“Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives..”
ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of Central Florida's largest pest control companies has been recruited by police to help fight crime, according to Local 6 News.
Technicians from Truly Nolen Pest Control of America are being trained by local law enforcement to spot anything unusual as they visit customer's homes. .........
"The pest control technicians who are coming to your home to investigate termites don't have any law enforcement capabilities, but if they see some two-legged creatures trying to make their way into your home, they'll call the police." Local 6 News reporter Deborah Garcia said.
"Our point is not to invade people's houses or make them feel like their privacy is being invaded. It's just to try to have an extra set of eyes and ears out there," Truley Nolen worker Ronnie Rachels said. .......
"Truly Nolen wants criminals to know and be warned that if you see the company's yellow VW bugs, you are being watched," Local 6 News reporter Samantha Knapp said.
Putin has certainly shown many moments of political shrewdness. The history of the Russian people would offer contradictory visions about his statements on the limitations of force. They've done their share of exerting same. At the same time, they've shown that the amazing forces of Napolean and Hitler, to name two, were insufficient to reach objectives. It's well known that Russians tend to be excellent chess players, and Kennedy understood that a chess mentality plays heavily into their politics. I view this comment by Putin as a savvy, mid-game move. In chess, there are three, and only three, elements that govern the game: Force, Time and Space. Leaders who mistakenly believe any one of these elements, alone, will achieve results will always be defeated by an opponent who is willing to make use of all three. In chess terms, for Putin, this is all about space (read: position). As noted with Kennedy, we've had many leaders who understood that chess is an excellent tutorial on global politics. Unfortunately, our current regime is not well schooled in this art. We've exercised too much power and expended too much time for too little position. Now, those that would choose to gain from our mistakes see a great opportunity. Our force has reached too far, too quickly for space less valuable than the effort exerted. An amateur opponent would react by attempting to immediatly apply opposing force in the incorrect belief that such over-reaching is best handled in this manner. A more elegant and refined player simply uses the opponent's "time" wasted through misdirected "force" to gain "space." In such cases, these space advantages can be positioned in such a way that the ultimate objective will be achieved in a manner that cannot be countered, period. Torasch's great tome on chess states "every pawn move weakens the position." We've moved a lot of pawns. Putin knows it. I think most Americans, on some level, know it, too.Skips a few details which are implied, Napolean, Hitler lost because they thought force and tactics could overcome space and time, and I would argue that Putin is attempting to "channel" us, limiting options as we attempt to regroup from the ill advised mad dash in response to threat.
It's that damn liberal media, again. They just won't publish what the president says whether it's true or not.
U.S. intelligence indicates Islamic militants from several African nations — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and Somalia — travel through Syria into Iraq, where they get hands-on training in roadside and suicide bombings, assassinations and kidnappings as well as counter-surveillance and counter-intelligence against military targets, constantly changing their tactics to counter American defenses.
While some cable TV hosts are making their living off the Natalee Holloway case this summer, Bob Costas is having none of it.
Costas, hired by CNN as an occasional fill-in on "Larry King Live," refused to anchor Thursday's show because it was primarily about the Alabama teenager who went missing in Aruba. Chris Pixley filled in at the last minute.
"I didn't think the subject matter of Thursday's show was the kind of broadcast I should be doing," Costas said in a statement. "I suggested some alternatives but the producers preferred the topics they had chosen. I was fine with that, and respectfully declined to participate."
Ecuador's government warned on Friday that troops could open fire to quell protests that have crippled oil output and forced the country to ask Venezuela for a loan of crude oil so it can keep up exports. .....
Soldiers are authorized to use firearms against protesters who began to invade oil camps, sabotage equipment and block highways on Monday, new Defense Minister Osvaldo Jarrin said just hours after he took over the job.
"If strategic installations are being attacked or there is an attempt to destroy or sabotage them, maximum force will be applied, depending on the situation. They can even open fire in self-defense," Jarrin told a news conference. ........
But Palacio himself might have helped trigger the protests by inflaming popular expectations with moves including diverting money from a fund previously destined for debt payments to pay for social programs, according to Alberto Ramos, an economist at Goldman Sachs in New York.
Ecuador's state oil company says it is suspending crude oil exports following five days of protests in two provinces that have slashed production.
Update: Actually yesterday, but still pertinant.
LIMA, Peru, Aug. 18-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's visit this week to South America had the throwback feel of a mission during the cold war, when American officials saw their main job as bolstering the hemisphere's governments against leftist insurgencies and Communist infiltration.
During stops in Paraguay and Peru, Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides warned of what they consider to be troublemaking by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Washington's old cold war foe, Fidel Castro. .....
Mr. Rumsfeld's goal in Peru and in Paraguay earlier was to stitch together support for isolating Mr. Chávez, who has become bitterly anti-Washington since the United States tacitly supported a coup that briefly ousted him in 2002. But in some ways the visit has served as a reminder of how resistant Latin America is to pressure from Washington.
The two American officials traveling with Mr. Rumsfeld said Mr. Chávez, sometimes with Cuban help, was quietly backing leftist movements in Bolivia and elsewhere in the region. The officials asked not to be identified because they were in the midst of discussions with governments in the region. ....
In a stop at the Pantheon of Heroes, Paraguay's shrine to its military leaders, Mr. Rumsfeld was met by a small but vocal band of 50 young protesters holding a sign that read "No to the Yankee troops" and displaying photos of American prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. Behind a line of police officers in riot gear, the protesters chanted, "Murderer, murderer" as Mr. Rumsfeld stood at attention while a military band played "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The United States was "not out to destroy the Taliban," a U.S. diplomat told the regime just a year before a U.S.-led invasion toppled Afghanistan's Taliban government that had harbored al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan William B. Milam held a secret meeting with an unidentified senior Taliban official in September 2000 and assured him that international sanctions on the Taliban would end if bin Laden were expelled from Afghanistan, newly declassified documents show.
By ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO | Associated PressSOCHI, Russia - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for a timetable for pulling U.S. and other troops out of Iraq and said "forceful methods" were not enough to defeat the scourge of international terrorism.
August 18, 2005
Speaking in the Black Sea resort of Sochi after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, the Russian leader also said the international community needed to be more involved in helping stabilize Iraq.
"We believe it necessary to work out a schedule of gradual withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq. Many Iraqis _ we know this well _ consider them to be occupiers," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
"All principal ethnic and religious groups, and political parties, including leading opposition forces, should take part in an inter-Iraqi dialogue," he said.
The Russian leader also said force alone would not be enough to defeat international terrorism.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia, Aug. 18 - Three years ago the Bush administration began prodding countries to shield Americans from the fledgling International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was intended to be the first permanent tribunal for prosecuting crimes like genocide.
The United States has since cut aid to some two dozen nations that refused to sign immunity agreements that American officials say are intended to protect American soldiers and policy makers from politically motivated prosecutions.
To the Bush administration, the aid cuts are the price paid for refusing to offer support in an area where it views the United States, with its military might stretched across the globe, as being uniquely vulnerable. .......
Most of the penalties, outlined in a law that went into effect in 2003, have been in the form of cuts in military training and other security aid. But a budget bill passed in December also permits new cuts in social and health-care programs, like AIDS education and peacekeeping, refugee assistance and judicial reforms. ......
"The exposure faced by the United States goes well beyond people on active duty and it includes decision-makers in our government," said a high-ranking State Department official who was authorized to speak about the policy but only if he was not identified. "We're not hallucinating that our officials are at risk."
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, Condi.
Three weeks ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a news conference announcing broad changes to the department's arms control and nonproliferation bureaus. The first office had lost significant responsibilities during President Bush's first term as the White House pulled out of several international arms treaties. At the same time, the nonproliferation bureau's responsibilities tripled as officials handled crises with Iran, North Korea and a nuclear black market run out of Pakistan.
The State Department notified Congress of the plans Aug. 1, the first day of August recess, and had sought approval by Aug. 15, weeks before Congress returned and had an opportunity to explore the merger. ..........
The bureaus had been under the control of John R. Bolton, who was about to be appointed ambassador to the United Nations after an unsuccessful confirmation process. With his departure, Rice said the bureaus would be merged into the newly named Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation with a revised mission to address concerns such as the nexus between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. .........
On Monday, Bolton's chief of staff at State, Fred Fleitz, briefed staff members on the Senate committee about the merger. Many of the details and structural changes were worked out in private by a small group of political appointees who worked for Bolton.
Tony Blair could be forced to give evidence under oath after families of 17 soldiers killed in Iraq began a legal bid yesterday to secure an independent inquiry into the lawfulness of the 2003 conflict.
A lawyer representing the families lodged papers at the high court in London, seeking a judicial review of the government's decision this May not to order an investigation into the legality of the war in Iraq. ......
Among the questions the families want to ask at court is why "the equivocal advice of March 7, in 2003, from the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, changed so that 10 days later it was completely unequivocal in giving legal support for the war?"
"Why were these soldiers sent out to Iraq when it appears from everything in the public domain that the Iraq war was illegal and that therefore the sons and daughters of these families died for no good reason?" Mr Shiner asked.
Mr Blair has said there was no need to go "back over this ground again and again". In a letter to the families, Treasury solicitors said the government believed that military action against Iraq was fully justified.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has dismissed global warming as a hoax and questioned scientific evidence supporting rising temperatures.
The White House has warned that mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions could stunt U.S. economic growth. President George W. Bush supports a voluntary plan for industry to cut greenhouse gas output.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 - The second-highest diplomat at the United States Embassy in Baghdad is one of the anonymous government officials cited in an Aug. 4 indictment as having provided classified information to an employee of a pro-Israel lobbying group, people who have been officially briefed on the case said Wednesday.
The diplomat, David M. Satterfield, was identified in the indictment as a United States government official, "USGO-2," the people briefed on the matter said. In early 2002, USGO-2 discussed secret national security matters in two meetings with Steven J. Rosen, who has since been dismissed as a top lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as Aipac, who has been charged in the case. .......
Only Mr. Rosen met with USGO-2, according to the indictment. At the time of the meetings, Mr. Satterfield was the deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, which made him the State Department's second-ranking official for the Middle East.
Their meetings are listed as overt acts in a conspiracy to illegally communicate national defense secrets to a foreign government. After Mr. Rosen's first meeting with USGO-2 on Jan. 18, 2002, the indictment said, a memorandum containing the information that Mr. Rosen had obtained was sent to other Aipac employees. The indictment did not indicate who wrote the memorandum, but said that it "contained classified information provided by USGO-2."
The two men met again on March 12, the indictment said. At their second meeting, they talked about Al Qaeda, the indictment said, without saying what aspect of the terror network was discussed. On March 14, Mr. Rosen disclosed to an unidentified foreign official, "FO-2," the information that he had heard from USGO-2, the indictment said.
Prosecutors have charged that Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman improperly obtained classified information from Mr. Franklin, Mr. Satterfield and two other American officials. The two officials whose identities remain unclear are referred to in the indictment as "USGO-1," and a Defense Department employee identified as "DOD-B." Although USGO-1 has not been publicly identified, the people who have been officially briefed said that person was no longer in the government.
MATTHEWS: Let me go, Paul, before you start. What I keep doing here is asking people on and off camera who come on this program, high-ranking officers, enlisted, former officers. I get sometimes, not all the time, two different versions, the version they give me on the air and the version they give me the minute when we‘re off the air.Now, if he were actually in the news business, he might actually report the fact that he has people on his show that he knows are lying. But, then, that's not what his "news" show is about, is it?
The version they give me when we‘re on the air is gung-ho, we‘re doing the right thing, everything is moving along. The version they give me off the air is, Rumsfeld is crazy. There aren‘t enough troops over there. We‘re not taking this seriously enough, or, we shouldn‘t be there, sometimes.
The Air Force has jettisoned a $23.5 billion plan to lease jets from the Boeing Co. for use as air refueling tankers. Boeing's former chief financial officer and a former top Air Force official were sentenced to prison on corruption charges related to the deal.
The former Air Force official, Darleen Druyun, is serving a nine-month term at a federal prison in Florida. She admitted inflating the lease price as a "parting gift" to Boeing before leaving the Pentagon for a job at the aircraft giant in 2002.
Wynne was a deputy, then head of the Pentagon's acquisition office. A report by the Defense Department's inspector general in May faulted Wynne for not requiring the Air Force to follow proper procedures for the Boeing leases.
The report said Wynne told the White House budget office that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the lease idea "after comprehensive and deliberative review by the Leasing Review Panel" when that panel had not finished its deliberations or made recommendations.
Pakistan, which a year ago was at the center of a nuclear proliferation scandal, observed for the first time exercises held by forces from 13 nations -- including Australia, France, Germany, Britain and the United States -- under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
The PSI scheme, in which ships and aircraft suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) can be intercepted, has the support of more than 60 countries, though some legal experts say it could violate international law.
But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. ....
"He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 [firearms squad] officers ... I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had been previously sitting ... I then heard a gun shot very close to my left ear and was dragged away on to the floor of the carriage."A surveillance officer admitted in a witness statement that he was unable to positively identify Mr de Menezes as a suspect because the officer had been relieving himself when the Brazilian left the block of flats where he lived.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Three car bombs exploded near a bus station and hospital in Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 43 people and wounding 89 in the deadliest attacks in the capital in weeks, police said. Survivors searched charred buses and cars for signs of relatives. .....
It was the deadliest series of single-day suicide bombings in Baghdad in weeks, although suicide attacks with far lower death tolls occur here regularly.
Senior Pentagon officials have opposed the release of photographs and videotapes of the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, arguing that they would incite public opinion in the Muslim world and put the lives of American soldiers and officials at risk, according to documents unsealed in federal court in New York.
Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement put forth to support the Pentagon's case that he believed that "riots, violence and attacks by insurgents will result" if the images were released.
The Washington Post announced yesterday that it will back out of a controversial co-sponsorship of a Pentagon-organized event next month to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and support the troops in Iraq.
"As it appears that this event could become politicized, .....
The newspaper notified the Department of Defense that it would no longer donate public service advertising space to help promote the Freedom Walk, an event planned for Sept. 11. At the conclusion of the procession from the Pentagon to the Mall, there will be a performance by country star Clint Black, who recorded the song "I Raq and Roll."
"Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias," said a resolution passed earlier yesterday by the leadership of The Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. "The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. . . . The Guild supports The Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq. But the Post undermines this goal by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq -- a link that The Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false." ...
"There was some criticism," he said, "but just as important was the fact that there seemed to be an increased possibility that the event could become politicized."
"We were counting on The Post, who seemed to understand that this is really not anything but a Freedom Walk, to let the D.C. area know about this wonderful opportunity," Barber said. (Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for communications)
Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department, stopped short of urging its rejection, but he called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to "ensure the best interests of the Internet community as a whole are fully considered."
The department received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails expressing concerns about the impact of pornography on families and children and objecting to setting aside a domain suffix for it, he said. .....
Driver Crushes Crosses At Anti-War Protest SiteAnd here's their video link of the knocked down crosses.
Larry Northern, 59, of McLennan County, was charged Tuesday with Criminal Mischief Over $1,500 and under $20,000 after a pickup truck tore through a row of white crosses erected by anti-war protesters gathered near the President’s ranch in Crawford. The protesters who are camped out in Crawford expressed outrage at the vandalism.
...Leaks from the Pentagon have deepened the uncertainty. In May, the Washington Post reported that military planning did not envision permanent bases in Iraq but rather stationing troops in nearby Kuwait. But the report noted that the Pentagon was also planning to consolidate U.S. troops in Iraq into four large fortified bases.
John E. Pike, a defense analyst at GlobalSecurity.org, points to another indication. Although the United States is systematically training Iraqis to fight the insurgents, he notes, the Pentagon has not taken key steps — like making plans for acquiring tanks or aircraft — to build an Iraqi military capable of defending the country against its neighbors.
To Pike that means that although the United States might reduce its troop level in Iraq, the fledgling nation, like Germany or South Korea, will require the sustained presence of a large American contingent, perhaps 50,000 soldiers. "We are building the base structure to facilitate exactly [that]," he says....
"I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Willer said. "There were no increases [in desire] for other types of cars."
Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said.First off, if Venezuela did cut off it's supply to the US, shipping it instead to, let's say, China, the 1.3 mbpd that China was getting elsewhere would then become available on the market, and the US could buy those instead. Simple swap.
On Friday the Venezuelan government withdrew diplomatic immunity from DEA agents working in the country in response to a US decision to revoke the visas of six Venezuelan officials based in Washington.
Christian conservative leaders and U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay rallied on Sunday to condemn activist judges and heap praise on U.S. President George W. Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, John Roberts.
Organizers of the rally, which featured a packed audience at a Baptist church swaying and singing hymns beneath two huge American flags, said they hoped to use the gathering as a "launching pad" to mobilize Christians against judges they say are overriding the Constitution with their decisions.
Televised to churches across the country and broadcast over the Internet, "Justice Sunday II: God Save the United States and This Honorable Court" was co-sponsored by the prominent Christian conservative groups Family Research Center and Focus on the Family."The recent nomination of John Roberts has spurred our country into a conversation about the court's role in our society," DeLay said.
Every scrape and bang in a US refinery is jolting world oil markets as the price of a barrel of crude shoots up toward 70 dollars and more.
While Middle East tensions and huge demand from China and India are a major concern for markets, a series of accidents at hard-pressed US refineries have fuelled fears of shortages at the pump for drivers in America and Europe in the near future.
From 70 percent 10 years ago, the Department of Energy said this week that refineries were working at more than 95 percent of capacity. And experts said there is little room for improvement which is why even small incidents can affect oil prices.
In the past week the price of a barrel of the main light sweet crude traded in New York has risen from under 63 dollars to briefly surpass 67 dollars on Friday. Gasoline prices have also hit new highs for US drivers. ....Higher gasoline prices and an energy law recently adopted by Congress may provide some incentives to building or expanding refineries. But any new plants would take time to construct and investors are expected to move cautiously given past trends.
Now, who would want us to think it's refining capacity? Perhaps the guys who just got a nickel less than a billion dollars of taxpayer money to improve their facilities......
The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.
The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.
"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning." .....
But the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.
Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent. ....
Washington now does not expect to fully defeat the insurgency before departing, but instead to diminish it, officials and analysts said. There is also growing talk of turning over security responsibilities to the Iraqi forces even if they are not fully up to original U.S. expectations, in part because they have local legitimacy that U.S. troops often do not.
Five US soldiers have been killed and five wounded in roadside bomb attacks in little over 24 hours, the US military said on Sunday.
Three soldiers were killed and another wounded when their patrol struck a roadside device near Tuz, some 180 kilometres north of Baghdad, late on Friday, the military said in a statement. It gave no further details.
In western Iraq, on the main road leading to the border with Jordan, one US soldier was killed and three wounded when their combat patrol hit a roadside bomb early on Sunday.
In Baghdad, a fifth soldier died when his vehicle hit a device in the west of the city on Saturday, the military said. A second soldier was wounded in that attack.
For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks by insurgents. ......
The effort to replace the armor began in May 2004, just months after the Pentagon finished supplying troops with the original plates - a process also plagued by delays. The officials disclosed the new armor effort Wednesday after questioning by The New York Times, and acknowledged that it would take several more months or longer to complete.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you for that very gracious and warm Cincinnati welcome. I'm honored to be here tonight; I appreciate you all coming.
Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.
We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability -- even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.
Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons. Since we all agree on this goal, the issues is : how can we best achieve it? .....
In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions. .....
We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran, and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who died in the attacks of September the 11th. .....
Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work. We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. .....
Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary; confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. ....
The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. .....
Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. ....
Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. ......
After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon. ......
I hope this will not require military action, but it may. And military conflict could be difficult. An Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may attempt cruel and desperate measures. If Saddam Hussein orders such measures, his generals would be well advised to refuse those orders. If they do not refuse, they must understand that all war criminals will be pursued and punished. If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is possible. We will plan carefully; we will act with the full power of the United States military; we will act with allies at our side, and we will prevail. (Applause.) ......
There is no easy or risk-free course of action. Some have argued we should wait -- and that's an option. In my view, it's the riskiest of all options, because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become. We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world. But I'm convinced that is a hope against all evidence. As Americans, we want peace -- we work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein. ....
Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq. The lives of Iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if Saddam Hussein were no longer in power, just as the lives of Afghanistan's citizens improved after the Taliban.