Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Why is Bin Laden still alive and planning to KILL you? MORE Bush lies!
Exclusive: CIA Commander: U.S. Let bin Laden Slip Away
Aug. 15, 2005 issue - During the 2004 presidential campaign, George W. Bush and John Kerry battled about whether Osama bin Laden had escaped from Tora Bora in the final days of the war in Afghanistan. Bush, Kerry charged, "didn't choose to use American forces to hunt down and kill" the leader of Al Qaeda. The president called his opponent's allegation "the worst kind of Monday-morning quarterbacking." Bush asserted that U.S. commanders on the ground did not know if bin Laden was at the mountain hideaway along the Afghan border.
But in a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. "He was there," Berntsen tells NEWSWEEK. Asked to comment on Berntsen's remarks, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones passed on 2004 statements from former CENTCOM commander Gen. Tommy Franks. "We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001," Franks wrote in an Oct. 19 New York Times op-ed. "Bin Laden was never within our grasp." Berntsen says Franks is "a great American. But he was not on the ground out there. I was."
Jawbreaker' Author Struggles to Break His Story
Updated: Friday, Oct. 14, 2005 - 3:53 PM
J.J. Green, FederalNewsRadio
WASHINGTON -- A "highly decorated" former CIA operative has run into what he calls "resistance" from the agency as he seeks to publish an eye-opening book about the U.S. attempt to capture Osama bin Laden in the months after September 11, 2001.
In an exclusive interview, author Gary Bernsten says the "Jawbreaker" manuscript was submitted to the agency on May 17, 2005.
He says after 98 days and a lawsuit to force the agency to move on it, the manuscript was returned to him on August 23 with 22 pages of redactions. He says he made the changes within two weeks and returned the manuscript to the CIA for further review. And there it sits.
An agency spokeswoman says it is their policy to vet "manuscripts and return them within 30 days except when they contain excessive amounts of classified information."
"Jawbreaker" contains previously unreleased, sensitive details about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and CIA operations in Afghanistan. Much of the story takes place in the rugged terrain of Tora Bora, Afghanistan in December of 2001.
"Osama was there, we were aware he was there, and we were doing everything in our power to capture, kill him, and destroy his forces," says Bernsten, who was the leader of a secret CIA paramilitary unit pursuing bin Laden.
n the battle on the Shomali Plains leading up to Tora Bora, he says U.S forces and Northern Alliance allies were surrounded and outnumbered.
Bernsten says, "I was commanding a unit of about 50 men and the Northern Alliance had six to eight thousand men there, the Taliban and Al Qaida had over 12,000. And they had a desire to engulf our people where they were."
His story details the valiant fight his CIA team put up to survive and win.
"Our special forces fought like Lions. "I lost no one. I had none of my men killed or captured."
Bernsten's story talks in explicit detail about the chase after bin Laden including, "My command of teams that were in Talaquan, Shomali Plains which was the battle for Kabul and those events that led us into Tora Bora."
And the book details how bin Laden escaped.
Bernsten, who retired from the Agency in June 2005 says he's taken great pride in serving the CIA and his country, and wrote the book to set the record straight about what happened in the run up to, and the showdown at, Tora Bora.
That's where the rub is.
He says the CIA, after Michael Scheuer's explosive book "Imperial Hubris," is "concerned" about information getting out that could paint it in a bad light. But his attorney Roy Kreiger says the agency has had more than ample time to review the book.
Federal News Radio