United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860

Author: George W. Bush  | Date: November 22, 2004

The President’s News Conference With President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia in Cartagena, Colombia,
November 22, 2004

President Uribe. Mr. President, Mrs. Laura Bush, Lina Maria, members of the delegations of the U.S. and Colombia, friends from the media, citizens of the United States, and my fellow citizens of Colombia: Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, welcome to the historic city of Cartagena de Indias, an expression of this Colombia, full of possibilities, with many problems to resolve, and with citizens who are happy, who are joyous, and who have not been made bitter by terrorism and the poverty that it has brought with it. Thank you, President Bush, and thank you, Mrs. Bush, for honoring us with your visit. We greatly appreciate the support of your Government and of the U.S. people.

While the Colombian people fight for democracy, terrorism has assassinated democratic fighters. While the Colombian people fight for growth, employment, and social justice, terrorism has halted our economy. It made poverty more acute and produced internal displacement and a stampede towards other countries. While the Colombian army destroys the antipersonnel landmines and gives the world the example of facing the terrorist threat by following the rule of law and respecting human rights, the terrorists have killed 600 Colombians over the last year, especially members of law enforcement forces. While the Colombian people love to live in peace and respect the ethical rule of not hurting your neighbor, terrorism only wreaks havoc and destruction.

The drugs that finance terrorism have sacrificed generations of Colombians, with thousands of young people who have been assassinated or put in jail, and their families are saddened. The drugs that finance terrorism threaten to destroy the Amazonian jungle. They already tried this by eliminating 1.7 million hectares of tropical forests in Colombia.

The support of the United States left behind speeches and has become an effective type of help. And we trust that the United States and President Bush will continue with that help until Colombia is free of the scourge of terrorism and drugs. We cannot stop this task halfway through. We will win, but we have not won yet. We have made progress, but the serpent is still alive.

President Bush, our success against terrorism will be the success of the people, of democracy, of the supremacy of law. Our success will be the guarantee for the happiness of our children and future generations. Our success will avoid contagion to other neighboring countries, and our success will be a reason for pride in the U.S. and Colombia for those who have suffered from the scourge of drugs.

The negotiation of a free trade agreement is a step in the process to unify the Americas, and we are sure that it will be an agreement reached with equity, offering opportunity for the agricultural sector, for small business, activities that we need to bolster in order to provide true alternatives of revindication for the poor and to foster the creativity of our social enterprises that are based on our capitalist society. The respect for intellectual property must be joined to the rights of researchers so that science can move forward and so that the people will have the right to have universal access to new medications and welfare.

We attach great importance to this visit, President Bush, just after your new victory and at the beginning of your second term. This is a new example of your friendship for Colombia and a clear indication of a renewed interest in Latin America. Latin America needs social cohesion, good governance, and trust in integration. The role of the United States in the multilateral institutions, in the IMF, your signals to the markets will be definitive so that this continent can build social justice. The role of the United States in the struggle against terrorism and in the respect for the tolerant debate of opposing ideas is definitive for good governance on the continent. The equity we need to guarantee in the free trade agreement is going to be a beacon to establish the necessary confidence for all the Americas to become integrated.

In this same spot your father stood, President George Bush, along with President Virgilio Barco, at a summit meeting against drugs. This historic city is pleased to show you its past and its promise for the future.Endowed by nature like other parts of Colombia, it is grateful for the generous help of the United States. This beautiful city, which is now adorned by your visit, wants you to take back to the people of the United States an invitation to come and visit. In order to do so and with your help, we have made a major effort, Mr. President, which translates into greater security.

We welcome you, President Bush, with gratitude and with friendship, in the midst of our emotional reflections of Abraham Lincoln and Simon Bolivar, both of them paradigms of a commitment to their peoples and the idea of authority and order to respect the law. In Gettysburg, President Lincoln made the democratic statement that establishes that the Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people must never perish from the face of this Earth." The message to the Ocana Convention by the Liberator, Bolivar, is for us a proposal that the strength of the state must guarantee the life of the weak and must guarantee the Government and the strength of institutions as a warranty of virtue and the permanence of our Nation.

Thank you very much, President Bush, for this wonderful visit. Thank you, Mrs. Bush.

President Bush. I appreciate those kind words. Laura and I are so honored to be here. We want to thank you and Mrs. Uribe for such warm hospitality, such gracious hospitality. I want to thank your Cabinet and thank the Colombian people as well.

I’m proud to be with my friend President Uribe. El es mi amigo. He’s a strong—and he’s courageous, like the nation he leads. He has been tireless in the fight against terror, and he’s making progress on behalf of the people of Colombia. President Uribe and the Colombian people are dedicated to the triumph of democracy and the rule of law against the forces of violence. And the United States stands with you.

Our two nations share in the struggle against drugs. The drug traffickers who practice violence and intimidation in this country send their addictive and deadly products to the United States. Defeating them is vital to the safety of our peoples and to the stability of this hemisphere. President Uribe and I also share a basic optimism. This war against narcoterrorism can and will be won, and Colombia is well on its way to that victory.

During the President’s tenure in office, he’s built an impressive record. Kidnapings in Colombia are significantly down. Terrorist attacks and homicides have declined. Cocaine seizures have risen dramatically. And since July of last year, dozens of leaders and financiers of the FARC narcoterrorist organization have been killed or captured. President Uribe has also reformed Colombia’s judicial system and is aggressively fighting corruption.

My Nation will continue to help Colombia prevail in this vital struggle. Since the year 2000, when we began Plan Colombia, the United States has provided more than $3 billion in vital aid. We’ll continue providing aid.

We’ve helped Colombia to strengthen this democracy, to combat drug production, to create a more transparent and effective judicial system, to increase the size and professionalism of its military and police forces, to protect human rights, and to reduce corruption. Mr. President, you and your Government have not let us down. Plan Colombia enjoys wide bipartisan support in my country, and next year I will ask our Congress to renew its support so that this courageous nation can win its war against narcoterrorists.

Full and final victory also requires the spread of prosperity and progress throughout this nation and throughout this region. President Uribe’s economic reforms have created jobs and improved living standards. Investor confidence is up. Unemployment is down, and growth is strong.

Our two nations also share a strong commitment to advancing free and fair trade and economic growth throughout the Americas. We’re working hard on a free trade agreement that will link the United States and Colombia, as well as other Andean nations of South America, in a wider economic partnership. As hope advances, violence and extremism will retreat. President Uribe has a vision for a better Colombia, a vision of peace and prosperity that he is pursuing with skill and energy. He is a fierce opponent of terror and drug trafficking. He’s a defender of Colombia’s democracy, and I’m proud to call him friend.

Gracias, Senor Presidente.

President Uribe. Thank you, President. Thank you very much.

Plan Colombia/Free Trade Agreement

Q. Mr. President, President Bush, good afternoon. How far are you willing to pursue the groups that you have labeled as terrorists in Colombia, including the self-defense groups? And how do you see the peace process that is being carried out here with the self-defense groups?

And President Uribe, what did President Bush actually say to you about helping Colombia and being a little more flexible with regard to the FTA, especially with the farmers in our country? Thank you.

President Bush. First, let me talk about the security situation and the President’s strategy to defeat groups like the FARC. If I didn’t think he had an effective strategy and the willingness to fight the FARC, I wouldn’t be standing here in this great nation saying I’m going to work with Congress to continue the support. In other words, I believe in results. My administration is a results-oriented administration.

And so when I first met with the President in the Oval Office a couple of years ago, we talked about how to achieve results for the good of Colombia and for the good of our hemisphere. And he said he was going to do the following things, and he did. And so to answer your question, we will support him in this strategy, because it’s working.

President Uribe. Thank you, President.

Can I answer him first? The issue of the free trade agreement—we understand that the FTA has to be totally equitable. It has to be passed not just by the U.S. Congress but also by Colombia’s Congress and also by the public opinion of the U.S. and of Colombia.

President Bush has understood throughout this process in assisting Colombia how important it is for the legal farming business in Colombia to prosper so that we have opportunities for our farmers. We understand that it’s very difficult to negotiate an agreement where everyone is working in good faith, but we will be able to get ahead for our people. And this will build more trust between our nations, and it will be a reason for prosperity, but also it will be a major step forward in uniting the Americas.

Iran

Q. The IAEA, Mr. President, has said that they apparently believe that Iran’s claim they’ve suspended uranium enrichment is true. Are you skeptical at all of that, and if so, why?

President Bush. Well, let’s say I hope it’s true. And I think the definition of truth is the willingness for the Iranian regime to allow for verification. You know, they have said some things in the past, and it’s very important for them to verify and earn the trust of those of us who are worried about them developing a nuclear weapon. And that’s just not the United States. It’s France and Great Britain and Germany and other nations around the world who understand the dangers of the Iranian Government having a nuclear weapon.

And so it looks like there is some progress, but to determine whether or not the progress is real, there must be verification. And we look forward to seeing that verification.

Plan Colombia

Q. President Bush has committed himself here broadly to extend Plan Colombia and to continue helping Colombia. I’d like to know how you’re going to convince your Congress to continue helping us at a time that’s so difficult with your own deficit after the war in Iraq, and how much assistance will there be? Is it going to be as much as the 3 billion that has been given over the last 4 years? [Laughter]

President Bush. Well, I thought I’d go to the Congress—look, here’s what you’ve got to do with the Congress. You say, first of all, it’s an important issue. And the issue is whether or not we’re willing to stand with a friend to help defeat narcotrafficking. Most Members of Congress understand it is important to help Colombia defeat the narcotraffickers. And so the first question is whether or not there will be a consensus about the importance. I think there will be.

And secondly, do we want to continue spending money on the project that’s important? And the answer to that question is, onlyif there are results. And there have been significant results. the number of acres under cultivation are down significantly. The number of arrests are up. The number of murders is down. In other words, this man’s plan is working. And there is a focused strategy. How do we know? Because our Ambassador is working closely with the Government. Southern Command is working closely with the Government. We’re very aware of not only the strategy but the will of this Government to implement the strategy.

And so, to answer your question, I’m very optimistic about continued funding. And I look forward to working with Congress to achieve a level that will make the plan effective.

Martin—Morgan [David Morgan, Reuters], I mean. Morgan. Martin, Morgan—what the heck.

President’s Visit to Chile

Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Last night in Santiago, a dinner for 200 guests had to be scaled back dramatically after the Chileans objected to U.S. security plans that must have been in place for some time. And the night before that, you had to come to the rescue of your own security man. Why do you think there was such friction between the U.S. delegation and the Chilean delegation?

President Bush. This is a question? [Laughter] Look, we had a fabulous dinner last night. It was really wonderful to be in the presence of President Lagos and his Cabinet, and I thought the visit was a spectacular visit. And I appreciated the hospitality of our Chilean friends, just like I appreciate the hospitality of our Colombian friends.

You know, we’re making good progress, thanks to strong leadership. The President said, "Thanks to America, things are going well." No, he’s got it backwards. It’s not thanks to America, things are going well; it’s thanks to strong leadership that things are going well. It’s thanks to a strategy that’s working. It’s thanks to a Cabinet that is dedicated to what’s best for the interests of the Colombian people.

Thank you very much.

President Uribe. Thank you, Mr. President.

President Bush. I appreciate it.

President Uribe. Do you want to get in one more?

President Bush. That’s plenty. No, thank you.

Note: The President’s news conference began at 2:40 p.m. at the Escuela Naval de Cadetes "Almirante Padilla." In his remarks, he referred to Lina Maria Moreno de Uribe, wife of President Uribe; U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Braucher Wood; and President Ricardo Lagos of Chile. He also referred to FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. President Uribe spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Memorandum on Strengthening Central Intelligence Agency Capabilities,
November 18, 2004

Memorandum for the Director of Central Intelligence

Subject: Strengthening Central Intelligence Agency Capabilities

The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States recommended:

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director should emphasize (a) rebuilding the CIA’s analytic capabilities; (b) transforming the clandestine service by building its human intelligence capabilities; (c) developing a stronger language program, with high standards and sufficient financial incentives; (d) renewing emphasis on recruiting diversity among operations officers so they can blend more easily in foreign cities; (e) ensuring a seamless relationship between human source collection and signals collection at the operational level; and (f) stressing a better balance between unilateral and liaison operations.

I approve and direct you to implement these recommendations, recognizing that significant progress has already been made in rebuilding the CIA’s capabilities under the Strengthening Intelligence Initiative and the Director of Central Intelligence’s (DCI) Strategic Direction, especially with respectto all-source analysis, clandestine operations, information sharing, and foreign languages.

Working within the framework established by the Strengthening Intelligence Initiative, I direct you to implement within the CIA measures to:
(1) Further strengthen the core capabilities of the CIA to meet the intelligence challenges presented by international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and other critical national security issues, including, but not limited to, its capabilities to:

(a) Perform all-source intelligence analysis that, among other qualities, routinely considers, and presents to national security policymakers, diverse views;(b) Conduct clandestine collection operations involving human sources and technical methods unilaterally, with other elements of the Intelligence Community, and with foreign partners, and conduct covert action operations as directed by the President;(c) Share information rapidly and proactively with other agencies of the United States Government, including specifically those responsible for national security and homeland security, while protecting the sources and methods of its collection from unauthorized disclosure, giving top priority to support of governmental actions to detect, prevent, preempt, and disrupt terrorist threats and attacks on the United States, its people, and its allies and interests around the globe; and(d) Collect, process, analyze, and disseminate intelligence information using personnel proficient in foreign languages, and develop information technology tools to assist in effective processing and use of foreign language information.
(2) Ensure that the CIA processes, shares, and disseminates to the President, Vice President in the performance of Executive functions, and other appropriate officials in the executive branch, including the heads of departments and agencies with elements in the Intelligence Community, terrorism information and other information relevant to national security and homeland security including as directed by Executive Order 13356 of August 27, 2004, entitled "Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information to Protect Americans."

Building on levels attained under the DCI’s Strategic Direction I, measures implemented in accordance with the foregoing shall include, but not be limited to, actions to:
(1) Strengthen CIA intelligence analysis capabilities substantially and promptly through actions to:

(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of fully qualified, all-source analysts by 50 percent;(b) Assign fully qualified, all-source analysts in a manner that strengthens CIA and Intelligence Community analytical capabilities focused on terrorism, proliferation of WMD, the Near East and South Asia, and other key strategic areas in Asia, while maintaining substantial analytical capabilities focused on other issues and regions;(c) Increase investment in development of their analytic expertise, field experience, and training in advanced analytical methods, including for geospatial analysis; and(d) Continue to acquire and develop tools that enable analysts to connect to counterparts inside and outside of government, increase the speed of the analytic workflow, and deal with the rapidly increasing volume of all-source information.
(2) Strengthen CIA human intelligence operations capabilities substantially and promptly through actions to:
(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of fully qualified officers in the Directorate of Operations by 50 percent;(b) Ensure that a majority of these officers are collectors drawn from diverse

backgrounds with the skills, experience, and training needed for the effective conduct of human intelligence operations;

(c) Assign substantial numbers of these officers to collection missions reflecting the priorities established through the National Intelligence Priorities Framework; and(d) Integrate effectively, as appropriate to particular collection activities, human intelligence collection capabilities and signals and other technical intelligence collection capabilities.
(3) Improve the foreign language capabilities of the CIA through actions to:
(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of CIA officers tested and proficient in mission-critical languages by 50 percent; and(b) Develop and employ information technology tools to assist in processing and use of information in foreign languages.
(4) Fully implement directives concerning information sharing, information technology, information privacy, and security including Executive Order 13354 of August 27, 2004, entitled "National Counterterrorism Center" and Executive Order 13356.
(5) Double, as soon as feasible, the number of officers who are engaged in research and development to find new ways to bring science to bear in the war on terrorism, countering the proliferation of WMD, and against new and emerging threats.

I direct you to submit to me within 90 days from the date of this memorandum, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a detailed budget and implementation plan, including performance measures, with timelines for achievement of specific, measurable goals. In addition to the capabilities enumerated above, this plan shall also include a description, with appropriate performance measures, of steps underway at the CIA to develop and implement new collection strategies against difficult targets, to integrate human and technical collection tools, to assure appropriate access by analysts to information on the sources of critical intelligence reporting, to expand relationships with experts outside of government and otherwise ensure diverse views are routinely reflected in finished intelligence products. A copy of this plan will be provided to the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, which will advise me on the adequacy of the plan, especially with respect to countering the threat posed by WMD. Beginning in June 2005, I direct you to report to me at least semi-annually, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on progress made implementing this memorandum.

This memorandum shall be implemented subject to the availability of appropriations and in a manner consistent with applicable law, including the Constitution and laws protecting the freedom and information privacy of Americans.

George W. Bush

Note: This memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 23.

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: George W. Bush, United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860 2856–2860. Original Sources, accessed September 20, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=QS16D3SLF9P6WF9.

MLA: Bush, George W. United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860, pp. 2856–2860. Original Sources. 20 Sep. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=QS16D3SLF9P6WF9.

Harvard: Bush, GW, United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2004 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004), 40:2855-2860, pp.2856–2860. Original Sources, retrieved 20 September 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=QS16D3SLF9P6WF9.