Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004

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Author: George W. Bush  | Date: March 30, 2004

Remarks Announcing That National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Will Provide Public Testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States,
March 30, 2004

Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Adviser, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony. I’ve also advised Chairman Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton that Vice President Cheney and I will jointly meet with all members of the Commission in a private session.

This Commission has been charged with a crucial task. To prevent future attacks, we must understand the methods of our enemies. The terrorist threat being examined by the Commission is still present, still urgent, and still demands our full attention.

From the day the panel was created, I have directed executive branch agencies and members of my staff to cooperate with the Commission. Recognizing the exceptional nature of this inquiry, we have given Commission members access to relevant Presidential daily briefings, to my communications with foreign leaders, and to internal White House communications.

More than 800 members of the administration have been interviewed. More than 20 White House officials have met with the Commission or soon will do so. Dr. Rice herself has already met privately with the Commission for 4 hours. I’ve ordered this level of cooperation, because I consider it necessary to gaining a complete picture of themonths and years that preceded the murder of our fellow citizens on September the 11th, 2001.

As the Commission has done its work, I’ve also been concerned, as has Dr. Rice, that an important principle be upheld: A President and his advisers, including his Adviser for National Security Affairs, must be able to communicate freely and privately without being compelled to reveal those communications to the legislative branch. This principle of the separation of powers is protected by the Constitution, is recognized by the courts, and has been defended by Presidents of both political parties. We have observed this principle while also seeking ways for Dr. Rice to testify, so that the public record is full and accurate.

Now the Commission and leaders of the United States Congress have given written assurances that the appearance of the National Security Adviser will not be used as precedent in the conduct of future inquiries. The leaders of Congress and the Commission agree—they agree with me that the circumstances of this case are unique, because the events of September the 11th, 2001, were unique. At my direction, Judge Gonzales has informed the Commission that Dr. Rice will participate in an open public hearing.

Our Nation must never forget the loss or the lessons of September the 11th, and we must not assume that the danger has passed. The United States will confront gathering dangers to our freedom and security. The Commission knows its responsibility to collect vital information and to present it to the American people. And I know my responsibility as well to act against the continuing threat and to protect the American people. I have made that pledge to my fellow citizens, and I will keep it.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 4:46 p.m. in the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Thomas H. Kean, Chairman, and Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chairman, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission); and Counsel to the President Alberto R. Gonzales.

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Chicago: George W. Bush, "Remarks Announcing That National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Will Provide Public Testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 30, 2004," Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:507-508 Original Sources, accessed July 18, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NGYNTSGX9SWA7VL.

MLA: Bush, George W. "Remarks Announcing That National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Will Provide Public Testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 30, 2004." Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:507-508, Original Sources. 18 Jul. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NGYNTSGX9SWA7VL.

Harvard: Bush, GW, 'Remarks Announcing That National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Will Provide Public Testimony to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 30, 2004' in Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 2, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:507-508. Original Sources, retrieved 18 July 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NGYNTSGX9SWA7VL.