Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (10/14/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE
                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            October 14, 2000

                    TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
              TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE

October 14, 2000

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Mr. President:)

At approximately 5:15 a.m. eastern daylight time, October 12, 2000, a small
boat exploded alongside the USS COLE (DDG 67) while the USS COLE was
mooring to a harbor fueling island during a refueling stop in the port of
Aden, Yemen.  A number of American sailors were killed or wounded, and the
USS COLE suffered extensive damage.  Department of Defense assets were
immediately identified to provide medical, security, and disaster
responses.

Later in the day on October 12, 2000, approximately 45 military personnel
from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command deployed to Aden to provide medical,
security, and disaster response assis-tance.  In addition, a team of
approximately 50 U.S. military security personnel arrived in Aden in the
early morning hours of October 13, 2000.  It is also anticipated that
additional simi-lar security elements may be deployed to the area.  The
security personnel will enhance the ability of the United States to ensure
the security of the USS COLE and  the personnel responding to the incident.
Although the security personnel are equipped for combat, their presence is
solely for the purpose of assisting in on-site security.  Finally, two U.S.
Navy surface combatant vessels are operating in or near Yemeni territorial
waters to provide communications and other support, as required.  United
States forces will redeploy as soon as the additional security support is
determined to be unnecessary.

I have taken this action pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct
U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  I am
providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully
informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.

I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action to assist in
ensuring security of U.S. military forces and other personnel overseas.

                              Sincerely,

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON


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