Author Seymour Hersh talks about secrets surrounding, among other events, the death of Osama bin Laden in his new book. And those secrets, writes the Los Angeles Times,
are a "danger" to societies.
Hersh's book title, "The Killing of Osama Bin Laden,"
is misleading because he discusses several other secret missions and state secrets throughout the 144-page book.
Much of Hersh's information comes from anonymous sources, which can be interpreted in one of two ways: either you believe it or you don't. Zach Dorfman, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, writes in his Times review, "but how you read the book will depend on the faith you place in these sources and in Hersh's own judgment about their veracity. I think the record here is mixed, at best."
Hersh, for example, talks about the war in Syria and claims the Syrian people were attacked with nerve gas not at the hands of President Bashar al-Assad but by an affiliate of the terror group. The book also claims the Turkish government helped that group get chemical weapons for the attack in order to force the American government to take military action against Syria.
Dorfman calls this "an explosive account," but he said the story has some holes. He asks, would Turkey really take that big of a risk? He also calls Hersh's claim "dubious."
Hersh also writes that the killing of bin Laden was orchestrated between the Americans and the Pakistanis, and he says the Saudi Arabians were paying for him to live in a large, gated home in Abbottabad.
Further, Hersh's reporting led him to believe bin Laden's death was originally supposed to be announced weeks later, and the U.S. government was reportedly going to say he was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan along its rugged border with Pakistan.
Whether or not Hersh's claims are true, Doorman writes, the secretive nature of the U.S. government's actions — and covert actions of other countries — makes it difficult to figure out who are the friends and enemies of a country.
"That, above all, is the danger of a regime of excessive secrecy in international affairs," Doorman writes. "Whatever his interpretive excesses and inductive leaps, it is a danger of which Hersh is rightly and acutely aware."
Much of how bin Laden died has been leaked, but there are several versions of the story floating around. Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, who is now retired, claims he killed bin Laden
with shots to the head in a raid on May 2, 2011.
Another SEAL at the raid, Matthew Bissonnette,
claims he entered the room where bin Laden was hiding and shot him as well.
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