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Saxby Chambliss

Saxby Chambliss and world’s biggest secret

Saxby Chambliss 40%

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In late January, Saxby Chambliss was named the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.

It is a committee that does much of its work behind closed doors flanked by armed guards. National secrets are the committee’s stock in trade. And the very first one handed to the new vice chairman, by CIA Director Leon Panetta, was a doozy:

Osama bin Laden, author of 9/11, was thought to be hiding behind the walls of a compound in a Pakistani city named after a 19th-century British general, James Abbott. (A pity his nickname wasn’t “Bud.”)

If, in fact, the man corralled within the Abbottabad compound was bin Laden. “They didn’t know back then. We were still doing surveillance work, to try to figure out that it was him,” Chambliss said. “But they had a pretty good idea that it was him.”

The Georgia senator was one of perhaps 16 people in Washington who were in on the possibilities of a secret CIA stakeout that stretched month after month. So you’ll forgive Chambliss a sigh of relief at being able to shed his covert burden.

“I’ve had briefings before but nothing at this level,” he said during a Thursday interview. “Obviously, it’s interesting and fascinating, but also pretty scary. It’s pretty heady stuff.”

With the death of bin Laden, every detail of the terrorist’s end became a treasure in Washington last week. And Chambliss was one of the major distributors.

When Chambliss mentioned that the firs. shot that Navy SEALs aimed at bin Laden’s head went wide — as the curious terrorist poked out a doorway, the detail made headlines.



Source: ajc

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