For the past ten years the C.I.A.'s "Alec Station" unit's sole purpose was to hunt, track down and kill or capture Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. But in a story first broken by NPR this week, the Busheviks late last year closed the operation, reassigning agents to other divisions. While agency officials dismiss claims that the closure weakens the United States' effort to find Al Qaeda's leaders, others voice serious concern. Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official and the first head of the division, said the move reflected a view within the agency that the threat from bin Laden had subsided, and warned that that view was mistaken. "This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals."
What we do know is that President Bush's tough talk was just that.Talk. Remember this promise?: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." (Sept 13, 2001). Or, we'll find bin Laden "dead or alive." And,"we're gonna smoke 'em out." But these John Wayne-isms quickly turned into 2002's limp "I just don't spend that much time on him...to be honest with you. I truly am not that concerned about him." And now the closing of the Alec Station unit is another chapter in the Book of Bush Lies. There are many reasons why the Bush neocons' ill-fated war in Iraq is unjust and a colossal failure. But the most unfortunate consequence is how it's diverted precious military, intelligence and financial resources away from the war against our real enemy, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.