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From ABC News Sept. 24, 2001

Tom Clancy, author

I think the American people are a heck of a lot smarter than our enemies — and some of our friends — give us credit for. We have 5,000 people to bury and 5,000 families are motherless or fatherless, or missing sons and daughters, and we're not going to forget that any time soon. The American people are going to want justice; and justice in this case means killing the people who declared war on us. And that's just the way things work …

The worst of circumstances most often bring out the best in people. The people that really get me in the gut are the cops and the firemen who ran into those buildings, doing search and rescue. Search and rescue's a line of work that the best people tend to get into …

People think Americans are soft … That's what Adolf Hitler thought of us and it's what the Japanese thought when they hit Pearl Harbor, that we weren't strong enough to fight back. Well, they found out they were wrong …

You know, the one movie I think that our enemies ought to look at before they, they mess with us, is Jeremiah Johnson, you know, the Robert Redford movie from the '70s …He's living out in the Rocky Mountains and the Crow Indians decide to take out his wife and kid, and he decides he's not going to tolerate that and kills a whole lot of Indians … He really took it personally when they wiped out his family, and he didn't stop going. He didn't stop going after them until they decided they'd had enough and they surrendered to him.

And that's who we are. Once we start moving, we don't stop. We just don't stop. It's like The Searchers, there's a line that John Wayne said: "They don't understand somebody that just keeps on coming." …

You accomplish nothing by killing innocent people … we've always tried to avoid that. It's not part of the American character to kill the innocent. But it is part of our character, though, to single out and destroy the guilty. And that's what we're going to do …



 
 
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