United States Department of Defense
NEWS TRANSCRIPT Tuesday, November 6, 2001
Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Pace
(Also participating: Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Q: General Pace, speaking of tools, could you talk a little bit about the 15,000-pound Daisy Cutter bomb we were told that was starting to be used late last week, maybe give us some idea what sort of targets and what strategic advantages does that bring?
Pace: There were two of these weapons used in the last -- within the last week. They are 15,000-pound bombs that literally are fit on a pallet on a C-130. They're pushed out the back of the C-130 and float down by parachute. They have a probe that sticks out so when the probe hits the ground, they explode about three feet above the ground, and as you would expect, they make a heck of a bang when they go off, and the intent is to kill people.
Q: Can you give us an idea, though, what specific areas would you -- would that sort of bomb be more effective than, say, the traditional laser-guided or whatnot?
Pace: It would be extremely useful against troops that are in light defensive positions.
Friday November 23, 2001
U.S. Military Targets Afghan Caves & Tunnels, Drop Huge Bomb
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Friday said up to 70 long-range bombers and tactical jets continued to pound caves and tunnels in Afghanistan (news - web sites) on Thursday as the United States disclosed it had dropped a third 15,000-pound ``Daisy Cutter'' bomb south of Kandahar.
It was only the third time the U.S. military has used the massive napalm-like bomb in its 48-day offensive to punish the Taliban for harboring Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Maj. Brad Lowell, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said the BLU-82 bomb -- which devastates an area 600 yards across -- was dropped on Wednesday south of Kandahar on tactical troop positions, as the United States turned its attention to the Taliban stronghold.
``A great portion of that bomb's effectiveness is its psychological impact on troops,'' he said. ``Its intentions are to do damage where it hits, and for the troops that can actually see it hit, it has a great psychological impact.''
The United States also stepped up its propaganda war to win the support of Muslims around the world for its war in Afghanistan, releasing a detailed catalog of alleged ``terrorist atrocities'' committed by the Taliban and the al Qaeda network of Islamic extremists.
Pressing on with its search for Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, the Pentagon (news - web sites) said Thursday's targets included al Qaeda and Taliban hide-out caves and tunnels, as well as Taliban military forces arrayed against opposition forces.
Lowell said the strategy of systematically targeting the tunnels had proven successful during the advances made in the past few weeks: ``The tunnel system is an area to hide troops, it's an area to hide munitions and communications equipment.''
LEAFLET, FOOD DROPS
U.S. forces also continued dropping leaflets in the vicinity of Kandahar, and the northern Afghan bastion of Kunduz, where an estimated 15,000 Afghan and foreign Taliban soldiers were fighting on after surrender talks collapsed.
Washington has offered up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of bin Laden and his top lieutenants.
Deployment of the latest ``Daisy Cutter'' concussion bomb was clearly designed to wear down the Taliban forces holed up in Kandahar and weaken their ability to defend the city, military officials said. Two BLU-82 bombs were used in early November.
In addition, the U.S. flew more missions broadcasting in the native Afghan languages, the Pentagon said.
Large C-17 cargo aircraft also dropped about 19,200 humanitarian meal rations and 80 containers of wheat and blankets on Thursday, even as international aid agencies scramble to aid millions of needy Afghans refugees.
Even the special forces on the ground in Afghanistan got a treat for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, said Cmdr. Kevin Andahl, military spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
``Our forces get resupplied regularly, and yesterday those supplies included turkey,'' said Andahl.
Thursday's operations over Afghanistan involved 50 tactical aircraft from U.S. carriers, up to 10 long-range bombers and five to 10 land-based tactical jets, the Pentagon said.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was out of town for the Thanksgiving weekend, and no formal briefings were planned.
CATALOGUE OF ATROCITIES
As part of its information offensive, the United States released a list of 22 alleged atrocities committed by the Taliban and bin Laden's al Qaeda network dating back to 1996 and culled largely from media reports and military data.
The accounts included reports from refugees published in various British and U.S. newspapers that Taliban troops shot dead eight boys for daring to laugh at the soldiers.
The five-page document, rimmed in black, cited what the United States described as a ``growing catalog of terrorist atrocities'' committed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.
``Al Qaeda and the Taliban told us at their press conference ... that it is time to 'forget' their murder of thousands of innocent people from more than 80 countries on Sept. 11,'' said the document, compiled by the administration's ``Coalition Information Center'' and released this week.
``Presumably al Qaeda and the Taliban would also like the world to 'forget' about their other atrocities against the innocent. Below are a few examples from their growing catalog of terrorist atrocities,'' it said.
The document included accounts of beatings, arbitrary executions and the alleged massacre by foreign Taliban soldiers of 400 Afghan Taliban soldiers caught trying to defect to the Northern Alliance, reported in the New York Times this week.
Other alleged atrocities, based on information from the Defense and State departments, included the 1998 massacre of 600 Uzbek villagers in the province of Faryab and the alleged killing of hundreds of people in Yakaolang in January 2001.
Saturday November 24, 2001
Powerful Quake Shakes Afghanistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan AP) - A powerful earthquake shook remote areas of northeastern Afghanistan (news - web sites) early Saturday, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.
The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6, had its epicenter about 180 miles north of the Pakistani border city of Peshawar, in the Hindu Kush mountain range.
The temblor rattled windows and shook buildings in Peshawar and in the eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad, according to Pakistan's meteorological center in Peshawar.
It could also be felt in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, about 120 miles to the southwest.