Peter Bergen

  • Aired:  05/03/12
  •  | Views: 6,985

"Man Hunt" author Peter Bergen shares insider details about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and also confirms the late terrorist leader's love of reading. (5:49)

WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, HE IS CNN'S NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST AS WELL AS A BEST

SELLING AUTHOR, HI HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED MANHUNT, THE 10 YEAR SEARCH FOR BIN LADIN

FROM 9/11 TO ABBOTTABAD,

PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM PETER BERGEN.

(APPLAUSE) THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

MANHUNT, 9/11 TO ABBOTTABAD,

BOY, IT'S LIKE YOU WERE IN THE ROOM WITH THESE GUYS THROUGHOUT 9 PROCESS OF

LOCATING BIN LADEN AND EXECUTING THE MISSION.

HOW DO YOU GET THE TYPE OF ACCESS THAT YOU APPEAR TO HAVE.

BECAUSE THIS IS NOT CON JEK TURE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.

>> YEAH, I MEAN I THINK SI HAVE SOME CREDIBILITY ON THE ISSUE OF BIN 4R5DIN AND AL QAEDA.

THIS IS MY FOURTH BOOK ON THE SUBJECT.

>> YES.

>> AND TALKED TO PEOPLE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, THE CIA,

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE, YOU KNOW, A NUMBER OF PEOPLE,

EVENTUALLY TALKED TO ENOUGH PEOPLE, IF THIS DOESN'T TALK SOMEBODY ELSE WILL TALK.

SO I WAS ABLE TO BUILD UP A PRETTY GOOD PICTURE OF WHAT HAPPENED.

>> YOU VISITED.

YOU WERE THE ONLY GUY WHO VISITED THE HOUSE, THE COMPOUND.

>> RIGHT.

>> HOW DID YOU GET TO GO TO THE-- WE WENT IN AT NIGHT WITH HELL CORPORATERS THEN

PAKISTAN WAS VERY MAD AT US AND YOU COME IN AND SAY MY NAME IS PETER, I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AROUND.

>> I --

>> I WAS THINKING OF BUYING A PLACE IN ABBOTTABAD.

>> YOU KNOW, THREE VISITS TO PAKISTAN AND I'M DEALING WITH THE PAKISTANI MILITARY

INTELLIGENCE SERVICE AND THEY TOOK ME AROUND ON FEBRUARY 10th AND TWO WEEKS

LATER THEY DEMOLISHED IT.

>> SO YOU SAW IT RIGHT BEFORE IT WENT DOWN.

WAS IT IN THE TYPE OF SHAPE,

YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A RAID THERE SO OBVIOUSLY DID YOU GET A SENSE OF WHAT BIN

LADEN'S LIFE WAS LIKE IN PAKISTAN FOR THE SIX YEARS HE LIVED THERE?

>> YEAH, YOU KNOW, HE HAD A LOT OF TIME ON HIS HANDS.

WEIGH DOING, WRITING LENGTHEAU MEMOS TO HIS GUYS.

>> HOBBY STUFF, ANY YOU LOOK IN THERE HEY, LOOK AT THIS,

SPY RO GRAPH.

>> I THINK HIS MAIN HOBBY WAS REALLY ANTI-ZYONIST AND ANTI-AMERICAN.

>> YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THOSE.

>> IS THERE ENOUGH OF THOSE FOR SIX YEARS.

THAT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF REREADING ARING YOU WANT TO GO PROTOCOLS AGAIN.

>> YEAH, ALL RIGHT, LET'S GO PROTOCOLS.

>> DO YOU GET THE ACTUAL ABILITY TO FIND HIM, I MEAN,

REALLY A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.

ONE GUY, HIS COURIER, IS THE ONLY LINK TO FINDING HIM.

>> RIGHT.

THE CIA, SORT OF THOUGHT MAYBE HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY MIGHT GET IN TOUCH WITH HIM.

THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

THEY THOUGHT MAYBE WE GET IN TOUCH WITH HIS SENIOR LEADERSHIP, THAT THEY WOULD

BE ABLE TO KIND OF INTERCEPT SOME OF THOSE COMMUNICATION SO THEY THOUGHT PERHAPS AT

THE END OF THE DAY THEY REALIZED THE COURIER INDUCTIVE LODGE THAKE THIS WAS THE WAY TO FIND BIN

LADEN T WAS KIND OF ANING ATHAT CHRISTIE STORY, NOT A JAMES BOND STORY.

IN TERMS OF TRYING TO WORK OUT THIS GUY WENT BY MULTIPLE ALIASES, FINDING HIS REAL NAME, HIS CELL

PHONE, THEN FINDING HIM AND LEADING BACK TO THE COMPOUND.

THAT TOOK A LONG TIME.

>> EVEN THE CELL PHONE, THE GUY HAS A CELL PHONE BUT TAKES THE BATTERIES OUT AND

ONLY USES THE CELL PHONE WHEN HE IS IN PESHAWAR,

NEVER USES IT MEN HE IS NEAR ABBOTTABAD, YEAH, SOW ACTUALLY TAKES THE BATTERY

OUT, AT LEAST AN HOUR'S DRIVE AWAY FROM WHERE HE SLIVING.

THESE ARE GUYS WERE VERY CAREFUL.

>> NOW WHEN THE UNITED STATES BEGINS TO SUSPECT THAT BIN LADEN OR SOMEBODY

FROM HIGH VAL YOU OOF AL QAEDA IS LIVING THERE, THEY DON'T ACTUALLY EVER FIND OUT.

>> RIGHT.

>> THERE IS NO SOIRT OF POLAROID MOMENT AS ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE BOOK SAYS.

I MEAN AND LEON PANETTA DIRECTOR OF THE CIA WAS VERY AFRAID, THEY OBVIOUSLY HAD

SATELLITE PICTURE BUT COULDN'T SEE INSIDE THE COMPOUND AND BIN LADEN OCCASIONALLY WOULD GO OUT

WITH A WALK BUT DID SO UNDER A TARP.

THERE WAS NEVER A PICTURE.

THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION WAS BASED ON ENTIRELY CIRCUMSTANCESAL EVIDENCE.

>> THE IN-- INCREDIBLE, I THINK, IF THERE IS A MOMENT IN THE BOOK THAT SAY LITTLE

BIT GASP INDUCING IS THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT PROBABILITY AND THEY SAY EVEN WHEN THEY

ARE RED LINING THE INTELLIGENCE, SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL SAYING I THINK THERE IS A 40% CHANCE HE IS

THERE AND SOMEONE IN THE ROOM MENTIONS THE PROBABLE THAT BIN LADEN IS THERE IS

LESS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCESAL EVIDENCE THAN THAT THERE ARE ARE-- THEN THERE WERE WMDs IN IRAQ.

>> YEAH, I MEAN THAT IS SORT OF AMAZING COMMENT.

AND YOU KNOW THIS WAS FROM MICHAEL MOREL, THE NUMBER TWO OFFICIAL AT THE CIA,

VETERAN CIA OFFICER.

AND SO THAT'S THE CONTEXT OF THIS DECISION.

SO THE IDEA THAT JUST ANY OLD PERSON WOULD HAVE MADE THIS DECISION WHICH WE HEARD

OCCASIONALLY IN THE LAST FEW DAYS, I THINK IS JUST NONSENSEABLE.

BECAUSE IF YOU DO THE SPERM ARE VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN HAD BECAME PRESIDENT BIDEN, YOU

KNOW, HES HAS ADMITTED THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE GONE INTO PAKISTAN.

ROBERT GATES WHO SERVED EVERY PRESIDENT SINCE RICHARD NEXT ORNTION HE WAS AGAINST THE RAID.

THE TOP, THE NUMBER TWO MILITARY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA HE WAS AGAINST THE RAID, HAD

ANOTHER IDEA, DROP A SMALL BOMB ON THE COMPOUND.

SO YOU KNOW, THIS WAS NOT AN EASY DECISION.

>> Jon: AND OBAMA EVEN, YOU TALK ABOUT HOW HE INITIATED THE IDEA THAT THE SEAL FORCE

BRING EXTRA ARMAMENT SO IF THEY HAD TO FIGHT THEIR WAY OUT THEY COULD.

>> ADD MIRL MICK MELEN THE TOP MILITARY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS VERY CLEAR.

HE SAID IT WAS PRESIDENT OBAMA WHO PUT IN THE EXTRA CHINOOK, THE VERY LARGE KIND

OF TRANSPORT HELICOPTERS.

AND THEY WERE NECESSARY.

BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT, HE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD THE QUICK REACTION FORCE TO GO IN AND

GET THE POLL ON THE GROUND FROM THE FALLEN HELICOPTER.

>> YOU HAVE, YOU CAN STICK AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES.

WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

YOU HAVE TO PICK THIS UP.

IT IS AN INCREDIBLY DEDAME-- DETAILED AND GRIPPING ACCOUNTMENT PAN HUNTS ON THE BOOK SHELVES

NOW, PETSER BERGEN.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH HIM.

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