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Cheney Assails Terrorism at Rumsfeld Award Presentation

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2003 – The only way to deal with terrorism is to destroy the terrorist networks, Vice President Richard Cheney said today.

Cheney was speaking at the Mayflower Hotel here at an award presentation for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Hudson Institute, a think tank that studies changes in public policy, presented Rumsfeld with the organization's James H. Doolittle Award for outstanding contributions to national security issues.

"No treaty can solve this problem (of terrorism). There's no peace agreement, no policy of containment or deterrence that works to deal with this threat. We have to go find the terrorists," Cheney said in a question-and-answer session.

"And we do everything we can here at home and around the world to create hard targets so we're difficult to get at," he added. "But in the final analysis, the only sure way to security and stability and protection of our people and those of our friends and allies is to go eliminate the terrorists before they can launch any more attacks."

He noted the May 12 terrorist attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were directed at more than just American targets.

"I think the message to be taken from all this is that this is a worldwide problem, a global problem that's aimed primarily at the West," he said. "But these al Qaeda terrorists have killed a large number of Muslims as well."

During the same question-answer session, Rumsfeld debunked claims in the press that retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was being sent out of Iraq for poor performance.

Garner entered Iraq shortly after major fighting stopped to organize and coordinate relief and rebuilding efforts. His team's work has been criticized in some circles because of the level of lawlessness and lack of public services still evident in the country. President Bush announced May 6 that Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III would take over as Iraq's civil administrator.

Rumsfeld explained that Garner agreed to hold the position for only a limited time. "We talked and agreed that he would not be able to stay at it for an extended period and that he recognized that it made sense to have a senior civilian serve as the presidential envoy in that post at some point in the future," Rumsfeld said of Garner.

"He has done a superb job; there is just no question about it. And this nonsense in the newspapers is unfortunate," Rumsfeld said of the suggestions that Garner was being fired. "It's unfair to him. It's unfair to the process. It is terribly confusing for the people in Iraq.

"This is an outstanding American who is doing a spectacular job for this country," the secretary said.

Rumsfeld received the Doolittle Award for his 40-plus years of public service as a naval aviator, congressman, White House chief of staff, ambassador to NATO, and two-time secretary of defense, as well as in numerous other appointed positions.

"I can't think of anyone else to lead the Department of Defense than the man we honor today," Cheney said in introducing Rumsfeld at the ceremony. "I don't think there's anyone more deserving of this award than my old boss and current colleague, the Honorable Don Rumsfeld."

Gen. Jimmy Doolittle was a legendary Army flier in World War II who gained fame for a daring raid on Tokyo in April 1942. The mission garnered him the Medal of Honor, and the unit he led has forevermore been known by the sobriquet "Doolittle's Raiders."

Cheney, also a former secretary of defense, White House chief of staff and congressman, is a previous recipient of the Hudson Institute's award. Others include former President Ronald Reagan, and Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig, both former secretaries of state who also served in other executive branch positions.

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