State Department justifies request to protect Albright for as long as six months after she leaves post
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Responding to published reports that Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright will continue to have "round-the-clock protection" for
six months after she leaves office in January, the State Department went on the
"Let me point out, which I don't think was at all clear in the item in
the gossip column, that this was not done at the request of Secretary Albright, said spokesman Phillip Reeker.
"This is a proactive measure taken by the Department of State, obviously with
the Diplomatic Security Bureau in the lead. It is not intended for any
particular secretary of state or nominee, but rather for a category of
officials, current and future," he added.
Reeker said the State Department had requested that Congress, in the
pending Commerce-Justice-State bill, to support legislation authorizing
protection for outgoing secretaries for a period of time not to exceed six
This legislation also proposes that protection be provided for those named as
designee to the office of secretary of state.
The Washington Post reported in its Style section that the State
Department request totaled "millions of dollars" and that there was "no fixed
amount" for the security proposal.
The State Department explained that the decision to make the request was
based on a variety of variables including threat assessment.
"It's an intelligence-driven process, and that often indicates that we
need to be able to provide assessments and provide security for a longer period
of time," Reeker said.
He noted that Albright has been "a very high profile leader around the
world in the foreign policy arena."