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Posted: 10/24/2001 12:08:10 PM EDT
http://www.msnbc.com/news/645624.asp CIA authorized to kill bin Laden Oct. 21 — President Bush last month signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake its most sweeping and lethal covert action since the founding of the agency in 1947, explicitly calling for the destruction of Osama bin Laden and his worldwide al Qaeda network, according to senior government officials. THE PRESIDENT also added more than $1 billion to the agency’s war on terrorism, most of it for the new covert action. The operation will include what officials said is “unprecedented” coordination between the CIA and commando and other military units. Officials said that the president, operating through his “war cabinet,” has pledged to dispatch military units to take advantage of the CIA’s latest and best intelligence. ‘THE GLOVES ARE OFF’ Bush’s order, called an intelligence “finding,” instructs the agency to attack bin Laden’s communications, security apparatus and infrastructure, senior government officials said. U.S. intelligence has identified new and important specific weaknesses in the bin Laden organization that are not publicly known, and these vulnerabilities will be the focus of the lethal covert action, sources said. “The gloves are off,” one senior official said. “The president has given the agency the green light to do whatever is necessary. Lethal operations that were unthinkable pre-September 11 are now underway.”
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