Media Commander

The Sept. 9, 2001, assassination of Afghan rebel leader Ahmad Shah Massoud is a dark little corner on the early 21st century chessboard. Al-Qaeda's killing of the anti-Taliban commander is often said to have paved the way for 9/11: a pre-emptive elimination of a likely ally of the U.S., which was bound to invade Afghanistan in response to the attacks.

But beyond the tactical why, there is also a lesson in looking at how the man known as the Lion of Panjshir was taken out. The suicide bomber had come to Massoud's mountain headquarters posing as a television...

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