Monday 8 August 2011

Insider's account of bin Laden raid

Nicholas Schmidle has written a very detailed account for New Yorker magazine of the US Navy SEALs raid on Abbottabad in Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden was killed on the night of 1-2 May. His largely uncritical account includes some interesting details, including the fact that this was not the first time that the SEALs had crossed the border into Pakistan from Afghanistan. In fact, he says, they "had surreptitiously entered the country on ten to twelve previous occasions", mostly into north or south Waziristan, as they attempted to capture/kill bin Laden - who was known to the Joint Special Operations Command by the codename 'Crankshaft'.
How did Schmidle - who was expelled from Pakistan in 2008 without explanation - get such incredible access to both planners and participants, allowing him to write this insider's account of the raid? The fact that his father is Richard Schmidle, a lieutenant general in US Special Operations and now deputy commander for US Cyber Command, probably helped.

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