2.) “But this has been our problem with our foreign policy for decades, Republican and Democrat. We funded bin Laden. We funded the mujahideen. We were in favor of radical jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy.” – Rand Paul during John Kerry’s 2013 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The U.S. funded Osama bin Laden? You hear this claim from conspiracists and some loony non-interventionists of the left and the right. But it’s just not true – at least no evidence has ever been produced to support it.
It is true that the U.S. funded the mujahideen in Afghanistan in order to push the Soviet Union out. But the “Afghan Arabs,” as bin Laden and his fellow travelers from the Arab world who went to Pakistan in the 1980s to support the Afghan jihad were called, received no funding from the United States. And why would the U.S. fund them? Their actual role in the fight was minor.
“The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth,” terrorism expert Peter Bergen said in a 2006 interview with CNN. “There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.”