Obama Notes bin Laden Mission as Anniversary Nears
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 30, 2012 President Barack Obama today praised the U.S. military and intelligence communities as he reflected on the approaching one-year anniversary of the mission that killed al-Qaida leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Speaking during a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the president praised the intelligence effort of tracking bin Laden down and the May 2, 2011, military mission that killed him.
“It’s a mark of the excellence of our intelligence teams and our military teams -- a political process that worked,” the president said. “And I think for us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated, is entirely appropriate, and that's what's been taking place.”
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, commenting April 27 on a return trip from South America, noted “America has become a safer place” since a team of Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound. Panetta was director of the CIA at the time of the raid.
“I don’t think there’s any question that America is safer as a result of the bin Laden operation,” Panetta told reporters traveling with him. But al-Qaida remains a threat, he added.