Osama Bin laden is in news again thanks to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Sanders has previously lamented his reputation as a “liar” hurt her feelings; however, during press briefings, she makes claims that make it hard to sympathize with her.
After CNN’s Jim Acosta was brutally heckled at President Donald Trump’s Tampa Rally by Trump supporters, the press secretary was asked of the incident and she — yet again — chose to berate the media and while doing so, she brought forward a long-debunked claim.
“We certainly support a free press [and] condemn violence against anybody, but we also ask that people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly,” the White House said when asked if it condemned the harassment of journalists at the president's rallies pic.twitter.com/AkNBGkxjtl— POLITICO (@politico) August 1, 2018
"This is a two way street," Sanders said. "We certainly support a free press, we certainly condemn violence against anybody, but we also ask that people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly."
She then claimed that irresponsible reporting on media’s part like leaking classified information leads to dangerous consequences — like loss of surveillance on bin Laden.
The press secretary brought up a Bush administration claim, which has been deemed an “Urban Myth,” about how a late 90s report by The Washington Times resulted in bin Laden to stop using his satellite phone and therefore, caused the U.S. to lose track of the deceased terrorist.
The claim has been rubbished years ago.
A 2005 article from The Washington Post stated the claim, which was first made in a best-selling book and then parroted by the Bush administration and the 9/11 commission, held little substance.
The fact that bin Laden used satellite phones for communication was well-known and quite often reported but in no way The Washington Times article asserted the U.S. was tracking those channels.
I dug up the article that @PressSec says contained a national security leak that hindered the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.— Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach) August 2, 2018
The article appeared on Aug. 21, 1998 in the @WashTimes.
It includes 1 mention of "satellite phones," and no references to US surveillance of those phones. pic.twitter.com/NPh23pS44w
However, when CNN reported on Sanders’ false claim, the press secretary took to Twitter to link an NYT article which reported on the book’s quotes and the Bush administration and 9/11 commission’s claim.
.@CNN was NYT “falsely” reporting Lee Hamilton of 9/11 Commission when he said "Leaks can be terribly damaging. In the late 90's, it leaked out...the U.S. was using Osama bin Laden's satellite phone to track his whereabouts. Bin Laden stopped using that phone; we lost his trail." https://t.co/CifK2yhgqg— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) August 2, 2018
Although, the NYT article merely contained statements from officials regarding the claim, something CNN had already mentioned in its piece.
Sanders unhinged attack on CNN came after she claimed the White House supported “Free Press” during the very same statement where she made the bin Laden remark.
She also claimed the president "does not support violence against anyone,” even though Trump has repeatedly slated media outlets using his Twitter account, coined the term “Fake News” over any negative coverage of his administration and has gone so far as to call the press, “the enemy of the American people.”
While Sanders claim is unsubstantiated, it should also be noted it has nothing to do with Trump supporters berating Acosta.
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Mary F. Calvert