FTN - 1/19/03

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BOB SCHIEFFER, Chief Washington Correspondent: Today on Face the Nation, Secretary of State Powell on Iraq and the debate over affirmative action.

Does the discovery of empty chemical weapons warheads in Iraq push the U.S. closer to war? And what about North Korea? We'll ask the secretary of state.

And what are we to make of the Bush administration's decision to oppose the use of race as a factor in college admissions? We'll get the views of Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and Wade Henderson from the Leadership Council on Civil Rights.

Legal correspondent Jan Greenberg of the Chicago Tribune will join me in the questioning, and I'll have a final word on the missing ingredient in modern politics: good humor.

But first, Secretary of State Powell on Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face the Nation, with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. We are pleased this morning to have with us in the studio the secretary of state.

Mr. Secretary, thank you for coming.

I'll get right to it. Yesterday we saw tens of thousands of demonstrators converge on Washington. A fairly large crowd, I would say, a very large crowd considering that the weather was in the 20s.

They say we should not go to war against Iraq. I would just like to ask you this morning, what do you say those people who say we shouldn't?

COLIN POWELL, Secretary of State: What I would say to them is that the president is trying every means not to go to war, but the decision to go to war is in the hands of Saddam Hussein.

This is a man who has had weapons of mass destruction, who has used them against his own people, used them against his neighbors. The international community, the United Nations, under U.N. Resolution 1441 and many previous resolutions, have said disarm.

If he disarms, then there will be no war. So the burden is on him, but what is clear is that the international community cannot allow Saddam Hussein to continue to deny his responsibilities.

And now today, Dr. Hans Blix of UNMOVIC and Dr. ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency are in Baghdad to give them one last chance to disarm and to cooperate with the inspectors in that disarmament process. And if he does that, then war can be avoided. But we cannot step back from this challenge.

SCHIEFFER: Well, Mr. Blix has said that it may take several months more to come to some sort of definitive conclusion about whether he has disarmed or not. President Chirac of France said yesterday, and these are his words, "Wisdom requires that we grant the inspectors' request for more time."

Should we give them more time?

POWELL: Well, the next step in this process is to receive a report from the two chief inspectors, Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei, next Monday, the 27th of January. They will appear before the Security Council. We should listen carefully to what they say, and then I'm sure the Security Council will consider what they say, and so will President Bush.

What we have to make a judgment on now is whether or not Saddam Hussein is serious about disarming, and is he cooperating with the inspectors in that disarmament process?

If he is not, if he is continuing to try to hide things, if we have to keep discovering rockets that were undeclared that were supposed to carry chemical warheads, if we continue to find that documents having to do with nuclear weapons have been hidden in the homes of scientists, then it doesn't make any difference how long the inspection goes on, because they're not going to get to the truth, because Saddam Hussein does not want them to get to the truth.

And that's the judgment, and it's going to be a very important judgment for the Security Council to make and for President Bush to make.

SCHIEFFER: Well, now, you say in an interview that I believe is being published today in Berlin that by the end of January, and you're talking about the 27th, it will have been convincingly proven that Iraq has not been cooperating.

What is it that you want them to do, Mr. Secretary, that they're not doing?

POWELL: What I said in the interview is that I believe a persuasive case will be there, and I think that persuasive case is there now, that they're not cooperating.

What we wanted from them under U.N. Resolution 1441 was a full, complete and accurate declaration. Nobody in the Security Council is saying that the declaration they put forward is full and complete.

There are questions about what they did with anthrax that they had, with botulinum toxins, all kinds of horrible biological and chemical agents that they have not accounted for.

They have not fully accounted for all of the weapons that they have that can deliver such materials. They have not fully reported to the Council on what they may or may not have been doing with respect to nuclear weapons development.

So what we want is a full disclosure on the part of Iraq. The inspectors should not be sneaking around, trying to find out who might have something hidden. If Iraq was serious, they should be presenting everything that they have.

I mean, the chemical warheads that were found earlier on the rockets this week, the question of whether that's a smoking gun or not is not the issue.

The issue is, once again, here are items, dangerous items that were not reported by Iraq that should have been reported, they should have been destroyed.

And so, that is what we're looking for: full cooperation on the part of Iraq in its disarmament. It says it's disarmed.

It should be willing to put forward documents, to make witnesses available, to let planes fly over in reconnaissance missions to assist the inspectors so that the inspectors can work with the Iraqis in presenting the case to the international community that Iraq has disarmed. Disarmament is what it's all about.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think just yesterday Hans Blix told Dan Rather that they have not found a smoking gun as yet. And as I listen to you this morning, it seems to me that what you are saying is, it's not that we have to find weapons of mass destruction, it's just that they are not cooperating. That would be justification enough to take action against...

POWELL: It is their responsibility under 1441 to cooperate fully with the inspectors in the disarmament process. Dr. Blix says he has found no smoking gun, but he has also said that all he is getting from the Iraqis is passive cooperation. "Catch us if you can. If you find something we might admit it. But we're working hard to deceive you, to hide things and make it harder for to you get to the truth."

They're not supposed to be making it harder. They're supposed to be assisting in the disarmament process to demonstrate to the world the truth of their statements. They say they don't have any weapons of mass destruction. If that's the case, why is Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei, why do they succeed in finding these rockets? Whether their warheads are filled or not with chemical agent, they are there. They're a potential weapon that could be used in the future.

SCHIEFFER: So just to make sure I understand what you are saying, you are saying a lack of cooperation would be reason enough to take military action?

POWELL: What I am saying is that Iraq has an obligation under 1441 and earlier resolutions to disarm. And one way to demonstrate that they are disarmed or are going to disarm is to cooperate with the inspectors and help the inspectors do their job.

The issue is not just the inspections. The issue is disarmament. And we will get a full report from Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei next week as to how that process is going.

Time is running out. We can't just keep bouncing this ball down the street. I think the Security Council will be anxiously awaiting the reports of the two chief inspectors. And after we have heard what they have said and seen what they have provided, the Council will have to make its judgment as to what happens next and the president will have to make his judgment.

SCHIEFFER: But, Mr. Secretary, I don't think you would disagree if I said to you that that view is not prevalent right now among U.N. Security Council members. I mean, there are quotes all over every paper you read this morning where the view in the U.N. is the case for using force has become less, rather than more, compelling.

POWELL: Well, let's wait and see what the case looks like after the inspectors have presented the results of their work. But I think everybody who signed on to U.N. Resolution 1441, all 15 members of the Security Council, understood that if we were not getting to disarmament, then the Council would have to come back into session to make a judgment as to what next steps should be.

SCHIEFFER: And to go back to the question I asked you earlier, when President Chirac says wisdom requires that we should grant the inspectors more time, if they ask for more time on January 27th, what would be the U.S. administration's attitude?

POWELL: We will wait and see what they say and what they ask for and what they believe their needs are.

I heard what President Chirac said, but wisdom demands that Iraq be disarmed. Wisdom demands that these kinds of weapons not be allowed to remain in the hands of an individual like Saddam Hussein or a regime like the Iraqi regime.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about reports that the Saudis and the Turks have launched a diplomatic effort to try to force Saddam to step down. They offered such things as exile, amnesty for him and for his extended family.

What do you think of that? Do you think that has a chance of succeeding?

POWELL: Well, all I know is that I've read these reports. I don't know if there have actually been such offers or not. And so, that's all I can say about it. I don't know the truth of these reports. But...

SCHIEFFER: Well, if he left -- if he left, what would...

POWELL: If he were to leave and take with him members of his family and the ruling regime, then in effect we would have a different regime. And the challenge before us then would be to see whether or not that new regime would commit itself to eliminating weapons of mass destruction, satisfying the international community that they are interested in the welfare of their people and not in threatening their own people or threatening their neighbors. And we would have had an entirely new situation presented to the international community, and we might be able to avoid war.

So I would encourage Saddam Hussein, if he is getting any messages of this type, to listen to them carefully.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me shift to the president's statements this week and the legal brief that the administration filed, coming out against the affirmative action plan for admissions at the University of Michigan.

I've discovered that back during Campaign 2000, you said that you believe affirmative action is still necessary. You said you will continue to speak out for it. And you said at that time, and I quote you directly, "There is a case now pending, of course, with the University of Michigan that I hope the university wins."

So, do you take the other side that the president took in his statement this week and in the briefs he filed?

POWELL: The president and I have spoken about affirmative action and the need for diversity in our universities on many occasions, long before I came in government, when he and I would talk about youth programs.

And we have a common desire, the president and I, and I think Dr. Rice and all of us in the administration, to see our universities as diverse places, where all members of the public served by the university have a chance to participate in the educational activities of the university. How best to achieve that is a challenge and has always been a challenge.

I'm a strong believer in affirmative action. The president likes to call it affirmative access.

In the Michigan case, whereas I have expressed my support for the policies used by the University of Michigan, the president, in looking at it, came to the conclusion that it was constitutionally flawed based on the legal advice he received.

And he also had the benefit of advice from Dr. Condi Rice, his national security adviser, who was a provost of a university for six years. And so, he came down on that side of the issue, and I understand why he did.

But I do know that he is absolutely committed to diversity, and the manner in which the brief has been filed to the court allows the court to make its choice on the Michigan case but doesn't go to the underlying issues.

SCHIEFFER: All right, Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

When we come back, we're going to talk about that affirmative action case, the president's position. We'll talk first to Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And with us now, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Joining in the questioning this morning, we welcome Jan Greenberg of the Chicago Tribune, the legal affairs correspondent.

Of course what we want to talk about is the president's statement this week, where he comes out against the affirmative action program for admissions at the University of Michigan Law School. You just heard the secretary of state saying he supports that affirmative action program.

Jan, start the questioning.

JAN GREENBERG, Chicago Tribune: Well, you know, the position that the administration has taken here would force Michigan and other colleges and universities across the country to rethink their affirmative action programs for these race-neutral alternatives.

Is that what the party wants? Is that the way to go here?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-Utah: Well, I think it's the right way to go. Any time you discriminate against other people -- discrimination is wrong whether it's from the right or from the left, whether it's forward or reverse discrimination.

And the best things we should do -- we should try to reach diversity through a variety of techniques that really will work, that will not cause the confusion and the hatred and the distrust and the animosities that come from pure quota programs.

And as much as The New York Times does not believe, in their editorial, that the Michigan program was a quota program, it really was.

GREENBERG: Well, yet you have...

HATCH: Or is, I should say.

GREENBERG: You have two of the highest-ranking African-Americans in public life coming out and saying that race should be a factor, among other factors. And we just heard the secretary say that he thinks and has thought that Michigan should win.

Does that hurt in any way your efforts with minority voters? Or how does that affect the party's standing with minority voters?

HATCH: Well, of course I don't think the secretary said that Michigan should win this time. I think he was saying that the president is trying to do his best to try and have a race-neutral approach that really will help minorities to get into school, to do well in school and so forth.

And if you look at the brief that's been filed, it's really a pretty ingenious brief. I think it is a very, very good brief, because basically what they're saying is there are so many constructive, workable, decent alternatives to setting quotas, where giving 20 percent advantage to three groups of people: the African-American community, the Hispanic community and, of course, the Native American. But it leaves out the Asian community, it leaves out Arab communities, every other community.

Now, that's what you call discrimination. And there are alternatives that I think would be better and I think have proven better.

SCHIEFFER: What are the alternatives? I mean, everybody says, well, we ought to have a diverse student body and all of that, but we ought not to do anything about it to get to there. We should just let it happen.

HATCH: Three or four states have been trying some other experiments. California has a 4 percent -- if you graduate in the upper 4 percent of your high school class -- Texas 10 percent; I think Florida 20 percent; Georgia, I don't remember what percentage -- if do you that, you automatically get into any state school. That's one approach.

Another approach would be vouchers that many will not look at.

Another approach, of course, would be to -- we should be concerned about disparities in health care and other matters that would make a difference in our society.

SCHIEFFER: But let me just interrupt you.

HATCH: Could I make one other point?

SCHIEFFER: Yes, but let me just ask you this, because we keep talking about the programs in Texas. And those programs are working and well, and some of those other programs.

But you're talking about coming out of high schools to go into college. You are not talking about coming out of colleges and going to graduate school.

HATCH: And going to law school. Well, I think...

SCHIEFFER: And that's a different situation.

HATCH: ... there may be some modifications of those type of programs that may work well there that are race-neutral rather than preferring one group of people over another.

Now, look, if you look at the recent Washington Post poll, Washington Post-Harvard poll, 94 percent of people and 86 -- 94 percent of men and women, 86 percent of African-Americans are against these type of affirmative action programs where they amount to preferring one race over another. Now, that's a high percentage.

And a very interesting article written by Stewart Taylor, who writes for National Journal and Legal Times. Stewart Taylor listed poll after poll after poll for many, many years now, decades, that have shown that even half of the African-American community is against quotas. Now...

SCHIEFFER: But they're also for equal representation in law schools and in colleges. I mean, you can ask the question two different ways.

HATCH: Well, they're for fair representation in law schools and colleges.

GREENBERG: And if these race-neutral approaches don't work, what then? I mean, if the University of Michigan says, "That's not going to work, that's not going to work for the law school, we would prefer to use race-neutral approaches," so can you then consider race, as Dr. Rice thinks is appropriate, as the secretary...

HATCH: Well, if the University of Michigan was using a race-neutral approach, they wouldn't have any problem here. Their problem is, is that it's a race-preference approach that really excludes other people and causes division in our society.

Look, the administration could have taken a hard line on their brief. They could have said we should overrule the Bakke case, and we should get rid of affirmative action. But they didn't, and I think they were right in not doing it.

And they wrote an ingenious brief that basically said, look, let's explore all of the alternatives before we start getting into this kind of division in our society.

SCHIEFFER: All right, thank you very much, Senator Hatch, for outlining that side of the story.

We'll get the other side in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Joining us now, Wade Henderson. He is the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Well, Mr. Henderson, you just heard what Senator Hatch said, and I think I can sum up Senator Hatch's response, or his reasoning, by just saying it's simply not fair the way the University of Michigan allows race to be a factor in admitting people to law school.

Is it fair?

WADE HENDERSON, Executive Dir., Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: It is fair, and I think Senator Hatch got it wrong.

I think the real issue is that President Bush is trying to have it both ways on affirmative action...

SCHIEFFER: Really?

HENDERSON: ... and, in the process, has struck a grievous blow against individual efforts to provide equal opportunity for all Americans.
On the one hand, the president says he embraces diversity as a compelling national interest in higher education. He recognizes the importance of a diverse campus for all students.

But at the same time, he attempts to throw a bone to his right-wing base by using reckless and inflammatory language, characterizing the Michigan program as a quota program, when he knows that's simply not the case.

If it had been a quota program, I can assure you that the lower courts, including the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that reviewed the case on the way to the Supreme Court, would have struck it down. Quotas are illegal. They've been illegal since the Bakke decision in 1978. And quotas are a rigid, numerical, fixed outcome that is predetermined without regard to merit based on race or ethnicity.

That's not what's happening in Michigan, and I think the president needs to become more familiar with the facts of the case.

GREENBERG: Now, Mr. Henderson, the president makes the point that, really, we just need to try these race-neutral alternatives first, that these programs that we see at Michigan and across the country that take race into account need to give way and let's give these other programs, like in Texas, a shot.

HENDERSON: Sure. Well, let's look at these so-called race-neutral programs. And I'm not really here to tear down what Texas or Florida or California have done. They are valiant efforts to try to provide affirmative-action outcomes for all students in their state.

But let's look at it. First, they are predicated on the existence of segregated public high schools. Because in order to get the requisite number of students in the pool to be considered and accepted into these programs, you have to have students, you take the top 10 percent or top 4 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

GREENBERG: ... taking the top 10 percent.

HENDERSON: You know, and you're taking them without regard to individual merit or academic performance.

GREENBERG: You're just saying, we want to get -- we acknowledge we need to have more minorities in our classes, so we're going to create these admissions policies that may be more friendly. We're going to take the top 10 percent.

Now, is that contradictory? You can consider race at the front end when you're crafting your admissions policies?

HENDERSON: No, I think it's very, you know, I think it's very contradictory. I mean, look, I don't want to call it, you know, an impermissible use of race. I don't think it is.

But at the same time, it is certainly more akin to the existence of a quota in actuality than the program that the University of Michigan or, for that matter, schools like Stanford University, where Condi Rice was the provost, have adopted.

I think what we're seeing here is an effort to disguise the outcome of an important policy decision which is based on the fact that equal opportunity has not been evenly distributed in our society.

SCHIEFFER: Well, Mr. Henderson, you describe the president's speech as inflammatory. Some would say it was a very moderate and a very narrowly drawn opinion.

They point out, for example, that because he didn't call for overturning Bakke, it was like somebody coming out against abortion but not calling for the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, the key decision.

HENDERSON: Well, as I said, he's attempting to have it both ways. I characterize it as inflammatory because he knows that the American people oppose quotas. And if you characterize a program as a quota program, you've made it radioactive in the minds of most Americans. They won't look at the individual facts, and they'll make assumptions that are not based on the factual record.

SCHIEFFER: All right, Mr. Henderson, I want to thank you very much.

We're out of time, but I think you've helped this morning to give us a good reading on both sides of this, along with Senator Hatch. Thank you so much for being with us.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: We'll be back in a minute with a final word.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, my mother used to say that you should start every project with two things: a shine on your shoes and a smile on your face.

Now, I didn't see Joe Lieberman's shoes when he announced he was running for president, but in every picture he was smiling.

Mind you, he has a headstart on the rest of us, that friendly, golden retriever-kind of face with a mouth that goes straight across and turns up at the ends in a perpetual grin.

But still, in today's sour politics, a touch of good humor is a rare and welcome thing. Our campaigns have become so mean, courtesy of those awful commercials, that we forget our most successful politicians have always been those with a sense of wit and humor.

Franklin Roosevelt could be partisan all right, could he ever. But he was the master of the needle, not the jackhammer that is the tool of choice in today's campaigns.

Remember how he stuck it to the Republicans for attacking his little dog, Fala? One of the most effective political speeches ever.

And remember how Democrats accused Ronald Reagan of being too old and dotty to run for reelection in 1984, and how Reagan responded during a debate that he would not hold Walter Mondale's youth and inexperience against him. It brought down the house. And a lot of political reporters believe to this day that Reagan won reelection over Mondale that very night.

Becoming the nominee of either party takes more than a smile and a shoe shine. But I like Lieberman's smile. The whole process needs it.

That's it for us. We'll see you next week right here on Face the Nation.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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