BOOKS: Countdown Bin Laden: Chris Wallace with Mitch Weiss – Valdosta Daily Times

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Countdown Bin Laden

Countdown Bin Laden
“Countdown 1945” went so well that writer/FOX News anchor Chris Wallace decided to get the band back together for “Countdown Bin Laden.”
In “1945,” Wallace with Mitch Weiss explored the months, weeks and days leading to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan which ended World War II.
With “Countdown Bin Laden,” they chronicle the months, weeks, days and even hours and minutes leading to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
While both books are produced by the same team and use the same format of chapter titles such as “Countdown: 236 days,” followed by a date, “Bin Laden” and “1945” feel very different.
In “1945,” the book relies on research in telling its story from nearly 80 years ago but “Bin Laden” relies on research and interviews with people who are still alive in telling a story that’s only about a decade old.
CIA agents track a known Al Qaeda courier to a three-story house in Abbotabad, Pakistan. The house is a well-protected compound on a dead-end street. It raises eyebrows. Surveillance leads to grainy photos of a man who regularly walks laps inside of the walls of the compound.
Though not fully confirmed, agents and CIA Director Leon Panetta come to believe the man is bin Laden. Soon, so does President Barack Obama and others.
SEAL Team Six is prepared for an operation to enter the house and either capture or kill bin Laden.
While we know the outcome of the “Countdown,” Wallace and Weiss create tension and suspense in their narrative. 
They provide new information and insights through interviews with Admiral William McRaven, who led the operation, Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, SEAL Team Six members and other people involved in the research and development of the operation. 
With the raid taking place a decade ago and the recent commemoration of 9/11, “Countdown Bin Laden” is a timely read and an insightful look at what happened behind the scenes.

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