The absence of any military planning to catch Bin Laden was a function of Bush's national security team, led by vice president Dick Cheney and secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, which had firmly opposed any military operation in Afghanistan that would have had any possibility of catching Bin Laden and his lieutenants.So as you can see, clearly the intent was never to kill or capture bin Laden. Instead, it was the Bush administration following through by dancing to the tune of their neo-con handlers who were bent on investing
Rumsfeld and the second-ranking official at the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz, had dismissed CIA warnings of an al-Qaeda terrorist attack against the United States in the summer of 2001, and even after 9/11 had continued to question the CIA's conclusion that Bin Laden and al-Qaeda were behind the attacks.
Cheney and Rumsfeld were determined not to allow a focus on Bin Laden to interfere with their plan for a US invasion of Iraq to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime.
Even after Bush decided in favor of an Afghan campaign, Tommy Franks, commander of the US Central Command and responsible for the war in Afghanistan, was not directed to have a plan for Bin Laden's capture or to block his escape to Pakistan. (read more)
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BIO: Gareth Porter is a historian and investigative journalist on US foreign and military policy analyst. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service on US policy towards Iraq and Iran. Author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam