(AP) FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Brimming with pride, President Barack Obama embraced the U.S. commandos he sent after terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, saluting them Friday on behalf of America and people all over the world. “Job well done,” he declared.
Speaking to a hangar full of cheering soldiers, Obama said: “Thanks to the incredible skill and courage of countless individuals — intelligence, military over many years — the terrorist leader that struck our nation 9/11 will never threaten America again.”
The president addressed the larger group after meeting privately with the full assault team — Army helicopter pilots and Navy SEAL commandos — who executed the dangerous raid on bin Laden’s compound and killed the al-Qaida leader in Pakistan early Monday.,”
At an Army post whose troops have sustained heavy losses in an Afghanistan war that has grown on his watch, Obama said: “We are ultimately going to defeat al-Qaida.” Still, he warned that the fight against terrorists still rages.
Capping an extraordinary week for the military, the nation and himself, he called the bin Laden raid one of the most successful intelligence and military operations in America’s history.
Vice President Joe Biden joined Obama in a briefing and in thanking the members of the mission behind closed doors. He emerged to the broader audience of troops and put it bluntly: “We just spent time with the assaulters who got bin Laden.”
Obama’s visit to Fort Campbell came a day after he traveled to New York to lay a wreath at ground zero and talk with firefighters, police officers and family members of those killed on Sept. 11.
At the same time the president was turning his focus back to the rest of his agenda and the country’s struggling economy. Before arriving in Kentucky, Obama visited a plant in Indianapolis that produces transmission systems for hybrid vehicles.
He used the stop to promote his clean-energy agenda and welcome news that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs last month. “We are regaining our footing,” Obama said at Allison Transmission.
April’s labor market report marked the third straight month in which more than 200,000 jobs were created, the best three-month hiring spree in five years and a sign of increasing confidence in the private sector.
“We’ve made this progress at a time when our economy’s been facing some serious headwinds,” the president told workers, citing high gas prices and the earthquake in Japan.
“There will undoubtedly be some more challenges ahead, but the fact is that we are still making progress,” he said. “And that proves how resilient the American economy is, and how resilient the American worker is, and that we can take a hit and we can keep on going forward.”
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- On Friday afternoon, many of the roads in Scott County were covered in sleet and snow but on Saturday it was an entirely different story. Most roadways are cleared up but that may change once the storm rolls through Sunday morning.
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