Former CIA director reveals what it was like inside the White House situation room when Bin Laden was killed

In 2011, John Brennan was one of the few people in the White House situation room who watched the US military’s elite SEAL Team 6 take out Osama Bin Laden at his compound in Abottabad, Pakistan.

Brennan was the director of the CIA until this past January. Business Insider interviewed him at The Masters golf tournament on April 6, as part of a leadership summit held by the Washington Speakers Bureau and Intersport. We asked him what it was like to witness the Bin Laden raid alongside President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The minutes seemed like hours,” Brennan said. “It went on and on. Even after I knew it seemed like the raid was successful, waiting for our forces that carried out that raid to get out of Pakistani air space safely — because it was a fair distance they had to travel — it was just white knuckles.”

He continued: “You always want to be able to succeed in your mission, but you also want to make sure that the people who were undertaking these great risks and doing it are going to come home safely. And I think it shows just how tremendously skilled the US military is in terms of doing these things.”

Watch the Bin Laden raid portion of the 45 minute discussion with Brennan, from Intersport’s summit, above.

Bin ladenUS Department of DefenceFormer CIA Director John Brennan is on the far right side of the room, standing in a white shirt, watching the Bin Laden raid happen. ‘The minutes felt like hours,’ he told Business Insider.

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