Osama’s Blooper Reel, Courtesy of the Navy SEALs

By Spencer Ackerman

In life, Osama bin Laden carefully crafted his image as a pious, anti-American leader. In death, he surely wouldn’t appreciate the U.S. government releasing his blooper reel.

As part of what a senior U.S. intelligence official called "the greatest intelligence success, perhaps, of a generation," the government has released five videos captured during Sunday’s dramatic storming of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. None of them display his execution. All have had the sound excised so as not to spread al-Qaida propaganda.

The official told a packed room of reporters at the Pentagon on Saturday afternoon that an alphabet soup of intelligence agencies are working "around the clock" to exploit information from dozens of bin Laden’s thumb drives, computers, recording devices and cellular phones to unlock clues to future terrorist attacks and the whereabouts of al-Qaida’s operatives. That trove is "the largest collection of senior terrorist materials, ever" the official said. Despite years of speculation that bin Laden was a mere figurehead in the organization, he was "an active player," directing "even tactical details of the group’s management" from his Abbottabad hideout.

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