THE WAR ON BUGS: Bioterrorism

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

With the arrival of anthrax letters in Washington, New York, and Florida in the fall of 2001, the often-ignored threat of bioterrorism became a very frightening reality, causing illness and death and costing billions of dollars. How has this attack changed our assessment of the threat of biological and chemical weapons? What can and should be done to detect and control these weapons and defend ourselves against future attacks?

Recorded on Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Peter Robinson: Today on Uncommon Knowledge, Bioterrorism. From distant threat to everyday reality.

Announcer: Funding for this program is provided by The John M. Olin Foundation and The Starr Foundation.

[Music]

Peter Robinson: Welcome to Uncommon Knowledge, I'm Peter Robinson. Our program today, Chemical and Biological Terror.

The three guests we're about to talk to have long predicted that a chemical or biological attack might happen somewhere, someplace here in the United States. With the arrival of Anthrax letters in New York, Florida and Washington D.C., such an attack has happened. How does this attack change the way we should assess the threat of Bioterrorism? What can be done to detect and control such weapons? And how can we best defend ourselves against them?

Joining us today, three guests. Jonathan Tucker is director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation Program at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. Dean Wilkening is director of the science program at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and Abraham Sofaer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Title: A Brief History of Bio-terrorism

Peter Robinson: The British Physicist Stephen Hawking, quote, "Although September 11th was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race. In the long term, I am more worried about biology. You can't regulate every lab in the world and the danger is that either by accident or design, we'll create a virus that destroys us," closed quote.

During the 20th century, used--we used to worry about a nuclear Armageddon, a problem arising from Physics. Is it correct that in the 21st century we should worry more about biology, Jonathan?

Jonathan Tucker: I think so. I think this is a real problem. Um, either inadvertent or deliberate creation of a designer pathogen that could be devastating to the human species.

Peter Robinson: Dean?

Dean Wilkening: Yeah, I think there's no question the 21st century is gonna be dominated by biotechnology. Both for good and for potential evil and we could argue about whether in fact the whole human race would be threatened. But there is potential for very catastrophic, uh, consequences coming out of the realm of biology and disease.

Peter Robinson: Worse than nuclear weapons Abe?

Abraham Sofaer: I agree. Going forward it's worse than nuclear weapons because it's so much more accessible.

Peter Robinson: Jonathan, you wrote in your book Toxic Terror a quote, "Historically, terrorist organizations have not sought to acquire or use chemical or biological weapons," closed quote. Why was that the case?

Jonathan Tucker: Well, traditionally motivated terrorist organizations that had a clear political objective. A good example would be the Irish Republican Army had a political constituency that they didn't want to alienate. And if they resorted to indiscriminant killing, they would be very likely to alienate their political base and to bring down on their heads the full wrath of the authorities, which would stop at nothing to eliminate them. So they--they tended to calibrate their level of violence to achieve a certain political end to place pressure on political decision makers. But without going so far as to go beyond the pale and to really become pariahs and...

Peter Robinson: So they would take down a person or two at a time?

Jonathan Tucker: Um hm.

Peter Robinson: And there is--it is much more difficult to calibrate the level of violence once you begin using biological or chemical weapons?

Jonathan Tucker: Yes, they're inherently disc--uh--indiscriminant unless they're used as assassination weapons. But if you release a biological agent, particularly a contagious agent, it--it is a--an indiscriminant weapon.

Peter Robinson: We now have had anthrax attacks in the United States. How have those attacks changed your assessment? How would you rewrite that sentence that I just quoted?

Jonathan Tucker: Well I still think that a limited number of terrorist organizations are motivated to inflict indiscriminant casualties. And an even smaller minority of that set of--of terrorists have the technical wherewithal to actually inflict large-scale casualties with these weapons. So it--it's a fairly defined group of terrorists that we have to worry about. Those with this motivation and the capabilities and I would add the organizational structure, uh, to resist penetration by intelligence and law enforcement.

Peter Robinson: So as a matter of National security does the problem strike you as one with which we can grapple?

Abraham Sofaer: I think you have to think about states too. You can't just think about terrorist organizations. Uh, this is something that's uniquely suited to states that are relatively reckless compared to the states of the past. I think after the First World War, there was more or less a sense that there was not--that this was illegitimate, chemical and biological was illegitimate.

Peter Robinson: Mustard gas had been used in Europe…

Abraham Sofaer: Right, devastatingly in the First World War. Forty thousand U.S. casualties, a hundred--a million casualties, forty thousand deaths in the First World War.

[Talking at the same time]

Peter Robinson: Back to an earlier question. Will the use of bio-weapons remain rare? Or have we entered a new era of widespread bio-terrorism?

Title: I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

Peter Robinson: Can you say whether the Anthrax attacks represent in your mind an anomaly, or a new departure?

Jonathan Tucker: I think this is a--a departure, from the historical record…

Peter Robinson: We're in a new era.

Jonathan Tucker: …in that we are in a new era. We have actually seen people die as the result of Anthrax sent through the mail. There have been hundreds of hoaxes over the past several years involving the threatened use of Anthrax. This is the first case of actual use resulting in--in human deaths. So I do think that the norm of non-use has been severely challenged and the international community needs to respond very forcibly to restore the norm. Uh, to find the perpetrators, severely punish them so that we don't have copycats, we don't have other people that are encouraged to do the same thing. Uh so I--I do think…

Peter Robinson: So, you'd--you'd agree, these--these--these Anthrax attacks place us in a new era?

Dean Wilkening: A little bit, but I'd like to actually make…

Peter Robinson: Sure.

Dean Wilkening: …what I think is an important distinction. The Anthrax attacks show the use of a biological agent and particularly a level of sophistication in manufacturing that agent, which is disturbing. But the actual consequences have been very limited. Very few people--uh--killed, although one has to worry about the future. I'd like to distinguish the Anthrax attacks subsequent to September 11th with September 11th itself.

Peter Robinson: Right

Dean Wilkening: In some respects, September 11th is more disturbing because it showed a willingness to commit mass-murder way beyond what traditional terrorists have--uh--demonstrated willingness to do, like Jonathan was saying.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dean Wilkening: Uh, so there you have fairly loosely defined political objectives. A hatred of the United States, a desire on Al-Qaida, or Bin Laden's part to remove the United States from the Middle East, etcetera. But very amorphous, uh, political objectives and an act that was just blood thirsty in its consequences. Um--that's the kind of group that you worry about should they get their hands on Anthrax. Whoever's perpetrated the Anthrax so far has showed--I won't--I won't call it restraint, but they've showed fairly limited use--a fairly…

Peter Robinson: Was it indeed limited use or were we simply lucky? That is to say, from what you can understand of the attacks, did the person who perpetrated them intend them to kill only a few people, or is it just lucky that they happened to be discovered in the mailroom very quick--mailrooms very quickly?

Dean Wilkening: My sense is the amount of agent they had, they couldn't have killed too many people.

Peter Robinson: All right.

Dean Wilkening: The big unknown is how much agent whoever perpetrated the Anthrax attacks through the mail might have.

Peter Robinson: Might still have…

Dean Wilkening: If they have grams, then maybe they've consumed all they have, or they have very limited resources. If they have kilograms then um…

Peter Robinson: This--this leads to the next…

Dean Wilkening: …this could be very serious.

Jonathan Tucker: Do they have a manufacturing…

[Talking at the same time]

Abraham Sofaer: The dollars is--is important. The--the--the--this was a brilliant attack.

[Talking at the same time]

Abraham Sofaer: The Anthrax attack.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Abraham Sofaer: Um, the dollar consequences of this attack are phenomenal.

[Talking at the same time]

Abraham Sofaer: They're in the billions--billions--billions.

Peter Robinson: Postal service…

Abraham Sofaer: They have ruined one of our major economic vehicles.

Peter Robinson: With three or four thirty-four cent stamps.

Abraham Sofaer: Exactly. And so, I mean, I think this was…

[Talking at the same time]

Abraham Sofaer: On the human--on the human scale, a minor attack, on the financial, economic scale, major. Huge, huge.

Peter Robinson: Okay. The fight against chemical and biological weapons has three main aspects; detection, preparedness and control. Let's tackle detection first.

Title: Down on the Pharm

Peter Robinson: The state department names a dozen countries that it believes possess chemical and biological weapons. They include Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Russia. How confident are you, Dean, that we actually know how much those countries possess. What state of play their development programs may be in. How well are we able to detect what's going on in those countries?

Dean Wilkening: I don't have access to the intelligence information to know on what basis we make these judgments. But in general, the rule of thumb is for biological, to a little bit lesser extent chemical, but certainly biological programs are very hard to detect, it's very hard to know how much material is being made, what types of agents and the--the classic illustration of this is the Iraqi program...

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dean Wilkening: …where up until 1991, there was some suspicion they had it. We weren't quite sure. We weren't quite sure where the facilities were and then it took the UN SCOM inspectors, the UN special commission inspectors from '91 to '95, uh, where they were slowly, uh, following various leads until they finally stumbled upon hard evidence that Iraq had facilities, uh…

[Talking at the same time]

Peter Robinson: Contrast then say with a nuclear threat? Where good satellite photography will pick up…

Dean Wilkening: Much larger infrastructure, right.

Peter Robinson: …where it's being produced and it'll pick up where your missile, I mean, you can find out a lot…

Dean Wilkening: Right. Right.

Peter Robinson: …and you just--you don't have access to that kind of reconnaissance.

Jonathan Tucker: Another big difference is that biological weapons…

Peter Robinson: Did you--you--you went into Iraq at…

Jonathan Tucker: I was at one inspection in February of 1995. Um, the difference is that biological weapons can be produced in dual use facilities. Any vaccine plant, single cell protein plant can be used to make biological weapons on a campaign basis and then revert back to legitimate production. So it can be easily concealed in--in a civilian facility.

Peter Robinson: Abe, the state department estimates that there are more than ten thousand Russian scientists who participated in the Soviet Union's program for making chemical and biological weapons. Ten thousand scientists with detailed knowledge about how to make this stuff in round numbers. Do we know where they are?

Abraham Sofaer: Clearly not and I--I--I think you jumped from ten thousand participated to ten thousand with detailed knowledge. I don't know--I think we have a huge problem. I don't know if it's of that dimension. But I think we have to work on that problem.

Peter Robinson: What would a--what would a more likely number be?

Jonathan Tucker: I think a few thousand…

Peter Robinson: A few thousand.

Jonathan Tucker: …scientists who had really sensitive information that would be critical to the weaponization…

[Talking at same time]

Peter Robinson: But generally speaking we don't know where they are?

Abraham Sofaer: There are many of them we don't know where they are. And we should assume that they are helping these countries. I--I assume that some of them are.

Peter Robinson: This is tough stuff to detect. Even on the ground in Iraq, it was tough to know whether they were using it--if they had been making biological weapons at a facility the day before and switched it over to another u--where the scientists are--this is tough. So the question then would be, is it so tough that we should not attempt to devote heavy resources to the problem of detection? Or is the problem of detection so overwhelmingly important that we should beef up CIA defense intelligence, do whatever we have to to try to come to grips with it?

Abraham Sofaer: There are many levels of detection.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Abraham Sofaer: One is for verifying an arms control treaty or an export control regime that tries to place constraints on trafficking or production. That's a tall order and it's not clear that we can develop the, um, intelligence or the monitoring capability to adequately verify say a treaty regime. But there are lots of other detectors, uh, uh, international surveillance networks for detecting emerging infectious diseases. Not only has obvious public health benefits…

Peter Robinson: Right.

Abraham Sofaer: …but that could be useful for detecting an outbreak, a suspicious outbreak like the kind that occurred at (?) say, if--if that--that Russia was tied into.

Jonathan Tucker: I--I think, uh, better intelligence on the capabilities of--of states and terrorists is critical.

Peter Robinson: That has to be beefed up.

Jonathan Tucker: That has to be done and it--it really relies on human intelligence to a great extent. A satellite will not tell you what's going on inside a dual-use facility. You have to have someone on the ground who can get inside and--and who has good technical knowledge.

Peter Robinson: I--I was about to ask, does the CIA now need to get into the business of recruiting chemists?

Jonathan Tucker: Absolutely.

Peter Robinson: It does? Biologists?

Jonathan Tucker: Chemists, Microbiologists, Epidemiologists.

Peter Robinson: Onto the next major aspect of the fight against biological and chemical weapons, preparedness.

Title: A Pound of Cure

Peter Robinson: How prepared are we in the United States for a mid--mid-sized to large-scale chemical or biological attack, Jonathan?

Jonathan Tucker: It depends where it happened. If it happened in New York City, we'd be relatively well prepared. If it happened in a smaller city, uh, I think all bets are off because it really depends on the viability of our public health system. And, you know, uh, what's called disease surveillance the ability to detect a disease outbreak at a very early stage, when one can intervene and the disease is still treatable…

Peter Robinson: Why is--why is New York…

Dean Wilkening: And medical response too, it's the ability to get in antibiotics, vaccines and the like in a rapid way to treat the exposed population, which New York City has these disaster preparedness. Several other cities, San Jose, but when you get out of a handful of, uh…

Peter Robinson: But preparedness as it stands at the moment has been left up to local governments municipalities. So big, smart cities have got plans together that impress you?

Dean Wilkening: Well there's a lot of funding from the government to stimulate these programs, so it's not just local funding…

Peter Robinson: I see.

Dean Wilkening: …uh, that's been done…

[Talking at the same time]

Abraham Sofaer: Stimulate special programs…

Dean Wilkening: There's special programs to…

Abraham Sofaer: There's not been enough funding to improve the general capacity of--of local areas to respond.

Jonathan Tucker: State and local health departments are--are sorely understaffed and under-funded. And they would be on the front lines of any uh bio-terrorist event.

Peter Robinson: How can you be prepared for a large scale attack, small-pox, Anthrax, Sarin, XV or VX, whatever that nerve…

Jonathan Tucker: VX.

Peter Robinson: …VX. I--I mean, each one of these presumably to prepare the Nation would be a--an enormous and hugely expensive endeavor.

Abraham Sofaer: You know--you know can I tell you that…

Peter Robinson: Yes please.

Abraham Sofaer: …this is a great expenditure because this relates not just to an attack, but to disease itself. And we live in a world where disease is occurring as a natural matter. So by being prepared for these diseases, we are helping generally the population at all times, whether we're being attacked or not. And--and it's not as complicated as you see it…

Peter Robinson: It's not?

Abraham Sofaer: …no, um, we need to set up an information infrastructure where people are regularly reporting phenomena that they see. And the doctors have--the doctors are ready, they're ready to do this, we just have to back them up.

Peter Robinson: So--so the kind of thing that happeneds at CDC where…

Abraham Sofaer: When you--when you see something go out of line with an expected uh--uh, occurrence rate, uh, you immediately will be able to focus on that area and find out what went wrong.

Peter Robinson: Okay, so--so compared then say to this question of detection, you all seem relatively sanguine about the question of preparation. We can get ourselves in a position where if there's a--an attack of some kind, we can know very quickly and also depending on whether you're in the middle of a rural area or in the middle of a city, but still, we can get ourselves equipped to respond. That's good news, right?

Jonathan Tucker: But--but there are a lot of big gaps that need to be filled before we have that capability. First that doctors have to know how to recognize these exotic infections, such as Anthrax that they would normally never encounter. And two, they need channels of communication to their local health department. And there have to be people at the health department on a twenty-four hour basis who can analyze this data and decide that a suspicious outbreak is taking place, notify the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to have the appropriate medications and vaccines shipped in, uh, immediately because we don't have the luxury of time with many of these bio-terrorist agents. Uh, with Anthrax, it's a question of hours, uh…

Peter Robinson: Okay…

Jonathan Tucker: …before a disease becomes no longer treatable.

Dean Wilkening: I think if there's one good news in all of this, we can be thankful that so far, the Anthrax attacks have raised the visibility of bio-terrorism in a very dramatic way, and yet it's been fairly small scale. So we have some time now to, uh, begin setting in place the medical and other surveillance programs, disease surveillance programs, etcetera to try to cope with this problem.

Peter Robinson: And that's an expensive problem, but it is a problem that can be…

Dean Wilkening: It is manageable.

Peter Robinson: …addressed.

Peter Robinson: Now onto control. There are number of international agreements against the use of chemical and biological weapons. How effective are they?

Title: Let's Take This Outside

Peter Robinson: According to the 1972, that's an old agreement, 1972 biological weapons convention, more than 140 countries have agreed to ban the development, possession or transfer of biological and toxin weapons, one. Two, under the 1997 chemical weapons convention, some 125 countries have mandated the internationally monitored destruction of all chemical stockpiles by 2007. Now, after these Anthrax attacks we've been talking about, it would seem on the face of it that we ought to seek to strengthen these existing agreements, design other agreements like them, and yet, on this program, the three of you were guests, in 1998 Abe Sofaer said, and I quote him, "The United States is at the forefront of opposition to inspection regimes and there are good reasons for it,." Closed quote. Abe, why were we at the opp--at the forefront? And should we opp--oppose the inspection regimes and should we still be at that forefront?

Abraham Sofaer: Well, I don't think it's gonna go anywhere, the--and we did the right thing. We have to have meaningful remedies for violations of that basic commitment that you read. It's like Meiselman (ph.) said at Harvard; let's make this a crime to make it and let's make it a crime even for the head of state who does it. And that's what the President said. He said, let's have--let's create an international crime out of this biological commitment, this commitment about biological weapons. And let's enforce that crime across borders, even against the head of state.

Peter Robinson: Who to do the enforcing?

Abraham Sofaer: Well, if you have to do it, you do it.

Peter Robinson: The United States does it…

Abraham Sofaer: I mean, we're doing now if we have to. But if we have to, obviously it's preferable to rely on the Security Council, clearly preferable. But you see the--our treaty people just build this huge structure of inspections and reviews and--and--and people got suspicious here, that they were really trying to learn about our biological, um, research.

Jonathan Tucker: It's important to distinguish between these--these treaties. There's the chemical weapons convention, which has very extensive verification as part of the treaty.

Peter Robinson: The recent one, right.

Jonathan Tucker: The biological weapons convention does not have any formal verification measures and over the past six and a half years, there's been an international negotiation to develop a protocol to the biological weapons convention that would include on-site inspection measures.

Peter Robinson: So the '97…

Jonathan Tucker: …and that--that's what the debate is over.

Peter Robinson: …the '97 chemical weapons convention is a good thing, everyone here would agree to that?

Abraham Sofaer: Yes.

Jonathan Tucker: It should, it--it could be much better implemented. For example there--the key provision of that, uh, verification regime is something called a challenge inspection where if a country believes another member country is violating the treaty, they can request the international inspector to conduct an inspection of any site, declared or undeclared that is believed to be in violation. And so far, in four and a half years of implementation, no country has requested a challenge inspection, even though the United States for example, has openly accused Iran of violating its treaty commitments.

Peter Robinson: How come? Why haven't we--we requested one of those challenge inspections?

Jonathan Tucker: Well, it's--it's a bit unclear, but one concern is, uh, the possibility of a retaliatory challenge, that if we challenge Iran, they will challenge us and perhaps put some of our proprietary information at risk.

Peter Robinson: Propiet--I mean, Richard Nixon in 1969 began the destruction of all our chemical weapons, right? So what do we--what--what do we still have to hide?

Jonathan Tucker: Well, we're--we're concerned about, for example, the commercial chemical industry, which is subject to inspection if it produces relevant…

Peter Robinson: Oh, I see.

Jonathan Tucker: …chemicals. But I think another concern is that if we don't catch someone red-handed, if we don't find compelling evidence of a treaty violation, uh, then the credibility of the regime might also be in question.

Peter Robinson: There is this constant problem in arms control agreements where we in the United States sign up with or--or plenty of people here are suspicious that we find ourselves signing up with the best of intentions and find that it binds only us. Everybody else ignores them, so how…

Dean Wilkening: I--I think it's useful to, uh, think of any of these emerging problems, biological weapons in particular in sort of a layered approach. There are diplomatic efforts one can conduct, arms control to prevent the spread. There is deterrence options to dissuade their use if they do spread and then there's defensive options should deterrence fail. And we've gone through this debate with affect to nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, etcetera. When I take this framework to the biological area…

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dean Wilkening: …I think clearly the emphasis ought to be on defenses. Arms control by itself is gonna be a fairly weak instrument to prevent the spread of biological weapons. It--it's not that the protocol or even the biological weapons convention doesn't have some political utility, but that is a fairly weak read. Same with deterrents…

Peter Robinson: Because it's so hard to know whether somebody's producing the--the stuff.

Dean Wilkening: It's quintessentially dual use technology, very small facilities, very hard to monitor deterrents. If you can't identify the perpetrator, like we had with the, uh, Anthrax mail attacks, against whom are you going to retaliate?

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dean Wilkening: And so I think…

Abraham Sofaer: But you can identify a lot of people who are preparing to be able to do biological warfare and chemical warfare.

Dean Wilkening: Right, which is not to say you abandon…

Abraham Sofaer: And we ought to do something about them…

Dean Wilkening: Absolutely.

Abraham Sofaer: We cannot deter…

Dean Wilkening: You don't abandon deterrence.

Abraham Sofaer: We shouldn't just be talking about how to prepare to deal with all our sick and wounded.

Dean Wilkening: Absolutely--absolutely. It's not--when I say this…

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dean Wilkening: …it's not throwing out two of these tiers, but the relative emphasis in my mind shifts to defenses of the sort we were talking about earlier, detection, uh, medical prophylaxis, things like that. That's I think where the major…

Jonathan Tucker: If you can, you wanna prevent an act before it occurs.

Dean Wilkening: Sure.

Jonathan Tucker: You wanna prevent terrorists from getting access to these weapons. So I--I think you have to use the whole tool kit of policy instruments. Starting with arms control, all the way up to defense and consequence management. But each--each tool should be used to the full extent.

Peter Robinson: Last, predictions and some advice.

Title: It's Only Just Begun

Peter Robinson: We've seen an attack, which has killed relatively few people, but as Abe pointed out, already caused huge economic disruption. Within the next decade, how likely do you think it that we'll suffer a more serious biological or chemical attack than the one we've already seen? Abe?

Abraham Sofaer: Very likely.

Peter Robinson: Jonathan?

Jonathan Tucker: I also think it's quite likely, because this is an emerging threat. These technologies are--are diffusing around the world. More and more people have access to them and to the necessary know-how, so we have to view this as an ongoing and increasing threat that we have to deal with urgently.

Dean Wilkening: Peter, you asked us this in 1998.

Peter Robinson: I know. Yes, exactly.

[Talking at the same time]

Dean Wilkening: More likely than I thought three years ago, two years ago.

Peter Robinson: All right, so here's the final question then…

Dean Wilkening: I don't know if it's highly likely, but it's clearly more likely.

Peter Robinson: You'd say likely--you're not--likely, to very likely.

Abraham Sofaer: I quoted George Schultz.

Abraham Sofaer: Likely - not whether, but when.

Peter Robinson: Not whether, but when?

Dean Wilkening: Sufficiently likely that we ought to devote more resources than we are now.

Peter Robinson: All right, now, if I could give each of you the right to do something that's hard to do, which is to get to the President and to offer him one--one thing that he ought to do to defend the nation better than it has been defended in the past, what one sentence would you speak to George W. Bush? Jonathan?

Jonathan Tucker: Well, I would actually, if I may ra--make two recommendations, one that the front line of defense in bio-terrorism is our public health system. In more than just stock piling drugs and vaccines, we need to strengthen our state and local public health departments because they are going to be on the front lines…

Peter Robinson: Does that mean Federal control of what now is state and local responsibility?

Jonathan Tucker: No, I would say targeted block grants, more resources…

Peter Robinson: All right.

Jonathan Tucker: …to--to build up these--these, uh, very vital, but under-funded resources. And secondly, I think the Bush administration has tended to neglect or under-estimate the importance of multilateral approaches to bio-security, uh, including making sure that these treaties are really implemented effectively. They're valuable instruments, they're not panaceas, I would agree with that, but I think they are key tools in re-enforcing the norm and providing a basis for coordinated action against proliferators.

Peter Robinson: Push harder on the diplomatic front.

Jonathan Tucker: Exactly.

Peter Robinson: Abe?

Abraham Sofaer: Mr. President, when someone is out in the world who is planning to kill Americans with biological weapons, when we see that, stop him.

Peter Robinson: Get him first.

Abraham Sofaer: Get him.

Peter Robinson: Dean?

Dean Wilkening: I think I would, uh, I would tell him to emphasize civil defenses of all sorts; public health, medical, first responders, etcetera. Uh, I would like more, um, emphasis placed on that aspect of homeland security, homeland defense, say than, to pick another example, ballistic missile defense.

Peter Robinson: Right. Dean Wilkening, Jonathan Tucker, Abe Sofaer, thank you very much.