It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(AP) The suspicious powder sent in a threatening letter to Sen. Tom Daschle's office was talc, the FBI said Friday.
"We are going to investigate the letter as a criminal hoax," FBI spokesman Chris Murray said.
The men on the wall here have put themselves on the list because of great acts of evil. They plan, promote and commit murder. They fill the minds of others with hate and lies. And by their cruelty and violence, they betray whatever faith they espouse.
These 22 individuals do not account for all the terrorist activity in the world, but they're among the most dangerous: the leaders and key supporters, the planners and strategists. They must be found; they will be stopped; and they will be punished
This effort is part of a worldwide assault on terror. All our allies and friends will now be familiar with these evildoers and their associates. For those who join our coalition, we expect results. And a good place to start -- help us bring these folks to justice.
Eventually, no corner of the world will be dark enough to hide in. I want to thank all the State Department employees for helping to build an unprecedented -- I mean unprecedented -- coalition to stand with us for freedom. I want to thank the American people for understanding that we are engaged in a new war, a war that will require a new way of thinking.
There is a fascination about the conventional aspects of the military operations that are taking place now, and I can understand that. But the American people must understand that we're making great progress in other fronts: that we're halting their money, that we've got allies around the world helping us close the net. And today, by shining the spotlight on the first 22, it's going to make it more likely they will be brought to justice.
I say "the first 22" because our war is not just against 22 individuals. Our war is against networks and groups, people who coddle them, people who try to hide them, people who fund them. This is our calling. This is the calling of the United States of America, the most free nation in the world. A nation built on fundamental values that rejects hate, rejects violence, rejects murderers, rejects evil. And we will not tire. We will not relent. It is not only important for the homeland security of America that we succeed, it is equally as important for generations of Americans who have yet be born.
Now is the time to draw the line in the sand against the evil ones. And this government is committed to doing just that.
I also want to remind my fellow Americans as we round up the evildoers, as we look for those who might harm our fellow Americans, we must remember not to violate the rights of the innocent.
Our war is not against a religion. Our war is against evil. There are thousands of Muslim Americans who love America just as much as I do. And we will respect their rights. We will not let the terrorists cause decay of the fundamental rights that make our nation unique. As a matter of fact, what they'll find out is that our nation has responded in a way they never envisioned. We're united.
I can report to the American people we're making substantial progress.
First, our Secretary of State and our diplomats around the world have put together a broad coalition of nations to make a stand against terrorists, terrorism and those who harbor terrorists. And I'm really pleased. This coalition includes not only our friends in Europe and South America, but as we saw at the OIC Conference, the Organization of Islamic Conferences, many Muslim nations have taken a very firm stand against terrorist activities, as well.
Obviously, the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Department has been busy. As I said today, America is very proud of the men and women who wear the uniform; they're proud of your leadership too, sir. We'll leave the military briefing for the Pentagon.
I had a good visit with our Secretary of Treasury, who informed me that we've now frozen $40 million worth of assets -- Taliban and al Qaeda assets all around the world, and we've just begun. We want the terrorists to know that we're after them in all kinds of ways, and one good way to make them ineffective is to cut off their money.
The Attorney General has reported that here at the homeland -- in the homeland we've interrogated over 600 people that may have been involved with the bombings, as well as spending a great deal of time analyzing information that could lead to the disruption of any potential attack on America.
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
October 11, 2001
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President
Consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and as part of my effort to keep the Congress fully informed, I am reporting on the status of efforts to obtain Iraq's compliance with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council.
GEORGE W. BUSH
# # #
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, we opened some important new fronts in the war on terror. We're taking the war to the enemy and we are strengthening our defenses here at home.
In last weeks' radio address, I warned that time was running out for the Taliban to turn over the terrorists they shelter. They did not listen, and they are paying a price.
On Sunday, American and British forces launched strikes at terrorist camps and Taliban military targets in Afghanistan. Our men and women in uniform are performing as they always do, with skill and courage. And they have achieved the goals of the first phase of our campaign. We have disrupted the terrorist network inside Afghanistan. We have weakened the Taliban's military. And we have crippled the Taliban's air defenses.
American forces dominate the skies over Afghanistan and we will use that dominance to make sure terrorists can no longer freely use Afghanistan as a base of operations.
This campaign will not be completed in one attack. Our enemy prefers to attack the helpless. He hides from our soldiers. But we're making a determined effort to take away his hiding places. The best defense against terrorism is a strong offensive against terrorists. That work continues.
At the same time, we are taking further action to strengthen our protections against terrorism here at home. This week, I signed an executive order creating a new Office of Homeland Security. The Office is headed by a skilled and tested leader, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
Governor Ridge is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran. He's an effective executive and he knows what we're up against, because his own state was one of the three where Americans died on September the 11th.
Governor Ridge is charged with coordinating a comprehensive national effort to protect our country against terrorism, to frustrate terrorists' plans, to help protect vulnerable points, and to prepare our response to potential threats. Tom Ridge will report directly to me, and he will have the full support of our entire government.
I understand that many Americans are feeling uneasy. But all Americans should be assured: We are taking strong precautions, we are vigilant, we are determined, the country is alert, and the great power of the American nation will be felt.
Our nation is grateful to so many Americans who are rallying to our cause and preparing for the struggle ahead: FBI agents, intelligence officers, emergency response workers, public health authorities, state and local officials, our diplomats abroad, law enforcement teams who safeguard our security at home, and soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who defend us so far away.
Many others are asking: What can I do? Americans already contribute to the war on terror by their patience and patriotism, by their resolve and generosity.
Yet, I have one more task, one especially for America's children. I urge you to show the best of America, by directly helping the children of Afghanistan who are suffering from the oppression and misrule of their own government. Many are malnourished, many are starving.
Put a dollar in an envelope. Mark it, "America's Fund for Afghan Children," and send it here to the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, 20509-1600. Working with the American Red Cross, we will get that money to Afghan children in need.
This is something the children of America can do for the children of Afghanistan, even as we oppose the brutal Taliban regime. We will oppose their evil with firm justice, and we will answer their hatred with compassion for the Afghan people.
President Condemns Assassination
Statement by the Press Secretary
Assassination of Israeli Cabinet Minister
The President condemns in the strongest terms the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi today. He offers his condolences and those of the United States to Prime Minister Sharon, the Israeli government and people, and the family of Minister Zeevi. This despicable act is further evidence of the need to fight terrorism.
We have noted the statement of the Palestinian Authority condemning this assassination. This statement is appropriate, but words are not enough. It is time for the Palestinian Authority to take vigorous action against terrorists. The PFLP, which operates openly in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, has claimed responsibility for this heinous act. The PA must immediately find and bring to justice those who committed this murder, as well as those who would do harm to efforts to restore an atmosphere of calm and security for Israelis and Palestinians.
There have been positive steps recently by both Israel and the Palestinians to improve the situation. Israelis and Palestinians should continue down this path. The terrorists must not be allowed to declare victory. The parties should seize the moment to put an end to violence, implement the Tenet and Mitchell plans, and resume political dialogue. The entire world will support them in their efforts.
11:38 A.M. PDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all so much for that warm welcome. And I also want to thank the hundreds of our fellow Americans who lined the road coming in from the helicopter pad. It's really good to be here in California to report on our progress in the struggle against terror.
Now, there's the long version, and there's a short version. So I'm going to start with the short version: Our people are united; our government is determined; our cause is right; and justice will be done. (Applause.)
I want to thank Gerry Parsky. I want to thank all the folks who put on this -- organized this event. I appreciate so much the Governor, Gray Davis, coming, and all the elected officials.
I particularly want to say hello to the members of the Sacramento Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Seven. (Applause.) They may not remember, but I do -- I got to meet them in New York City. (Laughter.) They were part of an incredible outpouring of compassion and support from all across the country. I've got to tell you, I was amazed when I went into the building and they said they were from California. I said, this country is fabulous, when we've got people from California, from Sacramento, going all the way over to help their brothers and sisters at the World Trade Center. And I know you're just as proud of them as I am. And thank you all for being here. (Applause.)
This great state is known for its diversity -- people of all races, all religions, and all nationalities. They've come here to live a better life, to find freedom, to live in peace and security, with tolerance and with justice. When the terrorists attacked America, this is what they attacked. And when we defend America, this is what we defend. (Applause.)
We are fighting for the security of our people, for the success of our ideals, and for stability in large parts of the world. We fight evil people who are distorting and betraying a great religion to justify their murder. Our cause is just. We will not tire. We will not falter. And, my fellow Americans, we will not fail. (Applause.)
New York City and Washington, D.C. are 2,500 miles from here. Yet, for all of us, an American is an American, no matter where we live, no matter what our race, no matter how we pray. The people of New York and Washington are our neighbors and when terrorists attack them, they attack us all. And the terrorists are hearing from us all. (Applause.)
They are hearing from a compassionate nation -- a nation that sends food and medicine to starving people of Afghanistan; a nation whose children -- and I know we've got some here who have raised money at the elementary school -- whose children are sending their dollars to save the children of Afghanistan. (Applause.)
They are hearing from a tolerant nation, a nation that respects Islam and values our many Muslim citizens. They are hearing from a prayerful nation, a nation that prays to an almighty God for protection and for peace. And they are hearing from a patient and determined nation, a nation that will continue this war for as long as it takes to win. (Applause.)
Ours will be a broad campaign, fought on many fronts. It's a campaign that will be waged by day and by night, in the light and in the shadow, in battles you will see and battles you won't see. It's a campaign waged by soldiers and sailors, Marines and airmen; and also by FBI agents and law enforcement officials and diplomats and intelligence officers. It's a campaign that is being waged in distant lands, and a campaign being waged by our new Office of Homeland Security.
To keep us safe, we're working around the clock. We're on the lookout. We have questioned and detained more than 750 terror suspects and material witnesses in our country. And the broad coalition we put together has detained hundreds of suspected members of the al Qaeda organization. Our world coalition is working. We are taking apart the terrorist network, piece by piece. We're taking away their money by freezing their assets and choking off their incomes.
Our campaign will be difficult, and it's going to take time. But I can promise you this: It will be waged with determination, and it will be waged until we win. (Applause.) We will do whatever it takes to protect our country, protect the good American families. And we will do whatever it takes to punish those who have attacked us. (Applause.)
We'll do whatever it takes to defeat terror abroad, wherever it grows or wherever it hides. In Afghanistan, our Armed Forces are performing their duty with skill and success. We've destroyed many terrorist camps. We've damaged the Taliban's air defenses. We've seriously weakened all those in Afghanistan who wish to inflict harm on people anywhere in the world.
We're paving the way for friendly troops to defeat the Taliban and root out the al Qaeda parasites that the Taliban hosts and protects. We're enforcing the doctrine that says this: If you harbor the terrorists, you are guilty of terror. And like the terrorists, you will be held responsible. (Applause.)
We are not alone in this struggle. The war against terrorism is an international war, and we're fighting with a broad, broad coalition. Many nations around the world have joined with us in this cause, including nations from the Islamic world. Some countries contribute intelligence. Some help with law enforcement. Some join with military power, like our friends Great Britain. (Applause.) We are supported by the conscience of the world. And we are surrounding terrorists and their sponsors in a tightening net of justice.
Later today, I fly to Shanghai to meet with leaders from all round the Far East, and leaders whose nations touch the Pacific, including Russia and China. We'll be strengthening our cooperation in the war on terror. We'll strengthen the economic ties that bring growth and hope to the entire world.
The terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, and we will defeat them by expanding and encouraging world trade. (Applause.) In order to help me expand world trade, I've asked the Congress to give me what's called trade promotion authority -- the ability to seek America's interests around the world.
America will do whatever it takes to strengthen our security here at home. I've named former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to head the new Office of Homeland Security, to help expose and to frustrate the plans of terrorists. We've adopted new measures to protect our airlines, so Americans can fly with greater confidence.
We're responding rapidly to investigate anthrax reports and to quickly give preventative treatment to any who are exposed. Thousands of FBI agents are aggressively following every lead in our anti-terror campaign. And I urge Congress to act quickly to update our laws and procedures so we can better protect our country and punish those who threaten us.
The terrorists want us to stop our lives -- that's what they want. They want us to stop flying, and they want us to stop buying. But this great nation will not be intimidated by the evildoers.
Q Sir, is the White House under attack now? The latest anthrax case?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, there is no question that evildoers are continuing to try to harm America and Americans. Today, at a remote facility, we detected some anthrax. And just like at the Congress, our government is responding very quickly.
We're working hard to find out who is doing this and bring them to justice. We're also working to develop measures necessary to protect American citizens and postal workers. All of us around this table grieve when we hear the fact that a citizen has lost a life. Two postal workers passed away and our hearts are with their families, our prayers are with their loved ones. And the evil ones continue.
Q Is there any way, sir, that whatever contaminated that machine, whether it be a letter or a package, got into the West Wing? Or has all mail been cut off to prevent that from happening?
THE PRESIDENT: Ron, we're making sure that the West Wing, the White House is safe. Let me put it this way, I'm confident when I come to work tomorrow that I'll be safe.
Q Mr. President, have you or the Vice President been tested for anthrax? And what is your sense of this latest development, sir? For the most part, these attacks have been aimed at prominent people and prominent places. Is it your sense that the real purpose here is to sow fear and confusion in the American public?
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I don't have anthrax. It's hard for Americans to imagine how evil the people are who are doing this. We're having to adjust our thinking. We're a kind nation, we're a compassionate nation, we're a nation of strong values and we value life. And we're learning people in this world want to terrorize our country by trying to take life.
They won't succeed. This country is too strong to allow terrorists to affect the lives of our citizens. I understand people are concerned, and they should be. But they need to know our government is doing everything we possibly can to protect the lives of our citizens -- everything. We're waging an aggressive campaign overseas to bring al Qaeda to justice.
They won't succeed. This country is too strong to allow terrorists to affect the lives of our citizens. I understand people are concerned, and they should be. But they need to know our government is doing everything we possibly can to protect the lives of our citizens -- everything. We're waging an aggressive campaign overseas to bring al Qaeda to justice.
Today, I've -- in working with the Postmaster General -- got our OMB to allocate $175 million for immediate relief, immediate safety at post offices around the country. This is what he requested, he thinks this is what is necessary to assure the post office employees that they will be as safe as possible. And we're going to spend that money.
Our health care workers are working around the clock to help people in need and I will tell you that I think not only are they doing a good job, I think they probably saved a lot of lives by their quick action. And I'm proud of how quickly and how hard they're working.
The object of terrorism is to try to force us to change our way of life, is to force us to retreat, is to force us to be what we're not. And that's -- they're going to fail. They're simply going to fail. I want to assure my fellow Americans that our determination -- I say "our," I'm talking about Republicans and Democrats here in Washington -- has never been stronger to succeed in bringing terrorists to justice, protecting our homeland. Because what we do today will affect our children and grandchildren. This is our calling. This is the time for us to act in a bold way, and we are doing just that.
Q Mr. President, are you now operating on the assumption that the September 11th attacks and the anthrax attacks, anthrax letters, are linked? And if I may shift gears for a second and ask about your meeting with Foreign Minister Peres. Would an Israeli failure to withdraw from the Palestinian areas make it harder to keep Arab states in the international anti-terrorism --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I told Shimon Peres that, first of all, our country and the people of our country are saddened by the fact that a Cabinet Minister was assassinated. It's just unacceptable behavior. I also told him that we continue to call upon Chairman Arafat to do everything he can to bring the killer to justice. It's very important that he arrest the person who did this, or those who did this act, and continue to arrest those who would disrupt and harm Israeli citizens. He must -- he must show the resolve necessary to bring peace to the region.
And, finally, I did express our concern about troops in Palestinian territory, and I would hope the Israelis would move their troops as quickly as possible.
Q Did you get any satisfaction?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, he's a very thoughtful man. He's a friend, a friend of America's, and I listened very carefully.
Your first question was?
Q The link between September 11th and --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we don't have any hard evidence. But there's no question that anybody who would mail anthrax with the attempt to harm American citizens is a terrorist. And there's no question that al Qaeda is a terrorist organization. So it wouldn't put it past me that there -- you know, it wouldn't surprise me that they're involved with it. But I have no direct evidence.
I do know that this country is strong enough to endure, to endure the evil ones. And we're making great progress on the ground in Afghanistan, and we'll bring the al Qaeda to justice and we'll -- we're doing everything we can to find out who mailed these letters.
Q Mr. President, have you been tested for anthrax?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't have anthrax.
Q So you've been tested, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't have it.
Q Governor, if I can follow on that question more specifically. Is what makes the information credible that it came from Osama bin Laden or his operatives? And secondly, before you answer that, with the alert, if, as everyone hopes, nothing happens, don't you then do something for a second time that alarms people unnecessarily, and B, may, in effect, create an atmosphere where people think, God, they keep telling us to be ready, and we're ready, and nothing happens -- who knows what's real and what's not -- and, therefore, the level of preparedness is not as high as you'd like?
GOVERNOR RIDGE: Well, it's certainly -- the story that a lot of people allude to is the one you tell your children from time to time, the little boy who cried wolf. And it's one I've told my kids over the years. And I can appreciate the concern. But I do think that right now, given the war that we're confronting against terrorism on two fronts, that when, on occasion, when we have credible multiple sources suggesting that America will be a target, it is still better to perhaps reiterate the previous alert. I'm not too sure too many groups or agencies or individuals were able to stand down in the intervening two weeks, but to reiterate it.
Look, you get that kind of convergence of information from credible sources, and you have two options. You have an option to remain silent, or you have an option to have General Ashcroft and Director Mueller put out the alert. And we chose as little -- we would like to have been able to divulge more information, but there really wasn't any more to divulge. We decided the second option, and that's just tell the American public.
And what I have to say is, this is a condition of alert, to your point, that we're going to have to maintain. We have to be on guard for the foreseeable future. But I don't think that we should be discouraged when the information suggests that it may occur at a particular -- this was at a particular time frame, within the next week or so -- that we just get everybody thinking about it again.
Q How about the first one point, Governor? I'm sorry, can I just follow on the first point, whether is what makes this credible that it's coming from Osama bin Laden or his operatives? The President said yesterday in response to the question I asked him that indeed -- he suggested bin Laden is still active.
GOVERNOR RIDGE: Well, I think the analysts would conclude that the sources were credible because of their connections with the terrorists that we're trying to fight. Where they're located right now remains to be seen. But again, you've got people gathering information from around the world, from a variety of sources. And its credibility we leave to the experts. But I think you can fairly assume that the experts view this tied in -- this information somehow related to al Qaeda or bin Laden, else we wouldn't have ramped it up.
Afghanistan is the first overseas front in this war against terror. And I'm pleased to report the military is performing really well. In a short period of time, most of the country now is in the hands of our allies and friends. We've rescued the humanitarian aid workers. We've destroyed the Taliban military. They're in total confusion. The government that used to hate women, and not educate its children, and disrupt humanitarian supplies, and destroy religious symbols of other religions is now in rout.
And we've got al Qaeda on the run, too. Now, they think they can hide, but they can't hide for long. And they think they can run, but they can't run forever, because we will patiently, diligently, pursue them until they are brought to justice. (Applause.)
Q What's your definition of the mission being complete in Afghanistan, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: In Afghanistan? Well, Taliban gone, the country secure, the country stable, that al Qaeda cells rounded up, Taliban fighters brought to justice. The over 6,000 troops, prisoners being held -- prisoners of war being held by our allies interrogated, finger-printing. I mean, there's a lot to do. And the American people just must understand when I said that we need to be patient, that I meant it. And we're going to be there for a while. And I don't know the exact moment when we leave, David, but it's not until this mission is complete.
Q What's your reaction to the bin Laden tape. Are you afraid he's alluded the manhunt.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, the tape, yes. I didn't watch it all. I saw snippets of it on TV. You know, it's -- who knows when it was made. Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy who, three months ago, was in control of a county. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run.
Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all.
So we don't know whether he's in a cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know. There's all kinds of reports and all kinds of speculation. But one thing we know is that he's not in charge of Afghanistan anymore. He's not in charge of the -- he's not the parasite that invaded the host, the Taliban. We know that for certain. And we also know that we're on the hunt, and he knows that we're on the hunt. And I like our position better than his.
In terms of whether or not the tribunals will be able to render the justice necessary, that -- I spoke to the Secretary of Defense today about the story in the newspaper. Evidently, somebody in our government wanted to show off to his family, or her family, in between Christmas and New Year's by leaking information in the press that he or she thought would be helpful to the government. The truth of the matter is the Secretary of Defense hadn't even seen the report that was on the front page of America's newspapers.
So my answer to your question, Scott, is I know that the leaked report is preliminary, that they're still in discussions about how best to bring justice. But one thing is for certain, that whatever the procedures are for the military tribunals, our system will be more fair than the system of bin Laden and the Taliban. That is for certain. The prisoners that we capture will be given a heck of a lot better chance in court than those citizens of ours who were in the World Trade Center or in the Pentagon were given by Mr. bin Laden.
David. Good to see you.
Q Good to see you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
Q Can you say with confidence now that Osama bin Laden in no longer in a position to mastermind another terrorist attack against the United States or our allies? And related to that, you talked about 2002 being a year of war. What can you say to prepare the American people for what that vision is, what they need to be prepared for, as compared to what they've seen in Afghanistan?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope 2002 is a year of peace. But I am also realistic, and I know full well that bin Laden and his cronies would like to harm America again, bin Laden and his cronies would like to harm our allies. How do I know that? I receive intelligence reports on a daily basis that indicates that that's his desires. And therefore, the United States must be vigilant, must make sure we continue to focus on our homeland security measures, must disrupt, must use our intelligence-gathering network to prevent the enemy from attacking.
And so, while I hope 2002 is a year of peace, I'm realistic. As to whether or not bin Laden is in control of some network, who knows? The thing we're certain about is that he's on the run, that he's hiding in caves, if hiding at all. And the other thing I'm certain about is we will bring him to justice. I don't know whether it's going to be tomorrow, but Tommy will tell you that I haven't said, Tommy, get him tomorrow. I said, just get him. And we will. We will bring him to justice.
We don't know, David, whether or not he's given any orders to any of his soldiers, but we take nothing for granted. And so our country still remains on alert, and we're actively looking for anybody who would harm America.
The shoe bomber was a case in point, where the country has been on alert. A stewardess on an American Airlines flight -- or a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight was vigilant, saw something amiss, and responded. It's an indication that the culture of America has shifted to one of alertness. And I'm grateful for the flight attendant's response, as I'm sure the passengers on that airplane. But we've got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly.
Q Mr. President, do you think that India and Pakistan are sliding toward war?
THE PRESIDENT: One of the things that we discussed today in the national security conference, and I discussed yesterday with members of my national security team, was the India and Pakistan issue. Colin Powell has spoke to both sides today, urging restraint, urging calm. I was pleased to -- I'm pleased to note that President Musharraf has announced the arrest of 50 extreme terrorists -- extremists or terrorists. And I hope India takes note of that, that the President is responding forcefully and actively to bring those who would harm others to justice.
The war on terror is not just an American war on terrorists, it's a civilized government war on terror that we're talking about here. But my government and my administration is working actively to bring some calm in the region, to hopefully convince both sides to stop the escalation of force. And as I say, I'm pleased that President Musharraf is responding to the Indian requests to round up those who would do harm to others and incarcerate them, which he did.
President Condemns Pakistan Terrorist Attack
Statement by the President
I am outraged by the terrorist attack that took place today in Islamabad, Pakistan against innocent civilians. I strongly condemn them as acts of murder that cannot be tolerated by any person of conscience nor justified by any cause. On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy, and I wish a full and fast recovery to those injured. We will work closely with the government of Pakistan to ensure those responsible for this terrorist attack face justice.
Our progress -- our progress is measured day by day, terrorist by terrorist. We recently apprehended one of al Qaeda's top leaders, a man named Abu Zabaydah. He was spending a lot of time as one of the top operating officials of al Qaeda, plotting and planning murder. He's not plotting and he's not planning anymore. (Applause.) He's under lock and key, and we're going to give him some company. (Applause.) We're hunting down the killers one by one.
We're learning a lot about al Qaeda operations and their plans. As our enemies have fled their hideouts in Afghanistan, they left some things behind. We found laptop computers, drawings and maps. And through them, we're gaining a clearer picture of the terrorist targets and their methods.
The world changed on that terrible September morning, and since that day, we have changed the world. (Applause.) Before September the 11th, Afghanistan served as the home base of al Qaeda, which trained and deployed thousands of killers to set up terror cells around the world, including our own country. Because we acted, Afghanistan is a rising democracy. (Applause.) I don't know if you know this or not, but over 10 million people have registered to vote in the upcoming Afghan presidential elections. (Applause.) Because we acted, many young girls now go to school for the first time in Afghanistan. (Applause.) Because we acted, Afghanistan is an ally in the war on terror, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.)
Before September the 11th, Libya was spending millions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Today, because America and our allies sent a clear and easy-to-understand message, the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.)
Before September the 11th, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America. He was defying the world. He was firing weapons at American pilots who were enforcing the world's sanctions. He had pursued and he had used weapons of mass destruction. He harbored terrorists. He attacked his neighbors. He subsidized the families of suicide bombers. He and his henchmen murdered thousands of his own citizens. He was a source of great instability in the world's most volatile region. I saw a threat.
After September the 11th -- one of the lessons of September the 11th, an important lesson that this country must never forget is that we must take threats seriously before they fully materialize. (Applause.)
Originally posted by TrueLies
That's all i'm saying.. i'm glad he gone he's a piece of # but if yoru going to remove someone from power let us know the truth the first time around..
Have facts beforehand, don't make up facts as you go along or already made up your decision.. Now we have people who think this war in iraq is unjustified and wrong..
See what lying does?? It creates a mess...
Originally posted by Herman
The reason we didn't take out Saddam the first time is all around us in history books and probably news reports. The most plausible reason is that most likely, someone convinced Bush Sr. that sanctions against Saddam would work, instead of waging a full scale war on him. Maybe he knew the mess he would be getting into if he tried to get rid of Saddam (As Bush is doing now), and didn't want to risk his popularity. Maybe he knew that he, alone, didn't have time to do it. Clinton knew this as well. But the Bush we have now is different. He apparently doesn't care as much about polls, but more about finishing the job his father didn't finish and removing Saddam from power, which he did. It's obvious that there are terrorists in Iraq, who want Americans dead. You don't think they, in any way, had any prior knowlege or anything to do with the 9/11 attacks?
Originally posted by MajorCee
Lying also plays a useful part in confusing the
enemy. It is not smart to tell on the six o'clock
news what your strategy is. Bush has deliberately
withheld information or glossed over very generally
at times in order to not give away strategy.
The fighting in Afghanistan is a good example of
this. Al Qaeda had as a goal to pull the US into
a prolonged guerrilla war in Afghanistan. Bush
never did acknowledge that strategy to the public.
What he did do, was to avoid that strategy which
was the brain child of Al Qaeda. By not sending
a large land army into Afghanistan, he avoided
a replay of the Russians efforts in Afghanistan.
Originally posted by Herman
You make a very good point. A lot of people just expect Bush to tell us every little thing he's going to do. "We're going to pull out on March 27th". What do you think the enemy is going to do? They're going to wait until we pull out, then do what they do best... A lot of people also make the mistake in thinking that they're as well versed in war strategy and foreign policy than our president and government. These "Arm Chair Generals" can criticize all they want, but if they were put in the situation, would have no idea what to do.
Meeting between hijacker, Iraqi agent discounted
In a second staff report released Wednesday, the commission staff said that Mohamed Atta, the pilot of one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center and leader of the 19 hijackers, never met with Iraqi agents in Prague, Czech Republic. That purported meeting also has been cited as evidence of a possible al-Qaida connection to Iraq.
“We do not believe that such a meeting occurred,” the report said.
The release of the reports came as the 10-member commission opened its final public hearing on the attacks. The hearing, being held Wednesday and Thursday, will cover the Sept. 11 plot and the emergency response by the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. air defenses. Commissioners say they will delve into the actions of the nation’s top leaders during critical moments of the attacks.
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday that Osama bin Laden met with a top Iraqi official in 1994 but found “no credible evidence” of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States
The report said that bin Laden explored possible cooperation with Saddam at the urging of allies in Sudan eager to protect their own ties to Iraq, even though the al-Qaida leader had previously provided support for “anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan.”
The royal family of Saudi Arabia donated more than $4 billion to the Palestinians between 1998 and 2003 to help finance offensive terrorist operations against Israel, a new report says.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington, D.C-based group that monitors Mideast media, the House of Saud's support has gone to "'Mujahideen fighters' and 'families of martyrs'" killed in operations against the Jewish state.
"US Secretary of State Colin Powell says there is "no hard evidence" to suggest that Iraqi stocks of weapons of mass destruction were hidden in neighboring Syria before the U.S. and coalition forces attacked last year."
"Saddam’s primary goal from 1991 to 2003 was to have UN sanctions lifted, while maintaining the security of the Regime. He sought to balance the need to cooperate with UN inspections—to gain support for lifting sanctions—with his intention to preserve Iraq’s intellectual capital for WMD with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face. Indeed, this remained the goal to the end of the Regime, as the starting of any WMD program, conspicuous or otherwise, risked undoing the progress achieved in eroding sanctions and jeopardizing a political end to the embargo and international monitoring."