The Real Reason the C.I.A. Stepped Up the Osama Bin Laden Mission

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Photo: iStockphoto

Then-director Leon Panetta made a bet on New Year's Eve with California restaurateur Ted Balestreri: If his guys caught bin Laden, he'd get to sip from a prize $10,000 bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870. The day bin Laden was killed, several months later, Panetta supposedly called his wife and said "Turn on CNN in 15 minutes. The president will have an announcement — and, by the way, tell Ted to get ready to open that bottle." So, for a really nice steak dinner, will he figure out how to depose Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? If we can get our hands on some top-grade caviar, can he disappear A.Q. Khan? Or is that more of a foie gras kind of situation?

Bin Laden capture was an uncorker of an event [LAT]