The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden's escape laid the foundation for today's reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.Well, it's not like we didn't already know that, but it's nice to have a definitive account of how the Bush Administration completely shit the bed on capturing bin Laden by not devoting enough troops to the cause of finding him and then pulling what ones they did have to go to the new war they were starting in Iraq. And what wonders that war did for us all. As a bonus, the report was delivered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and it's chairman John Kerry, who futilely tried to make that exact point all throughout the 2004 Presidential election he fucked up. He must feel very proud that this gets added to the list of things he was right about five years ago. Ask Al Gore, I'm sure that's almost as good as being President.
"Removing the al-Qaida leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat," the report says. "But the decisions that opened the door for his escape to Pakistan allowed bin Laden to emerge as a potent symbolic figure who continues to attract a steady flow of money and inspire fanatics worldwide. The failure to finish the job represents a lost opportunity that forever altered the course of the conflict in Afghanistan and the future of international terrorism."
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."
So let's see, I think that means that America pretty much fucked up every single thing possible in the aftermath of 9/11. Not only did we gut our laws at home and violate our Constitution, we violated them abroad with our rendition, detention, and torture policies, we started a war in a wrong country, half-assed the war in the correct country to a degree that not only didn't we defeat the Taliban, but we allowed them to regroup, come back stronger, and helped them play a part in trying to destabilize Pakistan. Oh yeah, and we let the guy who masterminded the attacks waltz away, have shown little interest in capturing him, and there's still nothing built where the Twin Towers stood. By "we", I mean "the Bush Administration", but then again, we couldn't even be bothered to pay attention until 2008. Meanwhile, our one attempt to prosecute some of the guys involved in the attacks can't be done without half our country wetting itself over the horrors that will befall us if we follow the laws of our country.
But hey, at least Zacarias Moussaoui is in jail. We didn't fuck that one up. Mark that in the 'Job Well Done' column with.............. uh........................ um........................... yeah.