Hey, How Come Osama is Free Three Years On?

From Holden:

The New York Times tells us why:

[I]n mid-December 2001, the United States intercepted a radio transmission on which analysts believe they could hear Mr. bin Laden giving orders to Qaeda fighters from within Tora Bora. The intercept was the most solid piece of evidence of Mr. bin Laden’s location since the war in Afghanistan had started two months earlier, and was corroborated by sightings of the distinctive Qaeda leader.


“We made a conscious decision, the United States government, that there were organized Afghan forces on the ground that could be helpful to us,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon news conference on April 17, 2002. “Did we think they would function exactly the way United States armed services organized units would function? No. We knew they would function differently. And we said to ourselves, ‘O.K., on balance, how do we feel about that?’ And the answer was, ‘Well, we feel pretty good about it. Let’s go ahead and use them.’ ”


General Franks was so frustrated by the failure to capture Mr. bin Laden that by Dec. 19, 2001, American officials said the general had proposed sending up to several hundred United States marines or Army troops to comb the region’s wild terrain. The proposal was a tacit, if perhaps belated, recognition that the Afghan allies may not have had the ability or the will to establish control over Tora Bora.

But the plan was never carried out. Mr. Rumsfeld and other officials in Washington had always worried about alienating Afghan tribal leaders by deploying large numbers of conventional American forces. Moreover, some commanders said it was not at all clear that a few hundred forces would be enough to seal the myriad mountain trails leading out of the region.

By the end of December 2001, an American-backed effort to combing of the caves of Tora Bora for signs of Mr. bin Laden, his fighters and intelligence on terrorist attacks that might be in the works had made little progress and seemed to be fading as a top priority. Afghan officials reported that Mr. bin Laden had survived the bombardment at Tora Bora and slipped across the Pakistan border on one of the region’s many mountain trails.

For some perverse reason the Bush campaign seems to be happy that Osama bin Laden is still free and healthy. My reponse is anger. I’m angry that the man responsible for the horrible deaths of more than 3,000 American’s lives comfortably free. Angry that we have a president who thinks it makes him look good when a vicious murderer taunts us.

Change is long overdue. It makes me angry.