“Two American diplomats traveled to Kandahar [Afghanistan] on February 13, 1995, to meet with the Taliban mayor. The session began with a prayer calling for the conversion by unbelievers to Islam. The mayor refused to answer questions from the Americans about the Taliban’s leadership or organization. The movement’s leaders ‘appeared coached and the overall impression was one of disingenuity and a degree of deception,’ the American officials cabled afterward to Washington. It was the beginning of a long string of such lies and evasions–but the U.S. government had few resources in the region to dig beneath the surface. The CIA station and the Pentagon’s defense attaches had other priorities. Afghanistan’s civil war was no longer an important subject for intelligence collection.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 298