1,352. 10/8/1998

“State diplomats sought to convince the Taliban’s leaders that America did not see them as the enemy, that the United States was targeting only bin Laden and his Arab lieutenants. The August [20, 1998] cruise missile attack ‘was not directed against Afghanistan or the Taliban,’ Assistant Secretary of State Rick Inderfurth explained in [his statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs on] October [8] 1998. The Taliban ‘need to understand that by harboring terrorists, they are becoming increasingly complicit in the acts those terrorists commit.’ But there was still time for the Taliban to change its stripes. ‘We urge the Taliban to respond,’ Inderfurth declared. ‘If it does not, we will have to respond accordingly and adjust our policies.’ ”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 431

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