Obama administration changes story on what happened with Osama
The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces.
Officials also retreated from claims that one of bin Laden’s wives was killed in the raid and that bin Laden was using her as a human shield before she was shot by U.S. forces.
At a televised White House briefing Monday afternoon, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said bin Laden joined in the fight that several residents of the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound put up against the Navy SEALs during the 40-minute operation.
“He [bin Laden] was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in. And whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don’t know,” Brennan said.
At a Pentagon briefing earlier in the day, a senior defense official said bin Laden used a woman as a human shield so he could fire shots. “He was firing behind her,” the official said.
In another background briefing early Monday morning, a senior administration official also said bin Laden put up a fight. “He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight,” the official said.
However, during a background, off-camera briefing for television reporters later Monday, a senior White House official said bin Laden was not armed when he was killed, apparently by the U.S. raid team.
Another White House official familiar with the TV briefing confirmed the change to POLITICO, adding, “I’m not aware of him having a weapon.” . . .
UPDATE: Where are people asking why we had an execution order for Osama? Why didn't we even try to capture him? Osama apparently wasn't even armed so why shot him? If they could wound one of his wives, why not him also?
Osama bin Laden was not armed when he was shot during a U.S. commando raid early Monday on his fortress-like compound in Pakistan, U.S. officials said Tuesday, contradicting initial accounts of the top-secret operation.
Officials also backed away further from initial suggestions that bin Laden and other men in the compound had used women as human shields as they battled the raiding force consisting of U.S. Navy SEALs.
In a White House news briefing, press secretary Jay Carney said bin Laden “resisted” when at least one member of the raiding party entered his third-floor room, but he declined to say how the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader had done so.
A woman described as one of bin Laden’s wives “rushed the assaulter” and was shot and wounded in the leg, Carney said. Bin Laden was killed with shots to the head and chest, leaving him with gory wounds that have made U.S. officials reluctant to release a photograph of the body, Carney said. . . .
The BIG question. Why would they give the order to simply kill Osama? The administration claims that they got a lot of information from Osama's compound. But they could have gotten more from Osama himself. One issue is that possibly the Obama administration didn't believe that THEY could get much info from Osama because they had already ruled out all sorts of torture. If so, did the orders forbidding torture make it more likely that they were going to kill Osama?