October 31, 2004

Bush Had Osama Trapped -- And He Let Him Get Away. Knight Ridder Returns to Tora Bora, Concludes Many Terrorists Escaped:

"Franks and other top officials ignored warnings from their own and allied military and intelligence officers ... While more than 1,200 US Marines sat at an abandoned air base in the desert 80 miles away, Franks and other commanders relied on three Afghan warlords and a small number of American, British and Australian special forces ... 'Military and intelligence officials had warned Franks and others that the two main Afghan commanders, Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman, couldn't be trusted, and they proved to be correct.'"

From the Telegraph, February 23, 2002: "Eyewitnesses express shock that the US pinned in Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, thought to contain many high leaders, on three sides only, leaving the route to Pakistan open. ... An intelligence chief in Afghanistan's new government says: 'The border with Pakistan was the key, but no one paid any attention to it. And there were plenty of landing areas for helicopters had the Americans acted decisively. Al-Qaeda escaped right out from under their feet.'"

Indeed, only a few weeks after 9/11, bin Laden was offered to the US to stand trial for the attacks. The US rejected the offer. One official said there was a risk of "a premature collapse of the international effort if by some luck chance Mr bin Laden was captured."

Reading many stories from late 2001, one is left with the conclusion that either the US military is grossly incompetent or they knowingly allowed bin Laden to escape.

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