Details about the raid on Osama Bin Laden
August 1, 2011 5:31 AM   Subscribe

In the New Yorker: Getting Bin Laden, What happened that night in Abbottabad. The writer, Nicholas Schmidle, spoke with NPR about the article and gives a short audio account of the raid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (72 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't wait for a really good definitive book on the raid.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:38 AM on August 1, 2011


I can't wait for a really good definitive book on the raid.

Particularly with the details: The United States has admitted it hired a senior Pakistani doctor to help organize a vaccine program in Abbottabad in an effort to obtain DNA from bin Laden’s family.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:42 AM on August 1, 2011


I heard Schmidle on NPR this morning and from his account it sounded like the sole mission of the seals was assassination. No attempt was made to arrest bin Laden.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:49 AM on August 1, 2011


Nicholas Schmidle is one of the better writers about this part of SE Asia especially his book To Live or Perish Forever
posted by adamvasco at 6:14 AM on August 1, 2011


No attempt was made to arrest bin Laden.

From page 7:

A second SEAL stepped into the room and trained the infrared laser of his M4 on bin Laden’s chest. The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. “There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,” the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye. On his radio, he reported, “For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.” After a pause, he added, “Geronimo E.K.I.A.”—“enemy killed in action.”
posted by mediareport at 6:49 AM on August 1, 2011


Good article. Detailed yet cautious about observer errors, rapidly paced but thoughtful.

Some of those details feel novelistic, like the immunization plot Brandon notes, or the odd bit about how to measure OBL's corpse.
posted by doctornemo at 6:53 AM on August 1, 2011


For anyone who's curious about how specific Mefites fall on the question of whether or not it was an assassination there's a giant previous thread. Perhaps this one could be limited to new information?
posted by odinsdream at 6:57 AM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


@Doctornemo

That guy who laid out beside him for comparison has quite a tale for the grandchildren.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:58 AM on August 1, 2011


Bin Laden was believed to be about six feet four, but no one had a tape measure to confirm the body’s length. So one SEAL, who was six feet tall, lay beside the corpse: it measured roughly four inches longer than the American.
...
McRaven greeted Obama on the tarmac. (They had met at the White House a few days earlier—the President had presented McRaven with a tape measure.)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:01 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


An extremely well written article. I rarely go from start to end on a New Yorker piece but that was like automatic whoosh.
posted by bukvich at 7:07 AM on August 1, 2011


I hope I'm not the only one who finds that Obama tape measure gift extraordinarily tacky.
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, a bunch of SEALS and some national security officials decide to tell the true story of the Bin Laden raid to a journalist?

Suckers. This reads like Tom Clancy and is full of self-serving horseshit:
The relationship between special-operations units and the C.I.A. dates back to the Vietnam War. But the line between the two communities has increasingly blurred as C.I.A. officers and military personnel have encountered one another on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. “These people grew up together,” a senior Defense Department official told me. “We are in each other’s systems, we speak each other’s languages.”
I mean come on... the CIA and the Defense Dept. do not speak the same language, nor have they ever. This doesn't pass the laugh test. But apparently Nicholas Schmidle likes being fed shit.

But my point is that this sort of "journalism" is built on all the principal players on the US side being honest about what went on. You have to ask yourself: What are their motivations? What story are they trying to sell? Why would they be honest? Have they been honest in the past? You can't write this kind of story, full of juicy action-packed tidbits, without telling the story that these people want to be told.

Seriously, this is terrible journalism.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:28 AM on August 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Perhaps this one could be limited to new information?</em

The fact that they are now basically admitting it was planned and executed as an assasination is new information.

posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



Seriously, this is terrible journalism.


Unless it's not. I mean, we're adults here, we can decide for ourselves. You have no more information to go on than the rest of us. For all you know it's dead accurate. I don't believe it is, but still.
posted by spicynuts at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Seriously, this is terrible journalism.

But it's so well-written. Did I get sucked through it like eating a one pound bag of M&M peanut candies?
posted by bukvich at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


the CIA and the Defense Dept. do not speak the same language, nor have they ever.

Got a source for that, chief?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:37 AM on August 1, 2011


I personally have no problem at all with whatever it took to do this, or with shooting that motherfucker point blank as the goal of the mission.

Civilization is for the civilized.
posted by spitbull at 7:42 AM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


doctornemo
CIA organised fake vaccination drive to get Osama bin Laden's family DNA.
Senior Pakistani doctor who organized vaccine programme in Abbottabad arrested by ISI for working with US agents.
CIA's fake vaccination programme criticised by Médecins Sans Frontières
Though as usual I see this got more news coverage outside than inside USA.
On preview 2nding Halloween Jack - statements like that need some type of source.
posted by adamvasco at 7:44 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


It happened a decade too late, but this is how terrorism should be dealt with. You don't spend insane amounts of money and squander all of your national goodwill invading countries with ties (or merely hints of ties) to terrorist organizations; you smile at them and give them money. You want to win them over, it's champagne and roses time. But the terrorists themselves you hunt relentlessly and dispatch without compassion; their ears should ring with the last sounds OBL heard: American boots running towards their bedroom door in the dead of night.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:46 AM on August 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Though as usual I see this got more news coverage outside than inside USA.

Interesting...I was in Moscow when this went down and I read these stories in several english papers here. I assumed it was getting equal coverage back home.
posted by spicynuts at 7:49 AM on August 1, 2011


the CIA and the Defense Dept. do not speak the same language, nor have they ever.

-- Got a source for that, chief?


Actually, it's called history. This isn't exactly a matter of opinion. The CIA is a traditionally a civilian agency (exempt from military law and protocols), hence the concern when Gen. Michael Hayden became DCI. Now it's Petraeus, so maybe the lines are more blurred. Or maybe it's just that neither entity recognizes the rule of law anymore.
posted by grounded at 7:59 AM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is worth noting, however, that both the CIA and US Special Forces claim Wild Bill Donovan as their ancestor.
posted by scolbath at 8:07 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


the CIA and the Defense Dept. do not speak the same language, nor have they ever.

Besides, you know, English.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:10 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the confusion here is double: first, mistaking CIA-DoD relations pre-2001 to those of the last decade; and then seeing DoD and reading conventional military instead of special operations. Post-2001 military special operations and CIA have an incredibly close relationship, they've been fighting together for the last ten years so these guys have grown up together and do very much speak the same language. (That language is not, though it should be, Pashto.)
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:20 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the second article linked by adamvasco above:

"[Shakil] Afridi was arrested in late May by Pakistani intelligence, for working for a foreign spy agency. The United States is pressing Pakistan to let him go and allow the doctor and his family to be resettled in the US. Islamabad is infuriated by the CIA's activities inside the country, which were kept secret from their Pakistani counterparts."

One would have hoped that the US would take care of a man as brave as this. Granted we don't know the full story (i.e. maybe they offered and he refused).
posted by bitteroldman at 8:22 AM on August 1, 2011


Civilization is for the civilized.

Which is probably why ours is circling the drain.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Unless it's not. I mean, we're adults here, we can decide for ourselves. You have no more information to go on than the rest of us. For all you know it's dead accurate. I don't believe it is, but still.

But my point is that, from reading the article you have every reason to believe that it *isn't* accurate: fake "you are there" narrative style, all of the sources either government officials or "Navy SEALS" i.e. subject to orders. To believe that it is accurate is to believe that people who have a story to sell are telling the unvarnished truth. The story gets authority by verite: operational details that may very well be accurate but stuffed into an ultimately self-serving narrative.... and there is no way to "balance" the story. It's the sort of thing Woodward (post-watergate) has made a career out of.

I think the confusion here is double: first, mistaking CIA-DoD relations pre-2001 to those of the last decade; and then seeing DoD and reading conventional military instead of special operations. Post-2001 military special operations and CIA have an incredibly close relationship, they've been fighting together for the last ten years so these guys have grown up together and do very much speak the same language.

Whether they do or don't speak the "same language" I think is a topic of another article altogether. But even if the "kill teams" do cooperate it doesn't excuse this kind of purple prose:
The bin Laden mission—plotted at C.I.A. headquarters and authorized under C.I.A. legal statutes but conducted by Navy DEVGRU operators—brought the coöperation between the agency and the Pentagon to an even higher level.
Stenography in action...
posted by ennui.bz at 8:41 AM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The part that struck me this morning (I woke up to this story, an odd way to start a Monday) was the Seal who grabbed the two women and created a human shield to protect his soldiers in case the women were wearing suicide vests. I realize it was a possible scenario they'd planned for, but that kind of courage is pretty incredible.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:04 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Civilization is for the civilized.

This strikes me as a desperately uncivil sentiment.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 AM on August 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


But even if the "kill teams" do cooperate it doesn't excuse this kind of purple prose:
The bin Laden mission—plotted at C.I.A. headquarters and authorized under C.I.A. legal statutes but conducted by Navy DEVGRU operators—brought the coöperation between the agency and the Pentagon to an even higher level.


Why is this "purple prose"? are you saying this is the Tom Clancy version of "It was a dark and stormy night"? I dunno, I think Clancy would probably try to mix it up by adding one and two line personal bio/"insider" asides for the characters and institutions mentioned, to, like, "humanize" them or something"
posted by Bwithh at 10:36 AM on August 1, 2011


The hot buttered popcorn (nom nom nom), let's watch the assassination movie version is not my cup of tea when it comes to this topic, because, imo, it reads too much like SEALs' bragging rights in an era when the USA has not behaved ethically when it comes to war, than credible reporting.

New details: the short version.

The first SEAL to find bin Laden feared that one or both of the wives trying to shield the al-Qaeda leader were wearing suicide jackets

Wearing pajamas I can understand, in the middle of the night. But wearing suicide jackets to bed seems a little unlikely. Wouldn't a suicide jacket make it rather difficult to have sex or spoon with OBL? Or maybe a suicide jacket is a routine part of a jihadist nightgown?

“There was never any question of detaining or capturing him — it wasn’t a split-second decision”

So, it was a planned, extrajudicial assassination.

Huffington Post: When he announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy Seal team in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said, "Justice has been done." Mr. Obama misused the word "justice" when he made that statement. He should have said, "Retaliation has been accomplished."

> [...] as we celebrate bin Laden's demise, we should also reflect on who might be the target of such extrajudicial killings if the balance of the world's power lay not with the US and the West, but with other emerging and powerful nations. The rule of law is there for a reason - to protect everybody from the excesses of unchecked power.

That said, Schmidle, the author of the article sounds like a contemplative and intelligent person. His website, cool pics. His thoughts seem, imo, to reflect some of those of Adam Curtis' films in terms of the interconnectedness and intricacies. Schmidle on Pakistan.

He's connected with The New America Foundation, their website, and the American Strategy Program. The American Strategy Program website.

Re: Got a source for that, chief?

> "The NCS was created in an attempt to end years of rivalry over influence, philosophy and budget between the United States Department of Defense and the CIA."

Cute: > Without much publicity, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have gotten a divorce.

> There is also an increasing friction between the CIA and the Pentagon. Former CIA official Larry Johnson says there has been a longstanding competition between the two entities.

Eisenhower re the CIA and the DoD: he stipulated that it should be handled in an unconventional way so that it would not become entangled in the bureaucracy of the Defense Department or troubled by rivalries among the services.
posted by nickyskye at 10:46 AM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The CIA's fake vaccination program in Pakistan reveals the moral bankruptcy of American spooks.
posted by homunculus at 11:13 AM on August 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The (repeat) strong emphasis placed on the successful assassin's victory phrase: "For God and country." suggests to me that
1) the phrase was either personally chosen beforehand by the commando or it just came out as his instinctive comment; it wasn't an institutionally preplanned (or worked out in hindsight) remark because it's politically incorrect to say the least.
2) that this article was pretty much written independently of White House influence and preferences. If I was a WH staffer, or a DoD or State Department or CIA guy, and I was given the option of choosing one thing to be censored or suppressed in this article, "For God and country" would be at the top of my list.
posted by Bwithh at 12:04 PM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I was a WH staffer, or a DoD or State Department or CIA guy, and I was given the option of choosing one thing to be censored or suppressed in this article, "For God and country" would be at the top of my list.
The raiding team then presented the President with an American flag that had been on board the rescue Chinook. Measuring three feet by five, the flag had been stretched, ironed, and framed. The SEALs and the pilots had signed it on the back; an inscription on the front read, “From the Joint Task Force Operation Neptune’s Spear, 01 May 2011: ‘For God and country. Geronimo.’ ” Obama promised to put the gift “somewhere private and meaningful to me.”
Sounds like nobody was embarrassed at all, let alone Obama, by the choice of words.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:46 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's kind of rich with overtones to non-American non-believers, though. I just don't see the Norwegian 'Spesialkommando' shouting 'For Gud og land!' after murdering a terrorist.
posted by LucVdB at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]



If I was a WH staffer, or a DoD or State Department or CIA guy, and I was given the option of choosing one thing to be censored or suppressed in this article, "For God and country" would be at the top of my list.


Quite the contrary; Obama has to court the religious conservative elements and persuade that he is one of them, or at least a proper American President. (With part of the electorate, him having dark skin automatically depletes any points he would have had to use on progressive moves and then some.) As such, look for him to pile on the Biblical dog-whistles and almost adopt the stature of the spiritual leader of a theocracy.
posted by acb at 1:03 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye.

The size of a 5.56-mm bullet is of a AA battery.

Interesting info on another site about ammo: The disturbing failure of 5.56 mm to consistently offer adequate incapacitation has been known for nearly 15 years. [...] the results are relatively insignificant wounds, similar to those produced by .22 LR–this is true for ALL 5.56 mm bullets, including military FMJ , OTM, and AP, as well as JHP and JSP designs used in LE.
posted by nickyskye at 1:06 PM on August 1, 2011



Quite the contrary; Obama has to court the religious conservative elements and persuade that he is one of them, or at least a proper American President. (With part of the electorate, him having dark skin automatically depletes any points he would have had to use on progressive moves and then some.) As such, look for him to pile on the Biblical dog-whistles and almost adopt the stature of the spiritual leader of a theocracy.


The religious right is a lost cause for Obama - would seem to be a wasted effort. and if Obama did court the religious right, it'd take a helluva lot more than one phrase which is not even claimed to be spoken by Obama but by some unidentified US commando.

Anyway, the risk of the political incorrectness lies largely with the circulation of the phrase helping radicalization amongst Muslim publics especially in unstable high Islamist political risk regions (Pakistan being the no.1 example).
posted by Bwithh at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2011


Quite the contrary; Obama has to court the religious conservative elements and persuade that he is one of them, or at least a proper American President.

Go back read or watch his 2004 speech at the Democratic convention.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an "awesome God" in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
Obama's been fine with including spiritual elements and he uses them to court the left and right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2011


What a great story. I look forward to the truth coming out in 25 years or so.
posted by rusty at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The size of a 5.56-mm bullet is of a AA battery.

No it's not. The casing is the size of a AA battery. The bullet is the little thing on the far left of this photo.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:55 PM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The bullet is the little thing

Isn't the entire gizmo called a bullet? Like, if I go into a store for ammo and ask for a 5.56-mm bullet, wouldn't I get the 'little thing" in the AA battery sized casing?

Oh, waiiiit just a second. It's not technically a bullet in ammo-speak, it's a cartridge, which houses the bullet. I get it now. Huh, never thought about that before. When the bullet is fired does the cartridge also create the wound or only the little thing-bullet?

Thanks for the education shakespeherian.
posted by nickyskye at 2:48 PM on August 1, 2011


If I got a killstreak that had Bin Laden at the end of it I would totally drop the Tactical Nuke just to troll. Opportunity missed, Specialist Whoever. I'm just glad that this has solved all the problems.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:37 PM on August 1, 2011


Well, at least they didn't teabag the body. That's professionalism right there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:45 PM on August 1, 2011


I hear that what really happened is they killed Bin Laden by throwing a knife right from spawn, all the way over the other side of the map.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:58 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What an amazingly stupid article. A lot of it's just padding - historical and geographical stuff. There's a lot of claims that are either false (I bet it wasn't "eerily calm" inside the helicopter) or are guesses (each of the SEALs were rehearsing the mission in their heads, for ninety minutes? How does he know this?). Then you have bits where there are direct contradictions with other claims, but the writer makes no attempt to investigate the discrepancies - even when he notes them! He doesn't even dig into the operational errors (failure to consider the effect of walls on the helicopter's flight, lack of any way to actually identify bin Laden, poor intelligence about the building) that could easily have doomed the mission.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:23 PM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Civilization is for the civilized.
Which is probably why ours is circling the drain.

posted by AElfwine Evenstar

As opposed to, say, Pakistan's or Afghanistan's?


Civilization is for the civilized.
This strikes me as a desperately uncivil sentiment.
posted by shakespeherian

Not desperately anything. Accommodating the "humanity" of terrorists is uncivil.
posted by spitbull at 4:25 PM on August 1, 2011


When the bullet is fired does the cartridge also create the wound or only the little thing-bullet?

The casing, which is the big thing on the back, has the gunpowder in it. That part stays in the gun when you shoot the gun. The little nib on the front goes shooting out the front and kills people in the face.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:31 PM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Accommodating the "humanity" of terrorists is uncivil.

So, like, criminal justice system: uncivil. Bloodthirsty revenge: civil.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:32 PM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fox News Broadcasts Photo of Covert CIA Agent
posted by homunculus at 4:40 PM on August 1, 2011


It’s Not Just Bin Laden; U.S. Commandos Raid Pakistan All the Time
posted by homunculus at 4:41 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That fake vaccination campaign thing is terrible. I mean, I am glad they got him. But the idea that you'd compromise the credibility of vaccinations of millions of children in places like this, by giving evidence for the very type of suspicion that is used to keep international medical aid out -- it's just gross.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:53 PM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The casing, which is the big thing on the back, has the gunpowder in it. That part stays in the gun when you shoot the gun.

Is the casing the part that falls on the ground after the shot is fired? Looking up the anatomy of a bullet.

The little nib on the front goes shooting out the front and kills people in the face.

Do you think the entry hole of the 5.56-mm bullet in OBL's above the eye wound cause the type of damage that it would be reasonably easy to recognize his face afterwards? Too gruesome for photographs to be recognizable? Presumably the exit wound in the back of his head would be large?
posted by nickyskye at 5:04 PM on August 1, 2011


Yeah the casing is ejected.
posted by mlis at 5:08 PM on August 1, 2011


Do you think the entry hole of the 5.56-mm bullet in OBL's above the eye wound cause the type of damage that it would be reasonably easy to recognize his face afterwards? Too gruesome for photographs to be recognizable? Presumably the exit wound in the back of his head would be large?

I would guess it makes a very tiny entry wound, and an indeterminate but potentially massive exit wound. (source page)
posted by Chuckles at 5:14 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also.. Ya, when you think about it, that stuff is stomach churning gruesome. But the pictures of OBL? Only "too gruesome to be recognizable" if they shot him in the back, or many many times...
posted by Chuckles at 5:24 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


> It’s Not Just Bin Laden; U.S. Commandos Raid Pakistan All the Time

In the New Yorker piece they said that was only a slightly untypical night's work for that Seal team, something like they go into Pakistan all the time but this one was a good bit farther than the routine trip.
posted by bukvich at 5:31 PM on August 1, 2011


I hope I'm not the only one who finds that Obama tape measure gift extraordinarily tacky.

Tacky, and really dark humor. Here, you can use this to measure people you kill! LOL!!!

But not as bad as naming the ultimate kill target "Geronimo".

Although at least Bin Laden's skull isn't an objet d'art in a club for the entitled young at Yale. Presumably.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:32 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you think the entry hole of the 5.56-mm bullet in OBL's above the eye wound cause the type of damage that it would be reasonably easy to recognize his face afterwards? Too gruesome for photographs to be recognizable? Presumably the exit wound in the back of his head would be large?

I would guess it makes a very tiny entry wound, and an indeterminate but potentially massive exit wound. (source page)


The entry wound under the eye would look like a tiny mole, about half a centimeter wide. 5.56 mm rounds travel at about 3,000 FPS. I'm assuming the exit wound was probably slightly larger than the entrance wound, but I doubt the bullet yawed enough to punch out a large exit wound.

It's a common complaint among soldiers using 5.56mm ball ammunition that the round is too small—and travels too fast—which leads to narrow puncture wounds that don't knock their targets down quickly enough. Before we adopted the M16, the old combat rifle was the M14, which used the larger 7.62 nato round (which, incidentally, has a casing about the size of a double A battery.)
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:24 AM on August 2, 2011


Jeremy Scahill (The Nation) posted a link to this blog post: The Schmidle Muddle of the Osama Bin Laden Take Down - "All of this makes for a gripping read. Too gripping I thought to myself."
posted by epersonae at 8:24 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meant to link to tweet from Scahill, too,
posted by epersonae at 8:25 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Remnick (New Yorker’s top editor) says he’s satisfied with the accuracy of the account. “The sources spoke to our fact-checkers,” he said. “I know who they are. Those are the rules of the road around here. We have the time to do this. There isn’t always time” for publications with shorter deadlines to do the same checking.
posted by adamvasco at 11:12 AM on August 4, 2011


A Secret War in 120 Countries: The Pentagon’s New Power Elite
posted by homunculus at 1:53 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


SEALs who caught Osama among those killed: 31 die in downed helicopter; worse loss of life in Afghanistan since war began
posted by homunculus at 11:03 AM on August 6, 2011


Ah, the title of the last link was a bit misleading: U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that they believe that none of the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although they were from the same unit that carried out the bin Laden mission.
posted by homunculus at 11:08 AM on August 6, 2011


Insurgent who downed SEALs helicopter killed in airstrike
posted by homunculus at 9:12 AM on August 10, 2011


Peter King asks for probe into White House's role in bin Laden movie
posted by homunculus at 11:46 AM on August 10, 2011


The Pentagon's Fake Jihadists
posted by homunculus at 6:39 PM on August 11, 2011


Pakistan let China see crashed U.S. "stealth" copter
posted by homunculus at 9:07 PM on August 14, 2011


Pakistan let China see crashed U.S. "stealth" copter

To be fair, I don't think anyone in the US administration contemplated the possibility of anything going wrong, or that the Pakistanis would be anything other than loyal to the interests of the USA.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:15 AM on August 15, 2011


When you look closely, nothing seems right about what will surely become the accepted account of the raid that nailed America’s enemy number one. And then things get even weirder…

- Russ Baker of whowhatwhy.com critiques the sources and motives behind Schmidle's New Yorker story for Guernica magazine.
posted by Ahab at 1:13 AM on August 19, 2011


What Really Happened in the Bin Laden Raid? Details of the story don't add up. Footage of the raid either exists or doesn't. The tale of that night in Abbottabad keeps getting more muddled.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on August 27, 2011


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