Book: Clinton pushed Obama on bin Laden

Aug. 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the driving force behind the decision to kill Osama bin Laden, pushing President Obama to act, a new book says.

"Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide For Him" by Richard Miniter says Obama was afraid of the consequences of a bungled effort to kill bin Laden, the New York Daily News reported. The book also depicts the president as a man surrounded by strong women, including Clinton, his wife, Michelle, and longtime friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Miniter, who wrote a book published in 2003 about President Bill Clinton's failure to go after bin Laden, is a former editorial page editor for The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Washington Times, both known for their conservative views. He has also worked for The Sunday Times of London.

While Obama first wanted better intelligence during 2009 on bin Laden's whereabouts and then debated how to proceed, Clinton in her weekly meetings with him urged him to action, Miniter said.

"She knew her husband had paid a political price for failing to stop bin Laden before the September 11 attacks," Miniter said. "She knew Obama's presidency could be mortally wounded if he had bin Laden in his gun sights and didn't fire."

Jarrett, meanwhile, was more concerned the president would pay a big political price if a raid went wrong, the New York Post said.

The book attempts to undercut one of Obama's biggest military and foreign policy successes.

The book was published Tuesday. The British tabloid The Daily Mail obtained a copy in advance.

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