U.S. had plans for failure, success of bin Laden raid
November 13th, 2013
02:23 PM ET

U.S. had plans for failure, success of bin Laden raid

By Barbara Starr

In the hours before the 2011 raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the CIA delivered a final, crucial 66-page document to the White House.

Thirty-three pages detailed how the mission would be announced to the world if it was a success. But the other 33 pages spelled out what would have happened, and what would been said, if it all went wrong. The plan was carried to the White House in a locked bag by George Little, then-press secretary to CIA director Leon Panetta. Little spoke to CNN Wednesday, just two days before leaving government service as the Pentagon press secretary.

Little said much of the plan for the possible failure of the raid tried to anticipate various scenarios, such as an aircraft carrying the commandos crashing into Pakistan, or U.S. troops getting into a firefight with Pakistani forces. There was also discussion of what the Obama administration would have told the American people and the world, if there had been overwhelming opposition at the compound in Abbottabad, and perhaps some of the U.S. troops had been killed. The troops had been told to anticipate combat at the compound where bin Laden was found hiding and to expect the entire area to be booby-trapped.

When the Navy SEALs did move in to the compound in the early morning hours of May 2, climbing over 18-foot-high walls topped with barbed wire, they went through it quickly, meeting little opposition aside from the firing of AK-47s by a few male occupants at the site.

But in advance of the raid, it was still seen as highly risky, Little said. "Failure could have taken a number of forms. This was not an ironclad intelligence case that bin Laden was there."

That meant there was also a scenario in which President Barack Obama would have had to publicly speak about getting to the compound, but finding out that the man they had been tracking was not bin Laden.

The plan "offered an option to the President in which he could explain the rationale for undertaking the mission, the strong intelligence, the months of specific leads and the years of pursuing bin Laden," Little told CNN. "We would have emphasized (that) given the intelligence we had at the time, that we believed most Americans would have made the same decision" to undertake the raid.

The difficulty for the CIA was that some details of the plan were always supposed to remain classified, such as which U.S. military unit conducted the mission. But Little said he believes that if the raid had failed, Washington still would have had to come clean. "I think we probably at some point would have had to acknowledge what happened," he recently told reporters.


Filed under: Osama bin Laden
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. xnxx shop

    Great blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://yellowpages.rrstar.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    May 18, 2021 at 5:00 am | Reply
  2. truck box repair

    http://sendfwd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 18, 2021 at 1:35 am | Reply
  3. Wrong Place Right Time Maserati

    Hello there! I just wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your site for more soon.

    http://snz-nat-test.aptsolutions.net/ad_click_check.php?banner_id=1&ref=https://maseratis.net

    May 17, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  4. lupusfoundationofamerica.co

    Greetings from Carolina! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided
    to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you present here and can't wait to take a
    look when I get home. I'm surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb site!

    May 17, 2021 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  5. painting a horse trailer

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the site is really good.

    /

    May 17, 2021 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  6. Gaynell Antuna

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/05/like-planes-like-cars-check-out-this-bmw-5-series-commercial-with-a-boeing-kc-135/

    http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs151/1111846961938/archive/1119161431892.html

    May 17, 2021 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  7. trailer services near me

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don't speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

    /&num=3&au=y&date=y&utf=y&html=y

    May 17, 2021 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  8. Maserati Zagato

    http://viz.me/Jordan/url/2?url=http://www.maseratiforum.net/

    May 17, 2021 at 7:05 am | Reply
  9. Stuart Cuccinello

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2012/10/qualitatively-funny.html

    May 17, 2021 at 5:45 am | Reply
  10. Alternator Mercedes Sprinter 2016 Repair

    http://10lowkey.us/UCH/link.php?url=http://fleetservicerepairshop.com/van-upholstery-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 5:00 am | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to Derek


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.