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Search for WMD Will Continue, White House Says

Search for WMD Will Continue, White House Says

White House Report, July 31: WMD, terrorism, West Africa

David Kay, a former U.N. weapons investigator, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee July 31 in closed hearings. Kay, who met with President Bush the morning of July 29, recently returned from coordinating the hunt in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"There is a massive amount of documents that [David Kay] has talked about," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "We need to let him complete his work and we'll see what the full picture is. But we need to let the search continue, let the interviews continue, let the review of the documents continue.

"The president, in a post-September 11 world, is not going to wait for threats to come to our shore. He is going to confront them and address them before it's too late," the press secretary said.

In his July 30 news conference Bush said, "It's going to take time for us to gather the evidence and analyze the mounds of evidence, literally, the miles of documents that we have uncovered." But, he said, "I'm confident the truth will come out. And there is no doubt in my mind ... that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States security and a threat to peace in the region."


Committing specialized forces to the anti-terrorism effort in Iraq does not affect the continuing search for Osama bin Laden, McClellan told an inquiring reporter.

"We're dedicating the necessary resources to both efforts," he said. "Both of these are essential parts of the war on terrorism. And we will continue to make sure that the necessary resources are dedicated to pursuing terrorists, wherever they may be, and we will bring them to justice.

McClellan said that the U.S. would certainly finish its work in both countries.

"It's all one effort to ensure that America is safer and that the American people are better protected," he said. "And we are dedicating the resources we need to those areas to helping with both the search for terrorists, as well as the reconstruction in those countries."


West African leaders, meeting in Ghana at an emergency summit, decided to deploy the first peacekeeping forces to Liberia by August 4. They also announced that President Charles Taylor must go into exile in Nigeria within three days of the troop's arrival.

Asked if this development will bring about the deployment of U.S. troops to Liberia, McClellan said, "We are going to do what we can, what is needed, to help support ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) as they go into Liberia."

"We are continuing to urge all parties to immediately cease military activity, to pull back, to abide by the terms of the cease-fire and focus all their efforts on the peace talks," he said .

The immediate task, said McClellan, "is for us to help support ECOWAS get a vanguard force in there and to re-enforce the cease-fire and create the conditions where humanitarian assistance can be provided to the people of Liberia."

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