Ok, so it took almost 10 years, two endless wars manifesting in casualties of over 6,000 brave military personnel and thousands of innocent civilians, approximately 2 trillion dollars in combat and various ambiguous security expenditures, and an enduring assault on civil liberties, but we have finally prevailed against the most notorious terrorist in modern American history. Turns out, Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, the country we pay $3 billion a year to for their invaluable assistance in the phony ‘War on Terror’. Well-played Bin Laden and Pakistan, but we finally took care of business. You go America!!!
Oh, and don’t worry Pakistan all is forgiven. So Bin Laden was vacationing in your country for the past 5 or so years. We Americans pride ourselves on our remarkable capacity for gullibility. Remember when we fell for that Orson Welles prank, ran out to buy duct tape when Tom Ridge told us too, and bought tickets to see Charlie Sheen? ha-ha, good times. We will probably continue to send your $3 billion a year. It will be the checked signed ‘Your Pal, Elmer Fudd’.
The implication of Pakistani complicity drove Islamabad’s ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani to TV studios to plead his country’s innocence. “Obviously bin Laden did have a support system, the issue is that support system was within the government and the state of Pakistan or within the society of Pakistan?” Haqqani asked on CNN, conceding. “We all know that there are people in Pakistan who share the same belief system and other extremists…. So that is a fact that there are people who probably protected him.”
There wasn’t anyway to see this coming, was there ?
The United States smashed al Qaeda’s base of operations in Afghanistan in 2001, only to see it transferred to northwestern Pakistan. The refusal of the Musharraf regime to deal with this situation, and the active participation of elements of the Pakistani military, intelligence, and political elites in supporting our enemies, are worrisome for our efforts in the war on terror–and threaten the very existence of a non-jihadist Pakistani state.
Ok, scratch that.
- Act I – ‘Who Needs Wheels ? Let’s Roll !’
Back in 2001, Osama Bin Laden was declared the primary target in an exhaustive game of global ‘hide and seek’. Did the former CIA operative and steadfast jihadist really think he could beat the most powerful military on earth lead by the unwavering firm resolve of our stuttering faux Texas tough-guy, draft-dodging, former alcoholic, Yale cheerleading squad sensation and somewhat accidental 42nd commander-in-chief?
Osama bin Laden is the “prime suspect” in last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and the United States wants to capture him “dead or alive,” President Bush said Monday.
Speaking with reporters after a Pentagon briefing on plans to call up reserve troops, Bush offered some of his most blunt language to date when he was asked if he wanted bin Laden dead.
“I want justice,” Bush said. “And there’s an old poster out West- I recall, that said, ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive.’”
Actually, putting up a ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive’ poster sounds like a pretty cheap alternative compared to the long, onerous and expensive path we took to finally achieve our goal. This could have been the one good idea that G.W. Bush had during his eight year presidential misadventure. Too bad he was overruled by Dr. Strangelove and whoever else was really running things at the time.
In any event, there was no time for any combination of prudence, logic and/or diplomacy. It was time for full-scale war.
On September 20 2001, the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. The US rejected the offer.
Before we knew it, we had our first exciting, but futile confrontation with the personification of pure terrorist evil.
The Battle of Tora Bora was a military engagement that took place in Afghanistan in December 2001, during the opening stages of the war in that country launched following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The U.S. and its allies believed that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding in the rugged mountains at Tora Bora, but despite overrunning the Taliban and al-Qaeda positions they failed to kill or capture him. It has been said[by whom?] that at the end of the battle, bin Laden and his forces escaped by mule to Pakistan.
Cenk Uygur.Host of The Young Turks 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.
Posted: September 14, 2005 – Did We Let Osama Get Away on Purpose?
Cenk Uygur.Host of The Young Turks
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.
Ok, we get it Cenk Uygur, let’s not be an unpatriotic smartass about it.
- The ‘War on Terror’ – Blank Checks, Undermining Civil Liberties and Airport Harassment Are The Best Substitute For A Plan
And after this momentous achievement in our seemingly perpetual ‘War on Terror’, at least America can feel good about the fact that we have accomplished our mission to snuff out Bin Laden without too much collateral damage? Well, yes, if we don’t count the exorbitant costs of two wars, and you are a general fan of burgeoning federal government, the assault on civil liberties, and the alienation of many persons/cultures who thought they understood generally-accepted international law.
So far, if we include the planned expenditures for 2012, the wars in Afghanistan (557 billion) and Iraq (823 billion) along with ancillary expenses (34 billion) will cost about 1.4 trillion.
Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s four times more than America spent fighting World War I, and more than 10 times the cost of 1991′s Persian Gulf War (90% of which was paid for by U.S. allies). The war on terrorism looks set to surpass the costs the Korean and Vietnam wars combined, topped only by World War II’s price tag of $3.5 trillion.
And the war-related expenses won’t end there:
The trillion-dollar (plus) figure does not, for example, include long-term health care for veterans, thousands of whom have suffered crippling wounds, or the interest payments on the money borrowed by the Federal Government to fund the war.
Then we have the 2011 budget for the ‘Department of Homeland Security’, which adds another 56 billion, including $8 billion of this for the privilege of getting harassed at the airport by the TSA.
This is not to mention the other collateral costs which have accompanied our anti-terror blitzkrieg. After all, remember as part of the bargain, we have also gotten new inventions like torture, questionable legal treatment of Guantanamo detainees, The ‘Patriot Act’ and it’s affront to civil liberties and privacy, as well as various forms of racial profiling.
- Inconvenient Formalities, Was Osama Actually Involved With The 9/11 Attacks ?
Not that this matters now that we have eradicated the world of Osama Bin Laden, the evil jihadist who paid to install the monkey bars and whatever else comprised the extreme Al Qaeda obstacle courses and training facilities over in Afghanistan, but was it ever proven that he had anything to do with the attacks on 9/11/2001 ?
Well, sometimes you just gotta go with an educated hunch when you are trying to track down mythical monsters. I hear it usually worked for ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.
The FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” web page does not state that Bin Laden is wanted for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The FBI page states: “Osama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.” When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on the FBI’s web page, Rex Tomb, the FBI’s Chief of Investigative Publicity, is reported to have said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”
The FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” web page does not state that Bin Laden is wanted for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The FBI page states: “Osama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.”
When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on the FBI’s web page, Rex Tomb, the FBI’s Chief of Investigative Publicity, is reported to have said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”
So the FBI evidently did not feel comfortable charging Bin Laden with the crime of the century, ostensibly because a lack of ‘evidence’ got in the way. What a bunch of sissies.
For what it’s worth, and if the interview was actually legitimate, Osama had some thoughts on his own involvement:
2001: UmmatThe Daily Ummat is said to have interviewed Osama bin Laden weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. In the interview bin Laden is said to deny his involvement in the attacks; the interviewer, however, has never been identified, so there is no proof of the interview’s authenticity.
I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam.
- Osama and the CIA – Yippee Ki-Ay, Mujahideen !
To think, all this could have been avoided if Osama and the CIA could have worked out their differences in the years following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989.
It’s a commonly known fact that the United States and Bin Laden were on the same side during the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan that began in 1979. Back then, Bin Laden was part of the ‘ Mujahideen’, which was significantly funded by US taxpayers.
Washington, fearing the spread of Soviet influence (and worse the new government’s radical example) to its allies in Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf states, immediately offered support to the Afghan Mujahideen, as the “contra” force was known.
The Soviet Union was eventually to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 and the Mujahideen captured the capital, Kabul, in 1992.
Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the Mujahideen factions. Other Western governments, as well as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, kicked in as much again. Wealthy Arab fanatics, like Osama bin Laden, provided millions more.
Under the supervision and close clandestine association with the CIA, money and equipment was covertly funneled to Bin Laden and his freedom-fighting Afghan rebels.
MAK was a front for Pakistan’s CIA, the Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras. Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took overall charge of MAK.
Osama’s military and business adventures in Afghanistan had the blessing of the bin Laden dynasty and the reactionary Saudi Arabian regime. His close working relationship with MAK also meant that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.
Oh, and ‘Al Qaeda’, that was just the name of Bin Ladens band of mercenaries in their noble fight to rid Afghanistan of the Soviet menace. Funded once again with US taxpayer money through the capriciously accommodative CIA.
Al Qaeda (the Base), bin Laden’s organization, was established in 1987-88 to run the camps and other business enterprises. It is a tightly-run capitalist holding company — albeit one that integrates the operations of a mercenary force and related logistical services with “legitimate” business operations.
Bin Laden has simply continued to do the job he was asked to do in Afghanistan during the 1980s — fund, feed and train mercenaries. All that has changed is his primary customer. Then it was the ISI and, behind the scenes, the CIA. Today, his services are utilized primarily by the reactionary Taliban regime.
Unfortunately, a rift between Osama and America developed after a productive partnership against the Soviets in Afghanistan. It seems that he began to resent our presence of troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in 1991, and began to accuse his indigenous peoples of becoming ‘puppets’ of the US.
Bin Laden only became a “terrorist” in US eyes when he fell out with the Saudi royal family over its decision to allow more than 540,000 US troops to be stationed on Saudi soil following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
When thousands of US troops remained in Saudi Arabia after the end of the Gulf War, bin Laden’s anger turned to outright opposition. He declared that Saudi Arabia and other regimes — such as Egypt — in the Middle East were puppets of the US…
His CIA ties are only the beginning of a woeful story
By Michael Moran
NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 1998 — At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term that describes an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.
Maybe that’s why Bin Laden was able to avoid his fate for so long, it seems he learned the stealthy tricks of the trade from one of the most duplicitous organizations on earth, the CIA. It’s really a shame when such a promising former operative needs to be hunted down and shot like a fugitive. What a convoluted and tangled, imminently expensive and ultimately purposeless foreign policy web we weave.