Monday, February 23, 2004

More on the pre-9/11 hunt for Bin Laden. It's just pathetic:
Tenet and his senior CIA colleagues demanded that the White House lay out rules of engagement for capturing bin Laden in writing, and that they be signed by Clinton.
Yet Clinton's aides did not want authorizations that could be interpreted by Afghan agents as an unrestricted license to kill. For one thing, the Justice Department signaled that it would oppose such language if it was proposed for Clinton's signature.
The CIA received "no written word nor verbal order to conduct a lethal action" against bin Laden before Sept. 11, one official involved recalled. "The objective was to render this guy to law enforcement." In these operations, the CIA had to recruit agents "to grab [bin Laden] and bring him to a secure place where we can turn him over to the FBI. . . . If they had said 'lethal action' it would have been a whole different kettle of fish, and much easier."

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