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CNN (!) Debunks CIA-bin Laden Relationship August 15, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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CNN has posted a Q&A with Terror Analyst Peter Bergen, who interviewed bin Laden in 1997. Among other things, he debunks the unquenchable conspiracy theory that the CIA funded bin Laden:

Q: If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?
Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

BERGEN: This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

It’s a little light on the details, but is consistent with many other debunkings I’ve read. Disinformation has an extensive chapter on this very topic. Basically, the CIA worked with the group that became the Northern Alliance during the Soviet-Afghan campaign. They gave them money, and indirectly supplied them with arms. Pakistan, on the other hand, worked with bin Laden’s group at this time. These two groups were not friendly with each other during the war, and afterwards became direct enemies. Which is why we worked with the Northern Alliance when we overthrew the Taliban.

Just keep throwing facts at the situation. People who are reasonable will start to understand.

I hope.

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