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We caught and shot Osama bin Laden in a rundown, decrepit compound, lacking any direct contact with the outside world. But in 2001, the Times of London (and the Pentagon) thought he was living in a comic villain’s super fortress.
The absurd graphic, birthed from rumors stacked upon rumors originating with a former Russian soldier, placed Osama inside a bunker that would make Lex Luthor blush. The thing, tunneled as deep as the World Trade Center was built high, looks like a super duper hideaway I would have drawn up with magic marker as an 8-year-old. [...] But even worse—it got a cosign from our Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who on Meet the Press, frothed at the mouth with Osama-huntin’ excitement.
A ventilation system to allow people to breathe and to carry on. An arms and ammunition depot. And you can see here the exits leading into it and the entrances large enough to drive trucks and cars and even tanks. And its own hydroelectric power to help keep lights on, even computer systems and telephone systems.
Rumsfeld replied, “Oh, you bet. This is serious business. And there’s not one of those. There are many of those. And they have been used very effectively.”
Well, no, there weren’t. [...] Osama wasn’t in a “mountain fortress” in Afghanistan—he was in a shithole house that looked like a Motel 6 after being hit by a neutron bomb strike and an underpaid decorator.