Raid on Osama Bin Laden Fact or Fiction?

Four years after a Navy SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, lingering questions remain about the raid and what led up to it. Now, in a 10,000-word article in The London Review of Books, the journalist Seymour M. Hersh challenges nearly every facet of the semiofficial narrative that has emerged over the years, alleging a vast cover-up that involves hundreds, possibly thousands, of people and goes all the way to President Obama himself. The official account that the U.S. located bin Laden by tracking his couriers? A “cover story” to mask the former Pakistani intelligence officer who walked in with information to collect the reward. The official account of a firefight at bin Laden’s compound. According to Hersh, who cites American sources, “bin Laden had been a prisoner of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency at the Abbottabad compound since 2006” and his ISI captors eased the way for the American SEAL team to skip into Pakistan on their helicopters, kill the al Qaeda leader, and then skip out. It’s a messy omelet of a piece that offers little of substance for readers or journalists who may want to verify its many claims. The Hersh piece can’t be refuted because there’s not enough solid material to refute. Like the government officials who spun the original flawed Abbottabad stories, he simply wants the reader to trust him.



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