Killing Osama: Truth or Fiction?

Photoillustration by John Ritter (The New Yorker)

The New Yorker magazine of August 8, 2011, has a long, supposedly true account of the elite Navy SEALs Team 6’s assassination of Osama bin Laden. The article, “Getting Bin Laden,” was written by Nicholas Schmidle who, in the words of New Yorker, “has worked the past two months securing dozens of separate source reports to weave the below narrative.”
The article begins as follows:

Shortly after eleven o’clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard. It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft.

[…] The SEALs’ destination was a house in the small city of Abbottabad, which is about a hundred and twenty miles across the Pakistan border. Situated north of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, Abbottabad is in the foothills of the Pir Panjal Range, and is popular in the summertime with families seeking relief from the blistering heat farther south. Founded in 1853 by a British major named James Abbott, the city became the home of a prestigious military academy after the creation of Pakistan, in 1947. According to information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency, bin Laden was holed up on the third floor of a house in a one-acre compound just off Kakul Road in Bilal Town, a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the entrance to the academy. If all went according to plan, the SEALs would drop from the helicopters into the compound, overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan.

The article then goes on to describe how the CIA under Leon Panetta tracked down bin Laden and how Obama was involved each step of the way, blah, blah, blah, culminating in this account:

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.”

Hearing this at the White House, Obama pursed his lips, and said solemnly, to no one in particular, “We got him.” […] In the Situation Room, Obama said, “I’m not going to be happy until those guys get out safe.”

That was the moment when Nicholas Schmidle lost all credibility for me. Yeah, right, Obama wasn’t “going to be happy until those guys get out safe.” Sure….
To read the very very very long article for yourself, go HERE.
The article is already getting flak. Schmidle said in an e-mail to the Huffington Post, August 11, that “at no point did we mislead the reader into thinking that I had, in fact, interviewed SEALs directly.”
Hmmm. Then who are those “dozens of separate source reports” which Schmidle used “to weave together” his narrative that contains all kinds of precise details about SEALs Team 6 — some or all of whom are now dead when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by the Talibans in Afghanistan? How convenient that dead men tell no tales….
Nicholas Schmidle currently is the Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. According to Cliff Kincaid, editor of the AIM (Accuracy In Media) Report, the New America Foundation’s Middle East Initiative is run by Daniel Levy, a founder of the George Soros-funded J Street group.
I think Schmidle is angling for the job as scriptwriter for the planned Hollywood movie on Team 6’s takedown of Osama. Reportedly, the U.S.’s top brass is giving filmmakers the inside scoop to all things Navy SEAL for the movie.

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8 years ago

I’ll put it this way:
If Osama actually was in that house in Pakistan when the “raid” took place, he was in the freezer.
Sorry, but I think the government is trying to sell us a steaming pile of BS, complete with orbiting, shiny green flies with this Obama killed Osama story.
I’m not buying any of it.

8 years ago

Will we ever know the truth? This administration has not been very ‘open’ with the real truth thus far.