'Extensive' porn stash: Three ways US has tried to sully bin Laden's image

By , Staff writer

3. Unarmed jihadi

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    Pakistani youths view the house of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Sunday.
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Within hours of Mr. Obama announcing that a team of US Navy commandos had raided bin Laden’s compound, the White House put out the story that the Al Qaeda leader had been shot while cowering behind one of his wives.

"Here is Osama, living in a million-dollar compound, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," White House Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said in an early briefing for reporters. "It speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years.”

“He was firing behind her,” another official said at a Pentagon briefing.

A day later, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had to walk back that assertion, acknowledging that “we provided a great deal of information with great haste.”

Mr. Carney also corrected an earlier report that bin Laden had “engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house,” as Brennan had put it.

“Resistance does not require a firearm,” Carney told reporters, adding to the impression that bin Laden wasn’t an actively engaged and armed jihadi, embracing martyrdom, as he had often said he would do.

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