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DoD News Briefing - Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA
February 01, 2001

Thursday, February 1, 2001

Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements today. I'll be glad to take your questions after that.

First, on some assistance to India following the earthquake there: As part of the overall U.S. government effort, the Defense Department's in the process of providing humanitarian assistance and military handling equipment to India in the aftermath of that earthquake. We've got one Air Force transport aircraft that has left Travis Air Force Base, California, yesterday, and one departed Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, this morning. They're going to stop at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, and then continue on from there to India. Some of the supplies that they'll be including -- include under military handling equipment, two and a half ton truck, some forklifts, water trailers -- called water buffaloes -- blankets, sleeping bags and a number of large tents.

And in addition, the U.S. Pacific Command has sent a six-person military assessment team to assist the U.S. embassy in evaluating potential DoD support to continued relief operations in the weeks ahead. And that team is composed of experts in communications, logistics and medical support. So again, the first plane of those we would look to land tomorrow, and that would have some of the military handling equipment on board. And the Indians have stated that's one of their key needs, is to help move some of this equipment out to areas where it's needed most in the affected zones.

And second, immediately following this briefing here we'll have a senior DOD official providing a background briefing on Secretary Cohen's (sic) [Rumsfeld's] upcoming trip to Europe, where he will attend the 37th Munich Conference on Security Policy, commonly known as the Wehrkunde conference.

And with that, I'll take your questions. Charlie.

Q: Two quick questions. Number one, can we have some kind of a readout on the Eggleton meeting today with the secretary?

Quigley: They are still at lunch, as a matter of fact. I'm sure they'll be discussing a variety of items. I'll see what I can do.

Q: All right. And two, does the report you all issued today on John Deutch, does that effectively close the case over here, close your part in it?

Quigley: It does. It does. That completes the second of the two elements that Secretary Cohen put in place some months ago. And it does.

Q: And there'll be no punishment because of the fact that he was pardoned.

Quigley: It was our understanding that the pardon was absolute. So, yes.

Pam?

Q: Could you characterize for us what all the black stuff right at the end is -- the possibility of compromise? It says "unclassified," and then I see this -- (inaudible) -- "noforn," and then it's all blacked out, and then "thus, while the possibility of compromise cannot be foreclosed" -- it's very tricky, and I'd like to judge for myself. What can you tell us to characterize that information?

Quigley: The elements that were blacked out were classified.

Q: Yes. But what kinds of things did they say?

Quigley: I don't think I can characterize it for you, I'm sorry. (Laughter.)

Q: I mean, would you say people's names, sometimes --

Quigley: Well, yes. I mean, if the -- you delete two -- either or both of two categories. One is Privacy Act information -- individuals' names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, things of that sort -- and classified information. And the elements here would fall under the classified information category. But I can't characterize that for you. That's why it's redacted.

Q: But, I mean, the way that's written, it could say, well, this and this and this and this have been gone missing, and then we get this thing, but, on the other hand, we conclude nothing's really been compromised, right?

Quigley: We tried very hard to give you a redacted version as opposed to an unclassified, new version in order to assure you that that is, indeed, the report with the real signatures at the end. And the best way that we know how to do that is to go with the blackout in the sections that meet one of those criteria for the redaction. But can't characterize those sections for you, I'm sorry.

Captain Taylor just said that I had misspoken and said "Secretary Cohen." I'm sorry. Secretary Rumsfeld due to leave tomorrow afternoon. Sorry.

Q: I think perhaps what Pam was asking you is you have a heck of a lot of blacked out stuff there, and then that last sentence seems to suggest that to make a redacted story short, so to speak, we can't guarantee that none of this information's been passed on. That's what that sentence says.

Quigley: That's true. Let me --

Q: The sentence does say "We have no evidence of," but it states that "we can't guarantee."

Quigley: Right.

Q: And the reasons, apparently, are in fact redacted ---

(Laughter.)

Quigley: Right. That's true.

Q: Why can't you guarantee --

Quigley: Let me try to just explain that part as to why we can't guarantee. We have no evidence of a compromise of classified information. But by the same token, we cannot guarantee -- I can't prove a negative, Charlie. That's the problem here. I can't prove that there was something that we perhaps did not find or some other action by Dr. Deutch that would have possibly compromised the material. But from our technical inspection of the materials that we had access to, that he used, we can find no evidence of compromise.

Q: Was it clear --

Q: Can you explain how it was that they were looking? Were they looking for evidence of, like, Internet worms, that maybe a hacker had been on there and putting trapdoors?

Quigley: Yes.

Q: So they were looking for that? They were also looking for the quality of information that was on that and that -- if that had gotten out, or were they looking for evidence through other intelligence channels that something new, this bit of information that had been in Deutch's e-mails or journals --

Quigley: Really, the focus was more on the former -- the first of those three, I guess, I should say -- and trying to determine if there was any evidence of a means to hack into those storage mediums through which you could then gain access to some of the classified information that you -- that was found there.

Q: And the -- (off mike)?

Quigley: The journals or the -- "floppy" is not the right term. It's a more capable storage medium than a floppy disk. But they contained a mishmash of classified and unclassified information. So the -- you had a combination of technical experts looking for the items that we've just been discussing here, as well as the subject matter experts on some of these classified topic areas trying to ascertain, "Is it still classified?" Sometimes the stuff is quite perishable. Sometimes it has more longevity. So if it's still classified, you know, do we have -- what sort of damage might be done if that information were compromised? But you know, really, the most important was, do I see anything there that would tell me that there's evidence of compromise of the material?

Q: Is one of the problems in proving that negative that there exist hacker tools that cannot be detected, trapdoors and worms and Trojan horses that can't be detected?

Quigley: Not that we know of. But that's such a fast-moving field that today's knowledge is tomorrow's -- I mean, there's just -- it just changes so very, very fast. And I mean, for any of us that have an anti-virus program on our home PCs, you have absolutely have to keep continually updating because hackers and other ne'er-do-wells on the Internet are constantly trying to defeat the very anti-viral protections that other people are putting in place.

So you've got an offense, defense constantly in play. But from the best that we can determine, we show no evidence there -- there is no evidence produced to show that there was any compromise.

Q: So we got lucky?

Quigley: Well, I think we should consider ourselves very fortunate, yes.

Steve.

Q: Sir, the White House yesterday indicated that they were not going to move ahead with at least a very significant increase in the Pentagon budget until the secretary had done this review of the force structure. And I was wondering if he's given you any more sense of what shape that might take -- when that might begin and so forth?

Quigley: No, not yet. I mean, the secretary certainly shares the president's vision of a need to take a holistic look at our strategy, the capabilities to carry out that strategy as a nation, and the Defense Department's piece of that overall strategy. But so far he just hasn't come to the point where he has a specific plan in mind as how to proceed on that. It will be a near-term issue, Steve, but we're not there yet.

Yes, sir.

Q: Is the secretary making a decision next week on the Raptor and -- a contract decision? And if so, will that play into his budgetary planning at all?

Quigley: I think the first question is, has a DAB been scheduled yet -- a Defense Acquisition Board. And the answer is no. The plane is still flying, data is still being collected. So, no Defense Acquisition Board has been scheduled.

Linda?

Q: Is that review going to be separate from the QDR or is it going to be part of the QDR? Because it sounds like a force review is what the QDR is.

Quigley: I can't answer your question yet, I'm sorry. He just hasn't come to that determination.

Q: Any news on a supplemental for this year?

Quigley: That would probably come from either the White House or OMB first and would probably be encompassing more than the Defense Department I would suspect.

So this is a topic, I know within DoD, has taken a lot of Secretary Rumsfeld's time in his first 14 days in office. A lot of the issues that are being discussed in all of the departments, I suspect, of the federal government, but it's one that's just -- it's important but it's not quite fully developed.

Q: Well, certainly -- I mean, you're suggesting that the White House and OMB are making the decision here. Well, granted, it will be their final -- they're the ones who will be submitting it, but certainly the Defense Department will decide what the Pentagon needs here.

Quigley: Well, all departments of the government would submit a proposed budget that's vetted through OMB; it's ultimately approved by the president. It is the president's budget and he is, of course, the final arbiter as to what it contains.

Q: Do you have any idea when that will go?

Quigley: No, I don't.

Yes?

Q: But did the secretary have any comments on this meeting yesterday from Bush saying that there probably won't be any increases or no significant increases for the next couple of years? It was quite different from his rhetoric during the campaign.

Quigley: No, he did not. I mean, he is completely in agreement with the president on the need to have a structured way to proceed. And if the president wishes to have the overall look at how we would propose to spend money before increasing the defense budget, Secretary Rumsfeld is completely in agreement with that.

Barbara?

Q: But how does that, in fact, square with his statements during the campaign, and during Secretary Rumsfeld's confirmation hearings, when we heard from both of them consistently about the need for significant increases in defense spending, and now suddenly we're not hearing that.

Quigley: I don't think any of us have seen any numbers yet, so that jury is still out. I mean, I think you saw a philosophical approach being described by the press secretary yesterday, the president's press secretary, but there's no numbers, and I think we should probably wait for that before there are judgments made.

Q: Yes, but you say -- just to understand further, you say the jury is still out. That suggests it's an open question as to whether or not there will be increases in defense spending. And that's still what I don't understand, how that squares with the campaign rhetoric on defense spending, and Secretary Rumsfeld's own statements during his confirmation hearing. Why is that jury still out --

Quigley: I think the terms used yesterday were "lean budget." I think most Americans would be in favor of a budget that did not waste their tax dollars. I think that's everyone's goal here. And we have not arrived at numbers; that is yet to come.

Jim?

Q: Candidate Bush said that he would propose an immediate pay raise for service members. So is that under consideration or is that dead for this year?

Quigley: I will let others speak for President Bush's thinking in that regard.

Yes, sir?

Q: Do you have anything on the recent trip by Secretary Rumsfeld to Munich, Germany? And do you know if also met with the Greek Minister of Defense Apostolos Tsokhatzopoulos, who was there?

Quigley: Would you say that again? I'm sorry.

Q: Do you have anything on the recent trip by Secretary Rumsfeld to Munich, Germany?

Quigley: He has not gone yet. He leaves tomorrow afternoon.

Q: Tomorrow?

Quigley: Right.

Q: And do you know if he's planning to meet also with the Greek Minister of Defense Apostolos Tsokhatzopoulos?

Quigley: Oh, he's planning on meeting with -- there's an awful lot of ministers of defense there, represented by NATO nations as well as other nations that are not in NATO. And during the course of Saturday, which is the time that he'll be at Munich, at the conference, he's meeting with many, many people, some scheduled, some will be ad hoc and on the fly. I don't know right now whether he is scheduled to meet with the Greek minister of defense, but it's entirely possible they'll speak and many, many opportunities to do that during the day.

Q: One more question. Any plan by Secretary Rumsfeld to travel to Greece and Turkey soon, since there are so many reports?

Quigley: None scheduled at this time, no.

Pam?

Q: Has Secretary Rumsfeld talked with the Marine Corps about the e-mail that CBS News revealed last night showing a discrepancy in the ---

Quigley: I don't think so, no.

Q: Has the Pentagon any response to that? Are you-all more concerned, less concerned?

Quigley: Well, I think it's kind of apples and oranges. It's my understanding that the two -- you're talking about two different methods here, the old and the new, of reporting readiness. And the existing system has been in place for many years. It's a manual system, manual inputs to report overall aircraft readiness. It uses a very different approach than the new system, that is in place in only a few squadrons. But the V-22 training squadron is one of those squadrons.

There are differences between the two systems that give you a different way to look at the readiness of the aircraft that they take a look at. Eventually, we will transition to the new system, but in the meantime, you've got the old system, the manual system that we know, we're familiar with. But since last summer, I believe, in the V-22 training squadron, both systems have been in place.

I know the Marines have a more detailed description of the differences between the two systems, and I would steer you in their direction for that. But it's really two different systems in place, and you're not necessarily talking about conflicting information there.

Linda?

Q: Will the IG now be investigating General Amos based on the e-mail?

Quigley: The IG has said and will continue to say that they will take a look at wherever the facts lead them in this investigation, and that beyond that they are putting no bounds on themselves.

Q: Craig, has the secretary had any contact or phone conversation yet with his Russian counterpart?

Quigley: No, he has not.

Q: The Hart-Rudman Commission's report, final report yesterday, is fairly critical of the Defense Department and calling for a significant, quote, "overhaul." I mean, is there any comment from Secretary Rumsfeld as far as whether or not he's briefed on it and if he has any thoughts on some of the recommendations, since they are pretty significant?

Quigley: Secretary Rumsfeld would be the first to agree with the need for a really hard look at how the Defense Department is organized, how it buys equipment, and how it is structured to be an efficient organization in a business sense. The report was just released yesterday. I don't believe he's had time to go through it in detail, but everything is fair material to be included in his thinking as he proceeds to more fully understand what the status quo is in the Defense Department and comes to his own decisions as to how he wants to change things.

Chris?

Q: There are wire reports out of Yemen today -- I'm sorry. There are wire reports out of Yemen today citing unnamed diplomats there saying that any suspects in the Cole attack apprehended outside of Yemen would be tried in U.S. courts, per an agreement between the U.S. and Yemen. Do you have any awareness of that?

Quigley: No, I don't. I would recommend maybe asking the FBI on that. They've got the lead on the criminal aspect of it.

Yes?

Q: Admiral, are you planning to replace your troops in Kosovo, since the outcry in the Balkans over the DU weapons is still continuing?

Quigley: No, we're not. We'll rotate troops in Kosovo as we have done in the past, but it will not be based on depleted uranium, which we continue to see no evidence of adverse effects on the health of individuals.

Thank you.

Quigley: Yes, sir.

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