- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

A holdover from the Clinton administration will oversee cyberspace security for President Bush, while a retired Army general will coordinate anti-terror efforts with military and intelligence counterparts.
Richard Clarke, who currently heads the government's counterterrorism team, will direct efforts to protect the nation's information infrastructure from attack, three administration officials said yesterday.
Retired Army Gen. Wayne Downing will coordinate intelligence and military resources in the anti-terror campaign, they said.
Mr. Clarke and Gen. Downing will serve Mr. Bush at the National Security Council, working alongside Tom Ridge, whom Mr. Bush tapped to head a newly created, Cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security.
While the officials said their precise roles have yet to be determined, two other White House aides said Mr. Clarke and Gen. Downing will work beneath Mr. Ridge in the anti-terror hierarchy.
Mr. Clarke has served as counterterrorism chief at the White House for more than a decade. He was appointed by President Clinton as the first national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism.
He will head the new Office of Cyberspace Security, said the administration officials, who spoke on condition they not be identified.
Mr. Clarke has pointedly warned Congress, companies and local agencies about the potential for a "digital Pearl Harbor" in which a terrorist attack would paralyze computers, electrical grids and other key infrastructure.
Several nations have created information-warfare units, Mr. Clarke said in December. "These organizations are creating technology to bring down computer networks. Some are doing reconnaissance today on our networks, mapping them," he said.
One way to improve security throughout the Internet is to create secure lines of communication between the technology industry and the government, Mr. Clarke said.
That way, they could share information about hackers and viruses without worrying about the public learning about them. Such a plan would require an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, he said.
Earlier this year, Mr. Bush considered eliminating the position that Mr. Clinton gave Mr. Clarke.
A draft executive order from Mr. Bush, obtained in July by the Associated Press, would have abolished the post in favor of a board of about 21 officials from all major federal agencies.
The board would have reported to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Mr. Bush was expected to sign the order formalizing the changes sometime after Labor Day, but he apparently has shelved the plan following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Gen. Downing, former chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command, will head a new White House Office for Combating Terrorism.
He authored a task force report on the June 1996 terrorist bombing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen. Gen. Downing's report blamed Pentagon leadership for failing to make counterterrorism a high enough priority to protect soldiers in the field particularly those deployed in the Middle East.
The report concluded that U.S. forces are so far superior to potential foes that opponents have turned to terrorism as the only viable way of challenging them.
The administration also has drafted a manifesto outlining its goals in Afghanistan.
The memo, initially written for internal use, reminds readers that the U.S. government has given more aid to Afghanistan than any other nation has $170 million this year. It emphasizes that the United States does not want to pick who leads the country, but will help those who seek to bring peace there.

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