An AP report on the man who hunted Osama bin Laden through eight years and three CIA directors:
(The) agency was on its third director since Sept. 11, 2001. John had outlasted many of his direct supervisors who retired or went on to other jobs. The CIA doesn’t like to keep its people in one spot for too long. They become jaded. They start missing things.
John didn’t want to leave. He’d always been persistent. In college, he walked on to a Division I basketball team and hustled his way into a rotation full of scholarship players.
The CIA offered to promote him and move him somewhere else. John wanted to keep the bin Laden file.
He examined and re-examined every aspect of bin Laden’s life. How did he live while hiding in Sudan? With whom did he surround himself while living in Kandahar, Afghanistan? What would a bin Laden hideout look like today?
The CIA had a list of potential leads, associates and family members who might have access to bin Laden.
“Just keep working that list bit by bit,” one senior intelligence official recalls John telling his team. “He’s there somewhere. We’ll get there.”
Intelligence drives operations. Hat’s off to you, bubba.