May 14, 2015


Seymour Hersh, winner of two National Magazine Awards, five George Polk Awards, the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for his exposé of the My Lai massacre, and the 2004 George Orwell Award.[1]  Image:


The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has written another blockbuster, this time about the raid on the complex at Abbottabad, Pakistan, that allegedly took out Osama bin Laden, the alleged perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks. His new article for the London Review of Books purports to blow the lid off the fake story conveyed by the Obama White House about the raid of May 1, 2011.[2] Hersh reveals several clear falsehoods inherent in the official story, only to manufacture many of his own.

The article, “The Killing of Osama bin Laden,” begins by stating that “a group of US Navy SEALs assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,” a thesis that has been disproven again and again. Evidence suggests that bin Laden was, in fact, dead by the end of 2001.[3]

Hersh’s article is crammed full of perplexing details, personae, and allegations, providing a maze of red herrings that serve to substantiate the official story of 9/11 and the myth of Osama bin Laden – while supposedly supplying the truth for the very first time. His thesis rests on a wealth of information provided by his #1 source, “a retired intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad” and “privy to many aspects of the SEALs’ training for the raid, and to the various after-action reports.”

We learn that it was a “walk-in” in 2010 – a former Pakistani intelligence officer – who first alerted the CIA station chief in Islamabad about bin Laden’s whereabouts. Contrary to the official story, we see that Pakistan had indeed been aware of bin Laden’s residence in Abbottabad. Indeed, Pakistan’s ISI had supposedly been holding him in the compound since 2006.

Furthermore, we learn that there was no “firefight” involved in his killing, which was originally said to have been carried out in self defense. According to Hersh’s #1 source, the SEALs blew open the doors to bin Laden’s third-floor rooms and murdered the unarmed invalid cowering in his bedroom: a “very simple, very straightforward, very professional hit.” In addition, there was no “treasure trove” of terrorist materials, as reported, consisting of computers, flash drives, videos, and documents relating to al-Qaeda.


Official scenario of the Abbottabad raid, illustrated. Image: Daily Mail.


Obama was not supposed to reveal the raid at all, according to Hersh, let alone make statements not fully vetted by the U.S. security apparatus. Instead, the plan was to collect bin Laden’s DNA in advance, conduct the raid, wait a week or so, and then announce that bin Laden had been killed in a drone attack in the Hindu Kush – and had been identified by DNA samples collected after his death. Finally, bin Laden was not buried at sea following proper Islamic burial procedures aboard the USS Carl Vinson. No – his remains were thrown unceremoniously into a body bag, after being blown to bits by rifle fire in his bedroom, and body parts were reportedly flung out of the SEALs’ helicopter on the flight back to Jalalabad.

A fantastic, bombastic exposé by Sy Hersh, filled with outrageous allegations and peppered with salty language and street lingo. But what does it tell us, besides the fact that the government, armed forces, and intelligence services lie to the American public?

First of all, it serves to substantiate the myth of al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, who supposedly managed to elude the U.S. dragnet for a decade, supported by reported samples of his DNA (DNA evidence is a major feature of Hersh’s story). Second, it attempts to replace the ridiculous narrative of the Abbottabad raid with something seemingly more believable. Third, and perhaps most important, it buoys up the official story of 9/11 and bin Laden’s role in the false-flag operation. Finally, it accuses Obama of approving the Abbottabad raid – and lying about it – in order to increase his standing in the run-up to the 2012 election.

There is much, much more to Hersh’s 10,000 word article. Sadly, none of his contentions are true – they cannot be, since Osama bin Laden was not killed in Abbottabad in 2011. Why would this respected journalist convey such obvious disinformation? Either he is a gatekeeper – suggested by his immediate appearance to discuss his article on the gatekeeper program, Democracy Now! – or he is a dupe, actually believing what his source #1 has told him.[4]

Is this a case of “spy vs. spy” with contending factions pushing their various stories through established journalists? Is Hersh working for the neocons – or even the Israeli government? Is he striking out not only at Obama but at all future contenders, reminding them of their real positions with respect to their overlords? Whatever the purpose, it’s a sad day for Hersh – the winner of the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language – and for American investigative journalism.[5]


VIVIAN LEE is the nom de plume of a tenured professor at a US east coast university.
This article was published at










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