The Bin Laden Murder Mystery

Seymour Hersh, a great journalist with superb sources and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom, has presented a counter-narrative of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but Hersh’s story  compelling in many respects, even to the New York Times has some elements that stretch credulity, says John Gardner.

By John Gardner

In my endlessly unfolding book on the history of the North American Great Lakes Region, one of the most puzzling conundrums is The Kensington Stone. The Stone is either a piece of historical evidence that undoes the standard narrative of the European-American encounter, or a hoax. It’s a stone unearthed by a semi-literate Swedish-American farmer in the 1880s that, ultimately translated by medieval rune scholars, depicted an Indian massacre of a bunch of Norse adventurers in 1341, near the Red River in Minnesota.

There are a lot of reasons why the stone is a hoax, including most persuasively some anachronisms in the runic characters — futmarks, they’re called; the lack of any corroborating evidence for an expedition, which would necessarily have had royal sponsorship by King Magnusson III, whose court was comparatively well-documented; and the sheer implausibility of medieval Norsemen exploring that far from ocean.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Norse adventurers were intrepid, and went great distances; possibly around Cape Horn, even to China. But they didn’t, for obvious and good reasons, stray far from their long boats, their connection back home. Unlike Magellan, they didn’t know how to build their own ships. Letting somebody destroy their abandoned ship would have marooned them.

My take on the implausibility of The Stone is simpler. Why would 24 Norse soldier-explorers, returning to the day’s base camp and finding their comrades all dead and bleeding, inscribe and leave a monument in hard stone that they could be extremely confident no rune-reader would ever come across? It’s a big job for men whose primary ambitions at the time must have been burying the dead and scramming before the natives returned.

The contrary evidence, however, is just as compelling. Why would a semi-literate Swedish-American farmer participate in such a hoax? And, if he did, how did he do such a masterful job of it? How would he (1) create The Stone, complete with futmarks that were, after about a century, found to be accurately of the era after all; (2) put it in the roots of a tree upturned by his sons in a land-clearing project; and — most impressively — (3) hand it over to the Scandinavian rune experts at The University of Minnesota for no money.

When The Stone, pronounced a fake, was returned to him, he showed no disappointment, but turned it face down and used it for an entrance block to the back of his house. Later, a young academic came along and evinced considerable enthusiasm for it. The farmer sold it to him for ten dollars. Neither he nor his sons ever revealed anything about some plot of deception. Nor, for that matter, did they ever take any interest in it.

So there’s a story of potential historic significance that is at once incredible and irrefutable. That’s my reaction to Seymour Hersh’s exposé of the killing of Bin Laden.

On one hand, the official story has always been incredible. Who can actually believe that Bin Laden would be living in the Pakistani West Point, 20 minutes from a major USA-Pakistani dark site used to train the guardians of the local nuclear repository; and that nobody in the armed forces and/or ISI would know? And, further, who can believe that two Blackhawks could penetrate Pakistani air space, conduct a raid in such a location, and escape with no Pakistani interference;

…unless there were, as Hersh alleges, massive and effective collaboration with Pakistani military and/or ISI personnel?

So the official story is implausible; and, when you stop to think about it, so is the lack of a video — anywhere — of the purported burial at sea. (Why wasn’t that, at least, shown to calm Islamic anxieties about the propriety of his burial? Pretty simple thing to pull off; and it’s hard not to believe that the U.S. Navy doesn’t routinely record events of that nature.) Other inconsistencies and discrepancies are also plausible, lending an air of credence to Hersh’s story.

On the other hand: Let’s suppose his exposé is true:

Why would senior Pakistani ISI officials possibly permit their obvious collaboration be exposed by having U.S. Navy Seals pull off such an improbable stunt that would render their purported lack of involvement implausible?

And, more:  Why would they possibly concoct, as Hersh says they and the U.S. government did, a cover story that Bin Ladin was killed by an American drone strike somewhere in Waziristan? Why not simply take him to Waziristan, leave his dead body, let Americans know the coordinates, and have the real smash-and-grab take place there? It’s like The Kensington Stone: Neither the hoax nor the purported story adds up.

John Gardner is at work on a history of the North American Great Lakes. He can be reached at [email protected] .

44 comments for “The Bin Laden Murder Mystery

  1. mirageseekr
    May 23, 2015 at 11:04

    The whole story is a fabrication. Hersh wants you to bicker over supposed details of the event because at the end of the day they are still trying to pass it off as real when it is not. The details of the “killing” of Bin Laden are not important, just so you buy the bigger story that they killed him. The reality is that Bin Laden had advanced kidney disease brought on by Marphan’s syndrome and died years before. TPTB want you to forget about the fake video’s of Bin Laden used where he actually appeared to become younger brought to you by the psychics with CIA connections at SITE. They want you to forget that his CIA code name was Tim Osman. But most importantly they want you to accept our violating other countries sovereignty by convincing you that it has merit and also to keep your support for the “need” to overture people and of course to keep the fake war on terror going as long as possible because they just aren’t done destroying the M.E.

  2. Madhu
    May 20, 2015 at 22:32

    For instance, the following from the article:

    “Despite their constant public feuding, American and Pakistani military and intelligence services have worked together closely for decades on counterterrorism in South Asia. ”

    As in drones? And the bounty program where the CIA blindly paid the ISI for Al Qaeda “delivered”? No one is the least bit curious? Some of the retired intelligence officers defending this article full stop (as opposed to looking at different parts of it in different ways) have a curious history. Look up their public statements on, for instance, General Musharraf prior to the Abbottabad raid. Many are almost gaga over their man.

    That the White House might have lied is important. But even more important is the decades long cover that the US has provided for Pakistani sponsored “non state” actors in its neighboring countries and in its own nation, against its own people.

    Why are Americans so uninterested? And why is anyone giving the CIA a pass on this, because that is a very “clientitis” reading of the situation, that article. Was a CIA station chief in Islamabad one source? Is that why the Hersh article is so complimentary toward the CIA/ISI relationship? And the UK has a strange relationship with Pakistan. The LRB has a very interesting collective set of articles on Pakistan, very cleverly setting a narrative of covering for certain behaviors.

    Saudi or Israeli behavior doesn’t get a pass, as least, in terms of American critics of American policy. But with Pakistan it’s as if the claims of American Indophobia and Afghanphobia have merit, just as Russophobia does. It is never a big deal that the US foreign policy community has a soft spot for Pakistani security elites or that our aid has increased the number of nuclear weapons, or that we just sold them planes that can drop nukes. This, somehow, just isn’t important.

    The CIA always is made a fool of in that part of the world. That the WH might have gamed the story is one story, and not even the most disgusting when it comes to our policies and behavior in that region. I urge you to look at the comments of people complimenting the article, comments prior to Abbottabad. The praise of Musharraf by some retired CIA is off the charts. It’s their weak spot, and always has been.

    Why? Why this soft almost bigotry regarding that region? What aspect of American culture is this? It is a phobia and it is a bigotry and two thoughts may be held at once, suspicion of more than one narrative, many questions unanswered. If the WH did make up this story, that still leaves us with the US covering up for a military and intelligence service that purposefully targets civilians as a matter of military and intelligence doctrine.

  3. Madhu
    May 20, 2015 at 10:31

    Thank you for this. It is not a trivialization, this article. Anyone familiar with the complicated US/Pakistani elite history would see both important claims and red flags in his article, more than one narrative to study carefully, more than one claim, more than one source, all with varying motivation. The real question is why only the WH narrative interests and others are less important to truth seekers.

    • Madhu
      May 20, 2015 at 10:34

      This is an American cultural blinds spot that fascinates. It is also a great source of pain in that region and part of the oxygen that enables bad behavior by local intelligence agencies, the knowledge that the US system is interested only in one type of lie, one narrative.

  4. Evangelista
    May 17, 2015 at 20:11

    I see no any correlation between the Kensington Runes-Stone and the Osama bin Laden murder. Neither qualifies as a hoax, because hoaxes are willful and intentional deceptions, purposed to misinform, misguide and mislead. Disseminating wrong information one honestly believes is not hoaxing, nor is joking. Not even practical jokes are hoaxes, so long as the jokers’ intents are not willful. Nor is bragging up, lying about and inflating exploits hoaxing, unless there is intent to take some kind of advantage, to sell on the misleading advertising.
    For the Kensington Runes-Stone creation there appear to be two possibilities, neither a hoax. One would be a joke, the other, equally likely, a tribute. There is a third possibility, too, which is, both.
    For the Osama bin Laden murder there are no possibilities, there is only a single, flat, undeniable and irrefutable historical fact: The planners and perpetrators were simply dent-and-ding-sale caliber morons. Bottom-tier, bone-headed stupid, over-empowered rhinestone-cowboy class imbeciles. All their puffing and posturing and posing, and re-posing, and posture adjusting after the ‘accomplishment’ is all of record and is pure and simple proof they really were that stupid and deluded and that their simple-minded television tough-guy drama inspired ‘street-theatre’ assassination exploit was a pre-planned, rehearsed, and then botched multi-million-dollar production, their stupidity, not an accident, not anyone else’s idiocity.
    Competent readers reading Hersh’s 2015 exposé of the incident, in the London Review of Books, will find references to known information, information of record, documented information, previously presented information and source-attributed explanations and quotations. Hersh’s sources might have lied, or perhaps adjusted the truth a little, but their lies or adjustments would be pripheral. Hersh might have lied, too, I personally suspect that he did, in his first two paragraphs, where he provides ‘bio’ for his sources. I suspect some of that might be misleading, deliberately, to send the inevitable CIA, Justice and White House Whistleblower Trace and Find (WTF) teams sniffing after red herrings. As the Sterling case illustrated amply, the last damn thing that’s wanted at the decision-making levels in 21st century United States government is competence to recognize stupidity.
    As a 1362 A.D. (14th century) literary artifact the Kensington Runes-Stone shows some significant anomalies. The inscription is incised in quite precise and closely spaced ‘ruled’ lines of school-book ‘futhark’ alphabet symbols, telling a recognizable story of a settler-massacre that occurred at Norway Lake Minnesota in 1862, in a Swedish-flavor of Minnesota Norsk vernacular, except for three letters, ‘AVM’, which are in undeniably Roman-alphabet symbols, quite appropriately, since ‘AVM’ is a Roman Christian acronym. The ‘futhark’ alphabet, the alphabet of the pre-Christian era Heathens of Northern Europe, was anathematized by the Roman Christians, who were spiritual forebears to today’s Da-esh, with the same attitude toward other religions and toward others’ cultural artifacts and antiquities. The Ar-Cee Da-Esh assigned all appearances of ‘futhark’ to be witch-spell symbols, curse invocations and blasphemy. It is highly unlikely that someone writing in ‘futhark’ in 1362, when Roman Christians were actively force-converting Heathens in Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia, and obliterating even street-names and roadsigns written in ‘futhark’, would include an ‘AVM’ in Roman letters, or that a Christian who would write ‘AVM’ would be writing in ‘futhark’, or that either would be writing any dialect of Minnesota Norsk, instead of Old Norsk, Old Svensk, Old Anglo-Saxon, Old English or other then contemporary language, or writing to commemorate an 1862 Minnesota massacre, scheduled by the Gods (Heathen), or God (Christian) exactly 500 years in the future.
    On the other hand, the numeral 1 in ‘futhark’ is represented by a tall upright with a short right-hand lateral from the top, while the numeral 5 is a tall upright with a small right-hand ‘p’ loop at the top, with the ‘futhark’ number 3 being a ‘futhark’ 1 with two additional short right-hand laterals below the top one, and the ‘futhark’ number 8 being a ‘futhark’ 5 with two short right-hand laterals below the tiny top p-loop. This means that if an enthusiast chiseling a ‘futhark’ inscription was chipping along with such engrossing enthusiasm he forgot to ‘p’ at 8, he could inadvertently write ‘1362’ instead of ‘1862’, and if he then died before he proof-read (if the inscription was chiseled by Fogelblad), or his copy-editor had died before he could proof-read the finished inscription (if the chiseling was by Ohman), as, one or the other, occurred (Fogelblad, who owned the schoolbook, died in 1897, the year before Ohman presented the runes-stone) the ‘typo’ in the date (on the side of the slab, in a ‘futhnote’) could have slipped through, and being graven in stone, as it were, make an intended ‘Old Norsk style’ memorial of a massacre an anachronistic paradox, especially if a young and gullible scholar-enthusiast got hold of it (‘Only ten dollars? I’ll take it! A gennuine monument from 1362, it’s got to be worth five thousand!’ This is self-delusion, not hoax).
    If the 1362 date was a ‘typo’, especially if the inscriber was Fogelblad, not Ohman, it would be likely that Ohman, when the anachronism came to light would say, ‘Uff-dah!’ and take the blemished copy home and make a flag-step of it, while, if he was the chiseler he might more likely have looped the 3 to an 8 and said ‘Ja-dah, all fixed.’
    If Ohman had been a hoaxer, on the other hand, having his hoax refuted in Minnesota, would more likely have said, ‘Damn Square-head scholars!’ and then taken the hoax-stone away to Washington, D.C., where, as everyone knows, there is a Congressman elected every minute, so you can sell anything. ‘Earliest example ever discovered of Pre-Literate Phoneyshite Script, Congressman! And look at what it’s carved on! Genuine petrified Bovinosaurus scat! You won’t find anything more authentic than Phoneyshite and Bovinosarus scat, Congressman! Not in this town, you won’t!’
    Meanwhile, about the trained Seals’ ‘hit’ on Osama bin Laden: What could be more certain than the stupidity of that ‘hit’, except the predictability of it coming back? I mean, bin Laden was neutralized, issuing mild statements from time to time to assure the angry he was not martyred, allaying their anger by giving them a laugh on the United States for it not finding him. Bin Laden alive was a safety-valve.
    Knock off the safety-valve? How stupid is that? It was not even months before the lash came back. The blood was hardly dry on the assassins’ boots when the ‘coercion of cooperation’ component was leaked to the blogosphere. Not mainstream release, because the issues were hot and the coercive threats of the idiots, the Americans responsible for the planning and pushing to do the killing, were still a danger, but the angry were in fury and on the warpath, so low-key public release was imperative. Those in the middle-east who were raising hell and looking for the ‘traitors’ could be referred to the blogosphere for proof there were no traitors, the Americans’ stupidity could not be stopped: The Americans had got the Abottabad coordinates and the only question then was how to contain the disaster their stupidity assured. Take bin Laden out dead, to assure no Gitmo and torture to ramp up the fury, fake a drone-kill in the hills, to put the onus on the USA, not those who recognized the value of keeping him alive, who, whatever the case would have to stand by helplessly while the Americans did their stupid. The scenario is believable because it would have been the best that could have been made of the bad situation. The Americans, on the other side of the globe, did not give a damn about the situation their killing would leave in the region. Completely believable, the Americans who make decisions are that stupid. It would have worked if the Americans did not botch the ‘hit’ that they insisted on doing. Which, of course, they did.
    Do you remember the American myth of Osama bin Laden? The ‘Evil Head’ of the ‘Al Qaeda Monster’. Send a team of trained Seals in non-shiney armor to cut the head off the ‘Monstrous Evil Leader’, and the al Qaeda Monster would die.
    Have their ever been policy-makers for a nation more childishly simple-minded and Tom Sawyer stupid that those loose in the war-rooms of the United States during the last twenty years? Television-trained, television-episode-thinking, movie-length attention-spans. ‘History? You mean last night’s episode? Tomorrow? We’ll kill another monster tomorrow, this one is all done.’ Saddam, Qadaffi, Assad, except Assad went off-script.
    The idiots in Washington, DC don’t know comprehend continuity. They know nothing about the middle-east, except what Israel slurries to pap for them and feeds them. They undoubtedly were told that killing Osama bin Laden would make him a martyr, increase the rage and unrest across the Gulf and beyond and make matters worse for every government from Yemen to Sweden and from dublin to Danzig. Their answer? ‘But we’ve Got to kill bin Laden, he’s a Bad Guy!’
    Of course Pakistan, with Saudi support kept bin Laden in protective custody. You didn’t need Hersh to tell you that, they had to protect him from the Americans: Bin Laden was a moderate jihadi leader, martyr him and immoderate would arise to avenge him.
    If anyone in the administrative echelons of the United States government, or oxymoronic Intelligence Community had ability to think in continuities longer than half hour, or an hour for specials, they might have recognized that Osama in protective custody, the USA swaggering around cursing, growling and swearing, was the best way to play. The ‘Great Satan’ frustrated would keep the jihadis pleased and amenable to working within, or near to, the status-quo, which would make the status-quo possibl to maintain. In 2011, bin Laden in protective custody and the ‘Great Satan’ frustrated was keeping a lid on things.
    The danger was someone greedy, wanting the millions in U.S. offered reward money, because, while some Americans close to the real world in the middle-east would have enough understanding and common sense to file the information and go on, once the information reached the idiot-level, the idiots would have to have action, and the action would, of course, be some kind of TV-script gung-ho, go-go-go! Sound-stage quality street-theatre ‘on location’, and that would be the end of keeping a lid on things. Especially with an election coming up, who cared about keeping a lid on, or three, four, ten years on? Do any in the U.S. political establishment think beyond their next elections? When an election comes up, the IQ goes down, as the saying says.
    And of course they botched the raid and the White-house went ad-lib to not lose a shred of the posture-exposure, and had to cut some fancy word-work and back-track and add additional ad-lib. All of that is in the record. Hersh’s article only reminded of the record. There was lying in the record, of course, but a recorded lie doe not make the record a lie. The lying is part of politics, the recording a record of politics. Young Bush dancing his jig in Paris, announcing, ‘Mission Accomplished!’, Obama standing on an aircraft-carrier announcing, ‘We got bin Laden!’, Hillary Clinton smirk’n-giggling, ‘We came, we bombed, they killed Qadaffi…uhh, and then our diplomat guys, too…’ I may be mixing in that other guy of the same ilk, the neocon with the little moustache, who crowned his ‘triumph’ with opening another front against Russia, against Guderian’s advice, the way the Neocons have in Ukraine, pitting the ghost of Adolf against phantom Russian invaders, and getting their asses kicked again…
    What Hersh’s London Review of Books article did was nothing more than release the information released in 2011 from the blogosphere into the mainstream. No hoax involved, just kick-back. Kick-back as predictable as wetness from rain, as escalation of jihadi violence from the bin Laden ‘hit’, both of which anyone with a modicum of perspective could have predicted would happen if bin Laden was martyred, and many did, though, apparently none amongst the cowboys and trained seals of the American Administration.

  5. Louisa
    May 15, 2015 at 08:43

    “the runic characters — futmarks, they’re called” — is that some Kensington Stoner jargon, or a typo for futhark?

    “royal sponsorship by King Magnusson III” — lol that’s like talking about King Johnson III of England (hint: Magnusson is not a first name but a patronymic, “son of Magnus”, and nowadays a surname).

    “Norse adventurers were intrepid, and went great distances; possibly around Cape Horn, even to China.” — uh … could you perhaps tell me what you base this on?

    PS: thanks, F. G. Sanford, for the stuff on Baram Blackett. I read one of his books on Arthurian England and came away with my head spinning. Every “ancient secret forgotten chronicle” bit he dragged up came straight out of Geoffrey of Monmouth etc, except it had been twisted all out of shape to such a degree it actually infuriated me. I don’t mind some fun “but maybe possibly” writing, but outright falsification in that manner was despicable.

    • dahoit
      May 17, 2015 at 13:10

      Yes the Norse were intrepid,and travelled between NA and Europe,up and down the Volga,into the Med,and served under the Sultans in Constantinople.But no,I never heard that they went that far,though it is possible.
      And with portages,it is possible they reached the Red River in Minn,,they were that intrepid.A European trait throughout the age of discovery.(exploitation)

  6. Kevin Rinaldi
    May 15, 2015 at 02:25

    The basic storyline is that having found Bin Laden, it then took 8 months to go in and kill him. Isn’t that the height of incompetence? Wouldn’t four days have been enough?

    • Jay
      May 17, 2015 at 14:46


      Not how things work in the real world.

      Also not the tale told by Hersh.

      Then how do you know “Bin Laden” was in that house? Because who told you?

  7. May 14, 2015 at 23:26

    John Gardner asks, “Why would senior Pakistani ISI officials possibly permit their obvious collaboration be exposed by having U.S. Navy Seals pull off such an improbable stunt that would render their purported lack of involvement implausible?”

    Pakistani officials needed to be able to plausibly deny that they had killed bin Laden or handed him over to the Americans. But they and the Saudis needed to have him dead so that he couldn’t expose their role in using him to tamp down anti-Pakistani terrorism.

    The plan, as Hersh said, was for bin Laden to be killed by drone after removing him from Abbottabad. Once the helicopter crashed, there was no plausible deniability and a lot of panic.

    I don’t think it was ever truly workable, but the Pakistanis may have had a higher estimation of American capabilities than they should have had.

    • D505
      May 15, 2015 at 13:04

      Thanks to Charles for answering what John Gardner should have known by reading Hersh’s article.

      I’m disappointed in Consortium News for this weak response from Gardner. I’ve been looking for several days to this site for some strong response, and this Gardner piece is not it.

      First, you have to actually read the article versus skimming over it.

      Hersh begins with his sources, which come from inside both Pakistani and US intelligence establishments. Hersh has plenty of experience evaluating sources.

      In general across the media, response to Hersh is similar to response to Stephen Cohen: don’t analyse, demonize.

      I hope Consortium News will not drop this topic.


      1. The seals were in the compound for forty minutes. They had to deal with a crashed helicopter as part of that. Why no Pakistani response (including local police, since neighbors reported the disturbance) and no military response?

      2. Is the story adequate (including the DNA evidence) so we can put aside the “he died in 011” automatic responses?

      3. Can you imagine a foreign power’s helicopters on American soil for forty minutes conducting a political mission?

      4. If so, would that mean insider cooperation in the attack?

      5. If Hersh’s story is true, why is it significant? An enemy dispensed–who cares?

      6. How does the story suggest how the real world of transnational politics works vs a “good vs. evil” pablum hiding the truth?

      • D505
        May 15, 2015 at 13:08


        Q2. Is the story adequate (including the DNA evidence) so we can put aside the “he died in 01” automatic responses?

        • F. G. Sanford
          May 15, 2015 at 14:25

          DNA cannot prove ‘time of death’. It can’t even prove he’s dead. Only an autopsy can do that, but conveniently, there is no body. And no pictures. And apparently, The SEALs weren’t sure either. Why else would one of them lay down next to the body see if it was tall enough? In a court of law, the jury is welcome to dismiss all of a witness’s testimony if any of it proves to be false. So far, all of the government’s testimony has proven to be false.

          • D505
            May 15, 2015 at 17:25

            Put aside in the sense that the case is built on DNA evidence that it WAS OBL in the compound. But if somebody had to lie down to check the 6’4″ height then the other possibility is it wasn’t him and he’s still alive? Is that as plausible as he’s dead? But if this was not OBL there must be an entirely new story as to why this raid. At least we do know there was a raid, because of the crashed copter.

      • dahoit
        May 17, 2015 at 13:05

        What was OBL an enemy of,and did he have justification for his position?And what evidence was there to tie him to 9-11 other than Ziomisinfo?The FBI,at his death,had no tangible evidence to tie him to that black day.Why would they,in a growing Al CIA da threat world, not try to probe the nexus(ha)of terrors mind and plots?They want this to go away,this story,as it has many connections to the big lie on 9-11.

        • Jay
          May 17, 2015 at 14:44


          So? What does this have to do with lies about a raid in Pakistan to kill an “Osama Bin Laden”?

          Actually if you read the Hersh story carefully there’s an inaction by the commandos which you’ll as backing your point a bit.

          Do you really expect Seymour Hersh to publish the details of who killed JFK?

          As for your Zionist implications there’s little evidence for those either.

  8. Jimbo
    May 14, 2015 at 22:29

    As a 911 truther I believe neither version as well and I give a nod to the author of this article who has enough common sense to not believe either story either. It is too bad he didn’t have the guts to venture over the 911 truth side of the story to see and tell his readers of a third version of events. On YouTube there is a video from Pakistani TV news from the scene on the night of the raid where a reporter grills an eye witness – and grills him hard – about what he saw from his balcony. He said a helicopter landed in the Abaddabbad compound that inexplicably (to him) suddenly exploded killing and blowing apart many men who were aboard. Then two more helicopters arrived but they didn’t land. They turned around in the sky and flew off. Then some Pakistani – or other Urdu speaking soldiers – showed up and shooed everyone away from the site. And that is about it.

    Speculating now, the helicopter which exploded may have been the SEAL team which we told had crashed in a helicopter accident. .

  9. Abbie51
    May 14, 2015 at 21:32

    After my taking so much effort,reading many web stories,no one calls out,that the tactical division of the US Marshals Service,having control of the new false identity,the new residence,in Virginia,of these Pakistani’s who did help.All these,false stories,misdirections,contrary claims,are all directly part and parcel,of the deals for their new identities.Hollywood,with movie Zero Dark Thirty,claims that CIA woman important work led to Seal Team6,successful raid,May 1st,Pakistan date and time,2011.Intelligence put it out,UBL died earlier,was only more misdirection.

  10. Gary
    May 14, 2015 at 18:17

    I have had some foreign coins in my possession at times. It doesn’t mean I’ve been to those countries. Similarly, a runic stone could just have been a traded object which found its way inland from some Atlantic Coast traders.

    • BradOwen
      May 15, 2015 at 04:28

      Excellent point. Amerindians were probably quite used to large shore parties “wintering over” along the coasts, presenting opportunities for Trade, before shoving off with the spring thaw. It’s probably when the shore parties started to move inland with ideas of settling down, that the slaughter begins (a harsh immigration policy to-be-sure). Part of Lewis and Clack’s Mission was to find those much-storied “blue-eyed, blond-haired, Welsh-speaking Indians”, probably DNA surfacing from survivors absorbed into some of the Tribal Nations.

  11. F. G. Sanford
    May 14, 2015 at 18:15

    The Kensington Stone is a fraud because it contains an anachronism – a thing placed in the wrong historical context – like finding a Timex watch in King Tut’s tomb. That would be wholly incongruous. Unless of course, you believe that “aliens” built the pyramids, in which case it is pointless to attempt a rational discussion. But millions and millions of Americans routinely succumb to that kind of delusional irrationalism. As a consequence, our democracy, our justice system, our schools and our standing in the grand scheme of human progress are slowly but surely deteriorating. We resort incessantly to that old truism, “Two sides to the story”, when in fact, those “two sides” are products of perception, prejudice and proximity. There may be two “sides”, but there is only ever one “truth”. We could have learned our lesson from the “magic bullet theory”, the “Tonkin Gulf Incident”, the Tuskegee Experiment”, “Watergate”, “Iran Contra”, the “October Surprise”, “Cointelpro”, “Curveball”, “Incubator babies”, “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, and a host of other episodes. BUT we didn’t. This time, “They, must be telling the truth!” The ridiculous scam of prosecuting Jeffrey Sterling on manufactured evidence should really beg the question: WHAT ELSE DO THEY HAVE TO HIDE? Perhaps if we knew, there would be cause to rebuild a gallows in Washington, DC. LOOK AT THE STORY AGAIN. Hersh noted that one of the SEALs, who was exactly six feet tall, laid down on the floor next to the body to judge its height. OBL was supposed to be 6’4″ tall. At that point, even face to face, they STILL weren’t sure it was him. The people least convinced were the guys that went on the raid! This story contains an anachronism too. In this case, it’s OBL himself, who had already been dead for years. Without the mythical photographs and the supposed DNA evidence, Hersh can’t go farther out on a limb. After all, the “proof” was tossed from a helicopter into the Hindu Kush. In an evidence-based piece of reportage, he’s constrained by the facts he can prove. But the ‘reasonable person’ cab certainly draw reasonable conclusions. The problem is, there aren’t many of us left in brain-dead, brainwashed America. But don’t worry – at any moment, I expect they’ll drag out Gerald Posner to come up with another “Case Closed” scenario, and Americans will passively continue circling the drain like oblivious, delusional zombies.

    • Brad Owen
      May 15, 2015 at 04:15

      Conventional wisdom and “official” storylines are almost always wrong (starting with “the Earth is flat, as indicated by the evidentiary view outside my large picture-window”.) The museums are filled to the rafters with ooparts, which are only ooparts because the conventional view is far from complete. Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett can tell you a different story about the Kensington Stone, starting with the right alphabet and language. The world is filled with buried cities under the oceans (at historic “high tide”…used to be several hundred feet shallower), under deserts, swallowed up in jungles, and probably under ice-caps too. Radar satellites revealed some of them. Consider the Myth as true, and you just might find TROY. Oh yeah, and 9/11 wasn’t an inside job, so says conventional wisdom.

      • Brad Owen
        May 15, 2015 at 04:18

        But people just believe what they want to believe…but it’s a helluva lot more fun to consider the contrary-to-conventional.

      • F. G. Sanford
        May 15, 2015 at 06:54

        Well, I’d certainly agree that the official 911 story doesn’t hold water. That said, you’d be wise to check your sources and their methodology. For example, Baram Blackett’s real name is Brian Andrew Terry. He’s a convicted art thief and known con-artist. Texts and documents they cite are misrepresented in order to bolster false narratives; serious scholars easily point out the fraudulent misrepresentations and mistranslations they employ. They claim to have found supporting artifacts through “sounding”, which is a destructive and careless looting technique, not an archaeological method. Furthermore, no witnesses, photographs or supporting evidence links those artifacts to their purported places of origin. They are regarded as fraudulent by serious scholars. These two also have links to rather racist political sentiments, which puts them in a category with historical revisionists like David Irving and other sympathizers with organizations such as the British Union of Fascists. Basically, they’re selling Timex watches from King Arthur’s tomb.

        • Brad Owen
          May 15, 2015 at 08:35

          Point well-taken about specifics of Blackett & Wilson (although “professional character assassination” sticks in the back of my mind…not committed either way, actually). My general principle still holds, I believe; conventional wisdom & “official” storylines to-be-taken with a huge chunk of rock salt.

        • Jay
          May 15, 2015 at 08:59


          True some who say that Europeans had significant contact with the Americas thousands of years ago are indeed racists, and the purported contacts between the continents can be used by these racists to dismiss American Indians as less than whole. (The foundational documents of the Mormon Church overlap with this.)

          However, in north America there are small structures all over the east coast and up various rivers. Then Egyptian mummies, in Egypt, have been found to have cocaine in their bodies, and that only comes from Peru. And some of the big pyramid complexes in Mexico bear suspicious overlapping math and alignments with similar complexes in Egypt. There are obvious representations of black people from Africa in Olmec art.

          So even if those pushing this Kensington Stone narrative are racists, and that particular stone is a fake, there’s just too much evidence of contacts between the continents thousands of years ago to blithely dismiss it all as an invention of racists.

          The Nazis published huge archeological surveys of southern Spain in 1943 pointing to massive stone works similar to Ireland and England and France. No one disputes that those structures exist and are likely related to each other, even it the Nazis used their existence to argue in favor of some lost race of super men.

          It’s the conclusions the racially motivated researchers come to that can oft be really questionable, not the basic fact that these structures and artifacts really have been found all over north America. And the counter claims by establishment archeologists don’t really ever add up, or point to things likely faked or wrong in some significant way–say like the Kensington Stone.

          • Brad Owen
            May 15, 2015 at 11:09

            Thank you for making this important point. Literally mountains of evidence abound, contradicting the “official narrative” of History. Libraries can be filled with contrarian volumes. I’ve spent over 40 years looking in “the other direction”, away from “The Official Pointing Finger”, not in-depth, but in vast, casual survey. And racists waste their time with small, mean, petty-bickering views of humanity. The implied truth is the Story of humankind is far stranger than we even dared imagine in our fiction, religions and folktales and Myths. It’s endlessly fascinating.

        • dahoit
          May 17, 2015 at 12:58

          David Irving revisionist?Or alternate history?I have absolutely know idea whom Mr.Irving represents,but to outlaw discussion of anything is an affront to freedom,and intelligence.And a sign of a powerful conspiracy to hide something.

          • Jay
            May 17, 2015 at 14:38


            Feel free to discuss David Irving’s holocaust denial, it’s not against the law in the US.

            But you won’t be taken seriously, by anybody by the likes of Geoff Rense and the Stormfront website.

  12. Jay
    May 14, 2015 at 17:32

    Have no idea about ” The Kensington Stone”, but the Celts sure had big sailing ships for the oceans.

    And on the coast of Maine, and up the Hudson, up the Connecticut, and up the Mississippi there sure is a lot of evidence of contact between the Europe and North America.

    As for the Hersh claims, they sure make more sense than the fable of “Zero Dark 30”. And the biggest claim makes perfect sense, that being that the Pakistanis were holding this “Bin Laden”. Even NBC has confirmed that part.

    So even if Hersh didn’t get the whole story right, bringing up The Kensington Stone is a big distraction. The Kensington Stone isn’t some isolated artifact the likes of which was reported once. There’s big evidence that we’ve been lied to about pre Columbus contacts between the continents.

  13. Jane
    May 14, 2015 at 15:43

    You are the (retired) leader of the world’s largest terrorist organization. A helicopter crashes in your backyard, and you hear gunshots as your guards are killed. Do you…

    a) grab your gun to die with your boots on?
    b) crawl under the bed and hope they don’t find you?
    c) change the TV channel?

    You are the leader of the free world. You are (from a distance) leading a raid on the most wanted terrorist on the planet. Do you…

    a) bring him back for trial and do a victory lap?
    b) deep six the corpse and destroy any proof you actually got the creep?

    • Vivek Jain
      May 16, 2015 at 06:52

      Two corrections: The “world’s largest terrorist organization” is the US government, not Al Qaeda. And the POTUS isn’t the “leader of the free world.”

      • dahoit
        May 17, 2015 at 12:53

        Semantics?,her take was spot on.

          May 26, 2015 at 16:14

          Yeah and using the “Leader of the Free Worlds'” language to tell it.

  14. Zachary Smith
    May 14, 2015 at 15:35

    Regarding the The Kensington Stone story, it’s clear the thing is some kind of hoax. We may never know how or why it was done, though. My guess would be the farmer and/or a more literate neighbor.

    Seymour Hersh: he has a glittering history. His story makes sense, and is a repeat of what a woman blogger wrote in 2011. So much so that there are veiled hints that Hersh ought to have given her some credit.

    Contrast that with the BHO Administration which lies about everything.

    My vote is for Hersh.

    • roger noehren
      May 20, 2015 at 13:39

      R.J.Hillhouse’s website appears to be a cut & paste job – check out the archives – brief monthly posts from 2006 -’08 and then this longer piece was supposedly posted in August 2011, right after she resurfaces on her blog & creates a facebook & twitter accounts (as Raelynn Hillhouse), all apparently for the express purpose of posting this story (retroactively?). Then no postings until after Hersh’s piece appeared in the London Review of Books, at which point her Wikipedia page is updated to include a reference to this (August 2011) blog post, with a Daily Telegraph citation that quotes her and links back to her web site…if she did indeed post this story there in 2011, being the publicity hound that she appears to be, she would have brought it to the attention of Democracy Now & the Washington Post, where she had (apparently) made a bit of a splash in 2007. There are no attributions beyond “my sources” or comment threads to any of her pieces – does or did she ever have a following? Is her website & blog a recent construct? Is she a shill (or even a real person)?

  15. Ray McGovern
    May 14, 2015 at 15:08

    Don’t you just love to be educated about things like the Kensington Stone? How handy to have this kind of thing to relate at boring cocktail parties. I read John Gardner’s piece twice, though, and find the analogy drawn with Hersh’s piece far too much of a stretch.

    Let me suggest that Gardner read Hersh’s article again, this time for comprehension. For the answers to Gardner’s struggle with improbability are at hand, both in what Hersh writes, and in the typically strange but all-too-familiar behavior of the Kensington, I mean, Keystone Cops — those very “SPECIAL” forces that the White House calls on to masquerade as a U.S. foreign policy. This story is a VERY BIG deal…and the narrative concocted by Obama and his White House amateurs is already fraying at the edges.

    Despite the best efforts of the thoroughly embarrassed and defensive White-House-press-release-dependent “mainstream media” (which typically swallowed the official narrative hook, line, and sinker) to divert attention from the real story, the truth will out. Might one hope that, when that happens, the fearful, finger-biting folks at the New Yorker will gird their loins and begin to publish Hersh’s remarkable investigative journalism again. Meanwhile, kudos to the London Review of Books!

    In short, thanks to Hersh, the “shoot-out” at Abbottabad is no longer much of a mystery to me. Exposure of gross lying about the Abbottabad caper should not be trivialized by strained comparisons to real, lingering mysteries — like the Kensington Stone.

    Ray McGovern

    • May 15, 2015 at 01:33

      The Kensington Stone was really a distraction shot to move us off target. A careful reading of the Hersh story puts genuine sense to the events 1) as we were told, 2) as they must have been and 3) as Hersh relates them. Hillhouse also had this basic framework of events and crossed allegiances in 2011 but it got nowhere. Also it didn’t get this push back. Probably because the White House realizes that the Hersh’s name on a piece has more publicly established authority and her name is obscure to most of us. Though from reading her output and looking at other work she is clearly a solid reporter and is on solid ground. As such she makes a good confirmation.

      My vote is for the Hersh narrative.

    • Jay
      May 15, 2015 at 08:27

      What I didn’t understand is why Gardner was invited to share this take on the Hersh story here at Consortium News?

      Does Mr Gardner regularly comment on what Hersh publishes in the LRB?

      As for the Kennsington Stone story, anyone familiar with the general story, also knows that other things like it exist in the American mid-west, including evidence of significant copper mining in northern Michigan.

    • dahoit
      May 17, 2015 at 12:52

      Norsemen couldn’t build their own ships?Really now.

  16. David Sheridan
    May 14, 2015 at 14:56

    For stretching credulity, one need only look at the official US gov’t version of events. Besides, bin Laden died in December of 2001. It was reported in the newspapers and even on television

  17. par4
    May 14, 2015 at 13:54

    It doesn’t have to make sense. The owners of this country know there is an American born every minute. It’s the most gullible and easily manipulated populace on the planet.

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