One of the favorite legends of the Blame Clinton for Everything Bush Got Wrong crowd is that Clinton failed to take out Osama when he had a chance. To my knowlege that's never been proved to be true. However, via Joe Gandelmann, we see new evidence that the Bush administration blew a significant opportunity to break al-Qaeda in 2005.
The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.
But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.
I remind you that these are the guys we set out to "get dead or alive." And why did Rummy put the kibosh on the mission?
Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A. operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk, the current and former officials said. He was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, an often reluctant ally that has barred the American military from operating in its tribal areas, the officials said.
Well the way things are going in Pakistan, we may well end up with an extreme anti-American Islamic group in control of those nukes we gave our "reluctant ally" in the near future. I'll never understand why we did that in the first place. Furthermore, if that mission had gone forward the AQ training camps that are currently thriving on the border today might not have been built.
You think the Blame Clinton First crowd will work themselves up into a frothing outrage over this? Me neither.