TITLE:CLINTON ADVISES CONGRESS ON IRAQ MISSILE STRIKE (06/29/93)
CLINTON ADVISES CONGRESS ON IRAQ MISSILE STRIKE
(Text: Clinton letter to House, Senate leaders) (680)
(The following letter from President Clinton to the speaker of the House
of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate was released
June 28 by the White House.)
Commencing at approximately 4:22 p.m. (EST) on June 26, 1993, at my
direction, U.S. naval forces launched a Tomahawk cruise missile strike on
the Iraqi Intelligence Service's (IIS) principal command and control
complex in Baghdad. This facility is the headquarters for the IIS, which
planned the failed attempt to assassinate former President Bush during his
visit to Kuwait in April of this year. This U.S. military action was
completed upon impact of the missiles on target at approximately 6 p.m.
Operating under the U.S. Central Command, two U.S. Navy surface ships
launched a total of 23 precision-guided Tomahawk missiles in this
coordinated strike upon the key facilities in the IIS compound. The USS
PETERSON (DD 969) launched 14 missiles from its position in the Red Sea,
while the USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG 62) in the Arabian Gulf launched nine
missiles. The timing of this operation, with missiles striking at
approximately 2:00 a.m. local Iraqi time, was chosen carefully so as to
minimize risks to innocent civilians. Initial reports indicate that heavy
damage was inflicted on the complex. Regrettably, there were some
collateral civilian casualties.
I ordered this military response only after I considered the results of a
1horough and independent investigation by U.S. intelligence and law
enforcement agencies. The reports by Attorney General Reno and Director of
Central Intelligence Woolsey provided compelling evidence that the
operation that threatened the life of President Bush in Kuwait City in
April was directed and pursued by the Iraqi Intelligence Service and that
the government of Iraq bore direct responsibility for this effort.
The government of Iraq acted unlawfully in attempting to carry out Saddam
Hussein's threats against former President Bush because of actions he took
as president. The evidence of the government of Iraq's violence and
terrorism demonstrates that Iraq poses a continuing threat to U.S.
nationals and shows utter disregard for the will of the international
community as expressed in Security Council Resolutions and the U.N.
Charter. Based on the government of Iraq's pattern of disregard for
international law, I concluded that there was no reasonable prospect that
new diplomatic initiatives or economic measures could influence the current
government of Iraq to cease planning future attacks against the United
Consequently, in the exercise of our inherent right of self-defense as
recognized in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and pursuant to my
constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations
and as commander in chief, I ordered a military strike that directly
targeted a facility of Iraqi intelligence implicated in the plot against
the former chief executive. In accordance with Article 51 of the U.N.
Charter, this action was reported immediately to the Security Council on
June 26. On June 27, Ambassador Albright provided evidence of Iraq's
assassination attempts to the U.N. Security Council, which had been
convened in emergency session at our request.
I am certain that you share my sincere hope that the limited and
proportionate action taken by the U.S. government will frustrate and help
deter and prempt future unlawful actions on the part of the government of
Iraq. Nonetheless, in the event that Iraqi violence, aggression, or
state-sponsored terrorism against the United States continues, I will
direct such additional measures in our exercise of the right of
self-defense as may be necessary and appropriate to protect U.S. citizens.
I remain committed to ensuring that the Congress is kept fully informed
regarding significant employments of the U.S. Armed Forces. Accordingly, I
am providing this report on the U.S. military actions of June 26,
consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I appreciate your thoughts and
continued support as we address these important concerns.
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list