Monday, July 03, 2006

C.I.A. Closes Bin Laden Hunting Unit

It looks like the CIA has about had enough of looking for Osama bin Laden, and is disbanding the special unit tasked with his capture. Why you ask?

The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Agency officials said that tracking Mr. bin Laden and his deputies remained a high priority, and that the decision to disband the unit was not a sign that the effort had slackened. Instead, the officials said, it reflects a belief that the agency can better deal with high-level threats by focusing on regional trends rather than on specific organizations or individuals.

"The efforts to find Osama bin Laden are as strong as ever," said Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, a C.I.A. spokeswoman. "This is an agile agency, and the decision was made to ensure greater reach and focus."

That of course makes no sense. Here's an explanation that makes more sense: the CIA, having had no luck on finding bin Laden after nearly five years of hunting for him, is pretty much giving up on having a unit that sits around twiddling its thumbs or following mistaken/inaccurate/useless intelligence. Perhaps they can put these guys to better use looking for other threats, but if you had any doubt about how the hunt for bin Laden is going, this ought to clue you in.


adam said...

This should be a campaign ad for Democrats.

Rudicus said...

The question I have is were they ever really looking for him in the first place? Frankly if someone can get a shot of Kirsten Dunst's boob for the 1/100th of a second it pops out of her bathing suit at a secluded private beach, I think they could find this guy.

What does it say about our intelligence services if they can't find the international leader of a global terrorist movement?

It's bollocks - there is a reason for not capturing him, I leave it to other creative minds to suss out the reason.

Nat-Wu said...

Well, I think it's certainly not that they just weren't looking for him. I mean, if they had a team, that was their job and we shouldn't think they sat around drinking coffee all day (or at least, I'm going to hope the CIA isn't that bad off because I don't really want to immigrate to Canada). I think it's more that the Bush administration long ago de-prioritized him. I mean, we're not so good at finding people even when they are hiding in a hole in the ground in a country we've occupied (remember Saddam anyone?) But still, if we'd been putting the effort into it that we should have been, inter-departmentally, we would have gotten the job done. The same could be said of Afghanistan in general, really. I think probably they scaled the effort back immediately after they realized they weren't going to be able to catch him without free reign in Pakistan because Bush wasn't willing, for whatever reason, to make that effort. You remember how he was minimized in the press just a few months after we invaded Afghanistan? That was, of course, because Bush wanted us to focus our attention on Iraq. I don't think the hunt for Osama has ever been as much of a priority as the hunt for Saddam.