"Getting Bin Laden," published in this week's New Yorker and online today, has all the trappings of a Hollywood espionage thriller. Having spoken to numerous officials in the military, the Obama administration, and the Navy SEALS of Team Six, writer Nicholas Schmidle paints a thrilling play-by-play of the mission's preparation, execution and aftermath. Including the chilling radio message confirming the death of Osama bin Laden: “For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.”
You can find the full text here.
Some particularly interesting scenes include the moments immediately following the crash of the first Blackhawk helicopter, caught in the rotor wash bouncing off the compound's walls:
The initial moment of contact:
And the disposal of the body:
Aside from the detailed tick-tock of the operation, another point of interest here is the future precedent set in the special operations world by the mission's success: Several administration and military figures, including vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright, are quoted expressing confidence in the likelihood (and success) of similar missions in the future.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the revelation of just how frequently covert missions are staged inside Pakistan. A special operations officer quoted anonymously in the article cites ten to twelve prior missions performed by the same elite SEAL team in Pakistan.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.