Robert Gates on "60 Minutes": He Had Doubts About Osama bin Laden Raid
Defense Secretary Robert Gates was on "60 Minutes" tonight. He said he had doubts about the intelligence information that Osama bin Laden was at the Abbouttabad compound.
While he had confidence in the SEALs before the mission, Gates told us he was very nervous about the intelligence on the mission. "I was very concerned, frankly. I had real reservations about the intelligence. My worry was the level of uncertainty about whether bin Laden was even in the compound. There wasn't any direct evidence that he was there. It was all circumstantial. But it was the best information that we had since probably 2001," he explained.
"And did you feel you had to strike while the iron was hot, if you will?" (Katie) Couric asked. "I think everybody agreed that we needed to act and act pretty promptly," he replied.
Gates also had a lot of praise for President Obama: [More...]
"I worked for a lot of these guys. And this is one of the most courageous calls, decisions that I think I've ever seen a president make. For all of the concerns that I've just been talking about. The uncertainty of the intelligence. The consequences of it going bad. The risk to the lives of the Americans involved. It was a very gutsy call," Gates said.
On Osama's death and the withdrawal of troops:
"You don't see the troop withdrawal, though, being accelerated this summer because of bin Laden's death?" Couric asked.
"I think it's premature. I think we just don't know. It's only been a week. And people are already drawing historical conclusions. I think that's a little quick," Gates said.
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