Obama called Bush, Clinton before releasing statement on Osama's death; Bush congratulates Obama on Bin Laden killing
Two news stories in the sequence of the Bush-Obama dialogue on the completion of a task assigned long ago:
Obama called Bush, Clinton before releasing statement on Osama's death
US President Barack Obama called his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on Sunday before announcing to the world that Al Qaeda Osama bin Laden had been killed.
A White House official told reporters in a conference call that Obama called Bush and Clinton to "preview" his statement.
The official also said that Obama chaired five national security meetings since March to discuss intelligence on Osama bin Laden.
Those meetings, the official said, were on March 14, March 19, April 12, April 19 and April 28. Obama authorized the attack on bin Laden on Friday, April 29, the official said.
In his statement announcing the killing of bin Laden, Obama mentioned Bush once.
"We must also reaffirm that the United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam," Obama said.
He added: "Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims."
Obama also gave a message to the families of 9/11 victims: "We have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores."
"And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11," Obama said.
He said: "I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."
Bush congratulates Obama on Bin Laden killing
Former US president George W. Bush has congratulated President Barack Obama and the members of the military for the successful elimination of Al Qaeda chief Osama Bi Laden in a firefight in Abbotabad, Pakistan.
"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.," Bush said in a statement.
Fox News further quoted him, as saying: "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."