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Posts tagged: Osama bin Laden

Smith on seeing bin Laden photos: I’ll pass

As ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., got an invitation to CIA headquarters this week to see the photos of Osama bin Laden taken after he was killed in Abbottabad.

He said thanks but no thanks. Here's his preparied statement:

“I have decided not to go to Langley to view the bin Laden photographs myself at CIA Headquarters.

I support the President’s decision not to release the photographs. These images are not necessary to confirm that the mission to eliminate bin Laden was a success.  Distributing these violent images would also serve no purpose for our national security interests worldwide. Our focus should be on preventing new threats to the safety of the American people.”

Do you think Smith was right to take a pass, or should he have gone to see the photos? Click here to comment.

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.

Today’s fun video: Jon Stewart on bin Laden’s death

Jon Stewart continues to deliver some of the best political commentary anywhere, marking Osama bin Laden's death with well-directed satire and just the right amount of celebration.

What they’re saying about bin Laden’s death

Not surprisingly, the congressional delegations and other political leaders are sending out statements about U.S. forces killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, ending a nearly 10-year-long manhunt.

We'll just let the statements speak for themselves:

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., 9:17 p.m. Sunday
“The President's announcement tonight is tremendous news for all Americans and for counterterrorism efforts worldwide.
“The superb work of our military and intelligence communities have led to the death of the mastermind of the worst attack in our nation's history.  It is indeed a great moment.
“I applaud our troops, intelligence operatives, and the Administration for never wavering in this important goal in the broader war on terrorism.
“This is a particularly important day for the thousands of Americans who lost a family member, friend or loved one nearly ten years ago. And all of our thanks go to those who have been lost in our military efforts and to our veterans and their families. 
“This is indeed a significant moment and one that will continue to propel our efforts to root out terrorists wherever they reside.  We must continue to remain vigilant and focused on the protection of the American people.”

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, 10:02 p.m. Sunday
“Today is a day that brings some closure for the victims of the September 11th attacks, the American people and those who have suffered from terrorism around the world. For nearly 10 years, capturing Osama Bin Laden has been our number one objective.  The dedication and persistence the U.S. military and intelligence community have shown in accomplishing this deserves our praise and gratitude.  We should be proud of what this operation achieved, but we must also remain vigilant in the war on terror because al-Qaeda and others are determined to bring destruction to America and our allies.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, 10:53 p.m., Sunday
“Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. Many of America's bravest men and women lost their lives pursuing him and in the ongoing War on Terror.  President Obama and former President Bush deserve praise for their resolve in following through on this long mission of justice.  All U.S. military and intelligence personnel once again proved they are the best in the world and I thank them for their tireless dedication.  This is a great day for America and freedom.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., 8:16 a.m. Monday
“Like all Americans, I remember where I was on September 11, 2001 when almost 3,000 innocent Americans were killed on U.S. soil.  Since that day, we as a nation have been resolved to ‘bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies,’ as President Bush eloquently put it in the aftermath of that awful day, and today, the American people – and all peace-loving people around the world - can celebrate the fact that’ justice has been done.’
“I want to thank the brave special forces who carried out this dangerous, successful mission.  I also want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our servicemen and women who have fought bravely – and continue to fight bravely - in Afghanistan and other fronts of the War on Terror.  No corner of the world is too small or too remote to offer safety to America’s enemies.  We will continue to prosecute this war against al-Qaeda until every terrorist has been brought to justice.”

Kirby Wilbur, Washington State GOP chairman, 9:36 a.m. Monday
“The killing of Osama bin Laden by American special operations forces is welcome news and a significant blow against al Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorists. However, the war on terror continues and we need to remain vigilant in case of retaliatory responses.
“My deepest congratulations to the American military forces and intelligence and counter-terrorism personnel who carried out this operation. There are none better in the world. As they say, you can run but you'll just die tired, because we will find you.
“I also want to congratulate President Obama as well, for continuing the policies of pursuit of these terrorist leaders and authorizing their termination. Justice has been partially served this day, but we are a long way from winning this war. The outcome is not in doubt but the length and cost of the war, in both human and material terms, remain as unanswerable questions. May God bless the American military, the intelligence community, our President and the United States of America.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., 9:49 a.m., Monday.
“The long wait from 2001 is over. Osama Bin Laden's death will be remembered as a major turning point in our efforts to fight his terrorism network. The American people are grateful for the service of all our military and intelligence community.    
“Today, we remember the lives of those who were lost on September 11, and we give our deepest appreciation to those who defend our freedom every day. The death of Osama Bin Laden is a major step forward in the fight against terrorism, but we must continue our efforts to confront the social and economic conditions that give rise to violent extremism around the world.”

Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., 1:07 p.m., Tuesday
“Our military forces, working together with intelligence personnel, executed to perfection an operation in which terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday. We are grateful for the courage and professionalism with which these Americans carried out their orders and thank them for their service.
“In 2008 Barack Obama promised to take out Osama bin Laden, and as President he has succeeded in doing so. I join all Americans in relief that bin Laden’s reign of terror is over.
“Now we must continue to maintain our vigilance to root out terrorists and terror organizations wherever they may be.”


For comments from other political leaders, click here to go to the Huffington Post roundup.

And if you're wondering what some of the Republican presidential prospects are saying, click here.

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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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