Rudy Giuliani: Osama Bin Laden Was a 'Symbol,' But 'Symbols Are Really Important'

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Rudy Giuliani, New York City's mayor on September 11, 2011, was reached for comment on Monday morning by Politico about the United States' killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the historic attacks nearly ten years ago. "I feel a great deal of satisfaction that justice has been done, and I admire the courage of the president to make a decision like this because if something had gone wrong everyone would be blaming him," Giuliani said. "And I admire the courage and professionalism of our military intelligence officials who carried this out and this is a great victory against terror. nobody can minimize it. He was a symbol more than anything else right now but...symbols are really important." New York City's current mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement on the death, as did New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. More from all three after the jump.

Via Politico's Maggie Haberman:

[Giuliani] added it's a "significant step," but said, "I feel satisfaction and some emotional relief, but I don't feel great elation. I watch a lot of the celebrating and it makes me feel a little strange, I don't know. Nothing erases the loss of all those lives. ... so I feel satisfaction and i feel the right thing has been done. and I guess it will good thing ultimately but I don't feel like celebrating (as if it's) the end of World War II, because the war is still going on."
...
"I do think it's a sense of relief that he's gone both from the normal human desire for justice, (and) in the long run this will be very helpful to us in defeating Islamic terrorism. ...in the long run this is a much bigger step than people realize."

And Bloomberg's statement:

"After September 11, 2001, we gave our word as Americans that we would stop at nothing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. After the contribution of millions, including so many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, we have kept that word.

"The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation - and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation.

"New Yorkers have waited nearly ten years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."

Governor Cuomo follows similarly:

"The death of Osama Bin Laden is a historic moment that represents a major step in our country's efforts to defeat terrorism around the world and should bring a sense of justice to the victims of 9/11 and his other attacks.

"We will never forget those who were lost, their families and those who risked their lives to save others.

"New Yorkers endured Bin Laden's most devastating and destructive attack, and his death brings back the horrific images and emotions of that terrible day. However, his death also reminds us of our strength, courage, and unity as a people in our response to his actions.

"The Administration's vigilance and dedication to hunt down Osama Bin Laden has never wavered and I applaud their commitment to this cause. I also applaud our men and women in uniform who have fought tirelessly against terrorism and to defend freedom.

"The threat to our state and our nation unfortunately does not die with Osama Bin Laden. We must remain vigilant in preventing terror acts and continue to do everything to keep our state and nation safe and secure."

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]



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