By Rich Zeoli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh defended his piece in the London Review of Books on the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 despite criticism from the White House and members of the military and intelligence communities.
Hersh told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 that the narrative of events surrounding the raid on bin Laden’s compound was constructed afterward to cover up a secret deal made between the governments of the United States and Pakistan.
“Osama bin Laden was killed by Obama. Obama ordered the killing as announced and the SEAL Team Six, who are very good guys, did the killing and after that, pretty much everything was said isn’t quite right. In fact. it’s hooey.”
He continued that the President’s address to the nation that night laid out a false recounting of the encounter that, in actuality, was predetermined from the outset.
“Obama gave a speech that night that wasn’t vetted by the national security apparatus. There were lies told. I can’t say Obama’s lying because he’s President, he gives a speech, maybe he thought it was vetted. But he said a lot of things he shouldn’t have said. He said there was a fire fight and our SEALs had to kill bin Laden. That wasn’t true. The man was old. There was no gun there. They later had to correct that. He said we got a treasure trove of documents. That wasn’t true. He just went on and everything he had to say, all of a sudden, the committee had to work around and re-create a new story.”
Hersh also stated that carefully listening to what his critics are saying vindicate his reporting.
“They don’t say anything specifically about the story. One Colonel told the press corps in Washington yesterday, a perfectly nice guy, he said, ‘listen, this was strictly and American mission and nothing else.’ That’s absolutely correct. No Pakistani’s were with the SEALs. Another official in the White House said, “Obama didn’t tell anybody about this attack until after it had taken place.’ That’s true but it doesn’t rule of the possibility that he may not have told the Pakistani’s when it happened, but of course they knew all along when it happened. In other words, non-denial denials.”