“The rationale for supporting characters like [Northern Alliance commander] Hazrat Ali to operate unmolested was their supposed value as intelligence assets in the hunt for bin Laden and the rest of al Qaeda. While happy to hand over the occasional hapless victim–in exchange for cash–for interrogation or worse in one of the expanding network of secret American prisons in Afghanistan, the warlords failed to produce any notably useful intelligence. Operation Anaconda, an elaborate attempt to trap an al Qaeda force in the Shah-i-Kot Valley in eastern Afghanistan in March 2002, turned into a near disaster for U.S. forces partly because the enemy were in a different place (the mountains rather than the valley floor) and five times as numerous than as advertised by local Afghan intelligence sources.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, Pages 133-134