M A I N   N E W S

Obama’s ‘poker face’ hid world’s best kept secret

Boston, May 3
Between attending a glamorous White House Correspondents’ dinner and meeting families of victims of the Alabama storms, US President Barack Obama successfully managed to put up a “poker face” for nearly 72 hours before he announced Osama bin Laden’s death to the world.

The President had on Friday given the go ahead for the raids by US elite forces on the compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan where Laden was hiding with some members of his family.

Between then and till the time he announced late Sunday night that the Al-Qaida chief was dead, Obama had balanced public events with a series of private military briefings. But nothing leaked.

“All presidents keep secrets, but over a 72-hour span leading to Laden’s death, Obama’s capacity to keep a poker face was tested as never before,” the Los Angeles Times said.

On Friday, after signing off on the final plan to send intelligence operatives to kill bin Laden, Obama flew to Alabama where he toured areas affected by the devastating outbreak of tornadoes that killed at least 297 people.

That night, Obama gave a commencement speech at Miami Dade College. He also met with the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour, whose flight was postponed.

On Saturday night, he had hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which was attended by Hollywood celebrities, top journalists and politicians.

Dressed in a tuxedo, Obama smiled broadly even as he had knowledge of a closely guarded secret. “He knew where Laden was living and he had already signed his death warrant, ordering a risky raid that would kill the world’s most wanted terrorist the following day,” the Times said.

On Sunday morning, Obama’s motorcade left for Andrews Air Force Base for a round of golf. He played nine holes and spent a little time on the driving range. The President was back at the White House in the afternoon in the afternoon for a meeting with senior officials to discuss the “final preparations” of the operation to kill bin Laden. — PTI





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