1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    New York Times Magazine cover story looks into what we know, with special focus on the Seymour Hersh article:


    Among other things, I found this interesting, regarding Mark Bowden's Vanity Fair article, The Hunt For “Geronimo”:

    Last spring, Bowden got another unexpected call on his cellphone. He was on his way home to Pennsylvania from a meeting in New York with his publisher about his next book, the story of the Battle of Hue in the Vietnam War. On the other end of the line was Seymour Hersh, the investigative reporter.

    Hersh was calling to ask about the photographs of bin Laden’s burial at sea — carried out, the U.S. government said, in accordance with Islamic custom — that Bowden had described in detail at the end of ‘‘The Finish,’’ as well as in an adaptation from the book that appeared in Vanity Fair. ‘‘One frame shows the body wrapped in a weighted shroud,’’ Bowden had written. ‘‘The next shows it lying diagonally on a chute, feet overboard. In the next frame, the body is hitting the water. In the next it is visible just below the surface, ripples spreading outward. In the last frame there are only circular ripples on the surface. The mortal remains of Osama bin Laden were gone for good.’’

    Hersh wanted to know: Had Bowden actually seen those photos?

    Bowden told Hersh that he had not. He explained that they were described to him by someone who had.

    Hersh said the photographs didn’t exist. Indeed, he went on, the entire narrative of how the United States hunted down and killed bin Laden was a fabrication. He told Bowden that he was getting ready to publish the real story of what happened in Abbottabad.

    Here it is as told in Vanity Fair:

    Procedures for a simple Muslim burial were performed on the carrier, with bin Laden’s body being washed again and wrapped in a white shroud. A navy photographer recorded the burial in full sunlight, Monday morning, May 2. One frame shows the body wrapped in a weighted shroud. The next shows it lying diagonally on a chute, feet overboard. In the next frame the body is hitting the water. In the next it is visible just below the surface, ripples spreading outward. In the last frame there are only circular ripples on the surface. The mortal remains of Osama bin Laden were gone for good.

    Inside Osama Bin Laden’s Final Hours—and How the White House Chose Their Assassination Plot

    Now, Hersh took a ton of criticism when his article came out -- it wasn't good enough for the New Yorker! It pissed on the official narrative, and it had some flaws in its own right.

    But, what about Bowden, and Vanity Fair?

    How the hell do you describe those photos, and not tell us you never saw them, and that they were just described to you?

  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

  3. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    There are things we know, things we don't know, and things we know we don't know.

    We know this:

    "I don’t know where he is. I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you," -- George W. Bush.

    And we know this:

    "Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children," -- Barack Obama.

    What more does it matter?
    BTExpress and Stoney like this.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Hersh has got a lot of nerve.

    Clearly Bowden had to have been shown super secret camera footage from Bin Laden's laptop.

    That's the most reasonable explanation.
    YankeeFan likes this.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I mean, hell. Why practice journalism at all? And why do we need historians?

    Jesus was born. He died.

    What more does it matter?
    Mr. Sunshine and YankeeFan like this.
  6. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I'm interested in how it all really went down, but I just assumed it would be 20 to 30 years down the road before we got the real story. I imagine some pretty bad people received favors from our government in exchange for giving him up. Which I'm okay with in this situation. It was a nationwide catharsis and necessary to help us move on from that shitpile the first decade of the 21st century became.
    TowelWaver likes this.
  7. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    I know that if OBL were still alive and the U.S. government kept pronouncing him dead, he would delight in making another videotape to prove the falsehood and rub it Uncle Sam's face.

    I know 99% of the people who keep banging this drum are the same authoritarian/reactionary crackpots who have despised Obama from the time he entered the national spotlight and spend every waking minute trying to discredit him.

    But mostly I know how to apply Occam's razor.

    He's dead.
    Smallpotatoes likes this.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Great. Then don't tell us the details yet.

    But that's quite different than crafting and spreading politically advantageous lies.
    JimmyHoward33 and YankeeFan like this.
  9. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The weird compulsion in making sure Osama was buried in accordance with Islamic law is still hilarious.

    Should have fed him to a pack of feral pigs 1000 miles from nowhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Armchair_QB likes this.
  11. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    But Starman, we wouldn't want his fellow disciples of peace angry at us, now would we?
  12. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Cran thinks you're a bigot.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page