Sunday, October 8, 2006

Smoking gun on Bush's failure to catch Osama bin Laden?

In February 2001 in a White House press briefing someone asked: Ari, according to India Globe, the Taliban in Afghanistan, they have offered that they are ready to hand over Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia if the United States would drop its sanctions, and they have a kind of deal that they want to make with the United States. Do you have any comments? What was Ari's answer? MR. FLEISCHER: Let me take that and get back to you on that. There's no record of an answer.

At cooperativeresearch.org they have this listing, which shows that the offer wasn't very strongly securious. However that video clip is being promoted around on the Internet as if it is a smoking gun indicating Bush Administration in their malfeasance.

March 2001: US and Taliban Discuss Handing over bin Laden

Taliban envoy Rahmatullah Hashimi meets with reporters, middle-ranking State Department bureaucrats, and private Afghanistan experts in Washington. He carries a gift carpet and a letter from Afghan leader Mullah Omar for President Bush. He discusses turning bin Laden over, but the US wants to be handed bin Laden and the Taliban want to turn him over to some third country. A CIA official later says, “We never heard what they were trying to say. We had no common language. Ours was, ‘Give up bin Laden.’ They were saying, ‘Do something to help us give him up.’ ... I have no doubts they wanted to get rid of him. He was a pain in the neck.” Others claim the Taliban were never sincere. About 20 more meetings on giving up bin Laden take place up until 9/11, all fruitless. [Washington Post, 10/29/2001] Allegedly, Hashimi also proposes that the Taliban would hold bin Laden in one location long enough for the US to locate and kill him. However, this offer is refused. This report, however, comes from Laila Helms, daughter of former CIA director Richard Helms. While it’s interesting that this information came out before 9/11, one must be skeptical, since Helms’ job was public relations for the Taliban. [Village Voice, 6/6/2001]

Entity Tags: Rahmatullah Hashimi, Laila Helms, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, Taliban, Mullah Omar