President Obama Delivers Remarks on Osama Bin Laden

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 2, 2011
President Obama Delivers Remarks on Osama Bin Laden

On May 1, 2011, delivering remarks from the White House, President Barack Obama announced that the United States killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda. President Obama said:

"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

"It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

"And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

"On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

"We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

"Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

"Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

"And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

"Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

"For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda.

"Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must -- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad.

"As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not -- and never will be -- at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

"Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

"Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

"The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.

"So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done.

"Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

"We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

"Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

"And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

"The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

"Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

"Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."

You can also read the President's remarks here on whitehouse.gov, or watch the video his remarks on the White House Blog.

Comments

Comments

Aldashti
|
Kuwait
May 2, 2011

Aldashti in Kuwait writes:

SAVE BAHRAINY LIVES FROM OBL FLOWERS SAUDI TROOPS

Sean H.
|
New Jersey, USA
May 2, 2011

Sean H. in New Jersey writes:

"President Obama: U.S. is not at war with Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims." -- I completely agree with that statement. Let's just hope the death of Bin Laden doesn't lead to more terrorist attacks.. I may not always agree with Obama but I must say that the safety of our military men and women should be our top concern!

Michael
|
Maryland, USA
May 2, 2011

Michael in Maryland writes:

This is quite captivating. At last, the murder of the leader of al Qaeda is apprehended. I lost my cousin in USA at that time to this deadly bomb blast. Kudos to President Obama government and the entire people of United States. God bless us!

Giuseppe V.
|
Italy
May 2, 2011

Giuseppe V. in Italy writes:

Congratulations for the mission against Osama Bin Laden.

Rome, Italy

Maria L.
|
New Jersey, USA
May 2, 2011

Maria L. in New Jersey writes:

Thank God for all those men and women who sacrificed their lives in the search for Osama and who now have some comfort in the fact that he is no longer here to continue his madness. Pres. Obama is correct in saying that it is not over yet, therefore we must continue to support our men and women in uniform and their families who need and deserve our ongoing, heartfelt support and love.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 2, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I don't think I've seen folks party like this in America since the three little piggies got rid of the big bad wolf.

(chuckle)

I'm just assuming the Donald will want to see UBL's long form death certificate before he accepts this as reality.

While I have to give thanks to the folks who did great work in getting their man, including the C in C in the planning, the conspiracy theorists of the world are already hard at work casting doubt because when the Saudis didn't want his body back on their soil, he was buried at sea.

So I gotta assume folks collected DNA and photographic evidence, dental records, and whatever additional physical evidence needed to put any doubts to rest.

As historicly significant as this opp was known to have the potential for being when concieved, I have to think folks had the presence of mind to have helmet cams recording the whole affair from start to finish, and I know the public wants to see that movie so I hope folks will declassify all of it and make it available to the public ASAP.

I bet one of the most satisfied individuals in the nation today must be Sec. Robert Gates, who can retire knowing he's not leaving office having any "loose ends" dangling around his long legacy of service.

That's only as it should be.

Thanks again to all involved, you've given me an early birthday gift I never expected.

Hoooah!

EJ

Moh. T.
|
Germany
May 2, 2011

Owais T. in Germany writes:

wonderful job America!!!!! nothing is better than this well-done good job!!!! Osama and is people are the enemies of humanity and they are not related to any religion... today after i heard this News the tears of Happiness came into my eyes... i was waiting to hear this news since so long!!! i hope that his death brings a good reflection in my beloved country AFGHANISTAN, and this event must open the eyes of the world to attack the terrorists in their safe havens not in the villages of Afghanistan and not to kill innocent Men, Women and Children of my country by bombing on them... there are very small amounts of Taliban who are coming in Afghanistan to make terrorist attacks and destroy my country and people, why we should not kill the real master minds and organizers of the terrorist attacks in PAKISTAN??? if we make them dry from the basic roots then they will never raise up!!!! long live America....

Md. R.
|
Bangladesh
May 3, 2011

Masud R. in Bangladesh writes:

After dead or killed of a man is not terrorist. If he followed by any religions, only he is treat is as man after dead. So Mr. Obama & Mr. USA try to honor others (Man, religion, Country) what other will helps to hono r u and USA.

Ishtiaq H.
|
Pakistan
May 4, 2011

Ishtiaq in Pakistan writes:

First of congratulations to every peace lover in this planet on the very death of great evil"bin laden",its now a well known fact that every anti-humanity person like terrorists are hiding here in pakistan,i am from the tribal areas of pakistan and i know the exact reality over here,that pakistani secret agencies are providing them shelter over here.We request the world leaders specially civilized in this world that they should focus on this issue as well.Thanks.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 4, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Regarding my previous comment on possible release of visual evidence and the President's decision not to release any photos today;

I'm ok with it if they are.

Some will debate the merits of the public's right to know and the government's right to descretion in this affair and not pander to consipracy nor "trot out trophies" as it was put.

Personally I wouldn't have thought of it as such had the photo been released, and as grisly as it probably was, no need for kids to ponder over it.

As a dad, I can completely concur with that, it was putting a debate to bed that I was more concerned with, but if my government isn't concerned about that I certainly have no need to be.

EJ

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 5, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I think regarding whether the pictures are exposed for comment should be available because it sounds alot like the truth is buried in the sea. People and victims of lossed ones will need to see proof. Ofcourse, the President can do whats in the best of the United States.

John P.
|
Greece
May 5, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Donald in Virginia

When invited to a wedding you may/can ask for some souvenir photos.

But, I’ve never seen anyone asking for photos after a funeral ceremony.

If you understand what I mean...

Simply, “conspiracy theorists” who think that can create a scenario that “Bin–went-now” is not dead should prove their thesis.

But they CANNOT!

However, anybody can offer to the investigation…

But I think he’s dead!

And U.S.A. is proud for this.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 5, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ John P in Greece

Hey John long time no see, I am okay without having the photos, but I think the investigation in Pakistan should move towards finding out what the Government of Pakistan knew when the old Prime Minister and new one took office knew of Osama bin laden. Seems like someone had to know he was staying there.

John P.
|
Greece
May 5, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Donald M. in Virginia

Well, I am always here in "Dip" silently!

I was not talking about the Pakistanis...

No matter the fact, they have to answer us for hundreds of queries concerning the story and the history.

I was writing about those who are trying once again to create a conspiracy theory.

You know, my friend, for years "they" used to say that U.S.A. cannot capture Bin.

We did it!

And now they ask: did you?

Obviously!

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
May 5, 2011

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@ John, Eric, and Donald...Perhaps a photo of bin Laden after he had been prepared for burial at sea? I feel ambivalent about this decision, not to release any photos, because I am afraid it will now become a "conspiracy" issue. He's not dead, he is dead...and I am afraid that has already begun. What do you think? Should it not be laid to rest? Good to read all of your opinions and posts. Always glad to see that you all are still commenting!

Melissa
|
Maryland, USA
May 5, 2011

Melissa in Maryland writes:

I was upset by the images of Americans celebrating Osama bin Laden's death. It reminded me of Palestinians celebrating on September 11.

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 6, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan,

Today I saw a political cartoon, in which the ruler of the Islamic version of hell was telling his chief hellion, "Tell Bin-what's-his-name there arn't any virgins here and to grab a shovel before I turn him into a propane duckie."

Now several things came to mind as I have a pretty sick sense of humor, but mostly I think folks just want to move on from having this SOB in mind for so long...when we obviously have better things to do and this country has wasted enough time on a guy who has been rendered incapable of being a threat but remains a distraction as long as folks think they need one to chew the political fat with.

And of course I had to wonder whether the cartoonist was a closet pyromaniac and had actually conducted experiments with some poor rubber duckie obtained in a covert snatch-and-grab op from some poor kid's bathtub before he drew that cartoon?

Or maybe he was just revisiting a childhood spent tourturing his toys, it's hard to tell... could be the stuff conspiracies are made of.

I hear a runor that there's a conspiracy afoot to win this war we're in...

And some would question why others celebrate a tangible milestone of victory in it.

That this comes at bin ladin's moment of meeting his maker is beside the point.

That was a nessesary pre-requisite to let the good times roll.

So let's roll...

( maybe some creative mind in this gov. will get the SEALS to send postcards from Pakistan to all the dictators and tyrants of the world, with "Wish you could have been there too." as the food for thought intended to impress upon the minds of madmen that Forest Gump was right.

And that they could be next...

(pick your ethical infant of choice)

To put this in legalistic frame of reference, I think it should be against international; law to leave a dictator in power long enough to make war on his people, or civilians in general, and that's the only real practical way to make it suicidal to do so.

If "Law is logic", I think this will stand that test.

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
May 6, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Melissa in Maryland

In everyday life, if you kill a policeman you will probably get the death penalty.

Do you think that bin Laden was treated unfair?

*1992, Aden, Yemen: 2 killed, several others injured

*1993 World Trade Center bombing: hoping to kill 250,000 people. 6 killed, 1042 injured, $300 Million in property damages

*Late 1990s: In 1996, bin Laden personally engineered a plot to assassinate Clinton while the president was in Manila

*1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, resulting in upward of 300 deaths

*In October 2000, al-Qaeda militants in Yemen bombed the missile destroyer U.S.S. Cole in a suicide attack, killing 17 U.S. servicemen and damaging the vessel while it lay offshore.

*September 11, 2001: approximately 3000 people killed

And that’s only for start. I am sure you understand that Laden is responsible for organizing and financing hundreds of other hits all these years, with thousands of other victims.

Do you think that the parents, kids, relatives and friends of all these dead innocents can follow your “Palestinian logic”, or they have every right to celebrate one “death” that creates hundreds of thousands of “lives”, by securing our future?

Do you think that we are happy that he died? No! We are actually celebrating that we didn’t die!

He personally chose this path…

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 6, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Melissa in Maryland

When United States was attacked, the people of Palestine were in the streets partying our losses. In 1998 288 Africans were killed by Osama bin laden, along with over 3K people killed at the world trade center. If there was ever a day to celebrate, its the loss of top terrorist who has destroyed innocent lives. Justice has been served cold!!!

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 6, 2011

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

@ Melissa in MD --

I didn't join those at the White House on Sunday night, but I can understand why they went there.

Americans cheered the death of an evil terrorist who had killed many, the Palestinians cheered the death of innocent people. And don't forget that they weren't just cheering the deaths of Americans on 9/11. More than 370 people from other countries were killed.

The MLK Jr quote you cite is not correct. The Baltimore Sun reported it was a hoax:

"http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-05-03/news/bal-bin-ladens-death-sp..."

Diepiriye T.
|
Nigeria
May 6, 2011

Diepiriye T. in Nigeria writes:

Indeed America has proven it's strength in the comity of WORLD affairs by gunning down the al qaeda principal & world terror. Kudos. 37356018.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
May 7, 2011

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@ Eric...There has not been very much to laugh about recently, between wars, financial meltdowns, earthquakes, floods, and tornados, etc., that I had to tell you that your post on the "pyromaniac and the rubber duckie" made me laugh out loud. Best regards, and I hope you had a good birthday.

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
May 7, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Happy Birthday to Eric

I still think after Taking out the Most wanted terrorist in the world, we all are safer for it.

@ Susan in Florida, Natural disasters are common and seem like they are getting worst. We all have to put our best foot forward and survive.

John P.
|
Greece
May 7, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear friend.

I wish you all the best and a Pulitzer for the book!

If you ever visit Greece, drinks on me Bro!!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 9, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Many thanks to one and all for the well wishes upon my now officially becoming an adult @ 51, after a long extended childhood spent tourturing these pages of Dipnote.

All things being relative...

Tourture is a relative state of pain, have you been to a dentist lately?

Safety is a relative state of balance in one's lifestyle, where in a nation there exists a relative state of peace.

The Pulitzer is a relative state of honor afforded for changing mindsets, offering perspective, and/or insipring folks to think, but I better learn how to use spell check before contemplating recieving one for a book that will probably not be finished before I'm a long forgotten footnote in history... because like life, the writing just continues to party-on with good intent, never mind the "typos".

I was talking with a 20 year old lady (smart as an old wise one in her tender years, with a brother in the foreign service) who has lived her entire formative years in a nation at war.

I get the impression that for the first time she has hope of living in a nation that has won it without question and is living in peace.

There is a fairly profound psycological impact to all of this that I think will become manifest in subtle and creative ways in the new crop of 20-somethings as they take over in the decades to come. As it is becoming manifest today in the Mid-East and North Africa on a not so subtle level.

It should be fairly self evident to the leaders of the world today that the youth will abide by no Bull-$%!# put before them as roadblock to their future, and that they can kiss their status-quo goodby as a result.

I gotta say "Well done Sir!" right back at the President, because having run for office on "hope and change"; wheras it concerns bin-what's-his-name, he's definately delivered on that promise to an entire generation.

So what of the dearly departed becoming a flaming rubber duckie IED in the after-life?

Well, we can't expect the president to perform miracles now can we?

He's in Allah's hands now...getting spanked.

EJ

Lifequotes
May 13, 2011

M.L. writes:

What surprises me, in fact impresses me, is that Obama happily utilizes the word "Kill" in favor of such sanitized, politically correct terms as "eliminate" or "terminate" or "eradicate" or even "execute". Certainly this must have been intensely argued out in high circles. To me this indicates a certain candidness and honesty and forthrightness in his administration.

On the other hand the word "assassinate" is strictly verboten. Very, very interesting, no?

All the best of British luck to you.

Love the representation of your site, by the way. In the infamous words of our beloved Mr Schwarzenegger, "I'll be back" (if you'll have me)
:)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 13, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ M.L.,

I've been trying to wrap my head around USG terminology for a long time, and I still can't seem to come close to political correctness...(chuckle).

One thing's for sure in a most uncertasin world, and that is the fact that dead is dead, and as yet there is still no debate over that definition, unless you are really deep into zombi movies and consider them to be personal role models for the living.

So like, if I change the "verbotten" word to "kill" instead of assasinate in the following previous question posted on April 27th (excerpt below) then maybe I could anticipate getting an official answer to it someday?

When pigs fly...(IE: probably not in my lifetime)

I don't know what folks would call a drone strike, other than a "targeted sanction" perhaps...but I just call it like I see it.

Best,

EJ

---

"Here's some sticky logic;

If Ghaddfi is a terrorist and we target for assasination the top leadership of al-quaida because they are terrorists, why doesn't Ghaddafi have a bull's eye painted on his forehead yet?

I challenge any member of this administration to answer that.

I personally think he likes the idea of becoming the world's target, for in his eyes it gives him a sense of legitimacy. I think we must abuse him of that notion.

I would note also that it would be illogical to define either a terrorist or such tactics as appropriate to eliminate them by whether the individual targeted was a state or non-state actor.

You best define that by their common lack of empathy. Ghaddafi's "show no mercy or pity" certainly embodies that lack.

You don't drop a rock on his pointy little head to change his behavior, you do that to destroy his intent, along with his minion's motivation.

If it were up to me, we'd already be refering to Ghaddafi in the past tense.

And I'd be perfectly willing to let lawyers haggle till hell freezes over whether that was a matter of "regime change" or simply honoring a mandate to protect populations."

--end excerpt--

.

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