'05 mission to get al Qaeda in Pakistan aborted, Times says
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A secret 2005 mission to capture senior al Qaeda members in Pakistan's tribal areas was aborted at the last moment when Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Citing intelligence and military officials, including a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning, the Times said in a story posted on its Web site that the target was a meeting of al Qaeda leaders. That conference was thought by intelligence officials to have included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's top deputy, who was believed to run the group's operations, it said.
The classified mission was scotched even as Navy SEALs in parachute gear had boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan after then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected a last-minute appeal by then-CIA director Porter Goss, the Times said, citing the officials and the former intelligence official, all of whom requested anonymity.
Rumsfeld felt the mission, which grew from a small number of personnel to several hundred, would risk too many U.S. lives, and he was also concerned about possible repercussions on U.S.-Pakistan relations, the Times said.
So, it was OK to risk tens of thousands of lives to invade Iraq, a nation that MAY have posed a threat to the region and possibly the US (IF you want to give any credence to Bush admin claims in 2003), but it was too much to risk lives to go after the guys that actually attacked us???
It was OK to piss of most nations in the world with an invasion of Iraq, yet we worry about the opinions of ONE nation's leader??
More proof that the war on terror is mere rhetoric aimed at stopping democracy here in the US.