“In Washington a spokesman for the State Department, Glyn Davies, announced [during his September 27, 1996, State Department Regular Briefing] the official American reaction [to the Taliban’s September 1996 defeat of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Northern Alliance] from a briefing room podium. ‘We hope this presents an opportunity for a process of national reconciliation to begin,’ he said. ‘We hope very much and expect that the Taliban will respect the rights of all Afghans and that the new authorities will move to restore order and security and to form a representative government on the way to some form of national reconciliation.’ Asked if the United States might open diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, Davies replied, ‘I’m not going to prejudge where we’re going to go with Afghanistan.’ ”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Pages 14-15