Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting the Story Straight: Intricate Details of bin Laden Raid | HyperVocal



    Getting the Story Straight: Massive Leak Reveals Intricate Details of bin Laden Raid

    Details about what happened the night Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden have changed so much in the intervening time that it’s become difficult to accept the official story from the White House. Anonymous government sources have just handed the Associated Press a massive leak on specifically how the raid went down that clears up many of the confusing details.
    You should probably just read the entire account — that is, if people haven’t yet moved on to the next great news story.
    — The decision to launch on that particular moonless night in May came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan. U.S. officials feared if it leaked to the press, bin Laden would disappear for another decade.
    – Five aircraft flew from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, with three school-bus-size Chinook helicopters landing in a deserted area roughly two-thirds of the way to bin Laden’s compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, two of the officials explained. Aboard two Black Hawk helicopters were 23 SEALs, an interpreter and a tracking dog named Cairo. Nineteen SEALs would enter the compound, and three of them would find bin Laden, one official said, providing the exact numbers for the first time. Aboard the Chinooks were two dozen more SEALs, as backup.
    – The plan unraveled as the first helicopter tried to hover over the compound. The Black Hawk skittered around uncontrollably in the heat-thinned air, forcing the pilot to land. As he did, the tail and rotor got caught on one of the compound’s 12-foot walls. The pilot quickly buried the aircraft’s nose in the dirt to keep it from tipping over, and the SEALs clambered out into an outer courtyard. The other aircraft did not even attempt hovering, landing its SEALs outside the compound.
    – They shot three men as well as one woman, whom U.S. officials have said lunged at the SEALs. Small knots of children were on every level, including the balcony of bin Laden’s room.
    – The three SEALs assumed he was going for a weapon, and one by one they rushed after him through the door, one official described. Two women were in front of bin Laden, yelling and trying to protect him, two officials said. The first SEAL grabbed the two women and shoved them away, fearing they might be wearing suicide bomb vests, they said. The SEAL behind him opened fire at bin Laden, putting one bullet in his chest, and one in his head. It was over in a matter of seconds.
    It’s a good account, but there’s also nothing scandalous. It makes you wonder why the White House felt the need to change their story so many times in the days after they announced the news.
    “Geronimo” wasn’t actually bin Laden’s codename, but was rather a signal for the letter “G.” Each step of the mission was labeled alphabetically and the use of “Geronimo” by SEAL Team Six was an indication that they had reached step “G” in the mission — the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden.
    Also of note: It took longer to blow up the downed chopper (23 minutes) than it did to enter the Abottabad compound and kill bin Laden (15 minutes).

    Enhanced by Zemanta