An adaptation of Mark Bowden’s new book on the hunt for Osama bin Laden:
“Everyone else favored sending in the SEALs. Clinton, who had faulted Obama during the primary campaign for asserting that he would send forces to Pakistan unilaterally if there was a good chance of getting bin Laden, now said that she favored the raid. She delivered this opinion after a typically lengthy review of the pros and cons. She noted that the raid would pose a diplomatic nightmare for the State Department. But because the U.S.-Pakistani relationship was built more on mutual dependence than friendship and trust, it would likely survive the crisis. Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, gave a detailed PowerPoint presentation before delivering his endorsement. Mullen had witnessed McRaven’s rehearsals at Fort Bragg and in Nevada. He had high confidence in the SEAL team.
“Brennan, Donilon, Clapper, Panetta, and Morell all agreed. The C.I.A. director felt strongly about it, which was not surprising. This had been his project all along, and the analysts who worked for him would have felt betrayed if their boss had changed his mind. Panetta told Obama that he ought to ask himself this question: ‘What would the average American say if he knew we had the best chance of getting bin Laden since Tora Bora and we didn’t take a shot?’”