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Posted: 3/14/2002 5:31:13 PM EDT
President Keeps Up Tough Talk on Iraq USA TODAY March 14, 2002 WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Wednesday that his administration has ''all options on the table'' as the Pentagon updates its nuclear weapons policy and arsenal to deter any attack on the United States. In a wide-ranging 45-minute news conference, his first such appearance since Oct. 11, Bush brushed aside reports that the United States might be targeting specific nations such as China, Russia, Libya and Iraq. ''The reason one has a nuclear arsenal is . . . to say to people who would harm America: 'Don't do it,' '' Bush said. ''We want to make it very clear to nations that you will not threaten the United States or use weapons of mass destruction against us or our allies or friends,'' he said. Bush kept up his tough talk against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, calling him ''heartless'' and vowing not to let him ''threaten our very future by developing weapons of mass destruction.'' Bush suggested that Saddam should not rest easy. ''He is a problem, and we're going to deal with him,'' the president said. He refused to say what military steps the United States might take to meet the threat posed by Iraq. For now, he said, the focus is on lining up allies -- the key reason for Vice President Cheney's current trip to the Middle East. Bush sought to downplay the importance of capturing Osama bin Laden, hinting that he might be dead already. ''Deep in my heart, I know the man's on the run, if he's alive at all,'' Bush said. ''And who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not? We haven't heard from him in a long time.'' Regardless of whether the al-Qaeda leader is caught, Bush said, bin Laden has been ''marginalized'' and his ability to recruit, train and dispatch terrorists has been greatly reduced. Bush arranged the news conference to make a final pitch for U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering of Mississippi, his nominee to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today on the appointment, and it appears Democrats will defeat it. He also used the opportunity to accuse the Democratic-controlled committee of creating a ''vacancy crisis'' on the federal bench by dragging its feet in approving judicial nominations. He complained that of 92 nominees to the federal judiciary, the Senate has confirmed only 40 -- and only seven of 29 appeals court nominees. ''We are seeing a disturbing pattern, where too often judicial confirmations are being turned into ideological battles that delay justice and hurt our democracy,'' Bush said. ''A few senators are standing in the way of justice.'' On others issues: * Bush said he did not recognize the outcome of last weekend's elections in Zimbabwe, in which President Robert Mugabe was declared the winner. ''We think the election was flawed,'' he said. * Bush praised House passage of a bill that would allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the USA while their residency paperwork is being processed. But on the verge of his visit to Mexico next week, he rejected any blanket amnesty.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 7:02:45 PM EDT
No according to the prezident its - Nookular!!![BD]
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 8:56:46 AM EDT
btt
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