Skip to comments.Rumsfeld Critic Zinni: USS Cole Blunder My Fault
Posted on 04/18/2006 10:38:57 AM PDT by Carl/NewsMax
Former CENTCOM Commander, Gen. Anthony Zinni - who has called for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign because of his alleged incompetence in running the Iraq war - admitted six years ago that he made the disastrous decision to have the U.S.S. Cole use the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling, where the ship was blown up by al Qaeda terrorists.
Worse still, at least one report indicates that Gen. Zinni may have played a role in an August 1998 leak that tipped off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack - allowing the top terrorist to escape.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in October 2000, a week after the Cole attack, the then-recently retired Zinni said: "I pass that buck on to nobody."
The Rumsfeld critic explained that he personally signed off on berthing the Cole in Yemen even though "their coast is a sieve for terrorists."
"The threat conditions in Aden were better than elsewhere," he insisted, citing risk assessments for Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Gen. Zinni said that cutbacks in the size of the Navy's fleet during the Clinton years made it necessary to use regional ports for refueling, noting: "Ten years ago, we did all refueling at sea" using Navy oilers.
Still, prior to the Cole attack, there's no record that Gen. Zinni ever complained about Clinton era defense cuts.
In what may be an even more troubling development, a report indicates that the leading Rumsfeld critic may have inadvertently played a role in tipping off Osama bin Laden to an impending U.S. cruise missile attack two years before the Cole episode.
Two days after President Clinton ordered the attack on bin Laden's encampment in Khost Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported:
"Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper, quoting unidentified sources in London today, reported that Pakistan leaked to bin Laden news about an impending U.S. strike. The sources said the leak was aimed at limiting casualties, so that bin Laden would have less justification for a counterattack.
"A Pakistani government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Gen. Anthony Zinni, commander of the U.S. Central Command, was in Peshawar the day before the attack to meet with Pakistani officials.
"Other Pakistani sources said Zinni came with a team of U.S. intelligence experts whose task was to pinpoint the camps and determine bin Laden's exact whereabouts."
Sounds like too many damn generals to me.
That does it. Tom has sold his last book, video game, and movie to me. A pox on you Clancy.
Aden is quite a ways from Jebel Ali, but I am wondering if going into Aqabah Jordan, Djibouti, Muskat Oman, Hurghada Egypt wouldn't have been better. I think the truth of the matter is that the Cole went into Aden for only one reason, to show the flag.
You are correct, he was appointed by Powell and lasted about one year in that capacity as minister of peace.
Powell pushed for a cease fire in the first gulf war. Complained about seeing 'brothers' shot by the coaltion forces.
Powell was ALWAYS Bush's weakest link....still is....he's PATHETIC!
As usual, you are quite mistaken. The book with Clancy, Battle Ready, was published in 2004. The current book he is hawking, The Battle for Peace, was written with Tony Koltz.
His dedication to this country takes second place to his thoughts of the same 'global test' that kerry thought was such a great idea.
What would have been better was refueling at sea.
Yes, Powell is a globalist because of his EGO....America just isn't big enough for him.
However, the Forward to The Battle for Peace was written by Tom Clancy.
Minister of PEACE??? Is that a JOKE?
Any bets on how much indication of incompetence or disloyalty to American interests can be found in the pasts of any of the carping generals?
I thought it was Friends of Algor that stood to make a buck if the Cole refuelled there?
Zini et al will get theirs.
Think of their perverse pontificating as just another DNC-organised Perfumed Prince Parade.
"Zini et al will get theirs."
They'd better. What the MSM is doing is so wrong.
<< .... What the MSM is doing is so wrong. >>
That's a given.
As, effectively, is their orchestrated and disgraceful parade of failed generales, they are but an un-and-anti-American seditious, subversive and frequently treasonous extension of the Soviet-oriented and Moscow-directed Socialist Internationale.
And of that obscene gang's as abhorent close ally, the modern "Democrats."
That really bothers me. I remember when Rush would have Tom on pretty often.