Why We Haven’t Found Bin Laden

August 26, 2007

I read an unusually long piece on the Newsweek site today that gave a very comprehensive background on the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and although many of the details it featured have been known for some time, many have not, and it was nice to see it all laid out in one story.  I’d suggest that everyone read it.  The Ongoing Hunt for Osama bin Laden

My takeaway from this was that it further revealed that the Iraq invasion was an unnecessary and counterproductive blunder.  Instead of narrowly focusing on the source of the 9/11 attacks and the ideology that fueled it, we’ve gone ahead and created new problems.  Big problems that we’ll undoubtedly be dealing with for generations.  Here’s the graph that best sums it up in my mind:

The American effort to chase bin Laden into this forbidding realm was hobbled and clumsy from the start. While the terrain required deep local knowledge and small units, career officers in the U.S. military have long been wary of the Special Operations Forces best suited to the task. In the view of the regular military, such “snake eaters” have tended to be troublesome, resistant to spit-and-polish discipline and rulebooks. Rather than send the snake eaters to poke around mountain caves and mud-walled compounds, the U.S. military wanted to fight on a grander stage, where it could show off its mobility and firepower. To the civilian bosses at the Pentagon and the eager-to-please top brass, Iraq was a much better target. By invading Iraq, the United States would give the Islamists—and the wider world—an unforgettable lesson in American power. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was on Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board and, at the time, a close confidant of the SecDef. In November 2001, Gingrich told a NEWSWEEK reporter, “There’s a feeling we’ve got to do something that counts—and bombing caves is not something that counts.”

Oh, it’s counting all right.  Half a trillion dollars and counting.  Four years and counting.  3728 and counting. 


  1. The original hunt for Bin Laden didn’t actually seem such a mess. Iraq ? Total fubar. Then again, it was never done for any reason the government was ready to admit. How do I know that ? How many times did the ‘story’ change ?

  2. […] Why we haven’t found Bin Laden […]

  3. Hey, if they had gotten Bin Laden, there would have been no reason to invade Iraq.

    Why does anyone think the Neocons put GW Bush in the White House?

    They felt that the USA needed to be the dominant country in the world in the 21st century and the way to do that would be to have our hand on the oil spigot to prevent China from rivaling us.

    They sincerely felt that the world would be better off under american leadership.

    Who can argue with that? Only a tree hugging, bleeding heart, welfare mom, egg sucking Liberal!

  4. Egg-sucking? I haven’t heard that one.

  5. Does that harken back to ‘teach grandmother to suck eggs ?’

  6. ……bin ladn was originally ben layden, cia
    agent, born in dubuque of an itinerant arab
    father and gertrude klezmer, a musician who had a voice like patsy kline. as a young man, ben consulted the mirror of his looks and decided
    to get out of hogswallow and follow the looking
    glass to the east where he became one of the few americans to actually pay his own airplane fare
    to afghanistan, then under soviet rule, while working as a gopher in the central market of
    kabul he was discovered by a russian double
    agent, who still works for us in another capacity,
    lets call him yuri, yuri immediately recognized
    ben’s potential for a novel he was writing
    about a future widening war in the mideast,
    and to futher the plot of his novel, moved
    ben along to his cia handler in kabul, an old
    woman who sold goat heads on a side street,
    she herself was an agatha christie fan, altho
    she insisted on referring to inspector clouseau
    as mustafah, but she too realized yuri had a hot
    book on his hands, having been a former editor
    at little, brown, and arranged for ben to join
    the freedom fighters with the story that he
    was a saudi prince to whom money meant nothing,
    the saudis went along with it at the time because
    george bush sr. promised to make his son, george,
    a blood brother to ben if they admitted him to
    the tribe. the rest is history and proves that
    fiction is stranger than truth.

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