The author describes American military operations in Afghanistan, press coverage of the war, and how Osama bin Laden and many of his followers escaped from Afghanistan.
Details how Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda fighters slipped out of Afghanistan during the battles of Tora Bora and Operation Anaconda. The author also charges that Western media outlets, eager to satisfy their audience’s thirst for revenge, lost their grasp on journalistic objectivity while covering bin Laden’s pursuit. Blinding patriotism and reliance on Pentagon press releases led them to portray events not reflecting reality on the ground. He contends that to satisfy the press and the public’s need for vengeance, the Bush administration pushed to achieve early, highly visible successes to the detriment of long-term strategy. Impatience at the top forced a rush into a war aimed primarily at “regime change,” which left the U.S. military largely empty-handed.