22 July 2004
New Law to Provide Medical Countermeasures Against WMD Attack
Bush signed bill to improve homeland security
Following is the text of the White House factsheet on Project
BioShield -- an initiative to provide enhanced medical countermeasures
for Americans in the event of terrorist attack using weapons of
mass destruction -- that President Bush signed into law on July
(begin fact sheet)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
July 21, 2004
Fact Sheet: Progress in the War on Terror
July 21, 2004
FACT SHEET: PROGRESS IN THE WAR ON TERROR
Today's Presidential Action
President Bush today signed into law Project BioShield, which
provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting
Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear
The President first proposed Project BioShield in his 2003 State
of the Union address and Congress approved it last week. Project
BioShield is a comprehensive effort overseen jointly by Secretary
[of Health and Human Services Tommy] Thompson and [Homeland Security]
Secretary [Tom] Ridge, and involving other Federal agencies as
appropriate, to develop and make available modern, effective drugs
and vaccines to protect against attack by CBRN weapons. Project
-- Expedite the conduct of NIH [National Institutes of Health]
research and development on medical countermeasures based on the
most promising recent scientific discoveries.
-- Give FDA [Food and Drug Administration] the ability to make
promising treatments quickly available in emergency situations
-- this tightly controlled new authority will enable access to
the best available treatments in the event of a crisis.
-- Ensure that resources are available to pay for "next-generation" medical
Project BioShield will allow the government to buy improved vaccines
or drugs. The fiscal year 2004 appropriation for the Department
of Homeland Security included $5.6 billion over 10 years for the
purchase of next generation countermeasures against anthrax and
smallpox as well as other CBRN agents.
As the result of the Project BioShield legislation, the administration
has already begun the process of acquiring several new medical
-- 75 million doses of a second generation anthrax vaccine to
become available for stockpiling beginning next year.
-- New medical treatments for anthrax directed at neutralizing
the effects of anthrax toxin.
-- Polyvalent botulinum antitoxin.
-- A safer second generation smallpox vaccine.
-- Initial evaluation of treatments for radiation and chemical
Today, based on the new BioShield authorities, Secretary Thompson
will launch multi-year initiatives to develop advanced treatments
and therapeutics for exposure to biological agents and radiation
Today's action is just the latest step the President has taken
to win the war on terror and protect our homeland. America is safer
and stronger than it was three years ago as a result of President
Background: Three Years of Progress in the War on Terror
Protecting Our Homeland
Almost three years have passed since the last attack on American
soil, but the danger is still clear. As President Bush reminded
the nation in his State of the Union address, "[I]t is tempting
to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable,
comforting -- and false." President Bush has made winning the war
on terror and securing our homeland a top priority.
-- Creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The President
has led the most extensive reorganization of the Federal government
in 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.
-- FBI Reform: The President transformed 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.
-- Homeland Security Funding: Since 2001, the President has proposed
a near tripling of FY 2001 funding for homeland security. The FY
2005 budget will increase homeland security funding by 9.7 percent
over FY 2004 -- not counting homeland security funding in the Department
of Defense and Project BioShield. Strengthened counterterrorism
efforts through the Department of Justice, proposing a 19 percent
increase in homeland security funding over FY 2004 to $2.6 billion.
The FY 2005 budget also brings overall FBI funding to $5.1 billion,
a $1.9 billion (60 percent) 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 terrorism and
public health preparedness since September 11, 2001. The President
feels strongly that these funds should be spent on training and
equipping first responders for terrorism preparedness and response,
which is one of our nation's top homeland security priorities.
-- 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 percent
of commercial air passengers and checked 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; and federal air marshals ride aboard
tens of thousands of flights each month.
-- Border Security: Three years ago, there were inspectors from
three different Federal agencies at our ports of entry. Today,
through DHS, the Bureau of 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 Nation's borders. 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 115 airports and 14 seaports across the country and
is expanding to all land ports of entry. This program has been
very successful, processing more than 6.2 million travelers since
January and over 850 individuals have been matched who are the
subjects of a look out.
-- 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
13 100-person Maritime Safety and Security Teams, to provide point
defense for critical infrastructure and high value shipping; employed
armed helicopters to provide waterside security; and reviewed thousands
of new vessel, facility, and port security plans. Funding for Coast
Guard port security efforts has increased over 500 percent 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 percent of
inbound seaborne shipping containers (nine million per year) to
identify those posing a "high risk;" CBP personnel conduct examinations
of 100 percent of high-risk containers. DHS established the Container
Security Initiative (CSI), deploying CBP officials to 17 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.
-- Biodefense: 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. In addition to BioShield, the President has pursued
aggressively a broad range of efforts to confront the biological
weapons threat. Approved "Biodefense for the 21st Century" -- the
first-ever national strategy against bio threats -- that provides
a roadmap for development of comprehensive U.S. biodefense capabilities.
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 half
a 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 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 nearly 500,000
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.
-- Protection of Critical Infrastructure: Since its inception,
DHS has visited several of the top chemical sites of concern nationwide
and identified measures to improve their security. The administration
continues to work with Congress and the private sector to develop
security standards for all chemical facilities.
-- Intelligence and Coordination: Since 2001, the President has
improved intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing to obtain
the best picture of the terrorist threat to the nation. The President
established the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, integrating
and analyzing terrorism threat-related information collected domestically
and abroad, ensuring that intelligence and law enforcement entities
are working together. Elements of the Central Intelligence Agency,
Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Justice, DHS, and FBI
work to close the "seams" in our intelligence analysis. The Terrorist
Screening Center was established 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 off the same unified, comprehensive set of anti-terrorist
information -- and that they have access to information and expertise
that will allow them to act quickly when a suspected terrorist
is screened or stopped. DHS launched the Homeland Security Information
Network (HSIN), a real-time collaboration system to report incidents,
crimes, and potential terrorist acts to one another and the DHS
Homeland Security Operations Center. The HSIN is now linked to
all 50 states and more than 50 major urban areas. DOD created U.S.
Northern Command, to provide for integrated homeland defense and
coordinated DOD support to Federal, state, and local civilian governments.
The President signed 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.
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 by 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 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 neighbors.
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 see.
-- Afghanistan: Three years ago, Afghanistan was the home base
of al-Qa'ida -- 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
-- Pakistan: Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few countries
in the world that recognized the Taliban regime, and al-Qa'ida
was active and recruiting in Pakistan without serious opposition.
Yet the United States was not on good terms with Pakistan's military
and civilian leaders -- the very people we would need to help shut
down al-Qa'ida 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. [Pakistan] 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-Qa'ida financial and logistical help -- with little scrutiny
or opposition. Today, after attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the
Saudi government knows that al-Qa'ida 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-Qa'ida organization in Saudi Arabia -- including
one last month. 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 country. In 2002, the U.N. Security
Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's
weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused
to comply. So we 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, although we have not found stockpiles
of weapons of mass destruction. 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. In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could
not afford to take. 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
U.N. 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.
(end fact sheet)