The White House is denouncing a controversial story by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that claims the Obama administration lied about crucial details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
In a piece published in the London Review of Books on May 10, Hersh disputes the official account of the operation and intelligence that led to bin Laden’s death. Relying heavily on an individual identified as an “retired senior intelligence official ” Hersh reports that bin Laden had been held prisoner by Pakistani intelligence since 2006, and that Pakistani intelligence cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency and US Navy SEALs in the raid to kill bin Laden.
In a statement tweeted by CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, White House national security spokesman Ned Price said that Hersh’s report contained “too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions” to fact check.
“The notion that the operation that killed Usama Bin Laden was anything but a unilateral U.S. mission is patently false,” Price said.
“As we said at the time, knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of U.S. officials. The president decided early on not to inform any other government, including the Pakistani government, which was not notified until after the raid had occurred,” Price said.
“This was a US operation through and through,” Price said.
In an interview with CBS This Morning on Monday, former deputy CIA director Mike Morell criticised Hersh’s story more directly.
“It’s all wrong,” former CIA deputy director Mike Morell said. “I started reading the article last night and I got a third of the way through because every sentence I was reading was wrong.”
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