MEDIA

Former CIA Deputy Director Slams Seymour Hersh's Bin Laden Account As ‘Rubbish'

05/13/2015 06:03 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2015

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that Seymour Hersh's recent report in the London Review of Books, which claims the Obama administration lied about the Osama bin Laden raid, is "all rubbish."

Morell, who has a new book out titled The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism--From al Qa'ida to ISIS, disputed Hersh's claim that the US worked with the Pakistani government and intelligence officials in its pursuit of bin Ladin. President Obama says the US worked alone.

Morell told host Alyona Minkovski he was in the Situation Room when President Obama decided to not inform the Pakistanis that they were going into Abbottabad, where bin Laden was believed to be and was eventually assassinated.

"In the aftermath, the Pakistanis were furious with us ... because they were embarrassed," Morell said. "They were embarrassed that we had found them in Pakistan and they hadn't, and they were embarrassed that the United States military had flown hundreds of miles into Pakistani territory, put guys on the ground and they had no idea about it and they were able to do nothing about it."

Morell said he is "100 percent" confident the Pakistani government didn't know about the raid, but admitted the couldn't rule out the possibility that local intelligence officials or police in Abbottabad knew about bin Laden's whereabouts and were protecting him.

Also on HuffPost:

  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia on March 10, 1957
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    His father was a billionaire construction magnate.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    In 1979 he gave up studying to join the mujahideen in Pakistan.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    Al Qaeda was formed in 1988.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    In 1992 he was banished from Saudi Arabia and moved operations to Sudan.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    In 1996 Bin Laden was forced to leave Sudan, establishing a base in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    Bin Laden and Syrian-born ideologue Abu Musab al-Suri, a key ally of the Al Qaeda leader who ran training camps
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    After 9/11 he had a bounty on his head of $25 million.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    His full name is Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    He is thought to have had six wives.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    He married his first wife, Najwa Ghanem, at the age of 17.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    He was known for living a very frugal life despite his family's wealth.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office
    After he was killed, Pakistan faced accusations of harbouring Bin Laden as the compound in which he lived was located less than a mile away from a prestigious military academy.
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