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If, like me, you’d really like to hear what happened the Night They Took Bin Laden Down (sounds like the title of a country ballad, doesn’t it?), head on over to the New Yorker, where they have a feature story about the way it all went down, both at the White House and in Pakistan. If it’s all true, I have (a little) more respect for Obama and his cojones than I did before reading it. And, of course, I have even more respect for the SEALs and the rest of the team that got Bin Laden, if it’s even possible for me to ratchet up my enthusiasm for those guys past where it already was. Amazing. Our military ROCKS.

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    • I said the same thing 44 years ago. So midway through Basic, we recruits had a “career consultation,” or something that sounded equally innocuous. That’s where the recruit tells the career counselor what he wants to do during his term of service, and the career counselor tries not to laugh out loud. So I said I wanted to join a commando unit. That’s when my TI interrupted and asked if he could speak to me alone, which involved him pinning me to a wall and asking if I was crazy and did I want to get killed in Viet Nam. He told me to go back into the meeting and ask for a desk job. So when I returned, I told the career counselor that it had always been my dream to be a clerk-typist.

      • I started my process a year ago. Recruitment was on a freeze for a while, but things opened up again. I’ll be a keyboard operator.

  1. Of course, this being The New Yorker, they can’t mention that the CIA got the name “Al Kuwaiti” as a result of “advanced interrogation techniques” because that would mean admitting that those techniques actually worked and produced usable, actionable intelligence that strengthened the U.S.

    Heaven forbid THAT should happen…

  2. Great article. Guessing 90+ percent is accurate. Probably all you can expect in any account of this kind.

    For God and country, Geronimo. Gave me chills.

  3. Utterly incredible read. Refreshing to see true journalism as well; they admit which parts may be up for debate, and there’s no hint of bias anywhere.

  4. This was a really good read — from the New Yorker, of all places. BTW, give major props to the guy who made this happen. Not POTUS, although he gets big props for being respectful to our military. I’m talking about Leon Panetta. He’s absolutely the single most competent guy in government today.

  5. I’m not one to ever say anything nice about Obummer, er, I mean Obama. However, I have to say it took a lot of balls to authorize this mission. The failure of the Desert One mission secured Jimmy Carter’s defeat in the 1980 election, and the parallels to that incident would have been obvious. In short, there was a lot that could have gone wrong, and Obama really put his political future on the line. He was also quite saavy to recognize that he needed to have photographs and DNA evidence of the kill, and so simply dropping a GBU 24 on the compound was not going to “git-er-done.” In addition, the information that the SEALs / D-boys took from that compound will likelyhave the rest of Al-Qaeda on the run for years to come.

    • “it took a lot of balls to authorize this mission”

      Really? It took a lot of balls to perform the mission. As far as authorizing the mission, what else could POTUS do? Pass on the best chance we’ve had to get Bin Laden in ten years? Turn his back on Leon Panetta — his hand-picked guy — and our best intel? Not a chance. IMO, not authorizing the mission would have been a career-ender.

      I’m not dissing POTUS. He made the right call, which in my view was the only call he could have made. The rest is mythology, well calculated to give us all a Chris Matthews tingle whenever we hear the President’s name.

      Still don’t believe me? Okay, then. Tell me honestly that you wouldn’t have authorized the mission.

      Case closed.

  6. Awesome story. SEALS rock of course. My question is why was this story released now? In the midst of the budget debate? Cui bono?

  7. I don’t want to step too deep in politics on a gun site, but just keep in mind that the New Yorker wants you to believe that Obama has balls-of-steel and deserves all the credit.

    When the only two mentions of “Bush” in the article are:

    1. “there were more missile strikes inside Pakistan during Obama’s first year in office than in George W. Bush’s eight.”


    2. “Bushra” (Osama’s wife)

    Something is wrong. This intelligence, and the organizations using it, including DevGru, are Bush-administration creations. Let’s not forget that the New Yorker’s very own Seymour Hersh called DevGru “Cheney’s assassination squad.”

    It happened on Pres. Obama’s watch, he gets the credit. But I just wouldn’t trust the New Yorker’s description of events.


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