRETARY POWELL: This is an irrelevant individual sitting there with
a broken regime. He pursues weapons of mass destruction. He is the
greatest threat in that region because he refuses to abide by the
simplest standards of civilized behavior. So we'll continue to contain
Saddam Hussein. We will keep his regime under sanctions, and we will
do what is necessary when it becomes necessary and when we choose to.
MS. BORGER: But any Saddam Hussein fingerprints on this particular
attack?
SECRETARY POWELL: At the moment, we see no fingerprints between Iraq
and what happened last Tuesday. But we are looking. We will pull it up
by its roots. We will find out who is responsible and we will
determine what connections exist between various regimes around the
world who participate in this kind of thing.
MR. SCHIEFFER: There are reports this morning that some of these
people who were on these airplanes, in fact, may have gotten training
from the US military. Now, we know that people don't just wander off
the street and get enrolled in US military programs. Those are
government-to-government exchanges.
First I would ask you, is that true? And the second thing I would say,
does this increase the possibility that perhaps this is some sort of
state-sponsored terrorism?
SECRETARY POWELL: I am familiar with the report, and I would rather
let the FBI and the Justice Department answer it precisely. But keep
in mind that as a result of our relations with a number of countries,
friendly countries over many years, we have trained pilots for other
countries in our training facilities. So that is possible. But it
doesn't necessarily reflect state-sponsored terrorism. It just means
that we trained somebody who subsequently moved in that direction,
unfortunately, but he did get training in the United States, just as
we know that the others were trained for the most part here in the
United States in aviation schools.
MS. BORGER: When you consider some kind of a first strike in this war,
what do you worry about in terms of retaliation against this country?
That has got to be part of your calculations.
SECRETARY POWELL: I assume that there are those out there who are
still planning activities against the United States whether we
retaliate or not. We should not see this just in terms of retaliation
for the sake of retaliation, just to strike for the sake of striking.
We should see it in terms of a campaign that goes after not just
retaliatory satisfaction, but goes after eliminating this threat by
ripping it up, by going after its finances, by going after its
infrastructure, by making sure we're applying all the intelligence
assets we can to finding out what they may be up to. The measure of
success at the end of the day will be no more attacks likes this or
over any other nature against the United States and our interests
around the world.
MR. SCHIEFFER: We have never had anything like this, so perhaps that's
one of the reasons for it. But clearly it seems that the United States
was unprepared for an attack on the homeland. We're told now that even
after people at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, even after
it was known that there were aircraft heading toward the Pentagon that
the Secretary of Defense didn't know that. Jets were scrambled but
everything happened too late. How prepared were we?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think we all understand that homeland defense is
an important mission and one that will be getting a lot of attention.
The Vice President is personally directing our efforts with respect to
homeland defense. I think it is a little unfair to say that the
Pentagon was unprepared when suddenly a plane -- an American
commercial airliner shows up in air space just a few minutes away from
impact from the Pentagon and say, well, why weren't F-16s up there
ready -- or F-15s up there ready to shoot it down?
Nobody would have anticipated that kind of threat without some sort of
cueing or warning that such an attack was on the way, or we had some
kind of intelligence that such an attack was coming. So I think it's a
little unreasonable and frankly unfair to suggest that the Pentagon
was at fault and our military was at fault because we weren't prepared
to shoot down an American airliner full of Americans just because it
happened to be in the wrong air corridor.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Just speaking of increasing security, I'm told -- just
while you were talking -- that David Martin, our correspondent at the
Pentagon reports that we have begun to increase security around
America's nuclear stockpile.
SECRETARY POWELL: I yield to David Martin who is an excellent
reporter.
MS. BORGER: Are you worried about biological and chemical retaliation
here?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think we have to be worried about any of these
threats -- chemical, biological, radiological. I think this is going
to require a full-court response on the part of the American
Government, the American people, state and local governments to
prepare ourselves for whatever eventuality might be out there. We
can't dismiss that possibility. But at the same time, remember this is
a fairly unsophisticated weapon when you think of it. The planning
that went into it was very, very sophisticated. But they found a way
to create a bomb using an airplane loaded with fuel.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Let me go back -- and I want to talk a little bit about
Pakistan here because the thought occurs to me that we have asked the
Pakistani Government to do certain things. There's no question that
they have these Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan and that that
government could well topple as a result of nothing more than the
United States asking them to help on this. Joe Biden, the chairman of
the Foreign Relations Committee, says that that is simply a risk we
have to take.
But the other part that I think about, and I must say worry about, is
that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Are we running the risk here of
having a government take over in Pakistan that would be able to, as it
were, have its finger on a nuclear button?
SECRETARY POWELL: We are very sensitive to that, and I know that
President Musharraf is very sensitive to that. So in our conversations
with the Pakistani Government in the days and weeks ahead, we will be
mindful that they have internal problems that they are dealing with.
But that was part of his calculation as he and his senior advisors and
military leaders sat down and examined this earlier in the week. And
they came to the judgment that even with the difficulty it might cause
them internally, this was such a problem, such a crisis, and the need
to show solidarity with America and to help America and to help the
rest of the civilized world, that was so important that they were
willing to take risks. And I compliment them for that.
MS. BORGER: Do you trust the Pakistanis?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't see any reason not to trust the Pakistanis.
So far, they have been forthcoming. They have given assurances to me,
they have given assurances to the President. And we will see now what
they are actually going to do when specific requests are put before
them. We have had a strong relationship with Pakistan for many, many
years. We have been friends of Pakistan and the Pakistani people for
many, many years, and I hope that friendship will continue and the
relationship will grow.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, the last time you were on this
broadcast, the Chinese were holding American airmen captives after the
forcing down of the reconnaissance plane. And the first question I
asked you that morning was, "What is your message to the Chinese?" I
ask you the same question this morning because I remember that
message. What you said was later put on Chinese television, and after
that the crisis broke and the men were eventually freed.
I would ask you this morning: What is your message to the terrorists?
What is your message to the American people?
SECRETARY POWELL: My message to the terrorists is that you don't know
what you've gotten yourselves into. You have pulled America together
in a time of tragedy. You will now see what we are made of. You will
see the steel that holds up this country. You will see our
determination. You will see our firmness. And you will realize you are
at war with a powerful adversary who will defeat you.
And we will do what is necessary. We will use all the instruments of
power available to us: domestic power, the strength of our society and
protecting ourselves domestically; internationally with our diplomatic
efforts, our military efforts, intelligence, law enforcement. You are
going to see the full weight of the American Government and the
American people brought to bear against this kind of activity.
To the American people, I would say we have a tragedy that we will get
through. It is so reassuring to see American flags out again, to see
the pride that exists within our country, to see our country coming
together. It shows who we are and what we are. And I would say to the
American people: We will prevail.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Thank you so much.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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