The Timeline of Failure and a Moment of Triumph

In 1996, during the Clinton administration, the CIA forms “Alec Station,” an internal group tasked with tracking down international terrorist Osama bin Laden.


December 2000: Outgoing Clinton National Security team meets with incoming Bush team, and presses them to ignore Saddam Hussein, and concentrate instead on Osama bin Laden. The warnings were delivered face-to-face to incoming National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Deputy Advisor Stephen Hadley and Philip Zelikow, amongst others. According to Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism expert and CIA analyst, “It was very explicit.”


January 25th, 2001: Richard Clarke, frustrated at being rebuffed warns in writing; “We urgently need a Principals level review on the al Qida network.”


July 10th, 2001: CIA Director George J. Tenet and counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black again warn National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to go after Bin Laden, but are ignored. Secretary Rice informed Clarke and Tenet that they were more concerned with “upgrading America’s missile defenses” than terrorism, which the president and vice president viewed more as a “nuisance.”


August 6, 2001: A courier is dispatched from Washington to Crawford Texas where Bush is on vacation, with an urgent PDB titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike US.” Bush tells the courier; “All right, you’ve covered your ass now.” According to all accounts, Bush never read it.


5 weeks later, al Qaeda terrorists attack in New York and Washington, killing more than 3,000 people while Bush was visiting his brother in Florida; the worst attack on U.S. soil, and the greatest failure of government to perform their primary function — to ensure the security of the people. (following the attacks, Richard Clarke was quietly marginalized and demoted. To date, he is the only government official to publicly apologize for 9/11).


The Bush administration (Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, specifically) obstructed the CIA’s efforts to catch bin Laden by hesitating for 30 days to send the military in after the CIA cornered him at Tora Bora.


Once cornered, the Bush administration paid off Afghan warlords to finish the job. Instead of capturing him, they took the money and vanished, many joining forces with al Qaeda.


December 2001: Osama bin Laden escapes Tora Bora and disappears for almost ten years.


March 13th, 2002: Bush is asked if we’ll ever find Osama bin Laden. “So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.”


April 17th, 2002: The Bush administration concluded internally, that the “Failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt bin Laden was it’s gravest error in the war against al Qaeda.”


In August 2002, Bush begins drawing off resources from Afghanistan, and preparing them for the next theater, Iraq; a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.


August 2005: The White House instructs the CIA to dissolve Alec Station, the secret group tasked with capturing Osama Bin Laden. C.I.A. official Michael Scheuer, who at that time headed the bin Laden group, was told bin Laden was no longer a threat. Scheuer adamantly protested, but the group was dissolved anyway.


The Bush admin orders CIA to torture captives, resulting in no definitive leads to bin Laden.


December 2008: Bush tells an ABC interviewer; “The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq.”


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Candidate Barack Obama remarked several times on the campaign trail and during the debates, that he would go into Pakistan if he had evidence bin Laden was hiding there. The GOP mocked him for this; McCain called him naïve.


January 2009: Soon after being sworn in, president Barack Obama meets with CIA Director Leon Panetta, instructing him to “double down” on the hunt for Osama bin Laden.


May 1st, 2011: Osama Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US forces, upon president Obama’s orders.


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Just 24 hours later, Bush administration alumni and associates fan out to the media, all claiming bin Laden would not have been captured had it not been for Bush era policies. Repeating the talking points issued by Karl Rove on Fox, others who mirrored this sentiment were; Andrew Card, Condoleeza Rice, Liz Cheney, Dick Cheney, Pete King, Donald Rumsfeld, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, Laura Ingram, Andrew Breitbart, and virtually every on-screen personality at Fox News.


May 4th, 2011: Brent Bozell claims: Bush deserved to kill Bin Laden more than Obama did, therefore deserves more credit … calls Obama “rude” for not crediting Bush.



May 5th, 2011: Bush reportedly “upset” that he’s not being given more credit for the killing of bin Laden.


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A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting it’s shoes on

~ Mark Twain


We are not makers of history. We are made of history

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it

~ Winston Churchill


History is a set of lies agreed upon

~ Napolean Bonaparte


History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are, and why we are the way we are

~ David McCullough


History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives

~ Abba Eban


History, despite it’s wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again

~Maya Angelou