Published On: Tue, May 12th, 2015

Backlash Against Seymour Hersh Bin Laden Claims Begins

No one seems impressed by Hersh's allegation that Obama lied about how Bin Laden was killed.

Backlash Against Seymour Hersh Bin Laden Claims Begins

 

The backlash to Seymour Hersh’s shocking allegations that President Obama lied about how Osama Bin Laden was killed has begun. Both the Obama Administration and the media have responded harshly.

One way to tell that Mr. Hersh’s fantastic claims are not being taken seriously is the fact that the various talk shows on Fox News did not lead with his accusations on last night’s programs. In fact, most of the American media seemed to be more concerned about the Tom Brady suspension.

According to Hersh, not only did the Pakistani government assist with the killing of Bin Laden, but the Al Qaida leader was actually a prisoner in the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan for several years before he was killed there in 2011.

Hersh maintains that not only were Pakistani officials informed of the raid and included in its planning, but that Bin laden was actually discovered after the U.S. agreed to pay a $25 million bribe to a Pakistani who had the information.

The controversial author further alleges that there was no firefight at the compound nor any effort to capture Bin Laden alive, as the official American account of the events maintains. Hersh says that Bin Laden’s guards had already left the compound before the American team arrived, leaving him defenseless, and that the U.S. simply executed him.

But Daily Beast executive editor Noah Schachtman has said that his people checked with their sources and found no confirmation for Hersh’s claims. He tweeted, “OK. We have at @thedailybeast folks with excellent Pakistani + US spec ops sources. They’re reacts to the Hersh story? Uh, nope.”

And both the National Security Council and the Defense Department have refuted Hersh’s claims. “The notion that the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden was anything but a unilateral U.S. mission is patently false, ” NSC spokesman Ned Price told NBC News. “As we said at the time, knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of senior U.S. officials.”

Even the very vocal Obama critic Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “I simply have never heard of anything like this and I’ve been briefed several times. This was a great success on the part of the administration and something that we all admire the president’s decision to do.”

In response to the criticisms of his allegations, Hersh told The Huffington Post that the media would not be doing its job if it were not skeptical about such claims. He said, “If I worried about the reaction to what I write, I’d be frozen.”

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