|Individuals quoted herein issued remarks in a variety of ways—speeches, impromptu statements, testimony, briefings, press interviews, and so forth. Where possible, we cite the original venue and the date. Otherwise, we provide a prominent media source of the quotation. Date of media publication does not necessarily indicate the date of the actual utterance.|
News Media Abbreviations Used
|Christian Science Monitor||CSM|
|Inside the Air Force||ITAF|
|International Herald Tribune||IHT|
|Los Angeles Times||LAT|
|New York Times||NYT|
|Wall Street Journal||WSJ|
“To kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim who is able, in any country where this is possible, until the Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] and the Haram Mosque [in Mecca] are freed from their grip and until their armies, shattered and broken-winged, depart from all the lands of Islam, incapable of threatening any Muslim. … By God’s leave, we call on every Muslim who believes in God and hopes for reward to obey God’s command to kill the Americans and plunder their possessions wherever he finds them and whenever he can.”—Osama bin Laden, declaration in Al-Quds al-Arabi, Foreign Affairs, 2-23-98.
“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, businessmen and -women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.”—President Bush, Oval Office remarks, 9-11-01.
“Our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.”—Bush, Oval Office remarks, 9-11-01.
“I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”—Bush, Oval Office remarks, 9-11-01.
“At this critical moment, the United States can rely on its 18 allies in North America and Europe for assistance and support. NATO solidarity remains the essence of our alliance. Our message to the people of the United States is that we are with you. Our message to those who perpetrated these unspeakable crimes is equally clear: You will not get away with it.”—North Atlantic Council statement, 9-11-01.
“This is indeed the most tragic hour in America’s history, and yet I think it can be its finest hour.”—Sen. John Warner, at a DOD briefing, 9-11-01.
“As for those that carried out these attacks, … their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity.”—British Prime Minister Tony Blair, 9-11-01.
“Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote.”—Richard Berthold, a University of New Mexico professor, remarks to his class on 9-11-01. He later apologized, saying, “I was a jerk, but the First Amendment protects my right to be a jerk.”
“We’re going to find out who did this and we’re going after the bastards.”—Sen. Orrin Hatch, statement on CNN, WP, 9-12-01.
“Anyone who says this is not an intelligence failure is blowing smoke. This is an intelligence failure and a security failure. The security guys will blame it on the intelligence guys, and the intelligence guys will tell us the great successes they had in the past.”—Retired US Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, Time, 9-12-01.
“It was not the plane that brought it down. It could have withstood that. What it could not withstand was 24,000 gallons of aviation fuel that melted the steel of the building. … You don’t design for a fire that includes 24,000 gallons of aviation fuel.”—Hyman Brown, 1967 project engineer for builder of the twin towers, Rocky Mountain News, 9-12-01.
“This is going to be a dividing point in history. If they still teach history 100 years from now, children will still be reading about this day. We haven’t seen such destruction on our own soil since the Civil War.”—Historian David McCullough, WP, 9-12-01.
“We have tried our best in the past and we are willing in the future to assure the United States in any kind of way we can that Osama is not involved in these kinds of activities.”—Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, WP, 9-12-01.
“He is suspected of being involved in a number of attacks on the US, going all the way back to Mogadishu [in 1993]. … At a certain point, somebody’s public statements deserve to be taken at face value. Bin Laden means what he says. He’s declared war with the United States.”—L. Paul Bremer III, chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, WP, 9-12-01.
“What happened today underlines the relevance of the offer of Russia to unite the powers of the international community in the fight against terrorism, the plague of the 21st century.”—Russian President Vladimir Putin, WT, 9-12-01.
“We can find out who these people are, and then we need to be relentless. You can’t mount a systematic attack like this unless you have a place to plan and train. That means a geographic space. So states that harbor terrorists, look out.”—Former Secretary of State George Shultz, WP, 9-12-01.
“I believe this will now be the catalyst that causes a significant change in our policy toward terrorism, and that change should be to hold responsible governments that support terrorism. It’s been our policy to hold individual terrorists accountable rather than the governments who support them, and that policy has failed.”—Defense Department advisor Richard Perle, WP, 9-12-01.
“It is clear now, as it was on Dec. 7, 1941, that the United States is at war. The question is, with whom?”—Former CIA Director James Woolsey, WP, 9-12-01.
“In one horrible moment, the need for homeland defense has gone from being a theoretical risk to a grim reality. Not one of us in government or counterterrorist experts outside government believed that anyone was capable of launching an attack with this degree of lethality and coordination.”—Former Defense Department official Anthony Cordesman, USAT, 9-12-01.
“This is a war between good and evil and between humanity and the bloodthirsty, … a turning point in the war against international terror.”—Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, WP, 9-12-01.
“This is a turning point in the international war on terrorism. This is a war between good and evil. The fight of the free world against the forces of darkness.”—Sharon, WT, 9-12-01.
“The people here are gloating over the American grief. … Palestinians have been crying and suffering, and now it is time for Americans to cry and suffer.”—Emad Salameh, taxi driver in Gaza, WP, 9-12-01.
“I send my condolences, the condolences of the Palestinian people to American President Bush and his government and to the American people for this terrible act. We completely condemn this serious operation. … We were completely shocked.”—Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, WP, 9-12-01.
“Barbarous terrorist acts aimed against wholly innocent people cause us anger and indignation. … There is no doubt that such an inhuman act must not go unpunished. The entire international community should unite in the struggle against terrorism.”—Putin telegram to Bush, Moscow Times, 9-12-01.
“I’ve been chilled by a lot of things, but this is something I just can’t begin to comprehend. They put this together very, very neatly.”—Lewis Schiliro, former head of FBI’s NY field office, LAT, 9-12-01.
“Maximum fuel. They turned those planes into bombs and wanted the biggest bang they could get. They certainly knew what they were doing.”—Unnamed “federal official,” WT, 9-12-01.
“America is in the most threatened position it has ever been in in its history.”—Sen. James Inhofe, press statement, 9-12-01.
“This is a formidable enemy. To dismiss it as a bunch of cowards perpetrating senseless acts of violence is complacent nonsense. People willing to kill thousands of innocents while they kill themselves are not cowards. They are deadly, vicious warriors and need to be treated as such. Nor are their acts of violence senseless. They have a very specific aim: to avenge alleged historical wrongs and to bring the great American Satan to its knees. Nor is the enemy faceless or mysterious. We do not know for sure who gave the final order, but we know what movement it comes from. The enemy has identified itself in public and openly. Our delicate sensibilities have prevented us from pronouncing its name. Its name is radical Islam.”—Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, WP, 9-12-01.
“The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror; they were acts of war.”—Bush, Cabinet Room statement, 9-12-01.
“The American people need to know that we’re facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows and has no regard for human life. This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover. But it won’t be able to run for cover forever. This is an enemy that tries to hide, but it won’t be able to hide forever. This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, but they won’t be safe forever.”—Bush, Cabinet Room statement, 9-12-01.
“This will be a monumental struggle of good vs. evil, but good will prevail.”—Bush, Cabinet Room statement, 9-12-01.
“This battle will take time and resolve. … Those in authority should take appropriate precautions to protect our citizens. But we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.”—Bush, Cabinet Room statement, 9-12-01.
“I remind my colleagues that in war, the first shots are never the last, and the first strike is never the worst. What happened yesterday was terrible—horrendous—but we must prepare ourselves and steel ourselves for the possibility of worse until we achieve our goal.”—Sen. John Kerry, Senate floor statement, 9-12-01.
“Yesterday was the darkest day in American history. Pearl Harbor pales in comparison.”—Rep. Ike Skelton, press statement, 9-12-01.
“We will find out who is responsible for this and they will pay for it.”—Secretary of State Colin Powell, State Department briefing, 9-12-01.
“[The US is] going after and dealing with the sources of support that they have, whether that source of support might come from a host country or other organizations that provide them. We have to make sure that we go after terrorism and get it by its branch and root.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-12-01.
“We’re building a strong coalition to go after these perpetrators, but more broadly to go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world. It’s a scourge not only against the United States but against civilization, and it must be brought to an end.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-12-01.
“We will hold accountable those countries that provide support, that give host nation—if you can call it that—support and facilities to these kinds of terrorist groups. … We will be directing our efforts not only against terrorists but against those who do harbor and do provide haven and do provide support for terrorism.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-12-01.
“The important thing for us now is to do our job, to run to ground a vicious foe, one without heart or pity. A foe who has killed Americans but who hopes in vain to kill the ideals and values that define all of us as Americans.”—CIA Director George Tenet, statement to CIA workforce, 9-12-01.
“The shield of fanaticism—wielded by those ready to forfeit their lives to achieve their twisted dreams—is not easily pierced. But it has been pierced before and it will be pierced again.”—Tenet, statement to CIA workforce, 9-12-01.
“I guess I’m kind of old-fashioned. I’m inclined to think that if you’re going to cock it, you throw it, and you don’t talk about it a lot.”—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-12-01.
“Anyone who thinks it’s easy is wrong. I think that it will require a sustained and broadly based effort. And I don’t think that people ought to judge outcomes until a sufficient time is passed. … It’s not restricted to a single entity—state or nonstate entity. It is an attack on a [terrorist] way of life.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-12-01.
“It is my duty as head of this department to tell you that more, much more will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead. This is especially true of those who are in the field. We face powerful and terrible enemies, enemies we intend to vanquish, so that moments of horror like yesterday will be stopped.”—Rumsfeld, videotaped address to troops, 9-12-01.
“Whether you declare it, or however you describe it, we are at war.”—Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, WT, 9-13-01.
“You are either with America in our time of need or you are not.”—Sen. Hillary Clinton, WT, 9-13-01.
“They were good neighbors, as far as neighbors go. They were quiet. They kept the lawn mowed. They put the garbage out when it was needed to be put out.”—Hank Habora, resident of Vero Beach, Fla., comments about the hijackers, LAT, 9-13-01.
“If you just want to level Kabul, that’s a fixed target. We can do that. It’s not that hard to do. But it doesn’t mean bin Laden himself, because he’s not a fixed target, and we’ve never been very good at hitting mobile targets.”—Retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, former USAF Chief of Staff, WP, 9-13-01.
“Americans … will make the sacrifices and show the resolve necessary to prevail. I say to our enemies, we are coming. God may show you mercy. We will not.”—Sen. John McCain, NYT, 9-13-01.
“We have reason to believe that bin Laden’s people are connected with the events currently taking place in our … Chechnya. We know his people are present there. Our American partners cannot but be concerned about this circumstance. So we have a common foe, the common foe being international terrorism.”—Putin, WP, 9-13-01.
“I say bomb the hell out of them. If there’s collateral damage, so be it. They certainly found our civilians to be expendable.”—Sen. Zell Miller, NYT, 9-13-01.
“The political war will cease. The war we have now is the war against terrorism. And that’s going to be the No. 1, 2, and 3 priority for the rest of the year.”—Sen. John Breaux, NYT, 9-13-01.
“We need to demonstrate political and institutional solidarity with the President, … but I’m not ready to concede abrogating the ABM Treaty in the interest of national unity.”—Sen. Joseph Biden, WP, 9-13-01.
“This was not an intelligence success, clearly. We have had great successes in intelligence, but this was an intelligence failure.”—Sen. Richard Shelby, WT, 9-13-01.
“[Clinton Administration] guidelines were issued that deter [CIA] recruitments of people with human rights violations in their backgrounds. But if you are trying to recruit inside Hezbollah or Osama bin Laden’s organization, there is nobody in there but human rights violators.”—Woolsey, WT, 9-13-01.
“The American cowboy is reaping the fruits of his crimes against humanity. It is a black day in the history of America, which is tasting the bitter defeat of its crimes and disregard for peoples’ will to lead a free, decent life.”—Iraqi television broadcast, The Times of London, 9-13-01.
“Everyone should put human considerations above political differences … and offer aid to the victims of this gruesome act.”—Col. Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, The Times of London, 9-13-01.
“Regardless of … human feelings on what happened yesterday, America is reaping thorns sown by its rulers in the world. He who does not want to reap evil should not sow evil.”—Saddam Hussein, quoted by Iraqi News Agency, WP, 9-13-01.
“I hope this is going to make us serious enough to go beyond just looking for the specific perpetrators and take on the governments and other backers who provide suicide bombers, funding, technological capabilities, intelligence—all the different groups and functions enabling terrorist organizations to operate like multinationals.”—Perle, IHT, 9-13-01.
“It is my desire to lay [down] my life in the cause of God. … The Americans want to kill me, but it will not solve their problem. Several other Osamas would rise if I am killed.”—bin Laden, The Times of London, 9-13-01.
“What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be minuscule if in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve. … The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this, … throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this, because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians, … the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’ “—Jerry Falwell, televised remarks, 9-13-01.
“We will go after that [bin Laden] group, that network, and those who have harbored, supported, and aided that network, to rip the network up. And when we’re through with that network, we will continue with a global assault against terrorism in general.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-13-01.
“Now that war has been declared on us, we will lead the world to victory.”—Bush, White House news conference, 9-13-01.
“This nation is sad. But we’re also tough and resolute, and now is an opportunity to do generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism, hunting it down, finding it, and holding them accountable. … This is now the focus of my Administration.”—Bush, White House news conference, 9-13-01.
“It’s not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism.”—Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, DOD briefing, 9-13-01.
“We are entering into a campaign against terrorism that has to be sustained and broad and effective. … You don’t do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic. You don’t do it with just military forces alone; you do it with the full resources of the US government. It will be a campaign, not a single action.”—Wolfowitz, DOD briefing, 9-13-01.
“We are in a different era. I think the President has made that clear. The Secretary of Defense has made that clear. Everything is going to change.”—Wolfowitz, DOD briefing, 9-13-01.
“Obviously, a significant piece of this is going to be to bring our armed forces to the highest level of preparedness, to be able to execute whatever it is the President may ask them to do. … I think what this means is there are also going to be some huge requirements to build up our military for the next year and maybe longer.”—Wolfowitz, DOD briefing, 9-13-01.
“We’re pretty good if the [airborne] threat’s coming from outside. We’re not so good if the threat’s coming from inside.”—Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, at Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 9-13-01.
“I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”—Bush, remarks to rescue workers at “ground zero” in New York, 9-14-01.
“All instruments of power to the Iraqi state should be destroyed: the Republican Guard, everything associated with Saddam Hussein, everything associated with their weapons of mass destruction program.”—Woolsey, WP, 9-14-01.
“We’re never going to stop it completely, but we can reduce the magnitude of the incidents if we make it much harder for them to operate. About the only thing we can do—apart from getting better intelligence, which is not easy to do—is to go after the governments who support [terrorists]. … It will make a significant difference. … Let’s hope [Bush] comes to the conclusion that about the only thing we can do … is apply such pressure to countries that support these people. I think we can reduce the money available to them … by 90 percent if we can stop governments from writing the checks. And if you take away the money, you take away the intelligence, the communications, the use of the diplomatic pouch to move things—you take all that away and it’s much, much harder to mount operations.”—Perle, ITAF, 9-14-01.
“It’s war. We didn’t organize a tribunal to decide [which individual] was responsible for Pearl Harbor. … We held the country responsible. If there are countries that are supporting terrorism and working with these guys, then we’ve got to hold them responsible. We’ve got to cut [terrorists] off from their life-support system.”—Perle, ITAF, 9-14-01.
“It would be catastrophic to allow this to result in a clash of civilizations. [To avoid that] it is essential the US define the coalition in an inclusive way [with] all parts of the civilized world. It must be remembered that many, many victims of this kind of terrorism have been Muslim.”—Former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, CSM, 9-14-01.
“We are not interested in reading them their Miranda rights. We are interested in taking them out, lock, stock, barrel, root, limb.”—Rep. Bob Barr, NYT, 9-14-01.
“I don’t think the Musharraf government is stupid enough to [oppose the US]. Once you’ve been branded a state that supports terrorism, the consequences are horrific.”—Rifaat Hussain, university professor in Islamabad, Pakistan, NYT, 9-14-01.
“Your excellency realizes the repercussions of … speculations being made by some in the media in the United States and attempts to openly accuse Arabs and Muslims in general. … Arabs and Muslims stand aloof from such acts that no sane and God–believing individual would commit.”—Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, in telephone call to Bush, WP, 9-14-01.
“The terrorists think democracies are soft. And of course they are soft most of the time. But when they get aroused they are far more resolute and harsher than an authoritarian system.”—British military historian John Keegan, NYT, 9-14-01.
“The soldiers of militant Islam and Pan–Arabism do not hate the West because of Israel; they hate Israel because of the West, … Zionism as an expression and representation of Western civilization.”—Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, WP, 9-14-01.
“Terrorism is the cancer of our age. For the past decade, a lot of countries wanted to deny that or make excuses for why they could go on dealing with terrorists. But after what’s happened in New York and Washington, now everyone knows. This is a cancer. It’s a danger to us all. So every country must now decide whether it wants to be a smoking or nonsmoking country, a country that supports terrorism or one that doesn’t.”—Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, NYT, 9-14-01.
“Can anyone doubt that if the terrorists behind Tuesday’s attacks had had access to a ballistic missile, they would have used it? Why settle for toppling the World Trade Center if you can destroy all of New York in an instant?”—Editorial, WSJ, 9-14-01.
“Many families have been devastated tonight. This is just not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, D.C., and the plane’s destination of California—these were places that voted AGAINST Bush! Why kill them?”—Filmmaker Michael Moore, WSJ.com, 9-14-01.
“The only way to fully understand this is to recall the effects of another hate-filled ideology—Nazism—which also started as a local movement and which, in just a few years, became a world force. Nazism 60 years ago, like fundamentalist Islam today, was also initially directed only against Jews and other local minorities. It quickly became clear, however, that its passionate hatred was directed against our entire civilization. Then, as now, the democracies were late in appreciating the horrendous implications to our societies of a fanatic ideology bent on world domination and lacking any inhibition about destroying lives in the process.”—Netanyahu, WSJ.com, 9-14-01.
“War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.”—Bush, remarks at National Cathedral, 9-14-01.
“Our responsibility to history is already clear—to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.”—Bush, National Cathedral, 9-14-01.
“I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it [the fourth hijacked airliner, over Pennsylvania] down, but the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to.”—Wolfowitz, PBS “Newshour,” 9-14-01.
“One has to think about, if necessary, larger forces. One has to think about accepting casualties. One has to think about sustained campaigns. One has to think about broad possibilities. And we’re trying to present that full range of possibilities to the President.”—Wolfowitz, “Newshour,” 9-14-01.
“We know that they would, if they could, go further and use chemical or biological or even nuclear weapons. … We have been warned by the events of Sept. 11. We should act on the warning.”—Blair, statement to House of Commons, 9-14-01.
“I was raised a soldier. And you’re trained: There is the enemy occupying a piece of ground. We can define it in time, space, and other dimensions, and you can assemble forces and go after it. This is different. The enemy is in many places. The enemy is not looking to be found. The enemy is hidden. The enemy is, very often, right here within our own country. And so you have to design a campaign plan that goes after that kind of enemy, and it isn’t always blunt-force military, although that is certainly an option. It may well be that the diplomatic efforts, political efforts, legal, financial, other efforts, may be just as effective against that kind of an enemy as would military force be.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-14-01.
“America is against Osama because he is a true Muslim and a defender of Islam, not like our Pakistani leaders who are so-called Muslims. The Americans bombed Hiroshima, and they can do it to Afghanistan now, but history will never forgive them.”—Pakistani citizen Mohammed Rafiq, WP, 9-15-01.
“The American people need to go about their business on Monday but with a heightened sense of awareness that a group of barbarians have declared war on the American people.”—Bush, remarks at Camp David, 9-15-01.
“The message is for everybody who wears the uniform: Get ready. … We’re at war. There has been an act of war declared upon America by terrorists, and we will respond accordingly.”—Bush, remarks at Camp David, 9-15-01.
“This act will not stand. … We will smoke them out of their holes, we’ll get them running, and we’ll bring them to justice.”—Bush, remarks at Camp David, 9-15-01.
“It could be a very fruitful marriage between Saddam and bin Laden. Bin Laden gets the publicity he wants, while Saddam is the sleeping partner who gets revenge and causes disruption, while still selling his oil and keeping the support of Russia and China.”—Woolsey, The Times of London, 9-15-01.
“This operation isn’t going to be quick, or pretty, or certain. To do anything at all is to invite an element of ambiguity. There’s going to be casualties and collateral damage. That’s why we call it war.”—Cordesman, NYT, 9-15-01.
“This is the wealthiest nation on Earth, and please don’t tell me that you can’t put enough money out there to make certain that men with hand knives and box cutters can’t hijack four American planes within an hour. Now we know that every airplane that takes off in America is a bomb, fully loaded. So deal with it.”—Former Sen. Bob Kerrey, NYT, 9-15-01.
“We in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia are fully prepared to cooperate with you in every way that may help identify and pursue the perpetrators of this criminal incident.”—Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in telephone call to Bush, NYT, 9-15-01.
“This is a unique chance to develop a real and close military cooperation with the United States and NATO. Now, it is finally clear to all that the West and Russia have a common enemy—Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations. If we are not complete idiots, we must not let this opportunity slip.”—Russian Maj. Gen. Alexander Vladimirov, Collegium of Military Experts, LAT, 9-15-01.
“Those who make war against the United States have chosen their own destruction.”—Bush, radio address, 9-15-01.
“Victory against terrorism will not take place in a single battle but in a series of decisive actions against terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them. We are planning a broad and sustained campaign to secure our country and eradicate the evil of terrorism.”—Bush, radio address, 9-15-01.
“We must not only go after the perpetrators but after the whole curse of terrorism on the face of the Earth.”—Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, WT, 9-16-01.
“If any regional or neighboring country helps the United States attack us, it would spark extraordinary dangers. It would draw us into a reprisal war. … We would attack such countries and occupy their territories.”—Abdul Salam Zaeef, Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, WT, 9-16-01.
“The costs are going to be huge in both dollars and lives. [But] what is the alternative—to live in fear of the people who did this for the rest of our lives?”—Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, WP, 9-16-01.
“[If there is a true Western–led war on terrorism,] Russia will have to make a strategic decision, and it’s going to be a painful one, no matter which way it goes. This is war. And in war, it’s very hard to hold the middle ground.”—Pavel Felgenhauer, Russian military analyst, NYT, 9-16-01.
“Just as your beautiful skyscrapers were destroyed and caused your grief, beautiful buildings and precious homes crumbled over their owners in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq because of American weapons used by the Zionists. If your rulers respect and cherish the blood of your people, why do you find it easy to shed the blood of others, the blood of Arabs and Muslims? Americans should feel the pain which they have inflicted on other peoples so that when they suffer, they will know the best way to treat it.”—Saddam Hussein, “letter” to the American people read on Iraqi TV, WP, 9-16-01.
“They want change that is so radical as to defy any concept of negotiations. … They are conducting a war, not seeking entrance into the status quo. These guys want to roll back 1,300 years of history. They believe that their violence is divinely justified and that great goals require dramatic means, and the dramatic means is mass bloodshed.”—Daniel Benjamin, director of the Office of Transnational Threats in the Clinton White House, WP, 9-16-01.
“[They are] freed from ordinary constraints of morality. … There is less inhibition to kill in quantity and a greater willingness to die in the process.”—Brian Jenkins, Rand expert on terrorism, WP, 9-16-01.
“The assumption [among Western terrorism experts] was that the average suicide bomber was a psychologically damaged 19-year-old with a limited education. What is extraordinary about this episode is that these people were preparing for their mission for months, leading normal lives with wives, taking the garbage out, taking kids to McDonald’s, taking flying lessons, living in comparatively pleasant places, all the while knowing that on some date they were going to kill themselves and thousands of people.”—Jenkins, WP, 9-16-01.
“The money comes from a lot of countries, often under pretext of helping freedom fighters in Palestine and Kashmir, … and some of it goes to bin Laden. He’s sort of the Ford Foundation of terrorists.”—Stephen Phillip Cohen, a South Asia expert and former State Department official, WP, 9-16-01.
“The terrorists will go elsewhere. They look for the places where you are vulnerable and attack you there, when they can catch you flat-footed. They are always looking for the places where you’re not looking. They study you.”—James M. Lindsay, a former National Security Council director of global issues and multilateral affairs, WP, 9-16-01.
“The United States has fought suicidal opponents before. Germans often fought with fanatical intensity in World War II, and Japan was intent on national self-immolation. Then as now, it seemed grotesquely contrary to our cultural ethic and frightening, because we suspected our opponents were willing to pay a higher price than we were. Five thousand Japanese kamikaze pilots sacrificed themselves, beginning in October 1944, sinking 34 US ships, damaging hundreds of others, and fraying American morale. Japan also trained 4,000 suicide divers intent on destroying Allied vessels with manned torpedoes or mines detonated next to ship hulls. New tactics—new thinking—by American commanders led to pre-emptive strikes on kamikaze bases, elaborate picket lines with submarines and surface ships, unprecedented barrages of anti-aircraft fire, new evasion techniques, aggressive fighter plane sweeps, and robust firefighting and damage control innovations. Ten months after kamikazes first appeared, Japan surrendered.”—Rick Atkinson, military author, WP, 9-16-01.
“There may well be other operations that have been planned and are, in fact, in the works.”—Vice President Dick Cheney, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“If you’re going to deal only with sort of officially approved, certified good guys, you’re not going to find out what the bad guys are doing. … It is a mean, nasty, dangerous, dirty business out there, and we have to operate in that arena.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“What we have to do is take down those networks of terrorist organizations. … I think this is going to be a struggle that the United States is going to be involved in for the foreseeable future.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“[We’ve] got a broad range of capabilities, and they may well be given missions in connection with this overall task and strategy. We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we’re going to be successful. That’s the world these folks operate in.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“He’s [bin Laden’s] the target at the moment, but I don’t want to convey the impression that somehow, you know, if we had his head on a platter today, that that would solve the problem. It won’t.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
[If offered bin Laden’s head on a platter], I would take it today.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“If the plane would not divert, if they wouldn’t pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now people say, you know, that’s a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You’ve got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by … terrorists and you are going to, in fact, shoot it down … and kill all those Americans on board.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“You have to ask yourself: If we had had Combat Air Patrol up over New York, and we’d had the opportunity to take out the two aircraft that hit the World Trade Center, would we have been justified in doing that? I think absolutely we would have.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“They came in and said, ‘Sir, we have to leave immediately’ and grabbed me … and, you know, your feet touch the floor periodically, but they’re bigger than I am and they hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs, through some doors, and down some more stairs into an underground facility under the White House, and as a matter of fact, it’s a corridor locked at both ends. And they did that because they had received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“I said [to President Bush], ‘Delay your return. We don’t know what’s going on here, but it looks like, you know, we’ve been targeted.’ “—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“We’d have been absolute fools not to go into button-down mode [during the Washington phase of the attacks], make sure we had successors evacuated, make sure the President was safe and secure.”—Cheney, “Meet the Press,” 9-16-01.
“There are a number of countries that are harboring terrorists. They in some cases facilitate them, in some cases finance, in other cases just tolerate. But these people could not be functioning around the globe with the success they are unless they had that help from countries. And those countries, some of them do in fact have armies and navies and air forces, and they do have capitals and they do have high-value targets. And we are going to need them to stop tolerating terrorists.”—Rumsfeld, press remarks, 9-16-01.
“It is time for us to the win the first war of the 21st century decisively.”—Bush, remarks on South Lawn, 9-16-01.
“They have roused a mighty giant, and make no mistake about it: We’re determined.”—Bush, South Lawn, 9-16-01.
“It’s a new kind of war. … It will be political, economic, diplomatic, military. It will be unconventional, what we do.”—Rumsfeld, “Fox News Sunday,” 9-16-01.
“You yourself [the United States] trained them to be the best guerrilla force in the world. Some of these Taliban were the CIA’s superstars.”—Unnamed former Pakistani intelligence official, WP, 9-17-01.
“[Americans] must not judge each other by our fanatics. We all have them—Christians, Jews, and Muslims.”—Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, USAT, 9-17-01.
“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”—Bush, Newsweek, 9-17-01.
“This [possibly firing on a civilian airliner] is new territory for all of us. Aircrew members are going through a lot of soul-searching.”—Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver, director of Air National Guard, LAT, 9-17-01.
“There are areas of our laws and procedures which give us better tools against organized crime—against illegal gambling, for example—than we have against terrorists.”—Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, WP, 9-17-01.
“This is sort of against my DNA—I’m actually pulling for [Bush] now.”—Democratic political consultant James Carville, WP, 9-17-01.
“Arafat chose a strategy of terrorism and established a coalition of terrorism. Terrorist actions against Israeli citizens are no different from bin Laden’s terrorism against American citizens.”—Sharon, remarks to the Knesset, NYT, 9-17-01.
“I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seem to have been planned by people for personal reasons. I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders’ rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations.”—bin Laden, remarks broadcast on Gulf TV station Al Jazeera, NYT, 9-17-01.
“The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton’s bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people, … not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind.”—MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, WSJ.com, 9-17-01.
“Where is the acknowledgement that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilization’ or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world’ but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word ‘cowardly’ is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others.”—Susan Sontag, novelist, New Yorker, 9-17-01.
“We have more than enough means to defeat them—if we can find them.”—Retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, former SACEUR, Boston Globe, 9-17-01.
“I know that this is a different type of enemy than we’re used to. It’s an enemy that likes to hide and burrow in, and their network is extensive. There are no rules. It’s barbaric behavior. They slit throats of women on airplanes in order to achieve an objective that is beyond comprehension.”—Bush, remarks at Pentagon, 9-17-01.
“I want justice. There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, Wanted: Dead or Alive.”—Bush, Pentagon, 9-17-01.
“Once we get them running, we have got a good chance of getting them.”—Bush, Pentagon, 9-17-01.
“It is not enough to get one individual, although we will start with that one individual.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-17-01.
“It will not be over until we have gotten into the inside of this organization, inside its decision cycle, inside its planning cycle, inside its execution capability, and until we have neutralized and destroyed it.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-17-01.
“All roads lead to … Osama bin Laden.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-17-01.
“It is not one individual. It’s lots of individuals, and it’s lots of cells. … Osama bin Laden is the chairman of a holding company. And within that holding company are terrorist cells and organizations in dozens of countries around the world.”—Powell, State Department briefing, 9-17-01.
“We have a choice, either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live, and we have—we chose the latter.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-18-01.
“The terrorists do not function in a vacuum. They don’t live in Antarctica. They work, they train, and they plan in countries. They’re benefitting from the support of governments. They’re benefitting from the support of nongovernmental organizations that are either actively supporting them with money, intelligence, and weapons or allowing them to function on their territory and tolerating if not encouraging their activities. In either case, it has to stop.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-18-01.
“We’ll have to deal with the networks. One of the ways to do that is to drain the swamp they live in. And that means dealing not only with the terrorists but those who harbor terrorists.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-18-01.
“It sounds like you might have had two or three more teams here, that had other targets in mind. That wouldn’t surprise me at all. Four got through, but maybe two didn’t. That’s a pretty good percentage.”—Robert M. Blitzer, former FBI counterterrorism official, WP, 9-18-01.
“The public ought not get itself set on hoping on immediate gratification. Even if the best happens and they’re able to capture bin Laden and all his senior lieutenants, that is swatting a number of very deadly mosquitoes. But that doesn’t get rid of malaria. You’re got to clear out the swamp.”—Woolsey, USAT, 9-18-01.
“Bin Laden is one person who is unambiguously a terrorist. The al-Qaeda network is a broad, multiheaded organization. If bin Laden were not there, the organization would continue doing what it’s been doing. So clearly the problem is much bigger than bin Laden.”—Rumsfeld, CBS’s “Early Show,” 9-18-01.
“Sen. Frank Church [helped] gut the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the 1970s. What he carelessly left undisturbed then fell afoul of the Carter Administration’s hit man, Stansfield Turner. That capability has never been replaced.”—Novelist Tom Clancy, WSJ, 9-18-01.
“I make no apology—I make no apology—for being forceful in our enforcing the law and requiring adherence to the law. This investigation will pursue violators and use every tool available to us to curtail and prevent and disrupt any effort to further inflict this kind of damage on the United States or our citizens.”—Ashcroft, press remarks, 9-19-01.
“It’s important for the world to understand that there are no beaches to storm, there are no islands to conquer, there are no battle lines to be drawn.”—Bush, remarks to press, 9-18-01.
“I don’t know whether we should use the word ‘war.’ “—French President Jacques Chirac, WT, 9-19-01.
“Osama will be the last person to leave Afghanistan.”—Taliban’s senior leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, to Pakistani intelligence chief, Gen. Mahmood Admed, WP, 9-19-01.
“If you took every terrorist in Afghanistan, you could not make a light brigade. They are spread all over. They hide in mountains and caves. They do not lend themselves to being targeted.”—Zinni, NYT, 9-19-01.
“When we looked at Afghanistan before, the sense was we were going to bomb them up to the stone age. There is just so little to attack. It is the most target-impoverished environment conceivable.”—Unnamed Clinton Administration official familiar with planning past strikes against bin Laden’s terrorist network, NYT, 9-19-01.
“If America were to enter Pakistan and dispatch forces to Afghanistan so as to expand its might in the region, its problem will multiply daily.”—Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian TV interview, WT, 9-19-01.
“For the Americans, introducing land forces would not lead to anything good. It would not bring anyone laurels.”—Former Soviet Gen. Boris Gromov, WP, 9-19-01.
“Going to Syria for help in this war is ludicrous. It’s like going to the Genovese family to help out in a war on organized crime.”—Perle, CSM, 9-19-01.
“We fully understand that some nations will be comfortable supporting overt activities. Some nations will be comfortable supporting covert activities; some nations will only be comfortable in providing information; others will be helpful and only feel comfortable helping on financial matters. I understand that.”—Bush, remarks to press, 9-19-01.
“I think that we know who we’re dealing with and what we’re dealing with here, and we’ve known for a long time.”—Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s national security advisor, WP, 9-20-01.
“If the Constitution is shredded, the terrorists win. We want to do this [write new anti-terrorism laws] carefully.”—Sen. Patrick Leahy, WP, 9-20-01.
“Osama has denied his involvement. It is unfortunate that America does not listen to us and levels all sorts of charges and threatens military action.”—Taliban leader Omar, speech, WT, 9-20-01.
“If the price you pay for a coalition is that you can’t fight the war, what’s the point of the coalition?”—Perle, USAT, 9-20-01.
“We should not, I don’t think, go around and indiscriminately start bombing countries that we suspect the terrorists are in because there are terrorists everywhere, here in the United States. What were [Oklahoma City bombers] Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh but terrorists?”—CNN founder Ted Turner, WP, 9-20-01.
“The government is trying to close the barn door. The horse left a long time ago. And it’s not coming back.”—Angelo M. Codevilla, former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, NYT, 9-20-01.
“The pattern to Afghanistan’s foreign and domestic wars seems to go as follows: Foreign interventions aimed at dominance founder on the belligerence of the population, who abandon internecine conflict to combine against invaders, and on the country’s severe terrain. In the absence of foreign interference, however, Afghans fall easily into fighting each other, often seeking outside help, which provokes intervention, thus restarting the cycle. Limited campaigns of penetration, aimed simply at inflicting punishment, can succeed, as long as the punitive forces remain mobile, keep control of the high ground, and are skillful at tactical disengagement.”—Keegan, London’s Daily Telegraph, 9-20-01.
“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.”—Bush, address to joint session of Congress, 9-20-01.
“The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. … Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“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 Qaeda who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. 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.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“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 20th 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, Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends, in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“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 to the defeat of the global terror network.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“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.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“I have a message for our military: Be ready. I’ve 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.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for 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.”—Bush, address to Congress, 9-20-01.
“We have received a wake-up call from hell.”—Netanyahu, remarks to a US House of Representatives committee, 9-20-11.
“[The war against terrorism will be] a marathon, not a sprint.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-20-01.
“We have no intention of surrendering Osama bin Laden to the United States. He is a free man and he can move to any place that he wishes, but we are not going to expel him.”—Statement of Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership, NYT, 9-21-01.
“I don’t know where the Taliban gets some of their ideas. Many of them have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Islam.”—Religious scholar Anis Ahmed of Pakistan’s Islamic University, USAT, 9-21-01.
“These folks [anti–Taliban rebels], they know the lay of the land. They know, in some cases, some targets that are useful; they have ideas about how to deal with the Taliban. I think that one has to say that they can be useful in a variety of ways.”—Rumsfeld, “Fox News,” 9-21-01.
“It [Bush’s address to Congress] was an arrogant speech. Americans are always telling us things are not black and white, that there are always grays. When we learn this from them, they say, no, you are either in or out, with us or against us. I am not allowed to use ‘buts.’ “—Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London–based pan–Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi, NYT, 9-22-01.
“We are Afghans. We can defend. We have offered two million for our independence. We are ready to offer two million more.”—Suhail Shaheen, Afghan deputy ambassador to Pakistan, NYT, 9-22-01.
“The great speculators wallow in an economy that every year kills tens of millions of people with poverty—so what is 20,000 dead in New York? Regardless of who carried out the massacre, this violence is the legitimate daughter of the culture of violence, hunger, and inhumane exploitation.”—Dario Fo, Italian playwright, NYT, 9-22-01.
“The world has changed. Science fiction has become reality. We’ve talked about the chemical and biological weapons being deployed over cities and toxins being put into cities’ water supplies. These have all been bad nightmares that we’ve pushed aside, but now we’ve got to think about these unconventional threats.”—Robertson, London’s Daily Telegraph, 9-22-01.
“We told the members of the board of broadcast governors that we didn’t think it was appropriate for the Voice of America to be broadcasting the voice of the Taliban into Afghanistan, and we didn’t think it was consistent with their charter.”—State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, referring to VOA’s decision not to air an interview with Taliban head Omar, WP, 9-23-01.
“I was stunned, absolutely stunned. It goes against every principle of journalistic ethics.”—Unnamed VOA journalist, angered by the VOA’s no-broadcast decision, WP, 9-23-01.
“They are unlike the Mafia, which built loyalty out of criminal enterprise but where personal and even family relationships could be overcome with money or deals with those in prison. [Islamic informers] would have to give up their religious beliefs to become sources [for the FBI], and that is potentially more dangerous than threat of death.”—Unnamed former FBI official, WP, 9-23-01.
“There’s a greater risk of dying on the highway than from exposure to anthrax.”—Jonathan B. Tucker, a germ-weapons expert, Monterey Institute of International Studies, NYT, 9-23-01.
“We will not be able to reach all of the necessary targets cleanly, nor should we try to economize on the use of our power, which is our great strength. The military is a killing instrument; if we want finesse, we should hire a ballet company.”—Military affairs commentator Ralph Peters, WP, 9-23-01.
“I think in the near future, we will be able to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to the attack.”—Powell, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” 9-23-01.
“The fact is that the Taliban do know where the al Qaeda organization is.”—Rumsfeld, remarks to press, 9-23-01.
“The ultimate victory in this war is when everyone who wants to can do what everyone of us did today, and that is get up, let your children go to school, go out of the house and not in fear, stand here on a sidewalk and not worry about a truck bomb driving into us, and able to be free in speech and thought and activity and behavior.”—Rumsfeld, remarks to press, 9-23-01.
“They know where he [bin Laden] is. … They know their country. … It is just not believable that the Taliban do not know.”—Rumsfeld, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” 9-23-01.
“It’s a very repressive and terrible regime. The Afghan people would be better off without it. We will see what means are at our disposal to do that.”—Rice, NYT, 9-24-01.
“We are not going to declare that there are good terrorists and bad terrorists. There’s terrorism. And if you sponsor terrorism, you are hostile to the United States.”—Rice, WT, 9-24-01.
“Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations. Today, we’re asking the world to stop payment.”—Bush, remarks in Rose Garden, 9-24-01.
“The only reason Desert Storm worked was because we managed to go up against the only jerk on the planet who actually was stupid enough to confront us symmetrically.”—Zinni, WSJ, 9-25-01.
“It is certain that, if someone has done great harm to society, and there is a danger that if he remains free he may be able to do it again, you have the right to apply self-defense for the society which you lead, even though the means you may choose may be aggressive.”—Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro–Valls, describing the Pope’s views, in an interview with Reuters, WP, 9-25-01.
“I don’t foresee a need to do that [resume the military draft].”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-25-01.
“The mission needs to define the coalition, and we ought not to think that a coalition should define the mission.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-25-01.
“There’s no question but that some steps will be visible, as in a traditional conflict, and in other cases they will be not visible. It will not be an antiseptic war, I regret to say. It will be difficult. It will be dangerous. … The likelihood is that more people may be lost.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-25-01.
“There’s not going to be a D-Day as such, and I’m sure there will not be a signing ceremony on the Missouri as such. This is not something that begins with a significant event or ends with a significant event. It is something that will involve a sustained effort over a good period of time.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-25-01.
“[The $40 billion emergency spending bill is] just a down payment. We were only getting started there.”—Breaux, WSJ, 9-26-01.
“The dogs of war are not the only critters who have slipped the leash. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, repairing damage, fighting recession, you could fit almost anything.”—Mitchell Daniels, the White House budget director, WSJ, 9-26-01.
“The more [military] power you have, the more diplomatic and political power you have. You don’t know when you may have to use massive power to rescue a special forces operation if something unexpected were to happen. And deterring other countries like Iraq is important as well. Iraq is not a sideshow. It is there, and it has chemical and biological weapons.”—Cordesman, LAT, 9-26-01.
“The American people must know that the sad events that took place recently were the result of their government’s wrong policies. Your government is perpetrating all sorts of atrocities in Muslim countries. Instead of supporting your government’s policies you should urge your government to reconsider their wrong and cruel policies.”—Taliban leader Omar, London’s Daily Telegraph, 9-26-01.
“George [CIA Director George Tenet] and I have been spending a lot of quality time together. There’s a reason. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in the CIA.”—Bush, remarks to CIA employees, 9-26-01.
“When you scrub it all down, if you’re going to get good intelligence on terrorist groups, it’s going to come from somebody who by definition is a terrorist. If we’re not prepared as a nation to do that, then we’re not going to get this intelligence. … This kind of intelligence is not going to come by wandering down to the League of Women Voters and seeing who you find there.”—Bremer, in House Select Intelligence subcommittee testimony, 9-26-01.
“If somebody had called us and said, We have a hijacking 100 miles out coming from Europe or South America, there are terrorists on board, and they’ve taken over the airplane, that’s a scenario we’ve practiced. We did not practice—and I wish to God we had—a scenario where this takes off out of Boston and minutes later crashes into New York City. This is a whole new ball game.”—USAF Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, commander in chief of NORAD, NYT, 9-27-01.
“I hope we don’t make the mistake of abandoning our principles to protect ourselves. It never works over the long term. We’re far better off sticking to what we believe.”—Perle, WP, 9-27-01.
“We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights, and—in contrast with Islamic countries—respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its values understandings of diversity and tolerance. … The West will continue to conquer peoples, like it conquered Communism.”—Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, press remarks, WP, 9-27-01.
“Islamic Iran will not participate in any measure that is led by the United States. … It is true that America’s dignity has been badly damaged, but that does not mean that it can make an arrogant face and force other countries to give in to its demands. It is wrong to say that those who are not with us are with the terrorists. No, we are not with you, and we are not terrorists.”—Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, NYT, 9-27-01.
“These assaults have brought the battlefield home to us. … The world has changed; … we can no longer count on future wars being waged safely in their regions of origin.”—Rumsfeld, DOD briefing, 9-27-01.
“The Taliban continues to use its lands to harbor, armor, and encourage those criminals to go on with their terror operations, spreading fear and destruction over the world, causing harm to Islam and spoiling the name of Muslims.”—Official statement of the government of Saudi Arabia upon breaking diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, WP, 9-28-01.
“It’s wrong to kill innocent people. … It’s also wrong to praise those who kill innocent people.”—Pakistan’s Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, formerly an ardent supporter of bin Laden, NYT, 9-28-01.
“Bioterrorism remains a low probability, but a growing probability, coupled with a high vulnerability for our nation.”—Sen. Bill Frist, commenting on a draft GAO report, WP, 9-28-01.
“Everybody hates death, fears death. But only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward after death, would be the ones who will be seeking death.”—From five-page handwritten note found in belongings of terrorist Mohammed Atta, WP, 9-28-01.
“Check all of your items—your bag, your clothes, knives, your will, your IDs, your passport, all your papers. Check your safety before you leave. … Make sure that nobody is following you.”—Atta document, WP, 9-28-01.
“There’s no question but that there are any number of people in Afghanistan—tribes in the south, the Northern Alliance in the north—that oppose Taliban, and clearly, we need to recognize the value they bring to this anti-terrorist, anti–Taliban effort and, where appropriate, find ways to assist them.”—Rumsfeld, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” 9-30-01.
“We know of certain knowledge that the nations on our terrorist list have weaponized chemical and biological weapons, and we know that a number of them are seeking nuclear capabilities. And we know that they have close linkages with terrorist networks.”—Rumsfeld, “Meet the Press,” 9-30-01.
“We think that there is a very serious threat of additional problems now, and frankly, as the United States responds, that threat may escalate.”—Ashcroft, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” 9-30-01.
“There are all kinds of threats. I think there is a clear, present danger to Americans—not one that should keep us from living our lives but one that should make us alert. … It’s very unlikely that all of those associated with the attacks of Sept. 11 are now detained or have been detected.”—Ashcroft, CNN’s “Late Edition,” 9-30-01.
“I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but we know that these terrorist organizations, like al Qaeda, run by Osama bin Laden and others, have probably found the means to use biological or chemical warfare, and that is very, very bad for the world.”—Andrew Card, White House chief of staff, on “Fox News Sunday,” WP, 10-1-01.
“We will not accept in our country even a single soldier who will attack Muslims or Arabs.”—Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, interview in government-controlled Okaz newspaper on 9-30-01, WP, 10-1-01.
“Our discussion with our American friends is steady, and it is in total agreement between us and them. … We have not been asked for the using of the bases in Saudi Arabia.”—Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi ambassador to US, on ABC’s “This Week,” WP, 10-1-01.
“Osama is in Afghanistan, but he is at an unknown place for his safety and security. Only security people know about his whereabouts. Osama bin Laden is under our control.”—Zaeef, Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, remarks to reporters, IHT, 10-1-01.
“I have seen absolutely powerful and incontrovertible evidence of [Osama bin Laden’s] link to the events of the 11th of September.”—Blair, interview on BBC, IHT, 10-1-01.
“The [American] flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war. [My daughter] tells me I’m wrong—the flag means standing together and honoring the dead and saying no to terrorism. … I tell her she can buy a flag with her own money and fly it out her bedroom window, because that’s hers, but the living room is off-limits.”—Katha Pollitt, columnist for the hard-left political journal The Nation, quoted in The Weekly Standard, issued 10-1-01.
“This, you’ve probably guessed, is no ordinary mother. To paraphrase Orwell, only a columnist for The Nation could be so obtuse.”—Editorial, referring to Pollitt’s statement, The Weekly Standard, issued 10-1-01.
“[Bin Laden operatives] have been wrapped up dozens and dozens of times, in all four corners of the Earth. … Usually you’d hit them at a hotel, and the guy would be sitting in his underwear with a laptop.”—Unnamed US official, US News and World Report, issued 10-1-01.
“New fronts will be established, just like against the Communists. You may capture the airports and the capital and the cities, but people will go to the mountains. God willing, I believe that neither the United States nor their allies will be able to do anything.”—Taliban leader Omar, statement on state-run Voice of Shariat radio, WP, 10-2-01.
“This is a battle with only one outcome: our victory, not theirs.”—Blair, speech at Brighton, UK, 10-2-01.
“Surrender the terrorists or surrender power; that is your choice.”—Blair, Brighton, 10-2-01.
“We will do all we humanly can to avoid civilian casualties, but understand what we are dealing with. … If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000, does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it? So there is no compromise possible with such people.”—Blair, Brighton, 10-2-01.
“The kind of information that will turn the day will be scraps of information that people from all across the globe will give, sometimes people from inside countries that are harboring terrorists, sometimes conceivably people from inside organizations that would like terrorists to leave their country.”—Rumsfeld, media availability, 10-2-01.
“The issue of basing US troops in Pakistani territory has not been raised with us. The fact that the United States is sensitive to the concerns that some Pakistanis may have is a good thing. It shows that we are working with each other and understanding each others’ requirements. I think that the US does not really need to have a large physical military presence in Pakistan at this stage.”—Unnamed senior Pakistani official, NYT, 10-3-01.
“We are trying to do everything we can to spread dissension within the Taliban.”—Unnamed senior Defense Department official, NYT, 10-3-01.
“In the United States, we have this thing called the Constitution, so to bring him [bin Laden] here is to bring him into the justice system. I don’t think that was our first choice. Our first choice was to send him some place where justice is more streamlined.”—Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, President Clinton’s national security advisor, WP, 10-3-01.
“They [the Taliban] are hated, hated for what they have done to women, hated for the fear they have spread, hated for the hunger they have brought to people, hated for the way they have distorted Islam, hated for making Afghanistan a base for people like bin Laden who have brought so much misery around the world. So is it any surprise that they are crumbling now?”—Unnamed Afghan, NYT, 10-4-01.
“The ‘center of gravity’ is not bridges. It’s the Taliban.”—Unnamed Administration official, WT, 10-4-01.
“On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. … The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter. And we will not fail.”—Bush, Presidential address to the nation, 10-7-01.