Dick Cheney Helped Bin Laden Escape

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson has this piece about Dick Cheney, essentially saying that if the Bush administration had paid attention to what Clinton and his people, especially Richard Clarke, said, maybe 11 Sept 2001 would just be another day in history.

And what follows is another case of a screw-up of colossal proportions that has caused many more deaths.  From the day George W. Bush took office there was a naivete that seemed to defy description for an administration of the last superpower.  The Vice President and a large number of appointees seemed unable to grasp the concept that the officials from the foreign governments, with which they were dealing, had their own governments best interests at heart.   <snark> It is shocking that they would be deceitful to us. </snark>

Pakistan’s over riding fear was, and is, India.  Pakistan feared an Afghanistan that had a government friendly to India or worse a government that Indian funds had helped put in place.  So, the Pakistan ISI supported the Taliban.  Besides the fear of India, a good number of Pakistanis are Pashtun and the Taliban began life as all Afghani Pashtuns.

Even prior to 11 Sep 01 the Bush administration was trying to get the ISI to stop backing the Taliban and help create and more moderate Taliban.  The ISI would agree to stop supporting the Taliban but would keep on supporting them with guns and money and Pakistani students from the madrassas.  Musharraf would promise to help catch bin Laden and then turn over a low level al Qaeda functionary. The Pakistanis haven’t forgotten that in 1992 the U.S. stopped all funding for the Northern Alliance (NA) and we pulled out of Afghanistan.

Prior to the 11 Sep attack on the U.S., the Taliban controlled between 90 – 97 percent of Afghanistan, depending on who was doing the counting.  Ahmed Masud in the Panjsher Valley in north-east Afghanistan was the only commander (in country) and area the Taliban did not control.

Fast forward to November 2001.  The CIA has poured upwards of $100 million into Afghanistan, a significant portion of that used to bribe or buy-off, if you will, various warlords that had been fighting with the Taliban.  The Taliban has been defeated and reduced to two locations.  In Kandahar where Mullah Omar along with many thousand Taliban were surrounded and in the northeast Afghan city of Kunduz where Taliban, Arab and Pakistani fighters were surrounded by NA armies.

What turned out to be the U.S. worst nightmare need not have happened, except for . . .

Bush bears the blame for this, but the simpleton was being played by Cheney and Rumsfeld, who in turn were being played by Musharraf.  Of course, Musharraf knew that hundreds, maybe over a thousand, Pakistani officers and soldiers from the Frontier Corps were trapped in Kunduz.  They had been assisting the Taliban in battles with the NA and now were trapped.

Musharraf called Bush and asked for a bombing halt and a safe air corridor so Pakistani aircraft could evacuate some of the trapped out of Kunduz.  Bush and cheney agreed, kept it ‘top secret’ and not only kept the media and the public in the dark but even kept his cabinet officers in the dark.

Beginning on 15 November 2001 and lasting for several days, Pakistani aircraft made many night-time flights into Kunduz, evacuating both Pakistanis and Arabs.  These folks that were trapped and should have been in a P.O.W. camp were allowed to escape to fight again another day, and to kill more Americans.

So Cheney made us less safe by allowing several thousand terrorists escape.

“Heck of a job, Dickie.”

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