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From the Archives: More Virginia political leaders react to news of Osama bin Laden’s death

More Virginia political leaders react to news of Osama bin Laden’s death
May 2, 2011 10:22 AM MST

In the hours since President Barack Obama officially announced the killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in a lightning raid by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, various Virginia political leaders offered their thoughts and comments on the news.

Not all of them reacted immediately. Some of their statements were issued late last night; others have trickled out this morning. A common theme is “vigilance.”

‘We cannot rest’

Governor Bob McDonnell distributed a statement to the media dated May 2:

"This is a great and historic moment for America and the world. I applaud President Barack Obama, his Administration and the brave men and women of our military for this successful operation. The death of Osama Bin Laden brings final justice to the evil perpetrator of the attacks of 9/11. Justice has truly been served. While we celebrate this news, we must also remember that The War on Terror is not over. We cannot rest until our nation is secure, and all threats to our freedom and our people are eliminated. On this day, and every day, we continue to remember those we lost on that tragic day in September 2001, the brave service men and women who have died defending our nation in the years following that attack, and the family and friends they have left behind. We will never forget."


Former Delegate Brian Moran (D-Alexandria), now the chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, also issued a statement:

“This is a great victory for our nation and our world. President Obama and the brave men and women of the armed services and the intelligence community succeeded in bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice for the murder of thousands of Americans on September 11, 2011.”

politicians death of Osama Bin Laden UBL Virginia
Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA3) said, in part:

"It is my hope that this victory will provide some comfort to the families of those victims of his decades of terrorist acts all over the world, especially the victims of the embassy bombings of the late 1990s, the attack on the Norfolk-based USS Cole in 2000, and the 9/11 attacks in 2001. We also need to honor and remember the thousands of men and women who have given their lives over the last decade fighting terrorism and their families.”

Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA11) repeated the phrase, “Justice has been served,” but added:

“President Obama made it clear from his first days in office that bringing down Bin Laden was a top priority. I applaud his persistence and that of our nation's military and intelligence community in seeking out Bin Laden. I'm confident our forces will continue to aggressively pursue other Al Queda leaders and weaken this vile terrorist organization.”

Eighth District Democrat Jim Moran does not appear to have issued any comment on the bin Laden news, but his 2010 Republican election opponent, Patrick Murray, said in an email message to supporters: "This is a blow to Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists, but it does not mean that our fight is over. In fact this is likely to lead to retaliatory attacks against us and our interests around the world, so we must remain vigilant."


The "justice has been served" meme also appeared in a brief statement released by longtime Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA10):

"Justice, indeed, has been served. The killing of Osama bin Laden is critically important in the United States’ fight against terrorism and I want to congratulate and thank the hard working men and women in our Armed Services and in the intelligence community who have dedicated themselves day-in and day-out to bringing our enemies to justice. I also want to congratulate President Obama and President Bush for their leadership. Hopefully the demise of Osama bin Laden will bring closure to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. We must remain vigilant, however, as we continue to fight terrorists around the globe. The threat remains very real and we should not let down our guard."

Vigilance appeared in the reaction of freshman Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA9):

“The announcement that Osama bin Laden has been killed is a true victory for the United States. Almost 10 years ago, the 9/11 attacks cost thousands of innocent American lives. Our men and women in uniform and the intelligence community have fought tirelessly to protect our nation – many of them sacrificing everything. I thank them for their dedication to justice. The fight against terrorism is not over. We must continue to remain vigilant.”

Like Bobby Scott, First District Republican Congressman Rob Wittman noted a local connection in the news:

“Today, America marks a major victory in the war on terror following the announcement that the world’s most wanted terrorist and the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks and the bombing of the Norfolk-based USS Cole (DDG 67) on October 12, 2000, has been killed by American forces. Americans stand proud of a job well done by our military and intelligence communities and we honor the lives lost of those fighting to defend freedom and see justice served for nearly a decade.”

Representative Robert Hurt (R-VA5), who represents the Charlottesville area in Congress, said:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks a great victory in the War on Terror and is welcomed news for all Americans. It is my hope that this announcement brings some amount of justice and closure to the families of the victims of September 11th and to those who have lost loved ones throughout the War on Terror.”

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA4), concluded his press release by saying:

“As Americans, we proudly celebrate this victory and join President Obama in commending the brave men and women that made this day possible—the day when we can finally say that Bin Laden is dead. The streets once filled with twisted steel and smoke are now rightfully filled with celebration. Yet, we must remain vigilant against the metastasized threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates and resist the temptation to allow our joy to lure us into complacency. I am committed to supporting our men and women in uniform and will not waiver in my duty to ensure that our Armed Forces remain ready to protect the United States at home and our interests around the globe.”

Neither Senator Mark Warner nor Senator Jim Webb have put out a news release. Similarly, there has been no official reaction from the offices of Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on May 2, 2011. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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