How the SEALs Got Osama bin Laden

How the SEALs Got Osama bin Laden

Tension was etched in the faces of everyone in the White House Situation Room during the operation to take down Osama bin Laden.

They watched the daring operation in real time, as it happened.

Vice President Joe Biden was so anxious he held rosary beads behind his computer screen, and Hillary Clinton covered her mouth in awe.

It was like a scene from the movie Patriot Games as a combat operation thousands of miles away unfolded on TV screens in Washington.

The President ordered the SEALs in with three words: "It's a go."

The President and his National Security team were holed up in the Situation Room all afternoon on the day of the operation.

They actually sent a staffer to Costco to bring back provisions for the long hours ahead: turkey pita wraps, cold shrimp, potato chips, and cans of Diet Coke.

CIA director Leon Panetta gave a running commentary as two Navy SEAL helicopters flew into bin Laden's compound.

"They've reached the target," he said. Then there was shock and dismay as one chopper stalled and crashed.

Bin Laden's code name was Geronimo. As the SEALs fought their way into his bedroom a SEAL reported back: "We have a visual on Geronimo."

A moment later bin Laden was shot over the left eye and in the chest, a double tap.

"Geronimo E-KIA," came the transmission, which means 'enemy killed in action.'

The President said: "We got him."

SEALs took a photo of bin Laden's body and uploaded it to Washington. Facial recognition software instantly confirmed with 95 percent certainty it was bin Laden.

Among those in the Situation Room was Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He got married Saturday and canceled his honeymoon to return to the Situation Room.

Hours after he was killed, bin Laden was placed in a weighted bag and buried at sea, his reign of evil at an end.   

It is yet to be determined if the government will release any pictures or video of the operation, but counterterrorism chief John Brennan has said they will do everything possible to make sure no one has a basis to deny bin Laden is dead.