Dead or Alive: The Hunt for Bin Laden

Last Update: 06 March 2005


Sunday March 6, 2005 at 10pm ET/PT
repeating Saturday March 12, 2005 at 10pm ET/PT
CBC Newsworld
"I want justice. There's an old poster out West as I recall that said; Wanted:
Dead or Alive."- President George Bush, speaking after 9/11
When Osama Bin Laden brought America to its knees it was not just George
Bush who expected him to be caught and made to pay. The trail of death
and mayhem caused by Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network led to the first ever
CIA unit dedicated to one man and, after 9/11, to the biggest manhunt in
history. But more than three years later, Osama bin Laden is nowhere to
be found and the trail's gone cold. Most experts think he is somewhere in
Pakistan, but only recently President Musharraf said: "we simply do not
know where he is." For the first time, the key players directly involved
in the manhunt tell their story in Dead or Alive: The Hunt for Bin Laden.
CIA agent Gary Schroen was given one last mission after 9/11 - heading
a covert team of CIA agents into Northern Afghanistan with $5 million
cash and a licence to kill. "Our marching orders were pretty straightforward,"
he says, "We want bin Laden's head packaged in dry ice and shipped back.
It was the first time I had ever actually been ordered to kill someone.
People won't believe that, but that doesn't happen in the CIA." His
boss at the Counter Terrorism Center at the CIA, Cofer Black, now
ambassador-at-large, puts it this way: "We were basically unleashed.
It was show-time: we had the money; we had the authorities - lock
and load, we're going to get these guys."
The film also speaks with the top secret Special Forces operatives
detailed to hunt and kill the top Al Qaeda operatives and Bin Laden
himself. "The orders came almost within 48 hours of 9/11 that we
need to be prepared to get out," says Lt-Col. Chris Haas of the Triple
Nickel unit. "Everybody in the chain of command was working to try to
figure out how can we get this guy where we want him. We were hoping
and praying he was going to live up to his message that he was going
to fight us to the death. All of us wanted to be the one to be able to
kill or capture Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants. Either he surrenders,
or they don't and they die."
The inability of the U.S. to bring bin Laden to justice raises profound
questions about the ability of the world's greatest super power to
protect itself and the world. "Every day we don't capture him is a
victory for him and a failure for the West; it's that simple," says CNN
producer Peter Bergen.
Dead or Alive: The Hunt for Bin Laden is directed by Mark Everest;
written by Jane Corbin; executive producer Roy Ackerman. It is a
Diverse Production for BBC, Discovery, CBC and France 2.
Narrated by Sean Bean


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