Reply to Marc Cooper

Jacob Levich jlevich at
Mon Sep 16 18:51:47 MDT 2002

Although it's been all but erased from received history, the Taliban made a
series of overtures regarding the extradition of bin Laden.

In a year-old newsletter from an organization called ARROW I find:

"On 14 Oct, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Taliban deputy prime minister, made the
latest in a string of offers to extradite bin Laden to a neutral country:
'It can be negotiated provided the US gives us evidence and the Taliban are
assured that the country is neutral and will not be influenced by the
United States.' (Guardian, 15 Oct., p. 1)

On 17 Nov., it was reported that 'For the first time, the Taliban offered
to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without
asking to see evidence first, in return for a halt to the western bombing
of his country, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.'
Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil met officials from
the CIA and Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency. ('US officials... appear to
have dismissed the proposal. Instead they are hoping to engineer a split
within the Taliban leadership.') (Guardian, 17 Oct., p. 1)"

No reason to doubt the overtures were serious. By this time the Taliban
would have been well rid of bin Laden -- they just needed the figleaf of
extradition to a "neutral country" (probably Pakistan). They also seemed
ready to extradite in 1998 before Clinton's missile attack hardened their

There was no need of a "supranational authority" -- the crimes took place
on US soil and could have been tried under US law. (Whether bin Laden could
have had a "fair trial" in Federal criminal court is doubtful -- but he
might have had a better one than Ramzi Binalshibh is likely to have before
a US military tribunal.) The US, of course, never had the slightest
interest in bringing the criminals to justice. They were far more useful at
large, as all-purpose boogeymen and perpetual excuse for the widest
possible imperialist war.


At 07:05 PM 9/16/2002 -0400, you wrote:

>>  Could the perpatrators of the crimes of 9-11(US) met justice--
>>and without the mass murder of Afghanis?
>>I'm afraid I'm not enough of an expert on the Taliban and other similar
>>groups to answer that. But I don't see any way they could have been
>>"arrested" to face charges. There isn't any supranational authority at
>>this point that could have done it.

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