Controversy swirls regarding the events surrounding the demise of Osama Bin Laden. Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL and author penned a book (with follow-on media blitz) disputing the original recounting of the events. Among Pfarerr's assertions, the helicopter that crashed later in the time line, that the SEALs actually landed on the roof (as planned), and that OBL was dead within 90 seconds of the SEALs arrival (not after a protracted chase/gun battle).
Froggy laid out Pfarrer's book in his usual erudite way. At the time it was heralded as an appropriate counter to the President's over politicized announcement. And, given Pfarrer's background, it was quite plausible to take this new account at face value, especially given the general dislike for the President.
However USSOCOM, commanded by ADM William McRaven, has vehemently refuted Pfarrer's retelling of events, going so far as to saying "It's just not true.." and a "fabrication".
And if this was just a dispute about the time line of the raid itself, reasonable people can probably conclude that for operational or other reasons, the timeline was amended to conceal certain tactics or other factors.
But, this story has another twist. Kris Alexander, writing in Wired.com's DangerBlog, contends that other aspects of Pfarrer's book regarding WMD's in Iraq is also essentially bogus.
It starts thus:
Author Chuck Pfarrer is taking flack over his account of the Osama bin Laden raid in his new revisionist history, SEAL Target Geronimo. But that’s overshadowed another big problem with the book: Pfarrer’s claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are absolutely bananas.
To read SEAL Target Geronimo is to get sucked into a vortex of WMD insanity. Pfarrer says that Saddam Hussein had dangerous, active chemical, biological and nuclear programs up until the day of his downfall. Worse, those weapons made it into the hands of Osama himself. Why didn’t you know about it? Because craven politicians and the lying media hid the truth about what U.S. military weapons experts uncovered.
Well, sorry, Charlie. I was one of those military experts in Iraq. I learned the full, underwhelming truth about Saddam’s programs because I was there to help the Iraqis settle the issue once and for all. And SEAL Target Geronimo’s claims are the literary equivalent of a smoking gun that could have been a mushroom cloud — a paranoid, evidence-free fantasy, fueled by ignorance.
Alexander served with the unit that has the Technical Escort Units that did WMD inspections and deal with remnents of chemical weapons that are discovered. He's a grad of the school that trains these Soldiers. He has the creds to at least beg the question on this part of Pfarrer's story.
Alexander is not the only one questioning Pfarrer's facts (and the hype Pfarrer applies to certain units and operations. David Axe's reporting regarding which helicopter was actually employed for the raid calls into question Pfarrer's reporting that there are TWO stealth helicopters, the older version being the one used (and crashed, not fully destroyed by folks on the ground and potentially compromised by our Pakistani "allies") not the newer one.
In and of itself, this may not be a big deal. But it seems as though large chunks of the Pfarrer "inside" account" are being refuted from multiple directions, each with unique/specific knowledge.
It appears there is reason for pause regarding this account.
I heard Pfarrer on a radio show last week and found his explanations of things labored and overdone. For example, the "Geronimo" word - which was a brevity code word, nothing more - was made out to be a "code word"for OBL, but "not his favorite". The guy could not even simply and cogently explain what an execution checklist is for, but had the host (an otherwise very reputable commentator) in rapt attention. It was a clown act, frankly.
This is a mess. It is vanity on parade. It really needs to stop.