Aide: Obama And I Played Cards As Bin Laden Raid Played Out
August 15, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LOS ANGELES, (UPI) — While the U.S. military raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden was under way, President Obama played cards in a nearby room, a former personal aide says.
“We must have played 15 games of spades,” said Reggie Love, speaking at an event in Los Angeles, the conservative website Red Alert Politics reported Wednesday.
“Most people were like down in the Situation Room and [President Obama] was like, ‘I’m not going to be down there. I can’t watch this entire thing,” Love told a gathering July 18 hosted by the Artists and Athletes Alliance, which is based in Washington.
As the members of Seal Team 6 flew to bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Love said he, the president, White House photographer Pete Souza and staffer Marvin Nicholson sat around a table in a nearby private dining room.
Love said the “entire thing,” the raid, lasted about 220 minutes from start to finish, with about 180 minutes of that time spent with the special operations team in the air, The New York Magazine reported.
The raid was overseen by the CIA and Obama received a steady stream of updates from the Situation Room.
A photograph captured the culmination of the evening, with Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watching final events unfold live as U.S. forces entered bin Laden’s compound and shot him.
Love recalled when he left the White House that evening, after the president had announced the wanted terrorist’s death, “there were thousands of people out on Pennsylvania Avenue, people crying and cheering,” UCLA Today reported.
“It was a very powerful, moving day.”