3,184. 12/10/2001

"Gary Berntsen, a CIA officer, wrote that on December 10 [2001] his Arabic-speaking operative Bilal heard bin Laden's voice on a satellite telephone urging his men in Tora Bora [Afghanistan] to keep fighting–although by then bin Laden was speaking from the safety of Pakistan. Berntsen was one of several officers who had requested that [Central Command leader] General [Tommy] Franks deploy eight hundred U.S. Rangers along the border with Pakistan to prevent bin Laden's escape, but Franks refused to do so. Berntsen described his frustration: 'Day and night I kept thinking, we need U.S. soldiers on the ground! We need them to do the fighting. We need them to block a possible al Qaeda escape into Pakistan…Franks was either badly misinformed by his own people or blinded by the fog of war.' "

 – Ahmed Rashid, Descent Into Chaos, 99

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