“I have gotten from friends all over the country copies of the picture that was this iconic picture taken in the Situation Room while we were watching the operation. And they have been photoshopped in every way you can imagine, including putting you know, coming after the royal wedding, one of these had all of us in one of these big, wide-brimmed hats from the wedding. Another had various football players seated at the table that had been photoshopped in," Gates noted.”—Gates: Obama kept bin Laden photo secret due to Photoshop fears - POLITICO.com
NWK’s Scott Hall: “What’s most interesting to me about this photo is what you’re not seeing. The mystery of what’s happening off camera is captured wholly in the expression on Hillary’s face. The events of 9/11 unfolded before our eyes, but those of 5/1 leave much to the imagination.”
Here’s what you need to know from Tuesday’s White House briefing with press secretary Jay Carney:
— Underscoring the complicated nature of the American team’s attack on bin Laden, Carney was caught in a crossfire of his own when he was asked about the number of floors in the compound in Pakistan. “Even I’m getting confused,” Carney said as he looked through his notes.
The Navy SEALs team that conducted this operation was the legendary Team Six, aka DevGru, or the “Naval Special Warfare Development Group,” flown into Pakistan by helicopter teams from the 160th Special Operations Air Regiment, part of the Joint Special Operations Command.
The original plan was for the Navy SEALs to rappel down into the compound, and that’s how they practiced it in April on a replica of the compound the military constructed in the U.S. on which SEALs Team Six conducted two practice runs.
But Sunday, one of the helicopters had an issue – they’re not sure what as of now – and conducted a soft crash landing. The chopper hit the deck – “it was a real white-knuckle moment,” a US official tells ABC News.
Another white-knuckle moment – at the end of the operation, Pakistan’s military scrambled fighter jets looking for the US helicopters. Who knows what could have happened if the Pakistani planes had reached the US helicopters — but they didn’t.
The US team got back to Afghanistan by around 5:45 pm ET.
This operation happened, an official said, because of dogged, relentless intelligence work. For years, from detainees at Gitmo, the CIA had thenom de guerre of the courier, but they didn’t have his true name until 2007.
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who…