Wednesday, October 08, 2008

SNAFU: CentCom Let bin Laden Go

It's not exactly news, but it's being confirmed again.

It is now generally accepted that bin Laden was present at Tora Bora after fleeing Jalalabad ahead of the allied advance that toppled the Taliban government, but escaped the assault on his mountain stronghold, despite a massive bombing campaign and attacks from allied Afghan militias and U.S. and British special operators. The failure to capture or kill bin Laden at Tora Bora later became a focus for critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war against al-Qaida.

“There have been so many Democratic jabs about it being done with proxy forces, with just maybe U.S. forces advising,” Fury said. “No one has ever really talked about [how] it was the U.S. Delta Force and the SBS [the British Special Boat Service] that were actually in the mountains when the Afghans were leaving every night … So you left Americans behind the lines by themselves.”

In the most recent book, the author (Gary Berntsen, CIA guy) asserts:

...we had Bin Laden in our sights but Tommy Franks and JSOC Commander, Dell Dailey, dilly dallied and did not deploy U.S. troops requested by Berntsen to the battle at Tora Bora. We could of had him; we should of had him; but we let Bin Laden get away.

Somehow, Tommy Franks didn't mention that in his book...

1 comment:

jimspice said...

I wonder how many people in the world actually know where he is at any given time. I'd imagine that it would have to be at least 10 or 20 -- immediate inner circle, medical staff, and from time to time videographers? And none willing to sell him out for the $25 million reward. I thought I remembered the Senate voting to double it, but haven't heard more. But I suppose, if someone were unwilling to squeal at that price, they would be unwilling at any price.