from CIA Snookered Again?
John LeBoutillier Thursday Dec. 13, 2001

Where is Osama?

The Christian Science Monitor - a credible publication - is reporting that bin Laden escaped into Pakistan 10 days ago.

If true, this would compound this War on Terror's difficulty - and it also again points out the absolute ineptitude and incompetence of CIA Director George Tenet.

Only two weeks ago Director Tenet - the only Clinton holdover in the Bush cabinet - specifically went to Pakistan to talk to his counterpart at the Inter-Services-Agency (ISI). The Pak spy agency is notably two-faced and untrustworthy. ISI is filled with Taliban-supporters and fundamentalist Muslims.

Tenet was trying to get Pakistani help in bottling up fleeing al- Qaeda and Taliban leaders. We all should wonder if cash was paid to ISI and the Pak government for this latest mission.

Now we are learning that, according to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, "hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda soldiers have crossed the border and can regroup in Pakistan."

You can bet that if lowly soldiers can cross that border with impunity then big shots with bags of cash like Osama and Omar can go anywhere they want.

The real question here is: how could Tenet and the CIA screw up yet again?

If it is true that Osama has left Afghanistan - and it makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? - then Tenet was 'taken' in Pakistan. He was snookered by ISI!

Furthermore, we are now told that CIA has suddenly been given an 8% budget increase! This after their massive failure to prevent - or at least warn us about - September 11. And after already being given a supplemental one billion dollars in late September.

Our military has once again proven their wonderful abilities on the ground and in the air in this two-month long war in Afghanistan. We have done in two months what the Russians could not do in 10 years.

But it is all for naught if Osama bin Laden gets away and lives to foment more trouble. And, for that, the blame falls totally on the CIA.

It is high time our Congress demand answers - and demand the head of a lousy CIA Director who has repeatedly hurt our nation's security. His Clintonesque fixation on personal publicity - always horning in on photographs with President Bush - and his 'public' tour of the Mid-East were bad enough. Then came the awful exploitation of Johnny Spann's death to carve out a better image for the CIA.

The final straw may very well be the 'escape' of Osama bin Laden, Dr. Al Zwahiri (Anwar Sadat's convicted assassin) and other al-Qaeda leaders.

How - with every satellite, overflight, radio intercept and on-the-ground agent imaginable - could these criminals have crossed into a country that's a supposed ally? Especially an ally whom we have plied with money and debt relief since September 11?

Th answer is clear: Tenet and his boys are fools. They are not qualified for the jobs they hold.

While we are on that subject, early on in this disaster Secretary of State Colin Powell - who also has not distinguished himself - was almost giddy about Iran's public signs of support for our retaliation. Well, guess what? The Pentagon now admits that several "high ranking Taliban leaders" have "paid for safe passage into Iran"!

So now we have Pakistan and Iran both harboring terrorists - one of President Bush's central criteria for determining which nations are 'terrorist nations'.

What are we going to do about that?