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9/14/2005

Osama

Somebody at the Huffington Post asks: "Did We Let Osama Get Away on Purpose?"

I would think the answer to this would be pretty obviously: Yeah.
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.

It gets worse. The piece in the Sunday New York Times Magazine also says there was an American commander with 4,000 marines standing by within striking distance. Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis requested permission to join the fight. He was denied.

...Osama had about 1,500-2,000 well-armed, well-trained men in the region. 36 guys to get 2,000? Why would we let ourselves be outgunned like that?

...I am not a conspiracy theorist and I don’t believe in crazy talk about how the administration planned 9/11. You don’t have to believe any of that to understand that our priorities were grossly out of order. And there is an inescapable fact – if you put this little effort into capturing someone, it means you don’t want to capture him.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why they didn’t want to get the man who ordered the deaths of close to 3,000 Americans and took down the World Trade Center. A caller on our radio show posited that if we had caught Osama, then it would have been harder to justify an invasion of Iraq. At that point, it would have seemed like we got our man and the mission was accomplished. That’s the best guess I’ve heard so far.

If people inside the administration actually held back from capturing Osama bin Laden when we had him cornered, it borders on treason.
At the very least, the Bush administration clearly didn't want to capture OBL very badly.

Why?

Hard to say ... probably a number of reasons. The most likely one is similar to the one mentioned above: capturing Osama makes it harder for BushCo to justify its endless "War on Terror" (as in, not just Iraq, but also Iran, and any other countries they see fit to attack in the future).

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