George Bush’s Failure at Tora Bora

The previous post reviews my grievances against George Bush, including how he allowed Osama bin Laden to get away when he could have been captured at Tora Bora. Coincidentally The New Republic is now running a lengthy story on the events at Tora Bora. The story addresses the complaints about George Bush at the end:

Tora Bora would return, briefly, to the forefront of American politics in 2004. With just over a month to go before election day, John Kerry attacked President Bush for failing to capture bin Laden at Tora Bora. Franks, who had by this point retired from the military (and who would go on to join the boards of Bank of America and Chuck E. Cheese’s), retorted several weeks later with a New York Times op-ed, writing, “We don’t know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora.” Cheney weighed in the same day, calling Kerry’s criticisms “absolute garbage.” On October 27, Bush said Kerry’s remarks about the battle were part of a “pattern of saying anything it takes to get elected.”

Kerry remains furious about Tora Bora today. “They declared Osama bin Laden the world’s number-one criminal, and went out boldly proclaiming, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive’ and talking about the dangers of Al Qaeda,” he told me recently. “And when they had an opportunity to completely, not only decapitate it, but probably to leave it with the minuscule, last portion of its tail, they never showed up.” His anger is justified. Bin Laden was clearly at Tora Bora, and sending so few troops was indeed a major failure.

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