Barack Obama Hasn’t a Clue: Here’s Why Osama Bin Laden Hasn’t Been Captured Yet
by GREGORY D. LEE
June 24, 2008
It has been six-and-a-half years since the 9/11 attacks and Osama Bin Laden still hasn't been captured.
Is Barack Obama correct when he claims that President Bush lost sight of OBL when military operations shifted to Iraq? Or is OBL dead from liver disease or from the intense bombing of Tora Bora during the Afghanistan offensive?
From my personal experiences living and working in Pakistan for four years in the mid-1990s as a Supervisory Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, I'm convinced OBL is alive and well, hiding somewhere in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Provence (NWFP). If the U.S. Air Force was raining daisy cutters on your head, and you were only within 100 miles of the international border with Pakistan where U.S. operations are prohibited, isn't that where you'd go?
The NWFP, which borders Afghanistan, is a semi-autonomous region that is populated by tribes that have never been completely subjected to the rule of an established government. Tribal elders, drug lords and mullahs are essentially in charge. None of them are fond of the United States, and all of them are sympathetic to the Taliban, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Infrastructure is almost nonexistent. There is no reliable electricity, running water, government housing, schools or law enforcement. The literacy rate is near zero. When you are there, you get the eerie feeling that you have suddenly been transported 2,000 years back in time.
What about the $25 million reward the U.S. is offering for OBL's head? Isn't that enough money for someone to give up where he is?
The short answer is no. The reward could be $25 billion and it wouldn't produce any more credible leads on OBL's location.
I can guarantee you that very few, if any, NWFP tribesmen have any idea there is a reward. There simply is no way for the U.S. to effectively advertise. Forget about the Internet, and television and radio stations are scarce and would be reluctant to take on the U.S. State Department as an advertiser. Even if planes dropped leaflets about the reward, no one could read them. Those few who could simply wouldn't believe it. And those that did believe there was a reward have no expectation of ever collecting it. They're convinced the U.S. government would renege on its promise because that's what the Pakistani government would do. Or, because kidnapping is common place, their kin would inevitably be held hostage by criminals for extortion money.
Also, is the money worth your life and the lives of your family members? There is no question you'd be targeted for death once it became known you were responsible for OBL's capture.
Let's assume all these obstacles are somehow overcome, and someone gives up OBL for the reward. What will he do with it? Where will he spend it? He couldn't even get a visa to travel somewhere to open a bank account, and the Pakistani government wouldn't allow that much money to leave the country.
Then there's the issue of corruption. If you were fortunate to find a scarce government official to report your sighting of OBL, he'd most assuredly hit you up for a bribe to pass on the information.
The likelihood of your identity being kept secret by Pakistani authorities until a CIA case officer met you to pay you the reward is nil. Virtually no one would consider you a hero or understand why you would forsake your religion and spy for America.
I could go on, but I think you get the drift.
So when Barack Obama says that President Bush and the U.S. military aren't doing everything they can to capture OBL, he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Gregory D. Lee is a retired DEA Supervisory Special Agent. In 2001, as an army reserve officer, he served at the Pentagon's Army Operation's Center's Anti-Terrorism Operations Intelligence Cell. He writes a weekly syndicated column for North Star Writers Group and can be reached through his website: www.gregorydlee.com.