Skip to main content /TRANSCRIPTS


Secretary of State Colin Powell Appears Before House International Relations Committee

Aired October 24, 2001 - 14:08   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go over to the Capitol, where the secretary of state is speaking at the House -- a committee meeting of the House International Relations Committee.

Let's listen in.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... a day we will never forget. But we came out of that day with a deep resolve to make sure that those who are responsible for that the day to pay for it, to be brought to justice or as the president said, we'll have justice brought to them.

To that end, the president has undertaken a campaign to go after them. It's a campaign that has many dimensions to it: financial attacks, law enforcement attacks, intelligence attacks, military attacks. It's a campaign that is being waged not only by the United States, but by a broad international coalition that has come together.

And the reason this coalition has come together so quickly and so successfully is that everybody who has joined this coalition realizes that what happened in the United States on the 11th of September, and especially what happened in New York, was not just an attack against America, was not just an attack against New York, it was an attack against civilization. It was an attack against the world community. Some 80 nations lost citizens in the World Trade Center, and all of those nations have joined us in the counterattack, the campaign to go after those responsible. But the president understood right away, within 24 hours, that it could not just be a campaign against the perpetrators, who are clearly the Al Qaeda organization lead by Osama bin Laden. It had to be against all forms of terrorism. It had to be a broad-based campaign that brought all of the members of the international community together, once and for all, to go after this scourge that exists on the face of the Earth, this scourge that is targeted against civilization, this scourge that is targeted against the democratic way of life, the democratic way of doing things.

As Mr. Lantos said, it has nothing to do with Iraqi sanctions, it has nothing to do with our presence in the Persian Gulf. We are there to defend Muslims, to defend Muslims from other Muslims.

So our purpose there is noble. It is an attack against who we are, our value systems, our belief in the dignity of the individual, our belief in democracy, our belief in the free enterprise system. That's what it is an attack against.

And it is not an attack that was delivered against us in the name of a faith. It is a violation of the faith of Islam. It is a violation of every known faith that any man or woman believes in. We must not let Osama bin Laden make this false claim.

We cannot also let him make the claim that somehow he is doing it in the name of the Palestinian people or betrodden Muslims. He lifted not a finger, he gave not a dollar of the wealth that he had to help his fellow Muslims or to help the people who are suffering in the Middle East. Instead, he used his money for the worst sorts of purposes: to go out and murder innocent civilians.

And we must not let him get away with delivering a message that is different from that simple message. As the president has said, he is an evildoer, he must be punished as an evildoer.

And there are many terrorist organizations around the world that are similarly motivated, and we have to go after them wherever we find them.

The first phase of this campaign against terrorism is after Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and wherever Al Qaeda exists throughout the world, not just in Afghanistan.

And I now come to the fact that we've put this rather incredible coalition together. There are some who have said, "Well, isn't the coalition a burden? Doesn't the coalition in some way constrain the president of the United States?"

The answer, it does not constrain him in the slightest. As we pulled this coalition together, we made sure that the president retained all of his constitutional authority. Obviously, when you have a coalition, you have to be considerate of the interests of all the members of the coalition, but in being considerate of the interests of all the members of the coalition the president in no way gave away any of his authority to act as he saw fit and may see fit in the future to protect American interests.

Second point with respect to a coalition: Without this coalition we wouldn't be able to wage this campaign, we wouldn't be able to conduct this war. If we're going after the financial systems of these organizations, you can't do it just by yourself. You need all the nations that have financial systems that are relevant to come into this coalition so we can work together.

If you're going to go after the intelligence infrastructure that he uses so we can get inside of that intelligence system, then you have to use all the intelligence systems of the coalition members.

If you want to deliver a military strike against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime, you need a coalition to do that. You need people who will go into battle with you, you need people who will give you overflight, you need people who will support you. And the president has been absolutely marvelous, in my judgment, in pulling such a coalition together.

I will make one final point about this coalition: It was hard to stop it. Once people saw what happened on the 11th of September, they weren't just sitting around waiting for us to beg them to come into a coalition arrangement. Within 24 hours, NATO had acted, invoking Article 5. Without 48 hours, the U.N. had acted, passing a Security Council resolution and then a General Assembly resolution. And as we really got ourselves mobilized, they came in one after the other, the ANZUS Treaty invoked, the Rio Pact invoked, organizations around the world wanting to be a part of this. The OAS.

And recently, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, 56 Islamic nations coming together, just two weeks ago. We worried about it; would they come out with something that might be troublesome for us? Instead, they came out with a strong, powerful statement that said what Osama bin Laden and his associates did on the 11th of September was wrong, was representative of no faith, was not representative of the faith of Islam and was a desecration. And they understood the necessity for action against such terrorists and such kinds of activity.

And so this is a coalition that is in the interest of our goals and objectives. It's a coalition that people have suggested, "Well, it'll start to fray, it'll start to break up." Well, it's been six weeks now, it's getting stronger.

The president just came back from a trip to Shanghai where he met with APEC, the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation organization, and 21 Asian-Pacific nations came together and in their final declaration gave the president a strong -- strong show of support, all united. All want to cooperate with the financial piece, the economic piece, the intelligence piece, the law enforcement piece, securing our borders, how do we look at visas, how do we look at people traveling around.

And a number of them came forward and said, "We want to be a part of the military organization." In fact, my colleague Don Rumsfeld is having as much difficulty figuring out how to use all the military support that has been offered to him as he has in applying those who are already in the field. We have also had a number of nations that have come forward and said, "Look, we are with you in the whole strategy that you have laid out, not just to get Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, but what happens after that, after the Taliban is defeated and they're no longer there. We want to be a part of that effort that puts in a new system, a new government for the Afghan people, a broad-based government representing all elements of Afghan society. We want to be a part of that."

We know that may require some peacekeepers or others to go in to help this new government get up and running and started. And we're working with the U.N. and all interested nations in that regard. We're working with the different elements of Afghan society and the great diaspora that's around the world; working with the king in Rome; working with others; talking to all of the countries that are within the neighborhood to make sure that we have a sense of what everybody would like to do.

Nations are coming forward with humanitarian aid to make sure that we get what we need into Afghanistan as the winter approaches. That is perhaps one of our most difficult challenges at the moment. And nations are also coming in and saying, once we get a new government in place that is representative of all the people of Afghanistan, we want to stay there in order to help build a country, perhaps for the first time -- not just rebuild, but build for the first time, to give hope to the people of Afghanistan.

We are also working hard, Mr. Chairman, to deal with the public diplomacy aspects of this crisis. We want to get the message out that Osama bin Laden is evil; his actions evil. One of the problems we have is that out in the street, as they say, below the level of government, there are a number of citizens in Muslim countries who look at us as the aggressor.

We're not the aggressor. We have never gone to attack any Islamic country. We have never gone to invade any Muslim people. We have never gone to subject them. We have gone to the Gulf to rescue Kuwait from Iraq. We are there as a force for stability. Of course, that protects the people of the region, and we have to do a better job of making our case, and we're hard at work doing that.

I also must say, Mr. Chairman, that even though I am now a diplomat and no longer chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I cannot help but view what my colleagues in uniform are doing, and do it with the greatest of admiration. We all should be so proud of what the wonderful men and women entrusted to our care by the American people are doing over the skies of Afghanistan and some on the ground. And we must also be very thankful for the forces of other nations that are participating with us in all of this.

The humanitarian challenge, as I touched on earlier, is a difficult one, and we're working with the United Nations, the World Food Programme, and all of the neighboring countries to make sure we can do everything possible to get the tonnages in. And also, as you noted, Secretary Rumsfeld and my colleagues in the Pentagon are also hard at work dropping in supplies from the air in order to provide some emergency support. And as we get further into the season, we might find that that air bridge has an even more important role to play.

I just would conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying that this is a noble cause that we are all embarked upon. And it is a cause that we must prevail in. We must be persistent. We must be patient. This isn't a battle that's going to be won suddenly one day. It's going to be a campaign, a battle, a war that's going to continue.

And people have asked me, how will we know when we have been successful? How will we know when we have won? And we will have won when we are living in security again; when we are being cautious about how we travel and the other things we do in our daily lives; but when we are once again secure in our homes, secure in our cities, secure in our official buildings here in Washington and elsewhere around the country; and when we get back to that America that all know and love so well, we are not threatened by this kind of terrorism; and when we also help other nations around the world to get rid of the terrorist threats that they face.

That's when we know we will have been successful. I believe we will be successful because the cause is just. It is the correct battle to fight at this time, and because I know that under President Bush's leadership we will apply the resources, the will, and the determination to that challenge. And I'm quite confident we will enjoy the support of the American Congress, the American people and the members of our coalition as we move forward.

I'd like to stop at this point, Mr. Chairman, and invite your questions and the questions of your members.

REP. HENRY J. HYDE (R), ILLINOIS: Thank you very much Mr. Secretary.

I wish people here who have cell phones would be foresighted enough to turn them off if you can. It is a disturbance. Secondly, I don't want to embarrass you, Mr. Secretary, nor myself by saying extravagant things, but I must say in this time of terrible angst it is a cosmic reassurance to have you as secretary of state, and I mean that sincerely.

Mr. Secretary we all look forward to a prompt and successful conclusion of our military operations in Afghanistan. Many of us would like to know, however, whether our military objectives include removal from power of the Taliban regime, and if so, what your thoughts are about the type of government we hope will replace the Taliban and how our country can facilitate that transition.

POWELL: The president made it clear from the very beginning that if the Taliban regime did not turn over Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization resident in Afghanistan, that they had essentially designated themselves as a terrorist regime. They did not, and so they have to pay the consequences, and the Taliban government must now go, because they are part and parcel to Al Qaeda.

We believe that once that regime has gone, it is necessary to find a successor regime that represents all the people of Afghanistan. We're working hard now, and you mentioned Ambassador Richard Haas, the director of policy planning for the State Department. He's working with Mr. Brahimi, the secretary general's representative in New York. Ambassador Haas has also met with the king in Rome. And as you may have noted in your daily newspaper, meetings are taking place in Pakistan, in Peshawar, and also meetings are starting to take place in Turkey.

So there are a lot of things starting to happen, and we hope that we'll be able to cause all of this to gel in the very near future. I don't have the exact model as to how it will all come together -- whether it will be a supreme council coming together or some smaller councils initially meeting. The king will play an especially important role, not that I would expect him to become the chief executive of the next regime, but he brings a certain authority to the process, and he will be able to rally all of the elements together. And he has certainly indicated he is willing to play that role and an important role it will be.

My own view is that as this process unfolds, and as we begin to see what the Afghans want, as opposed to what we want them to do, but what they want and what we are able to shape along with them, that the U.N. will play an important role. And my own personal view, and I present it as a personal view, is that there will probably be a requirement for some kind of U.N. presence, significant presence in Kabul in a governmental administrative capacity to help the new government get started, because they will be coming in without any existing institutions in place, without any real experience in government.

The U.N. has performed this role successfully in other places, not that those places are perfect models for what we may need in Afghanistan, but the U.N. experience in East Timor, in Cambodia suggests that they do have a body of experience that's relevant to this kind of challenge. And I think after a period of time performing that role, hopefully an Afghan government will get it's sea legs and be able to take over, and take over in a way that people can look at this new government, look at Afghanistan as a nation that is no longer harboring terrorists, and as a nation that can accommodate itself to its neighbors with no one neighbor having veto power or dominance over the new government.

It's a very interesting neighborhood -- Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, China -- it's a very interesting country surrounded by many interesting countries, and all of those interests have to be dealt with -- Russia, India -- a little bit further away, but nevertheless interested.

POWELL: We have been in touch with all of those countries to get their thoughts, to get their ideas as to how we should move forward. And we will need all of them to come into this process in order to move forward in a successful way.

HYDE: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Lantos?

REP. TOM LANTOS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I knew I had to rely on you for supplying the right adjective. You are giving us cosmic feelings of security, Mr. Secretary.

POWELL: This is scary.


LANTOS: And all the American people are grateful to you.

Mr. Secretary, a few days ago, the Republican Whip Tom DeLay and I wrote a letter to you, and I want to publicly express my appreciation for the excellent response that Secretary Armitage sent us. I'd like to read a brief paragraph from his response and I'd like to ask permission of the chairman to include our original letter to Secretary Powell and the response in the record. HYDE: Without objection.

LANTOS: We were dealing with the issue of how we treat other countries which, A, have been victims of terrorism; and how we treat countries which are havens to terrorists. Our letter outlines our position very clearly, and I couldn't be more pleased with your deputy's response. This is what he says. "You are correct that Al Qaeda is not the only terrorist organization with global reach. All 28 terrorist groups designated by the secretary as foreign terrorist organizations maintain networks of varying international scope and use these networks to facilitate violence against innocent persons to further their political designs. The foreign terrorist organization list includes groups from every corner of the world. We have been attacking these groups for years, are going after these groups now, and will continue to do so until they no longer represent a threat to the United States, our citizens, our interests and our friends and allies."

I say amen to that. The second comment that your deputy says in his excellent response is also interesting, and I want to share it with my colleagues. "One of the most important elements of the campaign against terrorism, regardless of the target, is ending state support for terrorism. We have long sought to move states that sponsored terrorist groups to get out of the business. The tragic events of September 11 may provide the United States more room to do this through hard-headed diplomacy, combined with multilateral pressure. As with our ongoing counterterrorism dialogue with Sudan, any diplomatic efforts to engage state sponsors will include rigorous requirements.

Rhetoric alone will not suffice, and rewards must be fully earned. We are not contemplating actions which might constitute 'rewards' to Iran, Syria or the Palestinian Authority, absent satisfactory action on the longstanding conditions and concerns we have regarding their policies and activities. We will not allow them to cherry-pick some terrorist organizations, while ignoring or, worse, aiding others. In short, state sponsors must definitively act to satisfy our counterterrorism concerns before we will consider removing our unilateral sanctions."

This is an excellent letter. Unfortunately, it is in disharmony with some of the statements State Department spokesmen officially have uttered with respect to this issue. And I wish during the briefings there would be your statement sort of on a huge banner when you said you don't get to pick your terrorists.

That was an excellent statement, Mr. Secretary.

But some official State Department spokesmen have attempted to justify some kinds of terrorism and trying to make the phony case that some kind of terrorism is justifiable, while other kinds of terrorism is not justifiable. This hypocrisy or inconsistency also carries over into the realm of what is called targeted assassinations.

Now it seems to me, Mr. Secretary, that if an American pilot were to -- using our smart weapons -- kill Osama bin Laden in his cave, which would clearly be targeted assassination, he would get a Congressional Medal of Honor and the next week a ticker-tape down Fifth Avenue.

Now, if Israel targets terrorists who are responsible for the murder of large numbers of innocent private citizens, whether it's in a discotheque or in a pizzeria or elsewhere, I think it is the ultimate of hypocrisy to have State Department spokesmen criticize our democratic allies for actions we ourselves engage in.

My question is a simple one. Is the state of Israel, a democratic ally and friend -- a country which has been the target of more terrorism than any other country in modern history -- entitled to pursue the terrorists who act against them exactly the same way we are entitled to pursue Osama bin Laden and his ilk?

POWELL: Very difficult question, and one we struggle with in the department. For a long period of time, we have been trying to get the peace process under way in the region. And we have been trying to get the violence down on both sides. It's a terrible cycle. And I have spent almost every day since I became secretary of state working on this problem.

And what I found is that in the daily response to provocation, rather than things getting better as a result of the responses, things are getting worse. And all you have to do is look at the events of the past several days to see that things get worse.

And so the department for a long time, before this administration, has always viewed that kind of activity of targeted assassination as not being a useful strategy to pursue, and has spoken out against it. Because in an effort to get a peace process moving, we have found that that kind of activity does not move the process forward. And so we have spoken out against it.

LANTOS: Well, could you expand a bit? What does the state of Israel do in the face of terrorist attacks? It merely accepts them? Or does it have the right to use its sovereign self-defense authority to defend itself?

POWELL: It is a democratic state and it has a right to defend itself in the way that it sees fit and appropriate. But we have felt that targeted assassinations, however much the state of Israel believes they are appropriate and uses their forces to conduct such activities, we believe that those kinds of activities are hurtful to the overall process. We are trying to reach a point where such terrorism stops, such violence is stopped, and the need for such kind of response is no longer present.

HYDE: Mr. Gilman?

REP. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And permit me to once again welcome our good secretary before our committee. I want you to know that you have the support not only of the Congress, but of the entire nation in the manner in which you're conducting your State Department, in which you have reached out to the world to bring together an extraordinary coalition in our effort.

POWELL: Thank you.

GILMAN: Mr. Secretary, throughout the years, we've seen a string of efforts by Pakistan to try to create a government in Kabul -- Afghan interim government in the late-'80s, a Peshawar accord in '92, and then a '93 Islamabad accord. But all of those failed, and only resulted in more hostility.

I'm concerned that Pakistan is once again trying to decide who's going to rule Afghanistan with a new government. Indeed, we understand there will soon be a gathering in Peshawar and that the Pakistan government is encouraging which group will attempt to do just that.

Are we in favor of an attempt? Or should we tell the Pakistanis to keep their hands off? Do you believe that it's time that we work with the U.N. on helping the Afghans put together a government through the Loya Jirgah process, with the king's efforts, which will truly be representative of all the ethnic groups and all of the tribal groups in Afghanistan? I'd welcome your thoughts.

POWELL: I support the latter part of your statement. I believe it is time to use the U.N., and especially the offices of Ambassador Brahimi, to bring them all together. I was in Pakistan just last week, as you know Mr. Gilman, and had extensive conversations with Pakistani colleagues, as well as President Musharraf, on this specific point -- the point being that the next government of Afghanistan cannot be dictated into existence by Pakistan or any of the other neighbors. It has to come into existence because of the will of the Afghan people. And the king has a role to play. The Loya Jirgah will have a role to play in due course.

Pakistan, of course, has more than a passing interest in what that government might look like, because it is so proximate to it, and some couple of million Afghans are in Pakistani camps. So they cannot be indifferent to what that government will look like and what the future holds for Afghanistan.

But I got the clear impression in my conversations with President Musharraf that he recognizes that Pakistan cannot do it the way it did it before. It has to be an internationally-blessed process and it has to involve the U.N. and it has to involve all the Afghan people, not just who they might favor at a particular moment to put into power in Kabul.

We talked about the meeting in Peshawar, and there was a great deal of interest in having it there. We made the point that we're not sure that Pakistan was the best place to have the overall meeting, but there was some interest in doing it, and apparently some representatives have gone to Pakistan, to Peshawar, for that meeting. Others are meeting in Turkey. So there is a lot going on, and we're trying to get it all corralled. Ambassador Haas is trying to get it all corralled by working with Ambassador Brahimi and Secretary General Kofi Annan. It won't work if any one country dictates what the future government of Afghanistan will look like, even if that one country were the United States. They have to figure this out using their system, their tribal processes and traditions, the authority of the king, and the use in due course of the Loya Jirgah.

GILMAN: Well, thank you, Mr. Secretary. You are reassuring.

I hope that you would consider sending a permanent representative over to be with the king as he tries to put together an interim government. I know Mr. Haas is doing an outstanding job, but I think it needs a permanent one.

One other question, Mr. Secretary, in post-Taliban Afghanistan it's going to be essential to the world community to face up to the illicit drug production issue that's been hanging over Afghanistan for so long, which has made Afghanistan the producer of more than 70 percent of the world's opium for deadly heroin production. These illicit drugs in turn have largely helped finance the terrorism that we're facing today, and the long civil wars in that troubled region.

Alongside the UNVCP (ph), we must control the curse of chemicals that come from abroad, and it's essential for that illicit drug production in Afghanistan. In turn, we must also find alternative development crops for the poor farmers there. The world community has neglected the Afghanistan link to drugs long enough, with its meager support for the UNVCP (ph). Either we're serious about illicit drugs or we will face the problem again and again of international terrorism financed with the proceeds of this deadly and equally destructive business as we find in other countries around the world.

Mr. Secretary, our military knows where Afghanistan is warehousing its mammoth supply of narcotics -- billions of dollars of illicit drugs. We urge you to help the world eliminate those illicit drugs, and give proper instruction to our military with regard to that.

POWELL: Thank you, Mr. Gilman. I certainly agree with you that this has to be an essential element of whatever future development work we do in Afghanistan -- alternative crops, and not let them slide back into crop-growing of illicit drugs. We are aware of these stockpiles. I used to be able to give such orders, but now I will pass your request on to Secretary Rumsfeld.

GILMAN: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

HYDE: Mr. Ackerman?

Would the gentleman yield to me for 30 seconds?

ACKERMAN: I'm delighted to yield to you, Mr. Chairman.

HYDE: Thank you.

I just want to share with you, Mr. Secretary, we had a marvelous meeting with Shimon Peres yesterday, and he volunteered the remarkable statement that as a good Jewish boy, he never thought he'd go to bed at night praying for the health of the president of Pakistan.

POWELL: He said the same thing to me when I visited with Mr. Peres.

HYDE: It's remarkable.

Mr. Ackerman?

REP. GARY L. ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Thank you of the wonderful job you're doing for our country, and on behalf of all of us who appreciate the pursuit of peace and security.

Just briefly, I want to state that I share the concerns that my colleague from California, Mr. Lantos, raised. Part of your response, I think, was very important and telling, at least to me, in which you said that at the State Department you're struggling with this great concern. And that was in response to how do we tell the Israelis that they should not be having targeted assassinations while we are having targeted assassinations, or at least we're attempting to.

And if I could suggest that the reason that the State Department is struggling with this is because the policy is very inconsistent. We're telling the Israelis to do as we say and not do as we do. The difference between the Israeli policy and our policy, as I see it, at least at this point, is that they're targeting Israeli targets, and they've been successful in hitting their targets, and we have been less successful in reducing collateral damage.

So I think that this is highly problematic. I mean, what would we think if the Israelis said to us, or anybody else said to us, as some have, we should seek a political solution to this; why don't we sit down at the table with bin Laden or the people that he represents; and why don't we just work out our differences. I think the answer to that would truly be laughable, and yet that's what we're suggesting to the Israeli after they've been going through this for some 50 years.

That being said, I wanted to ask a question on Pakistan, from which you have just recently returned. Does General-CEO-President Musharraf think that he can oppose terrorists in Afghanistan while he supports terrorists in Kashmir?

POWELL: President Musharraf condemned the 1 October attack in Srinagar as being the act of terrorists. So he opposes that kind of terrorist activity in Kashmir which takes the life of innocent people. He makes a distinction -- I'm passing on his distinction, not my distinction -- he makes this distinction between that and other kinds of activity within Kashmir that he believes are legitimate responses to the situation and to the need to defend Pakistani interests in the region. That's the distinction he makes.

ACKERMAN: I hear you.

You mentioned, or at least Mr. Lantos cited your deputy's response to a question in which it said that Hezbollah and other organizations were on the ITL or the international terrorist list. That list is complete with 28 countries, but incomplete as far as organizations, but incomplete with respect to others -- Hamas, Hezbollah and the PFLP, which most recently proudly claimed credit for killing a member of the Israeli parliament.

Even though these groups are on the international terrorist list, they are not on the most recent list that the president and the State Department have put out saying that the groups that are on that new list, that we will be able to go after the assets of those organizations, even if they be in foreign countries, if they are in American institutions. So an American bank in some other country having an account, we can freeze those assets.

We haven't put those terrorist organizations that primarily commit acts of terrorism in Israel, but certainly elsewhere, on that list. So it would seem that we're not as serious with organizations that commit acts of terrorism in Israel.

ACKERMAN: Now the Hezbollah, as you know, is doing money laundering throughout South America. They are the suspect in the bombing of both the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish Center in Argentina. They've been accused of blowing up some American interests as we are all aware. Why aren't they on that new list?

POWELL: As you noted, sir, they are on the foreign terrorist organization list, and they are on other executive orders that already exist.

ACKERMAN: As are all the other groups.

POWELL: Right. The reason they are not yet on this list is because this list was created recently and in the first instance, as we organized ourselves to use this list in an effective way, we focused in on Al Qaeda organizations -- all that had a direct link to Al Qaeda. It is a living list. It has now had two tranches, first tranche and second tranche, and there will be a third tranche. And all of the organizations that are on the foreign terrorist organizations list and other terrorist organizations as well, will be considered for addition to the list as we move along, but it is just something we started.

ACKERMAN: Does the Hezbollah have any connections to Al Qaeda?

POWELL: Not by the standards by which the list was created.

ACKERMAN: Thank you.

HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. Smith of New Jersey?

REP. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH (R), NEW JERSEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Secretary, again welcome to the committee.

POWELL: Thank you, sir.

SMITH: Thank you for your outstanding leadership, and you have to know that both you and certainly the president, there is a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the job that you're doing, and we want to thank you for that.

I do have three specific items I'd like to bring up very quickly. First, there is a profound concern, but I'm happy to say no panic yet, in my own district and elsewhere over the recent spate of anthrax cases. In my district, especially, the postal facility in Hamilton Township has a case of inhalation anthrax, a development that has certain ratcheted up the concern.

While many public officials and individuals, the labor unions, the postal authorities have all stepped up and they're doing, I think, their level best, there is one nagging question that seems to be growing. Is this the beginning? And secondly, is this in any way related to the horrific events of 9-11 and the international terror efforts --organizations, I should say.

A second very brief question, and I read your testimony and it's outstanding, you point out that we discussed ways -- talking about the meeting in Shanghai -- to honestly address our differences with the PRC so that our areas of difference do not prevent us from cooperating on other issues of mutual importance.

I've been working the human rights issue, vis-a-vis China, for 21 years, since I've been in Congress. When I was chairman of the subcommittee, we had 18 hearings and markups. Cynthia McKinney was our ranking member. Time and again, we focused on specific egregious abuses by China. Last week, the full committee had a hearing on forced abortion in China, which is a crime against humanity and a Taliban-like crime against women, and was so construed at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal as a crime against humanity as well. It is commonplace in China.

The Uighurs, I'm concerned and I think others are concerned that the Uighurs in Xinjiang province under the pretext of cracking down on extremists, the PRC will make a move against those Muslims, many of whom are peace-loving and very devout and have been subjected to tremendous amounts of oppression over the years. We've had Uighurs testify time and again before our committee, and they tell appalling tales of abuse. And then there is the religious persecution as well in China. My hope is that that doesn't get glossed over. And especially, as it relates to the Uighurs, that the Chinese don't use this as a pretext to go after them.

And finally, you make a very profound statement that I wish you'd led with -- "Indeed, in the wake of the 11th of September it has become clear not only that the Cold War is over, but the post- Cold War period is also over." That is one of the most remarkable and hopeful statements that I've heard regarding our relationship with Russia.

POWELL: Let me make two points. First, on the People's Republic, the president in his meetings with Jiang Zemin made very clear that...

WOODRUFF: As we listen to Secretary of State Colin Powell testify before the House International Relations Committee -- members of that committee questioning the secretary -- right now we are watching Marine One bring President Bush back to the White House, landing there on the South Lawn.

The president, in the last hour, visited a mall printing company in Glen Burnie, Maryland -- this is in the suburbs of Washington -- where the president spoke about his economic stimulus package as one part of the war against terrorism.

But we will continue to listen to Secretary Powell.

POWELL: ... but we keep pressing. And there has been improvement over the years -- improvement that has got a long, long, long way to go. They don't meet any standards that we have with respect to individual freedom or human rights.

Now, they are masters of their own destiny at the moment. But if they want to keep moving into a world that offers them economic benefit, if they want to keep moving into a world that is ruled by international law, if they want to keep moving into a world where the dignity of the individual is sacrosanct, they're going to have to keep moving in a direction of improving their human rights record. We've made that clear to them.

And nothing that's happened since the 11th of September should give them any reason to believe that we have fallen off that standard in any way.

Thank you for picking up that line. You're right, I should have used it. It's not a bad one. I kind of like it.


And it allows me to segue, if I may Mr. Smith, to say that sometimes out of great tragedy, great opportunities arise. And when you look at what happened on 9-11, as we call it, the 11th of September, and the pain we went through, but as we deal with this pain, we can't ignore the opportunities.

Russia came forward rather quickly. Mr. Putin was the first one that called the president -- Imagine that -- the first one to call the president. And the president also likes to tell the story that even before he said anything to Mr. Putin, Mr. Putin said, "I was having a military exercise, but I'm going to stop it because I don't want to give any false signals, while you're trying to figure out what happened." I used to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We used to watch their submarines 12 minutes off the coast.

He then said, here are the things I will do for the war on terrorism. Now, I've got my own little problem in Chechnya, so I've got to go after terrorists there. And we have a little debate about what's a terrorist and what's not a terrorist, not unlike any other conversation we've had. So there are new opportunities that have been crated. Nobody's called us unilateralist in the last few weeks. We are showing that we know how to pull a coalition together. We suddenly have relations with the Central Asian republics that are new and exciting and have potential for the future as well. And Russia is not bent out of shape because suddenly we're doing things with the Central Asian republics, because we're talking to the Russians about it.

I have no illusions about the nature of the regime in Syria and Iran. Yet Iran is willing to provide search and air rescue if any of our pilots should be downed over there. It's not likely to be the case with them not flying over there. And I have no illusions about Syria, but Syria has indicated that it wants to at least talk to us about some things. We'll talk, but you get nothing for talk. There will be improvement in our relationship only if there is a change in your behavior. The president has made that clear.

The Sudan -- we have no illusions about the nature of that regime, but they have been very cooperative on exchanging intelligence, on allowing our people in and other things we have got going on with them. But we don't let them get away with anything. They started bombing again. We immediately let them know, no further. We're not going to let things get any better unless you stop that.

And so I think new opportunities have come onto the stage for us to take advantage of as a result of the tragedy of September 11.

HYDE: Mr. Menendez?

REP. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Secretary, let me thank you for -- along with my colleagues -- for your service to our country. And let me just say, I'd be happy with good terrestrial vibes beyond any cosmic ones, so...


Let me ask you, though, I understand extraordinary times sometimes call for extraordinary actions, and I'd like to follow-up a little bit on Mr. Smith's questions.

MENENDEZ: I'd like you to help us respond to some of the criticisms that I have heard from my constituency and in other quarters, who say what message are we sending to the world when, for example, Deputy Secretary Armitage was quoted as saying a couple of weeks ago that he doesn't consider Syria as part of the antiterrorism coalition, yet they end up with a seat at the United Nations Security Council; when we drop sanctions on Pakistan and we're ready to give them an aid package; when in the Sudan, a a rather brutal regime, we drop sanctions there; and when the timing of President Bush's endorsement of a Palestinian state might be construed by some, in effect, saying that violence pays and that there are consequences, therefore, that flow from that.

How do you respond to that view of those who are looking at our actions and say, yes, extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions, but aren't we sowing seeds in the future in terms of our policy that we'll regret? That's one question.

The second question is, do you expect the administration -- I've been reading a lot about the possibility of the administration unveiling its vision on Middle East peace, and do you expect that to be happening anytime soon as to what their plan would be.

POWELL: I'm sorry?

MENENDEZ: On Middle East peace.

POWELL: What was the question on?

MENENDEZ: The administration's vision -- when do you expect that?

POWELL: Vision.

MENENDEZ: I've been reading about that.


MENENDEZ: And lastly, I just want to raise the question, and I don't know if it has any relationship, but I want to raise the third question and I'd like to hear your responses. You know, I read news reports that two suspected Afghans were arrested in the Cayman Islands after transiting to Cuba. I read the arrest of the defense intelligence analyst spy who was arrested -- our defense intelligence analyst who was arrested who was spying for Cuba, and giving not only us the wrong information, but obviously giving them information. I read from the press the guilty pleas that were issued in the Southern District of Florida by Cuban spies, and how part of what has come out of that record is that they gave detailed information to the regime about the U.S. mail system. That has been in the public record.

And lastly, I look at Castro's recent visit to Iran, as well as the interchanges that have existed between scientists in Cuba and Iran, and of course, knowing terrorists that have sought harbor there and been able to achieve it, and I say are we looking outside of the box here, and looking at these items and looking to what extent does any of this have any connection? And if nothing has any connection to the recent set of events, what does it speak to in terms of our assessment of the regime in a context of challenges that this country faces in a wide variety of harboring terrorists and having other access and venues and transiting of individuals who obviously could offer harm to this country.

POWELL: With respect to Syria's seat on the Security Council, I think as you may know, Mr. Menendez, that was ordained just by the nature of the voting process. There was no way to stop it or lobby against it. It was going to happen.

With respect to Pakistan, I think that President Musharraf in response to the calls we made to him right after the 11th of September, we said you were either with us on this or you're not with us on this. He took 24 hours, consulted with all of his leaders and commanders, and made a bold decision to be with us, at considerable risk to himself. We already had in process staff work to remove some of the sanctions on Pakistan, and we have done so, I think, to encourage him to move in this correct direction. And also he has started to take action against some of the fundamentalist elements within his society to encourage that, and to encourage him to move in this positive direction. So I think that's frankly been a good thing to do.

With respect to the Sudan, we removed some of the sanctions, not all of them. We were also considering removing the sanctions that we did remove before the 11th of September, but we were encouraged to do it after the 11th of September by the forthcoming attitude that we saw from the government in Khartoum. And it also was related to the fact that we have appointed a special envoy, Senator John Danforth, to work the account for us, and also Andrew Natzios as humanitarian coordinator.

Both Senator Danforth and my staff and Mr. Natzios should be working with all the people interested in the Sudan -- the religious organizations, opposition leaders -- to make sure that we have a coherent approach to the Sudan, and they are not being rewarded for lack of performance. They will be rewarded for performance, and if performance stops, then nothing else good will happen. If they start going in the other direction, then we're quite prepared to take additional action against the Sudan.

With respect to the president's reference to a Palestinian state, I think it's important to remember that he was asked about that after a newspaper story about a speech that I may have given, but didn't give, but I might have given, and he responded that it has always been an American vision that it would reach a point where there could be a Palestinian state, but it had to be a Palestinian state that was clearly going to live in peace with its Israeli neighbor, and they had abandoned all efforts to push Israel into the Mediterranean Ocean (sic)

POWELL: It had to be part of a mutual agreement between the two sides. Two days before the president made that statement, Prime Minister Sharon made a similar statement about a vision of a Palestinian state, and it has been a position that has existed in previous American administrations. And just last week before the Israeli cabinet minister was tragically assassinated, Mr. Sharon again made reference to a Palestinian state. It has always been there at the end of the 242/338 process.

With respect to your comments about Cuba, I'm not familiar with most of the items that you mentioned, but just let me say that we keep a close eye on Cuba. I have no illusions about the nature of that regime as well. It means us no good. It is a spent regime. It is a busted regime that has wasted close to 50 years now under a dictatorial leadership. I don't know that we have seen any linkages that would cause us to believe that the events of 11 September in any way trace back to Havana, but I'm sure our intelligence agencies are keeping their antennae up.

It was interesting that last week, President Putin announced that he was removing the Lourdes station from Cuba, which produced a five- page letter from President Castro raising bloody heck about it, and this was the source of enormous satisfaction and amusement to me personally. Mr. Putin realizes that the Cold War is over and the post-Cold War period is over, and this kind of investment in a regime such as Cuba is no longer worth Russian money.

HYDE: Mr. Rohrabacher?

MENENDEZ: Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, could I just have one on the timetable?


MENENDEZ: That was my other question -- on the timetable.

POWELL: Yes -- the vision, yes. We had been looking at putting down a comprehensive statement of American policy, and events interceded and we don't yet have a date set where we might lay down such a statement. It is not going to be as revolutionary a statement as some suggest. I think it will be just a clear, comprehensive statement of American views that have been held over a long period of time to make sure everybody knows what this administration stands for with respect to the Middle East peace process -- the Mitchell plan, getting into the Mitchell plan, confidence-building measures, all leading to negotiations on the basis of 242 and 338.

MENENDEZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

HYDE: Mr. Rohrabacher?


General, good to see you again.

During the last administration, and this is nothing new to the folks on this committee, I repeatedly asked the State Department for documents concerning American policy toward the Taliban, including faxes, memos, briefing books and cables, that would help me and this committee understand what the policy of the administration was toward the Taliban. On two separate occasions, while under oath and in front of this committee, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright agreed to provide me these documents. Chairman Gilman joined me in that request for the documents.

We were stonewalled. They made a sham out of our ability. In fact, I was belittled by several people for even suggesting that there was a need to get really get into this area, because I had my suspicions of what our policy was. I am asking you now, seeing that you're here with us, I would like to have those documents and I would like to find out what American policy toward the Taliban has been. I think you are clearly stating it now, but what I need is the documents for the past four years on the Taliban.

I think this committee has a right to know what American policy has been; what are those cables; what premises we were operating from. I would hope that this administration thinks higher of Congress than to create the farce that we had last time when I asked for this, because this is our job. We're supposed to oversee American foreign policy. And with that, you have that request. Is that possible?

POWELL: I wasn't aware of your requests, Mr. Rohrabacher. Let me take it back to the department and find out why it was not responded to and then we'll be back to you.

ROHRABACHER: I was shown some documents. I was handed newspaper clippings and other things that made a mockery of the request that I made.

Let me just commend you for bringing back Secretary Haas and Mr. Brahimi. You're trying to put together as many old hands as possible, and I would recommend you might try Peter Tomsen, who is an old Afghan hand and is available. He's out at the University of Nebraska now.

I would just let you know that Congress is moving forward with a task force to help rebuild the agricultural system in Afghanistan, headed by Collin Peterson and Butch Otter, who are Republican and Democrat people from our agricultural areas. I think that's something that perhaps the State Department would like to work with these fellows.

And just an admonition -- don't be afraid to lead a coalition. The coalition needs a leader and I think we're the leader. If I have any criticism, I think that we've been bending over too far to try to make sure Pakistan's feelings don't get hurt.

Pakistanis and Saudis created the Taliban.

And what you just expressed about Russia is one of the most hopeful things that I have heard in probably five years in this committee. Russia, which five years ago was our in the middle of chaos, controlled by gangsters, they're heading in the right direction and they want to be our friends, and we're entering into another era with them. And instead of trying to be friends with Pakistan, we should make sure that we're very good friends with Russia and Turkey, who has really played a positive role here as well.

And one last thing -- I see my yellow light is on -- we can build a new world on the ashes of the World Trade Center. There's no doubt about it. We've got to be honest, and I would recommend that we get together and we do set a standard of what terrorism is -- a standard that includes, I might add, if the Israelis suffer a casualty, and then you have indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian villages where women and children are killed in retaliation for some sort of an attack, that has to be labeled terrorism right along with people who bomb Pizza Huts in Jerusalem. We can't have a double standard and expect that we're going to be taken seriously in most of the world.

And I think that right now there are people in Israel and there are people in the Arab world, if we got together with them and tried to define terrorism, that they might really take it seriously and we might be able to have a real step forward if we try to do this now during this time of crisis.

Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

POWELL: Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.

HYDE: Mr. Leach?


HYDE: Well, we're going to call you. I understand you're upset we're using the system that was established by Mr. Gilman, that when people get here, that's when they're called, and not seniority. I personally prefer seniority, but I'm easy to get along with and that's what...


HYDE: We'll have a system meeting some time, systematically.

Mr. Wexler?

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Secretary of State, I'd like to echo and join the chorus of praise for you, but quite frankly even more importantly in my limited travel since you have become secretary of state, it has become quite obvious to me the morale of the people serving in our State Department overseas has taken an extraordinary turn for the better, and I most especially want to thank you for some of the extraordinary people you have elevated within the State Department. I think it's not only a statement about them, but a statement about you, and I praise you for it.

If I could, I'd like to follow Mr. Lantos' and Mr. Ackerman's questions and statements to you, and I ask this with the greatest amount of respect. Foreign Minister Peres was here the last two days or so, and he defined for us the pattern in which he personally engaged Chairman Arafat with respect to the individuals that were associated with the variety of terrorist activities perpetrated by the Palestinians.

And if Mr. Peres' assertions are accurate, and I don't have any reason to believe that they are not, in each of the instances the foreign minister went to the chairman and said, "Chairman, arrest this man. If you can't arrest him, extradite him to us. Give him to us." In one instance, Chairman Arafat said, "Yes, I'll arrest him." He didn't. And if I understand it, in two other instances he said he wouldn't do anything or effectively said he wouldn't do anything, and in fact he didn't.

It seems to me the Israeli position is not only similar to what President Bush said to the Congress the Thursday after September 11, but exactly the same. The president said to the Taliban, "Give us bin Laden. If you do, then the score is even and we'll take care of it. If not, we'll go in and get him." So it seems the Israelis have taken that position, and when Chairman Arafat either didn't arrest them or extradite them, they did what they had to do.

And in this instance, the most recent instance, they had to go into a zone A area and, according to the foreign minister, for the purpose of dismantling the very terrorist cell that perpetrated the assassination on their cabinet minister.

So what I'd like to ask is, what is it specifically that we object to that the Israelis are doing in the so-called category of assassination?

POWELL: With respect to going into zone A, they've gone into zone A, and I think it would be in the best interests of everybody if they come out of zone A as quickly as possible. We can go over this at considerable length, Mr. Wexler, and you heard how Mr. Rohrabacher said that others could make the same kind of claim when you see mosques get shelled or something of that nature.

The problem is, we've got to find a way to move forward and not just continue to have discussions as to what is terrorism, what isn't terrorism, what is a targeted assassination, what is murder, what is provocation, what is retribution. It is a vicious cycle. And as a result of this cycle, there has been no improvement in the region in the almost nine months that I've been secretary of state.

I've heard all of the arguments. I know how awful it is. I know how tragic it is. I know how it must feel to the Israeli prime minister who has to deal with this. Ariel Sharon is a dear friend of mine. We talk almost every other day, at the most; usually very often every day. And I know how tough this is for him. And I know his determination to protect the people of Israel. I understand that.

But the situation hasn't gotten better. So you've got to find a way not to find justifications for what we're doing, but to get out of what we're doing, to break the cycle. And what we have been trying very hard is to persuade both sides to break out of their patterns of behavior. And if one does, then the other has an easier time of doing it. And we've just got to get on to the Mitchell plan, and not simply debate whether something is correctly categorized or not.

And so I understand the justification that Mr. Sharon and Mr. Peres and the government and the people of Israel make for going into zone A and trying to wipe out these bases of violence and terrorism against Israel. And when they do it and they come out, the question I have to ask myself is: Fine, is the situation better? Are we any closer to preventing it from happening again? So far the answer has been, not yet. And so we have got to find a way to break out of this. And that's what I'm spending most of my time and energy on.

HYDE: Mr. Burton?

REP. DAN BURTON (R), INDIANA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Secretary, it's nice seeing you again.

POWELL: Thanks, Dan.

BURTON: In 1993, I believe, we got a wake-up call when terrorists tried to blow up the World Trade Center, and not enough was done to respond to that. And eight years later, we saw what happened on September 11. We have received a wake-up call now with anthrax. I don't know where it came from. I don't think we yet know that. But one of the facts we do know is that Saddam Hussein has been trying to produce chemical and biological weapons as well as nuclear weapons.

And I'd like to first start out with a comment that we can't be reticent. We need to go after those production sites now. With our spy satellites and our intelligence capability, we may not know all of the sites, but it seems to me that even though we're involved in a military operation in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, that we ought to also be looking very seriously at knocking out some of these sites before they use those against the United States and our allies.

And I would just like to ask you, and it may be a difficult question to answer right now, what about those production sites in those other countries? And do we have a plan to take them out? And if so, can you give us some kind of a time frame?

POWELL: There's no doubt that the Iraqi regime has been pursuing this kind of terror weapon. That's why after the Gulf War sanctions were put place. The sanctions have been spotty, but for the most part have worked. They have not rebuilt their conventional military capability. They have fewer tanks now than they had at the end of the Gulf War.

We watch carefully their nuclear weapons development. And I'm sure they're trying that too, but they have not had any marked success with it.

I can't tell you how much our intelligence community might know about specific facilities in Iraq at this time. And if I did know, I probably shouldn't divulge it at this hearing. I can tell you that it is watched very, very closely. And when the president makes a judgment that we should go after them, he can make that judgment.

But it shouldn't, at this point anyway, be necessarily linked to what happened on the 11th. He could have done it before. He can do it after. He can do it at a time of his choosing. Nothing prevents him from that when he chooses to do it if he think's it's an appropriate thing to do.

BURTON: Yes, sir, well, thank you. And I didn't expect you to give me an exact time frame. But the fact is we don't have observers on the ground there now. We did have U.N. observers some time ago. We know what kind of a fellow this guy is. We know that he's probably right along with Osama bin Laden as far as his capability and his attitude.

And it just seems to me since we now have this terrorist attack in the United States that's scaring Americans all across this country, that they may be looking at other biological or chemical weapons right now as we speak. And if we have any idea where these targets are, these production plants are, it seems to me, and I would recommend that the president seriously consider going after them as quickly as possible. POWELL: Thank you, sir. I'll pass the comment on, and make sure the words gets back from you. I'll make sure the message is conveyed.

BURTON: Could I yield the balance of my time to Mr. Smith? He has one qeustion.

HYDE: You have no time.

BURTON: I have no time? Mr. Smith, I'm sorry, I have no time.

HYDE: I hate to be abrupt, but you have no time.

Mr. Delahunt has some time, though.


I, for one, Mr. Secretary, want to applaud you on what I perceive to be your enthusiasm for new opportunities. I think that is a phrase I've heard from you several times. And I think maybe with the tragedy that has occurred, we might be at a moment in our history where there are opportunities and an opportunity to look again, and possibly the potential to reconfigure our relationships all over this world.

I was also pleased to hear you speak about involving the United Nations in the aftermath of what will undoubtedly be a success for us in Afghanistan in terms of a multilateral approach. It's good to see that multilaterialism and nation-building has survived.

At the same time, to pick up on an observation by Mr. Rohrabacher, when he talked about definition, I think this confusion among the American people about terrorism, what constitutes terrorism, I think there's confusion, as you can probably infer from the questions you get from members. We speak of Iran and Syria and Sudan, and again I want to encourage initiatives, new openings, new opportunities. But at the same time, clearly we've had a long history with so-called moderate Arab nations -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia.

I'd like to know, if you can, describe to me what's the difference between a moderate Arab regime and a so-called hard-line regime? I certainly would not describe the Saudi Arabia government as one that embraces democracy, that reflects many of our values. Clearly, in Egypt we've had a long-term alliance, a relationship. Yet, I think it is a stretch to call Egypt a genuine democracy.

But again, when we hear and read in our popular news outlets that the moderate Arab world is aligned with us, what does that really mean in effect? Are these regimes that are close to imploding because they certainly don't seem to have widespread popular support? I know this is a rambling, and maybe it's not even a question. I think I'm articulating concerns that I have about being clear about our definitions; about what is a terrorist state and what does harboring mean?

I'm not going to ask you to respond to that, but let me also just conclude -- and I see I have some more time, maybe I can give some to Mr. Smith. You know, we left Afghanistan in 1989. We walked away, basically, and we left it there. And we left hundreds of thousands or millions of people in deplorable conditions, really, in terms of either internally displaced persons or as refugees. We made a mistake. We made a mistake. And I would hope that we continue to not just spend humanitarian money, but stay engaged in a real and legitimate way.

It's going to cost money, Mr. Secretary. We're going to be spending well over $350 billion in defense this year. I think the appropriations bill for foreign assistance is around $15 million (sic), more than half of which goes to Egypt and Israel.

It's time, I think -- and I would look to you for your advocacy and leadership in this regard -- to educate us and the American people about the need to stay engaged in a very productive way and a constructive way to nurture democracy, but that it's going to cost money. And in the end, it's a cheap investment. We learned that on September 11.

POWELL: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman -- are countries that would generally be called moderate, and there are others. They are friendly to the United States. Their systems are not like ours. Some of them are in different forms of evolution. Some are trying to move from monarchies to constitutional monarchies to representative democracies. They are all in various stages of development. I'd also put Kuwait in that category.

But basically, they are friendly to us. And even though they may have difficulties internally, and you might actually find terrorists who can find some comfort in those states, they are not state sponsors of terrorism as, say, Syria and Iran and Iraq are state sponsors of terrorist organizations with the permission and the willingness of the state. And I think that's one distinction we can make.

And it also comes back to the questions that Mr. Berman and Mr. Ackerman and Mr. Lantos raised with respect to the situation in the Middle East, because the Palestinians are also partners for moving forward the peace process sooner or later. And so you have this situation where you are trying to work with the group, at the same time you're having these violent exchanges with the group. Both sides are trying to do what they can, we hope.

We're putting all the pressure we can on them to try to get the violence down so that they can stop exchange of violence and get back to trying to find a path to peace -- a path that they were on last year in the declining months of President Clinton's administration.

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Secretary of State Powell before the House International Relations Committee -- a discussion, in many cases, of what constitutes terrorism, the different forms of it.




Back to the top