Seymour Hersh: White House lied about how they found and killed bin Laden

More than likely, “IF” Pakistan really was involve in aiding the US , they didn’t want to appear to be in collusion, as that would fire up the Taliban and local Al Qaeda sympathizers, which would not bode well to Pakistan’s government at the time. Of course, that wouldn’t be a very fun ‘expose’ now would it?

Of note is that Pakistani doctor that helped track Bin Laden down through his DNA, using the inoculation ruse, has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for aiding a foreign ( the US) government. It would seem that if the Pakistanis were involved, they wouldn’t have pursued the doctor so effectively. But as i say, a good expose depends on a good conspiracy theory. It’s doubtful this author really researched the matter or has any real inside info.

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He wouldn’t even be the only prominent journalist from the Vietnam War era who’s fallen to flogging questionable stories; Sydney Schanberg (The Killing Fields) has been harping on missing-US-POWs-in-the-Vietnam-jungle conspiracy theories for decades now.


Aww, c’mon. His brain would have leapt into the path of a peacefully roaming bullet whilst being carried on its way to the courthouse.

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I thought Brian Williams did it?

There is no evidence whatsoever to even suggest that Bin Laden was killed by a seal team. Not a shred. All we have is the claims of a Government that has shown itself to be untrustworthy.
For all we know, he died peacefully in a Saudi hospital, surrounded by relatives. Once news of that was confirmed it’s just a trip to Pakistan to blow up a helicopter as evidence that a team was in fact there.

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Yeah, it couldn’t be that the Arab world would have exploded if we had taken him prisoner. Covering up his (well) known training by the CIA was job #1.


The evidence is classified, and thus cannot be weighed as evidence by those not possessing the proper clearances. Since you and I aren’t privy to such things, it amounts to the same thing.

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Claims claims claims. Pshaw!
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This is true scientifically, theologically and most importantly, politically.
i.e. Pics, or it didn’t happen.

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Tony Blair has a dossier about it, apparently. Totally convincing.

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Holding it all in seems to be aging him fast.

You can’t judge whether a claim is extraordinary, if you don’t have access to the bulk of the relevant evidence.

With Science, gathering evidence should be a simple matter of experimentation, though sometimes the myth of intellectual property can get in the way.

Religion isn’t really evidence based. For that reason, if you desire evidentiary based practice, discard the practice of religion.

But with politics, the desire of governments to conduct certain business behind closed doors makes it difficult to discern the effectiveness of governmental policy. You can’t tell if people are making the right decisions if the evidence you do have is insubstantial.

Essentially, one must have faith-- faith that’s easily lost.

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You know that the US still denies every having any dealings whatsoever with Bin Laden or any Afghan Arabs right?

Governments lie all the time, but they also try not to tell lies that are easy to disprove. It would be relatively easy to obscure the original source of the intelligence that led to the Bin Laden compound because few people were privy to it and the work those people do is classified by definition. Did that intel come from tortured detainees? An insider in the compound? The Pakistani military? Few people know for sure, and even Seal Team Six probably wasn’t included in that group.

But once you get to “Bin Laden died in a hospital in Saudi Arabia” the number of potential whistleblowers grows exponentially. The doctors, the family members, every complicit member of government from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to the U.S., the special forces operatives who had to carry out a fake raid—not to mention Al Qaeda themselves. Even Al Qaeda’s propaganda wing doesn’t dispute the central claim that American forces killed Bin Laden. Why would an organization sworn to destroy American interests be complicit in a coverup about how one of their leaders died?

The key to a successful conspiracy is to involve as few people as possible and make sure all of those people have good reason to keep it secret.


Hersh’s article is pretty weakly sourced, and just doesn’t smell right to me. I think it mostly doesn’t make sense that the administration would lie about this. Not that they (or any administration) wouldn’t lie, I just don’t see the percentage.

The only way it makes sense is if they wanted to preserve anonymity of those involved - in which case, I don’t see lying as the wrong thing here.

More wrong to me is the extrajudicial killing of Bin Laden as opposed to a trial. But that’s a separate matter.

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There is no evidence to suggest that things happened any other way.

Think about it. There are so many people who would love to humiliate this administration by catching them in a lie like this. Why wouldn’t one person who knows differently step forward, and collect a billion dollars?

Hell, all it takes is one SEAL Team 6 guy to say “Actually we just played ping pong that day”, and instant lifetime Fox gig, several million dollars, and probably a Presidential run.


You’re ridiculous.

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I have to agree. We send in multiple helicopters, almost losing the entire team in the crash, just so the Pakistanis can render up Bin Laden (whom they’re “guarding”)? In the process we shoot and kill 3 male and 1 female resident in the compound. The Seals attacking the compound never mention any “Pakistanis” on the premises. All so Pakistan can save face? I can think of plenty of other ways Pakistan could have achieved this: they could have just given him to us and then the US could’ve lied about where they picked him up.

There are plenty of things they can and do lie about, and when they do it they are always pretty “clever” about issuing non-denial denials. And parsing their responses so they can always go back and say “Well, you didn’t ask me that.” (Cf: How the CIA Director Brennan lied about whether his people hacked Senate computer files.)

But, sure, every conspiracy theorist from miles around is going to drop whatever they’re currently obsessing over to climb on this bandwagon. This is a story for InfoWars, not the London Review of Books, nor Boingboing.

Plus, the well-reasoned refutation of Hersh’s claims is thoroughly damning.


And now that I’m thinking about it, the attack on the compound was live-tweeted!

Sure seems like a lot of effort to go to for lies that don’t have any real benefit.

I’d bet much more on Hersh totally blowing this one instead.


For me the biggest issue with Hersh’s account is how little sense it makes for the US and Pakistan.

The US looks like an untrustworthy bully for launching a raid in a major city of an ally.

Pakistan ends up looking corrupt and incompetent for not finding the world’s most wanted a couple miles from a major military academy and untrustworthy because the US didn’t let them in on the plan.

Both problems could have been easily fixed if they simply moved Bin Laden to a different location for the purposes of the raid and made it a joint operation.


Wow, we’re quickly moving into conspiracy theory territory with a lot of the responses here. Maybe we should next discuss how 9/11 was an inside job and the government using nukes in the arctic in order to melt the icecaps to raise sea levels to prove global warming and institute the new world order.

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