After Uncertainty, a Moment of Triumph in the Situation Room: 'We've IDed Geronimo'

The people who collected Sunday in the state of affairs Room are acquainted with all about high-pressure situations. Except this was something else. For 40 minutes, the President and his senior aides could do not anything but watch the video screens and listen to the operation and resulting firefight on the other side of the world. At Barack Obama's orders, special operations teams were invading the airspace of an overseas country, targeting a compound with unfamiliar occupants, and hoping to get out untouched.

The objective was America's No. 1 enemy, Osama bin Laden. Other than no one knew for sure if he was even there.The President sat stone-faced from side to side much of the events. Quite a few of his aides, however, were pacing. For long periods of time, nobody said a thing, as all and sundry waited for the next update.

In the modern age, Presidents can knowledge their own military actions like a video game, except for that they have no manage over the events. They cannot, and would not, intervene to contact the commanders running the process. So when word came that a helicopter had been ashore, a sign that the plan was already off course, the tension greater than before.

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