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Kerry writes Intel chief, insists bin Laden unit re-open

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday July 6, 2006

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United States Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has written the Director of National Intelligence, insisting that the CIA bin Laden unit, reportedly closed, re-open immediately.

"This unit should be reconstituted immediately," writes Kerry in the letter's opening.

The CIA has reportedly closed the bin Laden unit in order to focus on a more comprehensive effort to curtail terrorist activities.

"I fully support efforts to adapt our response to the evolving nature of the threat," writes Kerry, "but this is not a compelling rationale for curtailing efforts to bring this mass murderer to justice."

The letter, as acquired by RAW STORY, follows:

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July 6, 2006

The Honorable John D. Negroponte

Director of National Intelligence Office of the Director of National Intelligence Washington, DC 2051

Dear Mr. Director:

I write to express my concern over recent reports that the CIA has closed down the unit responsible for hunting down Osama bin Laden. This unit should be reconstituted immediately and given all resources necessary to finish the job of holding bin Laden accountable and preventing him from organizing or inspiring future attacks against the United States and our allies.

There is no question that since 9/11, al Qaeda has morphed into a global terrorist movement that transcends any one individual. The decision to divert resources from the crucial fight against bin Laden and al Qaeda to wage war on Iraq has made the task of eradicating this increasingly diffuse threat more difficult. We now face a long, difficult and multi-faceted struggle against global terrorism and the hateful ideology that inspires it.

I fully support efforts to adapt our response to the evolving nature of the threat, but this is not a compelling rationale for curtailing efforts to bring this mass murderer to justice. In fact, we cannot lose sight of the fact that eliminating bin Laden would still strike a key blow against al Qaeda and represent a significant step forward in the war on terror. Given what is at stake, our intelligence community should be given sufficient resources to both pursue bin Laden and prosecute the broader war on terror.

Moreover, disbanding the bin Laden unit sends the message to the terrorists that they can kill thousands of Americans without being held to account. Given that Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was quoted this week as saying that “nobody has any idea” where bin Laden is, it is especially important that we send a clear message now that we have not given up the hunt. Reconstituting the bin Laden unit now would make it clear that we will never rest until he has been brought to justice.

Past failures to eliminate bin Laden at Tora Bora and in the nearly five years since 9/11 are no excuse for failing to do everything possible to find him now. The CIA’s bin Laden unit can play an important part of our effort to win the war on terror, and I urge you to revive and strengthen it as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry


 

 
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