In May, the London Review of Books published a 10,000-word exposé by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on the killing of Osama bin Laden. It was widely read online, receiving “more than two million page-views,” according to an editor’s note inserted at the bottom. While Hersh’s account was popular in the Internet’s fever swamps, however, it was given little credence by the mainstream press. The New Yorker, where Hersh has published much of his work, passed on the story. Indeed, the thinly sourced piece seems implausible on its face.Read more
In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden told the story of President Obama deciding to send a Navy SEAL team to kill Osama bin Laden. Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state at the time, "hedged" her bet, according to Biden's telling of the story.
Biden, for his part, advised against sending in the SEALs to kill bin Laden. (Biden now says he privately advised the president to do it.)
Watch Biden's remarks from 2012:Read more
After four years of fierce internecine battles and inexplicable delays, the intelligence community last week started the process of releasing more documents captured in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) posted on its website several dozen documents of uneven importance, bringing the total number of bin Laden documents available to the public to slightly more than 100.Read more
Republican members of the House intelligence committee say the Obama administration should release more of the one million-plus documents found after the 2011 raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The White House has so far released around 120, including 86 more on Wednesday that revealed relatively trivial details, like the terrorist mastermind’s reading list. (One interesting nugget, though, was that al Qaeda had been considering opening a recruitment office in Iran.)Read more
The U.S. government released Wednesday morning an additional 86 documents from the vast collection of documents captured during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.Read more
This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.Read more
In the early morning hours of May 2, 2011, an elite team of 25 American military and intelligence professionals landed inside the walls of a compound just outside the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. CIA analysts had painstakingly tracked a courier to the compound and spent months monitoring the activity inside the walls. They’d concluded, with varying levels of confidence, that the expansive white building at the center of the lot was the hideout of Osama bin Laden.Read more
Reggie Love says he and President Obama played cards during the Osama bin Laden raid, and that the president told him, "I can't watch this entire thing."Read more
Are we watching the demise of al Qaeda or its rebirth?
A bracing new piece in the Daily Beast makes a persuasive case that it’s the latter -- that recent developments in Iraq, across the greater Middle East and South Asia point to a resurgence of al Qaeda and a strengthening of its affiliates.Read more
The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was moving forward with its attempt to negotiate with the Taliban, which has opened a long-awaited political office in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban released a statement trumpeting its new political front. Within hours, Afghan president Hamid Karzai blasted the U.S. government, saying the talks will only advance “foreigners' strategies and goals” and are “completely in contradiction to the assurance that was given to Afghanistan by the United States of America.”Read more
Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, added his rather important voice to the growing number of current and former officials who believe the Obama administration should expedite the release of some documents captured during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And Rogers, in an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, suggested that the Obama administration cherry-picked the few documents released to date to create a narrative about al Qaeda favorable to the president.Read more
The special election campaign for Senate in Massachusetts is only a few days old, but it's already looking close. A new PPP poll shows Democrat Ed Markey leading his Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, by only four points. Here's more from PPP:
PPP's first poll of the general election in the Massachusetts Senate special finds a close race, with Ed Markey leading Gabriel Gomez by a 44-40 margin.Read more
Top U.S. intelligence officials revealed new details about the exploitation of Osama bin Laden’s extensive archive during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. The officials revealed that at least several hundred intelligence reports have been generated based on an analysis of bin Laden’s files.Read more
During the House Intelligence Committee hearing today on “Worldwide Threats,” Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said that he has recently had conversations about releasing more of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound. More of the documents should be released, Clapper said.Read more
In February, Esquire magazine published a lengthy profileof "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden." The story did not identify the killer by his real name, referring to him only as "the Shooter."
The Shooter told Esquire that the night bin Laden was killed he had encountered al Qaeda's leader face-to-face in the top-floor bedroom of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden had been hiding for more than five years.Read more
Director Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker after a career of making worse-to-middling action pictures, is a visionary of the grubby. In that 2009 Iraq war movie, and in her new one about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, sand and dirt and grime and mold and mildew and puddles become characters as vivid as, if not more vivid than, the humans. Bigelow anthropomorphizes grubbiness—investing it with menace, or despair, or sadness, or pathos, or rage, or whatever the scene calls for.Read more
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta kept his pet dog by his side when he discussed details taking out Osama bin Laden at his CIA office.Read more
In response to a report that classified information had been leaked to the makers of the Hollywood movie Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, says he's concerned.Read more
Mark Bowden, the author of Black Hawk Down and, most recently, ofRead more
Last night, President Obama defiantly declared that "al Qaeda is on its heels." The president made this claim at a fundraiser at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.Read more
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