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Kerry Looks to Future, Bush Says More to Do in War on Terror - 2004-07-24

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is campaigning his way toward the city of Boston, where he will accept his party's nomination to challenge President Bush in November's election. The president is spending a quiet week at his Texas ranch before returning to the campaign trail. In his weekly radio address Saturday, the president addressed this past week's dominant political issue, the recommendations of a bipartisan commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Senator Kerry is campaigning in Iowa on his way toward accepting the Democratic nomination for president this coming Thursday.

In his party's weekly radio address, the senator refrained from partisan attacks against President Bush, with an optimistic outlook for the future, which he says includes well-paying jobs, affordable health care, a strong military and better foreign relations.

"We intend to crisscross this country, reminding people that what matters is not the narrow values that divide, but the shared values that have always united every American: Faith and family, strength and service, responsibility and opportunity for all," senator Kerry said.

President Bush used his weekly radio address to again address the findings of the so-called 9/11 Commission, saying he has already acted on many of its recommendations for warding off future terrorist attacks.

"In the nearly three years since the [9/11] attacks, we have waged a steady, relentless, determined war on terrorists," said Mr. Bush. "We're fighting them in foreign lands, so we do not have to face them here in America, and we are taking unprecedented steps to defend the homeland."

Mr. Bush says his administration has dismantled terrorist cells and prosecuted terrorist supporters in the states of California, Florida and Massachusetts. He says the United States has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine for every American, and is funding new research into better treatments for exposure to chemical and radiological weapons.

President Bush says there is now better communication among federal, state, and local law enforcement, improved security at air and seaports, and state of the art equipment in major cities to detect biological agents.

But he cautions that in what he calls America's vast, free society, there is no such thing as perfect security, and a determined enemy can still strike.

"There's still more to do," he acknowledged. "As Commander-in-Chief, it is critical that I receive the best intelligence to defend the American people. The 9/11 Commission's recommendations will help guide our efforts, as we work to protect the homeland. And we can be confident, although the threats of this new century are dangerous, America has the resources, the strength, and the resolve to overcome them."

One of the commission's recommendations is the creation of a single post within the executive branch to coordinate intelligence gathering and analysis. The president's director of homeland security has already said he does not think that needs to be done. But the White House says it is still considering all of the recommendations, and the president has ordered Chief of Staff Andrew Card to conduct an executive review of the commission's final report.