Bush breaks silence on bin Laden
May 13th, 2011
12:40 PM ET
12 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. Kathy

    Bush let Osama get away at Tora Bora and then 6 months after 9-11 said he wasn't interested in getting him...why??? Because he wanted to start another war in Iraq. He then pulled many of the troops out of Afghanistan and sent them to Iraq. Gee, we would not be in Iraq and would probably be out of Afghanistan if not for Bush!

    May 13, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. kilo charlie

    the decider took his eyes off the ball and became obsessed with saddam. we had obl trapped in tora bora and let him get away.still the worst president ever.

    May 13, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |

    Bush and General Franks dropped the ball at Tora Bora,.. if they had made the right call, would have saved lots of service personnell's lives,.. and saved billions in costs.

    May 13, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. JOE

    It was reported that some 70 or so members of congress were briefed on the pending mission to capture or kill OBL. But I could just imagine that none of the 70 or so members were republicans because I bet if any of those briefed were republicans the confederate scumbags probably woul have tipped off the Pakistan government. Or perhaps they would have gotten Jack Cafferty to do it for them.

    May 13, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Thai

    And it only took Response #3 for the divisiveness to start. Jake, please read up on how they got the idea to use couriers to find Bin Laden, identified four couriers, got on the tail of one specific courier, and then found the compound. You'll find that Bush got onto that courier and Obama continued the work. They both deserve credit. Instead, people like you would rather take some random quote out of context about Bush saying he doesn't know where bin Laden is and use it to ignore all the evidence that as far as ACTIONS go, both Bush and Obama never let Iraq stop them from multi-tasking and staying on bin Laden's tail.

    Don't let partisan posters convince you that Obama just got lucky, or that Obama did what Bush couldn't. Bush started the intelligence work, which takes a long time with no REAL allies in the region, and Obama continued it. It was one continuous mission, even though the administrations were not continuous.

    Seriously, stop being divisive.

    May 13, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. ruty

    I remember Bush saying he was not concerned about Bin Laden. He snickered and said he did not know where Bin Laden was and was not worried about him. Bush is a hipocrit and should be in prison for what he did to this country. The reason we have so much debt today if because of George Bush. If you remember-Clinton left Bush a surplus. What short memories some people have.

    May 13, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. La, La, La

    @Dave, Central Illinois:

    What President Bush showed was not class but a deep desire not to get involved in the country, as he left it in ruins.

    May 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. rob

    Bush was to busy Fighting "Saddams old soldiers for 8 yrs? They had nothing to do with 911? All those years and trillions of dollars spent, with no mind to the original "Culprit" He invented al-quedah,Osama !!! Thanks to our " Persistant, Intelligent, sitting President Obama and CIA Director,had the "Patients", and our Great Warriors, to serve out "Justice"

    May 13, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Bush needs to reign in some of the members of his former adminstration. Looking the other way and keeping silent while your former administration blasts the current adminstration is not exactly showing class. It shows who was really in control.

    May 13, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. scotty

    I'm glad President Bush has been lying low since leaving the White House. He caused so much damage to the United States and around the World that we couldn't take to much more of him. Thank God that President Obama! is cleaning up the mess and getting the United States going back in the right direction. It might take years for the damage of George W. Bush to mend!

    May 13, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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