At the urging of senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to a new book scheduled for release August 21, The Daily Caller (DC) reported.
In “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors who Decide for Him,” Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, reportedly persuaded Obama to hold off each time, the book reveals, according to The DC.
Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.
Obama administration officials said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision.
At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. However, when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.
“President Obama’s greatest success was actually his greatest failure,” Miniter told The DC. “Leading From Behind,” he said, traces six key decisions of the Obama administration, and shows how the president made them, or, in many cases, failed to make them.
The president has made the assassination of Osama bin Laden a focal point in his re-election campaign, calling it one of the "gutsiest calls of any president in recent history."