Category: Current Affairs
Published on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 00:00
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh recently wrote a shocking article claiming that the White House lied to the entire world about how the US found and killed Osama bin Laden in 2 May 2011.
The article published on the London Review of Books purports to be an “alternative history of the war on terror”, and it relies largely on a single unnamed source to counter President Barack Obama's narrative about the death of the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
The death of bin Laden earned high praise for Obama (who was still serving his first term then), and it was that mission spearheaded by the president himself which largely contributed to his re-election. According to the president, bin Laden was killed in a firefight with US officials and the Pakistani offcials were not informed about the raid in advance. While Obama touted bin Laden's capture in a Pakistani compound to be an “all-American affair”, Hersh alleges US officials got assistance from upper-level Pakistani officials. Hersh also adds that bin Laden wasn't “hiding” in Pakistan when Navy Seal found him like the US government claimed.
Hersh states that the White House's “most blatant lie” was that Pakistan's two most senior military officials were never informed of the mission. He brought up a number of people who have insider information that Pakistani officials were indeed aware of the assassination that would be carried out by the US Navy Seals.
The major point in Hersh's article that will startle most people is the statement that claimed Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was already holding bin Laden hostage, and a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer tipped the US off in exchange for $25 million.
According to Hersh, these are the things he learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources: “that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.”
Hersh's information is primarily derived from a senior intelligence official, whose identity he is keeping secret. Hersh also says he has got corrobating information from two longtime consultants to Special Operations Command, and that he spoke to sources “inside Pakistan”.
Hersh claims that there are a many other number of things that the US government deceived the public about regarding bin Laden's assassination. While the government said that bin Laden was hiding out, Hersh writes that ISI has in fact been holding him captive since 2006 to use him as leverage against Taliban and Al-Qaeda activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hersh's source also says that bin Laden was seeking medical treatment prior to the mission, and that the Navy Seals actually shot down a defenceless invalid, which contradicts the White House claim that a firefight went down. The White House stated that it would have taken bin Laden alive if it was possible but he was killed in the firefight. Hersh states that there was no firefight as the Navy Seals stormed into the empty compound as all the ISI guards have vacated the area when they were informed of the raid.
The article is largely based on Hersh's speculations and a single anonymous source, so it should be viewed with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, it still makes for an interesting and startling read. Read Hersh's full article here