By Abhishek Jha:
A new article published in the London Review of Books by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims that the US government’s version of stories about the death of Osama bin Laden is untrue. Seymour, who has several revelatory articles to his name, claims that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI were aware and provided assistance in the killing of bin Laden. The most shocking revelation, for those who watched Zero Dark Thirty though, might be that there was no courier who led the CIA to the Abbottabad safehouse. In Seymour’s version, CIA acted on information revealed by a former Pakistani intelligence officer in exchange for rewards.
The White House has completely denied Seymour’s allegations. “There are too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions in this piece to fact check each one,” Ned Price, White House National Security spokesman, told reporter. Seymour’s account, who has a reputation for quoting anonymous sources, is now being challenged by other media outlets. Seymour had earlier hinted at possible falsehoods in the popular narrative in an interview with the Guardian. He had said, “Nothing’s been done about that story, its one big lie, not one word of it is true.” He had also expressed distaste for The New York Times, which has attempted to rubbish the latest allegation, in the same interview, saying that the newspaper spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would“.
Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, has also rubbished the LRB article. Calling the article “a farrago of nonsense” Bergen tries to rather succinctly argue for the official version. The editor’s note on the top of the article proudly proclaims Bergen to be the author of “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden — From 9/11 to Abbottabad” and definitely makes him a suitable person for defending the official version. Guardian tried to play the commotion down by publishing a the-scandal-for-dummies article. The article begins by doing a spy story style profile of bin Laden and then goes on to take pot-shots at the Oscar winning movie Zero Dark Thirty: “It means that Kathryn Bigelow’s movie with Jessica Chastain is utter bollocks. Zero Dark Thirty? To be fair, a lot of people said that at the time.”
Hersh, who is said to be “writing an alternative history of the war on terror“, came to limelight after publishing an exposé of the My Lai massacre cover-up in ’69 and has even done a piece on our very own Morarji Desai. Even as we debate the true version of events on the death of that dreaded, shrouded in myth terrorist, one thing that can be said with certainty is that Seymour Hersh, 78, will definitely give us one more nice spin before he says over and out.