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Shooting holes in the bin Laden story

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First, let me make a disclaimer: I unequivocally support the killing of OBL. In fact, if I were the commander, capturing him would not have been an option--I would've ordered him shot dead on site (or perhaps taken up to the top of a tall building and forced to jump out).

That being said, I want to take a look at  the evolving narrative coming from Washington about what happened inside that compound last Sunday:

Story 1: There was a massive firefight and OBL was killed during or after it [the Obama version].

Story 2: There was a massive firefight and OBL was using his wife as a human shield to protect himself [the John Brennan version].

Story 3: There was a massive firefight and OBL was armed but may not have gotten any shots off [also the John Brennan version].

Story 4: There was a massive firefight and OBL was not armed but weapons were right nearby [the Dianne Feinstein version].

Story 5: There was a massive firefight and OBL was not armed but he made threatening moves [the Leon Panetta version].

Story 6: There was not a massive firefight and OBL was not armed but weapons were nearby [the "Administration Sources" version].

Story 7: OBL was captured alive and then executed [the OBL Daughter version].

All of the conflicting stories can be blamed on the "fog of war" or the rush to feed the "24/7 news cycle" but the reality is much more simple: the aftermath was handled terribly by the administration.  If you are going to create a "narrative" about an event like this, the general ideas is to create one--truthful or not--and stick with it come hell or highwater.  But, because they haven't, people are now beginning to question the story.

For example, if OBL was on the third floor of the compound and was the last person to be encountered, which, by all accounts he was--then why was he unarmed?  After all, he would've spend the last few minutes (seconds?) listening to shots being fired, screams, friends dying, helicopters swirling and landing, etc.--yet he stayed in that room and didn't pick up any of the weapons that were supposedly nearby?  Why not?  And if he didn't pick up a weapon, does it stand to reason that he had decided to surrender?

I personally don't really care about the answers to these questions--I'm happy he's dead--but others will care.  By bungling the story this bad and by allowing it to change and evolve as time has gone on only plays into the hands of conspiracy theorists, or those who always want to paint America as the bad guy.

My advice to the President is simple: it's time to hire a Narrative Czar.

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