President Bush Says Security is Still America’s Biggest Challenge

January 14, 2009 at 2:20 am Leave a comment

george-bush-741.jpgPresident Bush has three words for Barack Obama to describe the biggest challenge facing America as they prepare to transfer power: “an enemy attack.”

Bush, who plans to deliver an earnest yet optimistic farewell address Thursday night from the White House, told USA TODAY that Americans’ ability to resume normal lives in the seven years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks “does not diminish the threat that we face.”
In one of his last interviews before leaving office, Bush cited as necessary all the tools used by his administration to fight terrorism, such as tough CIA interrogation techniques and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for terror suspects. Obama has vowed to end torture and close the prison in Cuba.
“The biggest challenge is to protect the American people. And he’ll find that that’s a big challenge,” Bush said Tuesday. “When you walk in this office as the newly sworn-in president … a responsibility just kind of envelops you.”
Bush will cite the challenges that lie ahead in Thursday’s address. He outlined several foreign and domestic challenges in the interview:
• Iran’s nuclear program, the need for a Palestinian state in the Middle East, terrorism in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, and drug wars in Mexico.
Bush wouldn’t comment on details in The New York Times that he denied Israel bunker-busting bombs to attack Iran’s main nuclear complex. “It just amazes me that people feel comfortable talking to the media about covert operations and/or presumed conversations,” he said.
• The soaring costs of Medicare and Social Security. He called congressional proposals for a commission that would force up-or-down votes on solutions in Congress “an interesting idea.”
• Stopping Congress from blocking Treasury Department access to the second $350 billion in financial industry rescue funds. Bush would not second-guess Obama’s plan to spread the money to homeowners facing foreclosure. “He’s going to have to decide how best to use resources to solve problems,” the president said.
Source: USA Today
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