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On a special September 10 broadcast of ABC's Nightline, aired immediately after the first part of the controversial and factually inaccurate ABC "docudrama" The Path to 9/11, chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross reported that Osama bin Laden "was thought to have been cornered in a mountainous area called Tora Bora, but he was able to slip away into Pakistan." Ross, however, gave no indication that bin Laden "was able to slip away" because President Bush reportedly ignored the CIA's recommendations to send more troops into Tora Bora.
As Media Matters for America has noted, investigative journalist Ron Suskind, in his recent book The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (Simon & Schuster, June 2006), reported that the CIA had warned Bush specifically that the Pakistani and Afghan forces who, along with CIA special forces, had cornered bin Laden in Tora Bora were "definitely not" equipped to capture him themselves. The CIA officer overseeing the agency's hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan personally warned Bush that the United States risked "los[ing] our prey" if more U.S. troops were not sent to help in the effort. The troops were not sent, and bin Laden, as Ross noted, "was able to slip away into Pakistan."
From the September 10 broadcast of Nightline:
ROSS: Bin Laden was twice spotted by U.S. cameras on unmanned CIA aircraft flying over his Afghan camps in the year 2000. But the aircraft were not armed with missiles, and there was nothing the CIA could do about it but watch, [host] Cynthia [McFadden].
McFADDEN: And since 9-11, Brian?
ROSS: Well, in 2001, after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, bin Laden was thought to have been cornered in a mountainous area called Tora Bora, but he was able to slip away into Pakistan.