ABC News' Z. Bryon Wolf reports:
The Presidency of George W. Bush was largely defined by the Sept. 11 th, 2001 terror attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here is what former members of the Bush administration are saying about the killing of Osama bin Laden, nearly nine years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Former President George W. Bush, on Sunday night:
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.
Former 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."
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
The demise of Osama Bin Laden is a tremendous victory for the American people. Justice has been done and we are all indebted to the American military and intelligence community for their skill and dedication. Nothing can bring back Bin Laden's innocent victims, but perhaps this can help salve the wounds of their loved ones. I am overwhelmed with pride in America and in those who protect us. We are all united tonight in gratitude and love for our country. God Bless America.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell: "An evil person has been eliminated, Osama bin Laden is dead and buried at sea. Justice has been done. His death brings a sense of relief to the families of 911 and the families of all those brave America troops who have fought this war over the past ten years. I congratulate the intelligence community and the assaulting troops for this flawless operation. Osama bin Laden was just one man. The al-Qaeda threat remains and we must be vigilant and aggressive against them until they are totally destroyed.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge:
“The news that Osama bin Laden is no more demonstrates the resolve of the intelligence and military community and the American community writ large. We did not forget, nor will we ever. May this news give some measure of comfort to those we lost on 9/11 and those we have lost since that day, who fought so bravely to answer brutality with justice.
“As we mark this victory, we know that as one chapter closes, more chapters will be written. A flawed ideology did not die with one man. But just as surely as the fight will continue, so will our determination. We remain, just as we were nearly ten years ago, joined together and joined to the task.”
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff:
With the World Trade Center still smoldering, America promised to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice or justice to him. Tonight’s announcement that Bin Laden has been killed brings a tremendous amount of gratification and I hope, great comfort to those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. This victory is a tribute to the years of work done by our brave service men and women as well as those in the national security and intelligence community. While we celebrate this announcement, we must remember that al Qaida still remains a threat to all those who cherish freedom.