More that should never have been written
Wall Street Journal
May 23, 2011
By Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes
In January, the chief of the military's elite special-operations troops accepted an unusual invitation to visit Central Intelligence Agency headquarters. There, Adm. William McRaven was shown, for the first time, photos and maps indicating the whereabouts of the world's most wanted man.
Adm. McRaven—one of the first military officers to be brought into the CIA's latest hunt for Osama bin Laden—offered a blunt assessment: Taking bin Laden's compound would be reasonably straightforward. Dealing with Pakistan would be hard.
A Wall Street Journal reconstruction of the mission planning shows that this meeting helped define a profound new strategy in the U.S. war on terror, namely the use of secret, unilateral missions powered by a militarized spy operation. The strategy reflects newfound trust between two traditionally wary groups: America's spies, and its troops.
The bin Laden strike was the strategy's “proof of concept,” says one U.S. official.
Phi Beta Iota: The Bin Laden Show (01-76) has been closed, but will remain as a reference point. We continue to find the entire affair lacking in credibility. To do a covert insertion of so many people by air to deal with five men when CIA had a safehouse in the area and could have done a very small silencer-driven assault begs disbelief. We continue to believe that indictable and impeachable decisions and actions are associated with this event, mostly on the part of Panetta and a handful of cohorts willing to lie to JSOG to achieve “higher” political ends. As with JFK, MLK, the Tonkin Gulf, the USS Liberty, the USS Scorpion, and so many other “national security” matters, the US public may have to wait a quarter century for the truth.