Bush breaks silence on bin Laden
May 13th, 2011
12:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Bush breaks silence on bin Laden

(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.

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Wilson1234

    Why was he not overjoyed? The guy who managed to kill nearly 3,000 people on our soil on his watch finally got served. There have been a lot of things that I didn't agree with when it comes to Bush, but I commend him for his efforts on trying to catch Osama Bin Ladin. In a way, he led the way for his promise to be kept. But Obama got the job done. Bush should know that most people are giving him some credit. Even the people who didn't vote for him.

    May 13, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. B

    Obama finished the job that Bush told everyone in 2002 that Bin Laden was not his concern or his whereabouts !!

    Obama is still cleaning up Bush’s Train Wreck and will be for some time.

    May 13, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. oregonian101

    Well Dave, President Bush did not need to take cheap shots at President Obama. He had former VP Cheney doing it for him. That allowed President Bush to sit back and wait for his reputation to heal. Also, President Obama has taken no cheap shots at President Bush. All he has done has been to state the facts of what President Bush did to our mounting national debt by lowering taxes for the wealthy, failing to raise taxes to pay for our war in Afghanistan and to enter an unjust, unwanted and unpaid for war in Iraq.
    President Bush could've gone down in history with a much better reputation if he would've kept his eye on the ball, gone after Bin Laden, stayed out of Iraq and made tougher decisions on our debt by raising taxes to at least pay for his military decisions.
    Lets face it, getting our fiscal house in order is going to be a combination of spending cuts and tax increases including increases middle income people such as myself. I am ready to pay my fair share.
    Until the true Republicans stand up to the Tea Movement nut wing of the right the GOP is going to have problems getting what they want. All we will have is a continued stalemate in congress.
    I think President Bush not going to ground zero with President Obama was a mistake. That being said, I think the message President Bush wanted to make is that there is only one President at a time. But, President Bush tried long and hard to get Osama, so, he deserves credit. I think he would've succeeded had he not spent our resources going into Iraq.

    May 13, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Dean

    During the Bush administration, the U.S. Intelligence agencies never stopped hunting for UBL. Trust me...I know. It was somewhat cleaver for Bush to publicly make the claim that we had stopped searching for UBL, figuring that people of diminished intelligence (like Jake) would possibly become lax in their security procedures and illuminate their presence to the CIA, FBI, et al.

    May 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Jay

    Shut up idiot. You left with this country in absolutely terrible shape. You have no reason to speak.

    Shut up idiot.

    May 13, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Chumlee

    Who cares what this criminal thinks – he should be in jail with the rest of his pals – Iraq = liars, illegal war, they should
    be prosecuted and sent to the 8×8 rooms with bars, and while they are at it throw away the keys

    May 13, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. VK

    He has nothing to show.. all he can show now is class by keeping silent and regret on all his actions.

    May 13, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. DC2003

    Excuse me Dave from Illinois ... but what does Carter have to do with either Bush?
    He was President almost 10 years before Bush Sr.

    May 13, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Jim

    Just go away George - you were a failure as a president.

    May 13, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. sheppard

    I don't consider the bushman's silence as 'class'. He didn't know what he was talking about while in office – maybe he's just learned it is better to keep his mouth shut. Have never thought of him as anything other than probably a nice man – just an atrocious president.

    May 13, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. rob

    He said just exactly what he needed to say, nothing more. It was gracious of President Obama to call him and president Clinton with the news, President Obama also mentioned in his speech announcing the succesfull mission that it took the work of 10 years to get here.

    Well done by everyone so, for once, all you Bush haters on these pages please keep you nasty comments to yourselves.

    May 13, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. seebofubar

    @ Jake
    Your comment is typical for a liberal snot nosed brat. GW Bush was certianly not my favorite president but give the man his due. If it wasn't for his actions and commitment to the safety of America, bin Laden would still be blowing up buildings.

    May 13, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. anthony

    Let's not forget without Bush's commitment to finding Bin Laden he'd likely still be at large - it would appear waterboarding a known terrorist is an effective way to interrogate

    May 13, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. NothingNew

    Group of hedge fund managers, huh? Well I am glad he still has his base...

    May 13, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    @Dave, Central Illinois
    Bush has shown nothing but class since he left office. He has not taken any cheap shots at the current President and, in fact, has spoken in support of Obama. Too bad the current President and Carter did not do the same while Bush was Peresident....
    I am going to assume that you are too young to remember hard "Dutch" rode the "The Peanut Farmer". Ole Dutch caused a second recession during his second term and still blamed The Peanut Farmer. (Reagan and Carter)

    May 13, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Dover

    He was "Not overjoyed" because it highlights how badly he failed at getting Osama underlining his failed presidency.

    May 13, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Hmmmmm

    Didn't and wouldn't vote for Bush ever, but I will concur that he has been very classy in his post President life!

    May 13, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Gale

    Democrats have nothing but derrogatory, hatefuly remarks about this man. He pulled our nation together after 9/11 as no one else could ever do. Democrats are so eager to tell the world what he meant to say, meant to do, and interpret everything in between. He is a fine decent man and kept our country from falling apart, not like the current administration!

    May 13, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. OneMoreTime

    Hedge fund managers in Las Vegas? Thought he declined President Obama's invitation to visit Ground Zero because
    "he has chosen in his post presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight". He missed his mark "exacting justice".
    He virtually abandoned Afghanistan and moved on to Iraq, but he wants some credit.
    Wonder if he choked on that "souffle".

    May 13, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. AK

    Dave from central illinois.... Shut your pie hole!

    May 13, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Michael

    What do you call 1,800 hedge fund managers at the bottom of Lake Tahoe?
    Not enough, but a pretty good start!
    You have to admire GWB for being able to breathe in there, what with the stench of sulphur and brimstone wafting off those guys.

    May 13, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    Bush said he was "not overjoyed" to hear of Osama's death. Regardless of which president who made the call the country should be glad to see Bin Laden gone. As far as the current president criticizing Bush while he was in office...it was his job as a candidate to criticize Bush for policies that hurt the country and prolonged the war in the wrong country. Saddam Hussein was a dictator with little impact on global terrorism. Tens of thousands of people died because we were fighting a war in the wrong country in which Saddam Hussein was a consolation prize in the war on terror.

    May 13, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    He's got good reason to lie low. The harm that he did to this country both in the pocket book & to our spirit is huge. W. was a political creature pure & simple. He was a genius at covering his butt & making the other guy look bad. His # 1 goal as POTUS was to try to create a Republican Super Majority that would last for decades. He used every aspect of the Presidency to attempt to accomplish his goal. As a policy guy or as an executor of policy he lived up to his lifelong reputation of a SLACKER.

    May 13, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Texas Doc

    History will not be nice to him no matter what he does.

    May 13, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. JOE

    George W, his cabinet and the entire republican party should be taken out to sea and they should be rolled off the Carl Vinson. Let's face it, OBL did not bother to plan an escape route because for seven years or so, Goerge W. was doing a very good job protecting him. That's until President Obama, the real commander-in-chief took office. But what is also disturbing is that the recently seized documents from OBL's compound revealed that him regime was very active in plotting future attacks on western targets while George W. was saying he had no interest in apprehending OBL. What a travesty.

    May 13, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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