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CIA Defends Its 'Live-Tweeting' of bin Laden Raid

'Victory lap' widely mocked on social media
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2016 2:32 AM CDT
CIA 'Live Tweets' Bin Laden Raid, 5 Years On
In this May 3, 2011, photo, locals gather outside a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been holed up.   (AP Photo/BK Bangash, File)

The CIA decided to relive one of its greatest hits on Sunday by "live-tweeting" the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to mark its fifth anniversary—but social media users turned out to be a tough crowd. "Stop trying to be cool on twitter and get.on with your job," tweeted "Lame Monk" as the CIA tweets began, the Telegraph reports. "2 helicopters descend on compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 1 crashes, but assault continues without delay or injury," read a typical entry as the CIA recounted the 2011 raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, starting with its approval by "POTUS, DCIA Panetta, & JSOC commander Admiral McRaven" and continuing until the body was identified.

The agency, which calls the al-Qaeda leader "Usama bin Ladin," used the hashtag #UBLRaid. "This is grotesque and embarrassing. You should fire your web team," tweeted another user, per the BBC. Others described the effort as "unprofessional" and "totally unnecessary." The CIA rejected suggestions that the "victory lap" was inappropriate. "The takedown of bin Laden stands as one of the great intelligence successes of all time. History has been a key element of [the] CIA's social media efforts," a CIA spokesman tells ABC News. "On the fifth anniversary, it is appropriate to remember the day and honor all those who had a hand in this achievement." (Recently released documents include bin Laden's will and letters about his fear of drones.)

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