After September 11, 2001, a team of elite Delta Force commandos was sent into Afghanistan with an assignment to find and kill Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora -- but that mission failed.
The commander of the Delta Force team has now written a book which tells what he says is the true story of what went wrong. He appeared anonymously on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday to summarize that story.
Bin Lad More..en was known to be holed up at Tora Bora on a ridge with an elevation of 14,000 feet. The Delta Force team's initial plan was to come at him from the direction he'd least expect, climbing over the mountains at his back, but that plan wasn't approved by the higher-ups. Their second idea, to drop hundreds of landmines along the mountain passes to Pakistan to impede bin Laden's retreat and then bring in helicopters, was also turned down.
"How often does Delta come up with a tactical plan that's disapproved by higher headquarters?" CBS's Scott Pelley asked the commando leader.
"In my experience, in my five years at Delta, never before," he replied.
The only remaining option was a frontal assault by 50 US Delta Force members plus their Afghan guides -- and the Afghan warlord accompanying the commandos frankly told them, "I don't think you guys can handle it." A few million dollars from the CIA quickly secured his cooperation, but only to a degree.
The Shock Doctrine: Delta Force officer: US officials stopped plans to kill bin Laden