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DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
July 12, 2001 1:30 PM EDT

Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Three announcements this afternoon, and then I'll be pleased to take your questions.

President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to a retired -- let me be sure I get this right here -- Captain Ed W. Freeman on Monday in a White House ceremony at 9:00. The Medal of Honor was presented -- will be presented to him, again, in a White House ceremony. We will follow that up here. And more details on that, I would steer you to the White House. But we will follow that up here on Monday afternoon at 4:30 in the Hall of Heroes, where the Army will induct a total of three additional people into the Hall of Heroes as Medal of Honor recipients.

The inductees will include past U.S. President and Army Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt; Captain Ed. W. Freeman, as I mentioned; and Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith, posthumously. And each will be recognized for their valor and national service. And again, in our building here, that's 4:30 Monday afternoon, the 16th.

An update on assistance to the state of West Virginia with their flooding: the West Virginia National Guard has called up another 644 guardsmen for state active duty to support recovery efforts from their severe flooding there, and that's about a 100 percent increase from the previous call-up. The Virginia Guard, under an emergency management assistance compact, has activated 240 guardsmen to assist West Virginia as well. And they will, in addition to the 240 people, they will also have two UH-60s and one UH-1 helicopter conducting operations from Bluefield, West Virginia.

Now, on the DoD perspective from that, we have now been asked by FEMA and have provided a Defense Coordinating Office officer and a defense coordinating team of six people. And these people are preparing to leave now and they will report to Charleston, West Virginia, to coordinate any further DoD support in addition to that provided by the Guard.

And finally, there will be a briefing here tomorrow at 1:30 in the afternoon by Lieutenant General Ron Kadish, director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, on the administration's restructured missile defense program. General Kadish will also discuss the robust testing program in the months ahead, as well as details for Saturday night's test. Again, that's here tomorrow at 1:30.

With that, I'll take your questions. Bob.

Q: Craig, I'd like to know why certain news organizations yesterday were invited to a background briefing with General Kadish about missile defense, and other news organizations, such as the Associated Press, were not. And in a similar vein, why were certain reporters invited to an interview with Secretary Rumsfeld, and others, including AP, were not?

Quigley: Well, I guess you come to an individual decision on those instances each and every time. There's way too many correspondents from way too many news organizations to invite everybody to everything all the time. So we tend to do it in small groups over a period of time in a variety of topics.

Q: But General Kadish was talking about this missile defense issue, which is extremely timely, including the testimony today on the Hill and his briefing tomorrow. This is a news story. You can't just exclude certain news organizations like the AP, which is the biggest news organization, and then others of my colleagues who are very much interested in the topic and who cover the building every day.

Q: And I would like to add Stars & Stripes to that list.

Q: It makes no sense. Now, whose decision was that?

Quigley: It's a decision we made in-house to -- as we do every time.

Q: Every time you exclude the AP from an interview with General Kadish --

Quigley: There is no organization that is permanently on the list or permanently off the list. It is developed uniquely every time.

Q: It's funny -- it's interesting how some of the major newspapers seem to be on the list every time. Is that just coincidence?

Quigley: Well, that's -- it's your perception. I don't think it's reality.

Q: Well, can you make a commitment that in the future more people will be invited to these very important background briefings?

Quigley: No.

Q: Why not?

Quigley: We'll make that decision on a case basis every time.

Q: Who did you have at the briefing yesterday? Newspapers only?

Quigley: I'm not going to discuss how or who we get into the creation of backgrounders ever.

Q: Why not?

Quigley: It's a bilateral discussion with a news organization each and every time.

Q: My understanding is that only certain newspapers were invited to yesterday's briefing. And it seems to me that that's unacceptable, and actually scandalous, that you would have a public affairs policy that would allow only major newspapers to get the news.

Quigley: We have --

Q: It only makes -- (inaudible due to crosstalk) -- totally nontransparent.

Quigley: We have no such policy.

Q: That's the way it works out.

Quigley: We have no such policy.

Q: You have no policy, apparently. But the practice is that -- that's the resulting practice.

Quigley: Well, I guess I just have to disagree with you.

Q: Well, you can disagree, but we ought to have a more robust discussion of this whole public affairs policy. If you don't have one, then maybe you ought to have one.

Quigley: Okay.

Q: I would like to agree with that. We're all in competition here. We're all trying to disseminate news. We're -- most of us work on daily publications. And I don't understand why it has to be this secret process. There's no apparent standard for why some people are invited and why not. You just say, "Well, we do it one way one time and one way another." But why? What's the criteria? How do you decide who is important enough in that particular instance to invite to a briefing and why exclude other people? It makes no sense. And you will not give us transparency on this. No matter how many times we ask, we get stonewalled.

Q: Will transcripts of those events be made available?

Quigley: I don't know. We'll check on that.

Q: And I'll point out for the record, radio is never invited.

Quigley: Okay.

Q: And also the record should show that you do have a policy these days of putting the transcripts of many -- many interviews with -- this is a new policy that you've just started of putting the transcripts of many interviews that previously wouldn't have been put on the web site.

Quigley: It's an issue that we discuss with each of the news organizations as they do an interview with an individual.

Q: Well particularly when you do these multi-reporter sessions, it would seem that it would not be the choice of one news organization --

Q: Is the Rumsfeld interview transcript going to be done on --

Q: -- particularly since you control it.

Quigley: I don't know.

Q: Was it discussed with the reporters who did the interview yesterday?

Quigley: No.

Q: Therefore it's up to you, or you're saying you're not going to do it, or what?

Quigley: Just haven't addressed the subject yet.

Q: Well, can you -- can you post it? I'm asking if you'll post it.

Quigley: Well, let me take that and we'll look into it.

Yes.

Q: My question is -- I've been asking this question for the last five years on China, that China will be a future threat, military threat to the United States. Finally, it has now come into print in yesterday's, I believe, Washington Times (inaudible). Do you have comments now --

Quigley: What has come into print? I'm sorry.

Q: In the Washington Times, that China will be a military threat to the U.S. in the future. That's what I have been asking for the last five years. Now it has gone into print.

Quigley: What was the paper referring to?

Q: That military threat --

Quigley: Or was that the paper's view?

Q: China is building up militarily and it is going to be a threat in the future for the United States.

Quigley: Was this the view of the Washington Times, or were they citing a study or a speech or --

Q: They have done their own investigations and all that.

Quigley: I would leave their opinions to them.

Q: But what do you think as far as you see that China -- how China is building up militarily and all that, and Russia is going in different direction?

Quigley: There's been a lot said on that topic over the months and years. I mean, I've heard President Bush, Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld and others, Admiral Blair in the Pacific Command. There's no question that China is and will remain a major regional power in that part of the world. They've made a very public acknowledgment of the growth of their military and modernization of their military. Their economy is growing. We will find ourselves in positions over the years politically, economically sometimes as competitors. I don't think enemy will ever be the term that -- certainly not what we look at right now. But could be a political competitor. Could be an economic competitor. On other issues, we could be in partnership.

So it's overly simplistic, I think, to characterize any nation with a relatively quick and easy description of what the relationship will be.

With our closest friends around the world, the NATO allies, there are many instances that the 19 nations of NATO disagree on a variety of topics. That does not mean that we remain divided on all topics, but on some topics, I think nations will find themselves in different positions often, over the years.

Q: Let me just follow in a different way. Let's say if it is going to be a regional power or if it's a growing regional power, if China is threat to the countries in the region, do you think the United States is prepared to defend them --

Quigley: We would hope that China does not pose -- does not take aggressive, intimidating behavior to any country in that region. That serves to only create instability, both political and military and economic instability in that part of the world, and I don't think that's something that we or most other nations would look favorably upon.

Q: Because India really has been by China; that's what India claims, and there is a growing tension between the two countries for the last 50 years, but there was a war in 1962 and now a growing problem because of India's support for Tibet and China's support for Pakistan. So what do you think where the U.S. stands in the future?

Quigley: You're talking about issues that the Pentagon plays a supporting role in, and these are relationships between governments that are either done at the president and prime minister level or ministers of state and secretaries of state and things of that sort. And the Department of Defense, at least under our system, would play a supporting role in those, not a lead role.

Q: Thank you.

Q: A -- (inaudible) -- question. Are you going to set press availability on Saturday night?

Quigley: Yes, we will, and I can go over that real quick. We intend to be open about 9:00 Friday night. The window --

Q: Saturday.

Quigley: Oh, I'm sorry. Saturday night. Saturday night. The window, the launch window is from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. [EDT] That's a four-hour block. We'll be open about 9:00 here. We are trying to arrange for a video feed into somewhere into the Pentagon. We think we've found a conference room that is technically compatible with the video feed. If that's true -- and we ought to have this nailed down by tomorrow when General Kadish is here -- if that's true, then we would offer the video feed of the launch -- of both launches, the control room on Kwajalein, and things of that sort.

If not, then the facility that Boeing has in Rosslyn would be available, if you want to see video.

When the shot is complete and we have had some time -- 30 minutes, 60 minutes -- to understand what has happened, as best we can, we will give -- General Kadish will come here and brief, whatever time that might shake out to be.

And then on Monday or Tuesday of next week, after we've had a couple -- three days to digest the data, then he would come back and give a more comprehensive brief as to what we learned from the test.

But it won't be very comprehensive Saturday night, because we will have the barest of information in hand by that initial point. But 30 minutes, 60 minutes, perhaps, after the shot is done we would do that.

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