NYT: Obama was prepared to have SEALs fight off Pakistani troops
posted at 9:58 pm on May 9, 2011 by Allahpundit
I’d been looking forward to the inevitable movies about the Bin Laden raid, but now I’m thinking maybe the alternate-history version would be even more intense.
Coming soon: “Black Hawk Down 2: The Battle of Abbottabad”?
President Obama insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops, senior administration and military officials said Monday.
In revealing additional details about planning for the mission, senior officials also said that two teams of specialists were on standby: One to bury Bin Laden if he was killed, and a second composed of lawyers, interrogators and translators in case he was captured alive. That team was set to meet aboard a Navy ship, mostly likely the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea…
American forces were [initially] under strict orders to avoid engaging with any Pakistani forces that responded to the commotion at the Bin Laden compound, senior administration officials said.
If a confrontation appeared imminent, there were contingency plans for senior American officials, including Admiral Mullen, to call their Pakistani counterparts to avert an armed clash.
But when he reviewed the plans, Mr. Obama voiced concern that this was not enough to protect the troops on the mission, administration officials said.
So that’s why we ended up with two extra helicopters packed with SEALs following the main assault team towards Bin Laden’s compound. If the Pakistanis showed up and started shooting, our guys were going to liquidate them and then fly out. Which, really, is all you need to know about the state of relations between the two countries these days. Rather than phone the Pakistani leadership as the SEALs were taking off to tell them that an operation to seize Bin Laden was in progress, O was so worried that they’d either tip off Osama or force a confrontation with U.S. troops by sending Pakistani units to the scene that he decided to chance a firefight. Anyone need further proof of how high suspicions run about Pakistan’s double-dealing?
As for having lawyers aboard the aircraft carrier, see this post earlier. According to the Times, “the officials acknowledged that the mission always was weighted toward killing, given the possibility that Bin Laden would be armed or wearing an explosive vest.” For your viewing pleasure, via the Blaze, here’s the latest far-left objection to the operation. Why does Obama hate Native Americans?