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Special Session Day 9: Senate lauds troops, Obama

OLYMPIA — With American flags sprouting from every desk, senators seemed to swell with patriotic pride and honored members of the armed forces and their commander-in-chief after Sunday's mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Senate Resolution 8661honors President Obama for “strong, thoughtful leadership”; the military and intelligence agencies for “unstinting bravery” and the Navy Seals for “extraordinary skills, courage and precision teamwork of the highest order”. It notes the military and naval installations in the state, including Fairchild Air Force Base.

In nearly an hour of speeches, legislators lauded members of all branches of the armed services and mentioned many of the state's bases and units. After unanimously approving the resolution, they stood to applaud members of the armed forces who were watching from the gallery.

The Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which brought the Navy Seals to and from the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has ties to Joint Base Lewis McChord, Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, said.

“We all remember Sept. 11, 2001,” Carrell, a sponsor of the bill, said. “A constant question for 10 years has been 'Where is bin Laden?'”

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, a former member of the U.S. State Department, said he was glad the resolution recognized the work of the nation's intelligence agencies and noted that Spokane Valley resident Ryan Crocker is returning to foreign service to serve as ambassador to Afghanistan.

Others recalled their military service. Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, another sponsor, mentioned his time in the Washington National Guard and praised the mission that eliminated bin Laden: “My only regret is I didn't pull the trigger.”

Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, said he'd served in the Army after being drafted in 1958, and would be willing to serve again if needed.

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said she's available if needed: “I may be getting older, but I can still shoot.”

For the full text of SR 8661, or to comment on this post, click here to go inside the blog.

By Senators Carrell and Hobbs
WHEREAS, The Senate joins with people across Washington State, the nation, and the world
in experiencing a sense of relief that the United States conducted a successful operation on May 1,
2011, that located, and ended the life of, Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, a terrorist
organization responsible for the mass murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children
in the United States and many other areas of the world, including Madrid, Afghanistan, Bali, the
USS Cole, U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and other locations; and
WHEREAS, Bin Laden had declared war on America and was the mastermind behind the
tragic September 11, 2001, attacks on America that killed thousands of our fellow citizens; and
WHEREAS, In response, the United States and our allies responded by targeting members of
al-Qaeda, including their leader bin Laden, through significantly upgraded and coordinated
intelligence systems heeding recommendations of the 9-11 Commission; and
WHEREAS, President Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, oversaw a
complex, highly sophisticated process to locate bin Laden, and made the crucial decision to send
in an elite, courageous, and heroic team of Navy Seals to put an end to his terrorism; and
WHEREAS, The people of Washington State take pride in the work of the dedicated military
men and women living, or stationed, in Washington State who have been in the forefront of the war
on terrorism, who protect our country, and who were critical to the success of this mission, including
those affiliated with the Washington National Guard and Washington's military bases, including
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Station Everett, Naval Station Kitsap, Naval Station Bangor,
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and Fairchild Air Force Base; and
WHEREAS, The people of Washington State take similar pride in the valuable work of the
men and women in the Madigan Army Medical Center, the Yakima Firing Center, the Thirteenth
Coast Guard District, the Marines' 4th Landing Support Battalion (4th LSB), the Air National
Guard, the Army National Guard, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyport, the Washington
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility; and
WHEREAS, In conducting this operation, and in the extensive, lengthy preparations leading
to it, our military forces and intelligence agencies have been a shining example of the discipline,
focus, and sacrifice it takes to achieve major success;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate honors the
strong, thoughtful leadership of President Barack Obama, the coordinated, precision leadership of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Council; the tireless, dedicated work of our
counter-terrorism professionals; the clear demonstration of leadership, ability, and unstinting
bravery of our military forces and intelligence agencies; and the extraordinary skills, courage, and
precision teamwork of the highest order of the elite Navy Seals who personally carried out this
most complex and dangerous mission; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Senate expresses its deep appreciation to the
dedicated families of these patriotic men and women, who often lose their loved ones in patriotic
service to their country; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be immediately transmitted by
the Secretary of the Senate to President Barack Obama; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates;
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Admiral Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; I
Corps Commander Lieutenant General Curtis M. Scaparrotti; Navy Region Northwest Commander
Rear Admiral Douglass T. Biesel; Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and First Gentleman Mike
Gregoire; Washington National Guard Adjutant General Timothy J. Lowenberg; and Washington
Department of Veterans Affairs Director John E. Lee.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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