24 July 2004
Commission Report Will Guide Homeland Security Efforts, Says
President discusses 9/11 Commission report in
weekly radio address
President Bush thanked the members of the bipartisan National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known
as the 9/11 Commission, for their work and recommendations to prevent
future terrorist attacks against the United States.
"We have already put into action many of the steps now recommended
by the commission, and we will carefully examine all the commission's
ideas on how we can improve our ongoing efforts to protect America
and to prevent another attack," Bush said July 24 in his weekly
radio address to the nation.
"In the nearly three years since the attacks, we have waged a
steady, relentless, determined war on terrorists. We're fighting
them in foreign lands so we do not have to face them here in America,
and we are taking unprecedented steps to defend the homeland," the
"The 9/11 Commission's recommendations will help guide our efforts
as we work to protect the homeland," Bush said.
Following is the transcript of President Bush's radio address:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Embargoed Until Delivery At 10:06 A.M. EDT
Saturday, July 24, 2004
RADIO ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE NATION
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, the independent commission
on the September the 11th attacks issued its final report. I appreciate
the hard work of the commission over the past 20 months. They have
produced a serious and comprehensive report, and I welcome their
Indeed, we have already put into action many of the steps now
recommended by the commission, and we will carefully examine all
the commission's ideas on how we can improve our ongoing efforts
to protect America and to prevent another attack.
The events of September the 11th, 2001, dramatically demonstrated
the threats of a new era. In the nearly three years since the attacks,
we have waged a steady, relentless, determined war on terrorists.
We're fighting them in foreign lands so we do not have to face
them here in America, and we are taking unprecedented steps to
defend the homeland. Since September 2001, America and our allies
have captured or killed thousands of terrorists, removed terrorist
regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, convinced Libya to give up its
weapons of mass destruction, and put the world's most dangerous
nuclear trading network out of business. We're chasing down terrorist
enemies abroad, and within our own borders.
On the home front, we have dismantled terrorist cells and prosecuted
terrorist supporters from California, to Florida, to Massachusetts.
As the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean, said this week,
we are safer today than we were on 9/11. But as Governor Kean also
noted, the danger to America has not passed. In a vast, free society
such as ours, there is no such thing as perfect security. And no
matter how good our defenses are, a determined enemy can still
strike us. Yet all Americans can be certain our government is using
every resource and technological advantage we have to prevent future
We have created a new Department of Homeland Security with a single
mission -- protecting the American people. We have established
better communications networks to make information on rapidly emerging
threats available to local officials in real-time. We are transforming
the FBI into an agency whose primary focus is stopping terrorism.
And we created a new Northern Command in the Department of Defense
with the mission of defending the American homeland. To better
protect the country, we have posted Homeland Security personnel
at foreign ports, beefed up airport and seaport security at home,
and instituted better visa screening for those entering our country.
We have placed state of the art equipment in major cities to detect
biological agents, and stockpiled enough small pox vaccine for
every American in case of an emergency. And this week, I signed
a new law establishing Project BioShield, which will speed the
development of new vaccines and treatments against biological agents
that could be used in a terrorist attack.
On Thursday, I visited with first responders at the Northeastern
Illinois Public Safety Training Academy. I thanked them for their
service and assured them that America will give them the tools
they need to do their jobs. Since September of 2001, my administration
has provided more than $13 billion to equip and train more than
half a million first responders across America. There's still more
to do. As Commander-in-Chief, it is critical that I receive the
best intelligence to defend the American people. The 9/11 Commission's
recommendations will help guide our efforts as we work to protect
the homeland. And we can be confident, although the threats of
this new century are dangerous, America has the resources, the
strength, and the resolve to overcome them.
Thank you for listening.