US President Barack Obama cancelled
three operations to kill al-Qaeda
chief Osama bin Laden
before finally green-lighting the mission at the insistence of Hillary Clinton,
according to a new book.
The Daily Mail reported Tuesday that an expose by journalist Rich Miniter, titled "Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," cites an unnamed source within the Joint Special Operations Command as revealing that three 'kill' missions were cancelled by Obama in January, February and March 2011.
The terror group's leader was eventually killed by US Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbotobad, Pakistan in May 2011.
The British newspaper mentioned that the killing of bin Laden is at the center of Obama’s re-election campaign and said that "until now, no one has claimed that he was reluctant even to launch it."
According to the report, Miniter portrays Clinton as the main force behind killing bin Laden and contends that Obama is heavily influenced by three women - Clinton, his top adviser Valerie Jarrett and his wife Michelle.
Obama, Clinton and other top officials monitor raid (Archive photo: White House)
The book claims it was Jarrett who urged Obama to cancel the first three operations to kill bin Laden.
Miniter wrote that Clinton’s alliances with Leon Panetta,
then CIA director and now Pentagon
chief, and David Petraeus, then head of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan and now head of the CIA, were critical in bringing bin Laden to justice.
At the start of his presidency, Miniter writes, Obama was "studiously undecided" about whether to kill the mastermind of 9/11.
"He refused to weigh in or commit himself on even small matters related to a possible strike on bin Laden," the book claims.
"Obama was often disengaged as the bin Laden operation took shape; he left critical decisions to the then-CIA
Director Leon Panetta, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama feared taking responsibility for a risky raid that might go tragically wrong," Miniter claims in his book.
The author claimed that Clinton "knew her husband had paid a political price for failing to stop bin Laden before the September 11 attacks. She knew Obama’s presidency could be mortally wounded if he had bin Laden in his gun sights and didn’t fire."