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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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Great article, and right on target.

Sometimes the LA Times surprises me.

The New York Times? Never. Repeat the same Democrat Party canards in accordance with the propaganda schedule.

But the LA Times? Sometimes.

My opinion of the Times has just risen!

What good is it to have Photos, DNA and other items locked up? Obama did not want to just drop a bomb on the compound because he wanted all this stuff for proof. Well show us the proof.

"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."

Uh. Actually that's not even true. Nice try at Republican Orwellian spin though.

From the NY Times:
Prisoners in American custody told stories of a trusted courier. When the Americans ran the man’s pseudonym past two top-level detainees — the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; and Al Qaeda’s operational chief, Abu Faraj al-Libi — the men claimed never to have heard his name. That raised suspicions among interrogators that the two detainees were lying and that the courier probably was an important figure.

From the Associated Press:
Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation.

So KSM lied to them when he was being tortured, and revealed the truth under standard interrogation techniques. Sorry torture apologists.

Needing to see the body is really dumb. If UBL were alive right now, we'd soon have a video of him, reading from a newspaper reporting his own death. And even Obama knows that. Flat-out deceiver and incompetent doofus that he is, even he wouldn't tell that lie.

His lies about this are the lies of deliberate omission, as Mr. Malcolm has so amusingly explained here.

Even Donald Rumsfeld told right wing news rag Newsmax that torture was no help: "It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

In my opinion it was an insult to America to have Bin Laden's body buried from an American ship.
His body should have been brought back to the US and his head cut off and stuck on a post at ground Zero.
I want proof.

l belive in my heart that Obama knew that the Navy seals taking out OsamaBin laden he would cancel the navy seals to take osama bin laden attack. President Obama shouldn't be trusted he the biggest phoney president in the history of the United States,he better remember one day he will stand in front of OUR lord for the what he did to our country and mankind.

Bush Bashers, what about Bill Clinton declining an opportunity to take bin Laden into US custody and refusing? Aiso the USCole and the underground bombing of the World Trade Center? There is enough blame to go around. Time to go forward and stop all of the bickering. We need to pull together to solve the serious problems facing us at home as well as. Terrorism:systematic covert warfare to produce terror for political coercion. Lies by politicians fits this description.(I voted Clinton but didn't vote for Obama because I did better research and did not like his ideology. I will vote for Herman Cain if he will run. Check him out.)

Truth is he didn't bash Obama directly just the Press Secretaries who in his eyes did not give the Credit that was due to the Seals

It took Obama two years to do what bush couldn't do in eight. Go Obama. Obama is the man. Don't hate. You republican idiots!

I found this column to be silly.

Was Malcolm expecting Obama to hop off one of the helicopters with a bazooka over his shoulder and a Bowie knife clenched between his teeth? Did Brennan ever say they all had it much tougher in the Situation Room than the SEALs had it on the ground?

Most of the comments Malcolm mocks in his article ("probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time in the lives of the people who were assembled here...") were in direct response to reporters' questions asking about what it was like in the Situation Room. (Q: In the Situation Room yesterday, could you describe how you were monitoring the goings-on? It’s been described as a very tense scene.)

As far as aides hailing Obama's "office bravery," there wasn't much unsolicited cheerleading by Brennan during the press briefing. Any time he mentioned Obama it was, again, in direct response to a question about Obama's involvement.

You can find the transcript online.

I see that the following day Malcolm implied Obama order the raid to boost his poll numbers.

Stay classy, Andrew.

The L.A. Times weakens itself by publishing this type of column.

Obama deserves the Medal of Honor to go with his Nobel Peace Prize...

Obama is AWESOME!

Obama didn't make the call to proceed with the Osama raid, Panetta did. Hillary was a rock star, Obama was too busy playing golf and trying to protect his image.

Regarding the post by Tracy who said, that Bush did begin this journey but couldn't get the job done. Clinton could have ended Bin Laden's life when he was the president if he'd had the gonads to give the order to shoot. A sniper had Bin Laden in the crosshairs of his rifle and Clinton wouldn't let him pull the trigger. If he had, 9/11 would have been just another day!! Aparently Clinton was to busy with a female guest in the Oval Office. Does the name Monica Lewinsky ring a bell???

Regarding to the post by Jerry: Was your comment supposed to be a joke? It certainly made me laugh. The only reason Bin Laden is dead, is because some very brave Navy Seals blew the top of his head off!!!! May he rest in hell!!!!

Regarding the post by KB: People do have respect for the USA, they just don't have any respect for the president. By the way, he doesn't know his butt from a hole in the gound. I hope he enjoys his term in office because God willing, he won't be there after the next election. Hopefully we will have a president, be it Rep, Dem, Ind or Tea Party, that will have the knowledge and guts to get all the mess Obama has made straightened out and get us back to the respected country that we were pre Obama. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

The retarded Me-I-me-mine in Chief reach such a ridiculous level of narcissism that even LA Times had enough with him. And wrote a pretty accurate account of the whole thing.

Get used to it, l1btards. It is only downhill from now on. Change! It has arrived.

It's good to see that even the most liberal of the press are beginning to see Obama and his minions for what they truly are.

Rather than use my own terms, I'll borrow from Mayor Bloomberg's comment about Obama. "He's the most arrogant man I've ever met."

The world orbits around Obama. (That's mine.)

An afterthought. Take it easy on the Dali Obama. Consider with whom he lives - and (one would think) sleeps.

There isn't much that does 'hang together' about this whole thing except perhaps O'Bama's need to take all the credit for it and milk it for all it's worth. Granted our fantastic military did an efficient and heroic job going in and getting rid of public enemy number one but after that it all falls apart! i.e. The timeliness of the incident, ( the upcoming election and O'Bama's falling poll numbers ) the fancy helicopter that promptly got broken, ( the noise element? Well didn't the other copter make plenty of noise?) why did they leave the wife when she could provide so much valuable information? Finally why dump him in the drink so that nobody could either confirm who they shot or have much needed closure? The photos of the other two who were killed that were put 'out there' were plenty messy enough. How much worse could it be? Besides, as someone pointed out we see plenty of blood and gore on TV cop shows. The list of strange happenings goes on and on. The American public is being treated like a bunch of 12 year olds. It is insulting and demeaning. We have waited a long long time to 'see' our enemy taken down and now that it supposedly has happened we are being told that we don't need to know all the details. Just have parties and vote Democrat in the election.

All politicians do that sort of trumping up of their own roles; they need job security. If it had gone wrong, you'd be all over the Prez for making bad decisions. It goes right, and guess what??? It was Bush all along! Pretty hypocritical after a dig at the current administration's lack of acknowledgment of the men on the ground.

By this sort of logic we should be thanking Tom Dewey for getting the towers built in the first place, and that still wouldn't shine the spotlight in the right place.

Just thank the SEALs that did the work and jog on, Mr Malcolm.

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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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