Al Qaeda's No. 3 Man Captured

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From the AP:

Pakistan has shared with the United States initial results of its interrogation of reputed al-Qaida No. 3 Abu Farraj al-Libbi, who stayed silent for hours after his capture this week before confessing his identity, an intelligence official said Thursday.

Al-Libbi was nabbed Monday after a firefight with security forces near a town in northwestern Pakistan. President Bush hailed the arrest as a victory that removes a key enemy, and jubilant Pakistani officials said the capture will boost the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

More here.

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  1. the capture will boost the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

    They’re just trying to set up an announcement of bin Laden’s capture timed to help Chimpler McBushburton’s reelection campaign. Right, guys?

  2. I’m just curious – does Al Q not replace the #x people that have been captured by others? That would seem like an awefully static no-promotion job to get into if that were the case.

  3. Hey, martyrdom is like that.

  4. If the prisoner’s last name ain’t Bin Laden, I don’t give a damn. This should have happened two years ago, except our forces got sidetracked for some reason I can’t quite recall…

  5. Doesn’t this guy look like the creepy, droopy-eyed ghost who harassed Patrick Swayze on the subway? You think he became a terrorist because he couldn’t get a girlfriend?

  6. Haven’t they caught #3 a few times before?

  7. Pakistan had issues with this guy, but if he was really so important, why wasn’t even in the FBI’s 20 most wanted?

    I suspect that they slapped the AQ #3 label on him in a PR attempt at giving the appearance that progress is happening somwhere. It’s been a couple-three tough weeks of sliding presidential approval ratings.

  8. If the prisoner’s last name ain’t Bin Laden, I don’t give a damn. This should have happened two years ago, except our forces got sidetracked for some reason I can’t quite recall…

    This is one of the most ridiculous arguments that anyone can trot out. The military has never been “sidetracked” from hunting Bin Laden. I’ve got a pair of friends in speical forces that would LOVE to have a conversation with you about this. Please tell them that what they’ve been doing for the last 3 years is really “sidetracked”.

    The military can’t bring full armor and infantry to bear in the search because we’re talking about an area the size of New Mexico with an average elevation higher than Colorado. This means that the military can use special forces and small special ops ground forces moving and operating in an unconventional manner. And this is exactly what they’ve been doing for three years.

    I’m sure though, that under your military stewardship, you could just trot out First Armored and drive up and down those mountains until you catch him.

  9. Pakistan has shared with the United States initial results of its interrogation

    All I know is that “interrogation” probably makes Abu-Ghraib look like a pool party. Though Bin-Laden and Zarquawi are the big ones we need to get.

  10. They’ve only caught #3 once, this time. #2 was that Ron Jeremy look-a-like.

    The best thing about #2’s photograph was that he’d clearly been roughed up under interrogation, and yet they took a picture of him and sent it out anyway.

    #3’s interrogation is going to make Abner Louima’s adventures with the NYPD seem like a routine prostate exam.

  11. The military has never been “sidetracked” from hunting Bin Laden.

    Really? Are you serious?

  12. It would probably be fairer to say that the miliary was sidetracked, in one particularly significant episode, and is now once again fully engaged, though the circumstances are less favorable.

  13. Really? Are you serious?

    I take it from the smarmy comment that you’re choosing to ignore the rest of the post. Good on you.

  14. It would probably be fairer to say that the miliary was sidetracked,

    It’s not fair to say. At no point in the Iraq conflict were the people and forces that were involved in hunting Bin Laden diverted from their mission. In fact a second core group of special ops was assigned to Afghanistan right before Iraq.

  15. Nabbing Al-Qaeda biggies is always Good News, but given the decentralized, “franchise” nature of the Al-Qaeda organization, it’s more of an inconvenience that a crippling blow to them. My guess is that there are plenty of ambitious terrorists willing to take Farraj-al-Libbi’s place.

    This sounds a lot like the Pakistanis trying to earn some Brownie points after their recent fiasco in Waziristan and their continued support of Islamic extremists in Kashmir. Musharref is quite anxious to retain his status as the US’s buddy in South Asia, since it provides him with vital leverage when dealing with India. Funny how repressive dictatorships are Bad when run by Saddam, but Good when run by vital allies in our War Against An Operational Tactic.

  16. The best thing about #2’s photograph was that he’d clearly been roughed up under interrogation, and yet they took a picture of him and sent it out anyway.

    I think this was the guy they pulled out of bed in the middle of the night and snapped the pic right there in his house. Everyone looks beat at 3am, though we may be talking about 2 different people…

  17. joe and SPD, I trust our military is at least sophisticated enough to chew gum and walk at the same time.

  18. “In fact a second core group of special ops was assigned to Afghanistan right before Iraq.”

    That was already after OBL had flown the Tora Bora coop. Whether the decision not to provide enough troops to guard the back door was a consequence of the Iraq build up and the prep work intruding on Franks’ attention is impossible to say, but the timing is at least suspicious.

  19. That was already after OBL had flown the Tora Bora coop. Whether the decision not to provide enough troops to guard the back door was a consequence of the Iraq build up and the prep work intruding on Franks’ attention is impossible to say, but the timing is at least suspicious.

    The back door is hundreds of miles long and thousands of feet high. There were Special ops people there, they narrowly missed him. They had his guards on short range radios, but missed.

  20. Nabbing Al-Qaeda biggies is always Good News, but given the decentralized, “franchise” nature of the Al-Qaeda organization, it’s more of an inconvenience that a crippling blow to them.

    You know, normally I’m interested in pragmatism, but when it comes to the fuckers behind 9/11 I don’t really give a shit how important they are nowadays. It’s just damn nice to capture one.

    If I were President I would have put so many military personnel and bases in Afghanistan that you’d think the place was our 51st state and Robert Byrd and Ted Stevens were its Senators. And I would have kept them there until Osama Bin Laden got his own personal frat initiation.

    Anyway, let’s all raise a glass to the capture of #3. And let’s hope they get whoever the current #2 is, cuz you know there’s a good joke lurking in there! 😉

  21. Does this mean Zawahiri isn’t the #2 or #3 man? This guy I’ve never heard of and the Ron Jeremy guy I had never heard of were both bigger than Zawahiri? That’s hard to believe.

  22. “I think this was the guy they pulled out of bed in the middle of the night and snapped the pic right there in his house. Everyone looks beat at 3am, though we may be talking about 2 different people…”

    After my concubines wash me down, I look fine as shit at 3 AM.

  23. “There were Special ops people there, they narrowly missed him.”

    Yes, just not enough. One entire flank of the area – the one facing across the border into Pakistan – was left to unreliable, formerly Taliban-aligned local troops, who cooperated in helping the leadership escape.

    At the same time, Special Forces operations in Iraq had been underway for weeks. So we’ve got a manpower shortage, at the same time that large amounts of the required type of manpower are being used elsewhere.

  24. It’s good to see that even if the hunt for Bin Laden has flagged, the desperate hunt for a disaster to blame on Iraq continues unabated.

  25. Yup, sure is hard to find disasters to blame on Iraq.

    Before the most recent terrorist massacre there, it had been hours since the last terrorist massacre.

  26. I’m looking forward to seeing Joe and Josh battle it 8 Mile style because Josh just got his shit stole on.

  27. I recongnize all the words, so I know that was English…

  28. Wait, I thought we already caught O’Sadamma.

    And how come they have all these masterminds, and we don’t have any?

  29. Joe–

    I have your back. Don’t be suburban about the slang.

  30. I’d like to just say, “what thoreau, TPG, Todd Fletcher, Mo and SPD said.”

    But I can’t. Why? Because I feel obligated to add that of the friends I have who have served and are serving in Afghanistan (not to mention the ones in Iraq), none of them think that we could have prevented OBL from slipping away the way he did.

    Talk about home field advantage and friendly locals and crappy terrain…

    The folks who are trying to claim we didn’t get OBL because we were too concerned with Iraq should stop using the talking points that didn’t get Kerry elected.

    They should try giving a listen to guys like TPG, who seem to actually know what they’re talking about, and stop with the BS Monday morning armchair quarterback routine. I know someone who recently got back from liaison duty in Pakistan – the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan are a HUGE area that isn’t controllable by anyone other than the guys who run each little village – and no amount of SF guys or regular troops are going to find him by simple strength of numbers.

    What won’t get OBL is the idea that just throwing more people at this – akin to lining everyone in the DoD up, having them hold hands and sweep the border areas – is going to catch him. It’s MI (military intelligence) and other intelligence services work that’s going to lead us to OBL (unless through sheer luck we pick him up in a Seattle Starbucks).

    Of course, once someone like joe gets hired as SecDef, I’m sure he can implement the plan to “trot out First Armored and drive up and down those mountains until you catch him.”

  31. Does this mean Zawahiri isn’t the #2 or #3 man? This guy I’ve never heard of and the Ron Jeremy guy I had never heard of were both bigger than Zawahiri?

    Zawahiri is and has always been #2. The Ron Jeremy dude (who was basically the guy who planned 9/11) used to be #3. After Ron Jeremy got caught, the post was taken over by Droopy here.

  32. #3? This is the “War on Terror” equivelent of the War on Drugs headline “10 tons of cocaine found on ship; 3rd largest bust ever”. You know it makes no difference, their just desperate to look like there is progress.

    I would have put so many military personnel and bases in Afghanistan that you’d think the place was our 51st state and Robert Byrd and Ted Stevens were its Senators.

    LOL. Thanks for the chuckle.

  33. Rob–

    I am not saying you’re wrong at all because I don’t know.

    However, the paradigm of First Armored division or A Teams is not correct. There are a number of measures in between that could’ve been employed and weren’t. Namely, a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEF) are S.O.C. and possess a larger arsenal of weapons, manpower, intelligence capabilities and self-sufficiency. I don’t like to see MEFs pulled off the seas, but if they need to be I’d rather see them in Afghanistan than Iraq.

    Again, I don’t know what’s right, I don’t know enough of the specifics. And I’m more inclined toward your argument. But the “elephant or mouse” paradigm is not correct.

  34. Aargh! THEY’RE not their. I violated one of my own pet peeves.

  35. By the way, #3 is the chief operational guy, the dude who all the terror cells report to. Arguably catching this guy and the tubby hairy guy do more to mess up AQ’s plans than if Bin Laden or Zawahiri got nabbed — those two are more on the symbolic, spiritual and to a lesser extent financial end of the deal. So I wouldn’t pooh-pooh this catch at all.

  36. Correction–

    Marine Expeditionary Unit is a MEU not a MEF. I as thinking of a MAGTF in my awful brain. Apologies.

  37. If the Iraq war didn’t result in any reductions in resources for the hunt for al-Qaeda members, why are the US military and intelligence services complaining about a shortage of Arabic interpreters? (Unless you’re claiming that the military/CIA/NSA/etc. have been keeping their al-Qaeda-centered translating teams fully staffed all this time, but are shorting their Iraq-centered teams, which I suppose could be possible.)

  38. There are of course thousands of would be terrorists out there and fortunately many of them are coming to Iraq and dying by the hundreds. What makes A-Q organization so dangerous is that at least before the invasion of Afghanistan they provided a way for those would be terrorists to get the training and the resources necessary to become very dangerous. Anyone can say they want to be a terrorist, but to mount operation like 9-11 or Madrid, you have to have smart people who are trained and have access to cash, false identities, bomb making knowhow, things like that. Its not as easy to be a terrorists as many would think. That is why the organization of A-Q has to be shut down and why the worry that doing this or that “creates more terrorists” is a stupid worry. Its not the number of terrorist that matters but how well trained and funded they are. Without the training and funding provided by A-Q or other groups they are not nearly as dangerous. These arrests do matter and the break up the the organization does matter because it further degrades terrorists’ access to the training and resources necessary to launch really deadly attacks.

  39. “By the way, #3 is the chief operational guy, the dude who all the terror cells report to. Arguably catching this guy and the tubby hairy guy do more to mess up AQ’s plans than if Bin Laden or Zawahiri got nabbed ”

    How do you know?

  40. Languages spoken in Afghanistan according to the CIA World Factbook:

    Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashtu (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism

    Afghans are NOT Arabs. Zawihiri and Bin Laden are Arabs, but the rest of Afghanistan is not.

    Languages spoken in Pakistan:

    Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

    I don’t know that Arabic is the main concern.

  41. How do you know?

    Reading. You don’t think Bin Laden is personally planning out the attacks, do you?

  42. These captures are also great PR. No one, no matter how fanatical wants to joing the loosing side. The more these top guys get drug out of holes looking like Osama bin Manson, the more they look like loosers. Its a great show being able to kill a few thousand infidels and thumb your nose at the great Satan. That is good for your image and for winning the hearts and minds of muslims worldwide. Being a looser hiding in caves in northwest Pakistan only to be drug out looking like something the cat barfed up, does not help the cause or encourage anyone to support you.

  43. “they look like loosers…Being a looser hiding…”

    We’re gonna wynne!

  44. They should try giving a listen to guys like TPG, who seem to actually know what they’re talking about, and stop with the BS Monday morning armchair quarterback routine. I know someone who recently got back from liaison duty in Pakistan – the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan are a HUGE area that isn’t controllable by anyone other than the guys who run each little village – and no amount of SF guys or regular troops are going to find him by simple strength of numbers.

    I’ve got one friend in SF and one in SO. The one in SF is a chopper pilot the one in SO is in comm/tech. In their trips home, both have talked in detail about their missions. Both have talked extensively about the terrain and the terrible conditions. Regular troops are useless in this terrain, as are large portions of SF/SO that aren’t equipped for these types of missions. Both are confident that they’ll get him eventually, but it may take years.

    Both have vigorously defended the manpower issue to the point of being literally red in the face. More bodies won’t help — they’ve said this over and over. They need time.

    So SPD and Joe, I think I’ll believe two guys that have combined to spend three and a half years in country over the opinions of two guys lobbing BS opinions from afar.

  45. “Afghans are NOT Arabs. Zawihiri and Bin Laden are Arabs, but the rest of Afghanistan is not.”

    I’m well aware of that, dipshit. However, a substantial part (and probably a signficant majority based on the information publicly released about its memberhsip) of al-Qaeda’s leadership is composed of Arabs. That a shortage of Arabic translators is impacting the hunt for al-Qaeda members is admitted by the intelligence services themselves:

    http://www.englishfirst.org/arabic/FBItranslationlag92804.htm

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/000871.php

    http://www.iti.org.uk/uploadedFiles/events/terrorism.pdf

    This link notes a shortage of Arabic translators in the military almost 6 months prior to the launching of the Iraq war:
    http://www.globalethics.org/newsline/members/issue.tmpl?articleid=11180216160059

  46. If the Iraq war didn’t result in any reductions in resources for the hunt for al-Qaeda members, why are the US military and intelligence services complaining about a shortage of Arabic interpreters?

    Because they don’t have enough to function in Iraq.

    I don’t think it affects the Bin Laden hunt considering that Afghans and Pakistanis AREN’T ARABIC AND DON’T SPEAK ARABIC.

    There are more than a few of you that really don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about on the Afghanistan thing. I’ll forgive the ignorance if you’ll consider reading and learning about what’s actually going on over there. This isn’t Iraq. The military didn’t eff this up. The situation is actually well-managed (except for the whole poppy crop thing, but that’s coming down to the Pentagon) and is quite successful. The hunt is slow, but it continues. Read and learn before you make fools of yourselves.

  47. “They’re just trying to set up an announcement of bin Laden’s capture timed to help Chimpler McBushburton’s reelection campaign. Right, guys?”

    I know you’re being sarcastic, but pretty much yes. Just substitute the words “poll ratings” for “reelection campaign”. Bush’s popularity has been underwater for a few weeks and just about everything he’s selling in the way of policies, no one is buying. This will be worth a few extra dollars in the political capital fund. It also greases the skids for Pakistan’s F-16 purchase because it shows what a wonderful “ally” they are.

  48. This link notes a shortage of Arabic translators in the military almost 6 months prior to the launching of the Iraq war:
    http://www.globalethics.org/newsline/members/issue.tmpl?articleid=11180216160059

    So there was a shortage PRIOR to the Iraq war, but the Iraq ware is causing a shortage?

    Amazing.

  49. “I don’t think it affects the Bin Laden hunt considering that Afghans and Pakistanis AREN’T ARABIC AND DON’T SPEAK ARABIC.”

    So the FBI is doing translation work for the Iraq war??? Punch (FBI translation Arabic shortage) into Google:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34024 — “The shortage has caused a backlog of untranslated Arabic materials collected from electronic surveillances of suspected Islamic terrorists conducted in the U.S., and from interrogations of suspected terrorists conducted abroad, mostly at prisoner camps in Afghanistan and Cuba. The backlog also includes reams of documents in Arabic and other tongues recovered in Afghanistan and other countries.”

    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/882 — “The FBI has acknowledged it needs more experienced translators of all languages but especially Middle Eastern. CIA officials say they need native Arabic speakers familiar with foreign cultures to blend in overseas.”

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3225675/ — “A congressional inquiry after 9/11 found enormous backlogs. Millions of hours of talk by suspected terrorists, including 35 percent of all Arabic-language national-security wiretaps by the FBI, had gone untranslated and untranscribed.”

  50. “So there was a shortage PRIOR to the Iraq war, but the Iraq ware is causing a shortage? Amazing.”

    You’re claiming MORE translators magically appeared AFTER the war started? If there was already a shortage of Arabic translators, creating a situation that demands vast amounts of Arabic translation services obviously exacerbates the problem.

  51. Whoever the cocksucker was that called me “dipshit”, I invite you to come find me. Click on my name to see my address. I’m more than willing to meet you outside to talk about it.

    But lastly, a collegue of mine is actually a Colonel in Afghanistan right now. You won’t believe this since you’re functionally retarded, but they’re not training him or his soldiers or the Marines I know over there Arabic. They’re training them in Dari and Urdu.

    That the top-level cell leaders are displaced Arabs in non-Arabs lands no one contests. They don’t do the most speaking, but they certainly do important speaking over phones or in writing that need to be translated.

    But local citizens are home-grown fighters probably don’t speak a lick of Arabic. To navigate through the twisted maze of villages and local sympathizers is difficult and will not be facilitated by someone who speaks Arabic.

    Oh, and by the way, the FBI also has a shortage of Farsi speakers. And Dari. And Urdu.

    And besides, you cite Campus Watch and World Net Daily as references which proves you’re a fucking moron.

  52. “Whoever the cocksucker was that called me “dipshit”, I invite you to come find me. Click on my name to see my address. I’m more than willing to meet you outside to talk about it.”

    You’ve been hanging around marines too much.

    “They’re training them in Dari and Urdu.”

    Did I deny there’s utility for those languages?

    “Oh, and by the way, the FBI also has a shortage of Farsi speakers. And Dari. And Urdu.”

    Did I ever claim otherwise? The articles cited above state as much.

    “And besides, you cite Campus Watch and World Net Daily as references which proves you’re a fucking moron.”

    Actually, *you’re* the fucking moron if you assume a URL communicates everything you need to know. The Campus Watch cite is a re-post of an ABC News article (with multiple, on-record attributions), the WND article is original but has on-record quotes from the FBI’s spokesman.

    Let me repeat this discussion from the beginning:

    The initial allegation was that attacking Iraq diverted resources from the search for al-Qaeda members. It was insisted that no resources were diverted. It was pointed out that intelligence agencies and the military were experiencing shortages of Arabic (and other languages) translators prior to the invasion of Iraq. (I believe it is undisputed that the Iraq war caused a huge increase in demand for Arabic speakers, but if you can prove otherwise, go ahead.) Therefore, if there were not enough Arabic translators prior to the Iraq war, the shortage was necessarily worsened by it. Ergo, counterterrorism activities will have even less access to Arabic translators than before.

    Indeed, the FBI’s own official report on this subject last year concluded that it was suffering from a shortage of Arabic speakers in its COUNTERTERRORISM work (i.e., which logically includes catching al-Qaeda members):

    http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/FBI/a0425/ (scroll down about halfway)

  53. Excuse me, I may be dense (and I’m sure some of you out there who despserately want to see what you believe to be true will agree), but I really don’t understand how a SHORTAGE of arabic speakers prior to the iraq war proves that resources were DIVERTED from afghanistan.

    “Ergo, counterterrorism activities will have even less access to Arabic translators than before.”

    I mean, that really makes no sense. In other words….

    ergo, [as Arabic translators are now involved in counterterrorism activities in Iraq] counterterrorism activites will have even less access to Arabic translators than before [the translators started participating in counterterrorism activites in iraq]

    huuuuhhhhh?

  54. Actually, I never EVER stated there wasn’t a shortage of Arabic speakers. For anyone who reads the newspapers or the various luminaries at World Net Daily, it’s common knowledge.

    What I did claim, however, was that the hunt for Al-Qaeda (top to BOTTOM) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, were many recent important arrests have been made, will require a shitload more than Arabic translators. In fact, more non-Arabic speakers will be needed. SIGNIFICANTLY more. I know this because everyone I know in Afghanistan or who has served there has indicated exactly that.

    The Arabic speakers will predominantely be needed for highly-classified work for the top-level operatives. However, there is a gigantic bulk of terrorists, various operators, knowlegable locals, etc. that do not speak Arabic and most of the grunt work to be done by troops will be with these people. Hardly a contestable notion.

    You decided to pop off at the mouth with the “dipshit” comment after my innocuous observation of the linguistic and ethnic/racial compositions for no particular reason.

    I was in the Marines and I’ve been discharged since. I’m willing to entertain the notion that I did “hang around them” too long, but that afforeded me the knowledge that if you run your fucking mouth with a haughty tone about topics you are scarcely qualified to speak about, you’d better be ready to defend yourself. Sometimes that meant verbally and sometimes it meant knuckling up. You’d do well to learn that restraint is an important virtue. Not all Marines (former and the like) are into forgiveness.

    The offer still stands. http://www.endofpolitics.com

  55. Luke, you’re the MAN!

    Seriously, tho, inviting one of these wankers to step outside is pointless. 1) They would NEVER show up. 2) If they were foolish enough to show up, a basic knowledge of MCMAP would put them in the hospital before they’d finished introducing themselves properly.

    Some folks come here to be snide, insulting, know-nothings who claim to know it all, and generally run their mouths because no one can actually put them on the spot. Of course, that’s true to some extent in every public Internet forum I’ve seen.

    What we’ve seen is an argument get beaten back pretty decisively to the point that now it’s an argument not over numbers of troops but about a shortage of Arabic interpreters. And even that one’s getting the intellectual beat-down because it just doesn’t fit – as a explained it quite well – the argument that Iraq is hurting the hunt for OBL.

    Lack of interpreters leading to not translating boat-loads of collected AQ information is a bad thing, but it’s not because of Iraq.

    I think it’s obvious that most of the Arabic translators working on top-level AQ communications aren’t wandering around Iraq or Afghanistan with the guys on the ground.

    They’re probably sitting in an air-conditioned SCIF somewhere (say the Pentagon), flipping through material that WAS found by the guys on the ground. In Iraq, OTOH, you’ve got interpreters with the guys on the ground, but they’re not likely to be the ones who have a TS clearance. Ergo… well, you catch my drift.

  56. “There are a number of measures in between that could’ve been employed and weren’t. Namely, a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEF) are S.O.C. and possess a larger arsenal of weapons, manpower, intelligence capabilities and self-sufficiency. I don’t like to see MEFs pulled off the seas, but if they need to be I’d rather see them in Afghanistan than Iraq.” – Luke Thomas

    There have been several MEUs in Afghanistan, and some of them were cave-hunting in Tora Bora apparently. But I agree with you that some of the weapons in the arsenal might have been overlooked. I have doubts that their use would have kept OBL from slithering off into the night. Certainly I don’t think it is provably so…

    “As of late December [article written in 2002 from what I can tell], about 2,000 Marines from two Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) had already completed a variety of missions in southeastern Afghanistan while participating in the destruction of the Taliban and the search for bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist leadership.” http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3738/is_200201/ai_n9081237

    Although NRO obviously has an ideological slant, this part makes a lot of sense to me (if it’s to be believed of course):

    “In a short op-ed in the October 19 New York Times, Gen. Franks stated firmly that: (1) We didn’t know then and still don’t know now if OBL was even in Tora Bora in December 2001; and (2) We didn’t “outsource” military action, though we did rely heavily on Afghan forces because it was their turf. – http://www.nationalreview.com/babbin/babbin200411010743.asp

  57. Whoever the cocksucker was that called me “dipshit”, I invite you to come find me. Click on my name to see my address. I’m more than willing to meet you outside to talk about it.

    Calm down, alla yous. If you can’t have an argument without shitting your pants, take it somewhere else.

  58. Luke:

    What the dog on the house the street higher than zero? Straight, man.

  59. ‘Of course, once someone like joe gets hired as SecDef, I’m sure he can implement the plan to “trot out First Armored and drive up and down those mountains until you catch him.”‘

    ‘So SPD and Joe, I think I’ll believe two guys that have combined to spend three and a half years in country over the opinions of two guys lobbing BS opinions from afar.’

    Yeah, that’s great fellas, except that I never wrote anything about extra bodies being needed AT THIS TIME, or about heavy armor being needed AT ALL. Is there some reason you need to argue against a point that wasn’t made?

  60. …and avoid addressing the point that WAS made?

    Oh, wait, you posted a quote from the officier in charge of the failed mission, in which he states that he didn’t do nuthin wrong. I guess that’s that, then.

  61. joe – The commander and his second, and a bunch of the guys on the ground all agree. But you know better, of course… Well, I’d say that your persistence is inspiring, but my suspicion is that you’ll be slithering off to another thread soon.

    Gen. Franks statement makes a lot more sense than the opinions you’ve put forward – which is what I said.

    “this part makes a lot of sense to me (if it’s to be believed of course)”… REMEMBER that bit preceding my quote of Gen Franks? Conflict of interest aside, I still find Gen Franks and his second in command to be credible. If you can show a reason that this is NOT the case, please do so.

    I think we’re all eagerly awaiting the day you’ll release the smoking gun CIA/DoD documents that show that OBL escaped the mountains of Tora Bora specifically because we were also conducting operations in Iraq. (Like other issues I’ve raised with you, I don’t suppose any proof at all will be forthcoming beyond your opinion that is based solely on your unsupportable POV.) Until that day comes, tho, we’ll have to make do with the evidence that this is simply not the case.

  62. As for your claim that you “never wrote anything about extra bodies being needed AT THIS TIME, or about heavy armor being needed AT ALL. Is there some reason you need to argue against a point that wasn’t made?”

    Well, would you like to take this opportunity to explain/re-define your statements? (Taking into consideration that the example of armored units was meant to point out how silly the argument was in the first place.)

    Specifically this one:

    “It would probably be fairer to say that the miliary was sidetracked, in one particularly significant episode, and is now once again fully engaged, though the circumstances are less favorable.” Comment by: joe at May 5, 2005 11:28 AM

    I think that statement’s been clearly debunked.

    Then there’s this one:

    “That was already after OBL had flown the Tora Bora coop. Whether the decision not to provide enough troops to guard the back door was a consequence of the Iraq build up and the prep work intruding on Franks’ attention is impossible to say, but the timing is at least suspicious.” Comment by: joe at May 5, 2005 11:50 AM

    Pretty clearly debunked or at least enough info has been shown that this is VERY unlikely.

    “Yes, just not enough. One entire flank of the area – the one facing across the border into Pakistan – was left to unreliable, formerly Taliban-aligned local troops, who cooperated in helping the leadership escape.
    At the same time, Special Forces operations in Iraq had been underway for weeks. So we’ve got a manpower shortage, at the same time that large amounts of the required type of manpower are being used elsewhere.” Comment by: joe at May 5, 2005 12:12 PM

    Gee, I think maybe given the nature of the statements you’ve made on this thread, that those of us you claim are arguing against a point you claim you didn’t make can be mistaken for taking that as your point.

    Especially that bit about “Yes, just not enough. One entire flank of the area – the one facing across the border into Pakistan.”

    That bit seems clearly to be an argument that there weren’t enough bodies committed to the effort. Something I think has been shown to be untrue or at least highly implausible. So… how have your opinions been misconstrued or mis-represented?

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