After reading this book, I feel like it should be subtitled “and other lies the government tells you” because only approximately 1/3rd to 1/4 of the book is actually give over to the purported events surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden, while the rest is devoted to the ongoing global war on terror, along with its attendant political spin and lies.
Hersch uses interviews with people who were ‘on the ground’ in Pakistan, and who purport to have real knowledge of what actually happened in Abbottabad. And I must admit that he tells an interesting and credible story. After the presidency of George W Bush, it doesn’t take much imagination to believe that not everything you hear from politicians is the truth.
Essentially – according to the book – almost nothing about the official story of the killing of Osama Bin Laden is remotely connected with the truth. Osama was in fact a prisoner, or protected informant I guess, of the Inter-Services Intelligence, in Pakistan, and the killing of OBL was in fact a way of boosting Obama’s popularity in the run up to the 2012 election. And a lot of it rings true – the story of the burial at sea, the fact that OBL was under the very noses of Pakistan without them knowing, allegedly, etc etc.
As far as the book follows its title, I think that it is a thought-provoking book that asks questions. At the end of that section, however, it takes a left turn and heads off into largely-unrelated territory. This has the unfortunate effect of both diluting the impact of the first section, and abandoning the opportunity to really drive the nail home.
The remainder of the book is also interesting, but hardly memorable. I found that the book simply comes to an end without any kind of conclusion, or philosophical denouement. If the author was hoping for a *drops mic* moment, he ultimately failed, as it really just petered out.
A thought-provoking read, certainly, but fails to make the most of its opportunity to shine.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.