Doubts On “Official Story” of Bin Laden Killing

Doubts On “Official Story” of Bin Laden Killing


Insightful critique by Russ Baker of

Was The New Yorker’s gripping moment-by-moment account of the Abbottabad operation that killed Osama bin Laden great journalism—or the ultimate spin job? Yet as Paul Farhi, a Washington Post reporter, noted, that narrative was misleading in the extreme, because the New Yorker reporter never actually spoke to James—nor to a single one of James’s fellow SEALs (who have never been identified or photographed–even from behind–to protect their identity.) Instead, every word of Schmidle’s narrative was provided to him by people who were not present at the raid. That didn’t trouble New Yorker editor David Remnick, according to Farhi: Remnick says he’s satisfied with the accuracy of the account. “The sources spoke to our fact-checkers,” he said. “I know who they are.” But we don’t. On a story of this gravity, should we automatically join in with the huzzahs because it has the imprimatur of America’s most respected magazine? Or would we be wise to approach it with caution? Most of us are not the trusting naïfs we once were. And with good reason.

Doubts On “Official Story” of Bin Laden Killing

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