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The Left Coaster: Suskind: Tora Bora Decision Made In Oval Office

June 22, 2006

by Steve Soto

Q: Are you saying you want him dead or alive, sir? Can I interpret —

THE PRESIDENT: I just remember, all I’m doing is remembering when I was a kid I remember that they used to put out there in the old west, a wanted poster. It said: “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” All I want and America wants him brought to justice. That’s what we want.

–Bush, September 17, 2001

There is a nugget in the Ron Suskind book “The One Percent Doctrine” that crept out of Barton Gellman’s Washington Post review which should get a lot of attention in the coming days, and I suspect the issue will come up again when George Tenet’s memoir comes out in October, just before the midterm elections. We have known for years that the Bush Administration decided against committing American forces to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden when the Al Qaeda leader was surrounded in Tora Bora only a few months after 9/11. The Pentagon concluded that this failure to commit American forces and mistakenly rely on Pakistan’s army (even though the CIA told the White House about the ISI’s support for Al Qaeda) and local Afghan militias to capture “Mr. Dead or Alive” was the contributing factor in his escape, and his still being at large now nearly five years later.

Read the rest

Never. Forget. This.


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