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This Memo Killed Osama Bin Laden

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The pen is mightier than the Seal Team 6, or something like that. Read the letter that officially made Bin Laden a dead man, straight off of CIA letterhead.

Before the commandos stormed his suburban Pakistani compound, before it was live tweeted, before the advanced imaging, before the war dogs, before the killer shot and mysterious sea burial, there was nothing but a barely-legible note. CIA Director Leon Panetta gave the official go ahead, Hillary gasped, and we all tweeted about it. So what does it take to make history, besides sophisticated technology and the best spec ops killers on the planet? Ninety eight words:


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.


[TIME via Atlantic Wire]