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Everything You Thought You Knew About the Death of Osama Bin Laden Is Wrong

May 11, 2015 in Blogs

By Marcy Wheeler, Salon

A controversial report by Seymour Hersh leaves still more questions than answers, but it does make one thing clear.

Everything you know about Osama bin Laden’s killing is wrong.

 That’s the short version of a very long Seymour Hersh story, just published in the London Review of Books, which offers an alternative narrative of the killing of Bin Laden in 2011.

The slightly longer version is that two key Pakistani officials, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the Pakistan’s intelligence service, were in on the operation to kill Bin Laden and ensured U.S. helicopters could travel safely across the border from Afghanistan into airspace over key Pakistani security facilities. They did so, Hersh’s story goes, in exchange for both personal bribes and a resumption of US military funding to Pakistan. That part is all too easy to believe.

Hersh also offers a different narrative about the key tip-off in finding Bin Laden, which — depending on whether you ask torture apologists or not — ostensibly came from Hassan Ghul (an al Qaeda detainee captured in Iraq in 2004), either before or after CIA started torturing him, as well as a tip from a foreign partner. Instead, according to Hersh’s story, a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer actually approached the CIA station chief in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, to offer up Bin Laden in exchange for part of the $25 million reward the U.S. offered. That source told the CIA that Bin Laden had been held captive by Pakistan’s intelligence service since 2006 as a kind of insurance policy against the Taliban. After that source went to the CIA, they did a series of checks, including obtaining DNA from a Pakistani doctor who was caring for the aging Bin Laden. It checked out. The U.S. decided to pursue Bin Laden, which is when they started bribing the Pakistanis to make it possible.

 The plan called for a stealth raid of the Abottabad compound, conducted with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, which would assure that the Pakistani military did not interfere with the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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