4,624. 2/26/2003

” ‘Even if we succeed in what you are asking for [killing or capturing bin Laden],’ [Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah] Massoud told the CIA delegation, as his aide and translator Abdullah recalled it [in a February 26, 2003, interview], ‘that will not solve the bigger problem that is growing.’ The CIA team leader and his colleagues privately agreed with Massoud’s criticisms of American policy. The CIA men saw little distinction between al Qaeda and the Taliban. They felt frustrated by the State Department diplomats who argued moderate Taliban leadership might eventually expel bin Laden bloodlessly.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 471

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