Interview With Mike Schneider of Bloomberg TVSecretary Condoleezza Rice
January 13, 2009
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, we appreciate this opportunity.
SECRETARY RICE: A pleasure to be with you, Mike.
QUESTION: What is it like, as you sit here in this magnificent room, in the center of American diplomatic power, to know that in a few days, this is all part of your past?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’m very excited about moving on, quite frankly. It’s been a great eight years. It’s also been a long eight years. It’s been an eight years of unprecedented challenges. And here for me in the State Department over the last four years, I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the Department in meeting those challenges, in standing for American values around the world and advancing the diplomatic agenda, the Freedom Agenda. But the great thing about America is that it has a peaceful transfer of power, and it’s very much prescribed. After two four-year terms, the President will go on to other things, and so will I.
QUESTION: The person who will succeed you, with the Senate’s approval, was testifying for the hearings this morning. As we tape, the testimony just recently ended. I understand -- correct me if I’m wrong -- you had dinner with Senator Clinton last night.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, I did. That’s right.
QUESTION: May I ask what you talked about?
SECRETARY RICE: No, you can’t. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I can ask. You just won’t answer.
SECRETARY RICE: (Laughter.)You can ask, I just won’t answer. Look, we reviewed some of the key issues. We also had Steve Hadley and General Jones there. And it was an opportunity to talk about some of the challenges, but also some of the mechanisms and programs that have been left in place to meet those challenges. But Senator Clinton is a very capable person, and she loves this country. And in many ways, that’s the most important qualification for this job. You have to really know America’s greatness and what it comes from, and then be able to defend its interests abroad.
QUESTION: But she has been very critical of this Administration and of our diplomatic approach around the world. Were there any uncomfortable moments? Are there any uncomfortable feelings?
SECRETARY RICE: Ofcourse, not. I’ve known Senator Clinton since she first brought her freshman daughter to Stanford when I was the Provost at Stanford, and we have a very good relationship. And we have -- throughout this four years that I’ve been Secretary, she’s been a supportive person. I’ve always been able to have honest and open conversations with her. And look, disagreements about the course of policy are to be expected, but we’ve always had a relationship that is one of respect. And indeed, I found her a helpful, helpful voice.
QUESTION: One of the phrases that was heard frequently during the testimony this morning was “smart power” --
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah.
QUESTION: -- that the U.S. must exert smart power, the inference being that we haven’t. Do you subscribe to that notion at all, or do you see it as distinguishing --
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’ve heard these phrases, “smart power,” “soft power.” Let me tell you what I think has been important about this President’s foreign policy. On the one hand, we have had to fight a lot of very bad people who want to take America down, who tried to on September 11th, who killed more than 3,000 Americans, and who launched on that day a global war against us, even though, really, they had been there for a long time challenging our interests. So on the one hand, we have no choice but to defeat them with the means at our disposal, including our military power.
On the other hand, the President has always believed and has always said that you cannot do this by military power alone. This is an ideological structure – a struggle of people who have a dark vision of human history, and the only answer to them is to have a positive vision. That’s a vision of democratic development and change that every man, woman, and child has a right to live in freedom. But it’s also freedom not just from tyranny, but freedom from poverty.
And so this Administration, after the foreign assistance had been flat for a couple of decades, we quadrupled development assistance to Africa, we tripled development assistance worldwide, and doubled it in Latin America. The President launched the largest health program in history, the President’s Emergency Relief Plan for AIDS – for AIDS Relief. We have the Millennium Challenge, which rewards good governance with huge amounts of monies: more than $800 million to Tanzania; more than $400 million to Ghana. We have, of course, also been very active in women’s education and girls’ education. I think this President has not just talked about soft power or smart power, but he’s really used it.
QUESTION: Why do you think we don’t get enough credit – you don’t get enough, he doesn’t get enough credit then? Because the perception is is that the U.S. has not smartly exercised its power around the world.
SECRETARY RICE: Oh, I don’t care about perceptions, Mike. I’ve learned in --
QUESTION: But can you not (inaudible)?
SECRETARY RICE: No, of course, you can – you don’t – you shouldn’t. In fact, of course, it would be great to have everything that we do would be -- is popular. That would be terrific.
But if you’re too concerned with your own popularity, then you’re not going to do the right things. You know, I remember back toward the end of the Cold War when there were women chaining themselves to Greenham Commons in Great Britain, when there were a million people in the streets in Germany. And what were they protesting? They were protesting Ronald Reagan’s decision to deploy Pershing II missiles in Europe in response to Soviet SS-20s. We now know that that decision was, in fact, critical in having the Soviet Union reassess its policies, leading then ultimately to a chain of events that brought Gorbachev to power and ultimately the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was because America did the right things for 50 years that we won the Cold War, not because we were popular.
QUESTION: But – but will the end result of what we’re doing now lead to the same kind of clear delineation between what was and what will be? The Soviet Union is no more. It collapsed.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
QUESTION: It imploded from within. It’s gone.
SECRETARY RICE: It imploded --
QUESTION: But it’s --
SECRETARY RICE: It imploded from within, but it imploded because the United States --
QUESTION: -- because of external pressure.
SECRETARY RICE: That’s right. The United States stood firm with its European allies.
QUESTION: But will – but we’re being told terrorism will be with us throughout our lifetimes and throughout our kids’ and grandchildren’s lives.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it is --
QUESTION: So there won’t be that same kind of, like, it’s gone.
SECRETARY RICE: It is a generational struggle. But I’ll tell you something: It’s already showing signs of what it could be. When you have an Iraq that was an Iraq that was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a man who put 300,000 people in mass graves, who routinely invaded his neighbors, who launched wars and dragged us into wars, who used weapons of mass destruction and continued to seek them, that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq has been replaced by an Iraq that is fragile, yes, but a multiethnic, multiconfessional democracy that will not seek weapons of mass destruction, that will not invade its friends, that is a friend of the United States, that is giving its people a new life. That’s an enormous change in the Middle East. So yes, there are signs of where this will come out. But trying to judge it now is a fool’s errand.
QUESTION: President-elect Obama has said the first thing he does when he becomes president is call in the Joint Chiefs and tell them, “Get us out of Iraq.” Do you think that he will, in fact, make good on that campaign pledge? Should he?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I can’t speak for the President-elect and I won’t attempt to. I do know that there is now an agreement in place with Iraq that is a sensible basis for American forces to continue to operate in Iraq so that we can sustain this considerable security, economic and political gains that have made – been made in Iraq over the last year or year and a half. That agreement has at the year 2011 that American forces will leave Iraq. That’s a good goal. And that’s what we and Iraq expect.
But we have to remember that Iraq is a critical and important country in the heart of the Middle East. America has really given much treasure and many lives to help a different kind of Iraq to come into being. And I sincerely hope and I do believe that Iraqis and Americans will now sustain that so that we can have the kind of Iraq that is going to make the Middle East a more peaceful and truly stable place.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, we have to take our first break. We’ll be right back with more in a moment.
QUESTION: Back once again with the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in her last few days here at the State Department. We saw newspaper headlines which have surprised, shocked, and disturbed many people, remarks made purportedly by the prime minister of Israel, ostensibly made in the southern part of the country saying that he was unhappy about the direction the U.S. was going to take regarding a resolution in the Security Council, and that he called up the U.S. and said he didn’t want to speak with you, he wanted to speak with the President. He interrupted a President’s speech, he got him on the phone, and basically ordered that we not follow through on a course that you wanted to follow through on, according to him, in the Security Council regarding a resolution on what’s happening in Gaza. How much of that is true?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, I don’t know if the prime minister was – I hope – quoted out of context, because the story that I read in the newspaper is fiction.
QUESTION: You had – what did you want to do with that resolution? We abstained.
SECRETARY RICE: The President and I talked about the resolution, about the importance of allowing the Council to send a signal even though the United States believed that the resolution was premature. And I had made very clear that I thought the resolution was premature, and there were also concerns about a resolution that had Israel, a member-state of the United Nations, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, you don’t ever want there to be any equating those two.
And so we talked. We talked about abstention as a good option. And I was quite aware of the President’s call to Prime Minister Olmert. Of course, Prime Minister Olmert is not at all aware of what the President said to me. And I repeat, his rendering of this is fiction – if, in fact, that was his rendering of it. And I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it’s not exactly what he said.
QUESTION: Well, you also find yourself being criticized by former Ambassador Bolton, who said that the U.S. should veto --
SECRETARY RICE: There’s not much new in that, Mike. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Why do you think that is – I mean, there are some people who think that the U.S. should not just abstain in the situation, but should continue to do what it’s done in the past, which is to say a member-state, Israel, is being rocketed by a terrorist organization and they deserve the right to self-defense.
SECRETARY RICE: I think we’ve said precisely that, that --
QUESTION: Why not veto then?
SECRETARY RICE: No, the resolution does not in any way say that there’s no right to self-defense. In fact, what the resolution says is there should be an immediate and durable ceasefire. And by the way, that had been American – the American position for days that we were seeking that kind of ceasefire. What will make a ceasefire durable? Hamas has got to stop rocketing Israeli cities. What will make a ceasefire durable? Something has to be done about the ability of Hamas to smuggle arms in with Iranian backing through tunnels that have been created there.
QUESTION: Are we going to get more cooperation out of the Egyptians on this matter?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the Egyptians, I think, want to do the right thing here. We are providing some assistance through the Army Corps of Engineers, have been for some time. So a durable ceasefire is in everybody’s interest, because the one thing that you want to be very clear about is that the United States wants Israelis to be safe, it also wants Palestinians to be safe. And we have spoken also very forthrightly about the humanitarian needs there, which I think Israel is trying to address.
But we were very clear. Hamas started this. Hamas started this when they refused to extend Egypt’s – the calm that Egypt had negotiated.
QUESTION: You mean the truce that had --
SECRETARY RICE: But we abstained on this resolution because we wanted it to allow the Council to go ahead and speak even though we believed that it was premature.
QUESTION: President Bush has said that one of the goals of his last year in office was to have some sort of Mideast peace agreement in place. President Clinton, in the last few days of his administration, finally, in frustration, realized that he could not achieve the same thing. Do you – as you leave this office, do you think that, realistically, there’s any chance of working this thing out in --
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, I do. I do. And I think that the foundation that was laid at Annapolis, which, by the way, is now enshrined in the Security Council Resolution 1850, which says that the two parties should negotiate as they have been doing. The representative – the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, President Abbas, has been negotiating with the prime minister, with Prime Minister Olmert, and also Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister. They’ve made quite a bit of progress. They don’t have an agreement yet, but they have made progress.
QUESTION: But does he – does Abu Mazen have the clout – I mean, there were those who say he’s been – that Hamas prior to this was actually being degraded, that it was weak, it was – its stand in the polls, it was low, and that, in fact, it’s been bolstered by what’s happened here, and Abu Mazen and Fatah have been weakened.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, you hear that, but if you look at the West Bank, the Palestinian people have got to be able to see that the West Bank economy has actually been growing for the first time in years. It’s far more peaceful. Nativity Square in Bethlehem, where in 2002, completely by accident, an Israeli tank shell hit the Church of the Nativity – just a few months ago, Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinians held an outdoor dinner for an investment conference for more than 1,200 people. And so the Palestinian security forces, which are being trained in Jordan and taking over responsibilities in Hebron and in Nablus and in places like this – this is a different place.
If you contrast that with Gaza, where you have Hamas throwing people off of roofs and then getting down and praying, where you have them trying to make the schools as Islamist as possible, where you have them engaging in policies that have isolated Gaza, I think that’s a contrast that the Palestinian people can see.
But yes –
QUESTION: But what are they going to do about it?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it’s a good reason –
QUESTION: What can they do about it?
SECRETARY RICE: It’s a good reason that hopefully the ceasefire, a durable ceasefire, can take place.
QUESTION: And that Hamas is what? Is eliminated from the scene, or –
SECRETARY RICE: No, I don’t think you’re going to eliminate Hamas by military means. But it’s a matter of showing that Hamas’s dark vision for the Palestinian people is not the only one, and it’s not the one that the Palestinian people want. And we have to remember, again, Mahmoud Abbas was the elected President of the Palestinian people. He still is. And he has a lot to show for his engagement on a basis of negotiation and peace with the rest of the world.
QUESTION: President-elect Obama has also said, first week in office, Guantanamo facilities close. Smart move, or not?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, President Bush made very clear that he wanted to close Guantanamo. It does take some work. We have really diminished, brought down the numbers of that population into the mid-200s, at this point, by returning people to their countries of origin, by working with other countries to find places for detainees.
But you know, there’s some really dangerous people there. There are some people who, when they are asked, will say, if we’re out of here, we’re killing Americans as quickly as we get out of here. There are actually detainees who have said that.
QUESTION: What do you do with them?
SECRETARY RICE: And so you’re going to have to find a place to put them and –
QUESTION: In the U.S., or in one of our allied states?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think it’s going to be difficult, because you’ll want to be sure that, particularly some of the most dangerous people like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was the mastermind of September 11th – that we’re not put in a position of seeing him among general populations. There is really an obligation to make sure that these dangerous people can’t harm innocent people.
QUESTION:Does that say – I mean, that we find ourselves in this position right now, does that indicate in some way that perhaps we should have processed them differently before?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we had the process of military commissions. But our democratic process is one that is working. The military commissions have been challenged. I think – when I go to Europe and people talk about America and moral authority, I say, how many countries in the world can the driver of Osama Bin Laden sue the Secretary of Defense and actually get a hearing before the Supreme Court?
QUESTION: And he’s about to be released, I understand.
SECRETARY RICE: Right, that’s favorable. So the United States has done this in the right way. But we also have to remember the exigencies, the dangers in dealing with the dangers of these – these very, very terrible and dangerous people.
QUESTION: Bin Laden is still out there. What is that --
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
QUESTION: Is that – what does that say to you as you leave? I mean, that – does that frustrate you?
SECRETARY RICE: It says to me that he’s perfectly willing to send a lot of people to their deaths while he hides in the caves someplace --
QUESTION: Why didn’t we get him? Why didn’t we get him?
SECRETARY RICE: It’s – if you want to hide – have you ever flown over Afghanistan and Pakistan, those mountains?
QUESTION: I’ve seen pictures from those who have, yes. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY RICE: You can hide.
SECRETARY RICE: But the fact is that this was never a one-man organization. It is an effort that has been relentless now to take down most of their first line field commanders. The people who did 9/11, that set of field generals are largely either – have either met their maker or they are incarcerated.
QUESTION: Yeah. He’s public enemy number one. He’s the logo of his operation.
SECRETARY RICE: Of course he is. But al-Qaida is a different organization than it was because we have taken down so much of its infrastructure. We are safer because of that. We’re not yet safe, but we are clearly safer.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, another break, with your permission. Back with the Secretary of State in a moment.
QUESTION: Back once again with the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
Madame Secretary, you’re also a professor, so with permission, let’s run down a couple of the world’s spots, places where the U.S. has engaged or needed to engage. If you would, with your permission, give me a grade for how you’ve done, how the Bush Administration has done in handling the challenges of these various places. Russia.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’m not going to give you grades, Mike. I don’t even like doing that as a faculty member. But I’ll tell you something. On Russia, I think that we tried to give Russia a chance for – as it was emerging from communism to enter the world on different terms; not 19th century power terms, but 21st century power terms. I think the jury will still be out.
Russia is going through a period, clearly, of authoritarianism. It’s going through a period of challenging the international system. But at the same time, I can cite many areas of cooperation with Russia, on global nuclear terrorism, on the Middle East, on North Korea, even on Iran. So –
QUESTION: Have things, since we last –
SECRETARY RICE: So it’s a mixed picture on Russia.
QUESTION: Since you and I last spoke in New York in the aftermath of the Soviet incursion into Georgia, have things improved at all in the U.S.-Soviet – U.S.- Russian relationship?
SECRETARY RICE: The relationship is actually functional. I mean, we are able to work together, as we did to sponsor a resolution on the Middle East, on Annapolis. We were able to work together on North Korea. We were able to work together on a whole host of issues. And so it’s a workable relationship.
QUESTION: When you see them, though, there’s this current dispute over energy.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
QUESTION: I mean, there’s a lot in Europe quite concerned. What does that say to you about the –
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it says something – first, let me just say, in terms of their own periphery, that’s where the difficulties come. It’s Georgia or Ukraine, because the Russians don’t seem to believe that those countries ought to have a right to their own foreign policy. We do. And they ought to make their own choices.
But when it comes to the energy situation, I would say that that’s an issue for European policy; not for American policy, for European policy. Europe cannot continue to be dependent on Russian oil and gas or they’re going to get into these problems from time to time.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. The relationship’s never been better. We have our differences: human rights, religious freedom; but the relationship’s never been better. We have managed to work together on everything from North Korea to even trade issues, which can be quite contentious. But China’s evolution, transformation is still underway. I think that at the end of this time you will see that they believe that they have a strategic relationship with the United States that works.
QUESTION: So all the talk about them rising as a regional superpower aiming to compete with the U.S. in certain sectors of the world nothing to worry about?
SECRETARY RICE: No one should mind competition. That’s not – certainly, the United States is going to do just fine. But I see China, of course, as a growing influence. But the good news is that it’s an influential power with which we have really excellent relations. And I’ll tell you something, even on something like Taiwan, which is a bone of contention between the United States and China; I think the way that this President has handled policy toward Taiwan has actually given space to both Taiwan and China for very, very good improvement across the Taiwan Straits.
QUESTION: Yeah, well, the Taiwanese have changed their own government and now with a leader who is more amenable --
SECRETARY RICE: But also --
QUESTION: -- to (inaudible) as well.
SECRETARY RICE: -- with the support of the United States, with support for a – the democratic voices in Taiwan, and saying to the Chinese, don’t provoke, but saying to the Taiwanese, don’t provoke either.
QUESTION: Cuba. There’s been talk that the Obama administration may do away with half of century with restrictions and open up a whole new door. A wise move?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, again, this up to the President-elect. And my own view is that this is a country that is as repressive as ever, under – Fidel Castro is still there, but his brother is clearly running the country. And the real danger in Cuba is that the -- Raul Castro will not give space to forces, more democratic forces, more pluralistic forces, and that there will be a sharp conflict in Cuba.
What we should be – what we should be encouraging in Cuba is the release of political prisoners. We should be encouraging Cuba to give greater freedoms to its people.
QUESTION: When you say conflicts --
SECRETARY RICE: Because that’s the only way that Cuba is going to emerge sound.
QUESTION: When you say conflict within Cuba, what --
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah, I mean – I mean because Fidel Castro ruled that place with an iron grip. But I’m not sure that Raul Castro can do the same thing. And there are an awful lot of tensions and fissures in that society.
QUESTION: A new Cuban revolution?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don’t know. But I do know that if you don’t give space for change in Cuba that is rooted in democratic principles, that is rooted in the rights of Cubans to speak for themselves, you are risking real conflict in Cuba. Because I don’t believe that the Cuban people are going to be able to live in these circumstances forever.
QUESTION: How much has the financial crisis, which has only deepened since you and I last spoke -- how much does that weaken the ability of the U.S. to project its power and influence around the world?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don’t feel it, because I think people know that the financial crisis – first of all, it’s a global crisis, and we – what we have done is to use -- and the President has done and Hank Paulson has done -- is that they’ve used American influence to deal with the financial crisis, to bring together the G-20, to have some important principles going forward for reform of the financial system. I think everybody wants us to be able to deal with our economic troubles here, because the size, simply the size of the American economy and the fact that we’re a trading partner for so many countries -- it means that our economic recovery is important to the rest of the world.
But I really hope, Mike, and one of the things that I am concerned about is that Americans don’t allow our own current problems to become any kind of crisis of confidence in our system, in our ability to not just project power, but to do so in a generous and compassionate way. We should be keeping our foreign assistance levels up, even in these difficult times. We should be speaking for comprehensive immigration reform, even in these difficult times. And we should be turning, as I intend to do, to look very directly in the mirror and say, “Are we giving Americans the best possible skills and education to be able to compete in the 21st century, and most importantly, are we doing it to the people who have the least opportunity in our society?”
And that’s – I think if we do that, then America’s going to emerge confident and able to continue to lead.
QUESTION: You don’t sound like a person who’s leaving this city and these magnificent offices here and just closing the book on it. The President talked about how he’s getting out of the klieg lights for a while.
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah.
QUESTION: I get the sense that you’ll back in front of the lights.
SECRETARY RICE: Oh, I don’t know, Mike. I won’t – I’m not going to give you my phone number, how’s that? (Laughter.) You’ll have to come to California.
QUESTION: We can track you down.
SECRETARY RICE: You’ll have to come to California. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: But you have a voice. You have opinions.
SECRETARY RICE: Yeah.
QUESTION: Do you have – do you plan to run for office ever?
SECRETARY RICE: Oh, goodness. I’ve told people many, many times, I don’t see myself as somebody who would run for office. But what I do plan to do is to go back to California. I’ll write a book about foreign policy. It’s been an extraordinary eight years. It’s been an extraordinary honor to serve both as National Security Advisor and as Secretary of State. I want to write a book about my parents, who were extraordinary people. They were among those kind of extraordinary, ordinary people who make a difference.
And I want to – I really am somebody who’s advocated in the past for excellence in K-12 education. I think I can use my voice as an educator and as the former Secretary of State to talk about this as a national security priority; not just a priority, but a national security priority. Because if we educate our people well, we will be confident, we will compete, we will not turn inward. If we educate our people well, we will have confidence in who we are, which is a country where you can come from modest background and modest circumstances and do extraordinary things. And that’s what I really plan to devote a good deal of time to over the next several years.
QUESTION: Is – as you end this eight-year tenure working for this President, a man who you know, a man you consider a friend as well as your boss, what is this – what has happened to him as a person? What has eight years done to him, the man you know so well?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’ve watched this President, who I think came here with very different thoughts about what this might be about, you know. I remember sitting with him and talking about immigration reform, talking about No Child Left Behind, which they did get through and did a terrific job. One of the things that attracted me first to him was this comment about the soft bigotry of low expectations, because I know what happens to poor kids or minority kids. Talking with this President about what he wanted to do: he was always interested in the policy towards India, for instance. And we’ve achieved a new breakthrough, a new heights in U.S.-Indian relations. But I don’t think he ever expected to be the President who would, first, have to experience the worst attack on American soil in our history, and then have to deal with the consequences of that.
QUESTION: It wasn’t what you guys expected?
SECRETARY RICE: No, it wasn’t what we expected. It wasn’t. And it does change you. It changes your sense of what America must do. It changes your sense of threat. It changes your sense of opportunity, because there has to be a positive answer to what happened to us on September 11th. It can’t just be going after the terrorists. And that positive answer is the call of freedom and liberty.
But I know, too, that for all of us, every day since September 11th has been September 12th. And maybe unless you were in the White House or in these great buildings with responsibility on September 11th, maybe it’s hard to understand that. But you get up every day and you wonder, is it going to happen again? And you resolve to do everything that you can that is right and legal and within our values to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
QUESTION: And one last question. As you leave here, are you confident that those who come to fill your shoes and the shoes of President Bush will be able to keep you feeling safe as you go through your life now?
SECRETARY RICE: These are responsible and sound people, all of them. I know them all, including the President-elect who was on my committee -- and he was on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that oversees the State Department. And so, yes, I have confidence in them. It will be different. Because for those of us who experienced those horrors, it is – it’s a personal experience, and maybe it will be different. But if you love this country and you know your responsibilities, then you’ll do everything that you can to protect it and defend it. And I have confidence in those who are coming after us.
QUESTION: Well, Madame Secretary, we appreciate you giving us this time and we wish you all the best. We thank you for this opportunity.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
QUESTION: And we thank you for watching. We’ll see you next time. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.
QUESTION: I wish you nothing but the best.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much.
Released on January 14, 2009