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to peace, my commitment to the security of Israel is unshakable, as is 
the enduring friendship of our countries. I want to thank Ariel for all 
he's done to contribute to that friendship, for his leadership, and his 
willing to make tough decisions in the cause of peace.
    Mr. Prime Minister.

[[Page 996]]

    Prime Minister Sharon. Mr. President, it is a great privilege for me 
to be here at the White House for the eighth time. I am always pleased 
to visit and feel that I am among friends, true friends of the state and 
the people of Israel.
    Mr. President, I congratulate you on the impressive victory in the 
Iraqi campaign and for removing Saddam Hussein from power, one of the 
most ruthless and tyrannical leaders in history. For 30 years, the free 
world has witnessed the recklessness and brutality of this dictator. 
Only you, Mr. President, have shown the courage, determination, and 
leadership needed to spearhead the successful campaign to oust this 
ruthless, merciless despot, his dynasty, and evil regime.
    For the first time since World War II, the freedom- and peace-
seeking democratic world had the wisdom to go after murderers and evil 
rulers and bring them to justice. I have no doubt, Mr. President, that 
thanks to you, any villain in any corner of the world knows that the 
long arm of justice will reach them. So many will owe their lives to you 
and the great nation of America. I'm confident, Mr. President, that the 
lessons learned by the nations of the world and the region on the 
courageous action of the United States in Iraq will serve to advance the 
peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and the entire Arab 
    Your latest statement regarding the threats emanating from Syria and 
Iran prove once again the seriousness of your intentions to continue 
leading the fight against terror. It must be made clear to these 
countries that their evil deeds cannot continue. There can be no 
compromise with terror and evil.
    The people of Israel, Mr. President, are greatly thankful and 
appreciative of your activity, unrelenting commitment to Israel's 
security and the safety of its citizens, and your determination to 
advance the peace process between us and the Palestinians.
    We are currently at an important juncture in our relations with our 
Palestinian neighbors. While relative quiet currently prevails in 
Israel, terror has not yet completely ceased. This relative calm was 
achieved, first and foremost, through the uncompromising activity of the 
Israeli security forces and as a result of your personal effort and the 
actions taken by the United States among Arab and European countries. We 
are thankful for every hour of increased quiet and less terrorism and 
for every drop of blood that is spared. At the same time, we are 
concerned that this welcome quiet will be shattered any minute as a 
result of the continued existence of terror organizations which the 
Palestinian Authority is doing nothing to eliminate or dismantle.
    Mr. President, I am confident that you, as the leader of the free 
world in this war against terror, will act to ensure that the 
Palestinians put a complete stop to the threat of Palestinian terrorism 
so that it will never rear its head again. I wish to move forward with a 
political process with our Palestinian neighbors. And the right way to 
do that is only after a complete cessation of terror, violence, and 
incitement, full dismantlement of terror organizations, and completion 
of the reform process in the Palestinian Authority.
    We had a useful talk today, where we examined ways to advance the 
peace process between us and our Palestinian neighbors. In this context, 
a number of issues came up: the security fence which we are forced to 
construct in order to defend our citizens against terror activities; the 
removal of unauthorized outposts; and the freezing of settlements in 
Judea and Samaria.
    I listened to your statement on this subject and assured you, Mr. 
President, that I would address them. The security----
    President Bush. It's stuck.
    Prime Minister Sharon. As you can see, we need your help. [Laughter]
    The security fence will continue to be built with every effort to 
minimize the infringement on the daily life of the Palestinian 
population. Unauthorized outposts will be removed, as required in a law-
abiding country. We'll continue to discuss all these issues both 
directly and through our bureaus, which maintain close contact.
    Mr. President, we also discussed a series of issues which could 
serve to promote the peace process. In a statement published on my 
behalf last Friday, we listed a long series of steps to accommodate the 
Palestinians. If calm prevails and we witness the dismantlement of 
terror organizations, Israel will be

[[Page 997]]

able to take additional--to take additional steps.
    I wish to thank you again, George, for your friendship and 
understanding toward the state and people of Israel and for your 
contribution and personal involvement in the effort to turn the Middle 
East into a place where the peoples of the region can live in peace and 
security and guarantee a better life for our children and generations to 
    Thank you, George.
    Q. Mr. President----
    President Bush. Hold on a second, please. I'll call upon two members 
of our press corps. We'll alternate. First, Barry [Barry Schweid, 
Associated Press].

Report of the Joint Inquiry Into the September 11, 2001, Terrorist 

    Q. Mr. President, will the decision to not declassify the entire 9/
11 report affect relations with Saudi Arabia, do you think? Might it 
have an impact on what they are doing to counter terrorism? Do you have 
any qualms?
    President Bush. About not declassifying? No, absolutely have no 
qualms at all, because there's an ongoing investigation into the
9/11 attacks, and we don't want to compromise that investigation. If 
people are being investigated, it doesn't make sense for us to let them 
know who they are.
    Secondly, we have an ongoing war against Al Qaida and terrorists, 
and the declassification of that part of a 900-page document would 
reveal sources and methods that will make it harder for us to win the 
war on terror. Now, perhaps at some point in time down the road, after 
the investigations are fully complete and if it doesn't jeopardize our 
national security, perhaps we can declassify the 27 of the hundreds of 
pages in the document. But it makes no sense to declassify when we've 
got an ongoing investigation; that could jeopardize that investigation. 
And it made no sense to declassify during the war on terror because it 
would help the enemy if they knew our sources and methods.

Israeli Security Fence

    Q. Mr. President, what do you accept Israel to do in practical terms 
in regarding the separation fence that you call the wall? Due to the 
fact that this is one of the most effective measure against terrorism, 
can you clarify what do you oppose, the concept of the separation fence 
or only its roots?
    And with your permission----

[At this point, the reporter asked a second question in Hebrew, and no 
translation was provided.]

    President Bush. ----an international problem. [Laughter]

[The reporter continued in Hebrew.]

    President Bush. Me? Okay. First, the most effective way to fight 
terror is to dismantle terrorist organizations. I fully recognize that. 
And we will continue to work with all parties to do just that. I mean, I 
fully understand that the most effective campaign to enhance the 
security of Israel, as well as the security of peace-loving people in 
the Palestinian territories, is to get after organizations such as 
Hamas, the terrorist organizations that create the conditions where 
peace won't exist. And therefore, I would hope in the long term a fence 
would be irrelevant.
    But look, the fence is a sensitive issue, I understand. And the 
Prime Minister made it very clear to me that it was a sensitive issue. 
And my promise to him is, we'll continue to discuss and to dialog how 
best to make sure that the fence sends the right signal that not only is 
security important, but the ability for the Palestinians to live a 
normal life is important as well.
    Q. Why do you criticize, Mr. President----
    President Bush. No, no, no. Hold on. Not you. Steve [Steve Holland, 
Reuters]. Maybe some other time, but not now.
    Q. All right. Thank you.

Ending Terrorism in the Middle East

    Q. Thanks, sir. How are both of you going to get the Palestinian 
militants to extend the cease-fire?
    President Bush. Do what now?
    Q. How are both of you going to get the Palestinian militants to 
extend the cease-fire?
    President Bush. Let me--look, the important message that should have 
come out of the meeting with Prime Minister Abbas and, of course, with 
Prime Minister Sharon, is that the--those who want to destroy the

[[Page 998]]

peace process through terrorist activities must be dealt with. There 
will be no peace if terrorism flourishes. There's no peace. It's a 
contradiction in terms. Terrorists are against peace. Terrorists kill 
innocent life to prevent peace from happening. The way to make sure 
peace happens is for all of us to work to dismantle those who would like 
to kill. Those are called terrorists.
    And the positive news is that Prime Minister Abbas made a public 
declaration that we would work together to dismantle terrorist 
organizations. And that's exactly what's going to happen. For those who 
want peace--I mean, all around the world have got to understand very 
clearly, if you're interested in peace in the Middle East, then all of 
us must work together to dismantle terrorist organizations, to cut off 
money to terrorist organizations, to prevent the few from damaging the 
aspirations of the many.
    Q. Mr. President----
    President Bush. Answer his question first, though. We don't want to 
hurt your feelings.

[At this point, Prime Minister Sharon answered the question in Hebrew, 
and no translation was provided.]

    President Bush. Okay.

Palestinian Prisoners

    Q. Mr. President, why do you expect Israeli Government to set free 
Palestinian prisoners, while you don't order to set free the Israeli 
civilian Jonathan Pollard?
    President Bush. Yes, well, I said very clearly at the press 
conference with Prime Minister Abbas, I don't expect anybody to release 
somebody from prison who will go kill somebody. That doesn't make any 
sense. I mean, if we're trying to fight off terror and we're interested 
in a peaceful settlement, it doesn't make any sense to release somebody 
who is going to get out of prison and start killing.
    I do hope that the Prime Minister continues to work with the 
Palestinian Authority to release those prisoners that won't create the 
conditions of terror.
    And I believe that Prime Minister Abbas wants peace. I know that 
the--his cabinet is interested in developing the institutions necessary 
for a Palestinian state to emerge in a peaceful way. I've been impressed 
by the Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority, who's willing to 
put the Palestinian budget up on the web page. In other words, he 
believes in transparency. And the reason I bring that up is that I also 
know that those same Palestinians who are working for the institutions 
necessary for a peaceful state to evolve know that terrorists would like 
to derail those plans and, therefore, are willing to work to rout out 
terrorist organizations. And look, we don't want to put people back into 
society that will make that task more complicated.
    Listen, thank you all very much.
    Q. Mr. President, Senator Shelby says 95 percent of the redaction 
has nothing to do with sources and methods, sir. Is he wrong?
    President Bush. Sorry.

[At this point, Prime Minister Sharon answered a final question in 
Hebrew, and no translation was provided.]

    President Bush. Let's go have lunch.

Note: The President's news conference began at noon in the Rose Garden 
at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister 
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Minister of Finance Salam Fayyad of the 
Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Sharon referred to former 
President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. A reporter referred to former civilian 
U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard, convicted of treason 
and espionage in 1987.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 998-999]
Pages 983-1028
Week Ending Friday, August 1, 2003
Executive Order 13311--Homeland Security Information Sharing

July 29, 2003

    By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of 
the United States, including sections 892 and 893 of the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 (the ``Act'') (6 U.S.C. 482 and 483) and section 
301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
    Section 1. Assignment of Functions. (a) The functions of the 
President under section 892 of the Act are assigned to the Secretary of 
Homeland Security (the ``Secretary''), except the functions of the 
President under subsections 892(a)(2) and 892(b)(7).

[[Page 999]]

    (b) Subject to section 2(b) of this order, the function of the 
President under section 893 of the Act is assigned to the Secretary.
    (c) Procedures issued by the Secretary in the performance of the 
function of the President under section 892(a)(1) of the Act shall apply 
to all agencies of the Federal Government. Such procedures shall specify 
that the President may make, or may authorize another officer of the 
United States to make, exceptions to the procedures.
    (d) The function of the President under section 892(b)(7) of the Act 
is delegated to the Attorney General and the Director of Central 
Intelligence, to be exercised jointly.
    (e) In performing the functions assigned to the Secretary by 
subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall coordinate with the 
Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the 
Secretary of Energy, the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Archivist of the 
United States, and as the Secretary deems appropriate, other officers of 
the United States.
    (f) A determination, under the procedures issued by the Secretary in 
the performance of the function of the President under section 892(a)(1) 
of the Act, as to whether, or to what extent, an individual who falls 
within the category of ``State and local personnel'' as defined in 
sections 892(f)(3) and (f)(4) of the Act shall have access to 
information classified pursuant to Executive Order 12958 of April 17, 
1995, as amended, is a discretionary determination and shall be 
conclusive and not subject to review or appeal.
    Sec. 2. Rules of Construction. Nothing in this order shall be 
construed to impair or otherwise affect:
    (a) the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence under 
section 103(c)(7) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended (50 
U.S.C. 403-3(c)(7)), to protect intelligence sources and methods from 
unauthorized disclosure;
    (b) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
    (c) the provisions of Executive Orders 12958 of April 17, 1995, as 
amended, and 12968 of August 2, 1995, as amended.
    Sec. 3. General Provision. This order is intended only to improve 
the internal management of the Federal Government and is not intended 
to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the United States, 
its departments, agencies, or other entities, its officers or employees, 
or any other person.
                                                George W. Bush

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