Monday, February 24, 2003
Seymour Hersh does it again:
"JANE WALLACE: Let's talk about Konduz. During the war with Afghanistan--
SY HERSH: Great story.
JANE WALLACE: -- you reported that during a key battle our side in that battle had the enemy surrounded. There were a reported perhaps 8,000 enemy forces in there.
SY HERSH: Maybe even more. But certainly minimum that many.
JANE WALLACE: It's your story, take it.
SY HERSH: Okay, the cream of the crop of Al Qaeda caught in a town called Konduz which is near ... it's one little village and it's a couple hundred kilometers, 150 miles from the border of Pakistan. And I learned this story frankly-- through very, very clandestine operatives we have in the Delta Force and other very...
We were operating very heavily with a small number of men, three, 400 really in the first days of the war. And suddenly one night when they had everybody cornered in Konduz-- the special forces people were told there was a corridor that they could not fly in. There was a corridor sealed off to-- the United States military sealed off a corridor. And it was nobody could shoot anybody in this little lane that went from Konduz into Pakistan. And that's how I learned about it. I learned about it from a military guy who wanted to fly helicopters and kill people and couldn't do it that day.
JANE WALLACE: So, we had the enemy surrounded, the special forces guys are helping surround this enemy.
SY HERSH: They're whacking everybody they can whack that looks like a bad guy.
JANE WALLACE: And suddenly they're told to back off--
SY HERSH: From a certain area--
JANE WALLACE: -- and let planes fly out to Pakistan.
SY HERSH: There was about a three or four nights in which I can tell you maybe six, eight, 10, maybe 12 more-- or more heavily weighted-- Pakistani military planes flew out with an estimated-- no less than 2,500 maybe 3,000, maybe mmore. I've heard as many as four or 5,000. They were not only-- Al Qaeda but they were also-- you see the Pakistani ISI was-- the military advised us to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. There were dozens of senior Pakistani military officers including two generals who flew out.
And I also learned after I wrote this story that maybe even some of Bin Laden's immediate family were flown out on the those evacuations. We allowed them to evacuate. We had an evacuation.
JANE WALLACE: How high up was that evacuation authorized?
SY HERSH: I am here to tell you it was authorized — Donald Rumsfeld who — we'll talk about what he said later — it had to be authorized at the White House. But certainly at the Secretary of Defense level."
Hersh expresses the view that it's not the intelligence that's bad, but that there's a filter that keeps this information from being presented to the folks who make the decisions, possibly because they don't want to hear it.
Andrew 8:48 AM : |
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