Was it Obama who ordered the bin Laden raid?

One thing that is generally admitted about the bin Laden raid is that bin Laden's whereabouts were known for several months beforehand. So what led to the delay in acting? Clearly there was indecision about whether to act and how to act and much discussion of the various options.

What went on in those discussions and who was arguing against action? We may never know for certain but a "White House insider" says that Obama was so indecisive that the order to act was eventually given by CIA director Panetta without Obama's prior knowledge. Obama was brought in only after the operation was underway. I reproduce below the opening paragraphs of the story concerned. They are in the form of an interview with the "source" -- JR

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.


It rings true to me. Note that in the famous picture from the operations room, Obama looks very much an outsider -- JR

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