White House on Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Article: “Patently False”
Lots of buzz today about the latest Seymour Hersh conspiracy piece, published by the London Review of Books, claiming that the official story about the death of Osama bin Laden was a Big Lie; but the White House is heatedly rejecting Hersh’s claims.
In a piece published in the London Review of Books on May 10, Hersh disputes the official account of the operation and intelligence that led to bin Laden’s death. Relying heavily on an individual identified as an “retired senior intelligence official ” Hersh reports that bin Laden had been held prisoner by Pakistani intelligence since 2006, and that Pakistani intelligence cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency and US Navy SEALs in the raid to kill bin Laden.
In a statement tweeted by CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, White House national security spokesman Ned Price said that Hersh’s report contained “too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions” to fact check.
“The notion that the operation that killed Osama bin Laden was anything but a unilateral US mission is patently false,” Price said.
“As we said at the time, knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of US officials. The president decided early on not to inform any other government, including the Pakistani government, which was not notified until after the raid had occurred,” Price said.
“This was a US operation through and through,” Price said.
Seymour Hersh is justly famous for his exposure of the My Lai massacre in 1969, but since then he’s done much to diminish his reputation, often veering into outright conspiracy theories. This piece is emblematic of that decline; riddled with inconsistencies and largely based on statements from a single anonymous source.