Powered by TypePad

« Alex Parker Stays On The Case | Main | I Wish I Were In The Land Of Cotton »

November 01, 2003


Jon H

One thing that occurs to me about the Taliban denial is that it's exactly the sort of CYA statement you'd expect from someone who'd offered to betray a very powerful and dangerous ally.


Good point. The London Times claims to have Taliban sources for this, and I doubt it was pure invention on their part.

I know in Washington, we have the "trial baloon" leak,and the "death by premature exposure" leak; presumably, similar games can be played in Kandahar.

Maybe there were divisions within the Taliban over what to do about Bin Laden - someone leaks this (not yet actually made) proposal with the hope that it will acquire momentum; or, someone leaks this true but opposed proposal, knowing publicity will kill it. In neither case would the correct conclusion seem to be "Bush blew it".

I haven't checked the WH press briefings for that time period, but it seems like, if there were a letter with such a proopsal, it would be a Maureen Dowd talking point be now. Or, maybe next week, depending on the breadth of the Atrios readership.


Down memory lane with Ari: here we are on Feb 27, 2001, which seems a few weeks late:

Q Ari, according to India Globe, the Taliban in Afghanistan, they have offered that they are ready to hand over Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia if the United States would drop its sanctions, and they have a kind of deal that they want to make with the United States. Do you have any comments?

MR. FLEISCHER: Let me take that and get back to you on that.

And for a real confidence boost, here is Ari F. on February 5, 2001:

Q Ari, the embassy bombing trial just got started in New York today. I wonder what the President's expectations are for the trial's outcome, and also, since two of the suspects are charged with worldwide conspiracy associated with Osama bin Laden to kill Americans and to destroy American property; so I wonder what steps President Bush is going to take to counter terrorism?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm going to, for the moment, refer that question to Mary Ellen, to the Department of Defense.

While America Slept.


Well, Mansoor Ijaz and others came forward to say the (multiple) offers to Clinton were serious... it's been over 2 years and we have no one saying this offer was serious in any respect... Atrios will need a little more than that. Interesting that he doesn't deny the seriousness of the Clinton offers either.


Another difference is you basically had Clinton admitting it...


1. This isn't that different from the Taliban's initial dithering on giving up bin Laden after September 11.

2. If Atrios genuinely "ha[s] no idea if . . . officially recognizing the Taliban in exchange for it would have been a good idea," he's even further gone than I thought. The Taliban and Al Qaeda were basically one and the same; these guys were as involved in terrorism as a fish is involved in water.

The comments to this entry are closed.