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|Wednesday, October 10, 2001, updated at 08:43(GMT+8)|
Bush Defends Decision to Limit Flow of Classified InformationUS President George W. Bush defended his decision to limit the flow of classified information Tuesday, saying that "it is unacceptable behavior to leak classified information when we have troops at risk."
"It would be entirely unhelpful to spread this kind of information," Bush said at a press briefing after meeting with visiting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at the White House. " It would only help the enemy that we're trying to bring down."
"These are extraordinary times," he said. "I felt it was important to send a clear signal to Congress that classified information must be held dear."
He said that he would raise the issue when he meets with the congressional leaders for breakfast Wednesday. "The four leaders fully understand the stakes," he said.
Bush, who is angered at leaks from classified briefing, ordered key department heads last week to restrict their briefings of members of Congress to the four major leaders and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
"This approach will best serve our shared goals of protecting American lives, maintaining the proper level of confidentiality for the success of our military, intelligence and law enforcement operations and keeping the leadership of the Congress appropriately informed about important developments," Bush said in a memo to major department heads dated October 5.
When asked to comment on the two anthrax cases recently found in Florida, Bush said at the briefing that it looked like "a very isolated incident."
Bush said his government is taking any type of incident "very seriously." "The American people should know that our government is doing everything we can to make our country as safe as possible. "
Bush urged the American people to be patient with the ongoing " different kind of war" against terrorism.
"If it takes one day, one month, one year or one decade, we're patient enough, because we understand that the actions we take together are not only important for today but will say to future chancellors, our future presidents," he said.
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