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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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 Bush lied: bin Laden escaped

Both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney lied during the 2004 Presidential campaign when he claimed U.S. forces did not miss a chance to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001:
A terror suspect held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, helped the al-Qaida leader escape his mountain hide-out at Tora Bora in 2001, according to a U.S. government document.

The document, provided in response to a Freedom of Information request, says the unidentified detainee ''assisted in the escape of Osama bin Laden from Tora Bora.'' It is the first definitive statement from the Pentagon that bin Laden was at Tora Bora and evaded U.S. pursuers.

The detainee is not identified by name or nationality. He is described as being ''associated with'' al-Qaida and having called for a jihad, or holy war, against the United States.

In an indication that he might be a higher-level operative, the document says he ''had bodyguards'' and collaborated with regional al-Qaida leadership. ''The detainee was one of Osama bin Laden's commanders during the Soviet jihad,'' it says, referring to the holy war against Soviet occupiers.

The events at Tora Bora were a point of contention during last year's presidential race, and Bush asserted that commanders did not know whether bin Laden was there when U.S. and allied Afghan forces attacked the area.

The events at Tora Bora were a point of contention during last year's presidential race, and Bush as well as Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that commanders did not know whether bin Laden was there when U.S. and allied Afghan forces attacked the area in December 2001.

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