Taking Down Osama Bin Laden Marks Critical Victory in the War on Terror
Nearly 10 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the recent takedown of Osama Bin Laden, the chief architect behind the attacks and founder of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, marks a critical victory in the War on Terror. His death brings a measure of relief to our nation and the loved ones of the innocent Americans who lost their lives that day.
I am grateful to President George W. Bush for his tireless efforts that laid the groundwork for this accomplishment and congratulate President Barack Obama for carrying it through to completion.
I am especially proud of the Navy SEALs who knowingly went into harm’s way to take down Bin Laden. These SEALs are a part of the units that are among the most highly trained forces in the world. Each and every day, they volunteer for some of the most dangerous missions, under the most difficult circumstances, and all without recognition. The Commander who leads some of these elite warriors, Vice Admiral William McRaven, is a proud Texan from San Antonio who is also an alumnus of the University of Texas. Vice Admiral McRaven has been nominated by the President to receive his fourth star, and if confirmed, will lead US Special Operations Command. I can think of no one better qualified.
While much praise deservedly goes to the two dozen Navy SEALs who raided the terrorist stronghold, we cannot forget that they did not get there alone. They were guided to the target by direct and indirect support personnel, including technicians, intelligence analysts, pilots and crews, and countless others who worked meticulously and attentively for years. Without their work to put the pieces together, this successful mission would not have been possible.
The story of what led to the takedown of Bin Laden and the precise execution of the mission itself is truly incredible. According to various media reports, the ability to monitor communications and employ interrogation techniques on detainees aided intelligence gathering over the course of several years. This intelligence resulted in critical leads used by analysts to determine the eventual location of Osama Bin Laden.
Shortly after the world saw the brutality of Bin Laden’s savage plan unfold on American soil nearly 10 years ago, President Bush took decisive steps to ensure that the U. S. military and intelligence agencies had the resources and authorization needed to successfully hunt down those responsible, including Bin Laden. On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed into law the PATRIOT Act, which provided law enforcement and the intelligence community greater authority to track and intercept communications among suspected terrorists. This law has proven to be immeasurably valuable to the intelligence community.
The factors that led to the killing of Bin Laden further solidify the need for Congress to act swiftly to prevent key provisions of the PATRIOT Act from expiring at the end of this month. We should not step back our intelligence efforts but instead reaffirm them.
While Americans should certainly find comfort in knowing that our government made good on its promise to find the head of al-Qaeda, dead or alive, we must remain vigilant against a terrorist threat that has not yet been fully vanquished. There is still work to be done to dismantle this and other terrorist networks that attempt to destroy freedom and human rights throughout the world.
The killing of Bin Laden reminds us that as long as we stand and fight for freedom, the despotic leaders of the world will not prevail. I am eternally grateful to our heroic servicemen and women and their families whose sacrifices help ensure a safer and freer world for all Americans and future generations.
During his life, Bin Laden sought to divide and destroy the American way of life. Now in the wake of his death, we are reminded of our unity and our strength - as Americans and as those who champion freedom for all people. We are again emboldened by the strength that comes from living in a nation founded on and committed to preserving freedom. We must continue this fight to protect freedom, so that future generations will live in a world safe from the violent hatred of individuals like Osama Bin Laden.