Bennet Supports Resolution Honoring U.S. Forces Who Led Mission that Killed Bin Laden

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after approval of a bipartisan Senate resolution to honor the members of the military and intelligence community who carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Bennet is a sponsor of the resolution, which passed by a vote of 97 to 0.

“As we mark this milestone in the global fight against violent extremism, we should also recognize and honor the brave U.S. special operations forces and intelligence officers whose outstanding performance and professionalism made this mission possible.  The intelligence required to complete this mission took years to develop.  And the mission itself, which was fraught with pitfalls and required months of training to prepare for, faced challenges when one helicopter had a mechanical failure. Our President and his National Security Team also deserve great praise for their dedicated leadership in renewing and redoubling our pursuit of Osama Bin Laden – an effort that has now proven successful.

“Sunday’s mission should also serve as a reminder that our troops, veterans and military families are deserving of our endless support. Today and every day, we say ‘thank you’ to the men and women of America’s Armed Forces who sacrifice so much to defend our way of life and keep America safe.”

The full text of the resolution is included below:

Honoring the members of the military and intelligence community who carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and for other purposes.

Whereas, on May 1, 2011, United States personnel killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden during the course of a targeted strike against his secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan;

Whereas Osama bin Laden was the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization, the most significant terrorism threat to the United States and the international community;

Whereas Osama bin Laden was the architect of terrorist attacks which killed nearly 3,000 civilians on September 11, 2001, the most deadly terrorist attack against our Nation, in which al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in

New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and, due to heroic efforts by civilian passengers to disrupt the terrorists, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania;

Whereas Osama bin Laden planned or supported numerous other deadly terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies, including the 1998 bombings of United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and against innocent civilians in countries around the world, including the 2004 attack on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain and the 2005 bombings of the mass transit system in London, England;

Whereas, following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the United States, under President George W. Bush, led an international coalition into Afghanistan to dismantle al Qaeda, deny them a safe haven in Afghanistan and ungoverned areas along the Pakistani border, and bring

Osama bin Laden to justice;

Whereas President Barack Obama in 2009 committed additional forces and resources to efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan as ‘‘the central front in our enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism’’;

Whereas the valiant members of the United States Armed Forces have courageously and vigorously pursued al Qaeda and its affiliates in Afghanistan and around the world;

Whereas the anonymous, unsung heroes of the intelligence community have pursued al Qaeda and affiliates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the world with tremendous dedication, sacrifice, and professionalism;

Whereas the close collaboration between the Armed Forces and the intelligence community prompted the Director of National Intelligence, General James Clapper, to state, ‘‘Never have I seen a more remarkable example of focused integration, seamless collaboration, and sheer professional magnificence as was demonstrated by the Intelligence Community in the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden.’’;

Whereas, while the death of Osama bin Laden represents a significant blow to the al Qaeda organization and its affiliates and to terrorist organizations around the world, terrorism remains a critical threat to United States national security; and

Whereas President Obama said, ‘‘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.’’: Now, therefore, be it resolved, That the Senate—

(1) declares that the death of Osama bin Laden represents a measure of justice and relief for the families and friends of the nearly 3,000 men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, the men and women in the United States and around the world who have been killed by other al Qaeda-sponsored attacks, the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the intelligence community who have sacrificed their lives pursuing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda;

(2) commends the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the United States intelligence community for the tremendous commitment, perseverance, professionalism, and sacrifice they displayed in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice;

(3) commends the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the United States intelligence community for committing themselves to defeating, disrupting, and dismantling al Qaeda;

(4) commends the President for ordering the successful operations to locate and eliminate Osama bin Laden; and

(5) reaffirms its commitment to disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and affiliated organizations around the world that threaten United States national security, eliminating a safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and bringing terrorists to justice.