Shortcuts to Reading the Newly Declassified Bin Laden Documents

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Original document buffs, today is your lucky day: The U.S. government has finally released a trove of 17 documents declassified after the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbotabad, and you can download them in full from the Combatting Terrorism Center. It's a pretty large cache of documents, but smaller versions are available on the National Journal's site. To get the gist of what's inside, check out The Washington Post's overview, which is a good starting point.

And of course the Post's own initial coverage of the documents points out a few worthwhile highlights. One is the fact that there's no evidence Pakistan provided any institutional support for bin Laden. Another is that bin Laden and his fellow al Qaeda leaders' exasperation with the groups disparate affiliates' "attacks on Muslims, clumsy media operations and reluctance to focus their energies on attacking the United States and its Western allies." There was even talk about severing the groups' affiliations with al Qaeda, as the BBC notes Bin Laden grew impatient with "disaster after disaster." Apparently management problems are universal, regardless of how evil your organization is.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.