Coll’s Cull

Amid the overwhelming crush of Osama-is-dead reportage and analysis, I’ve run into two posts that were truly helpful in creating as much clarity as possible in an inherently foggy situation. The first is ProPublica’s “Bin Laden Reading Guide,” an extraordinarily detailed and nuanced directory of the best of the bin Laden coverage so far. I am in awe of the two bloggers who put this clean, clear and useful package of links together. They must read the InterWebs in their sleep. Among the links they mention is “Notes on the Death of Osama bin Laden,” Steve Coll’s post for the New Yorker. The headline is typical New Yorker understatement; Coll has written a well-regarded book on the bin Laden family and many New Yorker posts and articles on intelligence and national security, especially regarding the Middle East. These “notes” are actually a distillation of what a highly intelligent and well-backgrounded journalist has learned over many years, as applied to the current situation regarding al Qaeda and Pakistan. If you had time to read nothing else and wanted a deeper understanding of the demise of bin Laden, this would be the piece to pick.

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