“Those tunnels the U.S. is bombing in Afghanistan? They were built by the CIA.”
WikiLeaks sent the tweet out 4 days ago, following the United States military dropping the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ or MOAB on a network of tunnels and cave complex in Afghanistan.
The largest and powerful non-nuclear bomb ever to be used by the US military cost $170,000 per MOAB unit, as opposed to the initial reports of the disputed $16 million – though any figures are still yet to be confirmed by the US Air Force. The outcome of the drop – aimed at between 600 and 800 terrorists in the complex – was between 90 and 100 ISIS militant deaths, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 14, 2017
Numbers aside, the irony of bombing a CIA-made tunnel is not lost on WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden. NSA Whistleblower Snowden tweeted “Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we’re bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them. #Blowback.”
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 13, 2017
Tweeting a link related to a Sept. 2005 New York Times article, a similar cave complex was described in detail. The “Tora Bora” complex was “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls.” The “fortified caves” were built and financed by the CIA “for the mujahedeen” and constructed with the help of Osama Bin Laden’s family.
“Bin Laden had flown in dozens of bulldozers and other pieces of heavy equipment from his father’s construction empire, the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the most prosperous construction companies in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Persian Gulf,” the NY Times article reported.
The mujahedeen safe haven was provided by US intelligence; set up as their headquarters, the Afghani rebels fought and defeated the Russians in the Afghan War. However, by 2001, the Tora Bora cave complex boasted its own ventilation system and hydroelectric generators. Osama bin Laden, the NY Times reported, had refined the cave system to a smooth finish with floors that he extended “350 yards in the granite mountain.”
Post 9/11, Osama bin Laden took refuge in Tora Bora. At a time when Brig. Gen. James Mattis commanded 4,000 marines in Afghanistan, Mattis – now the United States Secretary of Defense – had requested permission to attack the caves. “Mattis, along with another officer with whom I spoke, was convinced that with these numbers he could have surrounded and sealed off bin Laden’s lair,” the NY Times reported, “[Mattis] argued strongly that he should be permitted to proceed to the Tora Bora caves,” but his request was denied a week later.
The denial of the request is a large failure on the part of the Bush administration; it was a confirmed location for bin Laden, who escaped the caves in late 2001.
“An American intelligence official told me that the Bush administration later concluded that the refusal of Centcom to dispatch the marines — along with their failure to commit U.S. ground forces to Afghanistan generally — was the gravest error of the war.”
Nonetheless, the WikiLeaks/Snowden tweets are a smattering of irony set to remind the public of what US intelligence agencies fund, the mess left for others to clean up, and the role of the military-industrial complex. Although the caves bombed may not be the CIA-built Tora Bora system of tunnels, the likelihood of them linked to those that were, are highly probable.
The MOAB dropped may not have reached the Tora Bora complex, however. It’s important to point out that multiple outlets described the target as some miles away from the infamous cave complex. The Guardian claimed the MOAB target was in an Achin district of Nangarhar province, some 12 or so miles from Tora Bora.
The locals living in the nearby village, Shadel, where the bomb was dropped, states that Achin is still not safe after the MOAB bombing. A 30-year war continues to devastate the area and the locals living there. One commando told The Guardian that insurgent control is still firmly in place.
“Everyone who is left here who is not Isis, is Taliban.”
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