US officials, including President Obama, have repeatedly maintained that the Navy SEALS operation to take out bin Laden in 2011 was carried out without the help of Pakistan’s Special Forces and without notifying the Pakistani government beforehand.
It now has been revealed by a veteran journalist that the account of the events was fabricated by the US government.
- Yes, I think it's an unforgivable lie that undermines Obama's credibility35.8% (379)
- What matters is that the most dangerous terrorist was destroyed9.2% (98)
- No, I have no trust in Obama anyway55.0% (583)
The article broadly contradicts a number of incidents of the original account of the May 2011 raid by US forces provided by the Obama administration.
The journalist accuses President Obama of not only taking credit for the al-Qaeda leader's death, but fabricating the story of the Navy seal infiltration into bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
Hersh’s primary source for most of the revelations was a retired senior intelligence official who had information about the initial intelligence on bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.
“The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders — General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI — were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions,” Hersh wrote.
They made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms.
A former senior Pakistani intelligence officer revealed the secret of bin Laden’s whereabouts in exchange for a $25 million reward offered by the US, and while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.
Hersh wrote that he doubted that Special Forces could carry out any kind of attack on the terrorist’s claimed compound without help from Pakistan.
“The only way to accomplish both things, the retired official said, ‘was to get the Pakistanis on board,’” Hersh wrote.
US intelligence services gradually collected information about the compound until they were able to prove that bin Laden had lived there with help from Pakistan’s ISI.
Bin Laden had lived undetected in the Hindu Kush Mountains that run through northern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan from 2001 to 2006, until the ISI “got to him by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him,” Hersh wrote.
Allegedly the ISI was using bin Laden as leverage against Taliban and al-Qaeda activities inside Afghanistan and Pakistan. But in 2010, when the US learned of bin Laden’s whereabouts, CIA officials began to bring a small number of Pakistani officials into the planning of a possible operation.
Again, Hersh claims that the administration lied.
“Within weeks of the raid, I had been told by two longtime consultants to Special Operations Command, who had access to current intelligence, that the funeral aboard the Carl Vinson didn’t take place,” he wrote.
“One consultant told me that bin Laden’s remains were photographed and identified after being flown back to Afghanistan. The consultant added: ‘At that point, the CIA took control of the body,” Hersh wrote.