President Bush yesterday said that because of his leadership, "America
and the world are safer." But almost three years after 9/11, Osama bin
Laden remains at large, while the U.S. government admits top al Qaeda leaders
are planning attacks on America from the Afghan-Pakistan border region.
And now a new book confirms the President actually shifted key resources
away from the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Knight-Ridder reports that in his upcoming book, U.S. Sen. Bob Graham
(D-FL) disclosed that General Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, four
months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources were
being shifted to prepare for a war against Iraq. Graham, who was chairman of
the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, said the administration
moved things like the Predator drone aircraft out of Afghanistan even though
it is "crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda leaders."
Graham's account is consistent with reports from earlier this year. In
March 2004, USA Today reported that the White House in 2002 shifted special
forces off of the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan and into preparations for
an Iraq invasion. The administration also took intelligence "specialists
away from the Afghanistan effort to ensure Iraq was covered."
1. "President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Poplar Bluff,
Missouri," WhiteHouse.gov, 9/06/04,
2. "Officials: Bin Laden guiding plots against U.S.," CNN.com, 7/08/04,
3. "9/11 hijackers tied to Saudi government, Graham says in book,"
Boston Globe, 9/05/04,
4. "Shifts from bin Laden hunt evoke questions," USA Today, 3/28/04,
Visit www.Misleader.org for more about Bush Administration distortion.
Correction on 9/03/04 Misleader: "The average taxpayer spent 1 hour and
29 minutes longer filing his or her taxes in 2003 than in 2002."
Source: "Economic Snapshot: Tax system more complicated, time consuming
under Bush Administration," Economic Policy Institute, 9/2/04,