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Bush Pays Tribute to War Dead  - 2004-09-08

President Bush is paying tribute to U.S. soldiers who've died in Iraq as the total number of American fatalities there passes 1,000. Mr. Bush met with Congressional leaders to discuss efforts to reform U.S. intelligence services.

President Bush says the United States is making good progress in the fight against terrorism, chasing down killers overseas so Americans do not have to face them at home.

In a meeting with Congressional leaders, President Bush did not directly mention the U.S. death toll in Iraq passing 1,000. But he did say the mission there will ultimately prevail because, he says, liberty changes people.

"Liberty promotes peace, and that is why we appreciate the sacrifice of the men and women who wear the uniform," said President Bush. "They are serving in a great cause. We mourn every loss of life. We will honor their memories by completing the mission."

The president says he is working with Congress to reform intelligence services with a National Intelligence Director who would have full budgetary authority. That was one of the key recommendations of a bipartisan commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.