What's With Live-Feed Blackout During Raid?
Live Feed Goes Dark for 24 Minutes, Panetta reveals
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 5, 2011 4:04 AM CDT
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, May 2, 2011, shows a section of a room in the interior of the compound where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived...   (AP Photo/ABC News)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – More questions are arising about the US raid on Osama bin Laden's compound as CIA director Leon Panetta indicated that there was a video feed blackout during the critical confrontation with the al-Qaeda leader, reports the Telegraph. Live-feed cameras mounted on the helmets of the US fighters apparently switched off or failed to transmit for as long as 25 minutes, Panetta suggested in an interview with PBS. That raises the question of what exactly President Obama and his aides were watching so intently in the situation room in a photo that has gone viral on Flickr. "In fact they had little knowledge of what was happening in the compound," notes the Telegraph. Panetta didn't offer further details.

"Once those teams went into the compound there was a period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn't know exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments," Panetta said. "We had some observation of the approach, but we did not have direct flow of information as they were going through the compound." There was a "firefight going up that compound," Panetta added in a version of events he has since amended. If bin Laden had "thrown up his hands and didn't appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him," said. "But they had full authority to kill him." Pakistani officials have reported that bin Laden was captured, and then killed, according to the Telegraph. For more on how live-feed cameras work, in such operations, check out this BBC explainer.