Bush Says Terrorists Must Lose Race for Weapons of Mass Murder
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2004 When suicidal terrorists used commercial airliners as bombs on Sept. 11, 2001, it raised the prospect of even worse dangers: terrorists armed with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons, President Bush said in his weekly radio address today.
"The possibility of secret and sudden attack with weapons of mass destruction is the greatest threat before humanity today," he emphasized.
The president said America is confronting this danger with open eyes and unbending purpose. But he warned that America faces the possibility of catastrophic attack from ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction.
"So we are developing and deploying missile defenses to guard our people," he said. "The best intelligence is necessary to win the war on terror and to stop proliferation. So we are improving and adapting our intelligence capabilities for new and emerging threats."
The nation is using every means of diplomacy to confront the regimes that develop deadly weapons, Bush noted. "We are cooperating with more than a dozen nations under the Proliferation Security Initiative," he said, "to interdict lethal materials transported by land, sea or air. We have shown our willingness to use force when force is required. No one can now doubt the determination of America to oppose and to end these threats to our security."
Bush said the nation also is aggressively pursuing another dangerous source of proliferation: "black-market operatives who sell equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction."
He noted that the world recently learned of the network led by A.Q. Khan, the former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. "Khan and his associates sold nuclear technology and know-how to rogue regimes around the world, such as Iran and North Korea," Bush said. He said the Khan network is being dismantled as a result of work by intelligence officers from the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations.
Bush said he has proposed a series of new, ambitious steps to build on the nation's recent success against proliferation. This includes expanding international cooperation of law enforcement organizations to act against proliferation networks, shutting down their labs, seizing their materials, freezing their assets and bringing their members to justice.
"We must strengthen laws and international controls that fight proliferation," Bush said.
Last fall, Bush suggested that the United Nations establish a new Security Council resolution requiring all states to criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls and secure all sensitive materials within their borders.
"I urge the council to pass these measures quickly," he said in today's radio address.
Calling the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty one of the most important tools for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, Bush said a loophole that allows countries to seek nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear power programs is undermining the treaty.
He encouraged the world's leading nuclear exporters to close the loophole. And, he said, the Nuclear Suppliers Group should refuse to sell enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to any state that does not already possess full-scale, functioning enrichment and reprocessing plants.
Enforcing the international rules and laws is the only way for them to be effective, the president noted. "We must ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency is fully capable of exposing and reporting banned nuclear activity," Bush said.
Every nation should sign the Additional Protocol, which would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to make broader inspections of nuclear sites, he said.
The president also called for establishing a special International Atomic Energy Agency committee to focus on safeguards and verification.
"No nation under investigation for proliferation violations should be able to serve on this committee or on the governing board of the IAEA," Bush said. "Governments breaking the rules should not be trusted with enforcing the rules."
Noting that terrorists and terrorist states are in a race for weapons of mass murder, Bush said, "(it's) a race they must lose. They are resourceful -- we must be more resourceful. They are determined -- we must be more determined. We will never lose focus or resolve. We will be unrelenting in the defense of free nations, and rise to the hard demands of our dangerous time."