President Obama said he didn’t lose any sleep over Osama bin Laden’s killing. The president said he had no hesitation over ordering bin Laden’s death, though he admitted to nervousness about sending U.S. special forces troops into Pakistan or the dangerous — but ultimately successful — mission.
“As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn’t lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out. Justice was done,” Obama said Sunday on “60 Minutes” on CBS. “And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil– didn’t deserve what he got needs to have their head examined.”
Obama announced a week ago, late on Sunday night, that bin Laden had been killed following a daring raid, details of which emerged over the course of the week. But while ordering the mission was a “sobering” decision, Obama said he never had doubts.
“You know, every time I make a decision — about launching a missile, every time I make a decision about sending troops into battle — you know I understand that this will result in people being killed,” he said. “And that is a sobering fact. But it is one that comes with the job.”
Obama added insight into his decision-making process that led to last Sunday’s raid, one he made last Friday morning after administration deliberation over which approach to use, and whether bin Laden was actually hiding in the Pakistan hideout where he had actually been living for at least five years.
Obama described the decision as a “difficult” one for having to put troops in harm’s way, but one in which he ultimately felt confident. The president said he never even told members of his family or most senior White House aides of the operation to capture or kill bin Laden until after it had succeeded.
He also downplayed the notion of any divisions in the Situation Room over what approach to use in order to get bin Laden. The president ultimately decided on the on-the-ground raid, a riskier option, but one that provided the opportunity to confirm bin Laden’s idling.
“One of the things that we’ve done here is to build a team that is collegial and where everybody speaks their mind. And there’s not a lot of sniping or back biting after the fact,” Obama said. “And what I’ve tried to do is make sure that every time I sit down in the Situation Room, every one of my advisors around there knows I expect them to give me their best assessments.”