1,573. 10/25/1999

“By late October 1999, [Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah] Massoud was in desperate straits. CIA officers visited him in the Panjshir Valley [Afghanistan] and won his assent to try to gather intelligence on bin Laden. ‘I need help. I need military equipment. I need money,’ Massoud told his CIA visitors. ‘If you can’t give me the equipment, give me the money, and I can buy it from the Russians. I’ve got to have help.’ The Taliban are ‘getting stronger. I’m not getting stronger. They have the money to buy the defections of commanders. They’re wearing me down. I need help.’ According to [CIA Islamabad station chief Gary] Schroen, ‘astronomical’ sums were available to capture bin Laden but at most $100,000 or $200,000 per visit to keep Massoud’s struggle against the Taliban alive.” [The 25th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Roy Gutman, How We Missed the Story, Page 170

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