Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
October 26, 2003
DEPSECDEF WOLFOWITZ: I’d like to begin by mentioning that Col. Gagliano, the senior surgeon here, and Col Pritchard, the commander of the hospital, are just two of many examples of incredible Army medicine I’ve run into over the last few months. Thank you for what you’re doing.
We just met with the five critically injured from this morning’s blast. Almost symbolically, it’s an incredible mixture of one UK civilian coalition partner, and four Americans, - three civilians, one military - and the civilians are from three different agencies. This really has been a team effort. It continues to be a team effort and as I said this morning, the victims of this attack, including a colonel who tragically died, are real heroes. The criminals responsible for their death and their injuries are the people who abused and tortured Iraq for 35 years. They’re a small number of bitter-enders who think they can some how take this country backwards by de-stabilizing it, by scaring us away. They’re not going to scare us away; we’re not giving up on this job. We’re going to finish this job and we will be unrelenting in our pursuit of these terrorists and criminals – the remnants of a sadistic and abusive regime.
I just had a short phone call with Secretary Rumsfeld to inform him of the situation as we saw it here and he expressed his own sympathy to the victims of this attack and his relief that all of you are safe.