EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, tells National Review Online that the United States “must stay on offense” following the death of Osama bin Laden.
“Get ready,” he says in a phone interview. “This is not over.”
“Americans need to understand that while this is a significant day, this is by no means the end of the war,” Graham says. “We can expect al-Qaeda to seek revenge and we need to be very vigilant and maintain our diligence.”
Graham heard the news from Vice President Biden. “We were excited that we got the bastard,” he says. “It was a very emotional phone call.”
“I told the Vice President that the president and his team deserve congratulations for a job well done. We have had our differences about the administration being indecisive, but the persistence they have shown in going after al-Qaeda along the Afghan-Pakistan border, and pursuing bin Laden, is something that we should all appreciate and acknowledge.”
“This makes me more resolved that patience matters,” Graham says. “At times, you begin to doubt if this day would ever come about, whether it had just slipped into history. Now [the victims and their families] have justice. It brings a lot of satisfaction. It is also a reminder that if America stays persistent, there is no enemy that we cannot defeat. The message is: if you choose to harm Americans, and try to destroy our way of life, there is no place you can hide, and no period of time that can keep you safe.”
“I won’t sleep at all tonight, I’ll tell you that,” Graham says. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion.”