President Obama announced tonight that U.S. special forces killed Osama Bin Laden.

That’s great … but we could have killed him years ago.

As I noted in 2009:

According to the U.S. Senate – Bin Laden was “within the grasp” of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in December 2001, but that then-secretary of defense Rumsfeld refused to provide the soldiers necessary to capture him.

This is not news: it was disclosed in 2005 by the CIA field commander for the area in Afghanistan where Bin Laden was holed up.

In addition, French soldiers allegedly say that they easily could have captured or killed Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but that the American commanders stopped them.

***

A retired Colonel and Fox News military analyst said that the U.S. could have killed Bin Laden in 2007, but didn’t:

We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 [Note: this is the exact same team that is credited with killing Bin Laden yesterday] — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it ….Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.

Indeed, a United States Congressman claims that the Bush administration intentionally let Bin Laden escape in order to justify the Iraq war.

Similarly, Cenk Uygur pointed out:

The New York Times reported … 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…

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?…

There is an inescapable fact – if you put this little effort into capturing someone, it means you don’t want to capture him.

***

If people inside the administration actually held back from capturing Osama bin Laden when we had him cornered, it borders on treason.

Postscript: Of course, some people claim that Bin Laden was actually killed years ago. But as I pointed out in 2009, whether or not he was alive or dead was less important than the fact that the American government pretended that he was a supremely powerful boogeyman who justified an endless and all-consuming war on terror:

Many people claim that Bin Laden died a long time ago. According to Israeli intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, and other sources, Bin Laden is dead.

According to video experts and and top Bin Laden experts, recent Bin Laden videos are fake.

So if Bin Laden is alive, American leaders have to explain why they have repeatedly chosen not to pull the trigger.

And if he is dead, they have to explain why they are claiming that he’s alive and authenticating his videos.

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

5 Responses to “Bin Laden Is Dead … But Why Didn’t We Kill Him 10 Year Ago?”

  1. ByteMe says:

    If you send only 36 soldiers to get somebody in the middle of Afghanistan, it means you don’t want to get him…

    We sent 24 to get him in a posh neighborhood in Pakistan. Did we somehow want to get him less by this logic?

    #FAIL.

    less important than the fact that the American government pretended that he was a supremely powerful boogeyman who justified an endless and all-consuming war on terror

    And an endless all-consuming war on the civil liberties that we took for granted.

  2. ilsm says:

    Could not stop the music.

    Running after terr’ists and knocking off Saddam resulted in over $5T in spending and debt.

    And a good chunk ($3T or so) of that spending went to (mostly) no bid, cost plus fixed profit contracts, or no competition “fixed” priced contracts, the fix on the tax payer and lender.

    Next year China runs out its second hand Ukraine skip jet carrier and the Navy worries (might not meet “presence” and “readiness” fictions) the Gerald Ford and the second ship in the super class at $35B are running late.

    Good money for a few, no benefit for most.

  3. Patrick Neid says:

    Hmm, by posting these anecdotal opinions are you saying that you personally think that the US government, Bush etc in particular, purposely let Bin Laden escape to continue murdering etc for their own personal reasons?

    That’s not to far removed from the folks who think 9/11 was an inside job….wow.

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  5. Equityval says:

    BR,
    You need to go back further in time if you are going to start pointing fingers. Clinton had the first shot at him and passed. This was a bipartisan failure to take this guy out.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4540958/ns/nightly_news/

    “NBC News has obtained, exclusively, extraordinary secret video, shot by the U.S. government. It illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden. Critics call it a missed opportunity.

    In the fall of 2000, in Afghanistan, unmanned, unarmed spy planes called Predators flew over known al-Qaida training camps. The pictures that were transmitted live to CIA headquarters show al-Qaida terrorists firing at targets, conducting military drills and then scattering on cue through the desert.

    Also, that fall, the Predator captured even more extraordinary pictures — a tall figure in flowing white robes. Many intelligence analysts believed then and now it is bin Laden.

    Why does U.S. intelligence believe it was bin Laden? NBC showed the video to William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC. “You see a tall man…. You see him surrounded by or at least protected by a group of guards.”

    Bin Laden is 6 foot 5. The man in the video clearly towers over those around him and seems to be treated with great deference.

    Another clue: The video was shot at Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden is known to live. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches secret U.S. intelligence photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm obtained by NBC.

    The tape proves the Clinton administration was aggressively tracking al-Qaida a year before 9/11. But that also raises one enormous question: If the U.S. government had bin Laden and the camps in its sights in real time, why was no action taken against them?”