NEW YORK: Time magazine Thursday published the memorandum written in April 2011 by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta after receiving the green light from President Barack Obama to launch a secret military operation that ended with the killing of Osama bin Laden.
"Received phone call from (National Security Adviser) Tom Donilon who stated that the president made a decision with regard to AC1 (Abbottabad Compound 1). The decision is to proceed with the assault," reads Panetta's handwritten memo of April 29, 2011.
"The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out," the note says.
The US government said Osama was killed May 1, 2011, from gunshots to the head and chest during the course of a raid by Navy SEALS on the residential compound where he was hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands," Panetta wrote, referring to Adm. William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Operations Command.
"Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 a.m.," the "memo for the record" concludes.
Next week will mark the first anniversary of Osama's death.
The official US administration version of the situation has always been that the operation undertaken in Pakistan was aimed at capturing Osama, but when he was confronted by US troops he resisted and therefore one of the SEALS opened fire on him.
Washington says that the assault team took Osama's body from the Abbottabad compound to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Sea, where - following Islamic custom - it was washed and wrapped in a white shroud and then buried at sea.