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Transcript: Tom Ridge Announces His Resignation

But I'm confident that the terrorists are aware that from the curb to the cockpit we've got additional security measures that didn't exist a couple of years ago, that from port to port we do things differently with maritime security.

I'm confident they know that our borders are more secure. I'm confident that they know that we've developed and are sharing information with the state and local law enforcement.

I'm confident that they've, basically through their own view of what we've done, that they know America is a different place to work and operate in.

I'm also confident that, based on what detainees have told us, that if you increase your security and your vigilance, that's a deterrent. 

Can I tell you today there are X-number of incidents that we were able to thwart or prevent? I cannot. Am I fairly confident, confident that we probably have? Yes, I am, but it's still difficult to prove something, unless I could point to a specific case.

We've seen what other friends -- what other folks in the administration have done in taking down cells around the country.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) made any headway with the private sector in getting them to take up the burden of protecting the nation's infrastructure, given that they own so much of it?

RIDGE: I think we've make great progress with the private sector under the work and through the work of our information analysis and infrastructure protection unit.

RIDGE: That's a new piece of the department. 

We merged a lot of old and traditional and legacy departments, but this is a new responsibility, a strategic piece. 

We have done several things. We have developed a formal means of communication to every sector of our economy, and we're in frequent communication, almost daily communication, with one or all of them.

We've made great progress across the board in developing a business case so that the kind of investment we expect them to make is viewed as precisely that, not as an expense, but as an investment that has a return that you can justify to the shareholders.

I think by engaging them on best practices in terms of securing, whether it's a chemical facility, telecommunications site and the like, in taking advantage of their professional expertise as we go about setting standards for security, has been very successful to date.

Make no mistake about it, there are more sites to be secured, and we will need to continue to engage the private sector. And they will need to accept the responsibility to continue to invest more. 

But to date, they have been very responsive. They have partnered with us on many occasions. And they have made considerable investments.

But they're not done yet, either. And my successor will continue to promote their continued investment in securing some of this critical infrastructure that, fortunately, is a condition of the world's largest and most diverse and most successful economy.

QUESTION: Did you meet with the president to discuss your going?

RIDGE: The president and I have had -- any conversations I've had with the president in the past or will have will always be private.

(UNKNOWN): Thank you.


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