Obama played cards in White House on Osama raid day: Ex-aide
Posted on: 02:57 PM IST Aug 15, 2013
Barack Obama spent a large chunk of time playing cards on the day of the Navy SEALs raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan in which the al-Qaeda chief was killed, a former aide of the US President has said.
The iconic photo of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound is set in the Situation Room, where an array of generals and top government officials, including President Obama, watched the events in Abbottabad unfold in real time. But in a talk with Jim Newton of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs, Obama's former body man Reggie Love revealed that he, Obama, and two others spent a large chunk of time during the raid playing cards upstairs, The New York Magazine reported.
Love said they must have played "15 hands" of spades in the White House's private dining room. "Most people were like down in the Situation Room," he recalls, "but (Obama) was like, 'I'm not gonna be down there, I can't watch this entire thing,'" Love said.
The "entire thing" lasted around 220 minutes, about 180 minutes of which consisted of helicopter rides to and from the compound, during which nothing was really happening. The magazine quoted sources as saying that a hand of spades lasts around ten minutes, so fifteen hands would take approximately 150 minutes.
So while the timeline is unclear, Obama was not necessarily playing cards upstairs during any of the exciting parts. The US Navy SEALs in a daring raid on Osama's compound in Abbottabad in May, 2011, killed the elusive terrorist mastermind.