Press Briefing by Tony Snow
James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:37 P.M. EDT
MR. SNOW: All right, welcome. Today marks the beginning of the hurricane season. I just thought I'd mention it. It's freezing in my office. It's nice to have it nice and warm and steamy in here.
Presidential call -- Jessica, you will be happy to know that they finally got together -- President Hu Jintao had a 25-minute conversation this morning with the President. And it turns out that part of the problem here was scheduling. The two had tried on a number of occasions to make a phone call work. It finally did happen today. They talked primarily about Iran. President Hu noted that they share common interests, one of the key of which is to make sure that nonproliferation -- that they work together on nonproliferation; also that they need to resolve the issue of Iran peacefully and diplomatically. And President Hu was welcoming the U.S.'s additional participation provided Iran follow through on the conditions that the President had laid out.
Also, there will be a visit -- President Bush will welcome President Denis Sassou-Nquesso, the President of the Congo, to the White House on June 5th. That's next Monday. The President looks forward to working with President Sassou-Nquesso, the current Chairman of the African Union. The two leaders will discuss implementation of the May 5, 2006 Darfur peace agreement, NATO assistance to strengthen the African Union mission in Sudan, and the follow-on U.N. mission, United Nations authorization to properly transition to a U.N. peacekeeping force, and ways to strengthen democracy and improve the lives of the Congolese people.
Yesterday I also promised a Haditha time line, and let me just lay that out for you as best I can. We've been trying to piece it together. As you know, on the 19th of November, there was an IED explosion in Haditha, killed one U.S. Marine and injured two. These were members of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. In subsequent hours, a number of Iraqis died. Press accounts say 24. The military did dispatch an exploitation team to come in, investigate the scene and document it.
The following day, the 2nd Marines released a preliminary report claiming that 15 Iraqis had been killed by an IED. On the 10th of March, Time Magazine inquired of military sources in Baghdad about the circumstances of the Haditha incident. General Chiarelli took the call and spoke with them. On the 14th he directed an investigation. He appointed an Army colonel to look into the facts and circumstances of the case. On the 3rd of March, the preliminary report was completed. It recommended further investigation.
Q: You mean the 3rd of April?
MR. SNOW: No, 3rd of March.
Q: Then do you mean Time Magazine inquired on the 2nd --
MR. SNOW: Let me go back -- I'm sorry -- let me go back. The dates are: Time Magazine -- did I say March? Sorry -- 10th of February. The 14th of February was the directing the investigation and the appointment of an Army colonel.
Now we get into March. March 3rd, the preliminary report was completed. It recommended further investigation. I'll slow down here because I know you're taking notes.
On the 9th, General Chiarelli received the initial findings of that preliminary investigation and he directed further review, which is ongoing.
The following day, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff learned about it. On the 11th, the President received notification from the National Security Advisor. On the 12th, the Commanding General of the Multinational Force West, Richard Zilmer, appointed a Marine colonel to investigate reporting of information at all levels of the chain of command, and also requested a Naval Criminal Investigative Service inquiry.
The following day, that is the 13th of March, the initial NCIS team arrived in Haditha. On the 19th of March, General Chiarelli appointed Major General Bargewell to investigate two major aspects of what happened in Haditha: number one, training and preparation of Marines prior to the engagement; second, reporting of information concerning the incident at all levels of the chain of command. Time Magazine, that same day, published an Haditha piece.
The President, since then, has received regular information and briefings with the Secretary of Defense, who sometimes is accompanied also by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs -- the most recent was late last week. And I think that is it. So we've tried to put together the time line, and that is what we have.
Finally, Secretary Rice, following on yesterday's announcement of the United States engaging in even more robust diplomacy with regard to Iran, is in Vienna, as you know, meeting with the EU 3. She has spoken today with foreign ministers of Austria, the United Kingdom; of the EU 3, she's met with Javier Solana. She presently is in a dinner with the P5 plus one, and may or may not be making press comments afterward.
With that, I'm ready for questions.
Q: Can you elaborate a little bit on the conversation with President Hu today? Did President Bush find that President Hu was supportive of the idea of sanctions if Iran does not stop the uranium enrichment?
MR. SNOW: President Hu, as I understand it, responded in general terms, favorable terms, but not specific about that.
Q: So is there a distinction in the way that he responded and the way that President Putin responded?
MR. SNOW: Both of them have -- both of them have said that it is absolutely critical that Iran suspends its nuclear activities. And to be honest, they're still working through some translation things, so I have not been able to see the final readout on it. But it was characterized to me, Terry, by the note-takers, is that it was a general rather than specific response to the question.
Q: So would it be too far to say that Russia and China support the United States' position for sanctions if Iran does not comply?
MR. SNOW: I think that's probably best left, especially at a time of continuing diplomacy, to Secretary Rice, who's working the issue right now.
Q: Based on what you know --
MR. SNOW: Unfortunately, they had some translation problems today. So I just -- I cannot give you a specific answer. It would be irresponsible to try to do so. What I would say is that at this point, there is no daylight, it's been described "no daylight" between the United States and its allies on America's decision to join the EU 3 and work with Iran diplomatically to get Iran to suspend nuclear activities. It also is -- everybody realizes that the next track would be diplomatic, and it would move to the U.N. Security Council.
But as often happens, when I say I'm not going to answer hypotheticals, I would not be surprised if foreign leaders also would keep their options open, but I just don't know.
Q: A senior administration official yesterday said to us that, yes, in fact, Russia and China were prepared to support sanctions, and it seems that today, that is not something the administration is emphatically standing behind.
MR. SNOW: No, no, no. I will defer to the senior administration official who will have superior knowledge to this. What I was trying to do -- unfortunately, I've gotten a fragmentary readout of the China call, and that's why I'm cautioning you against going too far. I would suggest that you accept the word of the senior administration official, who, as you know, is well-apprised of what's going on.
Q: Well, Tony, I don't want to over-interpret this --
MR. SNOW: Please don't.
Q: I'll try to keep some limits here. When I was listening to the President after the Cabinet meeting, he seemed to say that Putin was on board, he had some sort of favorable, general characterization of his conversation with him. But there seemed to be a difference between what he was saying about the call with Putin and how he characterized his discussion with President Hu. Is there a difference between Russia and China?
MR. SNOW: Well, again, I think you are over-interpreting. Sometimes -- I want to be very careful about how we do this. Sometimes in conversations, people will be generally supportive without getting into specifics, and I think that is probably the best way to characterize it, according to my knowledge.
Let me tell you what I'll do, is I will try to get more specific guidance, because, as I said, they've been working through some issues in the translation today, and I think it's really easy to over-interpret, and I don't want to get us into a situation where we're creating a story where there is none.
Q: But how did the senior administration official know yesterday to say, yes, we're getting a positive response --
MR. SNOW: Because the senior administration official has more hands-on experience in dealing with these diplomatic issues. As I said yesterday, there had also been ministerial -- I did not get -- nobody waved me off of anything that the senior administration official heard.
Q: But the President specifically -- when he was asked, he said, what Jim's referring to -- the President said, "I got a positive response from the President," meaning of Russia.
MR. SNOW: Right.
Q: He was then asked was the response from President Hu positive, and he never really answered that.
MR. SNOW: Well, again, what I got was it was a positive response. And I read you precisely the points I received from note-takers on it.
Q: So the President's remarks this morning don't necessarily override what the senior administration official said yesterday?
MR. SNOW: I don't believe they do, Carl.
Q: The President raved today about the economy. How much has been primed by the war, spending for the military industrial complex?
MR. SNOW: Not much, Helen. As a matter of fact, if you take a look -- you're trying to revive the guns for butter -- the guns and butter argument. If you really want to take a look at the economy, go back and take a look at when tax cuts took effect.
Q: -- that's a deficit argument.
MR. SNOW: Yes, and a lot of those have long since been discredited because they just don't work.
Q: Oh, really?
MR. SNOW: Yes. You take a look at the path of economic growth, and you will see that there has been a real relationship between tax cuts and economic growth in recent years, and also deficits.
Q: And the war has nothing to do -- war spending to the tune of $5 billion, $6 billion a month in Iraq?
MR. SNOW: In an economy that generates how many trillions of dollars of activity? No, it's not a major factor in economic growth. What is a major factor in economic growth is continued investment on the part of Americans and businesses in an economy that continues to offer jobs to upwards of 140 million people.
Q: But priming the war has nothing to do with it at all?
MR. SNOW: No. It is at best a minor factor, Helen.
Q: What is the state of play of the discussions in Vienna, Tony? Have they reached an agreement on an incentive package?
MR. SNOW: Again, Secretary Rice is continuing to have conversations. I think probably we should defer to her after she completes the dinner with the P5 plus one, if she should be making remarks afterward.
Q: So it doesn't sound like there is a deal yet?
MR. SNOW: I just don't know. Believe it or not, she's been in meetings all day. It's a little difficult to get a precise readout, so be patient on it.
Q: Two questions. One is, Iran had earlier said that they are not going to accept this offer, and we were told that you don't accept that as their final position. Why? What else could emerge?
MR. SNOW: Well, because we said yesterday -- and I said from this podium, you need to give the Iranians some time to sort of review this. And it could be predictable, and it was one of the things that we thought might happen, was that there would be an initial rejection, almost as a way of trying to lay down a bargaining position, followed by a time of reflection. And so this is not something that is entirely unexpected or discouraging, it's something that kind of happens. As you may recall, Ambassador Khalilzad said, sometimes when you're dealing with the Iranians you'll get one answer in the morning and one in the afternoon.
What we're looking for is the basis for a stable relationship so that the Iranians, as they proceed, if they do, in fact, suspend enrichment and reprocessing activities -- enrichment-related and reprocessing activities -- then we build a basis of trust. Then we get a place to go. And I think the first thing to do is to get both sides to a position where they can sit down at a table and start bargaining not merely on matters of nuclear weaponry or the fear of developing nuclear capabilities, but also dealing with issues of human rights, terror, and moving forward to look at ways to build closer relations down the road in terms of economic, cultural ties, educational exchanges, and so on.
Q: And how long will the U.S. be willing to wait for them to change their mind before pushing to go back to the Security Council?
MR. SNOW: The U.S. -- again, let's not create a false dichotomy -- this is not the U.S. versus Iran. It's the international community versus Iran. And the U.S. cannot act unilaterally in the Security Council. The United States has, in fact, been working in concert with members of the Security Council -- P5 plus one is Security Council. So those meetings are ongoing and we are working with the Security Council, with the EU 3, with the IAEA, with other allies in the region to make sure that it's clear to Iran -- and I think this is another important nuance -- to make clear to Iran that they're not going to be able to divide up the coalition, they're not going to get people squabbling among each other; instead, we are now united. And it's important to keep working as a united front.
The question of how, when, where, and why gets you into levels of speculation where -- we'll consult with our allies and that will be a joint decision.
Q: Two questions. One, as far as the Secretary's speech yesterday is concerned, is this shifting the policy or a softness on Iran? Because I still remember the painful images of 1979, America held hostage. And this President was one who held those particular Americans for 444 days. And today we are talking to the same person in the President of Iran.
MR. SNOW: I don't think there's any softening at all. The idea that we are softening by saying to Iran, you've got to do your part of the bargain. This is something -- Iran spent two years in Paris negotiating with the EU 3, on this very issue, and then just stepped away. What we're saying is we're going to add the weight of the United States to these negotiations. We think it is absolutely critical to solve this diplomatically and peacefully. And therefore, we're going to be adding energy to this. There's been no change in our position. I don't think it's softening. What it is, is a sense to say to Iran, you have to act.
So that's -- so I would not characterize it as softening at all because the condition for further talks is exactly the same as it was two days ago; it is, Iran must suspend its nuclear activities.
Q: President always stood for democracy and freedom for all the needy and poor people around the world, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. And now as far as dictator -- he has declared again, under house arrest, national democratically-elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. And it has been including U.N. Secretary General Kofi also yesterday spoke and criticized the dictator of Burma. It's been 10 years now she's under house arrest. How long can we go and support this dictator?
MR. SNOW: Burma is beyond my brief for today, so we will take it up at another time.*
Q: Does the President still consider New York City to be the nation's number one --
MR. SNOW: I'm sorry. I was looking here, and you were asking there. I'm sorry. (Laughter.) I must have bad pointing. Go ahead. (Laughter.)
Q: Does the President still consider New York City to be the nation's number one terror target? And if so, how can the administration justify a 40-percent cut in New York City's --
MR. SNOW: Well, a couple of things. Since the year 2001, when the Department of Homeland Security -- or, actually, 2002 is when the money started being distributed -- there has been $3.1 billion in aid throughout the country. New York City has received about 20 percent of that sum -- $650 million. Now, a lot of this money was for capital expenditures, which are one-time only. And so it is natural to assume that after you have made those capital expenditures, that some of that's going to fall off. Even now, New York City is by far the largest recipient of aid of any city in the United States of America -- since 2002, $650 million. The second highest recipient of aid in the country is Washington, D.C. at $232 million, just over a third of the amount of New York City.
There are cities all over the country that also -- homeland security involves all cities all across the nation. And it is the belief of the administration that once you have handled your basic core responsibilities in terms of doing that, you're going to be able to readjust your formulas.
Also, the Department of Homeland Security has put together a risk-based formula for apportioning aid, in other words, try to assess where the risks are still high. And there are some cities, I guarantee you, that will argue that they have been shorted over the years.
Let me give you an example: San Francisco, $103 million, as opposed to $650 million for New York; Los Angeles, $207 million, as opposed to $650 million for New York. So cities all over the country are saying that they have needs. Omaha, I know, was a particular sore spot, but what is this money going to Omaha for? For doing the kind of communications work that was necessary in New York right after 2001.
So the idea that somehow you're being unfair to New York by still giving it more money than any city in the United States of America, that $124 million, giving it in this year's particular allotment more than San Francisco has received since 2001, I think is to create a false issue and maybe even a false area of friction, because the point of Homeland Security, as I said before, is to provide security for the entire homeland. And certainly, no disrespect meant to New York with $124 million for this coming year.
Q: -- say that New York's money is going to continue to taper down in the future?
MR. SNOW: It's hard to say. Again, it's risk-based. Every year what happens is cities and states present plans to the Department of Homeland Security, proposals for how that money would be spent. They take a look at it. They see, based on their assessment of the risk and also the proposals that have been presented, where they think the money best can be spent, where can we most effectively save American lives and protect American security. And every year, they go back and review that.
If, suddenly, some grand and unforeseen need arises with regard to New York City, then perhaps that would change in the future. This is not any harbinger of things to come. It's a reflection of the expressed need of cities and states all around the United States.
Q: Another money question apropos to your statement about hurricane season. Now, we all love New Orleans, but does the President think that New Orleans should be fully rebuilt in all the dangerous areas, especially in light of yesterday's report that New Orleans is sinking faster than people realize?
MR. SNOW: You got to keep in mind that the responsibility for all these things, including for a response to any further potential disasters, lies in the hands of local officials, including the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana. So I think that's a question better asked to them.
Q: Tony, on immigration, the President spoke to the Chamber of Commerce today, obviously. A couple of weeks ago, he spoke to a restaurant trade group, as well, and these are people who already support him on the guest worker program. When do you think he'll start talking to conservative audiences that don't want a guest worker program? When will he talk to them to try to convert them to his position?
MR. SNOW: I think the President -- when you speak to the entire nation, you speak to liberals and conservatives, you speak to everybody. And furthermore, even when you speak to the Chamber of Commerce, as you know, Ed, thanks to your good offices and others, that message does get broadcast around the country. What the President did today is something that you hear from a lot of conservatives, which he said businesses also have to be held to account if and when they knowingly hire illegals. And they have to do their part to help with interior security.
The President also feels deeply about this issue. He has real-life experience. He lived it as governor of Texas. He understands the problem. And I expect him to be dealing vigorously, sometimes in front of cameras, sometimes not, with people of all views. But I think as President of the United States, the most important thing to do right now is, A, to educate -- things -- is, A, to educate the American people about the plan, but also try to explain how, in fact, it reflects the widely shared views and attitudes of a lot of American people.
Q: Tony, also on immigration, some Republicans argue it would be just as well to wait until after Election Day to reconcile the House and Senate bills. Is it a priority for the President to have a bill before the elections?
MR. SNOW: It's a priority -- what the President would like is for the political process to move forward as rapidly as possible. Members of Congress, obviously, have much of this in their hands. But the President in meetings with members of Congress wants to see it. But on the other hand, you want to get the right bill and you want it done right. So there is no simple answer to that because what the President wants is for Congress to do its job and to do it with dispatch.
Q: Also he said today that both sides will have to compromise. Is there something in the Senate bill perhaps that he objects to or would --
MR. SNOW: Well, I'm not going to -- the one thing you don't do is negotiate in public and you don't give away positions. But it's -- the one thing the President said from the beginning is that he believes in and insists upon comprehensive reform, and that is really the hallmark. And rather than getting into the fine print of either the House or Senate bill, that to be done behind closed doors for the most part, he will continue to make his views known and to negotiate through members of this administration and sometimes in one-on-one conversations with members of the House and Senate.
Q: Yes, Tony, I've got a couple. On the time line, the President was briefed by Steve Hadley on the 11th on March.
MR. SNOW: Yes, ma'am.
Q: So on what date, then, did the Time Magazine reporter contact the White House?
MR. SNOW: As I understand it, the inquiry -- the Time Magazine reporter contacted authorities in Baghdad back on the 10th of February. I do not have a time line for a White House contact.
Q: Because yesterday I understood that contact had been made at the White House and it was subsequent to that.
MR. SNOW: Well, that would have been a misstatement on my part, which I now correct and retract.
Q: Can you confirm that you're having a ceremony of some kind in the Rose Garden with regard to gay marriage?
MR. SNOW: I'm not going to give away any events that have not been announced on the public schedule.
Q: One question on the time line. The President was briefed the 11th of March, Time Magazine published the 19th of March -- why did it take until yesterday for the President to say he was troubled by this?
MR. SNOW: Because I'm not aware that any of you asked him about it before. Here's the problem -- it's a very fine line, and actually very good question.
Q: He could have issued a written statement, though, Tony.
MR. SNOW: No, he couldn't have, and I'll tell you why. You've got ongoing criminal inquiries on two tracks: facts on the ground, and the reporting. The President is Commander-in-Chief. If the Commander-in-Chief says anything that might be regarded as prejudicial to the proceedings, those who are conducting the inquiries and those who might be called upon to conduct trials are, therefore, going to be hamstrung. And so it's very important -- and he's done this -- he's been very specific about it -- staying out of the chain of command. What you don't want is something that, should these alleged incidents rise to the level of a criminal proceeding, somebody saying, well, here's what the President had to say -- because that suddenly -- here's the President, all these people answer to him, you've got to be very careful.
Q: Isn't that also an issue today, though?
MR. SNOW: It remains an issue. The President said he was troubled by the allegations. I'm not sure that it helps to issue statements every time there's an allegation to say you're troubled by it.
Q: Was he disturbed by the misinformation?
MR. SNOW: Again, Helen, what you're asking me to do is to leap to conclusions --
Q: No, I'm not.
MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.
Q: I'm asking you if he's disturbed by the different stories.
MR. SNOW: The President is disturbed, as he said, by the allegations. And I will leave it at that. You can draw the conclusions.
Q: Tony, the AP today reported there's another six or so people that have joined the hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay, it's now up to 89, I believe it was. Are you all following that here, or have any reaction --
MR. SNOW: That is more properly directed to the Department of Defense, which has day-to-day responsibility for that.
Q: Thank you, Tony. On immigration, the Senate immigration bill contains a provision calling for the United States to consult with Mexico before building additional fences along the border. How does the President feel about that? And if it survives the conference committee, will he accept it?
MR. SNOW: Well, again, I think I made the point earlier that I am not going to go through and take a look at specific provisions of the House and Senate bills and try to engage in negotiations from here. The President wants a comprehensive bill, and he has also made it clear in public comments in the past on some of the benchmarks. But I don't think it's useful to open a can of worms and to try to get me to respond to this provision in the Senate bill, or this provision in the House bill, because, in the process of democracy a lot of those things have to be worked out.
Q: I noticed in the speech today he stressed work force enforcement and in recent weeks he's talked a lot about his law enforcement activities. Does he feel like he's persuading enough conservatives that he's solid enough on enforcement to where they can meet him halfway on guest worker?
MR. SNOW: I think -- as I said before, the most important thing is to let people know what his proposal is. There are many characterizations of the President's views on immigration and on comprehensive reform that were being knocked around on blogs and talk radio and opinion pieces and elsewhere before he had announced his proposal. I think at this point we're still in the process, and the President is still in the process of letting people know where he stands.
Q: In reference to the homeland security, you said something like, once you've done your core responsibilities you can start to look at other localities. Does the White House believe that New York City essentially has enough money at this point --
MR. SNOW: No, again, I think it's --
Q: -- some baseline level --
Q: No, again, you would expect when you have large capital expenditures for there to be a higher price tag. New York has been the top priority. I mean, there's absolutely no doubt; even in this budget it is the top priority. So the idea -- what they're doing is they're working through each and every -- they put in proposals. You look at the proposals; you see which seem most capable and most responsive to the need of protecting American lives. So, as I mentioned before, if there suddenly arise needs that New York had not identified before that merit federal support, okay. But what they've been doing is taking a look at the specific proposals placed before them this year and using a risk-based analysis to try to make the most for every dollar, so people everywhere, from New York all across the United States, and from Alaska to Hawaii, as well, are protected.
Q: The President today referenced sending the 6,000 National Guard to the border, and said that final agreements are being worked out with the border governors. Do you have a status report, since we're now at June 1st, as to when those agreements should be reached and when --
MR. SNOW: No, that's ongoing. But as soon as they're done, I'll put it at the top of the briefing.
Q: To come back to Iran. When you say you want Iran to suspend enrichment, is there any margin of -- so you mean that every single centrifuge has to be --
MR. SNOW: We're going to leave that, again -- we will leave that for the ongoing conversations. We have said that they must suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. I'm going to leave it with the stock language we're using and not go any further.
Q: And you say there is no clear time line when the Iranians are supposed to respond. The President is going to be in Vienna in three weeks time to talk with the Europeans. Would you expect then to have already a response from Iran?
MR. SNOW: We certainly hope so. As I said yesterday, there's a sense of urgency. The Iranians are saying that by the end of the year they plan to have 3,000 centrifuges. And that is unacceptable. That much is clear. And so it is the clear determination of the President and this administration to try to do whatever possible to resolve this peacefully through negotiations.
Q: The President, two years ago when he announced his support for a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, there was a sense of urgency to his remarks that day -- I think it was March of 2004. He was talking about the need for decisive action in deciding judicial -- or judges, activist judges. Does he still sense -- share that sense of urgency? And what is he doing to try to win approval?
MR. SNOW: The President still believes it. And I will leave it to you just to keep your eyes and ears open in coming days to see what he'll be doing along those lines. Also, keep in mind, since the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts' initial verdict, a number of states have also enacted legislation that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. There's been considerable activity, the sense of urgency already being reflected in the acts of various states to tackle the issue themselves.
Q: Do you have any information or comments about the report on North Korea's invitation to the --
MR. SNOW: Yes. The United States sticks by its position, which is North Korea has to return to the six-party talks. It also has to go ahead and fulfill the obligations in the September agreement. The United States is not going to engage in bilateral negotiations with the government of North Korea. We're going to continue to do it through the appropriate forum.
Q: Just on the Haditha time line, you said that on March 10th, Rumsfeld and Pace were informed. And then on March 11th, Hadley told the President. When was the White House first informed?
MR. SNOW: I think it would be safe to say it would be one of those two days. I mean, the news did not get to Washington until the 10th of March.
Q: You don't know if they waited a day before telling the White House?
MR. SNOW: I don't think they waited a day, but I don't know the time of day in which they learned. They may have called Steve. I don't know. I'll try to get an answer.
Q: Thank you.
MR. SNOW: Thank you.
Q: Happy birthday.
MR. SNOW: Thank you.
(The press all sing "Happy Birthday" to Tony.)
END 1:10 P.M. EDT
* In a statement released yesterday, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said: "By extending Aung San Suu Kyi's detention, the Burmese regime has demonstrated its continued unwillingness to engage in a credible and inclusive political process. The economic, political and public health situation in Burma has deteriorated to the point where the regime's activities and repression of political rights now poses a threat to the stability, peace and security of the region.
"The international community must continue pressing the Burmese regime to change its policies. To this end, the United States intends to pursue a UN Security Council resolution that will underscore the international community's concerns about the situation in Burma, including the unjustifiable detention of a great champion of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, and our common position that the regime must ensure an inclusive and democratic political process."
Tony Snow, Press Briefing by Tony Snow Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273021