New York Times Ignores Pivotal 2011 Blog Post About Osama bin Laden Raid

J.K. Trotter · 10/19/15 12:12PM

On Sunday, The New York Times Magazine published a 7,500-word essay in which the reporter Jonathan Mahler attempts to untangle the knotty controversy surrounding the May 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It’s primarily pegged to a May 2015 report by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that purported to expose the Obama administration’s preferred narrative of bin Laden’s death as a hoax—alleging, for example, that the U.S. government discovered the al Qaeda leader’s whereabouts not by tracking one of his couriers but from an agent-turned-informant of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. While Mahler questions some of Hersh’s sourcing, he also replicates one of his subject’s more egregious errors: Failing to note that Hersh’s most explosive claims were first floated over four years ago, by a blogger named R.J. Hillhouse.