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Seymour M. Hersh · The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015

Seymour M. Hersh · The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015
It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. ‘When your version comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful,’ Durrani told me. It began with a walk-in. Not everyone agreed.

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Statcast Arrives, Offering Way to Quantify Nearly Every Move in Game Photo Which outfielders take the most efficient routes to a fly ball? Which pitcher’s curveball has the highest spin rate? Which batter has the fastest speed to first base? Major League Baseball believes it has the answers to those questions and many more with Statcast, a system combining two technologies — radar and optical tracking using ultrahigh-resolution cameras — that is installed in all 30 ballparks. By quantifying almost every on-field movement, Statcast could change the way fans watch the game and how teams evaluate and pay players, measure performance and find undervalued talent.

Seymour Hersh’s London Review of Books investigation of the Osama Bin Laden raid: Was the accomplished journalist played by Pakistani intelligence Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post via Getty Images When Seymour Hersh is right, he’s really right. His incredible reporting unearthed the My Lai massacre in 1969, causing seismic tremors for the U.S. military that would reverberate for decades.

Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán: the truth about the jailbreak of the millennium At face value, this is the jailbreak of the millennium, and will take some beating. The world’s biggest mafia boss, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, jailed in Mexico’s top-security prison near Toluca after what the US called “the biggest manhunt in history”, slips out after only 16 months inside, through a mile-long tunnel complete with ventilation and conveniently parked motorbike. Guzmán, recently rated by Forbes as the 14th richest man in the world, is boss of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s mightiest criminal syndicate, named after the Pacific state of that name, and now proves himself to be arguably the most powerful man in México, whatever beleaguered president Enrique Peña Nieto may think as he scrambles back from a state visit to France.

Haryana’s Decision to Include the Bhagavad Gita in School Curriculum Skews the Idea of Education – The Caravan The next academic session will bring a change in curriculum for school students in Haryana, who will now have to study shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita as part of their syllabus. This move comes shortly after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj called for the Gita to be declared a national holy book. Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a copy of the book to US president Barack Obama on his maiden visit to the United States and to Japan’s Emperor Akihito last September.

Design and Simulation of Phased Arrays For RadarAerospace Applications By Gent Paparisto, AWR Group, NI Phased array antenna systems, which use sets of two or more antennas, offer improved performance over single antennas and are well-known for their usefulness in radar and aerospace applications. Phased arrays are seeing increased use in automotive, satellite, public safety, and advanced wireless communications systems. Communication system design software, such as NI AWR Design Environment/Visual System Simulator (VSS), supports the design and analysis of phased arrays, as well as their implementation in a system of antenna elements, power divider/combiners, phase shifters, and other typical components.

Trust the Echo Chamber on That Ben Rhodes Piece Earlier this month, The New York Times Magazine published a profile of deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes. The piece argued that Rhodes’s unique narrative gifts and mastery of social-media technology — combined with the ineptitude of a beleaguered political press — allowed the Obama administration to “actively mislead” the public during the debate over the Iran deal. Specifically, reporter David Samuels wrote that the White House created an echo chamber, inundating “often-clueless reporters” with “freshly minted experts” who repeated Rhodes’s carefully crafted talking points until they attained the status of objective facts. This spin ultimately robbed the public of the opportunity to engage in “a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices” that the administration was making — policy choices that amounted to nothing less than “a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.” Before we get into those, let's look at the two critiques Samuels does address. 1.

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America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker By Steven Brill Letter From the Editors Backstage at Johnson & Johnson On May 20, about 100 stock analysts gathered in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to hear good news from top executives at Johnson & Johnson: The company had 10 new drugs in the pipeline that might achieve more than a billion dollars in annual sales. A Creepy Video That Shows How Easily Protest Photos Can Be Staged Think the above photo is showing a violent protest in the Middle East? Think again. The photo is in fact a screen grab from a video showing just how easily news photos of a ‘violent protest’ could be staged. The video below, captured by Elbadil TV, shows this fake protest shoot in action.

30 skeletons from Great Plague of 1665 discovered in City of London The remains of 30 people thought to have perished during The Great Plague of 1665 have been unearthed by construction workers in London's financial district. Railway construction workers discovered the skeletons 350 years after the Bubonic plague engulfed London, as they set about digging up the Bedlam burial ground in London’s financial district. A headstone at the historic site marked “1665” was discovered, suggesting that the mass graveyard dates back to the outbreak of the deadly plague across London. Experts believe the bodies were buried on the same day in individual coffins, which have since rotted away, leaving a mass of distorted skeletons. The skeletal fragments will now be analyzed by the Museum of London Archeology department, which will carry out tests to determine the causes of death.