A group of former U.S. military and intelligence officers are falsely accusing President Obama of leaking classified intelligence about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, has dismantled their claims point by point—here’s an excerpt:
Is there any merit to these serious accusations?
In fact, Obama and his national security team made every effort—successfully—to keep the intelligence about bin Laden a closely held secret for almost a year, from the time they first identified what they believed might be the al Qaeda leader’s hideout in the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, in August 2010 until May 1, 2011, when the raid was launched to kill him.
The raid itself was conducted as a covert operation under the overall direction of then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.
I have written a book about the hunt for bin Laden during the course of which I was the only journalist granted access by the Pakistanis inside the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed. I also spoke on the record about the hunt for bin Laden with a variety of current White House, Pentagon and intelligence officials, as well as former Defense Department and CIA officials familiar with aspects of the story.
None of them divulged classified information about the bin Laden operation. Indeed, they went to great pains to avoid doing so.
—Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst and a director at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank
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