November 22, 2019
  • 2:52 pm Gregg Semenza 2019 Nobel Prize Winner | Press Conference
  • 12:51 pm Pompeo on Ukraine conversation: I was on the phone call
  • 11:08 am Telephone Call: formal
  • 11:08 am Telephone Call With Relatives | MostlySane
  • 11:07 am President Trump holds rally in Orlando, Florida, live stream


The President:
Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the
American people and to the world that the United States has
conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,
the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s
responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent
men, women, and children. It was nearly 10 years ago that
a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on
the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared
into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through
a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers
collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing
up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic
citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction. And yet we know that the worst
images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at
the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up
without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the
feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens
taken from us, leaving a gaping
hole in our hearts. On September 11, 2001,
in our time of grief, the American people
came together. We offered our neighbors a hand,
and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our
ties to each other, and our love of
community and country. On that day, no matter
where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what
race or ethnicity we were, we were united as
one American family. We were also united in our
resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed
this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the
9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization
headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war
on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in
our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al
Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies. Over the last 10 years, thanks
to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our
counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great
strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist
attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed
the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and
al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked
with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores
of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were
a part of the 9/11 plot. Yet Osama bin Laden avoided
capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to
operate from along that border and operate through its
affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking
office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make
the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of
our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader
efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years
of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was
briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and
it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my
national security team as we developed more information about
the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within
a compound deep inside Pakistan. And finally, last week, I
determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and
authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and
bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the
United States launched a targeted operation against that
compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans
carried out the operation with extraordinary courage
and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid
civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed
Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. 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. Yet his death does not
mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda
will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must — and we will — remain
vigilant at home and abroad. As we do, we must also reaffirm
that the United States is not — and never will be —
at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as
President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war
is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not
a Muslim leader; he was a mass
murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered
scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed
by all who believe in peace and human dignity. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly
made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we
knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that
our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to
bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared
war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against
the Pakistani people. Tonight, I called
President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with
their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and
historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is
essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against
al Qaeda and its affiliates. The American people did
not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and
started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years
of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know
well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every
time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a
family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of
a service member who’s been gravely wounded. So Americans understand
the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never
tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by
when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense
of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values
that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we
can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s
terror: Justice has been done. Tonight, we give thanks to the
countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals
who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people
do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the
satisfaction of their work and the result of their
pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who
carried out this operation, for they exemplify the
professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of
those who serve our country. And they are part of a
generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden
since that September day. Finally, let me say to the
families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never
forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to
see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another
attack on our shores. And tonight, let us think back
to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has,
at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a
testament to the greatness of our country and the determination
of the American people. The cause of securing our
country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again
reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story
of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of
prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality
for all our citizens; our commitment to stand
up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make
the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do
these things not just because of wealth or power, but because
of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with
liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the
United States of America.

Robin Kshlerin

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