For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 9, 2001
New Counter-Terrorism and CyberSpace Security Positions Announced
Personnel Announcement by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and
Director of Homeland Security Thomas Ridge
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Sheet on New Counter-Terrorism and CyberSpace Positions
1:36 P.M. EDT
DR. RICE: Good afternoon. September 11th was one of those rare dates
that forever divides history into distinct categories of before and after.
Everyone will remember what he or she was doing on September 11th.
It was a day when the dark and impossible became a horrific reality
for our country and for the world. We commonly hear the refrain that everything
changed on September 11th. In many ways, that is true. And one of the
things that has changed is how we are going to organize the United States
government to defend against, and ultimately defeat, the threat of terrorism,
how we are going to organize to win the war on terrorism about which the
President has talked for the last several days.
Yesterday, as you know, the President signed an executive order establishing
the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council. This
organization will coordinate federal, state and local efforts to strengthen
protections against terrorist attacks here in the United States.
But something that did not change on September 11th is the fact that
we need America's very best people to be a part of an effort of this magnitude.
And that is why, as the President said yesterday, he chose a good man
for this most important task.
We're all so pleased that Tom Ridge has agreed to head the Office of
Homeland Security. Tom is, of course, a public servant of extraordinary
ability and experience, and America is very fortunate that he has answered
the call to duty.
Tom and I will work very closely together to ensure that America's security
is truly seamless. We will make sure that what we are doing abroad to
protect and defend American national security is closely coordinated and
matched with what we are doing to protect the security of Americans at
Today, it is an honor for both Tom Ridge and me to announce the creation
of two additional posts, stemming from this reorganization of the government.
And, to tell you that there are two outstanding public servants who have
agreed to fill those posts.
Dick Clarke will be the President's Special Advisor for Cyber security,
and General Wayne Downing will serve as the National Director and Deputy
National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism.
Both these individuals will report to both Tom Ridge and to me. And
we are pleased and gratified that both have agreed to serve. The American
people and our press around the world have a difficult task ahead of us.
We know that with the perseverance of America, with the leadership of
the President, with the leadership of members of Congress -- and I want
to recognize, I believe, Senator Bennett is here, who has been a real
leader in this area -- we believe that we will be able to persevere, and
we will be able to succeed in this war on terrorism.
I would now like to introduce the President's Homeland Security Advisor,
Tom Ridge, who will tell you a little bit more about the two individuals
who have joined us here on the stage. Thank you very much. Tom?
DIRECTOR RIDGE: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Condi, it's a
great pleasure to join with you and the extraordinary team that the President
has assembled in this effort. And I look forward to working with you to
ensure that our defenses against terrorism are both strong and seamless.
The tragic events of September 11th proved just how critical it is that
America have a coordinated and comprehensive national strategy to protect
against terrorist threats and attacks. Our efforts with the Office of
Homeland Security will be an important part of that strategy.
But I'm here to say only one part of that strategy. Today the President
is putting in place two additional elements that are just as important.
First, the administration is extremely pleased that Dick Clarke has agreed
to serve as Special Advisor to the President for Cyber Security. This
position and its mission is vitally important.
Information technology pervades all aspects of our daily lives, of our
national lives. Its presence is felt almost every moment of every day,
by every American. It pervades everything from a shipment of goods, to
communications, to emergency services, and the delivery of water and electricity
to our homes. All of these aspects of our life depend on a complex network
of critical infrastructure information systems. Protecting this infrastructure
is critically important.
Disrupt it, destroy it or shut it down these information networks, and
you shut down America as we know it and as we live it and as we experience
it every day. We need to prevent disruptions; and when they occur, we
need to make sure they are infrequent, short and manageable. This is an
enormously difficult challenge. It is a technical challenge, because we
must always remain one step ahead of the hackers.
It's a legal challenge, because this effort raises cutting-edge questions
of both privacy and civil liberties. It's a political challenge, because
the government must act in partnership with the private sector, since
most of the assets that are involved in this effort are owned by the private
sector, which owns and operates the vast majority of America's critical
Dick Clarke is the right man for the job. He is one of our nation's
leading experts on cyber security, appointed as the first national coordinator
for security, infrastructure protection and counter-terrorism in May of
1998. In his long career of government service, he has served as Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence under President Reagan,
and as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs under
President George Herbert Walker Bush.
In his new role, he will be the President's principal advisor on all
matters related to cyber security. He will serve as chairman of a government-wide
board that will coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure systems.
The President is expected to sign an executive order, establishing the
board shortly. You know Dr. Rice and I are anxious to be working with
him in our capacities as well.
The second action the administration is announcing today is the appointment
of General Wayne Downing to be our National Director for Combatting Terrorism.
And here again, Dr. Rice and I look forward to this day-to-day working
The President has made it clear from the outset that our campaign against
terrorism will be fought across a very broad front. There is a diplomatic
component, a law enforcement component, an intelligence component, a financial
component and a military component as well. All of these facets, all of
them, have to operate together in a very tightly coordinated fashion.
It will require close coordination among many, many government agencies.
And ensuring this coordination is challenging, it's important, and it
certainly is a full-time job. And again, I'm confident we have the right
person for that job. Wayne Downing spent 34 years wearing the uniform
of the United States Army. When he retired as General in 1996, he had
served in everything from the infantry to armored units, spent nine years
serving in Europe in Asia. Perhaps most importantly, his last assignment
was the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Special Operations Command.
Following his career in the Army, he was appointed by the Secretary
of Defense to assess the 1996 terrorist attack on the U.S. base at the
Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and to make recommendations on how to protect
Americans in U.S. facilities world wide from terrorist attacks. Most recently,
he served on the national commission on terrorism which was mandated by
In short, General Wayne Downing is a leader who understands terrorism,
he understands how terrorist organizations operate, and he understands
what it takes to defeat them. He will be the President's principal advisor
on combatting global terrorism. The President is glad, we're very glad
and America is truly glad that General Downing has once again answered
the call of duty to his country.
Now I would like to invite both Dick and Wayne to make a few remarks.
MR. CLARKE: Thank you, Governor. Governor Ridge, Dr. Rice, Senator Bennett
and friends, thank you all for coming. What's happening here today is
an important step in making America secure for the future. Even as our
heroic men and women fight today, on the other side of the world, and
as our law enforcement personnel and the personnel of so many government
agencies are working all across the country to make this country secure
We also have to look ahead, and that is why I'm so delighted that the
President has asked me to worry about the war next time, the future security
of the United States through cyberspace. Our economy, our national defense,
increasingly our very way of life, depends upon the operation, secure
and safe operation of critical infrastructures, that in turn depend on
America has built cyberspace, and America must now defend its cyberspace.
But it can only do that in partnership with industry. As the Governor
said, private sector companies own and operate most of our critical infrastructure
cyberspace systems. So we have been working closely with industry. I'm
glad to see representatives of industry here today. We'll be working even
more with them in the future, to secure our cyberspace from a range of
possible threats, from hackers to criminals to terrorist groups, to foreign
nations, which might use cyber war against us in the future.
I look forward to working with the Congress, as we have been. I look
forward to working particularly with Senator Bennett, and so many of the
leaders of the government here on the cyberspace security issue. I want
to thank you all, from so many departments, for coming.
And now, it gives me pleasure to turn the podium over to a true American
hero, who I've had the pleasure of knowing for 28 years, Wayne Downing.
GENERAL DOWNING: Senator Bennett, Governor Ridge, Dr. Rice, Dick Clarke,
ladies and gentlemen, friends, it's an honor for me to be asked back into
this fray. I live in Colorado now. I was happily retired, out there trying
to improve my trout fishing, and really resisted all efforts to get me
to come back in the government. And last summer, when I was asked to come
in and look at a certain position, I said, I'll never come back to the
government unless there is a national emergency. And that got played back
to me about two-and-a-half, three weeks ago.
Because it is a national emergency, and I'm honored to be joining in
this fight, in this war -- this war that our President has said is his
number one priority -- against combatting global terrorism and the threat
that it represents not only to this nation, but to our friends and our
allies around the world.
I look forward to joining with my colleagues in the United States government
and our friends and our allies overseas as we wage campaigns to fight
global terrorism. And let's not make any bones about it: this is going
to be an extremely difficult job. It's a tough foe, it's a determined
foe. And as events have shown us, it's a very, very smart foe and a crafty
So it's going to be a long fight and it's going to be a tough fight.
And the challenge that we have is to bring the great elements of power
of this great country of ours to bear on this. I certainly look forward
to helping doing exactly that.
We intend to exert unrelenting pressure on global terrorism and on the
nations and the groups that support global terrorism wherever we can find
them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year; we intend to
give these people and those who support them no place to hide -- no place
to hide. It's going to be a tough fight, but we will prevail.
Thank you very much.
END 1:52 P.M. EDT