Friday, December 03, 2004

And in other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

Bin Laden’s trail cold, U.S. acknowledges

"For a time, the U.S. military in Afghanistan was talking as if it would smoke Osama bin Laden out of a cave on the rocky Pakistan border within months, perhaps even ahead of President Bush’s re-election.

Now, U.S. commanders say protecting the country’s fragile new democracy, reviving its economy and keeping Taliban militants on the run are the priorities, although tracking the cold trail of bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders remains the focus of intelligence efforts.
Despite initial high expectations on the other side of the border, Pakistan’s yearlong crackdown against foreign militants near the tribal town of Wana also has yielded no trace of bin Laden or al-Zawahri.

'We have no specific indication that they are in the Wana area or really any other location' in the region, Olson said. 'But the hunt goes on.'

U.S. generals have had three years to rue how bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, slipped away from Afghan and U.S. troops near the Tora Bora caves of Afghanistan’s eastern mountains as the regime of his Taliban protectors crumbled that December. "

During the campaign, the Boy King's lackeys did an excellent job of neutralizing the potentially negative impact of their failure to nab OBL. Either he wouldn't show his face during election season, which would be spun as his having been marginalized and defeated, or he would make a strike, which would be spun as an effort to throw the election to Kerry. The Jackpot Scenario, which obviously had no chance of happening, is that they might actually get him.

The Kerry campaign made a valiant effort to differentiate The War on Terror from the Boy King's Adventure in Iraq, and to drive home George's piss poor track record on the former. At one point around the debates it looked like the meme was going to catch on, but it faded quickly. Ultimately, the CiC and fifty-one percent of the voters were more invested in maintaining a myth of strength than they were in acknowledging the obvious truth, and now bin Laden can go about planning his next catastrophe without any interruptions.


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