The more we learn about the operation that successfully dispatched Osama bin Laden to the nether regions, the more we see just how truly American an operation it was, not just in the determination to see it through, but in the fact that leading figures in both political parties played a key part in carrying it out. So, as Jim Geraghty puts it, “rejoice. America always gets her man, sooner or later.”
From the White House, we learn that “for years”, the CIA was gathering “leads on individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle, including his personal couriers.” Detainees had identified a certain man
. . . as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden. But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.
Four years ago, we uncovered his identity, and for operational reasons, I can’t go into details about his name or how we identified him, but about two years ago, after months of persistent effort, we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. Still we were unable to pinpoint exactly where they lived, due to extensive operational security on their part. The fact that they were being so careful reinforced our belief that we were on the right track.
Emphasis added. Four years ago, George W. Bush was president. So, this operation began to blossom in the previous Administration. But, it wasn’t until the incumbent Administration when it bore fruit. In August, “U.S. teams located” Obama’s residence (well, his residence as until yesterday. Thanks to the Navy SEALs, he has a new home today!)
But, “the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden” may have emerged has far back as 2003 with the capture of “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks”. Even after locating the compound, “C.I.A. analysts spent the next several weeks examining satellite photos and intelligence reports to determine who might be living” there. By March, they were convinced it was the refuge of bin Laden lived. On the 14th of that month, the president “held the first of what would be five national security meetings in the course of the next six weeks to go over plans for the operation.” (more…)