New fallout from controversial memo on raid that killed UBL
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey reacts
- Duration 7:13
- Date May 8, 2012
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey reacts
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-- that was a clip from a political web -- made up by veterans for a strong America.
It's a group accusing President Obama of using the bin Laden -- to take credit that they say rightly belongs to the Navy SEALs.
But what -- that -- had not worked and there was blame instead of credit to go around.
Last week a former attorney general of the United States highlighted -- memo that was drafted by the CIA by Leon Panetta over the CNA.
CIA saying that this memo was meant as political cover for the president in case the raid failed.
That way they could potentially blamed navy admiral William a great had -- here the commander who was in charge of the bin Laden raid one year ago.
Joining me now that former attorney general.
Attorney general under President Bush general thank you very much for being here so it it is a memo that we have right here.
It is on stationery by.
The CIA but Leon Panetta and it talks about.
The direction from the president of the United States prior to the -- -- mid laden and I want to tell our viewers what it says.
It says quote.
First it says that the attacks been authorized.
It says the timing operational decision making in control are -- admiral Rick ravens 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.
You say that this memo is very telling.
In a number of ways first of all.
I've never seen or heard of anything like it -- secondly it doesn't reference what the risk profile was that was presented to the president.
All it says it is upon the -- profile presented to the president.
Doesn't even reference another document or anything precise.
-- also says that any additional risks must be reported back to the president.
And how pray tell do you do that once an operation is under -- When -- -- at the bin Laden compound in Pakistan USS an additional risk you don't die you tell me but it does seems impossible or.
Unusual for the commander to go out there and call the White House and say this is what we've seen.
It's bizarre and it doesn't it's not the sort of thing that that crops up in a vacuum.
Leon Panetta doesn't sit down and just sort of write this off the top of his head because he feels like doing.
I'm good sense -- -- for the record.
What if people draft -- for the record.
Generally in litigation it's to cover yourself thank you.
Well why would he do without because generally you look at this evening okay what if the bin -- -- had gone south.
Could the president really defend himself by saying.
Look at the well -- -- Leon Panetta and said have the admiral call back -- that risk assessment changes.
Would have accepted that.
I have no idea.
And whether it.
He speaks some reluctance to do this.
That has more to it than that memo I don't know I know that Jack -- Retired.
Chairman of the the army.
Has said that he spoken to people who participated.
In the decision making process and that there was a good deal more hesitation that's been suggested.
You say it in any -- a critic of president Obama's -- and it it and some matters but you say that this is telling because among other things.
If it's not your opinion what what a leader would do you and you you look back to history to make your point in an opinion you wrote in the Wall Street Journal tell us.
Well contrast this for example with what the president that.
President Obama says -- models himself on Abraham Lincoln.
Did when people criticized.
General McClellan and his secretary of war Edwin Stanton.
He's an era this the blame for whatever mistakes they made his mind not -- on the one responsible.
By contrast -- the war was over he didn't take credit for that.
He gave it to.
General grant and the troops when when general Lee surrendered the civil right or it -- -- -- that night he made a speech.
For -- the window of the White House.
Specifically disclaim any credit for himself gave at all to general grant the troops in and talked about the upcoming problems and reconstruction and look at Dwight Eisenhower.
Just before the Normandy landings he -- a memo in case they didn't succeed major event world or right he -- I pick the place where we landed.
That that the troops the Yemen.
All did their best and -- most valiant any blame belongs to me.
We have that quote we have that -- -- your senses what is the general Eisenhower had drafted destitute to say if if Normandy did not go as planned he says.
My decision to attack at this time and place is based upon the best information available the troops the air and the navy.
Did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do if any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
And then a week later when it was clear that it succeeded.
He issued a memorandum this time for public consumption giving all the credit to the troops he mentioned -- only in the last line to say I'm proud of her.
Is it in that that at we -- -- with that ad from that group veterans for veterans for a strong America there's another part of that ad where they have President Obama saying I gave the order I did this decided that -- of the other thing.
We look back at that speech that President Obama made in the -- the mine was killed and and he also.
Give credit to the seals I mean he had he -- the first person somebody also gave credit to the seals.
It it what's you know what's so controversial about that.
What's controversial about it is at a time like that to put yourself in the middle of it at all -- is really.
And mean I I simply pointed out that he had and the controversy it seems to me is something that has engaged of the people as well as me.
What do you work attorney general United States back in Natalie made it most 07 through the end of President Bush's presidency.
In your experience have you ever seen anything like this you -- -- -- president making me you know a controversial decision.
I mean it wouldn't controversial that it -- -- we have lost Navy SEALs but a bold decision.
And calling up the director of the CI AA and saying.
Put this in a memo or somebody from the White House calling up and saying put this in a memo this is what the president has authorized no more.
I want it in writing.
Never saw it ever heard of it.
The only document of its kind that I've ever seen or heard -- and again I think this is not the entire story this is part of a narrative and how much weather as to what I think -- remains to be held.
General Michael Mukasey thank you so much sir always -- -- a good to see I season.