(Mediaite) — It was a fitting end for the America’s most wanted man. As President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan told it, a cowardly Osama bin Laden used his own wife as a human shield in his final moments. Except that apparently wasn’t what happened at all.
Hours later, other administration officials were clarifying Brennan’s account. Turns out the woman that was killed on the compound wasn’t bin Laden’s wife. Bin Laden may have not even been using a human shield. And he might not have even been holding a gun.
The narrative first unfolded in a televised briefing at the White House.
“Thinking about that from a visual perspective, here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield,” Brennan said. “I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years.”
Pressed on the issue, Brennan said that it was his understanding that the woman killed was bin Laden’s wife and that “she was positioned in a way that indicated that she was being used as a shield.”
It’s possible it may have been a mix-up of two separate incidents during the assault on the compound. As a senior administration official said at a Pentagon briefing Monday: “One woman, who was used as a human shield by one of the four military-age males on the compound, was killed; he was firing behind her. Two women, including one with Osama bin Laden, were wounded. And the rest were not injured at all.”