THE BLACKENED WHITE HOUSE
compiled by Dee Finney
I think this dream is probably about a symbolic 'white house' problem, not that it is going to be bombed out by a physical nuclear bomb.
I dreamed that I was walking through the street, walking in 6" of slush and ice.
Across the street I saw the 'white house' totally blackened with the front facade blown off but standing a couple hundred feet in front of the main part of the building. The whole thing was black. I could see the entire inside of the building was blown out and blackened as well, yet still recognizable by the pillars holding it up.
While I was watching I could see white snow/ice form on the front of the blackness and fall off, melting in the streets, then ice up again and again fall off, melting in the streets. Yet, the whole white house remained blackened.
Men dressed in black were in the area below it scurrying around trying to save it. Too late.
End of dream
I think that the 'white house' as an administration is going to be blackened over the war with Iraq - starting with the impeachment of the President based on starting the war with 'LIES'.
Watch and see.
|There were other dreams mentioned about bridges and buildings
on fire and a very prophetic dream about the Statue of Liberty.
In that dream, the person saw the Statue of Liberty with her torch and arm missing, her face charred black. When the person woke up, they turned to the chapter of the Bible that they had been reading. The first verse that came to their attention was Job 38:15: "From the wicked their light shall be taken away, and the high arm shall be broken."
THE LIES BEGIN
Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney - August 26, 2002
Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush - September 12, 2002
If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Ari Fleischer - December 2, 2002
We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
Ari Fleischer - January 9, 2003
Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
George W. Bush - January 28, 2003
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
Colin Powell - February 5, 2003
We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein
recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons --
George Bush - February 8, 2003
So has the strategic decision been made to disarm
Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad?
Colin Powell - March 8, 2003
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments
leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess
George Bush - March 17, 2003
Well, there is no question that we have evidence
and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and
Ari Fleisher - March 21, 2003
There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein
possesses weapons of mass destruction.
Gen. Tommy Franks - March 22, 2003
I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman - March 23, 2003
One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark - March 22, 2003
We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
Donald Rumsfeld - March 30, 2003
Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.
Neocon scholar Robert Kagan - April 9, 2003
I think you have always heard, and you continue
to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed,
Ari Fleischer - April 10, 2003
We are learning more as we interrogate or have
discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure,
George Bush - April 24, 2003
There are people who in large measure have information
that we need . .
Donald Rumsfeld - April 25, 2003
We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
George Bush - May 3, 2003
I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.
Colin Powell - May 4, 2003
I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld - May 4, 2003
I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons
program of Saddam Hussein --
George W. Bush - May 6, 2003
U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
Condoleeza Rice - May 12, 2003
I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years
ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne - May 13, 2003
Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that
Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical.
Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps - May 21, 2003
Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff - May 26, 2003
They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
Donald Rumsfeld - May 27, 2003
For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue,
weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq)
Paul Wolfowitz - May 28, 2003
Quotes shamelessly stolen from
|CIA ADMITS MISTAKE IN BUSH SPEECH
Tenet: Agency was wrong to allow uranium comment
by David Westphal and Michael Bold
July 12, 2003
WASHINGTON - CIA Director George Tenet acknowledged Friday that his agency made a mistake in allowing President Bush to charge in his State of the Union speech that Iraq's Saddam Hussein tried to buy nuclear fuel in Africa.
"Let me be clear about several things right up front," Tenet said in a two-page statement. "First, CIA approved the president's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And Third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound."
Tenet's statement came at the end of a tumultuous day for the administration. It began with several news organizations reporting that the CIA tried both before and after the Bush speech to persuade British intelligence units to abandon their report about an attempted uranium purchase by Saddam.
During a stop on his African trip Friday, Bush said in Uganda that the allegation was "cleared by the intelligence agencies," and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice put the onus directly on Tenet.
"If the CIA, the director of central intelligence, had said, "Take this out of the speech,' It would have been gone," Rice said in a long exchange with reporters aboard Bush's plane as he headed for Uganda. "We have a high standard for the president's speeches."
In his statement, Tenet said, "These 16 words should never have been included in this text written for the president." "This was a mistake," he said.
The White House acknowledged earlier this week that Bush should not have claimed, in his annual address to Congress in January, that Saddam 'recently sough significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush cited British intelligence as his source, but the White House aid subsequent checking had concluded that the claim was based partly on forged documents.
Had White House officials known then about the forgery, said Rice, "we wouldn't have put this in the president's speech." And if Tenet had an problems with the claim, she said, "he did not make them known."
Question had been raised
In the days before the State of the Union address, Tenet said, National Security Council officials had raised questions about the African uranium intelligence, and some of the language was changed. In the end, he said, agency officials agreed that the statement was technically correct - that the British government had indeed reported that Iraq sought uranium from Africa - even though the evidence was inconclusive.
"This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address," Tenet's statement said. "This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed."
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, held Tenet to blame.
"The director of central intelligence is the principal adviser to the president on intelligence matters," Roberts said. "He should have told the president. He failed. He failed to do so,"
On Capitol Hill, Democrats demanded further explanation.
In a letter to the White House, 16 House Democrats said the new revelation raises "disturbing and serious questions about the credibility of the information your administration presented to the Congress and the American people about the nature and scope of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. John McCain agreed on the need for an investigation. "We need to have an investigation, find out who was responsible, and fire him." the Arizona Republican told CNN.
War claims at heart of debate.
The issue of the president's pre-war claims about Iraq's possession of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons has gained traction in recent weeks because of the inability of American forces, in the wake of their military victory to find evidence of the alleged weapons.
White House officials contend that the weapons will be found and that, in any event, the rightness of the president's decision to invade Iraq has been overwhelmingly proven.
After a meeting with Ugandan President Yowerii Museveni, Bush said his State of the Union speech "detailed to the American people the dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein regime. And my government too the appropriate response to those dangers. And as a result,t he world is going to be more secure and more peaceful."
Rice emphasized that Bush "absolutely" retained confidence in Tenet as CIA director and said, "I'm not blaming anyone here."
But she repeatedly acknowledged that the nuclear fuel claim should not have appeared in the speech and that it was Tenet's responsibility to raise a red flag about any inaccuracy.
Asked on CNN whether the White House was letting Tenet and the CIA take the fall. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del, said, "Well it sure looks like that's being set up right now." Biden is the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Rice expressed outrage that some are questioning the president's motives.
"I can assure you that the president did not knowingly, before the American people, say something that we thought to be false," she said. "It's just outrageous that anybody would claim that."
Democrats called for tenet to appear before Congress to explain the CIA's actions.
"That the CIA knew the uranium allegation was patently false and allowed the president of the United States to stand before Congress and the American people and use it as a reason to go to war is absolutely shocking," said Rep. ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek.
If Bush were unaware that the CIA had raised questions about the report, she said, "that exposes perhaps an even more startling problem ... there are still glaring holes in the intelligence that's being used to protect our national security."
Tenet, who was nominated by President Clinton, has been CIA director since 1997. When Bush took office in 2000, he chose to retain Tenet.
|Bob Graham Says Bush Could Be Impeachment Candidate
Senator Says State Of Union Line Could Be Cause
NBC 6 News Team
POSTED: 7:10 p.m. EDT July 17, 2003
Florida Sen. Bob Graham suggested Thursday that President George W. Bush could be a candidate for impeachment.
Graham, running for president himself, says if Bush knew a statement in his State of the Union speech was inaccurate, he would be guilty of misleading the American people in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Democrats are focusing on a line in the speech in which the president cited British intelligence to suggest that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from an African country.
Copyright 2003 by NBC6.net. All rights reserved.
|With Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff
For the story behind the story...
July 18, 2003 4 p.m. EDT
Graham: Bush Impeachable
Democrats are really outdoing themselves at this year's NAACP convention.
First, three Dem candidates angered the conferees by not showing up. Then Sen. Joe Lieberman said if he were elected, he might put the non-lawyer NAACP President Kweisi Mfume on the Supreme Court. Now Sen. Bob Graham has managed to anger every clear-thinking voter in America.
'Deceit,' That Five-Letter Word
Asked if the president lied, the confused Graham told reporters: "I would not use the three-letter word. I would use the five-letter word: deceit. That he deceived the American people by allowing into a State of the Union speech at a critical point when he was making the case for war with Iraq, a statement that he either knew was wrong or should have known was wrong."
He was asked, if Democrats were in control of the House, would he support impeachment for President Bush?
He replied, "If the standard of impeachment that the Republicans set for Bill Clinton - a personal, consensual relationship - was the basis for impeachment, would not a president who knowingly deceived the American people about something as important as whether to go to war meet the standard of impeachment?
"If in fact we went to war under false pretenses that is a very serious charge ... If the standard of impeachment is the one the House Republicans used against Bill Clinton, this clearly comes within that standard," he said.
Of course, the reason ex-prez Clinton was impeached is because he lied under oath to a grand jury, not that Graham or any other Democrat would want anyone to remember that little item.
And, the reason we went to war was decidedly NOT because of one little line in the State of the Union address that the British maintain is true - not that Democrats want anyone to know that, either.
Graham later issued a statement saying he was not calling for Bush's impeachment, adding that if Bush had misled the American public he would pay the price for it in the 2004 presidential election.
|Lawmaker sees grounds for Bush impeachment
By Sridhar Krishnaswami
Washington JULY 18, 2003. Some may consider it a long shot a very long one at that and others might say it is in the realm of possibility, but at least one prominent Democrat has openly called for the impeachment of the President, George W. Bush, should it turn out that he went to war under false pretences.
The Democratic presidential hopeful for 2004, Bob Graham of Florida, has told reporters during a visit to New Hampshire that if the President had lied about the reasons for going to war with Iraq, this would be "more serious'' than the former President, Bill Clinton, lying under oath in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
"If in fact, we went to war under false pretences, that is a very serious charge'', Mr. Graham said."If the standard of impeachment is the one the House of Representatives used against Bill Clinton, this clearly comes within that standard'', he maintained.
Mr. Clinton was impeached in the House of Representatives but was cleared in the Senate. Mr. Graham is later said to have issued a statement saying that he was not calling for an impeachment of the President and perceived the issue as largely an academic one.
But he said that if indeed Mr. Bush had misled the American public, he would pay the price in November 2004, at the time of the Presidential elections.
Democrats are beginning to address the Iraq issue in a high profile manner and have even threatened to hold public hearings on the subject of intelligence estimates leading up to the war. Some lawmakers believe that only a full fledged investigation will get to the bottom of the whole thing. The big issue is whether the White House tailored intelligence assessments to suit its line of thinking.
At the core of the ongoing flap is those 16 words that Mr. Bush had in his State of the Union Address this January in which he said that the British Government had come to the conclusion that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa.
The Iraq-Niger link on uranium had been seen as weak on intelligence, eventually turning out to be based on forgeries.
Officials in the Central Intelligence Agency had apparently conveyed this to the White House at the time of drafting the President's speech, but the reference to Iraq and Africa stayed in the final text.
The furore over the so-called Niger connection is only part of the ongoing Iraq interest on Capitol Hill.
Senior lawmakers want to know what kind of intelligence estimates the administration was privy to and whether any attempt was made to tailor these assessments to suit a particular point of view.
This, many lawmakers contend, is especially relevant to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, for four months into the conflict, American and allied forces have stumbled upon nothing significant or meaningful.
Members of Congress also want to know if there is an exit strategy in Iraq, particularly in the context of the growing number of attacks on American soldiers.
The Pentagon on Thursday said the combat deaths in Iraq reached 147 or the same number of troops that were killed in the first Gulf War.
The number includes the 32 who have been killed since May 1 when the President declared that the major combat was over.
|Iraq answers do not add up
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
THE WHITE HOUSE has told us "to move on" and forget that the president used questionable evidence to persuade Congress that Iraq's nuclear weapons program represented an imminent threat to our national security.
But the country is not going to move on, despite the president's nsistence that the matter "is closed." Shifting strategies at damage control, moreover, have only elevated the significance of many unanswered questions.
Last Tuesday, the White House conceded, "knowing all that we know now, the reference to Iraq's attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not have been included in the State of the Union Speech." In the past two days, however, senior administration officials and the president have defended the validity of the intelligence, but said it cannot be shared by the British.
As part of the damage control, the president and his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, have tried to cast blame on CIA Director George Tenet. But Tenet has merely taken responsibility for his subordinate's approval of Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley's decision to include the Niger-uranium statement in the president's speech. Tenet also let it be known that he had personally urged Hadley to prevent this suspect "evidence" from entering an October speech given by the president. So, Tenet both took responsibility and distanced himself at the same time.
Now, Bush's closest advisers need to tell us exactly what they knew about this evidence. It was Vice President Dick Cheney's question about the Iraqi-Niger connection, after all, that sent former ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger in February 2002 to find out if the uranium story was true. When Wilson returned, he reported his negative findings to Cheney's office.
Despite this information, Cheney repeatedly asserted in August 2002 that Saddam Hussein "had resumed his effort to acquire nuclear weapons." What role, if any, did the vice president play in discussions concerning the president's speech?
Since Hadley, Rice's deputy, insisted that the uranium connection be included in the president's speech, what role, if any, did Rice play in vetting the president's speech?
There are many other questions: Where is the evidence supporting the administration's statements about Iraq's biological and chemical weapons, stockpiles of Scud missiles, and ties to al Qaeda?
An outraged Wilson has told the Washington Post, "It really comes down to the administration misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification for going to war."
Keep in mind that many members of Congress relied on such evidence when they voted for the resolution that authorized an invasion of Iraq. The White House answers to the questions about how forged documents became a "smoking gun" in the case for war continue to be less than satisfying. At stake is the legitimacy of a pre-emptive war and the credibility of this administration.
No, Mr. President, this matter is far from closed.
|For Immediate Release
July 17, 2003 Contact: Press Office
CHENEY ENERGY TASK FORCE DOCUMENTS FEATURE MAP OF IRAQI OILFIELDS
Commerce & State Department Reports to Task Force Detail Oilfield & Gas Projects, Contracts & Exploration
Saudi Arabian & UAE Oil Facilities Profiled As Well
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watchs Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at: www.JudicialWatch.org.
The Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) documents likewise feature a map of each countrys oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the projects, costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date.
Judicial Watch has been seeking these documents under FOIA since April 19, 2001. Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Department of Energy, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0981) when the government failed to comply with the provisions of the FOIA law. U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Friedman ordered the government to produce the documents on March 5, 2002.
The documents were produced in response to Judicial Watchs on-going efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in government on behalf of the American people. Judicial Watch aggressively pursues those goals by making FOIA requests and seeking access to public information concerning government operations. When the government fails to abide by these sunshine lawsJudicial Watch files lawsuits in order to obtain the requested information and to hold responsible government officials accountable.
These documents show the importance of the Energy Task Force and why its operations should be open to the public,stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
|CNN AND THE 16 WORDS
CNN SUNDAY NIGHT
Nation's Capitol Has Become Pressure Cooker in Summer Heat
Aired July 13, 2003 - 22:00 ET
SOPHIA CHOI, ANCHOR: But we begin tonight in the nation's capitol, which has become a pressure cooker in the summer heat. The main ingredients in this political stew are the war in Iraq, spiced with a few dubious words in the president's State of the Union address.
The aroma now permeates the halls of Congress where critics, including many Democrats, are more than eager to stir the pot.
Here's CNN's White House correspondent Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Little more than 12 hours after the president's Saturday night return from Africa, his top advisers hit the airwaves, attempting damage control over these 16 words.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
BASH: The focus, say Bush officials, on one dubious line in the State of the Union misses the big picture. The war was justified.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NAT'L SECURITY ADVISER: It is 16 words. And it has become an enormously overblown issue. The president of the United States did not go to war because of a question of whether or not Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa. He took the American people and American forces to war because this was a bloody tyrant, who for 12 years had defied the international community.
BASH: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice denies intelligence was manipulated, standing by the claim Saddam Hussein was trying to reconstitute his nuclear program.
Democrats and some Republicans say that's besides the point. Despite CIA Director George Tenet's mea culpa, they are still demanding answers from the White House.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: Well, as far as the 16 words, we all know words have meaning.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: The 16 words are deeply, deeply troubling to me. And the way in which the administration has responded in the last few days raises more questions than it answers. BASH: With some 80 U.S. troops killed in Iraq since the president declared major combat over, and polls showing Americans increasingly impatient about the post-war effort, Democrats, especially those who want Mr. Bush's job, are not letting this go, calling it a credibility issue.
SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the facts show that that was not true, either because of bad intelligence or intelligence that was politicalized, that will be a serious condemnation of the United States to the world and to the American people.
BASH: But top Bush officials point out that while U.S. intelligence may not be able to back the claim, the British still are.
DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The British still think that's accurate. It may be. There's - no one's demonstrated that it's inaccurate. The only thing we know is that it didn't rise to the level of a presidential speech.
BASH (on camera): As much as Bush officials want to call this matter case closed, it's almost sure to remain open this coming week, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, already under fire in his own country about pre-war intelligence, visits Washington.
Dana Bash, CNN, the White House.
CHOI: Well, the current political drama has not hurt the president in the polls. A Gallup survey taken after controversy surfaced shows Mr. Bush's approval rating remains strong at 62 percent.
As you can see, that figure has remained fairly steady over the past several months. It was at its highest, 71 percent just after the fall of Baghdad. It has since slipped about 9 points.
Well, did the White House oversell its justification for the war in Iraq? That question and whether President Bush had critically damaged his credibility is at the core of this week's cover story in "TIME" magazine.
"TIME's" White House correspondent Matt Cooper joins us from Washington to discuss this in greater detail.
Thanks for joining us.
MATT COOPER, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Thanks, Sophia.
CHOI: So the State of the Union is the most carefully worded speech of the entire year. So how in the world did these 16 words get into the president's speech?
COOPER: Well, it's an incredible story. And we try to lay it out in this week's "TIME." I mean, basically, you've had some, you know, officials, you know, constantly pressing to get this thing in. And others saying, are you sure it's okay? Are you sure it's okay? And then still pressing. And eventually, it made its way in, in this kind of odd forum in which it's credited to the British, but we don't sort of own up to, you know, whether we think it's true or not.
And of course, it turned out intelligence agencies didn't think it was true.
CHOI: Well, CIA Director George Tenet was skeptical about the link. So who, then, was pushing to get this into the speech?
COOPER: Well, it's, you know, we're still, you know, trying to figure out exactly who wanted it in. I mean, it's clear that the - that as we lay out in our story, there was a member of the National Security Council in the White House who said, well look, you know, it's - let's just lay it at the feet of the British. I mean, they've reported this. Can't we just do it that way? And at that point, the CIA, you know, stopped raising alarms about it, and so it got in.
CHOI: In the meantime, though, Tenet is taking the blame for I guess approving it in the speech. Do you think that his job is safe in light of that?
COOPER: Well, I tend to think so, but you know, you never know how these things will play out. I'm sorry, I'm getting a little feedback in my earpiece. But you know, the president's expressed confidence in him. I don't think there's quite a firestorm among Democrats to go after Tenet. You know, I don't think they're blaming him, so much as they're blaming the White House.
So you know, I can see him, you know, hanging in there a bit longer. But he's been in the job six years under President Clinton and President Bush. And you know, I wouldn't be shocked if he was gone in six months.
CHOI: Well, let me ask you this. Where did this link originate? I mean, I know that the administration had researched it after the fact, but where initially did it originate?
COOPER: Well, it's - the chain of custody is a little confused here. We know that the British, we got it from the British. The British got it from the Italians. I mean, it's almost like a joke or something. The British got it from the Italians. Where the Italians got it, we're not entirely sure. You know, was it somebody who walked in and gave it to them? Did they get it one or another? We're not entirely sure how it began, and who forged some of these documents that got this whole thing rolling. So there are still mysteries here.
CHOI: All right, Matt Cooper, we look forward to reading the entire article right here. I've got the magazine, "TIME" magazine: Untruth and Consequences. It's the cover story. Thanks so much.
COOPER: Thanks, Sophia.
CHOI: The day Saddam Hussein fell from power has been declared a national holiday now in Iraq. That was one of the first orders of business today for Iraq's new governing council.
CNN's Nic Robertson takes a look at the council's composition and what kind of role it will have in the new Iraq.
|State of the Union Address by President George W. Bush [Transcript]
The White House ^ | 28 January 2003 | President George W. Bush
Posted on 01/28/2003 8:53 PM PST by PhiKapMom
State of the Union Address by President George W. Bush
The U.S. Capitol
9:01 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.
You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform domestic programs vital to our country; we have the opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared, and we will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people. (Applause.)
In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can be confident. In a whirlwind of change and hope and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is strong. (Applause.)
This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations. (Applause.) We will confront them with focus and clarity and courage.
During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of our public schools, we achieved historic education reform -- which must now be carried out in every school and in every classroom, so that every child in America can read and learn and succeed in life. (Applause.) To protect our country, we reorganized our government and created the Department of Homeland Security, which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation. (Applause.) To insist on integrity in American business we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account. (Applause.)
Some might call this a good record; I call it a good start. Tonight I ask the House and Senate to join me in the next bold steps to serve our fellow citizens.
Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job. (Applause.) After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and stock market declines, our economy is recovering -- yet it's not growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment rising, our nation needs more small businesses to open, more companies to invest and expand, more employers to put up the sign that says, "Help Wanted." (Applause.)
Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best and fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place. (Applause.)
I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this year. (Applause.) And under my plan, as soon as I sign the bill, this extra money will start showing up in workers' paychecks. Instead of gradually reducing the marriage penalty, we should do it now. (Applause.) Instead of slowly raising the child credit to $1,000, we should send the checks to American families now. (Applause.)
The tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes -- and it will help our economy immediately: 92 million Americans will keep, this year, an average of almost $1,000 more of their own money. A family of four with an income of $40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 to $45 per year. (Applause.) Our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.
You, the Congress, have already passed all these reductions, and promised them for future years. If this tax relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years from now, it is even better for Americans today. (Applause.)
We should also strengthen the economy by treating investors equally in our tax laws. It's fair to tax a company's profits. It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same profits. (Applause.) To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million senior who receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of dividends. (Applause.)
Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers, and higher revenues to our government. The best way to address the deficit and move toward a balanced budget is to encourage economic growth, and to show some spending discipline in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
We must work together to fund only our most important priorities. I will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 4 percent next year -- about as much as the average family's income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for us. Federal spending should not rise any faster than the paychecks of American families. (Applause.)
A growing economy and a focus on essential priorities will also be crucial to the future of Social Security. As we continue to work together to keep Social Security sound and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in retirement accounts that they will control and they will own. (Applause.)
Our second goal is high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. (Applause.) The American system of medicine is a model of skill and innovation, with a pace of discovery that is adding good years to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs too much -- and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. (Applause.)
Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy, choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need. (Applause.) Instead of bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put doctors and nurses and patients back in charge of American medicine. (Applause.)
Health care reform must begin with Medicare; Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. (Applause.) We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America.
Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is. (Applause.) And just like you -- the members of Congress, and your staffs, and other federal employees -- all seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that provides prescription drugs. (Applause.)
My budget will commit an additional $400 billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of both political parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare. I urge the members of this new Congress to act this year. (Applause.)
To improve our health care system, we must address one of the prime causes of higher cost, the constant threat that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. (Applause.) Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit. I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform. (Applause.)
Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. (Applause.) I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce more energy at home. (Applause.) I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70-percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. (Applause.) I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest. (Applause.)
I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our environment and our economy. (Applause.) Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined.
In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)
A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. (Applause.)
Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.)
Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country -- the homeless and the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.
Americans are doing the work of compassion every day -- visiting prisoners, providing shelter for battered women, bringing companionship to lonely seniors. These good works deserve our praise; they deserve our personal support; and when appropriate, they deserve the assistance of the federal government. (Applause.)
I urge you to pass both my faith-based initiative and the Citizen Service Act, to encourage acts of compassion that can transform America, one heart and one soul at a time. (Applause.)
Last year, I called on my fellow citizens to participate in the USA Freedom Corps, which is enlisting tens of thousands of new volunteers across America. Tonight I ask Congress and the American people to focus the spirit of service and the resources of government on the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens -- boys and girls trying to grow up without guidance and attention, and children who have to go through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad.
I propose a $450-million initiative to bring mentors to more than a million disadvantaged junior high students and children of prisoners. Government will support the training and recruiting of mentors; yet it is the men and women of America who will fill the need. One mentor, one person can change a life forever. And I urge you to be that one person. (Applause.)
Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction, and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off supplies and reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for their own lives. Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight I propose a new $600-million program to help an additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next three years. (Applause.)
Our nation is blessed with recovery programs that do amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A man in the program said, "God does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could be you." Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you. (Applause.)
By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society -- a culture that values every life. And in this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion. (Applause.) And because no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity, and pass a law against all human cloning. (Applause.)
The qualities of courage and compassion that we strive for in America also determine our conduct abroad. The American flag stands for more than our power and our interests. Our founders dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity, the rights of every person, and the possibilities of every life. This conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted, and defend the peace, and confound the designs of evil men.
In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild their society, and educate all their children -- boys and girls. (Applause.) In the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine. (Applause.) Across the Earth, America is feeding the hungry -- more than 60 percent of international food aid comes as a gift from the people of the United States. As our nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our world safer, we must also remember our calling as a blessed country is to make this world better.
Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus -- including 3 million children under the age 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4 million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only 50,000 AIDS victims -- only 50,000 -- are receiving the medicine they need.
Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says, "We have no medicines. Many hospitals tell people, you've got AIDS, we can't help you. Go home and die." In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to hear those words. (Applause.)
AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral drugs can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year -- which places a tremendous possibility within our grasp. Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many.
We have confronted, and will continue to confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS infections, treat at least 2 million people with life-extending drugs, and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS. (Applause.)
I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean. (Applause.)
This nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a plague of nature. And this nation is leading the world in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of international terrorism. (Applause.)
There are days when our fellow citizens do not hear news about the war on terror. There's never a day when I do not learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in progress, or give an order in this global war against a scattered network of killers. The war goes on, and we are winning. (Applause.)
To date, we've arrested or otherwise dealt with many key commanders of al Qaeda. They include a man who directed logistics and funding for the September the 11th attacks; the chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf, who planned the bombings of our embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole; an al Qaeda operations chief from Southeast Asia; a former director of al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan; a key al Qaeda operative in Europe; a major al Qaeda leader in Yemen. All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)
We are working closely with other nations to prevent further attacks. America and coalition countries have uncovered and stopped terrorist conspiracies targeting the American embassy in Yemen, the American embassy in Singapore, a Saudi military base, ships in the Straits of Hormuz and the Straits the Gibraltar. We've broken al Qaeda cells in Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, London, Paris, as well as, Buffalo, New York.
We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of American justice. (Applause.)
As we fight this war, we will remember where it began -- here, in our own country. This government is taking unprecedented measures to protect our people and defend our homeland. We've intensified security at the borders and ports of entry, posted more than 50,000 newly-trained federal screeners in airports, begun inoculating troops and first responders against smallpox, and are deploying the nation's first early warning network of sensors to detect biological attack. And this year, for the first time, we are beginning to field a defense to protect this nation against ballistic missiles. (Applause.)
I thank the Congress for supporting these measures. I ask you tonight to add to our future security with a major research and production effort to guard our people against bioterrorism, called Project Bioshield. The budget I send you will propose almost $6 billion to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. We must assume that our enemies would use these diseases as weapons, and we must act before the dangers are upon us. (Applause.)
Since September the 11th, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have worked more closely than ever to track and disrupt the terrorists. The FBI is improving its ability to analyze intelligence, and is transforming itself to meet new threats. Tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the FBI, the CIA, the Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a single location. Our government must have the very best information possible, and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the right places to protect all our citizens. (Applause.)
Our war against terror is a contest of will in which perseverance is power. In the ruins of two towers, at the western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this nation made a pledge, and we renew that pledge tonight: Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men -- free people will set the course of history. (Applause.)
Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror, the gravest danger facing America and the world, is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation.
This threat is new; America's duty is familiar. Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of America. (Applause.)
Now, in this century, the ideology of power and domination has appeared again, and seeks to gain the ultimate weapons of terror. Once again, this nation and all our friends are all that stand between a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant alarm. Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility. (Applause.)
America is making a broad and determined effort to confront these dangers. We have called on the United Nations to fulfill its charter and stand by its demand that Iraq disarm. We're strongly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency in its mission to track and control nuclear materials around the world. We're working with other governments to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, and to strengthen global treaties banning the production and shipment of missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction.
In all these efforts, however, America's purpose is more than to follow a process -- it is to achieve a result: the end of terrible threats to the civilized world. All free nations have a stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attacks. And we're asking them to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others. (Applause.) Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the American people. (Applause.)
Different threats require different strategies. In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny -- and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom. (Applause.)
On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed. (Applause.)
America is working with the countries of the region -- South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia -- to find a peaceful solution, and to show the North Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship. (Applause.) The North Korean regime will find respect in the world and revival for its people only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions. (Applause.)
Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States. (Applause.)
Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.
Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.
The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
(Note from the Editor: The 16 words in yellow)
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.
Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say. Intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has ordered that scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.
Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.
With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.
Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)
The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)
The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.
We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him. (Applause.)
Tonight I have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lay ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in you. (Applause.)
Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come.
We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means -- sparing, in every way we can, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States military -- and we will prevail. (Applause.)
And as we and our coalition partners are doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food and medicines and supplies -- and freedom. (Applause.)
Many challenges, abroad and at home, have arrived in a single season. In two years, America has gone from a sense of invulnerability to an awareness of peril; from bitter division in small matters to calm unity in great causes. And we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right country.
Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers.
Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity. (Applause.)
We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not know -- we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.
May He guide us now. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 10:08 P.M. EST
of President Bush's Speech - 9-2001
'Justice Will Be Done' Transcript of President Bush's Speech To Joint Congress After the World Trade Center and Pentagon Bombings. Sept. 20, 2001. ...
|US had forged documents 'in 2001'
From AFP correspondents in Rome
July 21, 2003
Forged documents which are at the centre of a dispute over the quality of Washington's intelligence in the build-up to war with Iraq were passed on to the United States as early as the end of 2001, a US lawmaker said in an interview today.
US President George W Bush used the documents, now shown to be clearly false, as evidence that Saddam Hussein's Iraq sought to procure uranium for an alleged nuclear weapons programme from the west African country Niger.
The opposition Democrat lawmaker Henry Waxman told the Italian daily La Repubblica he had spoken to a variety of different sources who had shown him that the documents were passed on to Washington at the end of 2001.
La Repubblica published last week what it said were photocopies of the original documents passed to Italian agents by an African diplomat in November 2001 - a telex from Niger's ambassador to Rome, two letters and a protocol with Iraq on the purchase of uranium.
The US State Department has now admitted its embassy in Rome was given forged documents detailing the Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Niger, but said they came from a private source in October 2002.
Bush referred to the information in his January 28 State of the Union address - a move which the White House now says was a mistake.
"We still do not know who lied, but someone has to take responsibility at the White House.
"It's not about deciding whether it was right or wrong to intervene in Iraq, the problem today is to understand who deceived America," said Waxman, member of the lower House of Representatives, in comments that were reproduced in Italian.
According to Waxman, the UN's nuclear agency asked Washington to hand over the material on December 19, 2002, but the United States failed to initially respond to the request.
Waxman said that the International Atomic Energy Agency did not receive the documents until February 4 this year, only one and a half months before the launch of military action against Iraq.
"The agency received the dossier only on February 4, 2003: a scandal," said Waxman.
In a further twist to the story, a Italian journalist claimed yesterday that she was the source who had supplied US diplomats in Rome with the forged documents.
|Bush policy risks terminal strain in NATO
William Pfaff IHT
Monday, July 21, 2003
Europe and the United States
PARIS The trans-Atlantic alliance is under what may be terminal strain. George Robertson says NATO will provide no further help to the United States in Iraq - meaning that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's principal European members refuse to let the alliance do so.
NATO might survive the present crisis, but only as a structure providing U.S. bases in ex-Communist Europe. The United States is going in one direction, and NATO's European Union members in another, a rival direction.
This is a reluctant choice by the Europeans, but their perception of Washington has in the last two years changed dramatically. The United States is now seen in Europe as a threat to Europe's independence. The American side does not understand this.
During the last few weeks, I have been at a half dozen European conferences bringing together political specialists and policy analysts, as well as past or present officials from both sides of the Atlantic, to talk about current affairs and the future.
The declared subjects differed: Italian-American relations, European security, global financial and economic issues, questions of world order. In every case, wherever it started, discussion quickly turned into a debate about how to cope with the Bush administration's new America, seen as a disturber of world peace and a risk to the security even of its allies.
At these meetings, U.S. foreign policy found very few West European defenders. One or two half-hearted Brits. No Dutch, Germans, Italians or Scandinavians. Even the British said that Europe now has to have its own policy and its own security resources (although with Tony Blair's speech in Washington, the British government now seems unqualifiedly committed to American leadership). All said this without enthusiasm. No one likes the situation.
The Europeans simply no longer agree with the United States. They don't agree about the terrorist threat. They don't think Osama bin Laden is a global menace. They don't take Washington's view of rogue states. They don't agree about pre-emptive war, clash of civilizations, the demonization of Islam, or Pentagon domination of U.S. foreign policy.
Such views are interpreted in the United States as "anti-Americanism." The truth, as a leading (conservative) figure from ex-Communist "New Europe" said at one of these meetings, is that the Bush administration has turned America's friends into anti-Americans.
He said that throughout his political life he had been an admirer and defender of the United States against left-wing European critics, but now he has become what he calls a "new anti-American."
He defined new anti-Americans as "former anti-anti-Americans, now forced to become anti-American themselves." He said that in his own country, the U.S. ambassador behaves in the way the Soviet Union's ambassador did before 1989. This simply is unacceptable.
Washington and the U.S. policy community seem to have completely misunderstood what has happened. They blame the French, Germans and Belgians, and think they have explained the problem. They like to tell Europeans that Europe doesn't understand that 9/11 "changed everything" for the United States. They fail to realize that 9/11's aftermath has changed everything for Western Europe.
Neo-conservative officials from Washington who spoke at the conferences I attended celebrated American power and victory in Iraq, and demanded apologies from the Europeans for having failed to support the United States. They still were saying that if you didn't agree, you are iirrelevant."
Analysts from the universities and policy centers were too often implicitly condescending to their audiences, saying that Europe needed to "grow up" and face the terrorism threat (seemingly indifferent to or ignorant of the history of IRA, German and Italian Red Brigades, Basque ETA, PLO, and Algerian terrorist operations in Europe).
They talked about Venus and Mars the Washington theory about passive, peace-obsessed Europeans, in need of realistic leadership from tough-minded Americans. The Europeans had heard it all before. This time they laughed, or walked out for a coffee.
However, they took the implications seriously. Every one of these discussions ended with the Europeans in a debate about what had to be done to put the so-called European common security and foreign policy on the road. Until now this has been a lackadaisical debate. Now, even the people from the most Atlanticist allied states, closest to the United States, shrug and say, "there's no choice."
Well meant appeals by American Atlanticists for U.S.-European reconciliation, such as the one issued a few weeks ago under the auspices of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, are politely received, but are irrelevant. We are past that point. That statement advised Europeans on what they should do to recapture America's confidence, and "make the U.S. feel welcome in Europe." It's the other way around. It's the Americans that have lost the Europeans' confidence. Unless the United States can recapture it, the alliance is finished. Tribune Media Services International
|Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon NYT
Monday, July 21, 2003
The war on terrorism
WASHINGTON In all the debate over the disputed claims in President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, we must not forget to scrutinize an equally important, and equally suspect, reason given by the administration for toppling Saddam Hussein: Iraq's supposed links to terrorists.
.The invasion of Iraq, after all, was billed as Phase II in the war on terror that began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But was there ever a credible basis for carrying that battle to Iraq?
.Don't misunderstand - we should all be glad to see the Iraqi people freed from Saddam's tyranny, and the defeat of Iraq did spell the demise of the world's No. 4 state sponsor of international terrorism (Iran, Syria and Sudan all have more blood on their hands in the last decade). But the connection the administration asserted between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the organization that made catastrophic terrorism a reality, seems more uncertain than ever.
.In making its case for war, the administration dismissed the arguments of experts who noted that despite some contacts between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden's followers over the years, there was no strong evidence of a substantive relationship. As members of the National Security Council staff from 1994 to 1999, we closely examined nearly a decade's worth of intelligence and we became convinced, like many of our colleagues in the intelligence community, that the religious radicals of Al Qaeda and the secularists of Ba'athist Iraq simply did not trust one another or share sufficiently compelling interests to work together.
.But Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld promised that the Bush administration had "bulletproof evidence" of a Qaeda-Iraq link, and Secretary of State Colin Powell made a similar case to the United Nations. Such claims now look as questionable as the allegation that Iraq was buying uranium in Niger.
.In the 14 weeks since the fall of Baghdad, coalition forces have not brought to light any significant evidence demonstrating the bond between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Uncovering such a link should be much easier than finding weapons of mass destruction. Instead of having to inspect hundreds of suspected weapons sites around the country, military and intelligence officials need only comb through the files of Iraq's intelligence agency and a handful of other government ministries.
.U.S. intelligence experts have been doing exactly that since April and so far there has been no report of any proof (and we can assume that any supporting information would have quickly been publicized). Of the more than 3,000 Qaeda operatives arrested around the world, only a handful of prisoners in Guantánamo - all with an incentive to please their captors - have claimed there was cooperation between Osama bin Laden's organization and Saddam's regime, and their remarks have yet to be confirmed by any of the high ranking Iraqi officials now in American hands. .
Indeed, most new reports concerning Al Qaeda and Iraq have been of another nature. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, the two highest-ranking Qaeda operatives in custody, have told investigators that bin Laden shunned cooperation with Saddam. A UN team investigating global ties of the bin Laden group reported last month that they found no evidence of a Qaeda-Iraq connection.
.In addition, one central intelligence official told The Washington Post that a review panel of retired intelligence operatives put together by the agency found that although there were some ties among individuals in the two camps, "it was not at all clear there was any coordination or joint activities." And Rand Beers, the senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council who resigned earlier this year, has said that on the basis of the intelligence he saw, he did not believe there was a significant relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda.
.This is not only a question of political accountability - it also bears on America's fundamental approach to security. U.S. policy changed dramatically when the Bush administration, lacking compelling evidence of an Iraq-Qaeda link, decided to base the Qaeda part of its pro-war argument on a hypothetical situation. "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists," Bush said in October. "Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."
.But this scenario is extremely unlikely. For years now the world's leading state sponsors of terrorism have had no confidence that they could carry out attacks against the United States undetected. That is why this brand of terrorism has been on the wane.
.After it became clear to Libya that the United States could prove its responsibility for the 1988 attack on Pan Am 103 - and UN sanctions were imposed - Libya got out of the business of supporting attacks on Americans. After American and Kuwaiti intelligence traced a plot to kill former President George Bush in 1993 to Baghdad, the Iraqi regime also stopped trying to carry out terrorist attacks against America. And when the Clinton administration made clear that it knew Iran was behind the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, Tehran ceased plotting terrorist strikes against American interests.
.Because of America's intelligence and law enforcement capacities, the world's outlaw states know that they will pay a high price for sponsoring terrorists act against the United States - and an overwhelming one should they assist in attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. That is why Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and some 20 other countries with chemical and biological weapons have never, as far as we know, given one to terrorists. Of course, the return of state-backed terror against America cannot be ruled out. And Americans are right to be concerned that North Korea, the world's most unpredictable regime, might sell a nuclear weapon to terrorists. But this much is clear: All states, even rogue ones, have a strong conservative impulse for self-preservation.
.U.S. policy must recognize this clear division between the old state-sponsored terrorism, which can be deterred, and the new, religiously motivated attacks. First, the United States should think long and hard before seeking regime change as a means of behavior modification. Those who chafe to topple the mullahs in Iran, for example, court unforeseen consequences that may ultimately damage America's interests.
.If Washington were to confirm that extreme elements like the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are harboring Qaeda operatives, it would need to press hard diplomatically, economically and even be prepared to threaten military action. But a concerted effort to upend the regime could well backfire, ending the slow but clear evolution of Iran into a genuine democracy.
.Second and most important, the Bush administration should focus more on Al Qaeda, the only terrorist group that poses an imminent, undeterrable danger. New instability in Afghanistan and the continued spread of jihadist ideology in the Islamic world mean that the prospects for another Sept. 11 are growing. America has been fortunate in capturing some high-ranking terrorists, but still lacks a comprehensive program to deal with a growing global insurgency and the long-term threat of radical Islam, for which intelligence and law enforcement will not suffice. .
Rogue regimes are bad for the world and worse for the people forced to live under them. Over time, the United States can use diplomacy - including coercion - and deterrence to bring about change. For now, however, the direst threat to Americans comes not from the mullahs of Tehran, but from the mass-murderers of Al Qaeda.
.Daniel Benjamin, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Steven Simon, an analyst at the Rand Corp., are authors of "The Age of Sacred Terror."
|-'WASHINGTON - The White House defense of President Bush
I was seeking uranium in Africa has evolved over the last two weeks: blame others, stonewall, bury questions in irrelevant information and, above all, hope it will go away. So far, none has worked
In question: Sixteen words in Bush's Jan. 28 State of the Union speech: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein
At issue: The credibility of the president's allegation that Saddam was rebuilding a nuclear weapons program. The assertion that Iraq was trying to buy uranium was a key component of that claim and a key piece of Bush's justification for war.
The flap started on July 6, when an envoy sent by the CIA
to Africa last year to investigate the uranium claim contended that the Bush administration ignored and possibly manipulated his findings. In a New York Times op-ed article, Joseph Wilson, former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, said it was highly doubtful that any transaction took place.
The next day, the White House acknowledged that Bush should not have made the claim because of concerns about the intelligence behind it. The documents allegedly showing an Iraq-Niger uranium connection turned out to be forgeries.
Then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tried to shut down the story in its tracks, insisting it was old news.
In a way, it was.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice had said almost a month earlier that Bush was wrong to include the uranium claim in his speech, but that the White House had not known about intelligence doubts until afterward. Her acknowledgment received little attention.
That changed with Wilson's statements. Democrats in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail demanded an investigation into whether Bush purposedly exaggerated intelligence.
ith its press staff unable to quell the controversy, the White House brought in bigger guns Secretary of State Colin Powell, Rice, the president himself and even, later, British Prime Minister Tony Blair
But, after two weeks, a White House usually adept at controlling stories merely by dismissing questions and waiting them out has had no luck.
The central questions asked over and over were not changing:
_Who knew what when especially the president?
_Why was it so important to include the statement in the speech?
_Who was responsible for putting it in?
_Why has the president refused to take responsibility for uttering it?
Only the White House's explanations shifted often contradicting themselves in the process.
There was the "no big deal" approach. Four days into the controversy, as Bush was dogged with questions while visiting Africa, Powell said there was no intention to deceive and called the outcry "overwrought and overblown and overdrawn." His defense was a bit backhanded the president's statement, he said, had been determined to be "not totally outrageous."
With that tack unsuccessful, the next day was blame the CIA day.
First Rice, then Bush pointed fingers at the CIA for not removing the claim while vetting the speech. CIA Director George Tenet, back in Washington, completed the well-scripted mea culpa by accepting full responsibility and absolving Bush.
But Democrats still weren't letting it go.
Rice appeared on three Sunday talk shows to offer a new explanation: Bush's remark was technically accurate because he correctly described what the British government had reported.
And who knows, Fleischer emphasized the next day, the British could be right. "We don't know if it's true," he said, "but nobody but nobody can say it is wrong."
Scott McClellan, who succeeded Fleischer as chief spokesman, also tried to dismiss questions. Over four days, he told reporters 20 times that the particular question they were asking had already been "addressed."
On July 16, he said claims of White House exaggeration were "nonsense" and accused skeptics of trying to "politicize this issue by rewriting history."
He read five-year-old statements by Democratic Sens. John Kerry now running for president and Carl Levin urging action to confront Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction.
At the same time, the White House tried to redirect the debate onto the overall danger posed by Saddam's chemical and biological weapons uranium or not and onto Bush's resolve in acting to confront that threat.
With that came the Bush and Blair show, first with Blair's speech to a joint meeting of Congress last Thursday and then at a news conference with the president.
The two leaders defended their decision to go to war and said their prewar claims about Iraq's weapons would ultimately be proven right.
On Friday came the document dump.
The White House took the rare step of declassifying and releasing eight pages of the 90-page top-secret National Intelligence Estimate that was used to write the questioned portions of the State of the Union address.
But instead of putting a lid on the controversy, the documents were likely to raise more questions as they also showed prewar divisions within the U.S. intelligence community. The State Department, for instance, termed the reports that Saddam was shopping for uranium in Africa "highly dubious."
As for Bush, he has addressed the matter only in broad terms, saying he is confident in his decision to go to war. Once, he praised the intelligence he relied on as "darn good."
"We will find the truth," Bush said beside Blair. "And that'll end all this speculation."
Only time will tell.
By Richard Cohen
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Earlier this month CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for the assertion in George Bush's State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to secure uranium in Africa. It was said at the time that Tenet had fallen on his sword. It is now clear that he fell on his credibility instead.
In a game of White House sword-passing not seen since the Nixon administration, it now turns out that yet another administration official -- Stephen Hadley of the National Security Council -- has stepped forward to take a piece of the blame himself. He follows Tenet and various White House and CIA underlings -- so many confessions, so many swords, so many people responsible yet none of them accountable.
Hadley now says he was twice warned by the CIA not to include the accusation about African uranium in a speech Bush was set to deliver last Oct. 7 in Cincinnati. One memo was sent on Oct. 5 and another on Oct 6. As a result, the mention of African uranium was deleted from Bush's speech. Later, of course, it resurfaced in the State of the Union.
Why? Bush's own response, provided to the media while he was visiting Africa, was that the CIA cleared the speech. Condoleezza Rice said the same thing while winging her way to Uganda: "The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety." In a flash, Tenet took the hint. "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency."
But Tenet had never read Bush's speech. Why? It's impossible to say for sure, but maybe -- just maybe -- he had given up fighting with a White House determined to exaggerate the urgency of dealing with Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Whatever the case, he had twice warned the White House -- and his deputies had issued similar warnings. What more could a CIA director do?
Well, he might have resigned. He might have spoken up. He might have done what in Washington is considered virtually noble Roman behavior and leaked the truth. Instead, he did as the Bush White House wished. He took the blame.
It would be one thing if Tenet had proved himself to be a whiz-bang CIA director. He has not. He was the nation's premier intelligence official on Sept. 11, which can only be called a massive intelligence failure. The United States was attacked on his watch -- not because the terrorists were so awfully clever but because our intelligence agencies were so awfully inept.
The same could be said for Rice. She had been warned by the Clinton administration's outgoing NSC head, Sandy Berger, that terrorism -- specifically Osama bin Laden -- would be her number-one priority. Upon taking office, she relegated it to something less than that -- with disastrous consequences. It was her job to keep the FBI and the CIA coordinated. She failed at that, too.
Hadley is Rice's top aide. He says he forgot about the warnings from Tenet -- two memos and one phone call -- and did not tell her. If that's the case, he's in the wrong job. If it's not the case -- and a reasonable man could have reasonable doubt -- is it possible Rice said nothing to Bush?
Maybe not. But if not, why not? That's her job.
By now it is clear that the White House was so desperate to buttress its unsupportable claims of an imminent Iraqi nuclear threat that it was willing to include the most questionable of evidence. That happened not only with the uranium reference but also with another piece of supposedly significant evidence -- those aluminum tubes that turned out to play no role in any nuclear weapons program. Who was behind this? Rice? Dick Cheney? The president himself? The uranium reference kept turning up like a bad penny. It had a sponsor -- someone awfully high up.
Each time the buck passes, another level of incompetence -- or shenanigans -- is exposed. Now in the chain of supposed bumblers we have Hadley and, by extension, Rice. Either they did not do their jobs or the jobs they did were so frankly political that they both ought to move over to the Republican National Committee, where, on a given day, spin and exaggeration are the sole product.
Tenet, though, gets pride of place. He has put a huge dent in the vaunted -- and valued -- independence of the CIA. It's impossible to see him now as a pillar of integrity, someone who speaks his mind no matter what and values keeping his independence over keeping his job. He's shilled for the president once too often. He's got to go.
|Graham Calls for Bush Impeachment
By Jeff Gannon
July 29, 2003
WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) has charged that President George W. Bush misled Americans in repeating intelligence he knew to be suspect as well as withholding other important information.
Graham said on Fox News Sunday, "Clearly, if the standard is now what the House of Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the actions of this president [are] much more serious in terms of dereliction of duty."
When asked to explain how the "16 words" deceived a Congress that had previously voted to authorize the President to go to war, Graham said, "Well, there's a difference between authorizing and actually going to war."
Graham continued, "In my opinion, the decision to authorize was a bad decision because it took our focus off our number-one enemy, al Qaeda, and refocused us on Iraq, and has therefore allowed al Qaeda to regenerate."
The Florida Senator claimed, "It was also the failure of this president to tell the American people what the consequences of victory in Iraq would be. That we'd be there for a long time, that we would have significant casualties and a very substantial expense."
Graham also argued that the reference in the State of the Union address to what the British government said it had learned about Saddam Hussein's efforts to acquire nuclear materials in Africa was central to the case against Iraq. In mentioning the uranium, Graham concludes, Bush misled Americans into thinking that Saddam Hussein was an eminent threat.
Graham conceded that impeachment was unlikely because "Tom DeLay and the other leadership of the House of Representatives are not going to impeach George W. Bush."
He ended the interview by saying, "The good news is that in November of 2004, the American people will have a chance to both impeach and remove George W. Bush in one step."
Graham's Democrat colleague and critic of the Iraq war, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said that "the evidence doesn't support" Graham's comments about impeachment.
"There is absolutely no evidence that the president knowingly misled the American people," Durbin said.
A senior Republican official, commenting on Graham's charges to Talon News, said, "This one stretches the limit for candidates seeking to grab headlines, even leading Democrats are distancing themselves from this wild accusation."
Christine Iverson, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee told Talon News, "Graham, like the rest of the Democrat presidential candidates has proven that he believes the Democrat nominee will be the one who can move farthest to the left of Howard Dean the fastest."
Iverson said, "It is no coincidence that they have stepped up their attacks against the war and the president after the seeing Dean's fundraising success in the second quarter."
She continued, "Democrats have seen that they can best raise funds by appealing to the anti-war base of the Democrat Party with their partisan attacks on the President."
Gary Aldrich, former FBI agent and author of the best-selling book "Unlimited Access" and the recently released "Thunder on the Left" told Talon News, "I used to have respect for Sen. Graham. When I lived in Florida he was a pretty good governor."
"Now he needs a tin-foil hat like Tom DeLay said at the College Republican Convention," Aldrich added.
Aldrich said, "It is sad that Graham has to ruin his credibility and reputation to win the nomination."
Graham now becomes the most prominent political figure to speak about impeachment. At the recent national meeting of the Green Party of the United States, delegates approved a proposal that endorsed "a call to Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings." The proposal also resolved that the Green Party would "take political leadership in the growing movement for impeachment."
Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States, initiated The VoteToImpeach Campaign to build a grassroots movement for impeachment. The socialist funded anti-war group ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) is supportive of the impeachment campaign and has provided Clark space on its web server to host the VoteToImpeach website.
Copyright © 2003 Talon News -- All rights reserved.
|Thursday, July 31, 2003 10:32 PM
Subject: Bush Denies Claim He Oversold Case for War
Bush Denies Claim He Oversold Case for War
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON
WASHINGTON, July 30 President Bush today rejected criticism that he had exaggerated the urgency of going to war with Iraq and said American forces were "on the hunt" for Saddam Hussein.
But at his first full-scale news conference in nearly five months, Mr. Bush also took responsibility for the first time for an assertion in his State of the Union address about Iraq's nuclear weapons program that turned out to be based on questionable intelligence. He had initially suggested that the fault for including the assertion rested with the C.I.A.
"I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course," Mr. Bush said. "I also take responsibility for making decisions on war and peace. And I analyzed a thorough body of intelligence, good, solid, sound intelligence that led me to come to the conclusion that it was necessary to remove Saddam Hussein from power."
Asked in several ways whether he had oversold the threat from Iraq to justify the war, Mr. Bush said that he remained confident that banned weapons would be found, and that there had been a well-documented case even before he took office that Mr. Hussein had biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
"And in order to placate the critics and cynics about intentions of the United States, we need to produce evidence," Mr. Bush said. "And I fully understand that. And I'm confident that our search will yield that which I strongly believe: that Saddam had a weapons program."
It was only the ninth formal news conference of his presidency. Mr. Bush has made clear that he dislikes the sessions and does not think they are a good way of communicating with the public. It was called by the White House at the last minute this morning after weeks of pressure from reporters, including a bellowed request directed at the president by Bill Plante of CBS News after the president's appearance in the Rose Garden on Tuesday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel.
White House officials said Mr. Bush had no particular news to disclose, although he suggested that he was considering legislation or a Constitutional amendment to codify that marriage can take place only between a man and woman. But the session, held in the Rose Garden, gave Mr. Bush a chance to promote his domestic and foreign policy record as the presidential race begins to heat up and as he prepares to head to his ranch in Texas for a month starting on Saturday.
Mr. Bush began the session with a statement about progress in Iraq, in the fight against terrorism and in strengthening the sluggish economy. Then, for more than 45 minutes, he fielded questions on a wide array of topics. The president said the threat from Al Qaeda remained real, noting that the United States had information that the terrorist organization might again try to hijack airliners, perhaps an international flight.
"I'm confident we will thwart the attempts," the president said.
Mr. Bush said he did not know how close American forces were to capturing Mr. Hussein, whose two sons were killed in a gun battle with troops last week.
"Closer than we were yesterday, I guess," Mr. Bush said. "All I know is we're on the hunt."
Mr. Bush got one question about his statement in the State of the Union address that Iraq had sought to acquire uranium in Africa, a statement that turned out to be based on intelligence that the C.I.A. had warned the White House might be unreliable. He was specifically asked if Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, whose office helped go over the speech, should be held responsible for the inclusion of the assertion. "Dr. Condoleezza Rice is an honest, fabulous person," he said, with her standing not far away. "And America is lucky to have her service. Period."
Speaking this evening on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," Ms. Rice said, "I certainly feel personal responsibility for this entire episode. What I feel most responsibility for is that this is detracting from the very strong case the president has been making."
Mr. Bush defended his tax cuts as effective in helping the economy despite the continued rise in unemployment and the surge in the federal budget deficit. He pledged to follow through on his plan to provide $15 billion over five years to combat AIDS in some of the world's poorest nations, later drawing fire from some advocacy groups that said the financing levels he was supporting for next year were inadequate.
He reiterated his commitment to a United States role in bringing peace to Liberia. But he did not respond directly to a question about whether that role would include the use of American ground troops, and said American participation in general would depend on a number of factors, including the departure of President Charles G. Taylor of Liberia and the enactment of a cease-fire between Mr. Taylor's forces and Liberian rebels.
Mr. Bush disclosed that he had spoken this morning to President Hu Jintao of China about North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and said he was urging the European Union and Russia to join the United States in sending a clear message to Iran not to build a nuclear weapon.
Throughout the session, his first extended encounter with reporters since March 6, before the war with Iraq, Mr. Bush appeared unruffled and well prepared for the occasionally sharp questions. He parried them with what has become a familiar blend of explanations, saying the threat from Mr. Hussein, for example, had been well established by the United Nations and previous administrations.
But a number of his statements, especially on the economy, drew criticism from Democrats and other critics of his administration.
Mr. Bush said the three tax cuts he had signed into law since taking office were a "job creation program" and that the tax bill he signed in 2001 had helped make the recession of that year "shallow."
Democrats noted that the unemployment rate has risen to 6.4 percent from 4.1 percent since Mr. Bush took office and that the economy has lost 2.5 million nonfarm jobs in that period. At the same time, they said, the federal budget has gone from surplus to deficit, with more red ink likely for years or decades to come.
"We cannot create jobs and put our nation back on the path of economic growth until President Bush abandons his failed economic plan," said Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. "The president's budget-busting tax cuts have done little if anything for the majority of American families."
| U.S. Shifts Rhetoric On Its Goals in Iraq
New Emphasis: Middle East Stability
By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, August 1, 2003
As the search for illegal weapons in Iraq continues without success, the Bush administration has moved to emphasize a different rationale for the war against Saddam Hussein: using Iraq as the "linchpin" to transform the Middle East and thereby reduce the terrorist threat to the United States.
President Bush, who has mostly stopped talking about Iraq's weapons, said at a news conference Wednesday that "the rise of a free and peaceful Iraq is critical to the stability of the Middle East, and a stable Middle East is critical to the security of the American people."
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that "the battle to secure the peace in Iraq is now the central battle in the global war on terror, and those sacrifices are going to make not just the Middle East more stable, but our country safer."
And Vice President Cheney, in a speech last week, said Iraq "will stand as an example to the entire Middle East" and thus "contribute directly to the security of America and our friends."
In an interview yesterday, a senior administration official expanded on that theme, saying the United States has embarked on a "generational commitment" to Iraq similar to its efforts to transform Germany in the decades after World War II.
The Bush aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, outlined a long-term strategy in which the United States would spread its values through Iraq and the Middle East much as it transformed Europe in the second half of the 20th century. As outlined, the U.S. commitment to Iraq and the Middle East would be far more expansive than the administration had described to the public and the world before the Iraq war.
"The great goal for the United States after 9/11 is worthy of a country of the importance and the power of the United States," the adviser said. "That goal is to see the spread of our values and to understand that our values and our security are inextricably linked, much as they were in Europe, but they are also linked in the Middle East."
The vision described by the official represents a change in the administration's emphasis in describing the U.S. purpose in Iraq. Before the war, Bush at times stressed the limits of the mission, promising to "remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more." At that time, Bush justified the conflict largely by asserting the need to strip Hussein of chemical and biological weapons and disrupt his nuclear ambitions.
The notion of a free Iraq as a catalyst for change in the region is not new. In a Feb. 26 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Bush said: "A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions."
More recently, in a speech in London a month ago, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice compared the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon to Pearl Harbor. Rice urged Europeans to expand on the defeat of Hussein's government by turning "to the Middle East with the same vision, determination and patience that we exhibited in building a united transatlantic community after 1945."
While that notion was low on the original list of reasons for war, it has largely replaced the "weapons of mass destruction" as justification.
The newly emphasized rationale is not as clear as the emphasis on the threat Hussein represented. Though the United States seeks to transform the Middle East, some key allies in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have resisted democracy.
The Bush adviser spoke of an open-ended commitment to Iraq as the United States helps to build its economy and its infrastructure. "When we're talking about resources, this is something that isn't going to be firm for years out into the future," the aide said.
The official drew an extended analogy, comparing the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to Pearl Harbor, and the difficulties in Iraq to the occupation of West Germany between 1945 and 1947. "That was a generational commitment to Europe, because the only way the United States believed that we could actually make certain that Americans were not going to fight in European wars again was to make certain that Europe was democratized and prospered," the adviser said. "In a sense, what 9/11 did was to give the United States the same kind of impulse toward the Middle East. . . . You really have to have a transformation of that region if we're not to have terrorists stalking the American people for generations to come."
In a crucial departure from the analogy, the official did not envision a decades-long military presence in Iraq such as the half-century presence in Germany necessitated by the Cold War.
The official said Europeans understand that "if we're ever to make the Middle East a different place than it is, you're going to have to see a transformation of the Middle East and an addressing of the freedom deficit. It's a long-term project, but I think it would be a mistake to think that it's going to be the U.S. military that's going to do it or the United States alone that's going to do it."
The official said that in the short term, the administration expects the number of nations contributing troops to the Iraq occupation to grow from the current 16 to 30 or more over the next "couple of months."
"Much as a different Germany becomes a kind of linchpin for a Europe in which you will not have war, a different Iraq becomes a kind of linchpin for a different Middle East out of which these ideologies of hatred would not come," the official said yesterday.
"The reason I make the historical analogy is, it means it has to be a generational commitment. You can't say after a year, 'Well, this is hard.' You have to stay with it."
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
|A PROPHET IN OUR
OWN TIME - DR. JOHN COLEMAN
... And where was the first place the President George W. Bush went after he took office? ... Notice how well President George W. Bush speaks Spanish. ...
..... Looks like "the Bush people" have adopted the Fidel Castro technique of crowd control.....
... George Bush; ex-director of CIA, becomes President of US Skull & Bones Society. ... 1990. President Bush delivers New World Order speech. ...
... then Reagan's campaign manager, and Donald Gregg, now US Ambassador to South Korea, flew with George Bush to Paris ...
... US DETENTION CENTERS. PRESIDENT GW BUSH SPEECH TO CONGRESS - 9-20-2001. ... AP: Car bombing at State Department. Bush calls trade center crashes terrorist act. ...
... and driving planes into the Pentagon - that sound's like bin Laden's ultimate fantasy," one official in the administration of President George W. Bush said. ...
... the US 82nd and 101st airborne divisions, or nearly half of the airborne combat forces at the immediate disposal of US President George W. Bush, are currently ..
... the first time that Osama bin Laden could have been involved in attacks on the United States, while in Washington President George W. Bush portrayed America as ...
... PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH SPEECH TO CONGRESS 9-20-2001. DREAMS AND PROPHECY OF THE WTC - BEFORE AND AFTER. ... George W. Bush - 11 Letters. ...
... PRESIDENT GW BUSH SPEECH TO CONGRESS - 9-20-2001. ... Analysis. The Bush administration is searching the globe for coalition support for its war on terrorism. ...
... WHEN CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE COLLIDE. NEW WORLD ORDER, GEORGE BUSH, AND NAZI HISTORY. ... MORE!!!Clinton,Drugs,Bush,CIA,Mena,,
... President Bush's national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft, reportedly "leaned on" Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney to eliminate the weapons in an effort ...
... Attempted assassination of Lenin. . THE ILLUMINATI EYE OF TRUTH. ...
... BUSH STATEMENT ON GROOM LAKE. ... Continued protection of this information is, therefore, in the paramount interest of the United States," President Bush wrote. ...
... This Bush nominee to direct the 9-11 conspiracy investigation, a reputed war criminal, then selected the option to have the Central Intelligence Agency
... NOW WHAT? "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, no question about it." -- George Walker Bush, July 26, 2000 http://www.greatdreams.com/security.htm ...
... PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH FLIES TO QUEBEC, CANADA RIOTS FOLLOW!!! ...
.. ... His name is George Bush. ...
... Icke and others are warning that ex-US president George Bush will summon oppressive evil forces at a black mass in a dank stone burial chamber deep inside the ...
Germany and France warn Bush on Iraq
... One World Conspiracy Chronicles - Part I. OUR RULER, BUSH - Conspiracy Nation Arch-Hive New World Order - Probably the most concise page on the subject. ...
... The Barked Tree" http://www.greatdreams.com/joel.htm ... they always have a plan 'B', and we are hearing rumors of another Oklahoma City, ordered by George Bush Sr ...
... The Bush administration urged talks between the two nations on Monday and made plans to send Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to try to ease tensions ...
... Wallkill is right outside of the Pine bush New York area and is also near Plattsburgh AFB. ... Plattsburgh AFB is located not far north of Pine Bush, NY. ...
... George Bush' of which I was comparing yesterday when I saw them on TV) I couldn't resist walking on it to see if I could balance on it. ...
... ideas for attacking the problems of central cities, ideas that go back to his days as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Bush administration. ...
... US President George W. Bush declared Thursday he had taken the "right decision" in expelling the 50 Russian diplomats but sought to allay fears
... MAN WHO SHOT REAGAN WINS MENTAL HOSPITAL RELEASE - 1999. The Story of the Bush Crime Family. ... CONSPIRACY. NEW WORLD ORDER
... NATIVE AMERICAN POLICY. DURING THE YEARS OF GEORGE BUSH, SR. ... Presidential Documents: Clinton's 1994 Indian Policy; Bush's 1991 Indian Policy
. George Bush Sr. was ... Canal. In 1989, Bush ordered an invasion of Panama when Noriega another "blow black" for the CIA.
... Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived Saturday in Washington, where he was expected to meet with President Bush about the proposal.
... JUL 18, 2001 House Committee Approves Bush's Alaskan Refuge Drilling Plan. ... House Republicans are moving swiftly on major elements of Mr. Bush's plan. ...
... President Bush created a furor among left-wing Europeans when he made similar remarks about defending America. ... That's what I just said," replied Bush. ...
... WebSite:http://www.greatdreams.com/. ... However, they always have a plan 'B', and we are hearing rumors of another Oklahoma City, ordered by George Bush Sr. ...
... troops during the military build-up. [Reportedly, the Bush family have or had shares in the vaccine company]. 1987: As the result of a ...
... Best to plant a bush over it, or measure an exact distance and direction from some landmark not likely to move, ie, the corner of your house, a fence post, etc ...
... These included the British Royal Family, George Bush, Henry Kissinger, and a stream of world famous names revealed in "The Biggest Secret" and the video ...
. Anyone who has spent anytime in the bush or in actual combat knows that running and gunning is the option of *LAST* resort!!! ...
... Texas Gov. Bush Urged to Stay Execution. ... George W. Bush on Monday to grant a reprieve to a man scheduled for execution in 10 days. ...
... President George Bush began talking about a Thousand Points of Light in 1989 because it was meant to be the volunteer spirit of American helping Americans. ...
... Pat Robertson is quite plausibly the best known of the Religious Right, through his abortive 1988 challenge to George Bush for the Republican Presidential ...
... I did not expect less but then I am not a normal and you well know it, having called the shot as soon as Bush tossed his hat in the ring,
. 9-22-92 - VISION - A newspaper will come out on election day that day George Bush wins. (George Bush Sr. lost ...
... William S. Burroughs, historian, author: "Naked Lunch", "I, Claudius", cocaine, opium. George W. Bush, Governor of Texas,, cocaine, ...
... It wasn't Clinton or Bush or Gore. ... Finally, we were about ready to leave, and I walked outside and there stood George Bush, Sr. ...
... In Washington, President Bush condemned the attack as ``a cowardly act designed to create terror and chaos'' and offered US help in finding the perpetrators. ...
... William S. Burroughs, historian, author: "Naked Lunch", "I, Claudius", cocaine, opium. George W. Bush, Governor of Texas,, cocaine, ...
... [Editor's note: Francis is a political appointee of Texas Gov. George Bush. He is also a top fund-raiser for Bush's presidential campaign. ...
... In Washington, President Bush condemned the attack as ``a cowardly act designed to create terror and chaos'' and offered US help in finding the perpetrators. ...
... It wasn't Clinton or Bush or Gore. ... Finally, we were about ready to leave, and I walked outside and there stood George Bush, Sr. ...
... of the world's most distinguished meteorologists, including many Americans, is a substantial slap in the face for US President George Bush, whose unilateral
... A full-scale missile defense "triad" consisting of sea-, space-, and ground-based interceptors -- the system Bush and his Republican colleagues are advocating ...
... Friday, 20 April, 2001 Confrontation in Quebec President Bush hopes to persuade other leaders to join in a free trade pact There have been angry clashes ...