(Excerpts: Face the Nation interview)  (530)

(Following are excerpts from an interview with Vice President Gore on

Face the Nation June 27.)

Question:  Mr. Vice President, what detail can you give us about this

attack?  Exactly what happened there?

Answer:  It was very successful in taking out the headquarters unit of the

Iraqi intelligence service, where this plot to assassinate former President

Bush was planned.  The entire complex is a huge complex, almost as large as

our Pentagon.  But the one wing of it where the headquarters operation is

located was the part of the complex that was targeted.  And that whole row

of headquarters complex was destroyed.

Q:  What was destroyed, computers, analysis banks?  What actually was lost?

A:  The facilities where plots like this are hatched and planned and where

the instructions are given, where the top people have all of their

computers and their paperwork and all of their facilities.  Their ability

to carry out plots like this in the future has been severely damaged.  And,

more importantly, they have received the message that this kind of activity

is simply unacceptable.

Q:  Was that the point here?  Was this the point really to send a message,

not to destroy an intelligence facility, Mr. Vice President?

A:  The point of it was not to convince the Iraqi people to rise up and

overthrow Saddam.  We would like that to happen.  But we fully recognize

1hat this response was more limited in nature by design, because it was

intended to be proportionate to what they tried to do  and to hit the part

of their government that planned and tried to execute this attempted


Q:  Do you have any indication from the Iraqis?  Has there been any response

from the Iraqi government or Saddam Hussein?

A:  President Clinton has asked for an emergency meeting of the U.N.

Security Council this afternoon.  And I'm sure that we will hear from them

at that time.  Or we'll have -- they will communicate to the United

Nations.  They are typically, predictably saying that they had nothing to

do with the attempted assassination of former President Bush.  But they

did.  As soon as President Clinton got the definitive reports from the FBI

and the CIA on Thursday, as Commander-in-Chief, he gave the order to attack

the facilities that planned that attempted assassination.  And the military

carried out the President's orders extremely skillfully.

Q:  Is there any particular piece of evidence that the President saw that

convinced him that this is what needed to be done?  What was the smoking

gun here?

A:  There's so much evidence, based on analysis of the explosive devices

that are of a kind known to originate only in Iraq, the statements of the

individuals who were caught and who said they were ordered by Iraqi

intelligence to try to assassinate former President Bush.  They even said

that if the car bomb -- which would, incidentally have killed thousands and

thousands of innocent people in Kuwait -- if that failed, they were

supposed to put on a belt -- a bomb device -- and charge up to former

President Bush.