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Old 10-20-2004, 09:12 AM   Topic Starter
KCWolfman KCWolfman is offline
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Tommy Franks Rips Kerry a AHole So Big, A Colostomy Bag is on Back Order

Retired U.S. General Attacks Kerry Over Bin Laden
By REUTERS

Published: October 19, 2004


Filed at 5:52 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan on Tuesday disputed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's charge that the Bush administration let Osama bin Laden escape Afghanistan in 2001.

``I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality,'' retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks wrote in a commentary published by The New York Times.

The Kerry campaign took issue with the retired general's comments. ``Franks is a patriot. But in his attempt to campaign for President (George W.) Bush, he's letting political spin get in the way of the facts,'' said campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

Franks, who has endorsed the Republican president's re-election bid, challenged Kerry's contention that U.S. forces had the fugitive al Qaeda leader surrounded but ``outsourced'' the job of capturing him to Afghan forces in the rugged Tora Bora region of eastern Afghanistan.

The Massachusetts senator has repeatedly charged that Bush was so preoccupied with Iraq -- long before the U.S.-led invasion of that country in March 2003 -- that he took emphasis away from capturing bin Laden, blamed for the September 2001 attacks on America.

U.S.-led forces, which ousted Afghanistan's fundamentalist Taliban rulers, waged a fierce battle in December 2001 in mountainous Tora Bora, known for its extensive cave complex. It is believed bin Laden slipped out of the region around this time, possibly fleeing into Pakistan.

'NEVER WITHIN OUR GASP'

``We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir,'' wrote Franks, who led the invasions of Afghanistan and later Iraq as chief of the U.S. military's Central Command.

``Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Ladary operations in Iraq. Graham is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
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