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Whaddaya know: Seymour Hersh shows that Obama's story of how Osama Bin Laden got whacked was a tissue of lies

Seymour Hersh (in the London Review of Books, mind you, not the Obot-infested New Yorker, where he has so long published. Interestingly, the LRB has just gone down ("service temporarily unavailable"). Because I was reading the story on my iPad before the LRB went down, I was able to take some screen shots. Here they are; they don't add up to a coherent narrative, and I don't have time right now to lay Hersh's timeline against existing narratives. (Remember that story about using a vaccination program in Pakistan as cover? That was part of the history rewrite on this, amazingly enough.) But... Wow. What a farrago.



The key point, besides the usual tissue of lies and chaos in the White House, is that when Obama whacked OBL it was a killing; a murder, no more and no less. The SEALs knew it, and everybody who knows what wasn't done with the body knew it (surprise; it wasn't dumped at sea).

So take a look at this famous photograph from the White House situation room:

I would like to know how much Clinton knew about the OBL operation, and all the farcically bad details involved in it.

I would like to hear Clinton's explanation of what she was watching in the photograph above.

I would like to know if Clinton knew, live, in the situation, whether OBL was murdered, or not. (In fact, I'd like to know that about everyone in the room.)

And I would finally like to know if Clinton supports the murder of U.S. citizens for reasons of state, as does Obama.

* * *

If it ever comes up, which I doubt it will, the Clinton campaign will doubtless say something along the lines of "Secretary Clinton feels it's a good thing OBL got whacked, because he was a bad guy."

Too bad about the missed opportunity to try a war criminal in the Hague.

It would be nice to be able to back off from the "war on terror" as a self-licking ice cream cone of blowback and wedding parties exploding in pink mist, and start treating it as an international justice issue for the police and the courts, but then I can see how several administrations, including Obama's, would be sensitive about trying war criminals.

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jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

favorite line, then the rest is an eye opener if true and SH nails most of the time.

The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll

Notorious P.A.T.'s picture
Submitted by Notorious P.A.T. on

" I would finally like to know if Clinton supports the murder of U.S. citizens for reasons of state, as does Obama"

As Secretary of State, she was in a prime position to do something if she didn't support it (the targets have been in other countries). She didn't do anything that I know of.

mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

Dunno about you but the comments I'm seeing about this story on social media seem to be running about 80% against Sy, even among "liberals" and maybe even especially among liberals. It's quite disheartening.

Even if Sy's sources could go public, and even if RJ Hillhouse's sources could go public, it would still be their word against the administration's word so it wouldn't necessarily settle anything.

Only Congress has the authority to get to the bottom of this, by holding hearings, subpoenaing witnesses and evidence, and granting immunity to witnesses who cooperate. I'm not holding my breath waiting for our corrupt congresscritters to hold such a hearing, so this may be one of those things that historians will still be debating decades from now.

Looking at this story from a point of view of motive, Sy has no motive to lie. Like any journalist he may have a slant and he may botch a few details and he may sensationalize, but I'm not seeing Sy making the whole story up? Why would a 78 year old risk trashing his reputation?

On the other hand, the government has plenty of reasons to lie -- to cover up for a corrupt ally, to cover up for their own sorry performance, and to justify their ongoing droning, torturing, and spying. How would it look to admit "our wars didn't bag OBL, our drones didn't bag OBL, our torture didn't bag OBL, and our spying didn't brag OBL. In the end it was good old fashioned human intelligence on the ground." Not to mention the part about executing a defenseless old man, not that Americans have ever had a problem with executing people they didn't like.

Submitted by lambert on

See here.

* * *

Billmon has been very good on this:


Importantly, the idea that OBL's capture was a result of torture was thoroughly debunked.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

What I find telling is the fact that ObamaCo is denying stuff that Hersh never asserted (i.e. that the operation was not unilateral), and the highly specific form of what is being denied ("knowledge of this operation"). The ISI need not have knowledge of the specific operation to know that an operation is slated to occur is the near future, and that Pakistani defense forces should disappear, and not react to incusions of Pakistani air space by US air craft

From the official denial:

"The notion that the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden was anything but a unilateral U.S. mission is patently false," said NSC spokesman Ned Price. "As we said at the time, knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of senior U.S. officials."

Submitted by lambert on

How's every little thing in Philly?!

And yes, that's very nice parsing of words from the White House.