Leon Panetta claims there is no live video of the raid to take out Bin Laden. Penetta also says that it was the SEAL’s who made the call to kill Bin Laden not President Obama
The Telegraph reports:
Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, revealed there was a 25 minute blackout during which the live feed from cameras mounted on the helmets of the US special forces was cut off.
A photograph released by the White House appeared to show the President and his aides in the situation room watching the action as it unfolded. In fact they had little knowledge of what was happening in the compound.
Mr Panetta said: “Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.
“We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound.”
Mr Panetta also revealed that the US Navy Seals made the final decision to kill bin Laden rather than the president.
He said: “The authority here was to kill bin Laden. And obviously, under the rules of engagement, if he had in fact thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn’t appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him. But they had full authority to kill him.
“To be frank, I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything. It was a firefight going up that compound. And by the time they got to the third floor and found bin Laden, I think it – this was all split-second action on the part of the Seals.”
The President only knew the mission was successful after the Navy Seals commander heard the word “Geronimo” on the radio, a code word from commandos reporting that they had killed bin Laden.
The absence of footage of the raid has led to conflicting reports about what happened in the compound. According to Pakistani authorities one of bin Laden’s daughter’s, who was present during the raid, claimed that her father was captured alive before he was killed.
Apparently it was not Obama at all who ran the operation , it was Penetta
Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?
A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.
I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.
What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta. Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be “…significant to the point of political debilitation.” It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid. This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett. Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure. The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr., Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound. Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him. What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound. Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go – including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice. Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault. This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other. Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself. Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority – namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat. Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk. During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary. Similar support was then followed by Gates. The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan. Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval. Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval. Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion. Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order. At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.
Read the entire piece here. It’s a long read but worth it.
The National Journal examines Obama’s decision for not releasing the photos suggesting it may be for self political reasons:
It turns out they didn’t plan for everything.
The operation to get Osama bin Laden was meticulously planned and carefully thought through, including the decision to bury the terrorist leader’s body at sea—a move that would deny the Saudi a grave and, potentially, a shrine.
But no one in the administration seems to have decided ahead of time what should have been a pressing question: What about photos from the operation?
It came down to this: President Obama asked his advisers for a solid reason to release photographs of bin Laden’s dead body.
One question remains to be answered: There are many things that a White House can’t anticipate after events of this nature, but surely, at some point before bin Laden was killed, someone brought up the question of what to do with the photos that would be taken.
There is an argument to be made that Obama was correct to wait and see if a scenario developed where the release would advance the interests of national security. No such scenario developed.
Though the White House won’t say it, not releasing the photos means that the images one associates with the death of bin Laden are those of Obama making the announcement and Obama and team waiting in the Situation Room. Not releasing the photos helps Obama own this event even more.
Governor Palin tweets:
Show photo as warning to others seeking America’s destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it’s part of the mission
Meredith Jessup tweets:
I’m no “deather,” but it’s apparent that Obama’s story is FULL of holes
Personally, I don’t really care how this evil murderer died, but it appears that there are many conflicted stories and as usual the White House is not being straight forward and playing games. I’ll predict that in response to mounting pressure the photos will eventually be released. But why the White house is doing everything in their power to give footing to conspiracy theories is beyond me. Who is advising Obama? One thing is apparent; someone is running that White House and it’s not the president.
The New York Times Reports an account of a one sided battle in the Bin Laden raid:
The new details suggested that the raid, though chaotic and bloody, was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy Seal members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting Bin Laden.
Administration officials said that the only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation, when Bin Laden’s trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse adjacent to the house where Bin Laden was hiding.
After the Seal members shot and killed Mr. Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse, the Americans were never fired upon again.
This account differs from an official version of events issued by the Pentagon on Tuesday, and read by the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, which said the Seal members “were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation.”
In a television interview on PBS on Tuesday, Leon E. Panetta, the director of the C.I.A., said, “There were some firefights that were going on as these guys were making their way up the staircase of that compound.”
Administration officials said the official account of events has changed over the course of the week because it has taken time to get thorough after-action reports from the Seal team. And, they added, because the Special Operations troops had been fired upon as soon as they touched down in the compound, they were under the assumption that everyone inside was armed.
“They were in a threatening and hostile environment the entire time,” one American official said.
When the commandos moved into the main house, they saw the courier’s brother, who they believed was preparing to fire a weapon. They shot and killed him. Then, as they made their way up the stairs of the house, officials said they killed Bin Laden’s son Khalid as he lunged toward the Seal team.
When the commandos reached the top floor, they entered a room and saw Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm’s reach. They shot and killed him, as well as wounding a woman with him.
The firefight over and Bin Laden dead, the team found a trove of information and had the time to remove much of it: about 100 thumb drives, DVDs and computer disks, along with 10 computer hard drives and 5 computers. There were also piles of paper documents in the house.
The White House declined to release any additional details about the operation, saying that further information would jeopardize the military’s ability to conduct clandestine operations in the future. The administration’s reticence came after it was forced on Tuesday to correct parts of its initial account of the raid, including assertions that Bin Laden had used his wife as a “human shield.”
“We’ve revealed a lot of information; we’ve been as forthcoming with facts as we can be,” Mr. Carney said.
Bookwarm has compiled a list of the White House inconsistencies and how the Obama administration seem to be going out of their way to prove ow incompetent they are:
Usually when governments use misinformation, they use it to make themselves look good. The Obama Administration gets points for originality, insofar as it’s been using disinformation and misinformation to make itself look arbitrary, unlawful, helpless and stupid. Here’s jj’s great summary:
Okay, what do we have here:
1) There was a firefight.
2) There was no firefight.
3) Bin Laden was “resisting.”
4) Bin Laden wasn’t armed. (Makes the concept of “resisting” interesting.)
[4.a) And the newest one: the SEALS thought bin Laden was reaching for a weapon.]
5) He used his wife as a shield.
6) His wife was killed too.
7) He didn’t use his wife as a shield. She ran at a SEAL who shot her in the leg, but she’s fine.
8 ) Some other woman — the maid? — was used as a shield. By somebody. Downstairs.
9) That other woman — downstairs — was killed.
10) Maybe not. She was killed unless she wasn’t — and who was she, anyway?
11) Bin Laden’s son was killed.
12) Unless it was some other guy.
13) Bin Laden’s daughter saw him get killed. She’s undoubtedly traumatized, poor dear.
14) They were going to capture Bin Laden until the problem with the helicopter, which was:
A) It had mechanical trouble
B) It did a hard landing
C) It crashed
D) It clipped a wall with a tail rotor, effectively a crash
15.) They were never going to try to capture him; it was always a kill mission.
16.) No, it wasn’t.
17) The chopper blew up.
18) The SEALs blew it up.
More from the Daily Caller:
It’s been less than 72 hours since President Barack Obama announced that U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama Bin Laden. Since then, his administration has been hard at work screwing the whole thing up.
Let’s start with that speech Sunday night. It was originally announced for 10:30 but didn’t happen until 11:30. By that time, the news Obama was supposed to be breaking had broken already. Not the best start. Presumably he was delayed arguing with his speechwriters about keeping in all the “I,” “Me,” and “Mine.” Everything having to do with this raid was “I”; anything that could be attributed to the Bush administration was “We.” “I gave the order, I did this, I did that.” The hallmark of any great leader is a willingness to bravely take credit for the hard work and sacrifice of others.
Then there’s the official narrative of the raid, which has already gone through more versions than the Star Wars movies. First Bin Laden had a gun; then he didn’t. He hid behind one of his wives, who was killed; wait, no, scratch that, she’s alive and wasn’t his wife. Maybe? Now Leon Panetta says he and President Obama didn’t actually see the whole thing go down, after the White House made a point of releasing that instantly iconic picture of the whole gang watching it go down.
A wrap-up of the inconsistencies in the Osama bin Laden narrative from the Daily Caller here
Via Big Journalism
Bottom line, as great a job as the Navy SEALs did in pulling off this mission, the Obama administration has done an equally horrible job in the aftermath. Their story keeps changing, they add, they detract, they create straw men, they deflect, the give too much information, they refuse information, they give wrong information, and by my count there’s at least 14 people seen watching the raid in the official White House photo. Many have said what they saw and we’re still not sure what happened.
Getting this story straight should’ve been the easy part, they only compound the issue with their refusal to release the photos, and besides, releasing the photo could help us learn more information about how bin Laden was killed. Until then, just trust Dear Leader.
Read the whole thing here
Here are some pictures of the raid at Bin Laden’s compound “WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES“