It wasn't just one woman who led the hunt for Osama bin Laden as the film "Zero Dark Thirty" suggests, but a whole team of CIA women who tracked the terrorist to his ultimate death in 2011
, according to a new HBO documentary.
"Manhunt," which tells what director Greg Barker calls "the real story" behind the 20-year hunt for bin Laden, premiered Wednesday on HBO.
Cindy Storer, Barbara Sude, and Nada Bakos — three members of the so-called Sisterhood — are retired CIA analysts who devoted their careers to finding the al-Qaida leader.
The women say it was a struggle to convince their colleagues, especially males, to take them seriously.
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Speaking out for the first time on camera, Storer, who began tracking bin Laden in the early 1990s, says she was criticized in a performance review for "spending too much time working on bin Laden."
"They said we were obsessed crusaders, overly emotional," she said. The difference between her and her male colleagues, she said, is "Men throw chairs, women cry." Still, she admits, "We were borderline obsessed, but I thought it was for a good reason."
"It wasn’t the sexiest job," Bakos told Yahoo News. But she said it was a position that showed how important women are to the CIA. As analysts, she said, "Women have patience and perseverance."
"They weren’t looking for the sexy payoff," she said. "This wasn't a job people were being promoted to. They were really looking at it as in the defense of our country."
Also in the film, Storer, Sude, and Bakos express the guilt they felt at not being able to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
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The women hope the documentary will give people a better understanding as to how the CIA works.
"Intelligence is only as good as the information gathered," Bakos said. "There’s no crystal ball. And there’s no 100 percent. ... You cannot, 100 percent of the time, prevent or predict everything that will happen."
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