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Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability on Hill

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
May 21, 2003
Q:  Sir, do you object to the house language on (inaudible)?


            Rumsfeld:  Did something just happen that I don’t know about?


            Q:  Well no but the underlying bill would keep the ban on development.


            Rumsfeld:  Were not proposing (inaudible)


            Q:  I know you are not but the House language protects the ban, would lift the ban, the set up (inaudible) ban on development.


            Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible)  {Laughter}


            Q:  In the Senate the read amendment to keep a ban on the element failed.


Rumsfeld:  Failed


Q:   Okay that is similar to the language that is in the House Bill now.  Do you object to the language in the House Bill now?


            Rumsfeld:  I don’t know that it is so.  My impression was that there was an amendment offered to the Senate made by Senator Kennedy.  And then an amendment to that by Senator Reed and I thought that they were both (inaudible).  And to my knowledge the house language is not in parallel to that but in any event they will end up (inaudible) incontinence and these things will have to be sorted out so we are good distance from that.


            Q:  Do you see a need to click the ban on development?


            Rumsfeld:  No and we have not  proposed that.  It is terribly important that we be precise (inaudible)on these things.  We have proposed that the ban prohibits studying the use of low yield nuclear weapon material (inaudible) to consider development or study the possible development, or to study the classical design and it’s ability of a deeper country that we ought to have the ability to study otherwise we be would be saying that we favor remaining unknowledgeable about it.  It’s important that we be knowledgeable given the fact that so much is going on underground today all across the globe, and particularly in terrorist states.


            Q:  What about additional measures being taken as a result of raising the alert level such as anti-aircraft missiles (inaudible).  Could you detail (inaudible).


            Rumsfeld:  I could but I won’t.  We have a policy of not discussing those things for good reason.  The reason is that to the extent that we announce everything we did, we would be announcing to the people who don’t wish us well everything we did. And to the extent to say well, there’s a new threat level and we are going to have a different force protection arrangement and here’s what we are going to do, terrorist.  We are going to put this there, and that there, and something else here. It would be quite foolish. So we just don’t do that.  What we do is go about our business and try to provide for the protection of the national capital region and for our forces around the world in a way that we believe is appropriate and in a way that we think will deter and defend the forces in our country.


            Q:  Anything new Sir on the search for the weapons of mass destruction? Where does that stand today? (Inaudible)


            Rumsfeld:  The intelligence community has been taking the information that has been accumulated by the survey teams that are out in the country.  The survey teams now in Qatar,  some not trivial, but not major fraction of the total potential sites.  It’s very time consuming and they have taken the information generated by these survey teams and begun the process of analyzing it.  And the intelligence community is increasingly developing fiction about the two mobile laboratories that you have been reading about and which have been briefed by people from the intelligence community.  At what point they will say something definitive,  I don’t know but that’s (inaudible). Do you have something, Chairman?


            Myers:  Other than to say that we just finished an hour with the Secretary and our leaders to be, and are now prepared to spend another hour with the Policy Committee with the Secretary (inaudible).


            Q:  Mr. Secretary we have a big tax cut fight going on, I know you are a former House member.  Did you get dragged into any of that while you were upstairs?


            Rumsfeld:  No.  I didn’t fortunately.  (Inaudible) have experts working on that and the speaker is working on that.


            Q:  Mr. Secretary there is a hypothesis that have been advanced to the press that Saddam’s people who was working for him, weapons of mass destruction workers, may have been (inaudible) and telling him that they produced much work than they had in fact done for whatever reasons.  Do you think there’s any possibility that that hypothesis may turn out to be accurate?


            Rumsfeld:  Well first I have never heard that hypothesis and having never heard of it is also true and I’ve never heard it from anyone in anything approximating an authoritative position. Therefore, I would not give much credence to it.


            Q:  Thank you.

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