On Oct. 7, 2001, the U.S. military began bombing targets in Afghanistan in retaliation for the Sept. 11th attacks. At the time, few knew that an elite American covert team had already flown to Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda and topple the Taliban.
CBS News correspondent David Martin spoke to the CIA's Gary Schroen, who led that operation.
By the time bombing started, Schroen had been on the ground for nearly two weeks - one last mission for a 59-year-old man who on 9/11 had been filling out his retirement papers.
"Everybody in the United States wanted to be the first person to go after bin Laden and get this hunt going, and they had given me that role," Schroen remembered.
Schroen, who had spent 32 years as a covert operator, was to lead a small team of Americans. The CIA's chief of counterterrorism gave him explicit orders to kill.
"'I want you to cut bin Laden's head off, put it on dry ice and send it back to me so I can show the president,'" Schroen told Martin, remembering the order.
Asked if his boss was serious, Schroen said, "Yeah, I think so." read more>>>