You may have thought you knew the story of the "Killing of Bin Laden." If you saw "Zero Dark Thirty," the Oscar nominated film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, you may have thought you were watching "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man." Many of the details of the movie were also highlighted in reporting from the New York Times. So, yes, like I said, you thought you knew the story…
According to Seymour Hersh, it was all just an elaborate cover story, concocted by the CIA and the U.S. Government. And the story is not the story you thought you knew. Yes, believe it, the CIA lied to cover sources, to cover their asses, to justify torture, to make them look good. You wonder if Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow knew they were just carrying the cover story forward? Were they on the Spook Payroll too?
Once you enter the world of Spooks, of Secret Operations conducted by Special Forces, you enter a hall of mirrors. Who's telling the story? What is their motivation? Who are they covering for? What is their real motivation?
Hersh's article makes fascinating reading. He is one of our last great journalists. A dying breed for sure. He has sources deep in the Spook World, deep in the Military Industrial Complex. You wonder if his reporting is definitive, it reads like it, but of course, we've been fooled before, and once you are fooled, you then look at all accounts somewhat skeptically.
The big news according to Hersh…
1. The U.S. was tipped to Bin Laden's hideout by a high-level Pakistani looking to collect the $25 million dollar reward. He "dropped a dime" on Bin Laden. Torture had nothing to do with finding Bin Laden. The CIA did not track him down by following "Couriers." A guy "ratted" a guy out.
2. The Pakistanis were holding Bin Laden under "house arrest" and kept him as a bargaining chip.
3. Bin Laden was old, an invalid, pretty much isolated and unconnected to the terrorist network. An isolated, handicapped old man.
4. The raid happened with the Pakistani's knowledge. There was no resistance.
5. Special Forces shot Bin Laden down without a fight. Bin Laden was not armed, did not shoot back.
6. There was no "burial at sea." Bin Laden was shot up so bad, basically his body was blasted into pieces, there was nothing to bury. His remains were scattered, some may be in a secret lab somewhere.
7. The original cover story was that a "drone strike" killed Bin Laden, but the Black Hawk down in Pakistan, called for a new cover story.
Read it. What 's a "fact," what "really happened?" I guess, it depends. Yes, Bin Laden is dead. But the how gets a little fungible. And supposedly the truth does matter. It all depends on who is telling the story, and what their interests are - that's the world of secrecy and Spooks.
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