[Congressional Record: May 3, 2011 (Senate)]
[Page S2604-S2610]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the clerk will 
report the resolution by title.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 159) honoring the members of the 
     military and intelligence community who carried out the 
     mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and for other purposes.

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, at 10 o'clock Sunday night, I was at the 
terminal at the Detroit airport, and there I had gone through the usual 
airport security drill--shoes off, liquids in plastic bags, and all the 
other inconveniences designed to keep us safe. It was at that same 
airport on Christmas of 2009 that a would-be terrorist sought to bomb 
an airliner. So I was surrounded by reminders, large and small, of how 
the threat of terrorism has affected our lives when Defense Secretary 
Gates called me with the momentous news that our forces had succeeded 
in raiding a compound in Pakistan and killing Osama bin Laden.
  A few hours later, my wife Barbara and I joined a different scene--
thousands of cheering young people waving American flags and singing 
patriotic songs in the early morning darkness outside the White House--
part of an outpouring of relief and emotion across the Nation. What had 
happened is Osama bin Laden could not avoid the long memory and the 
long arm of justice, and he could not hope to triumph against the 
indomitable spirit of the American people.
  The news President Obama delivered to the Nation on Sunday evening 
gives us many reasons to reflect. We should first turn to those who 
still carry the grief and loss of that September morning about 10 years 
ago--to those who had lost loved ones in the fight against terror and 
the years since and to those who carry wounds of body, mind or spirit 
from that war. The death of Osama bin Laden cannot bring back the lives 
lost through his monstrous acts, but it can, I hope, bring some measure 
of relief from those lost.
  We first turn, with thanks and admiration, to the men and women of 
our Armed Forces and the intelligence community. For them and their 
families, the last decade has been one of long separations, 
uncertainty, and danger. Yet time and time again they have answered 
their Nation's call with courage, with competence, and with skill. Once 
again, they have earned our utmost gratitude.
  We should also commend the President for his courage and for his care 
in ordering a military mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. 
There was no direct evidence that bin Laden was in the compound that 
the CIA had determined housed two al-Qaida couriers. Instead, the 
evidence was circumstantial, and there were differing views within the 
intelligence community as to the likelihood that bin Laden or perhaps 
some other high-value target was there. Moreover, the mission required 
the military helicopters to enter into Pakistani airspace, to land in 
Pakistan's sovereign territory, and for Navy SEALs to use lethal force 
on a compound in a city that was home to two Pakistani armed regiments. 
The President courageously rejected the alternative options of 
launching a bombing mission or waiting until there was more evidence of 
bin Laden's presence. He rejected both of those alternatives.
  With his bold decision and with the heroism and skill of our military 
and intelligence professionals, our Nation

[[Page S2605]]

struck a tremendous blow not just against a single depraved individual 
but against the hateful ideology he espoused. Let there be no mistake, 
al-Qaida is weaker today. Its leader is dead and so is the myth 
surrounding him.
  Osama bin Laden sent his followers to hide in dark, dank mountain 
caves and often to their own suicides, from the comfort of his million-
dollar villa. His death has dealt al-Qaida a major blow. The mystique 
of Osama bin Laden has been punctured.
  The victory over hate-inspired terrorism is not yet complete. Our 
successful mission against bin Laden will no doubt lead to al-Qaida's 
remaining leaders issuing calls for retaliation. It is critical our 
intelligence and military strength continue to seek out those elements 
and franchises of al-Qaida that remain in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the 
Arabian Peninsula, Africa, and other places, such as al-Qaida in the 
Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. The threat may be diminished, but it 
  Further, it is critical we ensure our military and intelligence 
communities continue to adapt to the threat of our irregular and 
unconventional enemy. The interagency cooperation that helped make this 
mission a success is impressive, and it remains a potent weapon in our 
effort to weaken the al-Qaida network.
  This is an effort worthy not just of this Nation but of all nations. 
That is why it is important that we find answers to the significant 
questions raised by the news from Sunday night. Thirty-five miles from 
the Pakistani capital and a comfortable walk from the Pakistani 
military's most important academy, in a town where the Pakistani 
military and intelligence services own a large share of the property, 
al-Qaida appears to have built a massive complex, ringed by walls as 
high as 18 feet, protected by barbed wire, as the dedicated hiding 
place for Osama bin Laden. It is difficult to believe all this occurred 
without at least arousing the suspicions of Pakistan's security forces 
or their local officials.
  The American people, who have provided billions of dollars of aid to 
the Pakistani Government, deserve to know whether elements of 
Pakistan's military and intelligence services or local officials knew 
of bin Laden's location over the 5 years or so he was there and if they 
did not know, how that could possibly be the case. Hopefully just as 
important, the Pakistani people deserve these answers, for they have 
suffered greatly from al-Qaida's violent extremism. Assassinations, 
bombings, death of civilian and military personnel alike--all these 
losses show that al-Qaida and its hate-filled terrorism and its 
terrorist allies threaten Pakistan's very existence. I believe some of 
Pakistan's leaders know this to be true, and I was heartened by the 
reaction of Prime Minister Gilani to bin Laden's death. He said, ``I 
think it's a great victory and I congratulate the success of this 
  It is urgent that the Pakistani Government get answers to the 
questions about what its military and intelligence agencies and local 
officials knew and share the answers to those questions with the world 
and with their own people.
  Pakistan can be an important ally in the fight against terror. It has 
as much, if not more, at stake in that fight as anybody. All the more 
important, then, that we openly and honestly address the questions 
which have been raised by the presence of terrorist No. 1, public enemy 
No. 1, the world's enemy No. 1--the presence of that person in Pakistan 
in such a central place for all these years. It is important that those 
questions be honestly answered so we can continue this fight together.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time for 
debate on the resolution that is pending be extended by 15 minutes, 
with the additional time being equally divided between the two leaders 
or their designees, with all other provisions under the previous order 
remaining in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. With this agreement, the vote will now occur around 3:45 
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise in strong support of this 
resolution and offer my congratulations to the men and women 
responsible for developing the intelligence and carrying out the 
operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1.
  This is perhaps the most important, and certainly the most stunning, 
intelligence operation I have seen in my 10 years on the Intelligence 
Committee. I wanted to congratulate, first and foremost, President 
Obama. As he stated in his Sunday night address to the Nation, he 
directed Leon Panetta shortly after taking office to ``make the killing 
or capture of bin Ladin the top priority of our war against al-Qaida.''
  When the effort to collect and analyze intelligence on this compound 
in Abbottabad bore fruit, President Obama made a courageous and very 
gutsy decision to order the strike, even though the intelligence 
community could not assure him with certainty that bin Ladin was there.
  At the operational level, the hunt for bin Laden and the read on his 
compound has shown the greatly improved collaboration and cooperation 
across the intelligence community and, of course, the Department of 
  The CIA has received and well deserved the lion's share of the 
credit. The agency collected the human intelligence and carried out 
other missions that found and characterized the Abbottabad compound, 
and CIA analysts took the lead in analyzing and reanalyzing that 
  The CIA's Counterterrorism Center has a banner on the wall that 
reads, ``Today is September 12, 2001.'' It has been nearly 10 years, 
but their perseverance and dedication has truly paid off.
  I also want to recognize the efforts of the National Security Agency 
which provided signals intelligence and the National Geospatial 
Intelligence Agency which conducted the imagery analysis on the 
compound. It was truly a team effort.
  I also commend and give thanks to the Joint Special Operations 
Command, or JSOC, the team that flew to the compound under cover of 
night and conducted the raid. It was not a picture perfect operation, 
and changes to the plan were necessary as the lead helicopter was 
forced to land unexpectedly. But the highly trained and skilled members 
of the Navy SEAL team adjusted, reached their target, and they killed 
Osama bin Laden without taking any casualties themselves.
  I was first briefed on the compound and the possibility that it 
housed Osama bin Laden in the beginning of last December along with 
Senator Kit Bond who was vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee at 
that time. Since then, the current vice chairman, Senator Saxby 
Chambliss, and I have been regularly briefed and updated on the 
  I thank Director Panetta and his team for keeping the Intelligence 
Committee leadership informed. As one who is regularly critical of our 
government's inability to keep secrets, it is very reassuring that this 
highly sensitive and sensational intelligence was kept under wraps for 
  There is no doubt that Sunday's operation gives rise to a number of 
questions. Among the most important of them are, one, what did Pakistan 
know about bin Laden's presence and this compound in the up to 6 years 
he was there? It has to be pointed out that this compound was eight 
times bigger than any home in the vicinity. It was just a quarter of a 
mile away from another home. It was a mile away from a major military 
academy. It had razor wire on the top of very large walls, and it was 
very large in itself. Trash was not picked up, it was burned. No one 
really came in and out except the two couriers who went about 

[[Page S2606]]

messages from a distance from the compound.
  It should have been an issue of curiosity, and neighbors surely would 
have been interested in who lived there. Why is it so big? What is 
going on there? But there was virtually no reaction.
  The second point is, what does bin Laden's death mean for al-Qaida 
and for the affiliate groups and lone wolves he has inspired and led? 
As the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I will be looking for 
answers to those questions and get more of the details of the operation 
itself. Tomorrow morning, in a joint classified hearing with the Armed 
Services Committee, we will be looking into these and other issues. But 
this resolution is about commending the men and women of our 
intelligence community and the U.S. military for their dedication and 
years of work that led to 40 minutes of incredible success. It should 
also recognize the fact that since 9/11, intelligence has been 
streamlined, stove pipes have been taken down, and analysts have 
greatly improved in their trade craft.
  As a matter of fact, the intelligence having to do with this one 
facility was red-teamed once, red-teamed twice, and red-teamed at least 
a third time. The red-teaming process gives the ability of our analysts 
to debunk the intelligence, to try to indicate what might be a lapse, 
an ``inconclusion,'' a false judgment. It is a very valuable process.
  This resolution also recognizes the measure of justice now delivered 
to those who mourn and remember the thousands of men, women, and 
children claimed as victims on 9/11 and in the other attacks carried 
out by al-Qaida under Osama bin Laden both here and around the world.
  This will not end terror as we know it today, but it surely is a 
monumental step to be able to put an end to the man who championed the 
cause, the man who provided the inspiration, the man who raised the 
money, and the man who was purely and simply the major leader.
  Osama bin Laden is no more, and the time is upon us. I hope the world 
will be listening to try to consider a better path, to move away from 
acts of terror, move away from the killing of innocent men, women and 
children, and become part of the councils of government, whatever they 
may be, across the world, to debate, to discuss, to vote, and to put 
forward principled policies.
  I very much appreciate the efforts of the majority leader and the 
Republican leader in bringing this resolution to the floor, and I urge 
its adoption.
  I notice my distinguished vice chairman on the Senate floor. I 
particularly want to thank him, Senator Chambliss, for all of the 
cooperation we have been able to effect together.
  You truly have been wonderful. It has been a great joy for me to work 
with you, and I only wish I could give you a glass of California wine 
to salute this very special day.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia is recognized.
  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.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken). The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise to speak in support of S. Res. 159, 
honoring the members of the military and intelligence community who 
carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. I am as happy to 
rise today as at any time in the past 10 years--and it has been for the 
last 10 years that I have eagerly awaited the moment when my colleagues 
and I could take to this floor and celebrate the news we got this 
Sunday: that we got Osama bin Laden. Justice has been done. The world 
has become a better place now that bin Laden is no longer in it.
  This is a time for national unity and celebration. It is a time to 
finally close a painful chapter in the history of our Nation, even as 
our larger fight continues. And, most of all, it is a time to give 
thanks and recognition to a distinguished group of our fellow citizens

[[Page S2607]]

who will forever occupy an honored place in our history.
  I want to echo my colleagues in offering my humble thanks to the 
brave men who carried out the daring operation, as well as to the men 
and women in uniform who enabled their success. I have been involved in 
national security my entire life, and I am hard pressed to come up with 
another military operation that demonstrated such sophistication, such 
professionalism, such precise and lethal effectiveness to accomplish 
such a momentous and consequential objective. I am truly in awe of what 
these young men have accomplished, and I thank God that our Nation 
continues to produce heroic warriors such as them who are willing to 
give everything, to sacrifice everything, to devote their lives not to 
the quest for wealth or fame but to the service of a just and noble 
cause that is greater than their self-interests. We do not yet know 
their names, but we honor their achievements and we celebrate their 
heroism. They have made history and earned their place in it.
  I want to offer the same praise for our intelligence professionals. 
It is a truism that intelligence fails in public and succeeds in 
private. So it is a great day indeed when we can celebrate such a 
public success of our intelligence professionals. There are men and 
women across our intelligence community who have devoted the past 10 
years, and many more before that, to finding bin Laden. Despite 
setbacks and sacrifice, despite the loss of leads and the death of 
friends, regardless of whether the trail was hot or cold, they woke up 
every day and carried on the fight. And now we honor the fruits of 
their perseverance and sacrifice, even as they themselves remain hard 
at work--exploiting the new information we have recovered, analyzing 
the new data, and setting up the next operation.
  I also want to offer my deepest congratulations and appreciation to 
the President and his national security team. I credit them with making 
the elimination of Osama bin Laden their top priority--and for 
accomplishing it so impressively. Regardless of the myriad groups and 
parties and factions into which we Americans divide ourselves on a 
daily basis, the killing of Osama bin Laden is a national triumph and 
all Americans should feel proud and appreciative of the leadership 
shown by President Obama and his team on this matter.
  I specifically want to credit the President with ordering an airborne 
assault by ground forces rather than aerial bombardment. It would have 
been a lot easier to simply turn bin Laden's compound into a smoldering 
crater, but it would have denied us the certainty we now have that bin 
Laden is dead. It took real courage to assume the many risks associated 
with putting boots on the ground, and I strongly commend the President 
for it.
  I would be remiss if I did not also thank President Bush and the many 
officials who labored with him for 8 years to do what has now been 
done. I know it is one of President Bush's regrets that he could not 
eliminate bin Laden on his watch, but he and his team should take 
solace in the knowledge that they laid the foundation for Sunday's 
operation, and they deserve credit for that.
  Finally, I want to say a word to the many American families for whom 
this celebration is bittersweet because it recalls memories of the 
mothers and fathers, spouses and siblings, sons and daughters, who were 
stolen from them, and from us all--not just in the September 11 attacks 
but in the many acts of mass murder for which Osama bin Laden was 
guilty. No act of man can fill the aching emptiness of a loved one 
lost. For that there is only the grace of God. But it is my sincerest 
hope that the elimination of Osama bin Laden--this act of justice 
done--will help to ease the pain and bring closure to what has surely 
been a decade of torment, as we were daily reminded that the world's 
most wanted terrorist was still free.
  I also want to credit the families of the victims of September 11, 
2001. Had it not been for their relentless efforts and advocacy, 
Congress would not have established the 9/11 Commission and adopted 
many of its important reforms of our national security establishment--
reforms that no doubt were instrumental in facilitating the joint and 
collaborative operation to find and kill Osama bin Laden. I could not 
imagine a greater contribution that the 9/11 families could have made.
  Of course, the death of Osama bin Laden does not portend the 
elimination of al-Qaida or the end of terrorist plots and attacks 
against our country. We must remain vigilant in our pursuit of every 
enemy who would do harm to us and our friends and allies. And we shall 
do so. But there is no denying that the death of Osama bin Laden will 
have a significant impact in this long war. It will enable us to focus 
more of our time and attention and resources on others who would do us 
harm. Perhaps more importantly, it will enable our country to look more 
fully forward--to focus more completely on supporting the peaceful 
democratic awakenings that are sweeping the Middle East and North 
Africa, which are the greatest repudiation of al-Qaida that we ever 
could have imagined or hoped for.
  If there is any consolation in the fact that Osama bin Laden lived as 
long as he did, it is that he got to witness Arabs and Muslims by the 
tens of millions rising up to demand justice and dignity, not through 
suicide bombings and mass murder, but through peaceful change, 
political freedom, and economic opportunity--the very ideas that bin 
Laden's perverse and murderous ideology seeks to destroy. That could be 
the truest death knell of al-Qaida, and I for one am very happy that 
Osama bin Laden got to hear it--just before a team of American heroes 
ended his wretched life.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, Osama bin Laden's death is a historic and 
just victory for this Nation.
  While this is a profound victory in the war on terror, our thoughts 
must go to the thousands of innocent men and women who lost family 
members and whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy of 
September 11.
  The families of those lost and our Nation as a whole can take great 
pride that our brave servicemembers and intelligence community 
successfully carried out this mission. I could not be more proud of the 
outstanding men and women of our military who put their lives on the 
line daily to defend this Nation.
  Each and every one of us has a deeply personal connection to the 
tragic events of September 11. At the time, I was West Virginia's 
secretary of state. I remember staff coming into my office, and they 
said: Did you see what is going on? That is all they had to say, and 
that is all they did say.
  So many Americans have similar stories. We watched in horror on live 
television as the second plane hit the World Trade Center and I knew 
something we could never anticipate and imagine had just happened to 
our great country. We didn't know how our lives would change, but we 
knew they would.
  In West Virginia, similar to States all over the country, we are 
still mourning those we lost: a former WVU quarterback and a WVU 
economics graduate who were both killed in the World Trade Center's 
North Tower, a Parkersburg High School graduate, a young lady who 
perished in the South Tower, and a Marshall University medical school 
graduate, a doctor who practiced, was killed when the airliner he was 
on crashed into the Pentagon. Our thoughts and prayers will always be 
with them and their families.
  Just like our world changed that terrible day, it has changed yet 
again with the killing of Osama bin Laden. It means something different 
to each of us. Osama bin Laden's death cannot bring back the thousands 
of lives that were lost that fateful day or the ones who have been lost 
at the hands of al-Qaida since. It cannot repair the anguish so many 
have suffered as a result of the evil and hatred Osama bin Laden 
  But it is justice, and I hope this Nation and the families of those 
who were lost on September 11 can take solace in that fact.
  Let me also say I am so proud of the resolve, the strength, and the 
fortitude this Nation showed in pursuing the mission to its end.

[[Page S2608]]

  With the killing of Osama bin Laden, the United States sent a message 
loudly and clearly: acts of terrorism against this Nation will not go 
unpunished. If you seek to do harm to this country or if you plan to 
hurt the people of our great Nation, we will find you and, I assure 
you, justice will be served.
  While this success belongs to all of us, I especially thank the teams 
of people who united to accomplish this most important goal. President 
Obama and his advisers completed the mission, and I congratulate him 
for that. He was the one who made the difficult decision to order this 
mission, and he made the right call.
  Immense credit must also be given to all the people in the 
intelligence community who have worked tirelessly to track down the 
world's most wanted terrorist. I also congratulate Presidents Clinton 
and Bush and the commitment their teams showed in fighting the war on 
  Finally, I hope we sustain the spirit of unity we all feel at this 
moment to put politics aside and remind Americans that as a great 
nation, we become greater when we unite behind a common purpose.
  For these reasons, I strongly support S. Res. 159. May God continue 
to bless the United States of America.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant editor of the Daily Digest proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I think most Americans are proud that 
the man who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and then reveled in the 
horror of that day is dead.
  Today, we recognize the dedicated work of the many intelligence 
professionals, law enforcement officials, and the many men and women in 
our armed services who brought us to this day.
  The pursuit of Osama bin Laden spanned more than a decade. Following 
the attacks of September 11, the Senate voted 98 to 0 to authorize the 
use of force against al-Qaida--an authorization that is still in force 
  At the time, President Bush enjoyed the support of a nation united 
behind the decision to pursue al-Qaida and to drive the Taliban from 
  We should be equally united today in honoring those brave Americans 
who are committed to preventing further attacks upon our homeland.
  While bin Laden and his followers were building their terror 
networks, we were patiently and diligently building our intelligence 
  Following the successful raid on Sunday, those who remain committed 
to al-Qaida and associated terrorist groups should know that one day 
they too will share bin Laden's fate.
  Some might think the success of this raid means the end of the war on 
terror. But as the President has said, the death of Osama bin Laden 
does not mean the death of al-Qaida. Our intelligence community and 
armed services must keep up the pressure on al-Qaida and associated 
terror networks.
  Osama bin Laden launched this war on the false assumption that 
America didn't have the stomach for the fight. On Sunday night, he 
learned how wrong he was.
  This week, America showed the world we meant it when we said we would 
not rest until justice was done to those who carried out the 9/11 
  A generation of patriots has pursued al-Qaida for more than a decade, 
driven by the idea that every day is September 12, 2001. That spirit 
must persist.
  Once again, I commend the President on his decision to go through 
with this mission. Above all, I thank the remarkable group of men who 
carried it out.
  Not to be forgotten are the thousands of uniformed Americans in 
Afghanistan, Iraq, and across the globe, defending America's interests 
as we consider this resolution today.
  The resolution reaffirms the Senate's commitment to eliminating safe 
havens for terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we are reminded 
of the difficult work that remains. But today, those who remember the 
horror of 9/11 take a certain satisfaction knowing that the last thing 
Osama bin Laden saw in this world was a small team of Americans who 
shot him dead. The brave team who killed bin Laden made their Nation 
proud, and they deserve the Senate's recognition and its praise.

  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I stand, as every Member of this Senate 
does today, I am sure, in support of not only this resolution but 
everything this resolution stands for.
  The elimination of Osama bin Laden as a symbol of murder, of tyranny, 
of repression is an important moment. It is a moment that came 10 years 
after it should have. If we could have found Osama bin Laden 10 years 
ago when we were looking for him, 9/11 might not have occurred. But it 
did occur.
  The message for him and the message for others is you cannot hide 
from the forces of freedom and democracy. This was a moment when the 
forces of freedom and democracy triumphed over the forces of 
repression. This was a moment when the symbol of one view of the future 
was eliminated with the kind of violence he himself had perpetrated on 
so many others.
  The President made a great decision to send this team of the best of 
the best into this compound to find Osama bin Laden, to know for sure 
face to face that he was either going to be captured by Americans or, 
in this case, killed by Americans, to be able to take the hard drive, 
the documents. The information he had surrounding him will tell us a 
lot about his contacts, and who knows what it might tell us about the 
network of al-Qaida. The President could have made a decision to bomb 
the compound. I guess we would be sifting through the ashes today to 
see if Osama bin Laden was there. We might have been able to confirm 
that, but we would not have been able to confirm all the information 
the SEAL team was able to take with them. These are two important 
decisions made by the President. I think the decision to bury Osama bin 
Laden in an unknown spot but with the kind of respect his own religion 
required was also another good decision. I want to be supportive of the 
President and the decisions made.
  There are times when a Predator missile is the right thing to use and 
times when it is not. One of the things we see from the death of bin 
Laden is that there is value to capturing our enemies and getting 
information from them. That thread of information that began maybe as 
long as 9 years ago finally was able to unravel in a way that made the 
connection that needed to be made so that Osama bin Laden could be 
found, so that justice could be done, so that the price would be paid 
by him, as it has been paid by so many others in defense of freedom.
  Certainly, there are questions today about Pakistan, but there is no 
question that Pakistanis have died fighting alongside Americans in the 
last decade. There is no question that Pakistanis have been the victim 
of terrorism. Hopefully, this will be a moment that brings all of those 
who should want freedom to the same side.
  I just returned from a quick visit to Egypt, which could very well be 
on the right path in the Middle East, a path where, without violence, 
people stand and want more freedom, they want democracy. That is not 
the goal of the extremists of Islam, for whom Osama bin Laden became 
the great symbol.
  We do not believe Osama bin Laden has been in operational control of 
al-Qaida for some time. It would be wonderful if we find out in the 
next few days that he was and the terror of al-Qaida would be 
eliminated. I do not think we will find that out. But we do know he was 
a symbol in a way that is unique, in the way he symbolizes this wrong 
view of the future, the way he symbolizes the wrong view of the 
requirement that everybody living together be exactly the same. We, 
unlike any other country in the world, defy that view of the future. We 
have proven like no other country has ever proven that people can live 
together in great diversity, that people can live together with 
different points of view, and we can live in a society that still 
flourishes. Of course, we are the enemy of a world view that that is 
not possible. It is not because of anything we have done to the 
extremists in the world community; it is because of who we are.

[[Page S2609]]

  Yesterday, the message of who we are was registered again in a 
powerful way as we all over this country and people all over the world 
talked about what happened the evening before, certainly not only the 
SEALs who went into the compound to see that justice was done but also 
all of those who are willing to serve, those who could have been among 
the elite who went in or all those who have served, the over 4,000 
Americans, including many Missourians, whose lives have been lost in 
the last decade, in addition to the 3,000 lives that were brutally 
taken by the operatives of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden on September 
11, 2001.
  This resolution that recognizes the courage to bring justice, that 
recognizes the evil that was done by Osama bin Laden and his followers, 
that recognizes the importance of freedom and democracy in a society is 
a resolution I am proud to support. I am proud of what the men and 
women did for us in executing this well-planned mission, but also of 
everybody who serves every day, for all the families who have a missing 
place in their hearts, for someone whose life was lost serving this 
country, for all the families who live with someone with a disability 
because of the kind of war we are in now.
  I am pleased to stand here representing my State but hopefully 
representing, as all of us do, the forces of freedom and democracy that 
will ultimately triumph over the forces of repression and murder and 
chaos that one-world view would try to perpetuate. We recognize today 
another step against that view of the world.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant Daily Digest editor proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, those watching around the world may not be 
able to see on their screens the scene in the Senate today. We have all 
come to the floor in a way we rarely do. We have come this afternoon to 
express with one voice our endless respect and admiration for the men 
and women of our military and our intelligence organizations.
  ``Resolution'' is an appropriate name for this legislation that is 
now before this body. It honors the resolution to a problem that has 
lingered for nearly a decade, one whose weight has grown heavier each 
day on the shoulders of the families whose lives were traumatized and 
the many more bin Laden terrorized. It honors the resolve with which 
our bravest stared down danger.
  The world is still absorbing America's astounding accomplishment--the 
mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, one that began more than 
9\1/2\ years ago and was accomplished just a little more than a day and 
a half ago. Mr. President, 9\1/2\ years after the worst morning in our 
memory, we woke up yesterday morning to a world without Osama bin Laden 
and with a palpable sense of justice.
  Our military and intelligence operatives are the best in the world at 
what they do. As they set out to kill or capture our most valuable 
target, they captivated us with their skill and expertise, their 
patriotism, and their professionalism.
  A flood of thoughts and emotions and analyses have been shared over 
the past 36 hours by many. As I said from this desk yesterday, the end 
of his life is not the end of this fight. It is a victory, but it is 
not ``the victory.''
  A lot has already been said about what bin Laden's death means. So 
before we vote on this resolution, let me speak briefly about the 
American men and women who carried out this critical successful 
mission--a mission that was historically significant and tactically 
  Osama bin Laden was the most wanted and most hunted man in the entire 
world. His was the face of our enemy and the face of evil. There were 
few faces more recognizable to the American people and to the citizens 
of the world. Those who carried out the orders of the Commander in 
Chief this weekend could not be more different. The world doesn't know 
their names. We wouldn't recognize them if we passed them on the street 
today. That is exactly how they would want it.
  This is the newest proud page in a long story of the American hero--
the unknown soldiers, the unsung saviors who sacrifice for our 
country's flag and our country's freedom. They do not ask for 
recognition, and they do not ask questions. They just answer the Nation 
when it calls.
  Today the Senate stands in awe of the countless men and women who 
have toiled in obscurity, in the field and in every corner of the 
world; professionals who gather one small shred of evidence here and 
another clue there and pursue another lead somewhere else; the men and 
women who, over the course of 10 long years, pieced together the most 
meaningful of puzzles so that a few dozen of their fellow heroes could 
execute an operation the world will never forget.
  These heroes confronted fear with brilliance and bravery. They met 
the worst of humanity with the best of America. The terrorists who 
carried out the 9/11 attacks did so with cowardice. The Americans who 
carried out this mission did so with unfailing courage.
  No one has asked how these men and women vote or what their politics 
are. So we have come to the floor today to vote together on this 
resolution not as two parties, not even as 100 Senators, but as one 
body representing one grateful country.
  Mr. President, on this resolution, Senator McConnell and I ask for 
the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is a 
sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the resolution.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Akaka) is 
necessarily absent.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Illinois (Mr. Kirk) and the Senator from Nevada (Mr. Ensign).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 97, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 63 Leg.]


     Brown (MA)
     Brown (OH)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--3

  The resolution (S. Res. 159) was agreed to, as follows:

                              S. Res. 159

       Whereas, on May 1, 2011, United States personnel killed 
     terrorist leader Osama bin Laden during the course of a 
     targeted strike against his secret compound in Abbottabad, 
       Whereas Osama bin Laden was the leader of the al Qaeda 
     terrorist organization, the most significant terrorism threat 
     to the United States and the international community;
       Whereas Osama bin Laden was the architect of terrorist 
     attacks which killed nearly 3,000 civilians on September 11, 
     2001, the most deadly terrorist attack against our Nation, in 
     which al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed 
     them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the 
     Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and, due to heroic efforts by 
     civilian passengers to disrupt the terrorists, near 
     Shanksville, Pennsylvania;
       Whereas Osama bin Laden planned or supported numerous other 
     deadly terrorist attacks against the United States and its 
     allies, including the 1998 bombings of United States 
     embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 attack on the 
     U.S.S. Cole in Yemen,

[[Page S2610]]

     and against innocent civilians in countries around the world, 
     including the 2004 attack on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain 
     and the 2005 bombings of the mass transit system in London, 
       Whereas, following the September 11, 2001, terrorist 
     attacks, the United States, under President George W. Bush, 
     led an international coalition into Afghanistan to dismantle 
     al Qaeda, deny them a safe haven in Afghanistan and 
     ungoverned areas along the Pakistani border, and bring Osama 
     bin Laden to justice;
       Whereas President Barack Obama in 2009 committed additional 
     forces and resources to efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
     as ``the central front in our enduring struggle against 
     terrorism and extremism'';
       Whereas the valiant members of the United States Armed 
     Forces have courageously and vigorously pursued al Qaeda and 
     its affiliates in Afghanistan and around the world;
       Whereas the anonymous, unsung heroes of the intelligence 
     community have pursued al Qaeda and affiliates in 
     Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the world with tremendous 
     dedication, sacrifice, and professionalism;
       Whereas the close collaboration between the Armed Forces 
     and the intelligence community prompted the Director of 
     National Intelligence, General James Clapper, to state, 
     ``Never have I seen a more remarkable example of focused 
     integration, seamless collaboration, and sheer professional 
     magnificence as was demonstrated by the Intelligence 
     Community in the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden.'';
       Whereas, while the death of Osama bin Laden represents a 
     significant blow to the al Qaeda organization and its 
     affiliates and to terrorist organizations around the world, 
     terrorism remains a critical threat to United States national 
     security; and
       Whereas President Obama said, ``For over two decades, bin 
     Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has 
     continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends 
     and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant 
     achievement to date in our Nation's effort to defeat al 
     Qaeda.'': Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) declares that the death of Osama bin Laden represents a 
     measure of justice and relief for the families and friends of 
     the nearly 3,000 men and women who lost their lives on 
     September 11, 2001, the men and women in the United States 
     and around the world who have been killed by other al Qaeda-
     sponsored attacks, the men and women of the United States 
     Armed Forces and the intelligence community who have 
     sacrificed their lives pursuing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda;
       (2) commends the men and women of the United States Armed 
     Forces and the United States intelligence community for the 
     tremendous commitment, perseverance, professionalism, and 
     sacrifice they displayed in bringing Osama bin Laden to 
       (3) commends the men and women of the United States Armed 
     Forces and the United States intelligence community for 
     committing themselves to defeating, disrupting, and 
     dismantling al Qaeda;
       (4) commends the President for ordering the successful 
     operations to locate and eliminate Osama bin Laden; and
       (5) reaffirms its commitment to disrupting, dismantling, 
     and defeating al Qaeda and affiliated organizations around 
     the world that threaten United States national security, 
     eliminating a safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan and 
     Pakistan, and bringing terrorists to justice.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the preamble is 
agreed to and the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid 
upon the table.