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Bush says bin Laden cannot hide, tells troops to prepare

“We have much to do and much to ask of the American people,” the president warned.

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 15, 2001


The president’s radio address transcript
WASHINGTON -- President Bush vowed on Saturday that U.S. troops will hunt down terrorists and "smoke them out of their holes" in a long, unrelenting war. He said prime suspect Osama bin Laden will not be able to hide from America's forces.

For the first time, he warned Americans they will have to sacrifice.

"I will not settle for a token act. Our response must be sweeping, sustained and effective," the president said in his weekly radio address. "We have much to do and much to ask of the American people.

"You will be asked for your patience, for the conflict will not be short. You will be asked for resolve, because the conflict will not be easy. You will be asked for your strength because the course to victory may be long," he said.

As the radio address was being broadcast, Bush met with his foreign policy teams at the Marine-guarded Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. He had his toughest words yet for the terrorists who attacked New York and Washington and downed a plane in the Pennsylvania countryside.

"We will find this who did it, we'll smoke them out of their holes," Bush said.

"We'll get them running and we'll bring them to justice," he said.

Four days after the national tragedy, Bush braced Americans for a long, brutal battle against terrorism.

"There is a desire by the American people to not seek only revenge, but to win a war against barbaric behavior, he said.

Of bin Laden, Bush said: "If he thinks he can hide from the United States and our allies he will be sorely mistaken."

Bush had a message, too, for the 50,000 U.S. reserves being called into action.

"Everybody who wears the uniform (should) get ready -- the United States will do what it takes to win this war," he said.

His warning also was directed at sponsors of terrorists: America, he said, will "deal with those who harbor them and feed them and house them."

Bush on Friday called 50,000 military reservists to duty and shouted words of defiance amid the ruins of New York's World Trade Center.

"I can hear you," Bush said. "The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

The first arrest in the investigation came Friday, a government official said.

The suspect, whose identity was not made public, was arrested because authorities believe he has information about the attacks and poses a high risk of fleeing the country, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two other men picked up in Fort Worth, Texas, were flown to New York for questioning, officials said.

The devastation from Tuesday's attacks was still being assessed.

New York struggled to come to terms with the mounting casualty count: 124 bodies recovered, a total of 184 confirmed dead and more than 4,700 missing. Only five people have been pulled out alive along with more than 400 body parts.

Government authorities said 189 people -- a combination of military and civilian employees on the ground and the passengers and crew in the plane -- were believed to have died in the attack on the Pentagon.

Bush has authorized the call-up of up to 50,000 members of the National Guard and military reserves. He said the extra troops are needed in light of a "continuing and immediate threat" of further terrorist attacks on the United States.

That news sent shudders through the homes of thousands of reservists and their families.

Congress supported the call-up, giving quick and unanimous approval to a $40 billion down payment to help the nation recover and rebuild from terror attacks and retaliate.

Lawmakers also passed a measure to allow Bush to exercise "all necessary and appropriate force" against the terrorists, their sponsors and protectors. Only Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., voted against it.

"These are different times," said Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. "And we have got to act decisively. The American people expect it of us, and they will accept nothing less."

On the diplomatic front, support for U.S. action appeared to be solidifying.

Pakistani military and diplomatic sources said Saturday that Pakistan has agreed to a full list of U.S. demands for a possible attack on neighboring Afghanistan, including a multinational force to be based within Pakistani borders. The U.S. demands had also included a closure of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and permission for flights over Pakistani airspace in the event of military action.

U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment, and there was no formal announcement in Washington or Islamabad.

The New York Times reported that a senior State Department official met with 15 Arab representatives and told them they must declare their nations part of an international coalition against terrorism, or run the risk of being isolated in the growing conflict.

Federal investigators have released the names of 19 suspected hijackers who seized the four jetliners, two of which crashed into the twin towers and another into the Pentagon outside Washington. A fourth went down in rural Pennsylvania, apparently after passengers fought their hijackers. Some of the suspects have been linked to bin Laden or his organizations, according to current and former U.S. officials.

In areas far from the calamity and devastation on the East Coast, Americans still struggled to deal with the new realities and fears that have emerged since Tuesday's attacks.

Most airports returned to limited operation. Boston's Logan Airport reopened Saturday, leaving Reagan National Airport, just across the Potomac River from Washington, as the only major airport that will remain closed indefinitely.

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