Seymour Hersh report: Bin Laden raid a lie, Pakistan’s ISI had Qaeda leader under arrest in Abbottabad house since 2006

File:Seymour Hersh-IPS.jpg

In a 10,000 word investigative piece for the London Review of Books published online today, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh makes some astounding claims: that the Bin Laden raid by U.S. Navy Seals was largely a staged bit of political theater meant to protect and advance the reputations of officials within both the U.S. and Pakistani governments, including President Obama, who used the event to advance his reelection campaign.

The article, “The Killing of Osama bin Laden,” alleges that bin Laden had actually been held by Pakistan’s ISI since 2006:

This spring I contacted Durrani and told him in detail what I had 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.

It will be interesting to see whether the allegations make their way across the Atlantic and into the mainstream U.S. press.

Shortly after the story went live this Sunday afternoon, LRB’s website was inaccessible for up to an hour or more (around 3pm U.S. Central time), likely due to massive site traffic. As of early evening The Hill and The Huffington Post are the first to acknowledge Hersh’s report.

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Comments

  1. Aglaios, I can assure you Hersh’s account is fantasy.

  2. Nice of you to stop by, and thanks for the tip.

    Indeed, it is disappointing that Hersh should print these claims without more solid evidence, such as a document, or someone close to the events in question going on record with their names. He knew he’d get pounced on and that his article would get picked apart, so I’m surprised he went forward without producing some “smoking gun” type evidence.

    On the other hand, I personally keep an open mind while reading his claims primarily because I always thought it bizarre that bin Laden would be living where he was in Abbottabad without Pakistani govt giving its quiet approval.

    As you are certainly in a position to know more, I value your tip. Thanks so much.

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