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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.

Related:

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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Mr. Malcolm..."One star Commander in Chief"...LOL!!!!!!

Excellent piece about how liberal pretend warriors claim most of the credit while others do the heavy lifting. John Kerry must be cursing Teresa about Obama's luck.

I give Obama credit for momentarily finding his balls to order this very risky operation. Probably after he determined he had plenty of others to blame around him if it failed. He is not exactly a wise profile in courage after all.

My company was in the South Tower on 9-11 and many of my co-workers died. As with the Doolittle raid and the subsequent shooting down of Yamamoto's plane it is important to send a clear proportional and fatal message to our enemies that plan and execute attacks on America. An eye for an eye is the only way deterrence works in the real world of nations. Osama was the Hitler of this generation.

I'm glad Osama's dead and that the US military killed him. I hope the navy seals dipped the bullets he was shot with in pork drippings. Furthermore, I hope his burial at sea body bag was stuffed with Playboy and Honcho magazines, an open bottle of the Carrier Captain's best scotch and plenty of bacon to attract the eels and ocean bottom feeders that will feast on Osama's remains. I hope dead Osama is accompanied to the bottom of the sea by the CIA chief's King James bible. I'm sure that Osama looks fabulous after his beard was shaved off. Pity none of this was caught on camera.

At least he wasn't burned, beheaded, dragged through the street and hung from a bridge as per the traditional islamic payment of respects to murdered Westerners.

WOW!

And this is in the LA Times?

@Andrew: Thanks for calling it like it is. Obama just took credit like he was the one who rappelled out of a helicopter, took out the opposition, and gave two taps to the head of UBL. The arrogance and hypocrisy know no bounds.

@Tracy: Obama hasn't had a discernable job to do since entering the WH except to throw parties for his super hip new friends and play golf. As soon as the guy announces that he has more important things to do other than discuss his birth certificate he goes on Oprah! Pay attention to what this narcissist actually DOES instead of what he or his lackeys SAY. He did nothing in terms of killing or tracking bin Laden except to say "yes" for the SEALs to go in. Everything done was in the field, on the ground, in those uncomfortable-for-the-left interrogation rooms by kickass CIA officers and amazingly brave boots on the ground. Anyone who has time to fit in 9 holes before this went down wasn't too stressed or overloaded with the details. The intel that got this ball rolling was gathered 8 yrs ago during the Bush Admin. It's unfortunate they were unable to connect the dots earlier because Bush most certainly deserved the credit. The interrogation techniques that the infants on the left decried are the same ones that led to this intel. Maybe if Bush had gotten him we could have avoided the PC funeral at sea for the man who cheered with joy over the death of 3,000 of our brothers and sisters.

Thank God for and God Bless our Troops! Truly the best in the world.

Is the Messiah taking credit for higher gas prices, too? Just wonderin'.

I'm swooning over the dynamic duo Obama bin Biden...those hard charging master minds of the continuing decline American Empire...
Big deal, he may or may not be dead, seems pretty anti-climatic given the facts that we still have an endless war on terrorism, an unConstitutional war in Libya, a tattered constitution that has been gutted by the unPatriot Act, the DHS and the TSA...and of course, my favorite facts are the 10s of 1000s of US dead and wounded, the fatherless/motherless children now being molested at airports in the name of making cowardly adults feel safe...Not to mention the collateral damage abroad and the 100s of billions of borrowed/stolen money from the backs of the taxpayers.
So what, the criminal is dead but the endless war goes on and on...and with it our moral high ground and our civil liberties...

Fabulous piece. Exactly the right touches of irony and truth. What is really a hoot is reading the comments of those who are shocked! SHOCKED! to read such heresy in the LA Times.

That's what papers are supposed to be: challenging and provocative! Not lockstep and doctrinairre.

P.S.
I'd like to see John Brennan and Jay Carney take their collectivist skirts off and stand bravely with the real men in uniform...but then who will cheer lead?

Yes, but who bandaged Obama's paper cut? Do try to be helpful in giving credit its due.

Takes more than guts for a comander in chief with no personal military experience to pull something like this off. It takes luck and lots of it.

Ah, yes...our Fearless Leader. In the heat of action...6,000 miles away, observing behind sandbags through very heavy lenses what was, in effect, a video game.

Isn't this the same attention-starved clown that claimed credit for the Iraq surge that he so vocally condemned?

Never wore a uniform, never stood a watch on a freezing night in the North Pacific, never spent a Christmas away from family praying you see the next sunrise, never been in harm's way, never cried when the closest you could get to the ones you love was a scratchy cassette tape, never got a kiss-off letter from the one who swore she'd be there for you when you got back...more big noise from an empty suit.

Wow, finding out what Obama went through during the sideshow in Pakistan, I'm more appreciative of him than ever! When November 2012 rolls around, I'll think of Obama in the sit room, and I won't mind one bit that gas is $5/gallon, I don't have a job, I'm still being felt up by the TSA, and the IRS is about to control my medical insurance records.

Brilliant satire... Clearly lost on the brilliant libs who apparently think giving the order to kill the world's most wanted man was a "gutsy" decision. Let's just all forget that it took Obummer 2 years of stalling and backpedaling to finally admit that he essentially agreed with every major point of Bush's war strategy. Obummer (the 2008 candidate) was wrong on every single point, from the surge in Iraq, to Gitmo, to appeasing Iran, to military tribunals. We lost 2 good years to Obummers naiveté and steep learning curve. After bowing to foreign leaders and trying his darndest to dismantle our national defense, he got one softball decision right. Let's erect a monument in his honor!

Andy Malcolm RULES! Tremendous editorial from an LA writer who used to edit for the "other" Times in NYC. Such clear thinking is sadly missing from the NY newspaper - no matter how many readers it loses. Remarkable and loony that some LA Times readers still demand 100% Obama worship. Most of America laughs at you (the LA-LA Land syndrome), as you will soon see. Enhanced interrogation initiated the successful operation and Navy Seals completed it. Obama did come off the golf course long enough to approve of measures Pres. Bush set in motion. he did not "Direct" the operation; he just didn't block it, as he has with economic recovery or effective health care reform.

Amen Brother.

i dunno man. this started off like an onion article but seems like it fell apart at the end.

h

obl was killed in spite of obama. Water-boarding works!!! Thanks GWB

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.

Posted by: Jerry | May 02, 2011 at 04:55 PM

Keep believing this crap, old boy! Why not learn how to become an American instead? You and your type, esp. Hussein, will never know what it's like to loyally serve your country!

After reading this article I wonder if the author had a cigarette in bed.

The pentagon is now denying a popular rumor that originated from a medical officer on the Carrier which performed the buriel at sea. The claim now is that his body was -not- injected with pork sausage prior to being wrapped up and cast overboard. The consensus is that no such action would be necessary to insure Osama goes to Islamic hell, since his acts against Muslims and innocents are enough to insure he suffers that penalty no matter what buriel rights were conducted or not.

Sometimes the LA Times really hits a home run, this is one of those times.

My favorite is when it reported extensively on how then state senator obama secured state funding for an inner city ping pong organizer who then funneled the money back to obama as attorney's fees.

The scuttlebut is that Urkel (Obama) was an hour late for his national address because they had to ice down his puffy eyes, as he'd been weeping when they told him "Geronimo is dead" and they wouldn't be able to try UBL in NYC. Despite the order from Barry to "take him alive", the boys in Team Six were smart enough to "put two in his hat" and spare the American TAXPAYER the expense.......

this administration has done everything in its power to stifle the intelligence services in their humt for Osama and his evil minions... This man is a charlaton on the highest order...

nice!

never thought i'd hear THIS kinda writing from the LA Times!!

Wow, thanks for this article, you can almost feel the hate pouring whenever the president is criticized. The response from progressives is amazing, I wish Irving Janus were still alive. President Obama did a marvelous job making this decision, I'm in security and Clinton had passed up UBL at least three and no more than 11 times (depending on who you ask) due to fear of messing it up and getting bad publicity. No matter what party we're in we can all agree that we are stoked about America kickin' a** and takin' names, and big kudos to Obama for showing that he, like Dubya, when it comes to national security, has got a pair. As for taking credit, well Duuuhhhhhh, how are his other policies working out? I do think its ironic that his greatest successes have been emulating the foreign policy of Dubya. Anyone else think so?

The Top Ten things Barack Obama almost did upon learning the location of Osama Bin Laden (Before being instructed to give the order to kill him)

10. Challenge him to a game of hoops

9. Ask him to contribute to his 2012 re-election campaign

8. Invite him to the White House for a State Dinner

7. Ask him to ghost write his next autobiography

6. Offer him a waiver for Obamacare

5. Compare golf handicaps

4. Raise his taxes

3. Show him his State of Hawaii birth certificate

2. Trade funny stories about attending Madrassas

1. Fist Bump?

Obummer is a poser. All credit and victory goes to our troops, zero to Obummer!
Now release the photos and show proof or else this was another Hollywood made clip. Wasn't Obama in Hollywood a week ago?

All credit goes to Trump.( BC and Bin laden)
Trump put the Kenyan to do his job or be forced out.
However his computer generated Birth Certificate is an absolute forgery, just compare to any other Hawaiian long form BC and is very clear Obama's BC is a forgery.

DISCLAMER: Any facts stated by conservative/republicans replying in these comments is purely coincidental.

President Obama put a lot on the line and came out on top. Had he failed, you'd have been all over him mercilessly.

Nobody is saying that the Seals shouldn't be praised -- all involved did a splendid job. For every military op there are the guys behind the scenes planning it and taking responsibility for the safety of their men.

But I get it, you don't like Obama NO MATTER WHAT.


Such negativity!

The writer fails to grasp the point that the courage involved was real: Obama had to make the decision go/no go. If he were to make the wrong decision, his presidency would be down the tubes immediately. It could have been like Carter's "helicopters in the desert" moment, and the analogy would have killed him in the media.

Writer, it's obvious that you've never had to make a decision in a position of responsibility.

Posted by: Neal J. King | May 02, 2011 at 06:54 PM

So to recap, Obama is to be commended for chosing to do the right thing over protecting his political future? Writer, it's obvious that you've never had to make a decision that tests your moral fiber.

They asked him what happened in the room because that's where he was. Why leave out that part? They never asked him what happened on the helicopter as he wasnt there. He was in a room, not a helicopter.

R is for room. H is for helicopter. Maybe Uncle Rush will take you to get some ice cream when you learn more words.

dang...that's REALLY tense "Obama only got in nine holes of golf"

Jerry, are you for real?

I am glad I am not the only one who got drenched with the self praise nmd irony from an administration who for all intents and purposes would have made it impossible to get the intell we did get. The heroes are the Seals and all military personnel who took part in this operation and certainly not the C.I.C. who was able to sweat it out thousands of miles away and then brag about how heroic the DECISION was.

This is what it looks like when the adults are in charge.

Gutsy call? That is a laugh. The picture of him and his group all huddled around the screen of the operation speaks horribly for this nation. Yes it is good that Osama Bin Laden is gone; but our leaders should have had some dignity about themselves in the process and that does not show.

Our nation has plummeted away from a nation of valor, courage, and honesty during this man's watch. Of course the gas prices have soared under his antics as well.

NOT ONLY did Obama only get to play 9 holes of golf, but he was forced into the filet mignon at the correspondant's dinner due to a shortage of the pheasant.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, the Cabernet was only of a 1980 vintage--- a very bad year for reds, and Dems too if memory serves?

George W. Bush bears no responsibility for the state of the economy but he is to be commended for the killing of Bin Laden!

This is simply unbelievable!

Is someone in the groveling media actually onto the Chicagoticians?

Did someone in BIG MEDIA actually shine a light on this "Most Transparent" administration?

Finally SOMEONE illustrates that Obama and the Administration REALLY are the brave leaders of Amerika... Our Brave New World!

I don’t feel that any president should be bragging, patting himself on the back, or using a mission such as this for political gain or as a milestone of his presidency. I feel this way for a couple of reasons. First it takes the focus and credit from the people in the field and on the ground doing the real work, including I am sure CIA assets that have been imbedded in these countries for years working towards this goal.

The second reason, and the one I feel is far more important, is that this sort of banter and gloating by our Commander in Chief is unpresidential. As the face and respresentative of our nation he should be taking a higher moral stance, not screaming and cheering like his team just scored a TD in the final seconds of the superbowl. As our representative he should be saying that while some decisions like this are easier than others, they are all difficult because of the mortal danger it means to not only our armed forces but to the innocent civilians in the area.

And before people try to reject what I say as pacifistic rambling, I am a disabled veteran of the Marine Corps. I have experienced first hand the cost and repurcussions of the decisions of the president. It is those costs that should be the focus as opposed to our president acting as the head cheerleader to the blood lust of the public, that is far more presidential.

Excellent posting, Mr. Malcolm.
I've long believed that Brennan was among the least competent in this incompetent administration, now there is no doubt he's the worst of the worst.
When I first read:

"During his 49 minute presentation Brennan did squeeze in one reference to the mission's "very brave personnel."

I felt my blood pressure rising, but with this gem:

"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."

I thought I would vomit.
The man is a dangerous clown.
~(Ä)~

Time for a vacation.....

The more I think about it the more disgusting I find the current behavoir of our president and his staff. Instead of ordering scores of political strategists to determine the absolute best way to wring every possible vote out of this event how about trying a statement such as this:

"As president and an American part of me cannot help but rejoice that we have finally found Bin Laden and killed him but I am far more saddened that it took nearly 10 years to do so. That the cost of justice for over 3000 innocent Americans was the lives of another 6000 of our best and bravest men and women, both here and abroad, will haunt me well beyond the time I spend in this office. When you consider that another 32,000 of those same men and women suffered, in many cases, grievous wounds the price we have paid is ehorbitant.

As a nation we should be celebrating our steadfast resolve and dedication towards justice for those that died nearly a decade ago instead of our ability to coordinate and execute a mission halfway around the world to kill another human. That we have never wavered from our goal in so many years illustrates the very best that we are as a nation, even though that goal includes actions which are the very worst that we are as a species.

We should also not forget that this milestone should have occured many years ago, this event should be part of our history as opposed to a press release today. If we, the elected representation, had been more diligent and proficient with our work, it is likely that we wouldn't have been forced to write today's news on the graves of so many."

If our president actually issued a statement like the one above I would definately respect him not only as a man, but as the voice of our nation. As it stands now, he has proven himself to be no different than the multitudes that have come before him; worried only about another 4 years and how to use absolutely anything to get even 1 extra vote.

The actions of our president are absolutely disgusting. To so conveniently forget to mention, let alone honor those that were ordered to their deaths by the office of the commander in chief is the most insulting behavoir to come out of Washington in recent memory. I know I am ashamed by it, but as long as it results in a couple percentage points in 2012 I somehow doubt our leaders feel the same.

It's not means the terrorist attacks stop.I think.Americans will may be more attacks by terrorist ,specially who oversea .

Your comment page requires one to be 13 years of age to participate. Sadly, Andrew Malcolm, by his writing here, is underage and additionally not advancing as quickly as the other students. Like the Tealiban it appears he prefers the incompetence and blunders of another president named Goober W. Bush

Imagine the stress of watching other people in a firefight. What our poor President went through... the horror!

Pointing out where credit is due - thanks. But, most thanks to our special forces and other operatives who risked their lives to bring justice to UBL. G-d bless you all.

Oliar's egocentonic narcissism knows no bounds. How sick and twisted it is for Brennan to pay such sycophantic tribute to his liege.

Great article from the LA Times. Quite a surprise too. Calling the president brave is like calling a food critic a 'good cook' because he tasted the food.

While I credit the president for having this happen, I'm finding the commentary about his heroics and background to be a bit over-the-top. Maybe his spokesmen being humble would make a much greater statement. There's a good chance that any 'political capital' he may have gotten from this was lost by the bravado (mostly by his aides, but also with his permission.

 
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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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