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May 4, 2011

Death of Osama bin Laden

[Page: S2603]  GPO's PDF 


Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, late on Sunday evening, the world was told of news we had been waiting to hear for almost 10 years. Osama bin Laden was a murderer who devoted his life to the destruction of freedom, democracy, and our way of life. His death is an important milestone in the fight against global extremist violence and a relief to the millions of Americans and others around the world who have felt his murderous destruction.

I, first and foremost, wish to thank the military and the intelligence professionals who carried out this daring

[Page: S2604]  GPO's PDF
mission, which was executed flawlessly and will go down in our history books as to how we should do our work.

I wish to take a moment to compliment all of our military and intelligence people who were involved in this effort. I take great pride in representing the State of Maryland and our intelligence agencies that are located at Fort Meade. They do incredible work for our national security and for our Nation. They do a lot of work that keeps us safe, but they can never issue a press release because of the nature of their work. Many times I believe their work goes basically unappreciated by the vast majority of Americans. But I wish to take a moment to congratulate all the men and women in our intelligence agencies and in our military who have devoted their lives to keeping us safe. This mission demonstrates the type of work they do in order to make this a safer nation.

This successful interagency operation illustrates intelligence sharing at its best and the commitment of the men and women of our Armed Forces as well as our political leadership. As you know, after the attack on our country on September 11, we had commissions do work, we had a lot of congressional investigations, and there was one theme that came out very clearly in regard to the way we collected intelligence information to keep this Nation safe; that is, there was too much stovepiping and not enough sharing of information. Information that could have been shared, that could have been used in a way to keep us safe was not. This effort demonstrates the advantages of sharing information. Our intelligence agencies acted upon information that was made available through various sources and using that to be able to conduct this mission.

Truly, bin Laden was brought to justice as a result of President Obama's deliberative planning, coordination, and communication, his leadership, partnership, and dogged persistence. Because of that, we were able to accomplish this mission.

I wish to congratulate President Obama. He had to make a tough call. The intelligence information was not conclusive. Much of it was circumstantial. Yet he evaluated the best information we had to determine that bin Laden was at this location. He then had to make another tough choice, as to what type of mission to use--whether to use a sophisticated bomb in order to destroy the property, which would have caused the loss of some innocent life, or whether to use a higher risk mission of sending our SEALs into Pakistan. The President made the right call. He made the right decision, and I congratulate him on his leadership.

All Americans were affected by bin Laden's evil actions. We all remember that fateful day in September of 2001. I was on the other side of the Capitol as a Congressman in my office in the Rayburn Building. I remember receiving information that we thought there was a plane that could be heading to our own building. The Capitol Police ushered us out of the building so we could try to get out of harm's way. We all began to understand our Nation was under attack and the world was changing.

While we are still living in that changed world, this event reminds us again the strength of America is freedom and that its persistence can prevail. As a lifelong proponent of human rights, I know we do not rejoice in killing, but this death rids the world of a man who was committed to intolerance, destruction, hatred, and the desecration of human dignity. Bringing bin Laden to justice helps heal the wounds of those who lost their loved ones and to a nation who lived through 9/11.

We must remain vigilant as the fight against al-Qaida and other extremists goes on. While al-Qaida is increasingly marginalized--particularly as we see so many in the Arab world exercise their desires for change--the threat posed by terrorist organizations will remain with us. We must remain on our highest guard, working with our allies around the world, in order to fight these extremists.

Once again, I wish to congratulate the tremendous efforts of our President, our military, and our intelligence community, especially as their hard work continues, and may this event bring some sense of peace to the families affected by bin Laden's evil, as well as to all in the world who love freedom and peace.

(Senate - May 3, 2011)

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