If we know where Bin Laden is why don't we pick him up?


With all the terrorism he’s sponsoring and if we know where Bin Laden is why don’t we pick him up?

Yeah… I know the Taliban protecting him are reputed world class bad asses but it seems that if we really wanted him he’d be in custody by now. He’s attending weddings for God’s sake! It doesn’t seem he’s overly concerned about the world’s mightest power’s earnest desire to put him in custody.

What’s the price tag on him now? It has to be at least a million or more. It would seem some enterprising soliders of fortune would get their kits together and make the attempt.

I think that whoever went in after Bin Laden would basically be going into war with Afghanistan. Now, I’m not saying that going to war with Afghanistan would be akin to going to war with, say, Russia or China, but it would still be a pain in the ass. Besides that, I don’t think any one nation considers Bin Laden a big enough threat to go to war over. I figure that the U.S. is hoping that diplomacy and international pressure will get Afghanistan to hand him over. Yeah, right :rolleyes:.

The Taliban just fought the USSR, of which the war became their Vietnam. The independent republics still have not recovered from the failed invasion. Any overt atttempt to take out Bin Laden will trigger The Taliban’s wrath. Besides, fighting in the mountains is very tough if you are not intimately familiar with the surroundings. There are also areas, particularly at the Afghan-Pakistan border, that are very notorious for being havens for other criminals.
A strike on Bin Laden and his base of operations has to be totally by surprise. However, he is known to have the money to hire enough security and mobility to avoid such surprises. I would not be surprised if there are A-Teams, mercs who are trying to take out Bin Laden dead or alive, with the (non-official) approval of the US, but the work is cut out for them.

I would bet that there are probably not teams working on taking him out. Think of how it would make the US look in public opinion if we invaded a country just to arrest one man. I’m sure it would be considered an act of war, as well… which we really don’t need!

I bet that they’re working on getting Bin Laden to come to the US voluntarily.
Bin Laden: Could you get my travel agent on the phone please?
Secretary: Sure. Why?
Bin Laden: I just got a letter from Publisher’s Clearing House… I won the Grand Prize! But the Prize Patrol won’t come here, so I have to fly to the US to pick up the check.*

I don’t really see what the problem is. You send a team in, kill him, and pull the team out. No problem, unless someone screws up.

As for a “declaration of war” - yeah, right. First of all, the U.S. can always deny it did it. Second, even if they prove American involvement, what are they going to do, invade? The Afganis may fight like demons in defense of their country, but their offensive capabilities aren’t worth shit.

No, I think the U.S. isn’t doing anything because it lacks the nerve, not the capability.

Allesan, you made me think about this for a second…

If the US lacks the nerve to do anything about Bin Laden, why did we strike at one of his camps a couple of years ago with cruise missiles (shortly after the embassy bombings in Africa)? That seemed to me to be a pretty ballsy thing to do at the time…

You’re right about the declaration of war thing, though… I don’t think the US would have to worry about having Afghani troops landing in San Diego. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, the US would never invade an entire country just to arrest one man :rolleyes:.

Well, apparently sending half a million soldiers to fight the NVA wasn’t considered an act of war. Why would arresting one man be? Besides which, if that’s the problem, why not just declare war?


Yeah, pushing buttons takes a lot of balls. In fact, the combat divisions are notorious for their lack bravery, as most of the brave men are recruited into the “stay home and press buttons” divisions. BTW, that’s why they’re paid so much.

Well I thought we looked pretty badass the last time we did it.

The loud music thing was kind of embarrassing, though.

Yes… I know we invaded Panama to arrest Noriega! But that was a different situation. We did that with the support of the people in that country, not simply to arrest a criminal.

And I thought the loud music thing was pretty funny! :smiley:

Look, I think you guys are overstepping a big point. Bin Laden is our scapegoat. I have never seen one news article which specifically attributes an act of terrorism with Osama. Not one good link, not one specific cause and effect. He is always brought up in news stories as a “suspected” ring leader, or more often than that, a connection.

It seems that whenever a news story involving terrorism against the United States or one of its outposts arises, there’s always a vauge, circumstantial mention of “Bin Laden”. Almost always.

Now, this is not to say that the guy is innocent of terror strikes against the U.S. and her allies. But there must be scads of groups plotting andscheming against us. Osama is involved in every single one?
not bloody likely.
so I’d say that the reason we haven’t captured his ass is because he isn’t that big a deal, and he’s a great scapegoat (witness the bombing of the “ChemicalWeapons Facility”, whose weapons were aspirin and iboprofin).


We did not have the support of the people, they just weren’t strong enough to fightback.

And didn’t those rockets we shot at Laden miss, and kill the wrong people.

I believe that the Taliban have indicated that they might be prepared to release him if the US Government supplies them with some compelling evidence of his guilt. This, for whatever reason, the US Govt has so far failed to do.

Now can any of the “send a team to kill him” brigade explain why just sending somebody in to kill him, without any kind of trial, is not in itself an act of terrorism? Or is terrorism OK when it’s carried out by the US Government?

Good point TomH. I’m sure it would certainly appear as an act of terrorism to the people of Afghanistan.

Whatever happened to the basic tenet associated with most democracies of innocence until proven guilty? It seems that the basic principles of justice are being ignored on the grounds that the media and the US (and other) governments portray this guy as the doer of all evil.

If a suspected terrorist was holed up in some more closely aligned western country such as France, Germany, the UK, Canada etc, would you still think that sending in a few missiles or an assassination team would be the correct solution to such a problem? Or is it just that the different style of government in Afghanistan is particularly unpalatable to the US? Of course, it’s so much more democratic than any of the super-democratic gulf allies :rolleyes:

labdude, I’m not a historian, nor can I back up my claim, it’s just what I recall (too lazy to do the research on this :slight_smile: )… BUT IIRC, Noriega and his goons were commiting all sorts of attrocities in Panama at the time, and the people there were rather glad to see him arrested, and his gov’t overthrown.

And the rockets killing the wrong people? I dunno… I don’t recall who was killed during those strikes… I seem to recall that a few people were killed, but who they were (janitors who were in the wrong place at the wrong time or terrorists who were conspiring over a map?) I don’t know… and I doubt that the CIA knows with any certainty, either!

But the point is: in Panama, the US was acting against the government (in the form of old pineapple-face) of a country. In Afghanistan, the US would be acting against an individual residing in that country, not the government! Seems to me that there is a clear difference… Any law-types out there??

TomH has a good point… why would sending in an assassination team be any different than terrorism?

They did not. As a matter of fact, the Taliban overthrew the guys who fought the Soviets. Taliban didn’t even show up until several years after the Soviets had left and the Afghan commies been defeated.

The tenet in democracies of innocence until proven guilty is still there. If Mr. Lauden was captured, he would have to be proven guilty. Mr. Lauden has made no secret of his desire to kill people, he simply maintains a plausible deniablity thanks to the Taliban’s claims that he is cut off from communicating to the outside world. The Taliban have made clear they have no interest in investigating any of the US allegations.

If a suspected terrorist was holed up in a western country, there are rules in place for extradition. As much as France might disagree with US policy, they would not grant free rein to someone accussed of plotting attacks against the US.

In the eyes of the US and 95% of the world the Taliban have not established sovereignty. It has no protection as a nation under international law.

The rule of the Taliban is unpalatable to just about anyone that has to live there that is not part of the ruling class. But that’s what you get when you have gangs of illiterate guerilla fighters enforcing draconian rulings based on misinterpretations of a holy book they’ve never read.

Democracy does not exist in the gulf states as you pointed out. But whether or not a government lives up to US ideals is not what determines if they are an enemy of the US. It’s the actions of a government that affect US interest that determines that.

As others have pointed out, it’s basically not a very nice thing to do. Sets a rather unpleasant precedent, too.

Besides, it’s not that bloody easy. An operation like that can go wrong in way too many ways, and Bin Laden’s bodyguard can probably be counted upon to put up one hell of fight.

You’d need excellent intelligence, covert insertion into a country that loathes Westerners and is armed to the teeth, troops & firepower enough to overcome Bin Laden’s bodyguard and of course some mean of extraction. Pulling a stunt like this without losses would come down to luck. And trying, but not succeeding, would be worse than not trying at all.

S. Norman

According to http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/laden.htm
the current reward for the man the US regards as the leading terrorist in the world is currently at five million dollars. From that page we get

The other members on the FBI ten most wanted list all have a reward of 50 thousand with the exceptions of Rudolph (Olympic bomb suspect) and Bulger (mafia suspect) who are both at one million. If your a bounty hunter, looks like Usama Bin Laden is the crown jewel.


the Taliban simply does not have enough control of the country to remove Bin Laden even if they wanted to. Afganistan is a country controlled by local warlords. The same terain that kicked the Russians but can do the same to the Taliban. Leaving Bin Laden alone has the added benefit of pissing off the West and making Afghanistan a hero to the fundamentalistic Islamic movement.

It’s not the soldiers who are afraid to go kick ass, it’s the politicans. They are scared that a soldier might die in the line of duty. I dont know bout other people who were in the Army (or other service), but I went in knowing I could be killed. Hell most of the time I was in I was so damned bored that a little war to break up the monotomy would have been nice.

As far as Noriega is concerned: We put the guy in there, so I suppose it was ok for us to take him out. We (Americans) have such a nice record in Central America. If any one threatens our fruit companies the Marines are sent in. Not to mention the Contras.