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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2006 Secretary Rice's Remarks > September 2006: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Interview on Fox & Friends with E. D. Hill

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
September 11, 2006

QUESTION: Our next guest says that we are safer now than we were five years ago, but we are still not entirely safe. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice joins us from Washington. Dr. Rice, thank you for being with us.

SECRETARY RICE: Good morning, E.D.

QUESTION: A lot of us reflect on where we were. We happened to be right here on the set when the first tower was hit by the plane. But as you reflect on your life, your personal life, how has your life changed since then?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, clearly, for those of us in positions of responsibility, supporting the President in this war on terror, everything changed that morning. We noted that we had an evil that had fallen upon the United States, a new kind of enemy, and we've been trying to organize the country since then to make certain that we're doing everything that we can to prevent any attack of that kind in the future and I think we've done a good job. We are safer, but we're not yet safe. We have a strong international coalition. We have liberated 50 million people and now have fierce allies in the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq where there were state sponsors of terror. And I think we have also made progress toward the longterm vision of building a more democratic and prosperous world as an antidote to the ideology of terror, the ideology of hatred that led people to fly airplanes into those buildings. And so the work is not yet done, but we've made progress.

QUESTION: But some people knew about bin Laden. He wasn't a household name, but certainly within your level of the government services, he was a known entity. He was a known enemy. But did you, at any point before 9/11, conceive that someone would attempt, any organization would attempt what happened on 9/11?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, clearly they were getting bolder. The al-Qaida, the extremists, they had the events at the World Trade Center in 1993, followed then by bombings of our embassies in 1998 in Africa, followed by the Cole in 2000 and then finally, this ultimately very bold move against our power centers in 2001. But the truth is that neither this country nor the international community had really organized itself to confront this threat. It was simply getting bigger and getting more virulent and it was really time to confront it. I think the good news now is that even though we haven't finished the job, we have at least really begun the job now of rooting out extremism.

QUESTION: I know that you see a lot of the polls that are out there and I'm wondering what your reaction is when you see the numbers that show that a significant number of Americans believe that in some way, our U.S. Government was complicit in these attacks.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't know how people get this kind of information. You know, there are a lot of ways to get convoluted information, but I think we just have to keep making the point to the American people that it's not American policies that led people to attack us on September 11th. It was what we believe in, who we are, a different vision of human development. Theirs is a dark vision in which there is repression, in which women have no real role, where we go back to centuries before where there's no tolerance of other views. Ours is a vision of hope. And I do believe that most Americans understand this. As I go out around the country and talk to Americans, they know what happened to us on September 11th. And they believe that we really do now have to mobilize for what the President has called a generational fight to defeat this terrible ideology of hatred.

QUESTION: Yesterday I had the chance to watch as you were having a discussion with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. It was a great interview. But I then found out this morning that afterwards, you met someone you'd never met before, and this was the first time in the green room, you met Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic National Committee. What did you all talk about?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we didn't have much time to talk. He was just -- we were changing chairs on the Fox News set. I had never met him before and we had a cordial word. He said I'd done well, I wished him luck and that was that.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, we appreciate you joining us this morning. It is an important morning as Americans wake up and reflect on how our lives and our country changed five years ago today. Secretary Rice of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, thank you so much for being with us.



Released on September 11, 2006

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