3,220. 12/15/2001

“In the fight for Tora Bora [Afghanistan, in December 2001], corrupt local militias did not live up to promises to seal off the mountain redoubt, and some colluded in the escape of fleeing al Qaeda fighters. [Central Command leader General Tommy] Franks did not perceive the setbacks soon enough, some officials said, because he ran the war from Tampa [Florida] with no commander on the scene above the rank of lieutenant colonel. The first Americans did not arrive until three days into the fighting. ‘No one had the big picture,’ one defense official said.” [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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