Minn. political leaders react to bin Laden's death

by MPR staff reports

Minnesota political leaders are praising the U.S. military forces who killed Osama bin Laden.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the death brings a measure of justice to the families of 9/11 victims.

"This has been going on for 10 years for these families, where there were rumors that Osama bin Laden was going to be caught. There were even rumors that he was dead. And so finally to know that our troops got him, that there is a body, that there will be evidence is important with all those conspiracy theories these days," Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar said bin Laden's burial at sea ensures his gravesite will not become a shrine.

Several members of Minnesota's congressional delegation, ex-governor Tim Pawlenty and current governor Mark Dayton issued statements about the death of Osama bin Laden.

Gov. Mark Dayton:

"As a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, I traveled to Afghanistan in January 2002, just three weeks after American forces had routed the Taliban. ... Finally, over nine years later, they have succeeded. Since then, over 22,000 heroic Members of the Minnesota National Guard have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world to defeat terrorism and defend freedom. They deserve to share in the pride for this successful mission."

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

"This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice — and we did. ... America will never shrink from the fight and ultimately those who seek to harm us face only defeat. Today, justice is done, but the fight against radical Islamic terrorism is not yet over."

Sen. Al Franken:

"This is a great day. I think every American feels very emotional about what happened in Pakistan today. Our hearts are full of pride and gratitude for all those responsible for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, with sadness as we remember that horrific day 10 years ago, and with hope as we go forward in our fight against radical jihadism. I think the president was wise to remind us of how unified we felt as a nation after 9/11 and how we can achieve anything we put our mind to if we work together."

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann:

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community. ... [The] news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden's horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism."

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison:

"The death of Osama Bin Laden marks the most significant accomplishment yet in the war against Al-Qaeda. I commend the work of the U.S. Armed Forces and intelligence community for finding the world's most wanted terrorist. I also wish to recognize President Obama for his decisive leadership as Commander in Chief. Today my thoughts are with the families of those Bin Laden murdered in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Even before 9/11, Bin Laden killed Americans and others at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS Cole. Americans of all faiths recognized the end of a truly evil man last night. Osama Bin Laden was a murderer. I hope his death marks the beginning of the end of the Al-Qaedaism ideology."

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum:

"President Obama, his national security team and our courageous military personnel are to be commended for their leadership in achieving this accomplishment. ... I share the president's belief that this historic moment is an opportunity for all Americans to once again come together to remember our common ties. Our greatness as a nation and our continued security depend on our determination as Americans to protect our shared values."

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz

"My thoughts are most with our brave men and women in uniform. Their perseverance, sacrifice and courage is nothing short of remarkable. We have them to thank for this moment of justice. ... America still has enemies around the world, and so, we will stay vigilant. ... May we always honor the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11th and keep our thoughts and prayers with their families. And let us always remember moments like tonight when our country can come together as one."

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