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Michele searches for Bin Laden

Michele D. was on the show last week wondering why we had stopped hunting for Bin Laden. She sent along these articles and links, asking me to share them with you. Here they are:

Former antiterror adviser says Bush ignored 9/11 warnings

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House’s former counterterrorism coordinator blasts President Bush in a television interview and a new book, saying the president ignored warnings about terrorist attacks before 9/11 and has done “a terrible job” battling terrorism since then.

“Frankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he’s done such great things about terrorism,” Richard Clarke told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview Sunday night. “He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We’ll never know.”

Clarke said he asked for a Cabinet-level meeting in January 2001, shortly after the president took office, to discuss the threat al Qaeda posed to the United States. “That urgent memo wasn’t acted on,” Clarke told CBS. Instead, he said, administration officials were focused on issues such as missile defense and Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/22/clarke.bush/index.html

CIA Commander: U.S. Let bin Laden Slip Away

“In a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency’s Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora-intelligence operatives had tracked him-and could have been caught.”

“The decorated career CIA officer criticizes Donald Rumsfeld’s Defense Department for not providing enough support to the CIA and the Pentagon’s own Special Forces teams in the final hours of Tora Bora. —That backs up other recent accounts, including that of military author Sean Naylor, who calls Tora Bora a “strategic disaster” because the Pentagon refused to deploy a cordon of conventional forces to cut off escaping Qaeda and Taliban members.”

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8853000/site/newsweek/

Bush: “Bin Laden Not That Important”

“I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.” March, 2002

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/03/20020313-8.html

C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused On Capture of bin Laden

(July 4th, 2006)

” Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a view within the agency that Mr. bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was.

Mr. Scheuer said that view was mistaken.

”This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda,” he said. ”These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals.”

In recent years, the war in Iraq has stretched the resources of the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, generating new priorities for American officials. For instance, much of the military’s counterterrorism units, like the Army’s Delta Force, had been redirected from the hunt for Mr. bin Laden to the search for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed last month in Iraq.”

http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F70D15FC39540C778CDDAE0894DE404482

New Plot:

Scale and Detail of Plane Scheme Recall Al Qaeda

Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in an interview that the scope and targets of the thwarted plot were “suggestive of Al Qaeda direction and planning,” and other top officials said the plan reflected the terrorist network’s penchant for spectacular and simultaneous assaults.

“It has all of the earmarks of an Al Qaeda plot,” said Mary Jo White, the former United States attorney whose office successfully investigated and prosecuted the so-called Bojinka plot to bring down airliners over the Pacific in 1995.

The Bojinka plot was devised by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who had carried out the largely ineffective 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a mastermind of the 2001 attacks that toppled the towers, an earlier example of Al Qaeda repeating an attack against the same targets.

Michael Sheehan, a former National Security Council official who served as the New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official until May, said the Bojinka plot clearly served as a blueprint for the British plotters.

“This is a repeat. This is clearly Bojinka inspired,” said Mr. Sheehan. “This is almost an identical plot. The only difference is the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/11/world/europe/11qaeda.html?hp&ex=1155355200&en=eeec0f91cd71e891&ei=5094&partner=homepage

9/11 panel sees no link between Iraq, al-Qaida

“The report, the 15th released by the commission staff, concluded, “We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaida cooperated on attacks against the United States.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5223932/

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  1. Adam Hill
    August 19, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    I actually heard that CIA Commander, author of Jawbreaker, interviewed yesterday on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC. It’s a pretty fascinating interview, very worth listening to, which you can do on-line here:

    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes
    /2006/08/18

    PS: he was/is a gung-ho supporter of the Iraq invasion, so he’s no lefty peacenik attacking Bush.

  2. Bob from San Luis
    August 21, 2006 at 4:49 am

    The current administration has had several “coincidental” timing of seemingly extraordinary “news” events that occur just as something “bad” comes out that was caused by or for the administration. The London terror plot was supposedly pushed to an earlier than planned warrant execution at the request of the Bush administration. What was the bad news that was coming out that they wanted to deflect the media from? Ned Lamont’s win over Joe Liberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, which points out how voters could be ready for a change. How better to diffuse a potential groundswell of attention to a political situation that points towards how badly America is ready for a change? Yeah, I know Rich; conspiracy theory. Here is a link which elaborates on this point, by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Dismiss me as usual, but, consider the possibility that the linked article has credence. A federal judge rules against the administration’s wiretap program, bingo, Jon Benet Ramsey’s killer is found and the “media” can’t get enough of all the surrounding circus that ensues. The illegal wiretap situation is pushed to the back of the media’s spotlight. Mission accomplished. It would be interesting for a list to be compiled of all of the times a similar “news” event happens when ever this administration has a “bad” day.

  3. Rich from Paso
    August 21, 2006 at 5:10 am

    Actually, Lamont’s win was a “good news” story because it cemented your party as the party of pacifism and defeatism. It is also no coinsidence that Lieberman leads all candidates by 17%, that includes Lamont, the man that supposedly “beat” Lieberman.

    There are two types of people in the world: optimists and pessimists. Optimists believe in coinsidence and providence; pessimists believe in conspiracy and powerlessness. You sure sound like a pessimist, Bob.

  4. Bob from San Luis
    August 21, 2006 at 8:07 am

    Hum, curious Rich; I usually refer to myself as an optimist, perhaps it’s just my interpretation of how badly this administration has strangled the Constitution that has me “pessimistic”.

    I am curious what you thought of the link however.

  5. Rich from Paso
    August 21, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    I think that you could have said the same thing about Clinton with Operation Desert Fox, in Iraq of all places!, and the Monica Lewinski broohaha. I think the author’s attempt to find causality between two events in the news in terms of wheether they are “good” or “bad” for Bush just sounds paranoid, as if any one person has that much control over our lives to manipulate events like that. I say no one does and coinsidences still happen.

  6. Michele in AG
    August 21, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    Did anyone realize maybe President Bush want us to think he’s not interested in Bin Laden? Could it be some strategy on his part?

  7. Bob from San Luis
    August 29, 2006 at 6:31 am

    Rich: Concerning Jon Benet Ramsey’s “killer” ; so I am a conspracy theorist- what do you say when those “theories” are correct? Dumb luck? Is it possible that this administration manipulated the media, again?

  8. Rich from Paso
    August 29, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    Whatever you want to beleive is what you’re going to believe, Bob. If you want to see conspiracy everywhere then that is what you will see.

  9. JerryDinAZ
    August 29, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    WE HAVE BIN LADEN RIGHT WHERE WE WANT HIM…IN A CAVE WITH HIS MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. ALONE AND ISOLATED. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”

  10. Rich from Paso
    August 30, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    You’re right, Jerry. Trapped in a cave, bin Laden is neither a menace or a martyr. Funny how we just don’t hear from him much anymore.

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