The Day We Got Bin Laden

By Jefferson, David | Newsweek, September 12, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Day We Got Bin Laden


Jefferson, David, Newsweek


Byline: David Jefferson

In their own words, the team in the Situation Room tells the story of America's ultimate act of vengeance.

It took 10 years, two wars, billions of dollars--and thousands of American lives. But finally, on May 1, 2011, the United States extracted sweet revenge for the deadly attacks on its soil. Cornered in the middle of the night in his secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by a commando team of U.S. Navy SEALs, Osama bin Laden was finally brought down by bullets to the chest and head. Targeting Bin Laden, a new documentary airing Sept. 6 on the History channel, tells the story of the fight to find bin Laden, chronicling the anxiety surrounding the decision to raid the bin Laden compound and the tension in the White House as the men of Team Six carried out their life-or-death mission half a world away. Here, in their own words from the documentary, several of those who watched the drama unfold from inside the White House Situation Room recount the historic mission.

THE DECISION

Barack Obama: Some of our intelligence officers thought that it was only a 40 or 30 percent chance that bin Laden was in the compound. Others thought that it was as high as 80 or 90 percent. At the conclusion of a fairly lengthy discussion where everybody gave their assessments, I said, "This is basically 50-50-." It was circumstantial--we couldn't know for certain.

At the end of that meeting, which was fairly tense, I told folks I would sleep on it. And I would give an order in the morning. Ben Rhodes, deputy national-security adviser for strategic operations: We were all waiting with bated breath to get the final decision back from him.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for counter-terrorism and homeland security: The stakes were just too damn high.

Thomas Donilon, national-security adviser: He gathered us in a semicircle around him. And he said, "I've thought about the options. I've considered the decision and it's a go."

Obama: Even though I thought it was only 50-50 that bin Laden was there, I thought it was worth us taking a shot.

THE WAIT

Rhodes: I remember a feeling of trying to pass the time because these minutes felt like hours ... and you're really not in a state of excitement, but rather of extraordinary concern.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Day We Got Bin Laden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.