Must read: How the SEALs got Bin Laden

posted at 8:07 pm on August 1, 2011 by Allahpundit

An instant classic from the New Yorker, far too valuable to be buried in a Headlines item this morning. Take 10 minutes to wash down the bitterness of the debt-ceiling fiasco with a moment of true American greatness.

My favorite part? The SEALs’ Pakistani-American translator, “Ahmed,” posing as a local cop and shooing Bin Laden’s neighbors away as they came by to ask what the ruckus was about. The moment of truth:

Three SEALs shuttled past Khalid’s body and blew open another metal cage, which obstructed the staircase leading to the third floor. Bounding up the unlit stairs, they scanned the railed landing. On the top stair, the lead SEAL swivelled right; with his night-vision goggles, he discerned that a tall, rangy man with a fist-length beard was peeking out from behind a bedroom door, ten feet away. The SEAL instantly sensed that it was Crankshaft. (The counterterrorism official asserts that the SEAL first saw bin Laden on the landing, and fired but missed.)

The Americans hurried toward the bedroom door. The first SEAL pushed it open. Two of bin Laden’s wives had placed themselves in front of him. Amal al-Fatah, bin Laden’s fifth wife, was screaming in Arabic. She motioned as if she were going to charge; the SEAL lowered his sights and shot her once, in the calf. Fearing that one or both women were wearing suicide jackets, he stepped forward, wrapped them in a bear hug, and drove them aside. He would almost certainly have been killed had they blown themselves up, but by blanketing them he would have absorbed some of the blast and potentially saved the two SEALs behind him. In the end, neither woman was wearing an explosive vest.

A second SEAL stepped into the room and trained the infrared laser of his M4 on bin Laden’s chest. The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. “There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,” the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye. On his radio, he reported, “For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.” After a pause, he added, “Geronimo E.K.I.A.”—“enemy killed in action.”

That boldfaced part is the newsiest bit from the piece — that they never really had any intention of capturing him, notwithstanding the intel value of interrogation. They must have figured, correctly, that there was plenty of intel to be had elsewhere in the house and on his hard drives, enough so that they weren’t going to bother dealing with the endless migraines of housing him and trying him. In that sense, the raid is a nifty microcosm of Obama’s drone-dependent terror strategy: Better to neutralize these guys on the spot and forfeit any organizational info they might have than capture them and fumble with the political hot potato of detention. Besides, even though they suspected that the house wasn’t wired — the presence of children reportedly led the SEALs to believe OBL had let down his guard, although I’m not sure why — there was no telling what might happen once they were in front of him. How do you take a chance when you’re on his turf and he’s been anticipating this moment for almost 10 years?

Fun fact: Before the raid, some CIA analysts studying the compound thought the odds of Bin Laden being there were as low as 40 percent. Gutsy call!

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I heard, from an inside source, that he 1. Pointed his weapon at him and then 2. pulled the trigger.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

SEALs rock.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

He would almost certainly have been killed had they blown themselves up, but by blanketing them he would have absorbed some of the blast and potentially saved the two SEALs behind him. In the end, neither woman was wearing an explosive vest.

Even more awesome! Hollywood can’t write this stuff.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Every time I worry about our politicians wrecking this country I see real heroes like these guys who give me faith again.

William Amos on August 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Eventually, a few curious Pakistanis approached to inquire about the commotion on the other side of the wall. “Go back to your houses,” Ahmed said, in Pashto, as Cairo stood watch. “There is a security operation under way.” The locals went home, none of them suspecting that they had talked to an American. When journalists descended on Bilal Town in the coming days, one resident told a reporter, “I saw soldiers emerging from the helicopters and advancing toward the house. Some of them instructed us in chaste Pashto to turn off the lights and stay inside.”

aunursa on August 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

If you meant this to distract me from the debt crisis, it worked magnificently. Suddenly trillions in military spending became worth every penny.

KillerKane on August 1, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Killing bin Laden may have been the last great act of our soon to be destroyed republic.

Zorro on August 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM

It was Settling With Power.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Even more awesome! Hollywood can’t write this stuff.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Hollywood has no clue about that kind of courage. And these are the people Obama wanted to threaten with not getting paid? Hell, they’d do it again for free. Screue you Barry.

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 8:18 PM

They assassinated murdered rid the world of a piece of chit. It would have been insane to take him alive. This is the one thing that assures Carter keeps “worst prez evah” title.

Southernblogger on August 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM

This is the one thing that assures Carter keeps “worst prez evah” title.

Southernblogger on August 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM

There was no other option. The last administration was already actively looking for him. For Obama to come in and say “sorry, let the guy go” would have been extremely stupid.

Electrongod on August 1, 2011 at 8:24 PM

And now, to distract you from the fact we just called gutting national defense spending a victory, her’s a story about how the military at old spending levels kicked ass.

amerpundit on August 1, 2011 at 8:25 PM

It really is an incredible read.

Hats off to the SEALs.

miConsevative on August 1, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Electrongod on August 1, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Yeah, but Obama had blathered about Nuremburg trials or something loony in the past. They did right. Pop him, dump him, forget him.

Southernblogger on August 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

tmO;dr

Too much Obama; didn’t read.

BJ* on August 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

They must have figured, correctly, that there was plenty of intel to be had elsewhere in the house and on his hard drives, enough so that they weren’t going to bother dealing with the endless migraines of housing him and trying him.

Ironic isn’t it. The guy that placed all those migraines in the way (Ughbama) needed to circumvent them when push came to shove.

dirtseller on August 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

To the heroic Navy SEALs and all those who helped them: I don’t know you, but I owe you. God knows who you are and I pray you will be richly blessed.

Terrie on August 1, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Great men quietly going about the business of making us safe. I thank God we have men like these on our side.

d1carter on August 1, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I’m surprised the media hasn’t tried to spin this into somehow we are conducting a religious war against islam because he mentioned God.

reddevil on August 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Medal of Honor for the guy who shot him.

JohnW on August 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Who wants to place a wager on how many movies on this will come out next year – just in time for the election – with the part for Obama played up to the hilt?

Chip on August 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Great men quietly going about the business of making us safe. I thank God we have men like these on our side.

d1carter on August 1, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Oh,yeah!

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 8:46 PM

That boldfaced part is the newsiest bit from the piece — that they never really had any intention of capturing him, notwithstanding the intel value of interrogation. They must have figured, correctly, that there was plenty of intel to be had elsewhere in the house and on his hard drives, enough so that they weren’t going to bother dealing with the endless migraines of housing him and trying him

Yeah, but think about the PPV value of him being paraded alive through the streets of Manhattan.

JohnGalt23 on August 1, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Medal of Honor for the guy who shot him.

JohnW on August 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Beleive it! And I can die a happy woman seeing President Palin bestowing that honor.

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Yeah, but think about the PPV value of him being paraded alive through the streets of Manhattan.

JohnGalt23 on August 1, 2011 at 8:46 PM

That would have been terrific. Alas!

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 8:49 PM

We can only hope such patriotic and heroic individuals as these will rise up to lead our country to fiscal sanity, moral dignity, justice, and the true calling of our Constitution.

Robert17 on August 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Obama got Osama!*

*Using policies and procedures put in place by Bush/Cheney as well as the armed forces of the United States.

RedNewEnglander on August 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

TAP, TAP and no tap back

darwin-t on August 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

This is the story of heroes with Obama written in. The New Yorker? Rolling Stone with cartoons.

I don’t remember any other mission from any other war with the president at the time as the star of the tale. The same person who is responsible for more American military deaths in Afghanistan due to his inane ROE is not and never will be a war hero.

Hening on August 1, 2011 at 8:54 PM

A. How does Obama play golf with this mission in progress? He is either an excellent multi tasker or an a-hole.

B. I hope the SEAL that shot Bin Laden was a very light skinned,blonde type so that Bin Laden knew for sure they were Americans. However they have on so much gear that he probably could not see or didn’t have time to process. So sad. Think about it. This sissy really thought he was safe and the infidels had to come out of nowhere and fk up his plans.

arnold ziffel on August 1, 2011 at 8:55 PM

A. How does Obama play golf with this mission in progress? He is either an excellent multi tasker or an a-hole.

arnold ziffel on August 1, 2011 at 8:55 PM

darwin-t on August 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Robert17 on August 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I believe the nation is filled with them, drowned out by the bloviating talking heads on the news, and the puff-puff-puffing politicians. I have great faith in “average” Americans.

DrMagnolias on August 1, 2011 at 8:59 PM

I’m surprised the media hasn’t tried to spin this into somehow we are conducting a religious war against islam because he mentioned God.

reddevil on August 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

If it had happened while Bush was in office, you could bank on it. For Obama, they won’t breathe a word of it.

Midas on August 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I’m surprised the media hasn’t tried to spin this into somehow we are conducting a religious war against islam because he mentioned God.

reddevil on August 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

If this happened on a Republican president’s watch, you better believe they’d go there.

What an awesome story. Thank God for our brave military!

Nikkia2112 on August 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM

America’s housekeeping–”Seal of Approval”

chickasaw42 on August 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM

I don’t care who said what – all sound good.

* “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
o Alternative: “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
o In his 1945 “Notes on Nationalism”, Orwell claimed that the statement, “Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf” was a “grossly obvious” fact. “Notes on Nationalism”
o Notes: allegedly said by George Orwell although there is no evidence that Orwell ever wrote or uttered either of these versions of this idea. They do bear some similarity to comments made in an essay that Orwell wrote on Rudyard Kipling, when quoting from one of his poems. Orwell did write, in his essay on Kipling, that the latter’s “grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound. He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them.” (1942)
+ “Yes, making mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep” – Rudyard Kipling (Tommy)
+ “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it.” – Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men)
o Alternative: “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” – Winston Churchill (miscellaneous quotation, no date)

fred5678 on August 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Misleading headline. Obama got Osama. I read it in the news so I know it’s true.

ButterflyDragon on August 1, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Crankshaft?

did they have bugs in the bedroom?

cuz the young wife told the Pakis what her favorite activity with Bindy Von Laden

windansea on August 1, 2011 at 9:12 PM

The framed flag that DEVGRU presented to Obama ought to belong to the Office of the President, not the man in occupancy. It should be placed in the Oval Office for the long term, the reflection of nine-plus years of hard-won intel. Perhaps they can place it where the Churchill bust used to be displayed.

hungrymongo on August 1, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Well, in honor of Ramadan, I enjoyed a nice HAM dinner. Hey, someone has to help dispose of the earthly remains of Bin Laden’s 72 Virgins.
Ahh, the freedom we enjoy in the U.S.; I love it!

michaelo on August 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM

All well and good but what the world wants to know is whether The Great Transformer slept on the decision to take out bin Laden and whether Panetta gave the order because Mr. Present wouldn’t? Hop to it intrepid LSM.

Basilsbest on August 1, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Thank God for Dick Cheney’s Private Assassination Squad.

Bruno Strozek on August 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Better to neutralize these guys on the spot and forfeit any organizational info they might have than capture them and fumble with the political hot potato of detention.

Yet somehow that wasn’t good enough for President Bush. democrats are pigs.

CurtZHP on August 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Hoorah for the Seals and the intel community for finding and killing this maggot, to be sure. But the story isn’t that we found and shot an unarmed terrorist in his rathole Pakistani compound … it is that he eluded the most powerful military in human history for 10 years in a rapidly shrinking world, where his face was known to everyone.

That is astonishing and frightening.

Jaibones on August 1, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Better to neutralize these guys on the spot and forfeit any organizational info they might have than capture them and fumble with the political hot potato of detention.

Yet somehow that wasn’t good enough for President Bush. democrats are pigs.

CurtZHP on August 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Great policy for terrorists — kill them on sight. And despite his evident weakness, cowardice, and hateful dishonesty — it is to Obama’s great credit that he lied to liberals everywhere and carried this policy forward.

Jaibones on August 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

…the story isn’t that we found and shot an unarmed terrorist in his rathole Pakistani compound … it is that he eluded the most powerful military in human history for 10 years in a rapidly shrinking world, where his face was known to everyone.

That is astonishing and frightening.

Jaibones on August 1, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Took the words out of my mouth.

We are the mightiest empire that the planet has yet seen, but somehow it took us years to subdue an army of ill-equipped religious fanatics – the country still isn’t secured from them even now- and a DECADE to catch their leader?!

Something is seriously wrong with this picture!

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 1, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Great story, but it’s so nauseating to hear about how we adhered to Islamic rites and ritual for his burial. The roach didn’t give a damn about anyone he killed and yet we’re supposed to show sensitivity, etc. Awful.

We should have given him the choice between burning alive and jumping out the window of a 100 story building.

Laserjock on August 1, 2011 at 9:29 PM

“For God and Country, I’ll end your Life.”
The line if from the ‘Warrior Song’
The Seal was originally a Marine, I’ll bet.

michaelo on August 1, 2011 at 9:30 PM

That reminds me, I have to feed my fish

Kini on August 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

This is the story of heroes with Obama written in.

Hening on August 1, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Yep. It’s a great read, but I’m really disgusted that the author used the trick of leaving our heroes in jeapordy (the pilot feeling that the helicopter was about to crash) to keep the reader reading through their paean to Obama. And they doubled-down on the trickery by inserting Obama at right into the action, as if he were a part of the team.

I’m loving the heroics of the heroes, but the fact that the author would use that for Obama PR just turns my stomach.

29Victor on August 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I honestly don’t know how you can read that and be against Obama.

crr6 on August 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

The 72nd and final version.

BL@KBIRD on August 1, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Credit where it’s due. President Obama ordered the raid with a 40% probability of failure.

And if it had failed commenters like katy the mean old lady and other anti-Obamaists would never shut up about it.

Thank the SEALS and thank the President of the United States!

chumpThreads on August 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I honestly don’t know how you can read that and be against Obama.

crr6 on August 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

…I read it as proof that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

…for the majority of his putrid public existence, he’s tried to trip, thwart and twaddle those professionals whose nearly ten years of toil and sweat led to his being able to receive the credit he did…and I still haven’t heard a “maybe I wasn’t entirely right” hasn’t escaped his lips YET….

…as in the current debt-ceiling “crisis”…what’s the first thing to go under the knife when fat needs trimming? Defense, that’s what…disarming the country so’s Democrat constituencies can stroked and continue to get free cheese. Sheesh!

…the thing to take from this is that these guys aren’t new to this…Iraq…Somalia…Afganistan…operation after operation, in and out without a hitch. They’ve built up an base of expertise the special ops community hasn’t seen since the days of ‘Nam and the boys of MACV-SOG and B-52.

…and now the Dems and crr6′s ideological soul brothers, as after ‘Nam, will get to decide how much of their budgets to cut.

…I’m not against Obama…just against everything he stands for…”fundamental change” my eye!

Puritan1648 on August 1, 2011 at 9:47 PM

…and I hope that Bin Laden is enjoying his virgins…and that they all look like and sound like Janeane Garofalo….

Puritan1648 on August 1, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Credit where it’s due. President Obama ordered the raid with a 40% probability of failure.

And if it had failed commenters like katy the mean old lady and other anti-Obamaists would never shut up about it.

Thank the SEALS and thank the President of the United States!

chumpThreads on August 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I guess you missed this part of the article:


Despite JSOC’s lead role in Neptune’s Spear, the mission officially remained a C.I.A. covert operation. The covert approach allowed the White House to hide its involvement, if necessary. As the counterterrorism official put it recently, “If you land and everybody is out on a milk run, then you get the hell out and no one knows.”

To translate, if the mission failed, we would likely never know about it. Perhaps a footnote a month later, -’a helicopter made a hard landing on a training mission in Pakistan last month…’

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Credit where it’s due. President Obama ordered the raid with a 40% probability of failure.

And if it had failed commenters like katy the mean old lady and other anti-Obamaists would never shut up about it.

Thank the SEALS and thank the President of the United States!

chumpThreads on August 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Go screue yourself, kid. Your boy was dragged off a golf course and forced to watch his OK. OK?

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Thank God for Dick Cheney’s Private Assassination Squad.

Bruno Strozek on August 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Ain’t that the truth…

Judge, jury, and executioner with stealth helicopters. What’s not to like?

Hog Wild on August 1, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Can any military commenters shed light on this question?

While practicing at the same altitude in the NV desert, why not practice landing a Blackhawk inside a rehearsal compound with high walls, if “settling with power” is a well-known problem?

There was so much incredibly detailed planning otherwise, why not build a replica of the compound out here in our beautiful (government owned) NV desert?

fred5678 on August 1, 2011 at 10:38 PM

That reminds me, I have to feed my fish

Kini on August 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

THREAD WINNER. That is hysterical.

mimi1220 on August 1, 2011 at 10:49 PM

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. – attributed to George Orwell

MJBrutus on August 1, 2011 at 10:51 PM

He replied, “If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable, or unwilling, to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden.

This has to be the only campaign promise he has fulfilled.

Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life.

My favorite part in a photo finish with the part where the SEAL, fearing she was wearing explosives, blankets the wife.

rukiddingme on August 1, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Who wants to place a wager on how many movies on this will come out next year – just in time for the election – with the part for Obama played up to the hilt?

Chip on August 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I hear they already signed Hugo Chavez to play Bamster.

ouldbollix on August 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM

fred5678 on August 1, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I don’t think it would have mattered.

One, SWP requires the helicopter travel through three very distinct phases prior to actually getting to the point where the aircraft cannot be recovered.

1. 20-100 percent of it’s powered applied.
2. Near zero airspeed.
3. At least 300 FPM rate of descent.

When the aircraft begins it’s descent, it is transitioning from the Normal Thrust State into descent. The rotor blade already have vortices rotating at their tips. That decreases their lift capability. The downward velocity of the rotor wash is approximately 500 FPM. It decrease to 250 FPM half way in the rotor disk. Once the aircraft reached 300 FPM rate of descent, the upward flow of air causes a disturbance or inner vortices to form near the rotor head. Once these votices become pronounced the helicopter is in what is known as the Vortex Ring State. Only directional flight will help. An increase in power will only make it worse. They probably were “hot” into the LZ and suffered a combination of this and then insufficient room to maneuver within the walls and insufficient power at the bottom to arrest the rate of descent. A combination of aerodynamic factors had to be in effect.

I’m not sure if it were truly SWP, (which would begin well, well above the confines of the wall) what effect the walls themselves would have except to restrict direction flight once they descended into them.

I hope that makes some sense.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

“Fun fact: Before the raid, some CIA analysts studying the compound thought the odds of Bin Laden being there were as low as 40 percent. Gutsy call!”
This is just BS, AP. You write sometimes like a lawyer.
So, “some thought” that, which means that other did not. How many others did not? 90%? Did those 90% think that there was a 100% chance he was there?
Why do you throw a piece of junk like that into an article about the real heros?

GaltBlvnAtty on August 1, 2011 at 11:10 PM

I hope that makes some sense.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Gravity is a bitch?

Hog Wild on August 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM

How sad that no one is reading this fine thread. Too busy pissin’ and moanin’ . We’ve got people here at HA saying they will dump their country and move elsewhere? Nice. You don’t deserve this country.

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Good thing the Seals got him when they did, cuz after the Won gets through cutting the military budget, we may not have any Seals left.

Kissmygrits on August 1, 2011 at 11:41 PM

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Having been in two SWPs, but not as pilot, one caused by a sudden down draft/wind shift, the other by mech failure, do you think either of those could have been present here? The fact that the helo was able to land on belly, or at least not on side, seems to me to indicate a mech def of some kind. Also, the helos here aren’t your daddy’s Black Hawks, so maybe there’s some aerodynamics differentials that could’ve been present…

TXUS on August 1, 2011 at 11:47 PM

First rule of Fight Club: Don’t talk about Fight Club.

Send_Me on August 1, 2011 at 11:51 PM

“There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,” the special-operations officer told me.

Hmmm tell Hamza.

Dr Evil on August 1, 2011 at 11:54 PM

fun fact: Before the raid, some CIA analysts studying the compound thought the odds of Bin Laden being there were as low as 40 percent. Gutsy call!

The compound was under constant surveillance but nobody saw Hamza come or go, and his mother immediately reported him missing – so she thought he was in the compound. And no one has reported seeing him since. He’s like Jimmy Hoffa or something…..

Dr Evil on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 PM

It was Settling With Power.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:16 PM

You were right. But was it a stealthhawk?

AH_C on August 2, 2011 at 12:01 AM

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Having been in two SWPs, but not as pilot, one caused by a sudden down draft/wind shift, the other by mech failure, do you think either of those could have been present here? The fact that the helo was able to land on belly, or at least not on side, seems to me to indicate a mech def of some kind. Also, the helos here aren’t your daddy’s Black Hawks, so maybe there’s some aerodynamics differentials that could’ve been present…

TXUS on August 1, 2011 at 11:47 PM

You guys are much braver that I. I’ll fly in any old clapped out plane. Helo’s scare the crap out of me. The glide ratio of a brick.

katy the mean old lady on August 2, 2011 at 12:02 AM

There will always be man and woman like these Seals. Unknown to most of us. Who willingly give up some of our most cherished Constitutional rights to defend all those rights for others. Who know and except that they will never be able to part of that society again.

Nightmare 6
Vietnam

jpcpt03 on August 2, 2011 at 12:12 AM

This is a wonderful story, and Alistair MacLean is rolling over in his grave as we speak. Perfect “Where Eagles Dare” type operation.

Only problem is, any movie about this will be tainted. If it’s made at all, after all Hollywood film makers are O’bama’s Friends.

As polling has shown, O’bama got a momentary uptick in “Job Approval” after the SEALS did their job.

But it vanished.

As I said about this New Yawka story earlier in Headlines, they ruin the narrative when they insert an O’bama Campaign Commercial into paragraphs 10 and 11.

They then go into the Home Stretch of the article fawning over O’bama for wanting to meet the military dog that was part of the SEAL team.They also portray him as the greatest military mind since George Patton.

I would replace him with this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv041-dAnqs

Del Dolemonte on August 2, 2011 at 12:15 AM

It was Settling With Power.

No!! It was power settling!!

exhelodrvr on August 2, 2011 at 1:05 AM

You guys are much braver that I. I’ll fly in any old clapped out plane. Helo’s scare the crap out of me. The glide ratio of a brick.

katy the mean old lady on August 2, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Beg to differ, K-Mol. If not on a mission like this where you gotta go in tight and fast, but just on a regular basis, a helo can literally float down to earth if it loses power, but a fixed-wing aircraft has to find a runway or other long and flat place to put down. Far more safer in a helo, as a general rule.

TXUS on August 2, 2011 at 1:12 AM

…I’m not sure if it were truly SWP, (which would begin well, well above the confines of the wall) what effect the walls themselves would have except to restrict direction flight once they descended into them.

I hope that makes some sense.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Thanks for the thorough explanation…that’s why I fly only FIXED WING aircraft.

But what was the author’s point of: “In North Carolina, this potential problem had not become apparent, because the chain-link fencing used in rehearsals had allowed air to flow freely.” Author overstated or misunderstood the effect of the walls?

fred5678 on August 2, 2011 at 1:13 AM

fun fact: Before the raid, some CIA analysts studying the compound thought the odds of Bin Laden being there were as low as 40 percent. Gutsy call!

The compound was under constant surveillance but nobody saw Hamza come or go, and his mother immediately reported him missing – so she thought he was in the compound. And no one has reported seeing him since. He’s like Jimmy Hoffa or something…..

Dr Evil on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Hardly a ‘gutsy call’ when there’s no downside. Let’s not swallow the 2012 campaign spin.

slickwillie2001 on August 2, 2011 at 1:20 AM

I think the point the author is making is that the disturbed air had no place to go now, because of the solid fence, vs in practice, when it could escape through the chain link fence.

exhelodrvr on August 2, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Hardly a ‘gutsy call’ when there’s no downside. Let’s not swallow the 2012 campaign spin.

slickwillie2001 on August 2, 2011 at 1:20 AM

..roger that. Maybe for the SEALs but not for the poseur back in the war room in the White House, who was sitting there, sucking on Milk Duds cluelessly watching this whole thing come off.

The War Planner on August 2, 2011 at 1:33 AM

But what was the author’s point of: “In North Carolina, this potential problem had not become apparent, because the chain-link fencing used in rehearsals had allowed air to flow freely.” Author overstated or misunderstood the effect of the walls?

fred5678 on August 2, 2011 at 1:13 AM

Hawk, of course, is a better source on this, but the fence thing is but one theory of why that BH had problems. The guys flying these machines in a DEVGRU op, however, can literally fly blind, the birds but an extension of their bodies and hands. That’s why I think this accident was a mech def and not just some updraft or other pilot failure thing.

TXUS on August 2, 2011 at 1:34 AM

I heard, from an inside source, that he 1. Pointed his weapon at him and then 2. pulled the trigger.

hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Dude. OPSEC.

Kenosha Kid on August 2, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Kenosha,
That’s clearly a joke. Obviously he 1) pointed his weapon at him and 2) pulled the trigger. Otherwise, how could he have been shot?

exhelodrvr on August 2, 2011 at 2:03 AM

I’m loving the heroics of the heroes, but the fact that the author would use that for Obama PR just turns my stomach.

29Victor on August 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Oh come on. He’s the President of the United States. They highlighted the genesis of the operation, which Obama was involved in, and continued to focus on the upper echelon of American decision-making, which Obama was also involved in. Don’t like the man, that’s one thing, disapprove of his politics, that’s another, but he’s Commander-in-Chief. His boots may not have been on the ground, but he issued the order to start planning the mission, he approved the final version of the mission, and he and top officials in his administration watched it unfold. That being said, however…

I honestly don’t know how you can read that and be against Obama.

crr6 on August 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

You’re just an idiot. Domestically Obama is consistently ideologically opposed to growth and stability. On foreign policy he’s absolutely inconsistent. Politically, in both cases, he’s non-committal, dishonest, and shallow. As an executive he’s naive and inexperienced, which may be the principal cause of each of those issues.

In the case of this raid, obviously he made the right choice. In many ways his general foreign policy and his position on intelligence-gathering and special operations are continuations or extensions of Bush’s policies. Good for him! That’s to be commended. But I hasten to remind you that such continuation is not consistent with his political stances during the campaign or now.

To paraphrase something said during the second presidential debate this year, “Some presidents have had bad foreign policy. This president has no discernible foreign policy.” He’s a weird hybrid of hawk and dove never before seen in the wild which can only survive in captivity. I can only hope the voters send him back to the zoo next election.*
President Bush understood that the Office of the Presidency is more important than its occupant. Obama thinks the Office irrelevant except insofar as it grants him power and celebrity and thinks himself the greatest thing since sliced bread. I support the Office of the President – a key component of our beloved Republic. I’m not so fond of its current inhabitant.

*I apologize for the tortured metaphor.

OneGyT on August 2, 2011 at 2:47 AM

The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye.

And the shooter is James!

He held a short-barrel, silenced M4 rifle

(5.56×45) .22 Cal

Heckler & Koch MP7

(chambered for the 4.6x30mm cartridge) .181 Cal

James, a broad-chested man in his late thirties, does not have the lithe swimmer’s frame that one might expect of a SEAL—he is built more like a discus thrower. That night, he wore a shirt and trousers in Desert Digital Camouflage, and carried a silenced Sig Sauer P226 pistol, along with extra ammunition; a CamelBak, for hydration; and gel shots, for endurance. He held a short-barrel, silenced M4 rifle. (Others SEALs had chosen the Heckler & Koch MP7.) A “blowout kit,” for treating field trauma, was tucked into the small of James’s back.

DSchoen on August 2, 2011 at 4:47 AM

He would almost certainly have been killed had they blown themselves up, but by blanketing them he would have absorbed some of the blast and potentially saved the two SEALs behind him. In the end, neither woman was wearing an explosive vest.
Even more awesome! Hollywood can’t write this stuff.
hawkdriver on August 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

And Hollywood probably won’t…..

Sherman1864 on August 2, 2011 at 5:04 AM

katy the mean old lady on August 1, 2011 at 10:20 PM

The biggest clue that the official Obama was in charge of everything meme is bunk is that Biden claimed he watched Obama do this for 4 months.

If Biden knew about this operation everybody would have know about this operation.

DSchoen on August 2, 2011 at 5:14 AM

There was no other option. The last administration was already actively looking for him. For Obama to come in and say “sorry, let the guy go” would have been extremely stupid.
Electrongod on August 1, 2011 at 8:24 PM

I agree and Disagree (strange? yes)

The SMART thing to have done watch the house and see “who go in and out”, where did they come from where are they going?
PAK ISI?
AQ guys?
And so on.

Once you know where he is and that he can’t get out, it could/should or did become an Intel gathering op.

Gutsy call would have been doing that.

I think Obama’s hands were tied, possibly cuz one of those Wilkileaks dumps had some info on the house and courier and that AQ would put 2 and 2 together and get OBL out of there!.

DSchoen on August 2, 2011 at 5:30 AM

dirtseller on August 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

migraines LOL!
Good thing they killed OBL cuz if they just gave him a fat lip, the entire SEAL team would be up for court-martial !! Abusing a POW!

DSchoen on August 2, 2011 at 5:37 AM

Ahhhhh, sweet vindication.

From the get-go, I surmised this was a kill CIA operation with the President brought in at the very last minute so as not to screw it up. Who is the one guy to thank in all of this? Leon Panetta. Yeah.

Hey Chumpy and Crr6: Bite me.

BigAlSouth on August 2, 2011 at 7:03 AM

AH_C on August 2, 2011 at 12:01 AM

It was a stealth hawk.

fred5678 on August 2, 2011 at 1:13 AM

I don’t think it sounds mechanical. It sounds more like a power management difficulty of some type.

hawkdriver on August 2, 2011 at 7:57 AM

No!! It was power settling!!

exhelodrvr on August 2, 2011 at 1:05 AM

Do you mean settling with insufficient power?

hawkdriver on August 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM

katy the mean old lady on August 2, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Ah, but when a helo executes an autorotation correctly, there is little or no forward movement. Your airplane requires some amount of forward airspeed prior to touchdown.

hawkdriver on August 2, 2011 at 8:06 AM

My biggest head-scratcher: why did they get a sandwich tray from Costco? Don’t we pay a lot of money for a fully staffed Whitehouse kitchen and executive chef?

And more worrisome: I hope the SEALs who signed the flag used callsigns instead of names. Otherwise there is a bigtime potential that identities will get out, compromising security and personal safety of the guys involved.

Beo on August 2, 2011 at 9:44 AM

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