NM politicians react to bin Laden’s death
Upon learning of the death of Osama bin Laden late Sunday, New Mexico politicians expressed pride in America, gratitude to the military and intelligence agencies, and a sense that justice had been served.
“After years of searching for Osama bin Laden, the hard work of our intelligence officials and armed forces has paid off,” said U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. “I hope this news brings a measure of closure to the families whose lives were irrevocably changed by bin Laden.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., agreed.
“I am proud of our men and women in the military,” he said. “It has been nearly 10 years of dedicated, disciplined effort.”
“Al Qaeda’s forces are widely dispersed, so the value of this news can easily be overstated, but it is an important factor any time an enemy loses its top leader,” Pearce said.
U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who is seeking to replace Bingaman in the Senate next year, said, “justice has been served.”
“The death and capture of bin Laden is a tremendous victory for the United States, our intelligence community and for every serviceman and woman who has been fighting al Qaeda on the front lines since September 11, 2001,” he said. “Let this be a warning to anyone who would consider harming Americans at home or abroad.”
Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., who is also seeking Bingaman’s Senate seat, said U.S. forces “have been relentless in their determination to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden.”
“Today, the thousands of Americans who have played a role in this effort deserve our gratitude,” she said.
“While the relentless pressure of American power made it more difficult for bin Laden to operate freely, he continued to inspire followers with a twisted ideology of mass murder,” Wilson said. “His death is an important accomplishment in the defeat of Al Qaeda.”
The fight doesn’t end here, Wilson said.
“Killing bin Laden creates disruption, sparks communication, and leads to reorganization and rivalries for power within al Qaeda that can be detected and acted upon by U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism forces in the months to come,” she said. “Now is the time to keep up the pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates so that we can capture or kill those who will seek to carry on its murderous agenda.”
State Auditor Hector Balderas, a Democrat and also a U.S. Senate candidate, said the killing of bin Laden is a “momentous development in our country’s fight with terrorism.”
“For all New Mexicans and Americans who suffered personal losses in the devastating attacks, this action further demonstrates our country’s resolve to stand together in our most trying times,” he said.
“While attacks may crumble our buildings, American values are impenetrable, and our principles enduring,” Balderas said. “As President Obama made clear tonight, the death of bin Laden is a significant moment, but we must remember that al Qaeda is an organization with deep roots, and our obligation to defeating it must not waver.”
Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Javier Gonzales said justice “has been served.”
“Under President Obama’s direction the United States carried out one of our most successful missions in our history,” he said. “This is a great day in America.”
Update, 7 a.m.
From U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.:
“For nearly a decade U.S. forces were relentless in their pursuit to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, and yesterday those efforts resulted in a significant victory for the American people. I applaud President Obama and the brave efforts of our military and intelligence personnel, and I hope this will bring solace to all those who lost loved ones in the heinous attacks of 9/11.”
Update, 5:30 p.m.
Bingaman made this additional statement:
“This news has been a long time coming, and was made possible through the tireless efforts of our intelligence officials and armed forces. The fact that Osama bin Laden is no longer operating al Qaeda or pursuing terrorist acts against our country is a relief to all of us. I hope this news brings a measure of closure to the families whose lives where irrevocably changed by bin Laden.”
From U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.:
“Osama Bin Laden epitomized the terror that gripped our nation on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, citizens across the globe share in a sense of relief and justice with the Americans who lost loved ones at his hands. Our heartfelt congratulations belong to the intelligence personnel, military forces and commander-in-chief for bringing this long manhunt to a close. Moving forward, our nation must remain vigilant in our efforts to confront radical extremism, but today we share in this momentous achievement.”
From Gov. Susana Martinez:
“Osama bin Laden’s death marks an important and extraordinary victory, nearly 10 years after tyrants and murderers chose to kill thousands of innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 and target freedom-loving people across the world with violence. It is appropriate for us to celebrate this moment of great consequence today, but we must remain steadfast in our efforts to keep Americans safe, confront terrorism, and support the members of our Armed Forces whose life purpose is to protect and defend us.”
“The sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform who have bravely served in the pursuit of our nation’s greatest enemies will not be forgotten. I am particularly honored to recognize the efforts of the state’s National Guard and New Mexicans who have served or who continue to serve in our military. Today, they can embrace a sense of pride and gratitude that, through their perseverance and sacrifice, they have brought to justice the man behind the worst terrorist strike in American history. We are grateful. We are blessed. And we are thankful for their service.”
From Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Monty Newman:
“As Americans we observe, with enthusiasm, the death of Osama bin Laden. We now turn our thoughts to the families that lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001 at the hands of this man. We also remember those that lost their lives in the attack on the U.S.S. Cole and the other attacks carried out by his terror network. Our hearts and prayers are with you now and forever.
“To the men and women in our military and in the intelligence community, our deepest respect and gratitude for the sacrifices that you make in order to protect our freedom. Your commitment to our security is unwavering and as a result we thank you and your families everyday.
“We must always, as a country, be vigilant against those who would seek to destroy our way of life. This is a great day for America and the protection of freedom worldwide.”
From Janice Arnold-Jones, a Republican who has formed an exploratory committee as she consider running for Heinrich’s seat:
“On Sept. 16, 2001 President George Bush said, ‘My administration has a job to do and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.’ The news of a Navy Seal team ridding the world of Osama bin Laden has indeed done exactly that.”
“This is a day to be proud of our military. As a nation, however, we must remain vigilant and strong. We must be ever mindful there are hundreds, if not thousands, of fanatics who are like-minded followers of bin Laden. It is our vigilance and the strength of America as a nation, as a people, that will ensure the cause of freedom and diminish the fanatical oppression prescribed by the followers of bin Laden.”
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