It’s almost impossible to decipher, but here is the memo that then-CIA director Leon Panetta wrote just moments after receiving the go-ahead to launch the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. The document was obtained by Time magazine for this week’s cover package on the final days of bin Laden and what went into the President’s decision to order the raid last May.
Photo: Time magazine
MEMO FOR THE RECORD Apr. 29, 2011, 10:35 a.m.
Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.
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