From the Washington Times:
Retired Gen. Tommy Franks said yesterday that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry was distorting history with the often-repeated assertion that the United States allowed Osama bin Laden to escape.
"On more than one occasion, Sen. Kerry has referred to the fight at Tora Bora in Afghanistan during late 2001 as a missed opportunity for America," Gen. Franks said in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
"He claims that our forces had Osama bin Laden cornered and allowed him to escape. How did it happen? According to Mr. Kerry, we 'outsourced' the job to Afghan warlords. As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality."
Gen. Franks said that, contrary to what Mr. Kerry has said, "We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir."
Although the U.S. military did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew the region and its tunnels and caves, special forces from the United States and other countries were "providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes," Gen. Franks said, while as many as 100,000 Pakistani troops sealed the border and rounded up the enemy.