Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, September 17, 2003 (Full Transcript)
QUESTION: But there doesn't seem to be much action. We're
getting an awful lot of Taliban coming across the border from
Afghanistan. They're recruiting again --
MR. McCLELLAN: You have some remnants -- you have remnants
of a regime that we removed, that was an oppressive regime, that is
desperate -- more and more desperate every single day, because of the
progress we are making on many fronts in Afghanistan.
QUESTION: You've said several times that the threat
of al Qaeda or al Qaeda has been thrown out of Afghanistan in the war
on terror. But they just crossed the border into Pakistan. Are we
pleased with the lack or what appears to be a lack of effort by
Pakistan to take control of those tribal areas?
MR. McCLELLAN: Pakistan is a strong ally in the war on
terrorism. They have been working closely with us to go after
terrorists that may be crossing the border. But they are a close ally
in the war on terrorism, working with us to go after those threats
QUESTION: Two quick ones. One, we are still living
under the threat of terrorism and we're getting so many letters now
again from Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. One, we just had second
anniversary of the 9/11, and most of the world leaders will be gathered
next week in the U.N. So where do we stand as far as terrorism threat
is concerned, level of threat and colors and all that and how --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of the war on terrorism, we
have made significant progress. Again, we have removed the Taliban
regime in Afghanistan. We have removed the regime of Saddam Hussein in
Iraq. We have -- we are dismantling and disrupting terrorist networks
globally. Law enforcement is working cooperatively. Many countries are
-- many countries' law enforcement agencies are working together to
confront it from the law enforcement standpoint; arrests are being
made. We're continuing to crackdown on terrorist financing, there's a
number of important steps there. Two-thirds of the leadership of al
Qaeda has been captured or killed.
So we've made significant progress. But there is more to do. This
is a global war on terrorism. Nations have come together to address it.
It is a war that will take -- require patience and take time, but we
will pursue it to the end.