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Osama bin Laden dead: Yes, SEALs were in on the raid, but aides hail Obama's office bravery

a Chinook and Blackhawk helicopter in Afghanistan 4-11

According to another one of those White House briefings of reporters designed to suck up all available credit for good news, President Obama's homeland security advisor reveals that it was a really tense time in the air-conditioned White House as unidentified U.S. Navy SEALs closed in on the world's most wanted man after midnight a half a wohomeland security advisor john Brennan 5-2-11rld away.

"Minutes passed like days," says John Brennan, who bravely stood with press secretary Jay Carney before reporters and TV cameras today chronicling his boss' weekend heroics.

The heavily-armed commandos flying in a quartet of darkened Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters more than 100 miles into Pakistan were probably listening to their iPods and discussing the NFL draft.

"The concern was that bin Laden would oppose any type of capture operation," said Obama's Sherlock Holmes. So U.S. troops were prepared "for all contingencies."

In fact, this weekend was such a tense time in the White House that Obama only got in nine holes of golf. But he still managed to deliver his joke script to the White House Correspondents Assn. dinner Saturday evening.

Sunday was, Brennan revealed to his eager audience, "probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of times in the lives of the people assembled here." Poor poor bureaucrats. Extra Tums all around. Did someone order dinner?

There may have been a little anxiety aboard those combat choppers. Who knows? We can't hear from them. And, as every day, anxiety in the kitchens, hearts and mind of thousands of military families who put up with the terrifying uncertainty of the dangerous deeds their loved ones have volunteered to secretly do for their country.Obama Button On Guantanamo During his 49 minute presentation Brennan did squeeze in one reference to the mission's "very brave personnel."

But the emphasis, with 2012 just around the calendrical corner, was on the boss' valor. "There was nothing that confirmed that bin Laden was at that compound," Brennan related as if such uncertainty is uncommon in war.

"And, therefore," Brennan continued, "when President Obama was faced with the opportunity to act upon this, the president had to evaluate the strength of that information and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory."

According to early reports of the incident, detailed here in The Ticket, 24 SEALs rappelled down ropes from hovering Chinooks in post-midnight darkness Monday Pakistan time with Osama security forces shooting at them. Brennan didn't have much time to go into all that today, the goal is to elevate the ex-state senator to at least a one-star commander-in-chief.

Here's something else that didn't get much recognition in all the street celebrations or all-hail-Obama briefings:

The trail to Monday morning's assault on Osama's Pakistan compound began during someone else's presidency. That previous president authorized enhanced interrogation techniques which convinced folks like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to give up, among many other things, the name of their top-secret courier, now deceased. His travels ultimately led the CIA back to Osama's six-year-old suburban home.


Rush Limbaugh on Osama bin Laden's death: 'Thank God for President Obama'

Donald Trump praises Obama on Osama bin Laden's death

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Denis Sinyakov / Reuters (A Chinook and Blackhawk helicopter in Afghanistan); Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images (Brennan); Photo illustration by Andrew Malcolm.

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Why the negativity idiot? You'd been the first to bash Obama, from your-conditioned office, had it gone wrong.

Oh I'm sorry, was this supposed to be a serious article?

Who the hell are you?

I can't believe this piece is in the LA TIMES!!

Good on you!!

Poor Obama, I have to really sympathize with him. He only got in 9 holes of golf Sunday, being forced to cut the round short to deal with matters of National Security on a Television. I hope his eyes weren't strained too much.

I.ll believe it when I see his body

How the hell did something this stupid get published on this site? Does the LA Times even have an editorial staff?

Snark is acceptable to the left only when it debases conservatism.

i wonder since we just invaded pakistan and killed someone thought to be they were protecting, will there be more likelly terrorist attacks?

Very well said.

Finally something out of the LA Times that is truthful. All they did was toot Obama's horn all day, while for years our sons and daughters died. Nothing President Obama was done is extra ordinary, he finally didn't vote present, HE DID HIS JOB>>>>>

Yes, Bush did begin this journey, but he did not get the job done. He could have if he didn't have our military tied up in Iraq. Finding the man behind the attack of our country should have been a priority, not Iraqi Freedom. Give President Obama his due credit for standing by his word and getting Bin Laden.

Who really believes Obama quarterbacked this raid personally? I don't believe he had any idea what was going on until he got a message during his sunday golf game. Its miraculous he wasn't on yet another vacation.
Just the previous evening he spent his time needling his political opponents by name at the correspondent's dinner, and was focused on talking smack all evening--I am certain he nothing else on his mind then but his need to berate them, Donald Trump in particular. He was preoccupied with his re-election antics and crowing over his so-called birth certificate--he had no knowlege of the raid.

I'm glad someone finally wrote this article. Obama is taking credit for everything, while if he had his way originally we wouldn't have had any of this information. He wanted to shut Guantanamo down as soon as he was elected.

Pretty snarky for a "news" article. Or was it intended to be humorous? If so, please try harder next time; this falls pretty flat.

Wow. This is the L.A. Times? (The paper version of which I grew up with.)

For the Kenyans and the OS' who are obviously inflamed by this kind of disrespectful sarcasm directed at the President of the United States...

Look in the mirror. (Hint: Think back to 2001-2008.)

Doesn't mean I agree with writing it, though. I give credit to Obama for making the decision. And I'm sure Bush's team would've tried just as much to make political hay had this happened on their watch.

Aaaand I'm just as sure that Kenyan and his ilk would have heaped disrespectful sarcasm at them.

"That previous president authorized enhanced interrogation techniques which convinced folks like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to give up, among many other things, the name of their top-secret courier, now deceased."

This is patently false. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did not give up the information during TORTURE (enhanced interrogation techniques in govspeak), but rather during a normal interrogation months later.

What, do you expect Obama to go over there with a gun and kill Bin Laden himself? You are ignorant. Have some respect for our country and recognize that this is a historic moment for all Americans rather than a time for partisan criticism.

Honestly, could Bush have gotten away with violating the border of ally, MURDERING someone wanted by the FBI, then playing up this death as something great? There was criticism abound when the same group of people captured Saddam and the response from the media was - are we leaving Iraq now?

Like everyone else, I have to thank Obama for breaking all of his campaign promises and continuing with Bush policies on the war on terror If he had not been brave in ignoring his base, this day would have never come.

I just subscribed to Newsweek again after all those losers, especially Jon Meacham, left. Newsweek is now readable and it will be successful again. Now LA Times is showing some signs of journalistic integrity and if it keep it up, I would subscribe to LA Times again. Real hard working Americans will pay for good products while the liberal whiners would only demand more free stuff. If you are business people, bet on the conservatives and not on free loading liberals.

"Minutes passed like days," "this weekend was such a tense time in the White House that Obama only got in nine holes of golf. But he still managed to deliver his joke script to the White House Correspondents Assn. dinner Saturday evening." Such a brave man.
Are these people for real? Give me a break, this some type of new reality show production from the White House?

The only reason Osama Bin Laden is dead is because we managed to get the Republicans out of the white house and put a courageous intelligent man such as Barak Obama in office. GWB was such a loser that while he was president, Bin Laden had a free pass. The only accomplishment of George Bush was he managed to tank our economy to the point that it has taken this long to recover.

Reports are that Obama had Osama's head mounted on a stick and the office staff took turns running around dancing with it.

News Lies writes: "This is patently false. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did not give up the information during TORTURE (enhanced interrogation techniques in govspeak), but rather during a normal interrogation months later."

You ever think that after being waterboarded, KSM figured out its better to give up info, lest he get another dose of it? Funny how he cooperated and gave intel AFTER enhanced interrogation techniques.

Too bad that Bush/GOP dismantled the entire CIA OBL division in 7/2006.

And, per Cheney, Mohammed / enhanced technique had nothing to do with this round of American "exceptionalism".

Obviously, one's head in stuck in the mud, just like an ostrich.

An hour and a half before BO was in the situation room he was on the 9th tee. If this had been Bush you would have never heard the end of it.

Even today Mike Allen wrote in Politico that Obama was in the situation room at one pm. Doing the WH's bidding? It was after two pm. He late dropped it from his report as the pool report had the actual numbers.

I loved this article and think you are very brave.

Look, I'm as conservative as they come, but this article was really snide and out of line. Mr. Obama is Commander-In-Chief and nothing should be taken away from him. This really isn't the time for partisan politics and taking pot shots at people (unless that person is bin laden, his associates etc.).
Can't we all just come together and be happy that one of this generation's worst monsters is no longer on this earth and capable of hurting more people? It's a great victory for America, our allies, the US armed services members, and yes, President Obama.

I,I,I,I,I,I,I, me, me, me, me, me, me. Look at me. I'm important. I dit it all. Im the King of the world. Seriously, How many times did he reference himself in his speech.

Bush's fault!!!! Oh, wait a minute. This time it wasn't!

This is utterly absurd. You're lambasting the people who designed the plan and made the decision to risk American blood because they actually had a vested interest in the outcome? Because they were nervous? Because this was one of the most monumental things they'd ever been part of?

I thought this might be an interesting piece about how the WH is spinning the president's heroics, but this is pure, immoral dreck.

OMG!!! I can't believe the Times actually allowed such writing to be published. Wait a minute...what's that I feel? No, it's got to be some kind of mistake. that respect I'm feeling...respect towards the Times. Whoa...something is seriously wrong....the world must be spinning off its axis. I've never had ANY respect for the Times before. What has happened to their liberal bias....their one-sided story telling? Okay folks, don't panic, but I seriously think aliens have landed and taken over the Times. This goes to show that intelligent life does exist outside our world.

Go ahead and be divisive and snarky during a genuinely important moment for the entire American people. It shows what type of person you really are.

“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality” ~ H. L. Mencken


Washington aides and politicians should keep their mouths shut and get on with the Nations business. The death of anyone, even a terrorist, is not worthy of celebration although no American will shed a tear for this sorry bastard.

Great article -I just might have to start subscribing to the LA Times

No one is bashing Obama, they are bashing the REMF who think that watching soldiers do deadly dangerous work is in anyway equivalent to actually putting their lives on the line.

This isn't an indictment of Obama, this is shining a light on the self-important bureaucrats that surround him... and every other President.

No one person did this - many tried, many died - thankfully one less tyrant is around

Personally, I think Harry Truman should get all the credit for ending World War II in just a few months when FDR had years to end it and couldn't do it. Roosevelt obviously didn't know what he was doing.

Oh, wait, we were talking about Obama taking all the credit, weren't we? Bush didn't establish any of the procedures...that Obama followed to the letter...that got bin Laden, did he?

I'll give Obama props for pulling the trigger on this. I can think of a lot of liberals who probably wouldn't have given the go-ahead for this type of mission. But I also think it's about time that this administration thank the previous one for the groundwork that was laid in place, especially considering how they campaigned so vehemently against those policies, promising to change them, and then, once in office, kept every single one of them in place.

Bravo! If you listed to the speech closely yesterday, the most common words you heard from Obama were "I", "Me" and "My", with barely a mention of the brave troops who went in. It sounded like he did all the surveillance, put the pieces together, roped in with the SEALS, and personally pulled the trigger that dropped Obama. The fact is, Obama waltzed into the situation and basically continued what had already been started by Bush, across the board (even though he continually criticized it during the elections). You want to see a good example of a ground floor military action under Obama, look no further than Libya (i.e. "We're not in charge, and we're not fighting, and technically we aren't in a war. We're on a peace mission, and I don't care if hundreds of rebels get killed while I waffle back and forth to make up my mind."). I'll give Obama credit for the kill, but his typical narcissistic handling of it was pathetic, and we all know, had it been up to Obama alone from the start, al-Qaeda would still be in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussain would still be leading Iraq, and bin Laden would be hanging out at the beach drinking Pina Colodas.

War room? I thought Obama was on the choppers, repelling down the ropes! After all he "directed" the operation!

Heroics? In a room in the basement of the White House? Give me a break. King Barry was soooo brave with all his Secret Service and Marine Corps guards around to make sure he didn't get a paper cup or swallow his drink the wrong way. That is not being brave. That is his minions playing to the slobbering liberal press who eat this up in their untiring efforts to ensure his re-election. Nothing more, nothing less. The BRAVE have uniforms on and go in harms way at King Barry's wishes be they right or wrong.

Stop hating on the president. Period. Did any of you make the call? We're not stupid, of course he didn't go in there personally. I am a Marine who fought during Desert Storm,...might I add. No president has been or ever will be perfect. So stop treating him like he's supposed to be the messiah. If he wasn't who he is would people be picking oh him as much, would there even be a tea party, would Donald Trump be talking out the side of his neck? (Hint, Hint) . Im glad our guys went in there and handled business. Im proud of my fellow servicemen. Period. Rush Limbaugh and most of these other goons on the news channels who think they know so much, havent set foot in Iraq, Korea, or anywhere else. Most of the people whining about government, truly have no idea of how government even works. Try going back to high school American Government class! Again, do I agree with every move the president makes,...ofcourse not, but just like any person in management, everyone is not going to agree with your decisions, certainly not almost 400 million people. Be sensible people.

Awesome. You can tell just how awesome it is by the reaction of the water carriers.

Awww, buck up little trooper! We'll persevere through this dark moment somehow.

It must have been hell to be there in the White House biting your nails in the AC while the troops were putting their butts on the line. Obumbler is a real hero - NOT! This jackass only said I, Me, My and forgot those who actually did something. He is an egotistical ass!

John Brennan and the White House staff are shameless and without honor. No honest toil, no honest anxiety as if they were on the mission and on the ground. No praise for the Seals.
The self anointed are a disgrace. No general or commander takes credit from those who do the work and face the danger.
The White House staff's behavior is an outrage.

Willy Clinton let him go. George W hunted him down. And the Poser-in-Chief leaves the golf course long enough to take credit just in case he needs it for the next election. What a jack-wagon this guy is. Boo-ya! Seal Team 6.

denise: Oh, I beg your pardon, he has lied extremely well, but only when his mouth was open and it is open all the time.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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