It deepens US pledge, says Bush
BEIJING- US President George W. Bush said the slaying of abducted Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has deepened US resolve to wipe out ‘agents of terror’ on a day further blackened by the crash of a US army helicopter involved in anti-terrorism exercises in the Philippines.
Bush, reacting to news of Pearl’s death, said the slaying would only deepen US resolve.
‘Those who would threaten Americans, those who would engage in criminal, barbaric acts, need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause and only deepen the resolve of the United States of America to rid the world of these agents of terror,’ Bush said here on Thursday.
A grim-faced Bush spoke from a lectern Friday at his hotel in Beijing, on the last leg of his six-day Asia tour.
‘Laura and I and the American people are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Daniel Pearl’s life,’ Bush said. Â‘We are really sad for his wife and his parents and his friends and colleagues who have been clinging to hopes for weeks that he would be found alive.’
‘All Americans are sad and angry to learn of the murder,’ Bush said. ‘May God bless Daniel Pearl.’
‘Those who would threaten Americans, those who would engage in criminal, barbaric acts need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause, and only deepen the resolve of the United States of America to rid the world of these agents of terror,’ Bush said.
White House officials said Bush got first word of Pearl’s death from a television he was watching while working out Friday morning in the gym of his hotel. Bush contacted chief of staff Andy Card to confirm that the journalist was dead.
COLIN POWELL: Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters aboard Air Force One on the return flight from Asia that Bush returned a call to President Pervez Musharraf, who expressed ‘deep regret’ over Pearl’s death. ‘President Musharraf took it pretty hard because he was trying to do everything he could to keep that from happening,’ Powell said.
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said the State Department’s consul general in Karachi had delivered the news of Pearl’s death in person to his wife and had notified Pearl’s family by phone. Consul officials were staying with Mrs. Pearl, at her request, as she decides whether to stay in Pakistan, Powell said.
Powell said US officials did not know when Pearl was killed, but that they hoped evidence would help them ascertain the circumstances and time of his death.
Source: The Nation