“Rubbish. Rubbish. Rubbish.”
That’s how former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell describes a report by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh which alleges that a vast conspiracy unfolded in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
“It’s all wrong. It’s all wrong,” Morell told "Hardball’s" Chris Matthews when asked to respond to details of the report, including allegations that Pakistani intelligence sources told the U.S. where bin Laden was hiding and then helped in the planning and execution phases of the raid – both contrary to White House statements on the matter.
“[Hersh] says he has a source that was in the room. He was not in the room I was in,” Morell said. “To believe Sy Hersh is to believe that hundreds of people are involved in a conspiracy. It’s ridiculous.”
Hersh’s report stands in sharp contrast to statements by White House officials that the U.S. shared none of its intelligence on bin Laden’s compound with any country, including Pakistan and that “only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance.”
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Morell also attacked the credibility of Hersh’s sources, suggesting that some in the Pakistani government would benefit from his story’s narrative.
“Who benefits from a story about the Pakistanis telling us where he is, about the Pakistanis knowing in advance what we were going to do so it wasn’t a surprise, it wasn’t a failure of their military? They look a lot more competent don’t they?”
Hersh has defended his reporting since it was published in the London Review of Books.
“It's really an attack-the-messenger,” Hersh told Business Insider. “The White House doesn't like adverse stories that are contrary to what they want the public to believe."