Your "liberal" media, playing a little catch up. Better late than never.
Now, as the last major battle of the war in Afghanistan began, hidden from view inside the caves were an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 well-trained, well-armed men. A mile below, at the base of the caves, some three dozen U.S. Special Forces troops fanned out. They were the only ground forces that senior American military leaders had committed to the Tora Bora campaign…
It was only on the third day of the battle that the three dozen Special Forces troops arrived. But their mission was strictly limited to assisting and advising and calling in air strikes, according to the orders of Gen. Tommy Franks, the head of U.S. Central Command, who was running the war from his headquarters in Tampa, Fla…
One of them was Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis, the commander of some 4,000 marines who had arrived in the Afghan theater by now. Mattis, along with another officer with whom I spoke, was convinced that with these numbers he could have surrounded and sealed off bin Laden's lair, as well as deployed troops to the most sensitive portions of the largely unpatrolled border with Pakistan. He argued strongly that he should be permitted to proceed to the Tora Bora caves. The general was turned down. An American intelligence official told me that the Bush administration later concluded that the refusal of Centcom to dispatch the marines - along with their failure to commit U.S. ground forces to Afghanistan generally - was the gravest error of the war…
American intelligence officials now believe that some 800 Qaeda fighters escaped Tora Bora that night…
Tora Bora was the one time after the 9/11 attacks when United States operatives were confident they knew precisely where Osama bin Laden was and could have captured or killed him. Some have argued that it was Washington's last chance; others say that although it will be considerably more difficult now, bin Laden is not beyond our reach. But the stakes are considerably higher than they were nearly four years ago, and terrain and political sensibilities are far more our natural enemies now.
Shocking, isn't it? The worst mass murder in American history, the senseless killing of 3000 Americans on live TV was, really, the only reason the American people ever got behind Bush as Preznit. Bush showed up there on a smoking pile of rubble, with a bullhorn, and he promised, all tuff and Texan-like, that he was gonna smoke bin Laden out of his hole and bring him back dead or alive.
A four hundred billion dollar a year military, the, frankly, righteous and furious backing of the American people, and the unqualified and unanimous support of Congress, how could he fail?
Go get him, tiger!
And how did Bush use such an unprecedented amount of money, power, and support?
He sent 36 guys with boxes full of gold and satellite phones.
Thirty six guys.
Christ, almighty, thirty six guys aren't enough bodies to play four tough quarters of highschool football. Even if you give your offensive line air support.
But I'm sure this is all bullshit. More Monday morning quarterbacking. More irrational Bush bashing. More kicking the twitchy monkey when he's down.
Probably, though, that doesn't explain why Europeans knew this years ago:
[Kissinger] was talking to men with a grievance, who believed that American generals had let bin Laden escape. Some of Dr Kissinger's audience had just come back from Afghanistan. They had taken part in the attack on the cave complex at Tora Bora, where two squadrons of the SAS went into action: a significant proportion of its total strength. Fully manned, a squadron has 64 men; not since the second world war have so many SAS men fought in the same engagement…
By the end of the battle, the SAS was certain that it knew where bin Laden was: in a mountain valley, where he could have been trapped. The men of the SAS would have been happy to move in for the kill, dividing themselves into beaters and guns. The men of the SAS would have been happy to move in for the kill…
It did not get the chance. The SAS was under overall US command, and the American generals faltered. Understandably enough, they wanted Delta Force to be in at the death, they would have preferred it if bin Laden had fallen to an American bullet. So would Delta Force; every bit as much as the SAS, its men were raring to go. It was their commanders who held them back…
The SAS formed the firm impression that in Dr Kissinger's view, Iraq will be the next big target; that it is no longer a question of whether, but when.
If so, it is time for the Americans to discard fantasies about toppling Saddam by airpower plus local surrogates: Northern Kurds, Southern Shia, et al. If the US wants to get Saddam, it will have to go in and get him, with a full-scale invasion. But are the generals who hung back at Tora Bora the right men to invade Iraq?
Yeah. That's February of 2002. And that's not Newsweek or Hollywood, or the "liberal" media bitching about the total failure of Bush and Franks, and Rumsfeld to put the men or the resources in to catch or kill bin Laden.
That's the SAS. The British Special Air Service. The American equivilent of Delta Force--though, they pride themselves on being better and meaner. I don't know whether it's true or not. But that's how they feel.
And the SAS may, from time to time, wear berets, but no one could ever accuse them of being a bunch of liberals.
And they, the SAS, back in 2001, 2002, were super fucking pissed. And they had no doubt they knew exactly where bin Laden was. And they had no doubt they could catch or kill him.
And they blamed the failure all on American commanders.
Well, maybe it's just international, inter-service rivalry. Though, it sounds like the SAS was well satisfied with the Delta operators they wanted to be fighting beside. But I do think it's interesting, in February of 2002, the SAS guys, who were so pissed at how the Bush administration let bin Laden get away, said they "formed the firm impression that in Dr Kissinger's view, Iraq will be the next big target; that it is no longer a question of whether, but when."
Thirteen months before when.
But despite this, and "Bush At War", and the Downing Street Memo, and Richard Clarke, and any number of intelligence officials who have stepped forward to say that the Bush administration was going to invade Iraq and willing to cook the intelligence to do so, your "liberal" media keeps on entertaining the possibility that the Bush administration actually was misled by the intelligence.
In a court of law, a jury would deliberate three minutes on this. On Meet the Press? At the Washington Post? At the New York Times? The jury's still out.
These willfully blind, kneecap suckers are still saying there's no conclusive evidence that Bush had decided to invade Iraq the minute he skulked back from his gopher hole in Nebaska on September 11th.
I suppose the only thing that would satisfy the New York Times would be videotaped, notorized testimony from Bush, himself, saying, "I had decided in 2001 to invade Iraq, no matter what."
How stupid. What a farce.
If American criminal courts applied the same burden to prosecutors that the "liberal" press applies to the White House, we would have maybe seven inmates, total, in federal and state prisons in the entire United States of America.
But that's neither here nor there.
The point is, again, bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans on live TV. Bush parlayed the deaths of those Americans into hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars being poured into "private contracters" to protect you from the tearists. Bush parlayed those deaths into an unjustified and costly war in Iraq. Bush parlayed those deaths into his "re-election".
Only he was tough enough on terra.
And, though we should have known years ago, though the Europeans knew years ago, now, after an awful, negative election year, the New York Times finally reports just how tuff the Preznit was on Terra--he sent thirty six whole guys to get bin Laden.
Bush and Franks had thousands of guys they could have used to get bin Laden. There is no amount of men and women the American people would not have sent to get bin Laden. And Bush sent 36 guys.
And he wouldn't even let them fight.
Bush let the biggest mass murderer of Americans in the history of the world walk. And he let another 800 or so American hating, well trained, terrorists slip into al Qaeda friendly Pakistan. Where they've probably done very little but think about the next big thing they'd like to do America.
Because Bush was already thinking about Iraq.
According to the SAS. Three and a half years ago.
Oh, and also, don't forget, in that time, the Bush idiots, have given Pakistan, which is harboring al Qaeda, when it's not proliferating nuclear weapons to North Korea and Iran, a billion dollars of military aid.
The next time a jet airplane crashes into the downtown of some American city, or if a dirty bomb or a suitcase bomb goes off in some American city, or if some other shocking, horrific act of senseless, nihilistic violence comes out the far corners of Pakistan, I'm going to find it really hard to blame those thirty six Americans who failed to contain al Qaeda.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to blame Bush. Though, I'm sure, your liberal media will find some way to blame Bill Clinton. Or Jimmy Carter.