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On the central point of contention, whether Sudan offered to extradite archterrorist Osama bin Laden to the United States in 1996 before his al Qaeda militants became an organized global threat, the commission's staff report said: "Former Sudanese officials claim that Sudan offered to expel bin Laden to the United States. Clinton administration officials deny ever receiving such an offer." Taken individually, both statements are probably accurate. But the gap left between what the commission wants ordinary Americans to believe by its deftly crafted statement, and the truth of what happened at that time is wide enough to drive a tractor-trailer through it.