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Death of Osama Bin Laden

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, it was a little less than 10 years ago that I was in northern Wyoming driving home. It was the day of September 11, 2001. On that drive home that evening, I heard the press report saying that Osama bin Laden was behind the terrorist attack on the trade center, the Pentagon, and in that field in Pennsylvania where the plane went down. I said to myself then that it was just a matter of time before the United States would catch him and justice would be served.

Mr. President, across the remote mountains and dingy suburbs of Afghanistan and Pakistan, thousands of American troops dedicated themselves to stamping out Osama bin Laden and the evil he defined. All of those Americans made painful sacrifices at home, and many still are. Many are struggling with injuries, seen and unseen, and thousands have given their precious lives.

Of course, we will never forget the innocent lives taken in cold blood on that day of September 11, 2001. We all know how that day changed the course of world history. One man was behind it all. We have hunted him for the better part of a decade.

Now, thanks to the hard, diligent work of America's Special Forces and intelligence agents, that man is dead. At long last, catching him in a corner, a handful of American troops delivered justice to the entire world.

The price for Osama bin Laden's death was enormous. Although yesterday's precision strike was executed by the toughest, smartest, and most effective special operations force on Earth, its justice is the result of all the countless soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, and intelligence agents and their families who went ``all in'' for us over the past decade.

This country--now and among future generations--will never forget their sacrifices.

Thirty-six Montanans have been killed in worldwide operations since 9/11. Dozens more have been seriously wounded, and a few were longtime servicemembers, but many of them joined the military specifically because of that awful day and what happened on September 11, 2001.

We are so thankful to them for all they gave and for all their families gave.

While Osama bin Laden's death is a true victory, our vigilance in the worldwide fight against terrorism doesn't end here. The hundreds of Montanans still serving abroad today remind us of that every day.

Yesterday we blotted out Osama bin Laden forever, and that will make our world safer. But working together with the international community, our Nation will continue to be steadfast in our commitment to security, safety, and opportunity for all Americans.

Security and opportunity and freedom aren't just American values, they are human values. As Americans, we will never be afraid to fight for them.

In the days and months ahead, I expect we will refine and recalibrate the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. As this next chapter unfolds, my thoughts and prayers will always remain with the hundreds of Montanans serving there. We are grateful for their service. We are anxious to bring them home.

With that, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.


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