Transcript of State of the Union
War on terror
President Bush details America's on-going effort in the war against terror (January 20)
Our greatest responsibility is the active defense of the American people.
Twenty-eight months have passed since September 11th, 2001 over two years without an attack on American soil, and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting and false. The killing has continued in Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Mombasa, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Baghdad. The terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world. And by our will and courage, this danger will be defeated.
Inside the United States, where the war began, we must continue to give homeland security and law enforcement personnel every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the Patriot Act, which allows federal law enforcement to better share information, to track terrorists, to disrupt their cells, and to seize their assets. For years, we have used similar provisions to catch embezzlers and drug traffickers. If these methods are good for hunting criminals, they are even more important for hunting terrorists. Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year. The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule. Our law enforcement needs this vital legislation to protect our citizens you need to renew the Patriot Act.
America is on the offensive against the terrorists who started this war. Last March, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a mastermind of September 11th, awoke to find himself in the custody of U.S. and Pakistani authorities. Last August 11th brought the capture of the terrorist Hambali, who was a key player in the attack in Indonesia that killed over 200 people. We are tracking al-Qaida around the world and nearly two-thirds of their known leaders have now been captured or killed. Thousands of very skilled and determined military personnel are on a manhunt, going after the remaining killers who hide in cities and caves and, one by one, we will bring the terrorists to justice.
As part of the offensive against terror, we are also confronting the regimes that harbor and support terrorists, and could supply them with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. The United States and our allies are determined: We refuse to live in the shadow of this ultimate danger.
The first to see our determination were the Taliban, who made Afghanistan the primary training base of al Qaeda killers. As of this month, that country has a new constitution, guaranteeing free elections and full participation by women. Businesses are opening, health care centers are being established, and the boys and girls of Afghanistan are back in school. With help from the new Afghan Army, our coalition is leading aggressive raids against surviving members of the Taliban and al Qaeda. The men and women of Afghanistan are building a nation that is free, and proud, and fighting terror and America is honored to be their friend.
Part 3: Iraq