July 30 in U.S. military history
The political tools who run our national security

Killing bin Laden: the 4th time is a charm?

According to Richard Miniter in his book, “Leading From Behind”, the mission that eventually lead to the death of Osama bin Laden was the 4th mission attempt, the other three having been cancelled by President Obama at the urging of Valarie Jarrett:

At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.

In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.

So far this all rests on an “unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.”

Sorry, despite the fact that I’m not at all a fan of this President, I’m also not much for anonymous single sources. However, this would certainly further damage the already widely panned “ "gutsiest calls of any president in recent history" claim even more.  And, who knows, if true, there may very well have been legitimate reasons for the cancellations.  The inclusion of Valarie Jarrett in the decision cycle, however, would lead me to believe otherwise.

And, let’s not forget this either, given a claim made by the administration for the reason they delayed the decision on the raid that eventually did go:

Obama administration officials said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision.

At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. However, when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.

So, there’s that to figure in the mix. 

Funny, if true, and given all the stuff that was leaked about the raid to burnish the President’s rep, we haven’t heard anything about the possibility that it was cancelled three times prior to the successful raid or that, in fact, the weather wasn’t really a factor in the delay on the successful raid.


Twitter: @McQandO