Did Sandy Berger Call Off The Attack on Bin Laden?

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The crux of the leftwing attack on the new 9/11 film on ABC is that it depicts Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, calling to tell our men in Afghanistan to cancel a planned attack on Bin Laden.

There is no dispute I can find that this phone call took place. However, if it is merely a dramatization of Berger's making the actual decision to call off the attack, then it is not so bad. Berger and the others on the left say no, that was Tenet. Look at the 9/11 Report!

Either they have not done so themselves, or are hoping you won't.

On page 114 of the 9/11 Report, the commissioners say:

Impressions vary as to who actually decided not to proceed with the operation. [Richard] Clarke told us that the [Counterterrorism Security Group] saw the plan as flawed. He was said to have described it to a colleague on the [National Security Council] staff as "half-assed" and predicted that the principals would not approve it. [The chief of the Counterterrorist Center, whom we will call "Jeff,"] thought the decision had been made at the cabinet level. [James Pavitt, the assistant head of the Directorate of Operations at the CIA,] thought that it was Berger's doing, though perhaps on Tenet's advice. Tenet told us that given the recommendation of his chief operations officers, he alone had decided to "turn off" the operation. He had simply informed Berger, who had not pushed back. Berger's recollection was similar. He said the plan was never presented to the White House for a decision.

So according to the 9/11 Report, we don't know who called it off, but one person intimately involved thinks it was Berger, and another thinks it was "Cabinet-level" (neither Berger nor Tenet are on the Cabinet, although many people think of the National Security Advisor as a member of the Cabinet, and certainly Berger would participate in most, if not all, Cabinet-level meetings on this topic).

Sandy Berger knows what happened, presumably. He can claim he never made the decision. But at least two other people much more knowledgable about it than anyone who is talking about it (except for Berger himself; and Clarke, who certainly doesn't know better than either of them) say they think Berger, or someone else higher than Tenet, made the decision. And them's the facts. slashdot.org

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on September 8, 2006 10:13 AM.

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