In December 2019, the Washington Post published an article detailing many of the lies that U.S. officials have issued throughout their entire war on Afghanistan. The article was based on “a confidential trove of government documents.”
Perhaps the biggest whopper though was the one emitted by President George W. Bush and that is now being repeated by President Biden — that the reason that Bush launched his war on Afghanistan was because the Taliban regime had knowingly “harbored” Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
That was a lie, a flagrant lie. Neither Bush nor any other U.S. official ever provided even a scintilla of evidence that the Taliban regime was somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks.
The real reason that Bush launched his war was over the concept of extradition. Bush demanded that the Taliban regime deliver bin Laden into the custody of U.S. officials. However, Afghanistan and the U.S. did not have an extradition treaty. Therefore, the Afghan government was under no legal obligation to accede to Bush’s demand.
Nonetheless, the Taliban regime announced its willingness to deliver bin Laden to a neutral third party nation for trial. That’s because it feared, with some justification, that bin Laden would end up in the clutches of the U.S. national-security establishment, where he would be subjected to torture, indefinite detention, assassination, extra-judicial execution, or a kangaroo military tribunal.
The only condition that the Taliban imposed for doing this was that the U.S. provide evidence of bin Laden’s guilt, much as it would be required to do in a regular extradition proceeding.
Bush declined to do that. He made it clear that his extradition demand for bin Laden was unconditional. Afghanistan needed to comply with his extradition demand or else be invaded and regime-changed.
If U.S. officials had had evidence that the Taliban regime was complicit in the 9/11 attacks, does anyone think for a moment that they would have been jacking around with an extradition demand? Not on your life. They would have gone on the attack immediately. Moreover, it is clear that if the Taliban had complied with Bush’s unconditional extradition demand, there never would have been a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, which means that Afghanistan wasn’t guilty of anything except failing to accede to Bush’s extradition demand.
Thus, today, when Biden says that the decades-long war on Afghanistan has ensured that Afghanistan will never again serve as a “haven” for anti-American terrorists, he is being disingenuous because there was never any evidence that the Taliban regime was complicit in the 9/11 attacks in the first place.