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Obama lied about Osama killing

Posted by :) on May 13, 2015


Washington:
Bin Laden Was Pak Prisoner; Army & ISI Chiefs `Sold’ Qaida Head To US, Says Seymour Hersh
Senior Pakistani army generals and top ISI honchos purportedly held Osama bin Laden in an Abbottabad hideout since 2006 before selling him to the US in 2011 after a Pakistani intelligence officer betrayed him for the $25 million bounty , veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed.In a 10,000-word piece in the London Review of Books (LRB), Hersh, famed for his exposes on US excesses during the Vietnam War and after, also alleges that the US raid on Abbottabad was pretty much a cakewalk after Pakistan’s then top generals army chief Pervez Ashfaq Kayani and intelligence head Ahmad Shuja Pasha, cooperated with the Americans under both threats and inducements, including personal blandishments.

President Barack Obama, Hersh suggests, milked the episode for domestic political gains, including a second term re-election, after reneging on US promises to Pakistan about when and how the raid would be revealed to the world.

Hersh has based much of his account on one principal source -an unnamed and retired senior US intelligence official -and a couple of tenuous corroborative sources in a piece that has set political Washington alight. Government officials and critics often dismiss his style of journalism quoting anonymous sources to make outlandish claims, but editors who publish his work have said in the past they are aware the names of his sources and have no rea son to doubt his work.

Hersh told TOI in an interview that the LRB had vigorously fact-checked his story and was satisfied with it. “Are you kidding? Of course, people are going to be sceptical.This goes against the established narrative,“ he said, insisting that all great stories begin with one source and the people he spoke to were intelligence insiders who know the facts of the case closely.

According to Hersh, the story of the bin Laden raid began with the August 2010 walk-in of a senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who offered to the CIA station chief at the US embassy in Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, bin Laden’s location in return for reward money . Sceptical Americans flew in a polygraph team to check his claims (he passed the test) before cornering Pasha (during a visit to Washington) and Kayani. Hersh and his source put a protective spin on Pakistani patronage of terrorism by rationalizing their hosting of the man who killed 3,000 Americans, maintaining that -“if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United Stateswithout a quid pro quo“. The quid pro quo in this case involved continued US military aid to Pakistan, “a good percentage of which was anti-terrorism funding that finances personal security , such as bullet-proof limousines and security guards and housing for the ISI leadership“, but also personal bribing, “under-the-table personal `incentives’ that were financed by off-the-books Pentagon contingency funds“.The US also promised Pakistan `a freer hand’ in Afghanistan as it began its military draw-down there.

Consequent to this secret deal, the Pakistani generals gave the US bin Laden’s precise coordinates -right down to the location of his room in the Abbottabad bungalow -and also ensured he was left with no protection. ISI guards protecting bin Laden were asked to leave as soon as they heard US choppers, and electricity to the area was cut off.They also made sure Pakistan’s army and air defence command would not track or engage with the US helicopters used on the mission.

According to the Hersh’s American sources, the raid was virtual walk-in and walkout and the Navy Seals virtually shot dead an unarmed, invalid man. Hersh also claims there was no burial at sea with Islamic rites for bin Laden on the USS Carl Vinson, as the US later claimed; the old man had been shot to pieces during the raid and his body parts were tossed over the Hindu Kush by the raiding party as they returned to Afghanistan.

The story claims that Obama decided to immediately go public with the raid in part because of the botch-up with the stalled helicopter that had to be destroyed, making it hard to keep the raid a secret. But he also had political motives. “The killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama’s military credentials.It’s irresistible to a politician.Bin Laden became a working asset,“ Hersh quotes one of his sources as saying.

Hersh’s piece also maintains the US actually sold Shakil Afridi, a CIA asset, down the drain, asking Pakistanis to nab him while rooting for Amir Aziz, a doctor and a major in the Pakistani army who was instrumental in getting bin Laden’s DNA sample that conclusively proved his identity . Amir was also rewarded from the $25 million bounty .

The ISI, the story claims, initially got onto bin Laden, who had lived undetected from 2001 to 2006 with some of his wives and children in the Hindu Kush mountains, by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him. Hersh’s account also maintains the Saudis were fully aware of Pakistan’s protective custody of bin Laden and in fact they paid Pakistanis to keep him under wraps because of their ties to al-Qaida.

White House dismisses claims

The White House on Monday dismissed as “baseless“ Seymour Hersh’s controversial report alleging President Barack Obama’s administration lied about the circumstances surrounding the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden. “There are too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions in this piece to fact check each one,“ White House National Security spokesman Ned Price told CNN. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell too dismissed the report in an interview. “I started reading the article last night, I got a third of the way through and I stopped, because every sentence I was reading was wrong,“ the CNN quoted him as telling CBS’ Charlie Rose. “The source that Hersh talked to has no idea what he’s talking about.“ He maintained the Pakistanis had no idea about the operation, and “were furious with us“ for moving forward without giving them a heads up. AGENCIES

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