ARE YOU GLAD THAT Osama bin Laden’s demise IS DEAD AND IS NO LONGER THE HEAD OF al Qaeda.
From the moment top secret stealth helicopters loaded with dozens of hard-bitten Navy SEALs landed at the terror leader’s compound, to their arrival back across the Afghan border — minus one chopper and plus one corpse — the raid took just 40 minutes.
Operation Neptune Spear was the product of a decade of painstaking, often-frustrating intelligence work — a vague clue here, a hunch there, and lots of dead ends.
In September 2010, the CIA began to zero in on a heavily secured, three-story compound on a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
FIRST PUBLISHED BY TIME
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's hand-written note concerning the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound
President Obama’s military advisors were divided over a bombing mission — which would have left no evidence that Bin Laden had been killed — or risking the lives of commandoes on a raid that could be for nothing.
Several urged him to wait for confirmation that Bin Laden was really there.
After several secret powwows, the President decided to order the raid on Friday, April 29.
In Washington that weekend, all eyes were on Obama — and he fooled everyone.
President Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner at a hotel in Washington April 30, 2011 after having given order to send Navy SEAL team after Osama bin Laden.
On Saturday night, wearing a tuxedo and a wide grin, he was at the White House Correspondents Dinner, needling Donald Trump with birth certificate jokes. Not one of the many reporters in the room had the smallest inkling of what was afoot.
On Sunday afternoon, wearing a windbreaker and a pinched expression, Obama sat tensely in the Situation Room with his top military advisors, watching the operation play out on a wall screen.
Two dozen SEALs — some wearing helmet cameras — had flown into Pakistan from nearby Afghanistan and were landing in Bin Laden’s front yard at 11 p.m. local time on a moonless night.
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