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Congressional officials on Monday hailed the killing of Osama Bin Laden as evidence of America’s determination to pursue justice and said the location of his hide-out in a Pakistani city raised new questions about that nation’s allegiances.
“I think this tells us once again that, unfortunately, Pakistan is playing a double game, and that is very troubling to me,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the senior Republican on the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, said.
She and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is chairman of the panel, said they both believed it would be wise for the United States to release photos of Bin Laden’s corpse to eliminate suspicions that he might still be alive.
Without an acknowledgment from Bin Laden’s associates that he is dead, Mr. Lieberman said, “then it may be necessary to release the pictures — as gruesome as they undoubtedly will be, because he’s been shot in the head — to quell any doubts that this somehow is a ruse that the American government has carried out.”
“My own instinct is, it’s probably necessary to release those pictures, but, you know, I will respect whatever decision the president makes,” Mr. Lieberman said.
Returning from spring break the day after the announcement of the successful strike on Bin Laden’s compound, lawmakers in both the House and Senate took the opportunity to praise members of the armed forces who carried out the raid, the intelligence officers who gathered the information and President Obama for approving the assault.
They also said the fate of Bin Laden should be a lesson to other terrorist leaders who believe they can attack the United States and escape accountability.
“History is full of fallen despots and madmen who underestimated the resolve of the United States of America,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said. “Last night we added one more to their ranks.”
Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, called the strike on the terrorist leader “a direct result of President Obama’s efforts to refocus on Afghanistan and Pakistan as a central battleground in our fight against terror.”
“Over the past two and a half years, the Obama administration has significantly escalated our military, diplomatic, intelligence and economic efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and around the world,” he said.
Before heading to the White House for a bipartisan dinner with the president, House Republican leaders also expressed gratitude for Bin Laden’s finally receiving justice and commended Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush for their pursuit of the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Speaker John A. Boehner also had a message for those who interpret the death of Bin Laden as providing a justification for withdrawing from the region, saying, “This makes our engagement in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan more important, not less.”
The assault was not a surprise to some members of Congress. Representative Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had received briefings on the ongoing Bin Laden operation at the beginning of the year when he took over the panel.