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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Excerpts of Obamas Interview on 60 Minutes
    Posted: May 09 2011 at 9:04pm

Very interesting and thoughtful discussion on Obama's decision making processes behind the operation.  Below are excepts.  This was on last nite.   I posted this in TTT also.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, it was certainly one of the most satisfying weeks not only for my Presidency, but I think for the United States since I've been President. Obviously bin Laden had been not only a symbol of terrorism, but a mass murderer who's eluded justice for so long, and so many families who had been affected I think had given up hope.

And for us to be able to definitively say, "We got the man who caused thousands of deaths here in the United States and who had been the rallying point for a violent extremist jihad around the world" was something that I think all of us were profoundly grateful to be a part of.


KROFT: It sounds like you made a decision that you could accept failure. You didn't want failure but after looking at . . .


KROFT: . . . the 55/45 thing that you mentioned, you must have at some point concluded that the advantages outweighed the risks . . . .

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I concluded that it was worth it. And the reason that I concluded it was worth it was that we have devoted enormous blood and treasure in fighting back against al Qaeda. Ever since 2001. And even before with the embassy bombing in Kenya.

And so part of what was in my mind was all those young men that I visited who are still fighting in Afghanistan. And the families of victims of terrorism that I talk to. And I said to myself that if we have a good chance of not completely defeating but badly disabling al Qaeda, then it was worth both the political risks as well as the risks to our men.


KROFT: Did you see the pictures?


KROFT: What was your reaction when you saw them?


KROFT: Why haven't you released them?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, we discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool.

You know, that's not who we are. You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies. You know, the fact of the matter is this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received. And I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he's gone. But we don't need to spike the football. And I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk. And I've discussed this with Bob Gates and Hillary Clinton and my intelligence teams and they all agree.


KROFT: When you announced that bin Laden had been killed last Sunday, you said "Our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden in the compound where he was hiding." Can you be more specific on that, and how much help did Pakistan actually provide in getting rid of bin Laden.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I've gotta be careful about sources and methods and how we operate and how we pieced together this intelligence, because we're gonna still be goin' after terrorists in the future.

What I can say is that Pakistan, since 9/11, has been a strong counterterrorism partner with us. There have been times where we've had disagreements. There have been times where we wanted to push harder, and for various concerns, they might have hesitated. And those differences are real. And they'll continue.

But the fact of the matter is, is that we've been able to kill more terrorists on Pakistani soil than just about any place else. We could not have done that without Pakistani cooperation. And I think that this will be an important moment in which Pakistan and the United States gets together and says, "All right, we've gotten bin Laden, but we've got more work to do. And are there ways for us to work more effectively together than we have in the past?"

And that's gonna be important for our national security. It doesn't mean that there aren't gonna be times where we're gonna be frustrated with Pakistanis. And frankly, there are gonna be times where they're frustrated with us. You know, they've got not only individual terrorists there, but there's also a climate inside of Pakistan that sometimes is deeply anti-American. And it makes it more difficult for us to be able to operate there effectively.

But I do think that it's important for the American people to understand that we've got a stake in continuing cooperation from Pakistan on these issues.

KROFT: You didn't tell anybody in the Pakistani government or the military.


KROFT: Or their intelligence community?


KROFT: Because you didn't trust?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: As I said, I didn't tell most people here in the White House. I didn't tell my own family. It was that important for us to maintain operational security.


KROFT: Is this the first time that you've ever ordered someone killed?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that, you know, every time I make a decision about launching a missile, every time I make a decision about sending troops into battle, you know, I understand that this will result in people being killed. And that is a sobering fact. But it is one that comes with the job.

KROFT: This was one man. This is somebody who's cast a shadow in this place, in the White House for almost a decade.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out. Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined.


Obama answered alot of lingering questions very well IMO. 

Watch the video on the link to hear the whole thing. [/QUOTE]
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