October 20th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama thanks counterterrorism task force

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/20/art.bopt1020.gi.jpg caption="President Obama spoke Tuesday to the Joint Terrorism Task Force which is headquartered in New York City."]
(CNN) - There were no squeals of delight or cell phones held high to capture photos Tuesday when President Barack Obama thanked workers at the nation's Joint Terrorism Task Force headquarters in New York for keeping the country safe.

The room of security specialists - most in formal business attire - listened quietly and stood to applaud when Obama finished his brief speech, with some shaking the president's hand before he left the stage.

The task force was formed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to unify the nation's counterterrorism response. Obama praised the unit, which comprises personnel from more than 40 federal, state and local agencies, for the cooperation and effectiveness of its work.

"Your success in thwarting terrorist attacks, the strong intelligence you've gathered, and the hard-nosed investigations you've pursued has proved to be a model for law enforcement officials across the country," Obama said. "And for that, you should all be extremely proud."

While more reserved than the usually exuberant crowds at Obama events, the audience laughed when Obama, after noting that most New Yorkers or Americans probably didn't know where the task force office was or what the workers did, said: "Obviously, you're not doing it for the glamour or the glory or the pay."

"You do it to serve and protect your country," the president said. "And because of the effort and sacrifices that you're making on a daily basis, we are making real progress on our core missions of disrupting and dismantling and ultimately defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies."

However, Obama also warned that "no one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on America's soil."

"But I can promise you this," he continued. "I pledge to do everything in my power as president of the United States to keep the American people safe, and that means I pledge to give all of you the tools and the support that you need to get the job done, both here at home and around the world. And I pledge that I will stay as focused on this mission as you are."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    "But I can promise you this," he continued." The check's in the mail, I will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250k/ year and this $1 trillion spending bill will keep unemployment from getting over 8%!"

    October 20, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |

    Ironic. Al-Queda's commander in chief talking to an anti-terrorism task force. I bet everyone in that room wanted to take him out.

    October 20, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. Victim of Democratic greed

    Blah, Blah, Blah, can't this man ever quit listening to himself speak and get to work. He has yet to do something about Afghanistan, the economy and unemployment.

    October 20, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. German,Irish American

    Lets see,....... what is missing from this speech and story? This task force is something that Obama "inherited" from Bush isn't it? Rest assured, the MSM and Obama camp will NEVER give credit to Bush for anything, they will just continue to be the Democrat party of blame.

    October 20, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. fella from chicago

    Thank you President Bush for forming this task force of dedicated men and women keeping our country safe from further terrorists attacks. God Bless you, God Bless America.

    October 20, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. Obama is a woos on security.....

    and he keeps us in danger. One lucky find does not a system make.

    October 20, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  7. Oreally

    Photo Op! Whoo Hooo! Watch his fine president patting the counter terrorism agents on the back while simultaneously stabbing the CIA in theirs, can you say platitude.

    October 20, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Jay T.

    And thanks to you, Ob-la-di-ob-la-bama for pretending like you are an American citizen when you are actually an African. And, no, I don't mean African-American. But, a real African who is intent on forcing African-Communist principles on white America. And, I'm not even going to mention the witch doctor costume Obama wears sometimes. I saw pictures as proof at the last Tea Bagged meeting I went to. We don't have to take it anymore.

    October 20, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. m smith

    The president is very gracious and praise and thanks are well deserved by these dedicated men and women

    October 20, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. Nini

    Right after he told AG to investigate them.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that happened.

    October 20, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. A 50-year Democrat no more. Now an independent with brains.

    Do you even know what anti-terriosm is OBAMA> I think not. Since sitting on your butt not doing anything to help our soldiers. This is beginning to make me sick. OH WHAT A BAD DECISION WE AFRICAN AMERCANS MADE IN BACKING YOU.

    October 20, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. WordsMatter

    The One's administration continues to circle the drain.

    October 20, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  13. Obama the Mistake

    America is safer, thanks to Bush, not Obozo.

    October 20, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    With the changes in survillance and interogation by this administration, the Counterterrorism Unit would not be able to stop as easily another attack like they did with the Subway Plot in NY. We will have to see what happens in the future.

    October 20, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Elizabeth

    I am glad to see people not in the spotlight getting credit for their efforts, and their success to date, in keeping America safe from terrorists. Thank you, Mr. President, for giving the acknowledgement and praise they deserve.

    October 20, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |