(CNN)-In his first informal comments following the death of Osama bin Laden, President George W. Bush said he was not “overjoyed” at the news of the bin Laden's death but it was a “good call” to mount the Navy SEAL operation into Pakistan and go after the terrorist leader.
According to ABC News, Bush told a crowd of 1,800 hedge fund managers in Las Vegas that the mission he initiated to track down bin Laden almost ten years ago following 9/11 was not "out of hatred but to exact judgment."
Still, "The guy is dead. That is good," Bush said. "Osama's death is a great victory in the war on terror."
The former commander-in-chief who famously vowed to bring justice to those responsible for 9/11 and "smoke them out of their holes," released a written statement following the assault on bin Laden’s compound, saying, “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,” he said.
Bush later declined an invitation to visit Ground Zero with the president four days after bin Laden was killed, and refused requests for interviews.
President Obama called both Bush and former President Clinton following the raid to deliver the news of bin Laden’s death personally. Bush revealed Wednesday that upon hearing the details from President Obama of the success of the Navy SEAL team’s mission, he told Obama, "good call."
Bush said he was eating soufflé with Laura Bush and two friends when he got the call from the president. He then excused himself and returned home to take Obama's call.