Under torture after his rendition to Egypt, al Libi had provided a confession of how Saddam Hussein had been training al Qaeda in chemical weapons. This evidence was used by Colin Powell at the United Nations a year earlier (February 2003) to justify the war in Iraq. (“I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these [chemical and biological] weapons to al Qaeda,” Powell said. “Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story.”)
But now, hearing how the information was obtained, the CIA was soon to retract all this intelligence. A Feb. 5 cable records that al Libi was told by a “foreign government service” (Egypt) that: “the next topic was al-Qa’ida’s connections with Iraq…This was a subject about which he said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story.”
You see, torture does work. It makes people tell whatever story it is they think you want to hear to get you to stop torturing them. In the mean time people that pretend to care about America and the lives of its citizens, sends them into harm’s way based on the stories that used torture as a basis for those actions.
In recent years, President Bush and various Republican leaders have suggested that the absence of another terrorist attack on American soil indicates that the White House’s anti-terrorism policies have been effective. But Suskind noted how the Madrid train bombing in March 2004 “was further affirmation of what CIA analysts had first begun to see in sigint [signals intelligence] and limited humint [human intelligence] as far back as the spring of 2002: a possible strategic shift by al Qaeda away from further attacks on the U.S. mainland.” (Pages 303-304)
That was and still is a neat rhetorical flourish by the wingnuttery. Absolve Bush of any negligence for 9-11, but give him credit as the protective daddy figure that has kept another attack from occurring. Bush can probably hold his Popsicle in the bright sun of a hot July day without it melting. What a bizarre way to view any human, part John Wayne movie caricature, part mystical messiah. If its bad, its never Bush’s fault, if its good thank your lucky stars His Royal Bush is in charge.
Suskind disclosed that Hank Crumpton, the CIA officer overseeing the agency’s hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan in 2001, personally warned Bush that the United States risked “los[ing] our prey” if more troops were not sent to help in the effort. Specifically, Crumpton told Bush in a November 2001 meeting that additional U.S. forces were needed because the Pakistani soldiers and local Afghan militias that had cornered bin Laden in the mountains near Tora Bora were “definitely not” equipped to capture him themselves. (Page 59) According to Suskind, Bush repeatedly received classified reports from the CIA in early December that the “back door is open” — referring to the unmanned Afghanistan-Pakistan border. (Page 74) But the Bush administration never committed more troops to the area, and the Al Qaeda leader ultimately escaped.
If Bush’s foreign policy was a steak most people wouldnsend it back, yet this cheap piece of flank was reelected. What day was it that so many Americans adapted an unhealthy, unquestioning view of authority. If Republicans held themselves up to the same impossibly high standards they hold Democrats, they’d might have captured OBL and reduced the number of terrorists rather then increasing them. Is there something deep down in the Republican psyche that enjoys being used and using others.
WTF is MSNBC thinking. Rosie O’Donnell is whatever she is, but a knowledgeable insightful commentator on politics she is not. On the other hand Rachel Maddow is smart, funny and has that unique ability to filter all the issues in a way that working class American can relate to, Note to MSNBC: Two words: Rachel. Maddow.
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” ~H.L. Mencken