White House denies misleading public on bin Laden killing

Published May 12th, 2015 - 07:24 GMT
The White House called Hersh's claims "patently false". (AFP/File)
The White House called Hersh's claims "patently false". (AFP/File)

The White House dismissed as untrue an article alleging that US President Barack Obama misled the public about how the US killed Osama bin Laden.

Spokesman Josh Earnest says journalist Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books is “riddled with inaccuracies and outright falsehoods.”


The White House also flatly rejected claims that Pakistan was told in advance about the 2011 special operations raid that killed bin Laden.

Hersh claimed that Pakistan’s security services not only knew about the raid, but had been holding bin Laden prisoner since 2006.

That account was rejected by the White House.

“This was a US operation through and through,” said Edward Price, a White House National Security Council spokesman.

“The notion that the operation” which killed the 9/11 mastermind, “was anything but a unilateral US mission is patently false,” he said.

The raid on Abbottabad caused public outcry in Pakistan and strained already uneasy relations between Washington and Islamabad.

It was also seen as a hallmark achievement of Obama’s first term.

“Knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of senior US officials,” insisted Price.

“The President decided early on not to inform any other government, including the Pakistani government, which was not notified until after the raid had occurred,” he said.

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