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Honoring the Members of the Military and Intelligence Community Who Carried Out the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, let me just say that California wine being a favorite of mine, I am available any time. Thanks for those kind comments.

Let me just say to my good friend from California what a pleasure it has been to work with her. The Intelligence Committee has always been a very bipartisan committee, and nobody exhibits that more so than our current chairman, Dianne Feinstein. She is tough when she needs to be tough, and she is fair at all times.

She and I have a unique relationship in contrast to the other committees in the Senate in that we jointly hire all of our staff, and she has been extremely cooperative to me in the hiring process. Again, she has just been a pleasure to work with. I have to say that Dianne and I have been on the committee together for several years, and I am very proud of the work our committee has done and our relationship with the intelligence community.

One of the big reasons we have the successes that we had on Sunday in the takedown of bin Laden is because of the oversight that Dianne and others have carried out on the Intelligence Committee and because of our relationship with the community.

It is not a combative relationship. We have the Director of the CIA, the heads of NSA, the DNI, and others on a regular basis both formally and informally. All of that is done under Dianne's leadership.

Those are the times when we found out the needs of the intelligence community. Had they not exhibited that and had the Senator not provided the right kind of leadership, they would not have had all of the tools necessary to carry out this very important and very sophisticated mission. So thanks for your great work. Thanks for your friendship. I look forward to that glass of California wine.

I rise today in support of the resolution with respect to the takedown of Osama bin Laden and also to praise the men and women of our intelligence and our military communities with regard to Sunday's successful operation. We have been pursuing the world's most infamous terrorist for over a decade, but it was ultimately the hard work and tireless dedication of these professional men and women that led to this significant achievement.

I am always proud of our military and intelligence men and women, but most especially today I am truly proud of their great work.

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of September 11, I am thankful that the families and loved ones of the victims of 9/11, as well as all Americans, can have some closure. The leader of al-Qaida and murderer of thousands of Americans and allies can never again sponsor a terrorist attack.

It is also important to point out that this operation was made possible by information provided by enemy combatants that had been detained and interrogated by the United States. There has been a lot of debate in this country about our detention and interrogation policy, but this is probably one of the clearest examples of the extraordinary value of the information we have been able to gather from the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

If we had not had access to this information, Osama bin Laden would likely still be operating undetected today. It is because of the information gained from these detainees, pursued and analyzed over the years by the intelligence community, that led us to bin Laden's compound. It is almost unimaginable that he was located not in a cave in a Pakistani no man's land, but in a city just miles outside of Islamabad with a large Pakistani Government and military presence.

This is an amazing achievement and one that will be remembered for decades, but we must remember that al-Qaida is a diffuse and decentralized network that continues to threaten Americans both at home and abroad. A number of dangerous leaders associated with al-Qaida, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Aulaqi, are still out there, no doubt plotting their next attack as we speak.

We also face a growing number of threats from other radical organizations and individuals, including homegrown terrorists and extremists. Although bin Laden's death is an enormous blow to al-Qaida, we must make sure we remain vigilant in all our efforts to defeat terrorism and never lose sight of our objectives, which is not the death of one man, but the dismantling of all terrorist networks that seek to do us harm.

In closing, I want to again thank our intelligence professionals and military personnel for their service and dedication. I also want to remind everyone that while this is our greatest success to date in our efforts to combat al-Qaida, we still have a lot of work to do and cannot rest until all of that work is done.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.

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