Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Little-Known Agency That Helped Kill Bin Laden

theatlantic.com

The National Geospatial Agency mapped bin Laden's compound, analyzed drone data, and helped the SEALs simulate their mission

President Obama's first brush with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency was ignominious. Out for lunch in May 2009, at a Five Guys burger franchise in Washington, the new President started to shake the hands of other customers, TV cameras in tow. Then he turned to men with government ID badges.

"So what do you?" the president asked. "I work for at NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency," one said.

"Outstanding. How long have you been doing that?" Obama wondered. "Six years." Obama then asked: "So, explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial..." His voice trailed off. "Uh, we work with, uh, satellite imagery." Obama: "Sounds like good work." The response is obscured by the audio.

Suffice it to say: Obama knows what the NGA does today.

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