— -- No, not Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room"—the real one. President Barack Obama, taking an election-year victory lap of sorts one year after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, did an unprecedented television interview in the White House's strategic nerve center, the Situation Room.
NBC's sit-down with Obama will air on May 2, one year after Navy SEALs dropped into the al-Qaida chief's compound in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad and killed him. The network said it had also interviewed Obama's top national security and foreign policy aides, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough and John Brennan, Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser.
Can't wait to see what the famous "nerve center" of the White House looks like? You're in luck. The White House threw open the Situation Room doors in December 2009 and produced this video. Still not satisfied? President George W. Bush's administration invited reporters to walk through the newly overhauled Situation Room in December 2006. Here is the New York Times piece written at the time. The warren of rooms, measuring about 2,700 square feet (250 square meters), sits on the lower level of the West Wing. Situation Room personnel once asked for cellphones and pagers at the front door, but the refurbishment added sensors in the ceilings that detect such devices and alert security, White House officials said.
During the 2006 tour, reporters were taken to the president's main room, where he typically holds National Security Council meetings. It held six flat-screen televisions with videoconference cameras and displays that highlight the current security level of the discussion and whether the microphones are on to avoid potential slip-ups.
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