Prominent figures from the administration of George W. Bush have waded in on the successful killing of terrorist chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Former Secretary of State and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice echoed many when she wondered how Osama could have been living so near the capital Islamabad and so close to a Pakistani military academy.
I was surprised to learn where he was found, Rice told NBC, adding that she thought Osama was hiding out in the wild borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
She urged both US and Pakistani officials to probe Osama’s activities over the last several years and his possible links to Pakistan security and intelligence agents.
There's some tough questions here. … It's no secret there have been some [Osama] sympathizers [in the Pakistani government], she said.
Other key figures from the Bush era also commented on the operation to kill Osama.
Yesterday, former Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News on May 2: The [Obama] Administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation,” he said. “I mean, it's not just one day you get up, bang, and you got Osama Bin Laden. It's the kind of thing where an awful lot of people over a long period of time -- thousands have worked this case and these issues and followed on the leads and captured bad guys and interrogated them and so forth.”
Cheney cautioned however: “It would be a big mistake for us now to assume, 'There, that's taken care of. It's all over with.' Al Qaeda is a big organization and they're very active now in the Arabian Peninsula down in Yemen. There's every reason to believe there will be further attacks attempted against the United States.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wrote on Facebook: Credit belongs to the courageous special operators who executed the mission. As America awoke to celebration this morning, these professionals quietly went about their work, for they know as well as any that this fight is not over. Recognition should also go to the intelligence professionals who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to collect information on Al Qaeda. Initial reports indicate that intelligence efforts at Guantanamo Bay may have played an essential role in this success. All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on Al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told: I wish we could have gotten this guy on Sept. 12, the day after 9/11 … and I'm sure that everybody was disappointed, but these things take time. It is not that simple to chase somebody around in that kind of terrain and find them with reliable information, but he was found. It took 10 years, but he was found, and he was killed.