Obama Gave Orders to Kill Bin Laden Just Hours Before Coming to Miami

Just hours before arriving in Miami to deliver a commencement address at Miami Dade College, President Barack Obama gave what will likely be one of the most important directives of his presidency. After months of planning and gathering intelligence, the president gave direct orders for American operatives to carry out an operation within Pakistani borders that would result in the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden. Updated. 

The president is believed to have given the order sometime before boarding Air Force One and touring devastation of tornadoes in Alabama. After delivering remarks in Alberta, Alabama, Obama then traveled to the Kennedy Space Center and finally to Miami to deliver the commencement address at the James L. Knight Center.

His remarks in Miami, likely written well before he gave the directive, focused on optimistic themes such as the importance of education and immigration reform. The president only briefly touched on the War on Terror.

"When bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, when an Iron Curtain fell over Europe, when the threat of nuclear war loomed just 90 miles from this city, when a brilliant September morning was darkened by terror -- in none of those instances did we falter," he told the graduating students. "We endured. We carried the dream forward."

Many remarks in the address echoed the address the president delivered to the nation last night.

"Tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to," Obama said last night. "That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people or the struggle for equality for all our citizens -- our commitment to stand up for our values abroad and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place."

Updated: The Miami Herald has run a similar story saying that on Saturday morning, President Obama gave the directive to kill bin Laden, though several other outlets continue to report that Obama gave the directive at 8:20 a.m. Friday. ABC News' timeline of events confirms this. The Herald, though, adds that the president was pulled away during a reception ahead of the commencement address to be briefed on something particularly important. 

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