THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
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 assistance. 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 similar 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.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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