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Iowa Press #2902
September 16, 2001

Borg: A NATIONAL TRAGEDY... AN ATTACK ON THE AMERICAN HOMELAND CONTINUES TO UNFOLD. AMERICA MOURNS ITS DEAD AND PREPARES A RESPONSE AMID MANY UNCERTAINTIES. WE'LL DISCUSS THE CHALLENGES AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR US ALL, WITH WITH IOWA GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

Narrator: FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION IS CELEBRATING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF "IOWA PRESS," NOW SERVING THE STATE AS IOWA'S LONGEST-RUNNING PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM. THIS IS THE SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: TODAY THE RANGE OF EMOTIONS EXTENDS FROM PROFOUND SORROW, TO INTENSE ANGER, TO THE FEAR THAT OUR FUTURE AS A SECURE NATION IS COMPROMISED. IT RESULTS FROM THAT HORRIFIC ATTACK ON U.S. CIVILIANS AND SOME OF THE MOST PROMINENT SYMBOLS OF THIS NATION'S WAY OF LIFE AND THE WAY IN WHICH IT RELATES TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. AS THE BODY COUNT AND THE DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS CONTINUE TO SOAR, WE'RE REMINDED NEVER BEFORE HAVE WE BEEN CONFRONTED WITH THE DEPTH OF SUCH TRAGEDY, NOR THE HOLLOWNESS OF A FUTURE SO UNCERTAIN. THE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED REPEATEDLY: HOW DO WE RESTORE SOME NORMALCY; HOW DO WE PROVIDE FUTURE SECURITY; HOW MUCH TIME DO WE HAVE TO ANSWER? AND THE QUESTION, OF COURSE, IS: HOW MUCH DOES THIS NATION'S VULNERABILITY EXCEED OUR SECURITY? IOWA'S GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK JOINS US TODAY AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE. GOVERNOR, THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME ON THIS SUNDAY TO BE WITH US.

Vilsack: YOU BET, DEAN.

Borg: ACROSS THE TABLE, REPORTERS DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER" AND MIKE GLOVER OF "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS."

Glover: GOVERNOR, AS DEAN HAS MENTIONED, THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS THAT ARE RAISED BY THIS INCIDENT, AND YOU'VE BEEN A LEADER IN RESPONDING TO WHAT'S HAPPENED. WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE TO IOWANS TODAY?

Vilsack: FRANKLY, MIKE, IT'S THE SAME AS IT WAS ON TUESDAY: CALM AND CAUTION. I THINK IT'S EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT FOR US TO RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS TO GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS. WE'RE GOING TO NEED A STRONG ECONOMY TO SUPPORT WHATEVER EFFORT MAY RESULT FROM TUESDAY'S ATTACK. AND THAT'S UP TO US, EACH OF US, TO CONTRIBUTE TO THAT ECONOMY. AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THINGS HAVE CHANGED A BIT, THAT SECURITY BECOMES A MUCH HIGHER PRIORITY, AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO THINK MORE ABOUT.

Glover: AND HOW HAVE WE DONE IN REACTION TO THIS? WE HAD A LITTLE DUST UP WITH GAS PRICES, BUT OVERALL, HOW HAS THE STATE DONE?

Vilsack: I AM REALLY, REALLY PROUD OF IOWANS. I THINK WE HAVE SET AN EXAMPLE AND A MODEL FOR THE NATION. WE HAVE RESPONDED WITH GRIEF AND WITH SORROW AND TEARS, WITH A REAL BELIEF IN UNITY, RALLIES. AND WE'VE RESPONDED PARTICULARLY WELL IN TERMS OF GOING BACK TO OUR BUSINESS, OUR NORMAL -- TRYING TO GO BACK TO NORMAL BUSINESS ACTIVITIES ON FRIDAY. WE'VE JUST DONE A GREAT JOB, JUST DONE A GREAT JOB. AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB. I THINK THEY RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS, SO I'VE BEEN VERY, VERY PROUD OF US.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THIS AND WHAT IS THE ROLE OF YOUR OFFICE IN SORT OF STEERING IOWA THROUGH THIS CRISIS?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK PART OF IT IS TO SET A TONE. THE TONE OF CALM AND CAUTION IS AN IMPORTANT ONE, I THINK, AND IT'S IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY FOR POLITICAL LEADERS FROM BOTH PARTIES IN ALL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT TO SET THAT TONE. I THINK IT'S ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP PEOPLE INFORMED. WE HAVE HAD REGULAR BRIEFINGS WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SO THAT THEY KNOW WHAT I KNOW. I THINK IT'S ALSO MAKING SURE THAT THE AGENCIES OF STATE GOVERNMENT ARE ON TOP OF ISSUES. OUR BRIEFINGS HAVE INCLUDED THE NATIONAL GUARD, THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICE PERSONNEL, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, THE DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. ALL OF THOSE FOLKS HAVE PARTICIPATED AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER IN THE CONFERENCE CALLS THAT WE'VE HAD. PART OF IT IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KNOW WHAT THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT WANTS US TO PROJECT, SO WE'VE HAD A BRIEFING FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. AND SO WE'VE BEEN A COMMUNICATOR AND A TONE SETTER, I THINK WOULD BE, PROBABLY, THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT.

Borg: IN THAT REGARD IN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, WE NOTE THAT CONGRESS HAS GIVEN THE PRESIDENT $40 BILLION AND A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN HOW TO USE THAT. AT THE STATE LEVEL, DO YOU SEE, AS YOU REVIEW THE SITUATION, SOME ADDITIONAL POWERS OR FUNDING THAT YOU NEED HERE THAT ISN'T GIVEN TO YOU RIGHT NOW IN THE CODE OF IOWA?

Vilsack: WELL, I DON'T THINK I NEED ANY ADDITIONAL POWERS AT THIS POINT, AND I THINK THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO CONSIDER THE IMPACT THAT THIS IS GOING TO HAVE ON ALL 50 STATES. WE'VE ALREADY BEGUN TO RECEIVE CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY STATE EMPLOYEES ABOUT THE SECURITY OF OUR PUBLIC BUILDINGS, AND SO WE'RE GOING TO ASK THE VERTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE, TOGETHER WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE SECURITY ISSUES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS. I KNOW THAT SPEAKER SIEGRIST INDICATED A DESIRE TO TALK ABOUT THE CAPITOL. AND THEN THE QUESTION WOULD BE: DOES THAT EXTEND TO THE CAPITOL COMPLEX; DOES IT EXTEND TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS; AND IF SO, TO WHAT EXTENT DO WE NEED TO START TO BUDGET FOR THAT? SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE'LL BE LOOKING AT. I THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE'RE INCURRING AND WILL CONTINUE TO INCUR OVERTIME FOR OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO AIRPORT SAFETY AND SECURITY AND WILL THERE BE ANY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AVAILABLE. SO THERE ARE A SERIES OF ISSUES THAT WE'LL HAVE TO WORK THROUGH AND, OF COURSE, THOSE ISSUES ARE LIKELY TO GET MORE COMPLEX OR SIMPLIFIED DEPENDING UPON FUTURE EVENTS.

Glover: IS IT YOUR SENSE THAT THERE ARE SECURITY ISSUES, FOR EXAMPLE, AT THE CAPITOL COMPLEX, THAT SECURITY NEEDS TO BE RAMPED UP, THAT CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE? IS IT YOUR SENSE THAT THOSE THINGS ARE THERE?

Vilsack:, WELL, I DON'T THINK THAT THERE'S ANY PARTICULAR THREAT, OR I DON'T HAVE ANY INFORMATION THAT WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE HAVE A NEED TO BE CONCERNED, GENERALLY SPEAKING. BUT I THINK THAT THERE IS A CONCERN AMONG WORKERS AND A PERCEPTION AND A DESIRE TO SEE THINGS, PERHAPS, BEEFED UP. AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT AND WHERE AND HOW AND WHEN AND WHAT THE BUDGET IS GOING TO BE AND WHERE IT'S GOING TO BE FINANCED IN ORDER TO COVER THAT. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS SOME CONCERN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ATTACK, AND I THOUGHT THAT OUR DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY RESPONDED VERY WELL IN STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN CALM AND CAUTION. SEVERAL OF THE ENTRANCES TO THE CAPITOL WERE CLOSED. THE OTHERS WERE MONITORED AND WE HAD NO PROBLEMS.

Glover: THE INITIAL STRIKES CAME AGAINST THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, THE SYMBOL OF AMERICA'S ECONOMIC POWER; AGAINST THE PENTAGON, THE SYMBOL OF AMERICA'S MILITARY POWER. THERE ARE SUGGESTIONS THAT ANOTHER STRIKE IN THE FUTURE MIGHT COME IN THE MIDWEST AGAINST AMERICA'S FOOD PRODUCTION SYMBOL. IS THERE VULNERABILITY HERE IN THE MIDWEST?

Vilsack: WELL, ONE OF THE BEAUTIES OF OUR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEM IS THAT WE HAVE BEEN SO RELIANT UPON FAMILY FARM OPERATIONS AND SMALL COMMUNITIES AND ELEVATORS FOR THE STORAGE AND HANDLING OF OUR GRAINS, SO IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO STRIKE A BLOW AT AGRICULTURE IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU CAN STRIKE A BLOW AT THE FINANCIAL SERVICES BY TAKING DOWN THE WORLD TRADE TOWER -- THE WORLD TRADE CENTER OR THE PENTAGON, THE DEFENSE MECHANISMS. I THINK IT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK WE HAVE BEEN CONCERNED PRIOR TO THIS ATTACK ABOUT THE WHOLE ISSUE OF BIOTERRORISM, AND I THINK WE HAVE BEEN TAKING STEPS. I KNOW THAT WE IN THE STATE OF IOWA HAVE BEEN AT THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP POSITION OF PUTTING TOGETHER A BIOTERROR PLAN; WHAT WE WOULD DO UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES AND HOW WE WOULD RESPOND TO SUCH AN ATTACK. OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL ARE EXTRAORDINARILY SHARP, AND ELLEN GORDON AND HER CREW HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THEY GOT THE NATIONAL LEAD THIS WEEK, BECAUSE THERE'S A RECOGNITION THAT WE THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS IN IOWA.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, I WANT TO GO BACK TO THIS ISSUE AT THE STATE CAPITOL. AFTER OKLAHOMA CITY, THERE WAS A DISCUSSION THAT, "BOY, IF IT CAN HAPPEN THERE, IT CAN HAPPEN IN DES MOINES, IOWA." AND YET, I SEE VERY LITTLE THAT WAS DONE IN THE WAKE OF OKLAHOMA CITY TO PREVENT THAT SORT OF THING FROM HAPPENING. NOW, I'M NOT SURE HOW YOU PREVENT SOMEONE FROM CRASHING AN AIRPLANE INTO OUR STATE CAPITOL, BUT SPECIFICALLY WHAT STEPS DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE STATE TAKE NOW TO MAKE THE CAPITOL A MORE SECURE PLACE?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK IT STARTS WITH AN EVALUATION OF WHAT TECHNIQUES AND PERSONNEL ISSUES WOULD BE INVOLVED. DO WE WANT TO DO THIS BY WAY OF SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS, CAPITOL POLICE AND STATE TROOPERS IN THE BUILDING? DO WE WANT TO GO TO THE NEXT STEP, THE NEXT LEVEL, OF HAVING SOME KIND OF METAL DETECTOR SYSTEM INSTALLED AND, IF SO, WHERE, AND HOW WILL THAT AFFECT THE ENTRANCES TO THE CAPITOL? DO WE SHUT TWO OR THREE OF THEM OFF AND HAVE A SINGLE ENTRANCE? DO WE INSTALL A SERIES OF MONITORING CAMERAS THAT COULD BE HOOKED TO A CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS IN SOME LOCATION SO THAT WE COULD CONSTANTLY KEEP AN EYE ON WHAT'S TAKING PLACE IN THE CAPITOL? I THINK THESE ARE ALL OF THE ISSUES, AND MANY OTHERS PERHAPS, THAT NEED TO BE DISCUSSED AND ANALYZED. I THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH THE PERCEPTION OF SECURITY. I THINK WE'VE SEEN THAT METAL DETECTORS SOMETIMES DON'T WORK OR THAT PEOPLE FIGURE A WAY TO GET AROUND THEM. BUT I THINK IF YOU SET UP A SYSTEM THAT DISCOURAGES -- THERE ARE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT. THE FIRST GROUP, WE'VE SEEN WHAT THEY CAN DO THIS WEEK. THE SECOND GROUP ARE THE COPYCATTERS, THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO TAKE THE NEXT STEPS. THEY SEE ALL THIS PUBLICITY. AND I THINK THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT A SECURITY SYSTEM WOULD PROBABLY HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT ON.

Glover: IF YOU GO TO WASHINGTON AND YOU GO INTO THE CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, YOU FIND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET INTO. YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH A LOT OF CHECKPOINTS, AND THERE ARE A LOT OF PLACES IN THAT BUILDING THAT ARE OFF LIMITS. IS THAT WHERE WE'RE HEADED?

Vilsack: IT COULD BE, MIKE. YOU KNOW, THERE'S A BALANCE THAT YOU STRIKE BETWEEN ESTABLISHING A SECURE WORKPLACE AND A SECURE PLACE AND, AT THE SAME TIME, CONVEYING THE MESSAGE THAT THIS IS A GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE. TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU WALL OFF YOUR CAPITOL BUILDING, TO THE EXTENT YOU DO THAT, YOU MAY BE SENDING A CONTRARY MESSAGE ABOUT WHO'S IN CHARGE. SO I THINK WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO STRIKE THE PROPER BALANCE BETWEEN ADEQUATE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THEIR CAPITOL -- I MEAN, IT IS NOT "MY" CAPITOL OR "YOUR" CAPITOL; IT'S "OUR" CAPITOL -- AND AT THE SAME TIME MAKING SURE THAT THERE'S ADEQUATE SECURITY.

Yepsen: SHOULD WE BAN TRUCK TRAFFIC AROUND THE STATE CAPITOL?

Vilsack: I HADN'T THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. THAT'S ANOTHER ISSUE THAT PROBABLY OUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED. THE MASTER PLAN, OF COURSE, WOULD LIKE TO SEE US GET VEHICLES FAR REMOVED FROM THE CAPITOL FOR AESTHETIC PURPOSES. THERE MAY BE SOME ADDITIONAL IMPETUS AS A RESULT OF THIS INCIDENT TO DO THAT.

Yepsen: I WANT TO SWITCH GEARS WITH YOU. HOW HAS PRESIDENT BUSH DONE IN HANDLING THIS CRISIS? ANY ASSESSMENTS THAT YOU'VE MADE ABOUT HIS HANDLING OF THIS?

Vilsack: WELL, I THOUGHT THE PRESIDENT WAS EXTREMELY FORCEFUL WEDNESDAY MORNING -- OR EXCUSE ME, THURSDAY MORNING. I THOUGHT HE DID A GREAT JOB AFTER HE SPOKE TO THE NATION IN EXPLAINING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIOR TERRORIST ACTS THAT WERE CRIMINAL IN NATURE AND COULD BE HANDLED IN A WAY IN WHICH HE WOULD CAPTURE THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE AND PUT THEM THROUGH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM VERSUS THE MASSIVE NATURE OF THIS ATTACK, AND THE CHARACTER OF THIS ATTACK, AND HOW IT'S DIFFERENT THAN REGULAR TERRORISM. I THINK HE'S DONE A GREAT JOB OF BEING VISIBLE, OF CONVEYING A SENSE THAT HE'S IN CHARGE AND THAT HE'S NOT AFRAID. AND AT THE SAME TIME I THINK HE'S DONE A GOOD JOB OF ORGANIZING HIS TROOPS WITH VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY, COLIN POWELL, AND OTHERS, BASICALLY BEGINNING TO DEVELOP HOW WE'RE GOING TO RESPOND, AND THEN BASICALLY PREPARING THE NATION FOR THE FACT THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE AS IT WAS, WHERE WE HAVE A RETALIATORY STRIKE AND THEN IT'S OVER. I THINK WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THIS IS A LONG-TERM SITUATION.

Glover: HOW QUICKLY DOES AMERICA HAVE TO ACT BEFORE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC LOSES ITS PATIENCE? DO WE NEED AN ATTACK NEXT WEEK OR THE WEEK AFTER? IS THIS AMERICAN ANGER GOING TO LAST THROUGH THIS?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WHATEVER RESPONSE IS ULTIMATELY MADE HAS TO BE THE CORRECT RESPONSE. I THINK IT'S NOT SO MUCH A MATTER OF TIME AS IT IS THE NATURE OF THE RESPONSE AND WHETHER IT'S SUCCESSFUL. SURE, PEOPLE MIGHT GET A LITTLE IMPATIENT, BUT IF THE RESPONSE WORKS, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE VERY, VERY HAPPY. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF WE DO QUICK, PRECIPITOUS ACTION AND IT FAILS, THEN THAT'S A PROBLEM.

Glover: THIS ATTACK HAPPENED AT A MOMENT WHEN THE AMERICAN ECONOMY WAS STARTING TO SLOW, THE ECONOMY IN IOWA WAS STARTING TO SHOW A LOT OF SIGNS OF WEAKNESS. THERE'S A POTENTIAL HERE FOR THIS HAVING A DAMAGING EFFECT ON THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. WE'VE ALREADY -- AIRLINES HAVE ALREADY LOST "X" NUMBER OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND OTHER SECTIONS OF THE ECONOMY ARE SUFFERING. WHAT'S THE IMPACT OF THIS ATTACK GOING TO HAVE ON THE ECONOMY HERE IN IOWA?

Vilsack: WELL, IOWA ECONOMY NEVER GETS AS BAD AS THE WORST IN THE NATION, AND IT NEVER GETS AS GOOD AS THE BEST IN THE NATION. SO THERE MAY BE AN IMPACT, AND I THINK WITHIN THE STATE GOVERNMENT, WE TO RECOGNIZE THAT. WE'VE BEEN WORKING FOR ABOUT FOUR MONTHS TO PUT TOGETHER A PROPOSAL AND PLAN TO DEAL WITH THE SLUGGISH ECONOMY, AND WE'RE GOING TO BEGIN TO ANNOUNCE THE FRAMEWORK OF THAT PLAN NEXT WEEK. WE HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE POSSIBILITY THAT THESE ACTIVITIES IN THE SHORT TERM MAY MAKE OUR JOB A LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFICULT. BUT I THINK WE NOW REALIZE THAT EACH OF US HAS A RESPONSIBILITY AS AN AMERICAN TO CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY TO THIS EFFORT. YOU KNOW, A LOT OF US WOULD LIKE TO BE IN NEW YORK CITY HELPING THOSE FOLKS SAVE PEOPLE, BUT THE REALITY IS THAT MOST OF US ARE NEVER GOING TO HAVE THAT CHANCE. THE CHANCE THAT WE DO HAVE IS TO GET ABOUT OUR BUSINESS AND TO DO IT AS WELL AS WE POSSIBLY CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS ECONOMY REMAINS AS STRONG AND AS STABLE AS IT CAN BE SO THAT WHATEVER THE NATIONAL RESPONSE IS GOING TO BE CAN BE ADEQUATELY FINANCED AND DOES NOT SACRIFICE THE NEED TO INVEST IN EDUCATION, EXPANDED HEALTH CARE, CLEANING ENVIRONMENT, AND SO FORTH.

Glover: WHEN YOU SAY IT'S GOING TO MAKE YOUR JOB A LITTLE TOUGHER, DOES THAT MEAN YOU THINK STATE REVENUE IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN YOU THOUGHT A COUPLE WEEKS AGO?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THAT WE NEED TO PLAN AS IF THEY MAY BE, AND I THINK WE NEED TO COME UP WITH A FRAMEWORK THAT INDICATES THAT, AND WE'RE PLANNING TO DO THAT NEXT WEEK.

Yepsen: ONE SPECIFIC THING THAT OCCURRED RIGHT AFTER THIS WAS A SPIKE IN GASOLINE PRICES. YOU CAME DOWN HARD ON THAT. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DID. WHAT'S THE SITUATION THIS MORNING -- SUNDAY MORNING? ARE THERE ANY INDICATIONS THAT'S STILL GOING ON, OR ARE WE PAST THAT?

Vilsack: WE -- I WAS VERY, VERY PROUD OF IOWANS' RESPONSE TO THIS. WE BASICALLY SUGGESTED TO THEM THERE WAS NO REASON TO PANIC, THERE WAS NO SHORTAGE OF SUPPLY, AND THEY RESPONDED. THE LONG LINES SORT OF ENDED. WE HAVE A STABLE AND SECURE SUPPLY AT THIS POINT IN TIME, AND THE PRICES HAVE REMAINED REASONABLE. THERE WERE ISOLATED INSTANCES IN IOWA OF EXCESSIVE PRICES. THOSE GAS STATION DEALERS ARE NOW CREATING SYSTEMS TO REFUND TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. I THINK CASEY'S REACTION WAS APPROPRIATE, AND I CREDIT DON LAMBERTI FOR A QUICK RESPONSE, AND AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE.

Yepsen: DO YOU NEED MORE POWER? DOES THE GOVERNOR OF IOWA NEED MORE FORMAL AUTHORITY TO DEAL WITH ANY OF THESE THINGS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE: GAS PRICES? OTHER FORMS OF PRICE GOUGING? DEAN ASKED ABOUT WHAT SORT OF CHANGES DO WE NEED TO MAKE. AS YOU LOOK AT POWERS OF A GOVERNOR THAT REALLY HAVE NEVER BEEN EXERCISED IN OUR LIFETIME, CAN YOU SEE A SITUATION WHERE YOU NEED MORE FORMAL POWER TO DEAL WITH SITUATIONS THAT COME TO YOU?

Vilsack: WE'VE MONITORED THE SITUATION THIS WEEK, AND DURING THE COURSE OF THE WEEK, WE'VE HAD A COUPLE OF ISSUES RESEARCHED. I'M PRETTY CONFIDENT THAT THERE'S A BROAD ARRAY OF POWERS. I'LL TELL YOU WHAT WE DO NEED. AND THIS IS GOING TO SOUND LIKE IT'S NOT A VERY IMPORTANT THING, BUT IT IS. WE NEED A SECURE TELEPHONE SYSTEM. I WAS IN MY OFFICE TALKING TO GENERAL DARDIS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD. THE BRIEFING WAS VERY, VERY MUNDANE AND BLAND. AND WE GOT A CALL LATER AND THE GENERAL SAID, "CAN I COME OVER AND TALK TO YOU? I NEED TO VISIT WITH YOU AND TALK ABOUT A FEW THINGS." HE CAME OVER AND I SAID, "GENERAL, WHY DID YOU COME OVER?" HE SAID, "GOVERNOR, YOU DON'T HAVE A SECURE PHONE." THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT WE ARE THINKING ABOUT. I'VE ASKED LIEUTENANT MOLLENHAUER OF OUR PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT, THE CAPITOL POLICE FORCE, TO SORT OF MONITOR THIS SITUATION. HE ACTUALLY SERVED IN THE WHITE HOUSE AT CAMP DAVID DURING THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION, SO HE HAS A SENSE OF WHAT THE STANDARD IS, AND I'VE ASKED HIM TO SORT OF TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS WEEK TO DETERMINE IF THERE WAS ANY ADDITIONAL STEPS THAT WE NEEDED TO TAKE. SO I'M NOT SO SURE IT'S POWERS AS MUCH AS IT IS PROCEDURES AND EQUIPMENT.

Glover: IT SEEMS LIKE KIND OF A MUNDANE, TRIVIAL THING, BUT A LOT OF SPORTING EVENTS GOT CANCELED THIS WEEKEND. THE IOWA / IOWA STATE FOOTBALL GAME GOT CANCELED AFTER OFFICIALS INITIALLY ANNOUNCED THAT IT WOULD BE PLAYED. DO YOU PLAY A ROLE IN ANY OF THAT? DO YOU PICK UP THE PHONE AND SAY, "THIS WOULDN'T BE A GOOD IDEA"?

Vilsack: I DID TALK TO THE COLLEGE PRESIDENTS. THE PURPOSE OF MY CALL WAS TO SUGGEST NOT "WHAT" THE DECISION SHOULD BE BUT "HOW" THE DECISION SHOULD BE COMMUNICATED. I FELT IF THE DECISION WAS MADE TO PLAY THE GAME THAT THE MESSAGE SHOULD BE THAT WE ARE TRYING TO CONVEY A SENSE THAT THESE TERRORISTS ARE NOT GOING TO GET US OFF OUR GAME, THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DISRUPT OUR WAY OF LIFE, THAT WE'RE STRONG, WE'RE UNITED, AND SO FORTH. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE DECISION WAS ULTIMATELY MADE TO CANCEL THE GAME, AS WAS THE CASE, OR POSTPONE IT, THEN I DIDN'T WANT FOLKS TO FOCUS ON THE SECURITY ASPECT OF THAT DECISION AS OPPOSED TO WE'RE MEMORIALIZING THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES AND THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND THOSE WHO MAY YET BE ALIVE.

Glover: DID THEY MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION?

Vilsack: I THINK THEY DID.

Yepsen: SHOULD THOSE HIGH SCHOOL GAMES HAVE BEEN PLAYED? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE DOES THAT SEND THAT A BUNCH OF HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN A TIME OF CRISIS LIKE THIS?

Vilsack: WELL, I'M NOT SO SURE THAT IT'S AS MUCH ABOUT THE GAME AS IT IS ABOUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS IS A VERY TRAUMATIC SITUATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, AND I THINK WE DON'T RECOGNIZE AS MUCH AS WE PERHAPS SHOULD HOW THIS SITUATION IMPACTS AND AFFECTS, OVER THE LONG HAUL, YOUNG PEOPLE'S ATTITUDES. I WAS TALKING TO AN INDIVIDUAL THE OTHER DAY WHO SAID THAT YOUNG PEOPLE, EVEN YOUNGSTERS WHO ARE IN COLLEGE, WOULD MORE LIKELY CALL THEIR PARENTS OR ACTUALLY WANT TO COME HOME FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. SO THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE'RE DEALING WITH YOUNGER PEOPLE AND THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE COULD CREATE SOME SENSE OF NORMALCY SO THERE'S A DEGREE OF STABILITY IN THIS VERY CHAOTIC SITUATION PROBABLY SERVED THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE WELL. AND IT'S NOT ABOUT FOOTBALL. I THINK IT'S ABOUT WHAT MESSAGE ARE WE SENDING TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND HOW STABLE AND SECURE DO WE MAKE THEM FEEL.

Borg: DID YOU TELL THE COLLEGE PRESIDENTS THAT YOU WOULD ATTEND IF THEY HELD THE GAME?

Vilsack: I WAS PLANNING ON DOING THAT. AND I SUGGESTED THAT IF INDEED THE GAME WERE HELD, FOLLOWING UP A SUGGESTION MADE BY SENATOR KRAMER, THAT INSTEAD OF PEOPLE WEARING BLACK AND GOLD OR CARDINAL AND GOLD THAT WE ALL SHOULD WEAR RED, WHITE, AND BLUE. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IF THOSE GAMES HAD BEEN HELD ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY, WHAT A STATEMENT THAT WOULD HAVE MADE.

Borg: I WANT TO EXPLORE ANY RESPONSE HERE IN THE FUTURE. IT'S BEEN SUGGESTED THAT CIVIL RIGHTS IN SOME WAY ARE GOING TO BE AFFECTED, WHAT WE'VE KNOWN AS A FREE SOCIETY. BUT THERE'S ALSO A MORE SUBTLE RESPONSE, AND THAT IS THE WAY AMERICANS REGARD A SPECIFIC PROFILE, RACIAL OR CULTURAL PROFILE. HOW IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT THE CULTURE THAT YOU HAVE TRIED TO CREATE AND ENCOURAGED IN IOWA IN WELCOMING FOREIGNERS?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK IT STARTS, DEAN, WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THIS BATTLE IS ALL ABOUT, WHAT THIS WAR IS ALL ABOUT. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT BIN LADEN'S VIEW OF LIFE IS THAT LIKE PEOPLE SHOULD STAY ALIKE, AND SHOULD NOT BE CHALLENGED BY PEOPLE THAT ARE DIFFERENT. HE WANTS ALL OF THE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE AS HE BELIEVES, TO BE BASICALLY LIVING IN THE SAME PLACE, THINKING THE SAME THING, WHICH ALLOWS, THEN, THE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO CONTROL A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF POWER. THAT PHILOSOPHY IS CONTRASTED TO THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY OF "WE BELIEVE WE'RE STRONG ENOUGH AND OPEN ENOUGH AND COMPASSIONATE ENOUGH AND SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE OUT WAYS IN WHICH DIVERSE PEOPLE CAN LIVE TOGETHER AND WORK TOWARDS COMMON GOALS." WHICH OF THOSE TWO IS A MORE POWERFUL IDEA? I WOULD SUGGEST TO YOU THAT HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT THE AMERICAN IDEAL IS THE MORE POWERFUL OF THE TWO. AND SO, THEREFORE, THERE WILL INDEED BE MORE CONCERN ABOUT SECURITY, AS THERE SHOULD BE. AND WE SHOULD THINK VERY STRONGLY ABOUT HOW WE BEEF UP OUR SECURITY MEASURES.

Borg: LET ME JUST QUICKLY ASK ANOTHER FOLLOW-UP THERE, AND THAT IS, IT'S BEEN SUGGESTED THAT STUDENT VISAS, STUDENTS FROM FOREIGN NATIONS STUDYING AT OUR STATE UNIVERSITIES THROUGHOUT THE NATION ARE GOING TO BE MORE CLOSELY SCRUTINIZED AS TO THE STATUS OF THAT VISA AND WHAT THEY'RE STUDYING. DO YOU THINK THAT IS A CONCERN, AND WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE THAT?

Vilsack: I WOULD ENCOURAGE STEPS THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THE AMERICAN IDEAL UPHELD BUT AT THE SAME TIME RECOGNIZING THAT WE NEED TO BE VERY CONSCIOUS OF SECURITY. THIS IS A DIFFERENT WORLD TODAY THAN A WEEK AGO, AND THE FACT IS THAT WE'VE GOT TO BE CAREFUL AS WELL AS OPEN, AND THAT IS GOING TO BE A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE FOR US. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK THROUGH THIS PROCESS. IT'S GOING TO INVOLVE NOT ONLY COLLEGE YOUNGSTERS, BUT IT'S ALSO GOING TO INVOLVE AIR TRAVEL. I WAS VISITING YESTERDAY IN SIOUX CITY WITH A PILOT FOR NORTHWESTERN, AND HE WAS EXPRESSING FRUSTRATION ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE AIRLINES HAD NOT YET TAKEN THE STEPS TO SECURE THE COCKPITS OF THESE AIRPLANES, AND IT WAS A MATTER OF COST. WELL, NOW I THINK WE NOW KNOW WHAT THE RISK BENEFIT IS TO PAYING THAT COST. SO I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE A PROCESS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN OUR WAY THROUGH.

Yepsen: SPECIFICALLY, GOVERNOR, DOES THIS MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO RECRUIT IMMIGRANTS TO IOWA?

Vilsack: WELL, I'M NOT TRYING TO RECRUIT IMMIGRANTS TO IOWA, DAVID. I'M JUST TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS STATE IS AS OPEN AND AS WELCOME AS IT CAN BE, BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S PART OF OUR HISTORY AND PART OF OUR TRADITION. I THINK FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, THE FACT THAT WE'VE HAD THE MODEL COMMUNITIES PROGRAM IS GOING TO MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT EASIER FOR IOWANS TO WORK THROUGH THE DIFFICULT ISSUES THAT WE NOW FACE, BECAUSE WE'VE ALREADY STARTED THAT PROCESS. I'M CONVINCED, OVER TIME, THAT WE WILL WORK THROUGH THEM.

Yepsen: THE PRESIDENT HAS AUTHORIZED UP TO 50,000, I BELIEVE, NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE CALL-UPS IN THE COUNTRY. ANY IOWANS INVOLVED IN THAT THAT YOU KNOW OF?

Vilsack: NOT THAT I'M AWARE OF TODAY, BUT THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT THINGS COULDN'T CHANGE. I WILL YOU THAT OUR NATIONAL GUARD HAS SERVED THE COUNTRY EXTRAORDINARILY WELL THIS WEEK. AND INDEED, A NUMBER OF FOLKS FROM SIOUX CITY ARE SCHEDULED TO GO TO KUWAIT TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS. IOWA HAS HAD A DISPROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE RESPONSIBILITY UP TO THIS POINT. OUR YOUNG PEOPLE DO SUCH A GREAT JOB AT WHAT THEY DO THAT THEY'RE MORE FREQUENTLY CALLED UP. SO IT'S DISTINCTLY POSSIBLE THAT WE MAY HAVE IOWANS AFFECTED BY THIS, AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, I'M SURE THAT THEY WILL BE WILLING TO GO AND THEY'LL DO A GREAT JOB.

Glover: GOVERNOR, I'D LIKE YOU TO STEP BACK FOR A SECOND. MOST OF US AROUND THIS TABLE ARE BOOMERS. THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF BOOKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE GENERATION THAT FOUGHT AND WON WORLD WAR II, LIVED AND SURVIVED THROUGH THE GREAT DEPRESSION, SURVIVED THOSE EXPERIENCES AND REMADE THE WORLD. NOW THAT THIS GENERATION FACES A CHALLENGE PERHAPS AS GREAT, IS IT UP TO IT?

Vilsack: I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION ABOUT IT. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION ABOUT IT. THIS GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAS TAKEN ON SOME VERY DIFFICULT INTERNAL CHALLENGES RELATIVE TO CIVIL RIGHTS. I THINK WE ARE UP TO IT. WE HAVE WORKED HARD TO BUILD AN EXTRAORDINARILY STRONG ECONOMY. WE HAVE WORKED HARD TO CONTINUE TO HAVE A STRONG MILITARY POWER AND FOCUS IN THE WORLD. WE ARE THE DOMINANT WORLD POWER, WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THESE ATTACKS OCCUR. I THINK WE ARE UP TO IT, AND I THINK THE REACTION OF PEOPLE THIS WEEK OF COMING TOGETHER AND BONDING AND UNITING AS A COUNTRY -- THERE IS NOTHING -- THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO POWER IN THE WORLD AS POWERFUL AS THE UNITED AMERICAN PUBLIC.

Glover: DO YOU THINK THIS GENERATION, THIS COUNTRY HAS THE PATIENCE TO WAIT THIS THROUGH, TO SURVIVE THIS INITIAL WAVE OF ANGER AND SEE THE THING THROUGH TO ITS CONCLUSION?

Vilsack: I THINK WE WILL IF THE ROAD IS CLEARLY LAID OUT FOR US IN TERMS OF WHAT STEPS WILL BE TAKEN AND HOW WE MEASURE WHEN THE JOB IS COMPLETED. THIS IS GOING TO BE A DIFFICULT ISSUE FOR THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, NO QUESTION, IN TERMS OF COMMUNICATING TO PEOPLE WHAT OUR RESPONSE IS GOING TO BE AND HOW WE DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE SUCCEEDING.

Glover: WOULDN'T YOU SUPPORT AN EFFORT TO ASSASSINATE OSAMA BIN LADEN?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THAT THE POWERS OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, AS BEST I UNDERSTAND THEM FROM THE EXECUTIVE ORDER SIGNED BY PRESIDENT FORD, ARE VERY RESTRICTIVE. AND I THINK THAT IN THIS NEW DAY AND AGE, OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS ALL THE TOOLS BECAUSE WE ARE, AS THE PRESIDENT INDICATED, AT WAR, AND THAT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT EQUATION.

Yepsen: DOES LIFE EVER GET BACK TO NORMAL IN IOWA OR ANYPLACE?

Vilsack: I THINK THE DEFINITION OF NORMAL MIGHT CHANGE. I THINK THAT PEOPLE WILL RECOGNIZE THAT EACH OF US HAS A RESPONSIBILITY. EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO THEIR JOB OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT MONTH, YEAR, TWO YEARS, WHATEVER. IF WE DO OUR JOB, WHATEVER THAT MIGHT BE, AND WE DO IT WELL, THIS COUNTRY WILL GET THROUGH THIS AND WE'LL DO IT WELL.

Borg: GOVERNOR, THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

Vilsack: THANK YOU.

Borg: ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," THE FOCUS ON THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES. DIRECTOR JESSIE RASMUSSEN WILL BE HERE TO DISCUSS THE CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE LARGEST DEPARTMENT IN STATE GOVERNMENT NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. AND AS YOU HEARD EARLIER, IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION NOW CELEBRATING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF "IOWA PRESS." IT'S THE LONGEST RUNNING PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM. WE CLOSE WITH A SNAPSHOT OF OUR "IOWA PRESS" PAST. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

I WASN'T EXACTLY ACCURATE. I THINK INSTEAD OF 90 DAYS, IT WAS SOMETHING LIKE 58 DAYS THAT WHEN I MADE THAT STATEMENT I SUGGESTED IT BE A LITTLE LONGER. BUT I THINK IT WAS WRITTEN ALL OVER THAT IF THEY DID NOT LIFT THE CONTROLS THAT WE WERE HEADED FOR A CONDITION THAT WOULD SHOW THAT WE WOULD HAVE A MEAT SHORTAGE. WE HAD A MEAT SHORTAGE. AND UP UNTIL THE CAMPAIGN BEGAN, WHEN MY OPPONENT BEGAN TO TALK ABOUT THIS, I'M SURE YOU DIDN'T READ OR HEAR AND YOU AS REPORTERS DIDN'T LEARN FROM PEOPLE SAYING THAT I HAD CREATED THIS SHORTAGE OR CAUSED IT. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE FARMERS WERE IN AGREEMENT AND THEY WERE VERY PLEASED. WE HEARD FROM MANY, MANY OF THEM THAT SAID THANK GOODNESS SOMEONE HAS POINTED OUT WHAT IT HAPPENING AND WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY AND THE MEAT BUSINESS IF SOMEONE DOESN'T SPEAK OUT. AND SO I FELT IT WAS FORTUNATE THAT I DID SAY WHAT I SAID.

Narrator: FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS" WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.