Top Military Commander Says Getting Bin Laden is Key to Defeating Al Qaeda. Why Now, When the Government Has Ignored Bin Laden for the Past 8 Years? → Washingtons Blog
Top Military Commander Says Getting Bin Laden is Key to Defeating Al Qaeda. Why Now, When the Government Has Ignored Bin Laden for the Past 8 Years? - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Military Commander Says Getting Bin Laden is Key to Defeating Al Qaeda. Why Now, When the Government Has Ignored Bin Laden for the Past 8 Years?

The top military commander in Afghanistan - Stanley McChrystal - says that getting Bin Laden is the key to defeating Al Qaeda.

Getting Bin Laden sounds fine to me. But apparently the Bush administration couldn't have cared less about him.

The oldest - and second-largest - French newspaper claims that CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was already wanted for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Sibel Edmonds (the former FBI translator, who Department of Justice's Inspector General and several senators have called extremely credible, and some of whose previous claims have been confirmed by the British press) makes similar allegations. Bear with me, the rest of this essay is less speculative. If true, then the CIA could have nabbed Bin Laden before 9/11.

On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing gave the Taliban evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11. As the Guardian writes:

Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban "turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over." He added, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty" ...

Afghanistan's deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

"If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved" and the bombing campaign stopped, "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country", Mr Kabir added.

The Guardian subsequently points out:

A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.

For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.

So the U.S. could have had Bin Laden led away in handcuffs in October 2001.

According to the U.S. Senate - Bin Laden was "within the grasp" of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in December 2001, but that then-secretary of defense Rumsfeld refused to provide the soldiers necessary to capture him.

This story was disclosed years ago. It was confirmed in 2005 by the CIA field commander for the area in Afghanistan where Bin Laden was holed up.

In addition, French soldiers allegedly say that they easily could have captured or killed Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but that the American commanders stopped them.

In 2005, Cenk Uygur pointed out:
The New York Times reported this weekend that we sent in 36 U.S. Special Forces troops to get Osama bin Laden when we knew he was in Tora Bora. By contrast, we sent nearly 150,000 soldiers to get Saddam Hussein. In case you're keeping count at home, we got Saddam and we didn't get Osama. What does that tell you about this administration’s priorities? This goes beyond incompetence. If you send only 36 soldiers to get somebody in the middle of Afghanistan, it means you don’t want to get him...

Osama had about 1,500-2,000 well-armed, well-trained men in the region. 36 guys to get 2,000? Why would we let ourselves be outgunned like that?...

There is an inescapable fact – if you put this little effort into capturing someone, it means you don’t want to capture him.
In 2007, Uygur rounded up evidence that the White House didn't care much about Bin Laden:

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, on captruing Osama bin Laden:

"I don't know that it's all that important, frankly."

Dick Cheney downplaying the importance of capturing Osama bin Laden:

"He's not the only source of the problem, obviously. . . . If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al-Qaeda."

President Bush on how important he thinks capturing Osama bin Laden is:

"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him. ... And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
"Deep in my heart I know the man's on the run, if he's alive at all...I just don't spend much time on it, really, to be honest with you."

President Bush also shut down the CIA operation trying to capture Osama bin Laden. And let him escape in Tora Bora.

If they care about capturing the man who actually attacked us on 9/11 and killed nearly 3,000 Americans, they have a funny way of showing it.
A retired Colonel said that the U.S. could have killed Bin Laden again in 2007, but didn't:
We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it ....Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.
And Margie Burns argues that a request under the Freedom of Information Act confirms that the Bush White House didn't care very much about Bin Laden at all. Among the millions of emails, only a few refer to Bin Laden, and those are mainly public press releases:
“Missing” White House emails retrieved from Bush administration records indicate that top Bush Justice Department officials had little interest in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Mohammed Omar, head of the Taliban in Afghanistan...

Given all the public emphasis on “information sharing” and cooperation among law enforcement and security entities, and the speechifying against a purported “wall” between domestic and foreign information gathering, one would think there would have been extensive correspondence about bin Laden and Omar among others.

Again, either there was such extensive correspondence, and it is being suppressed; or there was no such interest in bin Laden at the highest levels of government, meaning that indeed the previous administration viewed bin Laden chiefly as a public relations tool.

What did they know about bin Laden that they did not share with the public? Were they confident, for undisclosed reasons, that he posed no threat? Why are there no expressions of concern about his whereabouts?

If capturing or killing Bin Laden is so important, why didn't we do it in early 2001, or October 2001, or December 2001, or 2007?


  1. The Afghanistan War is unwinable , check history if you don't believe it.

  2. Securing oil and gas pipelines have never been more expensive.

  3. Trot out the old Boogie Man to whip up support for Barack W. Obama's "surge"... even if the Boogie Man has been dead for years....

  4. We got Saddam and put him on trial in his own country, where he was found guilty and put to death by people from his country.

    There can be no analagous victory with Bin Laden. When Islamists die in battle they are heroes for generations. They show up in popular song, etc. When they are disgraced, that is how you win. That's one possible explanation.

    Another is that he is politically and financially well-connected and harming him could have potentially severe international repercussions. That's slightly more far-fetched but still possible. His family is a very powerful financial player with large stakes in the American economy (major shareholders of Microsoft and Boeing for example). He might be too rich and well-connected to punish, especially given the nature of the evidence against him.

    Somehow, in the minds of top military and political leaders of the US, the cost of killing him seems to outweigh the benefits.

  5. Bush / Cheney and the Neocons did not want to capture or kill Bin Laden which is why they let him go when he was cornered , to do so would have all but eliminated the excuse to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan . To this day to kill or capture Bin Laden would severely limit the governments ability to continue the occupations .There's big money being made to say the least , the military industrial complex , all the " defense" contractors , Halliburton , Black Water etc. not to mention Wall Street and what would the generals and the pentagon be doing if there was peace ? No , can't have that . Was Obama naive enough to think it even possible that a general in the US military would advise him that it's useless and to pull out and bring our troops home ? A corrupt government and big money , that's what it is all about . What Ike warned about has come to pass .

  6. David Ray Griffin recently published "Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?" This prolific scholar makes the overwhelming case that Bin Lade had been dead for a long time. He's being trotted out as needed, just like the body of El Cid was used to rally his troops. Much like the bogus terror alerts were raised as necessary by Bush to squash coverage of unhelpful events and to bolster his 2004 re-election campaign.

    "The US s political discourse and foreign policy in recent years has been based on the assumption that Osama bin Laden is still alive. George W. Bush promised as president that he would get Osama bin Laden dead or alive and has been widely criticized for failing to do so. The US s present military escalation in Afghanistan is said to be necessary to get Osama bin Laden. The news media regularly announce the appearance of new messages from bin Laden. But what if Osama bin Laden died in December 2001 which is the last time a message to or from him was intercepted?

    In this book, David Ray Griffin examines the evidence for the claim made by everyone from former CIA agent Robert Baer to Oliver North that bin Laden is surely no longer with us. He analyzes the purported messages from bin Laden and finds that, as many have suspected, they do not provide evidence of bin Laden s existence after 2001. This leads naturally to the question: if Osama bin Laden did indeed die in 2001, how and why have dozens of messages from bin Laden appeared since then?

    Griffin s meticulous analysis supports above all one simple and urgent conclusion: if Osama bin Laden is dead, the US should not be using its troops and treasure to hunt him down."


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