President Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden three times before saying yes, because he got cold feet about the possible political harm to himself if the mission failed. Instead of listening to advisors from the U.S. military, Defense, or even State, Obama was acting on the advice of White House politico and close friend Valerie Jarrett. Valerie Jarrett?
This account comes from Richard Miniter‘s upcoming book Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors who Decide for Him. Miniter has written a half-dozen books on the war on terror. He is relying on an unnamed source within the U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command who was directly involved in the operation and planning of the Osama bin Laden kill mission.
Is the story credible? According to Edward Klein, a reporter once asked Obama if he ran every decision by Jarrett. Obama answered, “Yep. Absolutely.”
Edward Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor of the New York Times Magazine for many years, describes Jarrett as “ground zero in the Obama operation, the first couple’s friend and consigliere.” Klein — who claims he used a minimum of two sources for each assertion in his book on the Obama presidency, The Amateur — writes in detail about Jarrett opposing the raid on bin Laden. She told Obama not to take the political risk. Klein thought Obama ignored Jarrett’s advice. Miniter tells us he listened to her, three times telling Special Operations not to take the risk to go after bin Laden.
We need to understand the role Valerie Jarrett plays in Obama’s private and political life.
“If it wasn’t for Valerie Jarrett, there’d be no Barack Obama to complain about,” starts Klein’s chapter on Jarrett. He quotes Michelle Obama on Jarrett’s influence over her husband: “She knows the buttons, the soft spots, the history, the context.”