Last week, freelance journalist Nicholas Schmidle ran a piece about the bin Laden raid so detailed it implied personal interaction with the operators on the mission, if not actual presence. The story quickly made its way around the blogosphere, including these pages.
This week an acquaintance of the writer questions the underpinnings of the article:
All of this makes for a gripping read. Too gripping I thought to myself. As it turned out, there is one very serious problem with Mr. Schmidle’s account: Schmidle never met any of the SEALs involved, as reported (with great tact and restraint) by Paul Farhi on August 3.
Farhi reached the same conclusion as I had: “a casual reader of the article wouldn’t know that [he had not interviewed the SEALS]; neither the article nor an editor’s note describes the sourcing for parts of the story. Schmidle, in fact, piles up so many details about some of the men, such as their thoughts at various times, that the article leaves a strong impression that he spoke with them directly.”
It’s an interesting read, although you may well forgo the comments section.