US Officials Position on Terrorism/Afghanistan/Sudan
* A few months ago, and again this week, bin Laden publicly vowed to publicly wage a terrorist war against America, saying, and I quote, "We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians. They're all targets." Their mission is murder, and their history is bloody.
President Bill Clinton
* I don't think we had a choice. These people hit us. This was an act of self-defense. They hit American citizens abroad, representatives of the U.S. government in these embassies. People that are out there trying to do their best on behalf of America and they just blew them up and they blew up hundreds of Kenyans that had nothing to do with it at all. We also think -- and we have good information that there might be other acts and we're doing everything we can to forestall further action like this.
* No, I think we will always have the edge because we're stronger and smarter and have the weapons to deal with this. But they do -- they will have the edge or they could have the edge if we would not react. That's why I think, there... will be attack-counterattack. But what we have to do here is to exert our will and make clear when the United States is attacked, when our people are taken out, we will stand out unilaterally in self-defense and really let the world know what we believe in.
Dr. Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State. Larry King Show/CNN
* Freedom is very expensive in terms of human commitment, in terms of human participation. Freedom is very dear in this city(Oklahoma) where you have given so much in the cause of freedom.
But this nation is unlike any nation in the history of the world, and it is imperative that we join together to fight the forces of terrorism while at the same time fighting with all our heart and soul to defend freedom that we hold so dear. Thank you for leading the way.
Address by US Attorney General, Janet Reno, Oklahoma, Oct. 25, 1998
* Our target was terror. Our mission was clear. To strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Osama bin Laden, perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today.
In a situation like this, the only safe course and the only correct course is to do what is best for your country, and count on the American public to support their president and their government when it's a question of national security.
(Terrorism) It's a new kind of war to begin with. It's the terrorists who establish camps either with the connivance of the country concerned, or because they're stronger than the country concerned in the areas in which they operate. And if one wants to fight terrorism one has to establish the principle that there are no safe havens, and make it -- and achieve two objectives: one, to preoccupy the terrorists with defending themselves, because all of these operations like the Kenya bombing and the Dar es Salaam bombing take months to prepare. And if they can do it undisturbed it's a lot easier. The second problem is to convey to the host countries that they must do more. And it is a new problem and requires a new strategy, and frankly, I think we should have done it earlier in several administrations including this one.
I'm optimistic if we have the nerves to see it through, and if, when we act, we do it toughly enough and don't convey the idea that we're scared of our own courage. There may be a retaliation, but we ought to be able to wear down an individual, and we ought to be -- and in the long run, it's the only way to save American lives.
Dr. Henry Kissinger, Former US Secretary of State On Larry king Show/CNN.
* In terms of multilateralism and unilateralism, it is true for every issue that there is a multilateral dimension and a unilateral dimension. The President has said often, we work together with other nations where possible, but we're prepared to act alone when necessary.
There is a huge amount of this terrorism issue when it comes to safe havens, when it comes to moving money around, when it comes to sharing information about intelligence and law enforcement, that inherently, intrinsically is multilateral. But when Americans are killed by terrorists in Africa, the United States is not going to seek permission from other countries to respond.
US National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, September 21, 1998
Designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Fact Sheet released by the Office of the
Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, U.S.
Department of State, October 8, 1997.