Footnotes of an America United

There were these footnotes to the story of America's war on terrorism. 

 The Pentagon is not denying reports that the Taliban continued to receive supplies from Pakistan, which come by truck under cover of night through the southern Pakistani city of Quetta. The Washington Times says that shipments include ammunition and fuel.

It reportedly moves with the approval of Pakistani military and the fabled ISI, the Interservice Intelligence Agency, which helped establish the Taliban and is thought to maintain close ties to it.  This, despite the Musharraf government's current cooperating with the U.S.

And the Taliban apparently plays favorites in its dealings with Western news agencies.  For the tours it is currently running through Afghan areas, where it claims U.S. bombs have caused civilian casualties.  CBS News applied to go on the latest tour, but was not allowed.  Nor was NBC.  The Afghan embassy tried to charge Fox News $2,000 to go on the tour.  Fox News declined.

But CNN and ABC News, both of which went on the tour, were reportedly charged only a $30 visa fee per reporter, according to The New York Times.  ABC News made its report on the Taliban casualty tour the second item in its evening newscast Wednesday night.

The CIA is scoffing at a French newspaper report that one of its agents met with Usama bin Laden last July.  When bin Laden, the paper said, was being treated for kidney trouble at the American hospital in the Persian Gulf state of Dubai.

The French paper, Le Figaro, said bin Laden was giving a portable kidney dialysis machine during a 10-day stay after flying in from Quetta, Pakistan.  The paper said a widely known C.I.A. man visited him there and later boasted to friends of the meeting at the hospital.  Not only did the CIA deny the meeting, but the director of the hospital is denying that bin Laden was ever there.

A report out of Islamabad, Pakistan says the Afghan defense council, a group of 19 Pakistani religious parties, is saying it has amassed 10,000 volunteers from northwestern tribes to go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, which has so far discouraged them from coming.  UPI quotes that council as saying it will  "provide lifetime financial support for those who die fighting the Americans."