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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 9, 2001

President's Letter to Congress on American Response to Terrorism
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
October 9, 2001

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Mr. President:)

At approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on October 7, 2001, on my orders, U.S.  Armed Forces began combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaida terrorists and their Taliban supporters.  This military action is a part of our campaign against terrorism and is designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations.

We are responding to the brutal September 11 attacks on our territory, our citizens, and our way of life, and to the continuing threat of terrorist acts against the United States and our friends and allies.  This follows the deployment of various combat-equipped and combat support forces to a number of locations in the Central and Pacific Command areas of operations, as I reported to the Congress on September 24, to prepare for the campaign to prevent and deter terrorism.

I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  It is not possible to know at this time either the duration of combat operations or the scope and dura-tion of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to counter the terrorist threat to the United States.  As I have stated previously, it is likely that the American campaign against terrorism will be lengthy.  I will direct such additional measures as necessary in exercise of our right to self-defense and to protect U.S.  citizens and interests.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution and Public Law 107-40.  Officials of my Administration and I have been communicating regularly with the leadership and other members of Congress, and we will continue to do so.  I appreciate the continuing support of the Congress, including its enactment of Public Law 107-40, in these actions to protect the security of the United States of America and its citizens, civilian and military, here and abroad.


                              GEORGE W. BUSH

                                # # #

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