No Cover Story in Case of Bin Laden Raid Failure

No Cover Story in Case of Bin Laden Raid Failure

U.S. officials knew what they’d say if SEAL Team 6 pulled it off, but there was no plan B for what to tell the American people if the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden had failed, the CIA’s former top information officer said Tuesday.

“I did not have some kind of cover story waiting in the wings” if the May 2011 raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, went badly, said George Little, who was chief spokesman for then-CIA Director Leon Panetta. “If one existed, it didn’t exist with me,” he said.

“I think we probably at some point would have had to acknowledge what happened,” Little said at a Pentagon briefing. “And, look, there were any number of contingencies that could have occurred and we couldn’t possibly plan against all of those. And this was a very risky operation.”

“I think we would have been truthful about what had happened” if the raid had failed, he said. “Thankfully, we didn’t have to go that route and it was a successful operation,” said Little, who followed Panetta to the Defense Department and has served for the past year as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s chief spokesman.

Little, who will be leaving his post at the end of the week, left another matter from the Bin Laden raid still hanging. He said that Defense Department and the Justice Department might still pursue a civil suit against Matthew Owen, one of the SEAL Team 6 members on the Bin Laden raid, who wrote the book “No Easy Day” on the operation.

“The Department continues to assert forcefully that this individual breached his legal obligations by publishing the book without pre-publication review and clearance,” Little said. “It’s a basic tenet of your contract with the department in these kinds of roles.”

Little said that DoD and Justice officials were discussing an out-of-court settlement with Owen’s lawyer but “we’re also poised to pursue civil litigation, if necessary, for the author’s breach.”

Hagel has yet to decide who would succeed him as Pentagon chief spokesman, said Little, who also has yet to decide on his future other than spending the holidays with his family without interruption.

Little also said earlier that he was back on speaking terms with Bravo, Panetta’s pet who was once called the “most powerful dog in Washington.” Bravo sat under Panetta’s desk for many of the top-secret planning sessions on the Bin Laden operation.

Little incurred the wrath of his boss, and Bravo, when he described the dog for reporters as an Irish setter. Bravo is a golden retriever, despite his reddish coat. “I have made my amends with Bravo,” Little said.

Tags: , ,

Join the Conversation

Plan B: Jimmy Carter.

Goes to show that such an endeavour is always quite risky. Especially when it’s a high profile raid like this one. Honestly, one out of 2 choppers went down, that’s not a joke, it almost DID go wrong. Luckily there were backup choppers etc. And luckily nobody DIED in that helo crash, can you imagine that? That would have meant a raid would change into a combar SAR mission. Thank god it didn’t happen, the right wing would claim Obama’s head more than Osama’s head, that’s how pathetic the right is. Anyway, training is always good, and there can never be enough of it, there is always something that can go awry. Also, mechanical maintenance must be top notch too, and also pilot skills. How the hell did those IDIOT pilots allow themselves in such a ‘vortex’ to crash? Don’t the fools know this? Being HELICOPTER PILOTS by profession, also from 160th soar, allegedly the best pilots? Like a formula 1 driver that doesn’t know wet asphalt makes the braking distance longer. Sad.

CE — What? You are the IDIOT. “How the hell did those IDIOT pilots allow themselves in such a ‘vortex’ to crash? Don’t the fools know this? Being HELICOPTER PILOTS by profession, also from 160th soar, allegedly the best pilots? Like a formula 1 driver that doesn’t know wet asphalt makes the braking distance longer.” Even a Formula 1 driver will make a mistake (i.e. Ayrton Senna).and a deadly one, no doubt. These IDIOTS managed to get their comrades and themselves out of the damaged helo with no injuries. Skill, training, intestinal fortitude and a pair of stainless steel nuts got them out of that jam. The SEAL’s always travel with a backup plan, even if the feckless penguins in Washington bunkers had none. Thank God for these brave warriors and all military men and women doing a job that pays them little and takes much from them. They are true patriots. How dare you call them IDIOTS! But how could I expect anything else from a European left winger.

That’s in the past and why create a “Plan B” for such warriors. They are not trained to fail, they are trained to meet mission needs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even Eisenhower had a defeat speech planned for the D-day invasion but never came to be thankfully like this there many what ifs but that’s debate talk. PS we could have blamed the Navy since this should have been prime ARMY Delta Force op to began with. “LOL Joke.”

That’s easy. The plan B was for Obama to go on TV and say that he just learned about the raid from TV. Just like everyone else.

Failure is NOT AN OPTION!!!

In my book there should not have been one when it succeeded. Nor, when any of the other leadership idiots have been taken out.… Doing so is stupid and dangerous.… Simply let them disappear into the, “Nacht and Neber.” That way you keep them guessing.…. All of these stories are done for one thing, “political hay”. And we know that politicians don’t give 2 cents about those who are actually conducting those missions.…

Obama’s would be, “The first I heard of the mission was on the news like everyone else”. It worked for Fast & Furious, IRS Scandal, NSA spying, ACA Website down. You stick with what works.

I wonder if publishing No Easy Day is supposed to rate as high in OPSECbreachland as say, Bradley Manning doing a datadump on the SIPRnet?

Any jail time expected?

Hey, I agree, they got themselves out of a very sticky situation while perserving all life, and also importantly: the mission! But things like what happened back then with the Iranian hostage situation (all spec op forces dying and multiple planes/choppers crashing) is the work of IDIOTS. How the hell can’t they take off without hitting on another? And the vortex things was stupid as well, with all the goggles and vision equipment. They should have known better. But they still made out okay thank god.

And indeed, I am armchair generalling here, which is my bad. I apologize.

People have died because of Bradley Manning. I don’t think anyone has died because of his book. None the less, he should be court-martialed for the OSEC breach. if he is not in then brought to trial in a civilian court.

I don’t believe that fairy tale for a second. Whenever the CIA plans an operation it’s SOP to construct a convincing “plausible denial” right from the beginning. The operation plan wouldn’t have been approved without a cover story. Furthermore, CIA employees are permitted to lie about operations whenever it’s necessary.

“.…No Easy Day is simply an extension of the mis– and dis-information cover plan.…all the Sturm-und-Drang litigation threats are also reinforcing the veracity thereof.… It’s ALL an OP, “blight_”, and even this comment is a carefully planned *RUSE*.…” Nothing is as it seems, in the mirrored smoke land. Bin Laden’s death was even *FAKED*, and OBL is quietly enjoying his well-deserved reward for a part well-played, living quietly in Dharamsala under the protection of Mr. Tenzin Gyatso, aka HHDalai Lama.…“
c2013, Tom Clancey, Jr.

Why would you need a cover story for a fake raid? Why are all but one Seal Team 6 members dead? The CIA has a cover story read for the cover story.. The entire thing is manure… Obama is a liar and Team 6 was used for political purposes.

“Why are all but one Seal Team 6 members dead?“
You seriously cannot be that stupid, right? You do realize that the DEVGRU guys that were killed in that horrific Chinook crash were in a different squadron than the ones who went on Neptune Spear?

Obama personally either sabotaged that Chinook (that didn’t even carry the Bin laden raid team) or he shot them down with an RPG. John Shitener.Shame upon your inbreeding parents, I hope their health coverage is deleted.

Why did they need a cover story? Tell the American People the truth: We tried and we failed. No shame in that. The term “cover story” is a synonym for LIE. Obama needed a cover in case the raid failed so he could lie and still make himself look good. Heaven forbid they tell us the truth.

Actually, publicizing their killing or capture is a canny bit of psychological warfare. If the high ranking people just disappear into the nacht und nebel, the lower echelon Al-Qaida would never know of their death or capture, since the terrorist leaders would never tell them. However, by publicizing their death or capture (with certain caveats) without saying how it was done, the lower echelon Al-Qaida see again and again that nobody is secure, that the U.S. can and does reach out and find them, anywhere and any time. That has to be very demoralizing and de-motivating.

And here’s Osama, denying his death.

Surprised you aren’t of the Osama was dead in 1999 camp, or the Osama-is-an-CIA-asset camp.

(Though if he was an CIA asset, a “raid” to exfiltrate him would be an excellent way to do it)

Good grief, Eagle Claw. It was a badly planned operation that was limited by aircraft range. Flying deep into Tehran was no joke; and we didn’t have the relations with Iraq at the time (Iran was our friend, not Iraq). Flying in from Afghanistan wasn’t an option either.

In short, we penetrated Iranian airspace, that was defended with American export-grade hardware with the insane plan of using Desert One to stage refueling, then send in helicopters to leapfrog ahead to execute the capture. In modern times, it would be more doable. But in 1979? Probably not.

In retrospect, clandestinely landing and moving avgas to Desert One might’ve been less messy than trying to get C-130’s in; but those sea stallions would’ve still crashed into each other in the sandstorm. Smuggling in SAD operatives to break them out might’ve gone better then a military-style operation.

Break out hostages, disappear onto mopeds and camels into the desert, Pilatus porter out of the country. But I think the military /really/ wanted this mission…

Americans? Afghans? Iraqis?

Deaths in the latter two are part of the cost of doing business.

Then it means the CIA kept the script at Langley for plausible deniability. Or that these people are lying…they are not under oath.

Maybe they wanted Carter to fail? In all seriousness, it seems all those negatives you mentioned were known well in advance. Why do an American kamikaze mission? Or American allah-akbar mission?


Eagle Claw was the edge of American military capability in 1979–1980. The American military had prior experience with long-range operations at Son Tay; and looked at the Israeli experience with Entebbe as indicating good odds of success. They did train in the deserts of the US (Holloway report mentions “the helicopter detachment resumed flying at the western US site to refine navigation procedures and techniques using the 10 helicopters available and using OMEGA and PINS navigation systems”)

That said, the part of Eagle Claw that ended was relatively early. What isn’t as well known is the plan also included airfield seizure and airlanding of Rangers. I originally thought the plan was originally helicopters-in, helicopters-out; but digging into the matter this might not be true. However, the Holloway report only discusses events up to Desert One, and doesn’t go into the other aspects of Eagle Claw. However, the AF site mentions the seizure of Manzariyeh and airlanding of Rangers, so maybe it’s just not well-known to the public. http://​www​.afhso​.af​.mil/​t​o​p​i​c​s​/​f​a​c​t​s​h​e​e​t​s​/​f​a​c​t​she

On the other hand, infiltrating agents slowly to kick in the door is a reduced footprint to get in, but would still require getting out. Short of hijacking aircraft from the Tehran airport…

Anyways, if you are interested in the particulars:

We like how you think, davec.….

really, have you read no easy day? there is nothing there that is a security breach

Those helicopter pilots were flying an internally new aircraft, it may have shared the same airframe of the Blackhawk but it’s a different beast all together. Brand new avionics system and this was most likely the first actually combat use of these aircraft on public rescored. I’m pretty sure if you put a Formula 1 Drive in a brand new car and expected him to do a perfect lap at high speeds there’s bound to be mistakes. All the training in the world can never prevent the unforeseen it just can make it easier to deal with.

does not matter because he was never there to begin with, he is sitting in some villa on the med supported by us the paks are off the hook, O got the credit and the seal dies in a helicopter crash because they knew the truth. no easy day is a false flag

I read Dark Heart and didn’t think there were security breaches in it either; though DoD decided to censor 10% of the book, including parts that mentioned the NSA.

No Easy Day is probably controversial because someone didn’t get approval from their bosses to publish.

Just realized you meant Nacht und Nebel, which is Night and Smoke.

Some reconstructive surgery and we’re good to go.

It was helos in. Helos out of the stadium to the airfield seized by Rangers. Then C-130s out. In the meantime a Spooky would provide cover at the stadium staging site. That was ordered by Carter personally after Colonel Beckwith expressed concerns to Carter over lack of tactical air cover.

Son Tae. Great mission. Wrecked a copter on purpose. No POW’s! Opps, good try guys.….…..

no pow’s but weren’t some russian pilots “captured” that were later traded off???

davec: just think of the psych op impact if OBL had been captured & the raid itself leaving no trace of what happened behind except his dead family!!! truely devastating on all levels of the AQ organizational command structure.…..think about it from THEIR perspective.…… but unfortunately, it was not to be.….. I say BRAVO to ST-6, for their selfless service 2 country, their bravery & the nuts to go that far into Pakiland & pull it off!!!!

Well Hal, I’m no POTUS Obama fan, but I lived under the guise of “The first casuality of war is truth”, no matter who the C in C is.

The story for both success and failure should be –Silence.

Remember all the “body doubles” Saddam Hussein had? What if U.S. had done the same w/OBL.…????.…and brought him back to Gitmo, or CONUS, for a show trial?.…
Yes, *security*nightmare*, but good strategic “what if” planning.…and marketable IP — “intellectual property”.…
Is it “fictionalized reality”, or “reality-ized fiction”.…????.…
Or *BOTH*, and then some.…????.…
.…are Islamic DSROV’s* scouring what Ocean floor looking for a swaddled corpse?
*( deep submergence remotely operated vehicles )

According to an eyewitness in this recent Paki TV news show, one helo crashed and burned up, killing everyone inside.

Interesting possibility, though the thorough destruction of everything but the rotor makes it hard to prove. I suppose finding shards of bone from the rubble might be conclusive, but it’s he-said/she-said at this point. The helicopter was thoroughly destroyed to deny evidence to the enemy. It’s really too bad we did not go in with a B-2 and blow away the compound with some 2,000 pound bombs.


Indeed. This was not our first special insertion mission with helicopters; and certainly not the last. The OBL operation is certainly something as daring as Eagle Claw, especially considering Abottabad is so close to the Pakistani capital. However, it still was nothing near the range required of Eagle Claw.

Masirah Island->Tabas is 926 miles. From Masirah->Tehran is 1266 miles using http://​www​.daftlogic​.com/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​s​-​g​o​o​g​l​e​-​m​a​p​s​-​dis

And that’s with razor-straight paths between points. Osprey has range of 1,000 miles, combat radius of 420 miles, ferry range of 2200 miles. One-way trip with V-22’s. Even today we’d have to do what they originally planned with Eagle Claw: one way trip with helicopters. Airland seizure of airfield, fly out, destroy the helicopters you brought in (they cannot be brought out).

That gives you an appreciation for how difficult the mission was, and the limits the hardware was pushed back then (and would be even today). Son Tay and popping OBL are shorter-range missions.

Jalabad->Abottabad is 159 miles. If you look at a map, Abottabad is on the other side of Pakistan, and closer to India. It’s a military city on the Indian border. Flying to it from Afghanistan requires flying north of Peshawar and Mardan; major cities, then mountains, over an artificial lake and more mountains before hitting your target. No Easy Day, indeed.

Udorn RTAB-> Son Tay is 350 miles minimum, perhaps up to twice that depending on the particulars of the flight pack.

Let‘s hope this matter is resolved .War brings many tragedies and is always quick to claim an extra victim,sometimes the duty of a CIA type may be quite different than a SEAL,Admiral or even a USCG retiree.Duty calls all of us,let us have honor in our hearts,loyalty in our devotion to duty and access to our hard earned military records.Have a good retirement Sir,as you well know all,the deceased and even some surviving, are not so fortunate,DEUS VULT or Allah be willing to bless you the CIA and our country now and forever​.Br Robert retired, formerly of the Chaplain Corps.

.…”.…thanks for the link, “Robert”, but the video states that OBL was killed in a helicopter explosion, and the STORY also on the linked page states clearly that OBL died of some disease or medical condition in Dec. 2001.… REALITY can NOT be BOTH.…So, either Paul Craig Roberts is spouting mis-&-and-dis-information, or Paki TV, is, or they BOTH are. The “official” U.S. story line has the body of OBL taken back to our CVN, and buried at sea.…. So, now we have AT LEAST 3 very different stories of what happened to OBL.…
PROPAGANDA much, do you, “Robert”.…????.…”.…
c2013, Tom Clancey, Jr.,

You not need to be there, as long as you already in US Armed force & you are part of this huge well done.
Bin he did not pay enough what he have done 9/11.

Unfortunately we have made war political theater, so it’s required that we parade around pictures of dead OBL.

Saddam Hussein from hidey-hole? Check.

Dead Uday and Qusay pictures? Check.

Good grief.

Not trying to start an argument here, “blight_”, but isn’t the official cover story that OBL’s body was promptly flown to the CVN Stennis, and given summary burial-at-sea.…????.…With NO photos of the body, and no “tissue samples” taken — as per Islamic burial customs.…????.… That’s MY understanding of how it went down.…( no pun intended ).…

Lack of titillating images of dead terrorists is just one reason why everyone thinks Obama is soft on terrorism. Titillate!

sorry blight.…I beg to differ,.…some of the most senistive parts remained, just look at this stories leading photo, no doubt sold off to the chinese 4 the right $$$$$, by the Paki’s.…..

Bravo Navy Vet, some old friends & I, from South Queens would have enjoyed an hour or 2 with him, & then out of a small aircraft at about 1200ft. just like that couple I watched kiss for one last time, hold hands & leap to their deaths rather than be burned alive from the n. tower, or better yet, the old “burning torch” that I used to cut steel with when workin’ at Se@train Shipbldg when I was building the T.T. Brooklyn class ULCC’s in the old NYNSY! I let you take your pick!

Blight: Das ist, weil Ihr ein Scheissen Kopf, LOL!!!!!!!! ;)

According to the SamaaTV video, linked-to, above, only *ONE* U.S. chopper landed, and that’s the one that blew up, destroying the body of OBL.… Has anybody done a “catalog” of ALL the various mis-and dis-info stories popping up like psychedelic mushrooms after a tropical cyclone? The “TRUTH” of OBL may well be “out there”, in more ways than one.…But, I think you’re grasping at *short*straws* here, “KrazyCOL”.…with all due respect, Sir.…The crashed chooper itself may well be a “Trojan Horse” throw-away.…or a serious OOOPS!, but, how would we KNOW for SURE, one way or the other?.…

Whatever happened to those doubles?

Good question, “blight_”, but I don’t get that deep down into the weeds, to follow the “news” that closely.….Heck, I’ve heard NOTHING about the U.S.‘s 100-acre Embassy Compound in the Green Zone in Baghdad.…What’s up with THAT?.…We hear all about Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMA Awards Show, though.…But I DO know Iraq still endures as much as hundreds of civilian / security forces deaths per month from sectarian bombings.….You’d think at least one of Saddam’s doubles would have put a little comedy show together, and played the smaller clubs in Vegas, or where ever…Maybe do a USO Tour.….

I ‘spect that opine Bradford.… but the Chinese payin’ big $$$ 4 what was left really makes me wonder.….but “popping up like psychedelic mushrooms after a tropical cyclone” now THAT makes me wonder!!!!!!

The Chinese have the $$$$, and even if they just get some expensive *JUNK*, they have ALSO bought some new Paki friends.….winners either way!.…I know *I* can’t keep up straight w/all these “cover stories”.…. The screen in the photo above looks like it was slapped up AFTER the chopper crash.…. So *WHO* on the ground wouldn’t see *WHAT*, and *WHO* shot the photo, and got it here on DoD Buzz.…( DoD *BUZZ* must explain those magic ‘shrooms.…ooooh!, yeah, I wrote that!.….

YEAH by the way it is President BH Obama.Politics be damned.


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.