The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
FILE - This is an undated file photo of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. (AP Photo, File) FILE - This is an undated file photo of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. (AP Photo, File)  

Author challenges White House to show timeline of bin Laden raid

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The author of a new book describing presidential paralysis prior to the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout is demanding the White House back up its vehement denials with documentation.

“I call on them to release the full [planning] timeline, starting in October 2010, of each of the major decisions that the president made relating to the bin Laden mission,” author Richard Miniter told The Daily Caller.

TheDC asked Miniter if his inside sources might go public with their accounts of presidential indecision. “Yes, yes,” he replied. “There is a chance.” (RELATED: Book: Obama canceled Bin Laden ‘kill’ raid three times at Jarrett’s urging)

Any confrontation between national security officials and President Barack Obama in the months preceding the 2012 election could hamper to his chances of winning a second term.

That’s partly because Obama and his deputies have repeatedly cited his risky decision to kill al-Qaida’s leader as a counterweight to growing worries about his non-confrontational response to the region’s rising Islamist political groups.

The White House’s principal deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest, today dismissed the revelation in Miniter’s book that Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s top aide, helped delay the raid by persuading Obama to call it off on three separate occasions.

“That is an utter fabrication,” Earnest said.

“It seems pretty clear that Mr. Miniter doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he insisted, adding that Jarrett “was not ‘read in’ on the operation on the mission against Osama bin Laden.”

“So I wouldn’t put any stock into that vignette — or into the book itself,” he added.

Earnest’s answer was focused on Jarrett’s role. He did not explicitly deny Miniter’s revelation that the raid was delayed three times.

The White House’s claim that Jarrett was not read into the meeting is a “red herring,” Miniter insisted.

That’s because the “read-in” phrase means an official is briefed about operational details, such as flight paths, nearby reinforcements and back-up plans. Miniter has not suggested that Jarrett was provided with those military details.

His book, “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,” says Obama delayed the raid three times amid pushback from his aide Jarrett. It is set for release August 21.

The long-time political adviser met Obama when they were both advancing upwards in Chicago’s political machine.

“Obama canceled the mission three times at the urging of Valerie Jarrett, according to an official … who had knowledge of the operation,” Miniter wrote.

Obama “called a halt to preparations three times,” Miniter reiterated this afternoon during a phone interview. “Everything froze in place for weeks as people had to persuade him to get back on the train and get moving again.”

The revelations about his indecision came from “a number of career and political sources,” Miniter said — not just the single source his book mentions.

News of the book’s claims, first reported by The Daily Caller, has boosted the title’s sales ranking at Amazon.com. It now sits behind only Edward Klein’s “The Amateur” among titles covering the White House and the rest of the U.S. government’s executive branch.

Minter’s insider-based revelations about Obama’s indecision are buttressed by official weather reports from the Air Force.

Those weather reports refute the White House’s post-raid explanation for a fourth last-minute delay in launching the raid.

The White House has claimed that 24-hour delay was caused by bad weather.