How Bin Laden’s Demise Unfolded

We’ve now hit the 24 hour mark on the coverage of the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan on Sunday. The stories are now circulating about how the operation unfolded over the days before Bin Laden met his demise at the hands of an elite special operations team:

The Navy SEAL team of military operatives who killed Osama bin Laden in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday night was made up of some of the best-trained troops in the world. SEAL Team Six, the “Naval Special Warfare Development Group,” was the main force involved in Sunday’s firefight.

The daring operation began when two U.S. helicopters flew in low from Afghanistan and swept into the compound where Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding late Sunday night Pakistan time, or Sunday afternoon Washington time. Thirty to 40 U.S. Navy SEALs disembarked from the helicopters as soon as they were in position and stormed the compound. The White House says they killed bin Laden and at least four others with him. The team was on the ground for only 40 minutes, most of that was time spent scrubbing the compound for information about al Qaeda and its plans.

The Navy SEAL team on this mission was supported by helicopter pilots from the 160th Special Ops Air Regiment, part of the Joint Special Operations Command. The CIA was the operational commander of the mission, but it was tasked to Special Forces.

Ordering the operation was a tough call on President Obama’s part and it paid off, but not without tension leading up to it:

For 40 minutes, the President and his senior aides could do nothing but watch the video screens and listen to the operation and ensuing firefight on the other side of the world. At Barack Obama’s orders, special operations teams were invading the airspace of a foreign country, targeting a compound with unknown occupants, and hoping to get out unscathed. The target was America’s No. 1 enemy, Osama bin Laden. But no one knew for sure if he was even there.

Sadly in the wake of this Osama bin Trutherism has already appeared. It’s politics as usual as Scott noted below. To expect anything different from the likes of the right wing nuts, Rush Limbaugh, etc is nothing but a pipe dream. That is a given.

Memeorandum has all the coverage from the day from the media and the blogosphere.

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