APA Members of Congress React to bin Laden’s Death

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WASHINGTON — Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus have issued statements on the death of Osama bin Laden, praising the Obama Administration and the armed forces but warning that the threat of terrorism continues.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii): “I am pleased that the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been brought to justice after nearly a decade. While the death of Osama bin Laden brings some solace to those who lost loved ones to the terror and violence of al-Qaeda, we must work to ensure that no one takes his place and that America and our allies remain vigilant against the threats posed by international terrorist organizations.

“I would like to commend the intelligence community and the brave men and women in uniform who placed themselves in harm’s way in order to end the threat posed by this terrorist.”

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii): “As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security committees who has closely examined the terrorist threat in the decade since 9/11, I commend the tenacity of the intelligence and military personnel that led to this victory. I applaud President Obama for his unwavering commitment to bring bin Laden to justice.

“I am pleased to see the nation unite around this significant milestone. However, we must not lose sight of the many national security challenges that still confront us.  Our dedicated service members remain on the front lines in Afghanistan, and Al-Qaeda continues operations across the globe. We must remain vigilant and determined in our efforts to protect the American people.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte): “The death of Osama bin Laden, at the hands of assets of the U.S. military, is an unprecedented development in the decade long war on terror and indeed welcome news. Finally, justice has been served for the thousands of Americans killed on that dark day in 2001, their families, and the families of the countless Americans and others killed in the conflicts that ensued following the attacks of 9/11.

“While I may not agree with the president’s ongoing prosecution of the war in Afghanistan, I commend him, his national security team and the brave men and women of our intelligence and armed services who collaborated to finally bring justice to America’s greatest enemy. This is exactly where our military efforts should be concentrated on: tracking down, capturing or killing the individuals responsible for the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

“At the same time, I urge Americans both here and abroad to remain vigilant. The killing of Osama bin Laden is indeed the most severe blow that has been dealt to al Qaida, but we must never forget that there are still adherents of bin Laden that will continue his efforts to wage violent jihad against America and her allies. We must be prepared to repel and disrupt any retaliatory attacks that may result from this historic event.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “I want to commend President Obama and the brave men and women both in uniform and in our intelligence services for their courageous efforts. Osama bin Laden’s death brings a measure of relief to the many families whose lives were forever changed by the events of Sept. 11, as well as to all Americans.  Not only was justice served, but bin Laden is now no longer able to extend his ring of terror.

“Though his death is a significant milestone in the fight against extremism, we as a nation must remain vigilant against further acts of terror perpetrated by those who would seek to follow in bin Laden’s footsteps.

“My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of the victims who were killed on 9/11, the families of rescue and recovery workers who have died, and those individuals who remain ill and injured as a result of their service. My thoughts and prayers are also with the families of military personnel killed and injured in defense of this country, and with those who have served and are currently serving. Their sacrifice in defense of the very ideals that our country was founded upon will never be forgotten.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose): “The death of Osama Bin Laden is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and in Barack Obama’s legacy as president, one that carries with it the opportunity to bring much-needed closure to the thousands of families who lost loved ones on 9/11, as well as the opportunity to bring much-needed closure to the war in Afghanistan. President Obama, his national security team, and the military and intelligence personnel involved showed incredible perseverance and dedication to their mission. As a nation, we must seize this moment to heal from the past harm done to our homeland and ensure that no further harm is done to our troops by bringing them home.

“The attacks orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden are what took us to Afghanistan in the first place; now, given his death, which occurred under President Obama’s mandate, we have an opportunity to draw down our presence and ultimately transform the way in which we are waging this war. Bin Laden’s death reminds us that when tackling threats to U.S. security by actors who are increasingly agile, mobile and amorphous, a heavy military, air and navy footprint is not only ineffective in dealing with guerilla-like warfare but also financially unsustainable.

“The way forward, then, is to recognize that policing, intelligence and negotiations — all critically underfunded and underdeveloped in Afghanistan and Pakistan — are what work best in undermining and dismantling threats of this nature. Additionally, we must recognize that in order to protect vulnerable populations from further instability, particularly the populations at the receiving end of Bin Laden’s recruitment strategies, we must make every effort to address their basic human needs – a priority made pointedly clear as protests continue throughout the region over lack of basic services, corrupt political leadership and non-inclusive government. This is President Obama’s moment, one we must support as we work together to bring security to our country and theirs.”

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “The people of Hawaii, the American people, and people across the globe who desire peace and security are rejoicing and relieved at the demise of Osama bin Laden. I am enormously proud of President Obama, our U.S. intelligence agencies, and our U.S. military personnel for their persistence and precision, their discipline and decisiveness, in bringing the worldwide manhunt for Osama bin Laden to its successful conclusion. Their leadership and performance represent a shining example of America at her best.

“We must, and will, remain ever vigilant in the face of al Qaeda and any threat to our homeland security. But, on President Obama’s order, justice has been served for those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 and an earthshaking blow has been delivered against those who would do us harm. For this, the people of Hawaii and the United States are deeply grateful.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii): “I commend President Obama, his intelligence team, our men and women in uniform and everyone who played a role in this historic accomplishment. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, I hope this moment brings some comfort and justice to the victims and their families — and may it also send a clear message to those who wish harm upon the United States. Although this is a significant development, we must continue to remain a vigilant, ready force.”

Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): “I join all Americans in marking this historic moment with great pride in the men and women of our military and intelligence community. As people across our nation continue to gather in the streets, we remember the victims of Sept. 11 and the families that have waited nearly a decade for justice.

“All Oregonians give thanks for the brave service of those fighting abroad, and we look ahead to the difficult work of bringing our troops home. The cost of the war in Afghanistan has been great, but we remain committed to pursuing those who would use violence against civilians to foster hate and oppression. I will continue working to protect our citizens while promoting the values of liberty, justice, and equality that define us as Americans.”

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