If anyone expected the Obama administration to admit that, as Seymour Hersch alleged last night, it had openly lied and fabricated the entire account of Osama bin Laden killing - perhaps the most defining narrative of Obama's entire first term, we have some bad news: it won't.
Instead, as AP reports, the White House has decided to continue its reality challenged ways and has dismissed as "untrue" Hersh's entire 10K plus word report on what really happened in Abbattobad.
It gets better: according to that paragon of honesty, White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, Hersh's piece in the London Review of Books is "riddled with inaccuracies and outright falsehoods."
It was not immediately clear if Earnest referred the press corp to some fabricated YouTube clip as evidence it wasn't lying about lying.
Earnest noted former CIA deputy director Michael Morell's reaction to the article — that he stopped reading because every sentence was wrong.
As previously reported, Hersh attributed his information to a retired general of the Pakistani intelligence service and several unidentified sources in the U.S. and Pakistan. He says bin Laden was secretly kept as a prisoner by the Pakistanis and that they helped the U.S. stage the raid on his compound.
Among the many allegations of Hersh's report are that:
- bin Laden had been a prisoner of the Pakistan intelligence at the Abbottabad compound since 2006 (something revealed previously in "Osama bin Laden 'protected by Pakistan in return for Saudi cash")
- that the two most senior Pakistani military leaders knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms;
- that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US,
- and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.
The Obama administration says the Pakistanis didn't know about the raid in advance. It wasn't immediately clear if it had rejected all the other claims.
For those who missed it, the full Hersh report can be found here.