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Insider Report: Did Female Warriors Cause Bin Laden Escape?

Monday, 18 April 2005 12:00 AM

1. Did bin Laden Escape Because of Female Warriors?

For those on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and at the White House who think that women in land combat is a ho-hum non-issue, there is strong evidence the U.S. lost the opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden because of politically correct Pentagon policies to have more female warriors.

Here is how the story unfolds:

At the end of 2001, a relatively jury-rigged combination of Afghan fighters, American military advisers and U.S. air power was the tool used to hopefully corner and destroy the most wanted criminal on the planet – then believed cowering in the remote, mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan.

Bin Laden was last seen heading out of the Afghan city of Jalalabad toward Tora Bora in a convoy on Nov. 15, 2001. U.S. officials even thought they'd heard him on a local radio transmission in Tora Bora in December.

It may have been the best and last chance to grab chief terrorist thug bin Laden, the architect of 9/11, who infamously remains at large despite huge bounties on his head and a U.S. intelligence machine that gobbles billions.

A Pakistani official later suggested that some 4,000 al-Qaida members escaped – although it isn't clear whether bin Laden and his top aide, Ayman al Zawahiri, were among them.

At that critical moment, one well-connected military source says the U.S. was unable to commit desperately needed personnel because women had been mixed into units that were at strong risk of seeing combat.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Committee for Military Readiness, tells NewsMax the troubling story never before revealed to the media:

"Even though I was not sworn to secrecy, I did not publicize it at the time. My source was confidential, but I can tell you that he was a close aide to then-Army Secretary Thomas White.

"I happened to be introduced to this gentleman in December 2001 when I had dinner with friends at the Army/Navy Club in Washington D.C. Just before Christmas, he looked me up through the friend who introduced us, and told me this:

"'A meeting had taken place in December 2001, among top military planners, to consider ways to accelerate the war against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan...'"

Donnelly notes here that such meetings frequently took place at Carlisle Barracks in Penn., especially during the early stages of the war. People invited to attend usually did not discuss what was said. Coalition Forces had few resources on the ground, and intelligence was critical, she adds.

Donnelly continues:

"My source told me that during one of those December strategy meetings, military planners were throwing out lots of ideas for innovations to rout the Taliban - including unmanned recon aircraft that later were armed with missiles.

"The terrain of Afghanistan made it an ideal potential testing ground for the yet-to-be-deployed Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition [RSTA] squadrons of what were then called "Interim" (now Stryker) Brigade Combat Teams [SBCTs]. The squadrons are designed to work with local people, and to fight for information on the ground, if necessary."

Donnelly says the source disclosed that someone came up with the idea of sending some of the RSTA troops over there early - more than a year before scheduled deployment - in order to learn some "real-time" lessons under fire.

And herein the bombshell: "The idea was squelched, however, because someone mentioned that there were female soldiers being trained in the first of these outfits, being formed at Fort Lewis, Washington.

As the history of that early campaign in Afghanistan records, instead of sending the RSTAs early, Special Forces units did the job on horseback. The first RSTA squadron didn't deploy to Iraq with its eyes-and-ears SBCT until October 2003.

Essentially, U.S. ground troops without the reconnaissance component were partially blinded in their efforts to hunt down bin Laden and his gang because p.c. Pentagon officials had placed women into the reconnaissance ranks – a clear violation of Congressional rules.

Donnelly continues:

"I was already aware of the co-ed RSTA training earlier that year because another source, Maj. Gen. Thomas Cole, USA (Ret.), who lives near that base, had given me a tip that the training was going on in the late summer of 2001.

"I knew it was out of line, and brought it to the attention of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who started raising questions about it with the Pentagon in a letter signed by 27 members of Congress."

Early in 2002, several other conservative women's groups joined with Donnelly at a news conference in Washington, drawing attention to the violation of rules on women in combat, and calling for the DoD to abolish the old Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), which was apparently behind it all.

"Nothing was done, however, until I brought the matter to the attention of Deputy Secretary Dr. Paul Wolfowitz during a meeting in his office in April 2002. I told him about what had happened in December, and waited to see what he would say. He asked his aide to check it out, and he did.

"Two days later I was told that my information was accurate, and that the situation would be corrected. On April 26, 2002, Lt. Gen. John M. LeMoyne gave the order to reassign the women being trained in the RSTA squadron at Fort Lewis, restoring the program to compliance with law and policy."

What now confounds Donnelly is the fact that despite all the controversy about the RSTAs in 2001, which was resolved in favor of compliance with law and policy, the Army has now dropped the RSTAs from the list of units that are supposed to be coded all-male.

Donnelly also directs NewsMax's attention to a telling August 2, 2001 memorandum, signed by Gen. B. B. Bell, then-Commander of Armor Command at Fort Knox, KY, which forcefully opposed mixed-gender assignments in the IBCT/RSTA Surveillance Troop. Bell wrote:

"The RSTA squadron operates as part of the Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) which is a full spectrum, early entry combat force designed to conduct operations against conventional or unconventional enemy forces in all types of terrain and climate conditions... [T]he squadron's ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance] assets will operate in direct contact with enemy forces with the imminent likelihood of combat throughout the Squadron battle-space... This mission directly meets the Department of Defense definition of 'direct ground combat."

Bell was the man in charge who knew the score.

Donnelly concludes that the recent remarks by Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker tacitly endorsing a new breed of women warriors is more than an object for moral reflection on the weaker sex's role in the fighting and dying, but a tactical mistake that can have the highest costs to the nation's security.

2. Hillary Draws Republican Challengers

NewsMax has already reported that Edward Cox, a seasoned New York attorney and son-in-law to the late Richard Nixon is considering a bid to challenge Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2006.

But other candidates are showing an interest in taking on Hillary.

Some heavyweight political strategists are encouraging Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro to challenge Hillary.

Pirro, a tough prosecutor who is TV friendly, would cut into Hillary's female base – and her growing suburban support. Hillary lives in Chappaqua, a village in Westchester.

3. Other Notes: Castro Loves Kerry

One Sen. John Kerry still remains popular with the Western Hemisphere's most brutal dictator, Fidel Castro.

Last week when Castro complained about the U.S. elections, it made headlines. (Kerry still hasn't figured out that Americans don't like sore losers.)

But Castro's news agency, Latina Prensa, headlined the Kerry story: "John Kerry Denounces Cheating and Intimidation in US Elections."


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1. Did bin Laden Escape Because of Female Warriors?For those on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and at the White House who think that women in land combat is a ho-hum non-issue, there is strong evidence the U.S. lost the opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden because of...
Monday, 18 April 2005 12:00 AM
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