To Our Dear Readers,
While reading this gripping and well written story please keep in mind that, because of security and availability reasons, it is just that- a story. The depiction presented below should be appreciated with the knowledge that the author was not able to talk to any of the SEALS directly involved in the mission. While details may be uncertain, we ask you to remember that the themes of the story (the death of Osama bin Laden, the state of Pakistani-American relations, etc.) are all supported by very legitimate sources. With all that in mind, please enjoy article.
To Our Readers: “Catching Bin Laden”, written by Nicholas Schmidle, is a piecing together of the events of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. It describes events based on second and third hand sources as well as experts who had no involvement in the mission. Schmidle did not talk directly to any of the Navy SEALs involved in the mission. Although the article is filled with fact, please keep in mind that it is written to intrigue the audience with an action-packed storyline and narrative devices. The Editor.
While reading Schmidle’s article please keep in mind that this is not a first hand account. Yet while the article may not be one hundred percent accurate it is the story of the thrilling May night on which Osama bin Laden was killed. It was written to inform you of the sequence of events that took place on that night.
While reading Nicholas Schmidle’s Getting bin Laden, please keep in mind that this is not a first hand account of what really happened that world-changing May night. The word choice Schmidle uses may make the reader think that his facts come directly from the SEALs who were there. While this is a well researched and well written article, please read it with a grain of salt, keeping in mind the sources of this information. Enjoy the article.
Nicholas Schmidle’s article may be a bit misleading. His thrilling account of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the events leading up to it fully engage the reader, and excite, however, he makes it sound as if he directly interviewed the SEAL team, who was responsible. It must be noted that all of his information came in through other sources that spoke to the team.
Schmidle does have a history of not using the most reliable information. Joshua Foust was recalls when he used it Urdu knowledge to interview Pashto speakers – two languages with different roots and therefore, different syntax.
Regardless, the article is very well written but it does not necessary clarify the entire event and leaves the reader wondering how much of it is accurate.
– The Editor
The following article by Nicholas Schmidle is a fast paced narrative about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. The article is laced with countless details that seem to imply a first-hand account of that night either from the SEALs who there or himself. However, it should be noted that Mr. Schmidle wrote this article based on second and third hand accounts of the actual mission. He never had contact with the SEALs who performed this mission nor was he present. Regardless, Schmidle investigated the facts with extreme intensity and they were fact checked. The article offers one account that can be trusted at the readers discretion. This mission like many other missions that have occurred before it contain classified information that cannot be released. Due to this, one may never know what really happened the night Bin Laden was killed.
This article is a dramatic, narrative account, and does not necessarily display the views, thoughts, and beliefs of the twenty-three Navy SEALs. Information for this article was gathered through interviews with people in connection with the operation and/or the Navy SEALs, and is not meant to be portrayed as an entirely accurate, first-hand account of the Bin Laden raid.
The following is an article by Nicholas Schmidle. The article is about what happened the night of Osama Bin Laden’s death. The readers should know that the article is pro America and is full of suspense and details. Schmidle make sure the key points of the might are mentioned and explained. I felt on the edge of my seat at times during the article and hope readers enjoy the article as much as I did.
One problem of the article is that Schmidle had actually never interviewed a SEAL for the article he used others to get his information. But for what Schmidle did find out and how much effort he put forth into finding the truth the article is accurate enough. You cannot believe everything you read but Schmidle did a very good job in finding as much truth as he could all while keeping readers very entertained.
To the Reader : The following article gives one account of the U.S. raid in Pakistan that ended with the death of Osama Bin Laden. This article, and the facts presented within, do not come directly from the word of any of the SEALs involved in the mission, but rather from those people who spoke with SEALs post operation. This event is still new in essence of its great scope and many details are probably still waiting to be discovered. The events described occurred during a high stakes mission, possibly blurring the memory and thought processes of many people, including the SEALs involved. This does not completely discredit the information presented in the article, but the reader must realize that the author neither attended the event nor spoke directly with any SEAL about the details.
I emailed my dad (a reporter) about our conversation yesterday concerning media involvement and responsibility in reporting on matters like the war and sent him the link to the New Yorker article and this is what he said.
Good question. In my experience, the top reporters are devoted to telling the truth about war. Not just the facts, but the truth, with a capital T. Of course, there’s lots of disagreement over what is true about war, but I suspect you would find a lot more examples of the military either bending the facts or just plain lying (Pfc. Jessica Lynch story is one example) than you would find from mainstream reporters. I’m thinking of people like Anthony Shadid of the New York Times, and this guy too, Nicholas Schmidle. (Who is a JMU grad by the way)
But what he does in this New Yorker piece is use a narrative style, with fewer attributions, that does require the reader to essentially trust him. I’m skeptical too, when writers use this approach. Magazines love it because it makes for a more compelling read. He can kind of get away with this because the story is being done months after the event, and he’s obviously got some good sources. And he never outright says that he talked to the Navy seals, he just refers to “their recollections – on which this account is based”. Okay. But I don’t really like this style of writing. I think Schmidle did a great job and I trust him, I just don’t like being asked.
But The New Yorker is a top publication and I have no doubt this article was rigorously fact-checked.
Hope this is useful – I’m glad you asked your reporter parents