Government

Rubio Praises Obama Team, Armed Forces, Intelligence for Killing Osama bin Laden

Florida Republican U.S. senator says bringing terrorist to justice sends clear message to America's enemies
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: May 2, 2011 6:00 PM

Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio

From his perch on the Select Committee on Intelligence, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offered his take Monday on the news that terrorist  leader Osama bin Laden was killed.

 

Speaking to the media in Doral Monday afternoon, the Miami Republican offered his perspective on what the death of bin Laden meant in America’s continued war on terror.

 

“I, like millions of Americans last night, watched with great enthusiasm the news that the man responsible for the murder of not just the people who suffered in 9/11 but acts of terrorism before that -- was brought to justice,” said Rubio.

 

Rubio praised President Barack Obama and his national security team for a “job well done.”

 

“It took a high level of confidence and a significant level of guts to carry out that mission,” added Rubio, noting that details will be forthcoming on the raid. “This was a mission that was a long time in putting together -- years, quite frankly.

 

“It will only increase your admiration for the extraordinary young men and women who serve us in the Armed Forces and the intelligence community of the United States,” said Rubio.


Rubio also praised the foreign policies carried under former President George W. Bush to fight terrorism. The senator added that the war on terror continues.

 

“The world remains a very dangerous place,” said Rubio. “The world is as dangerous today as it was yesterday and, in many respects, a bit more dangerous.”

 

Rubio called for Americans to be “ever vigilant” in case new leadership in al-Qaida’s ranks sought “retribution” against the United States for killing bin Laden, and stressed that the war was not over.

 

“It will be many, many years unfortunately before this war is over and victory can be claimed,” said Rubio.

 

The freshman senator took questions in both English and Spanish and offered replies in both languages, offering his thoughts on some of the issues raised by the raid.

 

Asked about the role of Pakistan, Rubio said that nation had offered help to the American efforts -- but also noted that there were “legitimate questions” on how bin Laden was able to stay in a compound very near to one of that nation’s military academies.

 

Rubio said he was pleased with the way the Obama administration was handling releasing the details on the operation.

 

“I’m comfortable with the level of information the administration shared on this and other operations,” said Rubio.

 

Asked about the call from independent U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to release proof that the terrorist was dead, Rubio said that was up to the administration -- but he was sure of it.

 

“I have no doubt that he is,” said Rubio. “Bin Laden is dead.

 

“I don’t have any complaints about how we were notified,” he added. “I take my role on the Intelligence Committee very seriously. My job on that committee is not to make news.

 

“I had all the information I needed to do my job on the Intelligence Committee,” Rubio insisted.

 

Rubio also noted that the raid against bin Laden should leave little doubt about what will happen if terrorists attack Americans.

 

“The message to America’s enemies is pretty simple,” said Rubio. “You’ll be able to hide for a little while but America’s armed forces and intelligence community will find you and bring you to justice. That’s the way it is.”

 

Asked if he was frustrated with the fact that it took almost a decade for America to kill bin Laden, Rubio said that he was not.

 

“These things are complicated, they’re not easy,” said Rubio. “This is the most capable military and intelligence force in the history of mankind … the fact that it took nine, almost 10 years, to find and bring justice to bin Laden is not a testament to their failure, it’s a testament to the difficulties of the task. It’s also a testament to the United States.”


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.


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