Speaker Boehner Congratulates U.S. Forces, Pledges Renewed Commitment to Fighting Terror

By John R Parkinson

May 2, 2011 5:42pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:  House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership reacted to the U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden Sunday as reason for celebration and congratulations and cheered the al Qaeda founder’s death as “important moment” in the United States in the War on Terror, but also vowed that it would renew America’s commitment to fighting terrorism throughout the world.  “The death of Osama bin Laden is an important moment in the war against radical extremism and terrorism, [and] an important moment for peoples all around the world who have been subject to the terror of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Our fight for freedom and liberty around the globe continues. We face a complex and dangerous threat even today. It’s important to remain vigilant in our efforts to defeat terrorist enemies and protect the American people.”  Boehner said Sunday night’s news that the world’s most wanted terrorist was killed is now rallying Americans similarly to the effect of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and despite partisan divisions in the debate over the economy, the operation would serve as a reminder to the country “that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us.” Boehner expressed his gratitude for families of the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and those killed in the subsequent War on Terror, and also had a warning for any extremist aspiring to attack the United States.  “To the families who lost loved ones on Sept 11, 2001, we will never forget what you lost,” Boehner pledged. “For those who fought and died in the war against terror and their loved ones, we honor your sacrifice, and to those who seek to destroy freedom by preying on innocent human life, we will not rest until we bring you to justice.”  Boehner and the other leaders took no questions but said that Bin Laden’s death “makes our engagement in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan more important, not less,” and congratulated those involved in the operation, dating back to the efforts of the Bush administration.  “I want to congratulate and thank the hard working men and women of the Unites States armed services. I want to thank all those involved in the intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this successful evening,” Boehner continued. “I also want to commend President Obama and President Bush for all their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.”  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor agreed, and said that bin Laden’s death “tells all of us…that success and victory sometimes take a lot longer than we would like.”  “Nearly 10 years ago President Bush stood before the nation after 9/11 and pledged to the American people that we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail in our quest to defeat those who intend to do us harm through acts of terror,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “Last night, we heard President Obama tell a very changed nation that we did not fail…Sometimes it’s a lot harder than we would like, and sometimes brings about more tragedy than absolutely we would even believe, but it is our commitment to continue to do all we can to support those in our armed services and our intelligence community and this president in his quest, and theirs, to defend the American people against the spread of radical Islam and the threats that it continues to pose to our country.”  “Today is a day to celebrate, and today is a day to congratulate,” House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said. “From all those who labored all these many years in the intelligence community, to the enlisted personnel, to the incredible courage of the Navy SEALs and certainly all the way to the commander in chief, President Obama, congratulations are in order. But one thing that has not changed after today is that the price of liberty remains eternal vigilance.”

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