Friday, July 29, 2005

Bin Laden's escape from Tora Bora

A recently retired CIA agent named Gary Berntsen is attempting to have a book published on some of his CIA adventures, but is being stalled by the Agency, which is taking its own sweet time over its pre-publication review (I learned about this issue from the excellent book blog Bookninja). Berntsen led a CIA paramilitary team code-named 'Jawbreaker' during the Tora Bora attack in Afghanistan, and reveals that bin Laden was at Tora Bora. This catches Bush in another lie (from the Reuters story):

"The question of the al Qaeda leader's whereabouts played prominently in last year's presidential race, when Democrat John Kerry accused President Bush of making a mistake by not sending U.S. troops into the mountains to capture the al Qaeda leader.

Bush maintained that U.S. forces are not sure bin Laden was at Tora Bora. His contention is backed by the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tommy Franks, who actively campaigned for the president's reelection."

Bin Laden at Tora Bora is a subject that is very sensitive in Bush Administration circles, especially as it appears that bin Laden was allowed to escape. This is the kind of thing that leads suspicious people to guess that bin Laden still has a good relationship with American officialdom, despite any rumors you might have heard that they were actually trying to kill or capture him. On the almost miraculous Tora Bora escape, see here and here and here; other similar CIA/Pentagon shenanigans in fighting the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan can be seen here and here.