Q If I could just maybe follow up, given the political sensitivities that are now blatantly obvious, do you wish that somebody would have given you a heads up, as the President's Homeland Security Director, so that perhaps you could have said what you just said to us perhaps to members of Congress a little bit earlier?Icidentially, why is it now, that the President threatens to use his veto for the first time? It's political, no?
MS. TOWNSEND: Well, we're looking at how we can communicate better with members of Congress. There are briefings going on today, we're getting them the facts, and I think once people are satisfied that they have the facts -- and we've got to look at that process going forward -- they'll be satisfied that the security concerns have been addressed.
Q A two-part question on this aspect that she just raised. The top of page one headlines this morning report, "Bush learned of port deal from press." This news also reported that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Treasury Secretary John Snow both say they didn't know about it until it was approved. And my question, first of two: What will be done, if anything, to those responsible for this being done without the knowledge of the President or the Secretaries of Defense and Treasury?
MS. TOWNSEND: Okay, the first question. I can't speak to what will be done to them. I will tell you that there are tens of these every year. They are handled and they only come up to the President and to the senior -- to the members of the Cabinet if there's an objection, if the concerns can't be addressed in some way and can't be resolved. This is how the process has worked, and so I can't speak to, having -- I wasn't personally involved in it, so I can't speak to what the process -- how it performed.
Q On page 11 of the 9/11 Commission's report that you're undoubtedly familiar with, it says, "From 1999 through early 2001, the United States pressed the United Arab Emirates, one of the Taliban's only travel and financial outlets to the outside world, to break off ties and enforce sanctions. These efforts achieved little before 9/11." And my question: Why should we now give this nation any control of our ports, which so refused to help in stopping a worse killing of Americans than at Pearl Harbor?
MS. TOWNSEND: There is no question that their performance has changed since 2001 in the war on terror. They have been critical allies in Afghanistan. They have been critical allies in fighting the financial war against terror. They've been critical allies in terms of our military-to-military relationship, as General Pace has talked about.
I don't take issue with the 9/11 Commission's characterization prior to September 11th, but I will tell you, prior to September 11th, Pakistan also recognized the Taliban. They, too, are now a critical ally in the war on terror, without whose support we would not have enjoyed some of the successes we've enjoyed, in terms of capturing or killing some of al Qaeda's leaders. So I would caution you against judging forever one's performance prior to 9/11.
Q What will happen if Congress overrules -- what if Congress overrules the President?
MS. TOWNSEND: That was two. You've got other colleagues. Yes, sir.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Don't You Think Five Years Is Enough?
I don't know about you, but if you have been working at doing something for five years and you still can't get it right - especially when you hold a "majority," in Congress, maybe you aught step asside. Have a gander at these lousy excuses provided by the W, Rove and co: