Our intensive retreat ended yesterday, but now I have a nasty cold and don’t want to do anything. But I’ll write something.
Today’s buzz is about the new Sy Hersh book, which claims that the “official” story of how Osama bin Laden was found and killed is a cover up for another story, that some Pakistani officials arranged for bin Laden to be offed, and the whole story of the super secret dangerous special ops raid was just for show.
And I confess I haven’t read the Sy Hersh piece in the London Review of Books, mostly because I feel crappy. The basic theory is that because we don’t know absolutely everything about everything, with access to all evidence, there must be a cover up, and Hersh’s account seems compelling to some.Â Glenn Greenwald, Marcy Wheeler and the FireDogLake crew have more or less embraced Hersh’s narrative. The crew at Vox say that Hersh’s book is riddled with inconsistencies, and its sourcing is more than flimsy. For what it’s worth, journalists and Middle East experts have expressed huge doubts about Hersh’s claims. I’ll let you guys make up your own minds about it.
The Hersh story poses some surprising difficulties for the Right.Â Part of Hersh’s claim is that the “official narrative” was crafted to make it appear use of torture helped bring bin Laden down, when in fact Pakistan knew where he was all along and handed him up on a plate for some quid pro quo. So if they embrace Hersh’s story, the righties have to admit “enhanced interrogation” was useless.
However, I doubt many of them will spin their wheels over this point. Righties are champs at maintaining hugely contradictory beliefs. Who needs consistency? It will be no problem at all for them to believe that the Osama bin Laden raid was a fabrication, but even so the raid proved that torture works. But, frankly, I never bought the claim that the “official” raid story supports torture.
In other news: Somebody shot George Zimmerman. He doesn’t seem to be seriously injured.