CQ Roll Call: Osama bin Laden And National Security | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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CQ Roll Call: Osama bin Laden And National Security

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WAMU: What is the reaction so far from Capitol Hill and from both major parties?

D.H.: President Obama says it's been a rare moment of bipartisan unity. It seems like virtually every member of Congress has issued a statement. Hundreds of them have flown in to our newsroom, and they're all, of course, thrilled. But at the same time there is a strong note of caution coming through. Several dozen of these statements use the phrase "remain vigilant." As in "yes, we have killed Osama bin Laden, and yes this is an enormous victory in the war on terrorism, but the war on terrorism isn't over and we must remain vigilant because the terrorist threat hasn't gone away. And maybe even in the short-term, there will be some increase threats of terrorism by members of al-Qaida who are trying to make a statement in retaliation.

WAMU: Before the recent action began in Libya, there were some complaints from Congress that they weren't informed about that. It sounds like members of Congress were not briefed on this mission before it was completed. Is anybody in Congress having any criticism on that front?

D.H.: I haven't heard that yet, but it does seem as though you're right – that this was kept extremely close to the vest in the Situation Room. We do know that Vice President Biden did call all the congressional leadership last night within a couple of hours before the President went on television. But it's not clear that they told members of Congress about this before the raid actually began. No one is going to complain now, because this seems to have such a clear-cut success. Had it gone awry, had that helicopter failed inside the Pakistani compound, not been replaced by a replacement helicopter, we probably would have heard a lot of complaining. But probably none this time.

WAMU: With both parties offering congratulations this morning. How's this likely going to affect the tone going ahead?

D.H.: Obama said during his speech that he hoped that the 9/11 spirit of national unity reminds us that we can do anything we set our minds to. So, the big question this morning is will Congress reach some sort of bi-partisan agreement, not only on foreign policy, but domestic policy. Up until yesterday afternoon, you and I thought we were going to be talking exclusively about the federal debt and deficit, and the talks that are supposed to get underway. So the question is will this be an impetus on whether Democrats and Republicans can come together.

WAMUl: Some provisions of the Patriot Act will be expiring later this month, how might this affect the renewal debate?

D.H: I'm sure the people who want to renew the Patriot Act will cease the upper hand. They will be able to claim that this is the kind of vigilance we're talking about when we say we need to remain vigilant.

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