Osama bin Laden (OBL) is dead and gone. Time has passed and some people still care about what happened and the events that led up to his death. Seymour M. Hersh gets closer to the truth than the other accounts that I am aware of. No, he didn’t shoot bin Laden personally, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, that’s the smaller part of a very large story. Hindsight helps you do that. There were bits and pieces in motion and a lot of it was not information that nation-states such as Pakistan and the United States was willing to chat about.
The review of the book lays out the essential tenants and is worth reading even if you never buy the book.
I realize that there are people in USGOV who will take some issue with Mr. Hersh’s perspective, and it’s their right. There are always different perspectives. The book is clearly not pro-American. Hersh has options that clash with mine when it comes to the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques. He thinks that the Obama overtures to Iran are noble. I think that since Iran likely has two or three nuclear weapons in their inventory that the premise is deceptive in the extreme. Sure, we don’t want them to build more – but we don’t talk about what they have. Do we? Hersh writes about the “secret prisons”, or black sites, and cites Diego Garcia (leased from the UK). There may be one there now. I don’t know, but there wasn’t one when Obama took office…
Still, the book is worth the read.
(London Review of Books)
The Killing of Osama bin Laden, by Seymour M. Hersh
It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.