The press briefing was scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. and should begin shortly. Stay tuned for updates on the death of Osama bin Laden. "It's a packed house," reports CNN. Reporters are anxious to hear more about the DNA test identifying bin Laden. Carney introduced John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security.
Brennan says the U.S. is discussing with Pakistani officials about what support system bin Laden had in the country. ABC's Jake Tapper asks if there was a fear that Pakistani officials would act first based on the knowledge of bin Laden's location. Brennan dodges the question saying it was a successful mission. Brennan calls Obama's decision to strike the compound one of the "gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory" because there wasn't confirmation that bin Laden resided in the mansion. Brennan says he doesn't know if bin Laden "got off any rounds" during the firefight. Brennan says the fact that bin Laden used a woman as a human shield speaks to the character of the Al-Qaeda leader. As to why the U.S. had to kill bin Laden instead of capturing him, Brennan says "If we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that.” Brennan says the White House will make sure they will prove bin Laden's death leaving no shred of doubt about conspiracies. Brennan says bin Laden's body was taken care of in an "appropriate way," "consistent with Islamic law" and would not go into detail about the burial of his body at sea. Brennan's facing the most push back on this issue. Amid murmurs, a reporter asks if there's video evidence of bin Laden's burial at sea. Brennan doesn't address the question. Tapper asks if bin Laden's wife was the one being used as a human shield. Brennan says bin Laden's wife was killed but he didn't make it clear if she was being used as a shield for her husband. Carney replaces Brennan at the podium answers a few minor questions and closes the briefing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.