Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcements today, so I'll be pleased to take your questions.
Q: Craig, why didn't we respond when -- why didn't the United State respond when the Iraqis fired at aircraft over the southern "no fly" zone over the weekend?
Quigley: We reserve the right to respond at a place and time and manner of our choosing.
Q: Were any of those -- were any of those -- I understand both missiles and AA fire was used.
Q: Were there any close -- did they come close to the planes?
Quigley: I don't have a degree of closeness for you, but they did not hit coalition aircraft.
Q: Also, what can you tell us about whether or not the Chinese are laying fiber-optic cables to help the Iraqis improve their air defense?
Quigley: I'm afraid I can't help you with anything in that regard.
Q: You mean the Chinese are not doing it?
Quigley: No, I just can't help you on that topic. I'm sorry.
Q: Can you discuss any foreign assistance that the Iraqis have received regarding the building or improvement of their air-defense systems?
Quigley: Hmmm. My knowledge is not that comprehensive, Bob. No, I'm sorry, I can't.
Q: Well, if I mentioned Serbia for example, any assistance there?
Quigley: Let me take that, and I'll have to run that carefully through our intelligence folks to make sure that I'm on solid ground, but we can try. But I don't attempt to have a comprehensive understanding of that, I'm afraid.
Q: Have we provided the State Department or anyone else with information about what China may or may not have given, or if they're going to talk to the Chinese in terms of what they may have provided Iraq?
Quigley: I don't know if the State Department is going to pursue that. I spoke to them very briefly today. They said that they'd seen the same reports that you all have, and they were going to be discussing that with the Chinese, but I don't know where they are in that process.
Q: Can you just --
Q: Do you have anything further today for us on the damage assessment from Friday's raid?
Quigley: Well, other than it's still ongoing, I don't have a real detailed description to share with you, nor do I think I will. As you know, we have not done that for some time now. This is an ongoing operation. We don't expect our strikes from Friday to be the end of Iraqi air defense engaging coalition aircraft, as Charlie's question indicated, over the weekend.
AAA [anti-aircraft artillery] and surface-to-air missiles were fired once again in the southern no-fly zone. And because this is an ongoing operation, we expect to keep it going until the national leadership changes the policy of this country. We will keep that effort going.
We're not going to do anything that is going to possibly put coalition air crews at risk by compromising our knowledge of how well or poorly we did with some of our attacks. We think that the -- if you go back to what General Newbold was saying on Friday, the purpose of this strike was to degrade and disrupt the Iraqi air defense system, looking into the southern no-fly zone. And the targets were the radars, and the command, control and communication nodes that controlled and integrated the air defense system. We think we had an impact on that. Is it permanent? No. But we think we had an impact on that. And as we have done on many occasions over the years in the southern and northern no-fly zones, if we see systems that are in place that will improve or somehow increase the ability of the Iraqi air defense system to threaten our air crews and aircraft, we reserve the right to take action to strike those targets to lessen the ability to do just that. That was the purpose of Friday's strikes.
Q: Admiral, putting aside the question of whether Iraq has received any assistance from other countries, but just can you tell us just in very general terms about whether or not Iraq was putting in some sort of fiber optic link and how that would have increased their capability in terms of threatening allied planes in the no-fly zone?
Quigley: No, I'm sorry, Jamie, I can't.
Q: The weekend attack, was there any indication that it was directed by anything like the sites that we hit Friday? Are they still able to site deep into southern Iraq?
Quigley: That's hard to say. I mean, of late, the Iraqis have fired more surface-to-air missiles, as an example, but still many of them are fired ballistically without using their fire-control radars, which we have shown an ability to very successfully engage.
So it's a hard one to quantify. We didn't expect the effect of Friday's strikes to be to go to zero -- the Iraqi air defense system capability -- and indeed they did fire both AAA and surface-to-air missiles at coalition aircraft over the weekend.
But if we feel -- we felt and if we feel in the future that we have good information that would lead to our knowledge of targets that would degrade or disrupt their ability to have a better picture, we will reserve the right to take those targets under attack.
Q: How many times did they fire over the weekend, and on what days?
Quigley: It was several, but I don't have a number for you. I'm sorry.
Q: Just several? Do you know what days?
Quigley: No, I don't. Perhaps CentCom has that, but I don't have that level of tactical detail here.
Q: Do you know whether any aircraft were illuminated by radar or whether radar was turned on -- ?
Quigley: No, I'm sorry. I don't have that either.
Q: Craig, the targets struck on Friday -- I think the general described them as surveillance radars or long-range radars, which obviously stretch very far. And normally, surveillance radars are on all the time. Are you now sort of upping the ante that a radar doesn't have to be a SAM radar or fire control radar, but it can be any kind of radar that could direct SAMs, however that could be done, and those are fair game, wherever they are?
Quigley: They have been fair game for quite a while. We have struck long-range surveillance radars, early warning radars before. And if we feel they contribute to the effectiveness of that integrated air defense system and put aircrews at risk, we reserve the right to strike them again.
Q: Craig, standard procedure for some years has been that after missiles or antiaircraft batteries are fired at allied aircraft, there is a retaliation. But you now twice here have indicated that the purpose of retaliation is to prevent the Iraqis from improving their system. Is that a shift?
Quigley: No, not -- it's really some of both. I mean, we reserve the right to describe the type, the timing, the targets chosen. They may not be the ones that -- I'll use the surface-to-air missile battery as an example. If a surface-to-air -- a particular surface-to-air missile battery would fire at coalition aircraft, we may ultimately choose to hit another target, not that surface-to-air missile battery. But if it would contribute to the overall capability of the air defense system, that's fair game. We could choose that particular surface-to-air missile battery. But it's a prioritization that the on-scene commander, the theater commander, does, and we reserve the right to keep that flexibility in our target selection process and the engagement type and timing.
Q: Can you say whether or not -- what the status of the security condition is for U.S. forces in the Gulf as a result of the raid? Has there been an increase in the threatcon? Were they already --
Quigley: I'm not aware of any changes in threat condition over the weekend.
Q: What's the picture in the northern zone in terms of Iraqi activity; violations of the zone or any of that?
Quigley: Again, we flew in Northern Watch over the weekend. I'm not aware of any Iraqi air defense reaction in the northern no-fly zone over the weekend.
Q: Based on the initial damage assessment so far, is it fair to say that this mission on Friday was a success? And do you think that there will be a need to go back at any of these sites for another strike of any kind?
Quigley: Our knowledge is still imperfect. Battle damage assessment is never a perfect process. You try the best you can to gather information from a variety of sources, but from what we know so far, we feel we had an impact in the overall goal of disrupting and degrading the Iraqi air defense system in the south.
Q: And why do you think it's taking so long to get a good idea of the damage so far?
Quigley: Well, you never know when you're going to get a source of information that would add to your knowledge. But in this, the -- what, fourth day, I guess, after the attack -- we feel that we had an impact. We're pleased with the results. It isn't perfect. It never is, but we would be hopeful that we would add to our knowledge in the days and possibly weeks ahead.
Q: How is the plan, I guess, working with the Iraqi dissident groups in this situation? I know that we decided to provide more funds to these groups as far as organization goes, but in the past there has been some concern about their organization and how they're working. I mean, has that changed at all? And how are we working with them, as far as the Pentagon side goes?
Quigley: I don't have a list with me, but we do have a good list of the activities, and this is some training activities that we have undertaken with the Iraqi opposition groups. We can get that for you in DDI afterwards.
Q: You had mentioned that in the northern no-fly zone, there weren't any engagements, where there were in the South. Has that been typical, where the South is a lot busier, engagement-wise, than the North, or have they been about equal?
Quigley: It waxes and wanes. You can find periods of quiet in the South or in the North that could last several days, and then all of a sudden there will be a spike in activity that itself will last several days. So I don't think, on balance, one region or another really jumps to the fore as far as being more busy than the other. But it does wax and wane.
Q: In the something like eight years since we've been doing Northern Watch and Southern Watch, we've struck at their radar and SAM and AAA sites hundreds of times now, but he's able to regenerate. Is this considered to be indication that they're getting help from outside, or do we think that they have a domestic capability to reproduce radars and SAMs?
Quigley: They have a very good internal ability to repair a variety of military systems, and that would include radars. I'm less able to be specific on what sort of outside assistance that they may have enjoyed over the years.
Q: To what extent does the cost of the weapons that you would employ -- I know you can't be specific about that -- compared to the cost of the sites that you choose to attack in an organized fashion, such as what happened on Friday, play into the overall strategy here? Do you choose targets that you feel like it would be more expensive and more difficult for Saddam to replace, as a way to prioritize the kind of targets that you attack?
Quigley: It is an element of the planning, but it is not the determining element of the planning. The process is very involved, has inputs from many different directions. Types and numbers of aircraft, types and numbers of weapons, available tactical intelligence, weather, a variety of factors go into that. Clearly, you want to put an appropriate selection of weapon type for the target that you are aiming to strike. And I think I'll just leave it there.
Q: Two questions, one off-subject. The first, is a billion dollars a good number for us to use in talking about how much it costs to enforce the no-fly zones and do the operations in Southwest Asia?
Quigley: I have no idea if we have such a figure.
Q: And the other question is on this spy case. Has the FBI briefed Rumsfeld to say that any Pentagon information or military intelligence was compromised?
Quigley: I don't think we've been briefed yet, certainly not in a formal way. From what we know so far, there doesn't appear to be any direct involvement with the Department of Defense. But I'm sure as that case plays itself out and more details are known, we're going to be very interested in the overall understanding of what he may have compromised. With intelligence issues being as kind of cross-cutting as they are today, and impacting on several agencies at once, it is entirely possible that DoD will care very much about some of the information that is brought to light as this case continues.
So, yes, we'll be working with the Justice Department and trying to learn if there are any equities here -- do we need to change some procedure or change some equipment, or what have you -- that would have a very real impact on some of the counterintelligence issues that were discussed by Director Freeh just a while ago.
Q: Craig, is there any -- is there a kind of review like that going on already? I mean, is there an internal mechanism --
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of yet, Rick. We just haven't received the formal briefing yet. And I'm sure that that will come to light as that information, body of knowledge grows, and if it's something that either directly affects us, or certainly indirectly, there's going to be, not only with DoD, but sharing with other agencies government-wide that have systems or procedures that would have been adversely impacted by this individual.
Q: Curt Weldon was in Moscow today and met with the Russians on missile defense. He said that he delivered a message to them from Secretary Rumsfeld and also from Ronald Kadish, that the U.S. wants to cooperate with the Russians on missile defense, and they're waiting for a positive Russian response. And also, at the same time, Robertson received a plan from the Russians on cooperating -- Russian- NATO cooperation on missile defense, European missile defense.
First of all, did the secretary send a message through -- Secretary Rumsfeld -- to the Russians that they want to cooperate on missile defense, and if so, what did that message involve? And also, what's the reaction here to the Russian plan that was given to Robertson?
Quigley: Sure. The question, actually -- actually, Congressman Weldon has been in Russia over the weekend to a variety of cities, Moscow among them.
And the question as to whether or not he was carrying a letter or a message of some sort from Secretary Rumsfeld came up over the weekend, and as best we were able to track down, there has been no such letter or message or something carried by him that was authored by Secretary Rumsfeld. So I can't find any basis for that one, Jim.
The second one, as you all know, Minister Sergeyev handed to Lord Robertson today, I believe, the Russian proposal for a European missile defense system. It is something that Lord Robertson received and we would share his desire for more detail, and we'll take a look at that in the days and weeks ahead. If it indeed -- we are very heartened by the fact that the Russians, by this action, acknowledge that there is a very real missile and WMD threat to Europe.
I would point out, however, that this does not include any protection for the continental United States, under the proposal as we know it. Now, we haven't seen it yet, so maybe it does, but let's wait and see. It's not how it was portrayed by Minister Sergeyev as it was given to Lord Robertson, and it was portrayed as a European missile defense alternative proposal. That good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't do anything to provide national missile defense for the United States.
So we haven't seen it yet. We're eager to do so. Let's see where we can cooperate. If the Russians have a proposal there that would make sense and do some good in protecting Europe from missile attack and weapons of mass destruction, let's have a look and let's see where we might be able to cooperate.
Q: Is there any concern that this proposal is an effort by the Russians to divide the U.S. from the Europeans on the missile defense issue?
Quigley: I don't think so. I think we'll take it at face value. If they say that this is their idea how to provide a European missile defense, let's take an honest look at this. Like I say, it doesn't extend to the United States, and therefore we would find it lacking in that regard, but if it does extend missile protection to Europe and it's a good plan, let's take a look.
Q: Can you say whether the Russians regard their plan as being compatible with the ABM Treaty?
Quigley: I don't know, Jon. I don't know.
Q: Craig, a follow-up on missile defense. A couple of weeks ago you said that Mr. Rumsfeld now had met with General Kadish about three times on the basic --
Quigley: Three times so far, I believe --
Q: Is it fair to say that the Pentagon at this point still endorses the ground-based system that President Clinton put in development and has furthered into development? That's kind of the basic structure for the U.S. program at this point?
Quigley: Well, I wouldn't put it quite that way, but we're not far off. Secretary Rumsfeld's direction to General Kadish has been to proceed with the approved test plan, as it exists today, and then says, "I'll get back to you once we have more fully developed our thinking as to the type and scope and time line and whatnot of a national missile defense system, once the president's national security team has fleshed out that proposal, and the president has authorized and improved it."
So today he's making no long-term commitments that this is going to be the plan that will ultimately be followed, but for today, the guidance is, "Proceed until I tell you otherwise."
Q: Yeah, but isn't it realistic to expect that the ground- based program will continue? You just put Boeing on contract for $6 billion, and how realistic is it that you're going to scrap a program like that?
Quigley: Well, there's a lot of good research that is going on that would be applicable to a variety of types of systems that might be put in place. So I don't think anybody is considering that this is a waste of money or effort or time or focus.
But the ultimate architecture and structure of the plan that would be approved by the president, ultimately, may not be the plan that is currently in place. But Secretary Rumsfeld's guidance to General Kadish has been, "Press on for now, and when we have a better picture of where we're going, we'll be back in touch."
Q: And along those lines, has the secretary decided to postpone or put off the Shemya decision?
Quigley: He has not made a decision on that issue yet. He is very much aware of the time frame. He needs to come to that decision, but he is just not there quite yet.
Q: In March or --
Quigley: Well, late March, early April, Tom. You degrade at that point; it doesn't go to zero. But the weather then is always -- is a big, big factor here. If you can make your decision in the late March, early April time frame, you just increase your chances of having the weather not close in on you at the end of the construction season and shorten the time that you have to do something. So for every week you delay after that, you degrade the amount of work that you can do in that season before the weather gets too crummy.
Q: So it's still under active consideration? He could decide this year to send some barges up there, let's say?
Quigley: Oh, he has not closed any options out yet at all; not at all.
Q: On the Greeneville investigation, is the Pentagon --
Q: Can I just follow his question first? I'm sorry.
Q: I thought based on what we knew last year, that this timeline foreclosed the possibility of construction this year when President Clinton decided not to proceed. In other words, we were talking about a year hence; in other words, 2002.
Quigley: Well, it would depend on how quickly you could put your contracts in place, and things of that sort. You have a many-month lead time to get your contracts in place, arrange for the barges to move, the construction equipment, the people, the technicians, the whole bit, up to Shemya Island before the weather gets crummy on you.
Q: Well, that's what I'm getting at. Doesn't this -- I mean, you're saying you could still do it this summer, still do some construction --
Quigley: Next summer, I believe, yeah. Summer of 2002. If I inferred this summer, no. Right, not this summer. I'm sorry, let me be clear on that. You need to make the decision around the March/April time frame for 2002 actual construction work. I'm sorry.
Q: Weren't they saying last year it needed to be there by December in order to start in 2001?
Q: Contracts by the fall --
Quigley: Yeah, but you're talking about then actually signing contracts that you need to negotiate over a period of months. There's no particular magic around the March/April time frame, it's just that the more you slide it to the right, the more hasty your contract negotiation process needs to be, and the more you just -- you contract the entire process where you needed to have a little time and a little breathing space, if you will, to put a good contract in place.
Q: Is it accurate, then, to say if they can sign contracts by the end of December, the way you guys said last year, you could start the following spring?
Quigley: That would probably be true. That would probably be true.
Q: So he has to make a decision this March or April in order to get the contracts worked out during this summer, by this winter, to start construction next summer, 2002?
Quigley: Certainly by spring, Andrea, yeah.
Q: But he needs to make a decision by March or April to have enough time to get all the paperwork done and the contracting, and everything to get --
Quigley: About that time frame.
Q: -- to get the stuff barged up there next spring of 2002?
Quigley: Right. Right.
Q: Still on NMD [national missile defense]. Has General Kadish at BMDO [Ballistic Missile Defense Organization] been asked to provide any technical inputs into the review of NMD options? I mean, they are, after all, the central repository of expertise.
Quigley: Oh, sure.
Q: So if not they, who is going to provide technological input for what are viable NMD options?
Quigley: I think at this point Secretary Rumsfeld has been spending more of his time with General Kadish making sure that he has a complete understanding of the work that has been done so far and the near-term plan that Tony referred to, like what's in the next few months, how much does it cost, what do we hope to accomplish, et cetera, so that he has a good understanding of the status quo. He is very schooled on the topic of missile defense from his work on the commission in 1998. It's been --
Q: (Off mike) -- national missile defense -- (inaudible) -- proliferation, but -- (inaudible).
Quigley: Right. But they're not mutually exclusive. And he is very -- has been very interested in this topic for a very long time. So his knowledge is good, far better than your average person, certainly, but he wants to make sure, on this very complex issue, that he understands where General Kadish's team is and will be in the months ahead. He's asked some questions of General Kadish, but I don't get the impression that it's "Give me a plan to do x, y or z." It's not in that regard yet, although someday it very well could be, but I don't think we're there yet.
Q: Is it your understanding that the White House intends to come out with a plan for some new architecture? And if so, where is the White House going to get the technical expertise to do anything other than a, "Gee, this would be nice" on the back of an envelope?
Quigley: Well, I think that the president is expecting his national security team -- Secretary Rumsfeld, Dr. Rice, Secretary Powell -- to come to him with proposals that make sense. There are many ways to do this. There are advocates and detractors of each of them. He is looking for his team to come to him with a proposal with options that make sense. There will be a good debate on that. And ultimately, after consulting with the Congress, he'll make his call and move on. I just don't think we're quite there yet.
Q: But State Department has no expertise at all in the technologies of missile defense.
Quigley: Well, I think there's lots of issues, some of which don't have to do with the operation of hardware in outer space.
There are other issues that go into the construction and fielding of a missile defense system and, in that regard, that's the strength of the entire national security team bringing their respective areas of expertise to play, because it's a complex issue that crosses a lot of party lines.
Q: But -- is it anticipated that BMDO will be asked to provide, from the basis of their technical expertise, which at this point is considerable, input into what other options are models?
Quigley: Yes. I don't see how you could have it any other way.
Q: I don't either, actually --
Quigley: Now, there's contractors that are a apart of that, too, Jon, that have considerable expertise -- the contractors that BMDO has contracts with. So there's a lot of expertise in industry, as well. It is such a complex topic that there is going to be a desire to reach out as broadly as you can to make sure your understanding is good.
Q: One last thing on Shemya. Some Republicans on the Hill and missile defense advocates had hoped that at least something could be done on Shemya this year, if not actual construction, then some initial site preparations and so forth. But what you seem to be saying is that it's too early to do anything this year, even initial site preparations and everything -- if something were to be done, it would have to wait until at least next year, at the earliest.
Quigley: I don't think that you're going to put contracts in place to actually have an impact on Shemya Island in 2001, no.
Q: Well, can I just ask, has Secretary Rumsfeld talked to the chief of Naval Operations or anybody in the Navy about the possibility of adapting TMD for national missile defense? Has he had that conversation with anybody in the Navy?
Quigley: Not that I know of.
Q: Has he had that conversation with BMDO or General Kadish?
Quigley: I think, from General Kadish, he has gotten a variety of data points on studies done, data in hand to date on the various options that exist to defend the United States from ballistic missile attack. Space-based, ground-based, sea-based -- there are many options. You're aware of most of them, I'm sure. He wants to make sure that his understanding is as good as the professionals that Jon's indicated that spend all of their time studying this complex issue.
Q: Is the Pentagon concerned, or do you have any comments on the fact that the commander of the Greeneville has refused to be interviewed by the NTSB? The timing is kind of weird, because it was my understanding that they set up a court of inquiry for Thursday so that it wouldn't overlap -- or wouldn't impede the NTSB investigation.
But because of that court, now he's saying he doesn't want to talk to NTSB until that's done. What's your perspective on this and how about his answer?
Quigley: My understanding of that is that's certainly within his right to decline to do that.
Q: And you're not concerned that it's impeding the civilian investigation and what that's doing with --
Quigley: I don't think the NTSB investigation is going to be done for many months. I'm sure they will, in fact, take a look at the court of inquiry results, when that forum is complete, and incorporate that as part of their review as well. And the -- Commander Waddle has said that he prefers to hold off until the court of inquiry to answer questions. And I don't think that will have an impact on the overall effort of the NTSB.
Q: If BMDO has been instructed to continue on with the approved plan as it exists, when is the next integrated flight test scheduled?
Quigley: I think late spring, early summer. I don't have an exact date though.
Q: Has Secretary Rumsfeld, as a result of the Greeneville accident, now instructed all the services, either informally or formally, to review the way they allow civilian participation in exercises?
Quigley: He is not to that point yet, Bob, in having provided guidance to the services. I think you've seen the services take action on their own in the last few days.
For instance, the Navy has put in place a procedure where they'll continue to embark visitors for orientation cruises and flights, and what not, but at least at this point, they'll preclude those guests from being in positions of control of any of the equipment on the units they sail or fly or what have you. The Army has put in place similar restrictions for their visitor program as well, on both their tactical vehicles and aircraft. I'm less up to speed on the Air Force and Marine Corps.
Ultimately, Secretary Rumsfeld will take a good look at this, as the president has asked him to do, and provide guidance to the services in this regard. But just this morning, he expressed his support for the worth of having an orientation program for citizens to go out and see what their Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps can do.
Q: "He" being Rumsfeld?
Quigley: "He" being Rumsfeld. That's right.
Q: In what forum did he do that?
Quigley: A meeting this morning. But --
Q: What --
Quigley: At 9:00.
Q: Was that a public --
Quigley: No. The senior staff meeting this morning.
Quigley: But also, by the same token, to take a look, as the president has asked him to do, about the particulars of this, and issue the appropriate guidance to the services.
Q: What else came up at the senior staff meeting? (Laughter.)
Q: Nice try!
Q: Admiral, the administration's going to drop some kind of budget numbers, somewhat of a generality, next week. Can you give us guidance as to whether we should expect any briefing from the building here next week on the '02 budget request?
Quigley: I don't think so. I think that this will be done a little bit differently this year, because of the unusual schedule and the sequence of events that are in -- that will be in place this year. So unlike your typical year, if you will, where you would have each of the executive offices of the government follow up the overall government-wide briefing with their particulars, I don't think we will be ready to do that, probably, for several weeks to come.
Q: Can you give us any update of the operation of the Super Scorpio in Hawaii?
Quigley: I know it has been out today. It is continuing to do a survey of the bottom in the vicinity of the Ehime Maru, on the bottom. And I think both it and Deep Drone are basically accomplishing the same purpose and trying to do a detailed bottom survey in the vicinity of the ship itself, as it sits on the bottom.
Q: Right. So at this point, you don't know how long it takes this operation, or when you can -- when you decide now it's reaching to the --
Quigley: Well, I think this is the sequence that we're going to see, I think, in the weeks ahead:
For the next several days, I think you'll see the two ROVs [remotely operated vehicles], Deep Drone and Super Scorpio, conduct this detailed survey of the bottom in the immediate vicinity of the ship. When they have that survey data in hand, I think you'll then see the government go out and solicit proposals from world-class salvage corporations around the world as to how they might accomplish this.
We still don't know if it is technically feasible to raise that ship.
We don't have any in-house expertise in the Department of Defense that is capable of doing that, but there may be commercial salvage firms somewhere in the world that have that capability. We will provide the bottom survey information as well as whatever other information might be useful to those salvage companies for them to consider whether or not their company can perform a salvage of that vessel. And then, as the folks at Pacific Fleet and Pacific Command have said yesterday, I believe, or today, that if it's technical feasible, we'll raise the vessel. They just don't know if that's the case yet.
Q: Admiral, when Admiral Fargo announced the court of inquiry, he said it was because of, for one reason, a need for an open process and for there to be transparency, and especially because of the interest of the Japanese government. Taking that into account, will there be cameras allowed in the proceeding room when this court of inquiry is going on, television cameras?
Quigley: I don't believe so. I think the details have yet to be finalized. But I think that instead of cameras in the courtroom, I think the Navy intends to follow the federal court procedure, and that is to do an audio and video feed into some separate room or separate building, as the physical structure allows, to allow reporters to be present for reporting purposes, but no cameras or recording devices in the courtroom itself. I believe a sketch artist will be there, as well.
Q: If the point, though, is to have an open process, why not open it to cameras?
Quigley: I think this is quite open. There's no information that you won't be able to see or hear from the remote facility that you would not be able to hear in the courtroom.
Q: Still on the Greeneville, could you share with us the background to the decision to release the names of the civilians who were on board?
Q: The Navy had been refusing because on grounds of privacy. Did the civilians waive their right to privacy? What happened?
Quigley: No. There were several considerations here, John. We had a process where the guests on board had specifically not wanted their names to be released, so there's a privacy issue. There's also a Freedom of Information Act issue. And as you're very much aware, those two laws are frequently in direct opposition to each other.
Lay on top of that the fact that you had an ongoing investigation, and I think the Navy's thinking was let's just take a time-out here for a minute and take a look and make sure that we have an orderly, methodical process in place to consider the various pulls and tugs on the release of that information; let's just not throw it out there because somebody asked. There are real consequences of your actions in providing information, so let's pause, let's weigh the balance here that comes in place for those various competing interests.
And once that process was complete on Saturday, the interests -- the balance came down on the side of public disclosure and the names were released.
Q: And that decision was taken at what level? By whom?
Quigley: Commander of Submarine Forces Pacific, I believe.
Q: New subject. On the V-22, will you have -- do you have any comment on the GAO report that apparently says that not all the testing of the V-22 that might have been done was done?
Quigley: I have not seen it yet, Jamie. But I know that the V-22 review panel was briefed by the GAO on the early findings from their review, I think, on the 12th of January. So they have this information at their disposal; they've had it now for a month and a little. And we'll certainly incorporate GAO's findings as part of their overall review.
Q: Do you plan to release that report or any of those findings that were briefed to the panel?
Quigley: Well, it's not our report; it would be the GAO's. It's my understanding that they do intend to release it today, but I just have not seen it yet.
Q: Along those same lines, it's my understanding that those meetings are public. Have they held any public meetings yet?
Quigley: I think the first is the 9th of March.
Q: Craig, back to Iraq a second. Excuse me if this has been asked. But can you confirm the reports over the weekend that the raid was precipitated largely by a need to destroy work that would have linked the air defense sites via fiber optic?
Quigley: No, I'm sorry, I don't have anything that I can contribute in that regard. We've said that the targets were radars, and the command, control, and communication nodes that helped to improve the capability of the integrated air defense system.
Q: Why can't you just take a step further? The Post, somewhat convincingly, said Chinese workers were networking it, and this was timed to destroy -- interrupt the assembly.
Quigley: I'm just not able to discuss that, Tony. I'm sorry.
Q: One other question. How many weapons were actually launched in the attack? Are we talking 40 or 50 precision-guided weapons going off at once, in waves?
Quigley: I'm not going to be able to provide that either. I will tell you that 24 aircraft were actually involved in launching weapons, both British and United States, and they fired a variety of long-range, precision-guided munitions. But I'm not going to be able to give you numbers, I'm afraid.
Quigley: I'm not going to do anything that is going to continue to help the Iraqis defend or somehow mitigate future attacks.
Q: Yeah, but we're talking several millions of dollars of ordnance here. Shouldn't the public at least have a feel for what was used and judge whether it was effective or not?
Quigley: Well, I guess I'm going to go back to something of a balancing test of my own, and if I'm going to review the information that could possibly be of benefit to the Iraqis in helping to assess the effectiveness of the weapon systems that we'll use against them, I'm not going to do that.
Q: Well, not to belabor it, Admiral, but I mean, the Iraqis surely know how many times they were hit. So what's the harm in telling us how many times they were hit?
Quigley: How many were fired, how many were not released, and how many hit their targets is information I would love to have, if I was the Iraqis. And I'm not going to provide that. They know darn well how many weapons impacted on their systems. That's a given. But there are other elements of that that I'm just not going to get into.
Q: Thank you.
Quigley: Thank you, sir.
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