It’s no secret that President Obama considers Valerie Jarrett to be one of his most trusted advisors, but does she wield so much influence that, despite her limited national security background, she was actually able to convince the president to delay the Osama bin Laden raid three times?
According to a new book by Richard Miniter, “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,” she does.
The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the book, which is due to be released August 21, and summarized:
Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.
Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.
Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.
“President Obama’s greatest success was actually his greatest failure,” Miniter told The Daily Caller Friday. ”Leading From Behind,“ he said, traces the arc of six key Obama administration decisions, and shows how the president made them — and, often, failed to make them. [Emphasis added]
Now, everyone knows that book claims should be taken with a grain of salt, but the excerpt falls in line with a number of earlier reports that indicate Obama was hesitant to sign off on the raid, and it was Panetta’s strong stance that swung the opinion.
Back in January, Vice President Biden said: “Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta. Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49, 51.”
Miniter’s bestselling books are on related topics– the first was “Losing Bin Laden” and the second was “The Shadow War”– and he has reportedly written for, among other outlets, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Atlantic Monthly, and National Review.
Regardless, the administration has campaigned on bin Laden’s death (and how “gutsy” the president was to make the final decision), for months:
One campaign ad, in particular, directly contradicts Miniter’s book.
“The Commander-in-Chief gets one chance to make the right decision,” the ad dramatically begins.
Bill Clinton then appears to explain how Obama chose to take the “harder, and the more honorable path,” in okaying the raid.
“He had to decide, and that’s what you hire a president to do…You hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it.”
The White House has not commented on the book, but one commenter wrote: “Obama’s ‘gutsy call’ would seem to be limited to having finally found the ‘guts’ to overrule Valerie Jarrett.”
(H/T: Daily Caller)