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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Powell Answers Appropriations Committee Questions

Aired March 6, 2003 - 10:14   ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to go ahead and listen to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Want to listen in for just bit to that.
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... anyone's mind that if Osama bin Laden or other terrorists like Osama bin Laden had access to chemical or biological weapons, they would use them.

If there was any doubt in anyone's mind that doubt should have been erased on 9/11, and that's why after 9/11 we realized the nature of the conflict we were now in. And we had to deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and we had to break up al Qaeda, and you saw, with the recent arrest over the weekend of the gentleman who was the brains of the organization that struck us on 9/11, we have to go after not only these individuals, but to go after the potential sources of their weaponry. And that's why we redoubled our effort in making it clear to the United Nations that we could no longer allow its resolutions to be ignored with respect to Iraq, a known developer of weapons of mass destruction.

And that is why the moment we find ourselves in now is a critical moment where we are being tested and where the Security Council, the United Nations and the international community is being tested; are we going to allow an individual such as Saddam Hussein to continue to develop these weapons of mass destruction or deceive us into believing that he isn't when we know he is because it's too hard to face the consequences of dealing with the truth and face the situation some years from now when Osama bin Laden has accomplished the goal he laid out in his statement, and he has such a weapon and he got it from Iraq.

So we must go after these countries, these rogue nations that proliferate, led by leaders who would strike us and who have shown in the past they will strike their own neighbors, strike their own people, do anything to stay in power to pursue their own agenda, and that's the argument I will be taking to the U.N. this afternoon. This is the time to deal with this kind of threat, not after we have seen thousands of people die as a result of the use of one of these horrible weapons, and we cannot allow ourselves to be deterred by false claims that it's all OK, he is complying when he is not complying, when he is merely deceiving the international community and trying to keep us from doing what we said we would be prepared to do last October -- excuse me November, when we passed Resolution 1441.

SEN. JUDD GREGG (R-NH), CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

And I want to congratulate you and the president for pursuing that course of policy because I think it should be obvious to all people, whether we wish to admit it or not, that we are dealing with a fundamentally evil individual not only in Saddam Hussein, but in Osama bin Laden, obviously, and that the coalescence or the convergence of those two forces represents a clear, present and immediate threat to the United States.

My time is up and I yield to the ranking member.

SEN. FRITZ HOLLINGS (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. Secretary, I suppose you support your budget. I have some questions about Colombia and the -- with General Williams, the embassy there at Berlin, this cost-sharing, building a building for AID.

Chairman Leahy will be back momentarily, but I can't get any money back from him. So we've opposed our State Department budget...

KAGAN: All right. We were listening in there. This is Secretary of State Colin Powell...

(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)

KAGAN: ... you see Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee. We're going to continue to monitor both men. In fact, let's go ahead and listen in to Colin Powell for just a bit.

POWELL: ... somewhere in New York or in Vermont. So we believe this was the time to deal with this, and we got the United Nations to agree. 15-0 vote in the Security Council in early November.

matters, matters that both you and I support in the foreign aid bill, because so far...

KAGAN: Listening in to the Senate Appropriations hearing as they talk to Secretary of State Colin Powell, getting down to issues of potential war and also the money that that war might cost, just in the straight cost of the war and also money that might have to be given to people who cooperate -- cooperate like the Turks if, indeed, they do sign up.

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