September 30, 1953, Earl Warren, California’s three-term Republican Governor and 1948 Republican vice presidential nominee, nominated to be Chief Justice; wrote landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
October 1, 1973, Richard Cavazos promoted by President Richard Nixon to be first Hispanic Brigadier General in U.S. Army; in 1982, President Ronald Reagan made him first Hispanic four–star General.
October 2, 1983, President Ronald Ronald Reagan proclaims first Minority Enterprise Development Week.
October 3, 1924, Republicans denounce three-time Democrat presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan for defending the Ku Klux Klan at 1924 Democratic National Convention.
October 4, 1954, Birth of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, advocate for legal services to the poor; her nomination by President George W. Bush to U.S. Court of Appeals was blocked by Democrats in Senate.
October 5, 1861, Death of Michigan anti-slavery activist Kinsley Bingham, elected in 1854 as nation’s first Republican Governor.
October 6, 1914, Birth of women’s rights advocate Mary Louise Smith, elected Chair of the Republican National Committee in 1974.
October 7, 1868, Republicans denounce Democratic Party’s national campaign theme: “This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule”
“Every right that has been bestowed upon blacks was initiated by the Republican Party.”
“We should reach each and every one in the State, so they would all register and vote for the Republican candidates.”
Mary Terrell, African-American Republican and co-founder of the NAACP
SOURCE: Republican Freedom Calendar
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Saturday, September 30, 2006
September 30, 1953, Earl Warren, California’s three-term Republican Governor and 1948 Republican vice presidential nominee, nominated to be Chief Justice; wrote landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
Posted by sookietex at 4:37 PM || ||
Presidential Podcast 09/30/06
Subscribe to Our Odeo or podnova Podcast Channel and receive the weekly Presidential Radio Address in English and Spanish with select State Department Briefings. Featuring real audio and full text transcripts, More content Sources added often so stay tuned.
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Posted by sookietex at 4:03 PM || ||
|bush radio address 09/30/06 full audio, text transcript. PODCAST and In Focus: National Security, President's Radio Address|
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Today I want to talk to you about a matter of national security that has been in the news -- the National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism. The NIE is a classified document that analyzes the threat we face from terrorists and extremists. Parts of this classified document were recently leaked to the press. That has created a heated debate in our Nation's capital, and a lot of misimpressions about the document's conclusions. I believe the American people should read the document themselves and come to their own conclusions, so I declassified its key judgments.
The National Intelligence Estimate confirms that we are up against a determined and capable enemy. The NIE lists four underlying factors that are fueling the extremist movement: first, long-standing grievances such as corruption, injustice, and a fear of Western domination; second, the jihad in Iraq; third, the slow pace of reform in Muslim nations; and fourth, pervasive anti-Americanism. It concludes that terrorists are exploiting all these factors to further their movement.
Some in Washington have selectively quoted from this document to make the case that by fighting the terrorists in Iraq, we are making our people less secure here at home. This argument buys into the enemy's propaganda that the terrorists attack us because we are provoking them. Here is what Prime Minister Tony Blair said this week about that argument: "This terrorism isn't our fault. We didn't cause it. It's not the consequence of foreign policy." Prime Minister Blair is right. We do not create terrorism by fighting terrorism. The terrorists are at war against us because they hate everything America stands for, and because they know we stand in the way of their ambitions to take over the Middle East. We are fighting to stop them from taking over Iraq and turning that country into a safe haven that would be even more valuable than the one they lost in Afghanistan.
Iraq is not the reason the terrorists are at war against us. Our troops were not in Iraq when terrorists first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, or when terrorists blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, or when they bombed the USS Cole, or when they killed nearly 3,000 people on September the 11th, 2001. Five years after the 9/11 attacks, some people in Washington still do not understand the nature of the enemy. The only way to protect our citizens at home is to go on the offense against the enemy across the world. When terrorists spend their days working to avoid capture, they are less able to plot, plan, and execute new attacks on our people. So we will remain on the offense until the terrorists are defeated and this fight is won.
In my recent speeches, I've said we are in the early hours of a long struggle for civilization, and that our safety depends on the outcome of the battle in Iraq. The National Intelligence Estimate declares "perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere." It also says that "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."
Withdrawing from Iraq before the enemy is defeated would embolden the terrorists. It would help them find new recruits to carry out even more destructive attacks on our Nation, and it would give the terrorists a new sanctuary in the heart of the Middle East, with huge oil riches to fund their ambitions. America must not allow this to happen. We are a Nation that keeps its commitments to those who long for liberty and want to live in peace. We will stand with the nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for their freedom, and we will help them fight and defeat the terrorists there, so we do not have to face them here at home.
Thank you for listening.
END, For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, September 30, 2006
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Posted by sookietex at 2:50 PM || ||
|forre el audio de la dirección de radio 09/30/06 por completo, transcripción del texto. |
Discurso Radial del Presidente.
Buenos Días. Hoy quiero hablarles sobre un tema de seguridad nacional que ha estado en las noticias - el Estimado de Inteligencia Nacional sobre el terrorismo, NIE por sus siglas en inglés. El NIE es un documento clasificado que analiza la amenaza que enfrentamos de terroristas y extremistas. Partes de este documento clasificado recientemente fueron filtradas a la prensa. Eso ha creado un debate acalorado en la capital de nuestra Nación y muchas malas impresiones en cuanto a las conclusiones del documento. Yo creo que el pueblo estadounidense debe leer el documento por su propia cuenta y llegar a sus propias conclusiones - por lo tanto he desclasificado sus opiniones claves.
El Estimado de Inteligencia Nacional confirma que enfrentamos un enemigo decidido y capaz. El NIE enumera cuatro factores esenciales que están impulsando el movimiento extremista: primero, quejas de larga data tales como corrupción, injusticia y el temor de una dominación por el Oeste - segundo, el jihad en Irak - tercero, el ritmo lento de reformas en los naciones musulmanas - y cuarto, un anti-Americanismo arraigado. Concluye que los terroristas están explotando todos estos factores para favorecer su movimiento.
Algunas personas en Washington han citado selectivamente de este documento para argumentar que luchando contra terroristas en Irak estamos haciendo menos seguro al pueblo aquí en casa. Este argumento da fuerza a la propaganda del enemigo de que los terroristas nos atacan porque los estamos provocando. Esta semana el Primer Ministro Tony Blair dijo lo siguiente sobre ese argumento: "Este terrorismo no es culpa nuestra. No lo causamos. No es consecuencia de la política extranjera". El Primer Ministro Blair tiene razón. Nosotros no creamos el terrorismo al luchar contra el terrorismo. Los terroristas están en guerra con nosotros porque odian todo lo que representa Estados Unidos - y porque saben que nos interponemos a sus ambiciones de apoderarse del Medio Oriente. Estamos luchando para evitar que se apoderen de Irak, y convertir a ese país en un refugio que sería aún más valioso del que perdieron en Afganistán.
Irak no es la razón por la cual los terroristas están en guerra contra nosotros. Nuestras tropas no estaban en Irak cuando terroristas por primera vez atacaron al Centro de Comercio Mundial en 1993, o cuando terroristas bombardearon nuestras embajadas en Kenya y Tanzania, o cuando bombardearon al navío USS Cole, o cuando mataron a cerca de 3,000 personas el 11 el Septiembre, 2001. Cinco años después de los ataques del 11 de Septiembre, algunas personas en Washington todavía no comprenden la naturaleza del enemigo. La única forma de proteger a nuestros ciudadanos en casa es tomando la ofensiva contra el enemigo a través del mundo. Cuando los terroristas pasan sus días trabajando para evitar captura, tienen menos capacidad para tramar, planear y llevar a cabo nuevos ataques contra nuestro pueblo. Por lo tanto nos mantendremos en la ofensiva hasta derrotar a los terroristas y ganar esta lucha.
En mis discursos recientes he dicho que estamos en las primeras horas de una larga lucha por la civilización - y que nuestra seguridad depende del desenlace de la batalla en Irak. El Estimado de Inteligencia Nacional declara, y cito, "de percibirse un éxito del jihad allí sería una inspiración para que más combatientes continuaran la lucha en otra parte". También dice, y cito, "Si, al dejar Irak, los del jihad se percibieran y fueran percibidos como habiendo fracasado, consideramos que menos combatientes tendrán inspiración para continuar con la lucha".
Retirarnos de Irak antes de derrotar al enemigo daría nuevos ánimos a los terroristas. Les ayudaría a encontrar nuevos reclutas para llevar a cabo ataques aún más destructivos contra nuestra Nación - y le daría a los terroristas un nuevo santuario en el corazón del Medio Oriente, con enormes riquezas petrolíferas con las cuales financiar sus ambiciones. Estados Unidos no debe permitir que esto suceda. Somos una nación que cumple con sus promesas hacia aquellos que añoran la libertad y quieren vivir en paz. Estaremos al lado de los cerca de 12 millones de iraquíes que votaron por su libertad - y les ayudaremos a luchar y derrotar a los terroristas allí, para que no tengamos que enfrentarlos aquí en casa.
Gracias por escuchar.
Para su publicación inmediata, Oficina del Secretario de Prensa, 30 de septiembre de 2006
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Posted by sookietex at 1:24 PM || ||
Friday, September 29, 2006
President Meets with Republican Senate Conference, FULL STREAMING VIDEO, United States Capitol, 9:16 A.M. EDT.
|President George W. Bush stands with Senators Bill Frist, pictured in the foreground, and Mitch McConnell as he addresses the press after meeting with the Republican Senate Conference|
THE PRESIDENT: I just had a really constructive and interesting session with Republican members of the United States Senate. I'm impressed by the leadership here in the Senate, I'm impressed by the caliber of people that serve our country.
I want to congratulate the House for passing a very vital piece of legislation that will give us the tools necessary to protect the American people, and that's the Hamdan legislation(S.3930 Title: A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes). That's the legislation that will give us the capacity to be able to interrogate high-valued detainees, and at the same time, give us the capacity to try people who -- in our military tribunals.
In speaking to the Senate, I urged them to get this legislation to my desk as soon as possible. Senator Frist and Senator McConnell committed to that end. The American people need to know we're working together to win this war on terror. Our most important responsibility is to protect the American people from further attack. And we cannot be able to tell the American people we're doing our full job unless we have the tools necessary to do so. And this legislation passed in the House yesterday is a part of making sure that we do have the capacity to protect you.
Our most solemn job is the security of this country. People shouldn't forget there's still an enemy out there that wants to do harm to the United States. And therefore a lot of my discussion with the members of the Senate was to remind them of this solemn responsibility. And so I look forward to you passing good legislation, Senators. Thank you for having me. Appreciate your time.
END 9:18 A.M. EDT For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, September 28, 2006
President Applauds Congress for Passing War on Terror Legislation
I applaud Congress for passing legislation that will provide our men and women in uniform with the necessary resources to protect our country and win the War on Terror. As our troops risk their lives to fight terrorism, this bill will ensure they are prepared to defeat today's enemies and address tomorrow's threats. I look forward to signing this bill into law.
# # # For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, September 29, 2006
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Posted by sookietex at 5:12 PM || ||
Thursday, September 28, 2006
President Bush to Welcome Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
|Congressman Radanovich speaks to Croatian Prime Minister, Dr. Ivo Sanader and Croatian Ambassador, Neven Jurica, while the Croatian Minister of Culture, Bozo Biskupic looks on. (July 2005) Croatian Caucus, house.gov|
# # # For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, September 28, 2006
|The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia.|
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Posted by sookietex at 4:24 PM || ||
|President Bush Hosts Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan at the White House Rose Garden FULL STREAMING VIDEO, 7:35 P.M. EDT In Focus: Global Diplomacy and In Focus: Middle East|
President Musharraf kindly greeted me to Pakistan. I had the great privilege of meeting many in his government. I met people in the civil society there. I met those who were helping the Pakistan citizens who were -- whose lives were turned upside down by the devastating earthquake. I saw the compassion of this government, and I was very proud that the American people were helping them recover.
I also had the opportunity to visit President Karzai. He's leading a young democracy. It's a democracy that was formed as a result of the Afghan people voting, having shed itself, with American help, from the Taliban regime.
We've got a lot of challenges facing us. All of us must protect our countries, but at the same time, we all must work to make the world a more hopeful place. And so today's dinner is a chance for us to strategize together, to talk about the need to cooperate, to make sure that people have got a hopeful future. It's very important for the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan to understand that America respects religion, and we respect the right for people to worship the way they see fit. We welcome Muslim leaders here in the White House. I look forward to having dinner with friends of mine who don't happen to share the same faith I do, but nevertheless share the same outlook for a hopeful world.
As we work for a more hopeful world, we will continue to make sure that extremists, such as Osama bin Laden, that wants to hurt my friend here, as well as upset the democracy in Afghanistan, is brought to justice. The main thing I was looking forward to talking about is how the United States government and the people of the United States can help these two countries provide a foundation for hope. And so I want to thank you for coming. We're proud to have you here, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT MUSHARAFF: My pleasure.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Proud to have you here, Mr. President. Let's go eat dinner. Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT MUSHARAFF: Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thanks very much.
END 7:38 P.M. EDT
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Posted by sookietex at 2:04 PM || ||
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States dated April 2006 Key Judgments
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement—which includes al-Qa’ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells—is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.
- Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.
- If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.
- Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida,
could erode support for the jihadists.
- We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.
- The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.
- The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
- Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq jihad; (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims all of which jihadists exploit.
- The jihadists greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of sharia-based governance spanning the Muslim world is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
- Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.
- Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the
situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.
- The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qaida.
- Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.
- The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qaida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.
- We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-Qaida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.
improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.
- CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups.
Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.
- We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.
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Posted by sookietex at 3:57 PM || ||
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
|President Bush Welcomes President Karzai of Afghanistan to the White House, FULL STREAMING VIDEO, The East Room 11:37 In Focus: Global Diplomacy|
You've got a tough job --
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Yes --
PRESIDENT BUSH: -- and you're showing a lot of strength and character. And we're proud to call you ally and friend. I really am.
We discussed how the government is building institutions necessary for Afghans to have a secure future. We talked about how America and our international partners can continue to help.
Our allies are working on initiatives to help the Afghan people in building a free Afghanistan. And we discussed those initiatives; we discussed whether or not they could be effective, we discussed how to make them effective. We discussed our cooperation in defeating those who kill innocent life to achieve objectives, political objectives.
The Afghan people know firsthand the nature of the enemy that we face in the war on terror. After all, just yesterday, Taliban gunmen assassinated Safia Ama Jan -- cold-blooded kill -- she got killed in cold blood. She was a leader who wanted to give young girls an education in Afghanistan. She was a person who served her government. She was a person who cared deeply about the future of the country. And, Mr. President, Laura and I and the American people join you in mourning her loss.
And her loss shows the nature of this enemy we face. They have no conscience. Their objective is to create fear, and create enough violence so we withdraw and let them have their way. And that's unacceptable. It's unacceptable behavior for the free world and the civilized world to accept, Mr. President.
I know that Taliban and al Qaeda remnants and others are trying to bring down your government, because they know that as the democratic institutions take root in your country, that terrorists will not be able to control your country, or be able to use it to launch attacks on other nations. They see the threat of democratic progress.
In recent months, the Taliban and other extremists have tried to regain control, mostly in the south of Afghanistan. And so we've adjusted tactics and we're on the offense to meet the threat and to defeat the threat. Forces from dozens of nations, including every member of NATO, are supporting the democratic government of Afghanistan. The American people are providing money to help send our troops to your country, Mr. President, and so are a lot of other nations around the world. This is a multinational effort to help you succeed.
Your people have rejected extremism. Afghan forces are fighting bravely for the future of Afghanistan, and many of your forces have given their lives, and we send our deepest condolences to their families and their friends and their neighbors.
The fighting in Afghanistan is part of a global struggle. Recently, British forces killed a long-time terrorist affiliated with al Qaeda named Omar Farouq. Farouq was active in Bosnia and Southeast Asia. He was captured in Indonesia, he escaped from prison in Afghanistan, he was killed hiding in Iraq. Every victory in the war on terror enhances the security of free peoples everywhere.
Mr. President, as I told you in the Oval Office, our country will stand with the free people of Afghanistan. I know there's some in your country who wonder or not -- whether or not America has got the will to do the hard work necessary to help you succeed. We have got that will, and we're proud of you as a partner.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Wonderful. Great.
PRESIDENT BUSH: We discussed our efforts to help the government deliver a better life. President Karzai said this about his aspirations -- he said he "wants to make Afghanistan a great success and an enduring example of a prosperous and democratic society."
We're helping you build effective and accountable government agencies. We discussed different agencies in your government and how best to make them accountable to the people. We're going to help you build roads. We understand that it's important for people to have access to markets. I thought our general had a pretty interesting statement -- he said, "Where the road ends, the Taliban tries to begin." The President understands that. We're helping you with a national literacy program.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Yes.
PRESIDENT BUSH: We understand that a free society is one that counts upon a educated citizenry. The more educated a populace is, the more likely it is they'll be active participants in democratic forms of government. We're helping you build schools and medical centers.
We talked about the illegal drug trade. The President gave me a very direct assessment of successes in eradicating poppies and failures in eradicating poppies. It was a realistic assessment of the conditions on the ground. And he talked about his strategy, particularly in dealing in Helmand Province. And, Mr. President, we will support you on this strategy. We understand what you understand, and that is we've got to eradicate drug trade, for the good of the people of Afghanistan.
Tomorrow, President Karzai and President Musharraf and I will have dinner. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be an interesting discussion amongst three allies, three people who are concerned about the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It will be a chance for us to work on how to secure the border, how we can continue to work together and share information so we can defeat extremists; how we can work together to build a future of peace and democracy in your region, Mr. President.
I thank you for coming today. I'm looking forward to our discussion tomorrow evening. Welcome back to the White House. The podium is yours.
|PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you very much, Mr. President. It's a great honor to be in your very beautiful country once again, especially during fall with all the lovely leaves around.|
I'm very grateful, Mr. President, to you and the American people for all that you have done for Afghanistan for the last four-and-a-half years, from roads to education, to democracy, to parliament, to good governance effort, to health, and to all other good things that are happening in Afghanistan.
Mr. President, I was, the day before yesterday, in the Walter Reed Hospital. There I met wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. And there also I met a woman soldier with six boys, from 7 to 21, that she had left behind in America in order to build us a road in a mountainous part of the country in Afghanistan. There's nothing more that any nation can do for another country, to send a woman with children to Afghanistan to help. We are very grateful. I'm glad I came to know that story and I'll be repeating it to the Afghan people once I go back to Afghanistan.
We discussed today all matters that concern the two countries -- the question of the reconstruction of Afghanistan, improvement for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, the equipping of the Afghan army, the training of the Afghan army, the police in Afghanistan, and all other aspects of reconstruction. We also discussed the region around us, discussed our relations with Pakistan and the question of the joint fight that we have together against terrorism. And I am glad, Mr. President, that you are, tomorrow, hosting a dinner for me and President Musharraf. And I'm sure we'll come out of that meeting with a lot more to talk about to our nations in a very positive way for a better future.
Mr. President, we, the Afghan people, are grateful to you and the American people for all that you have done. I have things in mind to speak about, and you did that, so I'll stop short and let the questions come to us.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you. We'll have two questions a side. We'll start with Jennifer Loven.
Q Thank you, sir. Even after hearing that one of the major conclusions of the National Intelligence Estimate in April was that the Iraq war has fueled terror growth around the world, why have you continued to say that the Iraq war has made this country safer?
And to President Karzai, if I might, what do you think of President Musharraf's comments that you need to get to know your own country better when you're talking about where terror threats and the Taliban threat is coming from?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Do you want to start?
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Go ahead, please. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: I, of course, read the key judgments on the NIE. I agree with their conclusion that because of our successes against the leadership of al Qaeda, the enemy is becoming more diffuse and independent. I'm not surprised the enemy is exploiting the situation in Iraq and using it as a propaganda tool to try to recruit more people to their -- to their murderous ways.
Some people have guessed what's in the report and have concluded that going into Iraq was a mistake. I strongly disagree. I think it's naive. I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe. The terrorists fight us in Iraq for a reason: They want to try to stop a young democracy from developing, just like they're trying to fight another young democracy in Afghanistan. And they use it as a recruitment tool, because they understand the stakes. They understand what will happen to them when we defeat them in Iraq.
You know, to suggest that if we weren't in Iraq, we would see a rosier scenario with fewer extremists joining the radical movement requires us to ignore 20 years of experience. We weren't in Iraq when we got attacked on September the 11th. We weren't in Iraq, and thousands of fighters were trained in terror camps inside your country, Mr. President. We weren't in Iraq when they first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. We weren't in Iraq when they bombed the Cole. We weren't in Iraq when they blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. My judgment is, if we weren't in Iraq, they'd find some other excuse, because they have ambitions. They kill in order to achieve their objectives.
You know, in the past, Osama bin Laden used Somalia as an excuse for people to join his jihadist movement. In the past, they used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was a convenient way to try to recruit people to their jihadist movement. They've used all kinds of excuses.
This government is going to do whatever it takes to protect this homeland. We're not going to let their excuses stop us from staying on the offense. The best way to protect America is defeat these killers overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. We're not going to let lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war.
Now, you know what's interesting about the NIE -- it was a intelligence report done last April. As I understand, the conclusions -- the evidence on the conclusions reached was stopped being gathered on February -- at the end of February. And here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it's on the front page of your newspapers. Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.
I talked to John Negroponte today, the DNI. You know, I think it's a bad habit for our government to declassify every time there's a leak, because it means that it's going to be hard to get good product out of our analysts. Those of you who have been around here long enough know what I'm talking about. But once again, there's a leak out of our government, coming right down the stretch in this campaign, -- to create confusion in the minds of the American people, in my judgment, is why they leaked it.
And so we're going to -- I told the DNI to declassify this document. You can read it for yourself. We'll stop all the speculation, all the politics about somebody saying something about Iraq, somebody trying to confuse the American people about the nature of this enemy. And so John Negroponte, the DNI, is going to declassify the document as quickly as possible. He'll declassify the key judgments for you to read yourself. And he'll do so in such a way that we'll be able to protect sources and methods that our intelligence community uses. And then everybody can draw their own conclusions about what the report says.
Q My question --
PRESIDENT BUSH: What was that question?
Q Why is that declassification not --
PRESIDENT BUSH: Because I want you to read the documents so you don't speculate about what it says. You asked me a question based upon what you thought was in the document, or at least somebody told you was in the document. And so I think, Jennifer, you'll be able to ask a more profound question when you get to look at it yourself -- (laughter) -- as opposed to relying upon gossip and somebody who may or may not have seen the document trying to classify the war in Iraq one way or the other.
I guess it's just Washington, isn't it, where, you know, we kind of -- there's no such thing as classification anymore, hardly. But, anyway, you ought to take a look at it and then you'll get to see.
You've got a two-part question.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Ma'am, before I go to remarks by my brother, President Musharraf, terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11th. The President mentioned some examples of it. These extremist forces were killing people in Afghanistan and around for years, closing schools, burning mosques, killing children, uprooting vineyards, with vine trees, grapes hanging on them, forcing populations to poverty and misery.
They came to America on September 11th, but they were attacking you before September 11th in other parts of the world. We are a witness in Afghanistan to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York. Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high? Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again? That's why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated -- extremism, their allies, terrorists and the like.
On the remarks of my brother, President Musharraf, Afghanistan is a country that is emerging out of so many years of war and destruction, and occupation by terrorism and misery that they've brought to us. We lost almost two generations to the lack of education. And those who were educated before that are now older. We know our problems. We have difficulties. But Afghanistan also knows where the problem is -- in extremism, in madrassas preaching hatred, preachers in the name of madrassas preaching hatred. That's what we should do together to stop.
The United States, as our ally, is helping both countries. And I think it is very important that we have more dedication and more intense work with sincerity, all of us, to get rid of the problems that we have around the world.
An Afghan press? You?
Q I'm from Voice of America. Mr. President, what is your strategy -- your new strategy to fight against terrorism, and also to deal with narcotics in Afghanistan? Thank you.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: All right. This was to me or to President Bush? Okay. Ma'am, there is no new strategy on the fight against terrorism. We are continuing the strategy that we have. We are implementing the strategy. We are moving further in that strategy. We are getting more of them. We are trying to clean the country of these elements, and the region of these elements by doing more reconstruction, by doing more search for the terrorist elements hiding around there. So the fight against terrorism will continue the way we started it.
Q Mr. President, sorry, do you think it's working now the way it's going?
PRESIDENT KARZAI: It is absolutely working. We come across difficulties as we are moving forward, and that's bound to happen. And we get over those difficulties, we resolve them, and we go to the next stage of this fight against terrorism for all the allies.
At one stage four years ago, we had a war against them to dislodge from Afghanistan, to remove them from being the government of Afghanistan. And then there were major operations against them to arrest or to chase them out. And then we began to rebuild the country, to have roads, to have schools, to have health clinics, to have education, to have all other things that people need all over the world. And now we are at a stage of bringing more stability and trying to get rid of them forever. The desire is to do that sooner. But a desire is not always what you get. So it will take time, and we must have the patience to have the time spent on getting rid of them for good.
On narcotics, it is a problem. It is an embarrassment to Afghanistan. And I told President Bush earlier in my conversation with him we feel very much embarrassed for having narcotics growing in our country. But again, it has come to Afghanistan because of years of our desperation and lack of hope for tomorrow. I know Afghan families, ma'am, who destroyed their pomegranate orchards or vineyards to replace them with poppies, because they did not know if they were going to have their children the next day, if they were going to be in their own country the next day, if they were going to be having their home standing the next day. It has become a reality because of jobs and years of misery.
We have worked on the problem. In some areas of the country, we have succeeded; in other areas of the country, we have failed, because of the circumstances, and because of our own failures. We have discussed that, and we will continue to be very steadfast. It is Afghanistan's problem, so Afghanistan is responsible for it and Afghanistan should act on it, with the help of our friends in the United States and the rest of the world.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Caren.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Former President Clinton says that your administration had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after he left office. Is that factually accurate, and how do you respond to his charges?
PRESIDENT BUSH: You know, look, Caren, I've watched all this finger-pointing and naming of names, and all that stuff. Our objective is to secure the country. And we've had investigations, we had the 9/11 Commission, we had the look back this, we've had the look back that. The American people need to know that we spend all our time doing everything that we can to protect them. So I'm not going to comment on other comments.
But I will comment on this -- that we're on the offense against an enemy that wants to do us harm. And we must have the tools necessary to protect our country. On the one hand, if al Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates are calling somebody in the country, we need to know why. And so Congress needs to pass that piece of legislation. If somebody has got information about a potential attack, we need to be able to ask that person some questions. And so Congress has got to pass that piece of legislation.
You can't protect America unless we give those people on the front lines of protecting this country the tools necessary to do so within the Constitution. And that's where the debate is here in the United States. There are some decent people who don't believe -- evidently don't believe we're at war, and therefore, shouldn't give the administration what is necessary to protect us.
And that goes back to Jennifer's question, you know. Does being on the offense mean we create terrorists? My judgment is the only way to defend the country is to stay on the offense. It is preposterous to think if we were to withdraw and hope for the best, things would turn out fine against this enemy. That was my point about, before we were in Iraq there were thousands being trained in Afghanistan to strike America and other places. The only way to protect this country is to stay on the offense, is to deal with threats before they fully materialize and, in the long-term, help democracy succeed, like Afghanistan and Iraq, and Lebanon and a Palestinian state.
But there's a difference of opinion. It will come clear during this campaign, where people will say, get out, leave before the job is done. And those are good, decent, patriotic people who believe that way -- I just happen to believe they're absolutely wrong. So I'm going to continue to work to protect this country. And we'll let history judge -- all the different finger-pointing and all that business. I don't have enough time to finger-point. I've got to stay -- I've got to do my job, which comes home every day in the Oval Office, and that is to protect the American people from further attack.
Now, there are some who say, well, maybe it's not going to happen. Well, they don't see what I see. All I ask is that they look at that terror plot that, along with the Brits, we helped -- helped stop -- people who were going to get on an airplane and blow up innocent lives in order to achieve political objectives. They're out there, they're mean, and they need to be brought to justice.
Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, are you convinced, like President Bush, that the deal General Musharraf signed with the tribal leaders in Waziristan actually meant to fight Taliban?
And why are you convinced that Osama bin Laden is not in Afghanistan?
If I may, Mr. President, do you agree with the analysis from the counter chief European -- counterterrorism chief European spokesman who said today that the international support for terrorism has receded. Do you agree with that? And do you see the tension between two important allies of yours, Pakistan and Afghanistan, undermining your effort to get Osama bin Laden? Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's a four-part question. First of all, I didn't -- what was this person a spokesman for?
Q Counterterrorism chief in Europe.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Some obscure spokesman?
Q No, actually, he has a name.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay, he's a got a name. (Laughter.) Well, no, I don't agree with the spokesman for the obscure organization that said that the international commitment to fighting terror is declining. It's quite the contrary, starting with the evidence that NATO has committed troops in Afghanistan. These are troops who are on the ground who are serving incredibly bravely to protect this country.
Secondly, when the Brits, along with our help, intercepted the plot to attack us, everybody started saying, they're still there. They began to realize that their hopes that the terrorist threats were going away weren't true. Since September 11th it's important for the American people to remember there have been a lot of attacks on a lot of nations by these jihadists. And some of them are al Qaeda and some of them are al Qaeda-inspired. The NIE talked about how this group of folks are becoming more dispersed. That's what I've been saying, as well. After all, look inside of Great Britain. These are people inspired by, perhaps trained by al Qaeda, but, nevertheless, plotted and planned attacks and conducted attacks in the summer of 2005, and then plotted attacks in the summer of 2006. See, they're dangerous, and the world knows that.
And so, from my perspective, intelligence-sharing is good, cooperation on the financial fronts is good, and that more and more nations are committing troops to the fight, in Afghanistan, in particular.
Now, the other question --
Q -- does this undermine efforts of getting bin Laden?
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, no, it doesn't. It's in President Karzai's interest to see bin Laden brought to justice. It is in President Musharraf's interest to see bin Laden brought to justice. Our interests coincide. It will be interesting for me to watch the body language of these two leaders to determine how tense things are.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: I'll be good. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: From my discussions with President Karzai and President Musharraf, there is an understanding that by working together it is more likely that all of us can achieve a common objectives, which are stable societies that are hopeful societies, that prevent extremists from stopping progress and denying people a hopeful world.
I know that's what President Karzai thinks and I know that's how President Musharraf thinks. And so -- I'm kind of teasing about the body language for the dinner tomorrow night, but it's going to be a good dinner and it's an important dinner.
So, to answer your question, no, what you perceive as tension is stopping us from bringing high value targets to justice. Quite the contrary, we're working as hard as ever in doing that.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: On the question of Waziristan, ma'am, President Musharraf, when he was in Kabul, explained what they had done. My initial impression was that this was a deal signed by the Taliban -- and then later I learned that they actually signed with the tribal chiefs. It will have a different meaning if it is that signed with the tribal chiefs -- that for us, for the United States, for the allies against terror.
The most important element here is item number one in this agreement, that the terrorists will not be allowed to cross over into Afghanistan to attack the coalition against terror -- that is, the international community and Afghanistan together. We will have to wait and see if that is going to be implemented exactly the way it is signed. So, from our side, it's a wait and see attitude. But, generally, we will back any move, any deal that would deny terrorism sanctuary in North Waziristan or in the tribal territories of Pakistan.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thank you.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well done.
END 12:08 P.M. EDT
For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, September 26, 2006
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