Barack Obama cancelled three operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission at the insistence of Hillary Clinton, according to a new book.
The explosive allegation is contained in an expose by journalist Rich Miniter, who argues that the White House’s carefully-crafted narrative of Obama as a decisive leader who dispatched the al-Qaeda leader despite the doubts of advisers is a myth.
Miniter, a former ‘Wall Street Journal’, ‘Washington Times’ and ‘Sunday Times’ of London journalist, cites an unnamed source within Joint Special Operations Command as revealing that three ‘kill’ missions were cancelled by Obama in January, February and March 2011.
Bin Laden was eventually killed by US Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbotobad, Pakistan in May 2011.
Minter continues: ‘Obama was often disengaged as the bin Laden operation took shape; he left critical decisions to the then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, then-Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
‘Obama feared taking responsibility for a risky raid that might go tragically wrong.’
Initially, Miniter writes, Obama deferred to Jarrett over whether to go after bin Laden.
‘Jarrett opposed the idea. She worried about a backlash against the president if the operation failed, or even if it succeeded. Clinton privately fumed about Jarrett’s relentless presence and her injection of political considerations at every turn.
‘Throughout 2009 Obama demanded more and more certainty about U.S. intelligence concerning bin Laden. Jarrett repeatedly reminded Obama and other executive-branch officials that the president had campaigned on the “intelligence failures” of the Bush years.
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