1,601. 12/15/1999

“By December 1999, [Northern Alliance leader, Ahmed Shah] Massoud’s quixotic quest to retake Afghanistan from the Taliban had become a fantasy. And far away from his archenemy bin Laden, he could also provide little useful intelligence. While one part of the CIA was bankrolling Massoud’s group, another part, the CIA’s Counter-Narcotics Center, was warning that he posed a great danger. His people, they warned, were continuing to smuggle large amounts of opium and heroin into Europe. …White House counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke called Massoud’s Northern Alliance ‘not a very good group of people to begin with. They’re drug runners. They’re human rights abusers. …It’s just not something that you’re going to build a national government around.’ ” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Pages 220-221

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