[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 8, 1998]
[Page 1415]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1415]]

The President's Radio Address
August 8, 1998

    Good morning. I want to talk to you about the terrorist bombings 
yesterday that took the lives of Americans and Africans at our Embassies 
in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; to tell you what we're 
doing and how we are combating the larger problem of terrorism that 
targets Americans.
    Most of you have seen the horrible pictures of destruction on 
television. The bomb attack in Nairobi killed at least 11 Americans. In 
Dar es Salaam, no Americans lost their lives, but at least one was 
gravely wounded. In both places, many Africans were killed or wounded, 
and devastating damage was done to our Embassies and surrounding 
    To the families and friends of those who were killed, I know nothing 
I can say will make sense of your loss. I hope you will take some 
comfort in the knowledge that your loved ones gave their lives to the 
highest calling, serving our country, protecting our freedom, and 
seeking its blessings for others. May God bless their souls.
    Late yesterday, emergency response teams, led by our Departments of 
State and Defense, arrived in Africa. The teams include doctors to tend 
to the injured, disaster relief experts to get our Embassies up and 
running again, a military unit to protect our personnel, and 
counterterrorism specialists to determine what happened and who was 
    Americans are targets of terrorism, in part, because we have unique 
leadership responsibilities in the world, because we act to advance 
peace and democracy, and because we stand united against terrorism. To 
change any of that--to pull back our diplomats and troops from the 
world's trouble spots, to turn our backs on those taking risks for 
peace, to weaken our opposition to terrorism--that would give terrorism 
a victory it must not and will not have.
    Instead, we will continue to take the fight to terrorists. Over the 
past several years, I have intensified our effort on all fronts in this 
battle: apprehending terrorists wherever they are and bringing them to 
justice; disrupting terrorist operations; deepening counterterrorism 
cooperation with our allies and isolating nations that support 
terrorism; protecting our computer networks; improving transportation 
security; combating the threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological 
weapons; giving law enforcement the best counterterrorism tools 
available. This year I appointed a national coordinator to bring the 
full force of our resources to bear swiftly and effectively.
    The most powerful weapon in our counter-terrorism arsenal is our 
determination to never give up. In recent years, we have captured major 
terrorists in the far corners of the world and brought them to America 
to answer for their crimes, sometimes years after they were committed. 
They include the man who murdered two CIA employees outside its 
headquarters. Four years later we apprehended him halfway around the 
world, and a Virginia jury sentenced him to death. The mastermind of the 
World Trade Center bombing, who fled far from America, 2 years later we 
brought him back for trial in New York. And the terrorist responsible 
for bombing a Pan Am jet bound for Hawaii from Japan in 1982, we pursued 
him for 16 years. This June we caught him.
    Some serious acts of terror remain unresolved, including the attack 
on our military personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; the bombing 
of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; and now, these horrible bombings 
in Africa. No matter how long it takes or where it takes us, we will 
pursue terrorists until the cases are solved and justice is done.
    The bombs that kill innocent Americans are aimed not only at them 
but at the very spirit of our country and the spirit of freedom. For 
terrorists are the enemies of everything we believe in and fight for: 
peace and democracy, tolerance and security.
    As long as we continue to believe in those values and continue to 
fight for them, their enemies will not prevail. And our responsibility 
is great, but the opportunities it brings are even greater. Let us never 
fear to embrace them.
    Thank you for listening.

Note: The President spoke at 10:06 a.m. from the Oval Office at the 
White House. The proclamation of August 7 on the victims of the bombing 
incidents in Africa is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.