Sisterhood tracks down bin Laden

CIA hit teams work in a man’s world. But an HBO documentary titled “Manhunt” demonstrates the value of a strong woman’s touch in finding deadly terrorists and, well, taking them out.

PBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner’s story broadcast May 1 on KACV-TV talks about “Manhunt” and discusses the work of six women who played a huge role in gathering intelligence on al-Qaida, the organization that Osama bin Laden led until he met his demise in early May 2011.

Bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL-CIA hit team that landed in his compound in Pakistan in the wee hours of May 2, 2011. The men who took bin Laden out operated with skill and precision.

But they didn’t go in exactly blind. They had help from CIA analysts who worked since the 1990s gathering intelligence on this individual’s travels, his habits, his family — almost every aspect of his life.

The acclaimed film “Zero Dark Thirty” features one woman who led the intelligence-gathering that preceded the successful raid. But as Warner’s broadcast points out, a group of women called the “Sisterhood” within the CIA worked tirelessly for years on this effort.

Some of the men who executed this mission have been airing their differences in public over who exactly fired the fatal shot at bin Laden. It’s been an unseemly dispute. Perhaps they should take a page from the women whose hard work behind the scenes handed them the intelligence they needed to do the job — and keep their differences to themselves.

Meanwhile, Margaret Warner’s reporting on “Manhunt” is worth a look.


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