Believe me, Brendan, you have a sympathetic ear when you discuss the emotional distress surrounding the WTC attacks. I feel the same way. I'm glad you did not lose anyone in your family. Also, I know you are getting a hard time here, but you make decent sense to me. That World Series was something, huh?
That said, you do need evidence (not just saved for the courtroom), but not necessarily proof in order for an extradition to occur. Even then, I don't think that the Taliban was a participant in any international extradition treaty which would serve as a pretext for negotiations. But, make no mistake, evidence (probable cause) is necessary. I don't think even reasonable suspicion would have applied at the time of the demand (post 9/11). I think there is probable cause NOW to believe that Bin Laden planned the attacks, but not then. I personally believed it then, and so did many rational people. But, that was just reasonable suspicion, not necessarily real evidence, which is required for an extradition.
However, if the Taliban was even remotely serious about ever turning over Bin Laden to the U.S., they would not have asked for "proof." That is reserved for a court of law. You can't prove something by making a statement. Proof is the direct result of building a case over time. The Taliban knew that the U.S. didn't have this particular "proof" at that time and they knew what the U.S. response would be. Then, they could state, which they did: "Hey, we offered them Bin Laden, but they refused our conditions." Similarly, the U.S. kind of made a blanket demand, also knowing full well what the Taliban response would be. Then, they could state, which they did: "Hey, we asked them for Bin Laden, but they wouldn't turn him over under our conditions." Pakistan's involvement was just a distraction of the obvious, inevitable outcome.
Anyway, I don't think any amount of proof would have been sufficient for the Taliban. And it was a foregone conclusion that the U.S. was going to attack the terrorist camps in Afghanistan regardless (BTW, the U.S. also asked the Taliban to "close down" those camps to avoid an invasion...a more laughable notion I cannot think of at the moment). And they wanted Bin Laden BADLY. But, it wasn't JUST about him.
Also, Bin Laden was never indicted for the '93 WTC bombing, but he was indicted in the southern district of NY (Manhattan) for the '98 bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was also indicted for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. So, there's your evidence that Bin Laden needed to face justice. Although, I do agree that he did not necessarily need to face it inside of the United States. Kenya, Tanzania or Yemen would have been fine with me, as long as an American prosecutor had the opportunity to participate.
Thanks for the info on the state of affairs in Afghanistan. I did not know the situation had not improved much, or at all. I knew things were not perfect, obviously. It is something we need to keep an eye on and not forget about. And Brendan, I definitely was not offended or anything by your initial posting of the photo and (irrelevant) heading. But, I was taken aback, purely because it did not fit the scope of this site. And, yeah, it was in poor taste.
I don't think Americans are looking to get our "filthy" hands on Afghan women, though. Maybe Martin did not mean the American people in general, but if he did, personally that is not the way I perceive women. That was insulting, no question. I also don't think that the U.S. is looking to import any more heroin. That would just be sheer lunacy. Heroin addiction is severely destructive. No country that has that problem needs it to intensify.
Created By: John Keeney