Time Magazine has obtained a copy of the final memo Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta sent before Osama bin Laden died. The original text is illegible, but we’ve reproduced it below anyway, with a translated transcript after it:
MEMO FOR THE RECORD Apr. 29, 2011, 10:35 a.m.
Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.
Admiral McRaven is likely Admiral William McRaven, whose official US Navy bio can be read here.