CIA tweets U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden — five years later


Yesterday marked five years since the U.S. Navy SEALs raided and killed Osama bin Laden.

As a way to “celebrate” the military’s success, the CIA initiated a bizarre series of tweets, considered a “live tweet,” of the events that occurred five years ago, as if they were happening today. The Washington Post had the story:

Navy SEALs may have killed Osama bin Laden in a raid five years ago Sunday, but anyone following the CIA on Twitter might think it all just happened. In a deeply bizarre social marketing move Sunday, the agency “live-tweeted” the raid that led to bin Laden’s death — but it did so five years later.

For anyone who may not be familiar with the term “live tweeting” — an audience that may include the CIA — it refers to the act of reporting something on Twitter as it happens in real time. Sure, by its very nature, that sometimes includes a short lag time. Maybe a few seconds. But in this case, it was five years.

“The takedown of bin Laden stands as one of the great intelligence successes of all time. History has been a key element of CIA’s social media efforts,” CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said, according to ABC. “On the fifth anniversary, it is appropriate to remember the day and honor all those who had a hand in this achievement.”

It began about 1 p.m. Sunday, when the agency released this tweet.

Then, for most of the day, the CIA tweeted out events from that day with time stamps, following through on the announcement — it depicted the events as if they were happening Sunday. The tweets were connected with the hashtag #UBLRaid, and the event concluded at 5:01 p.m. Eastern time (though the last tweet was time stamped 7:01 p.m).

The social media strategy received mixed reviews on the decision, some saying it reminded them how proud they are to be an American, others commenting it was in poor taste. What say you?

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