We were able to monitor the situation in real time and were able to have regular updates and to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation. I’m not going to go into details about what type of visuals we had or what type of feeds that were there, but it was — it gave us the ability to actually track it on an ongoing basis.
(Update: The New York Times says “The president and his advisers watched Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, on a video screen, narrating from his agency’s headquarters across the Potomac River what was happening in faraway Pakistan.”)
Later that night in the Oval Office, Obama went over the text of his address, which began: “Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.”
Look close in the window and you can see the reflection of Pete Souza, the White House photographer who took all these shots. Nice work.
After the speech, and after what must have been a staggering day, the President shakes hands with Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Looking on are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director Leon Panetta.