Details how Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda fighters slipped out of Afghanistan during the battles of Tora Bora and Operation Anaconda. The author also charges that Western media outlets, eager to satisfy their audience’s thirst for revenge, lost their grasp on journalistic objectivity while covering bin Laden’s pursuit. Blinding patriotism and reliance on Pentagon press releases led them to portray events not reflecting reality on the ground. He contends that to satisfy the press and the public’s need for vengeance, the Bush administration pushed to achieve early, highly visible successes to the detriment of long-term strategy. Impatience at the top forced a rush into a war aimed primarily at “regime change,” which left the U.S. military largely empty-handed.
About the Author
PHILIP SMUCKER has spent the last sixteen years as an overseas reporter, covering conflicts in Burma, Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He currently writes for U.S. News and World Report and the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. Smucker broke the story of bin Laden’s escape from Afghanistan in the Christian Science Monitor in December 2001. In connection with his reporting in Afghanistan, Smucker appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Chris Matthews’s Hardball, ABC’s Nightline, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports, and other television programs. Smucker resides in Cairo, Egypt.