Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 55 “Hersh on the bin Laden raid”

A special Top5, dedicated to the hot debate that followed legendary investigative journalist Seymour Myron Hersh’s long article on the London Review of Books, arguing that the operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden did not go as told by the White House, which was responsible of cover-ups first on how bin Laden’s location was uncovered and then on the operation and its follow-up (starting from the burial).

To reconstruct the story, this is President Obama’s video announcing the death of America’s most hunted terrorist.

Scepticism on the operation going according to the official narrative is not a new thing. Mark Bowden, the journalist who reported about the famous “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia, explored more in-depth the myths surrounding the Abbottabad operation already in 2012.

Hersh argues that Bowden’s account is partial (and sometimes wrong). But the very argument of contention has now become his own reconstruction. Foreign Policy’s Sean Naylor put together the claims coming from different parts of the Administration, which label Hersh’s reconstruction as “patently false”.

Fellow journalists also criticized Hersh. Here you can find a short selection, with different political flavours: on Slate, the Wall Street Journal, and Vox. Of course, you can form your own opinion. Hersh reported on the My Lai massacre in a Pulitzer winning – and mythical – article and then went on becoming one of the most respected American journalists covering military matters. Most recently, he underwent deep critiques for his account of chemical weapons use in Syria.

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