by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: Seymour Hersh Succumbs To Disinformation — Paul Craig Roberts
Seymour Hersh was once one of the good guys. Today, he’s joined the ranks of the has-beens and the sell-outs.
Anyone can get something wrong. That’s not what Seymour Hersh did here. The last “clarifying statement” to fix the narrative.
“Within days, some of the early exaggerations and distortions had become obvious and the Pentagon issued a series of clarifying statements.” Seymour Hersh
He penned a propaganda article about how ‘Obama lied” about the early morning hour Seal Team 6 raid in Pakistan that supposedly killed Osama bin Laden. That’s click-bait. Seymour claims Obama’s lies are nothing more than his refusal to admit how intimately involved the Pakistani intelligence services (ISI) were in the “raid” and of course the official story they came out with in the days right after the raid.
Osama bin Laden most likely died sometime in December of 2001. At least that’s the best estimate I can come up with. Fox News thought the same thing back in the day (H/T What Really Happened)
Of course, it wouldn’t do back then to have the great boogieman dead and gone before we really invaded Afghanistan and Iraq so they let the legend live on til we were about to pull out of Iraq (2011) and Obama was making plans to do the same thing in Afghanistan. Super convenient timing if you ask me (the fake raid was in May of 2011)
And of course, it wouldn’t do to have him keep running around saying he had nothing to do with 9/11 like he did a couple times in Sept. of 2001 either.
Like I said, anyone can get something wrong. No journalist is infallible.
In this case though, Mr. Hersh seems to have been spoon-fed this bullshit “fix the narrative” version of events from one of the guys who helped plan the original bullshit story and he keeps this source’s identity a secret while never once even wondering aloud that his source might be playing him.
“The major US source for the account that follows is a retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. He also was privy to many aspects of the Seals’ training for the raid, and to the various after-action reports.” Seymour Hersh
Seems to me that any journalist worth the paper their story is printed on would immediately suspect this secret former CIA guy might just be spinning the latest, last, lingering tale of the bin Laden raid in an effort to put the final touches on the propaganda so that the narrative might just stand the test of time.
Not Seymour Hersh. He takes it all as the gospel truth. And since it’s coming from Seymour Hersh, I guess we are expected to do so as well. I wonder who this secret former intelligence source was. Was it Leon Panetta who helped stage the whole thing in the first place or George Tenet of 9/11 fame? Or could it have been George H. W. Bush himself or maybe Seymour channeled the ghost of Allan Dulles fired by President Kennedy and served on the Warren Commission? So many honorable fellows in those intelligence services to chose from.
I also wonder what it costs to buy someone like Hersh these days. Is there a standard minimum like SAG actors have? Did he need an agent to handle the contract negotiations? Inquiring minds want to know Mr. Hersh.
According to Hersh’s retelling of the CIA spook’s version of events, bin Laden was in that little dusty, run-down, ghetto of a compound because the ISI had captured him back in 2006 and stored him there until someone in the Pakistani intelligence office got greedy and wanted a piece of the reward.
“It began with a walk-in. In August 2010 a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer approached Jonathan Bank, then the CIA’s station chief at the US embassy in Islamabad. He offered to tell the CIA where to find bin Laden in return for the reward that Washington had offered in 2001″
“… ‘The compound was not an armed enclave – no machine guns around, because it was under ISI control.’ The walk-in had told the US that bin Laden had lived undetected from 2001 to 2006 with some of his wives and children in the Hindu Kush mountains, and that ‘the ISI got to him (in 2006) by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him.’ Seymour Hersh
This version of events is an effort to explain why the most wanted man in the world (supposedly) was living less than two miles from a Pakistani military school and base… and 3 miles from a Pakistani army combat battalion headquarters. It is also an attempt to explain why this super rich man was living like a pauper in a run-down shithole watching a 13″ black and white TV in 2011.
In reality, they picked that little hovel of a house because the poor bastard living there was poor and BECAUSE it was so close to the Pakistani base. Let me explain with Seymour’s own words:
‘It didn’t take long to get the co-operation we needed, because the Pakistanis wanted to ensure the continued release of American military aid, a good percentage of which was anti-terrorism funding that finances personal security, such as bullet-proof limousines and security guards and housing for the ISI leadership,’ the retired official said. He added that there were also under-the-table personal ‘incentives’ that were financed by off-the-books Pentagon contingency funds…
The town was dark: the electricity supply had been cut off on the orders of the ISI hours before the raid began. One of the Black Hawks crashed inside the walls of the compound, injuring many on board. ‘The guys knew the TOT [time on target] had to be tight because they would wake up the whole town going in,’ the retired official said.” Seymour Hersh
So in reality, they picked this particular spot because they knew the helicopters would attract attention to their “raid” and they wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible. Since the ISI shut down the electricity in the town prior to the raid, it is entirely reasonable to assume they were in on it from the beginning. My question would therefore be, since they wanted a quick strike before the Pakistani people started gathering around watching the sideshow, did the helicopters actually take off from that military base a minute away from the house? Would seem reasonable to me. And that would explain why they picked that particular house. Not because it was where bin Laden had been imprisoned but because it allowed for them to zip in and run their little street theater production and get out before a couple hundred Pakistani civilians came over to watch them drag some poor sap’s body out of the building and take a bunch of pictures of it with their cell phones.
Why would the Pakistani military and intelligence assets go along with this charade? Well, the secret “retired official” tells you right there: they are corrupt and we pay them buttloads of US taxpayer’s money for their “under the table” “off the books” personal banking accounts. That’s why.
As far as the raid itself was concerned: remember how we were told there was a running gun battle between the forces of good (us of course) and those dreaded al Qaeda (Iraq Republican Guard?) fighters?
None of that happened and we knew none of that happened after the first bullshit story started falling apart. So they had to fix it and this is what the “retired officer” came up with:
After crashing one of the helicopters (I always wondered how they got another there so fast to pick up the team – turns out it might be because they only had to fly 3 miles) they simply walked into the building, no one was there outside, and walked up the stairs, no fighting along the way, and walked into some poor sap’s hovel of a bedroom and shot him dead on sight. Shot his wife in the knee to shut her up.
“Two Chinook helicopters had flown from Afghanistan to a nearby Pakistani intelligence base to provide logistical support, and one of them was immediately dispatched to Abbottabad”
” There was no firefight as they moved into the compound; the ISI guards had gone”
“One of bin Laden’s wives was screaming hysterically and a bullet – perhaps a stray round – struck her knee. Aside from those that hit bin Laden, no other shots were fired”
“They knew where the target was – third floor, second door on the right,’ the retired official said. ‘Go straight there. Osama was cowering and retreated into the bedroom. Two shooters followed him and opened up. Very simple, very straightforward, very professional hit.’ Seymour Hersh
They shot an crippled, elderly, unarmed man and they shot his wife in the knee perhaps by accident. They wrecked a very expensive Black Hawk helicopter on the front lawn.
And that’s what this intelligence guy calls a very professional hit?
One of the biggest problems with their story is the fact that they claim to have killed bin Laden in the first place. You would think the supposed leader of the greatest threat to humanity at the time (al CIAduh) would be a valuable source of human intelligence on the subject and they might, just MIGHT, want to have a few words with him prior to wiping him out.
But of course, this “retired official” has an explanation for that as well. Thank you Mr. Hersh for allowing him to set the record straight:
“Bargaining continued over the way the mission would be executed. ‘Kayani eventually tells us yes, but he says you can’t have a big strike force. You have to come in lean and mean. And you have to kill him, or there is no deal,’ the retired official said. Seymour Hersh
Right. We now take our orders from retired, greedy Pakistani intelligence officers looking for a quick buck.
In reality, this was just another death squad. They went there to kill someone so Obama could pretend it was Osama bin Laden. That’s all it was.
“It was clearly and absolutely a premeditated murder.’ A former Seal commander, who has led and participated in dozens of similar missions over the past decade, assured me that ‘we were not going to keep bin Laden alive – to allow the terrorist to live. By law, we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is a homicide. We’ve come to grips with that. Each one of us, when we do these missions, say to ourselves, “Let’s face it. We’re going to commit a murder.”’…
‘The squad came through the door and obliterated him. As the Seals say, “We kicked his ass and took his gas.”’ Seymour Hersh
The only photo they ever released of the man they claim was bin Laden was this one:
They tried faking one and showing it to a few congress critters (H/T Rivero) but that got exposed rather quickly.
Then they came up with a couple others but folks like Rivero shot them down just as quickly:
Here’s what they made that one from;
Why do you think it is they had to make so many fake “dead bin Laden” photos when they had the real thing right there for anyone to see? Kinda makes you wonder, huh?
So we are to believe they killed the most valuable source of intel on al Qaeda because a greedy snitch told them to do it and then dumped his body at sea without taking a single solitary photo of the man.
“Bowden’s statement adds to the questions about the alleged burial at sea, which has provoked a flood of Freedom of Information Act requests, most of which produced no information. One of them sought access to the photographs. The Pentagon responded that a search of all available records had found no evidence that any photographs had been taken of the burial. Requests on other issues related to the raid were equally unproductive.” Seymour Hersh
No photos taken of the body of the most wanted man in the history of the Western world and they went to rather extreme lengths to make sure no one would ever be provided with what little intel they actually had on the raid:
The Pentagon report, which was put online in June 2013, noted that Admiral McRaven had ordered the files on the raid to be deleted from all military computers and moved to the CIA, where they would be shielded from FOIA requests by the agency’s ‘operational exemption’. Seymour Hersh
Not only did they dump the body without so much as taking a photo of it, not only did they move the files off of military computers so no one could ever ask what really happened that day… when the Seals who took part in the raid got home, they got a taste of what American “freedom” is all about. You know. What they are fighting for? Freedom?
“On 5 May, every member of the Seal hit team – they had returned to their base in southern Virginia – and some members of the Joint Special Operations Command leadership were presented with a nondisclosure form drafted by the White House’s legal office; it promised civil penalties and a lawsuit for anyone who discussed the mission, in public or private” Seymour Hersh
Right. Obama threatened to put them in prison and take everything they and their families ever had if they breathed a word about the raid to anyone, anywhere at anytime.
Of course, that only applies to people telling the truth about what happened though. Those who decided to lie about it were allowed to tell the world those lies:
One lie that has endured is that the Seals had to fight their way to their target. Only two Seals have made any public statement: No Easy Day, a first-hand account of the raid by Matt Bissonnette, was published in September 2012; and two years later Rob O’Neill was interviewed by Fox News. Both men had resigned from the navy; both had fired at bin Laden. Their accounts contradicted each other on many details, but their stories generally supported the White House version, especially when it came to the need to kill or be killed as the Seals fought their way to bin Laden. O’Neill even told Fox News that he and his fellow Seals thought ‘We were going to die.’ ‘The more we trained on it, the more we realised … this is going to be a one-way mission.’ Seymour Hersh
Very dramatic. Very exciting. Made for TV movie of the week stuff right there. All lies of course. But you know what? They didn’t go to prison or get sued. I guess it’s ok to lie about such things.
The story of what happened to bin Laden’s body was so ridiculous, the usually inept White House Press corps couldn’t really fathom it when it was spewed at them from on high. It made absolutely no sense and everyone in the room knew it. Many of us out here immediately said so. Yet to this day it remains the official version of events and the weakest link in the chain of lies surrounding the supposed end of the bin Laden mythology.
However, in this latest effort by Mr. Hersh and his secret CIA spook spokesman, they have fixed that little narrative issue.
According to them, the bullshit story had to be fabricated because they didn’t really have bin Laden’s body.
Yep. They didn’t have bin Laden’s body because those darn Seals chopped him up and tossed him out the window of the helicopter for no good reason.
The retired official said there had been another complication: some members of the Seal team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains – or so the Seals claimed. At the time, the retired official said, the Seals did not think their mission would be made public by Obama within a few hours: ‘If the president had gone ahead with the cover story, there would have been no need to have a funeral within hours of the killing. Once the cover story was blown, and the death was made public, the White House had a serious “Where’s the body?” problem. The world knew US forces had killed bin Laden in Abbottabad. Panic city. What to do? We need a “functional body” because we have to be able to say we identified bin Laden via a DNA analysis. It would be navy officers who came up with the “burial at sea” idea. Perfect. No body. Honourable burial following sharia law. Burial is made public in great detail, but Freedom of Information documents confirming the burial are denied for reasons of “national security”. It’s the classic unravelling of a poorly constructed cover story – it solves an immediate problem but, given the slighest inspection, there is no back-up support. There never was a plan, initially, to take the body to sea, and no burial of bin Laden at sea took place.’ The retired official said that if the Seals’ first accounts are to be believed, there wouldn’t have been much left of bin Laden to put into the sea in any case. Seymour Hersh
Ah. You see. That explains why there was no body of bin Laden. Those whacky Seals tossed it out of a helicopter bit by bit.
But don’t worry. It really was bin Laden. The super secret source says so.
Obama was anxious for reassurance that the US was going to get the right man. The proof was to come in the form of bin Laden’s DNA. The planners turned for help to Kayani and Pasha, who asked Aziz (a CIA asset) to obtain the specimens. Soon after the raid the press found out that Aziz had been living in a house near the bin Laden compound: local reporters discovered his name in Urdu on a plate on the door. Pakistani officials denied that Aziz had any connection to bin Laden, but the retired official told me that Aziz had been rewarded with a share of the $25 million reward the US had put up because the DNA sample had showed conclusively that it was bin Laden in Abbottabad. (In his subsequent testimony to a Pakistani commission investigating the bin Laden raid, Aziz said that he had witnessed the attack on Abbottabad, but had no knowledge of who was living in the compound and had been ordered by a superior officer to stay away from the scene.) Seymour Hersh
It’s hard for me to decide which story is more full of holes: the original bullshit about the massive fire-fight and bin Laden using women as human shields or this new one penned by Seymour Hersh and his super secret retired CIA spin doctor in an obvious attempt to fix the first.
As is often the case with propaganda, several agendas need to be served simultaneously. That’s usually one good way to differentiate between BS and the truth. In this case we see a bit of Saudi bashing taking place with a not so subtle reference to the developing “Saudi Arabia did 9/11” meme:
“A worrying factor at this early point, according to the retired official, was Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. ‘The Saudis didn’t want bin Laden’s presence revealed to us because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money – lots of it.” Seymour Hersh
Ultimately Mr. Hersh’s efforts here are remarkable only in the manner in which he relies on his secret CIA source and takes everything he says as the gospel truth even though he should, by his own accounting, view it was just more bullshit and lies;
The main theme of the committee’s 499-page executive summary is that the CIA lied systematically about the effectiveness of its torture programme in gaining intelligence that would stop future terrorist attacks in the US. The lies included some vital details about the uncovering of an al-Qaida operative called Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who was said to be the key al-Qaida courier, and the subsequent tracking of him to Abbottabad in early 2011. Seymour Hersh
Well there is one more remarkable thing about Seymour’s effort and that is his sycophantic sucking up to Obama and his pretense that somehow Obama is in the trenches fighting against the republicans in congress.
Obama today is not facing re-election as he was in the spring of 2011. His principled stand on behalf of the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran says much, as does his decision to operate without the support of the conservative Republicans in Congress. Seymour Hersh
Are you kidding me? From Fast Track to the TPP and the TTIP Obama is enjoying more support from the far far right sector of congress than Ronnie Raygun ever had. Is that supposed to be a joke Seymour?
But of course, if you’re incapable of recognizing when you’re being fed a “fix the narrative” Zero Truth Thirty story from your secret source, I guess you might just be blind enough to think Obama is fighting the good fight in the White House.
Either that or the folks that paid you for this shit wanted you to toss that one in for balance after mentioning all the lies President Obama fed us regarding the death of bin Laden.
So in closing, I’ll ask again: what do you think it costs to buy yourself a Seymour Hersh these days? Maybe they just promised to take his name off the Jade Helm list. What do you think?