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Michigan’s congressional delegation reacts to bin Laden’s death

by Candice Miller on May 3, 2011

WASHINGTON – Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation welcomed the news late Sunday of Osama bin Laden’s death, crediting the persistent American efforts to capture or kill him in the 10 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Osama bin Laden murdered thousands of Americans, yet evaded justice for years,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “Our country is united in gratitude to the brave men and women of our intelligence and counterterrorism community and our troops for their sacrifices in keeping us safe from terror.”

Because of the late hour of the announcement, responses from the Michigan delegation trickled in early this morning.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, said he hopes the news of bin Laden’s death will provide some comfort to the families affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“We stand in unity and respect for the laser-like, dogged determination of the president, the intelligence community and the U.S. military in bringing about justice after 10 long years.”

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, was expected to have a more thorough response later today, but, early in the morning he said this could be a good time to revisit U.S. policy throughout the Muslim world, with the country still having forces in Iraq and being engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan.

“Now that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat, our policy in the Middle East and Asia must be immediately, but carefully, reviewed,” Conyers said.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, said Sunday night’s announcement will be remembered as the time “we heard that America had finally brought the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks to justice.”

“For the past decade,” he said, “countless brave Americans in our military and intelligence community have worked tirelessly to counter the threat posed by al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden and this is a significant victory in the fight against terrorism.”

U.S. Rep Candice Miller, a Harrison Township Republican who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, called bin Laden’s death “a fitting end” to the man behind the attacks of Sept. 11.

“For the last 10 years, the United States of America has been on the trail of Osama bin Laden after he masterminded the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Last night, we received confirmation that he has met a fitting end at the hands of the brave men and women of the United States military and intelligence services. Our terrorist enemies must understand that our great nation will never relent in our effort to bring to justice those who would perpetrate acts of murder against the innocent. Let the death of this terrorist mass murderer stand as a symbol of our collective resolve. This is tremendous news for our nation and the world.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today said:

“This is a day we have all been waiting for, for far too long. The brave men and women of our military and intelligence agencies have shown the world once again the reach and determination of American Power.

“We have brought to justice a terrorist with the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands, and brought justice to the families of his victims.

“This closes a key chapter in the war on terror – it’s hard to imagine an end to Al Qaida without the death of Bin Laden. While we can all certainly celebrate this important victory, the fight will go on. We will not stop until Al Qaida has been eliminated.”

U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint, called bin Laden’s killing, “a victory for the victims of 9/11, their families, our country and the entire peace-loving world.”

“We must remember that the fight against al-Qaeda and the extremist element continues,” Kildee added.

Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau writer Chris Christoff and staff writer Kathleen Gray contributed to this report.

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