Col David Hunt: US balked at killing bin Laden back in August

Uncle Jimbo reacted to this piece the same way I did.

We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys — now, pull the damn trigger.

Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.

My reaction can be succinctly put as “Wha..? Why?” along with another word or two that’ll remain my own.

Did we really have bin Laden with 70% certainty and refuse to kill him? Down in comments on Uncle J’s post, “The Wolf” offers a few bullet points that might or might not have factored into this scenario, if it happened.

1. 2 snipers face charges multiple times in taking out known baddie
2. Said snipers were cleared by CID and others, but charged again on direction of LTG Kearney
3. Said LTG’s actions could possible cause ‘double-think’ in field personnel actions when facing enemy
4. ”The One” (Luttrell) said in his book they worried more about rear-echelon reactions and the media more than Taliban or AQ.

Are we overlawyering the war to the point that our troops won’t even kill bin Laden himself without worrying what the legal eagles may accuse them of after the fact? I hate to think that that may be true, but after so many cases of overzealousness on the part of the military against its own, it sure is possible.

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