3,222. 12/15/2001

Though the Bush Administration had recently announced that bin Laden was present in the battle of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in December 2001, Central Command (CENTCOM) leader General Tommy “Franks continues to dissent from that analysis. Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, his chief spokesman, acknowledged the dominant view outside Tampa [Florida, CENTCOM headquarters] but said the general is unpersuaded. ‘We have never seen anything that was convincing to us at all that Osama bin Laden was present at any stage of Tora Bora–before, during or after,’ Quigley said. ‘I know you’ve got voices in the intelligence community that are taking a different view, but I just wanted you to know our view as well.’ ‘Truth is hard to come by in Afghanistan,’ Quigley said, and for confidence on bin Laden’s whereabouts ‘you need to see some sort of physical concrete proof.’ “ [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Barton Gellman and Thomas E. Ricks, “U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight,” The Washington Post, April 17, 2002

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