What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death?

New York Times Magazine | 15 Oct 2015

Mark Bowden was watching a ballgame — the Phillies versus the Mets — on the night of May 1, 2011, when the network cut away to President Obama in the East Room of the White House. “Tonight,” the president said, ‘‘I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.’’

Five minutes or so after the president wrapped up his brief remarks, as thousands of Americans gathered in front of the White House and at ground zero chanting ‘‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’’ Bowden’s cellphone rang. It was Mike Stenson, the president of Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Bowden had worked with Bruckheimer on the film adaptation of his 1999 best seller, ‘‘Black Hawk Down.’’

‘‘Mike said, ‘Look, Mark, Jerry wants to make a movie about this bin Laden thing, and he wants to put together all of the people who made ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ’’ Bowden told me over lunch recently. ‘‘ ‘He wants to know: Would you be willing to write the script?’ ’’

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