For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 11, 2004
Three Years of Progress in the War on Terror
"In the three years since our country was attacked, we've taken
steps to overcome new threats. We will continue to do everything in our
power to defeat the terrorist enemy and to protect the American people.
Recently, the Commission on the Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States came to a conclusion that I share: that our country is safer than it was on
September the 11th, 2001, yet, we're still not safe. . . . We are a
Nation in danger. We're doing everything we can in our power to confront
the danger. We're making good progress in protecting our people and
bringing our enemies to account. But one thing is for certain: We'll keep
our focus and we'll keep our resolve and we will do our duty to best secure our country."
-- President George (August 2, 2004)
Three years have passed since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
While the danger has not passed, America today is safer and stronger
because of the actions taken by President Bush and his Administration
to protect our country.
Protecting Our Homeland
The Bush Administration has made an unprecedented commitment to
homeland security. Already, the President has led the largest
reorganization of government in more than 50 years; strengthened our
intelligence capabilities; expanded support for first responders and
state homeland security efforts; and increased protection of our
transportation systems, borders, ports, and critical infrastructure.
- Creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The President
has led the most extensive reorganization of the Federal Government in
more than 50 years by creating DHS. DHS brought together 22 entities
and over 180,000 employees with critical homeland security missions and
provided the Nation with a single Federal department with the primary
mission to protect the homeland against terrorist threats.
Leading the Way on Reforming and Strengthening Intelligence and
Coordination: President Bush has led the way on intelligence reform
and has already undertaken a number of major reforms to improve
intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing to obtain the best
information on the terrorist threat to the Nation -- including:
- Acting on 36 of the 9/11 Commission's 41 recommendations: The
President, on August 27, signed executive orders giving the Director of
Central Intelligence many of the strengthened management powers over
the Intelligence Community that will eventually belong to the National
Intelligence Director (NID) proposed by the 9/11 Commission. He also
established a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to serve as a
central knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and
international terror groups, as well as their goals, strategies,
capabilities, and networks of contacts. The NCTC will also provide
strategic planning for U.S. government-wide counterterrorism
activities. The President also ordered that additional actions be
taken to continue to improve the sharing of terrorism information among
agencies and to improve our information technology architecture.
- Proposing the creation of a National Intelligence Director (NID)
with the authority needed to get the job done. The President
intends to give the NID budget authority over the National Foreign
Intelligence Program appropriation and the management tools necessary
to successfully oversee the Intelligence Community, including ensuring
the full integration of foreign and domestic intelligence. The
President seeks intelligence reform legislation that is consistent with
the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
- Transforming the FBI: For three years, the President has led the
effort to transform the FBI into an agency focused on preventing
terrorist attacks through intelligence collection and other key
efforts, while improving its ability to perform its traditional role as
a world-class law enforcement agency.
- Establishing the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to
integrate and analyze terrorism threat-related information collected
domestically and abroad, ensuring that intelligence and law enforcement
entities are working together. Elements of the CIA, the Department of
Defense (DoD), the Department of Justice, DHS, and the FBI work to
close the "seams" in our intelligence analysis. Launched in early
2003, the TTIC has been regarded by the 9/11 Commission as the
foundation for the newly established NCTC.
- Creating the Terrorist Screening Center to consolidate terrorist
watchlists and provide 24/7 operational support for Federal and other
government law enforcement personnel across the country and around the
world. The Center ensures that government investigators, screeners,
and agents are working with the same unified, comprehensive set of
information about terrorists -- and that they have access to
information and expertise that will allow them to act quickly when a
suspected terrorist is screened or stopped.
- Creating U.S. Northern Command to provide for integrated homeland
defense and coordinated DoD support to Federal, State, and local
- Proposing and signing into law the USA PATRIOT Act, which
strengthens law enforcement's abilities to prevent, investigate,
and prosecute acts of terror, facilitating Federal government efforts
to thwart potential terrorist activity throughout the United States.
President Bush continues to call on Congress to take action to ensure
that these vital law enforcement tools do not expire.
- Creating a White House Homeland Security Council, led by a
homeland security advisor who reports directly to the President,
to coordinate homeland security policy across multiple departments and
agencies -- modeled on the National Security Council.
- Creating the President's Board on Safeguarding American's Civil
Liberties to continue to carry out the President's commitment to
protecting the privacy and other rights of all Americans.
Significantly Increasing Homeland Security Funding: Since 2001,
the President has:
- Proposed a near tripling of funding for homeland security. The FY
2005 budget will increase homeland security funding by 9.7% over FY
2004 -- not counting homeland security funding in the Department of
Defense and Project BioShield.
- Strengthened counterterrorism efforts through the Department of
Justice (DOJ), proposing a 19% increase in homeland security funding
for programs within DOJ over FY 2004 to $2.6 billion. The FY 2005
budget also brings overall FBI funding to $5.1 billion, a $1.9 billion
(almost 60%) increase over the FY 2001 level.
- Allocated more than $13 billion to help State and local governments prepare for terrorism. President Bush has sought and
secured historic and massive increases in funding for first responder
preparedness since September 11, 2001. These funds should be spent on
training and equipping first responders for terrorism preparedness and
Bringing Terrorists to Justice and Disrupting Terror Cells Inside
the United States: The Department of Justice has charged over 350 individuals uncovered in the course of terrorist investigations, and
convicted or secured guilty pleas from over 185 individuals. The U.S.
government has disrupted alleged terrorist cells in New York,
Washington, Oregon, Northern Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
Strengthening Transportation Security: The Administration
instituted a multi-layered strategy to enhance aviation security
from the curb to the cockpit. The Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) screens 100% of commercial air passengers and
bags. TSA has trained and authorized hundreds of pilots to carry
firearms in the cockpit, directed the hardening of cockpit doors on
6,000 commercial aircraft, and stationed explosives-detection canine
teams at each of the Nation's largest airports. Federal Air Marshals
ride aboard our Nation's aircrafts, protecting passengers and crew.
The President's FY 2005 budget proposes $5.3 billion for transportation
security funding, a 93% ($4.9 billion) increase over FY 2001 levels.
- Improving Border Security:
- Three years ago, there were inspectors from three different
Federal agencies at our ports of entry. Today, the Department of
Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
consolidates all port inspection activities into a single workforce to
create "one face at the border." The Border Patrol is also part of
CBP, creating synergy between inspectors at the ports and those
patrolling between them. More than 18,000 CBP Officers, 1,400 CBP
Agriculture Specialists, and 11,000 Border Patrol Agents guard our
- The US-VISIT entry-exit system uses cutting-edge biometric
technology to help ensure that our borders remain open to
legitimate travelers but closed to terrorists. US-VISIT was launched
at 116 airports and 16 seaports across the country and the program is
expanding to land ports of entry. This program has been very
successful, processing more than 8.5 million travelers since January.
The President's FY 2005 budget includes $7.1 billion for border
security funding, a $3 billion increase over FY 2001 levels.
Increasing Port and Cargo Security:
- The President has significantly increased funding for the Coast
Guard, including dramatic increases for port security and acquisition
of new resources. The Coast Guard is creating over a dozen 100-person
Maritime Safety and Security Teams, to provide point defense for
critical infrastructure and high-value shipping; employing armed
helicopters to provide waterside security; and reviewing thousands of
new vessel, facility, and port security plans. Funding for Coast Guard
port security efforts has increased over 500% from the beginning of
this Administration through 2004. The Coast Guard's Deepwater fleet
modernization project has received a total of $1.5 billion over the
last three years, and the President has requested $678 million in his
FY 2005 budget.
- DHS has strengthened measures to protect the Nation from smuggled
radioactive materials and nuclear devices, by equipping CBP inspectors,
Coast Guard boarding personnel, and Border Patrol agents with portable
radiation detectors and installing radiation detection portals at sea,
land, rail, and air ports of entry, including mail processing
facilities. The first radiation portals were installed in March 2003.
- DHS established the National Targeting Center (NTC), which uses
computer-assisted analytical protocols to determine which cargo and
passengers destined for the United States present the greatest threat,
focusing examinations and inspections on them. The NTC screens data on
100% of inbound seaborne shipping containers (6 million per year) to
identify those posing a "high risk"; CBP personnel conduct examinations
of 100% of high-risk containers.
- DHS established the Container Security Initiative (CSI), deploying
CBP officials to 25 major international seaports to pre-screen shipping
containers for illicit or dangerous materials before they are loaded on
vessels bound for the United States. CSI includes the ports that ship
roughly two-thirds of inbound containers to the United States.
Additional ports are being added over the next two years.
Significantly Expanding Our Biodefense Capabilities: Keeping
Americans safe from the threat of bioterrorism has been a priority
since the outset of the Administration. Since 2001, over $10 billion
has been invested across all aspects of biodefense -- and NIH
bioterrorism funding alone has increased by more than 3,000 percent.
The President and the Administration have:
- Approved "Biodefense for the 21st Century" -- the first-ever
national strategy against bio threats -- that provides a roadmap
for developing comprehensive U.S. biodefense capabilities.
- Proposed and signed into law Project BioShield, which provides new
tools to acquire medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a
chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. Project
BioShield is a comprehensive effort that will ensure that resources
($5.6 billion) are available to pay for "next-generation" medical
countermeasures, expedite the conduct of NIH research and development
on medical countermeasures based on the most promising recent
scientific discoveries, and give FDA the ability to make promising
treatments quickly available in emergency situations.
- Expanded international efforts to secure and keep dangerous
biological materials out of the hands of terrorists.
- Deployed early warning environmental sampling systems -- the
BioWatch program -- making it possible to detect biological
weapons attacks against major cities. To date, the BioWatch program
has analyzed more than one million samples.
- Increased biodefense medical research and development within the
Department of Health and Human Services to more than $1.5 billion per
year since 2003, thirty times the investment in 2001.
- Expanded funding five-fold for the Strategic National Stockpile of
medicines for treating victims of terror attacks, ensuring that "push
packages" can be anywhere in the United States within 12 hours.
- Stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine for every American and
vaccinated over 600,000 members of the armed services.
Trained hundreds of thousands of first responders to recognize and
respond to the effects of WMD.
- Created the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasure Center
to systematically apply, for the first time, cutting-edge science
to the study of classified intelligence about foreign weapons programs
and develop first-class forensics in support of law enforcement
investigations of biological crimes.
- Initiated a major new agriculture and food program to defend
against diseases, pests, or poisons that could intentionally by
delivered by acts of terrorism.
- Protecting Critical Infrastructure: The Administration has made unprecedented efforts to protect America's critical infrastructure
against the threat of terrorism -- including strengthened security for
chemical plants, nuclear facilities, and other potential targets of
terrorists. The President's FY 2005 budget includes $864 million for
DHS information analysis and critical infrastructure protection -- a
seven-fold increase over FY 2002 levels.
Progress in the Global War on Terror
- Three Commitments in Our Strategy for Peace: To overcome the
dangers of our time, America is also taking a new approach in the
world. We are determined to challenge new threats -- not ignore them
and simply wait for future tragedy. Our strategy for peace has three
- First, we are defending the peace by taking the fight to the
enemy -- confronting them overseas so we do not have to confront them
here at home. We are destroying the leadership of terrorist networks
in sudden raids, disrupting their planning and financing, and shrinking
the space in which they can freely operate by denying them territory
and the support of governments.
- Second, we are protecting the
peace by working with friends and allies and international institutions
to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw regimes. America is
leading a broad coalition of nations to disrupt WMD proliferation. We
are working with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, and other international organizations to take action to
preserve our common security.
- Third, we are extending the peace
by supporting the rise of democracy -- and the hope and progress that
democracy brings -- as the alternative to hatred and terror in the
broader Middle East. In democratic and successful societies, men and
women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn
their hearts and labor to building better lives. And democratic
governments do not shelter terrorist camps, or attack their peaceful
Three Years of Progress: We have followed this strategy --
defending the peace, protecting the peace, and extending the peace
-- for nearly three years, and the results are now clear for all to
- Afghanistan: Three years ago, Afghanistan was the home base
of al-Qaida -- a country ruled by the Taliban, one of the most backward
and brutal regimes of modern history. Today, a presidential election
is scheduled for this fall, the terror camps are closed, and the Afghan
government is helping us to hunt the Taliban and terrorists in remote
regions. Today, because we acted to liberate Afghanistan, a threat has
been removed, and the American people are safer.
- Pakistan: Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few
countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime, and al-Qaida
was active and recruiting in Pakistan without serious opposition. Yet
the United States was not on good terms with key Pakistani leaders --
the very people we would need to help shut down al-Qaida operations in
that part of the world. Today, the United States and Pakistan are
working closely in the fight against terror, and Pakistani forces are
rounding up terrorists along their nation's western border. President
Musharraf is a friend of our country who helped us capture Khalid Sheik
Mohammed, the operational planner behind the 9/11 attacks. Today,
because we are working with Pakistani leaders, Pakistan is an ally in
the war on terror, and the American people are safer.
- Saudi Arabia: Three years ago, terrorists were
well-established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and
other facilitators gave al-Qaida financial and logistical help -- with
little scrutiny or opposition. Today, after attacks in Riyadh and
elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that al-Qaida is its enemy.
Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and
financial supporters of terrorism, and they have captured or killed
many first-tier leaders of the al-Qaida organization in Saudi Arabia.
Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger and joined the war on
terror, the American people are safer.
- Iraq: Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy
of America, who provided a safe haven for terrorists, had used weapons
of mass destruction, and turned his nation into a prison. Saddam
Hussein was a proven mass murderer who refused to account for his
weapons of mass murder.
- The Bush Administration, Members of Congress, and the United
Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence on Iraq and
saw a threat. The previous Administration and the Congress looked at
the intelligence -- and made regime change in Iraq the policy of our
- In 2002, the UN Security Council yet again demanded a full
accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. As he had for 12
years, Saddam Hussein refused to comply. So President Bush had a
choice to make: either take the word of a ruthless dictator, or take
action to defend America. Faced with that choice, President Bush will
defend America every time.
- We were right to go into Iraq. We removed a declared enemy of
America, who had defied the international community for 12 years, and
who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could
have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them.
Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction,
in the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford
- Today, the dictator who caused decades of death and turmoil -- who
twice invaded his neighbors, who harbored terrorist leaders, and used
chemical weapons, is finally before the bar of justice. Iraq is now
becoming an example of reform to the region. Iraqi security forces are
fighting beside coalition troops to defeat terrorists and foreign
fighters. Today, because America and our coalition helped to end the
violent regime of Saddam Hussein, and because we are helping to raise a
peaceful democracy in its place, the American people are safer.
- Libya: Three years ago, Libya, a longtime supporter of terror, was
spending millions to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons. Today,
thousands of Libya's chemical munitions have been destroyed, and
equipment to produce nuclear materials that could ultimately have
threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands is stored in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee. Today, because the Libyan government saw the determination
of the civilized world, and correctly judged its own interests, the
American people are safer.
- Weapons Proliferation: Three years ago, a private weapons
proliferation network, operated by Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q.
Khan, was selling nuclear plans and equipment to countries like Libya,
Iran, and North Korea. Today, the A.Q. Khan network has been exposed,
we have ended one of the most dangerous sources of proliferation in the
world, and the American people are safer.
- Breaking this proliferation network was possible because of
outstanding work by the CIA. Dedicated intelligence officers were
tireless in obtaining vital information, sometimes at great personal
risk. Our intelligence services do an essential job for America.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee has identified some shortcomings
in our intelligence capabilities -- and the Committee's report
will help us in the work of reform. President Bush believes that
intelligence reform efforts should: 1) increase the number of
intelligence agents to cover the globe; 2) invest in the best,
cutting-edge technology to listen and look for dangers; and 3) result
in better coordination among intelligence services.
- The President proposed the establishment of the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI). PSI is a broad international partnership of
countries which, using their own laws and resources, will coordinate
their actions to interdict shipments of dangerous technologies to and
from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern -- at sea, in
the air, and on land.
- The President proposed and the United States led the effort to
pass UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires states to
criminalize proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their
means of delivery by non-state actors, enact and implement effective
export controls, and secure proliferation-sensitive materials.
- Missile Defense: The United States will soon begin the
operational deployment of an initial capability to defend against
long-range ballistic missiles from rogue states such as North Korea.
While this initially will be a limited capability, it will provide a
basis for improvements as the threats and technologies evolve.
- Terrorist Financing: On September 23, 2001, President Bush
opened a new front in the war on terror by signing an Executive Order
to freeze the U.S.-based assets of individuals and organizations
involved with terrorism, and authorizing the Secretaries of State and
the Treasury to identify, designate, and freeze the U.S.-based assets
of terrorists and their supporters. Since September 11, 2001:
The United States has designated 387 entities as terrorists or
supporters of designated terrorists and frozen nearly $142 million in
terrorist-related assets. More than $37 million has been frozen in the
- The U.S. Government has identified and frozen over $4.5 million in
al-Qaida-related funds. In addition, almost $72 million has been
frozen by other governments worldwide.
Almost 1,500 terrorist-related accounts and transactions have been
blocked around the world, including 151 in the United States.
- Over 80 countries have also introduced new terrorism-related
legislation, and 94 have established Financial Intelligence Units.
- Consistent with applicable UN Security Council Resolutions, more
than 170 countries and jurisdictions have issued freezing orders.