New reports suggest that the operations that led to capture/death of one of the most famous terrorists in living memory, Osama Bin Laden, weren’t all that met the eye.
The death of Bin Laden hasn’t been without controversy and conspiracy theories; ranging from the theory that he had been killed years before in the Tora Bora mountains to the even more insane theory that his death was timed to interrupt The Celebrity Apprentice as revenge for Donald Trump asking to see Obama’s birth certificate. New evidence, however, does suggest that the investigations leading up to the eventual death of Bin Laden aren’t as clean cut as previously thought.
Though it was initially announced as a joint ops mission, exclusively between the CIA and the Navy SEALs, both American task forces, and that the top-level Pakistani intelligence agency ISI played no part. Legendary reporter Seymor M. Hersh has released an article in an attempt to debunk some of these statements that the White House Administration has so fervently defended. Through the medium of four undercover agents, Hersh states, ISI did in fact have knowledge of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and also knew the operations which were ongoing regarding the U.S.’s involvement in the raid.
This allegation is supported by Asad Durrani, an ex ISI general.
“it’s quite possible [that they didn’t know Bin Laden’s whereabouts] but it was more probable that they did [know]. And the idea was that, at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States.”
This statement enforces the idea that the U.S. government hasn’t been completely truthful in the whole affair. When Hersh contacted Durrani, he found that there were further, even more disturbing truths. The C.I.A. has been claiming responsibility for tracking down the whereabouts of Bin Laden with no extra-agency influence. This is (allegedly) false. Durrani confirmed that Bin Laden’s whereabouts was sold to the U.S. government by a high level Pakistani agent for the agreed $25 million bounty.
Durrani goes on to express his gratitude for Kersh’s report.
“When your version comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful. For a long time people have stopped trusting what comes out about bin Laden from the official mouths. There will be some negative political comment and some anger, but people like to be told the truth”
Naturally, there has been backlash in the U.S. following Kersh’s allegations. Many reporters such as CNN’s Peter Bergen waving away his report and deeming it “is a farrago of nonsense.” Thankfully, there have also been reporters jumping to his defense.
Of course, there has been a complete lack of physical evidence supporting the White House’s claims. Their inability to produce evidence of a body has been scrutinized to death, with the response being that they buried Bin Laden at sea to respect Muslim tradition of being buried 24 hours after death. They have not observed this tradition in many other occasions, most prominently being the death of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, who were held for eleven days before their bodies were released. It can’t be denied that not even offering a shred of evidence (barre eye-witness accounts of government officials) doesn’t offer much support to the White House’s denial of Kersh’s claims about Bin Laden’s mysterious death.
Seymour Kersh is a heavyweight veteran in investigative journalism, so the question that stands to be answered; would he really risk tarnishing his glittering career on unfounded accusations, about one of the biggest news stories of the decade, against his own government? This is for the reader to decide.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]