How a UAE prince prevented the U.S. assassination of Bin Laden
From Geostrategy-direct, subscription.
President Bush's enthusiastic endorsement of granting the United Arab Emirates the right to manage leading U.S. ports highlights his belief that the Gulf Arab country has been a solid partner in the war against Al Qaida.
But evidence collected by his government calls that belief into question. Take the report of "The 9/11 Commission Report" and turn to page 137. For the next three pages, Bush could learn how the UAE was involved in foiling a U.S. assassination plot against Osama Bin Laden that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks.
The report suggests that the UAE used its contacts with the United States to protect Bin Laden. In 1999, the Clinton administration approved a plan to strike Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bin Laden had been located near Kandahar and often went to a small camp where he was largely isolated from civilians.
The problem was that Bin Laden was hanging around with UAE nationals, including a senior member of the ruling family. Richard Clarke,
the omnipotent assistant for counter-terrorism in the National Security Agency, called a senior UAE official and expressed concern that members of his country were consorting with Bin Laden. Indeed, an official UAE aircraft was near Bin Laden's camp. The U.S. military was ordered not to strike Bin Laden because of the possibility that the UAE prince would be killed as well. A CIA agent identified only as "Mike" who had been tracking Bin Laden said this marked the loss of the best opportunity to target the terrorist leader, responsible for the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Too bad we did not take out Binny then. It would have been a twofer. Binny would have become dissipated proteins and fats and the UAE would have learned a valuable lesson in consorting with terrorists.
On March 7, 1999, the report said, Clarke telephoned the UAE official regarding Bin Laden's whereabouts. Within a week, the Bin Laden camp was dismantled and the site was deserted.
"Hey, Achmed! I just got a call from ths Clarke infidel in Washington. They are onto Binny and our prince. Better get them on the blower and tell them to am-scray ow-nay!"
"Hokay, boss. Ima dialin'. (right index finger, don't fail me now!)"
"CIA officers, including Deputy Director for Operations Pavitt, were irate," the report said. "'Mike' thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting Bin Laden."
The report quoted UAE leaders as saying that Abu Dhabi would help the United States against Bin Laden. The leaders insisted that UAE officials were not in Afghanistan, even as the UAE military chief of staff was on a hunting trip in the country.
Then we should have taken them out, for sure. Oh, woe for lost opportunity....
"On February 10, as the United States considered striking the camp, Clarke reported that during his visit [UAE leader] Bin Zayed had vehemently denied rumors that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan," the report said. "Subsequent reporting, however, suggested that high-level UAE officials had indeed been at the desert camp. CIA memo, 'Recent High Level UAE Visits to Afghanistan,' Feb. 19, 1999. Gen. Shelton also told us that his UAE counterpart said he had been hunting at a desert camp in Afghanistan at about this time."
Posted by: Alaska Paul 2006-03-04