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  1. Publisher says

    President George W. Bush:

    Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

    Vice President Dick Cheney:

    The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American forces is a victory for the United States and a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission.   Their tireless work since 9/11 has made this achievement possible, and enabled us to capture or kill thousands of al Qaeda terrorists and many of their leaders.  I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team.  At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who’ve paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11.  Al Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy.  Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on.  We must remain vigiliant, especially now, and we must continue to support our men and women in uniform who are fighting on the front lines of this war every day.  Today, the message our forces have sent is clear — if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice.

  2. Publisher says

    From Mother Jones:

    But let’s roll the tape. In 2009, after Obama was in office less than a month, Cheney told Politico that there was a “high probability” that terrorists would attempt a nuclear or biological attack in the coming years and that, thanks to Obama’s policies, the odds were better that such an assault would succeed. He also said, “When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry.”

    This was no hint: Cheney was accusing Obama of caring more about process than the security of the American people. That was a profoundly serious charge. The former vice president was not merely engaging in a debate over Obama’s national security policies; he was suggesting that his adminstration fretted more about terrorists’ civil liberties than the lives of American citizens. Cheney’s real charge was not that Obama was wrong (any leader can make an ill-advised policy choice), but that Obama really wasn’t devoted to defending the United States. Cheney was not merely arguing about the best way to counter terrorists; he was trying to delegitimize Obama as commander in chief.

    A month later, Cheney, in an interview with CNN, continued this line of attack: “Now [Obama] is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack.” Again, Cheney went beyond arguing policy. He questioned Obama’s motives, accusing the president and his aides of not being sufficiently concerned about terrorists: “They are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that’s required.”

    Now, how would Cheney know that? At that time, the CIA, in response to a request from the president, was actually coming up with a revved-up plan to find Bin Laden. The Obama administration also was intensifying its drone war against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other violent extremist groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

    Later in the year, after the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a Northwest Airlines plane, Cheney again went on the offensive. In a statement, the former vice president derided Obama: “He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war.” He charged that Obama “pretends we aren’t” at war and once more proclaimed that Obama had made America “less safe.” He was still pushing the spin that Obama did not consider national security a priority: “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency: social transformation, the restructuring of American society.”

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