Monday, January 02, 2006

CIA Leader in Afghanistan Details How the US Let Bin Laden Slip Away

In December 2001, the CIA sent a 4-man military team into Afghanistan to hunt down Osama Bin Laden. They tracked the Al Qaeda leader, who had just blown up the World Trade Centers, to a mountain in Tora Borah, but never caught him. The reason given was the decision to use Pakistani troops instead of American troops, as they knew the area better. Supposedly, we commissioned 100,000 Pakistani men to seal the border and prevent Bin Laden’s escape.

New facts are now coming to light. Gary Berntsen, Leader of the 4-man CIA military team, has left the CIA, and has now written a book, called “Jawbreaker”. I watched an interview with him on CNN, and let me tell you, I’m reading. If the interview is representative of the book, it can’t help but force us to question whether Bush’s priorities were in the correct place, hunting the killer of thousands of Americans, or if his priorities were in Iraq, a war which I believe was based on misinformation at best.

Berntsen indicates that all 4 members of the CIA team agreed that American troops were necessary to catch Bin Laden. They knew he had not been killed by air strikes because they heard him making apologies over an unencrypted radio apologizing to people in the region for hardships he had brought down upon them. Berntsen indicates he repeatedly requested the American troops for the region, both orally and in writing, and includes documentation of his requests in the book.

Berntsen also pointed out another piece of misinformation provided to the American public: there were only 4,000 Pakistani troops provided to seal the boarder from the Tora Bora Al Qaeda retreat. Furthermore, Bernsten notes that some of these troops had been members of Al Qaeda merely months before, and that everyone questioned their loyalty. Between the lack of troops and the questionable loyalty, what were the odds of really catching Osama Bin Laden?

So let’s examine it objectively. Osama Bin Laden commits a brutal attack on American soil, killing thousands and permanently destroying the sense of safety many Americans felt pre 9-11, and we send 4 people after him. Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant, but never directly attacked America. Furthermore, the country was already stripped of much of its military power by Bush Sr. So of course the hunt for Saddam Hussein merits 135,000 troops to date, with over 2,000 casualties.

I guess it pays to have business ties with the president of the United States, huh? Yep, I’m sure that statement will get me some hatred from the conservatives (if anyone ever reads this). But I can’t figure out any other reason why we would not have taken out a dangerous criminal like Osama Bin Laden when we had the chance.

Posted by Scottage at 11:28 PM / | |