Dear Members and Friends,
Last night, the President of the United States held a press conference on national television, the fourth one of his presidency, to review his first ninety-nine days of his second term. President Bush addressed the nation and discussed his priorities. Amongst issues such as Social Security and energy, President Bush raised the importance of missile defense in dealing with the very real and dangerous threat of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il.
“Finally, as you know, I have instructed Secretary Rumsfeld — and I work with Congress — Secretary Rumsfeld has worked with Congress to set up a missile defense system. And we’re in the process of getting that missile defense system up and running. One of the reasons why I thought it was important to have a missile defense system is for precisely the reason that you brought up, that perhaps Kim Jong-il has got the capacity to launch a weapon, and wouldn’t it be nice to be able to shoot it down. And so we’ve got a comprehensive strategy in dealing with him.”
– President George W. Bush
Yesterday afternoon, on the Hill, the Pentagon’s top military intelligence officer said that North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device. This marks the first time a top U.S. officer officially and publicly attributed such a capability.
At the hearing Senator Hillary Rodman Clinton asked the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency before the Senate Arms Service Committee, “Do you assess that North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device?” Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby answered, “The assessment is that they have the capability to do that, yes, ma’am.”
Missile defense is a national priority as stated by our president last night and will not be neglected by our Congress. Missile defense gives our country real protection against a real threat, and offers a solution for the proliferation of nuclear missiles and the will of unpredictable dictators to strike the United States and her allies. Missile defense not only provides protection to our citizens and our communities but dissuades those entities from developing and using ballistic missiles against America.
The priority has been given as identified by our president and the 109th Congress; the responsibility of protecting our country from this threat is on our military and those that build these missile defense systems.
The American public needs it now and it needs to be effective.