FTN - 9/23/01 - Part 1

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BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on the coming war against terrorism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH: I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIEFFER: What will this war look like? Is America prepared? We'll look at this issue from all angles in a special expanded edition of Face the Nation.

We'll talk with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

We'll talk about how Pakistan is helping the United States with its ambassador Maleeha Lodhi.

Three influential senators will give their views on the war and the terrorist threat: John McCain, John Kerry and Bob Graham.

And we'll get expert analysis of the entire issue with former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, and Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs.

Gloria Borger will be here, and I'll have a final word on survivors.

But first, the Secretary of Defense on Face the Nation.

And the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is in the studio.

Thank you for coming, Mr. Secretary.

DONALD RUMSFELD, Secretary of Defense: Good morning.

SCHIEFFER: The Taliban now says that Osama bin Laden, they're seeking to see if they can issue the request to tell him to leave. But they also say they don't know where he is. Should we take them at their word?

RUMSFELD: Of course not. They know where he is.

SCHIEFFER: And what should we do, or what are we saying to them?

RUMSFELD: Well, I think we have to think about Afghanistan in a different context. First of all, there are many Afghan people who are repressed, who are starving, who are fleeing from the Taliban. There are any number of factions within the Taliban that don't agree with Omar, the man who contends that now they can't find the person they've been harboring for years. There are many in the Taliban who prefer that the Taliban not harbor Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network.

So it is not as though there is a front and that there are good guys and bad guys.

There are many tribes. There's the Northern alliance, there are tribes in the South. And it is a very different kind of a conflict and a problem. What we have to do is to see that those who have been harboring terrorists stop harboring terrorists.

SCHIEFFER: When you said that they know where he is, you sound very certain of that. And how can you be so certain?

RUMSFELD: They know their country. They have been fighting against the Russians there, the Soviets there for years. They've been fighting among themselves and the tribes. They're hearty, tough people. They have networks throughout the country, and it is just not believable that the Taliban do not know where the network can be located and found and either turned over or expelled

SCHIEFFER: You have been understandably reluctant to discuss any kind of troop movements. Certainly that's understandable. Let me just ask you the general question: Is the United States now in a position to strike?

RUMSFELD: What we've been doing since the day of the attack is getting our forces positioned in various places around the world. This is not an Afghan problem, this is a worldwide problem of terrorist networks. And let there be no doubt about it, that al Qaeda network is in at least 60 countries, and they are just one of many networks.

And what we've been doing is getting our capabilities located, positioned, arranged around the world so that at that point where the president decides that he has a set of things he would like done, that we will be in a position to carry those things out.

And second, the United States government, even more importantly, has been getting itself arranged across the government. The Department of Treasury and the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as the defense establishment, to help the world understand that it is a broad-based effort, not a military effort alone. But it's going to have to go after political and diplomatic and economic interests, financial interests.

GLORIA BORGER, U.S. News & World Report: Mr. Secretary, are you still convinced that Osama bin Laden's network acted alone?

RUMSFELD: "Still" suggests I was once convinced of that, which was not the case. I've never been convinced that that is the case.

BORGER: Well, are you convinced?

RUMSFELD: There's no way in the world that a network can function as effectively over such a long period of time, with such excellent finances and false passports and all of the intelligence information they had to have, without the being fostered and facilitated and assisted and financed by states and by businesses and by nongovernmental organizations and by corporations.

It is a large network.

BORGER: Well, last week on this show, Colin Powell said that, as of that moment, you had not found any Iraqi fingerprints, for example, on this particular terrorist act. Is that still the case?

RUMSFELD: I am not going to reveal intelligence information about what we know.

What we do know is that the states that are on the terrorist list, and Iraq is one of them and so is Syria and so is North Korea and Cuba and so is Libya, that those states have, over a period of time, harbored and assisted terrorist organizations to engage in terrorist acts in other countries. That we know of certain knowledge.

As the president said, what we're looking at today is how are those states going to behave going forward.

SCHIEFFER: There is considerable pressure building in various quarters, both in the Congress, some members of Congress and others around the country, that we ought to go after Iraq. Are you feeling that pressure?

UMSFELD: Well, I think the president has a set of decisions and calculations he has to make. And he is making them. He's making them very well, in my judgment.

This is not a quick effort, a battle, an event, television event with cruise missiles ending it, with a signing ceremony on the Missouri at the end of World War II. That isn't what this is about.

What the president is doing is he's looking at the totality of this problem and the full capabilities of our country and of all the other countries that have joined us. I mean, it's been a wonderful outpouring of support across the world and in this country, because it's going to take that. It's going to take people providing scraps of information that are going to enable us to do the job we need to do to stop countries from helping these people.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you about that. There are some reports that perhaps we're not getting what we have asked Saudi Arabia for. Can you comment on those reports?

RUMSFELD: We have, insofar as I'm aware, we have gotten everything from Saudi Arabia that we have asked them to do. Now, if we had not asked them to do some things. But I've been in touch with Saudi leadership and there is no question but that they are our friends and that they are determined to deal with this problem of terrorism just as we are.

The important thing, however, is that we have to remember that every country has a different circumstance. And every country is not going to be engaged or agree with or be involved in everything we do.

The message I would leave is this, that the mission determines the coalition. And we don't allow coalitions to determine the mission.

SCHIEFFER: Secretary Powell said last week that Iran has made a rather positive statement in all of this. He wouldn't give us any details of that, but he said it is worth exploring. Have we explored, and where does that stand?

RUMSFELD: Well, United States government is exploring, with as many countries as is humanly possible, ways that they can help us in this effort. And we are getting help from countries in some instances that are surprising. We are also getting help from people in countries that one would be surprised. And we need that help because that information will be what will help determine it, the outcome.

SCHIEFFER: Have we ruled out the use of nuclear weapons?

RUMSFELD: The United States, to my knowledge, has never ruled out the use of nuclear weapons. We have always said, if you'll think back to the Cold War, that we would not rule out the first use of nuclear weapons because there was overwhelming conventional capability that we felt that would add to the deterrent. And so we have never done that.

What we need to do it, seems to me, as a country, is to recognize how different this situation is than the traditional. I mean, think of it. The deterrents that worked in the Cold War didn't work. Wwere just hit by an asymmetrical attack that President Bush, in his Citadel speech, before he was ever sworn into office, cautioned the world about and said, we must transform our military. He was right.

BORGER: Mr. Secretary, this morning, Time magazine is reporting that U.S. law enforcement officials have found a manual on the operation of crop dusting equipment. Does that mean that we now need to be concerned that these terrorists were intent on dispersing chemical and biological weapons?

RUMSFELD: We can't know that for certain. We can suspect it.

And one of the other pieces of evidence that is clear in open publications, we know that the countries that I just listed that have sponsored terrorism for decades are countries that have very active chemical and biological warfare programs. And we know that they are in close contact with terrorist networks around the world.

So reasonable people have to say to themselves that, when you find that kind of information, it ought to cause us to recognize that those are dangers that we need to worry about.

And the way we worry about them, it seems to me, one way is to re-energize our effort against the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction throughout the globe. It's a terribly important effort, and we've got to get other countries to start working with us to a much greater extent than they are.

SCHIEFFER: Two final questions: Number one, should the United States lift the executive order that was issued by President Ford on assassinations?

And number two, can you tell us, does this operation have a new name, and can you tell us what it is?

RUMSFELD: The executive order on assassinations that was signed by President Ford is something that President Bush may or may not address, and it's not for me to be making announcements on that subject. And I honestly do not know if it's even under review at the present time. We have plenty of things we can be doing without that.

SCHIEFFER: And what about the name of the operation?

RUMSFELD: The name of the operation is being changed. It'll probably be changed later today, and we want to find a name that is representative of the effort, and it certainly in no way at all would raise any question on the part of any religion or any group of people.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.

RUMSFELD: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: Thank you.

When we come back, we're going to talk to the Pakistani ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: With us now, the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, a former journalist before she became a diplomat.

Dr. Lodhi, the United States is apparently going to lift the sanctions that were imposed on Pakistan. I take it that is good news for your government?

DR. MALEEHA LODHI, Pakistani Ambassador to U.S.: Well, we understnd that - three layers of nuclear sanctions. My country has been under multiple layers of sanctions for the last 10-11 years. We understand that President Bush has waived the three layers of nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Pakistan. We, of course, welcome this development. We think it was long overdue. And we hope that this will open a new chapter in relations between our two countries.

SCHIEFFER: There are reports from Islamabad this morning that your government has said that it will try to moderate U.S. actions. What does that mean?

LODHI: I think, as many other countries are also part of the international coalition with the United States, we're all together in the fight against terrorism.

We, not unlike the U.N. Secretary-General and many other people, would obviously want an effective fight against terrorism, but also ensure that innocent people don't suffer in this fight, and we do not do something which is not measured, which is not reflective, which is not carefully targeted, so that we can deal with the aftermath of the situation and not end up exacerbating the crisis that we have at hand.

And we're quite confident, from what President Bush said in his own speech, we were very reassured that the kind of response that he is contemplating, he's indicating to us is indeed going to be multi-dimensional. It will not just rely on military force alone. And that many other components off that response will be kept in view and would be part of the international community's response to this crisis.

BORGER: Madam Ambassador, would Pakistan allow the mobilization of any western ground troops?

LODHI: I think, until the United States has evolved its operational plan and gets into specific discussions with us, it would be very premature for me to respond to that. And I'm not at liberty to get into operational details.

What my president, President Musharraf, has already told the people of Pakistan is that the United States has asked for our airspace, logistical support and sharing of intelligence information, to which our president has said yes.

BORGER: But at this point, is anything off the table?

LODHI: The only thing that we have indicated is that it would not be possible for Pakistani ground troops, Pakistani forces, to be enrolled in an operation outside our border. But other than that, I think we have to wait and see once the response has evolved. Only then will we be able to say, you know, how we go down that road.

SCHIEFFER: Madam Ambassador, this is a very difficult thing for your country. I think sometimes we don't appreciate that in this country, because you have these fundamentalists opposition to your government. How safe is your government right now?

LODHI: Well, I think the important issue to recognize is that the majority of Pakistanis support President Musharraf in this decision that he has taken. We did not ditter oer this decision, as we did not ditter in the past when we were called upon by the international community.

After all, the United Nations passed a resolution, the Security Council resolution, asking the entire global community to unite in the fight against terrorism. We are a responsible member of that international community.

And we did what we thought was in the best interest of Pakistan. And the vast majority of Pakistanis are with us on this decision.

SCHIEFFER: How safe are the nuclear weapons that Pakistan has?

LODHI: Well, I think the kind of concerns that I've been hearing in the last couple of days are really, frankly, overblown. We have strict custodial controls over our nuclear assets. We have a very clear command structure. We have a national command authority that deals with and has strict control. And there is no question of any unauthorized element acquiring access to all the materials that go into a nuclear capability.

BORGER: Can the Pakistani intelligence network find Osama bin Laden?

LODHI: Well, I think the fact that Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan, which is a sovereign country, I think it's a question that has to be addressed to the Taliban leadership.

We, on our part, are ready to provide any kind of information that would be useful for the international community, so that we all act together and we act under international law. And you will see Pakistan delivering on its international commitments.

SCHIEFFER: Madam Ambassador, thank you so much.

LODHI: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: When we come back, we'll talk with Senator John McCain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: We're back now with Senator John McCain, the chairman - or I should say now the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, but a very influential person in Congress on economics, the airline industry.

The first thing I must say to you, Senator McCain, is, when I hear a government official say, "Every option is on the table," and he says, "We've never ruled out the use of nuclear weapons," that's a sobering thought. Your comment?


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