Y2K Snippet from Joe Lockhart's Press Conference Today

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Q A couple of follow ups. One on the terrorism in general, as we go toward Y2K now. Is there anything different in this building, in terms of briefing the President, or activities in the NSC? What can you tell us about what?s going on here on a day-to-day basis? Sort of in a --

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think John Koskinen has run a fairly remarkable operation over the last year to prepare the federal government and to help prepare state and local governments, communities, schools, businesses, to meet the challenge of Y2K. And I think, as his final reports indicate, from the federal government?s point of view we?re ready. From most state and local governments, they?re ready. There are pockets of areas where there?s some concern. But they don?t expect there to be any real level of unpreparedness here. That is obviously taking up increasingly more time of the administration, but has gone forward in a very methodical way under Mr. Koskinen?s direction.

As far as the President?s time, I mean, he?s been fully briefed throughout the year, and particularly as we move closer, to what we?re doing, and I think will be briefed through the command center operation that Koskinen has set up here in Washington through the day ? New Year?s Eve and New Year?s Day.

Q But is Koskinen involved in terrorist threats?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I?m sorry. I thought this was about Y2K.

Q Well, that?s one aspect of it, but certainly there?s now, with the arrest, there?s the terrorist aspect of it. And how has that changed things in this building, if at all, in terms of briefings and alert status, that sort of thing?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think you know on the worldwide front that the State Department?s travel advisory went out now probably eight or nine days ago. And the law enforcement community in this country, and intelligence operations around the world, have been working diligently. I mean, I can?t tell you that there?s anything material that I can point to, as far as activity in this building, beyond a lot of work that goes into protecting against these threats.

Q Is it occupying more of the President?s time, though, Joe?

MR. LOCKHART: I think as things go, because it?s an issue of concern, it probably is occupying more of his time than, say, two months ago. But we have ongoing efforts that look at both international terrorism and protecting against domestic terrorism. That work is something that the President has closely involved himself in, and has done a lot of work on.

Q Joe, has the President been briefed specifically on what transpired in Washington state on Friday of last week? And are there any national security implications to what happened?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think the President has been kept up to date on the situation there, and up to date on the latest information that law enforcement has been able to gather.

Q Has the President purchased a lot of water, and is he getting some extra cash out of the bank?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, he can always rely on Kris Engskov if he runs out of cash ? (laughter) ? which happens from time to time. I don?t know about particular ?

Q He doesn?t carry any cash?

MR. LOCKHART: I think that ? John Koskinen has spoken to this in a number of forums and a number of groups. And his advice ? and I think it?s sage advice ? is that people shouldn?t overreact, but there are some modest steps ? I think he described it as preparing like you get a weather report that a storm may be coming in ? and just preparing yourself just in case there is a temporary disruption of power or something like that.

Q But, Joe, the President is in touch with the world leaders as far as terrorism and Y2K problem is concerned. Now, if other governments fail, then what kind of communications will the President have, or option to be in touch?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think one of the real areas of work and concern has been, because we live in an interdependent world, how other countries are prepared. I think there have been a series of reports done on that. And we have worked closely with foreign governments to help them meet the Y2K challenge, and to also understand the potential impact that it might have domestically, and to be prepared for that.

-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), December 20, 1999




-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), December 20, 1999.

Wading through this canned drivel gave me a headache. Just remember that if we have serious problems it's them not us. By March whoever we elect to be 'them' is going to be the most despised and reviled group in the history of humankind. Please remember it's 'them', not us. We're 100% compliant. Well, maybe 93.7% or 42.166% or 81.2% but we're in really pretty good shape.

-- Get Real (gaf@mindspring.com), December 20, 1999.

Wasn't the final report card issued by Rep. Horn a B-? In grad school, that's FAILING!

-- James (jpeet@u.washington.edu), December 20, 1999.

Is there some kind of award for using the most words to say nothing?

-- grannyclampett (don'thave@clue.com), December 20, 1999.

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