Scranton Lecturer Chronicles Decade-long Search for Osama bin Laden

Oct 16, 2012

One of the few Westerners to interview Osama bin Laden, Peter Bergen, a CNN national security analyst, will discuss his recent book, “Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Osama bin Laden: From 9/11 to Abbottabad,” at the Honorable T. Linus Hoban Memorial Forum at The University of Scranton. The lecture is slated for Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center on campus.

The Lackawanna Bar Association is partnering with The University of Scranton to present the forum. The public is invited to attend the lecture free of charge.

A leading authority on foreign policy, national security and the new generation of terrorism, Bergen interviewed bin Laden in 1997. That encounter served as the basis for his 2006 book, “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Quaeda’s Leader,” and the CNN documentary, “In the footsteps of bin Laden,” which he co-produced that year. The book was named one of the best non-fiction works of 2006 by The Washington Post, and the Emmy-nominated film was named the year’s best documentary by the Society of Professional Journalists.

In addition to his position at CNN, Bergen serves as the director of the National Security Studies Program at the New American Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he leads the foundation’s analysis of terrorism, counterinsurgency, South Asia’s geopolitics and other national security concerns. He also serves as a research fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security and is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group.

An award-winning author, Bergen has written two New York Times best sellers. “The Longest War: the Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda” won the 2011 Gold Prize from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was the recipient of the Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship in 2000 and a Pew fellowship in 2001 for “Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden,” which has been translated into 18 languages.

Bergen has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Rolling Stone and several other prestigious publications, and he was a correspondent for National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel before coming to CNN.

“Once again, the collaborative efforts of the committee representing the Lackawanna Bar Association together with the University of Scranton have been able to deliver a unique opportunity.  Peter Bergen is an accomplished journalist who has personal insight into arguably the most detested terrorist of the century.   We are so pleased and look forward to an exciting evening on October 25th” said Jane Carlonas, Esq., president, Lackawanna Bar Association.  

Since its inception in 1978, the Hoban Forum has hosted prominent world figures including U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist; Hans Blix, Ph.D., former chairman of the International Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction; Alexander M. Haig Jr., former U.S. Secretary of State and supreme allied commander of NATO; Helmut Schmidt, former chancellor of West Germany; Edward Heath, former prime minister of the United Kingdom; and the late Yitzak Rabin, former prime minister of Israel. The most recent Hoban Forum, held in 2008, featured Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, and her husband James Rubin, who served under President Clinton as assistant secretary of state for public affairs.

For additional information about the Hoban Forum, contact the Lackawanna Bar Association at 969-9161, or The University of Scranton at 941-7401. 

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