[House Document 107-122]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

107th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 107-122 








 September 21, 2001.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
 Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to 
                               be printed

89-011                     WASHINGTON : 2001

To the Congress of the United States:
    Mr. Speaker, Mr. President pro tempore, Members of 
Congress, and fellow Americans:
    In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this 
chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such 
report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American 
    We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed 
terrorists to save others on the ground--passengers like an 
exceptional man named Todd Beamer. Please help me to welcome 
his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight.
    We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of 
rescuers, working past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling 
of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the 
saying of prayers--in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen 
the decency of a loving and giving people, who have made the 
grief of strangers their own.
    My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire 
world has seen for itself the state of our Union--and it is 
    Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to 
defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to 
resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring 
justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
    I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an 
important time. All of America was touched on the evening of 
the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats, joined together 
on the steps of this Capitol, singing ``God Bless America.'' 
And you did more than sing, you acted, by delivering forty 
billion dollars to rebuild our communities and meet the needs 
of our military.
    Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Gephardt  . . . 
Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott . . . I thank you for 
your friendship and your leadership and your service to our 
    And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for 
its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds 
of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, and on the 
streets of Paris, and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. We will not 
forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our 
embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a 
mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days 
of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.
    Nor will we forget the citizens of eighty other nations who 
died with our own. Dozens of Pakistanis. More than 130 
Israelis. More than 250 citizens of India. Men and women from 
El Salvador, Iran, Mexico, and Japan. And hundreds of British 
citizens. America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once 
again, we are joined together in a great cause. The British 
Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of 
purpose with America, and tonight we welcome Tony Blair.
    On September the eleventh, enemies of freedom committed an 
act of war against our country. Americans have known wars--but 
for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, 
except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have know the 
casualties of war--but not at the center of a great city on a 
peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks--but 
never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought 
upon us in a single day--and night fell on a different world, a 
world where freedom itself is under attack.
    Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are 
asking: Who attacked our country?
    The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of 
loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al-Qaida. 
They are the same murderers indicted for bombing American 
embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and responsible for the 
bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
    Al-Qaida is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its 
goal is not making money; its goal is remaking the world--and 
imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
    The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism 
that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority 
of Muslim clerics--a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful 
teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to 
kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no 
distinctions among military and civilians, including women and 
    This group and its leader--a person named Usama bin Ladin--
are linked to many other organizations in different countries, 
including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement 
of Uzbekistan.
    There are thousands of these terrorists in more than sixty 
countries. They are recruited from their own nations and 
neighborhoods, and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan 
where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent 
back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the 
world to plot evil and destruction.
    The leadership of al-Qaida has great influence in 
Afghanistan, and supports the Taliban regime in controlling 
most of that country. In Afghanistan, we see al-Qaida's vision 
for the world.
    Afghanistan's people have been brutalized--many are 
starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend 
school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can 
be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed 
in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
    The United States respects the people of Afghanistan--after 
all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid--
but we condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing 
its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by 
sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding 
and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder. 
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following 
demands on the Taliban:
    Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al-
Qaida who hide in your land.
    Release all foreign nationals--including American 
citizens--you have unjustly imprisoned, and protect foreign 
journalists, diplomats, and aid workers in your country.
    Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training 
camp in Afghanistan and hand over every terrorist, and every 
person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities.
    Give the United States full access to terrorist training 
camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
    These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. 
The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over 
the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
    I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout 
the world: We respect your faith. It is practiced freely by 
many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries 
that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and 
peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah 
blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to 
their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The 
enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our 
many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of 
terrorists, and every government that supports them.
    Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end 
there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global 
reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.
    Americans are asking: Why do they hate us?
    They hate what we see right here in this chamber--a 
democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-
appointed. They hate our freedoms--our freedom of religion, our 
freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and 
disagree with each other.
    They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim 
countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want 
to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive 
Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.
    These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to 
disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope 
that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and 
forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand 
in their way.
    We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have 
seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous 
ideologies of the twentieth century. By sacrificing human life 
to serve their radical visions--by abandoning every value 
except the will to power--they follow in the path of fascism, 
and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path 
all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of 
discarded lies.
    Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war?
    We will direct every resource at our command--every means 
of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of 
law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary 
weapon of war--to the disruption and defeat of the global 
terror network.
    This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade 
ago, with its decisive liberation of territory and its swift 
conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two 
years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single 
American was lost in combat.
    Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and 
isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a 
lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have seen. It may include 
dramatic strikes, visible on television, and covert operations, 
secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, 
turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, 
until there is no refuge or rest. And we will pursue nations 
that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in 
every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with 
us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any 
nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be 
regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
    Our Nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from 
attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to 
protect Americans.
    Today, dozens of Federal departments and agencies, as well 
as State and local governments, have responsibilities affecting 
homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the 
highest level. So tonight I announce the creation of a Cabinet-
level position reporting directly to me--the Office of Homeland 
Security. And tonight I also announce a distinguished American 
to lead this effort to strengthen America's security--a 
military veteran, an effective Governor, a true patriot, and my 
trusted friend, Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Ridge. He will 
lead, oversee, and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy 
to safeguard our country against terrorism, and respond to any 
attacks that may come.
    These measures are essential. But the only way to defeat 
terrorism as a threat to our way life is to stop it, eliminate 
it, and destroy it where it grows.
    Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents to 
intelligence operatives to the reservists we have called to 
active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers. 
And tonight, a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a 
message for our military: Be ready. I have called the armed 
forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when 
America will act, and you will make us proud.
    This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at 
stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. 
This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who 
believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.
    We ask every nation to join us. We will ask, and we will 
need, the help of police forces, intelligence services, and 
banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful 
that many nations and many international organizations have 
already responded--with sympathy and with support. Nations from 
Latin America, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Islamic 
world. Perhaps the NATO Charter reflects best the attitude of 
the world: an attack on one is an attack on all.
    The civilized world is rallying to America's side. They 
understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own 
cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can 
not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of 
legitimate governments. And we will not allow it.
    Americans are asking: What is expected of us?
    I ask you to live your lives and hug your children. I know 
many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and 
resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.
    I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why 
so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, 
and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should 
be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of 
their ethnic background or religious faith.
    I ask you to continue to support the victims of this 
tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go 
to a central source of information, libertyunites.org, to find 
the names of groups providing direct help in New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
    The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this 
investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give 
    I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences 
that may accompany tighter security--and for your patience in 
what will be a long struggle.
    I ask your continued participation and confidence in the 
American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American 
prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is 
successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and 
enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our 
economy before September eleventh, and they are our strengths 
    Finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror 
and their families, for those in uniform, and for our great 
country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow, and will help 
strengthen us for the journey ahead.
    Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have 
already done and for what you will do. And ladies and gentlemen 
of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what 
you have already done, and for what we will do together.
    Tonight, we face new and sudden national challenges. We 
will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically 
expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights, and take 
new measures to prevent hijacking. We will come together to 
promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct 
assistance during this emergency.
    We will come together to give law enforcement the 
additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home. We 
will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities 
to know the plans of terrorists before they act, and find them 
before they strike.
    We will come together to take active steps that strengthen 
America's economy, and put our people back to work.
    Tonight we welcome here two leaders who embody the 
extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers: Governor George 
Pataki, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As a symbol of America's 
resolve, my Administration will work with the Congress, and 
these two leaders, to show the world that we will rebuild New 
York City.
    After all that has just passed--all the lives taken, and 
all the possibilities and hopes that died with them--it is 
natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear. Some 
speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead, 
and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, 
not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America 
is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; 
this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world.
    Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great 
loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and 
our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human 
freedom--the great achievement of our time, and the great hope 
of every time--now depends on us. Our Nation--this generation--
will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our 
future. We will rally the world to this cause, by our efforts 
and by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and 
we will not fail.
    It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will 
return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and 
routines, and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and 
grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember 
what happened that day, and to whom it happened. We will 
remember the moment the news came--where we were and what we 
were doing. Some will remember an image of fire, or a story of 
rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone 
    And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man 
named George Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying 
to save others. It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a 
proud memorial to her son. This is my reminder of lives that 
ended, and a task that does not end.
    I will not forget this wound to our country, or those who 
inflicted it. I will not yield--I will not rest--I will not 
relent in waging this struggle for the freedom and security of 
the American people.
    The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome 
is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always 
been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
    Fellow citizens, we will meet violence with patient 
justice--assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident 
of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God 
grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of 
    Thank you.

                                                    George W. Bush.
    The White House, September 20, 2001.