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Thursday, May 5, 2011

And they wonder why Americans doubt

The official White House ac count of Osama bin Laden's demise has seen more slap dash cosmetic surgery over the last week than your average "Real Housewives" star. President Obama's allies attribute the bungled "narrative" to the "Fog of War." But each revision shows that what really ails the administration is the Fog of Fog.

Errors happen. But the hourly revamping of key details of Sunday's raid suggests something far beyond the usual uncertainty that accompanies any military operation.

The Navy SEALs did their job spectacularly. The civilians tasked with letting the world know about the mission, however, have performed like amateur dinner-theater actors in a tragi-comic production of "Rashomon."

Let's review.

Take 1: Bin Laden died in a bloody firefight.
On Sunday night, Obama dramatically told the world that "after a firefight," our brave men in uniform "killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

Embellishing the story the next morning, White House deputy national security adviser John Brennan said at his briefing that bin Laden "was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in . . . And whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don't know . . . It was a firefight. He, therefore, was killed in that firefight."

Take 2: Bin Laden did not engage in a firefight.
The day after Brennan disclosed such vivid details, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney walked them back. Bin Laden, he said in version 2.0, "was not armed." Brennan had clearly implied that bin Laden "resisted" with arms. Carney insisted that "resistance does not require a firearm." How exactly bin Laden resisted, Carney wouldn't say.
It's been K-turns and 180s ever since. Fasten your seatbelts:

Take 3: Bin Laden's wife died after her feckless husband used her as a human shield.

Take 4: Bin Laden's wife did not die, wasn't used as a human shield and was only shot in the leg. Someone else's wife was killed, somewhere else in the house. (Continues here)

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