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The Pink Panther Strikes Again!

Publié le 10 janvier, 2010 | 2 commentaires

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What is it about “intelligence” that seems to bring out the stupid in our National Security agencies?

The infamous memo of August 6, 2001, presented at President George W. Bush’s Daily Briefing, was actually titled, “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States”. Multiple reports detailed suspicions of an imminent al Qaeda plot to hijack planes and fly them like suicide bombs into skyscrapers. All the operatives were known to various intelligence agencies, even that they were attending flight schools on false passports, and had ties to extremist groups. And yet…

In November of last year, a Senate report was released stating that the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld deliberately let Bin Laden escape from Tora Bora, Afghanistan into Pakistan. The Taliban, mostly defeated after NATO forces dispersed them in 2001, have now rallied to rule most of rural Pakistan and continue to directly influence the Karzai puppet government.

No sooner did President Barack Obama commit fully to war in Afghanistan, which he identified during his campaign as the war the U.S. should have been fighting all along, when Pakistan became the new front. The President, following the advice of his generals, has chosen to step up the use of unmanned drones, perhaps thinking this strategy will be more acceptable to allies who have declined to supply soldiers for a prolonged conflict. This has increased the amount of attacks in the region, and multiplied civilian casualties exponentially, enraging Islamist militants in Muslim countries around the world.

Iraq is all but forgotten, except by those hoping to cash in on rebuilding contracts and private security operations. And now a new “intelligence” failure has led the U.S. back to the original site of Bin Laden’s first major act of terrorism in October 2000, the suicide bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen. At that time, future Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was National Security Advisor. “According to Dr. Rice, the decision not to respond militarily to the Cole bombing was President Bush’s. She said he ‘made clear to us that he did not want to respond to al Qaeda one attack at a time. He told me he was ‘tired of swatting flies.' »

So back to Yemen we go. Though the technique the Yemeni-al Qaeda-trained Nigerian bomber used to smuggle explosives on board, thwarting airport security measures, was detailed to a White House advisor last October, and though the bomber’s own father alerted U.S. Embassy officials to his son’s involvement with extremist groups, a man who was refused a U.K. visa and on a No-Fly list, who bought a one-way ticket to Detroit, for $3000 in cash, with no luggage – “intelligence failures” were casually blamed and then explained away by everyone from the President down to the lowly TSA who ought to have prevented him from boarding.

As Jon Stewart quipped, “[we don’t expect security to] catch everything, but we do expect you to catch the EXACT same thing. » (Referring to the attempt to blow up a plane using smuggled explosives by the so-called « Shoe Bomber » of December, 2001.)

Is the fact that “intelligence” that could and should have prevented attacks by al Qaeda was all but totally ignored, the reason why « 9/11 Truthers” believe our own government is allowing terrorists to attack? Because they can’t believe it was just pure stupidity, the bungling of incompetent Inspector Clouseaus, or a “failure to communicate” between international security agencies? Or is it the fact that billions and billions of U.S. tax dollars are going to fund military operations in these misbegotten war zones, while Wall Street gets ready to hand out billions in bonuses sheltered by the Obama Administration’s Financial Sector cronies? Is it that they see a direct correlation between the cover-up of an out-of-control CIA and a failing economy that forces the majority of Americans concentrate on their own troubles while allowing any and everything to be gotten away with in the name of « fighting terror »?

And should we maybe stop calling it “intelligence”, when today’s New York Times front page headline declares, “Military Is Deluged In Intelligence From Drones”:

“Imagine you are tuning into a football game without all the graphics,” said Lucius Stone, an executive as Harris Broadcast Communications, a provider of commercial technology that is working with the military. “You don’t know what the score is. You don’t know what the down is. It’s just raw video. And that’s how the guys in the military have been using it.”

You don’t know what the score is. In military jargon, the state of U.S. intelligence is: SNAFU.


.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cole_bombing – cite_note-911Commission040408-25

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2 Responses to “The Pink Panther Strikes Again!”

  1. Christopher
    janvier 10th, 2010 @ 17:40

    This is a time where I like « Hanlon’s razor »: « never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. »

    Or in this case, a huge bureaucracy filled with people more interested in passing the buck and making a buck than in real security. How can we even get real security? Thousands of people fly in and out of the country every day, and all it takes is one guy, on one day.

    I mostly agree with the fact that only two things have made America safer from attacks… reinforced cockpit doors, and passengers learning to fight back. Every other security measure taken so far has been a reactionary load of horseshit, in my opinion.

  2. Mark Kirby
    janvier 12th, 2010 @ 12:52

    William Burroughs was right: « A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. » Nice work Ms. Lambros