More politicos react to Osama bin Laden’s demise

I’ve just filed a story based on conversations I had today with several Bay Area members of Congress regarding the slaying of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, but other politicos have a lot to say on the matter, too…

From U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

“The death of Osama bin Laden is an important success not only for the United States, but the entire world. Our efforts to combat terrorism, however, do not fixate on one individual, and we remain completely focused on protecting our nation against violent extremism of all kinds.

“We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but the Department of Homeland Security does not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time. I have been clear since announcing NTAS in January that we will only issue alerts when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public. However, our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the coming days and beyond.

“I commend the President and offer my gratitude to the men and women who defend and protect our nation at home and abroad, whether they wear a military or law enforcement uniform or serve as one of thousands of unsung heroes in the intelligence and homeland security community. It is true that we are stronger and safer than we were on 9/11 – not only because Osama bin Laden is dead, but because of the unflagging dedication and hard work of so many people throughout the world committed to freedom and security.”

From former Congressman and possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich:

“The killing of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in the long struggle between radical Islamists and modern civilization.

“This victory is a tribute to the patient endurance of American justice. I commend both President George W. Bush who led the campaign against our enemies through seven long years and President Obama who continued and intensified the campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We should remember to thank those who made this possible. Without the courage and professionalism of our men and women in uniform and in the intelligence services, this victory would not have been achieved.

“This victory is only a milestone in a long war. We must also recognize the long struggle ahead. Radical Islamism did not start with bin Laden and it will not end with his death. This is the 32nd year since the Iranian dictatorship seized our diplomats illegally and held them hostage for 444 days. It has been 28 years since Iranian-supported terrorists killed 241 servicemen in Beirut in 1983.

“As long as there are schools teaching children to hate; as long as there are state-supported terrorist systems; as long as several countries actively recruit children to be suicide bombers; this war will continue.

“The world is a better place without Osama bin Laden, but his just demise cannot erase the loss and suffering of the families and friends of those who died on September 11 or died fighting in the war since September 11. So while we are celebrating this victory, we should take time to remember all who suffered and sacrificed and pray for them.”

From Gov. Jerry Brown:

“Tonight, Americans can be grateful that President Obama brought bin Laden to justice. Our friends as well as our adversaries throughout the world can be assured of America’s resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“On this night of remarkable accomplishment, Californians and Americans everywhere honor our Commander-in-Chief and our brave men and women wearing our nation’s uniform and serving our country around the world. We will never forget the despicable legacy of terror that ended today nor the thousands of innocent lives it destroyed. But, now, thanks to the heroism of U.S. intelligence and military personnel, our national family has a true measure of justice and the world is surely a safer place.”

From Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber:

“The death of Osama bin Laden is testimony to the relentless pursuit of justice by the United States since 9/11 through both the Bush and Obama administrations. Our United States military have again demonstrated their professionalism and excellence. Terrorists from bin Laden to the lowest operative know there are consequences for their heinous deeds.

“This, of course, does not diminish the sorrow of all who have lost loved ones in those cowardly attacks on our homeland. Hopefully, the death of this terrorist will bring some finality and sense of justice to them. We must not now let up, but rather redouble our resolve to seek and find others who would continue to do us harm. The War on Terror must continue.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • You would have Americans believe that you killed the worlds #1 terrorist and no one took pictures??? You then bury him at sea…Pleeeeeeese!! give some Americans credit for being able to still think outside the box.

  • Elwood

    Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes. A pound of bacon and a couple of pork chops are keeping him company in his shroud.

  • Josh Richman

    Gary: Actually, many news outlets are reporting that both pictures and DNA were taken before the body was disposed of.

  • Elwood

    AP via Yahoo:
    “ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – Osama bin Laden made his final stand in a small Pakistani city where three army regiments with thousands of soldiers are based not far from the capital — a location that is increasing suspicions in Washington that Islamabad may have been sheltering him.”

    With friends like the Pakistanis, who needs enemies?

  • Josh Richman

    Agreed, Elwood. I think that’s going to be one of the most important things to emerge from this event – whether the Pakistanis finally get with the program, now that we’ve shown their borders won’t stop us, or whether this will elevate tensions to the point that they can’t even pretend to help us anymore.

  • Tom Benigno

    Did anyone watch the daily show, with Jon Stewart when he joked about the city name where Osama bin Laden was killed. He was joking about the town of ABBOTTABAD and how the NEW YORKERS would use the badbadbing in expressing the name of the town ABBOTTABAD.

  • John W

    Re: #1 Gary

    First, we had the Truthers (9/11 an inside job), then the Birthers, and now the Deathers. Yikes!

    One good quote: Only God can judge bin Laden, but the US Navy SEALS did a fine job of arranging the meeting.

    The White House now says bin Laden resisted but did not have a weapon in his hands. There we go again, killing innocent unarmed civilians!

  • Elwood

    This just in!

    Osama bin Laden still dead!

    (Hat tip to Chevy Chase and SNL)

  • Josh Richman

    Elwood: Don’t forget a h/t for Generalissimo Francisco Franco, too.

  • Elwood


    The Intellectual Dishonesty of Nancy Pelosi
    Peter Wehner 05.03.2011 – 9:40 AM

    Here’s Nancy Pelosi from a press conference on September 7, 2006:

    [E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.

    And here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday:

    The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida. . . . I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment. . . . [T]he death of Osama bin Laden is historic. . . .

    This devastating then-and-now comparison comes to us courtesy of John Hinderaker of Power Line. It underscores the degree to which partisanship can ravage people’s fair-mindedness and, in the process, make them look like fools and hacks. Such things aren’t uncommon in politics—but what is rare is to see such intellectual dishonesty proven so conclusively.

  • Elwood

    Why do you suppose it is that both W and Billy Jeff have opted out of the Waldobama ground zero victory tour?

  • John W

    Re: #11

    Maybe because W couldn’t find his Mission Accomplished flight suit.

    I take Bush at his word. He has consistently stayed out of the limelight since leaving the D.C. Zoo. But his cool daughter, Jenna, is out there doing some really good work with her foundation.