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Broadcasting date: 17-10-2005
Title : DEAD OR ALIVE: THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN
Subject : IRAQ - AFGHANISTAN

 

 

"I want justice. There's an old poster out West as I recall that said; Wanted: Dead or Alive!" - President George Bush, speaking after 9/11.

 

When Osama Bin Laden brought America to its knees it was not just George Bush who expected him to be caught and made to pay. The trail of death and mayhem caused by Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network led to the first ever CIA unit dedicated to one man and, after 9/11, to the biggest manhunt in history.

 

But more than three years later, Osama bin Laden is nowhere to be found and the trail's gone cold. Most experts think he is somewhere in Pakistan, but only recently President Musharraf said: "we simply do not know where he is." For the first time, the key players directly involved in the manhunt tell their story in Dead or Alive: The Hunt for Bin Laden

 

CIA agent Gary Schroen was given one last mission after 9/11 – heading a covert team of CIA agents into Northern Afghanistan with $5 million cash and a license to kill. "Our marching orders were pretty straightforward," he says, "We want bin Laden's head packaged in dry ice and shipped back. It was the first time I had ever actually been ordered to kill someone. People won't believe that, but that doesn't happen in the CIA". His boss at the Counter Terrorism Center at the CIA, Cofer Black, now ambassador-at-large, puts it this way: "We were basically unleashed. It was show-time: we had the money; we had the authorities - lock and load, we're going to get these guys." 

 

The film also speaks with the top secret Special Forces operatives detailed to hunt and kill the top Al Qaeda operatives and Bin Laden himself. "The orders came almost within 48 hours of 9/11 that we need to be prepared to get out," says Lt-Col. Chris Haas of the Triple Nickel unit. "Everybody in the chain of command was working to try to figure out how can we get this guy where we want him. We were hoping and praying he was going to live up to his message that he was going to fight us to the death. All of us wanted to be the one to be able to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants. Either he surrenders, or they don't and they die."

 

The inability of the U.S. to bring bin Laden to justice raises profound questions about the ability of the world's greatest super power to protect itself and the world. "Every day we don't capture him is a victory for him and a failure for the West; it's that simple," says CNN producer Peter Bergen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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