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John Ashcroft Remarks

Aired October 2, 2001 - 13:56   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to interrupt White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer to take you to where General John Ashcroft is talking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: ... is great to be home again. All of America understands the need for us to be responsible about equipping law enforcement officials with the tools that are necessary to disrupt, to anticipate, to interrupt, prevent, additional terrorist acts. It is with that in mind that within hours after the attack on September 11, we begin a very thorough and open conversation with leaders of the Congress to develop a package of tools that would help prevent more terrorism.

Talk won't prevent terrorism. Tools can help prevent terrorism. And we have been working very hard to get that done. I'm deeply concerned about the rather slow pace at which we seem to be making this come true for America. We need to be able to put tools in place that would help us disrupt or prevent any additional terrorist acts to which we might be susceptible.

And so, I wanted to spend some time with the senators this morning and this noon to describe to them the nature of the kinds of tools and to describe to them the kind of urgency that I feel that is necessary. I met with Senator Leahy this morning again, and expressed to him my deep concern over the pace at which we are making progress.

I think it is time for us to be productive in behalf of the American people so that our protection of the American people can in fact be effective. It's with that in mind that I have had these opportunities today and I thank you. I'm grateful to the senators for the opportunity of expressing that to them and to you. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Attorney General John Ashcroft expressing disappointment that Congress is not moving faster to give the Justice Department the sort of expanded tools he says that it needs it carry out law enforcement, to carry out the kinds of an investigation that it says it needs in order to prosecute terrorists and to prevent future acts of terrorism.

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