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Qtec
12-10-2011, 05:03 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hannity: We Got Osama Bin Laden "Thanks To George Bush" </div></div>

Seriously! This is no joke. link (http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201112090002?frontpage)

Bush let OBL escape at Bora Bora. I predicted a long time ago that Bush didn't want to capture or kill OBL...then he said this,

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Bush: Truly not concerned about bin Laden </div></div>

link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o)

Q

Gayle in MD
12-10-2011, 05:23 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hannity: We Got Osama Bin Laden "Thanks To George Bush" </div></div>

Seriously! This is no joke. link (http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201112090002?frontpage)

Bush let OBL escape at Bora Bora. I predicted a long time ago that Bush didn't want to capture or kill OBL...then he said this,

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Bush: Truly not concerned about bin Laden </div></div>

link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o)

Q </div></div>

Yep. After all of the Bush bravado...laying it all out....anyone who protected terrorists was against us, and subject to our wrath, then he proved he wasn't interested in getting..."Wanted, Dead or alive"!


Outright stated it.

"I don't think about him"

bin Laden was never in the Bush/Cheney cross hairs.

Their only target for capture was <span style='font-size: 26pt'>$ </span>for their corporate thieves, corrupt CEO's and polluters, against the best interests of the country, and against the general welfare.


/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smirk.gif

LWW
12-10-2011, 07:02 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bush let OBL escape at Bora Bora.

Q </div></div>

Bin Laden was hiding in French Polynesia?

As you said in the past:


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <span style='font-size: 14pt'>NOW you should provide a link moron</span>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Q </div></div>

eg8r
12-10-2011, 01:12 PM
Hannity is dead on, but I agree he probably did not share all the credit evenly. He should also credit Obama's courage to break the law and then get out of the way and allow the military to do what they do best.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
12-10-2011, 02:19 PM
Hannity is dead <s>on</s> wrong,... (there, fixed it for you!).

Hannity's very small sound bite explaining his claim said 'if Obama had his way, it never would have happened,' something to that effect.

Which is completely delusional.

If Bush had his way, and he DID, we did not get bin Laden. That was having it Bush's way. And he very clearly explained that he was entirely indifferent to capturing bin Laden. Commanders on the field explained that they had never been tasked with apprehending or eliminating bin Laden. Bush said he wasn't concerned with him, that he was in hiding or on the run, and more or less, who cares?

This was a mere 4 months after 9/11. Here (http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20110502145352871) is a transcript in full, with links to either audio or video versions as well.

As Sen. Bob Graham said, who was then the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when he asked Tommy Franks, the commander of the Afghanistan effort in December of 2001 how the war effort was going, Franks explained that it was more or less ending, that critical manpower, translator assets, and other war assets were already then being redeployed out of Afghanistan, to their repurposing toward an Iraqi war effort.

There is no particular law I can think of that the US broke in the raid on bin Laden, assuming you believe that occurred in the first place. I think it might not have, personally. But in such a situation, it will always be a question of what happened, and human judgment. Had he been armed, had he lunged for a weapon beside his bed, or been killed by stray bullets in a general firefight, there would have been no doubt he could have been killed in the heat of the moment without any legal problem for anyone. That none of that was the case would be a problem for the JAG advisors perhaps, but not for a president with the current state of the American people. No courage required, as there could be no legal consequences.

eg8r
12-10-2011, 03:20 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hannity is dead on wrong,... (there, fixed it for you!).
</div></div>You did not fix squat. Anyone who thinks this was about Bush or Obama is an idiot. Bush put the process in motion and funded it. It was the intelligence gathered this whole time and that made the murder possible. Obama did nothing other than agree to break the law and then get out of the freaking way.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
12-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Bush put the process in motion and then defunded it, and abandoned the entire effort. That's the truth, born out by the facts.

He was forced to start the wars he planned to create to make himself a popular important president in Afghanistan, even though it's clear his top capos did not agree and wanted to go into Iraq immediately. (As Rumsfeld said, more and better targets in Iraq!)

He knew he had to make a show of doing Afghanistan first, but was taking men and materiel out of that fight in December of 2001. As of March of the next year, he signaled he was running up the white flag on getting bin Laden. Bush QUIT LOOKING FOR HIM, de-emphasized Afghanistan altogether, and went with the war he really wanted, the war he asked his National Security Council to arrange to have back in their very first meeting in February of 2001, and the war he was preparing for a year or more before it started, which was Iraq.

Qtec
12-11-2011, 12:30 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Senate report: U.S. decided to let bin Laden slip through their fingers
According to report, U.S. could have captured or killed bin Laden shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. </div></div>

link (http://www.haaretz.com/news/senate-report-u-s-decided-to-let-bin-laden-slip-through-their-fingers-1.3185)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The report states categorically that bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops at least. It says that a review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that "Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora."

"On or about Dec. 16, 2001, bin Laden and bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area, where he is still believed to be based," the report says.

Instead of a massive attack, fewer than 100 U.S. commandos, working with Afghan militias, tried to capitalize on air strikes and track him down.

The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines, the report said.

At the time, Rumsfeld expressed concern that a large U.S. troop presence might fuel a backlash and he and some others said the evidence was not conclusive about bin Laden's location. </div></div>

Q

Qtec
12-11-2011, 12:31 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">On Monday afternoon, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York) told MSNBC host David Shuster that the Bush administration <u>"intentionally let bin Laden get away" in order to justify the Iraq war.</u>

Hinchey is from a historically Republican district (though it includes Democrat-heavy in places like Woodstock and Ithaca) and his statement seemed to shock Shuster.

"Look what happened. Look what happened with regard to our invasion into Afghanistan. How we apparently intentionally let bin Laden get away. How we intentionally did not follow the Taliban and al Qaeda."

Hinchey alleged that bin Laden was let go because "the previous administration... knew very well that if they would capture al Qaeda there would be no justification for an invasion in Iraq."

Shuster, incredulous, pushed back: "You really believe that?"

"Oh, there's no question about that because the leader of the military operation in the United States called back our military, called them back from going after the head of al Qaeda because there was a sense that they didn't want to capture him."

Shuster began talking over Hinchey: "You can accuse them of malfeasance, you can accuse them of dropping the ball, of having an awful plan, and all of them would be justified, but to suggest that they would deliberately let, deliberately let Osama bin Laden get away so they could justify the war in Iraq... That will strike a lot of people as crazy."

Hinchey leaned back and smiled wrily. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>"I don't think it'll strike a lot of people as crazy. I think it'll strike a lot of people as very accurate."</span>

He continued to explain his reasoning, but MSNBC ended his segment. Watch the video below: </div></div>

link (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/30/rep-hinchey-bush-adminini_n_374640.html)


Q

Soflasnapper
12-11-2011, 11:28 AM
Extremely obviously true.

If they caught the guy before going to war in Iraq, they probably couldn't do that war.

What Saddam had wasn't the whole claim. It was presumed that he was a rational enough actor that even having such WMD as claimed, he would not use them in an upfront way, especially the mythical nuclear program. The claim for the WMD danger from Saddam's regime was that he would slip them to bin Laden's org, and they would use them, without Saddam's fingerprints on the action or as the source of the materiel.

Behead al-Qaeda too quickly, and that claim, already tenuous, would become too ridiculous to work.

Big Brother never did capture Emmanuel Goldstein, who likely never existed, but had to exist.

eg8r
12-11-2011, 07:25 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bush put the process in motion and then defunded it, and abandoned the entire effort. That's the truth, born out by the facts.
</div></div>What a shame. Looks like you have been snared into gayle's fantasy land.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
12-11-2011, 07:54 PM
Gayle's fantasy land = God's own truth, in this case!

It's VERY simple, and you could look it up.

Commanders in the field were asked how the search for bin Laden was coming along. They stated for the record that capturing him was never a task given to them, and all evidence shows that claim to be correct.

Pre-war, Clinton had drones looking for bin Laden, and a submarine stationed in the littoral waters of Afghanistan, ready to launch cruise missiles at his determined location. The drones were stopped from flying, and the submarine taken off station, by W.

The CIA had a 'get bin Laden unit,' to act upon the several Clinton presidential national security 'findings' that the US should kill this guy. W closed down that unit.

7 YEARS+ W was in office, and he didn't get him, because he wasn't interested in getting him.

Obama WAS interested in getting him, ordered a renewed effort at apprehending him, and before even two years had passed, did get him, along with the 5x the number of al Qaeda leaders he's killed compared to W, the far greater numbers of drone killings done under his command, and etc.

Qtec
12-11-2011, 08:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The CIA had a 'get bin Laden unit,' to act upon the several Clinton presidential national security 'findings' that the US should kill this guy. W closed down that unit </div></div>

Yes he did.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">WASHINGTON, July 3 — The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year [ 2005] and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.
</div></div>

Q

Soflasnapper
12-12-2011, 02:31 PM
I think we are misunderestimating W's brilliance and credit in this matter. Think of this brilliant plan:

Within 4 months of invading Afghanistan, announce you are truly not that concerned about bin Laden, don't spend much on him, and back all that up with commanders on the ground saying the same thing.

Wait a few years with this posture of indifference and neglect, and THEN disband the CIA unit tasked with finding and killing him, as of 2005.

Once you've lulled bin Laden to sleep with all this indifference, while behind the scenes furiously working every lead and scrap of paper tirelessly day and night, you brilliantly set the trap, lure him to Islamabad (or wherever), and then close the trap he never saw coming, capturing or killing him right before the 2008 elections, in order to save your brand and hand the presidency to your party's successor in a cakewalk!

QED.

One problem: it took another 2 years into the next presidency to happen, and instead of being proof you were right (during the end of your presidency), it lingered on as a grave liability to your credibility ('wanted: dead or alive,' 'we'll smoke him out of his cave!') and did not help your successor nominee win.

Whoops!

Soflasnapper
12-16-2011, 05:38 PM
I recognize that as a quote from me.

Why are you quoting this back to me?

Spamming troll, perhaps?

ugotda7
12-16-2011, 06:22 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hannity is dead <s>on</s> wrong,... (there, fixed it for you!).

Hannity's very small sound bite explaining his claim said 'if Obama had his way, it never would have happened,' something to that effect.

Which is completely delusional.

If Bush had his way, and he DID, we did not get bin Laden. That was having it Bush's way. And he very clearly explained that he was entirely indifferent to capturing bin Laden. Commanders on the field explained that they had never been tasked with apprehending or eliminating bin Laden. Bush said he wasn't concerned with him, that he was in hiding or on the run, and more or less, who cares?

This was a mere 4 months after 9/11. Here (http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20110502145352871) is a transcript in full, with links to either audio or video versions as well.

As Sen. Bob Graham said, who was then the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when he asked Tommy Franks, the commander of the Afghanistan effort in December of 2001 how the war effort was going, Franks explained that it was more or less ending, that critical manpower, translator assets, and other war assets were already then being redeployed out of Afghanistan, to their repurposing toward an Iraqi war effort.

There is no particular law I can think of that the US broke in the raid on bin Laden, assuming you believe that occurred in the first place. I think it might not have, personally. But in such a situation, it will always be a question of what happened, and human judgment. Had he been armed, had he lunged for a weapon beside his bed, or been killed by stray bullets in a general firefight, there would have been no doubt he could have been killed in the heat of the moment without any legal problem for anyone. That none of that was the case would be a problem for the JAG advisors perhaps, but not for a president with the current state of the American people. No courage required, as there could be no legal consequences.
</div></div>


Wrong.....but what would I know - from Oct 01 to Feb 02 I was only in the HQs that was running the operations into Afghanistan.

Soflasnapper
12-17-2011, 02:29 PM
What part of what I wrote do you say is wrong? There is no doubt that Graham said Tommy Franks told him these things. There is no doubt that reports indicated substantial assets were diverted from Afghanistan to the nascent Iraq war, still a year or more away at the time. Which of these many reported shifts of critically short materiel and human resources do you allege did not take place?

From the HistoryCommons page, (http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=afghanwar_tmln&afghanwar_tmln_us_invasion__occupation=afghanwar_t mln_us_redirection_of_forces_to_iraq) citations from mainstream news reports to this effect, over and over again.

Highlights:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> September 15, 2001: President Bush Tells Neoconservative Adviser that US Will Attack Iraq after Afghanistan
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During a morning meeting with advisers at Camp David, President Bush indicated that he wanted to focus on attacking Afghanistan first, and then look at the issue of attacking Iraq later (see September 15, 2001). During the lunch break, he sends a message to the neoconservatives in attendance that he does not want to hear any more about Iraq that day. But one of the neoconservatives there is Richard Perle, who holds no government position but heads the Defense Policy Board advising the Pentagon. According to Vanity Fair, Perle will later claim that the morning discussion about Iraq “had planted a seed. Bush told Perle at Camp David that once Afghanistan had been dealt with, it would be Iraq’s turn.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004]

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September 17, 2001: President Bush Signs Afghanistan War Plan, but Also Includes Order to Prepare for Iraq
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President Bush signs a 2 1/2-page “top secret” document that outlines the administration’s plan to invade Afghanistan and topple its government. According to administration officials interviewed by the Washington Post, the document also instructs the Pentagon to begin planning for an invasion of Iraq. [Washington Post, 1/12/2003; Mirror, 9/22/2003; Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004 Sources: senior administration officials] The document further orders the military to be ready to occupy Iraq’s oil fields if the country acts against US interests. [Washington Post, 7/23/2004]

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2002: Iraq, Not Afghanistan, Dominates National Security Council Agenda
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CIA official Gary Schoen will later say, “I can remember trying to take issues about Afghanistan to the National Security Council (NSC) during 2002 and early 2003 and being told: ‘It’s off the agenda for today. Iraq is taking the whole agenda.’ Things that we desperately needed to do for Afghanistan were just simply pushed aside by concerns over in Iraq. There just wasn’t the time.” [PBS Frontline, 1/20/2006] A former senior NSC official will similarly recall that the Bush administration turned its attention to Iraq and “discussions about Afghanistan were constrained. Here’s what you have now, you don’t get anything more. No additional missions, no additional forces, no additional dollars.”

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Early 2002: Troops and Equipment Redirected from Afghanistan to Iraq
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Members of the US Fifth Special Forces Group pose with future Afghan president Hamid Karzai, whom they are protecting. Members of the US Fifth Special Forces Group pose with future Afghan president Hamid Karzai, whom they are protecting. [Source: US Military]The Atlantic Monthly will later report, “By the beginning of 2002, US and Northern Alliance forces had beaten the Taliban but lost bin Laden. At that point the United States faced a consequential choice: to bear down even harder in Afghanistan, or to shift the emphasis in the global war on terror somewhere else.… Implicitly at the beginning of 2002, and as a matter of formal policy by the end, it placed all other considerations second to regime change in Iraq.” [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004] In February, 2002, Gen. Tommy Franks allegedly tells Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), “Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq” (see February 19, 2002). [Council on Foreign Relations, 3/26/2004] This shift from Afghanistan to Iraq involves a change of focus and attention (see Early 2002). Additionally, while the total number of US troops (less than 10,000) in Afghanistan does not go down, there is a considerable shift of specialized personnel and equipment many months before the war in Iraq will begin:
bullet On February 15, 2002, President Bush directs the CIA to conduct operations in Iraq (see Early 2002). In mid-March, the CIA tells the White House that it is cutting back operations in Afghanistan (see Spring 2002).
bullet Most of Task Force 5, a top-secret elite CIA and military special forces group, is called home from Afghanistan to prepare for operations in Iraq (see Early 2002).
bullet In March 2002, Fifth Group Special Forces, an elite group whose members speak Arabic, Pashtun, and Dari, that is apparently different from Task Force 5, is sent from Afghanistan to Iraq (see March 2002).
bullet The US Air Force’s only two specially-equipped spy planes that had successfully intercepted the radio transmissions and cell phone calls of al-Qaeda’s leaders are pulled from Afghanistan to conduct surveillance over Iraq. NSA satellites are “boreholed,” (or redirected) from Afghanistan to Iraq as well (see May 2002).
bullet Almost all Predator drones are withdrawn from Afghanistan and apparently moved to the Persian Gulf region for missions over Iraq (see April 2002).
More personnel will shift to Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003 (see Late 2002-Early 2003). In 2007, retired US Gen. James L. Jones, a former NATO supreme commander, will say that Iraq caused the US to “take its eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. [New York Times, 8/12/2007]

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Early 2002: Most of Task Force 5 Elite Force Is Redeployed from Afghanistan to Iraq
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Most of Task Force 5’s members are called home from Afghanistan to prepare for operations in Iraq. In early 2002, there were roughly 150 Task Force 5 commandos in Afghanistan. After the massive transfer, Task Force 5’s numbers dip to as low as 30 men. Task Force 5 is a top-secret elite group that includes CIA paramilitary units and military “special mission units,” or SMUs. One of the SMUs is the former Delta Force. The name of the other unit, which specializes in human and technical intelligence operations, is not known. The Washington Post will later note, “These elite forces, along with the battlefield intelligence technology of Predator and Global Hawk drone aircraft, were the scarcest tools of the hunt for jihadists along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.” According to Flynt Leverett, a career CIA analyst assigned to the State Deparmtent, “There is a direct consequence for us having taken these guys out prematurely. There were people on the staff level raising questions about what that meant for getting al-Qaeda, for creating an Afghan security and intelligence service [to help combat jihadists]. Those questions didn’t get above staff level, because clearly there had been a strategic decision taken.” [Washington Post, 10/22/2004] In 2003, Task Force 5 will be disbanded and then merged into the new Task Force 121, which is to operate in both Iraq and Afghanistan. [New York Times, 11/7/2003]

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February 19, 2002: Gen. Franks: US Is Deploying Resources from Afghanistan to Iraq
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General Tommy Franks allegedly tells Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), who is on a visit to US Central Command: “Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq.” [Council on Foreign Relations, 3/26/2004] (In his memoirs, Graham quotes Franks as saying that “military and intelligence personnel are being re-deployed to prepare for an action in Iraq.”) [Graham and Nussbaum, 2004, pp. 125; Knight Ridder, 6/18/2005] Franks will deny making the comment. [Knight Ridder, 6/18/2005] The New Yorker magazine will also report on a redeployment of resources to Iraq at this time (see Early March 2002). [New Yorker, 10/27/2003] In 2009, Graham will tell a Vanity Fair reporter: “In February of ‘02, I had a visit at Central Command, in Tampa, and the purpose was to get a briefing on the status of the war in Afghanistan. At the end of the briefing, the commanding officer, Tommy Franks, asked me to go into his office for a private meeting, and he told me that we were no longer fighting a war in Afghanistan and, among other things, that some of the key personnel, particularly some Special Operations units and some equipment, specifically the Predator unmanned drone, were being withdrawn in order to get ready for a war in Iraq. That was my first indication that war in Iraq was as serious a possibility as it was, and that it was in competition with Afghanistan for materiel. We didn’t have the resources to do both successfully and simultaneously.” [Vanity Fair, 2/2009]

Entity Tags: Thomas Franks, Daniel Robert (“Bob”) Graham

Spring 2002: Focus Shifts from Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda to Iraq
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The Bush administration shifts its attention from Afghanistan and al-Qaeda to Iraq. White House counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later recalls: “They took one thing that people on the outside find hard to believe or appreciate. Management time. We’re a huge government, and we have hundreds of thousands of people involved in national security. Therefore you would think we could walk and chew gum at the same time. I’ve never found that to be true.… It just is not credible that the principals and the deputies paid as much attention to Afghanistan or the war against al-Qaeda as they should have.” [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004] Laurence Pope, an ambassador to Chad, will similarly recall that the change in focus that spring had a particularly damaging effect on operations in Afghanistan. “There was a moment of six months or so when we could have put much more pressure on the tribal areas [to get al-Qaeda], and on Pakistan, and done a better job of reconstruction in Afghanistan. In reality, the Beltway can only do one thing at a time, and because of the attention to Iraq, what should have happened in Afghanistan didn’t.” [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004] US Intelligence agencies are also affected by the shift in priorities. The CIA’s limited supply of Arabic-speakers and Middle East specialists are redeployed to help meet the increasing demand for intelligence on Iraq. Michael Scheuer, a career CIA officer who was working on capturing bin Laden in Afghanistan at the time, says, “With a finite number of people who have any kind of pertinent experience there [was] unquestionably a sucking away of resources from Afghanistan and al-Qaeda to Iraq, just because it was a much bigger effort.” [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004] Scheuer adds: “There really wasn’t any balance between the two threats, but clearly by 2002 in the springtime, it was almost taken for granted that we were going to go to war with Iraq… It was a nightmare. I know Tenet was briefed repeatedly by the head of the bin Laden department, that any invasion of Iraq would break the back of our counterterrorism program, and it was just ignored.” [PBS Frontline, 6/20/2006] In addition to a shift in focus, there is a considerable shift of specialized equipment and personnel (see Early 2002).

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Spring 2002: CIA Reduces Operations and Personnel in Afghanistan
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In mid-March 2002, Deputy CIA Director John E. McLaughlin informs senior members of the president’s national security team that the CIA is cutting back operations in Afghanistan. Presumably the CIA there are to be used in Iraq instead. [Washington Post, 10/22/2004] Newsweek will later report that around this time, “The most knowledgeable CIA case officers, the ones with tribal contacts, were rotated out.” The CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, a fluent Arabic speaker and intellectual, is replaced by a highly unpopular chief who admits to only having read one book on Afghanistan. [Newsweek, 8/28/2007] More CIA personnel will move from Afghanistan to Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003 (see Late 2002-Early 2003).

March 2002: US Military Pulls Elite Special Operations Group from Afghanistan and Redeploys Them to Iraq
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Fifth Group Special Forces—an elite group whose members speak Arabic, Pashtun, and Dari—is pulled from its mission in Afghanistan and sent to Iraq where the group is assigned the task of locating Saddam Hussein. Members of Fifth Group, who spent six months developing a network of local sources and alliances and who believe they were close to finding Osama bin Laden, are upset with the orders. “We were going nuts on the ground about that decision,” one of them will later recall. [Guardian, 3/26/2004] They are replaced by the Seventh Group Special Forces, who are Spanish speakers experienced mostly in Latin America. They have no local rapport or knowledge. [Guardian, 3/26/2004; Newsweek, 8/28/2007] They are also replaced by the Third Group Special Forces, which is trained to operate in sub-Saharan Africa. They speak French and various African languages. [MSNBC, 7/29/2003] CIA official Gary Schroen will later comment, “Well, you could see changes being made in the US military staffing in Afghanistan, that the Green Beret units, the Fifth Special Forces group, for the most of it, were being pulled out to refit and get ready for Iraq. And it was clear that the kind of guys that I think a lot of us believed were essential US military personnel with special operations capabilities were being pulled away.” [PBS Frontline, 6/20/2006]

April 2002: Most Predator Drones Withdrawn from Afghanistan, Not Replaced by New Ones
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Around April 2002, most Predator drones are withdrawn from Afghanistan and apparently moved to the Persian Gulf region for missions over Iraq. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) will later call the Predator “just about the perfect weapon in our hunt for Osama bin Laden.” He will later comment that their removal is “a clear case of how the Bush administration’s single-minded focus on Iraq undermined the war against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.” [Graham and Nussbaum, 2004, pp. 121; Washington Post, 10/22/2004; Rashid, 2008, pp. 134] Additionally, over the next years, all new Predators built are sent to Iraq and none to Afghanistan. A former Central Command official will say in 2007, “If we were not in Iraq, we would have double or triple the number of Predators across Afghanistan, looking for Taliban and peering into the tribal areas.” [New York Times, 8/12/2007]

May 2002: Equipment Intecepting Al-Qaeda Communications In Afghanistan Arena Is Sent to Iraq
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An RC-135 “Rivet Joint” spy plane.An RC-135 “Rivet Joint” spy plane. [Source: Defense Department]In May 2002, the US Air Force’s only specially-equipped RC-135 “Rivet Joint” U spy planes—credited with having successfully intercepted the radio transmissions and cellphone calls of al-Qaeda’s leaders—are pulled from Afghanistan to conduct surveillance over Iraq. In June 2003, some RC-135s will finally return to support operations in Afghanistan. Retired Air Force colonel Rick Francona will later comment, “It’s not just the platform itself, it’s the linguists that man the platform. They were being really overworked.” He also says, “I don’t think there is any question that the effort against al-Qaeda was degraded.” [MSNBC, 7/29/2003; Guardian, 3/26/2004] NSA satellites are also “boreholed,” (redirected) from Afghanistan to Iraq. [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004]

Late July -September 2002: As Much as $700 Million Diverted from Afghanistan to Prepare for Invasion of Iraq
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President Bush allegedly approves a request from the Pentagon for $700 million to help fund military preparations underway in the Gulf for war against Iraq. The charge is made by Bob Woodward in his book, Plan of Attack, released in the spring of 2004. [Woodward, 2004; CBS News, 4/18/2004] The White House and Pentagon will deny the charge claiming that Bush only approved the spending of $178.4 million out of a requested total of $750 million. According to the Pentagon, $178.4 million is spent on 21 projects in Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman. At least 11 of them are in Kuwait, which becomes the major staging ground for operations in Iraq. In that country alone, $24 million is spent constructing an ammunition storage and supply system for an Army brigade, and $15 million worth of communications equipment is installed at the Arifjan Base Camp. The military also builds a $3 million detention facility and a $6.5 million inland petroleum-distribution system. In Qatar, $36.4 million goes toward the construction of a forward headquarters facility for Central Command. [Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2004] The money for these projects is taken from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War without congressional approval. [CBS News, </div></div>