Obama to bin Laden Search Leader: Next Time, Take Tape

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 03:41 PM

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President Barack Obama employed a bit of gallows humor last week to congratulate the Navy SEALs teams chief for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, The Caucus blog of The New York Times reports. Obama presented Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, who runs the Joint Special Operations Command, with a tape measure mounted on a plaque — a nod to the fact that the commandos didn't have one when it came time to use height to help identify the slain al-Qaida leader’s body.

Instead, as first reported by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, one SEAL who is 6 feet tall laid down beside the corpse inside the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound where raid took place. The body was much taller, a detail that corroborated the profile of bin Laden as a having been well over 6 feet.

As Obama watched a video feed of the assault and aftermath, including the improvised height comparison, he reportedly said to his advisers, “We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?”


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