Rankling White House officials, investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh released a controversial story Sunday claiming that the Obama administration collaborated with Pakistani officials to kill Osama bin Laden four years ago.
He also charges that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence, likely were aware of the U.S. mission.
According to Hersh’s report via CNN:
…The 2011 U.S. Navy SEAL raid on the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan was not a firefight in which SEALs went into a dangerous and unknown situation, but a setup in which Pakistan’s military had been holding bin Laden prisoner in Abbottabad for five years and simply made him available to the SEALs who flew in helicopters to the compound on the night of the raid.
The White House dismissed the claims, calling them “baseless.” The administration has said in the past that the military received information about bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his courier, and that he was killed in a firefight with an elite team of Navy SEALs.
“There are too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions in this piece to fact check each one,” White House National Security spokesman Ned Price said in a statement to reporters.
Other former officials of the administration also raise doubts about Hersh’s report.
Citing an anonymous “major U.S. source,” Hersh writes that the Obama administration cooperated with Pakistani intelligence officials to kill bin Laden, and that the chief of staff of the Pakistani army and director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency knew about the mission, contrary to Obama’s claim that Pakistani officials weren’t aware of the raid in advance.
CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen immediately rebutted Hersh’s allegations in a post that contradicts most of the claims in his 10,000 word report.
Click here to read Hersh’s complete piece. And let us know what you think in the comments section.