by John Hawkins | October 26, 2007 6:30 am
If this tale from Col. David Hunt is true, and I would guess that it is, it’s an outrage that should lead to firings and policy reviews throughout the US military,
Besides, these things are of little consequence when you realize how we missed, squandered, screwed up, made a mess of and were massively risk adverse — again — when we did not kill Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan just two short months ago.
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 — 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. Nice job again guys — now, pull the damn trigger.
Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.
You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction. Our government, the current administration and yes, our military leaders included, failed to kill bin Laden for no other reason than incompetence.
The current “boneheads” in charge will tell you all day long that we are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop terrorists there so they do not come here. Nice talk, how about — just for a moment — acting like you mean what you say? You know walk the walk. These incidents, where we displayed a total lack of guts, like the one in August, are just too prevalent. The United States of America’s political and military leadership has, on at least three separate occasions, chosen not capture or kill bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahri. We have allowed Pakistan to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda. We have allowed Al Qaeda to reconstitute, partially because of money they (Al Qaeda in Iraq) have been sending to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Hunt chalks this screw-up, which is, as he mentions, not the first of its kind, to “incompetence.”
That’s true, but it’s not specific enough. What is really going on is that the military has been burned, over and over again, by the American press and as a result, they’ve become extremely reluctant, too reluctant, to risk taking actions that may cause them to get hammered in the media.
What this has led to is far too much bureaucracy and worse yet, ^%$#^%^%^ lawyers being inserted into the decision making process. It may seem bizarre to have soldiers in the field calling in and asking for permission to hit a target while lawyers in the United States try to decide if it’s OK or not, but it goes on constantly because the military is terrified of getting crucified in the press if they allow our troops make a mistake.
But, at some point, we’ve got to make a decision about what’s more important: winning the war or pleasing the jackals in America’s mainstream press. Unfortunately, incidents like this one are an indication that the priorities of far too many people at the Pentagon and in the Bush Administration aren’t in the proper order.
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