Wednesday, January 04, 2006

We should have had him

From former CIA agent and cogent Bush administration critic Larry Johnson:

"The book the CIA didn't want you to read, JAWBREAKER by Gary Berntsen, is out and it kills. I've sent Gary a nasty note because his story kept me up till 4 am today. Just couldn't put it down. Gary spent most of this year battling CIA censors, who were refusing to release the book. They insisted on excising parts of the story that have already appeared in other books about CIA operations in Afghanistan written by Steve Coll and another CIA veteran, Gary Schroen.

"Gary Berntsen was the second CIA officer sent to Afghanistan and put in charge of directing the destruction of Al Qaeda and the hunt for Bin Laden. He arrived in the fall of 2001, replacing veteran officer Gary Schroen, who had led the first CIA element into Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 attacks. Gary 2, i.e., Berntsen, built on Schroen's foundation and played a critical role in directing the offensive that broke the back of the Taliban and scattered Al Qaeda.

"The key news from Gary's book is that we had Bin Laden in our sights but Tommy Franks and JSOC Commander, Dell Dailey, dilly dallied and did not deploy U.S. troops requested by Berntsen to the battle at Tora Bora. We could of had him; we should of had him; but we let Bin Laden get away. "
-- Larry Johnson, No Quarter, full article here.

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