How It Went Down

By the time Barack Obama became President, the trail to Osama bin Laden had long gone cold.

Pete Souza / The White House / AP

Mission Accomplished. Obama and his team after watching the strike unfold on a live feed from Pakistan.

"I can only speak with authority through Feb. 15, 2009," said Michael Hayden, who was George W. Bush's last CIA director. "But at that point, when people would ask 'When's the last time you really knew where he was?' my answer was Tora Bora in 2001."

Obama's first order to his new CIA Director Leon Panetta in 2009 was to "make the killing or capture of OBL the top priority of the war against al-Qaeda." That order grew out of a controversial Obama campaign pledge that "if we have...

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