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Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses Overseas Security Advisory Council

Aired November 7, 2001 - 11:08   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.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: With that, want to go back to Washington. The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, now speaking. We shall listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Protecting your troops is important and no commander does -- ever want to be in the position of not having protected his or her troops, but it can't be at the expense of the mission. And so when I say "safety is a top priority, one of our top priorities," it can't be to the exclusion of mission. We can't let the terrorists have us so afraid of acting, have us so afraid of taking risks for the accomplishment of the mission, that the mission fails -- the mission not accomplished -- in which case they win, we lose. That can't be the outcome.

So we in government, the private sector cannot, and indeed we will not, allow terrorists or the murderers of 11 September to hijack our way of life. We will all be more careful. We won't open strange envelopes. We'll drive with eye on our rearview mirrors. We'll avoid unattended packages. But we'll continue to live our lives, love our families and do our work -- accomplish the mission that we have been put here to do as government employees or, in your case, as private sector employees and businesses.

That puts an even bigger burden on all of you, the people charged with security. You know, to make your life easier, you'd like to button up everybody. You'd like to button up everything. Not let anybody into your facilities. You always have to find that right balance between access and mission accomplishment and security. And in light of what has happened, in light of the environment we are in, this becomes even more difficult than it has been in the past.

But that is your responsibility. Keep your people safe while they work. And while they work, while they accomplish their mission, you deliver a very important message of confidence. Confidence in our form of government. Confidence in our society. And confidence in our economy.

Since September 11th, the fight against terrorism has been President Bush's and my top priority and the top priority of this entire administration. Top priority of the nation. Top priority of the international community. And under President Bush's leadership, we have assembled a remarkable coalition. A coalition that encompasses every continent in the world, every faith, every religion, every political system -- all coming together to launch a war against al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for the events of 11 September.

(LEFT IN PROGRESS)

HEMMER: Colin Powell, the secretary of state, addressing State Department members and, specifically, the Overseas Security Advisory Council there in Washington. Clearly, his remarks dealing directly with the issue of security here in the U.S., and how things have changed over the past two months' time. Colin Powell in Washington.

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