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Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming
NYT ^ | 3/27/04 | PETER R. NEUMAN

Posted on 03/27/2004 6:05:50 AM PST by Ranger

 

LONDON — Did the Bush administration, before the 9/11 attacks, fail to take terrorism seriously enough? At first the contention seems unlikely. Isn't this the most hawkish administration in living memory? Wasn't it President Bush who coined the phrase "war on terror"?

Yet in the current hearings on the attacks — and in the controversy surrounding the new book by Richard A. Clarke, the administration's first counterterrorism chief — the words "neglect" and "failure" keep cropping up.

And there is something to these accusations — although perhaps not in the sense that the people making them intend. The administration's early failures on terrorism cannot be pinned down to individual instances of "neglect." To understand what really went wrong, we need to go back to the last decades of the cold war, when people like Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, and Vice President Dick Cheney first started to make sense of terrorism.

In the 1970's and 80's, the predominant view among Washington hawks was that none of the various terrorist groups that operated in Western Europe and the Middle East was truly independent. They were all connected through a vast terrorist network, which was created and supported by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites. The Communists' aim, the hawks believed, was to destabilize the Western societies without being directly linked to violence.

It all seemed to make perfect sense, and books like "The Terror Network" by Claire Sterling, which argued the network hypothesis with considerable force and conviction, became essential reading for anyone who wanted to make his way in the Reagan White House.

The idea that the sinister hand of the Kremlin was behind groups like the Italian Red Brigades and even the Irish Republican Army revealed the deep sense of paranoia within political circles at the time. More important, the idea of the Communist terrorism network buttressed the conservative fixation on states as the only major actors in the international political system.

According to the classically "realist" mindset, only states can pose a significant threat to the national security of other states, because lesser actors simply do not have the capacity, sophistication and resources to do so. Hence, if terrorists suddenly became effective in destabilizing countries like Italy, they couldn't possibly have acted on their own. They must have had state sponsors, and it was only by tackling the state sponsors (in this case, the Soviet bloc), that you could root out the terrorists.

During the cold war, the paradigm of "state-sponsored terrorism" was useful, if not entirely correct. Most terrorists did receive help from states, and there were some links between disparate groups, although not to the extent that many in the United States believed. And some of the worst atrocities — like the 1983 attack on United States military headquarters in Beirut — were in fact carried out by groups that had been created by "rogue states" like Iran, Libya and Syria.

With the end of the cold war, however, things changed. While there was no longer a prime state sponsor for any "terror network," there was also no longer any need for one. It became easy to travel from one country to another. Money could be collected and transferred around the globe. Cell phones and the Internet made it possible to maintain tight control of an elusive group that could move its "headquarters" across continents. In fact, by the end of the decade, it seemed as if the model of state-sponsored terrorism had effectively been reversed: Al Qaeda was now in charge of a state — Afghanistan under the Taliban — rather than vice versa.

But the Washington hawks failed to see what was happening. The world around them had changed, but their paradigm hadn't. For them, states continued to be the only real movers and shakers in the international system, and any serious "strategic" threat to America's security could only come from an established nation.

Consider an article in the January/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine by Condoleezza Rice, titled "Campaign 2000 — Promoting the National Interest." Ms. Rice, spelling out the foreign policy priorities of a Bush White House, argued that after years of drift under the Clinton administration, United States foreign policy had to concentrate on the "real challenges" to American security. This included renewing "strong and intimate relationships" with allies, and focusing on "big powers, particularly Russia and China." In Ms. Rice's view, the threat of non-state terrorism was a secondary problem — in her to do list" it was under the category of "rogue regimes," to be tackled best by dealing "decisively with the threat of hostile powers."

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that there was relatively little interest in Al Qaeda when the Bush team took over. For most of 2001, the national security agenda really consisted of only two items, neither of which had anything to do with the terrorist threat of radical Islam. First, the administration increased its efforts to bring about regime change in Iraq, which was believed to be the prime source of instability in a region of great strategic importance.

The second goal was a more competitive stance toward China. Missile defense — this time against attack by China and North Korea — was put back on the table. Even the collision of an American spy plane with a Chinese fighter in 2001 is an indication of the administration's mindset — intelligence resources were deployed not to find Osama bin Laden, but to monitor what many White House hawks considered the most likely future challenger of American power.

Sept. 11, 2001, brought about a quick re-orientation of foreign policy. What didn't change, however, was the state-centered mindset of the people who were in charge. According to Mr. Clarke, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld immediately suspected Saddam Hussein, and suggested military strikes against Iraq. While cooler heads prevailed at the time, and there was a real effort to track down and destroy the Qaeda network, there was also a reluctance to abandon the idea that terrorism had to be state-based. Hence the administration's insistence that there must be an "axis of evil" — a group of states critical in sustaining the terrorists. It was an attempt to reconcile the new, confusing reality with long-established paradigm of state sponsorship.

In the end, the 9/11 hearings are likely to find that the intelligence failure that led to the horrific attacks stemmed from the longstanding problems of wrongly placed agents, failed communications between government departments and lack of resources. But it was also a failure of vision — one for which the current administration must take responsibility.

 

Peter R. Neumann is a research fellow in international terrorism at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.


 


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: 911; 911commission; alqaeda; condoleezzarice; intelligencefailure; prequel; richardclarke; terrorism
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1 posted on 03/27/2004 6:05:51 AM PST by Ranger
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To: Ranger
1. Rep. Christopher Shays, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, said that in June 2000 Clark told the subcommittee there was "no need for an assessment" of the terrorist threat.

Three national commissions concluded the US needed a comprehensive threat assessment and a national strategy. Shays held 20 hearings pre 9/11 and on June 28, 2000 he asked Mr. Clarke, then serving as Clinton's Special Assistant and National Coordinator, Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism, when an all source threat assessment and strategy would be completed.

Clark answered "No assessment has been done, and there is no need for an assessment. I know the threat."

2. In 2000, the Department of Defense Worldwide Conference on Terrorism asked Mr. Clarke's assistant when a national strategy on terrorism would be completed. The assistant responded that a strategy was being developed (in 2000 - the last year of the Clinton presidency). However, no national strategy to combat terrorism was every produced during the Clinton administration.

3. 911 Commissioner Lehman noted to Clarke on Tuesday that his 15 hours of private testimony differed substantially from his public testimony. So substantially that Lehman told Clarke he couldn't believe it. As a result of that, the White House is seeking to declassify whether Clarke lied under oath.

4. On page 127 of Clarke's new book "Against All Enemies", Clarke notes that it's possible that al Qaida operatives in the Phillipes "taught Terry Nichols how to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building." Intelligence places Nichols there on the same days as Ramzi Yousef, and "we do know that Nichols's bombs did not work before his Philippines stay and were deadly when he returned."

And yet, the Clinton administration focused exclusively on homegrown terrorists, and never talked publicly about this matter. Laurie Mylroie, formerly of the Clinton administration, and others, have since talked about the Iraqi connection to the OKC bombing frequently. Yet your news organization has been largely if not completely silent.

5. Despite Clarke's assertion that he is non-partisan, a few moments research into public records indicates that Clarke has only donated to Democrat's campaigns, never to Republicans.
2 posted on 03/27/2004 6:10:23 AM PST by Peach
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To: Ranger
Actually Clinton coined the phrase "war on terror" after the first attack on the world trade center, only it was just another sound byte for him.
3 posted on 03/27/2004 6:11:06 AM PST by usmcobra
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To: Ranger
I wish I could send the Professor all the research done on Clarke statements.Great Aussie article this morning,implying that Clarke was less than accurate about some statements about Indonesia in his book.
4 posted on 03/27/2004 6:12:01 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Ranger
And read this article, printed in June 2001 (pre 9/11) about what Bush was doing and what Clarke wasn't doing. Hah! Clarke is fishfood.

http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/1105829/posts?page=1
5 posted on 03/27/2004 6:12:17 AM PST by Peach
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To: Peach
It's interestin g how easilly democrats overlook those little things.

I may just have to buy the book to fill in the gaps left by the democrats discussing it.
6 posted on 03/27/2004 6:13:21 AM PST by cripplecreek (Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live...at least a while)
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To: Ranger
Could this guy have his Bill Clinton knee pads any more firmly in place?
7 posted on 03/27/2004 6:13:40 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Ranger
Oh of course! The current Administration must take the blame for an 8 month "lack of vision" but not a word about 8 years of bluster and inaction from the Clinton Administration. Again, SO WHAT? Compare the POST 9-11 actions of the Bush Administration with the 8 years of bluster and inaction by the Clintonites. The same Clinton Administration that John Kerry is currently praising as the model HE would use for a War on Terror. Endless meetings and tough talk but NO actions is the Kerry plan for fighting Terorrism. All the rest of this 9-11 Comission blather is just the usual Democratic Establishment smokescreen to hide the fact that their canidate is completely unfit for the job of President.
8 posted on 03/27/2004 6:16:13 AM PST by MNJohnnie (If you have to pretend to be something you are not, you have all ready lost the debate)
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To: Ranger
Wrong! Our most serious threat in the long term is China. China and Russia have the ability to destroy us as a nation. AQ does not.

No, the fault for 9/11 lays completely in the Clinton administrations lack of response to the terrorist threat that emerged in the 1990s. They never responded effectively to the numerous AQ attacks on us. It made no difference who was elected in 2000. The die was already set.

I'm also ticked by the Clintonoids claiming credit for stopping the Millenium bombing. It was an alert border guard in WA that stopped it, not Clinton.
9 posted on 03/27/2004 6:17:22 AM PST by mikegi
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To: Ranger
Before 9/11 the atmosphere of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism made it near impossible to call suspicion on Arab flight students and muslims preaching radical islam. Anybody complaining about them would be sent to sensitivity training camp. Not a lot has changed.
10 posted on 03/27/2004 6:20:11 AM PST by rageaholic
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To: Ranger
I can guarantee that had President Bush "known" that the WTC/Pentagon attack was to be carried out on 9/11 and he grounded all aviation that day he would have been tarred and feathered and run out of town by sundown. By grounding aviation the scum would have simply stayed home and nothing would have happened. Nothing. And ABCNBCCBSCNN...would have been screaming what a power-mad extremist paranoic dictator the President was and how he didn't have the authority blah blah blah. The terrorists would have simply waited until flights resumed to carry out their attack, probably waiting until the impeachment of Bush for abuse of power had removed him from office. And then President Cheney would be blamed when the attacks finally took place, thereby turning us into Andalusia (formerly Spain, for those of you on the left), followed by an irreversible plunge into socialism followed by terror unfettered (since the dems would dismantle our military in a globalist appeasement strategy).
11 posted on 03/27/2004 6:21:28 AM PST by Thom Pain
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To: Ranger
Gosh, we mention Reagan and Bush but not one mention of Clinton's failures.
12 posted on 03/27/2004 6:21:51 AM PST by Mercat
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To: Ranger
The whole argument seems so absurd to me.

If on September 10th, we had arrested 19 Arab men who the FBI said were planning to hijack planes and fly them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, what would the left have said?

If we had unilaterally invaded Afghanistan and taken out the Taleban based on the fact that they were supporting AQ, what would the left have said?


It's like saying, "What if on Dec. 6th, 1941, we had dropped a bomb on Hiroshima in order to prevent Pearl Harbor?"

September 11th happened, it changed the course of American history, just like Pearl Harbor, just like the sinking of the Lusitania.

At this point, blame is only political rhetoric, and IMHO, not even worth discussing.
13 posted on 03/27/2004 6:22:10 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Ranger
Wow!! The New York Times is chosing Clarke's most negative assessment of the Bush administration.

Surprise, surprise!! [/sarcasm]

14 posted on 03/27/2004 6:23:01 AM PST by syriacus (2001: The Daschle-Schumer Gang obstructed Bush's attempts to organize his administration -->9/11)
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To: Ranger
Ms. Rice, spelling out the foreign policy priorities of a Bush White House, argued that after years of drift under the Clinton administration, United States foreign policy had to concentrate on the "real challenges" to American security.

I'm not certain whether the author is merely confused, or whether he wrote this deeply-flawed article with malicious intent. His main premise seems to be that Republican administrations, most notably the Reagan administration and the current Bush administration, have had ideological blinders on, and due to their outdated belief that only state-sponsored terrorism can muster a real threat to national security, they missed the threat from Al Quaeda.

The author has done a sloppy job, and has not come close to proving his case. For just one example, when he quotes an article by Dr. Rice to support his thesis, he's making an obvious error. The article in question is focused on "foreign policy". By definition, foreign policy deals with the relations between states. It does not deal with relations between states and NGOs, or between states and organized crime syndicates, or between states and large multinational corporations, or, more tellingly, between states and terrorist groups. So, relying on that article to explain the Bush administration's policy and actions for fighting terrorist groups is simply silly at best (or, possibly a malicious red herring).

15 posted on 03/27/2004 6:23:35 AM PST by Zeppo
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To: Ranger
so would anyone have believed W if he'd announced to the nation that alqaida had plans to fly into the towers and then gone ahead to attack them in afghanistan, iraq or anywhere? up until 911 few people had heard of alqaida or would have doubted their ability to do that much evil... the left would have screamed for his head even moreso than now ... as usual with a dangerous intersection that people say needs a stoplight, nothing is done until someone is killed...(yes, i know about khobartowers and wtc1 and the cole and the embassybombings and the and the and the... but we know that xxxlinton was just a coward)


16 posted on 03/27/2004 6:24:29 AM PST by InvisibleChurch (I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.)
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To: Peach
the other thing to remember is that during the pre-911 period of the Bush presidency, we were busy trying to get the Israel-PLO conflict resolved after the failed Clinton "feel-good" approach. We were not in a national mood to start bombing Arabs to make us safer.

We were still hoping to find the nuanced diplomatic solution. (of the type that will be favored by the French-looking JF Kerry if elected)

These people respond to force not finesse.
17 posted on 03/27/2004 6:26:39 AM PST by RobFromGa (Bring on Hillary, the Electorate is Ready For Her...)
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To: Ranger
"The idea that the sinister hand of the Kremlin was behind groups like the Italian Red Brigades and even the Irish Republican Army revealed the deep sense of paranoia within political circles at the time."

I can't speak about the Red Brigades, but I know for a fact that the IRA was (and no doubt is) a communist organization. Whether the Soviets helped them or not, I do not know, but they were commies, plain and simple.

This author obviously thinks that Communism and its quest for world domination was some kind of a ha-ha joke. He no doubt thinks that about the Islamofacists too, and he would no doubt have thought it about silly old Hitler and Co.

Well laugh in the face of the millions of dead if you will, because you'll be crying when the forces of evil come for you, Mr. Neuman.
18 posted on 03/27/2004 6:26:55 AM PST by jocon307 (The dems don't get it, the American people do.)
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To: 2sheep; Jeremiah Jr; BearWash
Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming

The SOL saw it coming:

23 August 2001

>>>A red flag is a well known warning sign or danger signal. What a picture to see the SOL holding a red flag up. What a picture to see the Statue of Liberty with the same initials (SOL) as a common expletive beginning with the letters S.O.L. meaning S___ Out of Luck.

Volition: The exercise of the will: Prospective volition: Danger signal
danger signal (noun)

danger signal, note of warning, WARNING
murmur, muttering, DISCONTENT
writing on the wall, portent, evil omen, OMEN
gathering clouds, thundercloud
storm warning, gale warning, small craft warning, hurricane warning
tornado warning or alert
warning sound, alarum, alarm clock, alarm bell, burglar alarm, security alarm, car alarm, fire alarm, fire bell, foghorn, fog signal, bell buoy, car horn, klaxon, buzzer, bicycle bell, police whistle
blast, honk, toot, LOUDNESS
alarm, church bell, curfew, tocsin, siren, alert, red alert
tattoo, beat of the drum, trumpet-call, CALL
war cry, battle cry, rallying cry
fiery cross
death's head, skull and crossbones
warning light, red light, yellow light, Very lights, lighthouse, beacon
quarantine flag, storm flag, red flag, yellow flag
distress signal, SOS, Mayday, SIGNAL
sign of alarm, start, tremor, blench, sweat, hair on end, FEAR<<<

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b850d2f1135.htm#127

19 posted on 03/27/2004 6:29:33 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: Ranger
["In the end, the 9/11 hearings are likely to find.....

...Something that most everyone knows about human nature. That is, people "react", instead of "act" (ahead of time).

It takes events like: 9-11, Pearl Harbor, The Boston Massacre, and so on...to occur (FIRST) and then changes are made in the way people think and behave. Unfortunately, innocent lives are lost in the process.
20 posted on 03/27/2004 6:29:59 AM PST by LjubivojeRadosavljevic
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To: dawn53
Good post.

21 posted on 03/27/2004 6:31:09 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Ranger
New York Times still in love with communists, worship that "system" of "we are gods".

22 posted on 03/27/2004 6:32:46 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: mikegi
Our most serious threat in the long term is China. China and Russia have the ability to destroy us as a nation. AQ does not.

Very true. And, if memory serves, at some point in the first 100 days of the Bush Administration wasn't an American military plane disabled by Chinese pilots in the air, landed on Chinese soil and wasn't the crew treated very badly by the Chinese? I seem to remember that thoughts of China being a significant threat were prevailant at the time.
23 posted on 03/27/2004 6:35:15 AM PST by Desdemona (Music Librarian and provider of cucumber sandwiches, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary. Hats required.)
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To: Ranger
by the end of the decade, it seemed as if the model of state-sponsored terrorism had effectively been reversed: Al Qaeda was now in charge of a state — Afghanistan under the Taliban — rather than vice versa.
On the one hand it can be of analytical use to swap the nomenclature around like that. But on the other hand it is a distinction without a difference. We needed to mop up the Taliban in order to attack Al Qaeda just as surely, either way.

But as to the culpability, or lack thereof, of Iraq, IMHO Saddam's problem was that he had cultivated a situation in which nobody knew that he wasn't making WMD and nobody knew that he had nothing to do with 911 and especially with the anthrax problem of the time. Having cultivated that situation for his own reasons (possibly including the fact that they were true), there was no way to assure Bush that they were not true - and thus no way to prevent an American invasion.

The Administration decided that it could not afford for the regimes in the region to be in doubt that Saddam had done those things and gotten away with it, any more than it could afford for Saddam to have actually done those things (if it had) and for him to believe that he had gotten away with it. The fruits of this policy are not only a democratic Iraqi government in the making but a Libya turning from foe to friend.

Al Qaeda can still exist sub rosa anywhere in the world, but the places willing to allow them to exist publicly are dwindling and may soon disappear. At which point Al Qaeda will be the law enforcement problem the Democrats are fond of claiming that it already is.


24 posted on 03/27/2004 6:36:20 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (No one is more subjective than the person who believes in his own objectivity.)
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To: Ranger
The "failure of vision" cannot be placed on the shoulders of the current administration alone. The bulk of the population thought we were somehow immune. It drives me nuts that the partisans in places of power, and the media only blame the government for "failure of vision." The media of course, isn't remotely culpable. The media, that thinks it is immune from everything.

What I cannot understand is why so many are willing to buy blaming the current administration, and call for us to turn over our safety to a corrupt international body that has never stopped terrorism, and indeed, has fed off it and corrupt dictatorships for decades. Amazing.

25 posted on 03/27/2004 6:39:48 AM PST by vharlow
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To: Ranger
".....In Ms. Rice's view, the threat of non-state terrorism was a secondary problem....."

The continuing 'practical' alternative to the hyper-critcized Bush policies would then be..........

Within days of taking office the Bush Administration would have declared War on the Soverign State of Afghanistan and would have gone before Timmy Russert, Judy Rough-woodie, Leslie Stall, etc. to explain to these HOSTILE gate-keepers of the public opinion why we're going to invade.

Think about the response!!!!!!!!!!!

There would have been immediate incredulous-jawdropping-SCREAMS of "HAS THIS ADMINISTRATION LOST ITS MIND!!!!!!!!!".

This whole thing is crap, IMHO, and the continued trashing of the Bush administation IS NOT endearing the media to me, whatsoever.

26 posted on 03/27/2004 6:42:50 AM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth Estate is a Fifth Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: dawn53
If we had unilaterally invaded Afghanistan and taken out the Taleban based on the fact that they were supporting AQ, what would the left have said?

Could you imagine what would have happened if we had invaded Afghanistan before 9-11.

We would not have been able to stop the 9-11 plot anyway. That was well developed outside of Afghanistan, and going to happen.

All the terrorists would have to say was that 9-11 was in response our invading Afghanistan,and they would get world wide approval.

The blame America first crowd in this country and around the world would have had a field day saying we brought it on ourselves by invading Afghanistan. -

We were saved from a major PR blunder by our own incompetence. -Tom

27 posted on 03/27/2004 6:45:18 AM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: Ranger
The author is all wet. I recommend that he revisit Clarke's and Clinton's reaction to the bombings of our embassies in East Africa in 1998.

According to official Kenyan government figures, 213 people were killed in the blast that gutted the U.S. Embassy building in downtown Nairobi. That included 12 American workers and 34 of their Kenyan colleagues, called "foreign service nationals [FSNs]." More than 4,000 Kenyans were also injured in the explosion.

According to Tanzanian government figures, 12 people, all Tanzanians, died as a result of the truck bomb that exploded in the street outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. Seventy-two Americans and Tanzanians were also injured in the terrorist attack.

The bombings in East Africa should have been the real 9/11 for the American public. It was a failure of leadership (read Clinton/Clarke) that did not rally our country to go to war against al-Qaeda. The number of total casualties, wounded and dead, approximated or exceeded those suffered on 9/11.

I was angered by Clarke's comments during the hearing that only 35 Americans lost their lives to al-Qaeda during the Clinton administration compared to the number lost during the Bush administration. We need to expose Clarke and Clinton for their feckless reaction to the East Africa Embassy bombings, which injured and killed thousands. Clarke's assertion that the Clinton administration placed a higher priority on fighting terrorism is belied by their reaction to the attacks on our embassies. I would also mention that over 1000 people suffered injuries in WTC I in 1993.

The bottom line is that the Clinton administration failed to recognize we were at war and took the less controversial stance of treating terrorism as an ad hoc law enforcement matter. There was a thread that ran through all of these attacks, and that was al-Qaeda.

28 posted on 03/27/2004 6:50:07 AM PST by kabar
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To: dawn53
"If on September 10th, we had arrested 19 Arab men who the FBI said were planning to hijack planes and fly them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, what would the left have said?"

Well the thing of it is, nobody would have said much of anything. The dog that didn't bite just isn't news. Even to this day it really hasn't sunk into my brain that the so-called Millenium Bomb plot was foiled, and it isn't because that would be to give credit where due to Clinton, or whoever. I don't think the prevention of that plot has seeped into anyone's mind, left or right. Or the terrorists convicted in NY of plans to blow up the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, etc.

Before 9/11 we just weren't on war footing. Should we have been? Yes. Could Clinton (or other presidents, Carter, whoever) have made us realize we needed to be? Maybe, but they didn't. Does Bush get it? Yes.

But my lingering question (my tagline not withstanding) is DO the American people get it?
29 posted on 03/27/2004 6:50:49 AM PST by jocon307 (The dems don't get it, the American people do.)
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To: Peach; Ranger
Notice how the author waits until the next to the last paragraph to mention "and there was a real effort to track down and destroy the Qaeda network". This was Condi's point about how the administration rejected the fifth nebulous "strategy" of Clarke / Clinton and moved from rolling back AlQ to destroying AlQ.

While there is some truth to what the author is saying, why does everyone think that there cannot be concurrent efforts? Deal with China while pressuring rogue states AND actively trying to destroy AlQ. Sounds pretty nuanced to me.

Nice points, Peach.

30 posted on 03/27/2004 6:52:54 AM PST by NonValueAdded (He says "Bring it on!!" Then when you do, he says, "How dare you!! ")
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To: Capt. Tom
Never thought it through like that, you're exactly right. It happens all the time in Israel. Terrorist attacks are blamed on Israeli retailiation for terrorist attacks. It's a vicious circle.
31 posted on 03/27/2004 6:54:33 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Ranger
This article suffers from its own mindset. One that it shares with the 9/11 commission, the press, and unfortunately the democratic and republican campaigns alike. Guess what folks - 9/11 was a blip. Imagine suitcase nukes in place in 20 major cities, instead of 4 jumbo jets hitting a few targets. Imagine that on the first night of a terror campaign we loose 4 major cities - then they demand that we scuttle two aircraft carrier groups. I don't mean to sound like Tom Clancy, but you get the picture don't you. Our government policies didn't suffer complete failure on 9/11. Sorry, family members of 9/11 victims. State sponsorship or involvement almost guarantees WMD in the hands of the terrorists.
32 posted on 03/27/2004 6:54:45 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (Vienna said the middlemen come from Ger, Nether,Belg, S Af, Jap,Dub, Mal,USA,Rus,Chin,and Pak.)
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To: Ranger
"In the end, the 9/11 hearings are likely to find that the intelligence failure that led to the horrific attacks stemmed from the longstanding problems of wrongly placed agents, failed communications between government departments and lack of resources. But it was also a failure of vision — one for which the current administration must take responsibility."

There is backpedling going on this weekend, albeit still critical of this Administration. I smell something in the wind that is going to take down Clark and the media's obsession with him. Hmmmmm.....
33 posted on 03/27/2004 6:58:28 AM PST by OpusatFR (Sure they want to tone down the rhetoric. We are winning.)
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To: Ranger
"Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky always"
-IRA statement to Thatcher govt after Brighton bomb, 1984

It is the nature of counter-terrorism that you must either fight a perpetual defensive war, with the full knowledge that you will not be "lucky always" - Or you must take the offensive, and act preemptively.

Anybody want to venture a guess what the reaction would have been by the dems and those who are trying to lay culpability for 9/11 at the feet of the Bush Administration, if, in February of 2001, the President Bush had announced that they were invading Afghanistan in the name of preempting potential terrorist attacks later in the year?

Yeah, I'm sure the NYT, the Washington Post, and John Kerry would have all rallied behind that initiative...
/sarcasm

34 posted on 03/27/2004 6:58:29 AM PST by LouD (Democrats: Exploiting the business cycle in the name of political expediency for 70 years)
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To: Just mythoughts
"These newspapers, owned and edited by these men, although free from the repulsive vulgarity of the yellow press, were susceptible to influence by the priviledged interests, and were almost or quite as hostile to manliness as they were to unrefined vice...they favored the removal of tariff on works of art; they favored all the proper (and even more strongly all the improper) movements for international peace and arbitration; in short, they favored all good, and many goody-goody, measures so long as they did not cut deep into social wrong or make demands on National and individual virility. They opposed, or were lukewarm about, efforts to build up the army and the navy, for they were not sensitive concerning National honor; and, above all, they opposed every non-milk-and-water effort, however sane, to change our social and economic system in such a fashion as to substitute the ideal justice towards all for the ideal of kindly charity from the favored few to the possibly grateful many."
- Theodore Roosevelt
35 posted on 03/27/2004 7:00:34 AM PST by Dog Anchor
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To: jocon307
But my lingering question (my tagline not withstanding) is DO the American people get it?

I don't think they do.

My son had to give a speech in class about a political candidate. He chose Bush, of course, LOL, and had as one of his talking points the fact that the economy was rebounding.

Then he used Clinton's "it's the economy stupid" quote, but used it to lead the listener to the fact that if another terrorist attack happens, the economy will be down the tubes again, so the only real issue is the WOT.

His professor, (who told the class he hates Bush, such unbiased education in college these days, LOL) gave him an A+ and wrote on his paper that his economy argument was a strong persuasive point.

Could it be that this professor had never logically thought through the issue before? It appears that way.

36 posted on 03/27/2004 7:01:37 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Ranger
Peter R. Neumann is a research fellow in international terrorism at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.

And an excellent example of this quote by Denis Boyle (NRO) "... but then the French press isn't as French as the New York Times, where every page is drenched in rich nuance."

37 posted on 03/27/2004 7:02:25 AM PST by an amused spectator (If Benedict Arnold had been a Democrat, we'd still be arguing about the American Revolution)
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To: dawn53
The same thing they are saying about Iraq.

All these "should have done something" people don't even know what we should have done.

Should we have done something offensive? Maybe, but without 9-11 there would have been no support. Defensive? How?

It's just like Iraq. If Iraq had been left alone and leashed some kind of attack, there would have been far more ammo to attack the administration on "should have done something" grounds.

Yet all these whiners in these stupid hearings which I refuse to watch don't even think that far.
38 posted on 03/27/2004 7:06:19 AM PST by altura (Sometimes the ground rises up to meet me, but I DON'T FALL DOWN.)
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To: Capt. Tom
Could you imagine what would have happened if we had invaded Afghanistan before 9-11...We were saved from a major PR blunder by our own incompetence

Although I agree we would have suffered a PR setback, I don't think such considerations should deter our political leadership from taking the necessary actions to protect our citizens at home and abroad. That's the mantra of the Clintonistas like Alrbight and Berger, i.e., we didn't have the support from abroad or domestically to take such actions.

In his testimony before the Commission, Rumsfeld said we would have taken action against the Taliban and AQ even if 9/11 did not happen. The comprehensive strategy and plan to deal with AQ was signed on September 10. The Bush administration did not want to retaliate for the USS Cole using the pinprick of missiles launched at training camps. Clinton had 4 months to respond to the USS Cole and did nothing because the proof was not definitive that AQ did it, which is laughable given the prior attacks. Besides, the embassy bombings were sufficient enough.

From a practical and logistical standpoint, it would have been very difficult for the Bush Administration to act immediately on taking office. Anyone who has worked in the federal government during a change in administrations knows that it takes 4 to 5 months to transition to the new team. The fact that we were able to respond so quickly after 9/11 is testimony to the fact that a plan was already in place and just needed to be implemented. That is the Bush legacy.

39 posted on 03/27/2004 7:08:04 AM PST by kabar
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To: Ranger
Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming?

The Congressional Task Force on Terrorism was aware over ten years ago that Islamic terrorists were planning to crash airplanes into skyscrapers in the United States (Target America by Yossef Bodansky, 1993).
40 posted on 03/27/2004 7:29:12 AM PST by Plumrodimus
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To: kabar
Although I agree we would have suffered a PR setback, I don't think such considerations should deter our political leadership from taking the necessary actions to protect our citizens at home and abroad. That's the mantra of the Clintonistas like Alrbight and Berger, i.e., we didn't have the support from abroad or domestically to take such actions.

I am in no way implying we need approval or a permission slip from the UN to fut-her our countries interests.

But the PR disaster of unilaterally going into Afghanistan and having the 9-11 attacks passed off by Al Qaeda and the world as retaliation for our attacking Afghanistan would mean we would never have gone into Iraq.

Bush would be blamed for the deaths of 3,000 Americans in NY and beaten over the head with that to the point I don't think he would have pressed for an invasion of Iraq,

And if he did invade Iraq in that environment, and no WMDs were found he probably would get impeached for reckless and dangerous behavior as commander chief.

So I'll say it again:Could you imagine what would have happened if we had invaded Afghanistan before 9-11...We were saved from a major PR blunder by our own incompetence. -Tom

41 posted on 03/27/2004 7:30:14 AM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: mikegi
Wrong! Our most serious threat in the long term is China. China and Russia have the ability to destroy us as a nation. AQ does not.

Actually, only Russia can physically destroy much of this country. But even a "limited" nuclear attack by a state or sub-state actor can destroy or severely undermine our national ethos...and replace it with something else that we probably would not like. (My guess: we go on a war of extermination.)

42 posted on 03/27/2004 7:34:06 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Maj. Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: Peach; cyncooper
The author needs to take a look at that Insight article...

That thread you cross referenced may be one of the more important articles of the upcoming presidential campaign, when all is said and done.

Thanks again to FR researcher cyncooper...
43 posted on 03/27/2004 7:41:38 AM PST by AFPhys (My Passion review: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1089021/posts?page=13#13)
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To: Poohbah
>Actually, only Russia can physically destroy much of this country

Well, yeah, with nukes. But
a biology wiz kid
with a billion bucks

from some fanatic
can bio-engineer bugs
(or even prions,

I'd guess) and cause more
loss of life and chaos than
a big nuke attack.

(Biology is,
comparatively, so cheap,
I'm puzzled no one

has used this path yet.
Some of the eco nuts are
educated nuts . . .)

44 posted on 03/27/2004 7:44:51 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Ranger
[ Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming ]

Faulty tin foil hat... -OR- Tin foil boots weren't grounded...

45 posted on 03/27/2004 7:46:17 AM PST by hosepipe
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To: Ranger

Can't happen here... Famous last words.

46 posted on 03/27/2004 7:53:59 AM PST by risk
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To: Dog Anchor
"They opposed, or were lukewarm about, efforts to build up the army and the navy, for they were not sensitive concerning National honor; and, above all, they opposed every non-milk-and-water effort, however sane, to change our social and economic system in such a fashion as to"

"substitute the ideal justice towards all for the ideal of kindly charity from the favored few to the possibly grateful many.""


They believe they are "gods". Their religion is "system of government".

Thanks for this post.




47 posted on 03/27/2004 7:57:48 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: kabar
The bottom line is that the Clinton administration failed to recognize we were at war and took the less controversial stance of treating terrorism as an ad hoc law enforcement matter.

That was a very large problem.

Any Grand Jury testimony, ie. law enforcement route, was secret and could not be dispensed to the CIA and FBI.

48 posted on 03/27/2004 7:58:22 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: Ranger
I keep hearing people (mostly liberals) say that another 9-11 will never happen again. Even after the 3-11 event in Madrid they say this. It annoys me to no end that a large segment of America has grown so complacent in such a short time, and yet this is the same segment that says Bush did nothing to stop 9-11 and it was Bush's fault. Plus these are the people who want to release all the terrorist in Cuba and send them back home so they can reorganize and kill again. I don't know... some people are just plain stupid.
49 posted on 03/27/2004 8:02:34 AM PST by Kirkwood (Its always a good time to donate to the DAV and USO.)
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To: Zeppo
For just one example, when he quotes an article by Dr. Rice

He refers to her as "Ms. Rice."
That was enough for me.

50 posted on 03/27/2004 8:11:08 AM PST by b9
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