Senate Report Concludes the Bush Administration Let bin Laden Get Away

by Ben Hoffman

Lately, former Bush administration members have been making BIG lies about how they kept us safe. Cheney has been claiming they kept us safe for eight years and Dana Perino recently claimed there were no terrorist attacks during the Bush administration.

Not only did the Bush administration not heed any of the warnings of the impending attack, after the attack, they let bin Laden get away! Not only that, they released captured terrorist Ali al-Shihri to Saudi Arabia in 2007. He has since escaped and is now an al-Qaeda leader, responsible for the deadly attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen as well as other murders of Americans.

Right-wingers have been complaining that Obama has taken too long to make a decision about Afghanistan — that he’s not “decisive” like Bush. I think they’d really like to see our country attacked again so they can say “I told you so.”

Here’s the article about how bin-Laden was allowed to get away:

Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.

The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden’s escape laid the foundation for today’s reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.

[…]

“Removing the al-Qaida leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat,” the report says. “But the decisions that opened the door for his escape to Pakistan allowed bin Laden to emerge as a potent symbolic figure who continues to attract a steady flow of money and inspire fanatics worldwide. The failure to finish the job represents a lost opportunity that forever altered the course of the conflict in Afghanistan and the future of international terrorism.”

The report states categorically that bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops at least. It says that a review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants “removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora.”

On or about Dec. 16, 2001, bin Laden and bodyguards “walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal area,” where he is still believed to be based, the report says.

Instead of a massive attack, fewer than 100 U.S. commandos, working with Afghan militias, tried to capitalize on air strikes and track down their prey.

“The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines,” the report said.

At the time, Rumsfeld expressed concern that a large U.S. troop presence might fuel a backlash and he and some others said the evidence was not conclusive about bin Laden’s location.

Source

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4 Comments to “Senate Report Concludes the Bush Administration Let bin Laden Get Away”

  1. There’s been evidence for a long time that Bush let Bin Laden walk away (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/24/pentagon.binladen/), and so did Clinton (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4540958/), but I don’t think Bin Laden was ever the true objective in spite of the comments made by both Presidents.

    Most people seem to have forgotten why Russia invaded Afghanistan in the first place, and why America truly wanted them out of there. Russia didn’t go in to ‘smoke out the evil doers’ and that’s not why we’re there now. It’s not because of “greed” or “arrogance” as Michael Moore says, either.

    Regardless, I’m hoping that Obama defines what success in Afghanistan means to him in his West Point speech Tuesday, and I hope he’s honest about it. Otherwise, it will be obvious that he’s putting popularity above honesty and in my opinion will be no different than Bush or Clinton on the subject.

  2. After Bin Laden sent people to attack us on that horrible day, Bush promised that he would track him down and capture or kill him. To allow him to escape to another country, when our country could have had some healing from his capture…I don’t know how Bush and Rumsfeld can sleep at night. Was this all to support their reasons for going to war in Iraq? Was letting Bin Laden escape part of their plan to convince the world of a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq?

    Ugh…this all makes me sick, sad, angry, and very disheartened about the trust we put in our leaders.

  3. Vern R. Kaine, sleepygirl,

    This Senate report is a fabrication of Senator John Kerry to give President Obama cover for sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. It is primarily aimed at you, Obama’s left wing peaceniks. The timing is convenient.

    In addition to lying about President Bush, Senator Kerry lies about General Tommy Franks and the real situation at Bora Bora.

    Anytime President Obama has to make an unpopular decision his enablers somehow find a way to blame Bush and Cheney.

    • Alan,

      Either I was unclear or you misread my post. Afghanistan, and our presence there, goes beyond terrorism and includes the reasons why Russia wanted control of it 30 years ago. I support America and the Allies being there for many reasons, and think that for anyone to argue against any war with strictly humanitarian reasons or worse, with anti-war rhetoric is nonsense – especially when we face an enemy like Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

      I can assure you I’m hardly left wing, and hardly a peacenik.

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