Murder of Afghan Vice President
Cape Arundel Golf Course
July 6, 2002
8:36 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Today, Vice President Qadir of Afghanistan was gunned down. The
administration and our country mourns the loss of a man who desired freedom
and stability for the country he loved. We have been in touch with Chairman
Karzai, expressed our deepest condolences to the Chairman and the government
and people of Afghanistan, who lost a good and valued friend.
The Afghan government is in the process of investigating who might have done
this. And we are more resolved than ever to bring stability to the country,
so the Afghan people can have peace and hope.
I'll answer a couple of questions.
QUESTION: Mr. President, did you personally call Chairman Karzai? And what does
this say about the ability of a new government to form and actually succeed
there, and what are your concerns?
THE PRESIDENT: I haven't spoken to Chairman Karzai yet. I spoke to him yesterday,
interestingly enough, to express our condolences about the loss of life during
the military action. He was talked to by a member of my national security team.
I am confident, and I believe Chairman Karzai is confident, that with patience
and with aid and with a proper strategy, that Afghanistan can develop into a
peaceful and hopeful nation.
QUESTION: Sir, what do you say to the Afghan people who are upset about the
bombing of civilians?
THE PRESIDENT: I say, you know, we're investigating. I say "we." Both
the Afghanistan government and the United States government are investigating
to find out the facts. But I can say to the Afghan people exactly what I told
to Chairman Karzai: Any time innocent life is lost, we're sad. Our country values
life, all life. And we'll find out what the facts are and then address it.
QUESTION: Can the United States or the FBI or someone help with the investigation
of the assassination, or will they?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we'll find out. Right now, the Afghan government believes
they can handle the investigation. There's all kinds of scenarios as to how
the -- who killed him. But we'll work closely with the government if they want
QUESTION: Sir, is there any sign that this kind of assassination may be connected
to terrorist groups, who are trying to get more involved in the country?
THE PRESIDENT: It could be that, it could be drug lords, it could be long-time
rivals. Who knows? All we know is a good man is dead, and we mourn his loss.
Thank you all. Thanks.
QUESTION: Birthday plans, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Let's see. Settling in, a family lunch. May go for a run -- it
will be a mechanical run, however.
QUESTION: Why, not hot enough?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I wish I could get off the Point, but I think the agents
will say today it's probably best for me to stay on Walker's Point.
Let's see, what else will be happening? Who knows? Maybe a surprise party. (Laughter.)
Other than that, just hanging out with my family, which is a wonderful gift
Thank you all.
QUESTION: What took you so long to play 18 holes? Just two hours and 10 minutes.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it's because I three putted too many greens. (Laughter.)