US President Barack Obama cancelled three operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission at the insistence of Hillary Clinton, according to a new book.
The allegation is contained in an exposé which argues the White House’s carefully-crafted narrative of Obama as a decisive leader is a myth.
Former Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and Sunday Times journalist Rich Miniter cites a Joint Special Operations Command source as revealing three ‘kill’ missions were cancelled by Obama in January, February and March last year.
Bin Laden was eventually killed by US Navy SEALs inside his Pakistan compound in May 2011.
The killing of Bin Laden is at the centre of Mr Obama’s re-election campaign and is likely to be highlighted on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks next month. The President has already come under fire from former SEALs for trumpeting his role in the raid.
Miniter portrays Clinton as the force behind the assassination and contends a prevaricating Obama was in thrall to a number of dominant women – Clinton, top adviser Valerie Jarrett and his wife Michelle. It was Jarrett, a long-time Chicago ally, he reports, who urged Obama to cancel the first three operations.
At the start of his presidency, Miniter writes, Obama was “studiously undecided” about whether to kill the mastermind of 9/11.
“He refused to weigh in or commit himself on even small matters related to a possible strike on Bin Laden,” he says. “Obama feared taking responsibility for a risky raid that might go tragically wrong.”
Miniter claims Obama was eventually persuaded to change his mind by his secretary of state. “Clinton used her weekly meeting to begin lobbying for a decisive blow against Bin Laden,” he states. “He (Obama) knew Clinton was right…but remained uneasy about the big one.”
However the day before Bin Laden’s demise, Miniter writes, Obama was seized by a “fourth moment of indecision”.
The White House later said poor weather prompted the final delay but Miniter claims he obtained the US Air Force Combat Meteorological Centre’s weather report for that day and established it showed “ideal conditions” for the raid.
Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him was set to be published on Tuesday. - Daily Mail