The “temporary coup” that allowed the bin Laden mission to proceed without Obama’s approval

(Update, 5:30 p.m.: In a comment, I explain why I think “White House Insider” is not a credible source.)

Is the following incredible story, which comes from, at all credible?

On the positive side, it has a striking internal coherence that makes it seem plausible.

On the negative side, if story were true, it could only have come from top administration figures, which would mean that those figures are actively seeking to undercut Obama by releasing this information to the leaker “Insider,” who in turn passed it on to LiveLeak. Which seems impossible.

However, viewed from within the story we are being told, such an unlikely-sounding move by Obama’s top officials to undercut him does seem possible, because, according to the story, it was those top officials, including CIA chief Leon Panetta, Secretary Clinton, and Secretary Gates, who engaged in a “temporary coup” and started the mission against Osama without Obama’s approval after the president had repeatedly refused to give the go-ahead (could Obama’s Hamlet-like hesitation have come from his not wanting to kill a man whose name is so similar to his own?), and presented him with a fait accompli once the mission was already launched. If they were willing to go that far against the president, they might also have been willing to leak the fact that his hesitations had forced them to go to such an extreme.

The bottom line: according to “Insider’s” story, when Obama kept declining to ok the mission against bin Laden, the mission was launched by Leon Panetta’s order without the approval of the president.

White House Insider: Obama Hesitated—Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden

Note:This update comes some 24 hours after our longtime Washington D.C. Insider first outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and More..intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden. What follows is further clarification of Insider’s insights surrounding that event.

Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?

A: I was told—in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.

Q: What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?

A: Nothing changed with the president’s opinion—he continued to avoid having one. Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act—sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated—this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta. A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act. It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated—he was that frustrated. Both Panetta and Clinton convinced him to stay on and see the operation through.

What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta. Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be ” … significant to the point of political debilitation.” It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid. This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett. Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure. The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr., Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound. Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him. What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound. Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go—including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice. Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault. This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other. Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself. Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority—namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat. Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk. During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary. Similar support was then followed by Gates. The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan. Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval. Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval. Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion. Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order. At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order—it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.

This insulation ended at some point with an abort order that I believe originated from Valerie Jarrett’s office, and was then followed up by President Obama. This abort order was later explained as a delay due to weather conditions, but the actual conditions at that time would have been acceptable for the mission. A storm system had been in the area earlier, but was no longer an issue. Check the data yourself to confirm. Jarrett, having been caught off guard, was now scrambling to determine who had initiated the plan. She was furious, repeating the acronym “CoC” and saying it was not being followed. This is where Bill Daley intervened directly. The particulars of that intervention are not clear to me beyond knowing he did meet with Jarrett in his office and following that meeting, Valerie Jarrett was not seen in the West Wing for some time, and apparently no longer offered up any resistance to the Osama Bin Laden mission. What did follow from there was one or more brief meetings between Bill Daley, Hillary Clinton, a representative from Robert Gates’ office, a representative from Leon Panetta’s office, and a representative from Jim Clapper’s office. I have to assume that these meetings were in essence, detailing the move to proceed with the operation against the Osama Bin Laden compound. I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military—both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States. There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier. The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation. A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was. The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants. What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates. The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room.

At the conclusion of the mission, after it had been repeatedly confirmed a success, President Obama was once again briefed behind closed doors. The only ones who went in that room besides the president were Bill Daley. John Brennan, and a third individual whose identity remains unknown to me. When leaving this briefing, the president came out of it ” … much more confident. Much more certain of himself.” He was also carrying papers in his hand that quite possibly was the address to the nation given later that evening on the Bin Laden mission. The president did not have those papers with him prior to that briefing. The president then returned to the war room, where by this time, Leon Panetta had personally arrived and was receiving congratulations from all who were present.

In my initial communication to you of these events I described what unfolded as a temporary Coup initiated by high ranking intelligence and military officials. I stand by that term. These figures worked around the uncertainty of President Obama and the repeated resistance of Valerie Jarrett. If they had not been willing to do so, I am certain Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today. There will be no punishment to those who acted outside the authority of the president’s office. The president cannot afford to admit such a fact. What will be most interesting from here is to now see what becomes of Valerie Jarrett. One source indicated she is threatening resignation. I find that unlikely given my strong belief she needs the protection afforded her by the Oval Office and its immense powers to delay and eventually terminate investigations back in Chicago, but we shall see.

Read more.

- end of initial entry -

David L. writes:

The “White House Insider” columns are from a website called, ahem, “Newsflavor”! The couple of times I’ve been referred to it, the site has seemed to be little more the product of high school kids. They sure pick at each other over Obama.

LA replies:

While I know nothing about “White House Insider” and do not vouch for him, I doubt very much that “White House Insider” originates from a site such as you describe, especially as having such a site as his home site would undercut his image as an insider. It seems more likely that Newsflavor is a site that copies White House Insider’s posts, just as I did.

Rick Darby writes:

If this story is true in its essentials—obviously we need confirmation from other sources; if the mass media commissars can’t put a lid on it; and if it is widely accepted, Obama will be in the worst trouble of his life.

It’s easy to believe it might be true, given Obama’s character, but that doesn’t prove anything. And an end run around the chain of command is disturbing, no matter how little you think of the commander-in-chief. Do Panetta, Clinton, Gates, and the others actually have what it takes to cross that Rubicon?

And does Valerie Jarrett have a quasi-hypnotic control over our president?


David L. replies to LA:
White House Insider I suspect is a literary fiction from a direct contributor of original material to the “Newsflavor” website. Fellow contributors to same site refer frequently to the fact that “the White House Insider” is little more than “Ulstermans” (he who allegedly communicates with WHI) imaginary playmate.

Kathlene M. writes:

Here’s the original source of the “temporary coup” article.

The “Insider” does not have his own website and does not write the articles; he communicates to the writer, whose byline is “Ulsterman,” as you’ll see at the above link. I’ve read many of the other Insider communiques, and they are fascinating, to say the least. If your readers want to find them, just google “Ulsterman.” The reports are under “The Ulsterman Report” and are usually published at News Flavor but also appear elsewhere.

Insider claims to be a Democrat who worked on the 2008 Obama Campaign but is now disillusioned by the corruption he sees in the Obama administration. He seems now to lean pro-Hillary Clinton and claims there’s a huge scandal yet to erupt out there that’s tied somehow to Chicago and President Obama. But many skeptics of these Insider reports wonder: if this person has inside knowledge of some incriminating information, why not leak it or bring it forward?

On another note, Rick Darby asked if Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, really has such control over Obama. That is something that “Insider” has commented on repeatedly. Valerie Jarrett is the best friend and confidante of the Obamas from their Chicago days. Insider describes her as Obama’s brain and says that President Obama doesn’t make any decisions without her input. She helped influence the Libya decision, for instance. Jarrett’s influence seems to be verified by many independent sources over the years. The NY Times, Chicago newspapers, Time Magazine, and even Michelle Malkin have written about Valerie Jarrett’s influence on Barack and Michelle Obama. Jarrett introduced the Obamas to the Chicago political elite who in turn helped them rise to power. Just google Jarrett’s name and numerous articles and profiles will appear.

Paul K. writes:

During the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 30 the president looked thoroughly relaxed, even as the operation to take out Bin Laden would be launched in little over a day, and some of his supporters have pointed to this as evidence of his James Bond-like coolness. However, if the version of events contained in this post is correct, the president’s sang-froid is much easier to explain—he didn’t actually know what was going on.

LA writes:

Here is another “interview” with “White House Insider,” posted April 28 at, which makes me very doubtful of Insider’s reliability:

Q: You mean some in the media are going to turn against Obama on this thing [the birth certificate]?

A: No, I wouldn’t go that far. We can wish right? But no … what I meant is that some of them, a few of them, aren’t going to blindly carry the Obama s**t bucket anymore. They may not go after him as you put it, but they ain’t gonna run interference for the man either. They are finally waking up to the fact that this man who was elected is an absolute disaster, and just like me, they don’t want to play a part in helping protect that kind of disaster. And I want to say this as well … pay attention here. The birther stuff has never been the big concern of this White House, right? You get that, right? Pay attention. Things are now moving forward again. You know what I’m talking about. Go ahead and print that. Put it out there. Let them know. We … people who can get it done—we are moving forward again. The truth is gonna set this country free. We had a tough few months, but it’s game on again. We’re gonna put this out here in this forum. It’s being watched closely. I know that. We are putting it out here, and then you’ll see it hit big. Go ahead and print this. Let them know. We got the little -expletive- now. We got them. And I ain’t running scared this time around. Not this time.

Look at the way the man talks, listen to his tone:

pay attention hereYou get that, right? Pay attention…. You know what I’m talking about. Go ahead and print that. Put it out there…. We are putting it out here, and then you’ll see it hit big. Go ahead and print this. Let them know. We got the little -expletive- now. We got them. And I ain’t running scared this time around. Not this time.

He sounds like an arrogant fool, repeatedly telling his interviewer to “pay attention” to his words. In my experience, people who are excessively full of themselves and of their message almost invariably turn out to be false prophets or, at the least, unreliable sources of information. My instinctive reaction is that “White House Insider” is a b.s. artist.

May 5

Steve R., who initially sent the “White House Insider” piece, writes:

I have to agree with your final assessment of White House Insider. How sad. Even though I’m not completely discounting the possibility that the story could be real, it hardly matters. For even if the story were somewhat true and “got some legs,” once the interview you found came to light, Insider’s credibility would be so diminished that everything he authored would be deemed practically worthless.

The other interesting aspect to this is that even if it were somewhat true and Hillary wanted to use it against Obama in the 2012 election, she wouldn’t be able to do so. The plot as told, has her participating in the coup—not the sort of activity your average Democrat values too highly in a candidate.

Sorry that I didn’t do enough good discovery work before sending you a story that was bound to get hopes way up on the possibility of destroying the Golfer-in-Chief’s further political aspirations.

LA replies:

Don’t be sorry about sending it. It is a fascinating article, and, even if it is false, as we believe it is, it is presented in such a plausible way, and aspects of it seem so true to life (i.e., Obama’s continued unwillingness to act when action was absolutely necessary, and his top officials’ increasing impatience to the point of taking action on their own), that it was worth posting, as something that has at least a mythological ring of truth.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 04, 2011 10:18 AM | Send

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